Attachment to Krsna is the Highest Goal

Krishna Pastimes

This is a post I have wanted to do for some time, and have waited for an auspicious day like today, on Lord Balarama’s appearance to post it. This is some of the nectar from the concluding chapter of Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, by our Srila Prabhupada. And the above image is one of my most favorite pictures from the book. This picture has always captivated my imagination and I am convinced that if ever I return Home, Back to Godhead, life with God (Krsna) would be very enjoyable. Eternal, full of knowledge and bliss (sat-cit-ananda)

…The crystal-clear water of the lakes contained many blooming lotus flowers of different colors like blue, yellow, white and red, and the saffron powder from the lotus flowers was blown all around by the breeze. All the lakes were full of beautiful swans, ducks and cranes, crying occasionally with melodious sounds. Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa sometimes entered those lakes, or sometimes the rivers, with His wives and enjoyed swimming pastimes with them in full jubilation. Sometimes the wives of Lord Kṛṣṇa, who were all goddesses of fortune, would embrace the Lord in the midst of the water while swimming or taking bath, and the red vermilion of kuṅkuma decorating the beauty of their breasts would adorn the chest of the Lord with a reddish color.

The impersonalists would not dare believe that in the spiritual world there are such varieties of enjoyment, but in order to demonstrate the factual, ever-blissful enjoyment in the spiritual world, Lord Kṛṣṇa descended on this planet and showed that the spiritual world is not devoid of such pleasurable facilities of life. The only difference is that in the spiritual world such facilities are eternal, never-ending occurrences, whereas in the material world they are simply impermanent perverted reflections. When Lord Kṛṣṇa was engaged in such enjoyment, the Gandharvas and professional musicians would glorify Him with melodious musical concerts, accompanied by mṛdaṅgas, drums, kettledrums, stringed instruments and brass bugles, and the whole atmosphere would change into a greatly festive celebration. In a festive mood, the wives of the Lord would sometimes sprinkle water on the Lord’s body with a syringe-like instrument, and the Lord would similarly wet the bodies of the queens.

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Material Life

Srila Prabhupada  Paris vyasasana pranamas closer

This is a very nice lecture by His Divine Grace from the sixth Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam, recorded July 12th, 1975, in Philadelphia, PA.

…We are thinking, “I shall be happy in this way. I shall be happy in this…” Nothing. You shall never be happy—this is perfect instruction—unless you go back to home, back to Godhead. Just like a mad boy, he has forsaken his father. His father is rich man, everything is there, but he has become hippie. So similarly, we are also like that. Our father is Kṛṣṇa. We can live there very comfortably without any botheration, without endeavor for earning money, but we have decided that we shall live here in this material world. This is called ass. … Therefore mūḍha. We do not know what is our self-interest. And we are hoping against hope, “I shall be happy in this way. I shall be happy in this way.” Therefore this word is used, mūḍha. They do not know what is actually his happiness, and he is trying one chapter, another, one chapter, another, “Now I will be happy.” The ass. The ass. Sometimes the washerman sits on his back and takes a bunch of grass and puts in front of the ass, and the ass wants to take the grass. But as he moving forward, the grass is also moving forward. (laughter) And he thinks, “Just one step forward, I shall get the grass.” But because he is ass, he does not know that “The grass is situated in such a way that I may go on for millions of years; still, I will not get the happiness…” This is ass. He does not come to his senses that “For millions and trillions of years I may try to be happy in this material world. I will never be happy.”

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Kumbh Mela: A Festival of Immortality

Kumbha Mela

…With just a few days left before Kumbh Mela at Allahabad ends, the world’s largest gathering of human beings is winding towards an end. Devotees from far and near are turning out in large numbers to take a holy dip at Sangam for the last time. Devotees after bathing in the holy water pray to the Sun God, the source of life and positivity, before retreating from the sacred waters. The festival, which lasts for 55 days, is an important part of Hindu tradition and an ancient ritual. The last bathing date is coming up Sunday March 10th, 2013 (Shivaratri Snan)

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The Glories of Purusottama Month

Purusottama Month begins Saturday, August 18, 2012

…Once upon a time, thousands of sages came together in the holy place called Naimisaranya to perform sacrifice. To their very good fortune the great sage Suta Goswami, who had been traveling to different pilgrimage sites, arrived there along with his disciples. The sages present were very enlivened to see him. They all stood up immediately to pay their respects to the great sage, offered him a very nice Vyasasana, and requested him with folded hands to sit down on it.

The sages of Naimisaranya said to Suta Goswami with folded hands, “O Sutaji! We humbly request you to tell us something about the wonderful activities and pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There are many thousands of such narrations, but we want to hear the most perfect one, by following which we can all be delivered from this Material Ocean and return back to Godhead.

Simplified Recommended Worship for the Purushottama month:

* Establish the Deity or Picture of Sri Sri Radha Krishna in your home and worship Them with love and devotion.

* Offer daily puja and by chanting the mahamantra: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare

* Study Srimad Bhagavatam and Bhagavad gita, especially Chapter Fifteen, Purushottama Yoga.

* Daily offer a ghee lamp to Sri Sri Radha Krishna.

* Give charity to qualified Brahmanas. Engage in Go Seva and distribute prasadam.

* Bathe in the holy rivers and associate with saintly devotees.

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Let There Be Calamities

…In this very interesting verse, it is described that vipadaḥ—calamities or dangers—are very good if such dangers and calamities remind us of Kṛṣṇa.

Here Kuntīdevī speaks of apunar bhava-darśanam. The prefix a means “not,” and punar bhava means “repetition of birth and death.” The real danger is the repetition of birth and death. That must be stopped.

As long as we are in this material world, there must be calamities because this is the place of calamity. But even with calamities our business should be to develop our Kṛṣṇa consciousness, so that after giving up this body we may go back home, back to Kṛṣṇa.

Teachings of Queen Kuntī
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter Eight

Let There Be Calamities

vipadaḥ santu tāḥ śaśvat
tatra tatra jagad-guro
bhavato darśanaṁ yat syād
apunar bhava-darśanam

I wish that all those calamities would happen again and again so that we could see You again and again, for seeing You means that we will no longer see repeated births and deaths. (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.8.25)

Generally, the distressed, the needy, the intelligent, and the inquisitive who have performed some pious activities worship or begin to worship the Lord. Others, who are thriving on misdeeds only, regardless of status, cannot approach the Supreme due to being misled by the illusory energy. Therefore, for a pious person, if there is some calamity there is no other alternative than to take shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord. Constantly remembering the lotus feet of the Lord means preparing for liberation from birth and death. Therefore, even though there are so-called calamities, they are welcome because they give us an opportunity to remember the Lord, which means liberation.

One who has taken shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord, which are accepted as the most suitable boat for crossing the ocean of nescience, can achieve liberation as easily as one leaps over the holes made by the hooves of a calf. Such persons are meant to reside in the abode of the Lord, and they have nothing to do with a place where there is danger in every step.

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Divine Culture

…When Lord Caitanya talked with the great devotee Ramananda Raya, the Lord asked him, “What is the basic principle of human life?” Ramananda Raya answered that human civilization begins when varnasrama-dharma is accepted. Before coming to the standard of varnasrama-dharma there is no question of human civilization. Therefore, the Krsna consciousness movement is trying to establish this right system of human civilization, which is known as Krsna consciousness, or daiva-varnasrama—divine culture.

Divine Culture
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Excerpted from ‘Back To Godhead 1974, Vol 1, No. 68

There is a misconception that the Krsna consciousness movement represents the Hindu religion. In act, however, Krsna consciousness is in no way a faith or religion that seeks to defeat other faiths or religions. Rather, it is an essential cultural movement for the entire human society and does not consider any particular sectarian faith. This cultural movement is especially meant to educate people in how they can love God.

Sometimes Indians both inside and outside of India think that we are preaching the Hindu religion, but actually we are not. One will not find the word “Hindu” in Bhagavad-gita. Indeed, there is no such word as “Hindu” in the entire Vedic literature. This word has been introduced by the Muslims from provinces next to India, such as Afghanistan, Baluchisthan and Persia. There is a river called “Sindhu” bordering the northwestern provinces of India, and since the Muslims there could not pronounce “Sindhu” properly, instead they called the river “Hindu,” and the inhabitants of this tract of land they called “Hindus.” In India, according to the Vedic language, the Europeans are called mlecchas or yavanas. Similarly, “Hindu” is a name given by the Muslims.

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The Great Soul Who Walked Among Us

…Someone asked, “What is the Krsna conscious person’s attitude towards others?” Srila Prabhupada replied, “He sees everyone as part and parcel of Krsna. The Krsna conscious person thinks, ‘They are suffering from not knowing Krsna, so let me bring them to Krsna.’ This is the highest service. Everyone is suffering, so to act in Krsna consciousness is the highest service. After all, they are suffering on account of detachment from Krsna.”
“Krsna consciousness never becomes old, it is fresh eternally. Do you know of any book five thousand years old that reads as fresh as Bhagavad-gita? Live in spiritual understanding and you’ll never become faded.”

The Great Soul Who Walked Among Us
Excerpted from Back To Godhead Magazine Vol. 13 No. 1-2

“Consider this example: when the sun is in the sky, there is no question of darkness. Similarly, when the Hare Krsna mantra is vibrating on your tongue and you are hearing attentively, then your consciousness becomes Krsna consciousness, or clear consciousness, and there is no question of maya, or hazy consciousness. Just as when light and darkness come together the darkness cannot stand before the light, maya cannot remain in the presence of Krsna.

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Lord Krsna’s Friend Sudama

…It is related that by his constant association with the Lord, Sudama had wiped away from his heart whatever contamination was remaining, and he was very shortly transferred to the eternal spiritual kingdom, which is the goal of all saintly persons in the perfectional stage of life. It is stated in the Krsna Book that whoever hears this history will become qualified like Sudama and will be transferred to the spiritual kingdom of Lord Krsna.

Lord Krsna’s Friend Sudama
Published in Back to Godhead Magizine 1971 Vol. 1, Number 49
By Satsvarupa dasa adhikari

The wonderful history of Krsna and His friend Sudama is told in its entirety in the Krsna Book, Volume II, by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada is kindly presenting to the western world the pastimes of Lord Krsna, which can act as a merciful shower upon the hearts of all of us. It is true that we have forgotten our eternal, blissful and loving relationships as servants of Krsna or God. The remedy to forgetfulness or ignorance of God is to hear about Him from the lips of His pure devotee. This is the view of authorized scriptures.

When Krsna descends from His eternal abode in the spiritual world and appears to this mundane world, as He did 5,000 years ago, He engages with others just as if He were an ordinary human being. Although He is unborn, He appears to have a mother and father. In the village of Vrndavana Krsna plays as a cowherd boy. He enacts these pastimes for His own transcendental pleasure and to attract all the suffering living entities back home, back to Godhead. Sudama was among those devotees who were childhood friends with Krsna, and Sudama was also His intimate school friend.

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Vrndavana—Land of No Return (Part 1)

Because Vrndavana is the eternal and entirely spiritual abode of the Lord, it is nondifferent from Him. At Vrndavana, one will find unlimited wealth, strength, fame, wisdom, beauty and renunciation—all the six opulences possessed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Bhagavan Sri Krsna. Indeed Vrndavana is Krsna, and, to go there is to perceive God Himself.

Vrndavana—Land of No Return (Part 1)
By His Holiness Brahmananda Swami
Back to Godhead Magazine 1975 Volume 10 Number 9

From the beginning of time, man has yearned for the perfect home—a paradise, a Shangri-la, a Walden—where he could live eternally in peace and happiness. Such a place cannot be found anywhere in the material world, however, for the material world is by its very nature temporary and frustrating. To end our weary searching, we must go beyond this world of duality, beyond the boundaries of space and time, into the spiritual realm.

Vrndavana, India, is that sought-after eternal resting place because it is at Vrndavana that Lord Sri Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, descended to this planet five thousand years ago. The Lord’s appearance and activities are not mundane; they are completely transcendental. Just as a king may travel with all his retinue, set up camp, and conduct his affairs of state in the same style as if he were in his palace, Lord Krsna brought with Him all His transcendental associates and paraphernalia and created on earth an exact replica of the spiritual world, known as Goloka Vrndavana.

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The Books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Srila Prabhupada, as a pure devotee free from all defects, can transmit the Absolute Truth as it has been carefully set down in the Vedic literature, like a mailman who delivers a letter without opening it to add or subtract something. Because Srila Prabhupada is qualified to receive the king of all education, he is empowered to pass it on purely. His books are considered Vedic literature because they are in pursuance of Vyasadeva’s original intentions. Thus Srila Prabhupada’s translations and purports are nondifferent from the original instructions delivered 5,000 years ago by Lord Krsna.

The Books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Originally published in Back to Godhead No. 52
Bhaktivedanta Book Trust 1973
By Brahmananda Swami ISKCON East Africa

Part 7 (conclusion)

One day when several of Srila Prabhupada’s leading disciples were assembled before him, he announced that he had been requested to write a summary study of the Tenth Canto of the Srimad-Bhagavatam. If Srila Prabhupada proceeded translating canto by canto, some students feared, he might not be able to complete the confidential Tenth Canto in his life time. Because this portion had been so misrepresented by materialistic religionists, he wanted to leave behind an edition which presented this important portion in its proper transcendental perspective. He took our approval and then began dictating Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This work is the most entertaining of all of Srila Prabhupada’s books. He conceeded that he was writing it in such a way that the reader would not detect the philosophy. In the Bhagavatam, Sukadeva Gosvami, its principal reciter, has declared that there are three classes of men who will be attracted to Krsna’s pastimes. Those very advanced in transcendental realization, the liberated souls, will relish the pastimes. Those who are on the path to achievement of liberation will automatically be purified, and even the gross materialist will enjoy them because of the resemblance between Krsna’s affairs with the gopis and the love affairs between ordinary men and women.

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The Books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

The Books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Srila Prabhupada teaches the most difficult and sublime science—the science of how to serve God—in such a way that anyone can understand it. The concepts are presented over and over again, for repetition is a time-tested learning technique in transcendental study. Thus in whichever of Srila Prabhupada’s books one reads first, one will find the entire science of Krsna consciousness presented, yet each succeeding book reveals something more, and with each rereading one will find new light. Srila Prabhupada’s books are the most wonderful vehicle because they swiftly transport the reader to a timeless and ever- green world where everyone is joyfully awakened to the Absolute Truth of Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

The Books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Originally published in Back to Godhead No. 52
Bhaktivedanta Book Trust 1973
By Brahmananda Swami ISKCON East Africa

Part 6

The next book, Teachings of Lord Caitanya, was then dictated. It is a summary study of the historic Caitanya-caritamrta. Instead of the exhaustive format of verse to verse translation and purport, Srila Prabhupada presented this book in a shortened but more essential manner. “My books are for my students,” he told us, and so he wanted to write as many as possible. If Bhagavad-gita could be considered the undergraduate study of spiritual life and Srimad-Bhagavatam the master’s study, then Caitanya-caritamrta is the doctorate course. It recounts Lord Caitanya’s teachings to the only five disciples He personally taught. In Teachings of Lord Caitanya, the incomplete philosophy of impersonalism is fully analyzed and forcefully defeated by Lord Caitanya in His discussions with the two biggest impersonalists of His time, Prakasananda Sarasvati and Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya. Also, the quintessence of all detailed knowledge of Krsna and how He acts both in the spiritual and material worlds is disclosed to Ramananda Raya.

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The real Initiation

1972 Nectar of Devotion lecture at Rupa Goswami Samadi


The real Initiation
Reported by Vaikunthanatha Dasa

In 1972, when Prabhupada gave a series of lectures on The Nectar of Devotion for one month in Vrindavan, a thought was plaguing me. When I first joined, I’d been taught that the parampara system is like a chain, and if you’re not initiated, if you’re not linked up to this chain, then you can’t go back to Godhead. I thought, “We’re distributing so many books, but if the people who read them are not initiated, then they can’t go back to Godhead.” So, one day I followed Prabhupada from Rupa Goswami’s samadhi, where he lectured, and just before Prabhupada stepped onto his courtyard, I said, “We’re distributing so many books but if people aren’t initiated, then they can’t go back to Godhead.” Prabhupada turned, looked at me right in the eyes and said, “Just by reading my books they are initiated.” I thought, “That is an incredible example of compassion. 

Pasted from; http://www.iskcontimes.com/the-real-initiation

The Books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


The Books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Originally published in Back to Godhead No. 52
Bhaktivedanta Book Trust 1973
By Brahmananda Swami ISKCON East Africa

Part 3

Back to Godhead contained timely articles, essays, book reviews and selections from full-length works in progress such as the Sri Isopanisad. It should be noted that this paper was entirely the effort of Srila Prabhupada. He wrote all the material, edited it, typed it for the printer and checked the galley proofs. Then he sold the copies. Each fortnight he would take batches of Back to Godhead into Delhi. To save a few cents bus fare he sometimes had to walk for miles, and often he would sit in tea parlors until late at night, himself not even taking a glass of water there, preaching and distributing his paper and collecting one cent per copy.

At this time Srila Prabhupada also wrote outlines of his dream. It was a worldwide association of God conscious devotees who actively preached the eternal religion of love of God in all fields of society at large and who used all the modern means at their disposal. The League of Devotees, the forerunner of the now worldwide ISKCON, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, was thus formally registered. From international sankirtana parties, to gosalas (cow protection reserves), to authorized teaching of Sanskrit, to a printing press solely for flooding the marketplace with Krsna conscious literature, ISKCON is today the reality of that dream.

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The Rising Sun and Moon

The Rising Sun and Moon
Lecture by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Mayapur, India—March 26, 1975
Back to Godhead 2004, Vol.38, No. 4

vande sri-krsna-caitanya-
nityanandau sahoditau
gaudodaye puspavantau
citrau sandau tamo-nudau

“I offer my respectful obeisances unto Sri Krsna Caitanya and Lord Nityananda, who are like the sun and moon. They have arisen simultaneously on the horizon of Gauda [West Bengal] to dissipate the darkness of ignorance and thus wonderfully bestow benediction upon all.”—Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi 1.2

SriKrsna Caitanya has many expansions, and the first is Lord Nityananda, who is Krsna’s brother, Balarama. We have to understand these things from the mahajanas, the great sages who are learned in the science of Krsna consciousness. Narottama Dasa Thakura, a mahajana, says, vrajendra-nandana yei, saci-suta hoilo sei, balarama hoilo nitai: “Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Lord Krsna, the son of Nanda Maharaja, and Sri Nityananda Prabhu is Balarama.”

Sometimes foolish people say that Nityananda is an expansion of Radharani. That is not a fact. Nityananda is Balarama. We have to know from the mahajanas; we cannot manufacture our own ideas. That is blasphemy.

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The Books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

The Books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Originally published in Back to Godhead No. 52
Bhaktivedanta Book Trust 1973
By Brahmananda Swami ISKCON East Africa

Part 2

The treasure of Radha-Damodara is the samadhi and bhajana(place for executing devotional service) of Srila Rupa Goswami. Of the six Goswami’s, he is the most importnt. Rupa Goswami constructed the largest temple in Vrndavana, Radha-Govindaji, and he wrote the most important book on the science of devotional service, Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, which was completed in the year 1552. He and his elder brother Sanatana Goswami were among the chief government administrators of their time and were highly learned in Arabic, Persian and Sanskrit. Lord Caitanya personally instructed Rupa Goswami for ten consecutive days, and Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu codifies these teachings, with supporting evidence from scores of supplementary Vedic texts.

One great acarya (teacher) in the parampara (disciplic succession) has offered obeisances to the six Goswami’s in the following manner; “They are very expert in scrutinizingly studying all the revealed scriptures with the aim of establishing eternal religious principles for the benefit of all human beings. Thus they are honored all over the three worlds, and they are worth taking shelter of because they are absorbed in the mood of the gopis and are engaged in the transcendental loving service of Radha and Krsna.” In one of Srila Prabhupada’s rooms in the Radha Damodara temple there is a window thatoverlooks the shaded courtyard where the tow tomblike structures that honor Rupa Goswami stand. Just before this window is a bare wood asana (seat) where Srila Prabhupada sat to receive inspiration from the greatest of the Goswami’s From the other where he wrote his books, Srila Prabhupada could look out and see Jiva Goswami’s own worshipable Deities, Radha-Damodara.

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The Books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


Originally published in Back to Godhead No. 52 Bhaktivedanta Book Trust 1973
By Brahmananda Swami ISKCON East Africa

This will be an eleven part series, as it is a rather legenthy article, but very good source for historical information on Srila Prabhupada, Radha-Damodara Temple, and the books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

The Books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

“My books are more important than myself.” This was Srila Prabhupada’s instruction to one of his disciples who was being sent from his personal service to open a temple in a distant place. When one considers how much time, energy and intelligence Srila Prabhupada has utilized to single-handedly begin and spread the Krsna Consciousness Movement to an international scale, it is even more astonishing that he has written a score of unique books. Despite his responsibilities in guiding thousands of disciples who operate almost a hundred different centers, that he has produced these books-at substantial sacrifice-proves that the most important factor to the Krsna Consciousness Movement is the books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

While still in India, His Divine Grace inhabited two ordinary rooms in India’s most historic literary temple. This Radha-Damodara temple was built almost 500 hundred years ago by Srila Jiva Goswami in the holy site of Vrndavan, where Lord Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, appeared to display His transcendental pastimes 5,000 years ago. The Radha-Damodara temple, which has since fallen into disrepair, houses the samadhi (burial place) of Jiva Goswami, one of the six prime disciples of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Lord Caitanya gave His disciples in Vrndavan three important instructions: first, to discover the exact locations where Krsna displayed His pastimes, as revealed in the sastras (scriptures); then, to build temples where the Lord could be suitably worshiped; and finally, to write books fully explaining the real science of devotional service to God. Lord Caitanya Himself wrote only eight slokas (stanzas), but the six goswamis of Vrndavan have left a vast body of literature for the inestimable benefit of all humanity.

When only ten years old, Jiva Goswami wanted to join Lord Caitanya’s sankirtan movement, but first he prepared himself by becoming fully versed in Sanskrit in Benares. He was then able to write volumes of books, which have prompted one Indian authority to declare Jiva Goswami the greatest philosopher that has ever lived. It is lamentable that due to the lack of qualified translators, the English-knowing world may never be able to take advantage of these books.

The Radha-Damodara temple is also the site of the Samadhi of Krsnadasa Kaviraja, the most important biographer of Lord Caitanya. Krsnadas Kaviraja appeared after Lord Caitanya but was contemporary to the six Goswamis. Directly inspired by Lord Nityananda, one of Lord Caitanya’s principal associates, he wrote his Caitanya-caritamrta at the age of ninety. This book recounts the teaching of Lord Caitanya more vividly than the biographical details which have been preserved by other authors.

…to be continued

The Appearance of Sukadeva Gosvami

Srimad-Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Canto 1:”Creation”
SB 1.19: The Appearance of Sukadeva Gosvami

The great sage Śukadeva Gosvāmī was certainly inspired by Lord Kṛṣṇa to appear voluntarily before Mahārāja Parīkṣit, the great devotee of the Lord, just to give him the teachings of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. One can achieve the nucleus of the devotional service of the Lord by the mercy of the spiritual master and the Personality of Godhead. The spiritual master is the manifested representative of the Lord to help one achieve ultimate success. One who is not authorized by the Lord cannot become a spiritual master. Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī is an authorized spiritual master, and thus he was inspired by the Lord to appear before Mahārāja Parīkṣit and instruct him in the teachings of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

Simply by such questioning and hearing, one can achieve the highest perfectional stage of life.

Text 37
You are the spiritual master of great saints and devotees. I am therefore begging you to show the way of perfection for all persons, and especially for one who is about to die.

Purport
Unless one is perfectly anxious to inquire about the way of perfection, there is no necessity of approaching a spiritual master. A spiritual master is not a kind of decoration for a householder. Generally a fashionable materialist engages a so-called spiritual master without any profit. The pseudo- spiritual master flatters the so-called disciple, and thereby both the master and his ward go to hell without a doubt. Mahārāja Parīkṣit is the right type of disciple because he puts forward questions vital to the interest of all men, particularly for the dying men. The question put forward by Mahārāja Parīkṣit is the basic principle of the complete thesis of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Now let us see how intelligently the great master replies.

Text 38
Please let me know what a man should hear, chant, remember and worship, and also what he should not do. Please explain all this to me.

Text 40
Śrī Sūta Gosvāmī said: The King thus spoke and questioned the sage, using sweet language. Then the great and powerful personality, the son of Vyāsadeva, who knew the principles of religion, began his reply.

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“Value of accepting a bona fide spiritual Master is more than we can calculate”


Vrindaban, Tuesday, 12 February, 1974:

Dear Ravendra Gupta, please accept my blessings. I have only recently received your letter of February 6, 1974, due to travelling.

I am very glad to hear you are following my instructions by chanting 16 rounds daily. In order to chant offenselessly, so that the chanting will have the greatest effect, one must avoid the four sinful activities.

You have asked “How serious would it be for me if I should miss the golden opportunity to become your initiated disciple?” You should know that the value of accepting a bona fide spiritual master is more than we can calculate.

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Back to Godhead (Chapter 6)

The Hare Krishna Explosion
by Hayagriva das

Part I: New York, 1966
Chapter 6

Back to Godhead

“October 21, 1966. I walk into Swamiji’s room, offer obeisances, and he hands me the first three volumes of Srimad-Bhagavatam, which he had printed in India.

“Here,” he says. “Take and read.”

I open the books. In the front of each, he has written my spiritual name. “With my best blessings, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami.”

“Oh, thank you, Swamiji,” I say.

“That’s all right,” he says, smiling. “Now you compile this Back To Godhead magazine.”

Back to Godhead! That is, we were there once. It’s a question of recovering a lost land. As Swamiji says: “I have come to remind you of what you have forgot.”

Following the orders of his spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati, Swamiji began Back To Godhead in 1944. Published bi-monthly in India from 1944 to 1956, Back To Godhead established Swamiji as one of India’s leading personalists. Now Swamiji enjoins Rayarama and me to introduce it to the West.

“Work sincerely,” he tells us,”and make it as big as your Time Magazine.”

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Don’t be a crazy fellow

Sri Caitanya-caritmrta
by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Madhaya-lila Vol. 5 Text 237-239

TRANSLATION TEXT 237

“Be patient and return home. Don’t be a crazy fellow. By and by you will be able to cross the ocean of material existence.

PURPORT

As stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.14.58):

samāśritā ye pada-pallava-plavaṁ
mahat-padaṁ puṇya-yaśo-murāreḥ
bhavāmbudhir vatsa-padaṁ paraṁ padaṁ
padaṁ padaṁ yad vipadāṁ na teṣām

This material world is just like a big ocean. It begins with Brahmaloka and extends to Pātālaloka, and there are many planets, or islands, in this ocean. Not knowing about devotional service, the living entity wanders about this ocean, just as a man tries to swim to reach the shore. Our struggle for existence is similar to this. Everyone is trying to get out of the ocean of material existence. One cannot immediately reach the coast, but if one endeavors, he can cross the ocean by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s mercy. One may be very eager to cross this ocean, but he cannot attain success by acting like a madman. He must swim over the ocean very patiently and intelligently under the instructions of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu or His representative. Then, one day, he will reach the shore and return home, back to Godhead.

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