Karma and Karma-yoga

karma

Sometime back one of our readers asked the question; “What is the difference between karma and karma-yoga?” I answered his question in some length, I recall, referring to the Bhagavad-gita As It Is as reference. But just this morning, I was reading from the Srimad Bhagavatam, and I read this very short and concise explaination.

“There is a difference between karma and karma-yoga. Karma is regulated action for the enjoyment of the fruit by the performer, but karma-yoga is action performed by the devotee for the satisfaction of the Lord. Karma-yoga is based on bhakti, or pleasing the Lord, whereas karma is based on pleasing the senses of the performer himself.” (from purport to SB 1.3.4)

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Spring

spring lamb
…and of seasons I am flower-bearing spring(Bhagavad-gita 10.35)

…Of course spring is a season universally liked because it is neither too hot nor too cold, and the flowers and trees blossom and flourish. In spring there are also many ceremonies commemorating Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes; therefore this is considered to be the most joyful of all seasons, and it is the representative of the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa. (from purport)

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The Original Supreme Personality

Radha Krishna Bhava

This morning I was reading from the Srimad-Bhagavatam and the purport directed my attention to the verse from the Bhagavad-gita;Fools deride Me when I descend in the human form. They do not know My transcendental nature and My supreme dominion over all that be.. So I went to the Bhagavad-gita and read again this very important verse and purport, and we share it with you today…

…it is clear that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, although appearing like a human being, is not a common man. The Personality of Godhead, who conducts the creation, maintenance and annihilation of the complete cosmic manifestation, cannot be a human being. Yet there are many foolish men who consider Kṛ,sṇa to be merely a powerful man and nothing more. Actually, He is the original Supreme Personality, as is confirmed in the Brahma-saṁhitā (iśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛsṇaḥ); He is the Supreme Lord. (from purport Bg.9.11)

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The Practice of Yoga

The gopis remembered their pastimes with Krishna p208

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This morning as I was making a breakfast offering, and was offering a nice glass of fresh milk, my mind just seemed to go to this picture of Krsna milking a cow. And I thought ‘milk is such a wonderful food, miraculous really. One can live on milk, and as small children milk is all that is required, and as we develop as yogis, we can subsist on the gifts of God, such as fruits, grains and milk, without a need for killing.

The above picture is one of my very favorites from the Krsna Book, because it is so simple and sweet, and there is a noticeable absence of technology.

The following are two verses from the Bhagavad-gita As It Is describing the healthy diet, and activities of the yogi.

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The Pleasure (ānanda) Potency of the Lord

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This morning as I was finishing the Tenth Chapter of the Second Canto, the following verse and purport jumped out at me from the pages. And I realized for the thousandth time, what great good fortune we have in that we can hear directly from the pure devotee of the Lord, about the eternal pastimes of the Lord, through the pages of the Srimad Bhagavatam.

Of the three types of Transcendentalist’s, namely the jñānī, the yogī and the bhakta, or the impersonalist, the meditator and the devotee. It is only the devotee who can factually know the Lord as He is and thus be trained in the bona fide service of the Lord and be allowed to enter into the direct association of the Lord in so many capacities. The highest glorious association with the Lord is made possible in the planet of Goloka Vṛndāvana, where Lord Kṛṣṇa enjoys Himself with the gopīs and His favorite animals, the surabhi cows.

… The impersonalist is satisfied simply by understanding the all-pervasive influence of the Lord. This is called Brahman realization. Greater than the impersonalist is the mystic who sees the Lord situated in his heart as Paramātmā, the partial representation of the Lord. But there are pure devotees who take part in the direct pleasure (ānanda) potency of the Lord by factual reciprocation of loving service. The Lord in His abode called the Vaikuṇṭha planets, which are eternal manifestations, always remains with His associates and enjoys transcendental loving services by His pure devotees in different transcendental humors.

So we are pleased to present the following Texts and Purports More

Appearance Day of Oṁ Viṣṇupāda Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Mahārāja

Srila Bhaktivinoda holding young Bhaktisiddhanta

Today marks the appearance day of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Maharaja, the spiritual master of our Srila Prabhupada. We honor his appearance day with a half day fast, and this short post.

Or he takes his birth in a family of transcendentalists who are surely great in wisdom. Verily, such a birth is rare in this world.
(Bhagavad-gita As It Is 6.42)

Birth in a family of yogīs or transcendentalists—those with great wisdom—is praised herein because the child born in such a family receives spiritual impetus from the very beginning of his life. It is especially the case in the ācārya or gosvāmī families. Such families are very learned and devoted by tradition and training, and thus they become spiritual masters. (From purport)

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The Path of Eternal Good Fortune

Yogi

And of all yogīs, he who always abides in Me with great faith, worshiping Me in transcendental loving service, is most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all.

…The culmination of all kinds of yoga practices lies in bhakti-yoga. All other yogas are but means to come to the point of bhakti in bhakti-yoga. Yoga actually means bhakti-yoga; all other yogas are progressions toward the destination of bhakti-yoga. From the beginning of karma-yoga to the end of bhakti-yoga is a long way to self-realization. Karma-yoga, without fruitive results, is the beginning of this path. When karma-yoga increases in knowledge and renunciation, the stage is called jñāna-yoga. When jñāna-yoga increases in meditation on the Supersoul by different physical processes, and the mind is on Him, it is called aṣṭāṅga-yoga. And, when one surpasses the aṣṭāṅga-yoga and comes to the point of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Kṛṣṇa, it is called bhakti-yoga, the culmination. Factually, bhakti-yoga is the ultimate goal, but to analyze bhakti-yoga minutely one has to understand these other yogas. The yogī who is progressive is therefore on the true path of eternal good fortune. (from purport to Bhagavad-gita 6.47)

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The Importance of Milk, Yogurt, Grains & Ghee

Milk, yogart, grains and gee

The inhabitants of the village brought to the Deity of Gopāla as much food grains, ghee, yogurt and milk as they had in their village. (Cc. Madhya 4, 93)

…We should understand that in order to prepare nutritious food, we require only grains, ghee, yogurt and milk.

..Anna, ghṛta, dadhi and dugdha are food grains, ghee, yogurt and milk. Actually these are the basis of all food. Vegetables and fruits are subsidiary. Hundreds and thousands of preparations can be made out of grains, vegetables, ghee, milk and yogurt.

…People are often frustrated with national food policies, but from the Vedic scriptures we find that if there are sufficient cows and grains, the entire food problem is solved.

…Cows are the most important animal because they produce the miracle food, milk, from which we can prepare ghee and yogurt. (from purport)

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Godly Men Endowed with Divine Nature

Vaikunta Man

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It is clear from the above photo, that His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami is not of this world. He was a Vaikuntha Man. He was an extraordinary personality with all the divine qualities as described in following verse…

The Blessed Lord said: Fearlessness, purification of one’s existence, cultivation of spiritual knowledge, charity, self-control, performance of sacrifice, study of the Vedas, austerity and simplicity; nonviolence, truthfulness, freedom from anger; renunciation, tranquility, aversion to faultfinding, compassion and freedom from covetousness; gentleness, modesty and steady determination; vigor, forgiveness, fortitude, cleanliness, freedom from envy and the passion for honor—these transcendental qualities, O son of Bharata, belong to godly men endowed with divine nature. (Bg. 16.1-3)

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A Player and His Playthings

Game of Chess

As a player sets up and disperses his playthings according to his own sweet will, so the supreme will of the Lord brings men together and separates them. (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.13.43)

…Generally the law of karma is that one is awarded the result of one’s own actions…A rich man gets his son born with a silver spoon in his mouth, but the child who came as the rich man’s son deserved such a place, and therefore he is placed there by the will of the Lord… but in special cases, by the will of the Lord, such resultant actions are changed also. But this change can be affected by the will of the Lord only, and no other. Therefore, the example of the player cited in this verse is quite appropriate, for the Supreme Will is absolutely free to do whatever He likes, and because He is all-perfect, there is no mistake in any of His actions or reactions. These changes of resultant actions are especially rendered by the Lord when a pure devotee is involved. (from purport)

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Gita Jayanti; The Advent of Srimad Bhagavad-gita

Krishna and Arjuna

So today is The Advent of Srimad Bhagavad-gita; Gita Jayanti. It is celebrated on the Ekadasi, 11th day of the waxing moon of Margashirsha month (November-December). In honor of this day we present the Complete 1972 Edition of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami in the PDF format for you to read or save to your computer. Also we include a link to our other page Prabhupadagita Where you can read the entire book online a chapter at a time with the original illustrations.

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Black Friday The Material Disease

Black-Friday

The problems of material existence-birth, old age, disease and death-cannot be counteracted by accumulation of wealth and economic development. In many parts of the world there are states which are replete with all facilities of life, which are full of wealth, and economically developed, yet the problems of material existence are still present.

If economic development and material comforts could drive away one’s lamentations for family, social, national or international inebrieties, then Arjuna would not have said that even an unrivalled kingdom on earth or supremacy like that of the demigods in the heavenly planets would not be able to drive away his lamentations. He sought, therefore, refuge in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and that is the right path for peace and harmony.

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Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition

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Glories of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is

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1973 Back to Godhead cover

This morning I was reading from the Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 1, Chapter 15, Text 27, wherein Srila Prabhupada was describing the glories and importance of the the Bhagavad-gita As It Is. The following is some excerpts from this amazing purport, followed by full text and purport. I found this one purport to be a very nice synopsis of the entire Bhagavad-gita As It Is.

…The Lord left behind Him the instructions of the Bhagavad-gītā not for the benefit of Arjuna alone, but also for all time and in all lands. The Bhagavad-gītā, being spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the essence of all Vedic wisdom. It is nicely presented by the Lord Himself for all who have very little time to go through the vast Vedic literatures like the Upaniṣads, Purāṇas and Vedānta-sūtras.

…the Bhagavad-gītā can be consulted in all critical times, not only for solace from all kinds of mental agonies, but also for the way out of great entanglements which may embarrass one in some critical hour.

…The merciful Lord left behind Him the great teachings of the Bhagavad-gītā so that one can take the instructions of the Lord even when He is not visible to material eyesight.

…There is no difference between the sound representation of the Lord and the Lord Himself. One can derive the same benefit from the Bhagavad-gītā as Arjuna did in the personal presence of the Lord.

…The Bhagavad-gītā begins with the problems of life by discriminating the soul from the elements of matter and proves by all reason and argument that the soul is indestructible in all circumstances and that the outer covering of matter, the body and the mind, change for another term of material existence which is full of miseries. The Bhagavad-gītā is therefore meant for terminating all different types of miseries, and Arjuna took shelter of this great knowledge, which had been imparted to him during the Kurukṣetra battle. (from Purport to SB 1.15.27)

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Kṛṣṇa Conscious Yogī (Part II)

Krishna Arjuna

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A true yogī observes Me in all beings, and also sees every being in Me. Indeed, the self-realized man sees Me everywhere. (Bg. 6.29)

For one who sees Me everywhere and sees everything in Me, I am never lost, nor is he ever lost to Me. (Bg. 6.30)

…A person in Kṛṣṇa consciousness certainly sees Lord Kṛṣṇa everywhere, and he sees everything in Kṛṣṇa…Nothing can exist without Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa is the Lord of everything—this is the basic principle of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

…Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the development of love of Kṛṣṇa—a position transcendental even to material liberation. (from purport to Bg.6.30)

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition
By His Divine Grace A.;C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 6, Text 29-30

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The Yoga of the Supreme Person

Banyan tree  Plate35

Bhagavad-gītā As It Is Complete 1972 Edition
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter Fiveteen

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Our Real Position

Krsna in Vrindavan

Recently I celebrated another Birthday, and on one card there was this nice inscription; “we are meant for dancing and playing and walking and living with Krsna. That is our real position. That is Vrndavana.” So beautiful was this statement from one of Srila Prabhupada’s lectures, that I looked it up in Prabhupada Vani to read the entire lecture (you can click on underlined link).

…we are meant for dancing and playing and walking and living with Krsna. That is our real position. That is the Vrndavana. Everyone… Everyone is connected with Krsna. … the trees, the flowers, water, the cows, the calves, the cowherd boys, the elderly cowherd men, Nanda Maharaja, Yasodamayi, the gopis. Krsna comes with full Vrndavana picture, and He demonstrates His Vrndavana life, cintamani-prakara-sadmasu, just to attract us, that “You are trying to enjoy in this material world, but here you cannot enjoy because you are eternal. You cannot get eternal life here. So you come to Me. You come to Me.” Tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti kaunteya [Bg. 4.9]. (Lecture given by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, 21 Feb 76, Mayapura)

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Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition

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The Living Entities (Prajā)

Prajah, living entities who take birth in the material universe

Here is a word for your vaisnava vocabulary; Prajah.

Prajā means the living being who has taken his birth in the material world. Actually the living being has no birth and no death, but because of his separation from the service of the Lord and due to his desire to lord it over material nature, he is offered a suitable body to satisfy his material desires. In doing so, one becomes conditioned by the laws of material nature, and the material body is changed in terms of his own work. The living entity thus transmigrates from one body to another in 8,400,000 species of life.

As Krishna points out in the Bhagavad-gita:

It should be understood that all species of life, O son of Kuntī, are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I am the seed-giving father. (Bg 14-4)

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Uddhava Visits Vṛndāvana

Uddhava, Radharani and the gopis

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This is perhaps one of my favorite chapters in the Kṛṣṇa Book, and I find myself reading it again and again. There are many lessons one can take away from this chapter. With great pleasure we are posting the entire chapter in the hopes that one of our readers will become enlivened in Kṛṣṇa Consciousness as a result of reading it.

…As stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, ye yathā māṁ prapadyante: Kṛṣṇa is very responsive. He responds in proportion to the devotee’s advancement in devotional service. The gopīs were thinking of Kṛṣṇa in separation twenty-four hours a day. Kṛṣṇa was also always thinking of the gopīs, mother Yaśodā, Nanda Mahārāja and the residents of Vṛndāvana, although He appeared to be away from them. He could understand how they were transcendentally aggrieved, and so He immediately wanted to send Uddhava to give them a message of solace.

Uddhava is described as the most exalted personality in the Vṛṣṇi dynasty, almost equal to Kṛṣṇa. He was a great friend, and on account of being the direct student of Bṛhaspati, the teacher and priest of the heavenly planets, he was very intelligent and sharp in decision. From the intellectual standpoint, he was highly qualified. Kṛṣṇa, being a very loving friend of Uddhava, wanted to send him to Vṛndāvana just to study the highly elevated ecstatic devotional service practiced there. Even if one is highly elevated in material education and is even the disciple of Bṛhaspati, he still has to learn from the gopīs and the residents of Vṛndāvana how to love Kṛṣṇa to the highest degree. Sending Uddhava to Vṛndāvana with a message to the residents of Vṛndāvana to pacify them was Kṛṣṇa’s special favor to Uddhava.

Lord Kṛṣṇa’s name is Hari, which means one who takes away all the distress from the surrendered souls. Lord Caitanya states that there cannot be, at any time, a worship as exalted as that realized by the gopīs. Being very anxious about the gopīs’ grief, Kṛṣṇa talked with Uddhava and politely requested him to go to Vṛndāvana. Shaking Uddhava’s hand with His own hands, He said, ”My dear gentle friend Uddhava, please go immediately to Vṛndāvana and try to pacify My father and mother, Nanda Mahārāja and Yaśodā-devī, and the gopīs. They are very much griefstricken, as if suffering from great ailments. Go and give them a message. I hope their ailments will be partially relieved. The gopīs are always absorbed in thoughts of Me. They have dedicated body, desire, life and soul to Me. I am anxious not only for the gopīs, but for anyone who sacrifices society, friendship, love and personal comforts for Me. It is My duty to protect such exalted devotees. The gopīs are the most dear. They are always thinking of Me in such a way that they remain overwhelmed and almost dead in anxiety due to separation from Me. They are keeping alive simply by thinking that I am returning to them very soon.“

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Previous Older Entries

A Short Statement of the Philosophy of Krishna Consciousness

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July 9th Letter

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Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition “Online”

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Srimad Bhagavatam Online

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108 Imporant Slokas from the 1972 Bhagavad-gita As It Is

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Important Slokas from the Brahma-samhita

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Slokas from the Sri Isopanisad

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Prayers By Queen Kunti (Slokas)

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Gajendra’s Prayers of Surrender (Slokas)

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