Beyond Birth & Death

This morning as I was driving up our lane, I saw a hawk flying past me with a live squirrel in his talons. And I thought, ‘how fragile is this life’. One moment the squirrel was out collecting nuts to store in his home for the winter, and the next moment, he is being carried away to his sure death. I was reminded of the famous quote “Life takes Life”, and of how all of ours lives, hang in the balance.

There is another famous Quote from the Srimad Bhagavatam:

“Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira was asked by Yamarāja, “What is the most wonderful thing in this world? Can you explain?” So Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira answered, “Yes. The most wonderful thing is that at every moment one can see that his friends, his fathers, and his relatives have died, but he is thinking, ‘I shall live forever.’”” (The Science of Self Realization)

This is the great illusion (maya)

So today I am moved to post another chapter from the book “Beyond Birth & Death” by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Chapter One entitled “We Are Not These Bodies”.

Also for a Free PDF download of entire book click the link at bottom of post.

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Killing of Dhenukāsura

During the Purusottama Month, it is always good to read and chant more. It is also important is to remember the wonderful pastimes of the Lord.

…After the demon was thrown into the trees, all the friends and associates of Dhenukāsura immediately assembled and attacked Balarāma and Kṛṣṇa with great force. They were determined to retaliate and avenge the death of their friend. But Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma began to catch each of the asses by the hind legs and, exactly in the same way, wheeled them around. Thus They killed all of them by throwing them into the palm trees. Because of the dead bodies of the asses, there was a panoramic scene. It appeared as if clouds of various colors were assembled in the trees. Hearing of this great incident, the demigods from the higher planets began to shower flowers on Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma and began to beat their drums and offer devotional prayers.

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Prayers Offered by Lord Brahmā to Lord Kṛṣṇa

During the Purusottama Month, it is important to Hear and Chant more. With this in mind we are posting the 14th Chapter of Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, with Lord Brahma praising the Glories of Krishna (Purusottama) The Supreme Personality.

“My dear Lord, there are many instances in the history of human society where a person, after failing to achieve the transcendental platform, engaged himself in devotional service with his body, mind and words and thus attained the highest perfectional state of entering into Your abode. The processes of understanding You by speculation or mystic meditation are all useless without devotional service. One should therefore engage himself in Your devotional service even in his worldly activities, and one should always keep himself near You by the process of hearing and chanting Your transcendental glories. Simply by being attached to hearing and chanting Your glories, one can attain the highest perfectional stage and enter into Your kingdom. If a person, therefore, always keeps in touch with You by hearing and chanting Your glories and offers the results of his work for Your satisfaction only, he very easily and happily attains entrance into Your supreme abode. You are realizable by persons who have cleansed their hearts of all contamination. This cleansing of the heart is made possible by chanting and hearing the glories of Your Lordship.”

“In the Upaniṣads it is stated that the Supreme Brahman is as effulgent as the sun and is the origin of everything, and anyone who can understand that original person becomes liberated from the material conditional life. Anyone who can simply be attached to You by devotional service can know Your actual position, Your birth, appearance, disappearance and activities. As confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā, simply by understanding Your constitutional position, appearance and disappearance, one can be immediately elevated to the spiritual kingdom after quitting this present body. Therefore to cross over the ocean of material nescience, an intelligent person takes shelter of Your lotus feet and is easily transferred to the spiritual world.”

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Raja-Vidya The King of Knowledge (Free PDF Download)

king-of-knowledge

click on link at bottom for a free download on entire book to read online or save in pdf format

…It is said that the execution of devotional service is so perfect that one can perceive the results directly. This direct result is actually perceived, and we have practical experience that any person who is chanting the holy names of Kṛṣṇa (Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare)in course of time feels some transcendental pleasure and very quickly becomes purified of all material contamination. This is actually seen. Furthermore, if one engages not only in hearing but in trying to broadcast the message of devotional activities as well, or if he engages himself in helping the missionary activities of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he gradually feels spiritual progress. This advancement in spiritual life does not depend on any kind of previous education or qualification. The method itself is so pure that by simply engaging in it one becomes pure.

Bhagavada-gita As It Is Macmillan Edition 1975
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 9, Text 2

rāja-vidyā rāja-guhyaṁ
pavitram idam uttamam
pratyakṣāvagamaṁ dharmyaṁ
su-sukhaṁ kartum avyayam

rāja-vidyā—the king of education; rāja-guhyam—the king of confidential knowledge; pavitram—the purest; idam—this; uttamam—transcendental; pratyakṣa—directly experienced; avagamam—understood; dharmyam—the principle of religion; susukham—very happy; kartum—to execute; avyayam—everlasting.

This knowledge is the king of education, the most secret of all secrets. It is the purest knowledge, and because it gives direct perception of the self by realization, it is the perfection of religion. It is everlasting, and it is joyfully performed.

Purport
This chapter of Bhagavad-gītā is called the king of education because it is the essence of all doctrines and philosophies explained before. There are seven principal philosophers in India: Gautama, Kaṇāda, Kapila, Yājñavalkya, Śāṇḍilya, Vaiśvānara, and, finally, Vyāsadeva, the author of the Vedānta-sūtra. So there is no dearth of knowledge in the field of philosophy or transcendental knowledge. Now the Lord says that this Ninth Chapter is the king of all such knowledge, the essence of all knowledge that can be derived from the study of the Vedas and different kinds of philosophy. It is the most confidential because confidential or transcendental knowledge involves understanding the difference between the soul and the body. And the king of all confidential knowledge culminates in devotional service.

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The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam

…Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the literary incarnation of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa and is therefore nondifferent from Him. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam should be worshiped as respectfully as we worship the Lord. Thereby we can derive the ultimate blessings of the Lord through its careful and patient study…

The Srimad Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Canto 1, Chapter 3, Text 40

idaṁ bhāgavataṁ nāma
purāṇaṁ brahma-sammitam
uttama-śloka-caritaṁ
cakāra bhagavān ṛṣiḥ
niḥśreyasāya lokasya
dhanyaṁ svasty-ayanaṁ mahat

idam—this; bhāgavatam—book containing the narration of the Personality of Godhead and His pure devotees; nāma—of the name; purāṇam—supplementary to the Vedas; brahma-sammitam—incarnation of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa; uttama-śloka—of the Personality of Godhead; caritam—activities; cakāra—compiled; bhagavān—incarnation of the Personality of Godhead; ṛṣiḥ—Śrī Vyāsadeva; niḥśreyasāya—for the ultimate good; lokasya—of all people; dhanyam—fully successful; svasti-ayanam—all-blissful; mahat—all-perfect.

This Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the literary incarnation of God, and it is compiled by Śrīla Vyāsadeva, the incarnation of God. It is meant for the ultimate good of all people, and it is all-successful, all-blissful and all-perfect.

Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu declared that Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the spotless sound representation of all Vedic knowledge and history. There are selected histories of great devotees who are in direct contact with the Personality of Godhead. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the literary incarnation of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa and is therefore nondifferent from Him. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam should be worshiped as respectfully as we worship the Lord. Thereby we can derive the ultimate blessings of the Lord through its careful and patient study. As God is all light, all bliss and all perfection, so also is Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. We can have all the transcendental light of the Supreme Brahman, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, from the recitation of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, provided it is received through the medium of the transparent spiritual master. Lord Caitanya’s private secretary Śrīla Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī advised all intending visitors who came to see the Lord at Purī to make a study of the Bhāgavatam from the person Bhāgavatam Person Bhāgavatam is the self-realized bona fide spiritual master, and through him only can one understand the lessons of Bhāgavatam in order to receive the desired result. One can derive from the study of the Bhāgavatam all benefits that are possible to be derived from the personal presence of the Lord. It carries with it all the transcendental blessings of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa that we can expect from His personal contact.

To purchase a complete set of original 1977 edition Srimad Bhagavatam’s go to;

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Raja – Vidya: The King of Knowledge

Raja-vidya: The King of Knowledge

In the first verse of this Ninth Chapter, by the word guhyatamam, Śrī Kṛṣṇa intimates that He is imparting the most confidential knowledge to Arjuna. Why is He proclaiming this to Arjuna? It is because Arjuna is anasūyu—non-envious. In the material world if someone is greater than us, we are envious. We are not only envious of one another, but of God. Also when Kṛṣṇa says, “I am the proprietor,” we disbelieve it. But this is not the case with Arjuna, who listens to Kṛṣṇa without envy. Arjuna does not cavil with Kṛṣṇa but agrees with whatever He says. This is his special qualification, and this is the way of understanding Bhagavad-gītā. It is not possible to understand what God is by our own mental speculations; we have to hear, and we have to accept.

Raja – Vidya: The King of Knowledge
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter One

śrī bhagavān uvāca
idaṁ tu te guhyatamaṁ
pravakṣyāmy anasūyave
jñānaṁ vijñāna-sahitaṁ
yaj jñātvā mokṣyase ’śubhāt

“The Supreme Lord said: My dear Arjuna, because you are never envious of Me, I shall impart to you this most secret wisdom, knowing which you shall be relieved of the miseries of material existence.” (Bg. 9.1)

The opening words of the Ninth Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā indicate that the Supreme Godhead is speaking. Here Śrī Kṛṣṇa is referred to as Bhagavān. Bhaga means opulences, and vān means one who possesses. We have some conception of God, but in the Vedic literature there are definite descriptions and definitions of what is meant by God, and what is meant is described in one word—Bhagavān. Bhagavān possesses all opulences, the totality of knowledge, wealth, power, beauty, fame and renunciation. When we find someone who possesses these opulences in full, we are to know that he is God. There are many rich, wise, famous, beautiful and powerful men, but no one man can claim to possess all of these opulences. Only Kṛṣṇa claims to possess them in totality.

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SRILA PRABHUPADA’S BOOK DISRIBUTION: INITIATING THE WORLD WITH THE HOLY NAME.


SRILA PRABHUPADA’S BOOK DISRIBUTION: INITIATING THE WORLD WITH THE HOLY NAME.

This series of Quotes was taken from http://www.prabhupada.org.uk/diksa.htm The author is unknown. Some editing was done by me -V

Srila Prabhupada’s transcendental books are his loud chanting of the holy name. Such loud chanting is giving the people of the world Harinama diksa.

Regarding Sankirtana and book distribution, book distribution is also chanting. Anyone who reads the books that is also chanting and hearing. Why distinguish between chanting and book distribution? These books I have recorded and chanted, and they are transcribed. It is spoken kirtanas. So book distribution is also chanting. These are not ordinary books. It is recorded chanting. Anyone who reads, he is hearing. Book distribution must not be neglected. (S.P.L. to Rupanuga dasa, 19th October, 1974)

When a devotee is perfectly qualified in chanting the transcendental vibration of the holy name, he is quite fit to become a spiritual master and to deliver all the people of the world. The chanting of the holy name is so powerful that it gradually establishes its supremacy above everything in the world. The devotee who chants it becomes transcendentally situated in ecstasy and sometimes laughs, cries and dances in his ecstasy. Sometimes the unintelligent put hindrances in the path of chanting this maha-mantra, but one who is situated on the platform of love of Godhead chants the holy name loudly for all concerned. As a result everyone becomes initiated in the chanting of the holy names–Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. (T.L.C. Chapter 18)

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Where is Vyasasan?

Srila Prabhupada with Seventh Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam

Where is Vyasasan?
By Vyasasan das Oct. 27, 2011

This morning I had a dream.

Usually I don’t put much importance on dreams, unless it is a spiritual dream; one where my spiritual master His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, is present. Dreams with Srila Prabhupada, I take special notice of, and often write them down before I forget. Such is the case today.

In my dream Srila Prabhupada was about to give Srimad Bhagavatam class. He was about to read from the Seventh Canto, Chapter Six, “Prahlada Instructs His Demoniac Schoolmates”. But before the class began, one devotee announced that after the class instead of us getting the opportunity to ask Srila Prabhupada questions, Srila Prabhupada was going to ask questions of us.

I tried to listen with rapt attention, being fearful Srila Prabhupada would ask me a question afterwards, and expect me to explain.

As soon as the class was concluded and before Srila Prabhupada had a chance to ask his disciples questions, I quickly hid behind one of the columns in the temple, just out of sight of His Divine Grace. I was lamenting that I wished I had spent more time studying Srila Prabhupada’s books. If only I had carefully studied the entire Seventh Canto, memorized the important slokas, and understood the purports to the translations. If only I was a better student and disciple, I wouldn’t have to hide behind this pillar. I was lamenting like this and sweat was forming on my brow when suddenly I heard Srila Prabhupada’s voice.

“Vyasasan.” ” Where is Vyasasan?”

One devotee stood up and announced that I was hiding.

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Become Self Realized by Reading These Books

Letters by Srila Prabhupada

Anyone who tries to understand these books will become a great realized devotee of Lord Krishna gradually

Bombay, Calicut–2,  Kerala State, 
Friday, 19 March, 1975:

My dear Miss Nedungadi, please accept my greetings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated March 6th, 1975 and have noted the contents.

Thank you so much for your kind appreciations. I am so much grateful that you have enjoyed studying my books. Many young intelligent persons such as yourself are studying these books in the colleges and universities all over the world.

Actually anyone who tries to understand these books will become a great realized devotee of Lord Krishna gradually. The original potency of the sastra remains in these books because I have not added or opinionated anything of my own. I have simply presented the scriptures such as Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam as they are. Therefore just see the effect they have on the world.

At present, we have about 100 centers worldwide and about 10,000 fully dedicated students in those centers. You are welcome to visit or stay in any of our centers for your spiritual advancement. We have a nice center in Madras: 50, Aspiran Gardens, 2nd St., Kilpauk, Madras–600010. You can get all the books there.

I will be in Bombay at the end of April and beginning of May. So, if you can come then, I shall see you there. In the meantime please correspond with or visit one of our temples.

I hope this meets you in good health.

Your ever well-wisher,
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Svami

ACBS/ps

Pasted from http://www.prabhupadanugas.eu/?p=3171

Characteristics of the Bona Fide Guru and the Bona Fide Disciple


The guru must be situated on the topmost platform of devotional service. There are three classes of devotees, and the guru must be accepted from the topmost class. The first-class devotee is the spiritual master for all kinds of people.

The disciple must have the following qualifications. He must give up interest in the material bodily conception. He must give up material lust, anger, greed, illusion, madness and envy. He should be interested only in understanding the science of God, and he should be ready to consider all points in this matter. He should no longer think, “I am this body,” or, “This thing belongs to me.” One must love the spiritual master with unflinching faith, and one must be very steady and fixed. The bona fide disciple should be inquisitive to understand transcendental subject matter. He must not search out faults among good qualities, and he should no longer be interested in material topics. His only interest should be Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

From Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition
Madhya 24.330
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

TEXT 330

guru-lakṣaṇa, śiṣya-lakṣaṇa, doṅhāra parīkṣaṇa
sevya–bhagavān, sarva-mantra-vicāraṇa

SYNONYMS

guru-lakṣaṇa—the symptoms of a bona fide spiritual master; śiṣya-lakṣaṇa—the symptoms of a bona fide disciple; doṅhāra—of both; parīkṣaṇa—the testing; sevya-bhagavān—the Supreme Personality of Godhead is worshipable; sarva-mantra-vicāraṇa—consideration of the different types of mantras.

TRANSLATION

“In your book there should be the characteristics of the bona fide guru and the bona fide disciple. Then, before accepting a spiritual master, one can be assured of the spiritual master’s position. Similarly, the spiritual master can also be assured of the disciple’s position. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, should be described as the worshipable object, and you should consider the bīja-mantra for the worship of Kṛṣṇa, Rāma or any other expansion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

PURPORT

In the Padma Purāṇa, the characteristics of the guru, the bona fide spiritual master, have been described:

mahā-bhāgavata-śreṣṭho
brāhmaṇo vai gurur nṛṇām
sarveṣām eva lokānām
asau pūjyo yathā hariḥ

mahā-kula-prasūto ‘pi
sarva-yajñeṣu dīkṣitaḥ
sahasra-śākhādhyāyī ca
na guruḥ syād avaiṣṇavaḥ

The guru must be situated on the topmost platform of devotional service. There are three classes of devotees, and the guru must be accepted from the topmost class. The first-class devotee is the spiritual master for all kinds of people. It is said: gurur nṛṇām. The word nṛṇām means “of all human beings.” The guru is not limited to a particular group. It is stated in the Upadeśāmṛta of Rūpa Gosvāmī that a guru is a gosvāmī, a controller of the senses and the mind. Such a guru can accept disciples from all over the world. Pṛthivīṁ sa śiṣyāt. This is the test of the guru.

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Srila Prabhupada on Initiation [compilation of quotes]


Quotes from Srila Prabhupada on Initiation
From Books, Conversations, Lectures & Letters
Pasted from Krishna.org

Please be happy in separation. I am separated from my Guru Maharaja since 1936 but I am always with him so long I work according to his direction. So we should all work together for satisfying Lord Krishna and in that way the feelings of separation will transform into transcendental bliss.
Prabhupada’s Initiation

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Why We Distribute Books – A devotee-bookseller explains

Why We Distribute Books – A devotee-bookseller explains.
By Seva-devi dasi
Back to Godhead Magazine # 19-08, 1984

Have you ever met a Hare Krishna devotee in an airport, a parking lot, or on the street distributing books and collecting donations? Many people wonder why we do this. I’ve been distributing books for over six years, and I’d like to tell you something about the origin of book distribution.

Devotees are not ordinary booksellers; their bookselling is transcendental. It is sankirtana, the glorification of Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Sankirtana can be executed very easily, without great endeavor or expense. One can simply chant the Hare Krishna mantra by himself or with others. Or one can read about and discuss the pastimes of the Lord and His devotees. When we give someone a book, we allow him to get in touch with the philosophy and pastimes of Krishna. Any donation he gives helps support the book publication and the temples of the Krishna consciousness movement. Temples worldwide distribute prasadam (spiritual food) free of charge and give people the opportunity to come and take part in spiritualactivities. And all of this is sankirtana, the glorification of Lord Krishna, which is what Krishna consciousness is all about.
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“The Greatest Exponent of Krishna Consciousness in the Western World”

“The Greatest Exponent of Krishna Consciousness in the Western World”
BY: SRAVANANANDA DAS (ACBSP)

Dear Srila Prabhupada,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All Glories to you.

All Glories to You and only You for submerging this earth planet with the Glories of Lord Sri Krishna (The Holy Name).

All Glories to You and only You for being “The Greatest Exponent of Krishna Consciousness in the Western World.” It was You that came up with that phrase to be put under your pictures in all of your books. Somehow? That phrase had been removed from your books, but I have been assured it was going to immediately be put back under your picture in all of your books again.

The response I had received was that the BBT leaders had no idea that it was missing nor how it had happened. I think I know…… due to the imperfect senses there are those who have forgotten who you are, and therefore it was ignored. Yet those same imperfect senses allow your books to be ravaged with changes.

I pray they humble themselves to bring back the Original Books as they were perfect, are perfect and always will be perfect. A small grammatical change may occur, but what has been done appears to be major. Therefore since we are all so covered, they should have been just left alone.
All Glories to You and only You for being the “Greatest Exponent of Krishna Consciousness in the WHOLE World “as before you came into this world even India was forgetting who Krishna is and beginning to give up all religious principals. Most people were worshipping everyone but Lord Krishna. They had ignored Lord Krishna and it was………..

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Case of Teachings of Lord Chaitanya


Case of Teachings of Lord Caitanya

Case of Transcental Benediction
Teachings of Lord Caitanya
Classic 1968 Edition

A Treatise on Factual Spiritual Life

by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

This is the summary study of Lord Caitanya’s teachings in the Classic original edition. The life and teachings of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu who appeared in West Bengal, India in 1486 and Who spread love of Krishna all over India. Later His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhuapda brought the same message to the Western world.

We prostrate ourselves at the Lotus Feet of our Beloved Spiritual Master and offer this treasured book to His Divine Grace on our bowed heads. We came to Him looking for broken pieces of glass, and He has bestowed upon us a priceless gem. He has opened our eyes, which were blinded by the darkness of atheism, mental speculation, and sense gratification, to the glorious light of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. His Transcendental words are the seeds which in our hearts have bloomed into the perfection of Human life-the discovery that God lives and that we can live with Him-Krishna Consciousness. -The Publishers

Format: Hardcover, 5.5″ x 8″
Pages: 330
32 color plates
44 Hardcover books per case!

These can be purchased by going to the web page http://www.theharekrishnamovement.com/page/wholesale

The King of Knowledge


Just knowing “I am not this body but am spirit soul” is not sufficient. We have to escape this entanglement of material nature. This is called mukti, liberation. Out of many thousands of persons who are in self-knowledge as to what and who they are, only one or two may be actually liberated.

And out of many thousands who are liberated, only one or two may understand what and who Krishna is. So understanding Krishna is not such an easy job. Thus in this age of Kali, an age characterized by ignorance and chaos, liberation is out of the reach of practically everyone.

One has to go through the whole ordeal of becoming civilized, then religious, and then one has to perform charities and sacrifices and come to the platform of knowledge, then to the stage of liberation, and finally, after liberation, to the understanding of what Krishna is. This process is also indicated in Bhagavad-gita:

brahma-bhutah prasannatma
na socati na kanksati
samah sarvesu bhutesu
mad-bhaktim labhate param

“One who is thus transcendentally situated at once realizes the Supreme Brahman. He never laments or desires to have anything; he is equally disposed to every living entity. In that state he attains pure devotional service unto Me.” (Bg. 18.54)

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

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The Hare Krishna Cookbook

Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition “Online”

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Srimad Bhagavatam Online

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Raja-Vidya the King of Knowledge

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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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