With All the Humility at My Command

Srila Prabhupada

Personally, I have no hope for any direct service for the coming crores of births of the sojourn of my life, but I am confident that some day or other I shall be delivered from this mire of delusion in which I am at present so deeply sunk. Therefore let me with all my earnestness pray at the lotus feet of my divine master to allow me to suffer the lot for which I am destined due to my past misdoings, but to let me have this power of recollection: that I am nothing but a tiny servant of the Almighty Absolute Godhead, realized through the unflinching mercy of my divine master. Let me therefore bow down at his lotus feet with all the humility at my command. -Abhay Charan Das 1936

The following speech was delivered in 1936 Bombay by the pure devotee who three decades later will become the world-renowned spiritual master of The Hare Krishna Movement. Abhay Charan das who latter becomes His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada glorifies his own spiritual master Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Goswami Maharaja with this Appearance day (Vyasa-puja) homage. Thus we learn the time-honored meaning of spiritual master, disciple and their relationship.

With All the Humility at My Command
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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Traveling Temple

Harinam Truck in NYC

Harinam Sankirtana

A friend shared these images with me on Facebook and we thought we would share them with you. I loved this idea of a traveling temple, and in the 1970’s I traveled on one of the famous Radha-Damodara bus’s. This idea of bringing the holy name to every Town & Village should be encouraged throughout our society more and more. This would help unite devotees under the banner of Lord Caitanya, and bring peace to the world.

In pursuance of the order of Lord Caitanya, the devotees of the Krishna Consciousness movement should try to introduce the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra throughout the world. It is only by chanting Hare Krishna that one may get free from the disease of forgetfulness of Krishna, which is the root cause of all suffering. However one is situated, whether one is single, married or renounced, one should have the determination to go out and preach Krishna consciousness. That was the instruction of our spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. (Locanananda das)

“We are saying that this Hare Krishna maha-mantra can save everyone, and we are therefore distributing it publicly, free of charge… The devotees are preaching without charge, declaring in the streets, parks, and everywhere. “Here! Here is the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. Come on, take it!” (POP p. 72)

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The Science of Reincarnation

The Science of Reincarnation

A conversation in 1975 between
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada,
Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness,
and Mike Robinson, a reporter for the London Broadcasting Company.

Mike Robinson: Can you tell me what you believe—what the philosophy of the Hare Krsna movement is?

Srila Prabhupada: Yes. Krsna consciousness is not a question of belief; it is a science. The first step is to know the difference between a living body and a dead body. What is the difference? The difference is that when someone dies, the spirit soul, or the living force, leaves the body. And therefore the body is called “dead.” So, there are two things: one, this body; and the other, the living force within the body. We speak of the living force within the body. That is the difference between the science of Krsna consciousness, which is spiritual, and ordinary, material science. As such, in the beginning it is very, very difficult for an ordinary man to appreciate our movement. One must first understand that he is a soul, or something other than his body.

Mike Robinson: And when will we understand that?

Srila Prabhupada: You can understand at any moment, but it requires a little intelligence. For example, as a child grows, he becomes a boy, the boy becomes a young man, the young man becomes an adult, and the adult becomes an old man. Throughout all this time, although his body is changing from a child to an old man, he still feels himself to be the same person, with the same identity. Just see: the body is changing, but the occupier of the body, the soul, is remaining the same. So we should logically conclude that when our present body dies, we get another body. This is called transmigration of the soul.

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Mad Elephant Offense (Vaiṣṇava-aparādha)

Sometimes we see that devotees, even though they are following the rules and regulations, appear not to be making very much spiritual advancement. Often we see that they appear to be going backwards rather than forward in their devotional lives. This is often the case of “the mad elephant offense” or vaisnava-aparadha, which can stop or destroy their devotional career, and should be carefully avoided. We have included a few select verses from Srila Prabhupada’s Srimad Bhagavatam which support this statement.

…To commit an offense against a devotee is very dangerous in devotional service. Lord Caitanya therefore said that an offense to a devotee is just like a mad elephant run loose; when a mad elephant enters a garden, it tramples all the plants. Similarly, an offense unto the feet of a pure devotee murders one’s position in devotional service…

…One’s pure intelligence, or pure Kṛṣṇa consciousness, becomes polluted by material activities. Pure consciousness can be revived by the process of sacrifice, charity, pious activities, etc., but when one pollutes his Kṛṣṇa consciousness by offending a brāhmaṇa or a Vaiṣṇava, it is very difficult to revive. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has described the vaiṣṇava-aparādha, or offense to a Vaiṣṇava, as “the mad elephant offense.” One should be very careful not to offend a Vaiṣṇava or a brāhmaṇa…

Srimad Bhagavatam 3.15.39

kṛtsna-prasāda-sumukhaṁ spṛhaṇīya-dhāma
snehāvaloka-kalayā hṛdi saṁspṛśantam
śyāme pṛthāv urasi śobhitayā śriyā svaś-
cūḍāmaṇiṁ subhagayantam ivātma-dhiṣṇyam

The Lord is the reservoir of all pleasure. His auspicious presence is meant for everyone’s benediction, and His affectionate smiling and glancing touch the core of the heart. The Lord’s beautiful bodily color is blackish, and His broad chest is the resting place of the goddess of fortune, who glorifies the entire spiritual world, the summit of all heavenly planets. Thus it appeared that the Lord was personally spreading the beauty and good fortune of the spiritual world.

Purport
When the Lord came, He was pleased with everyone; therefore it is stated here, kṛtsna-prasāda-sumukham. The Lord knew that even the offensive doormen were His pure devotees, although by chance they committed an offense at the feet of other devotees. To commit an offense against a devotee is very dangerous in devotional service. Lord Caitanya therefore said that an offense to a devotee is just like a mad elephant run loose; when a mad elephant enters a garden, it tramples all the plants. Similarly, an offense unto the feet of a pure devotee murders one’s position in devotional service. On the part of the Lord there was no offended mood because He does not accept any offense created by His sincere devotee. But a devotee should be very cautious of committing offenses at the feet of another devotee. The Lord, being equal to all, and being especially inclined to His devotee, looked as mercifully at the offenders as at the offended. This attitude of the Lord was due to His unlimited quantity of transcendental qualities. His cheerful attitude towards the devotees was so pleasing and heart-touching that His very smile was attractive for them. That attraction was glorious not only for all the higher planets of this material world, but beyond, for the spiritual world also. Generally a human being has no idea of what the constitutional position is in the higher material planets, which are far better constituted in regard to all paraphernalia, yet the Vaikuṇṭha planet is so pleasing and so celestial that it is compared to the middle jewel or locket in a necklace of jewels.

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Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

Here is a new GBC resolution I found interesting…

GBC Resolution #309

ISKCON GOVERNING BODY COMMISSION SOCIETY
Registration Number S/74662 under the West Bengal Societies Registration Act, 1961
P.O. Shree Mayapur Dham, Dist. Nadia, West Bengal 741313

MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
SRI MAYAPUR DHAM, FEBRUARY 10 – 21, 2012

309. Founder-Acarya on ISKCON Guru Websites

[Guideline]

Whereas the proliferation of official and unofficial websites of ISKCON gurus currently do not, in large part, prominently feature the personality and teachings of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada as the Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness on the introduction page as well as on many other pages;

And whereas it is necessary to establish guidelines for such websites so that as far as possible visitors are made aware that whatever inspiration the devotees are receiving from the guru is due to the great mercy of Srila Prabhupada:

RESOLVED:

ISKCON gurus shall be responsible for ensuring that their own official websites adhere to the following guidelines:

1. They prominently feature a picture of Srila Prabhupada on the introductory page

2. They credit him as the “Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness”

3. They contain a brief summary of his accomplishments and provide authorized website links to his teachings

The Guru Services Committee will compile a suggested comprehensive template for use in guru websites.

“Actual Religion means to understand God and to develop your Love for God”

…so far our movement is concerned, you know, more or less, about our movement. But you should know that this is the most scientific, authorized movement in the human society, because the movement is based on the authority of Bhagavad-gita. Bhagavad-gita is spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead for the benefit of the whole human society.

“Actual Religion means to understand God and to develop your Love for God”

Lecture by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
New York, April 5, 1973

Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank you very much for kindly receiving me in this honorable way. According to our Vaisnava philosophy, whatever honor is offered to the spiritual master, that is transferred to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasado yasyaprasadan na gatih kuto ’pi. Our this philosophy, Vaisnava philosophy, it teaches that if you please your spiritual master, then God is also pleased. Because the spiritual master is the most confidential servant of God, therefore by honoring the spiritual master, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is honored. Just like in English language there is the word, “If you love me, love my dog.” So the spiritual master is the “dog” of God; therefore if the spiritual master is patted, God is very much pleased.

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Knowledge by Way of the Mahātmās, Great Souls

No one can be equal to God, and no one can be above Him. Even Lord Brahmā and Śiva, the most exalted demigods, are subservient to Him and pay their respectful obeisances. Instead of trying to become God by some meditational process or other, we had better hear about God submissively and try to understand Him and our relationship to Him. The representative of God or the incarnation of God never claims to be God but the servant of God. This is the sign of the bona fide representative.

Raja-Vidya: The King of Knowledge
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 4

Knowledge by Way of the Mahātmās, Great Souls

The presence of Kṛṣṇa in all aspects of the creation is perceived by the mahātmās, the great souls, who are always engaged in the worship of Kṛṣṇa. As Kṛṣṇa Himself states, these great souls are conversant with the confidential knowledge found in the Ninth Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā, and they know Kṛṣṇa to be the source of all things.

mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha
daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ
bhajanty ananya-manaso
jñātvā bhūtādim avyayam

“O son of Pṛthā, those who are not deluded, the great souls, are under the protection of the divine nature. They are fully engaged in devotional service because they know Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, original and inexhaustible.” (Bg. 9.13)

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News From ISKCON Bangalore

Iskcon Bangalore Temple

Apex Court Dismisses ISKCON Mumbai’s Appeal

By: Bharatarshabha Dasa, Bangalore.
Jan 9, 2012, Monday

The Supreme Court of India today dismissed an appeal filed by ISKCON Mumbai, seeking to initiate contempt of court proceedings against Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa, President of ISKCON Bangalore. The Supreme Court Bench consisting of Honorable Justice HL Dattu and Honorable Justice Chandramouli KR Prasad today gave this judgment on the appeal filed by ISKCON Mumbai challenging the verdict of the High Court which had opined that no contempt was committed by Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa. While pronouncing the verdict one of the Honorable Judges said that Supreme Court is not a forum meant of settling scores and ISKCON Mumbai’s petition attempts to settle some scores with Madhu Pandit Dasa.

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Matter to Spirit

The following is an Excerpted article from ‘Back To Godhead’ magazine, one of my favorite issues in recent memory. The “Special Panca-Tattva Edition” This issue was dedicated to the momentous event in the history of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON): the inauguration of the worship of life-sized deities of Sri Panca-tattva (Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His four principal associates) in Mayapur, West Bengal. Ten thousand Hare Krsna devotees from around the world attended the March festival, the culmination of years of preparation and the fulfillment of the vision of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, ISKCON’s founder-acarya.

From Back to Godhead Magazine Vol 38, No. 4, 2004

Matter to Spirit
The Anatomy of a Deity Installation

by Sri Prahlada Dasa and Braja Sevaki Devi Dasi

Vedic rites and mantras mark the appearance of Sri Panca-tattva in their deity forms.

As the festivities and formalities unfolded in the temple, thousands were drawn into the whirl of color and sound emanating from the main altar as Sri Panca-tattva were unveiled for the first time. Amongst the activities, one stood out in its beauty and intensity: the yajna, or fire sacrifice, being carried out center-stage. Huge flames licked the forty-foot-high ceiling, urged on by great wooden spoonfuls of ghee (clarified butter) and accompanied by a chorus of strong voices chanting Vedic mantras and prayers. This is tattva homa, one of the six rites of the deity installation process—a magical, spiritual, esoteric journey for the senses, mind, and spirit.

The Vedic scriptures teach that the Lord’s name, form, qualities, and pastimes are identical to Him. Thus the deity, as the Lord’s form, and the Lord Himself are identical. Then why the need for an installation? Essentially, the installation process formalizes the Lord’s manifestation. It is a conscious acknowledgment, a contract, so to speak, between the devotee and the Lord, whom the devotee requests to be formally present and to reciprocate with a certain standard of worship. Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita (4.11), ye yatha mam prapadyante: “As all surrender unto Me, I reward them accordingly.”

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You Can Live With Krsna, Even in This Life

Photo by Damaghosa Prabhu

“If you become devotee of Krsna, then you can live with Krsna, even in this life. Even in this life. Because Krsna is omnipotent, if you are really devotee of Krsna, He will talk with you, He will dance with you, He will eat with you, everything.”

Lecture by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
December 25, 1973, Los Angeles
Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.15.47-48

Pradyumna: “Thus by pure consciousness due to constant devotional remembrance, they attained the spiritual sky, which is ruled by the Supreme Nārāyaṇa, Lord Kṛṣṇa. This is attained only by those who meditate upon the one Supreme Lord without deviation. This abode of the Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, known as Goloka Vṛndāvana, cannot be attained by persons who are absorbed in the material conception of life. But the Pāṇḍavas, being completely washed of all material contamination, attained that abode in their very same bodies.” [SB 1.15.47-48]

Prabhupāda: Tad-dhyāna udriktayā. Dhyāna means meditation. So the Pāṇḍavas, always they were thinking of Kṛṣṇa. While they were eating, they were sitting, they were sleeping, they were talking, they were fighting-Kṛṣṇa. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. When Arjuna was fighting, so there was also Kṛṣṇa. When they were dealing in politics with Duryodhana, there was Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is his friend, always talking with him, staying with him, sleeping with him, eating with him.

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The Highest Yogi

It is by great fortune that one comes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness on the path of bhakti-yoga to become well situated according to the Vedic direction. The ideal yogī concentrates his attention on Kṛṣṇa, who is called Śyāmasundara, who is as beautifully colored as a cloud, whose lotus-like face is as effulgent as the sun, whose dress is brilliant with jewels and whose body is flower garlanded. Illuminating all sides is His gorgeous luster, which is called the brahmajyoti. He incarnates in different forms such as Rāma, Nṛsiṁha, Varāha and Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and He descends like a human being, as the son of Mother Yaśodā, and He is known as Kṛṣṇa, Govinda and Vāsudeva. He is the perfect child, husband, friend and master, and He is full with all opulences and transcendental qualities. If one remains fully conscious of these features of the Lord, he is called the highest yogī.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is – Macmillan 1972 Edition
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 6, Text 47

yoginām api sarveṣāṁ
mad-gatenāntar-ātmanā
śraddhāvān bhajate yo māṁ
sa me yuktatamo mataḥ

yoginām—of all yogīs; api—also; sarveṣām—all types of; mat-gatena—abiding in Me; antaḥ-ātmanā—always thinking of Me within; śraddhāvān—in full faith; bhajate—renders transcendental loving service; yaḥ—one who; mām—Me (the Supreme Lord); saḥ—he; me—Mine; yuktatamaḥ—the greatest yogī; mataḥ—is considered.

Translation
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.

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Srila Prabhupada is a Friend to All

…Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita, “one who teaches this most confidential knowledge to others is very dear to Me.” Through his translations of Vedic texts such as the Bhagavad-gita, Srimad Bhagavatam, and the Sri Chaitanya-caritamrita, Srila Prabhupada taught others the instructions of Lord Krishna in a way that was understandable to all…

Srila Prabhupada is a Friend to All
Author unknown

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, more affectionately known as Srila Prabhupada, is the Founder Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, ISKCON, or more popularly known as The Hare Krishna Movement. The movement was inaugurated in India by Lord Caitanya almost five hundred years ago. The age that we currently live in is full of quarrel and dissent and the only means of self-realization is through the constant chanting of the holy name of God.

The Hare Krishna mantra, “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”, is found in the ancient scriptures of India, and is the most powerful of mantras in this age since it directly addresses God and His energy in a loving way. Lord Chaitanya freely distributed this mantra to all of India through congregational chanting. Srila Prabhupada, a spiritual master in the disciplic succession descending from Lord Chaitanya, preached this same movement in the mid 1960s beginning in America and eventually spreading throughout the world.

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Sri Sri Siksastakam

Click on image to enlarge

Lord Caitanya’s Mission and Precepts
Excerpted from ‘Back To Godhead’ magazine, 1973 Vol. 1, No. 49 & 50

As foretold in Vedic scriptures, the Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared on earth 500 years ago in the form of Lord Caitanya, who is God Himself playing the role of a devotee of Godhead. The eight verses entitled Sri Sri Siksastakam, which were the only written instructions of Lord Caitanya, reveal the essence of the Krsna consciousness movement.

Sri Sri Siksastakam

by Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu
translated by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
with purports by His Holiness Subaldasa Svami

1.
ceto-darpana-marjanam bhava-mahadavagni-nirvapanam
sreyah kairava-candrikavitaranam vidyavadhujivanam
anandambudhi-vardhanam pratipadam purnamrtasvadanam
sarvatma-snapanam param vijayate sri-krsna-sankirtanam

Translation

Glory to the Sri Krsna sankirtana, which cleanses the heart of all the dust accumulated for years and extinguishes the fire of conditional life, of repeated birth and death. This sankirtana movement is the prime benediction for humanity at large because it spreads the rays of the benediction moon. It is the life of all transcendental knowledge. It increases the ocean of transcendental bliss, and it enables us to fully taste the nectar for which we are always anxious.

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Past, Present and Future

…Anyone with a material body cannot remember his past life, nor can he foretell his future life, nor can he predict the outcome of his present life; therefore he cannot know what is happening in past, present and future. Unless one is liberated from material contamination, he cannot know past, present and future.

…out of millions and millions of men, some try to become perfect in this human form of life, and out of thousands and thousands of such perfected men, hardly one can understand what Lord Kṛṣṇa is. Even if one is perfected by realization of impersonal Brahman or localized Paramātmā, he cannot possibly understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, without being in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 7, Text 26

vedāhaṁ samatītāni
vartamānāni cārjuna
bhaviṣyāṇi ca bhūtāni
māṁ tu veda na kaścana

veda—know; aham—I; sama—equally; atītāni—past; vartamānāni—present; ca—and; arjuna—O Arjuna; bhaviṣyāṇi—future; ca—also; bhūtāni—living entities; mām—Me; tu—but; veda—knows; na—not; kaścana—anyone.

Translation
O Arjuna, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, I know everything that has happened in the past, all that is happening in the present, and all things that are yet to come. I also know all living entities; but Me no one knows.

Purport
Here the question of personality and impersonality is clearly stated. If Kṛṣṇa, the form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is considered by the impersonalists to be māyā, to be material, then He would, like the living entity, change His body and forget everything in His past life. Anyone with a material body cannot remember his past life, nor can he foretell his future life, nor can he predict the outcome of his present life; therefore he cannot know what is happening in past, present and future. Unless one is liberated from material contamination, he cannot know past, present and future.

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Teachings of Queen Kuntī

We begin a new series by offering the Teachings of Queen Kunti in weekly installments. We begin today with the Introduction to this wounderful book.

As they appear in the First Canto of the Bhāgavatam, Queen Kuntī’s celebrated prayers consist of only twenty-six couplets (verses 18 through 43 of the Eighth Chapter), yet they are considered a philosophical, theological, and literary masterpiece. The present book (Teachings of Queen Kuntī) includes those inspired verses and illuminating commentary by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder-Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness and the most renowned Vedic scholar and spiritual leader of our time. In addition to this commentary (originally written in 1962), Teachings of Queen Kuntī contains further explanations that Śrīla Prabhupāda gave more recently in an absorbing series of lectures. In those memorable talks, delivered in the spring of 1973 at ISKCON’s Western world headquarters in Los Angeles, he analyzed the verses in significantly greater detail and shed even more light upon them.

Teachings of Queen Kuntī By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Introduction

The tragic and heroic figure of Queen Kuntī emerges from an explosive era in the history of ancient India. As related in theMahābhārata, India’s grand epic poem of 110,000 couplets, Kuntī was the wife of King Pāṇḍu and the mother of five illustrious sons known as the Pāṇḍavas. As such, she was one of the central figures in a complex political drama that culminated fifty centuries ago in the Kurukṣetra War, a devastating war of ascendancy that changed the course of world events. The Mahābhārata describes the prelude to the holocaust as follows:

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Remembering Krishna

In the previous article, Srila Prabhupada is describing the nine types of devotional service recommended ….(hearing, chanting, remembering, worshiping, praying, serving, engaging as a servitor of the Lord, establishing friendly relations with the Lord, offering everything to the Lord). These are all easy to practice and should be joyfully performed. So with this in mind we are posting one of Krishna’s unlimited pastimes, to help us in remembering the Lord.

Both the gopīs and Kṛṣṇa entered the water of the Yamunā just to relieve their fatigue from the rāsa dance. The lily flower garlands around the necks of the gopīs were strewn to pieces due to their embracing the body of Kṛṣṇa, and the flowers were reddish from being smeared with the kuṅkuma on their breasts. The bumblebees were humming about in order to get honey from the flowers. Kṛṣṇa and the gopīs entered the water of Yamunā just as an elephant enters a water tank with his many female companions. Both the gopīs and Kṛṣṇa forgot their real identity, playing in the water, enjoying each others’ company and relieving the fatigue of rāsa dancing. The gopīs began to splash water on the body of Kṛṣṇa, all the while smiling, and Kṛṣṇa enjoyed this. As Kṛṣṇa was taking pleasure in the joking words and splashing water, the demigods in the heavenly planets began to shower flowers. The demigods thus praised the superexcellent rāsa dance of Kṛṣṇa, the supreme enjoyer, and His pastimes with the gopīs in the water of Yamunā. (Krsna The Supreme Personality of Godhead Chapter 32)

Image courtsy of Syamarani devi http://www.bhaktiart.net

Knowledge Beyond Saṁsāra

When Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja was asked, “What is the most wonderful thing in the world?” he replied, “The most wonderful thing is that every day, every moment, people are dying, and yet everyone thinks that death will not come for him.”

Raja – Vidya: The King of Knowledge
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 2

Knowledge Beyond Saṁsāra

Kṛṣṇa specifically states that this process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness is susukham, very pleasant and easy to practice. Indeed, the devotional process is very pleasant; we melodiously sing with instruments, and someone will listen and also join (śravaṇaṁ kīrtanam). Of course the music should be in relation with the Supreme Lord, in glorification of Him. Hearing Bhagavad-gītā is also part of devotional service, and in addition to hearing it one should be eager to apply it in his life. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is a science and should not be accepted blindly. There are nine processes of devotional service recommended (hearing, chanting, remembering, worshiping, praying, serving, engaging as a servitor of the Lord, establishing friendly relations with the Lord, offering everything to the Lord). These are all easy to practice and should be joyfully performed.

Of course if one thinks that Bhagavad-gītā and the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra are part of the Hindu system and doesn’t want to accept them because of this, he can nonetheless attend the Christian church and sing there. There is no difference between this process and that process; the point is whatever process one follows, he must become God conscious. God is neither Moslem nor Hindu nor Christian—He is God. Nor are we to be considered Hindu, Moslem or Christian. These are bodily designations. We are all pure spirit, part and parcel of the Supreme. God is pavitram, pure, and we are also pure. Somehow or other, however, we have fallen into this material ocean, and as the waves toss, we suffer. Actually we have nothing to do with the tossing waves of material miseries. We must simply pray, “Kṛṣṇa, please pick me up.” As soon as we forget Kṛṣṇa, the ocean of illusion is there, and it at once captures us. The chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa is most important in order to escape from this ocean. Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare is a sound (śabda) that is non-different from Kṛṣṇa. The sound Kṛṣṇa and the original Kṛṣṇa are the same. When we chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and dance, Kṛṣṇa is also dancing with us. Of course we may say, “Well, I do not see Him,” but why do we put so much stress on seeing? Why not hearing? Seeing, tasting, smelling, touching, and hearing are all instruments for experience and knowledge. Why do we put such exclusive stress on seeing? A devotee does not wish to see Kṛṣṇa; he is satisfied by simply hearing of Kṛṣṇa. Seeing may eventually be there, but hearing should not be considered any less important. There are things which we hear but do not see—the wind may be whistling past our ears, and we can hear it, but there is no possibility of seeing the wind. Since hearing is no less an important experience or valid one than seeing, we can hear Kṛṣṇa and realize His presence through sound. Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself says, “I am not there in My abode, or in the heart of the meditating yogī but where my pure devotees are singing.” We can feel the presence of Kṛṣṇa as we actually make progress.

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Giving Shelter to Others

They have dedicated their lives to the welfare of others. They are the perfect example of noble life.

One may take excellent lessons from the pious trees, who offer innumerable benefits, such as fruits, flowers, cooling shade and medicinal extracts. Even when a tree is suddenly cut down and dragged away, the tree does not protest but continues to give service to others in the form of firewood. Thus, one should become the disciple of such magnanimous trees and learn from them the qualities of saintly conduct. (Srimad Bhagavatam)

Taking shelter of the shade of the trees, Kṛṣṇa became very happy. While walking He began to address the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana. “My dear Stokakṛṣṇa, My dear Varūthapa, My dear Bhadrasena, My dear Sudāmā, My dear Subala, My dear Arjuna, My dear Viśāla, My dear Ṛṣabha–just look at these most fortunate trees of Vṛndāvana. They have dedicated their lives to the welfare of others. Individually they are tolerating all kinds of natural disturbances, such as hurricanes, torrents of rain, scorching heat and piercing cold, but they are very careful to relieve our fatigues and give us shelter. My dear friends, I think they are glorified in this birth as trees. They are so careful to give shelter to others that they are like noble, highly elevated charitable men who never deny charity to one who approaches them. No one is denied shelter by these trees. They supply various kinds of facilities to human society, such as leaves, flowers, fruit, shade, roots, bark, flavor extracts and fuel. They are the perfect example of noble life. They are like a noble person who has sacrificed everything possible–his body, mind, activities, intelligence and words–in engaging in the welfare of all living entities.”

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Spiritual Bongos And Neighborhood Beats

Spiritual Bongos And Neighborhood Beats
By Damodara Dasa

Adapted by Nandimukhi Devi Dasi from Remembering Srila Prabhupada (copyright 1998 Daniel Clark)

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, my spiritual master, enacted his life’s activities from his birth in 1896 to his passing in 1977. I knew him for the last eleven years of his exemplary pastimes. But to say I knew him is going too far. I watched him. I listened to him. I talked with him and corresponded with him. I followed him and obeyed him—and disobeyed him. I learned from him. I bowed down before him and prayed to him. I loved him, and still do. Through those eleven years, that person I first knew as the Swami, then as Swamiji, and then as Srila Prabhupada guided my life.

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Physically Departed / Spiritually Present

Srila Prabhupada Spiritually Present

Physically Departed / Spiritually Present
Author unknown

“Yes, I am the Spiritual Master of this institution, and all members of the society, they’re supposed to be my disciples. They follow the rules and regulations which I ask them to follow, and they are initiated by me spiritually.”

Srila Prabhupada left this world on November 14th 1977 in Krishna’s holy land of Vrindavan. He had been translating his books and instructing his disciples to the very last, and left in the most auspicious circumstances, surrounded by his disciples chanting the maha-mantra.

He left behind a massive legacy of teachings in the form of numerous books, audio and video taped lectures and conversations, as well as a worldwide Movement. He said he had given everything necessary to go back home, back to Godhead, we just had to read his books, chant and follow his instructions. He taught that there was no difference to serving him when he was physically present, to doing so when he was absent. He would remain spiritually present in his books and instructions:

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

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The Hare Krishna Cookbook

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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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