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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If By Chance We Meet A Saintly Person…

Prabhupada

…Sometimes an ever-liberated personal associate of the Supreme Personality of Godhead descends into this universe just as the Lord descends. Although working for the liberation of conditioned souls, the messenger of the Supreme Lord remains untouched by the material energy. Generally ever-liberated personalities live in the spiritual world as associates of Lord Kṛṣṇa, and they are known as kṛṣṇa-pāriṣada, associates of the Lord. Their only business is enjoying Lord Kṛṣṇa’s company, and even though such eternally liberated persons come within this material world to serve the Lord’s purpose, they enjoy Lord Kṛṣṇa’s company without stoppage. The ever-liberated person who works on Kṛṣṇa’s behalf enjoys Lord Kṛṣṇa’s company through his engagement.

… The conditioned soul subjected to the threefold material miseries is ceaselessly kicked by māyā, and this is his disease. If by chance he meets a saintly person who works on Kṛṣṇa’s behalf to deliver conditioned souls, and if he agrees to abide by his order, he can gradually approach the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa.(from purport to Madhya-lila 22.14-15)

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“God is Great”

KRSNA Book

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This morning my attention was drawn to the Krsna Book. The book was laying on my book stand unopened, but it was so attractive, that I just had to open it, and read the Preface again. Back in the early 70′s, this was the first book I received from a devotee at the Chicago O Hara Airport, and I remember when I first opened it, and began to read this Preface, I was immediately convinced that Krsna was God. Immediately! Such is the power of the words of the pure devotee; Srila Prabhupada.

In these Western countries, when someone sees the cover of a book like Kṛṣṇa, he immediately asks, “Who is Kṛṣṇa? Who is the girl with Kṛṣṇa?” etc.

The immediate answer is that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. How is that? Because He conforms in exact detail to descriptions of the Supreme Being, the Godhead. In other words, Kṛṣṇa is the Godhead because He is all-attractive. Outside the principle of all-attraction, there is no meaning to the word Godhead. How is it one can be all-attractive? First of all, if one is very wealthy, if he has great riches, he becomes attractive to the people in general. Similarly, if someone is very powerful, he also becomes attractive, and if someone is very famous, he also becomes attractive, and if someone is very beautiful or wise or unattached to all kinds of possessions, he also becomes attractive. So from practical experience we can observe that one is attractive due to 1) wealth, 2) power, 3) fame, 4) beauty, 5) wisdom, and 6) renunciation. One who is in possession of all six of these opulences at the same time, who possesses them to an unlimited degree, is understood to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (from Preface to “Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead”)
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The Symptoms of a Sādhu

Srila Prabhupada

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The symptoms of a sādhu are that he is tolerant, merciful and friendly to all living entities. He has no enemies, he is peaceful, he abides by the scriptures, and all his characteristics are sublime. (SB. 3,25,21)

A sādhu, as described above, is a devotee of the Lord. His concern, therefore, is to enlighten people in devotional service to the Lord. That is his mercy. He knows that without devotional service to the Lord, human life is spoiled. A devotee travels all over the country, from door to door, preaching, “Be Kṛṣṇa conscious. Be a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Don’t spoil your life in simply fulfilling your animal propensities. Human life is meant for self-realization, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness.” These are the preachings of a sādhu. He is not satisfied with his own liberation. He always thinks about others. He is the most compassionate personality towards all the fallen souls. (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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Freedom from Material Contamination

Srila Prabhupada speaking from Vyasasana

…I wish everyone of my devotees may purify himself from all material contamination and thus be eligible for entering into the association of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Material life means indulging in sense gratification which diverts our attention from spiritual importance and thus we remain captive under the bewilderment of Maya. This is the most dangerous of our condition of life. Intelligent persons therefore try to avoid it under the protection of Krsna and the Spiritual Master. (from a letter by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada Aug.25 1970)

…A conditioned soul, entangled in material contamination, is sure to act in the material atmosphere, and yet he has to get out of such an environment. The process by which the conditioned soul can get out of the material atmosphere is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. (purport Bg. 4.24)

…By acting in Kṛṣṇa consciousness for the satisfaction of the senses of Kṛṣṇa, any action, whether of the body, mind, intelligence or even of the senses, is purified of material contamination. There are no material reactions resulting from the activities of a Kṛṣṇa conscious person. Therefore, purified activities, which are generally called sadācāra, can be easily performed by acting in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. (purport Bg. 5.11)

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Arunodaya Kirtana (part two)

Chaitanya-Mahaprabhu

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Arunodaya Kirtana (part two)
by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

Lord Gaurānga is calling, “Wake up, sleeping souls! Wake up, sleeping souls! How long will you sleep in the lap of the witch called Māyā? You have forgotten the way of devotional service and are lost in the world of birth and death. I have descended just to save you; other than Myself you have no friend in this world. I have brought the medicine that will wipe out the disease of illusion from which you are suffering. Take this mahā-mantra-Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Thākura says: “I fall at the Lord’s feet, having taken this mahā-mantra.”

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The Most Confidential Part of Knowledge

Bhagavad-gita slokas

Because you are My very dear friend, I am speaking to you the most confidential part of knowledge. Hear this from Me, for it is for your benefit.

Always think of Me and become My devotee. Worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend.

…”Just always think of Me.”…This is the most important instruction in all Vedic literature. What Kṛṣṇa is saying in this connection is the most essential part of knowledge, and it should be carried out not only by Arjuna but by all living entities.

…The most confidential part of knowledge is that one should become a pure devotee of Kṛṣṇa and always think of Him and act for Him. One should not become an official meditator. Life should be so molded that one will always have the chance to think of Kṛṣṇa. One should always act in such a way that all his daily activities are in connection with Kṛṣṇa. He should arrange his life in such a way that throughout the twenty-four hours he cannot but think of Kṛṣṇa. And the Lord’s promise is that anyone who is in such pure Kṛṣṇa consciousness will certainly return to the abode of Kṛṣṇa, where he will be engaged in the association of Kṛṣṇa face to face. This most confidential part of knowledge is spoken to Arjuna because he is the dear friend of Kṛṣṇa. Everyone who follows the path of Arjuna can become a dear friend to Kṛṣṇa and obtain the same perfection as Arjuna.

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The Divisions of Faith

The Divisions of Faith Plate 40

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Bhagavad-gītā As It Is 1972 Edition
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter Seventeen

The Divisions of Faith

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Kṛṣṇa Consciousness Yoga

Srila Prabhupada on Vyasasana

This morning my reading focused on the end of the 6th and beginning of the 7th chapters of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is. Wherein Srila Prabhupada describes…

…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.

…Therefore, to become Kṛṣṇa conscious is the highest stage of yoga.

…Different types of yoga are only steppingstones on the path of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. One who takes directly to Kṛṣṇa consciousness automatically knows about brahmajyoti and Paramātmā in full. By practice of Kṛṣṇa consciousness yoga, one can know everything in full—namely the Absolute Truth, the living entities, the material nature, and their manifestations with paraphernalia.

In these two important verses (Bg 6.47 & 7.1) there is much good information about yoga, the different types of yoga, yoga practices, and the ultimate goal of yoga. Very informative!

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Our Krsna Consciousness Movement is Very Scientific, Factual, and Authorized

Srila Prabhupada with cane

Arrival Lecture
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Los Angeles, May 18, 1972

Prabhupada: (airport noises) (leads Prema-dhvani; says “Los Angeles bhakta-vrnda ki jaya!”)
So my dear boys and girls, about six years ago I came to your country single-handed, with this pair of cymbals. Now you are so many chanting Hare Krsna. That is my success. It was the prediction of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu:

prthivite ache yata nagaradi grama
sarvatra pracara hoibe mora nama

Lord Caitanya desired that “In all the towns, in as many towns and villages as there are on the surface of the globe, My name will be broadcast.” He is Krsna Himself, svayam krsna, krsna caitanya-namine, simply changing His name as Krsna Caitanya. So His prediction will never go in vain. That’s a fact. So my plan was that “I shall go to America. America is the leading country of the world. If I can convince (the) younger generation of America, they will take up.” I am old man. I came here at the age of seventy years; now I am seventy-six. So my warning is already there. In nineteen hundred and seventy-one, I had a severe heart attack. You know, all. So the mission of Caitanya Mahaprabhu is now in your hands. You are American boys and girls, very intelligent and graced by Krsna. You are not poverty-stricken. You have enough resources, prestige. Everything materially, you are all well-equipped. If you kindly take this Krsna consciousness movement seriously, your country will be saved, and the whole world will be saved.

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Singing, Dancing and Chanting the Lord’s Holy Name

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu

…Lord Caitanya’s movement of Kṛṣṇa consciousness is full of dancing and singing about the pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa. It is compared herein to the pure waters of the Ganges, which are full of lotus flowers. The enjoyers of these lotus flowers are the pure devotees, who are like bees and swans. They chant like the flowing of the Ganges, the river of the celestial kingdom. The author desires such sweetly flowing waves to cover his tongue. He humbly compares himself to materialistic persons who always engage in dry talk from which they derive no satisfaction. If they were to use their dry tongues to chant the holy name of the Lord-Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare-as exemplified by Lord Caitanya, they would taste sweet nectar and enjoy life. (from purport to Adi 2.2)

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You Become A Lover of God

Radha is very sweet and charming

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…If you want happiness, then you must learn how to love God. You are trying to love somebody, but you are being frustrated, foiled. Because except God, nobody is loving object. And if you love God, then naturally you love everything because God is everything. The example is that if you pour water on the root of the tree, it goes everywhere—to the twigs, to the leaves, to the flowers, everywhere.

That technique is love of Godhead. If you learn, it doesn’t matter what religion you profess. It is no concern. We do not say that “You become Hindu,” “You become Muslim,” or “Christian.” No. We say that “You become lover of God.” You learn how to love God. Your loving propensity is there, but it is being misplaced. It is placed on dog instead of God; therefore you are unhappy. When your loving propensity will be placed in the proper place, you will be happy. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness, love of Godhead. (from Lecture)

Lecture by Srila Prabhupada
London, August 11, 1971

Prabhupāda: I have to speak something? So we are worshiping Rādhā-Mādhava, the lover or enjoyer of Rādhārāṇī. [break] Govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi **

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Lecture on Bhagavad-gita

Srila Prabhupada Laughing

This is a very nice, intimate, lecture on the Bhagavad-gita, given by Srila Prabhupada in the early days. He is obviously in a very good mood, and is challenging his students to use their intelligence.

Vīrabhadra: And my fourth and last question is, are you in this world?

Prabhupāda: Hm? (laughter)

Vīrabhadra: Are you in this world?

Prabhupāda: I am?

Vīrabhadra: Are you in this world? I mean you, are you…?

Prabhupāda: I’m not in this world, yes.

Vīrabhadra: You’re not in this world.

Prabhupāda: No.

Jaya-gopāla: I thought I heard it said that you are in this world without being a part of it. You are in the world without being a part of it, being a part of it, like the lotus flower which floats on the water.

Prabhupāda: Yes, that is the way. That is the way of understanding. Just like I am in America. It is very easy to understand. I am not adopting any ways of life as the Americans do. So I am not in America. Not only myself, all my disciples who are following me, they are also not Americans. They’re different from American behavior, American ways of life. In that sense I’m not in America. I am in Vṛndāvana because wherever I go in my apartment or in my temple I live with Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa consciousness. I don’t accept any consciousness of America. And I teach my disciples also to take to that consciousness. So one who takes to that consciousness, he is also not in America, not in this world. It is… I have given this example many times. Just like a king and a bug is sitting on the same throne. The bug is biting and the king is ruling. It is not that because the bug is there on the throne, he is king, or the king is sitting with the bug, he is bug. Why this difference? Difference of consciousness. The king knows his duty. He is working in his duty; therefore he’s king. And the bug knows his business, to bite; therefore he’s bug. But sitting on the same place. But because due to different consciousness, one is bug, one is king. So if you take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness and if you remain in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, you don’t belong to this world. You are no more bug, you are king. Change this consciousness. Even apparently you may seem to remain with the bug, you are no more bug. Is it clear?

Lecture on Bhagavad-gītā 2.46-62
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Recorded December 16, 1968, Los Angeles

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Heaven or Hell

Srila Prabhupada in New York City

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…The Kṛṣṇa conscious person can go even to hell and still be happy. The pure devotee is never unhappy in any condition of life.

For a devotee, being situated in the heavenly planets and being in the hellish planets are equal, for a devotee lives neither in heaven nor in hell but with Kṛṣṇa in the spiritual world. The secret of success for the devotee is not understood by the karmīs and jñānīs. Karmīs therefore try to be happy by material adjustment, and jñānīs want to be happy by becoming one with the Supreme. The devotee has no such interest. He is not interested in so-called meditation in the Himalayas or the forest. Rather, his interest is in the busiest part of the world, where he teaches people Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement was started for this purpose. We do not teach one to meditate in a secluded place just so that one may show that he has become very much advanced and may be proud of his so-called transcendental meditation, although he engages in all sorts of foolish materialistic activity.

A Vaiṣṇava is not interested in such a bluff of spiritual advancement. Rather, he is interested in enlightening people in Kṛṣṇa consciousness because that is the only way for them to become happy. One wanders within the universe, life after life, but by the grace of a devotee, a servant of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, one can get the clue to Kṛṣṇa consciousness and then not only become happy in this world but also return home, back to Godhead. That is the real target in life… The members of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement must be fully convinced that without Kṛṣṇa one cannot be happy. Thus the Kṛṣṇa conscious person avoids all kinds of pseudo spiritualists, transcendentalists, meditators, monists, philosophers and philanthropists. (from Purport to SB 7.9.44)

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The Formula for Peace

Raja-vidya

This is a combined post from my reading this morning, from the Srimad Bhagavatam 1.11.33 and Bhagavad-gita 5.29, wherein Srila Prabhupada is describing the factual formula for peace in this material world. Very interesting.

…In the material world no one is permanently fortunate, however clever one may be. There have been so many big empires in different parts of the world, there have been so many powerful kings all over the world, and there have been so many fortunate men, but all of them have been liquidated gradually. This is the law of material nature. But spiritually it is different. The spiritual relation with the Lord is so enlivening and resourceful that no one can leave the company of the Lord, once having taken shelter of Him. (SB 1.11.33 purport)

…The conditioned souls within the clutches of illusory energy are all anxious to attain peace in the material world. But they do not know the formula for peace, which is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā. The greatest peace formula is simply this: Lord Kṛṣṇa is the beneficiary in all human activities. Men should offer everything to the transcendental service of the Lord because He is the proprietor of all planets and the demigods thereon. No one is greater than He…Under the spell of illusion, living entities are trying to be lords of all they survey, but actually they are dominated by the material energy of the Lord. The Lord is the master of material nature, and the conditioned souls are under the stringent rules of material nature. Unless one understands these bare facts, it is not possible to achieve peace in the world either individually or collectively. This is the sense of Kṛṣṇa consciousness: Lord Kṛṣṇa is the supreme predominator, and all living entities, including the great demigods, are His subordinates. One can attain perfect peace only in complete Kṛṣṇa consciousness. (Bg 5.29 purport)

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The Pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa Are the Essence of All Nectar

Krsna and Radharani

…The essence of spiritual knowledge is found in the pastimes of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, which are identical with the pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa. This is the essence of knowledge. If knowledge does not include the understanding of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Kṛṣṇa, it is simply superfluous. By Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s grace, the nectar of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes is flowing in different directions in hundreds and thousands of rivers. One should not think that the pastimes of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu are different from Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes. It is said: śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya, rādhā-kṛṣṇa nahe anya. Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu is a combination of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, and without understanding His pastimes, one cannot understand Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura therefore sings: rūpa-raghunātha-pade haibe ākuti kabe hāma bujhaba se yugala pirīti. “When shall I become very eager to study the books left by the six Gosvāmīs? Then I shall be able to understand the conjugal pastimes of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa.” (Purport Madha-lila 25.271)

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Advancing in Kṛṣṇa Consciousness

Srila Prabhupada Letters

Continuing with our series of a True account entitled Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers… A search for meaning carries Bob Cohen, a young American Peace Corps worker halfway around the world, to an ancient village in the midst of West Bengal. There, in a small bamboo hut, he finds a teacher who is able to tell him everything he ever wanted to know.

Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter Eight

Advancing in Kṛṣṇa Consciousness

(an exchange of letters)

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Sri Krsna Caitanya Prabhu

Pancha-Tattva

For Gaura Purnima, or the Appearance Celebration of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, we are pleased to post one of our favorite songs from the “Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas”, along with a purport by Srila Prabhupada, to honor this auspicious event.

…”My dear Lord, please be merciful to me, because who can be more merciful than Your Lordship within these three worlds?” Actually, this is a fact. Not only Narottama Dasa Thakura but Rupa Gosvami also prayed to Lord Caitanya in this way. At the time of the first meeting of Lord Caitanya and Rupa Gosvami at Prayaga (Allahabad), Srila Rupa Gosvami said, “My dear Lord, You are the most munificent of all incarnations, because You are distributing love of Krsna, Krsna consciousness.” When Krsna was personally present He simply asked us to surrender, but He did not distribute Himself so easily. He made conditions–”First of all you surrender.” But this incarnation, Lord Caitanya, although Krsna Himself, makes no such condition. He simply distributes: “Take love of Krsna.” Therefore Lord Caitanya is approved as the most munificent incarnation…(From Purport to song)

Full Song with Translation and Purport More

Krsna Consciousness in the Age of Kali

sri chaitanya mahaprabhu1

“In the sastra it is said this Kali-yuga is full of faults, so many faults. It is the ocean of faults. But there is a very nice thing, asti hy eko mahan gunah, a very great quality. What is that? Kirtanad eva krsnasya mukta-sangah param vrajet [SB 12.3.51]. If you simply chant Hare Krishna mantra, then you become perfect. Is it very difficult? Chant Hare Krishna and you become perfect. But we are so unfortunate, we are not even prepared to chant. This is our position. So you have to make little determination that ‘I shall chant henceforward Hare Krishna mantra.’ Then everything is all right.” (Srila Prabhupada from Lecture)

and this from Srimad Bhagavatam 8.5.23

When Kṛṣṇa appeared, He gave His orders, and when Kṛṣṇa Himself appeared as a devotee, as Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, He showed us the path by which to cross the ocean of Kali-yuga. That is the path of The Hare Kṛṣṇa Movement. When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu appeared, He ushered in the era for the saṅkīrtana movement. It is also said that for ten thousand years this era will continue. This means that simply by accepting the saṅkīrtana movement and chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, the fallen souls of this Kali-yuga will be delivered. After the Battle of Kurukṣetra, at which Bhagavad-gītā was spoken, Kali-yuga continues for 432,000 years, of which only 5,000 years have passed. Thus there is still a balance of 427,000 years to come. Of these 427,000 years, the 10,000 years of the saṅkīrtana movement inaugurated by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu 500 years ago provide the opportunity for the fallen souls of Kali-yuga to take to the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra and thus be delivered from the clutches of material existence and return home, back to Godhead.

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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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