The Life of a Sincere Devotee of the Lord

Chanting  Hare Krishna

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The following is a nice verse from the Srimad Bhagavatam spoken by Narada Muni. As I was looking for an image for this post, I thought I should put up a picture of Him. But then it hit me, this verse could have just as easily been spoken by Srila Prabhupada! In fact it was.

Thus I began chanting the holy name and fame of the Lord by repeated recitation, ignoring all the formalities of the material world. Such chanting and remembering of the transcendental pastimes of the Lord are benedictory. So doing, I traveled all over the earth, fully satisfied, humble and unenvious.

The life of a sincere devotee of the Lord is thus explained in a nutshell by Nārada Muni by his personal example. Such a devotee, after his initiation by the Lord or His bona fide representative, takes very seriously chanting of the glories of the Lord and traveling all over the world so that others may also hear the glories of the Lord. Such devotees have no desire for material gain. They are conducted by one single desire: to go back to Godhead. This awaits them in due course on quitting the material body. Because they have the highest aim of life, going back to Godhead, they are never envious of anyone, nor are they proud of being eligible to go back to Godhead. Their only business is to chant and remember the holy name, fame and pastimes of the Lord and, according to personal capacity, to distribute the message for others’ welfare without motive of material gain.

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Meditation upon the Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa

Narada muni meditates of Sri Krsna

This morning I was reading from the First Canto, sixth chapter of the Srimad Bhagavatam entitled “Conversation Between Nārada and Vyāsadeva”. Here Śrī Nārada Muni is explaining how it is, he attained his present transcendental body, and his encounter with the Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa. This is a beautiful chapter and I find myself reading it again and again.

After that, under the shadow of a banyan tree in an uninhabited forest I began to meditate upon the Supersoul situated within, using my intelligence, as I had learned from liberated souls.

As soon as I began to meditate upon the lotus feet of the Personality of Godhead with my mind transformed in transcendental love, tears rolled down my eyes, and without delay the Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa appeared on the lotus of my heart.

O Vyāsadeva, at that time, being exceedingly overpowered by feelings of happiness, every part of my body became separately enlivened. Being absorbed in an ocean of ecstasy, I could not see both myself and the Lord.

The transcendental form of the Lord, as it is, satisfies the mind’s desire and at once erases all mental incongruities. Upon losing that form, I suddenly got up, being perturbed, as is usual when one loses that which is desirable.

I desired to see again that transcendental form of the Lord, but despite my attempts to concentrate upon the heart with eagerness to view the form again, I could not see Him any more, and thus dissatisfied, I was very much aggrieved.

Seeing my attempts in that lonely place, the Personality of Godhead, who is transcendental to all mundane description, spoke to me with gravity and pleasing words, just to mitigate my grief.

O Nārada [the Lord spoke], I regret that during this lifetime you will not be able to see Me anymore. Those who are incomplete in service and who are not completely free from all material taints can hardly see Me.

O virtuous one, you have only once seen My person, and this is just to increase your desire for Me, because the more you hanker for Me, the more you will be freed from all material desires.

Srimad Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
First Canto, Chapter 6, Text 15-22

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Narada Muni Bajay Vina

Narada Muni

Narada Muni Bajay Vina

This is one of my favorite Vaisnava Songs, written by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, with a puroprt by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. We post it today in honnor of the 24 Hour Kirtan that will start this evening at the New Vrindavan Community.

…This is a song sung by Bhaktivinoda Thakura. The purport of this song is that the great soul Narada Muni is playing on his stringed instrument, called the vina, and vibrating Radhika-ramana, one of Krsna’s names. So, as soon as he plucks the strings and chants, all the devotees immediately respond to him, and it becomes a very beautiful vibration. Amiya-dhara, barise ghana. As the singing goes on with the stringed instrument, it appears that there is a shower of nectar, and all the devotees then dance in ecstasy to the fullest extent of their satisfaction. Then, as they dance, it appears that they become intoxicated by drinking the beverage called madhuri pura. And as one becomes almost mad by drinking, similarly, all the devotees became mad in ecstasy. And some of them are crying, and some of them are dancing, and some of them, although they cannot dance publicly, are dancing within their hearts. Then Lord Siva embraces Narada Muni and begins to dance and cry out in ecstasy, and when Lord Brahma sees Lord Siva dancing with Narada Muni, he joins in and says, “All of you kindly chant ‘Haribol! Haribol!’” Then gradually the king of heaven, Indra, also joins in with great satisfaction and begins to dance and to chant “Hari hari bol!”

In this way, by the influence of the transcendental vibration of the holy name of God, the whole universe becomes ecstatic, and Bhaktivinoda Thakura says, “When the whole universe becomes ecstatic in this way, my desires are satisfied, and I therefore pray unto the lotus feet of Rupa Gosvami that the chanting of harinama may go on nicely like this.” (from purport)

Narada Muni Bajay Vina
by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

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The Lord’s Omnipotency; Vaibhava-Prakasa

rasa dance

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Here is a new word for your Vaisnava Vocabulary; vaibhava-prakāśa. As I was reading the Krsna Book the other day this word vaibhava-prakāśa just jumped out from the pages, and I was reminded again of the Lord’s omnipotency.

“The Lord’s omnipotency is displayed by His simultaneous presence in every place. He is present always in His eternal abode Goloka Vṛndāvana, and still He is present in everyone’s heart and even within every invisible atom.” (SB 1.9.10 purport)

“The personal form of Kṛṣṇa can be divided into two: svayam-rūpa and svayam-prakāśa. As far as His svayam-rūpa (or pastime form) is concerned, it is in that form that He remains always in Vṛndāvana with the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana. This personal form (svayam-rūpa) can be further divided into the prābhava and vaibhava forms. For instance, Kṛṣṇa expanded Himself in multiple forms during the rāsa dance in order to dance with each and every gopī who took part in forms in order to accommodate His 16,108 wives.

… As far as Kṛṣṇa is concerned, when He manifested Himself in different forms, each and every one of them was a separate individual. When Nārada Muni visited Kṛṣṇa at different palaces at Dvārakā, he was astonished at this,…He wondered how the Lord was present with His queens in each and every one of His 16,108 palaces. With each queen, Kṛṣṇa Himself was in a different form, and He was acting in different ways. In one form He was engaged in playing with His children, and in yet another form He was performing some household work. These different activities are conducted by the Lord when He is in His “emotional” forms, which are known as vaibhava-prakāśa expansions. Similarly, there are other unlimited expansions of the forms of Kṛṣṇa, but even when they are divided or expanded without limit, they are still one and the same. There is no difference between one form and another. That is the absolute nature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” ( Teachings of Lord Chaitanya)

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The Nine Processes of Devotional Service

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Prahlāda Mahārāja said: Hearing and chanting about the transcendental holy name, form, qualities, paraphernalia and pastimes of Lord Viṣṇu, remembering them, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, offering the Lord respectful worship with sixteen types of paraphernalia, offering prayers to the Lord, becoming His servant, considering the Lord one’s best friend, and surrendering everything unto Him (in other words, serving Him with the body, mind and words)—these nine processes are accepted as pure devotional service. One who has dedicated his life to the service of Kṛṣṇa through these nine methods should be understood to be the most learned person, for he has acquired complete knowledge.

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The Glories of Purusottama Month

Purusottama Month begins Saturday, August 18, 2012

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

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

Simplified Recommended Worship for the Purushottama month:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Narada-bhakti-sutra Text 7

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“My dear gopīs, I am not able to repay My debt for your spotless service, even within a lifetime of Brahmā. Your connection with Me is beyond reproach. You have worshiped Me, cutting off all domestic ties, which are difficult to break. Therefore please let your own glorious deeds be your compensation.”

Narada-bhakti-sutra
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Text 7

sā na kāmayamānā nirodha-rūpatvāt

sā—that devotional service in pure love of God; na—not; kāmayamānā—like ordinary lust; nirodha—renunciation; rūpatvāt—because of having as its form.

There is no question of lust in the execution of pure devotional service, because in it all material activities are renounced.

PURPORT

In pure devotional service there is no question of sense gratification. Some people mistake the loving affairs between Kṛṣṇa and the gopīs (cowherd girls) for activities of ordinary sense gratification, but these affairs are not lustful because there is no material contamination. As Rūpa Gosvāmī states in his Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.2.285),

premaiva gopa-rāmāṇāṁ kāma ity agamat prathām
ity uddhavādayo ’py etaṁ vāñchanti bhagavat-priyāḥ

“Although the dealings of the gopīs with Kṛṣṇa are wrongly celebrated by many as lust, great sages and saintly persons like Uddhava hanker for such loving affairs with Kṛṣṇa.” Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja, the author of Caitanya-caritāmṛta, has therefore said,

kāma, prema,—doṅhākāra vibhinna lakṣaṇa
lauha āra hema yaiche svarūpe vilakṣaṇa

“As there is a difference between iron and gold, so there is a difference between material lust and Kṛṣṇa’s loving affairs with the gopīs” (Cc. Ādi 4.164). Although such loving affairs may sometimes resemble material lust, the difference is as follows:

ātmendriya-prīti-vāñchā—tāre bali ‘kāma’
kṛṣṇendriya-prīti-icchā dhare ‘prema’ nāma

“The desire to satisfy one’s own senses is called lust, while the desire to satisfy the senses of Kṛṣṇa is called prema, love of God” (Cc. Ādi 4.165).

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Narada-bhakti-sutra Text 6


Narada-bhakti-sutra Text 6
Translation & Purport by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

TRANSLATION

One who understands perfectly the process of devotional service in love of Godhead becomes intoxicated in its discharge. Sometimes he becomes stunned in ecstasy and thus enjoys his whole self, being engaged in the service of the Supreme Self.

PURPORT

The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.7.10) states,

ātmārāmāś ca munayo nirgranthā apy urukrame
kurvanty ahaitukīṁ bhaktiṁ itthaṁ-bhūta-guṇo hariḥ

“Although those who are ātmārāma, self-satisfied, are liberated from all material contamination, they are still attracted by the pastimes of the Supreme Lord, and thus they engage themselves in His transcendental service.” When Lord Caitanya explained this ātmārāma verse to Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī, He described sixty-one meanings, and all of them point toward the devotional service of the Lord.

How one becomes intoxicated in devotional service is very nicely described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.2.40):

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Narada-bhakti-sutra Text 5


Narada-bhakti-sutra Text 5
Translation & Purport by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

TRANSLATION

A person engaged in such pure devotional service neither desires anything for sense gratification, nor laments for any loss, nor hates anything, nor enjoys anything on his personal account, nor becomes very enthusiastic in material activity.

PURPORT

According to Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, there are six impediments to the discharge of devotional service, and also six activities favorable to progress in devotional service.

The first impediment is atyāhāra, overeating or accumulating more wealth than we need. When we give free rein to the senses in an effort to enjoy to the highest degree, we become degraded. A devotee should therefore eat only enough to maintain his body and soul together; he should not allow his tongue unrestricted license to eat anything and everything it likes. The Bhagavad-gītā and the great ācāryas, or spiritual masters, have prescribed certain foods for human beings, and one who eats these foods eats in the mode of goodness. These foods include grains, fruits, vegetables, milk products, and sugar—and nothing more. A devotee does not eat extravagantly; he simply eats what he offers to the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa. He is interested in kṛṣṇa-prasādam (food offered to the Lord) and not in satisfying his tongue. Therefore he does not desire anything extraordinary to eat.
Similarly, a devotee does not wish to accumulate a large bank balance: he simply earns as much as he requires. This is called yāvad-artha or yuktāhāra. In the material world everyone is very active in earning more and more money and in increasing eating and sleeping and gratifying the senses; such is the mission of most people’s lives. But these activities should be absent from the life of a devotee.

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Narada-bhakti-sutra Text 3

Narada-bhakti-sutra Text 3
Translation & Purport by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

TRANSLATION

This pure love for God is eternal.

Purport

When a person attains to the perfectional stage of love of Godhead, he becomes liberated even in his present body and realizes his constitutional position of immortality. In the Bhagavad-gītā (4.9), the Lord says,

janma karma ca me divyam evaṁ yo vetti tattvataḥ
tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti so ’rjuna

Here the Lord says that any person who simply understands His transcendental activities and His appearance and disappearance in this material world becomes liberated, and that after quitting his present body he at once reaches His abode. Therefore it is to be understood that one who has attained the stage of love of God has perfect knowledge, and even if he may fall short of perfect knowledge, he has the preliminary perfection of life that a living entity can attain.

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Narada-bhakti-sutra Text 2

Narada-bhakti-sutra Text 2
Translation & Purport by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

TRANSLATION

Devotional service manifests as the most elevated, pure love for God.

PURPORT

As stated before, after attaining the highest stage of self-realization, one becomes situated in devotional service to the Lord. The perfection of devotional service is to attain love of God. Love of God involves the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the devotee, and the process of devotional service. Self-realization, the brahma-bhūta stage, is the beginning of spiritual life; it is not the perfectional stage. If a person understands that he is not his body and that he has nothing to do with this material world, he becomes free from material entanglement. But that realization is not the perfectional stage.
The perfectional stage begins with activity in the self-realized position, and that activity is based on the understanding that a living entity is eternally the subordinate servitor of the Supreme Lord. Otherwise, there is no meaning to self-realization. If one is puffed up with the idea that he is the Supreme Brahman, or that he has become one with Nārāyaṇa, or that he has merged into the brahmajyoti effulgence, then he has not grasped the perfection of life. As the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.2.32) states,

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The Process of Devotional Service

Narada-bhakti-sutra
Translation and Purport by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Text One

TRANSLATION

Now, therefore, I will try to explain the process of devotional service.
PURPORT

Devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā, where the Lord says that a self-realized person is always in the transcendental state known as brahma-bhūta, which is characterized by joyfulness. When one is self-realized he becomes joyful. In other words, he is free from the material contamination of lamentation and hankering. As long as we are in material existence, we lament for the losses in our life and hanker for that which we do not have. A self-realized person is joyful because he is free from material lamentation and hankering.

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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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