Sailing Back to Godhead

Sailing Back to Godhead 166_-_BTG_Year-1981_Volume-16_Number-06_Page_01

Yesterday I was cleaning out the abandoned barn at Bahulavan, which is now being put back together again, and I found an old issue of Back to Godhead Magazine mixed in with so much debris. I pulled it out, cleaned it off, and added it to my collection of Back to Godhead Magazines. I had always heard of this famous sailing ship, and finally got a chance to see it.

Sailing Back to Godhead
Article excerpted from Back to Godhead Magazine Vol. 16, No. 6, 1981

A teakwood ketch and a devotee’s determination help bring Lord Krsna’s message to the Hawaiian Islands.

“…Krsna consciousness is the only established religion I know of that openly respects all other bonafide religions. My wife and I chant Hare Krsna and read Srila Prabhupada’s books daily. It’s added a dimension to my life that I feel is essential.”

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In the Mood of Srimati Radharani

Ramananda Raya from Back to Godhead Magazine

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Lately, I have been absorbed in reading Sri Caitanya-caritamrta. For me it is a hard book to pick up, but after I begin reading…it is a hard book to put down. Sometimes it seems so esoteric (1 intelligible only to those with special knowledge. 2 intended only for the initiated), but I cannot help but to be thrown into complete and utter awe of the masterful writing, it seems to be Srila Prabhupada’s magnum opus (1 great work of art, literture. 2 the most important work of an artist, writer, etc.). Yes, I have the Oxford Dictionary open on my desk.

The loving affairs of Śrī Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa are transcendental manifestations of the Lord’s internal pleasure-giving potency. Although Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa are one in Their identity, They separated Themselves eternally. Now these two transcendental identities have again united, in the form of Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya. I bow down to Him, who has manifested Himself with the sentiment and complexion of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī although He is Kṛṣṇa Himself. (Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Ādi-līlā 1.5)

The following is a Lecture given on this important verse, and the complete text.

…You cannot understand God, or Kṛṣṇa, without being a faithful servant. This is the secret. And if we become faithful servant under the guidance of proper spiritual master, then we can understand what is Kṛṣṇa, what is Parabrahman, and what is loving affairs with Rādhārāṇī, what is Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu. These things are revealed. It is not acquired by so-called mundane knowledge. That is not possible… So we should always remain faithful servant of Kṛṣṇa. And Kṛṣṇa is within everyone’s heart, and He will be pleased by your service, and then He will reveal Himself, what He is. Otherwise it is not possible. (from Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta Lecture Ādi-līlā 1.5)

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The Secret of Success in Spiritual Life

Srila Prabhupada, Secret of Success in Spiritual Life

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“The Words of the Spiritual Master”
by Ananda devi dasi

“Believing in the words of His Spiritual Master, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu introduced the Sankirtana movement, just as the present Krishna Consciousness movement was started with belief in the words of our Spiritual Master. He wanted to preach, we believed in his words and tried somehow or other to fulfill them, and now this movement has become successful all over the world. Therefore faith in the words of the Spiritual Master and the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the secret of success. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu never disobeyed the orders of His Spiritual Master and stopped propagating the Sankirtana movement.

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami, at the time of his passing away, ordered all his disciples to work conjointly to preach the message of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu all over the world. Later, however, some self-interested, foolish disciples disobeyed his orders. Each one wanted to become head of the mission, and they fought in the courts, neglecting the orders of their Spiritual Master, and the entire mission was defeated. We are not proud of this, however the truth must be explained. We believed in the words of our Spiritual Master and started in a humble way-in a helpless way – but due to the spiritual force of the Supreme Authority, this movement has become successful.” (From the Chaitanya Charitamrita written and presented by Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, Srila Prabhupada Cc Adi 7.95-96)

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Hare Krishna!

Lord Sri Krishna with Cows

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We will be away for a couple of weeks, but leave you with this beautiful image of Lord Sri Krishna and a short book entitled “Prabhupada”

click on link to veiw or save Prabhupada

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Resident of Krishna Loka

Srila Prabhupada

…Unless one is a resident of Krishna Loka, one cannot be a Spiritual Master. That is the first proposition. A layman cannot be a Spiritual Master, and if he becomes so then he will simply create disturbance. And who is a liberated person? One who knows Krishna. It is stated in BG, fourth chapter, anyone who knows Krishna in truth is immediately liberated, and after quitting the present body, he immediately goes to Krishna. That means he becomes a resident of Krishna Loka. As soon as one is liberated he is immediately a resident of Krishna Loka, and anyone who knows the truth of Krishna can become Spiritual Master. That is the version of Lord Caitanya. So to summarize the whole thing, it is to be understood that a bona fide Spiritual Master is a resident of Krishna Loka. (Letter to Mukunda June 10, 1969)

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Captain of the Ship

Srila Prabhupada murti

This morning I saw this image of Srila Prabhupada’s murti while I was surfing on Sampradaya Sun. I like it very much and just wanted to include it here on our page.

…When one wants to cross a large ocean, he requires a strong boat. It is said that this human form of life is a good boat by which one can cross the ocean of nescience. In the human form of life one can obtain the guidance of a good navigator, the spiritual master. One also gets a favorable wind by the mercy of Kṛṣṇa, and that wind is the instructions of Kṛṣṇa. The human body is the boat, the instructions of Lord Kṛṣṇa are the favorable winds, and the spiritual master is the navigator. The spiritual master knows well how to adjust the sails to catch the winds favorably and steer the boat to its destination. If, however, one does not take advantage of this opportunity, one wastes the human form of life. Wasting time and life in this way is the same as committing suicide.

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The Hare Krishna Explosion

055_-_BTG_Year-1969_Volume-01_Number-26_Page_01

The joyful history of a dynamic transcendental movement
Excerpted from the Back to Godhead Magazine 1969 Vol. 1, Number 26

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare vibrates from a walkup temple on New York’s Lower East Side, from the sidewalks of Haight Ashbury, from Golden Gate Park, from a London flat, from student quarters in Hamburg and Amsterdam, from a storefront in Santa Fe, an exbowling alley in Montreal, a sprawling university campus in Ohio, from Old Vrindaban in India to New Vrindaban in the West Virginia mountains, and from Boston and Buffalo to Los Angeles, Seattle and Vancouver and across the Pacific to Hawaii.

Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. The voices chanting the magic vibrations are invariably young. The chanting, accompanied by khartals (small hand cymbals), tambourines and drums, is often loud and frenetic. The dancing is vigorous. The middle-aged and elderly usually stand in doorways or look through windows, watching in amazement, unaware that they are witnessing a process of spiritual realization that has been practiced on this planet for thousands of years. They do not understand. No one really understands. The chanting just spreads. Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna …

The Hare Krishna Explosion
By Hayagriva dasa

Hayagriva dasa

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Fathers Day

Rocking chair clapping

Here in the West people are celebrating Fathers day. So today we honor our our Father with some quotes on Father.

…To accept Kṛṣṇa as father means “My father is there. I have no anxiety.” (Morning Walk — April 26, 1976, Melbourne)

…I am your Spiritual Father, and Krishna is your Spiritual Husband. A girl can never forget either her father or her husband.
(Letter to Jadurani — Stinson Beach, Calif 8 July, 1967)

…The Lord is very kind to the living entities because they are His sons. Lord Kṛṣṇa declares in Bhagavad-gītā, “sarva-yoniṣu…ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā.” “I am the father of all.”

You are the father of this complete cosmic manifestation, the worshipable chief, the spiritual master. No one is equal to You, nor can anyone be one with You. Within the three worlds, You are immeasurable.

You are the Supreme Lord, to be worshiped by every living being. Thus I fall down to offer You my respects and ask Your mercy. Please tolerate the wrongs that I may have done to You and bear with me as a father with his son, or a friend with his friend, or a lover with his beloved. (Bg 11. 43-44)

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Because He Has Got A Little Independence

Srila Prabhupada

The following is a very famous room conversation that took place in 1976. It contains some very important lessons.

Acyutānanda: What prompts the soul to misuse his independence or improperly use…?

Prabhupāda: Because he has got little independence. Yathecchasi tathā, he has got this.

Acyutānanda: Why do some misuse it and some never misuse it?

Prabhupāda: That depends on him. If one is determined that “I shall only act according to the advice of my Guru Mahārāja,” then he’s perfect. One has to submit like Arjuna said, śiṣyas te ‘haṁ śādhi māṁ prapannam [Bg. 2.7]. Otherwise he’ll argue….

Devotee: Even nitya-siddha has guru.

Yaśomatīnandana: Even the liberated soul, nitya-siddha.

Prabhupāda: Liberated soul never says that “I am liberated.” As soon as he says “liberated,” he’s a rascal. A liberated soul will never say that “I am liberated.” That is liberated. Caitanya Mahāprabhu, He is God—guru more mūrkha dekhi’ karila śāsan [Cc. Ādi 7.71]. “My Guru Mahārāja saw Me a fool number one, and he has chastised Me.” He’s God. This is the example. If one remains always a servant ever-lastingly of guru, then he is liberated. And as soon as he thinks that he is liberated, he’s a rascal. That is the teaching of Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Guru more mūrkha dekhi’. Caitanya Mahāprabhu is mūrkha? Why He’s posing Himself that mūrkha? “I am fool number one.” That means that is liberation. You must be ready always to be chastised by guru. Then he’s liberated. And as soon as he thinks that “I am beyond this chastisement, I am liberated,” he’s a rascal. Why Caitanya Mahāprabhu says guru more mūrkha dekhi’ karila śāsan? This is sahajiyā-vāda. He is thinking, “Oh I have become liberated. I don’t require any direction of my guru. I’m liberated.” Then he’s rascal. Why this Gauḍīya Maṭha failed? Because they tried to become more than guru. He, before passing away, he gave all direction and never said that “This man should be the next ācārya.” But these people, just after his passing away they began to fight, who shall be ācārya. That is the failure. They never thought, “Why Guru Mahārāja gave us instruction so many things, why he did not say that this man should be ācārya?” They wanted to create artificially somebody ācārya and everything failed. They did not consider even with common sense that if Guru Mahārāja wanted to appoint somebody as ācārya, why did he not say? He said so many things, and this point he missed? The real point? And they insist upon it. They declared some unfit person to become ācārya. Then another man came, then another, ācārya, another ācārya. So better remain a foolish person perpetually to be directed by Guru Mahārāja. That is perfection. And as soon as he learns the Guru Mahārāja is dead, “Now I am so advanced that I can kill my guru and I become guru.” Then he’s finished. (from room conversation August 16, 1976)

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Harinama Dikska Written Test Question Paper

BackTo-Godhead-ISKCON-Initiation

Harinama Dikska Question Paper

Sometime back, we published the “Harinama Diksha Reference Material and Study Guide“. Today we share with you the “Harinama Dikska Question Paper”. This was put out by the devotees at ISKCON Bangalore, and is very interesting. I won’t say anymore about it now, other than to say it is worth taking a few minutes to ‘take the test’, by answering the few basic questions.

click on following link

Harinam_Diksha_Question_Paper

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Appearance Day of Oṁ Viṣṇupāda Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Mahārāja

Srila Bhaktivinoda holding young Bhaktisiddhanta

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

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

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

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Cleansing of the Heart

Srimad Bhagavatam

A friend of mine was asking me how we could realize Paramātmā or the Lord within the heart? How would I explain it to someone? I immediately thought of the following verses from the Second Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam, and I replied to his question by saying ‘by reading about the glories of the Lord and chanting His names, we can begin to purify our hearts and come to understand through His mercy, the Lord within our hearts’. After getting home and looking up these verses…it was clear I gave him the correct answer.

O greatly fortunate Śukadeva Gosvāmī, please continue narrating Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam so that I can place my mind upon the Supreme Soul, Lord Kṛṣṇa, and, being completely freed from material qualities, thus relinquish this body.

Persons who hear Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam regularly and are always taking the matter very seriously will have the Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa manifested in their hearts within a short time.

The sound incarnation of Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Soul [i.e. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam], enters into the heart of a self-realized devotee, sits on the lotus flower of his loving relationship, and thus cleanses the dust of material association, such as lust, anger and hankering. Thus it acts like autumnal rains upon pools of muddy water. (Srimad Bhagavatam 2.8.3-5)

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The 64 Arts and Sciences

Krsna and Balarama with their teacher Sandipani Muni

The following is an excerpt from Chapter 45 of Kṛṣṇa Book, in which Srila Prabhupada describes that after hearing only once from the teacher, Sandipani Muni, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma learned all the arts and sciences.

…So Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, are the source of all kinds of knowledge, but because They were playing like ordinary human boys, They set the example so that everyone would receive knowledge from the right source. Thus They agreed to take knowledge from a spiritual master.

After hearing only once from the teacher, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma learned all the arts and sciences. In sixty-four days and sixty-four nights They learned all the necessary arts that are required in human society. During daytime They took lessons on a subject from the teacher, and by nightfall, after having heard from the teacher, They were expert in that department of knowledge.

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Letters by Srila Prabhupada

Srila Prabhupada letters

In this letter to Mukunda dasa, Srila Prabhupada answers many relevant questions about the qualifications of a bona fide spiritual master.

My Dear Mukunda,

Please accept my blessings. I thank you very much for your letter of June 3, 1969, and I have noted the contents carefully.

…The answer to your Istagosthi questions are as follows: Unless one is a resident of Krishna Loka, one cannot be a Spiritual Master. That is the first proposition. A layman cannot be a Spiritual Master, and if he becomes so then he will simply create disturbance. And who is a liberated person? One who knows Krishna.

…Your next question, whether the Spiritual Master was formerly a conditioned soul, actually a bona fide Spiritual Master is never a conditioned soul. There are three kinds of liberated persons. They are called 1) sadhan siddha, 2) kripa siddha, and 3) nitya siddha. Sadhan siddha means one who has attained perfection by executing the regulative principles of devotional service. Kripa siddha means one who has attained perfection by the special mercy of Krishna and the Spiritual Master, and nitya siddha means one who was never contaminated. The symptoms of nitya siddha is that from the beginning of his life he is attached to Krishna, and he is never tired of rendering service to Krishna. So we have to know what is what by these symptoms.

…You are correct when you say that when the Spiritual Master speaks it should be taken that Krishna is speaking. That is a fact. A Spiritual Master must be liberated. It does not matter if he has come from Krishna Loka or he is liberated from here. But he must be liberated. The science of how one is liberated is explained above, but when one is liberated, there is no need of distinction whether he has come directly from Krishna Loka or from the material world. But in the broader sense everyone comes from Krishna Loka. When one forgets Krishna he is conditioned, when one remembers Krishna he is liberated. I hope this will clear up these points. I hope this will meet you in good health.

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The Appearance of Śukadeva Gosvāmī

Srila Sukadeva Gosvami and Maharaja Pariksit

Some time ago I started to re-read the Srimad Bhagavatam from the beginning. This morning I finished the first canto. It is with great pleasure I post the final chapter in the First Canto entitled “The Appearance of Śukadeva Gosvāmī”

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Canto 1,Chapter Nineteen

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Anomalies in the Kali Age

Srimad Bhagavatam

The great sage Vyāsadeva saw anomalies in the duties of the millennium. This happens on the earth in different ages, due to unseen forces in the course of time.

The great sages like Vyāsadeva are liberated souls, and therefore they can see clearly past and future. Thus he could see the future anomalies in the Kali age, and accordingly he made arrangement for the people in general so that they can execute a progressive life in this age, which is full of darkness. The people in general in this age of Kali are too much interested in matter, which is temporary. Because of ignorance they are unable to evaluate the assets of life and be enlightened in spiritual knowledge.

…The unmanifested forces of time are so powerful that they reduce all matter to oblivion in due course. In Kali-yuga, the last millennium of a round of four millenniums, the power of all material objects deteriorates by the influence of time. In this age the duration of the material body of the people in general is much reduced, and so is the memory. The action of matter has also not so much incentive. The land does not produce food grains in the same proportions as it did in other ages. The cow does not give as much milk as it used to give formerly. The production of vegetables and fruits is less than before. As such, all living beings, both men and animals, do not have sumptuous, nourishing food. Due to want of so many necessities of life, naturally the duration of life is reduced, the memory is short, intelligence is meager, mutual dealings are full of hypocrisy and so on.

Srimad Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Canto One, Chapter 4, Texts 16, 17-18

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Belief in the Words of Our Spiritual Master

Srila Prabhupada on morning walk

“I firmly believe in these words of My spiritual master, and therefore I always chant the holy name of the Lord, alone and in the association of devotees. That holy name of Lord Kṛṣṇa sometimes causes Me to chant and dance, and therefore I chant and dance. Please do not think that I intentionally do it. I do it automatically. (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 7.95-96)

A person who cannot keep his faith in the words of his spiritual master but acts independently never receives the authority to chant the holy name of the Lord. (from purport)

This is one of my favorite verses from the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, and the purport here is one of the most important lessons in spiritual life. Namely, success in spiritual life is faith in the words of the spiritual master and following his instructions. Thereby receiving his blessings. If one receives the blessings of his spiritual master he can chant the holy name of the lord constantly.

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Approaching a Bona Fide Guru

Srila Prabhupada with books

The following is chapter four in our series on the Teaching of Lord Kapila entitled “Approaching a Bona Fide Guru”. This is a nice chapter for anyone who is serious about receiving spiritual knowledge, and interested to know the process. We are fortunate in this age to have the books of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada to guide us. Human knowledge was originally preserved through oral tradition, but today we have this knowledge preserved in the books of His Divine Grace.

Any person who seriously desires to achieve real happiness must seek out a bona fide spiritual master… (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 11.3.21)

…A bona fide guru does not impart some self-styled, concocted knowledge; his knowledge is standard and received from the paramparā system. He is also firmly fixed in the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead (brahma-niṣṭham). These are his two qualifications: he must have heard the Vedic knowledge through the disciplic succession, and he must be established in service to the Supreme Lord.

Teachings of Lord Kapila, the Son of Devahūti
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter Four

Approaching a Bona Fide Guru

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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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The Most Blessed Event; Sri Vyasa-puja

Srila Prabhupada

The Most Blessed Event: Sri Vyasa-puja
by Vyasasan das

Dear Srila Prabhupada,

On this most blessed and auspicious day, the celebration of your appearance; Sri Vyasa-puja

Please let me offer my respectful obeisances:

om ajñāna-timirāndhasya jñānāñjana-śalākayā
cakṣur unmīlitaṁ yena tasmai śrī-gurave namaḥ

I offer my respectful obeisances unto you, for you have opened my eyes, which were blinded by the darkness of ignorance, with the torchlight of knowledge.

It is impossible to guarantee the authenticity of the emotions of a conditioned soul such as myself, but I think that I can honestly say, that in this lifetime, I have never loved anyone more than I love you.

And what is this love?

This love is simply the realization that in this life you are my dear most friend, my ever well wisher, my teacher and spiritual master, and above all my constant companion.

Yes my constant companion.

People, friends, family, loved ones have come and gone throughout the course of my life, but you have remained the one constant in my entire adult life.

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Previous Older Entries

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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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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