Talks Between Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Rāmānanda Rāya

Ramananda Raya from Back to Godhead Magazine

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Not only is this one of my most favorite pictures from the Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, but this is one of the most nectarean chapters as well. This is a continuation from our previous post Drops of Nectar, and includes texts 279-289 from chapter eight of the Madhya-lila entitled “Talks Between Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Rāmānanda Rāya”.

Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the reservoir of all pleasure, and Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is the personification of ecstatic love of Godhead. These two forms has combined as one in Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. This being the case, Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu revealed His real form to Rāmānanda Rāya.

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Kṛṣṇa Erects the Dvārakā Fort

Krsna in Battle 2

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I often lament that as a child growing up my hero’s were fictional characters, like Flash Gordan and Superman, without any Krsna Consciousness. And I often think how fortunate are the children who grew up instead with stories from the Krsna Book, or the Mahabharata. With great battle scenes, real drama, and romance. Not just fictional stories but eternal pastimes of the Lord and His devotees. Here is one such example:

…In order to fight with Kṛṣṇa, Jarāsandha surrounded Him from all sides with great military strength, and the sun appeared covered by the cloudy air and dust. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa, the supreme sun, was covered by the military strength of Jarāsandha. Kṛṣṇa’s and Balarāma’s chariots were marked with pictures of Garuḍa and palm trees. The women of Mathurā were all standing on the tops of the houses and palaces and gates to see the wonderful fight, but when Kṛṣṇa’s chariot was surrounded by Jarāsandha’s military force, they became so frightened that some of them fainted. Kṛṣṇa saw Himself overwhelmed by the military strength of Jarāsandha. His small number of soldiers was being harassed by them, so He immediately took up His bow, named Śārṅga.

He began to take His arrows from their case, and one after another He set them on the bowstring and shot them toward the enemy. They were so accurate that the elephants, horses and infantry soldiers of Jarāsandha were quickly killed. The incessant arrows thrown by Kṛṣṇa appeared as a whirlwind of blazing fire killing all the military strength of Jarāsandha.

Wow!

Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead 1970 Edition
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter Fifty

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Radhastami

Srimati Radharani

Dear Srimati Radharani

On this most auspicious day of your appearance, we fall at your beautiful lotus feet, and offer you our most humble obeisances, and pray for your mercy.

One of Your qualities as stated in the 14th chapter of Teachings of Lord Caitanya is; You are always very merciful. Therefore we pray to You: ‘Please continue to engage us in Your service, and in the service of the Lord Sri Krsna’.

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Self Realization in the Age of Kali

By human calculation, a thousand ages taken together is the duration of Brahmā’s one day. And such also is the duration of his night.

…This age of Kali is not at all suitable for self-realization as was Satya-yuga, the golden age, or Tretā- or Dvāpara-yugas, the silver and copper ages. For self-realization, the people in Satya-yuga, living a lifetime of a hundred thousand years, were able to perform prolonged meditation. And in Tretā-yuga, when the duration of life was ten thousand years, self-realization was attained by performance of great sacrifice. And in the Dvāpara-yuga, when the duration of life was one thousand years, self-realization was attained by worship of the Lord. But in the Kali-yuga, the maximum duration of life being one hundred years only and that combined with various difficulties, the recommended process of self-realization is that of hearing and chanting of the holy name, fame, and pastimes of the Lord.

The sages of Naimiṣāraṇya began this process in a place meant specifically for the devotees of the Lord. They prepared themselves to hear the pastimes of the Lord over a period of one thousand years. By the example of these sages one should learn that regular hearing and recitation of the Bhāgavatam is the only way for self-realization. Other attempts are simply a waste of time, for they do not give any tangible results. Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu preached this system of Bhāgavata-dharma, and He recommended that all those who were born in India should take the responsibility of broadcasting the messages of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, primarily the message of Bhagavad-gītā. And when one is well established in the teachings of Bhagavad-gītā, he can take up the study of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam for further enlightenment in self-realization.

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Just Give Them A Chance to Hear About Krishna

…I have not bribed these American and European boys to become Krishna conscious. I have no money. When I went to America, I had only seven dollars. One hour’s expenditure in New York. There is no question of bribing them. But they heard about Krishna. I was reading Bhagavad-gita on the street, in the park, and chanting. They heard, and they came to me. They became attracted. Why?

Just Give Them Chance to Hear About Krishna
Srimad-Bhagavatam Lecture 1.2.17 Vrndavana, October 28, 1972
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah
punya-sravana-kirtanah
hrdy antah-stho hy abhadrani
vidhunoti suhrt satam

Translation: “Sri Krishna, the Personality of Godhead, who is the Paramatma, Supersoul, in everyone’s heart and the benefactor of the truthful devotee, cleanses desire for material enjoyment from the heart of the devotee who relishes His messages, which are in themselves virtuous when properly heard and chanted.”

There is a English proverb that “God helps him who tries to help himself”. That is a English proverb. So to become Krsna conscious is not very difficult thing. People have no taste. They do not understand the importance of this Krsna consciousness movement. But this is the only way by which one can become perfect and happy.

It is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita that just to become happy and peaceful one has to learn three things.

bhoktaram yajna-tapasam
sarva-loka-mahesvaram
suhrdam sarva-bhutanam
jnatva mam santim rcchati

If you want… Because the problem is that we want to be happy and peaceful. Everyone says, “I want peace. There is no peace in my mind.” That is a general understanding. Nobody can say that “I am completely happy and peaceful.” No, that is not possible. The material world is made in such a way that you cannot feel happy. That is not possible. First of all, we have come to this material world to enjoy sense gratification, but that is not our proper business. Our proper business is to satisfy the senses of Krsna, not our senses. So because we have deviated from our original position, therefore it is always a perplexity of our life. But due to illusion we cannot understand it.

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Book Changes

My heart laments with deep sorrow whenever I think of how the Books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami are being changed, and re-edited. But I think Srila Prabhupada has said it best in his introduction to Bhagavad-gita As It Is;

Vedic knowledge is not a question of research. Our research work is imperfect because we are researching things with imperfect senses. We have to accept perfect knowledge which comes down, as is stated in Bhagavad-gītā, by the paramparā disciplic succession. We have to receive knowledge from the proper source in disciplic succession beginning with the supreme spiritual master, the Lord Himself, and handed down to a succession of spiritual masters. Arjuna, the student who took lessons from Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, accepts everything that He says without contradicting Him. One is not allowed to accept one portion of Bhagavad-gītā and not another. No. We must accept Bhagavad-gītā without interpretation, without deletion and without our own whimsical participation in the matter. The Gītā should be taken as the most perfect presentation of Vedic knowledge. Vedic knowledge is received from transcendental sources, and the first words were spoken by the Lord Himself. The words spoken by the Lord are different from words spoken by a person of the mundane world who is infected with four defects. A mundaner 1) is sure to commit mistakes, 2) is invariably illusioned, 3) has the tendency to cheat others and 4) is limited by imperfect senses. With these four imperfections, one cannot deliver perfect information of all-pervading knowledge.( From Introduction to the Bhagavad-gita As It Is)

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The Market Place of the Holy Name

Sri Nagar Kirtana
The Market Place of the Holy Name
By Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur

nadiya-godrume nityananda mahajana
patiyache nam-hatta jivera karana

Nityananda Mahajana so mercifully opened a marketplace in Nadiya-Godruma for the welfare of the suffering souls. In that market place only the Holy Name is traded.

(sraddhavan jana he, sraddhavan jana he)
prabhura ajnay, bhai, magi ei bhiksha
bolo krsna, bhajo krsna, koro krsna-shiksa

What is the price? sraddhavana jana he! sraddhavana jana he! Those who have faith in the Holy Name and faith in the words of sadhu, sastra, guru. This is the price! Faith! Only those persons are allowed to enter that marketplace. They can buy and sell the Holy Name. Sri Nityananda Prabhu requests the faithful persons, those who have developed faith in the Holy Name, to come and take it! Sri Nityananda Prabhu says, ‘This is the order of My Lord! My Prabhu! My Master! Therefore I have come to your doorstep, 0 brother! I am a beggar! I beg for these alms. ‘Utter the name of Krsna! Do krsna-bhajana! Accept what Krishna has taught us!’ These are the alms I am begging from you.

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Sri Damodarastakam as explained by Visnujana Swami / Verse Two

Mother Yasoda bound His belly with ropes, He shivered in fright and His pearl necklace shook.


rudantaḿ muhur netra-yugmaḿ mṛjantam
karāmbhoja-yugmena sātańka-netram
muhuḥ śvāsa-kampa-trirekhāńka-kaṇṭha-
sthita-graivaḿ dāmodaraḿ bhakti-baddham

rudantam–crying; muhuḥ–again and again; netra-yugmam–His two eyes; mṛjantam–rubbing; kara-ambhoja-yugmena–with His two lotus-like hands; sa-ātańka-netram–with very fearful eyes; muhuḥ–again and again; śvāsa–quick breathing and sighing; kampa–trembling; tri-rekhaańka-kaṇṭha–neck marked with three lines (just like a conchshell); sthita–situated; graiva–pearl necklaces and other neck-ornaments; dāma-udaram–unto He with a rope around His belly; bhakti-baddham– who is bound by devotion.

2) Upon seeing His mothers whipping stick, He cried and rubbed His eyes again and again with His two lotus hands. His eyes were fearful and His breathing quick, and as Mother Yasoda bound His belly with ropes, He shivered in fright and His pearl necklace shook. To this Supreme Lord, Sri Damodara, who is bound with His devotee’s love, I offer my humble obeisances.

Purport
The second verse continues describing the lila-visesa. He is crying (rudantam) because He sees the stick in Mother Yasoda’s hand. Perceiving that she may strike Him, He appears fearful, hoping her natural empathy may save Him from punishment. Due to fear, tears are forming in His eyes, so He rubs his eyes with his lotus-like hands in the normal manner of children to wipe away the tears that are beginning to flow.

Then (satanka-netram) His fearful eyes reveal how much He is dreading punishment. It also indicates His glancing here and there in great fear, trying to avoid being punished. The confidential pastime is revealed in this way. Therefore, due to his continual sobbing He is trembling, (muhuh svasa-kampa) and thus, (sthita-graiva) the pearl necklaces and earrings that adorn Him are also shaking.

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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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