Srila Prabhupada at the Bhaktivedanta Manor

Srila Prabhupada at  Bhaktivedanta  Manor

Some years back, a devotee friend of mine gave me a disk containing thousands of images of Srila Prabhupada. In one folder containing hundreds of beautiful photos taken at Bhaktivedanta Manor, and titled “Photos by Mathuranath”, I have selected the following and presented them as a slide show. They were obviously all taken at the same time but are not necessarily in any sequential order.

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Great Potential @ New Vrindaban

Bahulavan 021

Utility Building

Utility Building

Ya, I know, it doesn’t look like much now…but it has “Great Potential”

Great Potential @ New Vrindaban
by Vyasasan das

In some of my previous posts entitled Ox Barn Project and the Eco Village I have been chronicling some of the positive changes that are beginning to happen here at the New Vrindaban Farm Community in West Virginia. Although there is so much that needs to be done, some of the improvements that are taking place, are beginning to change the atmosphere, and enliven some of its residents and the locals as well. For too long, New Vrindavan was caught in some kind of ‘time warp’ where things were simply neglected and had fallen into a state of disrepair and abandonment. Roofs were leaking, floors were caving in, post and beams were beginning to rot, and the elements of Nature were reclaiming the land once again.

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Mahatma; Great Soul

Srila Prabhupada with unbrella etc.

This morning I happened upon the above picture of Srila Prabhupada, and my mind immediately thought of the following two verses from the Bhagavad-gita:

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)

Always chanting My glories, endeavoring with great determination, bowing down before Me, these great souls perpetually worship Me with devotion. (Bg 9.14)

…In this verse the description of mahātmā is clearly given. The first sign of the mahātmā is that he is already situated in the divine nature…The mahātmā does not divert his attention to anything outside Kṛṣṇa because he knows perfectly well that Kṛṣṇa is the original Supreme Person, the cause of all causes. There is no doubt about it. Such a mahātmā, or great soul, develops through association with other mahātmās, pure devotees.

…The mahātmā cannot be manufactured by rubber-stamping an ordinary man. His symptoms are described here: a mahātmā is always engaged in chanting the glories of the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead. He has no other business. He is always engaged in the glorification of the Lord. In other words, he is not an impersonalist. When the question of glorification is there, one has to glorify the Supreme Lord, praising His holy name, His eternal form, His transcendental qualities and His uncommon pastimes. One has to glorify all these things; therefore a mahātmā is attached to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (from purports)

I find that for me personally, thinking about Srila Prabhupada is one of the best forms of meditation, is good for my Krishna consciousness, and makes me feel very fortunate to be a part of The Hare Krishna Movement.

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The Cause of All Causes

Narada and Lord Brahma

As we continue to update one of our other sites Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam by posting a chapter at a time, of that great literary work by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, we will continue to share the progress with our readers here at The Hare Krishna Movement.

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam: Canto 2: “The Cosmic Manifestation”
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Canto Two, Chapter 5

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Ramesvara Clears up the Book Changes Issue

ramesvara1

The following article appeared in my mailbox. It was sent to me by Madhudvisa Prabhu, and as I am personally, strongly against the changing of Srila Prabhupada’s beautiful books, this article caught my attention. I like Ramesvara Prabhu and have heard him speak a number of times now on the BBT, his relationship with Srila Prabhupada, book changes, publishing, art work, etc. and not only found his delivery very informative, but very truthful as well. I would highly recomend reading the Interview with Ramesvara if you havn’t already.

Ramesvara-interview-1979

Ramesvara Clears up the Book Changes Issue
by Madhudvisa dasa

Hare Krishna

As you know our relationship with Srila Prabhupada is based on our associaton with him as we read his transcendental books. Srila Prabhupada is living in his transcendental books. The authority of Srila Prabhuapda’s books is lost if they are changed. And unfortunatly the BBT are constantly changing Srila Prabhupada’s books. If you are unfamiliar with this problem please refer to http://www.BookChanges.com

Srila Prabhupada appointed Ramesvara Prabhu as the manager of his Bhaktivedanta Book Trust (BBT) so he was responsible for organizing the printing and distribution of Srila Prabhupada’s original books. Prabhupada gave more direct personal instructions to Ramesvara on book production and distribution than any other devotee.

Fortunately Ramesvara kept a detailed diary and used that diary in an interview for the Prabhupada Lilamrta in 1981. It is because of this diary and the Lilamrta interview that Ramesvara’s memories on Srila Prabhupada’s instructions regarding the publication of his books have been very accurately and authoritatively preserved over the years.

Recently some letters from Ramesvara Prabhu have surfaced on the internet which shed a great deal of light on the book changes issue. Here are a few quotes from these letters.

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The Absolute Necessity of a Spiritual Master—The Universal Teacher

Srila Prabhupadajpg

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The Absolute Necessity of a Spiritual Master—The Universal Teacher
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Founder-Acharya of the world-wide Hare Krishna Movement

In February 1936, in Bombay, India, the members of a reputed religious society, the Gaudiya Matha, were astonished by the powerful and eloquent words of a young member who spoke in honor of his spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami. Three decades later, the young speaker would become the world-renowned founder and spiritual master of the Krishna consciousness movement. Srila Prabhupada’s presentation is a memorable statement on the importance of the guru in spiritual life.

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Bringing People to Srila Prabhupada

Srila Prabhupada on Vyasasana

Recently I was staying at a friends house, and in the room where I was spending the night there was one book by Giriraj Swami entitled “Watering the Seed”. I happened to open it and began reading from the Preface:

…from that first meeting with Srila Prabhupada, my whole life’s purpose became to bring people to meet Srila Prabhupada. And I was able to do that for many years. But when he passed away, I wondered ‘what will be my service now?’. My whole service had been to bring people to Srila Prabhupada.

Now I understand that Srila Prabhupada is always present, and that by speaking of him, hearing about him, remembering him, and, most significantly, by studying his books and following his instructions, we can experience his presence. So I can continue doing what I was doing when he was personally present-introducing soul’s to Srila Prabhupada-and that is what I feel most natural doing. Because I know that somehow or other, if someone comes in touch with Srila Prabhupada, his life will become successful. (Watering the Seed, Preface)

Now, I am always encouraged when I hear my Godbrothers speaking in this way, because this is how I have always felt, and continue to feel. That my main purpose, as a disciple, is to bring people to Srila Prabhupada, and there-by bringing them to Krishna.

Bhakti-latā / Devotional Creeper

Srila Prabhupada preaching to disciples

ckick on image to enlarge

“…If one thinks that there are many pseudo devotees or nondevotees in the Kṛṣṇa Consciousness Society, one can keep direct company with the spiritual master, and if there is any doubt, one should consult the spiritual master. However, unless one follows the spiritual master’s instructions and the regulative principles governing chanting and hearing the holy name of the Lord, one cannot become a pure devotee. By one’s mental concoctions, one falls down… (CC Madhya 19.157 purport)

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Srila Prabhupada The Founder-Acarya of ISKCON

Srila Prabhupada The Founder-Acarya of ISKCON

There is a nice book that was published recently entitled ““Srila Prabhupada: The Founder-Acarya of ISKCON”, written by Ravindra Svarupa Das and published by ISKCON GBC Press.

In our Mission Statement on our About Us Page we have stated;

…”to put it rather simply, we are promoting Srila Prabhupada; The Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, his Original writtings, his teachings, and his instructions for the world.”

So it is with this mind, we share with you this nice publication

click on link to openSrila Prabhupada the FounderAcharya to read or save

Ages, Kalpas, Yugas, and Time

time and space

I was reading about the duration of the material universe this evening, and this whole notion of time, puts presure on my insignificant tiny brain.

…The duration of the material universe is limited. It is manifested in cycles of kalpas. A kalpa is a day of Brahmā, and one day of Brahmā consists of a thousand cycles of four yugas or ages: Satya, Tretā, Dvāpara, and Kali. The cycle of Satya is characterized by virtue, wisdom and religion, there being practically no ignorance and vice, and the yuga lasts 1,728,000 years. In the Tretā-yuga vice is introduced, and this yuga lasts 1,296,000 years. In the Dvāpara-yuga there is an even greater decline in virtue and religion, vice increasing, and this yuga lasts 864,000 years. And finally in Kali-yuga (the yuga we have now been experiencing over the past 5,000 years) there is an abundance of strife, ignorance, irreligion and vice, true virtue being practically nonexistent, and this yuga lasts 432,000 years. (from purport Bg 8.17)

Even if I could grasp the extent of time in the material universe, that is just a fraction of the unlimited eternal time that continues after the termination of the yuga.

…Then the process is set rolling again. These four yugas, rotating a thousand times, comprise one day of Brahmā, the creator god, and the same number comprise one night. Brahmā lives one hundred of such “years” and then dies. These “hundred years” by earth calculations total to 311 trillion and 40 million earth years. By these calculations the life of Brahmā seems fantastic and interminable, but from the viewpoint of eternity it is as brief as a lightning flash. In the causal ocean there are innumerable Brahmās rising and disappearing like bubbles in the Atlantic. Brahmā and his creation are all part of the material universe, and therefore they are in constant flux. (from purport Bg 8.17)

The above calculations Srila Prabhupada uses and I quote; “seems fantastic and interminable, but from the viewpoint of eternity it is as brief as a lightning flash. In the causal ocean there are innumerable Brahmās rising and disappearing like bubbles in the Atlantic.” Wow!

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Chanting the Hare Krishna Mantra

Srila Prabhupada  on Chanting Hare Krishna

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Chanting the Hare Krishna Mantra
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

“This transcendental vibration by chanting of Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, is the sublime method for reviving our Krishna consciousness. As living spiritual soul, we are all originally Krishna conscious entities, but due to our association with matter from time immemorial, our consciousness is now polluted by material atmosphere. In this polluted concept of life we are all trying to exploit the resources of material nature, but actually we are becoming more and more entangled in our complexities. This illusion is called maya, or hard struggle for existence, for winning over the stringent laws of material nature. This illusory struggle against material nature can at once be stopped by revival of our Krishna consciousness.

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Ox Barn Renovation at New Vrindavan

Ox Barn Project at New Vrindavan

Ox Barn Project at New Vrindavan

Ox Barn Renovation at New Vrindavan
by Vyasasan das

Back in August of this year, I began the overwhelming task of rebuilding the barn at New Vrindavan, West Virginia. As you will be able to see from the following pictures, the neglected barn was sadly in a state of disrepair and dilapidation. The building had been completely abandoned and neglected for over twenty years, and was filled with unspeakable garbage and debris. You could say it was a hazard and an eyesore. Actually the building was scheduled to be torn down…but then a remarkable thing happened. Male bulls started being born here at New Vrindavan. One after another, ten in a row, male bulls were appearing and the oxen program was born.

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Conversations with George Harrison

George-Harrison-and-Srila-Prabhupada

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Conversations with George Harrison
London, England – July 26, 1976

Srila Prabhupada: “Are you reading sometimes my books? Which one?”

George Harrison: “Mainly Krsna.”

Srila Prabhupada: “That is the main book.” [laughs)

George Harrison: “Mukunda gave me the new books, but there’s so much to read.”

Srila Prabhupada: “Philosophy.”

George Harrison: “I don’t know how anybody could have written it, it’s is difficult to read all that amount”

Srila Prabhupada: “Sometimes, they are surprised how one man can write so many books, but it is Krsna’ s grace. Otherwise, not possible. Human being, it is not possible.”

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Letter on Initiation

Letter to Hansadutta

I read this letter today, by Srila Prabhupada to Hamsadutta Prabhu, written in 1973, putting in practice, the process of ritvik initiation (although we did not have a name for it then, it was simply how it was done); “…Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated April 7, 1973 and am pleased to accept the following boys and girls as my initiated disciples.

I am also enclosing Gayatri Mantras for the 14 disciples and 10 sacred threads duly chanted upon by me for the men disciples. You show them how to count on the fingers, and let them hear the mantra chanted by me on the tape through the right ear.”

What I find interesting is how devotees today will decry and belittle the Ritvik Process of initiation, but this was how the initiations were performed in the early days of our movement. The majority of disciples, initiated by Srila Prabhupada when he was personally present, received initiation exactly as it was described in above letter. We almost all recieved Ritvik initiation from Srila Prabhupada. I know I did.

Anyway, food for thought.

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Photos by Gurudas

Photos by Gurudas

Walks with Srila Prabhupada in San Francisco

His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada with Disciples

Music by Yamuna

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Photos by Gurudas

Photos by Gurudas

Morning Walks in London

Srila Prabhupada on morning walk in London

Somehow or other, I have a large collection of Photo’s taken by Gurudas Prabhu. It is the first snowy day, and I am inside the house staying warm and looking at this large collection of photos on our computer. It would be remiss of me not to share some of these vintage photos with our readers and visitors to The Hare Krishna Movement. So this will be the beginning of our new series entitled ‘Photos by Gurudas’.

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Srila Prabhupada’s Disappearance Day

 Srila Prabhupada's 2014 disappearance day  Vyasasan 054

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Picture taken before Guru-puja

Today we honored His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada’s disappearance day here at New Vrindavan Farm Community, with beautiful offerings, a Pushpanjali (an offering of flowers) followed by an amazing feast The beautiful Vyasasana decoration was done by Her Grace Lokadrsti devi dasi, with assistance from Hari Nama, Maha Laxmi, and Christine prabhus. More

Sahajiyā

sadhu

Sahajiyā is a word I have been researching lately, trying to come up with a clear understanding of its meaning, and to better understand why Srila Prabhupada has warned us to ‘avoid the association of Sahajiyā’s and Māyāvādīs, and not to become Sahajiyā’. So the following post is the beginning of our research.

Dr. Patel: What is sahajiyā?

Prabhupāda: Sahajiyā… Sahaj means easy. Easy-going. They will smoke cigarette at the same time they will play rasa-līlā. This is sahajiyā. This is sahajiyā. They will do all nonsense; still, they will become God, imitation of God. (Morning Walk Excerpts; May 1, 1974, Bombay)

…One thing, on the invitation card you have written All Glories to Our Guru Maharaja. This is impersonalism. As soon as we offer obeisances to guru, the name should be there. We are strictly personalists. The sahajiya’s, they write Glories to Guru. Why you are learning this impersonalism, who has taught you? Daily I am offering obeisances to my Guru by vibrating his real name, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, otherwise it is impersonal. (Letter to: Bhavananda London 14 July, 1972)

Prabhupāda: These sahajiyās will come out of so many devotees. What can be done? From my Guru Mahārāja’s disciples, so many sahajiyās came. These are called sahajiyās. Very easily they capture thing. So my Guru Mahārāja used to say, “When my disciples will be sahajiyā, it will be more dangerous.”

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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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Radha is the beloved consort of Krsna

Radha Krsna

click on image to enlarge

So today being the appearance day of Srimati Radharani, my mind has been absorbed in thoughts of Radha and Krsna.  It is described that she is the beloved consort of Krsna,   Krsna’s pleasure potency, and the spiritual energy of Krsna.

…Lord Caitanya  requested Rāmānanda Rāya to explain something more:  “What are the transcendental features of Kṛṣṇa and Rādhārāṇī, and what are the transcendental features of the reciprocation of Their feelings, and what is the love between Them? If you kindly describe all this to Me, I will be very much obliged. But for you, no one can describe such things.” (Teachings of Lord Caitanya Chapter 30)

…In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta it is said that when Kṛṣṇa comes before Rādhārāṇī, She becomes so much engladdened by seeing the beauty of Kṛṣṇa that She becomes more beautiful, and as soon as Rādhārāṇī becomes beautiful, Kṛṣṇa becomes engladdened and He becomes more beautiful. So unlimitedly there is competition of becoming more beautiful. That is the state. Competition. Because in the spiritual world everything is unlimited. So unlimitedly both of them becoming beautiful and both of them enjoying unlimitedly.   ((Lecture on SB 1.2.8   New Vrindaban, September 6, 1972)

…Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is a tenderhearted feminine counterpart of the supreme whole, resembling the perfectional stage of the worldly feminine nature. Therefore, the mercy of Rādhārāṇī is available very readily to the sincere devotees, and once She recommends such a devotee to Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Lord at once accepts the devotee’s admittance into His association.  (Srimad-Bhagavatam Canto 2, Chapter 3, Text 23)

…She is Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa divided Himself into His energy and Himself. That energy, original spiritual energy, is Rādhārāṇī. ((Lecture on SB 2.1.1-5   Melbourne, June 26, 1974)

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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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Raja-Vidya the King of Knowledge

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Prayers By Queen Kunti (Slokas)

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Gajendra’s Prayers of Surrender (Slokas)

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