Janmāṣṭamī; Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s Appearance Day Lecture

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Today, being Janmastami, we thought we should include a lecture given by Srila Prabhupada on Janmastami. The following lecture given on August 16, 1968, in Montreal Canada, is very sweet and reminiscent of how this society grew in a very personal and organic way. With Srila Prabhupada inviting his students and guests to speak on their realizations of Krsna, and Krsna Consciousness.

…So today is that auspicious day, Janmāṣṭamī, when Lord Kṛṣṇa appeared five thousand years ago in India, Mathurā. Those who are Indian ladies and gentlemen present, they know very well where is Mathurā. It is about ninety miles south of New Delhi. Mathurā is still existing and it is eternally existing. Kṛṣṇa appeared in Mathurā in His maternal uncle’s house in a very precarious condition. That birthplace, Lord Kṛṣṇa’s birthplace, is now maintained very nicely. One who goes to India, they see.

So anyway, Lord Kṛṣṇa appeared on this planet five thousand years ago. Now Kṛṣṇa says, janma karma me divyam [Bg. 4.9]. Divyam means “not ordinary.” It should not be understood just like we take our birth. Kṛṣṇa does not take his birth like us.

…So we shall invite today to speak about Kṛṣṇa from our students, as well as all the members who are present here. So I shall request Janārdana to speak something about his realization of Kṛṣṇa. (pause) All right. Let him speak.

Full Lecture More

Photos by Gurudas

From time to time, I like to post some of the old photos from Gurudas Prabhu’s camera. He was one of the first ISKCON photographers and took many of the famous and beautiful pictures of Srila Prabhupada. The following were from Parikama with Srila Prabhupada in India.

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Padayatra

padayatra

Last evening we had the good fortune to spend it with Lokanath Swami at a home program here in New Vrindaban. He spoke for 2 1/2 hours on village life, simple living-high thinking, the padayatra, how he joined the Hare Krishna Movement, meeting Srila Prabhupada, and ending it with a very moving account about Srila Prabhupada’s final request to go on parikrama in a bullock cart. Then in summary, hw spoke about Srila Prabhupada’s last desire to travel to all the holy places of pilgrimage, and the continuation of the Padayatra program Srila Prabhupada wanted.

“…However in the evening of the 14th of November, Srila Prabhupada left this mortal world. Some days after his departure, in order to fulfill his last desire, the devotees performed parikrama on Govardhana Hill with a bullock cart, carrying a portrait of their eternal well-wisher. Thousands of disciples and followers of Srila Prabhupada participated in this last procession. Something to deeply think about Only a few days before his departure, Srila Prabhupada wanted to go on pilgrimage with a bullock cart. Every moment of Prabhupada’s life had a purport that is meant to teach us some lesson. It is something for his followers to deeply think about, especially since traveling on a bullock cart was one of Prabhupada’s last desires, as well as to visit the holy places of pilgrimage. The Padayatra idea remained dormant for the next seven years, but then in 1984, at the advent of the 500th anniversary of the appearance of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the GBC requested Lokanath Maharaja to be the leader of an all-India Padayatra party that would travel from Dvaraka, Gujarat to Mayapur, West Bengal.”

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Srila Prabhupada

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Srila Prabhupada

At various times people have called him a scholar, a philosopher, a cultural ambassador, a prolific author, a religious leader, a spiritual teacher, a social critic, and a holy man. In truth, he was all these things and more.

Over five hundred years ago, Lord Sri Krishna appeared as Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in Navadvipa, a village in West Bengal. The purpose of His appearance was to inaugurate the Sankirtana Movement, the Yuga Dharma for this age of Kali. He declared that the chanting of His holy names would spread beyond the shores of India to every town and village in the world. He predicted that His commander-in-chief would appear to accomplish this mission.

Yes… Srila Prabhupada appeared to fulfill this prophecy.

On September 01, 1896, the day after Janmashtami (the auspicious appearance day of Lord Sri Krishna) in a little house in the Tollygunge suburb of Calcutta, a male child was born. His father, Gour Mohan De, and his mother Rajani, named him Abhay Charan (one who is fearless – having taken shelter at the lotus feet of Lord Krishna).

An astrologer prepared the horoscope for the baby and revealed: When this child reaches the age of seventy, he will cross the ocean, become a great teacher of religion and establish 108 Krishna temples.

And this is exactly what happened.

Srila Prabhupada set out to America in 1965 and established the International Society for Krishna Consciousness at the age of sixty-nine. He travelled around the world fourteen times, established more than 100 temples of Krishna and initiated more than 10000 disciples into Krishna consciousness.

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Lord Sri Krishna

Lord Sri Krsna by Muralidhara dasa

“I Have No Capacity to Repay You”

 

Mohana-Madhuri

“I Have No Capacity to Repay You”
by Yadurani Devi Dasi
Excerpted from Back to Godhead Magazine
Vol. 26, No. 2, 1992

Srila Prabhupada placed great spiritual value on the sometimes crude paintings of ISKCON’s first artists.

TWENTY-SIX SECOND AVENUE, New York City, 1967: Govinda Dasi had recently painted Srila Prabhupada’s quarters—blue walls with gold borders. His desk was his trunk from India. He sat on second-hand mats donated by his disciples.

Prabhupada showed me a beautiful print of Radha and Krsna with the eight principal gopis, standing together in the moonlight in a garden in the Vrndavana forest. He wanted me to copy the scene onto a large canvas.

Prabhupada told me that the gopis in the picture had Bengali beauty because they’d been painted by a Bengali artist. The flowers at Krsna’s feet didn’t seem very clearly painted to me. They looked like colored blobs. I asked Prabhupada what kind of flowers I should paint. “You can take any flower and transport it to Vrndavana,” he answered.

“What color should I paint Krsna’s eyes?” I asked. Sometimes we read that Krsna’s eyes are red.

“They are reddish, reddish black,” he said.

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In the Age of Kali-yuga… There is Still One Good Thing…

We all have our favorite quotes and slokas from the pages of Srila Prabhupada’s books. One of mine is the following:

“My dear King, although Kali-yuga is full of faults, there is still one good quality about this age. It is that simply by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, one can become free from material bondage and be promoted to the transcendental kingdom.” (Bhāg. 12.3.51)

Srila Prabhupada quotes this partictular verse from the Bhagavatam many times in his lectures, conversations, books etc., for instance:

“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.”

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Easy Journey to Other Planets

Easy Journey to Other Planets
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

It is said that the perfect yogi can relinquish his body at death and journey, at the speed of mind, to antimaterial planets far beyond the limits of the material universe. Encompassing the systems of sankhya, astanga and bhakti, this absorbing publication treats the science of yoga, particularly in its application to out-of-body travel.

Easy Journey to Other Planets was one of the earliest small books available at the onset of The Hare Krishna Movement.  The following is a link for a free download of  the original edition that Srila Prabhupada printed in India before he ever came to the USA.  Just click on link at bottom of post.

From the Preface of the book:

A living being, especially civilized man, has a natural desire to live forever in happiness. This is quite natural because, in his original state, the living being is both eternal and joyful. However, in the present conditioned state of life, he is engaged in a struggle against recurring birth and death. Therefore he has attained neither happiness nor immortality.

The latest desire man has developed is the desire to travel to other planets. This is also quite natural, because he has the constitutional right to go to any part of the material or spiritual skies. Such travel is very tempting and exciting because these skies are full of unlimited globes of varying qualities, and they are occupied by all types of living entities. The desire to travel there can be fulfilled by the process of yoga, which serves as a means by which one can transfer himself to whatever planet he likes–possibly to planets where life is not only eternal and blissful, but where there are multiple varieties of enjoyable energies. Anyone who can attain the freedom of the spiritual planets need never return to this miserable land of birth, old age, disease and death.

One can attain this stage of perfection very easily by his individual effort. He can simply follow, in his own home, the prescribed method of bhakti-yoga. This method, under proper guidance, is simple and enjoyable. An attempt is made herein to give information to the people in general, and to philosophers and religionists in particular, as to how one can transfer oneself to other planets by this process of bhakti-yoga-the highest of all yogic processes.

 

click on link for a free download of original;  Easy-Journey-to-Other-Planets-Original-India-SP-edition-scan

The Hare Krishna Record

…I am very glad to know that George is interested in recording some Krishna Consciousness album, and it is very happy news. I request you and, through you, your friends, George and John, to make a nice Hare Krishna record sung by the most popular Beatles and assisted by our devotees. That will be very nice. I have all encouragement for you for this purpose. Try to make this Hare Krishna Movement popular through any source that is possible. That is our business. (from Srila Prabhupada letter to Syamasundara das June 29, 1969)

…Regarding the Beatles, if they chant the Hare Krishna Mantra, give them all facilities. Because if they make some Hare Krishna record, that will be widespread, and we want simply that the Hare Krishna Mantra may be very popular all over the world. We do not care for any profit out of it. We should not try to make a profit out of the Hare Krishna Mantra; then our spiritual enlightenment will be hampered. (from Srila Prabhupada letter to Mukunda das July 2, 1969)

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s Disapearance Day

Today marks the disapearance day of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur. We honor it with a half day fast and the posting on one of his many beautiful songs.

When, oh when, will that day be mine?
When my offenses ceasing,
taste for the name increasing,
when in my heart will your mercy shine?
When, oh when will that day be mine?

Lower than a blade of grass, more tolerant than a tree.
When will my mind attain this quality?
Respectful to all, not expecting their honour, then shall I taste the name’s nectar sublime.
When oh when will that day be mine?

Kabe Ha’be Bolo (Invocation of the Holy Name)
by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

For complete lyrics and translation More

Pleasing Srila Prabhupada by reading his books

Reading Srimad Bhagavatam

By Gauridas Pandita Prabhu

Vrndavan India June 1977. I used to take Srila Prabhupada’s paraphernalia to translate his books up to the rooftop before sundown every evening. Part of the roof was covered and part was open and there is an inside room also and a bathroom. Srila Prabhupada would come up just at about sunset to start his translation work for the night.

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Speaking About Varnasrama Volume 1

speaking about varnasrama

A friend of mine recently shared a book with me that I found most interesting. This first volume, Speaking about Varnasrama, focuses on Srila Prabhupada’s actual spoken conversations and lectures about varnasrama. This post includes a brief descprition of Srila Prabhupada taken from back cover of book, as well an the table of contents.

It can be ordered from the site Exoitc India

It is a good book for anyone interested in the Varnasrama System and Farm Community Development.

Speaking About Varnasrama Volume 1

His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

Compiled by Hare Krsna-devi dasi
Edited by Suresvara-dasa

Published by The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust

About the Author
In this work, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the foremost Vedic scholar and teacher of the modern age, and author of than sixty volumes of authoritative annotated translations and summary studies of the philosophical and religious classics of India, presents a vision of a spiritual society. Criticizing a mode society based on industrialism, materialism, and a callous disregard for the workers who support it, Srila Prabhupada calls for a spiritualized•social structure. Citing Bhagavad-gita, he advocates varnasrama, dharma, a social institution in which people gain spiritual satisfaction and spiritual advancement by doing their daily work as an offering to God.

Though his vision is based on Vedic scriptures of India, Prabhupada faults the modern caste system as a perversion of scriptural injunction. But India is not alone, he states, for materialistic social structures around the world impede spiritual progress. Thus, in the forty conversations, lectures, and interviews in this volume, we hear him present a society where occupations are determined by character and training, not by birth and wealth; a society based on opportunity and maximizing human potential rather than on stagnancy and oppression; one based on mutual appreciation and cooperation between classes rather suspicion and disdain. We hear about a society which is inclusive rather than exclusive, a society based on simple living and high thinking rather than on wealth and greed. Above all, van, uarnasrama society Prabhupada describes is consciously organized to bring each kind of person closer to the actual goal human life, attaining a loving relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krsna.

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prabhupadagita.com

Bhagavad-gita “As It Is” Original 1972 Edition
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

I built this site: Bhagavad-gita “As It Is” Original 1972 Edition some years ago as a supplement to this page. I have recently taken a closer look at it, upgraded it to eliminate the pop up adds, and changed the domain name.

The new domain name is prabhupadagita.com and should be free from adds.

Actually I remember being very excited years ago when I first created this page, as it made available Srila Prabhupada’s original Bhagavad-gita “As It Is” 1972 edition, with a very simple user friendly format, and all the original pictures. I never really promoted it, other than as a link from my site The Hare Krishna Movement. But in retrospect I think with a few minor changes to the domain name and a minor upgrade, I think it might possibly have some useful value for today’s cell phone, and tablet users.

I would welcome any visitors and appreciate any feedback or suggestions. You can contact me at vyasasan@gmail.com

Thanks
Vyasasana dasa

Spiritual Advancement – The Simple Method

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Spiritual Advancement – The Simple Method
by Padmapani Prabhu

Sometimes it appears very difficult to make advancement in Krsna consciousness, and we become impatient. If we expect immediate results and they aren’t forthcoming, we can easily become discouraged. For those of us who are unable to live in a temple (or even near a temple), this is especially true. So what’s the solution?

In November of 1969, while speaking in London’s Conway Hall, Srila Prabhupada stated the following:

“The process is very simple. Just keep a picture of Lord Caitanya with His associates. Lord Caitanya is in the middle, accompanied by His principal associates — Nityananda, Advaita, Gadadhara, and Srivasa. One simply has to keep this picture. One can keep it anywhere. It is not that one has to come to us to see this picture. Anyone can have this picture in his home, chant this Hare Krsna mantra, and thus worship Lord Caitanya. That is the simple method. But who will capture this simple method? Those who have good brains. Without much bother, if one simply keeps a picture of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu at home and chants Hare Krsna, then one will realize God. Anyone can adopt this simple method. There is no expenditure, there is no tax, nor is there any need to build a very big church or temple. Anyone, anywhere, can sit down on the road or beneath a tree and chant the Hare Krsna mantra and worship God. Therefore it is a great opportunity.”

In this brief statement, Srila Prabhupada underlines the simplicity and accessibility of Krsna consciousness for everyone. Nothing fancy is required. Srila Prabhupada says here that one simply has to chant Hare Krsna, and keep a picture of Lord Caitanya and His associates (Sri Panca-Tattva) in his or her home. “That is the simple method,” he declares. But who will take to it? “Those who have good brains.”

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A Sankirtan Story

locanananda

The following is a very nice story which appeared as a Back to Godhead Magazine Article back in 1998. It was written by Locanananda dasa and he recounts the true events that occurred while out chanting on a hot summers day, in the streets of New York City.

Near Death While Out Chanting
by Locanananda Dasa
Excerpted from Back to Godhead Magazine 1998 Vol. 32, No. 2

Devotees are ready to take risks to assist the Lord in His mission
“All Glories to Sri Krsna sankirtana, the chanting of the holy names of the Lord,” Yajna Purusa Dasa and I recite as the D train makes its way toward midtown Manhattan. “Sankirtana cleanses the heart of all the dust accumulated for years …”
We’re leading a party of twenty-five enthusiastic devotees to Fifth Avenue, where Lord Jagannatha’s Rathayatra parade will take place in just a few days. More and more devotees have been arriving daily from all over the country to attend the festival, and our kirtana party is becoming more powerful and impressive. Jaded New Yorkers who have “seen it all” cannot help but notice our ecstatic chanting and dancing. The holy name is entering their hearts.

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The evidence is in: Raw milk actually boosts immunity, prevents infections

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The following article was emailed to me from a devotee friend which he took from the web page “naturalnews.com In addition I have posted chapter 23 of “The Teachings of Queen Kunti” entiled “Natural Prosperity”. Milk is an important and beneficial requirement to a healthy diet and human prosperity.

…Human prosperity flourishes by natural gifts and not by gigantic industrial enterprises. The gigantic industrial enterprises are products of a godless civilization, and they cause the destruction of the noble aims of human life…For real peace and tranquillity and a sufficient supply of milk, water, and everything else we need, we simply have to depend on Kṛṣṇa. (Teachings of Queen Kuinti Chapter 23 “Natural Prosperity”)

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would like us all to believe that raw milk is a flaming health hazard with the potential to cause a national disaster. What could be more toxic than raw food, right? That must be what is making our nation sick – not the over-consumption of genetically-modified, pesticide-laden foodstuffs.

However, a recent study published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology has shown that consuming raw milk will not, in fact, be a death sentence.

Researchers, doctors and other medical professionals from across Europe joined forces to investigate the effects of consuming raw milk, and revealed that raw milk isn’t just non-toxic, but also yields some impressive health benefits!

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Spiritual Master Is with You by His Words

Spiritual Master Is with You by His Words

Devotee: Sometimes this question comes up, with the devotees especially, that it says the devotee makes advancement when the spiritual master is pleased. Right? So sometimes the spiritual master is far, far away. He may be in Los Angeles. Somebody is coming to Hamburg temple. He thinks, “How will the spiritual master be pleased?”

Prabhupada: Just follow his order. Spiritual master is along with you by his words. Just like my spiritual master is not physically present, but I am associating with him by his words.

Devotee: And Krishna knows that; therefore we make advancement. He is sitting in our heart. He knows what we’re doing. So He sees, “He’s serving My pure devotee,” immediately there is advancement.

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The Appearance Day of Lord Nityananda

Today marks the appearance day of Lord Nityananda. We honor it with a half day fast and rememberances of Lord Nityananda’s glories and pastimes. The following is a song written by Srila Narottama dasa Thakura with purport by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

Nitai-Pada-Kamala
The Lotus Feet of Lord Nityananda
By Srila Narottama dasa Thakura
Purport By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

nitai-pada-kamala, koti-chandra-susitala,
je chayay jagatu juray
heno nitai bine bhai, radha-krsna paite nai,
dridha kori’ dharo nitair pay

The lotus feet of Sri Nityananda are as cool as millions of moons. The whole universe gets peace by the shade of those lotus feet. Without the mercy of Sri Nityananda, nobody can get Radha and Krishna, the aim of human life. Therefore, catch hold of the two lotus feet of Sri Nityananda Prabhu very tightly.

se sambandha nahi ja’r, britha janma gelo ta’r,
se pashu bodo durachara
nitai na bolilo mukhe, majilo samsara-sukhe,
vidya-kule ki koribe tara

One who has not established a relationship with Sri Nityananda is a two-legged animal. A great beast! His whole life is finished. He cannot be called a human being. He never utters the name of Sri Nityananda. He is always immersed in enjoying material happiness and has forgotten Sri Nitai. He may have acquired all material scholarship and learning, but what is the value of such education? This will never help.

ahankare matta hoiya, nitai-pada pasariya,
asatyere satya kori mani
nitaiyer karuna habe, braje radha-krsna pabe,
dharo nitai-charana du’khani

They are so puffed up with their mundane education and scholarship. They are never humble at all. They have forgotten the lotus feet of Sri Nitai because of their false ego and pride. They are completely under the clutches of Maya. They accept the untruth as truth. If Sri Nityananda showers His mercy upon someone, he will get Sri Sri Radha Krishna in Vrajabhumi. So catch hold of the two lotus feet of Lord Nityananda very tightly.

nitaiyer carana satya, tanhara sevaka nitya,
nitai-pada sada koro asha
narottama bodo dukhi, nitai more koro sukhi,
rakho ranga-charanera pasha

The lotus feet of Sri Nityananda are eternally true. And those followers or servants of those lotus feet of Sri Nityananda are also eternal. Always aspire for the lotus feet of Sri Nityananda. Srila Narottama dasa Thakura says, “I am very distressed, and an unhappy person. I am drowning in this dreadful ocean of material exis­tence. O Sri Nityananda Prabhu, please make me very happy! Please keep me at Your lotus feet.”

Purport by Srila Prabhupada More

The Appearance Day of Advaita Acarya

Today marks the appearance day of Advaita Acarya. We honor it with a half day fast and a reading of the Sixth Chapter from the Adi-lila of the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Full chapter follows:

The truth of Advaita Ācārya has been described in two different verses. It is said that material nature has two features, namely the material cause and the efficient cause. The efficient causal activities are caused by Mahā-Viṣṇu, and the material causal activities are caused by another form of Mahā-Viṣṇu, known as Advaita. That Advaita, the superintendent of the cosmic manifestation, has descended in the form of Advaita to associate with Lord Caitanya. When He is addressed as the servitor of Lord Caitanya, His glories are magnified because unless one is invigorated by this mentality of servitorship one cannot understand the mellows derived from devotional service to the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa.

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Please Accept My Blessings

“As far as my blessing is concerned it does not require my physical presence. If you are chanting Hare Krishna there and following my instructions, reading the books, taking only Krsna prasadam etc., then there is no question of your not receiving the blessings of Lord Caitanya whose mission I am humbly trying to push on.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter June 30, 1974)

full letter More

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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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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A Short Statement of the Philosophy of Krishna Consciousness

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July 9th Letter

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The Hare Krishna Explosion

Reference Material/Study Guide

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