Letters by Srila Prabhupada: Chanting, Dancing and Eating Krishna Prasadam

Back to Godhead - Volume 12, Number 0304 - 1977

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…”You write to me that you do not know what is my desire, but my desire is an open secret. I simply want all over the Western countries people may take this simple formula of chanting, dancing and eating Krishna Prasadam, and being happy. I am simply surprised that they should not accept this simple formula and be happy themselves. My only desire is that all people become happy and prosperous in Krishna Consciousness.”
(Srila Prabhupada letter, September 19, 1969)

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George Harrison Interview: Hare Krishna Mantra–There’s Nothing Higher (1982)

George Harrison at peace

George Harrison Interview: Hare Krishna Mantra–There’s Nothing Higher (1982)
This entry is part 3 of 10 in the series The Beatles and Hare Krishna

George: It’s really the same sort of thing as meditation, but I think it has a quicker effect. I mean, even if you put your beads down, you can still say the mantra or sing it without actually keeping track on your beads. One of the main differences between silent meditation and chanting is that silent meditation is rather dependent on concentration, but when you chant, it’s more of a direct connection with God.

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The Beauty of the Lord

RadhaKrishna

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This morning I was just reflecting on how hot the weather has been, and how much all the plants are in need of water. Then, as I was reading the following verses from the Srimad Bhagavatam and I was thinking that we are all in need of Krsna, who is like the rain, and who’s beauty is compared to the dark clouds in the sky.

…After the scorching heat of the summer season, it is very pleasing to see dark clouds in the sky. The Lord wears a peacock feather in His hair, and His bodily complexion is just like a blackish cloud.

…The Lord’s beauty is compared to rainfall because when the rain falls in the rainy season, it becomes more and more pleasing to the people. After the scorching heat of the summer season, the people enjoy the rainy season very much. Indeed, they even come out of their doors in the villages and enjoy the rainfall directly. Thus the Lord’s bodily features are compared to the clouds of the rainy season.

…No one can say that the body of the Lord is wanting in beautiful parts. It is completely pūrṇam. Everything is complete: God’s creation, God’s beauty and God’s bodily features. All these are so complete that all one’s desires can become fully satisfied when one sees the beauty of the Lord. Both materialists and spiritualists can enjoy the beauty of the Lord. Because the Supreme Lord attracts everyone, including demons and devotees, materialists and spiritualists, He is called Kṛṣṇa. (from purport to SB 4.24.45-46)

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Relationship with Spiritual Master

Prabhupada_Classic

This morning I was inspired by a post I happened upon on Prabhupada Connect. I expanded on the post with a few select verses from Srila Prabhupada’s books.

“So far as I am concerned, I have accepted you as my disciple and you have accepted me as your spiritual father. This relationship cannot be ended anymore. It is eternal.” (Srila Prabhupada letter, July 9, 1969)

…The relationship of a disciple with his spiritual master is as good as his relationship with the Supreme Lord. A spiritual master always represents himself as the humblest servitor of the Personality of Godhead, but the disciple must look upon him as the manifested representation of Godhead. (purport to Adi-lila 1.45)

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Krishna Has Descended in the Form of the Krishna Consciousness Movement

Battlefield of Kurukshetra

I was reminded while reading the Srimad Bhagavatam today, that this is an election year.

…rogues and thieves in the guise of protectors arrange for a voting system, and in the name of democracy they come to power by hook or crook and exploit the citizens. Even long, long ago, asuras, persons devoid of God consciousness, became the heads of state, and now this is happening again. The various states of the world are preoccupied with arranging for military strength. Sometimes they spend sixty-five percent of the government’s revenue for this purpose. But why should people’s hard-earned money be spent in this way? Because of the present world situation, Kṛṣṇa has descended in the form of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. This is quite natural, for without the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement the world cannot be peaceful and happy.
( from purport to SB 10.1.17)

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Preface to the Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta

Sri_Caitanya_Caritamrta

This morning I reached for book off the shelve. I was inspired to go to the Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta Vol. 1 of the Ādi-līlā. Don’t know why, I just felt this pulling. So I opened it and began to read from the Preface. In these couple of pages, Srila Prabhupada explaines the entire philosophy of Krishna Consciousness. I was thinking I should just try to memorize these few pages, word for word, and the next time my mind began to wander off into maya, I could reel it back in, by simply remembering these basic instructions that Srila Prabhupada gave us back in 1968.

Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

Preface

There is no difference between the teachings of Lord Caitanya presented here and the teachings of Lord Kṛṣṇa in the Bhagavad-gītā. The teachings of Lord Caitanya are practical demonstrations of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s teachings. Lord Kṛṣṇa’s ultimate instruction in the Bhagavad-gītā is that everyone should surrender unto Him, Lord Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa promises to take immediate charge of such a surrendered soul. The Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is already in charge of the maintenance of this creation by virtue of His plenary expansion, Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, but this maintenance is not direct. However, when the Lord says that He takes charge of His pure devotee, He actually takes direct charge. A pure devotee is a soul who is forever surrendered to the Lord, just as a child is surrendered to his parents or an animal to its master. In the surrendering process, one should: (1) accept things favorable for discharging devotional service, (2) reject things unfavorable, (3) believe firmly in the Lord’s protection, (4) feel exclusively dependent on the mercy of the Lord, (5) have no interest separate from the interest of the Lord, and (6) always feel oneself meek and humble.

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The Vaisnava Journal Free PDF Download

The Vaisnava Journal

Recently my good friend Padmapani Prabhu, sent me this link to his page Prabhupada Connect where he has just posted the Vaisnava Journal in a pdf format. We will be posting all five issues here as well, for our readers, so you can download and save to your computer or just read online. Today we are posting Vol. 1, No. 2 as a free pdf download.

click on link to veiw or save; Vaisnava Journal Vol 1, No. 2

The Vaisnava Journal
by Padmapani das

The Vaisnava Journal was created to help devotees work through our differences in a respectful and co-operative manner with the aim of preserving the loving mood in our spiritual family after the physical departure of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada. Although only five issues were printed and distributed over the next two-and-a-half years, the magazine was popular and well received by many leaders, members and friends of ISKCON.

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More Attractive than the Hymns of the Vedas

gopis

Yesterday, I took a few moments to sit in the sun with a good book. I grabbed a book at random…it was the first Canto, Vol. 3 of the Srimad Bhagavatam. I adjusted my reading glass’s on my face, opened the book at random…and began to read

Absorbed in the thought of the transcendental qualities of the Lord, who is glorified in select poetry, the ladies on the roofs of all the houses of Hastināpura began to talk of Him. This talk was more attractive than the hymns of the Vedas. (SB 1.10.20)

…The ladies, who were all absorbed in the thought and actions of the Lord, developed the consciousness of Vedic wisdom by the grace of the Lord. And therefore although such ladies might not have been very learned scholars in Sanskrit or otherwise, still whatever they spoke was more attractive than the Vedic hymns. (from purport to SB 1.10.20)

…The ladies talking about this Vedic truth must have heard it from authoritative sources. An authoritative source is the only means of knowing about transcendental subject matter definitely. There is no alternative. (from purport to SB 1.10.21)

I was only able to read these two translations and purports before the rains came and I had to flee inside the house…but so moved by these two verses, I have thought of nothing else since. An authoritative source is the only means of knowing about transcendental subject matter definitely. There is no alternative. All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!

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Krishna’s Children

A friend sent me this youtube this morning. A dedication to all Krishna Kids of ISKCON. Very sweet! I used to think these children who took birth in our movement, were the most fortunate people on the planet, and this video seems to indicate that this was so. With the Kuli Mela reunion about to be held at New Vrindaban, just a few short weeks away, it seems it is timely, to focus on the children.

“Our Children are the gift given by the mercy of the Lord, they are delicate. Take care of them with love and devotion by giving them Krishna Consciousness.” (Srila Prabhupada)

They are Vaikuntha Children

Krishna's children

“These children are given to us by Krishna, they are Vaisnavas and we must be very careful to protect them. These are not ordinary children, they are Vaikuntha children, and we are very fortunate we can give them chance to advance further in Krishna Consciousness. That is very great responsibility, do not neglect it or be confused. Your duty is very clear.” (Srila Prabhupada letter, July 30, 1972)

Prahlāda Mahārāja, the Saintly Son of Hiraṇyakaśipu

pralad-hiranyakashipu

Prahlāda Mahārāja, the Saintly Son of Hiraṇyakaśipu

Yesterday was the appearance day of Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva, and at the evening darshana with the Lord, I was reminded of the whole story of Prahlada Maharaja and his demonic father Hiranyakasipu. So I went to the 7th Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam this morning and began to read this wonderful pastime of the Lord and his devotee. I have included in this post, the entire scanned copy of Canto 7, Vol. 1. You can download by following the link below (it will take a few moments to open).

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam
Canto 7, Vol.1 “The Science of God”
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

click the following link to veiw or save the entire scanned copy of SB-07-01-1976

Cover 7.1

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Original 30 Volume Srimad-Bhagavatam Set Available Again!

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Original 30 Volume Srimad-Bhagavatam Set Available Again!

We are delighted to announce that Srila Prabhupada’s original Srimad-Bhagavatam 30 Volume set is back in print.

This new printing includes all the original color plates and the original covers.

The books are beautifully printed on first-class paper and the color plates have come out better than ever before. The size is almost the same as the original Bhagavatam set. The height of the books is about half an inch less. But the size of the text in the books is exactly the same as in the original books.

“This Srimad Bhagavatam is as brilliant as the sun, and it has arisen just after the departure of Lord Krishna to His own abode, accompanied by religion, knowledge, etc. Persons who have lost their vision due to the dense darkness of ignorance in the Age of Kali shall get light from this Srimad Bhagavatam.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.43)

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Connecting with Prabhupada is Connecting with Krishna

Srila-Prabhupada-with-floral-border-small

I saw this photo and post yesterday on the Prabhupada Connect web page. It was such a special photo that I thought we should share it with you all here as well.

“The Lord is seated in the heart of all living beings, and thus, He knows very well the movements of all individual persons. As soon as the Lord finds that a particular soul is very eager to go back to Godhead, the Lord at once sends His bona fide representative. The sincere devotee is thus assured by the Lord of going back to Godhead. The conclusion is that to get the assistance and help of a bona fide spiritual master means to receive the direct help of the Lord Himself.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.19.36, Purport)

The Brahmastra Weapon

nuclear weapon

This morning I was reading from the Srimad Bhagavatam, First Canto, Chapter 7, entitled “The Son of Drona Punished”. This chapter has always intrigued me, because although the Srimad Bhagavatam was compiled by Srila Vyasedeva five thousand years ago, there is mention of the ultimate weapon, the brahmāstra [nuclear weapon] being used. We think that Atomic energy or Nuclear energy is some modern technological advancement, but actually this knowledge has been around since the time that Srimad Bhagavatam was first spoken, many thousands of years ago.

…The brahmāstra is similar to the modern nuclear weapon manipulated by atomic energy. The atomic energy works wholly on total combustibility, and so the brahmāstra also acts. It creates an intolerable heat similar to atomic radiation, but the difference is that the atomic bomb is a gross type of nuclear weapon, whereas the brahmāstra is a subtle type of weapon produced by chanting hymns. It is a different science, and in the days gone by such science was cultivated in the land of Bhārata-varṣa. The subtle science of chanting hymns is also material, but it has yet to be known by the modern material scientists. Subtle material science is not spiritual, but it has a direct relationship with the spiritual method, which is still subtler. A chanter of hymns knew how to apply the weapon as well as how to retract it. That was perfect knowledge. (from purport to SB 1.7.28)

…The theory that the modern atomic bomb explosions can annihilate the world is childish imagination. First of all, the atomic energy is not powerful enough to destroy the world. And secondly, ultimately it all rests on the supreme will of the Supreme Lord because without His will or sanction nothing can be built up or destroyed. It is foolish also to think that natural laws are ultimately powerful. Material nature’s law works under the direction of the Lord, as confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā. The Lord says there that natural laws work under His supervision. The world can be destroyed only by the will of the Lord and not by the whims of tiny politicians. Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa desired that the weapons released by both Drauṇi and Arjuna be withdrawn, and it was carried out by Arjuna at once. Similarly, there are many agents of the all-powerful Lord, and by His will only can one execute what He desires. (from purport to 1.7.32)

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The Spiritual Master of The Hare Krishna Movement

The Hare Krishna Movement

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“I will always be the spiritual master for the entire Krishna consciousness movement; for anyone in this age willing to follow the principles I have given for the benefit of everyone.”

Srila Prabhupada’s Conversation 1975, Ookala, Hawaii

Unnecessary Necessities

prabhupadareading1

The following is a lecture on the Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.5.12-13. Recorded June 11, 1969, New Vrndavana. There is a link at bottom of post, if you want to hear the audio.

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam Lecture 1.5.12-13
By Hiws Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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Balarama Rasayatra & Sri Krsna Vasanta Rasa

Rasa Lila

Last night I noticed that the moon was full, and it reminded me that this must be Balarama Rasayatra, or the night that Lord Balarama danced the Rasa dance with the Gopis. It was also Sri Krsna Vasanta Rasa, the Lord’s springtime rasa lila pastime. We honor these pastimes with a chapter from the Krsna Book, entitled “Lord Balarama Visits Vrndavana”.

…Lord Balarāma could, of course, understand the ecstatic feelings of the gopīs, and therefore He wanted to pacify them. He was expert in presenting an appeal, and thus, treating the gopīs very respectfully, He began to narrate the stories of Kṛṣṇa so tactfully that the gopīs became satisfied. In order to keep the gopīs in Vṛndāvana satisfied, Lord Balarāma stayed there continually for two months, namely the months of Caitra (March-April) and Vaiśākha (April-May). For those two months He kept Himself among the gopīs, and He passed every night with them in the forest of Vṛndāvana in order to satisfy their desire for conjugal love. Thus Balarāma also enjoyed the rāsa dance with the gopīs during those two months. Since the season was springtime, the breeze on the bank of the Yamunā was blowing very mildly, carrying the aroma of different flowers, especially of the flower known as kaumudī. Moonlight filled the sky and spread everywhere, and thus the banks of the Yamunā appeared to be very bright and pleasing, and Lord Balarāma enjoyed the company of the gopīs there.

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Appearance of Lord Ramacandra

Lord Rama

Today we celebrate the appearance of Lord Ramacandra with an all day fast, and hearing of Lord Rama’s pastimes. I went to the Srimad Bhagavatam this morning and did a little reading from the First Canto, Chapter 2 entitled “Kṛṣṇa Is the Source of All Incarnations”, and from the Second Canto, Chapter 7 entitled “Scheduled Incarnations with Specific Functions”. I have included some verses below.

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Canto One, Chapter 2, Text 22

nara-devatvam āpannaḥ
sura-kārya-cikīrṣayā
samudra-nigrahādīni
cakre vīryāṇy ataḥ param

nara—human being; devatvam—divinity; āpannaḥ—having assumed the form of; sura—the demigods; kārya—activities; cikīrṣayā—for the purpose of performing; samudra—the Indian Ocean; nigraha-ādīni—controlling, etc.; cakre—did perform; vīryāṇi—superhuman prowess; ataḥ param—thereafter.

TRANSLATION

In the eighteenth incarnation, the Lord appeared as King Rāma. In order to perform some pleasing work for the demigods, He exhibited superhuman powers by controlling the Indian Ocean and then killing the atheist King Rāvaṇa, who was on the other side of the sea.

PURPORT

The Personality of Godhead Śrī Rāma assumed the form of a human being and appeared on the earth for the purpose of doing some pleasing work for the demigods or the administrative personalities to maintain the order of the universe. Sometimes great demons and atheists like Rāvaṇa and Hiraṇyakaśipu and many others become very famous due to advancing material civilization by the help of material science and other activities with a spirit of challenging the established order of the Lord. For example, the attempt to fly to other planets by material means is a challenge to the established order. The conditions of each and every planet are different, and different classes of human beings are accommodated there for particular purposes mentioned in the codes of the Lord. But, puffed up by tiny success in material advancement, sometimes the godless materialists challenge the existence of God. Rāvaṇa was one of them, and he wanted to deport ordinary men to the planet of Indra (heaven) by material means without consideration of the necessary qualifications. He wanted a staircase to be built up directly reaching the heavenly planet so that people might not be required to undergo the routine of pious work necessary to enter that planet. He also wanted to perform other acts against the established rule of the Lord. He even challenged the authority of Śrī Rāma, the Personality of Godhead, and kidnapped His wife, Sītā. Of course Lord Rāma came to chastise this atheist, answering the prayer and desire of the demigods. He therefore took up the challenge of Rāvaṇa, and the complete activity is the subject matter of the Rāmāyaṇa. Because Lord Rāmacandra was the Personality of Godhead, He exhibited superhuman activities which no human being, including the materially advanced Rāvaṇa, could perform. Lord Rāmacandra prepared a royal road on the Indian Ocean with stones that floated on the water. The modern scientists have done research in the area of weightlessness, but it is not possible to bring in weightlessness anywhere and everywhere. But because weightlessness is the creation of the Lord by which He can make the gigantic planets fly and float in the air, He made the stones even within this earth to be weightless and prepared a stone bridge on the sea without any supporting pillar. That is the display of the power of God.

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History of Diksa Guru in ISKCON 1978-2014

BackTo-Godhead-ISKCON-Initiation

The other day I got a new phone, a smart phone. I wanted to see how smart it was, so I asked it a Question. “Who is Srila Prabhupada” and I was very surprised when it started talking, with authority. It also brought up a Google page with links to various articles. One of the links brought me to this very informative composition on the history of ISKCON. Although I was aware of most of the history, still to see it all written in one place was something. Thank you to Nrsimhananda Prabhu, who did a fine job of putting it all together. We share it with all of you.

History of Diksa Guru in ISKCON 1978-2014
by Nrsimhananda dasa

This is a history of GBC resolutions, gurus approved, gurus suspended, and other key events in ISKCON as specifically related to diksa and siksa gurus. Although compiled carefully over many years, and in consultation with many ISKCON members, some historians and some former members, there are undoubtedly a lot of errors and omissions in this document due to a lack of information. There are especially errors in terms of the specific years that some persons were approved or disapproved to act as diksa guru in ISKCON. Such errors are due to a lack of record-keeping on the part of any official ISKCON body. This is intended to be a public document, for the view of anyone interested in ISKCON history; it is not an internal document.

(Note: most GBC resolutions are here in a summary form; some are in the exact wording).

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A Conversation between A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami & Allen Ginsberg

046_-_BTG_Year-1968_Volume-01_Number-17_Page_01

This morning I was cleaning out one of the sheds, and found this old suitcase filled with cassette tapes. There were some of the old Bhaktivedanta Archive tapes, Golden Avatar tapes, various lectures, bahjans and kirtans. I started to listed to some of the old vintage kirtans and lectures and I was filled with a nostalgic mood of yearning, for the early days of the Hare Krishna Movement. This lead me to re-examine the old Back to Godhead magazine issues. The following is one article I found very reminiscence of those early days.

A Conversation between A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami & Allen Ginsberg
Recorded by Guru Das Adhikary

Swamiji had come to San Francisco in late January, 1967 for the opening of the Krishna Consciousness Temple there, at 518 Frederick Street. Allen Ginsberg had always shown friendly and helpful interest in the Society; and he agreed to attend a giant “Mantra Rock Festival,” which the temple members were planning to hold in the Avalon Ballroom. And so, a few days before that event, the good poet came to early morning Kirtan (7 A. M.), and later joined the Swami upstairs in the apartment his pupils had rented for him.

We were sitting in the glow of this holy man, munching on Indian sweetballs cooked by the Swami, when Allen Ginsberg came through the door, a warm smile on his face.

The Swami offered him a sweetball: “Take.”

They sat in silence for a few moments, radiating mutual love.

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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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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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