Astronomical Calculations

For some reason this Purport from the First Canto of the Srimad-Bhagavatam caught my attention this morning.  I generally do not put much thought into the Zodiac, or stellar influences upon us, or how the laws of nature are controlling us at every moment.  But in this purport by Srila Prabhupada,  he mentions the importance of preforming pious acts to take advantage of good stellar influences.   “Suitable arrangement of astral influences is never a creation of man’s will, but is the arrangement of the superior management of the agency of the Supreme Lord. Of course, the arrangement is made according to the good or bad deeds of the living being. Herein lies the importance of pious acts performed by the living being. Only by pious acts can one be allowed to get good wealth, good education and beautiful features.” (Purport Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.12.12)

Astronomical calculations of stellar influences upon a living being are not suppositions, but are factual, as confirmed inŚrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Every living being is controlled by the laws of nature at every minute, just as a citizen is controlled by the influence of the state. The state laws are grossly observed, but the laws of material nature, being subtle to our gross understanding, cannot be experienced grossly. As stated in the Bhagavad-gītā (3.9), every action of life produces another reaction, which is binding upon us, and only those who are acting on behalf of Yajña (Viṣṇu) are not bound by reactions. Our actions are judged by the higher authorities, the agents of the Lord, and thus we are awarded bodies according to our activities. The law of nature is so subtle that every part of our body is influenced by the respective stars, and a living being obtains his working body to fulfill his terms of imprisonment by the manipulation of such astronomical influence. A man’s destiny is therefore ascertained by the birthtime constellation of stars, and a factual horoscope is made by a learned astrologer. It is a great science, and misuse of a science does not make it useless… (Purport Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.12.12)

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Prabhupada Blesses George Harrison

This is another fine compilation of quotes, in chronological order,  put together by Prabhupada Connection, this time Srila Prabhupada blessing and praising George Harrison.
“When Bhaktivedanta Manor was donated, Srila Prabhupada said of George, ‘Because he has given shelter to Krishna by providing this temple, Krishna will surely provide shelter for him.’ Just before Srila Prabhupada left this world in 1977, he removed the ring on his right hand and said to the disciples around him, ‘This is for George, give it to him.'”

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George Harrison Remembers Prabhupada

George Harrison Remembers Prabhupada
(Srila Prabhupada and George Harrison, London, 1973)
 
“I liked Prabhupada’s humbleness. I always liked his humility and his simplicity The servant of the servant of the servant is really what it is, you know. None of us are God—just His servants. He just made me feel so comfortable. I always felt very relaxed with him, and I felt more like a friend. I felt that he was a good friend. Even though he was at the time seventy-nine years old, working practically all through the night, day after day, with very little sleep, he still didn’t come through to me as though he was a very highly educated intellectual being, because he had a sort of childlike simplicity. Which is great, fantastic. Even though he was the greatest Sanskrit scholar and a saint, I appreciated the fact that he never made me feel uncomfortable. In fact, he always went out of his way to make me feel comfortable. I always thought of him as sort of a lovely friend, really, and now he’s still a lovely friend.”
 
“That was the thing about Prabhupada, you see. He didn’t just talk about loving Krishna and getting out of this place, but he was the perfect example. He talked about always chanting, and he was always chanting. I think that that in itself was perhaps the most encouraging thing for me. It was enough to make me try harder, to be just a little bit better. He was a perfect example of everything he preached.”

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Finding a Genuine Guru

Saw this nice post in my mailbox this morning courtesy of my friend Padmapani Prabhu over at  Prabhupada Connect and thought we would share it with all of you.  The photo is by Mathuranath Prabhu I believe.
Finding a Genuine Guru
Excerpted from Science of Self Realization Chapter 2
Reporter: Have you ever had people come to you who had previously been involved with a fake
guru?
Srila Prabhupada: Yes, there are many.
 
Reporter: Were their spiritual lives in any way spoiled by the fakegurus?
 
Srila Prabhupada: No, they were genuinely seeking something spiritual, and that was their qualification. God is within everyone’s heart, and as soon as someone genuinely seeks Him, He helps that person find a genuine guru.

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Easy Journey to Other Planets

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.

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The Art of B. G. Sharma Krishna’s Childhood Pastimes

Today we are posting a gallery of pictures by one of my favorite Traditional  Indian Artists; B. G. Sharma.  This particular gallery is of Krishna’s childhood pastimes.

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We Should Not Become Sahajiyas

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We Should Not Become Sahajiyās

Prabhupada Connection

This is a nice compalation of quotes by Srila Prabhupada on the class of devotee known as ‘ahajiya’.

“A class of so-called devotees known as prākṛta-sahajiyās sometimes display devotional symptoms to exhibit their good fortune. They are pretending, however, because these devotional features are only external. The prākṛta-sahajiyās exhibit these symptoms to advertise their so-called advancement in love of Kṛṣṇa, but instead of praising the prākṛta-sahajiyās for their symptoms of transcendental ecstasy, pure devotees do not like to associate with them. It is not advisable to equate the prākṛta-sahajiyās with pure devotees. When one is actually advanced in ecstatic love of Kṛṣṇa, he does not try to advertise himself. Instead, he endeavors more and more to render service to the Lord.” (Caitanya-caritāmṛta Antya 20.28, Purport)

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Letter to: All Governing Board Commissioners

Letter to: All Governing Board Commissioners
Honolulu
19 May, 1976
76-05-19

All Governing Board Commissioners

My dear GBC disciples,

Please accept my blessings. Over the past ten years I have given the framework and now we have become more than the British Empire. Even the British Empire was not as expansive as we. They had only a portion of the world, and we have not completed expanding. We must expand more and more unlimitedly. But I must now remind you that I have to complete the translation of the Srimad-Bhagavatam. This is the greatest contribution; our books have given us a respectable position. People have no faith in this church or temple worship. Those days are gone. Of course, we have to maintain the temples as it is necessary to keep our spirits high. Simply intellectualism will not do, there must be practical purification.

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Acting in Krishna Consciousness

 

Sri_Manohara_Montreal

This is perhaps my favorite sloka from the Srimad-Bhagavatam.  It fills me with hope, and helps me to learn patience.

In the Tenth Canto, Fourteenth Chapter, verse 8, it is said;  ‘My dear Lord, any person who is constantly awaiting Your causeless mercy to be bestowed upon him, and who goes on suffering the resultant actions of his past misdeeds, offering You respectful obeisances from the core of his heart, is surely eligible to become liberated, for it has become his rightful claim.’

This statement of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam should be the guide of all devotees. A devotee should not expect immediate relief from the reactions of his past misdeeds. No conditioned soul is free from such reactionary experiences, because material existence means continued suffering or enjoying of past activities. If one has finished his material activities then there is no more birth. This is possible only when one begins Kṛṣṇa conscious activities, because such activities do not produce reaction. Therefore, as soon as one becomes perfect in Kṛṣṇa conscious activities, he is not going to take birth again in this material world. A devotee who is not perfectly freed from the resultant actions should therefore continue to act in Kṛṣṇa consciousness seriously, even though there may be so many impediments. When such impediments arise he should simply think of Kṛṣṇa and expect His mercy. That is the only solace. If the devotee passes his days in that spirit, it is certain that he is going to be promoted to the abode of the Lord. By such activities, he earns his claim to enter into the kingdom of God. The exact word used in this verse is dāya-bhāk. Dāya-bhāk refers to a son’s becoming the lawful inheritor of the property of the father. In a similar way, a pure devotee who is prepared to undergo all kinds of tribulations in executing Kṛṣṇa conscious duties becomes lawfully qualified to enter into the transcendental abode.”

(Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 10)

text pasted from; Prabhupada Connect

Photos by Gurudas

Today we are posting some of the very famous photographs taken by me dear friend and senior God brother Gurudas Prabhu.  Gurudas was well known for his photography and he traveled around the world with Srila Prabhupada taking pictures and writting.  We share some of them with you here today.

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The Importance of Srila Prabhupada’s Books

This is a very nice compilation of quotes by Srila Prabhupada on the importance of reading his books.

The Importance of Prabhupada’s Books
Quotes compiled by Padmapani dasa

“Thank you for reading my books and appreciating them. Please continue to do so. That will help you advance nicely in spiritual life. By reading my books and chanting Hare Krishna, your life will become perfect.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, March 14, 1975)

“Sometimes I become surprised how I have written this. Although I am the writer, still sometimes I am surprised how these things have come. Such vivid description. Where is such literature throughout the whole world? It is all Kṛṣṇa’s mercy. Every line is perfect.” (Srila Prabhupada Conversation, June 28, 1977)

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Senapati Bhakta Srila Prabhupada

Today as we are celebrating the appearance day of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu we are further reminded of the great senapati bhakta Srila Prabhupada who Lord Caitanya foretold would take the sankirtana movement everywhere.

…Lord Caitanya foretold the coming of an empowered devotee who would take the sankirtana process everywhere: “I want to flood the whole world with the chanting of the holy names. I will personally preach and flood India with harinama sankirtana, chanting of the holy names. And My senapati bhakta (great devotee commander) will come, preach in different countries and flood the world with the chanting of Hare Krishna.” This means that, though Sri Caitanya came to establish and spread the process of congregational chanting of Krishna’s names in India, there would be one great devotee who would appear and spread it throughout the world.

Today we honor not only Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu but his empowered devotee as well with this nice biography written by Stephen Knapp (Sri Nandananda dasa).

His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

by Stephen Knapp (Sri Nandanandana dasa)

In the Brahma-vaivarta Purana, in a conversation with Ganga Devi, Lord Krishna describes that after 5,000 years of Kali-yuga have passed, His mantra upasaka, the great sage and worshiper of Krishna’s holy names, will appear and spread the chanting of Krishna’s names (in the form of the Hare Krishna mantra) not only in India but throughout the world. Lord Krishna explains that by the chanting of His holy names the world will become spiritualized and everyone will be hari-bhaktas, engaged in the process of devotion to the Supreme. The purified devotees will visit the holy places and holy rivers of India and will purify them. They will also purify those with whom they come in contact. Thus, Sri Krishna predicted the appearance of a powerful devotee who would spread the chanting of His names worldwide.

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Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu

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Today marks the appearance of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu otherwise known as Gaura Purnima. We will honor it today with a fast till moonrise followed by a feast. The following post is a beautiful biography on Lord Caitanya, written by Stephen Knapp.

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu
by Stephen Knapp

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu [pronounced Chaitanya] (February 27,1486 to 1534 A.D.) was born in Navadvipa, Bengal, on a full moon night during a lunar eclipse. It is typical for people to bathe in the Ganges during an eclipse and chant the Lord’s holy names for spiritual purification. So, everyone in the area was chanting the holy names when He was born. His parents, Jagannatha Misra and Sachidevi, gave Him the name of Vishvambhara, meaning the support of the universe, because astrologers had predicted His super human qualities and that He would deliver the people of the world. He was also nicknamed Nimai because He had been born under a nima tree.

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The Disciplic Succession

Lord Caitanya chanting

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When someone heard the chanting of the holy name from the mouth of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and someone else heard this chanting from that second person, and someone again heard this chanting from the third person, everyone in all countries became a Vaiṣṇava through such disciplic succession. Thus everyone chanted the holy name of Kṛṣṇa and Hari, and they danced, cried and smiled. (Madhya-lila 17. 48-49)

The transcendental power or potency of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra is herein explained. First, the holy name is vibrated by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. When someone hears from Him directly, he is purified. When another person hears from that person, he also is purified. In this way the purification process is advanced among pure devotees. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and no one can claim His potency. Nonetheless, if one is a pure devotee, hundreds and thousands of men can be purified by his vibration. This potency is within every living being, provided he chants the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra offenselessly and without material motives. When a pure devotee chants offenselessly, another person will become a Vaiṣṇava, and from him another Vaiṣṇava will emerge. This is the paramparā system. (Purport)

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Siva Ratri

bangalore_shiva

Today marks the annual festival of Shiva Ratri , in honor of the God Shiva. Although as Vaisnavas or as Krishna bhaktas, we do not participate in the many Hindu festivals, still we honor Lord Shiva as being the greatest yogi (SB. 2.8.20) and as the greatest devotee (SB. 4.24.18). Both Text and purports by Srila Prabhupada follow.

Maha Shivaratri is a Hindu festival celebrated annually in honour of the god Shiva. There is a Shivaratri in every luni-solar month of the Hindu calendar, on the month’s 13th night/14th day, but once a year in late winter (February/March, or Phalguna) and before the arrival of spring, marks Maha Shivaratri which means “the Great Night of Shiva”.

It is a major festival in Hinduism, but one that is solemn and marks a remembrance of “overcoming darkness and ignorance” in life and the world. It is observed by remembering Shiva and chanting prayers, fasting, doing Yoga, and meditating on ethics and virtues such as self-restraint, honesty, noninjury to others, forgiveness, and the discovery of Shiva. The ardent devotees keep awake all night. Others visit one of the Shiva temples or go on pilgrimage to Jyotirlingams. This is an ancient Hindu festival whose origin date is unknown. (text pasted from; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maha_Shivaratri)

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The Glories of Lord Nityānanda Balarāma

lord-nityananda

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Today we celebrate the Appearance of Lord Nityananda with a few select verses from the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi Lila Chapter 5, entitled “The Glories of Lord Nityananda Balarama”.

“Let me offer my obeisances to Lord Śrī Nityānanda, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose opulence is wonderful and unlimited. By His will, even a fool can understand His identity.” (Adi 5.1)

“The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, is the fountainhead of all incarnations. Lord Balarāma is His second body.”
(Adi 5.4)

“That original Lord Kṛṣṇa appeared in Navadvīpa as Lord Caitanya, and Balarāma appeared with Him as Lord Nityānanda.”
(Adi 5.6)

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Who’s Crazy

inauguration-day

For some time now I have been meaning to look up the word Sociopath. Srila Prabhupada has wrriten a very nice essay, which was published in our Back To Godhead Magazine, entitled, “Who Is Crazy” (which is at bottom of post). Today we see leaders and public figures who seem to fit the category of ‘Crazy’, or ‘Sociopathtic’. So I wanted to look into the description of the Sociopth, to get a better understanding.

…The so called democratic government means some of the sudras, rascals without any knowledge of the highest aim of life. By hook and crook they get some votes and get the responsible chair in government. Naturally they can whimsically enact any law which is against the interest of the people in general. (Letter to: Madhudvisa Kenya 15 September, 1971)

Profile of the Sociopath

Pathological Lying Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.

Manipulative and Conning They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an instrument to be used. They may dominate and humiliate their victims.

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Happening Album, 1966

happening_album_back_cover

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Hare Krishna Address

Click Here to listen to Srila Prabhupada’s address in mp3 format

As explained on the cover of the record album, 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 souls we are all originally Krishna conscious entities, but due to our association with matter since 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 over the stringent laws of material nature. This illusory struggle against the material nature can at once be stopped by revival of our Krishna consciousness.

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Everyone Should Be Very Humble

prabhupada-at-tittenhurst-park

With today being the 2017 Presidential Inauguration, this instruction by Srila Prabhupada, “Everyone should be very humble”
seems like timely advice.

Humility means that one should not be anxious to have the satisfaction of being honored by others. The material conception of life makes us very eager to receive honor from others, but from the point of view of a man in perfect knowledge-who knows that he is not this body-anything, honor or dishonor, pertaining to this body is useless. One should not be hankering after this material deception. People are very anxious to be famous for their religion, and consequently sometimes it is found that without understanding the principles of religion, one enters into some group, which is not actually following religious principles, and then wants to advertise himself as a religious mentor. As for actual advancement in spiritual science, one should have a test to see how far he is progressing. He can judge by these items.  (from purport Bhagavad-gita As It Is 13.8-12)

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The Divine and Demoniac Natures

hiranyakashipu

I have read and re-read this chapter many times this election year, and this is a perfect description on the demoniac man.

The demoniac man knows no limit to his desire to acquire money. That is unlimited. He only thinks how much assessment he has just now and schemes to engage that stock of wealth farther and farther. For that reason, he does not hesitate to act in any sinful way and so deals in the black market for illegal gratification. He is enamoured by the possessions he has already, such as land, family, house and bank balance, and he is always planning to improve them. He believes in his own strength, and he does not know that whatever he is gaining is due to his past good deeds. He is given an opportunity to accumulate such things, but he has no conception of past causes. He simply thinks that all his mass of wealth is due to his own endeavor. A demoniac person believes in the strength of his personal work, not in the law of karma. According to the law of karma, a man takes his birth in a high family, or becomes rich, or very well educated, or very beautiful because of good work in the past. The demoniac thinks that all these things are accidental and due to the strength of his personal ability. He does not sense any arrangement behind all the varieties of people, beauty, and education. Anyone who comes into competition with such a demoniac man is his enemy. There are many demoniac people, and each is enemy to the others. This enmity becomes more and more deep—between persons, then between families, then between societies, and at last between nations. Therefore there is constant strife, war and enmity all over the world. (from purport to Bhagavad-gita 16-16)

Arrogance, pride, anger, conceit, harshness and ignorance—these qualities belong to those of demonic nature, O son of Pṛthā. (Bg 16.4)

In this verse, the royal road to hell is described. The demoniac want to make a show of religion and advancement in spiritual science, although they do not follow the principles. They are always arrogant or proud in possessing some type of education or so much wealth. They desire to be worshiped by others, and demand respectability, although they do not command respect. Over trifles they become very angry and speak harshly, not gently. They do not know what should be done and what should not be done. They do everything whimsically, according to their own desire, and they do not recognize any authority. These demoniac qualities are taken on by them from the beginning of their bodies in the wombs of their mothers, and as they grow they manifest all these inauspicious qualities.
(From purport to Bg. 16.4)

Full texts and purports 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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