Appearance of Lord Vamanadeva

Today we celebrate the Appearance of Lord Vamanadeva, the fifteenth Incarnation, wherin Krsna assumed the form of a dwarf brahmana.  We are posting a lecture given by Srila Prabhupada on Sept 24th, 1972, on the Srimad Bhagavatam telling the story of Bali Maharaja and Lord Vamanadeva.
 “In the fifteenth incarnation, the Lord assumed the form of a dwarf brāhmaṇa, Vāmana, and visited the arena of sacrifice arranged by Mahārāja Bali. Although at heart He was willing to regain the kingdom of the three planetary systems, He simply asked for a donation of three steps of land.”  [SB 1.3.19]
Full lecture

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Radhastami

As we are celebrating the appearance day of Srimati Radharani,  otherwise known as Radhastami, I was reminded of the transcendental qualities of Srimati Radharani.   She has twenty-five transcendental qualities, and She can control even Krsna by them.

 

Her Transcendental qualities are as follows:

 

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The Appearance Day of Srimati Radharani

Today marks the Appearance of Srimati Radharani.  We honor it with a half day fast, puspanjali, discussion on the glories of Srimati Radharani, followed by a feast.
The following are just a few of the many quotes from Srila Prabhupada which encourage us to approach Krishna through the mercy of Srimati Radharani, Krishna’s eternal consort. For those of us who feel that there is no hope of making spiritual progress in this lifetime, Srimati Radharani, Who is compassion personified, kindly comes to our rescue if we can humbly invoke Her divine blessings.
 
tapta-kancana-gaurangi radhe vrndavanesvari
vrsabhanu-sute devi pranamami hari-priye
 
“I offer my respects to Radharani whose bodily complexion is like molten gold and who is the Queen of Vrndavana. You are the daughter of King Vrsabhanu, and You are very dear to Lord Krishna.”
 
(Sri Radha Pranama)
“So this is our philosophy, to please Krishna through Radharani, and just today is the auspicious day of Radharani appearance. So we should offer puspanjali and pray to Radharani that ‘Radharani, kindly be merciful and tell about me to Your Krishna. To Your Krishna. Krishna is Yours.’ Krishna, Radha-Krishna. Krishna is not independent. Krishna is Radharani’s property. So you have to approach Krishna through Radharani. That is, today is the auspicious day. Worship Radharani very nicely and be happy.”
 
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, September 5, 1973)
“The beauty of Srimati Radharani’s eyes forcibly devours the beauty of newly grown blue lotus flowers, and the beauty of Her face surpasses that of an entire forest of fully blossomed lotuses. Her bodily luster seems to place even gold into a painful situation. Thus the wonderful, unprecedented beauty of Srimati Radharani is awakening in Vrindavana.”
 
(Caitanya-caritamrita Antya 1.169)
“I emphatically say to you, O brothers, you will obtain your good fortune from the Supreme Lord Krishna only when Srimati Radharani becomes pleased with you.”
 
(Prayer to the Lotus Feet of Krishna, September 13, 1965)

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The Rare Occasion of a Full Solar Eclipse

 

Today all of North America will be treated to an eclipse of the sun.  I wanted to get some reference from Srila Prabhupada’s books on some historical events that took place during the rare occasion of a full solar eclipse.  One such event took place some 5,000 years ago when Lord Krsna and Balarama meet with the inhabitiants of Vrndabana.

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

Chapter Eighty-two

Lord Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma Meet the Inhabitants of Vṛndāvana

Once upon a time while Lord Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma were living peacefully in Their great city of Dvārakā, there was the rare occasion of a full solar eclipse, such as takes place at the end of every kalpa, or day of Brahmā. At the end of every kalpa the sun is covered by a great cloud, and incessant rain covers the lower planetary systems up to Svargaloka. By astronomical calculation, people were informed about this great eclipse prior to its taking place, and therefore everyone, both men and women, decided to assemble at the holy place in Kurukṣetra known as Samanta-pañcaka.

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Vyasa Puja Homage

 

Today marks The Most Blessed Event:

Sri Vyasa-Puja
The Appearance Day of Our Beloved Spiritual Master.
Om Visnupada Paramahamsa Parvrajakacarya Astottara-sata Sri Srimad A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

We celebrate it with a half day fast, offerings, puspanjali, followed by a Srila Prabhupada Feast

Vyasa Puja Homage
by Vyasasan das

Dear Srila Prabhupada

On this Blessed day, we celebrate your auspicious appearance it this material world.  It is with deep heartfelt gratitude, I offer my humble obeisances at your Divine Lotus feet.

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Krishna Janmastami

Joyous Celebration at Krishna’s Birth

Today we celebrate the birth of Lord Krsna, or Krishna Janmastami, with a full day fast and a feast after his appearance at Midnight tonight. We honor this auspicious day with a post from the Krsna Book.

The joyous vibrations at Krsna’s birth ceremony could be heard in all the pasturing grounds and houses.

 

KRSNA, The Supreme Personality of Godhead
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 5, Meeting of Nanda and Vasudeva

Although Kṛṣṇa was the real son of Vasudeva and Devakī, because of Kaṁsa’s atrocious activities Vasudeva could not enjoy the birth ceremony of his son. But Nanda Mahārāja, the foster father, celebrated the birth ceremony of Kṛṣṇa very joyfully. The next day, it was declared that a male child was born of Yaśodā. According to Vedic custom, Nanda Mahārāja called for learned astrologers and brāhmaṇas to perform the birth ceremony. After the birth of a child, the astrologers calculate the moment of the birth and make a horoscope of the child’s future life. Another ceremony takes place after the birth of the child: the family members take baths, cleanse themselves and decorate themselves with ornaments and garlands; then they come before the child and the astrologer to hear of the future life of the child. Nanda Mahārāja and other members of the family dressed and sat down in front of the birthplace. All the brāhmaṇas who were assembled there on this occasion chanted auspicious mantras, according to the rituals, while the astrologers performed the birth ceremony. All the demigods are also worshiped on this occasion, as well as the forefathers of the family. Nanda Mahārāja distributed 200,000 well decorated, dressed and ornamented cows to the brāhmaṇas. He not only gave cows in charity, but hills of grains, decorated with golden-bordered garments and many ornaments.

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The Transcendental Art of B. G. Sharma

 

Today we are posting some some of the Transcendental Art work of B.G. Sharma.

B. G. Sharma is recognized as the Foremost legendary painter of Indian miniature paintings and religious paintings. He is famous throughout India and abroad for his originality in composition, design, detail and ornamentation, he has influenced and inspired many other artists all around the world.  B.G. Sharma Art Studio

 

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The Perfection of Yoga: Pure Love of Krsna

The Perfection of Yoga: Pure Love of Krsna

excerpted form; Back to Godhead Magazine Volume 10, Number 4, 1975

“Yoga” is a word becoming increasingly familiar top people all over the world. Many are asking, “What is yoga? What does the yoga practitioner seek to achieve? And what is the ultimate goal of yoga?”

A Bhagavata Dharma Discourse—an address on the science of understanding God, delivered in Delhi, India.

By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

This Krsna consciousness movement is the topmost yoga system. You have perhaps read in the Sixth Chapter of Bhagavad-gita, wherein Arjuna declined to accept the hatha-yoga system, the following words of Krsna:

yoginam api sarvesam
mad-gatenantaratmana
sraddhavan bhajate yo mam
sa me yuktatamo matah

“And of all yogis, he who always abides in Me with great faith, worshiping Me in transcendental loving service, is most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all” (Bg. 6.47)

Krsna is known as Yogesvara, the master of all yogis, and if one takes Krsna within his heart, he becomes the topmost yogi.

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Important Instructions in Regard to Constructing Temples and Publishing Books

Important Instructions

The following is an excerpt from the summary for Canto 8, Chapter 1 of the Srimad Bhagavatam, wherein Srila Prabhupada is describing the instructions given to him at Radha Kunda in August of 1935, by his spiritual master His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami.
Summary

First of all, let me offer my humble, respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of my spiritual master, His Divine Grace Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Prabhupāda. Sometime in the year 1935 when His Divine Grace was staying at Rādhā-kuṇḍa, I went to see him from Bombay. At that time, he gave me many important instructions in regard to constructing temples and publishing books. He personally told me that publishing books is more important than constructing temples. Of course, those same instructions remained within my mind for many years. In 1944 I began publishing my Back to Godhead, and when I retired from family life in 1958 I began publishing Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam in Delhi. When three parts of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam had been published in India, I then started for the United States of America on the thirteenth of August, 1965.

I am continuously trying to publish books, as suggested by my spiritual master. Now, in this year, 1976, I have completed the Seventh Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, and a summary of the Tenth Canto has already been published as Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Still, the Eighth Canto, Ninth Canto, Tenth Canto, Eleventh Canto and Twelfth Canto are yet to be published. On this occasion, therefore, I am praying to my spiritual master to give me strength to finish this work. I am neither a great scholar nor a great devotee; I am simply a humble servant of my spiritual master, and to the best of my ability I am trying to please him by publishing these books, with the cooperation of my disciples in America. Fortunately, scholars all over the world are appreciating these publications. Let us cooperatively publish more and more volumes of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam just to please His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura.

 

 

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Srila Prabhupada: The Prominent Link

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

The following is from the first printing of “The Prominent Link” by Dhira Govinda dasa, which I read many years ago. I recently opened the book again just to refresh my memory, and be reminded again the prominent role Srila Prabhupada continues to play in our society. I have included a pfd link at bottom of post so anyone can have access to the entire new printing and supplementing articles. -V

Srila Prabhupada: The Prominent Link
by Dhira Govinda dasa

Many members of Srila Prabhupada’s movement who did not receive formal initiation from him experience Srila Prabhupada as the primary giver of direct transcendental knowledge. This empirical reality forms the basis of recognizing Srila Prabhupada as the prominent link to the parampara. Such a conception is supported by sastric descriptions of the essence of the initiation process, and by the delineation of the parampara described by Srila Prabhupada and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura.

Introduction

This paper presents a framework for understanding Srila Prabhupada’s position that is derived from a comprehension of Srila Prabhupada’s direct and personal relationship with the members of his movement. The central idea is that Srila Prabhupada is the prominent link to the parampara by virtue of being the prime deliverer of transcendental knowledge. We present these ideas in a mood of open-minded discussion and ask that the reader approach the material with a fresh perspective and a willingness to reexamine the issues.

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The Deliverance of Dvivida Gorilla

Today being the Appearance Day of Lord Balarama, we post this nice pastime of Lord Balarama delevering Dvivida gorilla.

…Dvivida was as powerful as 10,000 elephants. Sometimes he would go to the seashore, and with his powerful hands he would create so much disturbance in the sea that he would overflood the neighboring cities and villages. Often he would go to the hermitages of great saintly persons and sages and cause a great disturbance by smashing their beautiful gardens and orchards. Not only did he create disturbances in that way, but sometimes he would pass urine and stool on their sacred sacrificial arena. He would thus pollute the whole atmosphere.

While creating such great disturbance all over the country, sometimes he heard very sweet musical sounds from the Raivataka Mountain, and so he entered that mountainous region. There he saw that Lord Balarāma was present in the midst of many beautiful young girls, enjoying their company while engaged in singing and dancing. He became captivated by the beautiful features of Lord Balarāma’s body, each and every part of which was very beautiful, decorated as He was with a garland of lotus flowers. Similarly, all the young girls present, dressed and garlanded with flowers, exhibited much beauty. Lord Balarāma seemed to be fully intoxicated from drinking the vāruṇī beverage, and His eyes appeared to be rolling in a drunken state. Lord Balarāma appeared just like the king of the elephants in the midst of many she-elephants…

Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter 67

The Deliverance of Dvivida Gorilla

While Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued to speak on the transcendental pastimes and characteristics of Lord Kṛṣṇa, King Parīkṣit, upon hearing him, became more and more enthusiastic and wanted to hear further. Śukadeva Gosvāmī next narrated the story of Dvivida, the gorilla who was killed by Lord Balarāma.

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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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Brahmotsavam 2017

Brahmotsavam 2017

ISKCON of Centeral New Jersey  Plainfield

August 5 @ 3:00 pmAugust 7 @ 9:30 pm

 

This is perhaps my favorite ISKCON center in North America.  There is a nice mood of service and devotion, and everyone there is very friendly.  I would encourage anyone who has not been there to visit next time you are in the area.  Hare Krishna!  -V

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“Our process is so nice anyone can avoid, if he follows”

 

Conversation with Srila Prabhupada

Jan 21 1977

Hari-sauri: So those persons who can’t come up to the standard of the temple life…

Prabhupada: Yes.

Hari-Sauri: …they should remain outside.

Prabhupada: That is above all the guas.

Ramesvara: That’s very rare. That is the most rare.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Ramesvara:  Not every man. You always say it’s not possible for every man.

Prabhupada:  No, that you cannot do. Because you are in the material world, how you can avoid the influence of material qualities? But our process is so nice that anyone can avoid if he follows. There is no difficulty.

Hari-sauri:   But just like in our society we already have so many people who are initiated, but they can’t follow the principles very strictly.

Prabhupada: That’s all right. It will take some time. They’ll do it.

Hari-suari: They just have to be encouraged to keep that association.

Prabhupada: Therefore I stress in every letter, “Chant Hare Krishna at least sixteen times. Follow the principles.” That can be done.(?) This simple method will help. Even if he cannot strictly follow, still, whatever he has done, that is his asset. And it will give me more and more chance. So it is not actually lost.  tyaktva sva-dharmam caranambujam harer (SB.1.5.17)

Hari-sauri:   So we have to give allowances to such people. We have to give allowance?

Prabhupada:   Allowance? It is not allowance, but give him instruction. It is up to him to follow or not to follow.

Hari-sauri:   But we cannot give any compromise.

Prabhupada:   No. This is the way. “But you are not able? All right, take little more time.

Photos by Gurudas: Portraits of Srila Prabhupada

In God We Trust

In God We Trust

 

Yesterday as America celebrated “Independence Day”, a devotee friend texted me saying we should celebrate instead “Dependence Day”.  Depend on Krsna.

The following is a Letter by Srila Prabhupada addressed to the Office of the President of the United States.

In God We Trust

May 9, 1976

 

Personal Secretary to the President

Office of the President of the United States

White House

Washington, D.C.

 

Dear Sir:

On your new $2 note it is stated “In God We Trust,” and directly beneath “Declaration of Independence, 1776.” On the 200th anniversary of this occasion, why not begin teaching the science of God as described in the Vedic literatures, like the Srimad-Bhagavatam, which is authorized and appreciated by all learned professors in the universities throughout the whole world. This Krishna Consciousness Movement is going on since 1966 throughout the whole world, especially in the United States of America. It is a great fortune for the American people that they “Trust in God.” Why shouldn’t this spiritual education be given to the American people in an organized way? The whole world is going down and becoming Godless. If the American people, who trust in God, constitutionally, take this movement seriously, it will be a great service to the human society. We are prepared to cooperate in this connection if the American Government takes it very seriously.

 

Awaiting your reply with interest.

 

Yours sincerely,

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

Letter by Srila Prabhupada to George Harrision

 george-harrison-and-srila-prabhupada

 

February 16, 1970

My Dear George,

Please accept my blessings. I am so much obliged to you for your valued cooperation in spreading my movement of Krishna Consciousness throughout the whole world. I beg to acknowledge receipt herewith of your contribution of $19,000 (nineteen thousand dollars) for publication of my book, Krishna, now going to the press within the week.

Please note that every farthing of this money will be employed in the service of the Lord, and the Lord is so kind and grateful that He will bestow upon you benediction at least ten times more than that you have done for Him. It does not, however, mean that Lord Krishna is like a business man, and He bestows benediction when He is profited by our service. The Lord is full in Himself; He does not require our service, but if we render service unto Him in love and devotion, such action enriches our very existence.

 

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Sri Isopanisad Mantra One

sri-isopanisad1

 

This is a continuation on the Sri Isopanisad (The knowledge that brings one nearer to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna).  It begins with the Invocation and is followed by eighteen mantras and purports by Srila Prabhupada.  The following is mantra one.

 

 

Mantra One

 

īśāvāsyam idam sarvaṁ

yat kiñca jagatyāṁ jagat

tena tyaktena bhuñjīthā

mā gṛdhaḥ kasya svid dhanam

 

īśa—by the Lord; āvāsyam—controlled; idam—this; sarvam—all; yat kiñca—whatever; jagatyām—within the universe;jagat—all that is animate or inanimate; tena—by Him;tyaktena—set-apart quota; bhuñjīthāḥ—you should accept;—do not; gṛdhaḥ—endeavor to gain; kasya svit—of anyone else; dhanam—the wealth.

 

TRANSLATION

 

Everything animate or inanimate that is within the universe is controlled and owned by the Lord. One should therefore accept only those things necessary for himself, which are set aside as his quota, and one should not accept other things, knowing well to whom they belong.

 

PURPORT

 

Vedic knowledge is infallible because it comes down through the perfect disciplic succession of spiritual masters, beginning with the Lord Himself. Since He spoke the first word of Vedic knowledge, the source of this knowledge is transcendental. The words spoken by the Lord are called apauruṣeya, which indicates that they are not delivered by any mundane person. A living being who lives in the mundane world has four defects: (1) he is certain to commit mistakes; (2) he is subject to illusion; (3) he has a propensity to cheat others; and (4) his senses are imperfect. No one with these four imperfections can deliver perfect knowledge. The Vedas are not produced by such an imperfect creature. Vedic knowledge was originally imparted by the Lord into the heart of Brahmā, the first created living being, and Brahmā in his turn disseminated this knowledge to his sons and disciples, who have handed it down through history.

 

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George Harrision and the Devotees

george harrison with devotees

 

This is a classic photo from the early days of the Hare Krishna Movement in England.

In the Spirit of Cooperation

 

In the Spirit of Cooperation

 

Recently there was a post on Dandavats with a letter (at bottom of post) by the BBT Communications Team trying to justify their attempts to stop the distribution of the newly printed Original Srimad-Bhagavatams that Jitarati Prabhu has printed.  I read the article with some interest, just to hear their argument and justification, for trying to stop the distribution of this fine set.  But what was more interesting to me was the nice comment posted by Padmapani Prabhu.

 

His comment is as follows:

 

Hare Krishna Prabhus. Thank you for airing this matter publicly. I’ve been deluged with inquiries from concerned devotees around the world about this conflict and I’d like to get a better understanding of the details so that I can respond accurately. I was under the impression that devotees had reached an amicable agreement after the last court case that KBI (Krishna Books Inc.) could legally print Srila Prabhupada’s original books, so I was surprised and dismayed to learn that there is yet another court case on the horizon. Surely devotees can somehow or other work this out co-operatively between one another without resorting to expensive lawyers and creating even more bad publicity for Srila Prabhupada’s movement.

 

On a personal note, I’d like to mention that I served with Jitarati Prabhu back in the 70’s in both the Winnipeg and Montreal yatras. Due to Jitarati’s leadership and dedication to sankirtana, the Winnipeg temple was consistently number one in distributing Srila Prabhupada’s books for years in the small temple category. Later Jitarati helped to spearhead large-scale collections for remodeling the old church in Montreal which is now the beautiful home of Sri Sri Radha Manohara. Although I haven’t seen Jitarati Prabhu for at least 40 years, I always remember him as a sincere and devoted disciple of Srila Prabhupada.

 

We all have our own slants in Krishna Consciousness, but Srila Prabhupada repeatedly told us that we should try and work together despite our differences. I know from personal experience in publishing a magazine for devotees back in the 80’s (The Vaisnava Journal) that we can get along no matter how far apart we might be on personal or philosophical issues. Devotees of all persuasions and from all camps — including the GBC — were communicating together on the same page, so I know it can be done. Where there’s a will there’s a way.

 

 

Below are but a few of the many quotes from Srila Prabhupada which I hope will remind us all of the bigger picture and our collective duty to His Divine Grace. Thank you for listening.

 

“Now all my disciples must work combinedly and with cooperation to spread this Sankirtan Movement. If you cannot work together then my work is stopped up. Our Society is like one big family and our relationships should be based on love and trust. We must give up the fighting spirit and use our intelligence to push ahead.” (SPL to Upendra, August 6, 1970)

 

“We have so much work to do, we cannot lose our solidarity.” (SPL to Malati, January 7, 1974)

 

“Let us try to work cooperatively, otherwise the fighting spirit will ruin our great movement.” (SPL to Ramesvara, April 10, 1974)

 

“So we have to all cooperate amongst ourselves, otherwise what will people think if we ourselves fight with one another?” (SPL to Patita Uddharan, December 12, 1974)

 

“Everyone should be friendly for the service of the Lord. Everyone should praise another’s service to the Lord and not be proud of his own service. This is the way of Vaisnava thinking, Vaikuntha thinking. There may be rivalries and apparent competition between servants in performing service, but in the Vaikuntha planets the service of another servant is appreciated, not condemned. This is Vaikuntha competition. There is no question of enmity between servants. Everyone should be allowed to render service to the Lord to his best ability, and everyone should appreciate the service of others. Such are the activities of Vaikuntha. Since everyone is a servant, everyone is on the same platform and is allowed to serve the Lord according to his ability.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.5.12, Purport)

 

 

 

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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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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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