Appearance Day of Lord Varaha

So today we celebrate the second incarnation of Krsna, Lord Varaha, with a verse from the Srimad Bhagavatam.

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

Kṛṣṇa Is the Source of All Incarnations

First Canto, Chapter Three, Text 7

dvitīyaṁ tu bhavāyāsya
rasātala-gatāṁ mahīm
uddhariṣyann upādatta
yajñeśaḥ saukaraṁ vapuḥ

dvitīyam—the second; tu—but; bhavāya—for the welfare; asya—of this earth; rasātala—of the lowest region; gatām—having gone; mahīm—the earth; uddhariṣyan—lifting; upādatta—established; yajñeśaḥ—the proprietor or the supreme enjoyer; saukaram—hoggish; vapuḥ—incarnation.

TRANSLATION

The supreme enjoyer of all sacrifices accepted the incarnation of a boar [the second incarnation], and for the welfare of the earth He lifted the earth from the nether regions of the universe.

PURPORT

The indication is that for each and every incarnation of the Personality of Godhead, the particular function executed is also mentioned. There cannot be any incarnation without a particular function, and such functions are always extraordinary. They are impossible for any living being to perform. The incarnation of the boar was to take the earth out of Pluto’s region of filthy matter. Picking up something from a filthy place is done by a boar, and the all-powerful Personality of Godhead displayed this wonder to the asuras, who had hidden the earth in such a filthy place. There is nothing impossible for the Personality of Godhead, and although He played the part of a boar, by the devotees He is worshiped, staying always in transcendence.

Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu

Bhagavad-Gita-Original-Art-Pancha-Tattva1

We all have our favorite pictures of Lord Caitanya, I guess this is mine. We have included the Prologue from the Teachings of Lord Caitanya for some insight into the life and activities of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna Chaitanya, who is more magnanimous than any other incarnation, even Krishna Himself, because He is bestowing freely what no one else has ever given pure love of Kṛṣṇa.

“O most munificent incarnation! You are Kṛṣṇa Himself appearing as Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu. You have assumed the golden color of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, and You are widely distributing pure love of Kṛṣṇa. We offer our respectful obeisances unto You.


Teachings of Lord Caitanya
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

Prologue

by Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura

[This account originally appeared in a short work by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura entitled, “Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu: His Life and Precepts.” (August 20, 1896)]

Caitanya Mahāprabhu was born in Māyāpur in the town of Nadia just after sunset on the evening of the 23rd Phālguna 1407 Śakābda, answering to the 18th of February, 1486, of the Christian Era. The moon was eclipsed at the time of his birth, and the people of Nadia were then engaged, as was usual on such occasions, in bathing in the Bhāgīrathī with loud cheers of Haribol. His father, Jagannātha Miśra, a poorbrāhmaṇa of the Vedic order, and his mother, Śacī-devī, a model good woman, both descended from brāhmaṇa stock originally residing in Sylhet. Mahāprabhu was a beautiful child, and the ladies of the town came to see him with presents. His mother’s father, Paṇḍita Nīlāmbara Cakravartī, a renowned astrologer, foretold that the child would be a great personage in time; and he, therefore, gave him the name Viśvambhara. The ladies of the neighborhood styled him Gaurahari on account of his golden complexion, and his mother called him Nimāi on account of the nimba tree near which he was born. Beautiful as the lad was, everyone heartily loved to see him every day. As he grew up he became a whimsical and frolicsome lad. After his fifth year, he was admitted into a pāṭhaśālā where he picked up Bengali in a very short time.

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Vrindavan, India

My wife shared with me some beautiful pictures of the inhabitants of Vrindavan, India she found on Facebook. The photography was excellent, and although I don’t know who took these pictures, I hope there will be no objection to me posting them from my page, and that they will be well recieved. -V

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The Practice of Yoga

The gopis remembered their pastimes with Krishna p208

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This morning as I was making a breakfast offering, and was offering a nice glass of fresh milk, my mind just seemed to go to this picture of Krsna milking a cow. And I thought ‘milk is such a wonderful food, miraculous really. One can live on milk, and as small children milk is all that is required, and as we develop as yogis, we can subsist on the gifts of God, such as fruits, grains and milk, without a need for killing.

The above picture is one of my very favorites from the Krsna Book, because it is so simple and sweet, and there is a noticeable absence of technology.

The following are two verses from the Bhagavad-gita As It Is describing the healthy diet, and activities of the yogi.

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He Lives Forever

This is another great article by my friend Padmapani Prabhu over at the Prabhupada Connection. He expresses exactly my feelings about how Srila Prabhupada remains forever in our hearts and minds through his divine instructions.

“He lives forever by his divine instructions and the follower lives with him.”

He Lives Forever

by Padmapani dasa

Over the years I’ve often received comments from our readers stating how lucky they think the first generation of devotees was to have seen Srila Prabhupada while he was physically present on the planet. “What about us?”, they ask despondently. Startled by hearing such remarks by newcomers who should be brimming with hope and enthusiasm in Krishna consciousness, I try to explain that Srila Prabhupada is, in fact, as present now as he has ever been. Throughout Prabhupada’s books, letters and conversations, he has emphasized this point again and again, so there should be no cause for misunderstanding.

When asked by a reporter in July of 1975 what would happen to the movement after he departed, Srila Prabhupada replied: “I will never die. I shall live from my books, and you will utilize.” And in his purport toCaitanya-caritamrta Adi 1.35, Srila Prabhupada explains: “There is no difference between the spiritual master’s instructions and the spiritual master himself.” Further assuring us, Prabhupada spoke the following words just a few months prior to his departure in 1977: “I will remain your personal guidance, physically present or not physically present, as I am getting guidance from my Guru Maharaja.”

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Srila Prabhupada Chants Hare Krishna

click to listen the the Krishna Consciousness Happening Album

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare

“This Transcendental Sound Vibration is called Bhakti yoga, or the Yoga of Ecstacy. It is easy and can be practiced by anyone. Simply sit down, RELAX, and LISTEN! Listen carefully and gradually you will begin to feel like singing too. SING! As you sing, you will feel like dancing. Dance! Do the ‘Dance of Ecstacy.’ Anyone can. There is no question of learning it. You already know it! Simply raise your arms over your head and dance. RELAX, SING, DANCE. A new life of bliss and Cosmic Consciousness await you on the other side of the mirror of the mind. This life is lived in love and can most easily be reached by SINGING and DANCING. This is Bhaktiyoga, the yoga for a New Age. Try it!” (Happening Album, back cover liner notes)

“Before meeting Prabhupada and all of you, I had bought that album Prabhupada did in New York, and John and I listened to it. I remember we sang it for days, John and I, with ukulele banjos, sailing through the Greek islands chanting Hare Krishna. Like six hours we sang, because we couldn’t stop once we got going. As soon as we stopped, it was like the lights went out. It went on to the point where our jaws were aching, singing the mantra over and over and over and over and over. We felt exalted; it was a very happy time for us.” (George Harrison, Chant and Be Happy)

“It brings a state of ecstasy.” (Allen Ginsberg, New York Times)

Some Noteworthy Quotations on Vegetarianism

This morning I took out one of my favorite cookbooks; “Great Vegetarian Dishes” by Kurma Dasa. There are over 240 recipes from around the world. Kurma Dasa also has a nice web page Cooking With Kurma, and while visiting this nice site I ran across these noteworthy quotes on Vegetarianism we share with you.

“Vegetarian food leaves a deep impression on our nature. If the whole world adopts vegetarianism, it can change the destiny of humankind.” 
Albert Einstein

“There is just no reason why animals should be slaughtered to serve as human diet when there are so many substitutes. Man can live without meat.” 
The Dalai Lama

I have no doubt that it is a part of the destiny of the human race, in its gradual improvement, to leave off eating animals, as surely as the savage tribes have left off eating each other. 
Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854

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Don’t Miss This Golden Opportunity

My good friend over at Prabhupada Connection, Padmpani Prabhu did this nice post this morning. I was so enlivened by reading it, I thought I should share it with all of you. We have this golden opportunity simply by chanting Hare Krishna, and remembering Krishna, to go back home, back to Godhead.

“You have got now the golden opportunity of this human form of life, and it is not accident that you have got your spiritual master, so take advantage by following always in his footsteps and very quickly you will attain the supreme perfection of your life. That is done by trying always to please your spiritual master, being engaged 24 hours in Krishna’s business of spreading this Krishna Consciousness Movement all over the world, helping me however best you are able to do it according to your individual capacity. Then you will be freed from maya’s clutches and go with me back to home, back to Godhead.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter to My dear Sons and Daughters, December 27, 1972)

The Most Successful Indian in America

My wife ran across this on Facebook and shared it with me. After reading it I thought it would make a good post, so I am sharing it with all you you.

At the age of 70 perhaps most of us wold think of retiring in a cozy cottage or in a farmhouse in the serenity of solitude. But this extraordinary persona embarked upon an extra ordinary journey that can be termed as the greatest achievement so far by an Indian in America.

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Can We Keep Society from Going to the Dogs?

Can We Keep Society from Going to the Dogs?

Excerpted from Back to Godhead Magizine 1977, Vol. 12, #1

Many observers feel that with corruption so common and scandal nearly standard, society is in a bad way and getting worse. What’s really happening, and what to do? India’s Bhavans Journal interviews His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

Interviewer: The first question is this: “Is the influence of religion on the wane? And if so, does this factor account for the increase in corruption and the widespread deterioration of moral values?”

Srila Prabhupada: Yes, religion is on the wane. This is predicted in the Srimad-Bhagavatam [12.2.1]: tatas canudinam dharmah satyam saucam ksama dayal kalena balina rajan nanksyaty ayur balam smrtih “In the Kali-yuga [the present age of quarrel and hypocrisy] the following things will diminish: religiosity, truthfulness, cleanliness, mercifulness, duration of life, bodily strength, and memory.”

These are human assets, which make the human being distinct from the animal. But these things will decline. There will be no mercifulness, there will be no truthfulness, memory will be short, and the duration of life will be cut short. Similarly, religion will vanish. That means that gradually we will come to the platform of animals.

Interviewer: Religion will vanish? We’ll become animals?

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Epidemic Disease, and Antiseptic Vaccine

In these troubling times, in the mist of a worldwide pandemic , there is a small glimmer or hope; a vaccine. I know there is much debate over mask wearing, and taking the vaccine, due mostly to political unrest, and conspiracy theories. Even amongst devotees, there is much debate.

However,Srila Prabhupada has given us some instruction in the Bhagavad-gita, chapter 3, text 14, on how we can help protect our health.

…the devotees of the Lord, who are in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, offer food to Kṛṣṇa and then eat-a process which nourishes the body spiritually. By such action not only are past sinful reactions in the body vanquished, but the body becomes immunized to all contamination of material nature. When there is an epidemic disease, an antiseptic vaccine protects a person from the attack of such an epidemic. Similarly, food offered to Lord Viṣṇu and then taken by us makes us sufficiently resistant to material affection, and one who is accustomed to this practice is called a devotee of the Lord. Therefore, a person in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, who eats only food offered to Kṛṣṇa, can counteract all reactions of past material infections, which are impediments to the progress of self-realization. On the other hand, one who does not do so continues to increase the volume of sinful action, and this prepares the next body to resemble hogs and dogs, to suffer the resultant reactions of all sins. The material world is full of contaminations, and one who is immunized by accepting prasādam of the Lord (food offered to Viṣṇu) is saved from the attack, whereas one who does not do so becomes subjected to contamination. (from purport Bg 3.14)

Full text and purport

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Srila Prabhupada on Health

In these trying days of a major worldwide pandemic, many people are concerned now more than ever about their health and safety. This is a nice post I found on the Prabhupada Connection which is a compilation of quotes by Srila Prabhupada on health.

Srila Prabhupada on Health

compiled by; Padmapani das

Srila Prabhupada gave varied instructions about health according to the time, place and circumstances. Prabhupada wasn’t neglectful of his own health or the health of his disciples. In fact, Srila Prabhupada always concluded his letters with: “I hope this meets you in good health.” The underlying principle of Prabhupada’s instructions regarding health was “do the needful” for keeping body and soul together in order to serve Krishna; and if irreversible conditions arise then one should carry on serving Krishna to the best of one’s individual capacity, always depending on His causeless mercy.

“It is important to keep the body fit and healthy so that we will not meet the obstacle of ill health while serving Krishna. Ill health may hinder one’s service, so, we want to avoid it as much as possible.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, June 19, 1975)

“Regarding your physical malady, you should do whatever is required to treat it properly. Whatever is most practical.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, May 7, 1975)

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Dedication

I ran across this nice dedication to Srila Prabhupada while I was visiting one of my favorite web sites Causelessmercy. This site has most of Srila Prabhupada’s pre 1978 books available in addition to music, lectures/conversations, tape transcriptions, links, etc., and represents a great deal of devoted work.

Dedication

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

tvaṁ naḥ sandarśito dhātrā
dustaraṁ nistitīrṣatām
kaliṁ sattva-haraṁ puṁsāṁ
karṇa-dhāra ivārṇavam

“We think that we have met Your Goodness by the will of providence, just so that we may accept you as captain of the ship for those who desire to cross the difficult ocean of Kali, which deteriorates all the good qualities of a human being.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.1.22)

On the order of his spiritual master, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda began translating and writing Vedic literature in the English language to bring the message of Lord Kṛṣṇa to the Western countries. After decades of struggle in India, he came to the West and started the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Later on he created the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, to publish his writings and recordings of his lectures, conversations, etc. The VedaBase has been created so that this great treasurehouse of knowledge may be preserved and propagated and so that all may take advantage of the wisdom and association of the pure devotee of Lord Krishna.

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Entering the Spiritual Worlds

“Everything in the spiritual world is substantial and original. This material world is only an imitation…. It is just like a cinematographic picture, in which we see only the shadow of the real thing.” In this lecture, delivered in October 1966 in New York City, Śrīla Prabhupāda gives an amazing glimpse into the nature of the spiritual world and some positive instructions on how to arrive there at the end of life’s perilous journey.

The Journey of Self-Discovery
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

paras tasmāt tu bhāvo ’nyo
’vyakto ’vyaktāt sanātanaḥ
yaḥ sa sarveṣu bhūteṣu
naśyatsu na vinaśyati

“Yet there is another unmanifest nature, which is eternal and is transcendental to this manifested and unmanifested matter. It is supreme and is never annihilated. When all in this world is annihilated, that part remains as it is.” [Bhagavad-gītā 8.20]

We cannot calculate the length and breadth of even this universe, yet there are millions and millions of universes like this one within the material sky. And above this material sky there is another sky, which is called the spiritual sky. In that sky all the planets are eternal, and life is eternal, also. We cannot know these things by our material calculations, so we must take this information from the Bhagavad-gītā.

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Ages, Kalpas, Yugas, and Time

So today is New Years Day 2021. Hopefully we will all see a better year ahead. But I have given this notion of “Time” some serious thought of late, what with the pandemic, blazing forest fires, flooding, hurricanes, tornadoes, political unrest, etc. As my wife has reminded me many times this last year; ‘its Kali Yuga’ the age of decline, of quarrel and hypocrisy. So today I wanted to post some about Time and the duration of the material universe.

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

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

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

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

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108 Imporant Slokas from the 1972 Bhagavad-gita As It Is

This is the list of 108 of the most important slokas from the Bhagavad-gita As It Is (1972 Macmillan Edition) by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. The index to these verses was taken from the Bhakti-sastri Study Guide compiled by Atmatattva dasa as used by the Bhaktivedanta Academy in Mayapur. [*Note for this collection of slokas, we are using the Original Translations rather than the later re-vised Translations. These were the Translations that Srila Prabhupada approved and which were memorized by heart, by all of the early disciples of His Divine Grace.]

These are important verses for memorizing. Srila Prabhupada has said, that when you quote a verse, your argument becomes authoritative.

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Gita Jayanti; The Advent of Srimad Bhagavad-gita

Krishna and Arjuna

So today is The Advent of Srimad Bhagavad-gita; Gita Jayanti. It is celebrated on the Ekadasi, 11th day of the waxing moon of Margashirsha month (November-December).  I just so happens, that today is also Christmas Day.  So merry Christmas to all.

In honor of this day, Gita Jayntia, we present the Complete 1972 Edition of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami in the PDF format for you to read or save to your computer. Also we include a link to our other page Prabhupadagita Where you can read the entire book online a chapter at a time with the original illustrations.

click on links below:

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Practicing Krishna Consciousness at Home

My wife and I were discussing the other morning how with this pandemic, and now with the recent snow storm, many of us are forced to stay home. We don’t always have the luxury to visit our local church or temple to practice our spiritual life, in association with others. So we are forced by circumstances to practice our spiritual life on our own. Guess that is why it is called “Self Realization”.

Practicing Krishna Consciousness at Home

by Padmapani das

Since the vast majority of our readers are coming to Srila Prabhupada and Krishna Consciousness for the first time through Internet searches, and without access to devotee association or a nearby Hare Krishna temple, many people have inquired about how they can set up an altar in their homes and start practicing Krishna Consciousness at their own pace.

The first and foremost principle of Krishna Consciousness is chanting the Hare Krishnamantra:
“Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ 
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”

This mantra is a prayer to the Supreme Lord which means: “O energy of the Lord (Hare), O all-attractive Lord Krishna, O Supreme Enjoyer (Rama), please engage me in Your service.”

As God and His name are nondifferent from Him and thus all-powerful (“Hallowed be the name of the Lord”), when we chant His holy name sincerely, we are directly associating with Him and we become purified. As we become more advanced in chanting Hare Krishna, we feel God’s presence more and more, and consequently we become automatically happy and satisified on the spiritual platform. Therefore, “Chant Hare Krishna and be happy” is one of our favorite mottos in Krishna Consciousness. Please try it for yourself and see the results. “The proof of the pudding is in the eating.”

In addition, we recommend that you set up an altar in your home to help you focus even more on the Lord and His service. Although many cities in the world now have established temples with elaborate worship and regular programs available to the public, for those unable to attend, Srila Prabhupada recommends the simple process of advancing in spiritual life wherever you may live and in whatever circumstances you may find yourself. Prabhupada has repeatedly said that there are no material impediments to Krishna Consciousness. All that’s required is the sincere desire and effort on your part. “If you take one step towards Krishna, then Krishna will take ten steps towards you.”

Srila Prabhupada once wrote to an aspiring disciple:

“To prosecute Krishna Consciousness there is no limitation, no material impediment can stop progress of Krishna Consciousness. That is the symptom of spiritual life. Spiritual life doesn’t depend on material conditions. 

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Don’t Be A Crazy Fellow…Be Patient and Return Home

Srila Prabhupada

“Be patient and return home. Don’t be a crazy fellow. By and by you will be able to cross the ocean of material existence. You should not make yourself a showbottle devotee and become a false renunciant. For the time being, enjoy the material world in a befitting way and do not become attached to it. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu continued: “Within your heart, you should keep yourself very faithful, but externally you may behave like an ordinary man. Thus Kṛṣṇa will soon be very pleased and deliver you from the clutches of māyā.” (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta: Madhya-lila Chapter 16, Text 237-239)

I have always liked this verse, it is sage advise for anyone practicing spiritual life (self-realization), in this age. “Within your heart, you should keep yourself very faithful, but externally you may behave like an ordinary man.” It is not that everyone who is interested in practicing Krishna Consciousness must artificially renounce the world, shave their head, put on robes, become a nun or monk, and live in a temple. No the instruction is here; “enjoy the material world in a befitting way and do not become attached to it.”

The peace and happiness for which we are all hankering for life after life, moment after moment, we will get when our desires become purified, and dovetailed with the Lord. One who desires sense gratification, the enjoyment of material satisfaction, will never be happy. That is not possible. If you want peace, if you want happiness, if you want perfection in your life, then just begin to dovetail your desires, activities, and potentials with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Then you will see what real happiness is, and can tell who is really crazy.

Full Text and purports

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The Potency of Srila Prabhupada’s Books

Well we are back from our travels and can resume our posting.

One item we found in our email inbox was this nice PDF file “The Potency of Srila Prabhupada’s Books-108 Quotes” Compiled by Vidura Mahatma das.

PDF file courtesy of HareKrsna.org

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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