Sri Guru Is Present In All Things

Sri Guru Is Present In All Things

by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada

Question 1: Are genuine saints (sadhus) respected in this world?

Answer: In a world full of duplicity, only duplicitous persons are honoured. Genuine saints, who do not lead the masses along the wrong path, are not respected in this world. In modern times, simply getting cheated by those who mislead the masses through a pretentious form of spiritual discourse has somehow emerged as the religion of the age (yuga-dharma). And because the true saints wish to expose wicked and unholy persons (asadhus), those same unholy cheaters bewilder the masses by condemning the true saints as unholy, duplicitous and thieves themselves in a ploy to secure their escape. The illusory potency of the Lord, maya, never allows the jivas to be sincere (niskapata) and to that end she has even devised various expert strategies for depriving the jivas of the association of genuine sadhus.

 Question 2: Is it possible to have darsana of the Supreme Lord without first having darsana of sri guru?

Answer: Definitely not. Sri guru is the fully transcendent (aprakrta) temple of Sri Bhagavan, and Bhagavan always resides within that temple. Bhagavan Sri Krsna, who is controlled by love, manifests Himself within sadhu-guru and remains there always. It is written in the scriptures: srutim apare smrtim itare bharatam anye bhajantu bhava-bhitah aham iha nandam vande yasyalinde param brahma Padyavali (126) Others may serve the Srutis, Smrtis, the Mahabharata and other scriptures, fearing material existence, but I shall worship Nanda Maharaja, who is so great that the Supreme Brahman, the Absolute Truth Himself, plays in his courtyard. Many people present themselves as being highly eager to have darsana of Bhagavan, but they do not understand that darsana of Bhagavan is only possible through darsana of guru. Without having darsana of sri guru, having darsana of Bhagavan is not even imaginable. Even bhakti herself does not begin to manifest if the entity known as sri guru is not present. Sri guru is the sole medium by which we are connected to Sri Krsna and given direct audience of His lotus feet. And the way Sri Krsna demonstrates His infinite mercy is by sending the greatest Vaisnavas, His dear-most servants, to this world. Indeed, sri guru is the personification of Krnsa’s infinite mercy. Only he who teaches us about serving the Deity and the Holy Name is sri gurudeva. It is not sufficient to serve sri guru only with awe and reverence from a distance. We must serve sri guru with intimacy, that is, with deep love and faith (visrambha guru-seva), just as Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami intimately served Sri Svarupa Damodara Prabhu.

Question 3: What will happen to me if I forget sri guru?

Answer: The moment I deviate from sri guru, the moment I become forgetful of he who keeps me attracted to his lotus feet at every single moment, I will, without a doubt, diverge from the Truth. And when I am thus separated from sri guru, countless misgivings and deficiencies will engulf me. I shall simply spend my time bathing when I’m hot and bundling up when I’m cold. In other words, I will become more anxious to arrange for my own comfort than to serve sri gurudeva. If at the beginning of every year, every month, every day and every moment, I do not remember my gurudeva, who saves me from absorption in that which has no connection to my constitutional nature or are separate from krsna-bhakti, then I will definitely fall into greater and greater difficulty. I will try to present myself as guru and will be swallowed up by the ill-mentality of believing that others should worship me as such. This alone is dvitiya abhinivesa – infatuation with the worthless purposes of our unnatural state. To come and offer guru-puja just for one day is insufficient. It is our duty to serve gurudeva at every moment.

 Question 4: Who sees shortcomings in the Vaisnavas?

 Answer: Only those who are averse to hari-bhajana, and who are purely dependent on their material senses – their eyes, ears, nose and so on – which are doomed to perceive only the external aspect of things, look for faults in the Vaisnavas. In Srimad Bhagavad-gita, Sri Krsna has declared that a devotee of the Lord is never touched by inauspiciousness; he never perishes – na me bhaktah pranasyati (Srimad Bhagavad-gita 9.31). How can those who are engaged in exclusive bhajana of the Lord ever become degraded? Verily they attain only the greatest welfare. Because my vision is imperfect, I see faults in others. Thus I am unable to attain my own welfare. If I become completely dependent on the observations and perceptions of my senses, then I will be deprived of service to Adhoksaja – the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is beyond the reach of the senses – and I will be deprived of service to sri gurudeva. It is because of my own dismal state that I allow my mind to happily dwell on the misfortune of others. I am only so attracted to finding faults in others because I myself am full of faults. If I am able to achieve my own welfare, then no time will remain for seeing faults in others.

Question 5: Is sri guru present in everything?

 Answer: Yes. The acaryas who comprise our asraya-jatiya guru-varga* are present in various forms in order to bestow mercy upon us. All these forms are manifestations of sri gurudeva himself – he who imparts transcendental knowledge (divya-jnana). The image of the jagad-guru is reflected in various idealistic entities. My sri gurudeva is being reflected in every entity. The visaya-jatiya aspect of Krsna (Krsna as the object of love) is one half of the Absolute Reality. The other half is the asraya-jatiya aspect (wherein love of God takes shelter). The completeness of the Absolute Reality exists in the variegatedness of the transcendental pastimes of these two aspects. The complete perception of the visaya-jatiya aspect is Sri Krsna, and the complete perception of the asraya-jatiya aspect is my sri gurudeva. The transcendental reflection of the asraya-jatiya aspect in all the conscious cosmic manifestation is the manifestation of my gurudeva alone, in diverse forms. He who teaches us at every moment that we should engage in serving Bhagavan for our entire life is certainly sri gurudeva. This very same gurudeva is reflected in the heart of every living being. He is present in every single entity in his asraya-jatiya aspect.

 * The line of pure gurus in whose hearts Sri Bhagavan resides

 Question 6: When does someone attain a sphurti (momentary vision) of Bhagavan in his heart?

Answer: By good fortune, someone may perceive sri gurudeva wandering in his heart – that is to say, he may have darsana of sri gurudeva in his heart. Only in such a pure heart does the momentary vision (sphurti) of Bhagavan take place. There is no other means to attain service to the Supreme Lord than serving and pleasing sri guru, he who inspires us to engage in serving Sri Bhagavan by all means and in every activity.

 Question 7: If I do not completely surrender to the lotus feet of sri guru, am I simply deceiving myself?

Answer: Definitely. I may consider that I have received mantra from guru, but in real terms, if I am not prepared to accept full shelter at the lotus feet of sri gurudeva, then to whatever extent I act with duplicity, I will be cheated. Translated by the Rays of The Harmonist team from Srila Prabhupadera Upadesamrta Questions re-numbered for this on-line presentation

Translated by the Rays of The Harmonist team
from Srila Prabhupadera Upadesamrta
Questions re-numbered for this on-line presentation

Kirtan: Ancient Medicine for Modern Man

Kirtan: Ancient Medicine for Modern Man
By Hansadutta Prabhu 

 The singing and dancing of Hare Krishna is known as Kirtan. My spiritual master Srila Prabhupada said, “This is not ordinary dancing; this is the dancing of the soul, a soul awakened to his original consciousness, Krishna consciousness.” There is no motive in performing Kirtan. It is the song and dance of ecstasy, the dance of the soul. The soul is dancing; therefore the body is dancing. Actually, the body cannot dance without the soul. A body without the soul is a dead body.

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Pleasing Srila Prabhupada by reading his books

Reading Srimad Bhagavatam

By Gauridas Pandita Prabhu

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

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In Loving Memory of Aindra Das

 

In Loving Memory of Aindra Das

Written by Kaustubha Das 

 The first time I visited India was in 1989. My flight arrived at the Delhi Airport at some early hour and I took a precarious taxi ride through the morning fog to the holy town of Vrindavan. Upon arriving, I prostrated in the dust of Vraja and headed straight for the Krishna Balaram Temple. It was shortly after the daily scriptural discourse and the place was nearly empty. As I approached the foot of the alter a musician caught my attention. He was alone, sitting before the shrine of Sri Sri Radha Syamsundar. He appeared austere. It was cold and he was wrapped in a ragged wool shawl. His voice and melody were unlike anything I had heard before. The melody was stripped bare. A desolate voice accompanied only by a frail harmonium scale, slow and slightly off beat – crawling, barely dragging along. His song was the cry of a dying man. A man in the desert, drying up and desperate, crying for some water – just a small cup – just a drop. It was almost pitiful, but hauntingly beautiful – like nothing I’d heard before. It sounded so remorseful, so humble and completely sincere. It was the first time I heard a man desperately crying out to God.

The musician was Aindra das. An American who had given up his citizenship to settle in Vrindavan with an unbreakable, one pointed focus – to sing before Radha Syamsundar until the day he died. Aindra had complete conviction. Conviction that Vrindavan was no ordinary village – it was the highest spiritual abode. Conviction that kirtan was no ordinary music – it was the divine name, descended from above, non-different from Radha and Krishna. He had no interest to be anywhere else or do anything else. He was convinced that by sitting in that spot he could change the world through his song.

Aindra das lived in a room on the third floor of a school for boys, adjacent to the temple. His entire life was comprised of the practice of Krishna bhakti. He would read, discuss and contemplate the esoteric bhakti scriptures in that room, late into the night. He would perform the sacred bhakti rituals in that room with the utmost sincerity. At four in the morning, he would enter the temple to observe the mangala-arati and then he would step into the temples sanctum-sanctorium to perform the service of alankara, dressing the divine forms of Radha Syamsundara. Although Aindra dressed himself practically in rags, his refined fashion sense was expressed through the exceptional artistic beauty of  his service to Radhe Shyam. Later he would take a little rest, then back to kirtan. Every evening he would sing in the temple to the delight of thousands.

Of course it was kirtan that Aindra was known for. How to describe it? It would often start gently – so delicate and soft.  As the subtleties of the melody became more apparent and as everyone became more confident in responding to his song, you could feel the kirtan grow. It might be slow, graceful and ornate, but you could begin to feel the power just beneath the surface. Soon, under his meticulous direction, the drum beat would grow. Aindra always had a team of fantastic drummers. They would travel across the world for the privilege not just to play for him, but to learn from him. Or more precisely, to try to somehow capture just a bit of his realization and love of kirtan. As the beat grew and his voice gained strength it would become clear that although the kirtan was slow, it was massive. It was an elephant struggling to stand, sluggish but with power. Step by brawny step the elephant would push forward, growing in strength.

This kirtan was a thing of beauty. You would feel your heart pulled along though so many emotions. Joy and pain, wonder and regret, all were sublime in his kirtan. They were so satisfying, nourishing, edifying the experience of bhakti. Nightly, large, international groups of people would would join together in song and become one – one group united in devotion. Smiles and tears, so many varieties of dance. It was such a joy to see large groups of Indian villagers enter the temple on pilgrimage and take such delight in his kirtan. He never failed to astonish them, this white-boy with such deep devotion, playing their folk music with more energy and skill then they had ever witnessed. The joy in the faces of the ladies as the raised their arms, and danced. The village men, smiling with their missing teeth, clapping their hands, throwing back their heads and crying out. And the Kirtan would just keep growing. It was epic, heroic, relentless, all consuming. He would sing, then he would roar. The earth would shake, until finally – JAYA JAYA SRI RADHEEEEEEEEEEEEEE SHYAM!

Like almost everyone, musicians commonly desire fame or prestige. Their performances serve their egos. Not Aindra. He was completely committed. His sole purpose was to glorify Radha Syamsundar and engage the whole world along with him. Through devotion he received the blessing to uplift everyone in his presence. He became the most incredible musician, composer and singer I’ve ever heard. He showed by his example how one can become a vibrant manifestation of divine grace if one simple wants nothing else.

Spiritual practitioners go through their ups and downs. We struggle to find footing, a place where we can grow. Aindra’s practice was solid and fixed. Year after year, I could always count on him being there, doing what he always did – what he only did – kirtan, kirtan, kirtan. When I would sit on that checkered marble floor, Aindra on my left, Prabhupada’s samadhi behind him, Radha Syamsundar on my right. The sun going down over the temple courtyard, without fail I would say to myself, “There is absolutely no better spot to be on the face of this Earth than right here, and there is absolutely no better engagement than this, right now”. The exquisite melodies. Night after night. Everyone submerged. Those times were so incredibly precious. The beauty, the love – we were sitting in the presence of God.

Aindra prabhu, you have changed the world through your song. So many follow in your footsteps from all the corners of the globe. It’s hard to believe that we won’t see you again.   There was no one like you. Sitting near you before Radha Shyamsudar and singing my heart out with all the Vaishnavas have been some of the finest moments of my life. You will be missed beyond what my words can express. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for all that you gave us. Till the day I die you will remain a tremendous inspiration.

ALL GLORIES TO AINDRA PRABHU!

Anxiety

 

Everyone has a blazing fire within his heart–a blazing fire of anxiety. That is the nature of material existence. Always, everyone has anxiety; no one is free from it. Even a small bird has anxiety. If you give the small bird some grains to eat, he’ll eat them, but he won’t eat very peacefully. He’ll look this way and that way–”Is somebody coming to kill me?” This is material existence. Everyone, even a president like Mr. Nixon, is full of anxieties, what to speak of others. Even Gandhi, in our country–he was full of anxiety. All politicians are full of anxiety. They may hold a very exalted post, but still the material disease–anxiety–is there.

So if you want to be anxiety-less, then you must take shelter of the guru, the spiritual master. And the test of the guru is that by following his instructions you’ll be free from anxiety. This is the test. Don’t try to find a cheap guru or a fashionable guru. Just as you sometimes keep a dog as a fashion, if you want to keep a guru as a fashion–”I have a guru“–that will not help. You must accept a guru who can extinguish the blazing fire of anxiety within your heart. That is the first test of the guru.

The second test is, mahaprabhoh kirtana-nrtya-gita vaditra-madyan-manaso rasena. The second symptom of the guru is that he is always engaged in chanting, glorifying Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu–that is his business. Mahaprabhoh kirtana-nrtya-gita. The spiritual master is chanting the holy name of the Lord and dancing, because that is the remedy for all calamities within this material world. (JSD 4.2 The Bona Fide Spiritual Master)

In this Krsna consciousness movement the activities are not material. They’re all spiritual. But still, because it is being enacted in the material world, we also have so much anxiety because we are in the material world, although that anxiety is also bhakti. It is nothing else. It is not material. When we are anxious how to protect a property, how to push on this movement, how people will take it, what line of action we shall take, this is also anxiety, but that anxiety is for Krsna. Therefore it is bhakti.

Even in Vrndavana there is anxiety. Radharani is in anxiety that “Krsna is not here. How Krsna will come?” The gopis are also in anxiety. Gopis are in so much anxiety that it is said when Krsna used to go to the forest for tending the cows, the gopis were thinking at home, “Krsna’s feet are so soft that we hesitate to take them on our breast, but He is now walking in the forest, and there are so many stones and pricks, and they are giving pain to Krsna’s lotus feet.” Thinking like this, the gopis fainted. This is gopi. Krsna is out of the village, and they are at home, and they are thinking of Krsna, and they fainted. This is also anxiety, so much anxiety they fainted, but it is for Krsna.

Therefore gopis are exalted. Ramya kecid upasana vraja-vadhu-varga virya kalpita. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu He recommends, “There is no better type of worshiping Krsna than it was planned by the gopis.” So there is also anxiety. So anxiety is spiritual anxiety and material anxiety. Spiritual anxiety means you are advancing in spiritual life, and material anxiety means you are going downhill. So cintam aparimeyam ca.

But the demons, materialistic persons, demon means materialistic person, are simply busy for temporary bodily comforts. They do not know anything else. The body is material. Therefore all their activities are for comfort of the body… That is demon, more or less. Therefore the demons are full of anxiety. Everyone has anxiety. Just like ordinary man he has got some anxiety: “How to maintain my family? How to get some money to maintain family?” like that. But the demons, their anxiety is unmeasurable, unlimited. You’ll find big, big businessmen. They have got very, very long project, “How to do this? How to do this? How to increase this factory? How to make it world-renowned?” and so on, so on, so on. There is no limit of anxiety. Cintam aparimeyam ca. Unlimited means they have no idea of future life, they do not believe there is life after death, mostly, at the present moment. Formerly they used to believe, even these asuras.

So anyway, cintam aparimeyam ca, that should be transferred to krsnacinta. Satatam kirtayanto mam yatantas ca drdha-vratah. If you always be busy in glorifying or chanting the holy name of the Lord, then your cinta, anxiety, is transferred. By same cinta… Cinta will go on; you cannot stop it. Mind you cannot stop thinking even for a moment. Either you shall think of this material life or you shall think of Krsna. So the Krsna consciousness means instead of thinking of this material life, you think of Krsna. Thinking is not to be stopped. That is not possible. You cannot stop thinking even for a moment. Simply you have to practice. Instead of thinking these material things, you think of Krsna. That is wanted. (750207BG.HAW Lectures)

So there is another world. That information is given here. Mayatite vyapi. Vyapi means very extensive. This whole material world is one-fourth of Krsna’s expansion, one-fourth. And that Vaikunthaloka is three-fourths. So therefore it is called vyapi. Vyapi means very extensive. We cannot calculate even this material existence. It is only one-fourth. Now, how it will be possible for us to calculate the vyapi vaikuntha-loka? Vyapi-vaikuntha-loka. Vaikuntha means… Vi means without, and kuntha means anxiety. So Vaikunthaloka means there is no anxiety. There is no anxiety. (750401CC.MAY Lectures)

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

 

No More Anxiety

Increase Krishna Consciousness and There Will Be No More Anxiety

 

“So our Krsna consciousness movement is for that purpose. Increase Krsna consciousness and there will be no more kuntha, no more anxiety. People are trying to be anxiety-less, and that is only possible by this movement. Put always in touch with Krsna. And the method is very simple- Hare Krsna. That’s all.”

“I surrender unto the lotus feet of Sri Nityananda Rama, who is known as Sankarsana in the midst of the catur-vyuha consisting of Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha. He possesses full opulences and resides in Vaikunthaloka, far beyond the material creation.”

Prabhupada:

mayatite vyapi-vaikuntha-loke
purnaisvarye sri-catur-vyuha-madhye
rupam yasya udbhati sankarsanakhyam
tam sri-nityananda-ramam prapadye

So identification of Nityananda Prabhu. So He is the second Sankarsana also. The first Sankarsana… From Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Pradyumna, Aniruddha, four, quadruple expansions of Balarama… Then, from Sankarsana, first Sankarsana, the Narayana, four-handed Narayana, that is the next expansion, and again, from Narayana, there is another quadruple expansion, second Sankarsana, Vasudeva, Pradyumna. So the second Sankarsana also is expansion of Nityananda Rama, Balarama. So where is this Vaikunthaloka? It is rather imprudent to inquire because we cannot calculate even this material world, what is the length and breadth of this universe. This is only one universe. This is called mayika brahmananda. Mayika means shadow. Shadow… Shadow is existing on account of the real. So therefore it is called maya. Just like the example is, in your country, in the window, there are many nice model, beautiful women standing or a man standing, nicely dressed, but that is not real man or woman. That is shadow. That is called maya. This is the example of maya. Maya means it is not fact, but it appears like fact. That is called maya. Another example is… Just like the mirage, water in the desert. Actually there is no water, but it appears that there is water. The foolish animals, they run after this water, but there is no water. Simply running after will o’ the wisp, phantasmagoria.

So every one of us in this material world- hankering after happiness. Everyone is trying to be happy. But it is like the same, that there is no water in the desert, and still, the foolish animal running after it.

So this whole material creation is like that. The creator of this universe, Krsna, He says, duhkhalayam asasvatam: [Bg. 8.15] “This is the place for suffering.” And you are seeking after happiness. Just like in the prison house: it is the place for suffering, and if you want to be comfortable, this is called maya. Maya-sukhaya bharam udvahato vimudhan [SB 7.9.43]. The whole world is running after happiness what is not possible. Therefore they have been described as vimudhan, rascal. We sometimes use this word very frequently, “rascals,” and they become angry. But actually that is the description, “rascals.” All these so-called civilized men, so-called civilized men, they are not men even. They’re all animals. But in the sastra, they have been described as dvi-pada-pasu. They are animals, but they have got two legs. That’s all. That is the difference. Animals, generally, they have four legs, catus-pada, but these animals are two-legged. That is the difference. They’re animals because… The same example: In the desert there is no water, and the animal is running after it. Why he’s called animal? Because he does not understand that “In the desert, how there can be water?”

So Vidyapati has sung a song, tatala saikate, vari-bindu-sama, suta-mitra-ramani-samaje. We are trying to be happy here in this material world- how? Suta-mitra-ramani-samaje. Suta means children. Mitra means friends. Society, friendship and love, wife, children… Tata… So one may say, “Unless there is no happiness, how they are struggling for this suta-mitra-ramani-samaja?” So Vidyapati says, “Yes, there is happiness.” Certainly there is happiness. Otherwise why these vimudhan, foolish people, running after it? So he says that the value of their happiness is a proportion of a drop of water in the desert. Tatala saikate. Tatala means, very hot, and saikate means sand. Those who have seen desert, they have got experience how it is intolerable during sunshine, vast, I mean to say, tract of land with sand. So naturally they require water. So if somebody says, “Yes, I’ll give you water,” and a drop of water… What is called? Proportionate, token. It is called token. “Yes, you want water. Take this water, drop.” “What this water will do? This is desert. I want ocean of water and you are giving me drop of water? What is the value?” So still, we are seeking water there. Therefore it is rightly said, tatala saikate, vari-bindu-sama. Vari-bindu. Suta-mitra-ramani-samaje.

dehapatya-kalatradisu
atma-sainyesu asatsv api
pramattah tasya nidhanam
pasyann api na pasyati

Dehapatya-kalatradisu. This body, deha, apatya, children; kalatra, wife; adisu, with all these things… Then again extend. From children, you get… You get them married. Then again extension- daughter-in-law, son-in-law, grandson. In this way, we are increasing our so-called happiness. Atma-sainyesu. And we are thinking that “These surrounding friends–society, friends and love, nation–will give me protection.” In our country, we have seen. Gandhi struggled so, mean, hard for getting independence, thinking that “We’ll be happy.” But Gandhi himself was killed.

So this is called maya. You try to understand maya. Maya means where there is no happiness, no fact, and still, we are struggling for it. This is called maya. Try to understand what is maya. Maya-sukhaya bharam udvahato vimudhan [SB 7.9.43]. Prahlada Maharaja says. Actually there is no fact, and still, we are struggling for it. The whole universe is like that. Even you are situated as Brahma or you are situated as an ordinary insignificant ant, this struggle for existence is going on. So Prahlada Maharaja says that “These rascals, they are struggling for existence for happiness which is not possible in this material world. And beyond this struggling atmosphere of material world, maya atite…” Atite. Atite means beyond. Mayatite vyapi-vaikuntha-loke. There is another world. That is also informed in the Bhagavad-gita. Parah tasmad tu bhava anyah ‘vyaktavyaktat sanatanah. There is another bhava. Bhava means nature. Just like this is nature. We have got experience, the maya. Maya nature means here our main aim is to find out happiness. That is… Because we are spirit soul, part and parcel of Krsna, sac-cid-ananda-vigraha [Bs. 5.1] Krsna, so we are also minute sac-cid-ananda. Our existence is like that. But because we are very small, therefore that, I mean to say, quality, sat, becomes sometimes extinguished. The example is just like the spark of the fire. It is fire. A spark from the fire falls on your body. As soon as it falls it will burn that small pointlike place. So it has got the same quality. But as soon as it comes out of the fire, it becomes extinguished–no more fire. It is carbon. Again take it and put it in the fire, then again it is fire. So our position is like that. We are factually of the same quality, sac-cid-ananda. So our falling down in this material world from Krsna means we lose our identity of eternity. It becomes covered. Just like the same small spark. It is fire, but it is now extinguished, cinder, just like coal, cinder. So long it is with the original fire, it is also burning, but if you take it and keep it aside, then it becomes ashes. So this is our position. And we are struggling here. We have lost the fiery quality, and still, we are trying to be fire. This is called maya existence.

So there is another world. That information is given here. Mayatite vyapi. Vyapi means very extensive. This whole material world is one-fourth of Krsna’s expansion, one-fourth. And that Vaikunthaloka is three-fourths. So therefore it is called vyapi. Vyapi means very extensive. We cannot calculate even this material existence. It is only one-fourth. Now, how it will be possible for us to calculate the vyapi vaikuntha-loka? Vyapi-vaikuntha-loka. Vaikuntha means… Vi means without, and kuntha means anxiety. So Vaikunthaloka means there is no anxiety. There is no anxiety. Here we are full of anxieties in this material… Even big, big businessman, who has got enough money, you’ll find he is in anxiety. He’s always thinking, “How this business will go on? How this, maintain so many men?”

I have seen it that our printer, Dai Nippon, the president, when we, for the temporary, we stopped our business, he was full of anxiety. Yes. Now they have agreed to reduce ten percent more than any printer. Why? He was full of anxiety. (laughter) This is the fact. So don’t think that very big, big businessman or one who has got enough money, he has no anxiety. Anxiety there should be. This is the place of anxiety, kuntha. Prahlada Maharaja pointed it out that tat sadhu manye ‘sura-varya dehinam sada samudvigna-dhiyam asad-grahat. Here, in this material world, whoever is there, even Brahma, he is also in anxiety, in full anxiety. Indra… You know. Prthu Maharaja was sacrificing hundred times, and Indra became very much anxious that “If Prthu becomes so great, then he may occupy my seat.” So he wanted to put hindrances so that he may not fulfill the so many yajnas.

So everyone is anxiety in this material world, maya. So our Krsna consciousness movement is to take a person or all of them from this maya to Vaikuntha. That is Krsna consciousness, to save the living entity from anxiety and bring him to the platform of no anxiety. That is the difference, from anxiety to no anxiety. That is the greatest gift to the human society. Everyone is full of anxiety because he is in this material world. He must be full of anxiety. So here the information is given, mayatite vyapi-vaikuntha-loke: “There is another atmosphere, another nature, where there is no anxiety, no anxiety.” Kalpa-vrksa-laksavrtesu surabhir abhipalayanatam. Here we are keeping cows, but no milk–anxiety. Thousands of rupees’ spending, and no milk, powdered milk. You see? This is the position, full of anxiety, always. So you cannot be free from anxiety in this loka.

Therefore in this life, in human form of life, you can understand by cultivating knowledge from the sastra, from guru, from saintly persons, “What is the position? What I want? Why I am full of anxiety? How it can be mitigated?” So therefore this information is given vaikuntha-loka, back to home. Yad gatva na nivartante tad dhamam paramam mama [Bg. 15.6].
So Krsna consciousness movement is the only endeavor where, by becoming Krsna conscious you become transferred from this maya to Vaikuntha. This is the purport. Mayatite, beyond this maya, there is another kingdom where there is no kuntha, vaikuntha-loke. And there is management. As here there is management, the king or president, or ministers and so many things, there is also management. But that management is conducted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead personally. Here the president or king manages whole thing. And therefore the ideal manager or the executive head is a person who is a saintly person and devotee. That is wanted.

In politics also, there is need of devotees. The politicians, they first require to understand Krsna consciousness if they actually want to do good to others. If they remain like animals, it is not possible. Then whole world, the people, will suffer. That is the position now. There is no standard ruler. A ruler must be representative of Krsna. Just like Maharaja Yudhisthira. Maharaja Yudhisthira was representative of Krsna. Or Lord Ramacandra, He was God Himself. Such executive head needed, not these rascals. Then you’ll never be happy. Simply by hook and crook you select some rascal president; you’ll never be happy. He must be Krsna Himself or Krsna’s representative. Then people will be happy. Imam rajarsayoh viduh. They are thinking that “The Bhagavad-gita is meant for some parasites. They are doing nothing, and they are indulging in reading Bhagavad-gita and living at the cost of others.” They are thinking like that. But actually the ruler should be the well-conversant student of Bhagavad-gita. That is the statement in the Bhagavad-gita. Imam rajarsayoh viduh. It is meant for the saintly kings. Because if the king or the president understands Bhagavad-gita, he can make solution of all the problems. But he remains a rascal, and there is no solution. They’re simply fighting with one another. This politician is fighting with another politician. This is going on. This will never make us happy. Therefore it is better to go away from this place and go back to home, back to Godhead.

Devotees: Jaya!

Prabhupada: Don’t try to be happy under these rascals. It will never be possible. That is the instruction of all sastras.

Now, the question was who is to be elected in the…, or accepted as the ideal king. Our Pancadravida Maharaja was asking this question. That is very simple thing. The ksatriyas… There are two ksatriya families, and still they claim, one from the sun-god, and one from the moon-god. Candra-vamsa, surya-vamsa. In this material world, there are two ksatriya families. Ksatriyas are meant for ruling over. So everything is stated in the Bhagavad-gita. So you have to select ruler from these two dynasties. Actually. Imam rajarsayo viduh. You have seen the picture drawn by our artists, that Krsna is instructing the sun-god. Imam vivasvate yogam proktavan aham avyayam [Bg. 4.1].

So Vaikuntha-loka is there. There is no problem. But you can make this maya-loka also Vaikuntha-loka by spreading Krsna consciousness, the same quality. Just like iron is iron, but you can make it fire. How? Simply putting it into the fire. Gradually, warm, warmer, then it becomes red hot. At that time, the iron is no longer iron; it is fire. Similarly, if you can propagate Krsna consciousness constantly, then, by spreading this Krsna consciousness movement, you can make the whole world Krsna conscious, and then it will be Vaikuntha. The same example. You put the iron rod with the fire, and it becomes hot, hotter and then red-hot. When it is red-hot then it is no more iron rod. It is fire. Anywhere you touch, it will burn.

So our Krsna consciousness movement is for that purpose. Increase Krsna consciousness and there will be no more kuntha, no more anxiety. People are trying to be anxiety-less, and that is only possible by this movement. Put always in touch with Krsna. And the method is very simple–Hare Krsna. That all. If you keep yourself in touch with Hare Krsna… We have already been known as Hare Krishna people all over the world, Hare Krishna people. So increase this population, Hare Krishna people, and it will be Vaikuntha.

Thank you very much. (end) (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 1.8 Mayapur, April 1, 1975)

 

The Hare Krishna Movement . com

 Hari bol!

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Lettter to George Harrison

 

Los Angeles, 16 February, 1970

Sriman George Harrison
c.o Apple Record Co.
London England

My Dear George,

Please accept my blessings. I am so much obliged to you for your valued cooperation in spreading my movement of Krsna 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, Krsna, 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 Krsna 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.

The example in this connection is given that when a man decorates his face, he does not feel much enjoyment because he cannot see his own face. But he enjoys his beautiful face when it is reflected on the mirror. In other words, when a living entity, by rendering service to the Lord, feels happy, the Lord enjoys the situation.

Under the pressure of illusory energy, especially in the age of “Kali,” all the people of the world are unhappy; but I am sure if they take to this simple chanting of the Holy Name of the Lord

Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

under the guidance of Lord Caitanya, certainly they will be happy.

I know that both you and John are very good souls. Both of you are pledged to do something for the peace of the world. By the grace of Krsna, you have already realized to some extent about the necessity and importance of Hare Krsna movement in the world. Similarly, if John also does so, it will be a great event.

John and his wife were very kind upon me when I was staying at Tittenhurst Park as their guests. I always prayed for them to Krsna for understanding this great movement. Please inform him this message on my behalf. I have dreamt something very nice about John which I shall disclose in proper time. In the meantime, please ask him to cooperate with this movement as you are doing, and he will be very happy.

Please try to understand the philosophy of Krsna Consciousness in a nutshell: Every living entity has a dormant propensity to love somebody other who is very excellent in his opinion. Everyone of us therefore wants to love somebody else, attracted by his different varieties of opulences. Somebody loves some other either on account of riches, power, popularity, beauty, knowledge, or renunciation. But this loving propensity for somebody else is fundamentally meant for the supremely rich, powerful, popular, beautiful, wise, and unattached Lord Krsna.

Everyone is hankering after loving the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but none of them has the right information. By Krsna Consciousness movement we want to broadcast this information that if anyone reposes his loving propensity upon Krsna, he will immediately feel full satisfaction, as much as he feels full satisfaction by supplying food in the stomach. Otherwise, everyone will be frustrated.

Please try to understand this simple philosophy by critical analysis, and I hope by the grace of Krsna you will be a great servant of His in fulfilling His desire that He may be known by His Holy Name in every village and every city all over the world, and thus the people will become happy.

Hope this will meet you in good health and shall be very much pleased to hear from you.

Your ever well-wisher,

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

ACBS:db

Devotional Service

Devtional Service
by KrishnasMercy.org

Devotional service, or bhakti yoga, is the best method for achieving transcendental realization. In today’s society, the term “yoga” is generally associated with gymnastics poses and various breathing exercises. However, yoga is a term originating from the Vedas and it means to have union with the Supreme, or God. Yoga is meant to be a completely spiritual activity.

There are various types of yoga, such as jnana yoga (meditational/contemplation), karma yoga (fruitive activity), and hatha yoga (body positions/exercises). Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, describes all of them in detail in the Bhagavad-gita. Of all the different types of yoga, bhakti yoga is considered the highest since it involves loving devotion to God. Though devotional service can be classified as a means of self-realization, it is actually the natural disposition of all living entities. We are all part and parcels of God and it is our true nature to love him. Through contact with material nature, we have forgotten this relationship. Bhakti yoga is the way for us to reconnect with Krishna.

Lord Krishna Himself states that no one is dearer to Him than His devotee. His bhaktas, or devotees, have pure love for Him, and the Lord reciprocates. The Lord is generally neutral towards all living entities, but He goes to great lengths to favor and protect his bhaktas. He even states that worshipping His devotee is as good as worshipping Himself.

Devotional service can be a broad term and thus may seem difficult to understand. One may ask “what activity actually constitutes devotional service?” The Vedas give us the answer. There are nine distinct processes of devotional service:

1. Hearing

2. Chanting

3. Remembering

4. Worshipping

5. Serving the lotus feet of the Lord

6. Offering prayers

7. Carrying out the orders of the Lord

8. Becoming friends with Him

9. Surrendering everything to Him

Engaging in any or all of these processes will make one’s life perfect. For each of these processes, Vedic literature has examples of great souls who achieved perfection by practicing them. Religious life is often viewed as being very strict and austere, and requiring great renunciation. Devotional service is above all religious regulations and austerities. Bhakti means love, and it is the natural inclination of everyone to love someone else. So why not try the yoga of love? These processes aren’t very difficult to perform. They don’t take much time and they don’t require any renunciation. In fact, renunciation from sinful activity automatically comes to those who follow the path of devotional service.

In this age, the two most effective processes of devotional service are hearing and chanting. So please chant the Maha-mantra “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare” and hear about Lord Krishna through his authorized representative, the spiritual master, and you will always be happy.

Chanting Hare Krishna

Hare Krishna

DEC29

Written by: keshava 
12/29/2009 7:24 PM  

Radha Krishna “After searching through all the Vedic literature one cannot find a method of religion more sublime for this age than the chanting of Hare Krishna.” (Kali-santarana Upanishad)

Question: “May I know the meaning of Hare Krishna and Hare Rama please?”

Answer: “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare” is known as the maha-mantra. Maha means great, and mantra means a series of words which are repeated to achieve a certain goal. The term mantra today is generally associated with a slogan or a saying that is intended to help keep a person’s mind focused on a particular task. However, mantras have their origin in the Vedas, the original religious scriptures for all of mankind.

Lord KrishnaThe Vedas were passed down by Lord Shri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, at the beginning of creation. He imparted Vedic wisdom into the heart of Lord Brahma, the first created living entity. Lord Brahma is often referred to as being self-born since He did not take birth from the womb of a mother or father. But actually He appeared out of the lotus navel of Lord Krishna in His form as Lord Vishnu, thus God is technically his father. The Vedas are also known as the shrutis, meaning “that which is heard”. The Vedas were originally passed down through an oral tradition since the hearing process is very effective for the transmission of spiritual knowledge. The ultimate teaching of the Vedas is that this human form of life is meant for understanding God. Animals don’t have the capability of understanding concepts besides eating, sleeping, mating, and defending. The human brain was modeled in such a way as to allow it to take in religious information, and to then use that knowledge to engage indevotional service to the Lord. Human life is meant for dedicating every thought and deed to the Supreme Lord. The mind is always working, for one cannot stop thinking for even a second. At the same time, one must always work. The Vedas tell us to purify both of these activities by devoting them to the Supreme Lord Krishna.

Along with thoughts and deeds come words. The speech power of the human being should be utilized for offering nice prayers to God. This actually benefits the living entity more than it does God. This is because we human beings are happiest when we are connecting with God in a loving way. This is where mantras come in. The Vedas consist entirely of hymns and mantras. Each mantra has its own meaning and purpose. For example, one can recite certain mantras to achieve good health, a peaceful family life, and other material benefits. So in this sense, all mantras are not the same. The maha-mantra is considered one of the greatest mantras because it addresses God in a loving way. It is completely pure and free of any material contamination. One who chants this mantra without offenses, meaning without any material motives, will quickly achieve pure love for God.

The famous writer William Shakespeare declared that brevity is the soul of wit. The least amount of words we can use to convey a thought or idea, the better. The less time it takes to make a point, the more effective the message will be. The material senses are so strong that they constantly compete for attention with the mind. Because of this, our minds are always racing, jumping from one thought to another. To really make an impression on the mind, a petitioner needs to make their point in a quick and concise manner. The field of advertising is built around this model. Quick slogans and jingles are very effective because people are more likely to remember them. In a similar manner, it is better to offer prayers to God in a concise way. As mentioned before, offering prayers to the Lord actually benefits us more than it benefits Him. The Vedas describe God as atmarama, meaning one who is self-satisfied. He is in need of nothing, yet He is still kind enough to give attention to His devotees. Since His glories are limitless, one can spend their entire lifetime offering prayers to the Lord and still not come close to fully describing His glories.

“The Supreme Lord, the Personality of Godhead, is always unlimited, and His glories cannot be completely enumerated by anyone, even by a personality like Lord Brahma. It is said that Ananta, a direct incarnation of the Lord, has unlimited mouths, and with each mouth He has been trying to describe the glories of the Lord for an unlimited span of time, yet the glories of the Lord remain unlimited, and He therefore never finishes. It is not possible for any ordinary living entity to understand or to glorify the unlimited Personality of Godhead, but one can offer prayers or service to the Lord according to one’s particular capacity.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 4.7.24, Purport)

Lord RamaThe perfect prayer is one that addresses God’s important attributes in a quick, concise, and loving way. Our main purpose in praying to God is to tell Him that we love Him. The least amount of words we can use to make our point, the better. Talk radio shows illustrate this principle of brevity. Radio hosts are constantly looking at the broadcast clock, for they have a limited number of minutes that they are on the air in each hour due to commercials and other network commitments. Therefore, these hosts must make the best use of their time. A talk show wouldn’t be complete without callers calling in and giving their opinions. The majority of these callers happen to be fans of the show, so they spend the first few minutes of their call praising the host. “Oh I love your show. I’ve been listening for years. You’ve changed my life, etc.” Now if only one caller per show said such things, it probably wouldn’t pose a problem. But most callers feel the need to praise the host in this way before actually getting to the reason for their call. So in order to save precious airtime, the hosts have developed certain catch phrases that the callers can use to get the same point across. Phrases such as “Boo-ya!…You’re a great American…Mega dittos” are all used by callers to address their beloved hosts. Though the phrases may be different, they all essentially mean the same thing. “I love the show. I hope it stays on the air. You’re great.”

The maha-mantra works the same way. By saying “Hare Krishna”, we’re really saying, “God, I love You. Thanks for letting me serve You and always think about You. I hope I never forget about You at any time in my life.” This is the simplest definition of the maha-mantra. The effectiveness of the mantra lies in the fact that it addresses both God and His energy. The word “Hare” refers to Hara, who is God’s energy. Lord Krishna is always seen with His pleasure potency expansion, Shrimati Radharani. Lord Rama is always seen with His wife Sita Devi, and Lord Narayana with Lakshmi Devi. God is the energetic and His devotees are His energy. Hara represents the perfection of the Lord’s energy, technically known as hladini-shakti; God’s pleasure potency.

When praying to God, it is important to address His devotees because that we are striving to become devotees ourselves. Devotees like Radhrani, Sita, Hanuman, Prahlada, etc. are our role models because they represent perfection in life. We can never be the energetic; that title is reserved for God. In fact, one of the reasons for our being in this material world is our desire to try to be God. We falsely believe that if we meditate enough, or accumulate enough riches, that we can one day become the strongest, wisest, most beautiful, or most famous. This actually can never be achieved because these perfections are reserved for God, whose is also known as Bhagavan, meaning one who possesses all fortunes. The great devotees are the trail blazers who have shown us how to achieve perfection in life. By uttering “Hare”, we pray to God’s energy to help us become pure devotees as well.

“I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who is inaccessible to the Vedas, but obtainable by pure unalloyed devotion of the soul, who is without a second, who is not subject to decay, is without a beginning, whose form is endless, who is the beginning, and the eternal purusha; yet He is a person possessing the beauty of blooming youth.” (Brahma-samhita, 5.33)

Radha KrishnaKrishna and Rama are two of God’s primary names. According to authoritative scriptures such as the Shrimad Bhagavatam and Brahma-samhita, God has many forms, but Krishna is the original. Krishna means one who is all-attractive. He is also known as Madana-Mohan because He is capable of even attracting Cupid himself. Rama means one who gives pleasure. Rama can refer to Lord Ramachandra, Krishna’s incarnation during the Treta Yuga, or Lord Balarama, Krishna’s expansion who simultaneously appeared with Him during the Dvapara Yuga. Since Lord Balarama is considered non-different from God Himself, both definitions for Rama are valid, for they each refer to God.

“The holy name of Krishna is transcendentally blissful. It bestows all spiritual benedictions, for it is Krishna Himself, the reservoir of all pleasure. Krishna’s name is complete, and it is the form of all transcendental mellows. It is not a material name under any condition, and it is no less powerful than Krishna Himself. Since Krishna’s name is not contaminated by the material qualities, there is no question of its being involved with maya. Krishna’s name is always liberated and spiritual; it is never conditioned by the laws of material nature. This is because the name of Krishna and Krishna Himself are identical.” (Padma Purana)

The Vedas tell us that there is no difference between God and His name. This may seem strange to understand at first, but through constant recitation of the maha-mantra, we can begin to realize that this is indeed true. Simply calling out God’s names in a loving way means we are directly connecting with Him. The material world is a temporary place full of miseries. God, along with His names, forms, and pastimes, is completely the opposite. He is eternally blissful and full of knowledge. Lord Chaitanya, Krishna’s most recent incarnation, inaugurated the sankirtana movement, the congregational chanting of the names of God, some five hundred years ago. The maha-mantra was His mantra of choice due to its efficacy. He advised everyone to chant it regularly and to induce others to chant.

Lord Chaitanya and associates chanting Hare KrishnaChanting God’s name is the only way to achieve perfection in the current age. We see evidence of this all around us. The beauty of “Hare Krishna” is that it can be recited by anyone, of any age, and any religious persuasion. Just as God is all-attractive, so are His names. The maha-mantra can be recited on a set of chanting beads (japa mala) to oneself, or it can be sung out loud with others. Either way, if we constantly keep Hare Krishna and Hare Rama on the tip of our tongue, we are sure to always be happy.

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