The Syllable Om


The Syllable Om

Many years ago as a young aspiring yogi, and with my very first attempts at meditation, I began my practice with the sacred syllable Om. Many years later and although I may have advanced somewhat spiritually, and practice bhakti-yoga, devotional service and the chanting of the Maha-mantra Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, still all my morning prayers still begin with the syllable Om. Such as “om namo bhagavate vasudevaya” before my reading of the Srimad Bhagavatam. And my morning offering of respectful obeisances to my spiritual master Srila Prabhupada with the prayer “om ajñāna-timirāndhasya jñānāñjana-śalākayā, cakṣur unmīlitaṁ yena tasmai śrī-gurave namaḥ” and “nama oṁ viṣṇu-pādāya kṛṣṇa-preṣṭhāya bhū-tale,śrīmate bhaktivedānta-svāmin iti nāmine”. Today we are looking at a few slokas from the Bhagavad-gita where the syllable Om is used.


Disappearance of Isvara Puri

Disciplic-Succession Guru Parampara

Today is the the Disappearance of Śrī Īśvara Purī who was the spiritual master of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Even though Lord Caitanya, the Supreme Godhead, did not need a spiritual master, He accepted Śrī Īśvara Purī as His guru to establish the importance of accepting a spiritual master. In honor of his disappearance we are posting one verse from the Sri Caitanya-caritmrta describing the service he rendered to his spiritual master Śrīla Mādhavendra Purī.

…”At the last stage of his life Śrī Mādhavendra Purī became an invalid and was completely unable to move, and Īśvara Purī so completely engaged himself in his service that he personally cleaned up his stool and urine. Always chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra and reminding Śrī Mādhavendra Purī about the pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa in the last stage of his life, Īśvara Purī gave the best service among his disciples. Thus Mādhavendra Purī, being very pleased with him, blessed him, saying, ‘My dear boy, I can only pray to Kṛṣṇa that He will be pleased with you.’ Thus Īśvara Purī, by the grace of his spiritual master, Śrī Mādhavendra Purī, became a great devotee in the ocean of love of Godhead.”


Acting in Knowledge of Kṛṣṇa

Srila Prabhupada

Continuing with our series of a True account entitled Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers… A search for meaning carries Bob Cohen, a young American Peace Corps worker halfway around the world, to an ancient village in the midst of West Bengal. There, in a small bamboo hut, he finds a teacher who is able to tell him everything he ever wanted to know.

Śrīla Prabhupāda:…God is the supreme proprietor, the supreme enjoyer, and He is the supreme friend. That is the statement of the Bhagavad-gītā. If anyone knows these three things, then he is in full knowledge. These three things only: that God is the proprietor of everything, God is friend of everyone, and God is the enjoyer of everything.

For example, everyone knows that in the body, the stomach is the enjoyer. Not the hands, legs, eyes, ears. These are there simply to help the stomach.

Similarly, as in this body the stomach is the enjoyer, the central figure of the whole cosmic manifestation, material or spiritual, is Kṛṣṇa, God.

…the central stomach of the whole creation is God, or Kṛṣṇa. He is the enjoyer, He is the friend, and, as the supreme proprietor, He is maintaining everyone. So these things have to be understood. Kṛṣṇa is the enjoyer, Kṛṣṇa is the proprietor, and Kṛṣṇa is the friend. If you know these three things, then your knowledge is full.


Transcendental Realm known as Goloka

Radha Krishna on the Transcendental seat known as Svetadvipa

I worship that transcendental seat, known as Śvetadvīpa where as loving consorts the Lakṣmīs in their unalloyed spiritual essence practice the amorous service of the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa as their only lover; where every tree is a transcendental purpose tree; where the soil is the purpose gem, all water is nectar, every word is a song, every gait is a dance, the flute is the favorite attendant, effulgence is full of transcendental bliss and the supreme spiritual entities are all enjoyable and tasty, where numberless milk cows always emit transcendental oceans of milk; where there is eternal existence of transcendental time, who is ever present and without past or future and hence is not subject to the quality of passing away even for the space of half a moment. That realm is known as Goloka only to a very few self-realized souls in this world. (Bs. 5.56)

Full Sanskrit Text, Transliteration and Purport More

Kumbh Mela: A Festival of Immortality

Kumbha Mela

…With just a few days left before Kumbh Mela at Allahabad ends, the world’s largest gathering of human beings is winding towards an end. Devotees from far and near are turning out in large numbers to take a holy dip at Sangam for the last time. Devotees after bathing in the holy water pray to the Sun God, the source of life and positivity, before retreating from the sacred waters. The festival, which lasts for 55 days, is an important part of Hindu tradition and an ancient ritual. The last bathing date is coming up Sunday March 10th, 2013 (Shivaratri Snan)


The Appearance of Sukadeva Gosvami

The Appearance of Sri Sukadeva Goswami

You are the spiritual master of great saints and devotees. I am therefore begging you to show the way of perfection for all persons, and especially for one who is about to die.

Please let me know what a man should hear, chant, remember and worship, and also what he should not do. Please explain all this to me.

Unless one is perfectly anxious to inquire about the way of perfection, there is no necessity of approaching a spiritual master. A spiritual master is not a kind of decoration for a householder. Generally a fashionable materialist engages a so-called spiritual master without any profit. The pseudo- spiritual master flatters the so-called disciple, and thereby both the master and his ward go to hell without a doubt. Mahārāja Parīkṣit is the right type of disciple because he puts forward questions vital to the interest of all men, particularly for the dying men. The question put forward by Mahārāja Parīkṣit is the basic principle of the complete thesis of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Now let us see how intelligently the great master replies. (from purport to SB 1.19.37)

Srimad Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Canto 1, Chapter 19, Text 29-40


Cleansing the Heart / Ceto-darpana-marjanam

Nectar of Devotion Lectures 1972 Vrindavan

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…Kṛṣṇa consciousness is a fact in everyone’s heart. It is already there. Otherwise how these Europeans and Americans, they’re taking to Kṛṣṇa consciousness very seriously? So it is to be understood that Kṛṣṇa consciousness was there already. By the process of hearing… As Caitanya Mahāprabhu has recommended: ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ paraṁ vijayate śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. Śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam is so auspicious that the chanting of this mantra awakens the dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam. The more you hear Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, the more your heart becomes cleansed. These are the statements given by Caitanya Mahāprabhu. There cannot be any defect. My statement may be defective, but Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s statement cannot be defective, because He is in the transcendental platform. He is transcendence Himself. Kṛṣṇa-caitanya-nāmne. Kṛṣṇāya kṛṣṇa-caitanya-nāmine. He’s Kṛṣṇa Himself, but He has appeared in the form of Kṛṣṇa Caitanya. Therefore, whatever He says, that is fact. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam. The more we hear the vibration, the transcendental vibration, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare, without any offense… Even with, mixed with offense… There are three stages of chanting this vibration: offensive chanting, and almost offenseless chanting, and offenseless chanting. Offensive chanting may give you material pains and pleasures, and almost offenseless will give you liberation, will place you in the transcendental platform. And when it is offenseless, then immediately you’ll invoke love of God, Kṛṣṇa-prema. So even in offensive stage, if you go on chanting and try to be, try to become safe from offensive condition… Daśa-vidhā-nāma, ten kinds of offenses, if we avoid, that is the process of auspicity. But even we are not in the platform of offenseless chanting, still, we must go on chanting. It will gradually make our heart cleansed and we’ll be offenseless. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. So the Kṛṣṇa consciousness, awakening of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is required. That is called ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam.

So here, Rūpa Gosvāmī says auspicity means that which spreads for everyone, in all parts of the world. That is auspicity. Not partial. In politics or sociology or humanitarian activities, there is partiality for a certain section of human being, or certain section of living beings. But this chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, awakening Kṛṣṇa consc…, dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is meant for all living entities. Even birds, beasts, insects, they can also awaken. This is the recommendation of Haridāsa Ṭhākura, that if we chant loudly, the trees will hear, the birds will hear, the insect will hear, and they will be liberated. That is the statement of Nāmācārya Haridāsa Ṭhākura. Therefore chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and awakening of dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the auspicious activities, welfare activities, for every living entity all over the world.

Full Lecture More

Śrīla Prabhupāda Praṇati

Prabhupada's Vyasasana

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Śrīla Prabhupāda Praṇati

nama oṁ viṣṇu-pādāya kṛṣṇa-preṣṭhāya bhū-tale
śrīmate bhaktivedānta-svāmin iti nāmine

namah–obeisances; om–address;visnu-padaya–unto him who is at the feet of Lord Visnu;krsna-presthaya–who is very dear to Lord Krsna;bhu-tale–on the earth;srimate–all beautiful;bhaktivedanta-svamin–A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami;iti–thus;namine–who is named

I offer my respectful obeisances unto His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, who is very dear to Lord Kṛṣṇa, having taken shelter at His lotus feet.

namas te sārasvate deve gaura-vāṇī-pracāriṇe

namah–obeisances;te–unto you;sarasvate deve-servant of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami;gaura-vani–the message of Lord Caitanya;pracarine–who are preaching;nirvisesa–impersonalism;sunyavadi–voidism;pascatya–Western;desa–countries;
tarine–who are delivering

Our respectful obeisances are unto you, O spiritual master, servant of Sarasvatī Gosvāmī. You are kindly preaching the message of Lord Caitanyadeva and delivering the Western countries, which are filled with impersonalism and voidism.

Vyasasana decorations by Lokadrsti devi dasi

Definitions of Vāṇī

Srila Prabhupada Vani

By chance I happened upon the Vanipedia About Page this morning while researching a post for Srila Bhaktisiddhanta’s appearance day, and found this most fascinating definition of the word Vani. We can see from studying Srila Prabhupada’s books just how vast the Sanskrit language is just from the example of this one word; vāṇī. In one letter written to Tribhuvanatha in June of 1972, Srila Prabhupada writes:

“I am very much stressing nowadays that my students shall increase their reading of my books and try to understand them from different angles of vision. Each sloka can be seen from many, many angles of vision, so become practiced in seeing things like this.

So here is a word for your Vaisnava Vocabulary with its many meanings.

“Although according to material vision His Divine Grace Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda passed away from this material world on the last day of December, 1936, I still consider His Divine Grace to be always present with me by his vāṇī, his words. There are two ways of association-by vāṇī and by vapuḥ. Vāṇī means words, and vapuḥ means physical presence. Physical presence is sometimes appreciable and sometimes not, but vāṇī continues to exist eternally. Therefore we must take advantage of the vāṇī, not the physical presence. The Bhagavad-gītā, for example, is the vāṇī of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Although Kṛṣṇa was personally present five thousand years ago and is no longer physically present from the materialistic point of view, the Bhagavad-gītā continues.”

Definitions of Vani
Śrīla Prabhupāda has translated vāṇī in the following ways;

vāṇī—a voice
vāṇī—the organ of speech
vāṇī—transcendental words
vāṇī—words, the power of speech

and here we see the meaning when connected to other words; More

His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada’s Appearance Day, Lecture

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur

Today is the Appearance Day of His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami, the spiritual master of our Srila Prabhupada. So we honor this event with a lecture given by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada on Srila Bhaktisiddhanta’s appearance day festival given in Mayapur, February 8, 1977.

…We should become intelligent. And to make us intelligent, Kṛṣṇa comes, Kṛṣṇa’s devotees come, some messenger comes. And Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura is one of the messengers of Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu to preach Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And not only he preached, but he trained up many disciples to preach this Kṛṣṇa consciousness all over the world. So by his grace we are also endeavoring to do something. This is called paramparā system.

So we should take advantage of this Vaiṣṇava mission. Our Guru Mahārāja Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, he is Vaiṣṇava, cent percent Vaiṣṇava.
…Vaiṣṇava means he doesn’t want any material profit or material opulence or material reputation.

But in the material world everyone is busy for three things—material profit, material reputation, and material adoration.

This is not Vaiṣṇava’s business. Vaiṣṇava never cares for all these things. Vaiṣṇava is always thinking how to do good to the suffering humanity.

Full Lecture More

The Great Mystery; Bhagavad-gita

Battlefield of Kurukstra

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…The Bhagavad-gītā should be taken up in a spirit of devotion. One should not think that he is equal to Kṛṣṇa, nor should he think that Kṛṣṇa is an ordinary personality or even a very great personality. Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, at least theoretically, according to the statements of Bhagavad-gītā or the statements of Arjuna, the person who is trying to understand the Bhagavad-gītā. We should therefore at least theoretically accept Śrī Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and with that submissive spirit we can understand the Bhagavad-gītā. Unless one reads the Bhagavad-gītā in a submissive spirit, it is very difficult to understand Bhagavad-gītā because it is a great mystery.

Although I have read and re-read the introduction to the Bhagavad-gita many times now, every time it seems fresh, and new realizations are evident. For instance this morning I was reading how one should accept the Bhagavad-gita in a ‘submissive spirit’. This instruction just jumped out at me because recently I was having a discussion with one devotee friend who was describing from Srila Prabhupada’s letters that Krishna Consciousness cannot be achieved

Krishna Consciousness is a transcendental science which can be revealed to a sincere devotee who is prepared to render service to the Lord. Krishna Consciousness is not achieved by dry arguments or by academic qualifications. (Letter to Subala – Delhi 29 September, 1967)

…but rather is received, through the mercy of the spiritual master and Krishna.


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