The Formula for Peace

Raja-vidya

This is a combined post from my reading this morning, from the Srimad Bhagavatam 1.11.33 and Bhagavad-gita 5.29, wherein Srila Prabhupada is describing the factual formula for peace in this material world. Very interesting.

…In the material world no one is permanently fortunate, however clever one may be. There have been so many big empires in different parts of the world, there have been so many powerful kings all over the world, and there have been so many fortunate men, but all of them have been liquidated gradually. This is the law of material nature. But spiritually it is different. The spiritual relation with the Lord is so enlivening and resourceful that no one can leave the company of the Lord, once having taken shelter of Him. (SB 1.11.33 purport)

…The conditioned souls within the clutches of illusory energy are all anxious to attain peace in the material world. But they do not know the formula for peace, which is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā. The greatest peace formula is simply this: Lord Kṛṣṇa is the beneficiary in all human activities. Men should offer everything to the transcendental service of the Lord because He is the proprietor of all planets and the demigods thereon. No one is greater than He…Under the spell of illusion, living entities are trying to be lords of all they survey, but actually they are dominated by the material energy of the Lord. The Lord is the master of material nature, and the conditioned souls are under the stringent rules of material nature. Unless one understands these bare facts, it is not possible to achieve peace in the world either individually or collectively. This is the sense of Kṛṣṇa consciousness: Lord Kṛṣṇa is the supreme predominator, and all living entities, including the great demigods, are His subordinates. One can attain perfect peace only in complete Kṛṣṇa consciousness. (Bg 5.29 purport)

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Everyone Can See God

Gopal

…The first thing Kṛṣṇa is looking for is how eager you are to see Him. Kṛṣṇa will respond. If you are actually eager to see Kṛṣṇa, then it is sure your efforts will be successful.

But you must desire Kṛṣṇa only. In this connection, Rūpa Gosvāmī has written a verse:

“My dear friend, there is one boy—His name is Govinda. He is standing on the bank of the Yamunā near the Keśi-ghāṭa, and He is playing on His flute. He is so beautiful, especially during this full-moon night. If you have any intentions to enjoy in this material world with your children, husband, or other family members, then please do not go there.”

The idea is that if you once see Kṛṣṇa, then you’ll forget all this nonsensical materialistic enjoyment. That is seeing Kṛṣṇa.

The gopīs are another example of great eagerness to see Kṛṣṇa. The gopīs came to Kṛṣṇa, being captivated by His beautiful features. They were young girls, and Kṛṣṇa was so beautiful. Actually they were lusty when they came to Kṛṣṇa, but Kṛṣṇa is so pure that they became first-class devotees. There is no comparison to the gopīs’ devotion, because they loved Kṛṣṇa with heart and soul. That is the qualification. They loved Kṛṣṇa so much that they didn’t care for family or reputation when they went out in the dead of night. Kṛṣṇa’s flute was sounding, and they were all fleeing their homes. Their fathers, their brothers, their husbands all said, “Where are you going? Where are you going in this dead of night?” But the gopīs didn’t care. They neglected their children, their family, everything. Their only thought was, “We must go to Kṛṣṇa.”

This eagerness is required. We must be very, very eager to see Kṛṣṇa.

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Bhagavad-gita As It Is by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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Book Distributors can buy a Case of the original 1972 Classic Edition of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is at a special reduced rate! Only $82.00 per case plus shipping, for a limited time offer.

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Concluding Words from Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta books

For some reason I love reading the Concluding Words of the Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, and find myself reading it again and again. The printing of this English translation is historically, a miraculous achievement, and yet reading Srila Prbhupada’s words and hearing the depth of his humility, is awe inspiring. He gives thanks to his American disciples, and to His Spiritual Master His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura with the following words:

…I think that His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura is always seeing my activities and guiding me within my heart by his words. As it is said in Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, tene brahma hṛdā ya ādi-kavaye. Spiritual inspiration comes from within the heart, wherein the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in His Paramātmā feature, is always sitting with all His devotees and associates. It is to be admitted that whatever translation work I have done is through the inspiration of my spiritual master because personally I am most insignificant and incompetent to do this materially impossible work. I do not think myself a very learned scholar, but I have full faith in the service of my spiritual master, His Divine Grace Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhakura. If there is any credit to my activities of translating, it is all due to His Divine Grace. Certainly if His Divine Grace were personally present at this time, it would have been a great occasion for jubiliation, but even though he is not physically present, I am confident that he is very pleased by this work of translation. He was very fond of seeing many books published to spread the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Therefore our society, the International Society for Kṛṣṇa Consciousness, has formed to execute the order of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His Divine Grace Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhakura.

Although Srila Prabhupada gives all credit to his spiritual master, we give all credit to him. All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!

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The Pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa Are the Essence of All Nectar

Krsna and Radharani

…The essence of spiritual knowledge is found in the pastimes of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, which are identical with the pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa. This is the essence of knowledge. If knowledge does not include the understanding of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Kṛṣṇa, it is simply superfluous. By Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s grace, the nectar of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes is flowing in different directions in hundreds and thousands of rivers. One should not think that the pastimes of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu are different from Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes. It is said: śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya, rādhā-kṛṣṇa nahe anya. Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu is a combination of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, and without understanding His pastimes, one cannot understand Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura therefore sings: rūpa-raghunātha-pade haibe ākuti kabe hāma bujhaba se yugala pirīti. “When shall I become very eager to study the books left by the six Gosvāmīs? Then I shall be able to understand the conjugal pastimes of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa.” (Purport Madha-lila 25.271)

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Lord Balarama Rasayatra & Sri Krishna Vasanta Rasa

Rasa lila

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Today the Vaisnava Calender marks two auspicious occasions; Sri Krishna Vasanta Rasa (Lord Krishna’s Springtime Rasa-lila), and also Lord Balarama Rasayatra (Balarama’s rasa dance with the gopis of Vrndavan). In honor we post a very nice chapter from Krsna Book entitled “Lord Balarāma Visits Vṛndāvana”.

…Lord Balarāma could, of course, understand the ecstatic feelings of the gopīs, and therefore He wanted to pacify them. He was expert in presenting an appeal, and thus, treating the gopīs very respectfully, He began to narrate the stories of Kṛṣṇa so tactfully that the gopīs became satisfied. In order to keep the gopīs in Vṛndāvana satisfied, Lord Balarāma stayed there continually for two months, namely the months of Caitra (March-April) and Vaiśākha (April-May). For those two months He kept Himself among the gopīs, and He passed every night with them in the forest of Vṛndāvana in order to satisfy their desire for conjugal love. Thus Balarāma also enjoyed the rāsa dance with the gopīs during those two months. Since the season was springtime, the breeze on the bank of the Yamunā was blowing very mildly, carrying the aroma of different flowers, especially of the flower known as kaumudī. Moonlight filled the sky and spread everywhere, and thus the banks of the Yamunā appeared to be very bright and pleasing, and Lord Balarāma enjoyed the company of the gopīs there.

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Elevation at Death

Back to Godhead - Volume 10, Number 09 - 1975

*click on image to enlarge

This is a continuation (chapter 2) from the small book, “Beyond Birth and Death”, by Srila Prabhupada. Personally, I like these small books, as so much of the philosophy of Krishna Consciousness is contained in them, in a very readable format. For a Free pdf download of entire book; follow link at bottom of post. Hare Krishna!

Beyond Birth and Death
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter Two

Elevation at Death

There are different kinds of transcendentalists who are called yogīs—haṭha-yogīs, jñāna-yogīs, dhyāna-yogīs, and bhakti-yogīs—and all of them are eligible to be transferred to the spiritual world. The word yoga means “to link up,” and the yoga systems are meant to enable us to link with the transcendental world. As mentioned in the previous chapter, originally we are all connected to the Supreme Lord, but now we have been affected by material contamination. The process is that we have to return to the spiritual world, and that process of linking up is called yoga. Another meaning of the word yoga is “plus.” At the present moment we are minus God, or minus the Supreme. When we add Kṛṣṇa—or God—to our lives, this human form of life becomes perfect.

At the time of death we have to finish that process of perfection. During our lifetime we have to practice the method of approaching that perfection so that at the time of death, when we have to give up this material body, that perfection can be realized.

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Everyone is Eligible for the Supreme Destination Part II

Krishna-gopakumara

Everyone is Eligible for the Supreme Destination Part II

This is a continuation from yesterdays post because as I continued my reading from Chapter Eleven entitled “Lord Kṛṣṇa’s Entrance into Dvārakā”, it became apparent that:

The Supreme Lord Personality of Godhead is neither impersonal nor an inert object unable to reciprocate the feelings of His devotees. Here the word yathā-vidhi, or “just as it behooves” is significant. He reciprocates “just as it behooves” with His different types of admirers and devotees. Of course, the pure devotees are of one type only because they have no other object for service but the Lord, and therefore the Lord also reciprocates with such pure devotees just as it behooves, namely, He is always attentive to all the matters of His pure devotees. There are others who designate Him as impersonal, and so the Lord also does not take any personal interest. He satisfies everyone in terms of one’s development of spiritual consciousness, and a sample of such reciprocation is exhibited here with His different welcomers.

Yes, this is a beautiful chapter of the Srimad Bhagavatam, and Srila Prabhupada’s Purports are dripping with transcendental Knowledge.

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Everyone is Eligible for the Supreme Destination

Krishna leaves Hastinipur

This I found this extremely interesting from my reading this morning, how even the prostitutes some 5,000 years ago in the time of Lord Krsna were accepted as necessary citizens for the proper upkeep of society. They were not condemned by the Lord, but rather He greeted them with the proper etiquette. Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita… “even the low-born caṇḍālas and those who are born in a family of unbelievers, and even the prostitutes, shall attain perfection of life if they take shelter of unalloyed devotional service to Me, because in the path of devotional service there are no impediments due to degraded birth and occupation. The path is open for everyone who agrees to follow it.”

At the same time, many hundreds of well-known prostitutes began to proceed on various vehicles. They were all very eager to meet the Lord, and their beautiful faces were decorated with dazzling earrings, which enhanced the beauty of their foreheads.(SB 1.11.19)

…We may not hate even the prostitutes if they are devotees of the Lord. Even to date there are many prostitutes in great cities of India who are sincere devotees of the Lord. By tricks of chance one may be obliged to adopt a profession which is not very adorable in society, but that does not hamper one in executing devotional service to the Lord. Devotional service to the Lord is uncheckable in all circumstances.

Śrī Bilvamaṅgala Ṭhākura, a great ācārya of the Viṣṇusvāmī Vaiṣṇava sect, in his householder life was overly attached to a prostitute who happened to be a devotee of the Lord. One night when the Ṭhākura came to Cintāmaṇi’s house in torrents of rain and thunder, Cintāmaṇi was astonished to see how the Ṭhākura could come on such a dreadful night after crossing a foaming river which was full of waves. She said to Ṭhākura Bilvamaṅgala that his attraction for the flesh and bone of an insignificant woman like her would be properly utilized if it could be diverted to the devotional service of the Lord to achieve attraction for the transcendental beauty of the Lord. It was a momentous hour for the Ṭhākura, and he took a turn towards spiritual realization by the words of a prostitute. Later on the Ṭhākura accepted the prostitute as his spiritual master, and in several places of his literary works he has glorified the name of Cintāmaṇi, who showed him the right path. (SB 1.11.19 Purport)

It is clearly declared by the Supreme Lord, that in devotional service, there is no distinction between the lower or higher classes of people. In the material conception of life, there are such divisions, but for a person engaged in transcendental devotional service to the Lord, there are not. Everyone is eligible for the supreme destination. (Bg 9.32 Purport)

In the second part of the post there is a conversation with Allen Ginsberg on the life of Bilvamaṅgala Ṭhākura

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The Krishna Conscious Handbook (Free PDF Download)

The Krishna Consciousness Handbook

I always liked this small booklet, as it contained the basic instructions for practicing Krishna Consciousness. Krishna Consciousness is not so difficult, it only requires a little sincerity and faith, and in a short time one can realize its positive results.

To read this booklet and/or to save it to your computer, simply click on following link:

The Krishna Consciousness Handbook

Concluding Words

perfect questions, perfect answers1

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.

This is the finial installment, the last chapter in the book, and the concluding words are written by Bob, who later became initiated by Srila Prabhupada and was given the name Brahmatīrtha dāsa.

Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

Concluding words

On July 19, 1976, His Divine Grace Śrīla Prabhupāda accepted my wife and me as his disciples and initiated us with the names Bhakti-devī dāsī and Brahmatīrtha dāsa. As I reflect back on that day, I can see how fortunate I was to have met His Divine Grace and my Godbrothers in the Hare Kṛṣṇa movement.

When I was handed my beads at initiation, I promised to follow the regulative principles and to chant God’s names daily. Four years previously, Śrīla Prabhupāda had advised me to follow these principles, and within six months, he said, I could be like the other devotees; all unnecessary things (anarthas), such as mundane movies and restaurants, would cease to attract me. “The whole human life is meant for purification,” he said. I was interested in being purified, even though I did not really know what purification meant. I had gone to India with the Peace Corps hoping to find a higher level of consciousness. I could not believe that satisfying the senses was the all in all, yet I myself was bound by the senses. Later I could understand that yoga means becoming free from the dictation of the senses.

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Lord Ramachandra’s Appearance Day

Lord Ramachandra

In honor of the Appearance Day of Lord Ramachandra, we are posting a Lecture given by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada from way back in 1966, when many of us here in the Western world were just hearing about Rama, and His amazing pastimes, for the very first time.

…When God comes in incarnation or He sends His representative to reclaim, they perform wonderful acts. They are not ordinary, common men. Either God or God’s representative, they act in such a way that it is not possible for any common man. That is the particular symptom of God and God’s representative. (Ramachandra’s Appearance Day Lecture, December 27, 1966 New York)

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The Best Advice

Jayananda das  Sankirtan

…Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the incarnation of Godhead in this age has delivered the medicine for all problems of the world by his introducing the Sankirtan movement. The chanting is a process of purification. Just like we use soap to cleanse the body, this is material, but the chanting is spiritual cleansing.

…one should learn the art of chanting the Holy name of Krishna 24 hours a day and that alone is the remedy for all problems of material existence. How is it possible to chant 24 hours a day? Lord Chaitanya gave the hint, “One can chant the holy name of God in a humble state of mind, thinking himself lower than the straw in the street, more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all kinds of sense of false prestige, and always ready to offer all respects to others. In such a humble state of mind one can chant the Holy name of God constantly.” So I cannot give you any better advice for your problem, simply chant Hare Krishna and everything will be all right. (Letter to Susan Bekman from Srila Prabhupada)

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The Opulence of the Absolute

Krishna's infinite manifestations  Plate 30

Bhagavad-gītā As It Is 1972 Edition
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter Ten

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The Parampara System

Srila Prabhupada

..Regarding parampara system: there is nothing to wonder for big gaps. Just like we belong to the Brahma Sampradaya, so we accept it from Krishna to Brahma, Brahma to Narada, Narada to Vyasadeva, Vyasadeva to Madhva, and between Vyasadeva and Madhva there is a big gap. But it is sometimes said that Vyasadeva is still living, and Madhva was fortunate enough to meet him directly. In a similar way, we find in the Bhagavad-gita that the Gita was taught to the sungod, some millions of years ago, but Krishna has mentioned only three names in this parampara system—namely, Vivasvan, Manu, and Iksvaku; and so these gaps do not hamper from understanding the parampara system. We have to pick up the prominent acaryas, and follow from him. There are many branches also from the parampara system, and it is not possible to record all the branches and sub-branches in the disciplic succession. We have to pick up from the authority of the acharya in whatever sampradaya we belong to. (from letter to Dayananda: April 12, 1968)

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Seek the Mercy of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī

Srimati Radharani Vrindavan

…In the Brahma-saṁhitā it is said that the Lord is never to be found by becoming a great scholar of the Vedic literatures, but He is very easily approachable through His pure devotee. In Vṛndāvana all the pure devotees pray for the mercy of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, the pleasure potency of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is a tenderhearted feminine counterpart of the supreme whole, resembling the perfectional stage of the worldly feminine nature. Therefore, the mercy of Rādhārāṇī is available very readily to the sincere devotees, and once She recommends such a devotee to Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Lord at once accepts the devotee’s admittance into His association. The conclusion is, therefore, that one should be more serious about seeking the mercy of the devotee than that of the Lord directly, and by one’s doing so (by the good will of the devotee) the natural attraction for the service of the Lord will be revived. (Purport Srimad Bhagavatam 2.3.23)

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“God Only Cares How Much You Love Him”

Srila Prabhupada

…Everyone will say that “My system of religion is better than yours.” That is quite natural. A Hindu will say, “Oh, I am better than the Christian.” Christian will say, “I am better than the Hindu.” But Bhagavata says that that is not the test of religion. Bhagavat says, sa vai pumsam paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhoksaje [SB 1.2.6]. That type of religion is the best by which one develops love of Godhead. That’s all. The test is how much you have developed love of Godhead. Bhava-grahi janardana. In Vedic literature it is said that God, Krsna, simply accepts your bhava or your situation, how much you have developed your attraction for God, or Krsna. That is taken into account. He does not take account that “Oh, you are very rich. You are very beautiful. You are very opulent,” or “You are very poor. You are not beautiful.” These considerations are not there. The only consideration is how much you love God. Then your life is successful. (Srimad Bhagavatam Lecture 7.9.12, Montreal)

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Kali-yuga Is an Ocean of Faults…but There Is One Good Thing

Lord Caitanya's Sankirtan Movement

click on image to enlarge

..Simply by chanting the holy name of Kṛṣṇa: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare simply by chanting the holy name…,” kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya, “he becomes free from all these contaminations, by one thing, simply chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa.”

Kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya, mukta-saṅgaḥ paraṁ vrajet

…although Kali-yuga is an ocean of faults, there is still one good quality about this age: Simply by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, one can become free from material bondage and be promoted to the transcendental kingdom.

This is a very important sloka (verse), as can be confirmed by the number of times Srila Prabhupada has cited it. I was curious about this verse so I went to the incomparable web page Vani Quotes and did a search on the phrase kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya, mukta-saṅgaḥ paraṁ vrajet, and was surprised to find just how many times Srila Prabhupada used this verse in his preaching. I think this will be the next verse I try to memorize.

Full verse:

kaler doṣa-nidhe rājann
asti hy eko mahān guṇaḥ
kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya
mukta-saṅgaḥ paraṁ vrajet

kaleḥ—of the age of Kali; doṣa-nidheḥ—in the ocean of faults; rājan—O King; asti—there is; hi—certainly; ekaḥ—one; mahān—very great; guṇaḥ—good quality; kīrtanāt—by chanting; eva—certainly; kṛṣṇasya—of the holy name of Kṛṣṇa; mukta-saṅgaḥ—liberated from material bondage; param—to the transcendental spiritual kingdom; vrajet—one can go.

My dear King, although Kali-yuga is an ocean of faults, there is still one good quality about this age: Simply by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, one can become free from material bondage and be promoted to the transcendental kingdom. (SB 12.3.510

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Deciding for the Future

Srila Prabhupada speaking

click on image to enlarge

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.

Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter Nine, New York—July 4, 1972

Deciding for the Future

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Now, you are a very intelligent boy. You can try to understand this philosophy. It is very important. For sense gratification people are wasting so much energy. They are not aware of what is going to happen in the next life. There is a next life, but foolish people are ignorant. This life is preparation for the next life. That they do not know. The modern education and its universities are completely in darkness about this simple knowledge. We are changing bodies every moment—that is a medical fact. After leaving this body, we will have to accept another body. How are we going to accept that body? What kind of body? This can also be known. For example, if someone is being educated, one can understand that when he passes his examination, he is going to be an engineer or medical practitioner. Similarly, in this life, you can prepare yourself to become something in the next life.

Barbara: [Bob’s wife] Can we decide what we want to be next life?

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes, you can decide. We have decided that next life we are going to Kṛṣṇa. This is our decision—back home, back to Godhead. Suppose you want to become educated. After this decision that you are going to be an engineer or you are going to be a medical practitioner, with that objective you prepare and educate yourself. Similarly, you can decide what you are going to do next life. But if you don’t decide, then the material nature will decide.

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The Krishna Consciousness Movement is Authorized (Free PDF Download)

The Krishna Consciousness Movement

This is a very nice publication that came out in the early 70’s. You can read it here online or save it to your computer by clicking on the following link:

The-Krishna-Consciousness-Movement-is-Authorized-1

Previous Older Entries

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

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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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