Transcendental Qualities of the Lord

Gopal

This morning I just felt like singing. The weather is warm, amd Spring is in the air. So I was in our temple room and after singing one of my favorite vaisnava songs, “Śrī Śrī Ṣaḍ-gosvāmy-aṣṭaka”, Eight Prayers to the Six Gosvamis by Śrīnivāsa Ācārya, I read the English Translations. There was one verse in particular that spoke to me:

I offer my respectful obeisances unto the six Gosvāmīs, who were engaged in chanting the holy names of the Lord and bowing down in a scheduled measurement. In this way they utilized their valuable lives and in executing these devotional activities they conquered over eating and sleeping and were always meek and humble enchanted by remembering the transcendental qualities of the Lord.

I thought yes, today, let me remember the Transcendental Qualities of the Lord. So with that in mind we are posting Chapter 21 from the Nectar of Devotion, which is a summary study of Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, which was written in Sanskrit by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī Prabhupāda. He was the chief of the Six Gosvāmīs, who were the direct disciples of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

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Lord Kṛṣṇa’s Entrance in Dvaraka

Lord Krishna Enters Dwarka

click on image to enlarge

In one of our previous posts entitled “Lord Kṛṣṇa’s Transcendental Conchshell” we were describing Lord Krsna’s entrance in Dvarka. This post is a continuation from that chapter, describing the citizens presentation and prayers to the Lord. Very nice!

The citizens arrived before the Lord with their respective presentations, offering them to the fully satisfied and self-sufficient one, who, by His own potency, incessantly supplies others. These presentations were like the offering of a lamp to the sun. Yet the citizens began to speak in ecstatic language to receive the Lord, just as wards welcome their guardian and father.

…Lord Kṛṣṇa’s attraction is so powerful that once being attracted by Him one cannot tolerate separation from Him. Why is this so? Because we are all eternally related with Him as the sun rays are eternally related with the sun disc. The sun rays are molecular parts of the solar radiation. Thus the sun rays and the sun cannot be separated. The separation by the cloud is temporary and artificial, and as soon as the cloud is cleared, the sun rays again display their natural effulgence in the presence of the sun. Similarly, the living entities, who are molecular parts of the whole spirit, are separated from the Lord by the artificial covering of māyā, illusory energy. This illusory energy, or the curtain of māyā, has to be removed, and when it is so done, the living entity can see the Lord face to face, and all his miseries are at once removed. Every one of us wants to remove the miseries of life, but we do not know how to do it. The solution is given here, and it rests on us to assimilate it or not. (Excerpted from purport SB 1.11.10)

…Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, being the primeval Lord, the Supreme Truth, is compared to the sun. Without Him all our knowledge is either false or partial. The opposite of the sun is the darkness, and similarly the opposite of Kṛṣṇa is māyā, or illusion. The devotees of the Lord can see everything in true perspective due to the light disseminated by Lord Kṛṣṇa. By the grace of the Lord the pure devotee cannot be in the darkness of ignorance. Therefore, it is necessary that we must always be in the sight of Lord Kṛṣṇa so that we can see both ourselves and the Lord with His different energies. As we cannot see anything in the absence of the sun, so also we cannot see anything including our own self, without the factual presence of the Lord. Without Him all our knowledge is covered by illusion. (Excerpted from purport SB 1.11.9)

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I Have Instructed Everything in My Books

 Srila Prabhupada  LA Garden

Here are some nice quotes stressing the importance of reading Srila Prabhupada’s books.

One has to associate with liberated persons not directly, physically, but by understanding, through philosophy and logic, the problems of life.
(SB 3.31.48)

What we have heard from the spiritual master, that is living.
(Lecture Excerpt – Los Angeles, January 13, 1969)

In my books the philosophy of Krishna Consciousness is explained fully so if there is anything which you do not understand, then you simply have to read again and again. By reading daily the knowledge will be revealed to you and by this process your spiritual life will develop.…You may please me the most by reading my books and following the instructions therein and by becoming fully Krishna Conscious in this life time.
(Letter to: Bahurupa Bombay 74-11-22)

I have instructed everything in my books.
(Letter to: Dina Dayala Mayapur 76-02-25)

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Material Life

Srila Prabhupada  Paris vyasasana pranamas closer

This is a very nice lecture by His Divine Grace from the sixth Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam, recorded July 12th, 1975, in Philadelphia, PA.

…We are thinking, “I shall be happy in this way. I shall be happy in this…” Nothing. You shall never be happy—this is perfect instruction—unless you go back to home, back to Godhead. Just like a mad boy, he has forsaken his father. His father is rich man, everything is there, but he has become hippie. So similarly, we are also like that. Our father is Kṛṣṇa. We can live there very comfortably without any botheration, without endeavor for earning money, but we have decided that we shall live here in this material world. This is called ass. … Therefore mūḍha. We do not know what is our self-interest. And we are hoping against hope, “I shall be happy in this way. I shall be happy in this way.” Therefore this word is used, mūḍha. They do not know what is actually his happiness, and he is trying one chapter, another, one chapter, another, “Now I will be happy.” The ass. The ass. Sometimes the washerman sits on his back and takes a bunch of grass and puts in front of the ass, and the ass wants to take the grass. But as he moving forward, the grass is also moving forward. (laughter) And he thinks, “Just one step forward, I shall get the grass.” But because he is ass, he does not know that “The grass is situated in such a way that I may go on for millions of years; still, I will not get the happiness…” This is ass. He does not come to his senses that “For millions and trillions of years I may try to be happy in this material world. I will never be happy.”

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Invocation of the Holy Name

Visnujana Swami

This song written by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and made famous in the West by the illustrious Visnujana Swami, has always been a favorite of mine, and the devotees of The Hare Krishna Movement.

Kabe Ha’be Bolo
(Invocation of the Holy Name)
By Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

When, oh when will that day be mine?
When my offenses ceasing, taste for the name increasing.
When in my heart will your mercy shine?
When, oh when, will that day be mine.

Lower than a blade of grass, more tolerant than a tree.
When will my mind attain this quality?
Respectful to all, not expecting their honor,
then shall I taste the name’s nectar sublime.

Great wealth or followers, feminine beauty,
I won’t care for them or the comforts of my body.
Birth after birth, give me, Oh Lord Caitanya,
causeless devotion to Your feet divine.

When will I utter Krsna, Krsna, Krsna,
with words choked up and shivering body?
When will I be trembling all over, lose bodily color,
tears pouring from my eyes.

When in Navadvipa along the Ganges bank,
shouting ‘Gaura-Nityananda’ as a surrendered soul,
dancing, chanting, running everywhere,
when will I become half mad of mind?

When will Lord Nityananda show mercy upon me,
when will I reject the world of Maya:
Bestow unto me the shade of Your lotus feet,
let the right to preach the name be mine.

I will beg, borrow, or steal the nectar of the name.
By the name’s effect I will feel paralyzed.
Oh! Enjoyed of the nectar of the name
when will I touch your lotus feet till the end of time?

When kindness to all beings will be appearing
with free heart forget myself comforting
Bhaktivinoda in all humility prays
“Now I will set out to preach Your order sublime.”

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Vṛndāvana is a Transcendental Beautiful Place

Radha-Krishna

Vṛndāvana
by Narottama das Thakura

Vrndavan is a transcendental beautiful place.  It is the spiritual sky, where everything is made of touchstone, which fulfills all desires.  All the temples there are bedcked with costly jewels,  In that far distant place is the River Yamuna, which is full of lotus flowers,  In the midst of that throng of lotus flowers there is a golden boat, appearing like another big lotus flower, with eight petals, who are none but the eight chief gopis who always surround Radha and Krishna,  In the surrounding petals there is a golden throne where the two transcendental lovers, namely Radha and Krishna are seated, but of all of them the governing Deity is Srimati Radharani.  There is no comparison to Radharani’s beauty and the luster of Her transcendental body.  The so-called beauty of the moon has fallen on the ground in the presence of Radharani’s beauty.  In that assembly of Radha-Krishna and their principal associates there is a flood of laughing and joking as they address one another.  Narottama das says that the eternal pastimes of Radha-Krishna from day to day are full of transcendental pleasure,  Let us all remember them now and then and thus become happy even in this material world.

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A Choice of Destinies

Srila Prabhupada Vani

…God is available. and we can associate with Him according to our choice. The ability to choose, or our conscience, is given to us in the human form so we can utilize it. All the ingredients are there for us to cross the ocean of birth and death. This human body is a very nice boat, and we have a very good navigator, the spiritual master. We also have a very favorable wind the instructions of God. So we should take our chance and cross the ocean of birth and death. We can say, “Now here is an opportunity. Take it and be saved from birth, old age, disease, and death.” but if you don’t take advantage, what can we do?

Mr. Nordheimer: Why does all this exist? Why the challenge in the first place? Why maya?

Srila Prabhupada: Maya means illusion, darkness. If I tell you to come from the darkness into the light and if you don’t come, that is your misfortune. Maya is there, and God is there. If you want to remain in maya, then how can you be saved? I can help you by saying, “Don’t remain in darkness. Please come out into the light.” But if you say, “No, I shall remain here,” then how can I save you? You have your choice. God is there, and maya is there. If you take to maya, you remain in darkness. What can I do, and what can God do? That is your choice.

A Choice of Destinies

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada speaks with Jon Nordheimer of the New York Times in a conversation recorded in September 1972 at New Vrindaban.

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The Deliverance of Ajamila

The Deliverance of Ajamila

click image to enlarge

…At the time of death, Ajamila helplessly and very loudly chanted the holy name of the Lord. That chanting alone has already freed him from the reactions of all sinful life. One who chants the holy name is immediately freed from the reactions of unlimited sins, even if he chants indirectly to indicate something else, jokingly, for musical entertainment, or even neglectfully. This is accepted by all the learned scholars of the scriptures. If one chants the holy name of Hari and then dies because of an accidental misfortune, one is immediately absolved from having to enter hellish life, even though he is sinful.

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Lord Kṛṣṇa’s Transcendental Conchshell

Krsna's conchshell

This is a nice description of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s transcendental conchshell, and of how He was recieved by the citizens of Dvārakā. Beautiful!

Sūta Gosvāmī said: Upon reaching the border of His most prosperous metropolis, known as the country of the Ānartas [Dvārakā], the Lord sounded His auspicious conchshell, heralding His arrival and apparently pacifying the dejection of the inhabitants.

The white and fat-boweled conchshell, being gripped by the hand of Lord Kṛṣṇa and sounded by Him, appeared to be reddened by the touch of His transcendental lips. It seemed that a white swan was playing in the stems of red lotus flowers.

The citizens of Dvārakā, having heard that sound which threatens fear personified in the material world, began to run towards Him fast, just to have a long desired audience with the Lord, who is the protector of all devotees.

…The sound heralded by Lord Kṛṣṇa was something like the heralding of the sunrise in the morning. This sound of the Lord is identical with the Lord. We are always fearful due to our ignorance of the next problem. The whole material existence is full of problems, and thus the fear problem is always prominent. This is due to our association with the illusory energy of the Lord, known as māyā or external energy, yet all fear is vanished as soon as there is the sound of the Lord, represented by His holy name, as it was sounded by Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu in the following sixteen words:

Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare
Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare

We can take advantage of these sounds and be free from all threatening problems of material existence.

SB 1.11.1-3 Full text and purport More

Advancing in Kṛṣṇa Consciousness

Srila Prabhupada Letters

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 Eight

Advancing in Kṛṣṇa Consciousness

(an exchange of letters)

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