Belief in the Words of Our Spiritual Master

Srila Prabhupada on morning walk

“I firmly believe in these words of My spiritual master, and therefore I always chant the holy name of the Lord, alone and in the association of devotees. That holy name of Lord Kṛṣṇa sometimes causes Me to chant and dance, and therefore I chant and dance. Please do not think that I intentionally do it. I do it automatically. (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 7.95-96)

A person who cannot keep his faith in the words of his spiritual master but acts independently never receives the authority to chant the holy name of the Lord. (from purport)

This is one of my favorite verses from the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, and the purport here is one of the most important lessons in spiritual life. Namely, success in spiritual life is faith in the words of the spiritual master and following his instructions. Thereby receiving his blessings. If one receives the blessings of his spiritual master he can chant the holy name of the lord constantly.

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Black Friday The Material Disease

Black-Friday

The problems of material existence-birth, old age, disease and death-cannot be counteracted by accumulation of wealth and economic development. In many parts of the world there are states which are replete with all facilities of life, which are full of wealth, and economically developed, yet the problems of material existence are still present.

If economic development and material comforts could drive away one’s lamentations for family, social, national or international inebrieties, then Arjuna would not have said that even an unrivalled kingdom on earth or supremacy like that of the demigods in the heavenly planets would not be able to drive away his lamentations. He sought, therefore, refuge in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and that is the right path for peace and harmony.

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Pumpkin Pie (Eggless)

eggless pumpkin pie

Today in the West people are celebrating “Thanksgiving”. So we are posting a traditional Thanksgiving recipe; Pumpkin Pie (without the eggs). I have been making eggless pumpkin pies for the last 38 years, and have tried many different variations. I use 2 tablespoons of sour cream instead of 2 eggs, and one year I used Philadelphia cream cheese instead of evaporated milk, all with good success.

By the way, this year Thanksgiving falls on Ekadasi (fast from grains and beans), so we will be offering our pumpkin pie with a nut crust.

If you want to do everything yourself, there is the do it yourself recipe for a “homemade” pie crust, pumpkin puree, spicing, sweetened whipped cream, and a pecan nut crust. There is also the more generic recipe with purchased ingredients. (both options follow)

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Remembering Krishna

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This morning as I was reading from the Srimad Bhagavatam, my mind was drawn to the following verse:

The devotees of the Lord are accustomed to licking up the honey available from the lotus feet of the Lord. What is the use of topics which simply waste one’s valuable life? (SB 1.16.6)

Our duration of life is not very long, and there is no certainty of when we shall be ordered to leave everything for the next stage. Thus it is our duty to see that not a moment of our life is wasted in topics which are not related with Lord Kṛṣṇa. Any topic, however pleasant, is not worth hearing if it is devoid of its relation to Kṛṣṇa. (from purport)

Which lead me to remember another very beautiful verse from an earlier chapter entitled “The Passing Away of Bhīṣmadeva in the Presence of Lord Kṛṣṇa”

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Our Ever Well Wisher

Srila Prabhupada with young vaisnava

Remembering Srila Prabhupada
by Sita devi-dasi
Excerpted from ‘Back To Godhead’ magazine

I had the good fortune to be in Srila Prabhupada’s room when he was visiting the Mexico City temple in 1974. At that time a disciple who had strayed away had returned and was asking Srila Prabhupada to forgive him. He said he was afraid that Srila Prabhupada might have rejected him forever. The entire room fell silent. Srila Prabhupada lowered his head thoughtfully for a moment. Then he looked up and said, “Krsna is God, and if He likes He can spread Krsna consciousness all over the world in a second, without the help of anyone. But I am not God. I am simply a servant of God, so I require assistance. If someone helps me even a little, I am eternally indebted to him. You have helped me very much, so how can I reject you?” We were all moved by Srila Prabhupada’s humility and forgiveness.

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Chanting Hare Krishna

Hare Krishna mantra

The following are a few select excerpts on the importance of chanting Hare Krishna. Even if there is still some offence, our chanting should not be abandoned, but rather continued day and night.

Simply our prayer should be, My dear Krishna, please remind me to always chant Your Holy Name, please do not put me into forgetfulness. You are sitting within me as Supersoul, so you can put me into forgetfulness or into remembering You. So please do not put me into forgetfulness. Please always remind me to chant, even You send me into the hell, it doesn’t matter, just so long as I can always chant Hare Krishna. (letter to Devananda, Nov. 23, 1968)

The chanting of the holy name of Lord Viṣṇu is the best process of atonement for a thief of gold or other valuables, for a drunkard, for one who betrays a friend or relative, for one who kills a brāhmaṇa, or for one who indulges in sex with the wife of his guru or another superior. It is also the best method of atonement for one who murders women, the king or his father, for one who slaughters cows, and for all other sinful men. Simply by chanting the holy name of Lord Viṣṇu, such sinful persons may attract the attention of the Supreme Lord, who therefore considers, “Because this man has chanted My holy name, My duty is to give him protection.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 6.2.9-10)

“I do not find the strength to carry on alone the sankirtana of the holy name of Hari. Please bless me by giving me just one drop of faith with which to obtain the great treasure of the holy name of Krsna.

Krsna is yours. You have the power to give Him to me. I am simply your servant running behind you shouting, “Krsna! Krsna!” (Ohe! Vaisnava Thakrua-Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur)

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Goddess Durgā

Durga

This morning I ran across this nice image of the Goddess Durgā. Durgā-devī, is actually the external energy of Kṛṣṇa, the shadow energy of the Lord. People in general worship goddess Durgā, the wife of Lord Śiva, for material prosperity. As devotees of Krishna, we do not worship the demigods or demigoddess’s. As Srila Prabhupada points out;

There is a misconception that there are many Gods. Actually that is not a fact. God is one, but there are many other powerful living entities who are in charge of different departments of administration. They are called demigods. All the demigods are servants who carry out the orders of the Supreme Lord, the Personality of Godhead.

Only the less intelligent worship the demigods for their various purposes. The most intelligent worship only the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa.

Sometimes we, the members of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, are accused of not approving of the worship of demigods….

…Because Kṛṣṇa and His energy appeared simultaneously, people have generally formed two groups—the śāktas and the Vaiṣṇavas—and sometimes there is rivalry between them. Essentially, those who are interested in material enjoyment are śāktas, and those interested in spiritual salvation and attaining the spiritual kingdom are Vaiṣṇavas. Because people are generally interested in material enjoyment, they are interested in worshiping Māyādevī, the energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Vaiṣṇavas, however, are śuddha-śāktas, or pure bhaktas, because the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra indicates worship of the Supreme Lord’s energy, Harā. A Vaiṣṇava prays to the energy of the Lord for the opportunity to serve the Lord along with His spiritual energy. Thus Vaiṣṇavas all worship such Deities as Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, Sītā-Rāma, Lakṣmī-Nārāyaṇa and Rukmiṇī-Dvārakādhīśa, whereas durgā-śāktas worship the material energy under different names. ( from purport SB 10.2.11-12)

…But he also points out that we offer all respect to the demigods as they are all servants of the Lord.

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Acaryopasanam

Founder-Acarya

Here is a new word for your Vaisnava Vocabulary; Acaryopasanam. I ran across this word the other day while reading and had to go to Vani Quotes to get a better understanding of the word. The following is some of data which came from the researched words: “acaryopasana” and “acaryopasanam”. Interesting that I have heard or read this word many times and never bothered to look it up. I think it was the previous post that must have sparked this sudden interest in acaryopasanam.

Acaryopasanam: one must approach the acarya for real knowledge. SB 7.15.56, Purport:

In Bhagavad-gita, Thirteenth Chapter, it is clearly stated that one should execute devotional service and advance on the path of spiritual knowledge by accepting the acarya. Acaryopasanam: one should worship an acarya, a spiritual master who knows things as they are. The spiritual master must be in the disciplic succession from Krsna. The predecessors of the spiritual master are his spiritual master, his grand spiritual master, his great-grand spiritual master and so on, who form the disciplic succession of acaryas. SB 3.29.17, Purport:

Don’t follow rascals and fools. Then it will be useless waste of time. Follow the great ācāryas. Ācāryavān puruṣo veda. One who is ācāryavān, who has accepted ācārya, he knows. Lecture on SB 1.2.19 — Calcutta, September 27, 1974:

Ācāryopāsanā. We have to worship the ācāryas. That is recommended in the Bhagavad-gītā, for making advancement in spiritual life, ācāryopāsanā. Lecture — San Francisco, June 28, 19

Ācāryopāsanam. Ācārya upāsanā is one of the process of making progress. Lecture — Bhuvanesvara, January 21, 1977:

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Sri-guru-carana-padma (Sri Guru Puja)

Bury Place Vyasasana

This is a very nice song composed by Narottama dasa Thakura, which is sung daily in all of the Hare Krishna Temples around the world. What is interesting about transcendental sound vibration, is that it never gets old. This song is as relishable today, as it was 38 years ago. Actually even more relishable, as the meaning of the words become more and more realized.

The lotus feet of our spiritual master are the only way by which we can attain pure devotional service. I bow to his lotus feet with great awe and reverence. By his grace one can cross the ocean of material suffering and obtain the mercy of Krsna.

My only wish is to have my consciousness purified by the words emanating from his lotus mouth. Attachment to his lotus feet is the perfection that fulfills all desires.

He opens my darkened eyes and fills my heart with transcendental knowledge. He is my Lord birth after birth. From him ecstatic prema emanates; by him ignorance is destroyed. The Vedic scriptures sing of his character.

Our spiritual master is the ocean of mercy, the friend of the poor, and the lord and master of the devotees. O master! Be merciful unto me. Give me the shade of your lotus feet. Your fame is spread all over the three worlds.

Full song with synonyms; More

Vrndavana – Land of No Return

Kusum Sarvara

Kusum Sarvara

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Vrndavana – Land of No Return
by Brahmananda Swami
Excerpted from Back to Godhead Magazine 1975 Vol.10, No. 11

I once visited Vrndavana, India with His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada. As I accompanied him on his daily walk one morning we suddenly came upon a particularly beautiful spot. The cool sands were thick with foliage; the tall trees full of singing birds. As the sun brightened the clear morning sky, peacocks filled the air with their peculiar call.

Srila Prabhupada looked over his shoulder and said to me, “So, Brahmananda, this is Vrndavana. How do you like it?”

“It’s wonderful, Srila Prabhupada,” was all I could reply. I felt that he was actually revealing the glories of Vrndavana to me even though I had no particular spiritual qualification.

Vrndavana is the place where the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna appeared five thousand years ago. Lord Krsna descended there from His own spiritual planet, Goloka Vrndavana to attract us by displaying His supernatural pastimes. Srila Prabhupada has explained that when Krsna descends to the material world, this same Vrndavana descends with Him just as an entourage accompanies an important personage. Because when Krsna comes His land also comes, Vrndavana is not considered to exist in the material world. Therefore devotees take shelter of the Vrndavana in India, for it is considered to be a replica of the original Goloka Vrndavana.

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Srimad Bhagavatam Tenth Canto Part 3 (Free Download)

Srimad Bhagavatam 10 3

This is the final Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam volume translated by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, before his untimely departure. We share it with you as a free PDF download. You can click on following link to view the complete volume or save it to your computer.

click on following link; Srimad Bhagavatam Tenth Canto Part 3

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Yasoda Vishvarupa-darshan

Krishna eating dirt1

We are reprinting here a nice article which appeared on the Sampradaya Sun a few days ago, entitled “The Glorious Month of Damodara”. These are excerpts from Srila Prabhupada’s Lectures and a question and answer discussion, concerning the childhood pastime of Mother Yasoda seeing the Universal form in Krsna’s mouth.

Yasoda Vishvarupa-darshan

One of the Krsna-lila pastimes glorified during the month of Damodar is that of Yasoda Ma getting vishvarupa-darshan in Krsna’s mouth. In a lecture on Bhagavad-gita 2.25, Srila Prabhupada explained the pastime in terms of vatsalya-rasa:

“When Kṛṣṇa was playing as a child, He ate earth and the playmates complained to mother Yaśodā: “Mother, your son Kṛṣṇa is eating earth.” Mother Yaśodā called for explanation: “Kṛṣṇa, why You are eating earth? I have given You sandeśa. ” Kṛṣṇa said, “No, mother, I have not eaten.” “No, Your friends are complaining.” “No, they have become My enemies this morning. We had some quarrel. Therefore they have combined together to make Me chastised by you.” So in this way… Then mother Yaśodā wanted to solve this problem: “All right, show Your mouth, open Your mouth. I want to see.” And when Kṛṣṇa opened the mouth, the mother saw innumerable universes are within the mouth. This is Kṛṣṇa. Aṇor aṇīyān mahato mahīyān. Kṛṣṇa enters within the universe, but at the same time, millions of universes are within His mouth. This is the explanation of “the greater than the greatest and the smaller than the smallest.” Of course, mother Yaśodā, although she saw, she could not believe it because mother Yaśodā never thought of that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. She always thought that “He is my teeny child.” That’s all. “I have to take care of Him.” This is called paternal feelings. Vātsalya-rasa.” (Lecture on Bhagavad-gita 2.25 — Hyderabad, November 29, 1972)

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Arunodaya Kirtana (part two)

Chaitanya-Mahaprabhu

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Arunodaya Kirtana (part two)
by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

Lord Gaurānga is calling, “Wake up, sleeping souls! Wake up, sleeping souls! How long will you sleep in the lap of the witch called Māyā? You have forgotten the way of devotional service and are lost in the world of birth and death. I have descended just to save you; other than Myself you have no friend in this world. I have brought the medicine that will wipe out the disease of illusion from which you are suffering. Take this mahā-mantra-Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Thākura says: “I fall at the Lord’s feet, having taken this mahā-mantra.”

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Kṛṣṇa is known as Makhana-chora, “The Butter Thief”

Krsna the Butter Thief

The month of Damodara is winding down, only a few days left. So we are continuing with our posts on “Krsna Childhood Pastimes”, with a few excerpts on Krsna’s pastimes of sealing butter.

…Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is sometimes described as a thief. He is very famous amongst His pure devotees as the Mākhana-cora. He used to steal butter from the houses of neighbors at Vṛndāvana in His early age. Since then He is famous as a thief. But in spite of His being famous as a thief, He is worshiped as a thief, whereas in the mundane world a thief is punished and is never praised. Since He is the Absolute Personality of Godhead, everything is applicable to Him, and still in spite of all contradictions He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (from purport SB 1.10.19)

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The Choice is Yours

The Choice is Yours

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This is a nice article from Back to Godhead Magazine published in 1975. It is an interview with New York Times reporter Jon Nordheimer, and His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, on the subject of God.

The Choice is Yours
Excerpted from Back to Godhead Magazine 1975, Vol. 10, No. 4
Interview with His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

PRABHUPADA: When we speak of Krsna, we mean God. Everyone has some vague idea of God, but no clear idea. Therefore God descends to show what He is. If we speculate on God, someone will think one thing, and another person will think another. This is the result of speculation. But if God Himself comes and shows Himself as He is and speaks about Himself, that is perfect knowledge. This Krsna consciousness movement is spreading that message: God Himself is speaking about Himself: “I am this; I am like this; My form is like this; My activities are like this; My address is this and that—if you like, you can come back to Me. This is the situation. Everyone can come to Me.” All this information is in Bhagavad-gita As It Is. In Bhagavad-gita God speaks about Himself and presents Himself as He is. We simply have to take that information; then we can understand God. As soon as we understand God, we can go home immediately. It is very simple.

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Lord Krsna’s Childhood Pastimes

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…There is no parallel to His childhood pastimes as exhibited at Vrajabhūmi, which are the prototypes of His eternal affairs in the original Kṛṣṇaloka described as the cintāmaṇi-dhāma in the Brahma-saṁhitā [Bs. 5.29]. Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa descended Himself at Vrajabhūmi with all His transcendental entourage and paraphernalia. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu therefore confirmed that no one is as fortunate as the residents of Vrajabhūmi, and specifically the cowherd girls, who dedicated their everything for the satisfaction of the Lord. His pastimes with Nanda and Yaśodā and His pastimes with the cowherd men and especially with the cowherd boys and the cows have caused Him to be known as Govinda. (from purport to SB 1.8.21)

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Gopastami

Krishna Balarama and Cows

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Today on the Vaisnava Calender marks the day known as Gopastami or Gosthastami. On this day lord Sri Krishna became a qualified cowherd and took the cows out to Govardhana to graze. Previously He was the keeper of the calves. It was on this day that He became a gopa, or cowherd boy.

In this way, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, along with His elder brother Balarāma, passed the childhood age known as kaumāra and stepped into the age of paugaṇḍa, from the sixth year up to the tenth. At that time, all the cowherd men conferred and agreed to give those boys who had passed their fifth year charge of the cows in the pasturing ground. Given charge of the cows, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma traversed Vṛndāvana, purifying the land with Their footprints.

…When Kṛṣṇa, Balarāma and Their friends entered the village of Vṛndāvana, They played Their flutes, and the boys praised Their uncommon activities in the forest. Their faces were decorated with tilaka and smeared with the dust raised by the cows, and Kṛṣṇa’s head was decorated with a peacock feather. Both He and Balarāma played Their flutes, and the young gopīs were joyous to see Kṛṣṇa returning home. All the gopīs in Vṛndāvana remained very morose on account of Kṛṣṇa’s absence. All day they were thinking of Kṛṣṇa in the forest or of Him herding cows in the pasture. When they saw Kṛṣṇa returning, all their anxieties were immediately relieved, and they began to look at His face the way drones hover over the honey of the lotus flower. When Kṛṣṇa entered the village, the young gopīs smiled and laughed. Kṛṣṇa, while playing the flute, enjoyed the beautiful smiling faces of the gopīs. (from Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Chapter 15)

To honor this day we are posting some further childhood pastimes of Sri Krishna from the Kṛṣṇa Book entitled “The Killing of Dhenukāsura”

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Govardhana Pūjā

Krsna lifting govardhan hill1

On November 3rd the festival known as Govardhana Pūjā is celebrated.

The sacrifice known as Govardhana Pūjā is observed in the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Lord Caitanya has recommended that since Kṛṣṇa is worshipable, so His land, Vṛndāvana and Govardhana Hill, are also worshipable. To confirm this statement, Lord Kṛṣṇa said that Govardhana Pūjā is as good as worship of Him. From that day, the Govardhana Pūjā has been still going on and is known as Annakūṭa. In all the temples of Vṛndāvana or outside of Vṛndāvana, huge quantities of food are prepared in this ceremony and are very sumptuously distributed to the general population. Sometimes the food is thrown to the crowds, and they enjoy collecting it off the ground. From these instances, we can understand that prasādam offered to Kṛṣṇa never becomes polluted or contaminated, even if it is thrown on the ground. The people, therefore, collect it and eat with great satisfaction. (Kṛṣṇa, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, chapter 24)

…Formerly, at the end of Dvāpara-yuga, all the cowherd men of Vṛndāvana had arranged to worship King Indra, but they gave this worship up, following the advice of Kṛṣṇa. Instead, they performed a ceremony whereby they worshiped the cows, brāhmaṇas and Govardhana Hill. At that time Kṛṣṇa expanded Himself and declared, “I am Govardhana Hill.” In this way He accepted all the paraphernalia and food offered to Govardhana Hill. (from purport of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 4.86)

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The Gifts of His Divine Grace

Prabhupada smiles 1

The following is an older Back to Godhead article that that I fondly remember, which was published in 1978, shortly after Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance. We reprint it here to honor the memory of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada.

The Gifts of His Divine Grace
by Jayadvaita dasa [Swami]
Excerpted from Back to Godhead Magazine 1978 Vol. 13, No. 1-2

In just a dozen years, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada gave the world a legacy that will last forever.

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Childhood Pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa

Krsna lifting Govardhana Hill

…Lord Kṛṣṇa picked up Govardhana Hill with one hand, exactly as a child picks up a mushroom from the ground. Thus He exhibited His transcendental pastime of lifting Govardhana Hill. Lord Kṛṣṇa then began to address His devotees, “My dear brothers, My dear father, My dear inhabitants of Vṛndāvana, you can now safely enter under the umbrella of Govardhana Hill, which I have just lifted. Do not be afraid of the hill and think that it will fall from My hand. You have been too much afflicted from the heavy rain and strong wind; therefore I have lifted this hill, which will protect you exactly like a huge umbrella. I think this is a proper arrangement to relieve you from your immediate distress. Be happy along with your animals underneath this great umbrella.” Being assured by Lord Kṛṣṇa, all the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana entered beneath the great hill and appeared to be safe along with their property and animals.

…The inhabitants of Vṛndāvana and their animals remained there for one week without being disturbed by hunger, thirst or any other discomforts. They were simply astonished to see how Kṛṣṇa was holding up the mountain with the little finger of His left hand.

… After this incident, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, surrounded by His dear friends and animals, returned to His home. As usual, the gopīs began to chant the glorious pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa with great feeling, for they were chanting from the heart. (Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Chapter 25)

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

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The Hare Krishna Cookbook

Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition “Online”

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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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