Sacred Ganges Water

Naga Sadhus or holy man of Niranjani Akhara take a holy dip in Ganges River on the occasion of first royal bath of Shivratri festival during Maha Kumbh Festival , in Haridwar on March 11, 2021 . (Photo by Ritesh Shukla/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Srila Prabhupada:…”One cleanses himself daily by taking a bath in water, but one who takes his bath only once in the sacred Ganges water of the Bhagavad-gita cleanses away all the dirt of material life. Because Bhagavad-gita is spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one need not read any other Vedic literature. One need only attentively and regularly hear and read Bhagavad-gita.

In the present age, mankind is so absorbed with mundane activities that it is not possible to read all of the Vedic literatures. But this is not necessary. This one book, Bhagavad-gita, will suffice because it is the essence of all Vedic literatures and because it is spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

It is said that one who drinks the water of the Ganges certainly gets salvation, but what to speak of one who drinks the waters of Bhagavad-gita? Gita is the very nectar of the Mahabharata spoken by Visnu Himself, for Lord Krsna is the original Visnu. It is nectar emanating from the mouth of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the Ganges is said to be emanating from the lotus feet of the Lord. Of course there is no difference between the mouth and the feet of the Supreme Lord, but in our position we can appreciate that the Bhagavad-gita is even more important than the Ganges.

The Bhagavad-gita is just like a cow, and Lord Krsna, who is a cowherd boy, is milking this cow. The milk is the essence of the Vedas, and Arjuna is just like a calf. The wise men, the great sages and pure devotees, are to drink the nectarean milk of Bhagavad-gita.

In this present day, man is very eager to have one scripture, one God, one religion, and one occupation. So let there be one common scripture for the whole world–Bhagavad-gita. And let there be one God only for the whole world–Sri Krsna. And one mantra only–Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. And let there be one work only–the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”

Bhagavad-gītā Introduction

New York, February 19-20, 1966 660219-20BG.NY

Introduction to Gītopaniṣad

(Earliest Recording of Śrīla Prabhupāda in the Bhaktivedanta Archives)

click on link to read or download The Bhagavad-gita As It Is

Yoga and Meditation

This is an old photo taken in 1907 that my wife found on Facebook. I remember as a kid, thinking that’s what yogis do. Sit on a bed of nails, or levitate off the ground while meditating.

Before Srila Prabhupada came to the West, bringing with him the Vedic Philosophy, not many people had any idea of what was Yoga or Meditation. Or that there were different types of Yoga and Meditation.

We share with you an excerpt from the small paperback book by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swmai Prabhupada entitled ” The Perfection of Yoga ”

The yogī obviously has to go through a great deal of difficulty to purify the ātmā (mind, body and soul), but it is a fact that this can be done most effectively in this age simply by the chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. Why is this? Because this transcendental sound vibration is nondifferent from Kṛṣṇa. When we chant His name with devotion, then Kṛṣṇa is with us, and when Kṛṣṇa is with us, then what is the possibility of remaining impure? Consequently, one absorbed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, in chanting the names of Kṛṣṇa and serving Him always, receives the benefit of the highest form of yoga. The advantage is that he doesn’t have to take all the trouble of the meditational process. That is the beauty of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. 

In yoga it is necessary to control all of the senses, and when all the senses are controlled, the mind must be engaged in thinking of Viṣṇu. One becomes peaceful after thus conquering material life. 

jitātmanaḥ praśāntasya
paramātmā samāhitaḥ

“for one who has conquered the mind, the Supersoul is already reached, for he has attained tranquillity.” ( Bg. 6.7)

This material world has been likened to a great forest fire. As in the forest, fire may automatically take place, so in this material world, although we may try to live peacefully, there is always a great conflagration. It is not possible to live in peace anywhere in the material world. But for one who is transcendentally situated—either by the meditational yoga system or by the empirical philosophical method or by bhakti-yoga—peace is possible. All forms of yoga are meant for transcendental life, but the method of chanting is especially effective in this age. Kīrtana may go on for hours, and one may not feel tired, but it is difficult to sit in lotus position perfectly still for more than a few minutes. Yet regardless of the process, once the fire of material life is extinguished, one does not simply experience what is called impersonal void. Rather, as Kṛṣṇa tells Arjuna, one enters into the supreme abode. 

yuñjann evaṁ sadātmānaṁ
yogī niyata-mānasaḥ
śāntiṁ nirvāṇa-paramāṁ
mat-saṁsthām adhigacchati

“By meditating in this manner, always controlling the body, mind and activities, the mystic transcendentalist attains to the kingdom of God through cessation of material existence.” (Bg. 6.15)

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Execute Bhakti-yoga with Determination

…As for determination, one should follow the example of the sparrow who lost her eggs in the waves of the ocean. A sparrow laid her eggs on the shore of the ocean, but the big ocean carried away the eggs on its waves. The sparrow became very upset and asked the ocean to return her eggs. The ocean did not even consider her appeal. So the sparrow decided to dry up the ocean. She began to pick out the water in her small beak, and everyone laughed at her for her impossible determination. The news of her activity spread, and at last Garuda, the gigantic bird carrier of Lord Vishnu, heard it. He became compassionate toward his small sister bird, and so he came to see the sparrow. Garuda was very pleased by the determination of the small sparrow, and he promised to help. Thus Garuda at once asked the ocean to return her eggs lest he himself take up the work of the sparrow. The ocean was frightened at this, and returned the eggs. Thus the sparrow became happy by the grace of Garuda.

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