In Praise of Srila Prabhupada

I posted this some years ago, but this morning I happened upon it again, and so enjoyed it, we thought we would post it again. In this treatise Ajitananda Prabhu describes how Srila Prabhupada perfectly displayed the twenty-six qualities of a pure devotee of Lord Krishna.

In Praise of Srila Prabhupada 
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by Ajitananda dasa 
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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who successfully distributed the message of Lord Krsna throughout the world, was not an ordinary conditioned soul, governed by the harsh laws of material nature. Although to the unenlightened he may have appeared to exhibit commonplace characteristics, it is evident through the careful study of his life and activities, that Srila Prabhupada perfectly displayed the twenty-six qualities of a pure devotee of Lord Krsna. We learn from Vedic literature that one who possesses these qualities is necessarily free from material bondage, and enjoys an eternal position in the intimate association of the Supreme Lord. Such a great soul is very rarely found within this material realm, and owing to his unparalleled purity and exalted status, he is worshipable by the entire world. Individually, and as a collective society of aspiring devotees, we must always strive to appreciate Srila Prabhupada’s divine qualities, teach this application to others, and perform all of our devotional activities for his satisfaction. This treatise is an imperfect but hopeful attempt to please Srila Prabhupada by illustrating, in a practical way, how he perfectly displayed the twenty-six qualities of a pure devotee of Lord Krsna.

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The Practice of Yoga

The gopis remembered their pastimes with Krishna p208

click on image to enlarge

This morning as I was making a breakfast offering, and was offering a nice glass of fresh milk, my mind just seemed to go to this picture of Krsna milking a cow. And I thought ‘milk is such a wonderful food, miraculous really. One can live on milk, and as small children milk is all that is required, and as we develop as yogis, we can subsist on the gifts of God, such as fruits, grains and milk, without a need for killing.

The above picture is one of my very favorites from the Krsna Book, because it is so simple and sweet, and there is a noticeable absence of technology.

The following are two verses from the Bhagavad-gita As It Is describing the healthy diet, and activities of the yogi.

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He Lives Forever

This is another great article by my friend Padmapani Prabhu over at the Prabhupada Connection. He expresses exactly my feelings about how Srila Prabhupada remains forever in our hearts and minds through his divine instructions.

“He lives forever by his divine instructions and the follower lives with him.”

He Lives Forever

by Padmapani dasa

Over the years I’ve often received comments from our readers stating how lucky they think the first generation of devotees was to have seen Srila Prabhupada while he was physically present on the planet. “What about us?”, they ask despondently. Startled by hearing such remarks by newcomers who should be brimming with hope and enthusiasm in Krishna consciousness, I try to explain that Srila Prabhupada is, in fact, as present now as he has ever been. Throughout Prabhupada’s books, letters and conversations, he has emphasized this point again and again, so there should be no cause for misunderstanding.

When asked by a reporter in July of 1975 what would happen to the movement after he departed, Srila Prabhupada replied: “I will never die. I shall live from my books, and you will utilize.” And in his purport toCaitanya-caritamrta Adi 1.35, Srila Prabhupada explains: “There is no difference between the spiritual master’s instructions and the spiritual master himself.” Further assuring us, Prabhupada spoke the following words just a few months prior to his departure in 1977: “I will remain your personal guidance, physically present or not physically present, as I am getting guidance from my Guru Maharaja.”

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Can We Keep Society from Going to the Dogs?

Can We Keep Society from Going to the Dogs?

Excerpted from Back to Godhead Magizine 1977, Vol. 12, #1

Many observers feel that with corruption so common and scandal nearly standard, society is in a bad way and getting worse. What’s really happening, and what to do? India’s Bhavans Journal interviews His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

Interviewer: The first question is this: “Is the influence of religion on the wane? And if so, does this factor account for the increase in corruption and the widespread deterioration of moral values?”

Srila Prabhupada: Yes, religion is on the wane. This is predicted in the Srimad-Bhagavatam [12.2.1]: tatas canudinam dharmah satyam saucam ksama dayal kalena balina rajan nanksyaty ayur balam smrtih “In the Kali-yuga [the present age of quarrel and hypocrisy] the following things will diminish: religiosity, truthfulness, cleanliness, mercifulness, duration of life, bodily strength, and memory.”

These are human assets, which make the human being distinct from the animal. But these things will decline. There will be no mercifulness, there will be no truthfulness, memory will be short, and the duration of life will be cut short. Similarly, religion will vanish. That means that gradually we will come to the platform of animals.

Interviewer: Religion will vanish? We’ll become animals?

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Epidemic Disease, and Antiseptic Vaccine

In these troubling times, in the mist of a worldwide pandemic , there is a small glimmer or hope; a vaccine. I know there is much debate over mask wearing, and taking the vaccine, due mostly to political unrest, and conspiracy theories. Even amongst devotees, there is much debate.

However,Srila Prabhupada has given us some instruction in the Bhagavad-gita, chapter 3, text 14, on how we can help protect our health.

…the devotees of the Lord, who are in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, offer food to Kṛṣṇa and then eat-a process which nourishes the body spiritually. By such action not only are past sinful reactions in the body vanquished, but the body becomes immunized to all contamination of material nature. When there is an epidemic disease, an antiseptic vaccine protects a person from the attack of such an epidemic. Similarly, food offered to Lord Viṣṇu and then taken by us makes us sufficiently resistant to material affection, and one who is accustomed to this practice is called a devotee of the Lord. Therefore, a person in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, who eats only food offered to Kṛṣṇa, can counteract all reactions of past material infections, which are impediments to the progress of self-realization. On the other hand, one who does not do so continues to increase the volume of sinful action, and this prepares the next body to resemble hogs and dogs, to suffer the resultant reactions of all sins. The material world is full of contaminations, and one who is immunized by accepting prasādam of the Lord (food offered to Viṣṇu) is saved from the attack, whereas one who does not do so becomes subjected to contamination. (from purport Bg 3.14)

Full text and purport

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Entering the Spiritual Worlds

“Everything in the spiritual world is substantial and original. This material world is only an imitation…. It is just like a cinematographic picture, in which we see only the shadow of the real thing.” In this lecture, delivered in October 1966 in New York City, Śrīla Prabhupāda gives an amazing glimpse into the nature of the spiritual world and some positive instructions on how to arrive there at the end of life’s perilous journey.

The Journey of Self-Discovery
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

paras tasmāt tu bhāvo ’nyo
’vyakto ’vyaktāt sanātanaḥ
yaḥ sa sarveṣu bhūteṣu
naśyatsu na vinaśyati

“Yet there is another unmanifest nature, which is eternal and is transcendental to this manifested and unmanifested matter. It is supreme and is never annihilated. When all in this world is annihilated, that part remains as it is.” [Bhagavad-gītā 8.20]

We cannot calculate the length and breadth of even this universe, yet there are millions and millions of universes like this one within the material sky. And above this material sky there is another sky, which is called the spiritual sky. In that sky all the planets are eternal, and life is eternal, also. We cannot know these things by our material calculations, so we must take this information from the Bhagavad-gītā.

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Don’t Be A Crazy Fellow…Be Patient and Return Home

Srila Prabhupada

“Be patient and return home. Don’t be a crazy fellow. By and by you will be able to cross the ocean of material existence. You should not make yourself a showbottle devotee and become a false renunciant. For the time being, enjoy the material world in a befitting way and do not become attached to it. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu continued: “Within your heart, you should keep yourself very faithful, but externally you may behave like an ordinary man. Thus Kṛṣṇa will soon be very pleased and deliver you from the clutches of māyā.” (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta: Madhya-lila Chapter 16, Text 237-239)

I have always liked this verse, it is sage advise for anyone practicing spiritual life (self-realization), in this age. “Within your heart, you should keep yourself very faithful, but externally you may behave like an ordinary man.” It is not that everyone who is interested in practicing Krishna Consciousness must artificially renounce the world, shave their head, put on robes, become a nun or monk, and live in a temple. No the instruction is here; “enjoy the material world in a befitting way and do not become attached to it.”

The peace and happiness for which we are all hankering for life after life, moment after moment, we will get when our desires become purified, and dovetailed with the Lord. One who desires sense gratification, the enjoyment of material satisfaction, will never be happy. That is not possible. If you want peace, if you want happiness, if you want perfection in your life, then just begin to dovetail your desires, activities, and potentials with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Then you will see what real happiness is, and can tell who is really crazy.

Full Text and purports

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Bhakti-yoga; The Culmination of Yoga

“Yoga” is a word becoming increasingly familiar to people all over the world. Many are asking, “What is yoga? What does the yoga practitioner seek to achieve? And what is the ultimate goal of yoga?”

If one is fortunate enough to come to the point of bhakti-yoga, it is to be understood that he has surpassed all the other yogas. Therefore, to become Kṛṣṇa conscious is the highest stage of yoga, just as, when we speak of Himalayan, we refer to the world’s highest mountains, of which the highest peak, Mount Everest, is considered to be the culmination.

The culmination of all kinds of yoga practices lies in bhakti-yoga. All other yogas are but means to come to the point of bhakti in bhakti-yoga. Yoga actually means bhakti-yoga; all other yogas are progressions toward the destination of bhakti-yoga. From the beginning of karma-yoga to the end of bhakti-yoga is a long way to self-realization. Karma-yoga, without fruitive results, is the beginning of this path. When karma-yoga increases in knowledge and renunciation, the stage is called jñāna-yoga. When jñāna-yoga increases in meditation on the Supersoul by different physical processes, and the mind is on Him, it is called aṣṭāṅga-yoga. And, when one surpasses the aṣṭāṅga-yoga and comes to the point of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Kṛṣṇa, it is called bhakti-yoga, the culmination. Factually, bhakti-yoga is the ultimate goal, but to analyze bhakti-yoga minutely one has to understand these other yogas. The yogī who is progressive is therefore on the true path of eternal good fortune.

It is by great fortune that one comes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness on the path of bhakti-yoga to become well situated according to the Vedic direction. The ideal yogī concentrates his attention on Kṛṣṇa, who is called Śyāmasundara, who is as beautifully colored as a cloud, whose lotus-like face is as effulgent as the sun, whose dress is brilliant with jewels and whose body is flower garlanded. Illuminating all sides is His gorgeous luster, which is called the brahmajyoti. He incarnates in different forms such as Rāma, Nṛsiṁha, Varāha and Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and He descends like a human being, as the son of Mother Yaśodā, and He is known as Kṛṣṇa, Govinda and Vāsudeva. He is the perfect child, husband, friend and master, and He is full with all opulences and transcendental qualities. If one remains fully conscious of these features of the Lord, he is called the highest yogī.

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Predictions for the Age of Hypocrisy

Predictions for the Age of Hypocrisy
Fifty centuries ago a great sage looked into the future and told us just what to expect. . .
An address based on the Srimad-Bhagavatam of Krsna-Dvaipayana Vyasa, given by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in Los Angeles during the summer of 1974.
Excerpted from Back to Godhead Magazine

tatas canu-dinam dharmah
satyam saucam ksama daya
kalena balina rajan
nanksyaty ayur balam smrtih

“My dear King, with each day religion, truthfulness, cleanliness, forgiveness, mercy, duration of life, bodily strength, and memory will all decrease more and more by the mighty force of time.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 12.2.1)

This description of the Kali-yuga [the present Age of Quarrel and Hypocrisy] is given in the Twelfth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam. Srimad-Bhagavatam was written five thousand years ago, when the Kali-yuga was about to begin, and many things that would happen in the future are spoken of there. Therefore we accept Srimad-Bhagavatam as sastra [revealed scripture]. The compiler of sastra (the sastra-kara) must be a liberated person so that he can describe past, present, and future.

In Srimad-Bhagavatam you will find many things which are foretold. There is mention of Lord Buddha’s appearance and Lord Kalki’s appearance. [Lord Kalki will appear at the end of the Kali-yuga.] There is also mention of Lord Caitanya’s appearance, although the Bhagavatam was written five thousand years ago. Tri-kala-jna: the writer knew past, present, and future.

So here Sukadeva Gosvami is describing the chief symptoms of this age. He says, tatas canudinam: with the progress of this age (Kali-yuga), dharma, religious principles; satyam, truthfulness; saucam, cleanliness; ksama, forgiveness; daya, mercifulness; ayur, duration of life; balam, bodily strength; smrti, memory—these eight things will gradually decrease to nil or almost nil.

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At the Moment of Death

With all the news of deaths in our Nation due to the Coronavirus, it seems that people are more aware of their own immortality. We were reading this morning from the Srimad-Bhagavatam in the chapter entitled “The Passing Away of Bhīṣmadeva in the Presence of Lord Kṛṣṇa” how all the living beings who participated on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra, on both sides, attained their svarūpa (eternal form) because they died in the presence of the Lord.

Simply by remembering the Lord at the time of death one can obtain liberation from this material existence. The conclusion is that whoever dies looking on the Personality of Godhead within or without attains his svarūpa, which is the highest perfection of life.

At the moment of death, let my ultimate attraction be to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead. I concentrate my mind upon the chariot driver of Arjuna who stood with a whip in His right hand and a bridle rope in His left, who was very careful to give protection to Arjuna’s chariot by all means. Those who saw Him on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra attained their original forms after death. (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.9.39)

Full Text and purport follows

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The Supreme Brahman

Some mornings after I do my morning meditation (japa), reading and study, I will pick out a nice sloka (verse) from the Bhagavad-gita or Srimad Bhagavatam, write it out on a note card and stick it in my pocket and throughout the course of the day refer to it in hopes of memorizing it. So today this sloka from the Bhagavad-gita will be my meditation and memorization exercise.

arjuna uvāca

paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma

pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān

puruṣaṁ śāśvataṁ divyam

ādi-devam ajaṁ vibhum

āhus tvām ṛṣayaḥ sarve

devarṣir nāradas tathā

asito devalo vyāsaḥ

svayaṁ caiva bravīṣi me

Arjuna said: You are the Supreme Brahman, the ultimate, the supreme abode and purifier, the Absolute Truth and the eternal divine person. You are the primal God, transcendental and original, and You are the unborn and all-pervading beauty. All the great sages such as Nārada, Asita, Devala, and Vyāsa proclaim this of You, and now You Yourself are declaring it to me.

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A Fool is not Revealed Until he Opens His Mouth

I must admit I watched the presidential debate last night. It was a travesty. Never before have I seen such rudeness and harshness on the presidential stage. Our President revealed what a low class character he truly is, with his interruptions, lies, false allegations, failure to denounce “white supremacy”, and rejecting the validity of mail in voting and our democratic process for free and fair elections. I was not surprised by behavior, rather I expected it, but was appalled by it nonetheless. Very unprecedented; not befitting a president of the United States.

…for speech is the most important quality of any man. It is said that a fool is undiscovered as long as he does not speak, and certainly a well-dressed fool cannot be identified unless he speaks, but as soon as he speaks, he reveals himself at once. (from purport to Bagavad-gita 2.54)

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If One Offers Me with Love and Devotion a Leaf, a Flower, Fruit or Water, I will Accept It.

One of the first slokas I ever memorized from the Bhagavad-gita was 9.26 patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ… “If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it.” (Full text and purport follows). This was practically the beginning of my spiritual life. ‘Just try to love God by offering Him something, with devotion. A leaf, a flower, fruit or water.’

One does not need great wealth, education or opulence to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If one is fully absorbed in love and ecstasy, he need offer only a flower and a little water. As stated in Bhagavad-gītā, patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati: “If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower. fruit or water, I will accept it.” (Bg. 9.26)

The Supreme Lord can be pleased only by devotional service: therefore it is said here that the Lord is surely satisfied by devotion and nothing else. Quoting from the Gautamīya-tantra, the Hari-bhakti-vilāsa states:

tulasī-dala-mātreṇa
jalasya culukena vā
vikrīṇīte svam ātmānaṁ
bhaktebhyo bhakta-vatsalaḥ

“Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is very affectionate toward His devotees, sells Himself to a devotee who offers merely a tulasī leaf and a palmful of water.” The Supreme Lord is causelessly merciful upon His devotee, so much so that even the poorest of men can offer Him a little water and a flower in devotion and thus please Him. This is due to His affectionate dealings with His devotees. (SB 5.3.6 purport)

Everyone is searching after peace of mind. This is obtainable only when one is completely freed from the desire for material sense gratification and is engaged in the devotional service of the Lord. As stated in Bhagavad-gītā: patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati (9.26). Worship of the Lord is not at all expensive. One can offer the Lord a leaf, a flower, a little fruit and some water. The Supreme Lord accepts these offerings when they are offered with love and devotion. In this way, one can become freed from material desires. As long as one maintains material desires, he cannot be happy. As soon as one engages in the devotional service of the Lord, his mind is purified of all material desires. Then one becomes fully satisfied. (SB 5.7.11, purport)

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Astronomical Calculations

I don’t know about any of you, but it seems to me this year 2020 has been full of inauspicious events; a pandemic, fires, drought, hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, civil unrest, shootings, political upheaval, etc. etc. I’m no expert on astrology or stellar influences, but this has been a very strange and foreboding year.

For some reason this Purport from the First Canto of the Srimad-Bhagavatam caught my attention this morning.  I generally do not put much thought into the Zodiac, or stellar influences upon us, or how the laws of nature are controlling us at every moment.  But in this purport by Srila Prabhupada,  he mentions the importance of preforming pious acts to take advantage of good stellar influences.   “Suitable arrangement of astral influences is never a creation of man’s will, but is the arrangement of the superior management of the agency of the Supreme Lord. Of course, the arrangement is made according to the good or bad deeds of the living being. Herein lies the importance of pious acts performed by the living being. Only by pious acts can one be allowed to get good wealth, good education and beautiful features.” (Purport Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.12.12)

Astronomical calculations of stellar influences upon a living being are not suppositions, but are factual, as confirmed in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Every living being is controlled by the laws of nature at every minute, just as a citizen is controlled by the influence of the state. The state laws are grossly observed, but the laws of material nature, being subtle to our gross understanding, cannot be experienced grossly. As stated in the Bhagavad-gītā (3.9), every action of life produces another reaction, which is binding upon us, and only those who are acting on behalf of Yajña (Viṣṇu) are not bound by reactions. Our actions are judged by the higher authorities, the agents of the Lord, and thus we are awarded bodies according to our activities. The law of nature is so subtle that every part of our body is influenced by the respective stars, and a living being obtains his working body to fulfill his terms of imprisonment by the manipulation of such astronomical influence. A man’s destiny is therefore ascertained by the birthtime constellation of stars, and a factual horoscope is made by a learned astrologer. It is a great science, and misuse of a science does not make it useless… (Purport Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.12.12)

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Anti-Abortion Issue

My wife shared this post with me that she ran across on Facebook. During this Election Year, I have noticed many devotees are becoming embroiled in the Presidential debate which seems to be dividing us yet again. Kesihanta Prabhu brings the words of Srila Prabhupada into the debate to remind us that abortion is only a side issue, our real mission is Krsna consciousness.

Anti-Abortion Issue
by Kesihanta Dasa

While doing some unrelated research in the Vedabase, I came across this in a letter from Srila Prabhupada. I’m posting it now since I find it odd that a number of devotees support Trump and other politicians simply on their anti-abortion stance regardless of their other positions and policies. What to speak of the fact that Trump says he’s against abortion only to woo his base of Evangelical Christians, while his character, life history, and policies are anything but Christian.

“Certainly we are opposed to abortion, and we can advise that it is not good, but do not take an active part in this political agitation against abortion. We are not much concerned in that way, so do not waste time approaching politicians or affiliating with others on the basis of the anti-abortion issue. We are Krsna Conscious and we are for Krsna Consciousness; that is our issue. Abortion is only a side issue. Whatever you have done that is all right, but concentrate now on our main business to make everyone Krsna Conscious.” — Srila Prabhupada, Letter to Tusta Krishna Maharaja, February 4, 1977

Forever Grateful to Srila Prabhupada

My good friend Padnapani Prabhu, who runs the web page “The Prabhupada Connection” has written many fine essays on Krishna Consciousness and the Glories of Srila Prabhupada. We share one of his Editorial Notes with you today.

Forever Grateful to Srila Prabhupada
by Padmapani dasa

Thinking back to the late sixties and early seventies, I fondly remember how the Hare Krsna mantra had already infiltrated contemporary culture due to Srila Prabhupada’s extraordinary efforts to spread the holy names throughout the world. A number of famous musicians and artists had begun to discover the chanting and were promoting it in their records and books.

For example, the Broadway musical “Hair” was a big hit and the accompanying record — which included the chanting of Hare Krsna — became a popular staple on the radio. George Harrison recorded the song “My Sweet Lord” with the melodious chanting of Krsna’s names in the background, and prior to that, the words “Hare Krsna” could be found on one of the Beatles’ albums. Poet Allen Ginsberg, a self-styled leader of the new counterculture, had visited India and picked up the mantra there. He subsequently wrote about the chanting in at least one or more of his poetry books. After meeting Prabhupada at 26 Second Avenue in the Lower East Side of New York, Ginsberg increased his dedication to the holy names and often chanted them during “be-ins” and poetry readings. When John Lennon and Yoko Ono staged their famous “bed-in” at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal in 1969, the devotees were there singing Hare Krsna during the recording of “Give Peace a Chance.” The “Radha Krsna Temple” album produced by George Harrison in 1970 in co-operation with the London devotees could be found in record stores throughout Europe and North America. Such was the widespread influence of Srila Prabhupada’s dynamic preaching efforts even though he had only been in the western world for a short period of time. Srila Prabhupada was already expertly fulfilling the order of his spiritual master, His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaj.

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The Beauty of the Lord

This morning I was just reflecting on how hot the weather has been, and how much all the plants are in need of water. Then, as I was reading the following verses from the Srimad Bhagavatam and I was thinking that we are all in need of Krsna, who is like the rain, and who’s beauty is compared to the dark clouds in the sky.

…After the scorching heat of the summer season, it is very pleasing to see dark clouds in the sky. The Lord wears a peacock feather in His hair, and His bodily complexion is just like a blackish cloud.

…The Lord’s beauty is compared to rainfall because when the rain falls in the rainy season, it becomes more and more pleasing to the people. After the scorching heat of the summer season, the people enjoy the rainy season very much. Indeed, they even come out of their doors in the villages and enjoy the rainfall directly. Thus the Lord’s bodily features are compared to the clouds of the rainy season.

…No one can say that the body of the Lord is wanting in beautiful parts. It is completely pūrṇam. Everything is complete: God’s creation, God’s beauty and God’s bodily features. All these are so complete that all one’s desires can become fully satisfied when one sees the beauty of the Lord. Both materialists and spiritualists can enjoy the beauty of the Lord. Because the Supreme Lord attracts everyone, including demons and devotees, materialists and spiritualists, He is called Kṛṣṇa. (from purport to SB 4.24.45-46)

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Stealing the Garments of the Unmarried Gopī Girls

Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter 22

I love the KRSNA Book. It was the first book I ever received by Srila Prabhupada, and was handed to me by a very compassionate Hare Krishna devotee at the Chicago Ohara Airport way back in 1972. Love all the stories and especially like the following one we share with you today.

Stealing the Garments of the Unmarried Gopī Girls

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Editorial: “GBC Suppressed The Truth” Officiating Acaryas

The following is an older article but one of great importance, with perhaps the only remaining document of the GBC summary report of the meeting that took place between May 27-29, 1977.

Officiating Acaryas

Editorial: “GBC Suppressed The Truth”
by Locanananda dasa

EDITORIAL, Dec 13 [1999] (VNN)

New evidence has just been discovered that suggests a GBC conspiracy to suppress instructions given by Śrīla Prabhupāda concerning how he wanted initiations to be performed after his departure.

In May of 1977, the members of the GBC were summoned to Vrndavana, India to meet with Śrīla Prabhupāda when His Divine Grace thought his departure from this world was imminent. His Divine Grace revealed to a committee of GBC members that he was going to recommend some of his disciples to act as officiating ācāryas to perform first and second initiations when he would no longer be with us. As evidenced by the following document, the GBC decided at the time that devotees throughout the world should not be informed of this most important revelation made by their beloved spiritual master.

The repercussions of the decision to suppress the truth and the subsequent deviation from Śrīla Prabhupāda’s instructions have left devoted followers of His Divine Grace deadlocked over the issue of guru succession and initiations in ISKCON for more than two decades.

The document in question is a summary report of the GBC meetings held during the three days from May 27-29, 1977. The report was sent out to all ISKCON temple presidents and begins with a list of names of the GBC members in attendance. The first point mentioned in the report is that a list of trustees of all ISKCON properties was submitted to Śrīla Prabhupāda. The second point states that committees were formed to improve the original charter and expand the Bureau of Management in India. Point number three deals with the questions posed by the GBC committee concerning how Śrīla Prabhupāda’s mission was to be continued under the direction of the GBC after his departure. It is this third item that is of great significance.

A review of the document shows quite clearly that the GBC deliberately omitted from the report Śrīla Prabhupāda’s answer to the question concerning initiations. This intentional omission was apparently made to conceal Śrīla Prabhupāda’s wishes from his disciples worldwide concerning the initiation procedures he wanted followed after his departure. Had this been an honest presentation of the facts, the report would have stated:

“When asked how first and second initiations would be performed after he was no longer with us, Śrīla Prabhupāda said that he was going to recommend some of his disciples to act as officiating ācāryas.”

The text of Śrīla Prabhupāda’s conversation with the GBC committee was not disclosed for many years, which has created a credibility gap between the leaders of ISKCON and ISKCON’s general membership.

Six weeks later, a letter issued on July 9th, 1977 bearing Śrīla Prabhupāda’s signature was sent to all temple presidents to explain changes that were being made in initiation procedures. It was the outcome of a discussion that had taken place two days earlier between Śrīla Prabhupāda and his secretary. In that conversation, to resolve the problem of an initiation backlog, Śrīla Prabhupāda first recommended that senior sannyāsīs could again perform initiation ceremonies as had been done before his illness. However, when the secretary reminded Śrīla Prabhupāda of the May 28th meeting with the GBC, this historic conversation evolved into the naming of the officiating ācāryas, referred to in the letter as “ritvik representatives.”

Śrīla Prabhupāda had said he was going to recommend some of his disciples to perform initiations on his behalf after his disappearance, and the July 9th letter was the fulfillment of that promise. According to the May 28th announcement to the GBC, those initiated during his physical presence by representatives of the ācārya would be considered his direct disciples, while those initiated after his disappearance by officiating ācāryas would be considered his second generation of disciples, or granddisciples. The difference was considered to be one of formalities, since all members of ISKCON throughout the course of its history would perpetually serve, worship and follow the teachings of their great preceptor ācārya, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. That is the principle that unifies the International Society for Kṛṣṇa Consciousness.

The document presented below was transcribed exactly from the original which accounts for any spelling or grammatical errors. Because the only remaining copy may be the one in my possession, I recommend that devotees save copies in their files for future reference.

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Krishna Janmastami

Joyous Celebration at Krishna’s Birth

Today we celebrate the birth of Lord Krsna, or Krishna Janmastami, with a full day fast and a feast after his appearance at Midnight tonight. We honor this auspicious day with a post from the Krsna Book.

The joyous vibrations at Krsna’s birth ceremony could be heard in all the pasturing grounds and houses.

 

KRSNA, The Supreme Personality of Godhead
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 5

Meeting of Nanda and Vasudeva

Although Kṛṣṇa was the real son of Vasudeva and Devakī, because of Kaṁsa’s atrocious activities Vasudeva could not enjoy the birth ceremony of his son. But Nanda Mahārāja, the foster father, celebrated the birth ceremony of Kṛṣṇa very joyfully. The next day, it was declared that a male child was born of Yaśodā. According to Vedic custom, Nanda Mahārāja called for learned astrologers and brāhmaṇas to perform the birth ceremony. After the birth of a child, the astrologers calculate the moment of the birth and make a horoscope of the child’s future life. Another ceremony takes place after the birth of the child: the family members take baths, cleanse themselves and decorate themselves with ornaments and garlands; then they come before the child and the astrologer to hear of the future life of the child. Nanda Mahārāja and other members of the family dressed and sat down in front of the birthplace. All the brāhmaṇas who were assembled there on this occasion chanted auspicious mantras, according to the rituals, while the astrologers performed the birth ceremony. All the demigods are also worshiped on this occasion, as well as the forefathers of the family. Nanda Mahārāja distributed 200,000 well decorated, dressed and ornamented cows to the brāhmaṇas. He not only gave cows in charity, but hills of grains, decorated with golden-bordered garments and many ornaments.

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