Photos by Gurudas

From time to time, I like to post some of the old photos from Gurudas Prabhu’s camera. He was one of the first ISKCON photographers and took many of the famous and beautiful pictures of Srila Prabhupada. The following were from Parikama with Srila Prabhupada in India.

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Padayatra

padayatra

Last evening we had the good fortune to spend it with Lokanath Swami at a home program here in New Vrindaban. He spoke for 2 1/2 hours on village life, simple living-high thinking, the padayatra, how he joined the Hare Krishna Movement, meeting Srila Prabhupada, and ending it with a very moving account about Srila Prabhupada’s final request to go on parikrama in a bullock cart. Then in summary, hw spoke about Srila Prabhupada’s last desire to travel to all the holy places of pilgrimage, and the continuation of the Padayatra program Srila Prabhupada wanted.

“…However in the evening of the 14th of November, Srila Prabhupada left this mortal world. Some days after his departure, in order to fulfill his last desire, the devotees performed parikrama on Govardhana Hill with a bullock cart, carrying a portrait of their eternal well-wisher. Thousands of disciples and followers of Srila Prabhupada participated in this last procession. Something to deeply think about Only a few days before his departure, Srila Prabhupada wanted to go on pilgrimage with a bullock cart. Every moment of Prabhupada’s life had a purport that is meant to teach us some lesson. It is something for his followers to deeply think about, especially since traveling on a bullock cart was one of Prabhupada’s last desires, as well as to visit the holy places of pilgrimage. The Padayatra idea remained dormant for the next seven years, but then in 1984, at the advent of the 500th anniversary of the appearance of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the GBC requested Lokanath Maharaja to be the leader of an all-India Padayatra party that would travel from Dvaraka, Gujarat to Mayapur, West Bengal.”

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Srila Prabhupada

srila-prabhupada-103

Srila Prabhupada

At various times people have called him a scholar, a philosopher, a cultural ambassador, a prolific author, a religious leader, a spiritual teacher, a social critic, and a holy man. In truth, he was all these things and more.

Over five hundred years ago, Lord Sri Krishna appeared as Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in Navadvipa, a village in West Bengal. The purpose of His appearance was to inaugurate the Sankirtana Movement, the Yuga Dharma for this age of Kali. He declared that the chanting of His holy names would spread beyond the shores of India to every town and village in the world. He predicted that His commander-in-chief would appear to accomplish this mission.

Yes… Srila Prabhupada appeared to fulfill this prophecy.

On September 01, 1896, the day after Janmashtami (the auspicious appearance day of Lord Sri Krishna) in a little house in the Tollygunge suburb of Calcutta, a male child was born. His father, Gour Mohan De, and his mother Rajani, named him Abhay Charan (one who is fearless – having taken shelter at the lotus feet of Lord Krishna).

An astrologer prepared the horoscope for the baby and revealed: When this child reaches the age of seventy, he will cross the ocean, become a great teacher of religion and establish 108 Krishna temples.

And this is exactly what happened.

Srila Prabhupada set out to America in 1965 and established the International Society for Krishna Consciousness at the age of sixty-nine. He travelled around the world fourteen times, established more than 100 temples of Krishna and initiated more than 10000 disciples into Krishna consciousness.

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“I Have No Capacity to Repay You”

 

Mohana-Madhuri

“I Have No Capacity to Repay You”
by Yadurani Devi Dasi
Excerpted from Back to Godhead Magazine
Vol. 26, No. 2, 1992

Srila Prabhupada placed great spiritual value on the sometimes crude paintings of ISKCON’s first artists.

TWENTY-SIX SECOND AVENUE, New York City, 1967: Govinda Dasi had recently painted Srila Prabhupada’s quarters—blue walls with gold borders. His desk was his trunk from India. He sat on second-hand mats donated by his disciples.

Prabhupada showed me a beautiful print of Radha and Krsna with the eight principal gopis, standing together in the moonlight in a garden in the Vrndavana forest. He wanted me to copy the scene onto a large canvas.

Prabhupada told me that the gopis in the picture had Bengali beauty because they’d been painted by a Bengali artist. The flowers at Krsna’s feet didn’t seem very clearly painted to me. They looked like colored blobs. I asked Prabhupada what kind of flowers I should paint. “You can take any flower and transport it to Vrndavana,” he answered.

“What color should I paint Krsna’s eyes?” I asked. Sometimes we read that Krsna’s eyes are red.

“They are reddish, reddish black,” he said.

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Easy Journey to Other Planets

Easy Journey to Other Planets
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

It is said that the perfect yogi can relinquish his body at death and journey, at the speed of mind, to antimaterial planets far beyond the limits of the material universe. Encompassing the systems of sankhya, astanga and bhakti, this absorbing publication treats the science of yoga, particularly in its application to out-of-body travel.

Easy Journey to Other Planets was one of the earliest small books available at the onset of The Hare Krishna Movement.  The following is a link for a free download of  the original edition that Srila Prabhupada printed in India before he ever came to the USA.  Just click on link at bottom of post.

From the Preface of the book:

A living being, especially civilized man, has a natural desire to live forever in happiness. This is quite natural because, in his original state, the living being is both eternal and joyful. However, in the present conditioned state of life, he is engaged in a struggle against recurring birth and death. Therefore he has attained neither happiness nor immortality.

The latest desire man has developed is the desire to travel to other planets. This is also quite natural, because he has the constitutional right to go to any part of the material or spiritual skies. Such travel is very tempting and exciting because these skies are full of unlimited globes of varying qualities, and they are occupied by all types of living entities. The desire to travel there can be fulfilled by the process of yoga, which serves as a means by which one can transfer himself to whatever planet he likes–possibly to planets where life is not only eternal and blissful, but where there are multiple varieties of enjoyable energies. Anyone who can attain the freedom of the spiritual planets need never return to this miserable land of birth, old age, disease and death.

One can attain this stage of perfection very easily by his individual effort. He can simply follow, in his own home, the prescribed method of bhakti-yoga. This method, under proper guidance, is simple and enjoyable. An attempt is made herein to give information to the people in general, and to philosophers and religionists in particular, as to how one can transfer oneself to other planets by this process of bhakti-yoga-the highest of all yogic processes.

 

click on link for a free download of original;  Easy-Journey-to-Other-Planets-Original-India-SP-edition-scan

Pleasing Srila Prabhupada by reading his books

Reading Srimad Bhagavatam

By Gauridas Pandita Prabhu

Vrndavan India June 1977. I used to take Srila Prabhupada’s paraphernalia to translate his books up to the rooftop before sundown every evening. Part of the roof was covered and part was open and there is an inside room also and a bathroom. Srila Prabhupada would come up just at about sunset to start his translation work for the night.

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Speaking About Varnasrama Volume 1

speaking about varnasrama

A friend of mine recently shared a book with me that I found most interesting. This first volume, Speaking about Varnasrama, focuses on Srila Prabhupada’s actual spoken conversations and lectures about varnasrama. This post includes a brief descprition of Srila Prabhupada taken from back cover of book, as well an the table of contents.

It can be ordered from the site Exoitc India

It is a good book for anyone interested in the Varnasrama System and Farm Community Development.

Speaking About Varnasrama Volume 1

His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

Compiled by Hare Krsna-devi dasi
Edited by Suresvara-dasa

Published by The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust

About the Author
In this work, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the foremost Vedic scholar and teacher of the modern age, and author of than sixty volumes of authoritative annotated translations and summary studies of the philosophical and religious classics of India, presents a vision of a spiritual society. Criticizing a mode society based on industrialism, materialism, and a callous disregard for the workers who support it, Srila Prabhupada calls for a spiritualized•social structure. Citing Bhagavad-gita, he advocates varnasrama, dharma, a social institution in which people gain spiritual satisfaction and spiritual advancement by doing their daily work as an offering to God.

Though his vision is based on Vedic scriptures of India, Prabhupada faults the modern caste system as a perversion of scriptural injunction. But India is not alone, he states, for materialistic social structures around the world impede spiritual progress. Thus, in the forty conversations, lectures, and interviews in this volume, we hear him present a society where occupations are determined by character and training, not by birth and wealth; a society based on opportunity and maximizing human potential rather than on stagnancy and oppression; one based on mutual appreciation and cooperation between classes rather suspicion and disdain. We hear about a society which is inclusive rather than exclusive, a society based on simple living and high thinking rather than on wealth and greed. Above all, van, uarnasrama society Prabhupada describes is consciously organized to bring each kind of person closer to the actual goal human life, attaining a loving relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krsna.

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prabhupadagita.com

Bhagavad-gita “As It Is” Original 1972 Edition
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

I built this site: Bhagavad-gita “As It Is” Original 1972 Edition some years ago as a supplement to this page. I have recently taken a closer look at it, upgraded it to eliminate the pop up adds, and changed the domain name.

The new domain name is prabhupadagita.com and should be free from adds.

Actually I remember being very excited years ago when I first created this page, as it made available Srila Prabhupada’s original Bhagavad-gita “As It Is” 1972 edition, with a very simple user friendly format, and all the original pictures. I never really promoted it, other than as a link from my site The Hare Krishna Movement. But in retrospect I think with a few minor changes to the domain name and a minor upgrade, I think it might possibly have some useful value for today’s cell phone, and tablet users.

I would welcome any visitors and appreciate any feedback or suggestions. You can contact me at vyasasan@gmail.com

Thanks
Vyasasana dasa

Spiritual Master Is with You by His Words

Spiritual Master Is with You by His Words

Devotee: Sometimes this question comes up, with the devotees especially, that it says the devotee makes advancement when the spiritual master is pleased. Right? So sometimes the spiritual master is far, far away. He may be in Los Angeles. Somebody is coming to Hamburg temple. He thinks, “How will the spiritual master be pleased?”

Prabhupada: Just follow his order. Spiritual master is along with you by his words. Just like my spiritual master is not physically present, but I am associating with him by his words.

Devotee: And Krishna knows that; therefore we make advancement. He is sitting in our heart. He knows what we’re doing. So He sees, “He’s serving My pure devotee,” immediately there is advancement.

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The Appearance Day of Lord Nityananda

Today marks the appearance day of Lord Nityananda. We honor it with a half day fast and rememberances of Lord Nityananda’s glories and pastimes. The following is a song written by Srila Narottama dasa Thakura with purport by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

Nitai-Pada-Kamala
The Lotus Feet of Lord Nityananda
By Srila Narottama dasa Thakura
Purport By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

nitai-pada-kamala, koti-chandra-susitala,
je chayay jagatu juray
heno nitai bine bhai, radha-krsna paite nai,
dridha kori’ dharo nitair pay

The lotus feet of Sri Nityananda are as cool as millions of moons. The whole universe gets peace by the shade of those lotus feet. Without the mercy of Sri Nityananda, nobody can get Radha and Krishna, the aim of human life. Therefore, catch hold of the two lotus feet of Sri Nityananda Prabhu very tightly.

se sambandha nahi ja’r, britha janma gelo ta’r,
se pashu bodo durachara
nitai na bolilo mukhe, majilo samsara-sukhe,
vidya-kule ki koribe tara

One who has not established a relationship with Sri Nityananda is a two-legged animal. A great beast! His whole life is finished. He cannot be called a human being. He never utters the name of Sri Nityananda. He is always immersed in enjoying material happiness and has forgotten Sri Nitai. He may have acquired all material scholarship and learning, but what is the value of such education? This will never help.

ahankare matta hoiya, nitai-pada pasariya,
asatyere satya kori mani
nitaiyer karuna habe, braje radha-krsna pabe,
dharo nitai-charana du’khani

They are so puffed up with their mundane education and scholarship. They are never humble at all. They have forgotten the lotus feet of Sri Nitai because of their false ego and pride. They are completely under the clutches of Maya. They accept the untruth as truth. If Sri Nityananda showers His mercy upon someone, he will get Sri Sri Radha Krishna in Vrajabhumi. So catch hold of the two lotus feet of Lord Nityananda very tightly.

nitaiyer carana satya, tanhara sevaka nitya,
nitai-pada sada koro asha
narottama bodo dukhi, nitai more koro sukhi,
rakho ranga-charanera pasha

The lotus feet of Sri Nityananda are eternally true. And those followers or servants of those lotus feet of Sri Nityananda are also eternal. Always aspire for the lotus feet of Sri Nityananda. Srila Narottama dasa Thakura says, “I am very distressed, and an unhappy person. I am drowning in this dreadful ocean of material exis­tence. O Sri Nityananda Prabhu, please make me very happy! Please keep me at Your lotus feet.”

Purport by Srila Prabhupada More

The Appearance Day of Advaita Acarya

Today marks the appearance day of Advaita Acarya. We honor it with a half day fast and a reading of the Sixth Chapter from the Adi-lila of the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Full chapter follows:

The truth of Advaita Ācārya has been described in two different verses. It is said that material nature has two features, namely the material cause and the efficient cause. The efficient causal activities are caused by Mahā-Viṣṇu, and the material causal activities are caused by another form of Mahā-Viṣṇu, known as Advaita. That Advaita, the superintendent of the cosmic manifestation, has descended in the form of Advaita to associate with Lord Caitanya. When He is addressed as the servitor of Lord Caitanya, His glories are magnified because unless one is invigorated by this mentality of servitorship one cannot understand the mellows derived from devotional service to the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa.

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Please Accept My Blessings

“As far as my blessing is concerned it does not require my physical presence. If you are chanting Hare Krishna there and following my instructions, reading the books, taking only Krsna prasadam etc., then there is no question of your not receiving the blessings of Lord Caitanya whose mission I am humbly trying to push on.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter June 30, 1974)

full letter More

Japa-By Example

I wanted to try something different this morning…so I attempted to import a sound file. You can click on following link to hear Srila Prabhupada chanting Japa.

Japa- By Example

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Prabhupada Receives the Macmillan Gita

Prabhupada Receives the Macmillan Gita
By Nanda Kumar Das

One day, when I was first with His Divine Grace in L.A., Brahmananda Prabhu came from New York and they were talking about the printing of a Bhagavad Gita with Sanskrit included. Evidently, there was a question as to whether the western people could pronounce the transliteration with diacritic marks.

Srila Prabhupad rang his bell, and I came into his room. Brahmananda was there. Srila Prabhupad handed me a paper with Sanskrit transliteration and said “Read this!” I have been able to read since I was three, so evidently, I made the pronunciations close enough. Srila Prabhupad said to Brahmananda, with great enthusiasm, “See! I told you they could do it!” He was very happy.

So the printing went on, and in New York, when His Divine Grace was there, Brahmananda brought in the first edition of the big Gita with all the Sanskrit in it. Remembering the LA experience, he very kindly gave the Gita to me, and said “Here, you can give this to Srila Prabhupad.” I was overjoyed, and went to His room to offer it to Him, followed by a photographer. I gave it to Him and said “Here is the first copy of Your new Bhagavad Gita, Srila Prabhupad.”

In His amazing way of innocence and childlike excitement, He took it and held it to His head, saying “Jai! Jai!” It was awesome to be present for such an important and empowering moment. Srila Prabhupad was so kind to me. Even though I was/am a deeply entrenched rascal, He has engaged me so many times in wonderful service. All Glories to Srila Prabhupad!

text pasted from The Prabhupada Conection

Gita Jayanti

click on image to enlarge

Today we celebrate Gita Jayanti, which is an annual celebration to commemorate the day when Lord Krishna spoke the Bhagavad-gita to Arjuna on the first day of the battle of Kurukshetra. Recital of the Bhagavad Gita is performed throughout the day in most ISKCON centers throughout the world.

Celebrating Bhagavad Gita Jayanti
by Subhamoy Das

The Bhagavad Gita is considered the most important and influential Hindu scripture for its philosophical, practical, political, psychological and spiritual value. Bhagavad Gita Jayanti, or simply Gita Jayanti, marks the birth of this holy book. According to the traditional Hindu calendar, Gita Jayanthi falls on the Ekadashi day of Shukla Paksha or the bright half of the Margashirsha month (November-December).

The Birth of the Gita and Origin of Gita Jayanti

Gita Jayanti is an annual celebration to commemorate the day when Lord Krishna rendered his philosophical teachings – immortalized in the epic Mahabharata – to prince Arjuna on the first day of the 18-day battle of Kurukshetra. When prince Arjuna refused to fight against his cousins, the Kauravas in the battle, Lord Krishna expounded the truth of life and the philosophy of Karma and Dharma to him, thereby giving birth to one of the world’s greatest scriptures, the Gita.

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Teachings of Lord Kapila [Free Download]

teachings-of-lord-kapila

Teachings of Lord Kapila
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Today we share with you the Teachings of Lord Kapila. For a free download you can click the following link taken from one of my most favorite web sites krishnapath.org To begin free download click on following link: Teachings of Lord Kapila

Long ago, in an age we know about only from the epics of ancient India, the great sage Kapila made His appearance on this earth–from the womb of the saintly Devahuti. Lord Kapila then showed his mother the way of Sankhya–the analytical pathway to a higher understanding of the world, the self and the ultimate source of everything.

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Disappearance Day of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

 Srila Prabhupada's 2014 disappearance day  Vyasasan 068

Vyasasana decorations by Lokadrsti devi dasi

His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada’s Disappearance Day homage
by Vyasasan das

Dear Srila Prabhupada

Please accept my fallen obeisance’s, and my love, on this auspicious day of your disappearance. With your arrival on the shores of America, you brought with you the shinning lamp of knowledge; the wisdom on India and the Supreme Absolute Truth. You appeared on the shores of America the way the sun appears on the Eastern Horizon. Slowly revealing itself at first, then dominating the sky with its blazing effulgence. Illuminating the entire world with its golden light. Where there is light there is no darkness. And wherever your words are being sung and repeated, there is a glimmer of hope for the materially conditioned souls.

Your words and instructions are the very life and soul of a genuine disciple. It is said that the best process of understanding Krishna is to hear about Him, either from Krishna Himself as given in statements from the Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, or from the self realized pure devotee. One does not even need to change his worldly position; he simply has to hear the message of Krishna.

It is from you only, Srila Prabhupada, that I know anything at all about Krishna or the spiritual world. By your grace only, the knowledge is revealed, and you become revealed to your disciples and listeners. Anyone who submissively hears from you, either by reading your books, or hearing your lectures, can attain the highest perfectional platform. Just as there is the sun and the sunshine, so, there is Krishna and Krishna’s pure representative. When we feel the sunshine, we know the sun is there, and when we hear from you, we know that Krishna is there.

Your fallen servant

Vyasasan das

The Month of Damodara (Kartika)

Mother Yasoda & Krishna1

The month of Damodara (Kartika) has already begun. In honor and in celebration of the month of Damodara, we will be focusing our attention on the pastimes of Krishna in Vrndavan. Especially Krishna’s childhood pastimes. The following song is sung morning and evening and it is customary to offer a candle or gee lamp as well to a picture of Lord Krsna and Mother Yasoda.

vishnujana swami

click on underlined link to listen

Sri Damordastaka sung by Vishnujana Swami

after clicking on above link you can return to page and sing along with the words listed below

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Srimad Bhagavatam Set [Original 30 Volume]

Srimad Bhagavatam Set [Original 30 Volume]

I received this email this morning from Yasodanandana Prabhu:

Dear Prabhus
Please accept my obeisances.
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.

There are original, unrevised, first edition, unadulterated, bona fide sets of Srimad-Bhagavatam available. This has been confirmed and duly reconfirmed by devotees in England, Australia and America. I humbly suggest that you should take advantage of this opportunity while they are still available.

With regards,

Yours in Srila Prabhupada’s service and in the service of His bona fide disciples.

Yasoda nandana dasa

It is available through Krishnastore.com
Srimad Bhagavatam Set [Original 30 Volume]

“This Srimad Bhagavatam is as brilliant as the sun, and it has arisen just after the departure of Lord Krishna to His own abode, accompanied by religion, knowledge, etc. Persons who have lost their vision due to the dense darkness of ignorance in the Age of Kali shall get light from this Srimad Bhagavatam.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.43)

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Radhastami

Today we celebrate the appearance day of Srimati Radharani with a quote from Srila Rupa Goswami and an excerpt from Srila Prabhupada’s Srimad Bhagavatam purport. She appears at noon.

“So this is our philosophy, to please Krishna through Radharani, and just today is the auspicious day of Radharani appearance. So we should offer puspanjali and pray to Radharani that ‘Radharani, kindly be merciful and tell about me to Your Krishna. To Your Krishna. Krishna is Yours.’ Krishna, Radha-Krishna. Krishna is not independent. Krishna is Radharani’s property. So you have to approach Krishna through Radharani. That is, today is the auspicious day. Worship Radharani very nicely and be happy.” (Srila Prabhupada Lecture, September 5, 1973)

…Wherever Kṛṣṇa goes, the goddess of fortune naturally resides with Him. The chief of the goddesses of fortune is Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. Therefore, Kṛṣṇa’s appearance in the land of Vraja indicated that the chief goddess of fortune, Rādhārāṇī, would also appear there very soon. (excerpted from purport to SB 10,5.18)

“O Radharani, O Queen of Vrindavana, Your complexion is like molten gold, Your doe-like eyes are captivatingly restless, a million full and brilliant moons wane before Your lustrous countenance, and a blue sari, having stolen the hue of a fresh rain-laden cloud, has enwrapped Your exquisite form. O Radha, You are the crest-jewel of all the dallying damsels of Vrindavana, fragrant and pristine like a budding jasmine flower. Your sublime form is adorned with priceless jewelry, and you are the best of all the charming and intelligent gopis. You are decorated with all wonderful excellences and surrounded by eight dedicated and beloved cowherd girls known as the asta-sakhis.

“The ambrosia of Your beautiful lips, red as the bimba fruit, is life-giving syrup to Krishna. O Radha, I am rolling on the banks of the Yamuna, my poor heart filled with anticipation, praying to You with all humility. I am guilty of being an offender, a rascal, a useless wretch — yet I beg You to kindly engage me in even the smallest service to Your lotus feet. O most merciful Lady, it will not become You to ignore this most distressed soul, for Your heart is always overflowing with compassion and love.”

[Sri Prarthana-paddhati [Stavamala], Srila Rupa goswami]

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Previous Older Entries

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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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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