The Disciplic Succession

Lord Caitanya chanting

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When someone heard the chanting of the holy name from the mouth of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and someone else heard this chanting from that second person, and someone again heard this chanting from the third person, everyone in all countries became a Vaiṣṇava through such disciplic succession. Thus everyone chanted the holy name of Kṛṣṇa and Hari, and they danced, cried and smiled. (Madhya-lila 17. 48-49)

The transcendental power or potency of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra is herein explained. First, the holy name is vibrated by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. When someone hears from Him directly, he is purified. When another person hears from that person, he also is purified. In this way the purification process is advanced among pure devotees. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and no one can claim His potency. Nonetheless, if one is a pure devotee, hundreds and thousands of men can be purified by his vibration. This potency is within every living being, provided he chants the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra offenselessly and without material motives. When a pure devotee chants offenselessly, another person will become a Vaiṣṇava, and from him another Vaiṣṇava will emerge. This is the paramparā system. (Purport)

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The Glories of Lord Nityānanda Balarāma

lord-nityananda

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Today we celebrate the Appearance of Lord Nityananda with a few select verses from the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi Lila Chapter 5, entitled “The Glories of Lord Nityananda Balarama”.

“Let me offer my obeisances to Lord Śrī Nityānanda, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose opulence is wonderful and unlimited. By His will, even a fool can understand His identity.” (Adi 5.1)

“The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, is the fountainhead of all incarnations. Lord Balarāma is His second body.”
(Adi 5.4)

“That original Lord Kṛṣṇa appeared in Navadvīpa as Lord Caitanya, and Balarāma appeared with Him as Lord Nityānanda.”
(Adi 5.6)

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Rupanugaus / The Mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu

The Sankirtan Movement of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu

The Sankirtan Movement of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu

Devotees acknowledge Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s special mercy upon Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī in the following words:

śrī-caitanya-mano ’bhīṣṭaṁ-
sthāpitaṁ yena bhū-tale
svayaṁ rūpaḥ kadā mahyaṁ
dadāti sva-padāntikam

“When will Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī Prabhupāda, who has established within this material world the mission to fulfill the desire of Lord Caitanya, give me shelter under his lotus feet?”

The special function of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī is to establish the feelings of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. These feelings are His desires that His special mercy be spread throughout the world in this Kali-yuga.

pṛthivīte āche yata nagarādi-grāma
sarvatra pracāra haibe mora nāma

His desire is that all over the world everyone, in every village and every town, know of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His saṅkīrtana movement. These are the inner feelings of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī committed to writing all these feelings of the Lord. Now again, by the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the same feelings are being spread all over the world by the servants of the Gosvāmīs, and devotees who are pure and simple will appreciate this attempt. As concluded by Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī, however, those who are on the level of hogs and dogs will never appreciate such a great attempt. Yet this does not matter to the preachers of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s cult, for all over the world they will continue to perform this responsible work, even though persons who are like cats and dogs do not appreciate them.

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Preface to the Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta

Sri_Caitanya_Caritamrta

This morning I reached for book off the shelve. I was inspired to go to the Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta Vol. 1 of the Ādi-līlā. Don’t know why, I just felt this pulling. So I opened it and began to read from the Preface. In these couple of pages, Srila Prabhupada explaines the entire philosophy of Krishna Consciousness. I was thinking I should just try to memorize these few pages, word for word, and the next time my mind began to wander off into maya, I could reel it back in, by simply remembering these basic instructions that Srila Prabhupada gave us back in 1968.

Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

Preface

There is no difference between the teachings of Lord Caitanya presented here and the teachings of Lord Kṛṣṇa in the Bhagavad-gītā. The teachings of Lord Caitanya are practical demonstrations of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s teachings. Lord Kṛṣṇa’s ultimate instruction in the Bhagavad-gītā is that everyone should surrender unto Him, Lord Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa promises to take immediate charge of such a surrendered soul. The Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is already in charge of the maintenance of this creation by virtue of His plenary expansion, Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, but this maintenance is not direct. However, when the Lord says that He takes charge of His pure devotee, He actually takes direct charge. A pure devotee is a soul who is forever surrendered to the Lord, just as a child is surrendered to his parents or an animal to its master. In the surrendering process, one should: (1) accept things favorable for discharging devotional service, (2) reject things unfavorable, (3) believe firmly in the Lord’s protection, (4) feel exclusively dependent on the mercy of the Lord, (5) have no interest separate from the interest of the Lord, and (6) always feel oneself meek and humble.

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The Hlādinī Potency

Radha and Krishna

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Here is a new word for your vaisnava vocabulary; hlādinī .  As I was reading from the Caitanya-caritamrta this morning, this word hlādinī was used to describe the pleasure potency of the Lord.  Now keep in mind, that this is all way over my head, but still as an aspiring devotee, I am interested in developing  “Love of God”.  So I find all of Srila Prabhupada’s writings to be wonderfully beneficial.

 

…Hlādinī is the personal manifestation of the blissfulness of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, by which He enjoys pleasure… When the pleasure potency of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is exhibited by His grace in the person of a devotee, that manifestation is called love of God. “Love of God” is an epithet for the pleasure potency of the Lord. Therefore devotional service reciprocated between the Lord and His devotee is an exhibition of the transcendental pleasure potency of the Lord.  (from purport to Adi 4.60)

 

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Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Original 17 Volume Set (1974 Edition) available again!

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta

I happened to go to the Prabhupada News site this morning just to see what was new. So glad I did because I discovered that the original Sri Caitanya-caritamrta’s are back in print again! I was overjoyed to see this and share the links with all of you.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Original 17 Volume Set (1974 Edition) available again!

Hare Krishna, we have wonderful news. After 20 years of being out of print Srila Prabhupada’s original 17 Volume Sri Caitanya-caritamrta set is now finally available again at www.KrishnaStore.co.uk

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Bhakti-latā / Devotional Creeper

Srila Prabhupada preaching to disciples

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“…If one thinks that there are many pseudo devotees or nondevotees in the Kṛṣṇa Consciousness Society, one can keep direct company with the spiritual master, and if there is any doubt, one should consult the spiritual master. However, unless one follows the spiritual master’s instructions and the regulative principles governing chanting and hearing the holy name of the Lord, one cannot become a pure devotee. By one’s mental concoctions, one falls down… (CC Madhya 19.157 purport)

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The Principal Deities of Vrndavana

Sri Sri Radha-Madana-mohana Mandir

Sri Sri Radha-Madana-mohana Mandir

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As we mentioned in a previous post With the Radiance of Molten Gold “The First Chapter of Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta begins with fourteen Sanskrit verses that describe the Absolute Truth. Then the next three Sanskrit verses describe the principal Deities of Vṛndāvana, namely, Śrī Rādhā-Madana-mohana, Śrī Rādhā-Govindadeva and Śrī Rādhā-Gopīnāthajī.” Today we are posting the next three verses describing the principal deities, with images of the three temples. In addition we are posting verses 18 & 19. The purport to text 19, is the main content of today’s post.

…The three Deities-Madana-mohana, Govinda and Gopījana-vallabha-have very specific qualities. Worship of Madana-mohana is on the platform of reestablishing our forgotten relationship with the Personality of Godhead. In the material world we are presently in utter ignorance of our eternal relationship with the Supreme Lord… It is best for such persons not to aspire for success in fruitive activities or mental speculation, but instead simply to surrender to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The perfection of life is simply to surrender to the Supreme. In the beginning of our spiritual life we must therefore worship Madana-mohana so that He may attract us and nullify our attachment for material sense gratification. This relationship with Madana-mohana is necessary for neophyte devotees. When one wishes to render service to the Lord with strong attachment, one then worships Govinda on the platform of transcendental service. Govinda is the reservoir of all pleasures. When by the grace of Kṛṣṇa and the devotees one reaches perfection in devotional service, he can appreciate Kṛṣṇa as Gopījana-vallabha, the pleasure Deity of the damsels of Vraja. (from purport to Adi 1.19)

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With the Radiance of Molten Gold

Lord Caitanya

The First Chapter of Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta begins with fourteen Sanskrit verses that describe the Absolute Truth. Latly, I have been reading these first fourteen verses every morning, as part of my morning practice; just trying to put myself in the mood of devotional service. The following is my favorite of the fourteen and we share it with you this morning. All fourteen are posted below. Hare Krishna!

May that Lord who is known as the son of Śrīmatī Śacīdevī be transcendentally situated in the innermost chambers of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has appeared in the Age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation ever offered before: the most sublime and radiant spiritual knowledge of the mellow taste of His service.

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The Causeless Mercy of Lord Caitanya

the Causless Mercy of Lord Caitanya

By the mercy of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, even a foolish child can fully describe the real nature of Lord Kṛṣṇa, the enjoyer of the pastimes of Vraja, according to the vision of the revealed scriptures. (Ādi-līlā Chapter 4, Text 1)

This month as we explore the childhood pastimes of Lord Krsna in Vrndavan, it is important to keep in mind that, it is due to the mercy of the spiritual master and Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, that we are able to enter into the sublime understandings of the Lord. As is mentioned in the purport to the above sloka;

One can ascertain the meaning of this Sanskrit śloka only when one is endowed with the causeless mercy of Lord Caitanya. Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, being the absolute Personality of Godhead, cannot be exposed to the mundane instruments of vision. He reserves the right not to be exposed by the intellectual feats of nondevotees. Notwithstanding this truth, even a small child can easily understand Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa and His transcendental pastimes in the land of Vṛndāvana by the grace of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. (purport to Adi. 4.1)

but the real reason for this post is to remind out readers about the causeless mercy of Lord Caitanya

“May that Lord who is known as the son of Śrīmatī Śacīdevī be transcendentally situated in the innermost core of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has descended in the Age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation has ever offered before: the most elevated mellow of devotional service, the mellow of conjugal love.” (Ādi-līlā Chapter 3, Text 4)

PURPORT

This is a quotation from the Vidagdha-mādhava, a drama compiled and edited by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī.

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In the Mood of Srimati Radharani

Ramananda Raya from Back to Godhead Magazine

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Lately, I have been absorbed in reading Sri Caitanya-caritamrta. For me it is a hard book to pick up, but after I begin reading…it is a hard book to put down. Sometimes it seems so esoteric (1 intelligible only to those with special knowledge. 2 intended only for the initiated), but I cannot help but to be thrown into complete and utter awe of the masterful writing, it seems to be Srila Prabhupada’s magnum opus (1 great work of art, literture. 2 the most important work of an artist, writer, etc.). Yes, I have the Oxford Dictionary open on my desk.

The loving affairs of Śrī Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa are transcendental manifestations of the Lord’s internal pleasure-giving potency. Although Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa are one in Their identity, They separated Themselves eternally. Now these two transcendental identities have again united, in the form of Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya. I bow down to Him, who has manifested Himself with the sentiment and complexion of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī although He is Kṛṣṇa Himself. (Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Ādi-līlā 1.5)

The following is a Lecture given on this important verse, and the complete text.

…You cannot understand God, or Kṛṣṇa, without being a faithful servant. This is the secret. And if we become faithful servant under the guidance of proper spiritual master, then we can understand what is Kṛṣṇa, what is Parabrahman, and what is loving affairs with Rādhārāṇī, what is Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu. These things are revealed. It is not acquired by so-called mundane knowledge. That is not possible… So we should always remain faithful servant of Kṛṣṇa. And Kṛṣṇa is within everyone’s heart, and He will be pleased by your service, and then He will reveal Himself, what He is. Otherwise it is not possible. (from Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta Lecture Ādi-līlā 1.5)

Adi-lila 1.5 Lecture and Verse More

Simply Keep Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Within the Core of Your Heart

Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu Bhagavad-Gita-Original-Art-Pancha-Tattva1

“May that Lord, who is known as the son of Śrīmatī Śacīdevī, be transcendentally situated in the innermost chambers of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has appeared in the age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation ever offered before: the most sublime and radiant spiritual knowledge of the mellow taste of His service.”

…He is giving His blessing that “This form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, may always remain within your…, in the core of your heart.” If we simply keep Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu within our heart, then it will be very easy to understand what is Kṛṣṇa, because if you understand Kṛṣṇa, then your life is successful. Janma karma ca divyaṁ me yo jānāti tattvataḥ. That is only. Our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means just try to understand Kṛṣṇa; then your life is successful. Kṛṣṇa says, “Anyone who understands Me, why I come here, what is My activities,” tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma [Bg. 4.9], “he becomes liberated. After giving up this body, he does not accept any material body. In his own spiritual body he goes back to home, back to Godhead.” This is our Kṛṣṇa consciousness. (from lecture on Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta Ādi-līlā 1.4)

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Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, Is the Attraction for the All-Attractive / Hlādinī—Pleasure Potency

Radha Vrindavan Candra

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This morning there was this nagging voice that kept saying “read Adi-lila chapter 4, of the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta” I haven’t read from the Caitanya-caritamrta for a while because I was re-reading the Bhagavad-gita and Krsna Book and because it is summer, I am busy with work. But today is Sunday and my time is a bit more relaxed. So I responded to the nagging voice…and pulled Vol. 1 from the shelf. As I read I became more and more enlivened and the words jumped out at me…. Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, who is the attraction for the all-attractive. What is attracting the All Attractive? Srimati Radharani!

And the other thing that jumped out at me was the word hlādinī. Here is another word for your vaishnava vocabulary. So today is a two part post from the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, describing the hladini energy, and the attractiveness of Srimati Radharani.

Lord Kṛṣṇa enchants the world, but Śrī Rādhā enchants even Him. Therefore She is the supreme goddess of all. (Adi 4.95)

Śrī Rādhā is the full power, and Lord Kṛṣṇa is the possessor of full power. The two are not different, as evidenced by the revealed scriptures. (Adi 4.96)

Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is as fully spiritual as Kṛṣṇa. No one should consider Her to be material. She is definitely not like the conditioned souls, who have material bodies, gross and subtle, covered by material senses. She is all-spiritual, and both Her body and mind are of the same spiritual embodiment. Because Her body is spiritual, Her senses are also spiritual. Thus Her body, mind and senses fully shine in love of Kṛṣṇa. She is the personified hlādinī-śakti (the pleasure-giving energy of the Lord’s internal potency), and therefore She is the only source of enjoyment for Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

Śrī Kṛṣṇa cannot enjoy anything that is internally different from Him. Therefore Rādhā and Śrī Kṛṣṇa are identical. The sandhinī portion of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s internal potency has manifested the all-attractive form of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and the same internal potency, in the hlādinī feature, has presented Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, who is the attraction for the all-attractive. No one can match Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī in the transcendental pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. (from purport Adi 4.71)

…All the desires of Lord Kṛṣṇa rest in Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. (from purport)

Some notes on the hlādinī potency More

The External Reasons for Lord Caitanya’s Appearance

Lord Caitanya at Mayapur

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I offer my respectful obeisances to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. By the potency of the shelter of His lotus feet, even a fool can collect the valuable jewels of conclusive truth from the mines of the revealed scriptures. (Adi.3.1)

All glories to Lord Caitanya. All glories to Lord Nityānanda. All glories to Advaitacandra. And all glories to all the devotees of Lord Caitanya. (Adi.3.2)

“May that Lord who is known as the son of Śrīmatī Śacīdevī be transcendentally situated in the innermost core of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has descended in the Age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation has ever offered before: the most elevated mellow of devotional service, the mellow of conjugal love.” (Adi.3.4)

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The Expansions of Lord Nityānanda

Nityananda

Today we honor the Appearance Day of Lord Nityananda. It is advised that devotees observe a half day fast, and meditate on some of the glories of Lord Nityananda. With this in mind we are posting one nice chapter from the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta describing the Lord and his devotees.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta 1975 Edition
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Adi-lila Chapter 11

The Expansions of Lord Nityānanda

As the branches and subbranches of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu were described in the Tenth Chapter, in this Eleventh Chapter the branches and subbranches of Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu are similarly listed.

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The Glories of Śrī Advaita Ācārya

Advaita Acarya

Today marks the Appearance Day of Ari Advaita Acarya. We honor this auspisious day with a complete chapter from the Caitanya-caritamrta; “The Glories of Śrī Advaita Ācārya”

I offer my respectful obeisances to Śrī Advaita Ācārya, whose activities are all wonderful. By His mercy, even a foolish person can describe His characteristics. (Cc. 6.1)

Since He has no other occupation than to teach devotional service, His name is Advaita Ācārya. (Cc. 6.29)

Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta: Ādi-līlā 1975 Edition
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter 6

The Glories of Śrī Advaita Ācārya

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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Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu

Bhagavad-Gita-Original-Art-Pancha-Tattva

…A person in the conditioned stage of material existence is in an atmosphere of helplessness, but the conditioned soul, under the illusion of māyā, or the external energy, thinks that he is completely protected by his country, society, friendship and love, not knowing that at the time of death none of these can save him. The laws of material nature are so strong that none of our material possessions can save us from the cruel hands of death…An intelligent person, therefore, does not put his faith in any material possessions, but completely takes shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord.

Let me offer glorification to the Supreme Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. One who has taken shelter of His lotus feet is the most glorified person. (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi Lila, Chapter 7, Text 2)

…Prabhu means master. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is the supreme master of all masters; therefore He is called Mahāprabhu. Any person who takes shelter of Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu is most glorified because by the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu he is able to get promotion to the platform of loving service to the Lord, which is transcendental to salvation. (purport to above verse)

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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 More

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.

Full text and purport More

Talks Between Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Rāmānanda Rāya

Ramananda Raya from Back to Godhead Magazine

click on image to enlarge

Not only is this one of my most favorite pictures from the Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, but this is one of the most nectarean chapters as well. This is a continuation from our previous post Drops of Nectar, and includes texts 279-289 from chapter eight of the Madhya-lila entitled “Talks Between Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Rāmānanda Rāya”.

Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the reservoir of all pleasure, and Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is the personification of ecstatic love of Godhead. These two forms has combined as one in Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. This being the case, Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu revealed His real form to Rāmānanda Rāya.

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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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