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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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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Respecting Srila Prabhupada

“Sometimes Maya may come and try to interfere but we must not falter; we must always follow the chalked-out path laid down by the great acharyas, and in the end you will see.” (Srila Prabhupada letter, 25/11/73)

Respecting Srila Prabhupada
by Padmapani das

As disciples and followers of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krsna Consciousness, we all have an eternal debt to Srila Prabhupada for his unprecedented sacrifice in freely distributing the mercy of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu all over the world.

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Prasadam: Krsna’s Mercy

This is one of my favorite Back to Godhead Magazine covers. Always liked this picture of Krishna and the cow heard boys taking lunch. Cooking and offering nicely prepared vegetarian meals to the Lord, has always been one of my favorite devotional practices. I love to cook, and enjoy eating the remains. The following is an article that was published in Back to Godhead Magazine way back in 1974 by Visakha devi dasi.

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The Life of Jayananda Prabhu

Yesterday was the disappearance day of Jayananda das Thakur. Jayananda was a very dear friend of mine and the closest thing I ever had to a brother in this life. He took me under his wing and nourished my Krishna Consciousness. I am eternally indebted to him for instilling in me a service attitude, and love for Srila Prabhupada. We honor the disappearance day of this extraordinary personality Jayananda das Thakur with the folowing post.

The Life of Jayananda Prabhu
by Kalakantha dasa

After the disappearance of Jayananda Das on May 1, 1977, His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada instructed devotees all over the world to commemorate the event every year as they would any great Vaishnava’s disappearance day.

Therefore we respectfully submit these pages to all devotees and friends of ISKCON as a means to remember and understand more about Jayananda’s devotional service. Of course, we will see how he joined ISKCON and how he left this mortal world. More importantly, we shall see the astounding qualities possessed by a true devotee, a sincere disciple and genuine servant of Srila Prabhupada.

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In memory of Hansadutta das (1941-2020)

hansadutta11

It has come to our attention that our dear God-brother and friend, Hansadutta Prabhu, has left his body yesterday. This news came to us this morning by email from Yasodanandan das

Hare Krishna
Dear Yasodanandan prabhu, obeisances, all glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I’m sad to inform you that Hansadutta has passed. He left his body earlier today. He had been to hospital a few times with pancreatitis, but then in March doctors discovered a mass in his pancreas and diagnosed cancer. He was unable to eat, so for over three weeks had nothing at all to eat, and refused all medication, but remarkably didn’t feel pain. His family brought him to their home and gave him hospice care, and there he spent his last days murmuring the holy names and listening to Srila Prabhupada’s lectures and bhajans. A eulogy has been published at bhaktivedantas.com and namhatta.com.

I hope you are well. — Your servant, Das Dasanudas devi dasi

Eulogy follows More

Chant the Holy Name of Krishna

Hare Krishna mantra

I have been going through my older files of late, and ran across this fine article posted by Hansadutta Prabhu some years ago on his site Krsna World.

Although Srila Prabhupada wrote many books, he one day asked me, “So why did I write all these books?” I said, “So we can know the philosophy, learn the philosophy.” He said, “No, the purpose of all these books is to convince you to chant the holy name of Krishna.”

The Holy Name Is All There Is
by Hansadutta das  

Chanting is exactly like the simple method of inhaling and exhaling. Although it seems like a very simple act, it is nevertheless the essence of the whole thing. Without that inhaling and exhaling, none of the other activities can take place. We also understand that no one simply inhales and exhales, but all the other activities are supportive of the inhaling and exhaling.

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Honoring the Pure Devotee

Honoring the Pure Devotee
by Padmapani dasa

Yesterday my good friend and Godbrother Padmapani Prabhu sent me this post, which was his First Editorial (Posted March 22, 2002), from his very successful web page The Prabhupada Connection. Although this editorial was written back in 2002, it is very timely today.

As the latest headlines and news reports from around the world become increasingly disturbing for us all, it’s quite natural to wonder just where the joy of life has gone for so many people. The pressing threat of war, economic collapse or some other cataclysmic disaster hangs ominously above our heads as we go about our daily activities, hoping against hope that somehow everything will work out all right. Yet deep in our hearts, we know that something might happen at a moment’s notice which can potentially destroy everything. Our precious lives—and the lives of our loved ones—hang in the balance. In reality, most of us don’t have much of a safety net except for a vague sense of faith that life will go on. If truth be told, we live on a wing and a prayer.

This constant state of insecurity may appear to be something new as a result of our so-called material advancement, which has ushered in a new era replete with multiple means of mass destruction. But according to the Vedic scriptures, this is an age-old dilemma for humankind. In the Bhagavad-gita, Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, spoke the following words 5,000 years ago:

abrahma-bhuvanal lokah
punar avartino’rjuna
mam upetya tu kaunteya
punar janma na vidyate

“From the highest planet in the material world down to the lowest, all are places of misery wherein repeated birth and death take place. But one who attains to My abode, O son of Kunti, never takes birth again.” (BG 8.16)

In this simple yet potent verse, we are confronted with both the problem and the solution to our material miseries and anxieties. According to Krishna, the Supreme Lord (and therefore the supreme authority), the very nature of this world is insecure because there is no permanent shelter here. Who can deny that life is constantly changing—for better or worse—no matter how much we struggle to make it stand still? As the old saying goes, “Time waits for no man.”

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Appearance Day of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami

Today we honor the appearance day of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami with a half day fast and readings from Srila Prabhupada about the glories os Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati.

Srila Prabhupada explains about the glories of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura
compiled by Yasodanananda dasa

Srila Prabhupada gives all credit to his Guru Maharaja

“…In Los Angeles many fathers and mothers used to come to see me to express their feelings of gratitude for my leading the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement throughout the entire world. Some of them said that it is greatly fortunate for the Americans that I have started the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement in America. But actually the original father of this movement is Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself, since it was started a very long time ago but is coming down to human society by disciplic succession. If I have any credit in this connection, it does not belong to me personally, but it is due to my eternal spiritual master, His Divine Grace Om Viṣṇupāda Paramahaṁsa Parivrājakācārya 108 Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Mahārāja Prabhupāda..” (from Preface to Bhagavad-gita As It Is – Macmillan 1972 Edition)

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No Personal Ambition

Srila Prabhupada warns about the danger of personal motivation
compiled by: Yasodanandana Dasa

But the question may be raised as to why is it that we have seen so many devotees, even senior devotees with many years of direct physical association with the acarya, Srila Prabhupada, were [and are] seemingly incapable of clearly understanding Krishna Consciousness philosophy, with so many examples of distortion, blatant philosophical deviations, concoctions, misrepresentations etc. What is the reason for this? The acarya, Srila Prabhupada, explains:

In my books I have tried to explain clearly this simultaneously one and different philosophy acinta beda beda tattva propounded by Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. But sometimes it happens that this philosophy is given a self-interested interpretation. As soon as personal motivation comes in it is not possible for one to understand our Krishna Consciousness philosophy. (Srila Prabhupada letter, September 21, 1970)

Srila Prabhupada describes the key of success for the mission of Lord Caitanya

“…Hundreds of people join in our Sankirtana Party daily in downtown Calcutta, and I am confident that this mission of Lord Caitanya’s will be successful if only we continue to push on this great movement, without any personal motivation. Hope this finds you and your good wife and child in good health…” (Srila Prabhupada letter, September 19, 1970)

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The World Acharya Dream


His Divine Grace
Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

The following is the written memories and description by Govinda dasi, of her dream which inspired the above picture and her description of the painting.

About “The World Acharya Dream”
by Govinda dasi

Some time after Srila Prabhupada left this world, I had a very powerful dream….In that visionary dream, I saw Srila Prabhupada sitting on a huge lion-flanked and jewel-bedecked Vyasasana. His Vyasasana rested on the brightly shimmering globe of Mother Earth, and was positioned just above the sacred land of India. Behind him, the vast curvature of the earth planet was visible. A silvery bluish-white light emanated from the center of the vision, forming a giant oval, in which Srila Prabhupada sat.

Below him were many crowds of people–all races, nationalities, and all ages–all the people of the world, reaching out from darkness. They were pointing toward Srila Prabhupada, in awe and wonder, exclaiming, reaching out, praising, and acknowledging him according to their various abilities. Many were in darkness, in worldly life, yet they were all reaching out toward Srila Prabhupada, seeking his mercy.

Above Srila Prabhupada, in the shimmering silver-blue sky, many swan-shaped airplanes circled. In these airplanes, devas were singing praises and showering flowers. Cascades of colorful blossoms tumbled down from their swan planes, as they glorified Srila Prabhupada. With sweet sounding instruments, and heavenly chorus, they sang “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare…” Their joyful mood spread throughout the universe.

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The Biography of a Pure Devotee

For a while Srila Prabhupada lived
In this building, in a windowless fifth floor room.

The Biography of a Pure Devotee
Srila Prabhupada in New York City, 1965 – Struggling Alone
by Satsvarupa dasa Goswami

On arriving in New York, Srila Prabhupada had nowhere to stay but the asrama of an impersonalist svami. To see students submissively listening to a speaker who denied the Personality of Godhead was painful for the pure devotee. But was he to go homeless and beg in the streets? A holy man might have been able to do that in India, but not in Manhattan.

Srila Prabhupada knew no one in New York City, but at least he had a contact. In India he had met a publisher of religious books, Paramananda Mehra of Bombay, who had, written a note introducing him to a guru based in New York City, Dr. Rammurti Misra, While still in Butler, Pennsylvania, Srila Prabhupada had sent Mr. Mehra’s note and one of his own to Dr. Misra. He had also phoned Dr. Misra, who had told him he was welcome to come join him in New York.

A student of Dr. Misra’s met Srila Prabhupada on his arrival, from Butler and brought him directly to an Indian festival in the city. There he was introduced to Dr. Misra, as well as to Ravi Shankar and his brother, the dancer Uddhar Shankar. Srila Prabhupada then accompanied Dr. Misra to his apartment at 33 Riverside Drive, beside the Hudson River, The apartment was on the fourteenth floor and had large windows facing the river. Dr. Misra gave Srila Prabhupada a room to himself.

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Serving Srila Prabhupada

Leaving Vrindavan (July15th 1977)
by Gauridasa Pandita Dasa

Serving Srila Prabhupada personally in Bombay, Hrishikesh and Vrindavan were the best days of my life. I had entered India on a three month tourist visa. I had applied for an extension but since I was already granted one and that was the limit, I was denied the extension. I considered just staying past my expiration date so I could remain with His Divine Grace because he said that he would

I had packed all of my belongings and loaded them onto a horse drawn cart for my trip to the Mathura train station. I went to offer my obeisance’s to Tamal Krishna Maharaja in his office before leaving. He told me I couldn’t leave without telling Srila Prabhupada. I replied that Srila Prabhupada knows everything anyway and I didn t want to bother him. Tamal K.G. said to wait and he entered Srila Prabhupada’s room. A moment later he stuck his head out of the door and told me to come in. Now I was getting really nervous. This would turn out to be the last time I would see Srila Prabhupada before his divine departure for Goloka Vrindavan.

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Sri Vyasa-Puja; The Most Blessed Event

Vyasa-puja 2019

Decorations by Lokadrsti devi dasi

The Most Blessed Event: Sri Vyasa-Puja
by Vyasasan das

Dear Srila Prabhupada

On this most auspicious day, please accept my humble obeisance’s, and kindly forgive my offences. Although I am and insignificant disciple of your Divine Grace, and full of faults, still I am constantly awaiting your causeless mercy to be bestowed upon me. I have never given up my faith, or my love, nor the hope that someday I may be a worthy disciple. As you know my daily prayers always include the words “please forgive my offences”, as I am always feeling myself unworthy to be receiving your mercy. Srila Prabhupada you have been the one constant in my entire adult life, my best friend and ever well wisher. And I remain chaste to you, my lord and master, unconditionally.

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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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Lord Sri Krishna

Lord Sri Krsna by Muralidhara dasa

“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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The Hare Krishna Record

…I am very glad to know that George is interested in recording some Krishna Consciousness album, and it is very happy news. I request you and, through you, your friends, George and John, to make a nice Hare Krishna record sung by the most popular Beatles and assisted by our devotees. That will be very nice. I have all encouragement for you for this purpose. Try to make this Hare Krishna Movement popular through any source that is possible. That is our business. (from Srila Prabhupada letter to Syamasundara das June 29, 1969)

…Regarding the Beatles, if they chant the Hare Krishna Mantra, give them all facilities. Because if they make some Hare Krishna record, that will be widespread, and we want simply that the Hare Krishna Mantra may be very popular all over the world. We do not care for any profit out of it. We should not try to make a profit out of the Hare Krishna Mantra; then our spiritual enlightenment will be hampered. (from Srila Prabhupada letter to Mukunda das July 2, 1969)

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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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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