17 Nov 2016
in Bhakti Yoga, Devotional Service, Garuda, Krsna Consciousness
Tags: bhakti, bhakti yoga, determination in devotional service, devotees, Garuda, Iskcon Times, Krishna consciousness, Smita Krishna Dasa, yoga practice
click on image to enlarge
…As for determination, one should follow the example of the sparrow who lost her eggs in the waves of the ocean. A sparrow laid her eggs on the shore of the ocean, but the big ocean carried away the eggs on its waves. The sparrow became very upset and asked the ocean to return her eggs. The ocean did not even consider her appeal. So the sparrow decided to dry up the ocean. She began to pick out the water in her small beak, and everyone laughed at her for her impossible determination. The news of her activity spread, and at last Garuda, the gigantic bird carrier of Lord Vishnu, heard it. He became compassionate toward his small sister bird, and so he came to see the sparrow. Garuda was very pleased by the determination of the small sparrow, and he promised to help. Thus Garuda at once asked the ocean to return her eggs lest he himself take up the work of the sparrow. The ocean was frightened at this, and returned the eggs. Thus the sparrow became happy by the grace of Garuda.
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14 Jan 2016
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Devotional Service, Krishna Nectar, Krsna, Krsna Consciousness, Krsna Consciousness: The Topmost Yoga System, Yogamaya
Tags: Balarama, bhakti yoga, highest perfection is love, Krishna, Krishna eating dirt, Krsna, Mother Yasoda, transcendental ecstatic love, Yasoda, yoga, yogamaya
click on image to enlarge
One day while Krishna was playing with His small playmates, including Balarama and other sons of the gopas, all His friends came together and lodged a complaint to mother Yasoda. “Mother,” they submitted, “Krishna has eaten earth.” Upon hearing this from Krishnas’s playmates, mother Yasoda, who was always full of anxiety over Krishna’s welfare, picked Krishna up with her hands to look into His mouth and chastise Him. Her eyes fearful, she spoke to her son as follows. Dear Krishna, why are You so restless that You have eaten dirt in a solitary place? This complaint has been lodged against You by all Your playmates, including Your elder brother, Balarama. How is this? Lord Śrī Krishna replied: My dear mother, I have never eaten dirt. All My friends complaining against Me are liars. If you think they are being truthful, you can directly look into My mouth and examine it. Mother Yasoda challenged Krishna, “If You have not eaten earth, then open Your mouth wide.” When challenged by His mother in this way, Krishna, the son of Nanda Mahārāja and Yasoda, to exhibit pastimes like a human child, opened His mouth. Although the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, who is full of all opulences, did not disturb His mother’s parental affection, His opulence was automatically displayed, for Krishna’s opulence is never lost at any stage, but is manifest at the proper time. When Krishna opened His mouth wide by the order of mother Yasoda, she saw within His mouth all moving and non-moving entities, outer space, and all directions, along with mountains, islands, oceans, the surface of the earth, the blowing wind, fire, the moon and the stars. She saw the planetary systems, water, light, air, sky, and creation by transformation of ahaṅkāra. She also saw the senses, the mind, sense perception, and the three qualities goodness, passion and ignorance. She saw the time allotted for the living entities, she saw natural instinct and the reactions of karma, and she saw desires and different varieties of bodies, moving and nonmoving. Seeing all these aspects of the cosmic manifestation, along with herself and Vṛndāvana-dhāma, she became doubtful and fearful of her son’s nature. (SB 10.8.32-45)
04 Jul 2015
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Devotional Service, Krsna Consciousness, Lectures
Tags: A. C. Bhakthvedanta Swami Prabhupada, anxiety to serve Krsna, devotion, devotional service, perfect service to Krsna, Spiritual world, Srila Prabhupada lecture, Visnujana
Excerpt from lecture given by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Seattle, October 4th, 1968
Visnujana: How do we render perfect service to Krsna?
Srila Prabhupada: By your anxiety. If you are anxious to serve Krsna, that is the real asset. Krsna is unlimited. What service we can offer to Him? And He has got unlimited servants also. What service He requires from you and me? He’s perfect in Himself. He doesn’t require any service also. But if you are anxious to serve Him, then He does not refuse. That is His mercy; that is His magnanimity. So the more you increase your anxiety to serve Krsna, the more it becomes perfect. He’s unlimited. Your anxiety, you become unlimited. So there is competition.
The more you serve Krsna, the more He accepts you and the more He gives you intelligence…
13 Apr 2015
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Devotional Service, Dhruva Maharaja, Srila Prabhupada's Books, Teachings of Queen Kunti
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, austerities, devotional service, Dhruva Maharaja, meditating upon the form of Visnu, meditation, severe austerities and penances, Teachings of Queen Kunti, the Lord within the heart, transcendental platform of devotional service, unalloyed devotion
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Today I woke up thinking about Dhruva Maharaja. It was nothing specific, it was more just a visual picture of this small boy doing austerities in the forest and opening his eyes to discover the Lord standing directly in front of him. So I had to tax my mind…where is that picture? It was located in the Second Canto, Part Two of the original Srimad Bhagavatam. It became my morning meditation, and the following is from some of the reading I did on the life of Dhruva Mahārāja. For the full story on the life of Dhruva Mahārāja one can go to the Forth Canto, Chapter Eight of the Srimad Bhagavatam. Today we have posted the 25th Chapter from the Teachings of Queen Kunti, entitled Unalloyed Devotion.
…The incidents in the life of Dhruva Mahārāja are very attractive for devotees. From his pious actions, one can learn how one can detach himself from material possessions and how one can enhance one’s devotional service by severe austerities and penances. By hearing the activities of pious Dhruva, one can enhance one’s faith in God and can directly connect with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and thus one can very soon be elevated to the transcendental platform of devotional service. The example of Dhruva Mahārāja’s austerities can immediately generate a feeling of devotional service in the hearts of the hearers. (from purport to SB 4.8.8)
…When Dhruva Mahārāja was undergoing penance and meditating upon the form of Viṣṇu within his heart, the Viṣṇu form suddenly disappeared, and his meditation broke. Upon opening his eyes, Dhruva Mahārāja immediately saw Viṣṇu before him. Like Dhruva Mahārāja, we should always think of Kṛṣṇa, and when we attain perfection we shall see Kṛṣṇa before us. This is the process. We should not be too hasty. We should wait for the mature time. Of course, it is good to be eager to see Kṛṣṇa, but we should not become discouraged if we do not see Him immediately. (Teachings of Queen Kunti Chapter 25)
08 Nov 2014
in Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition, Devotional Service, Krishna Consciousness, Meditation, Yoga
Tags: A.C. Bhaktiveanta Swami Prabhupada, all that you do, all that you eat, all that you offer and give away, as it is, as well as all austerities that you may preform, Bg9.26, Bg9.27, bhagavad-gita, do it for Me, patram puspam phalam toyam, yat karosi yad asnasi
This morning I went into our temple room, as I do every morning, and offered my obeisances. As I was saying my morning prayers this thought just entered my mind; ‘Vyasasan das, reporting for service”. It seemed like a strange thing to be thinking so early in the morning, and I do not recall ever thinking like that before. But almost immediately, I was reminded of this verse from the Bhagavad-gita:
O son of Kuntī, all that you do, all that you eat, all that you offer and give away, as well as all austerities that you may perform, should be done as an offering unto Me.
I could not remember at first, what chapter and verse, but I went to the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, and began searching…Oh yes, I remember Chapter Nine, Text 27…and the purport reads:
…Everyone has to work for maintenance of his body and soul together, and Kṛṣṇa recommends herein that one should work for Him. Everyone has to eat something to live; therefore he should accept the remnants of foodstuffs offered to Kṛṣṇa. Any civilized man has to perform some religious ritualistic ceremonies; therefore Kṛṣṇa recommends, “Do it for Me,” and this is called arcanā. Everyone has a tendency to give something in charity; Kṛṣṇa says, “Give it to Me,”
This is real renunciation, real yoga; always thinking and planning how to serve the Lord. And for one brief moment in my life, my mind was right.
09 Jun 2014
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Bhagavad-gita, Devotional Service, Dharma, Spiritual Life
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, active state, Bhagavad Gita, devotee as a conjugal lover, devotee as friend, devotee as parent, devotional service, eternal relationship with the Lord, passive state, relationship, svarupa, transcendental friendship
click on image to enlarge
I have always loved this picture since the first time I opened the Bhagavad-gita some 42 years ago. It is a beautiful image of life in the Spiritual Sky, and also, it is a nice graphic description of the 5 types of relationships one can have with the Supreme Lord. The following is a short description, from the Introduction to the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, about the eternal nature, and the 5 types of relationships on can have with the Lord.
…In this material world we find that everything is temporary. It comes into being, stays for some time, produces some by-products, dwindles and then vanishes. That is the law of the material world, whether we use as an example this body, or a piece of fruit or anything. But beyond this temporary world there is another world of which we have information. This world consists of another nature which is sanātana, eternal. Jīva is also described as sanātana, eternal, and the Lord is also described as sanātana in the Eleventh Chapter. We have an intimate relationship with the Lord, and because we are all qualitatively one—the sanātana-dhāma, or sky, the sanātana Supreme Personality and the sanātana living entities—the whole purpose of Bhagavad-gītā is to revive our sanātana occupation, or sanātana-dharma, which is the eternal occupation of the living entity. We are temporarily engaged in different activities, but all of these activities can be purified when we give up all these temporary activities and take up the activities which are prescribed by the Supreme Lord. That is called our pure life.
…That destination is called the sanātana sky, the eternal spiritual sky. (from Introduction to Bhagavad-gita As It Is)
23 Apr 2014
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Devotional Service, Krsna Consciousness, KRSNA The Supreme Personality of Godhead
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, devotional service, exquisite garlands, florist of the name Sudama, Krsna, Krsna and Balarama, Krsna enters Mathura, Krsna The Supreme Personality of Godhead, My Dear Lord, service to Krsna, Sudama
…After dressing nicely, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma went to a florist of the name Sudāmā. As soon as They reached the precinct of his house, the florist immediately came out and with great devotion fell down on his face to offer his respectful obeisances. He offered a nice seat to Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma and asked his assistant to bring out flowers and betel nuts smeared with pulp of candana. The florist’s welcome greatly satisfied the Lord.
The florist very humbly and submissively offered his prayers to the Lord, saying, ”My dear Lord, because You have come to my place, I think all my forefathers and all my worshipable superiors are pleased and delivered. My dear Lord, You are the supreme cause of all causes of this cosmic manifestation, but for the benefit of the residents of this earthly planet, You have appeared with Your plenary portion to give protection to Your devotees and annihilate the demons. You are equally disposed as the friend of all living entities; You are the Supersoul, and You do not discriminate between friend and enemy. Yet You are pleased to give Your devotees the special result of their devotional activities. My Lord, I am praying that You please tell me whatever You wish me to do, because I am Your eternal servant. If You will allow me to do something, it will be a great favor to me.“ The florist, Sudāmā, was greatly pleased within his heart by seeing Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma in his place, and thus, as his choicest desire, he made two exquisite garlands of various flowers and presented them to the Lord. Both Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma were very pleased with his sincere service, and Kṛṣṇa offered the florist His salutation and benediction, which He is always prepared to bestow upon the surrendered souls. When the florist was offered benediction, he begged from the Lord that he might remain His eternal servant in devotional service and by such service do good to all living creatures. By this, it is clear that a devotee of the Lord in Kṛṣṇa consciousness should not be simply satisfied by his own advancement in devotional service; he must be willing to work for the welfare of all others. This example was followed by the six Gosvāmīs of Vṛndāvana. It is therefore stated in their prayer, lokānāṁ hita-kāriṇau: Vaiṣṇavas, or devotees of the Lord, are not selfish. Whatever benefit they derive from the Supreme Personality of Godhead as benediction they want to distribute to all other persons. That is the greatest of all humanitarian activities. Being satisfied with the florist, Lord Kṛṣṇa not only gave him benediction for whatever he wanted, but over and above that, He offered him all material opulences, family prosperity, long duration of life, and whatever else his heart desired within the material world.
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25 Mar 2014
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Chanting Hare Krishna, Devotional Service, Gauranga, Gaurangera Duti Pada, Narottama Dasa Thakura
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, devotional service, gaura, Gauranga, gaurangera duti pada, Gaurasundara, Hare Krishna, Lord Caitanya, Narottama dasa Thakrua, self realization, Srila Prabhupada
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…Gauranga refers to Lord Caitanya, who has a fair complexion. One who has a fair complexion is called gaura, and since Lord Caitanya was very fair, just like molten gold, He was also named Gaurasundara. Narottama dasa Thakura says, gaurangera duti pada, jar dhana-sampada, se jane bhakati-rasa-sar. Anyone who has accepted the two lotus feet of Lord Caitanya can understand the true essence of devotional service. Devotional service is very difficult. It cannot be understood by any ordinary man. As it is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, out of many thousands of persons who are trying to achieve the perfection of human life, only some actually become perfect and realize the self. And out of many thousands of such self-realized persons, only one can understand Krsna. Without understanding Krsna, how can one engage himself in the service of Krsna? Therefore, the devotional service of Krsna is not an ordinary thing. But fortunately, if one follows in the footsteps of Lord Caitanya (gaurangera duti pada) by following the path shown by Lord Caitanya-the process of simply chanting Hare Krsna-he can very easily understand what devotional service is. (from purport to the song “Gaurangera Duti Pada”)
Full song with Bengali Lyrics, English translation, and purport by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
14 Feb 2014
in Devotional Service, Narottama Dasa Thakura, Radha Krishna, Radha Krsna Prana Mora
Tags: aguru, appearance of narottama dasa thakura, devotional service, golden throne, Narottama Dasa Thakura, O youthful couple, peacock tail fan, Radha Krsna Prana Mora, Radha-Krsna, sandalwood pulp, songs about devotional service, songs by narottama dasa thakura
click on image to enlarge
Today marks the Appearance Day of Narottama Dasa Thakura. We honor him today with this beautiful song he composed about the glories of devotional service to Radha and Krishna and Their wonderful pastimes.
Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, my living force! O youthful couple, in life or death I have nothing more than you. On the banks of the Yamunā, in a grove of flowering kadamba trees, I will prepare a golden throne, and seat You there. I will anoint Your dark and fair forms with sandalwood pulp sented with aguru. I will fan You with a peacock tail fan, and see Your two moonlike faces. I will string garlands of mālatī flowers and place them around Your Lordship’s necks, and for Your lotus lips I will offer betel leaves scented with camphor. By the side of Lalitā and Viśākhā, I will stand, ready to fulfill any order of service at their Lotus feet. Narottama dasa, the servant of the servant of the servant of Lord Caitanya, says: “Allow me to engage in these pastimes of devotionas service” (translation from the Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas)
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01 Oct 2013
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Devotional Service, Teachings of Lord Kapila
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, bhakti, Bharatavarsa, devotional service, hearing and chanting, India, Kapila, Krishna, Krsna, nine processes of devotional service, parampara system, sravanam kirtanam visnoh, Teachings of Lord Kapila, the son of devahuti, the supreme Lord
…We can understand the pastimes of the Lord by following one or some of the authorized devotional processes.
śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ
arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ
“Hearing, chanting and remembering the holy name, form, pastimes, qualities and entourage of the Lord, offering service according to the time, place and performer, worshiping the Deity, offering prayers, always considering oneself the eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa, making friends with Him and dedicating everything unto Him—these are the nine processes of devotional service.” (Bhāg. 7.5.23)
…hearing and chanting, are the beginning of bhakti, devotional service. Therefore it is said: tāni me śraddadhānasya kīrtanyāny anukīrtaya. The word anukīrtaya means to follow the paramparā system… The Supreme Lord is more anxious to give us education and enlightenment than we are to receive them. He gives us His literature, His devotees and the paramparā system, but it is up to us to take advantage of these. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is intended to give society the proper understanding of the Absolute Truth. We are not presenting a manufactured, bogus philosophy. Why should we unnecessarily waste our time concocting some philosophy? There is so much to be learned that has already been given by the supreme authority. All we have to do is take this Vedic literature, try to learn it and distribute it. That is Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s mission.
Teachings of Lord Kapila, the Son of Devahūti
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter Three, Text 3
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23 Aug 2013
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Devotional Service, Sanatana Goswami, Teachings of Lord Chaitanya
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, devotee of the Lord, devotional service, disciple, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Sanatana Goswami, spiritual master, spiritual science, spiritual subject matters, Teachings of Lord Caitanya
This morning I was inclined to do a post about the special mercy of the devotee of the Lord, by whose mercy one can make spiritual advancement. So we chose the chapter from “Teachings of Lord Caitanya” entitled “Sanātana Gosvāmī”
The instructions and teachings of Lord Caitanya are very important for people in general. He teaches the process of devotional service, which is the constitutional occupation of every living entity, for it is every man’s duty to advance in spiritual science. Many subjects were thoroughly discussed in the talks between Lord Caitanya and Sanātana Gosvāmī. Due to the mercy of Lord Caitanya, Sanātana was able to put important questions before Him, and these questions were replied to properly.
“I offer my respectful obeisances unto Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, by whose mercy even a person in the lowest form of life can find direction in transcendental devotional service to the Lord.” (Cc. Madhya 20.1)
…when Sanātana entered the courtyard, Lord Caitanya hurriedly came to see and embrace him. When the Lord embraced him, Sanātana became overwhelmed with spiritual ecstasy, and he said, “My dear Lord, please do not touch me.” But both of them embraced each other and began to cry. Seeing Sanātana and Lord Caitanya acting thus, Candraśekhara was struck with wonder. At length, Caitanya Mahāprabhu asked Sanātana to sit down with Him on a bench. He was touching the body of Sanātana with His hand, and Sanātana asked Him again, “My dear Lord, please do not touch me.”
“I am touching you just for My purification,” the Lord replied, “for you are a great devotee. By your devotional service you can deliver the whole universe and enable everyone to go back to Godhead.”
The Lord proceeded to quote a verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam to the effect that a person who is a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa and is one hundred percent engaged in devotional service is far better than a brāhmaṇa who is versed in all the Vedic literatures but who does not engage in the devotional service of the Lord. Because he is carrying the Supreme Lord within his heart, the devotee can purify everyplace and everything.
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22 Apr 2013
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Devotional Service, Dvaraka, Spiritual Life, Srimad Bhagavatam
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, devotees, impersonal, just as it behooves, Krishna, reciprocates, SB 1.11.20-22, Supreme Personality of Godhead, yatha-vidhi
Everyone is Eligible for the Supreme Destination Part II
This is a continuation from yesterdays post because as I continued my reading from Chapter Eleven entitled “Lord Kṛṣṇa’s Entrance into Dvārakā”, it became apparent that:
The Supreme Lord Personality of Godhead is neither impersonal nor an inert object unable to reciprocate the feelings of His devotees. Here the word yathā-vidhi, or “just as it behooves” is significant. He reciprocates “just as it behooves” with His different types of admirers and devotees. Of course, the pure devotees are of one type only because they have no other object for service but the Lord, and therefore the Lord also reciprocates with such pure devotees just as it behooves, namely, He is always attentive to all the matters of His pure devotees. There are others who designate Him as impersonal, and so the Lord also does not take any personal interest. He satisfies everyone in terms of one’s development of spiritual consciousness, and a sample of such reciprocation is exhibited here with His different welcomers.
Yes, this is a beautiful chapter of the Srimad Bhagavatam, and Srila Prabhupada’s Purports are dripping with transcendental Knowledge.
28 Mar 2013
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Devotional Service, Teachings of Lord Chaitanya
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, bhakti, Caitanya Mahaprabhu, devotee, devotional service, fruitive activities, meditation, meditational yoga, perfect stage of devotion, philosophical speculation, speculative knowledge, Teachings of Lord Chaitanya, Vedic literature
Teachings of Lord Caitanya
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
How to Approach God
Actually all Vedic literature directs the human being toward the perfect stage of devotion. The paths of fruitive activities, speculative knowledge and meditation do not lead one to the perfectional stage, but by the process of devotional service the Lord actually becomes approachable. Therefore all Vedic literature recommends that one accept this process. In this regard, Caitanya Mahāprabhu quoted from the Lord’s instructions to Uddhava in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam:
na sādhayati māṁ yogo
na sāṅkhyaṁ dharma uddhava
na svādhyāyas tapas tyāgo
yathā bhaktir mamorjitā
“My dear Uddhava, neither philosophical speculation, nor meditational yoga, nor penances can give Me such pleasure as devotional service practiced by the living entities.” (Bhāg. 11.14.20)
20 Jan 2013
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Devotional Service, Mayavadi, Spiritual Life, Sri Caitanya-Caritamrta
Tags: austerity, Demigod Gaṇeśa, fruitive activity, goddess durga, goddess kali, goddess of fortune, impersonal Brahman, It Is Not All One and the Same, Kṛṣṇa, Lord Ramacandra, Lord Siva, mystic yoga, speculative knowledge
click on image to enlarge
“One Can Understand Me As I Am, Only By Devotional Service”
It Is Not All One and the Same
…Lord Kṛṣṇa told the gopīs, ‘The means of attaining My favor is loving service unto Me, and fortunately you are all thus engaged. Those living beings who render service unto Me are eligible to be transferred to the spiritual world and attain eternal life with knowledge and bliss.’
The fulfillment of human life is summarized in this verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.82.44).
And in the Bhagavad-gita
…Lord Krsna told Arjuna, “One can understand Me as I am, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, only by devotional service. And when one is in full consciousness of Me by such devotion, he can enter into the kingdom of God.”
Impersonalists cannot understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead; therefore it is not possible for them to enter into the spiritual kingdom of God and return home, back to Godhead. Actually one attains different results by different means. It is not that all achievements are one and the same.
02 Jan 2013
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Devotional Service, Srila Prabhupada, Twenty-Six Qualities of a Devotee
Tags: 1.kind to everyone, 10.benevolent, 11.peaceful, 12.completely attached to Krsna, 13.has no material hankering, 14.meek, 15.steady, 16.self-controlled, 17.does not eat more than required, 18.sane, 19.respectful, 2.does not quarrel with anyone, 20.humble, 21.grave, 22.compassionate, 23.friendly, 24.poetic, 25.silent, 26 qualities of a devotee, 26.expert, 3.fixed in the Absolute Truth, 4.equal to everyone, 5.faultless, 6.charitable, 7.mild, 8.clean, 9.simple, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Srila Prabhupada, without material possession
“A New Year’s resolution is a commitment that a person makes to one or more personal goals, projects, or the reforming of a habit. A key element to a New Year’s resolution that sets it apart from other resolutions is that it is made in anticipation of the New Year and new beginnings.” (Wikipedia definition)
Every year it seems I make the fruitless attempt to write down my New Year’s Resolutions, vowing to do less of this and more of that. But this year, I am just going to try to be a better human being. I am just going to try to develop the qualities of a devotee, which are 26 in number, and try to get myself free from material entanglement and go Back Home, Back to Godhead.
The Twenty-Six Qualities of a Devotee
The Lord is satisfied by the development of the transcendental qualities of the living entities and not by artificial performance of sacrifices and mystic yoga. In other words, unless one is fully qualified to become a pure devotee of the Lord, one cannot expect to be liberated from material entanglement.
These qualities of a devotee, twenty-six in number, are listed by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu:
1) Kind to Everyone, 2) Does not Quarrel with Anyone, 3) Fixed in the Absolute Truth, 4) Equal to Everyone, 5) Faultless, 6) Charitable, 7) Mild, 8) Clean, 9) Simple, without Material Possession, 10) Benevolent, 11) Peaceful, 12) Completely Attached to Krsna, 13) Has no Material Hankering, 14) Meek, 15) Steady, 16) Self-controlled, 17) Does not Eat More than Required, 18) Sane, 19) Respectful, 20) Humble, 21) Grave, 22) Compassionate, 23) Friendly, 24) Poetic, 25) Silent, 26) Expert
08 Nov 2012
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Devotional Service, Krishna Consciousness, Spiritual World
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, all-beautiful face, Brahma, cintamani, cintamani-dhama, devotees, goddesses of fortune, Krishna, lotus face of the Lord, lotus feet of the Lord, Spiritual world, Srila Rupa Goswami, touchstone
click on image to enlarge
…The essence of everything is the Supreme Lord: He is called the sāram. And those who sing and talk about Him are called the sāraṅgas, or the pure devotees. The pure devotees are always hankering after the lotus feet of the Lord. The lotus has a kind of honey which is transcendentally relished by the devotees. They are like the bees who are always after the honey. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, the great devotee ācārya of the Gauḍīya-Vaiṣṇava-sampradāya, has sung a song about this lotus honey, comparing himself to the bee: “O my Lord Kṛṣṇa, I beg to offer my prayers unto You. My mind is like the bee, and it is after some honey. Kindly, therefore, give my bee-mind a place at Your lotus feet, which are the resources for all transcendental honey. I know that even big demigods like Brahmā do not see the rays of the nails of Your lotus feet, even though they are engaged in deep meditation for years together. Still, O infallible one, my ambition is such, for You are very merciful to your surrendered devotees. O Mādhava, I know also that I have no genuine devotion for the service of Your lotus feet, but because Your Lordship is inconceivably powerful, You can do what is impossible to be done. Your lotus feet can deride even the nectar of the heavenly kingdom, and therefore I am very much attracted by them. O supreme eternal, please, therefore, let my mind be fixed at Your lotus feet so that eternally I may be able to relish the taste of Your transcendental service.”
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13 Oct 2012
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Bhakti-latā-bīja, Devotional Service, Vaisnava-aparadha
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Autum, bhakti-latā-bīja, bija, devotional service, garden in autumn, gardener, hearing and chanting, kirtana, seed, seed of devotional service, sowing the seed in his heart, sravana
“When a person receives the seed of devotional service, he should take care of it by becoming a gardener and sowing the seed in his heart. If he waters the seed gradually by the process of śravaṇa and kīrtana [hearing and chanting], the seed will begin to sprout.
“As one waters the bhakti-latā-bīja, the seed sprouts, and the creeper gradually increases to the point where it penetrates the walls of this universe and goes beyond the Virajā River between the spiritual world and the material world. It attains brahma-loka, the Brahman effulgence, and, penetrating through that stratum, it reaches the spiritual sky and the spiritual planet Goloka Vṛndāvana.”
“Being situated in one’s heart and being watered by śravaṇa-kīrtana, the bhakti creeper grows more and more. In this way it attains the shelter of the desire tree of the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, who is eternally situated in the planet known as Goloka Vṛndāvana in the topmost region of the spiritual sky.”
“The creeper greatly expands in the Goloka Vṛndāvana planet, and there it produces the fruit of love for Kṛṣṇa. Although remaining in the material world, the gardener regularly sprinkles the creeper with the water of hearing and chanting.
11 Sep 2012
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Devotional Service, Nectar of Instruction, The Nectar of Instruction, Upadesamrta
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, bhagavad-gita, Bhakti-rasamrta-sindu, devotional service, imaginative ecstasy, Nectar of Instruction, sentimental speculation, Srila Prabhupada, Srila Rupa Goswami
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…Devotional service means transcendental activities.
Devotional service is not a matter of sentimental speculation or imaginative ecstasy. Its substance is practical activity.
The execution of devotional service is not a matter of idle meditation but practical action in the foreground of spiritual life.
“In the course of traversing the universal creation of Brahmā, some fortunate soul may receive the seed of bhakti-latā, the creeper of devotional service. This is all by the grace of guru and Kṛṣṇa.” (Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya 19.151)
If by fortune one takes advantage of this opportunity to engage in devotional service, the path of liberation immediately opens.
One should accept this opportunity to return home, back to Godhead, very enthusiastically.
The Nectar of Instruction
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada