Today we are posting some of the very famous photographs taken by me dear friend and senior God brother Gurudas Prabhu. Gurudas was well known for his photography and he traveled around the world with Srila Prabhupada taking pictures and writting. We share some of them with you here today.
Today as we are celebrating the appearance day of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu we are further reminded of the great senapati bhakta Srila Prabhupada who Lord Caitanya foretold would take the sankirtana movement everywhere.
…Lord Caitanya foretold the coming of an empowered devotee who would take the sankirtana process everywhere: “I want to flood the whole world with the chanting of the holy names. I will personally preach and flood India with harinama sankirtana, chanting of the holy names. And My senapati bhakta (great devotee commander) will come, preach in different countries and flood the world with the chanting of Hare Krishna.” This means that, though Sri Caitanya came to establish and spread the process of congregational chanting of Krishna’s names in India, there would be one great devotee who would appear and spread it throughout the world.
Today we honor not only Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu but his empowered devotee as well with this nice biography written by Stephen Knapp (Sri Nandananda dasa).
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
by Stephen Knapp (Sri Nandanandana dasa)
In the Brahma-vaivarta Purana, in a conversation with Ganga Devi, Lord Krishna describes that after 5,000 years of Kali-yuga have passed, His mantra upasaka, the great sage and worshiper of Krishna’s holy names, will appear and spread the chanting of Krishna’s names (in the form of the Hare Krishna mantra) not only in India but throughout the world. Lord Krishna explains that by the chanting of His holy names the world will become spiritualized and everyone will be hari-bhaktas, engaged in the process of devotion to the Supreme. The purified devotees will visit the holy places and holy rivers of India and will purify them. They will also purify those with whom they come in contact. Thus, Sri Krishna predicted the appearance of a powerful devotee who would spread the chanting of His names worldwide.
Today marks the appearance of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu otherwise known as Gaura Purnima. We will honor it today with a fast till moonrise followed by a feast.The following post is a beautiful biography on Lord Caitanya, written by Stephen Knapp.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu
by Stephen Knapp
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu [pronounced Chaitanya] (February 27,1486 to 1534 A.D.) was born in Navadvipa, Bengal, on a full moon night during a lunar eclipse. It is typical for people to bathe in the Ganges during an eclipse and chant the Lord’s holy names for spiritual purification. So, everyone in the area was chanting the holy names when He was born. His parents, Jagannatha Misra and Sachidevi, gave Him the name of Vishvambhara, meaning the support of the universe, because astrologers had predicted His super human qualities and that He would deliver the people of the world. He was also nicknamed Nimai because He had been born under a nima tree.
With today being the 2017 Presidential Inauguration, this instruction by Srila Prabhupada, “Everyone should be very humble”
seems like timely advice.
… Humility means that one should not be anxious to have the satisfaction of being honored by others. The material conception of life makes us very eager to receive honor from others, but from the point of view of a man in perfect knowledge-who knows that he is not this body-anything, honor or dishonor, pertaining to this body is useless. One should not be hankering after this material deception. People are very anxious to be famous for their religion, and consequently sometimes it is found that without understanding the principles of religion, one enters into some group, which is not actually following religious principles, and then wants to advertise himself as a religious mentor. As for actual advancement in spiritual science, one should have a test to see how far he is progressing. He can judge by these items. (from purport Bhagavad-gita As It Is 13.8-12)
This morning I was reading from the Fourth Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam, wherein Narada Muni was discussing about material intelligence…
The great sage Nārada continued: The word pramadā mentioned in this regard refers to material intelligence, or ignorance. It is to be understood as such. When one takes shelter of this kind of intelligence, he identifies himself with the material body. Influenced by the material consciousness of “I” and “mine,” he begins to enjoy and suffer through his senses. Thus the living entity is entrapped. (SB4.29.5)
…and in the purport Srila Prabhupada explains
“…in material existence the living entity falsely claims things to be his. He thinks, “I am the monarch of all I survey.” This is ignorance. Actually, nothing belongs to him. Even the body and the senses do not belong to him, for they are given to him by the grace of the Lord to satisfy his different propensities through the material energy. Nothing actually belongs to the living entity, but he becomes mad after everything, claiming, “This is mine. This is mine. This is mine.” Janasya moho ’yam ahaṁ mameti [SB 5.5.8]. This is called illusion. Nothing belongs to the living entity, but he claims that everything belongs to him. Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu recommends that this false intelligence be purified (ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]). When the mirror of intelligence is polished, the real activities of the living entity begin. This means that when a person comes to the platform of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, his real intelligence acts. At that time he knows that everything belongs to Kṛṣṇa and nothing belongs to him. As long as one thinks that everything belongs to him, he is in material consciousness, and when he knows perfectly that everything belongs to Kṛṣṇa, he is in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.” (from purport to SB4.29.5)
While I was reading this, the last song ever recorded by the Beatles, “I Me Mine” kept playing in my head. We have also included the song lyrics at bottom of post.
“Although my Guru Maharaja ordered me to accomplish this mission, I am not worthy or fit to do it. I am very fallen and insignificant. Therefore, O Lord, now I am begging for Your mercy so that I may become worthy, for You are the wisest and most experienced of all.” (Prayer to the Lotus Feet of Krishna, on board the ship Jaladuta, September 13, 1965)
“It is all Krishna’s Grace that He has sent such a nice assistants to me, for executing the mission of my Spiritual Master. Personally, I am nonentity; I have come here on the order of my Spiritual Master, and He has kindly sent you all boys to assist me. So whatever is being done, there is no credit for me, but all the credit goes to my Spiritual Master, because He has arranged everything, and I am simply to abide by His order.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, October 16, 1968)
“I am just trying to disseminate this message of my Spiritual Master and if there’s any credit for this service, everything goes to Him.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, March 14, 1969)
This morning I awoke to the news that Donald Trump has been elected as President on the United States of America. For some Americans this is frightening news. Others are rejoicing. I think we can all agree that the world is a dangerous place. This post by Padmapani Prabhu is really quite timely.
Safety in a Dangerous World
by Padmapani das
Ever since the tragic events of September 11, 2001, the world has been faced with unprecedented danger and uncertainty. Recent headlines suggest that the threat of terrorism has reached critical proportions. News of another possible attack in the U.S. has been circulating in the press and the rhetoric of war has dominated world politics for quite some time. Once again we are forced to contemplate our fragility and mortality in this material world. Anything can happen now and we know it.
…The saṅkīrtana movement inaugurated by Lord Caitanya is a transcendental pastime of the Lord. “By it I live simultaneously to preach and popularize this movement in the material world.” In that saṅkīrtana movement of Lord Caitanya, Nityānanda and Advaita are His expansions, and Gadādhara and Śrīvāsa are His internal and marginal potencies. The living entities are also called marginal potency because they have, potentially, two attitudes-namely the tendency to surrender unto Kṛṣṇa and the tendency to become independent of Him. Due to the propensity for material enjoyment, the living entity becomes contaminated by the material world. When a living entity is dominated by a desire for material enjoyment and becomes entangled in material life, he is subjected to the threefold miseries of material existence. He is just like a seed sown in the earth. If a seed is overpowered by too much water, there is no possibility of its fructifying. Similarly, if a man is captivated by material enjoyment, and even if the seed of such enjoyment is within the heart of the conditioned soul, he can be overpowered by a flood of transcendental activities performed in love of God. In this way his potential seed cannot fructify into a conditional life of material existence. The conditioned living entities in the material world, especially in the present age of Kali, are overpowered by the flood of love of God inaugurated by Lord Caitanya and His associates. (from Teachings of Lord Caitanya Chapter 17)
Last night former President Bill Clinton spoke at the Democratic National Convention. I was able to catch part of his speech. I woke up this morning thinking that sometime back Bill Clinton had stopped eating meat, fish and eggs, and became a vegan. Veganism, by definition is; “Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.” (this quote was taken from the Vegan Society). Although I personally am an avid vegetarian, and believer in offering everything to Krsna, I very much appericate the ideals of veganism and its attempt to practice ahimsa, or the idea of causing no injury and harm to other living entities, as well as it being a healthy lifestyle. There is a definition of ahimsa, or nonviolence, at end of post.
…”I just decided that I was the high-risk person, and I didn’t want to fool with this anymore. And I wanted to live to be a grandfather. So I decided to pick the diet that I thought would maximize my chances of long-term survival.” -Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton Explains Why He Became a Vegan
by Joe Conason
George Harrison Interview: Hare Krishna Mantra–There’s Nothing Higher (1982)
This entry is part 3 of 10 in the series The Beatles and Hare Krishna
George: It’s really the same sort of thing as meditation, but I think it has a quicker effect. I mean, even if you put your beads down, you can still say the mantra or sing it without actually keeping track on your beads. One of the main differences between silent meditation and chanting is that silent meditation is rather dependent on concentration, but when you chant, it’s more of a direct connection with God.
This morning I was cleaning out one of the sheds, and found this old suitcase filled with cassette tapes. There were some of the old Bhaktivedanta Archive tapes, Golden Avatar tapes, various lectures, bahjans and kirtans. I started to listed to some of the old vintage kirtans and lectures and I was filled with a nostalgic mood of yearning, for the early days of the Hare Krishna Movement. This lead me to re-examine the old Back to Godhead magazine issues. The following is one article I found very reminiscence of those early days.
A Conversation between A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami & Allen Ginsberg
Recorded by Guru Das Adhikary
Swamiji had come to San Francisco in late January, 1967 for the opening of the Krishna Consciousness Temple there, at 518 Frederick Street. Allen Ginsberg had always shown friendly and helpful interest in the Society; and he agreed to attend a giant “Mantra Rock Festival,” which the temple members were planning to hold in the Avalon Ballroom. And so, a few days before that event, the good poet came to early morning Kirtan (7 A. M.), and later joined the Swami upstairs in the apartment his pupils had rented for him.
We were sitting in the glow of this holy man, munching on Indian sweetballs cooked by the Swami, when Allen Ginsberg came through the door, a warm smile on his face.
The Swami offered him a sweetball: “Take.”
They sat in silence for a few moments, radiating mutual love.
With the advent of the Gaura Purnima, or the Appearance day of Lord Caitanya, rapidly approaching, I thought it would be nice to again offer the free pdf file of the Teachings of Lord Chaitanya. Just click on link to read it online or save it to your computer. Hare Krishna!
By associating with persons for whom the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Mukunda, is the all in all, one can hear of His powerful activities and soon come to understand them. The activities of Mukunda are so potent that simply by hearing of them one immediately associates with the Lord. For a person who constantly and very eagerly hears narrations of the Lord’s powerful activities, the Absolute Truth, the Personality of Godhead in the form of sound vibrations, enters within his heart and cleanses it of all contamination. On the other hand, although bathing in the Ganges diminishes bodily contaminations and infections, this process and the process of visiting holy places can cleanse the heart only after a long time. Therefore who is the sane man who will not associate with devotees to quickly perfect his life? (SB 5.18.11)
…Bathing in the Ganges can certainly cure one of many infectious diseases, but it cannot cleanse one’s materially attached mind, which creates all kinds of contaminations in material existence. However, one who directly associates with the Supreme Lord by hearing of His activities cleanses the dirt from his mind and very soon comes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
…All the great ācāryas strongly recommend that people be given a chance to hear about the Supreme Lord. Then success is assured. The more we cleanse the dirt of material attachment from our hearts, the more we will be attracted by Kṛṣṇa’s name, form, qualities, paraphernalia and activities. This is the sum and substance of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. (from purport SB 5.18.11)
This morning I happened upon this nice Study Guide on the Bhagavad-gita As It Is. It begins with the Introduction to the Bhagavad-gita, some notes on the Original Edition, the significance of the Bhagavad-gita, a philosophical synopsis, chapter by chapter summary, Q & A, and a suguested teaching syllabus. All in all ,a very nice presentation prepared by disciples and followers of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
We are offing it here as a free pdf download that you can view, save or print, by clicking on the following link:
The theory of overpopulation was explained by Srila Prabhupada at the famous New York Ratha-yatra festival in 1976. I remember clearly, We were at the park, in one of the worlds largest cities, sourounded by thousands of people, and Srila Prabhupada was speaking about how Krsna is feeding the world…
…God is father, supreme father of everyone. If we simply study this verse from the Bhagavad-gītā, that the mother nature is the mother of all living entities and God is the supreme father of everyone… We can study these two lines very carefully. On the earth we can see so many living entities are coming out, beginning from the grass, then so many insects, reptiles, big trees, then animals, birds, beasts, then human beings. They are all coming from the earth, and they are living at the expense of earth. The earth is supplying food to everyone. As the mother gives life or maintains the child by the milk of her breast, similarly, the earth mother is maintaining all different types of living entities. There are 8,400,000 different forms of life, and the earth, mother earth is supplying food. There are thousands of elephants in the African jungle, they are also being supplied with food. And within your room in a hole there are thousands of ants, they are also being supplied food by the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So the philosophy is that we should not be disturbed by the so-called theory of over-population. If God can feed elephants, why he cannot feed you? You do not eat like the elephant. So this theory, that there is a shortage of food or overpopulation, we do not accept it. God is so powerful that He can feed everyone without any difficulty. Simply we are mismanaging. Otherwise there is no difficulty.
……That is the gift of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. It is in the śāstra. Caitanya Mahāprabhu does not give you anything which is not in the śāstra. He’s ācārya, although He’s God Himself. He can make śāstra. Whatever He does, whatever He speaks, that is śāstra. But still, because He’s playing the part of ācārya, He immediately gives Vedic evidences. That is the way of ācārya. Ācāryas will never say, “I think.” “It is in my opinion.” No. Such things are not accepted. No personal opinion. It must be supported by Vedic evidences. That is called paramparā system, genuine system of understanding. As Kṛṣṇa says, evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ [Bg. 4.2]. No change. Therefore we are presenting Bhagavad-gītā as it is. We do not change. We have no power to change. Then where is the authority of Bhagavad-gītā? I am a third-class man, and if I change the statements in the Bhagavad-gītā, then where is the authority of Bhagavad-gītā? That is going on. Therefore it is practically… You have got experience that there are hundreds of Bhagavad-gītā editions in the Western countries, but because we are presenting Bhagavad-gītā as it is, our sale is better than all others. There is a report from the trade manager of Macmillan. He says, “While other editions are dwindling, going down, this edition is coming up.” They published our, this present enlarged edition of Bhagavad-gītā, fifty thousand in the month of August. They are going to print again, second edition, August, September, October. So the reason is that if we present things as they are, it will be accepted. Without any adulteration. Sometimes, you know, people say that I have done miracles. They say everywhere. But I do not know anything, miracles or magic. If there is any miracle, that miracle is that we present things as they are. That’s all. Without any adulteration. So that should be the principle. Present as it is. It will be accepted.
excerpted from a lecture on the Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.11 Vrindavan India October 22, 1972
An Eternal Relationship
Prabhupada’s Fourth Visit to New Vrindaban
(written by Madhava Smullen, archival aesearch by Chaitanya Mangala)
Thank you to Madhava Smullen and Caitanya Mangala prabhus. They are trying to re-create the history on New Vrindaban. The fact that they have focused their writing around the time frame of Srila Prabhupada’s visit there makes it noteworthy.
June 21st, 1976 was a normal day at the Pittsburgh International airport until a group of Krishna devotees from New Vrindaban, dressed in an odd combination of dhotis or saris with large rubber farm boots, appeared. Commuters stared open-mouthed as the fifty-strong crew exploded into a cacophonous burst of chanting, mridanga drums, and gongs in front of the arrival gate.
Memories of an Indian Holy Town
by Howard Wheeler (Hayagriva dasa)
“This transcendental land of Vrindaban is populated by goddesses of fortune, who manifest as milkmaids and love Krishna above everything. The trees here fulfill all desires, and the waters of immortality flow through land made of philosopher’s stone. Here, all speech is song, all walking is dancing, and the flute is the Lord’s constant companion. Cows flood the land with abundant milk, and everything is self-luminous, like the sun. Since every moment in Vrindaban is spent in loving service to Krishna, there is no past, present, or future.” -Brahma Samhita (as excerpted from the book Vrindaban Days by Hayagriva das)
It is with great pleasure that we share with you this travel journal by Hayagriva Prabhu as a free PDF download which you can veiw or save by clicking on the underlined link below;