Attaining the Supreme

Next, one may raise the question of how one goes about approaching that abode of the Supreme Lord. Information of this is given in the Eighth Chapter of the Bhagavad-gita. It is said there:

And whoever, at the time of death, quits his body, remembering Me alone, at once attains My nature. Of this there is no doubt.

Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, that state he will attain without fail.

Therefore, Arjuna, you should always think of Me in the form of Kṛṣṇa and at the same time carry out your prescribed duty of fighting. With your activities dedicated to Me and your mind and intelligence fixed on Me, you will attain Me without doubt.

…This instruction to Arjuna is very important for all men engaged in material activities. The Lord does not say that one should give up his prescribed duties or engagements. One can continue them and at the same time think of Kṛṣṇa by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. This will free one from material contamination and engage the mind and intelligence in Kṛṣṇa. By chanting Kṛṣṇa’s names, one will be transferred to the supreme planet, Kṛṣṇaloka, without a doubt.

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Krishna Consciousness is for Everyone

…In order for his movement to be successful, Srila Prabhupada emphasized that there is no room for politics in Krsna consciousness: “Politics means planning for one’s own happiness. That is politics. So in our society there should be no diplomacy, no politics. Everyone should be eager how to do good for others. That is Vaisnava.”

Krishna Consciousness is for Everyone
By Sriman Padmapani Prabhu

Oftentimes those who are practicing Krsna consciousness are challenged that merely tending to spiritual life can’t possibly solve one’s problems in the real world. How can chanting Hare Krsna help someone who is constantly worried about putting food on their dinner table? So-called spiritual solutions seem vague and impractical. However, if we make the effort to study Srila Prabhupada’s teachings in full, we soon discover that he was always down-to-earth along with being committed to living and preaching a godly life.

In early 1974, Srila Prabhupada instructed his leading disciples to start organizing his movement according to the principles of varnasrama-dharma: “Everywhere, wherever we have got our centers, a varnasrama college should be established to train all divisions: one class brahmana, one class ksatriya, one class vaisya, and one class sudra” (Srila Prabhupada, Vrindavan, March, 1974). These four divisions of society are described in the 18th chapter of the Bhagavad-gita where Lord Krsna states that such divisions are naturally “in accordance with the modes of nature” (B.G. 18.41). In the varnasrama system, the brahmanas are the priests, the ksatriyas are the administrators, the vaisyas are the producers of food and the sudras are the workers. By co-operating together, these four parts of the social body are able to maintain a healthy and well functioning society. On the basis of Vedic scripture, Srila Prabhupada guaranteed that there would be no scarcity if the principles of varnasrama were properly established in human society. “Come and join us,” he said. “We shall give you food, shelter, everything. This is Krsna consciousness.”

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I am the Taste of Water

…Thus when a devotee drinks water or any other liquid, he immediately remembers Kṛṣṇa. For a devotee there is no difficulty in awakening Kṛṣṇa consciousness twenty-four hours a day. If you simply drink water, and practice the simple meditation of remembering that Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita 7.8 “raso ‘ham apsu kaunteya prabhāsmi śaśi-sūryayoḥ”, “I am the taste of water, the light of the sun and the moon”. It is easy to remember Krishna (God)

Is there any land within this universe where there is no sunshine, moonshine? Everywhere. So where is the difficulty to become Kṛṣṇa conscious? You are practicing meditation. Why not this simple meditation?

“How I can think of Kṛṣṇa constantly? Kṛṣṇa says that you think of Kṛṣṇa while drinking water, you think of Kṛṣṇa when you see the sunshine, think of Kṛṣṇa when you see the moonshine, day and night. So at daytime there is sunshine, at night there is moonshine. So day and night you can think of Kṛṣṇa. So, so many ways…

Because our only business is to remember Kṛṣṇa. That we can do any stage of life. It does not require that you have to become a brāhmaṇa, an Indian, and so on, so on, great learned scholar in Vedic scripture. No. You may be in the far away country, in Europe, America, or you may not be in brāhmaṇa family. It doesn’t matter. But you can remember Kṛṣṇa. We are teaching this art through Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that you may remain in whichever position Kṛṣṇa has put you. It doesn’t matter. But try to understand Kṛṣṇa. “How can I understand?” Well, you are drinking water. You can understand Kṛṣṇa. Where is the difficulty? Raso ‘ham apsu kaunteya [Bg. 7.8]. Kṛṣṇa says that “I am the taste of water.” Then where there is a person who does not drink water? Is there any land where people do not drink water? Is there any land?

So many ways we can remember Kṛṣṇa always.

A devotee who has purified his existence through devotional service sees only Kṛṣṇa in every step of life. (Paraphrased from Lecture by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada given in Vrndavan India August 17, 1974)

Full Bhagavad-gita verse 7.8 and Lecture follow More

Practicing Krishna Consciousness at Home

Not everyone who joins this Krishna Consciousness Movement need move into a temple or ashram, as the following lessons for the householders confirms.

The real purpose of human life is to attain the spiritual platform and return to Godhead. That is the summum bonum of spiritual realization. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is trying to elevate human society to the perfection of life by pursuing the method described by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu in His advice to the brāhmaṇa Kūrma. That is, one should stay at home, chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and preach the instructions of Kṛṣṇa as they are given in the Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

If a devotee follows the instructions of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, he lives in the company of the Lord. Wherever he lives, he converts that place into Vṛndāvana and Navadvīpa. This means that materialism cannot touch him. This is the secret of success for one advancing in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Madhya-līlā, Chapter 7, Text 128-129

“Instruct everyone to follow the orders of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa as they are given in the Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. In this way become a spiritual master and try to liberate everyone in this land.”

PURPORT
This is the sublime mission of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Many people come and inquire whether they have to give up family life to join the Society, but that is not our mission. One can remain comfortably in his residence. We simply request everyone to chant the mahā-mantra: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. If one is a little literate and can read the Bhagavad-gītā As It Is and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, that is so much the better. These works are now available in an English translation and are done very authoritatively to appeal to all classes of men. Instead of living engrossed in material activities, people throughout the world should take advantage of this movement and chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra at home with their families. One should also refrain from sinful activities-illicit sex, meat-eating, gambling and intoxication. Out of these four items, illicit sex is very sinful. Every person must get married. Every woman especially must get married. One can also produce many nice preparations to offer Kṛṣṇa-grain, fruit, flowers and milk. Why should one indulge in unnecessary meat-eating and maintain horrible slaughterhouses? What is the use of smoking and drinking tea and coffee? People are already intoxicated by material enjoyment, and if they indulge in further intoxication, what chance is there for self-realization? Similarly, one should not partake in gambling and unnecessarily agitate the mind. The real purpose of human life is to attain the spiritual platform and return to Godhead. That is the summum bonum of spiritual realization. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is trying to elevate human society to the perfection of life by pursuing the method described by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu in His advice to the brāhmaṇa Kūrma. That is, one should stay at home, chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and preach the instructions of Kṛṣṇa as they are given in the Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

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Bhaja Bhakata-Vatsala Srī-Gaurahari (Sri-Bhoga-Arotik)

This was the song that Srila Prabhupada introduced to be sung at the noon Bhoga-Arotik when offering Krishna His lunch

Bhaja Bhakata Vatsala
By Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur

Just worship Sri Gaurahari, who is always affectionate toward His devotees. He is the same Supreme Godhead, Krsna, who sported in the cowherd pastures of Vraja and stole the hearts of Nanda and Yasoda.

Mother Yasoda calls to Krsna, “My dear Damodara, it is very late. Please come right now, sit down in the dining hall, and take Your lunch.”

On the direction of Nanda Maharaja, Krsna, the holder of Govardhana Hill, sits down, and then all the cowherd boys, along with Krsna’s elder brother, Sri Baladeva, sit down in rows to take their lunch.

They are then served a feast of sukta and various kinds of green leafy vegetables, then nice fried things, and a salad made of the green leaves of the jute plant. They are also served pumpkin, baskets of fruit, small square cakes made of lentils and cooked down milk, then thick yogurt, squash cooked in milk, and vegetable preparations made from the tower of the banana tree.

Then they receive fried squares of mung dahl patties, and urad dahl patties, capatis, and rice with ghee. Next, sweets made with milk, sugar and sesamum, rice flour cakes; thick cooked-down milk; cakes floating in milk; and sweet rice.

There is also sweet rice that tastes just like nectar due to its being mixed with camphor. There are bananas, and cheese which is nectarean and delicious. They are also served twelve kinds of sour preparations made with tamarinds, limes, lemons, oranges, and pomegranates.

There are puns made with white flour and sugar; puns filled with cream; laddus; and dahl patties boiled in sugared rice. Krsna eagerly eats all of the food.

In great ecstasy and joy Krsna eats the rice, curried vegetables, sweets, and pastries cooked by Srimati Radharani.

Krsna’s funny brahmana friend Madhumangala, who is very fond of Laddus, gets them by hook or by crook. Eating the laddus he shouts, “Haribol! Haribol!~’ and makes a funny sound by swapping his sides under his armpits with his hands.

Beholding Radharani and Her gopifriends out of the courters of His eyes, Krsna eats at the house of mother Yasoda with great satisfaction.

After lunch, Krsna drinks rose-scented water. Then all of the boys, standing in lines, wash their mouths.

After all the cowherd boys wash their hands and mouths, in great bliss they take rest with Lord Balarama.

The two cowherd boys Jambula and Rasala then bring Krsna pan made with betel nuts, fancy spices, and catechu. After eating that pin, Sri Krsnacandra then happily goes to sleep.

While Krsna happily takes His rest on an excellent bedstead, His servant Visalaksa cools Him with a fan of peacock feathers.

At mother Yasoda’s request the gopi Dhanistha brings remnants of food left on Krsna’s plate to Srimati Radharani, who eats them with great delight

Lalita-devi and the other gopis then receive the remnants, and within their hearts they sing the glories of Radharani and Krsna with great joy.

Thakura Bhaktivinoda, whose one and only Joy is the pastimes of Lord Hari, sings this Bhoga-arati song

Bengali lyrcis follow… More

Lord Kṛṣṇa’s Daily Activities

Krishna in meditation

Lord Kṛṣṇa used to lie down with His sixteen thousand wives, but also He would rise up from bed very early in the morning, three hours before sunrise. By nature’s arrangement the crowing of the cocks warns of the brāhma-muhūrta hour. There is no need of alarm clocks; as soon as the cocks crow early in the morning, it is to be understood that it is time to rise from bed. Hearing that sound, Kṛṣṇa would get up from bed, but His rising early was not very much to the liking of His wives. The wives of Kṛṣṇa were so much attached to Him that they would lie in bed embracing Him, but as soon as the cocks crowed, Kṛṣṇa’s wives would be very sorry and would immediately condemn the crowing.

After rising from bed, Lord Kṛṣṇa would wash His mouth, hands and feet and would immediately sit down and meditate on Himself. This does not mean, however, that we should also sit down and meditate on ourselves. We have to meditate upon Kṛṣṇa, Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. That is real meditation, Kṛṣṇa is Kṛṣṇa Himself; therefore He was teaching us that brāhma-muhūrta should be utilized for meditation on Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. By doing so, Kṛṣṇa would feel very much satisfied, and similarly we will also feel transcendentally pleased and satisfied if we utilize the brāhma-muhūrta period to meditate on Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa and if we think of how Śrī Rukmiṇīdevī and Kṛṣṇa acted as ideal householders to teach the whole human society to rise early in the morning and immediately engage in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

KRSNA, The Supreme Personality of Godhead – 1970 Edition
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Vol. 2, Chapter 15

Lord Kṛṣṇa’s Daily Activities

From the Vedic mantras we learn that the Supreme Personality of Godhead has nothing to do: na tasya karyaṁ kranaṁ ca vidyate. If the Supreme Lord has nothing to do, then how can we speak of the activities of the Supreme Lord? From the previous chapter it is clear that no one can act in the way that Lord Kṛṣṇa does. We should clearly note this fact: the activities of the Lord should be followed, but they cannot be imitated. For example, Kṛṣṇa’s ideal life as a householder can be followed, but if one wants to imitate Kṛṣṇa by expanding into many forms, that is not possible. We should always remember, therefore, that Lord Kṛṣṇa, although playing the part of a human being, nevertheless simultaneously maintains the position of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. We can follow Lord Kṛṣṇa’s dealing with His wives as an ordinary human being, but His dealing with more than sixteen thousand wives at one time cannot be imitated. The conclusion is that to become ideal householders we should follow in the footsteps of Lord Kṛṣṇa as He displayed His daily activities, but we cannot imitate Him at any stage of our life.

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Srila Prabhupada, His Movement and You


Devotees keep asking themselves, “How will the Krishna consciousness movement spread under the present circumstances?”

They observe the lame leadership and feel personally helpless to make any change or contribution toward rectifying the situation or themselves. The answer to this debilitating state of thought is to see one’s self in the correct spiritual perspective. The devotees who helped Prabhupada spread his movement ISKCON are the same ones who can and will spread Krishna consciousness now and in the future. All that is required is that each individual devotee see himself as the servant of Prabhupada, now exactly as he was then (when Prabhupada was present)…

“The temple center is started just to present an example to the neighboring residents, how they can make a small temple in each and every home. It is not necessary that hundreds and thousands of people will live in our temple, but if we can make effective propaganda, then the neighboring residents, householders, will be inclined to be initiated and follow the modes of temple life. So you can encourage the visitors, boys and girls, as well as married couples, to understand the value of life and how they can peacefully and happily live if they follow the routine worship method in the temple and establish this in their home to be happy in all respects.” (Srila Prabhupada, letter to Tamal Krishna, June 1, 1969)

Nam Hatta: The Onus is On You
By Sriman Hansadutta Prabhu

Because of the circumstances under which most of Prabhupada’s early disciples joined the movement, a widespread misunderstanding has become a great obstacle for people in general to accept and practice Krishna consciousness in a realistic and progressive way under all circumstances. That misunderstanding is that a serious candidate for accepting and advancing in Krishna consciousness must abandon his worldly environment and responsibilities to join a temple ashram and live a communal or communistic life style under the rigid authority of an ISKCON GBC or guru. Nothing could be further from the truth, as we can plainly understand from the following descriptions of Lord Chaitanya’s preaching method and Prabhupada’s purports, which clearly support and obviously encourage the process introduced by Lord Chaitanya in His dealing with the Kurma brahmana and everyone He encountered throughout His two years of traveling and preaching in South India.

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How To Offer Your Food To The Lord

How to Offer Your Food To The Lord

Everything comes from God (Krishna), the air we breath, the water we drink, and the food we eat. But this process of Krishna Consciousness or bhakti-yoga, is the method for re-awakeing our dormant love for God. When you love someone, then there is service. Isn’t this so? A mother loves her baby, and cares for the babies needs; she baths the baby, dresses the baby, feeds the baby etc. So this process of Krishna Consciousness is giving back to the Supreme Lord, in the mood of loving devotional service. Although the Supreme Lord is providing everything, still a devotee thinks, “I want to give something back. I want to offer something to the Lord” Not that we just take from the Lord, ‘O Lord thank you for our daily bread’. No, a devotee wants to bake some bread for the Lord, cook some rice and offer it to the Lord, offer some fruits, and flowers, and water for the Lords pleasure. This is the begining of Love, through service.

A young boy meets a young girl, and he gives her a flower, carries her books, gives her gifts and offers her service. Similary, we want to love God, so we begin with gifts and service, to develope our love and devotion. So this process of offering very nicely prepeared foods to the Lord is Bhakti Yoga. Yoga means ‘union’, and Bhakti means through loving devotional service. It is a very blissful process. I want to Love God, so let me offer some service, some flowers, some nicely cooked food,etc. And we can link up with God (yoga) by thinking of Him, offering prayers, chanting His holy names, and offering the food we eat.

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Practicing Krishna Consciousness at Home

Practicing Krishna Consciousness at Home
by Padmapani Prabhu

Since the vast majority of our readers are coming to Srila Prabhupada and Krishna Consciousness for the first time through Internet searches, and without access to devotee association or a nearby Hare Krishna temple, many people have inquired about how they can set up an altar in their homes and start practicing Krishna Consciousness at their own pace.

The first and foremost principle of Krishna Consciousness is chanting the Hare Krishna mantra:
“Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”

This mantra is a prayer to the Supreme Lord which means: “O energy of the Lord (Hare), O all-attractive Lord Krishna, O Supreme Enjoyer (Rama), please engage me in Your service.”

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