Obstacles on the Path of Eternity

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This morning while I was looking through some of the old issues of Back to Godhead Magazine, I stumbled upon the following article.

Obstacles on the Path of Eternity
An Excerpt from Srila Rupa Gosvami’s Upadesamrta
from Back to Godhead Magazine Vol. 1, No.88, 1973

[SRILA RUPA GOSVAMI was one of six exalted devotees especially chosen through the Krsna conscious chain of spiritual masters to teach the devotional service of the Supreme Lord in a scientific manner. Although all of these six great devotees were erudite scholars and prolific writers, Srila Rupa Gosvami is the most prominent, for he most greatly appreciated the nectar of Krsna consciousness. His Upadesamrta (Nectarean Instructions), a short work of only eleven verses, teaches the basic principles for arousing one’s dormant love of Krsna, the Supreme Lord. Written in Sanskrit some 400 years ago, it has now been translated into English, with an illuminating explanation of each verse, by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.]

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Advanced Knowledge

Nectar of Instruction

Continuing with our series on the Nectar of Inststuction (Upadeśāmṛta), we are posting Text 10, the very important instructions given by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī on advanced knowledge of the higher values of life.

…The gopīs are exalted above all the advanced devotees because they are always totally dependent upon Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the transcendental cowherd boy. Among the gopīs, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is the most dear to Kṛṣṇa. Her kuṇḍa [lake] is as profoundly dear to Lord Kṛṣṇa as this most beloved of the gopīs. Who, then, will not reside at Rādhā-kuṇḍa and, in a spiritual body surcharged with ecstatic devotional feelings [aprākṛtabhāva], render loving service to the divine couple Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Govinda, who perform Their aṣṭakālīya-līlā, Their eternal eightfold daily pastimes. Indeed, those who execute devotional service on the banks of Rādhā-kuṇḍa are the most fortunate people in the universe. (The Nectar of Instruction Text 10)

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The Nectar of Instruction

Nectar of Instruction

Continuing with our series on the Nectar of Iststuction (Upadeśāmṛta), we are posting Text 6, the very important instructions given by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī on the position of a person situated in Krsna consciousness. Srila Prabhupada explains in the purport that a person engaged in devotional service must be free from material motives. In this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, one’s consciousness is what needs to be changed. How we should view the pure devotee, and also the warning is there how to avoid offenses at the feet of the Vaiṣṇavas. Very important instructions.

The Nectar of Instruction
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

Text Six More

The Nectar of Instruction

Nectar of Instruction

…In this verse Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī advises the devotee to be intelligent enough to distinguish between the kaniṣṭha-adhikārī, madhyama-adhikārī and uttama-adhikārī. The devotee should also know his own position and should not try to imitate a devotee situated on a higher platform. Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has given some practical hints to the effect that an uttama-adhikārī Vaiṣṇava can be recognized by his ability to convert many fallen souls to Vaiṣṇavism. One should not become a spiritual master unless he has attained the platform of uttama-adhikārī. A neophyte Vaiṣṇava or a Vaiṣṇava situated on the intermediate platform can also accept disciples, but such disciples must be on the same platform, and it should be understood that they cannot advance very well toward the ultimate goal of life under his insufficient guidance. Therefore a disciple should be careful to accept an uttama-adhikārī as a spiritual master.

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Simple Living, High Thinking

This is Text 2 in our series on The Nectar of Instruction or the Upadeśāmṛta which was originally given to us by Rūpa Gosvāmī, to guide our activities, as we advance in our Krsna Consciousness. The original Text was translated by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada with purports given, so that we may become pure Vaiṣṇavas.

…Kṛṣṇa conscious devotees know very well that this material world is designed by the complete arrangement of the Lord to fulfill all the necessities of life for all living beings, without their having to encroach upon the life or rights of one another. This complete arrangement affords the proper quota of wealth for everyone according to his real needs, and thus everyone may live peacefully according to the principle of plain living and high thinking. Unfortunately, materialists who have neither faith in the plan of God nor any aspiration for higher spiritual development misuse their God-given intelligence only to augment their material possessions. They devise many systems—such as capitalism and materialistic communism—to advance their material position. They are not interested in the laws of God or in a higher goal. Always anxious to fulfill their unlimited desires for sense gratification, they are conspicuous by their ability to exploit their fellow living beings.

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Devotional Service

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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

Text 3

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The Nectar of Instruction

Click on link at bottom of post to download the entire “Nectar of Instruction” on pdf file.

The Nectar of Instruction
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Preface

The Krishna consciousness movement is conducted under the supervision of Srila Rupa Gosvami. The Gaudiya Vaisnavas, or Bengali Vaisnavas, are mostly
followers of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, of whom the six Gosvamis of Vrndavana are direct disciples. Therefore Srila Narottama dasa Thakura has sung:

rupa-raghunatha-pade ha-ibe akuti
kabe hama bujhaba se yugala-piriti

“When I am eager to understand the literature given by the Gosvamis, then I shall be able to understand the transcendental loving affairs of Radha and Krishna.”

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared in order to bestow upon human society the benediction of the science of Krishna. The most exalted of all the activities of Lord Krishna are His pastimes of conjugal love with the gopis. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared in the mood of Srimati Radharani, the best of the gopis. Therefore, to understand the mission of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and follow in His footsteps, one must very seriously follow in the footsteps of the six Gosvamis–Sri Rupa, Sanatana, Bhatta Raghunatha, Sri Jiva, Gopala Bhatta and Dasa Raghunatha.

Sri Rupa Gosvami was the leader of all the Gosvamis, and to guide our activities he gave us this Upadesamrta (The Nectar of Instruction) to follow. As Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu left behind Him the eight verses known as Siksastaka, Rupa Gosvami gave us Upadesamrta so that we may become pure Vaisnavas.

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The Nectar of Instruction

…anger can be controlled. We cannot stop anger altogether, but if we simply become angry with those who blaspheme the Lord or the devotees of the Lord, we control our anger in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu became angry with the miscreant brothers Jagāi and Mādhāi, who blasphemed and struck Nityānanda Prabhu. In His Śikṣāṣṭaka Lord Caitanya wrote, tṛṇād api sunīcena taror api sahiṣṇunā: “One should be humbler than the grass and more tolerant than the tree.” One may then ask why the Lord exhibited His anger. The point is that one should be ready to tolerate all insults to one’s own self, but when Kṛṣṇa or His pure devotee is blasphemed, a genuine devotee becomes angry and acts like fire against the offenders.

The Nectar Of Instruction
By His Divine Grace A.; C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Text One

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