Lord Ramacandra’s Appearance Day Rama Navami

Today we are celebrating Śrī Rāma-Navamī, Lord Rāmacandra’s Appearance Day. We are honoring it with a fast until sunset, followed by a nice vegetarian feast. We are including a lecture by Srila Prabhupada on the appearance of Lord Ramachandra

…So Rāmacandra’s life, God’s activities, pastimes, if we hear, that means we are associating with Rāmacandra. There is no difference between His form, His name, His pastimes, and Himself. He’s absolute. Therefore either you chant the holy name of Rāma or you see the statue of Rāma or you talk of His pastimes, transcendental pastimes, everything, that means you are associating with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So we take advantage of these days when the incarnation of God appears or disappears, and we try to associate with Him. By His association we become purified. Our process is purification. Kṛṣṇa consciousness means simply we are purifying our consciousness. (Lecture by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Recorded in Hawaii, March 27, 1969)

Full Lecture More

Chanting Hare Krishna

visnujhana swami

It seems there is world wide fear over the outbreak of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, such as myself , and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness. But I refuse to live in fear, although we have accepted a self imposed quarantine, I have gone about my business working alone in my woodworking shop, and chanting the holy name. Hare Krishna! -V

Living beings who are entangled in the complicated meshes of birth and death can be freed immediately by even unconsciously chanting the holy name of Kṛṣṇa, which is feared by fear personified. (SB 1.1.14)

… It is stated herein that the name of Kṛṣṇa is feared even by fear personified. This indicates that the name of Kṛṣṇa is nondifferent from Kṛṣṇa. Therefore, the name of Kṛṣṇa is as powerful as Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself. There is no difference at all. Anyone, therefore, can take advantage of the holy names of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa even in the midst of greatest dangers. The transcendental name of Kṛṣṇa, even though uttered unconsciously or by force of circumstances, can help one obtain freedom from the hurdle of birth and death. (from purport)

Full tent and purport More

Glories of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is

086_-_BTG_Year-1973_Volume-01_Number-57_Page_01

1973 Back to Godhead cover

This morning I was reading from the Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 1, Chapter 15, Text 27, wherein Srila Prabhupada was describing the glories and importance of the the Bhagavad-gita As It Is. The following is some excerpts from this amazing purport, followed by full text and purport. I found this one purport to be a very nice synopsis of the entire Bhagavad-gita As It Is.

…The Lord left behind Him the instructions of the Bhagavad-gītā not for the benefit of Arjuna alone, but also for all time and in all lands. The Bhagavad-gītā, being spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the essence of all Vedic wisdom. It is nicely presented by the Lord Himself for all who have very little time to go through the vast Vedic literatures like the Upaniṣads, Purāṇas and Vedānta-sūtras.

…the Bhagavad-gītā can be consulted in all critical times, not only for solace from all kinds of mental agonies, but also for the way out of great entanglements which may embarrass one in some critical hour.

…The merciful Lord left behind Him the great teachings of the Bhagavad-gītā so that one can take the instructions of the Lord even when He is not visible to material eyesight.

…There is no difference between the sound representation of the Lord and the Lord Himself. One can derive the same benefit from the Bhagavad-gītā as Arjuna did in the personal presence of the Lord.

…The Bhagavad-gītā begins with the problems of life by discriminating the soul from the elements of matter and proves by all reason and argument that the soul is indestructible in all circumstances and that the outer covering of matter, the body and the mind, change for another term of material existence which is full of miseries. The Bhagavad-gītā is therefore meant for terminating all different types of miseries, and Arjuna took shelter of this great knowledge, which had been imparted to him during the Kurukṣetra battle. (from Purport to SB 1.15.27)

Full verse and purport More

There Will Always Be Difficulties

prabhupadawriting

Sometimes when people take to Krsna Consciousness, they think that automatically, all their problems and difficulties will be solved, but unfortunately this is not the immediate case, as the letters from Srila Prabhupada to his disciples so vividly indicate. I was listening to one lecture where Srila Prabhupada was saying “…in this material world there will always be difficulties. This material world was designed in such a way that there will always be difficulties.” I went through some of the letters and highlighted where Srila Prabhupada used the word difficulties. It was interesting to read how he explained about these difficulties.

“Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated December 27, 1973. I can understand that you are sometimes experiencing difficulties but that you are very sincerely trying to become Krsna Conscious and that you have a number of persons there who are interested in your presentation of Krsna Consciousness. Actually this material world is full of suffering conditions and the only way to become free from these sufferings which are due to past sinful activities is to chant Hare Krsna. In this age no other method of rectification is possible. Along with the chanting of Hare Krsna we have to rigidly observe the prohibition of four sinful activities. If only these things we can do our lives can become perfect. I think you have my books so please study them carefully.” (Letter to: Bhumata — Los Angeles 2 January, 1974)

And in this one famous letter he wrote to Gurudas Prabhu, Srila Prabhupada descrbes his own difficulties in starting this Hare Krishna Movement.

My dear Gurudasa,

Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated August 23, 1972, and I have noted the contents carefully. Do not be depressed. All along my godbrothers gave me only depression, repression, compression—but I continued strong in my duty. So never mind there is some discouragement, continue with your work in full enthusiastic Krishna Consciousness attitude of service…

Hoping this meets you in good health.

Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

The following are the letters that Srila Prabhupada wrote to his disciples wherein he uses the word difficulties. More

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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Srila Prabhupada’s Disappearance Day

 Srila Prabhupada's 2014 disappearance day  Vyasasan 054

Picture taken before Guru-puja

Today we honor His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada’s disappearance day. We are observing today with a half day fast, with beautiful offerings, a Pushpanjali (an offering of flowers) followed by a feast The beautiful Vyasasana decoration was done by Her Grace Lokadrsti devi dasi, in 2014

His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada’s Disappearance Day homage
by Vyasasan das

Dear Srila Prabhupada

Please accept my fallen obeisance’s, and my love, on this auspicious day of your disappearance. With your arrival on the shores of America, you brought with you the shinning lamp of knowledge; the wisdom on India and the Supreme Absolute Truth. You appeared on the shores of America the way the sun appears on the Eastern Horizon. Slowly revealing itself at first, then dominating the sky with its blazing effulgence. Illuminating the entire world with its golden light. Where there is light there is no darkness. And wherever your words are being sung and repeated, there is a glimmer of hope for the materially conditioned souls.

Your words and instructions are the very life and soul of a genuine disciple. It is said that the best process of understanding Krishna is to hear about Him, either from Krishna Himself as given in statements from the Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, or from the self realized pure devotee. One does not even need to change his worldly position; he simply has to hear the message of Krishna.

It is from you only, Srila Prabhupada, that I know anything at all about Krishna or the spiritual world. By your grace only, the knowledge is revealed, and you become revealed to your disciples and listeners. Anyone who submissively hears from you, either by reading your books, or hearing your lectures, can attain the highest perfectional platform. Just as there is the sun and the sunshine, so, there is Krishna and Krishna’s pure representative. When we feel the sunshine, we know the sun is there, and when we hear from you, we know that Krishna is there.

Your fallen servant

Vyasasan das

 Srila Prabhupada's 2014 disappearance day  Vyasasan 068 after Srila Prabhupada’s Pushpanjali

The Original Bhagavad-gita As It Is

“… When I was in America in 1966, one American lady asked me to recommend an English edition of Bhagavad-gītā so that she could read it. But honestly I could not recommend any one of them, on account of their whimsical explanation. That gave me impetus to write Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. And this present edition, Bhagavad-gītā As It Is, is now published by Macmillan Company, the biggest publisher in the world. And we are doing very nice. We published this Bhagavad-gītā As It Is in 1968, in small edition. It was selling like anything. The trades manager of Macmillan Company reported that our books are selling more and more; others are reducing. Then recently, in this 1972, we have published this Bhagavad-gītā As It Is, complete edition. And Macmillan Company published fifty thousand copies in others, but it was finished in three months and they are arranging for second edition.

So this Bhagavad-gītā should be read by every individual person to know the science of God. It is a great science.”

[SP Lecture:
Bhagavad-gītā 7.1
Sydney, February 16, 1973]

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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Spiritual Master Is with You by His Words

Spiritual Master Is with You by His Words

Devotee: Sometimes this question comes up, with the devotees especially, that it says the devotee makes advancement when the spiritual master is pleased. Right? So sometimes the spiritual master is far, far away. He may be in Los Angeles. Somebody is coming to Hamburg temple. He thinks, “How will the spiritual master be pleased?”

Prabhupada: Just follow his order. Spiritual master is along with you by his words. Just like my spiritual master is not physically present, but I am associating with him by his words.

Devotee: And Krishna knows that; therefore we make advancement. He is sitting in our heart. He knows what we’re doing. So He sees, “He’s serving My pure devotee,” immediately there is advancement.

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The Appearance Day of Lord Nityananda

Today marks the appearance day of Lord Nityananda. We honor it with a half day fast and rememberances of Lord Nityananda’s glories and pastimes. The following is a song written by Srila Narottama dasa Thakura with purport by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

Nitai-Pada-Kamala
The Lotus Feet of Lord Nityananda
By Srila Narottama dasa Thakura
Purport By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

nitai-pada-kamala, koti-chandra-susitala,
je chayay jagatu juray
heno nitai bine bhai, radha-krsna paite nai,
dridha kori’ dharo nitair pay

The lotus feet of Sri Nityananda are as cool as millions of moons. The whole universe gets peace by the shade of those lotus feet. Without the mercy of Sri Nityananda, nobody can get Radha and Krishna, the aim of human life. Therefore, catch hold of the two lotus feet of Sri Nityananda Prabhu very tightly.

se sambandha nahi ja’r, britha janma gelo ta’r,
se pashu bodo durachara
nitai na bolilo mukhe, majilo samsara-sukhe,
vidya-kule ki koribe tara

One who has not established a relationship with Sri Nityananda is a two-legged animal. A great beast! His whole life is finished. He cannot be called a human being. He never utters the name of Sri Nityananda. He is always immersed in enjoying material happiness and has forgotten Sri Nitai. He may have acquired all material scholarship and learning, but what is the value of such education? This will never help.

ahankare matta hoiya, nitai-pada pasariya,
asatyere satya kori mani
nitaiyer karuna habe, braje radha-krsna pabe,
dharo nitai-charana du’khani

They are so puffed up with their mundane education and scholarship. They are never humble at all. They have forgotten the lotus feet of Sri Nitai because of their false ego and pride. They are completely under the clutches of Maya. They accept the untruth as truth. If Sri Nityananda showers His mercy upon someone, he will get Sri Sri Radha Krishna in Vrajabhumi. So catch hold of the two lotus feet of Lord Nityananda very tightly.

nitaiyer carana satya, tanhara sevaka nitya,
nitai-pada sada koro asha
narottama bodo dukhi, nitai more koro sukhi,
rakho ranga-charanera pasha

The lotus feet of Sri Nityananda are eternally true. And those followers or servants of those lotus feet of Sri Nityananda are also eternal. Always aspire for the lotus feet of Sri Nityananda. Srila Narottama dasa Thakura says, “I am very distressed, and an unhappy person. I am drowning in this dreadful ocean of material exis­tence. O Sri Nityananda Prabhu, please make me very happy! Please keep me at Your lotus feet.”

Purport by Srila Prabhupada More

The Appearance Day of Advaita Acarya

Today marks the appearance day of Advaita Acarya. We honor it with a half day fast and a reading of the Sixth Chapter from the Adi-lila of the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Full chapter follows:

The truth of Advaita Ācārya has been described in two different verses. It is said that material nature has two features, namely the material cause and the efficient cause. The efficient causal activities are caused by Mahā-Viṣṇu, and the material causal activities are caused by another form of Mahā-Viṣṇu, known as Advaita. That Advaita, the superintendent of the cosmic manifestation, has descended in the form of Advaita to associate with Lord Caitanya. When He is addressed as the servitor of Lord Caitanya, His glories are magnified because unless one is invigorated by this mentality of servitorship one cannot understand the mellows derived from devotional service to the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa.

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Please Accept My Blessings

“As far as my blessing is concerned it does not require my physical presence. If you are chanting Hare Krishna there and following my instructions, reading the books, taking only Krsna prasadam etc., then there is no question of your not receiving the blessings of Lord Caitanya whose mission I am humbly trying to push on.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter June 30, 1974)

full letter More

Prabhupada Receives the Macmillan Gita

Prabhupada Receives the Macmillan Gita
By Nanda Kumar Das

One day, when I was first with His Divine Grace in L.A., Brahmananda Prabhu came from New York and they were talking about the printing of a Bhagavad Gita with Sanskrit included. Evidently, there was a question as to whether the western people could pronounce the transliteration with diacritic marks.

Srila Prabhupad rang his bell, and I came into his room. Brahmananda was there. Srila Prabhupad handed me a paper with Sanskrit transliteration and said “Read this!” I have been able to read since I was three, so evidently, I made the pronunciations close enough. Srila Prabhupad said to Brahmananda, with great enthusiasm, “See! I told you they could do it!” He was very happy.

So the printing went on, and in New York, when His Divine Grace was there, Brahmananda brought in the first edition of the big Gita with all the Sanskrit in it. Remembering the LA experience, he very kindly gave the Gita to me, and said “Here, you can give this to Srila Prabhupad.” I was overjoyed, and went to His room to offer it to Him, followed by a photographer. I gave it to Him and said “Here is the first copy of Your new Bhagavad Gita, Srila Prabhupad.”

In His amazing way of innocence and childlike excitement, He took it and held it to His head, saying “Jai! Jai!” It was awesome to be present for such an important and empowering moment. Srila Prabhupad was so kind to me. Even though I was/am a deeply entrenched rascal, He has engaged me so many times in wonderful service. All Glories to Srila Prabhupad!

text pasted from The Prabhupada Conection

Benefits of Chanting Hare Krishna

This morning we were reading from the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila chapter 3, text 79, of the benefits and merits of chanting Hare Krishna.

“Even if one distributes ten million cows in charity during an eclipse of the sun, lives at the confluence of the Ganges and Yamunā for millions of years, or gives a mountain of gold in sacrifice to the brāhmaṇas, he does not earn one hundredth part of the merit derived from chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa.”

In other words, one who accepts the chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa to be some kind of pious activity is completely misled. Of course, it is pious; but the real fact is that Kṛṣṇa and His name, being transcendental, are far above all mundane pious activity. Pious activity is on the material platform, but chanting of the holy name of Kṛṣṇa is completely on the spiritual plane. (from purport Adi 3.79)

Full text and purport More

Kundalini, Reincarnation, the Astral World, and More

This morning I happened upon this very interesting conversation between Srila Prabhupada and a guest, while I was visiting the Sampradaya Sun. We are reprinting the entire conversation as it was published in the Back to Godhead Magazine.

Kundalini, Reincarnation, the Astral World, and More
by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
excerpted from Back to Godhead Magazine 1983 Volume 18 No. 9

Questions and Answers On the Science of Transcendence

This conversation with guests took place at the Hare Krsna center in Los Angeles in the late sixties.

Guest: What is the outcome of the continual chanting of om?

Srila Prabhupada: Like the Hare Krsna mantra, om is a manifestation of the Supreme Lord in the form of sound vibration. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gita. So, Hare Krsna and om have practically the same value, but chanting Hare Krsna is easier. Another reason we chant Hare Krsna is that it was specifically chanted by Lord Caitanya. * [“Lord Caitanya is Krsna Himself in the role of His own devotee. He appeared in Bengal, India, five hundred years ago to teach love of God through the chanting of the Hare Krsna mantra.]

Om is generally chanted at the beginning of Vedic mantras: om tad visnoh paramam padam sada. . . . om purnam adah purnam idam. Om addresses the Lord, and Hare Krsna also addresses the Lord. But chanting Hare Krsna is easier, and it is recommended for this age. Otherwise, transcendentally, or spiritually, there is no difference.

Guest: What do you think of kundalini-yoga and raja-yoga?

Srila Prabhupada: Raja-yoga means “the king of yogas.” But we are practicing the emperor of yogas, bhakti-yoga, so raja-yoga is included in it. In the Bhagavad-gita [6.47], Lord Krsna says,

yoginam api sarvesam
mad-gatenantar-atmana
sraddhavan bhajate yo mam
sa me yuktatamo matah

“Anyone who is always thinking of Me within himself is the topmost yogi.”

Therefore a person who is in full Krsna consciousness has surpassed all other kinds of yogic principles”.

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Avataras; The Ten Incarnations of Lord Krishna

Ten

Lord Krsna appears in every millennium, in various incarnations, to annihilate the demons, protect the devotees and reestablish the principles of religion. From upper left-hand corner: Lord Matsya, the fish incarnation; Lord Kurma, the tortoise incarnation; Lord Varaha, the boar incarnation; Lord Nrsimhadeva, the man-lion incarnation; Lord Vamana, the dwarf-brahmana incarnation; Lord Parasurama, the warrior incarnation; Lord Ramacandra; Lord Krishna and Lord Balarama; Lord Buddha; and Lord Kalki, who destroys all demons at the end of the millennium.

In order to deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I advent Myself millennium after millennium. (Bhagavada-gita As It Is 4.8)

full text and purport More

Natural Disasters: Adhidaivika

All schemes are only useless scraps of paper in the face of war, famine, earthquakes and other disasters. All these disasters are warnings from Mother Durga, and by them she confirms her eternal superiority over the illusioned planmakers.

[Excerpt from Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Ch 3]

It is the duty of a disciple approaching a spiritual master to inquire about his constitutional position. In conformity to that spiritual process, Sanatana has already asked, “What am I, and why am I suffering from the threefold miseries?”

The threefold miseries are called adhyatmika, adhibhautika, and adhidaivika. The word adhyatmika refers to those miseries caused by the mind and body. Sometimes the living entity suffers bodily, and sometimes he is distressed mentally. Both are adhyatmika miseries. We experience these miseries even in the womb of our mother. As we well know, there are many types of miseries that take advantage of the delicate human body and give us pain. Miseries inflicted by other living entities are called adhibhautika. These living entities need not even be large, for there are many—such as bugs—that can make us miserable even while we are sleeping in bed. There are many insignificant living entities, like cockroaches, that sometimes give us pain, and there are also other living entities who are born on different kinds of planets and who give us miseries.

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The World is Infested with Rogues and Non-devotees

Unfortunately, I have been following the News of late, and with some personal disgust, have had to watch the Republican Tax Bill, which was written in secret, and pushed through the House and Senate for final signing, become law. It puts the country into more debt, while giving a tax break to the very rich and largest corporations. The new tax bill lowers the tax rate for top earners, and gives a massive tax cut to corporations. Starting on Jan. 1, 2018, big businesses’ tax rate would fall from 35 percent to just 21 percent, the largest one-time rate cut in U.S. history for the nation’s largest companies. Seems like the swamp didn’t get drained after all.

O best of kings, please get up! Get up! Just see this world surrounded by water and infested with rogues and so-called kings. This world is very much afraid, and it is your duty to protect her.

“Whenever an ācārya comes, following the superior orders of the Supreme Personality of Godhead or His representative, he establishes the principles of religion, as enunciated in Bhagavad-gītā. Religion means abiding by the orders of the Supreme Personality of Godhead… Unfortunately, when the ācārya disappears, rogues and nondevotees take advantage and immediately begin to introduce unauthorized principles in the name of so-called svāmīs, yogīs, philanthropists, welfare workers and so on.

The main business of human society is to think of the Supreme Personality of Godhead at all times, to become His devotees, to worship the Supreme Lord and to bow down before Him. The ācārya, the authorized representative of the Supreme Lord, establishes these principles, but when he disappears, things once again become disordered. The perfect disciples of the ācārya try to relieve the situation by sincerely following the instructions of the spiritual master. At the present moment practically the entire world is afraid of rogues and nondevotees; therefore this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is started to save the world from irreligious principles. Everyone should cooperate with this movement in order to bring about actual peace and happiness in the world. (from Purport to SB4.28.48)

Full text and purport follow: More

Reading and Hearing Bhagavatam is Bhakti

Reading or hearing of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is also performance of bhakti-yoga

The sound of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is transcendental, and the resonance of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is as good as that of the Vedas. Thus the topic of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the science of both the Lord and the living entity.

…The sound of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is transcendental, and the resonance of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is as good as that of the Vedas. Thus the topic of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the science of both the Lord and the living entity. Regular reading or hearing of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is also performance of bhakti-yoga, and one can attain the highest perfection simply by the association of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Both Śukadeva Gosvāmī and Mahārāja Parīkṣit attained perfection through the medium of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. (from purport SB 2.9.4)

full text and purport follows: More

Vyasa Puja Homage

 

Today marks The Most Blessed Event:

Sri Vyasa-Puja
The Appearance Day of Our Beloved Spiritual Master.
Om Visnupada Paramahamsa Parvrajakacarya Astottara-sata Sri Srimad A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

We celebrate it with a half day fast, offerings, puspanjali, followed by a Srila Prabhupada Feast

Vyasa Puja Homage
by Vyasasan das

Dear Srila Prabhupada

On this Blessed day, we celebrate your auspicious appearance it this material world.  It is with deep heartfelt gratitude, I offer my humble obeisances at your Divine Lotus feet.

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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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