The Importance of Srila Prabhupada’s Books

This is a very nice compilation of quotes by Srila Prabhupada on the importance of reading his books.

The Importance of Prabhupada’s Books
Quotes compiled by Padmapani dasa

“Thank you for reading my books and appreciating them. Please continue to do so. That will help you advance nicely in spiritual life. By reading my books and chanting Hare Krishna, your life will become perfect.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, March 14, 1975)

“Sometimes I become surprised how I have written this. Although I am the writer, still sometimes I am surprised how these things have come. Such vivid description. Where is such literature throughout the whole world? It is all Kṛṣṇa’s mercy. Every line is perfect.” (Srila Prabhupada Conversation, June 28, 1977)

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Siva Ratri

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Today marks the annual festival of Shiva Ratri , in honor of the God Shiva. Although as Vaisnavas or as Krishna bhaktas, we do not participate in the many Hindu festivals, still we honor Lord Shiva as being the greatest yogi (SB. 2.8.20) and as the greatest devotee (SB. 4.24.18). Both Text and purports by Srila Prabhupada follow.

Maha Shivaratri is a Hindu festival celebrated annually in honour of the god Shiva. There is a Shivaratri in every luni-solar month of the Hindu calendar, on the month’s 13th night/14th day, but once a year in late winter (February/March, or Phalguna) and before the arrival of spring, marks Maha Shivaratri which means “the Great Night of Shiva”.

It is a major festival in Hinduism, but one that is solemn and marks a remembrance of “overcoming darkness and ignorance” in life and the world. It is observed by remembering Shiva and chanting prayers, fasting, doing Yoga, and meditating on ethics and virtues such as self-restraint, honesty, noninjury to others, forgiveness, and the discovery of Shiva. The ardent devotees keep awake all night. Others visit one of the Shiva temples or go on pilgrimage to Jyotirlingams. This is an ancient Hindu festival whose origin date is unknown. (text pasted from; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maha_Shivaratri)

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Who’s Crazy

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For some time now I have been meaning to look up the word Sociopath. Srila Prabhupada has wrriten a very nice essay, which was published in our Back To Godhead Magazine, entitled, “Who Is Crazy” (which is at bottom of post). Today we see leaders and public figures who seem to fit the category of ‘Crazy’, or ‘Sociopathtic’. So I wanted to look into the description of the Sociopth, to get a better understanding.

…The so called democratic government means some of the sudras, rascals without any knowledge of the highest aim of life. By hook and crook they get some votes and get the responsible chair in government. Naturally they can whimsically enact any law which is against the interest of the people in general. (Letter to: Madhudvisa Kenya 15 September, 1971)

Profile of the Sociopath

Pathological Lying Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.

Manipulative and Conning They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an instrument to be used. They may dominate and humiliate their victims.

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Fighting On Religious Principles

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My computer has not been working properly for some time, so I have not been regularly doing a morning post. But last night I got her working again, and this morning I couldn’t wait to sit down and post an image with some accompaning text. I admit, I have been spending too much time following the political circus, known as the United States presidential transition, and when I came across this image of Krishna and Arjuna on the battlefield, it excited me to read some from the Second chapter.

Considering your specific duty as a kṣatriya, you should know that there is no better engagement for you than fighting on religious principles; and so there is no need for hesitation.

O Pārtha, happy are the kṣatriyas to whom such fighting opportunities come unsought, opening for them the doors of the heavenly planets.

If, however, you do not fight this religious war, then you will certainly incur sins for neglecting your duties and thus lose your reputation as a fighter. (Bhagavad-gita As It Is 2.31-33)

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Dipavali (Diwali)

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Today marks the festival of Dipavali. Dipavali [Diwali} Sunday, October 30, 2016 [Mayapura, West Bengal, India time]. The Dīpāvalī festival takes place on the dark-moon night in the month of Kārttika (October-November).

Diwali or Deepavali is the Hindu festival of lights celebrated every year in autumn in the northern hemisphere (spring in southern hemisphere) is one of the major festivals of Hinduism. It spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair. Its celebration includes millions of lights shining on housetops, outside doors and windows, around temples and other buildings in the communities and countries where it is observed. The festival preparations and rituals typically extend over a five-day period, but the main festival night of Diwali coincides with the darkest, new moon night of the Hindu Lunisolar month Kartika in Bikram Sambat calendar. (excerpted from Wikipedia)

Although we do not celebrate in typical Hindu fashion, we do honor Dipavli as Srila Prabhupada has explained that the actual meaning of Dipavali celebration is Lord Krsna breaking the pot of yogurt and being bound by Yasodamayi.

Srila Prabhupada Explains Dipavali (Diwali)

…Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, quoting from the Vaiṣṇava-toṣaṇī of Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī, says that the incident of Kṛṣṇa’s breaking the pot of yogurt and being bound by mother Yaśodā took place on the Dipavali Day, or Dīpa-mālikā. Even today in India, this festival is generally celebrated very gorgeously in the month of Kārtika by fireworks and lights, especially in Bombay. It is to be understood that among all the cows of Nanda Mahārāja, several of mother Yaśodā’s cows ate only grasses so flavorful that the grasses would automatically flavor the milk. Mother Yaśodā wanted to collect the milk from these cows, make it into yogurt and churn it into butter personally, since she thought that this child Kṛṣṇa was going to the houses of neighborhood gopas and gopīs to steal butter because He did not like the milk and yogurt ordinarily prepared. (from purport to SB 10.9.1-2)

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Mother Yasoda Binds Lord Krsna

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The beauty of Transcendental subject matter is that it never gets old, but rather, becomes more relishable with every reading. For instance, every year we celebrate the month of Damodara or Kartika, with the reading of “Mother Yasoda Binds Lord Krsna”, and singing the Damodarastka prayers, and every year, it becomes more enjoyable and spiritually enlivening. That is the nature of Spiritual Subject Matter.

Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter Nine

Mother Yaśodā Binds Lord Kṛṣṇa

Once upon a time, seeing that her maidservant was engaged in different household duties, mother Yaśodā personally took charge of churning butter. And while she churned butter, she sang the childhood pastimes of Kṛṣṇa and enjoyed thinking of her son.

The end of her sari was tightly wrapped while she churned, and on account of her intense love for her son, milk automatically dripped from her breasts which moved as she labored very hard, churning with two hands. The bangles and bracelets on her hands tinkled as they touched each other, and her earrings and breasts shook. There were drops of perspiration on her face, and the flower garland which was on her head scattered here and there. Before this picturesque sight, Lord Kṛṣṇa appeared as a child. He felt hungry, and out of love for His mother, He wanted her to stop churning. He indicated that her first business was to let Him suck her breast and then churn butter later.

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Accept Krishna’s Plan

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Thanks again to Padmapani Prabhu at The Prabhupada Connection for compiling this nice list of quotes on accepting the authorized plan for happiness.

“So far your thinking about things and making so many plans, that is all right, but our first business is Krishna’s plan. That is the only plan, and no matter how many schemes we employ to adjust things in this material world, if they have no solid basis in Krishna’s plan, they remain merely dreams of phantasmagoria. So in this Krishna Consciousness Movement, I am training boys and girls all over the world how to act nicely by practically serving Krishna in their everyday lives. That is more important than trying for something which I may like to do but which will never happen.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, April 10, 1972)

“Our plan should be to accept Krishna’s plan, that’s all. Approved, authorized plan. That is very easy. Take any words of Krishna, it is very easy.” (Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, Tehran, August 12, 1976)

“If you follow Krishna’s instruction, you’ll always be happy. And if you create your own plans, then you’ll be unhappy. This is the whole instruction. Sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja: (BG 18.66) ‘You give up your own plans, nonsense plan. You take My plan. You’ll be happy.’ This is the whole purpose of Bhagavad-gita. You take Krishna’s plan and you’ll be happy.” (Srila Prabhupada Conversation, April 22, 1976, Melbourne)

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Engage Your Talent in Krishna’s Service

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Engage Your Talent in Krishna’s Service
by Prabhupada Connect

Today we present a fascinating collection of quotes consisting mainly of letters from Srila Prabhupada to his disciples on the subject of using one’s God-given talents for Krishna. Prabhupada makes it so simple.

“Krishna says, svakarmana: ‘Whatever talent you have got, you can serve Me and be perfect.’ That is the program.”

“Yes, it is your good fortune that you can serve Krishna in so many ways — to work, to write, to speak, to paint, to build — all of these talents must be employed in Krishna’s service. That will make you perfect. We are so fortunate to be in this human form of life, and to have the opportunity and the capacity to serve Krishna, and as there is very little time, we must do as much each day as we possibly can to serve Krishna, and to become always engaged in thoughts and activities of Krishna. Maya may try to pull us from Krishna’s service, and try to engage us in her service, but we must simply persevere, and try to do as much as possible for Krishna each day, and gradually it will be easier and easier to keep engaged in Krishna Consciousness activities. And pray to Krishna to please keep us always engaged in the service of His Lotus Feet. Krishna is very kind, and He is never ungrateful, and will give you more and more opportunity to serve Him. That is His Mercy.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, November 12, 1968)

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Srila Haridasa Thakura’s Disappearance Day

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Today we honor Srila Haridasa Thakura’s Disappearance Day. We are posting the entire chapter from the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta entitled “The Passing of Haridasa Takura”

“After the passing away of Haridasa Ṭhakura, the Lord Himself took his body on His lap and danced with it in great ecstasy.” (Caitanya-caritamrta Adi 10.46)

“The transcendental qualities of Haridasa Ṭhakura are innumerable and unfathomable. One may describe a portion of them, but to count them all is impossible.” (Caitanya-caritamrta Antya 3.95)

Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Antya-līlā, Chapter 11

The Passing of Haridāsa Ṭhākura

The summary of the chapter is given by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura in his Amṛta-pravāha-bhāṣya as follows. In this chapter, Brahma Haridāsa Ṭhākura gave up his body with the consent of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and the Lord Himself personally performed the funeral ceremony and carried the body to the sea. He personally entombed the body, covered it with sand, and erected a platform on the site. After taking bath in the sea, He personally begged prasāda of Jagannātha from shopkeepers and distributed prasāda to the assembled devotees.

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Vyasa Puja Homage

Vyasa-Puja 2014

Note; the above Vyasasana Decoration was done by Lokadrsti Devi Dasi in 2014

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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

 
Please accept my most humble obeisances, and kindly forgive my offences. On this most blessed event; Sri Vyasa-Puja, the appearance day of my beloved spiritual master, I am filled with a sense of gratitude and wonder. I cannot even imagine where my life would be today, if you had not appeared and blessed us all with your divine benediction.

“On this auspicious day I have come with this offering just to worship you, remembering your lotus feet.”

The fact that you have always resided in my heart, and have been my most constant friend and ever well-wisher, even without your physical presence, proves our eternal relationship with you. So many friends and family have come and gone, but you Srila Prabhupada, have remained in my life as the one constant I could always turn to.

You are present in your vani; your books and instructions. You are present still in your pictures and murti’s. You live in the hearts of your sincere devotees. You have touched us all so deeply; we cannot help but remember you. Srila Prabhupa, I am most unworthy to have received your mercy, and because of knowing my insignificance, it has caused me to be even more grateful and appreciative of your blessings.
 
In the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, there is one verse I would like to use to describe my mood and feelings:
 
“Indeed, I am just like a dwarf who wants to capture the moon. Although I am completely unfit, a desire to receive Your mercy is awakening within my mind.”

This is my position, I am completely unworthy, and most fallen, therefore by showing me your mercy, your mercy is most successful. For you are patita-pavana, the savior of the fallen souls, and who is more fallen than me? I have no good qualities; born of low birth, without good intelligence, without beauty, or wealth, I am a fallen soul, desiring only your causeless mercy to be bestowed upon me.

 
Begging to remain forever in Your Divine Service

Vyasasan das

Rupanugaus / The Mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu

The Sankirtan Movement of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu

The Sankirtan Movement of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu

Devotees acknowledge Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s special mercy upon Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī in the following words:

śrī-caitanya-mano ’bhīṣṭaṁ-
sthāpitaṁ yena bhū-tale
svayaṁ rūpaḥ kadā mahyaṁ
dadāti sva-padāntikam

“When will Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī Prabhupāda, who has established within this material world the mission to fulfill the desire of Lord Caitanya, give me shelter under his lotus feet?”

The special function of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī is to establish the feelings of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. These feelings are His desires that His special mercy be spread throughout the world in this Kali-yuga.

pṛthivīte āche yata nagarādi-grāma
sarvatra pracāra haibe mora nāma

His desire is that all over the world everyone, in every village and every town, know of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His saṅkīrtana movement. These are the inner feelings of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī committed to writing all these feelings of the Lord. Now again, by the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the same feelings are being spread all over the world by the servants of the Gosvāmīs, and devotees who are pure and simple will appreciate this attempt. As concluded by Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī, however, those who are on the level of hogs and dogs will never appreciate such a great attempt. Yet this does not matter to the preachers of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s cult, for all over the world they will continue to perform this responsible work, even though persons who are like cats and dogs do not appreciate them.

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Bhagavad-gītā As It Is

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Somehow while reading the Srimad Bhagavatam the other day, I was reminded again that all the philosophy of Krishna Consciousness is contained in the Bhagavad-gita As It Is. It is such an important book. The song of God, sung by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Himself. Hare Krishna!

Whoever knows Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, without doubting, is to be understood as the knower of everything, and he therefore engages himself in full devotional service, O son of Bharata (Bg 15.19)

This is the most confidential part of the Vedic scriptures, O sinless one, and it is disclosed now by Me. Whoever understands this will become wise, and his endeavors will know perfection. (Bg 15.20)

The Lord clearly explains here that this is the substance of all revealed scriptures. And one should understand this as it is given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Thus one will become intelligent and perfect in transcendental knowledge. In other words, by understanding this philosophy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and engaging in His transcendental service, everyone can become freed from all contaminations of the modes of material nature. Devotional service is a process of spiritual understanding. Wherever devotional service exists, the material contamination cannot coexist. Devotional service to the Lord and the Lord Himself are one and the same because they are spiritual—the internal energy of the Supreme Lord. The Lord is said to be the sun, and ignorance is called darkness. Where the sun is present, there is no question of darkness. Therefore, whenever devotional service is present under the proper guidance of a bona fide spiritual master, there is no question of ignorance. (from purport to Bg 15.20)

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The Vaisnava Journal Free PDF Download

Vaisnava Journal

Recently my good friend Padmapani Prabhu, sent me this link to his page Prabhupada Connect where he has just posted the Vaisnava Journal in a pdf format. We will be posting all five issues here as well, for our readers, so you can download and save to your computer or just read online. Today we are posting Vol. 1, No. 1 as a free pdf download.

click on link to veiw or save; Vaisnava Journal Vol 1, No. 1 VJ-1
Note: this may take a few moments to load.

The Vaisnava Journal
by Padmapani das

The Vaisnava Journal was created to help devotees work through our differences in a respectful and co-operative manner with the aim of preserving the loving mood in our spiritual family after the physical departure of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada. Although only five issues were printed and distributed over the next two-and-a-half years, the magazine was popular and well received by many leaders, members and friends of ISKCON.

Read more…

Over the years, I’ve been approached by numerous devotees requesting copies of The Vaisnava Journal. Since I have only one set available, I was unable to comply until now. Please have a look at our humble attempt to serve Srila Prabhupada and his great mission during a time of change in our movement’s history.

In particular, I’d like to draw your attention to the Vaisnava Forum (letters section) which was launched to help facilitate a healthy dialogue among all participants. The mood was friendly and hopeful to which the devotees responded in kind. Writers and contributors read like a who’s who list of ISKCON members at the time. If anything, the journal proved that devotees of all persuasions can relate to one another with respect and godbrotherly love. This was Srila Prabhupada’s instruction and desire for us all.

“Perhaps you may know that there are many political parties in a country but when the country’s total responsibility has to be executed, they become combined. To have some little disagreements among yourselves is not very unnatural because we are all individual beings. But as we are working on behalf of Krishna, we should always forget our personal interests and see to the prime cause.” (Srila Prabhupada letter, January 21, 1969)

Letters by Srila Prabhupada: Chanting, Dancing and Eating Krishna Prasadam

Back to Godhead - Volume 12, Number 0304 - 1977

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…”You write to me that you do not know what is my desire, but my desire is an open secret. I simply want all over the Western countries people may take this simple formula of chanting, dancing and eating Krishna Prasadam, and being happy. I am simply surprised that they should not accept this simple formula and be happy themselves. My only desire is that all people become happy and prosperous in Krishna Consciousness.”
(Srila Prabhupada letter, September 19, 1969)

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Preface to the Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta

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This morning I reached for book off the shelve. I was inspired to go to the Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta Vol. 1 of the Ādi-līlā. Don’t know why, I just felt this pulling. So I opened it and began to read from the Preface. In these couple of pages, Srila Prabhupada explaines the entire philosophy of Krishna Consciousness. I was thinking I should just try to memorize these few pages, word for word, and the next time my mind began to wander off into maya, I could reel it back in, by simply remembering these basic instructions that Srila Prabhupada gave us back in 1968.

Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

Preface

There is no difference between the teachings of Lord Caitanya presented here and the teachings of Lord Kṛṣṇa in the Bhagavad-gītā. The teachings of Lord Caitanya are practical demonstrations of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s teachings. Lord Kṛṣṇa’s ultimate instruction in the Bhagavad-gītā is that everyone should surrender unto Him, Lord Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa promises to take immediate charge of such a surrendered soul. The Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is already in charge of the maintenance of this creation by virtue of His plenary expansion, Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, but this maintenance is not direct. However, when the Lord says that He takes charge of His pure devotee, He actually takes direct charge. A pure devotee is a soul who is forever surrendered to the Lord, just as a child is surrendered to his parents or an animal to its master. In the surrendering process, one should: (1) accept things favorable for discharging devotional service, (2) reject things unfavorable, (3) believe firmly in the Lord’s protection, (4) feel exclusively dependent on the mercy of the Lord, (5) have no interest separate from the interest of the Lord, and (6) always feel oneself meek and humble.

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Unnecessary Necessities

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The following is a lecture on the Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.5.12-13. Recorded June 11, 1969, New Vrndavana. There is a link at bottom of post, if you want to hear the audio.

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam Lecture 1.5.12-13
By Hiws Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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108 Imporant Slokas from the 1972 Bhagavad-gita As It Is

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The Hare Krishna Cookbook

Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition “Online”

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Srimad Bhagavatam Online

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Raja-Vidya the King of Knowledge

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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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