Finding a Genuine Guru

Saw this nice post in my mailbox this morning courtesy of my friend Padmapani Prabhu over at  Prabhupada Connect and thought we would share it with all of you.  The photo is by Mathuranath Prabhu I believe.
Finding a Genuine Guru
Excerpted from Science of Self Realization Chapter 2
Reporter: Have you ever had people come to you who had previously been involved with a fake
guru?
Srila Prabhupada: Yes, there are many.
 
Reporter: Were their spiritual lives in any way spoiled by the fakegurus?
 
Srila Prabhupada: No, they were genuinely seeking something spiritual, and that was their qualification. God is within everyone’s heart, and as soon as someone genuinely seeks Him, He helps that person find a genuine guru.

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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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Foods in the Mode of Goodness

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I must have woke up hungry, because my meditation this morning was on wholesome, nurturing foods in the mode of goodness.

…The purpose of food is to increase the duration of life, purify the mind and aid bodily strength. This is its only purpose. (from purport to Bg. 17.8-10)

Foods in the mode of goodness increase the duration of life, purify one’s existence and give strength, health, happiness and satisfaction. Such nourishing foods are sweet, juicy, fattening and palatable. Foods that are too bitter, too sour, salty, pungent, dry and hot, are liked by people in the modes of passion. Such foods cause pain, distress, and disease. Food cooked more than three hours before being eaten, which is tasteless, stale, putrid, decomposed and unclean, is food liked by people in the mode of ignorance. (Bhagavad-gita As It Is 17.8-10)

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No Change

Bhagavad-Gita_As_It_Is…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

 

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The Complete Yoga

Srila Prabhupada on Vyasasana

This morning I was reading from the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, the following verse;

teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ
bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam
dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ taṁ
yena mām upayānti te

To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.

This is one of those verses that years ago I added to my repertoire of memorized slokas, and remains today one of my favorite verses. I have come to realize, that it is not by any great knowledge or scholarship, on my part, that I will make spiritual advancement, but rather, it is by faith and devotion, that I might be able to advance spiritually.

…A person may have a bona fide spiritual master and may be attached to a spiritual organization, but still, if he is not intelligent enough to make progress, then Kṛṣṇa from within gives him instructions so that he may ultimately come to Him without difficulty. The qualification is that a person always engage himself in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and with love and devotion render all kinds of services. He should perform some sort of work for Kṛṣṇa, and that work should be with love. If a devotee is intelligent enough, he will make progress on the path of self-realization. If one is sincere and devoted to the activities of devotional service, the Lord gives him a chance to make progress and ultimately attain to Him. (from purport to Bg. 10.10)

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Picture of the Material World

tree

We will be away traveling for a short time and will be away from our computer, but we leave you with this nice image and a verse from Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita. Hare Krishna!

…In the Fifteenth Chapter of the Bhagavad-gītā, the real picture of the material world is given. It is said there:

“The Supreme Lord said: There is a banyan tree which has its roots upward and its branches down, and the Vedic hymns are its leaves. One who knows this tree is the knower of the Vedas.” (Bg. 15.1)

Here the material world is described as a tree whose roots are upwards and branches are below. We have experience of a tree whose roots are upward: if one stands on the bank of a river or any reservoir of water, he can see that the trees reflected in the water are upside down. The branches go downward and the roots upward. Similarly, this material world is a reflection of the spiritual world. The material world is but a shadow of reality. In the shadow there is no reality or substantiality, but from the shadow we can understand that there is substance and reality. In the desert there is no water, but the mirage suggests that there is such a thing as water. In the material world there is no water, there is no happiness, but the real water of actual happiness is there in the spiritual world. (from Introduction to the Bhagavad-gita As It Is)

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Reporting for Service

Srila Prabhupada with cane

This morning I went into our temple room, as I do every morning, and offered my obeisances. As I was saying my morning prayers this thought just entered my mind; ‘Vyasasan das, reporting for service”. It seemed like a strange thing to be thinking so early in the morning, and I do not recall ever thinking like that before. But almost immediately, I was reminded of this verse from the Bhagavad-gita:

O son of Kuntī, all that you do, all that you eat, all that you offer and give away, as well as all austerities that you may perform, should be done as an offering unto Me.

I could not remember at first, what chapter and verse, but I went to the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, and began searching…Oh yes, I remember Chapter Nine, Text 27…and the purport reads:

…Everyone has to work for maintenance of his body and soul together, and Kṛṣṇa recommends herein that one should work for Him. Everyone has to eat something to live; therefore he should accept the remnants of foodstuffs offered to Kṛṣṇa. Any civilized man has to perform some religious ritualistic ceremonies; therefore Kṛṣṇa recommends, “Do it for Me,” and this is called arcanā. Everyone has a tendency to give something in charity; Kṛṣṇa says, “Give it to Me,”

This is real renunciation, real yoga; always thinking and planning how to serve the Lord. And for one brief moment in my life, my mind was right.

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Devotion – The Highest Yoga

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Devotion – The Highest Yoga
A lecture given by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
1968

The word yoga has become synonymous in Western vernacular with a lithe figure, radiant health, peace of mind, and other material benefits. But the original meaning of the Sanskrit term carries a different, higher import: linking with the Supreme. In this lecture from 1968, Srila Prabhupada distinguishes the true goal of yoga—loving devotion to the Supreme Lord—from the physical and psychological elements of yoga practice.

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Krsna’s Abode, Vrndavana

Sri Krsna in Vrndavana

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…The Lord descends to this mortal world to show His pastimes in Vṛndāvana, which are full of happiness. When Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa was in Vṛndāvana, His activities with His cowherd boy friends, with His damsel friends, with the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana and with the cows were all full of happiness. The total population of Vṛndāvana knew nothing but Kṛṣṇa. But Lord Kṛṣṇa even discouraged His father Nanda Mahārāja from worshiping the demigod Indra because He wanted to establish the fact that people need not worship any demigod. They need only worship the Supreme Lord because their ultimate goal is to return to His abode. (from Introduction to the Bhagavad-gita As It Is)

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Goddess Worship

Sarasvati the Goddess of Learning

Sarasvatī, the Goddess of Learning

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The other day I was doing some service at the Hare Krishna Temple here in New Vrindavan, West Virginia, and I ran into some Indian guests. After we greeted each other one of them asked me “when did you become a Hindu?” “I never became a Hindu” I replied, “I am a Hare Krishna devotee, a disciple of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. I am not a Hindu. I worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Kṛṣṇa.”

So just to make things a little clearer…both to myself and others, I did some research from Srila Prabhupada’s books to find the proper understanding of Goddess Worship, or worship of the demigods.

…Worship of demigods is discouraged herein because even the greatest demigods like Brahmā and Śiva only represent part of the opulence of the Supreme Lord. (Bg 10.42)

…The goddess of fortune, Lakṣmī, and all-powerful demigods like Brahmā and Śiva are engaged in the worship of Viṣṇu or Lord Kṛṣṇa; therefore who can be more powerful than Mukunda (Lord Kṛṣṇa) to be factually called the Supreme Personality of Godhead? The goddess of fortune, Lakṣmījī, Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva are not independently powerful; they are powerful as expansions of the Supreme Lord, and all of them are engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, and so also are the living entities. (from purport SB 1.18.21)

…Both the living entity and the demigods are subordinate to the will of the Supreme Personality of Godhead…not a blade of grass moves without the will of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Generally, persons who are distressed in the material world go to the demigods, as they are advised in the Vedic literature. A person wanting some particular thing may worship such and such a demigod. For example, a diseased person is recommended to worship the sun-god; a person wanting education may worship the goddess of learning, Sarasvatī; and a person wanting a beautiful wife may worship the goddess Umā, the wife of Lord Śiva. In this way there are recommendations in the śāstras (Vedic scriptures) for different modes of worship of different demigods. And because a particular living entity wants to enjoy a particular material facility, the Lord inspires him with a strong desire to achieve that benediction from that particular demigod, and so he successfully receives the benediction. The particular mode of the devotional attitude of the living entity toward a particular type of demigod is also arranged by the Supreme Lord. The demigods cannot infuse the living entities with such an affinity, but because He is the Supreme Lord or the Supersoul who is present in the heart of all living entities, Kṛṣṇa gives impetus to man to worship certain demigods. (from purport Bg 7.21)

…Everyone thinks that his intelligence is perfect. Sometimes one employs his intelligence in the worship of Umā, the wife of Lord Śiva, in order to obtain a beautiful wife. Sometimes, when one wants to become as learned as Lord Brahmā, he employs his intelligence in the worship of the goddess of learning, Sarasvatī. Sometimes, when one wishes to become as opulent as Lord Viṣṇu, he worships the goddess of fortune, Lakṣmī.

Intelligence should be employed in the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As soon as one uses his intelligence in this way, the goddess of fortune automatically becomes favorable to him. The goddess of fortune, Lakṣmī, never remains without her husband, Lord Viṣṇu. Consequently, when one worships Lord Viṣṇu he automatically obtains the favor of the goddess of fortune. (from purport SB 4.25.28)

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Always Think of Me, and Become My Devotee

My Devotee

Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, offer obeisances and worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me. (Bg 9.34)

This is perhaps my favorite sloka from the Bhagavad-gita As It Is. “Always think of Me”, this for me is the essence of Krsna consciousness. Srila Prabhupada once said that “Krsna consciousness is so simple, you can miss it”. Thinking of Krsna, is Krsna consciousness. We have posted one of two lectures Srila Prabhupada gave on this very important verse.

Bhagavad-gītā Lecture 9.34
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
New York, December 26, 1966

Prabhupāda:

man-manā bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru
mām evaiṣyasi yuktvaivam
ātmānaṁ mat-parāyaṇaḥ

[Bg. 9.34]

This śloka, this verse we have already finished. The conclusion of the Ninth Chapter of Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā, that, the Lord says that, man-manā bhava mad-bhaktaḥ. “Just always think of Me. Just become My devotee. And, if you want to worship, just worship Me.”

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The Bhagavad-gita As It Is Study Guide

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Macmillan Edition

The following is a Study Guide for the Bhagavad Gita As It Is 1972 Edition which was developed by some of the disciples and followers of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. This is a definitive guide that takes the student through the Bhagavad-gita step by step and first was formulated by Srila Prabhupada.

This Study Guide begins with the full Introduction to the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, and then proceeds with chapter by chapter analysis, Q & A etc. This arrived this morning as a Word Doc and required some slight editing to upload it as a post.

Study Guide
Presented by the Disciples and Followers of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

…One cleanses himself daily by taking a bath in water, but one who takes his bath only once in the sacred Ganges water of the Bhagavad-gita cleanses away all the dirt of material life. Because Bhagavad-gita is spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one need not read any other Vedic literature. One need only attentively and regularly hear and read Bhagavad-gita. In the present age, mankind is so absorbed with mundane activities that it is not possible to read all of the Vedic literatures. But this is not necessary. This one book, Bhagavad-gita, will suffice because it is the essence of all Vedic literatures and because it is spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is said that one who drinks the water of the Ganges certainly gets salvation, but what to speak of one who drinks the waters of Bhagavad-gita? Gita is the very nectar of the Mahabharata spoken by Visnu Himself, for Lord Krsna is the original Visnu. It is nectar emanating from the mouth of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the Ganges is said to be emanating from the lotus feet of the Lord.
Of course there is no difference between the mouth and the feet of the Supreme Lord, but in our position we can appreciate that the Bhagavad-gita is even more important than the Ganges.

The Bhagavad-gita is just like a cow, and Lord Krsna, who is a cowherd boy, is milking this cow. The milk is the essence of the Vedas, and Arjuna is just like a calf. The wise men, the great sages and pure devotees, are to drink the nectarean milk of Bhagavad-gita.
In this present day, man is very eager to have one scripture, one God, one religion, and one occupation. So let there be one common scripture for the whole world–Bhagavad-gita. And let there be one God only for the whole world–Sri Krsna. And one mantra only–Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. And let there be one work only–the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
(from Introduction to Bhagavad-gita As It Is)

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Sri Bhagavan Uvaca / The Supreme Personality of Godhead said;

Krishna and Arjuna

After the introduction chapter [Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra] to the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Krishna begins His instructions to Arjuna:

The Supreme Person [Bhagavān] said: My dear Arjuna, how have these impurities come upon you? They are not at all befitting a man who knows the progressive values of life. They do not lead to higher planets, but to infamy.

O son of Pṛthā, do not yield to this degrading impotence. It does not become you. Give up such petty weakness of heart and arise, O chastiser of the enemy.

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Karma and Karma-yoga

karma

Sometime back one of our readers asked the question; “What is the difference between karma and karma-yoga?” I answered his question in some length, I recall, referring to the Bhagavad-gita As It Is as reference. But just this morning, I was reading from the Srimad Bhagavatam, and I read this very short and concise explaination.

“There is a difference between karma and karma-yoga. Karma is regulated action for the enjoyment of the fruit by the performer, but karma-yoga is action performed by the devotee for the satisfaction of the Lord. Karma-yoga is based on bhakti, or pleasing the Lord, whereas karma is based on pleasing the senses of the performer himself.” (from purport to SB 1.3.4)

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Spring

spring lamb
…and of seasons I am flower-bearing spring(Bhagavad-gita 10.35)

…Of course spring is a season universally liked because it is neither too hot nor too cold, and the flowers and trees blossom and flourish. In spring there are also many ceremonies commemorating Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes; therefore this is considered to be the most joyful of all seasons, and it is the representative of the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa. (from purport)

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Appearance Day of Oṁ Viṣṇupāda Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Mahārāja

Srila Bhaktivinoda holding young Bhaktisiddhanta

Today marks the appearance day of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Maharaja, the spiritual master of our Srila Prabhupada. We honor his appearance day with a half day fast, and this short post.

Or he takes his birth in a family of transcendentalists who are surely great in wisdom. Verily, such a birth is rare in this world.
(Bhagavad-gita As It Is 6.42)

Birth in a family of yogīs or transcendentalists—those with great wisdom—is praised herein because the child born in such a family receives spiritual impetus from the very beginning of his life. It is especially the case in the ācārya or gosvāmī families. Such families are very learned and devoted by tradition and training, and thus they become spiritual masters. (From purport)

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Gita Jayanti; The Advent of Srimad Bhagavad-gita

Krishna and Arjuna

So today is The Advent of Srimad Bhagavad-gita; Gita Jayanti. It is celebrated on the Ekadasi, 11th day of the waxing moon of Margashirsha month (November-December). In honor of this day we present the Complete 1972 Edition of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami in the PDF format for you to read or save to your computer. Also we include a link to our other page Prabhupadagita Where you can read the entire book online a chapter at a time with the original illustrations.

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Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition

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The Divisions of Faith

The Divisions of Faith Plate 40

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Bhagavad-gītā As It Is 1972 Edition
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter Seventeen

The Divisions of Faith

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Glories of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is

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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)

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Previous Older Entries

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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