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.

Bhagavad-gita Chapter Nine,Texts 22-28 More

British Writer Pens The Best Description Of Trump I’ve Read

Although I don’t normally do political posts from this page, we are living in difficult times, in the midst of a modern viral pandemic, and we see that our political leader has no transcendental vision and does not know what is actually beneficial for human society.

British Writer Pens The Best Description Of Trump I’ve Read
by Nate White

“Why do some British people not like Donald Trump?” Nate White, an articulate and witty writer from England wrote the following response:

A few things spring to mind. Trump lacks certain qualities which the British traditionally esteem. For instance, he has no class, no charm, no coolness, no credibility, no compassion, no wit, no warmth, no wisdom, no subtlety, no sensitivity, no self-awareness, no humility, no honour and no grace – all qualities, funnily enough, with which his predecessor Mr. Obama was generously blessed. So for us, the stark contrast does rather throw Trump’s limitations into embarrassingly sharp relief.

Plus, we like a laugh. And while Trump may be laughable, he has never once said anything wry, witty or even faintly amusing – not once, ever. I don’t say that rhetorically, I mean it quite literally: not once, not ever. And that fact is particularly disturbing to the British sensibility – for us, to lack humour is almost inhuman. But with Trump, it’s a fact. He doesn’t even seem to understand what a joke is – his idea of a joke is a crass comment, an illiterate insult, a casual act of cruelty.

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Raja-Vidya The King of Knowledge

king-of-knowledge

This was the first book I ever read cover to cover. I remains my favorite small book by Srila Prabhupada. We share it in its entirety with you.

This is the index to the Contents of “Raja-Vidya The King of Knowledge” by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. This index will give you immediate access to the chapters by clicking on the following underlined links. And for a free PDF download click on link at bottom of post.

Chapter One Raja – Vidya: The King of Knowledge

Chapter Two Knowledge Beyond Saṁsāra

Chapter Three Knowledge of Kṛṣṇa’s Energies

Chapter Four Knowledge by Way of the Mahātmās, Great Souls

Chapter Five Parampara: Knowledge Through Disciplic Succession

Chapter Six Knowledge of Kṛṣṇa’s Appearances and Activities

Chapter Seven Knowledge as Faith in Guru and surrender to Kṛṣṇa

Chapter Eight Action in Knowledge of Kṛṣṇa

For a free pdf download of Raja-Vidya The King of Knowledge; Raja-Vidya-The-King-of-Knowledge

Happiness & Suffering

Buddha and Happiness

Ever since I was a small child, I have been attracted to the statue of Buddha. Don’t know why, but I had a statue of Buddha in my bedroom, and it was a Christian home. I didn’t really know about Krishna then or who the Buddha was…but I was so attracted to everything Eastern. As I learned latter in life, Buddha was actually an incarnation of Krsna.

“From the Bhāgavatam we understand that Lord Buddha is the incarnation of Kṛṣṇa who appeared when materialism was rampant and materialists were using the pretext of the authority of the Vedas. Although there are certain restrictive rules and regulations regarding animal sacrifice for particular purposes in the Vedas, people of demonic tendency still took to animal sacrifice without reference to the Vedic principles. Lord Buddha appeared to stop this nonsense and to establish the Vedic principles of nonviolence. Therefore each and every avatāra, or incarnation of the Lord, has a particular mission, and they are all described in the revealed scriptures. No one should be accepted as an avatāra unless he is referred to by scriptures. It is not a fact that the Lord appears only on Indian soil. He can advent Himself anywhere and everywhere, and whenever He desires to appear. In each and every incarnation, He speaks as much about religion as can be understood by the particular people under their particular circumstances. But the mission is the same—to lead people to God consciousness and obedience to the principles of religion. Sometimes He descends personally, and sometimes He sends His bona fide representative in the form of His son, or servant, or Himself in some disguised form.” (from purport Bg 4.7)

I have included a short summary of the Four Noble Truths & The Eightfold Path, along with some references from the Vedic Perspective

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The Peace Formula

Raja-vidya

Today marks the end of 2019 and the beging of a New Year. I guess everyone hopes for peace in the coming year, and the actual formula for peace is explained by Srila Prabhupada in the Srimad Bhagavatam 1.11.33 and Bhagavad-gita 5.29, wherein Srila Prabhupada is describing the factual formula for peace in this material world. Very interesting.

…In the material world no one is permanently fortunate, however clever one may be. There have been so many big empires in different parts of the world, there have been so many powerful kings all over the world, and there have been so many fortunate men, but all of them have been liquidated gradually. This is the law of material nature. But spiritually it is different. The spiritual relation with the Lord is so enlivening and resourceful that no one can leave the company of the Lord, once having taken shelter of Him. (SB 1.11.33 purport)

…The conditioned souls within the clutches of illusory energy are all anxious to attain peace in the material world. But they do not know the formula for peace, which is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā. The greatest peace formula is simply this: Lord Kṛṣṇa is the beneficiary in all human activities. Men should offer everything to the transcendental service of the Lord because He is the proprietor of all planets and the demigods thereon. No one is greater than He…Under the spell of illusion, living entities are trying to be lords of all they survey, but actually they are dominated by the material energy of the Lord. The Lord is the master of material nature, and the conditioned souls are under the stringent rules of material nature. Unless one understands these bare facts, it is not possible to achieve peace in the world either individually or collectively. This is the sense of Kṛṣṇa consciousness: Lord Kṛṣṇa is the supreme predominator, and all living entities, including the great demigods, are His subordinates. One can attain perfect peace only in complete Kṛṣṇa consciousness. (Bg 5.29 purport)

Full texts and purports More

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]

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

Gita Jayanti

click on image to enlarge

Today we celebrate Gita Jayanti, which is an annual celebration to commemorate the day when Lord Krishna spoke the Bhagavad-gita to Arjuna on the first day of the battle of Kurukshetra. Recital of the Bhagavad Gita is performed throughout the day in most ISKCON centers throughout the world.

Celebrating Bhagavad Gita Jayanti
by Subhamoy Das

The Bhagavad Gita is considered the most important and influential Hindu scripture for its philosophical, practical, political, psychological and spiritual value. Bhagavad Gita Jayanti, or simply Gita Jayanti, marks the birth of this holy book. According to the traditional Hindu calendar, Gita Jayanthi falls on the Ekadashi day of Shukla Paksha or the bright half of the Margashirsha month (November-December).

The Birth of the Gita and Origin of Gita Jayanti

Gita Jayanti is an annual celebration to commemorate the day when Lord Krishna rendered his philosophical teachings – immortalized in the epic Mahabharata – to prince Arjuna on the first day of the 18-day battle of Kurukshetra. When prince Arjuna refused to fight against his cousins, the Kauravas in the battle, Lord Krishna expounded the truth of life and the philosophy of Karma and Dharma to him, thereby giving birth to one of the world’s greatest scriptures, the Gita.

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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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A Summary of Prabhupada’s Miraculous Accomplishments

A Summary of Prabhupada’s Miraculous Accomplishments

Compiled by Paratrika Ananda das

In reading many of the profiles of Srila Prabhupada, I’m saddened that a number of his important projects, programs and achievements are never mentioned. In the following summary I’ve tried to compile a more comprehensive list of his credits. Although this list is also incomplete, I hope it presents a fuller picture of Srila Prabhupada’s greatness.  (Paratrika Ananda das)

 

A Summary of Srila Prabhupada’s Miraculous Accomplishments from 1965 to 1977

 

In 1965, at seventy years of age, he ventured outside India for the first time to fulfill the order of his spiritual master. During his voyage at sea, he suffered two severe heart attacks. He reached the shores of America with the equivalent of seven dollars to his name.

 

He founded the International Society for Krsna Consciousness with a small group of disciples, after a year of struggling alone in New York City. This marked the only time in history that a Krsna devotee successfully trained non-Indians in the strict disciplines of Vaisnavism. Amazingly, this was achieved during the blossoming of America’s hedonistic counterculture movement.

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The Perfection of Yoga: Pure Love of Krsna

The Perfection of Yoga: Pure Love of Krsna

excerpted form; Back to Godhead Magazine Volume 10, Number 4, 1975

“Yoga” is a word becoming increasingly familiar top people all over the world. Many are asking, “What is yoga? What does the yoga practitioner seek to achieve? And what is the ultimate goal of yoga?”

A Bhagavata Dharma Discourse—an address on the science of understanding God, delivered in Delhi, India.

By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

This Krsna consciousness movement is the topmost yoga system. You have perhaps read in the Sixth Chapter of Bhagavad-gita, wherein Arjuna declined to accept the hatha-yoga system, the following words of Krsna:

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

“And of all yogis, he who always abides in Me with great faith, worshiping Me in transcendental loving service, is most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all” (Bg. 6.47)

Krsna is known as Yogesvara, the master of all yogis, and if one takes Krsna within his heart, he becomes the topmost yogi.

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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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The Divine and Demoniac Natures

hiranyakashipu

I have read and re-read this chapter many times this election year, and this is a perfect description on the demoniac man.

The demoniac man knows no limit to his desire to acquire money. That is unlimited. He only thinks how much assessment he has just now and schemes to engage that stock of wealth farther and farther. For that reason, he does not hesitate to act in any sinful way and so deals in the black market for illegal gratification. He is enamoured by the possessions he has already, such as land, family, house and bank balance, and he is always planning to improve them. He believes in his own strength, and he does not know that whatever he is gaining is due to his past good deeds. He is given an opportunity to accumulate such things, but he has no conception of past causes. He simply thinks that all his mass of wealth is due to his own endeavor. A demoniac person believes in the strength of his personal work, not in the law of karma. According to the law of karma, a man takes his birth in a high family, or becomes rich, or very well educated, or very beautiful because of good work in the past. The demoniac thinks that all these things are accidental and due to the strength of his personal ability. He does not sense any arrangement behind all the varieties of people, beauty, and education. Anyone who comes into competition with such a demoniac man is his enemy. There are many demoniac people, and each is enemy to the others. This enmity becomes more and more deep—between persons, then between families, then between societies, and at last between nations. Therefore there is constant strife, war and enmity all over the world. (from purport to Bhagavad-gita 16-16)

Arrogance, pride, anger, conceit, harshness and ignorance—these qualities belong to those of demonic nature, O son of Pṛthā. (Bg 16.4)

In this verse, the royal road to hell is described. The demoniac want to make a show of religion and advancement in spiritual science, although they do not follow the principles. They are always arrogant or proud in possessing some type of education or so much wealth. They desire to be worshiped by others, and demand respectability, although they do not command respect. Over trifles they become very angry and speak harshly, not gently. They do not know what should be done and what should not be done. They do everything whimsically, according to their own desire, and they do not recognize any authority. These demoniac qualities are taken on by them from the beginning of their bodies in the wombs of their mothers, and as they grow they manifest all these inauspicious qualities.
(From purport to Bg. 16.4)

Full texts and purports More

Fighting On Religious Principles

sharma-055

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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)

Full Text and purports More

The Advent of Sri Bhagavad-gita

Bhagavad-gita

Today we celebrate the advent of the Bhagavad-gita, or the day that Sri Bhagavad-gita was spoken by Lord Krishna to his dearmost devotee and friend Arjuna,at the place known as Kurukshetra. We happened upon a nice post, which is a summary of the 18 chapters of Bhagavad-gita, on the Sampradaya Sun, followed by the Sri Gita Mahatmya, which is chanted after the recitation of the Gita, and we share it with you today.

The summaries of chapters 9,11,12,13,14,15,16,17 & 18 are directly taken from the BG study guide of HG Gauri prabhu of Vrindavan Gurukul. The other chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10 were compiled by Subala prabhu, who compiled the entire study overview for the devotees of the Bhagavad Gita Forum.

Sri Gita Jayanti
Dec 09, 2016 — USA (SUN)

The Advent of Sri Bhagavad-gita is observed on this day.

Traditionally This is the anniversary day commemorating the day that Srimad Bhagavad-gita was spoken by Lord Sri Krishna to His dearmost devotee Arjuna at the place now known as Jyotisar Tirtha, amid the warring families of the Kurus and the Pandavas at Kurukshetra. One can still visit that place and see the monument erected there with Krishna as Parthasarati (the chariot driver) and Arjuna the warrior on their chariot. It is claimed by the ashram who maintains the shrine that the tree next to Them is a continuum growth of the original tree witness that was there at the actual day of speaking.

Traditionally, devotees come to Kurukshetra (Dharmakshetra) and recite Bhagavad-gita from early morning until the next morning, perform arati to Bhagavad-gita and to Krishna and Arjuna upon the chariot, offer lamps, ‘dheep daan’, at Brahma Sarovar, and give shloka recitals, shobha yatras and seminars on the significance of the Gita today.

Devotees who cannot get to Jyotisar Tirtha remember the blessed event by reciting Bhagavad-gita, performing Bhagavad-gita ahuti of each verse or selected chapters into the sacred fire, and discussing the subject matter of Bhagavad-gita in the association of devotees. Distribution of Bhagavad-gita As It Is on this day is a very auspicious activity to perform.

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Accept Krishna’s Plan

arjuna-krishna-chariot

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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Foods in the Mode of Goodness

food1

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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I Am the Ocean

wave

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Of priests, O Arjuna, know Me to be the chief, Bṛhaspati, the lord of devotion. Of generals I am Skanda, the lord of war; and of bodies of water I am the ocean. (Bhagavad-gita As It Is 10.24)

…And of all bodies of water, the ocean is the greatest. These representations of Kṛṣṇa only give hints of His greatness. (from purport)

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Bill Clinton Explains Why He Became a Vegan

bill cliton

Last night former President Bill Clinton spoke at the Democratic National Convention. I was able to catch part of his speech. I woke up this morning thinking that sometime back Bill Clinton had stopped eating meat, fish and eggs, and became a vegan. Veganism, by definition is; “Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.” (this quote was taken from the Vegan Society). Although I personally am an avid vegetarian, and believer in offering everything to Krsna, I very much appericate the ideals of veganism and its attempt to practice ahimsa, or the idea of causing no injury and harm to other living entities, as well as it being a healthy lifestyle. There is a definition of ahimsa, or nonviolence, at end of post.

…”I just decided that I was the high-risk person, and I didn’t want to fool with this anymore. And I wanted to live to be a grandfather. So I decided to pick the diet that I thought would maximize my chances of long-term survival.” -Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton Explains Why He Became a Vegan
by Joe Conason

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Krishna Has Descended in the Form of the Krishna Consciousness Movement

Battlefield of Kurukshetra

I was reminded while reading the Srimad Bhagavatam today, that this is an election year.

…rogues and thieves in the guise of protectors arrange for a voting system, and in the name of democracy they come to power by hook or crook and exploit the citizens. Even long, long ago, asuras, persons devoid of God consciousness, became the heads of state, and now this is happening again. The various states of the world are preoccupied with arranging for military strength. Sometimes they spend sixty-five percent of the government’s revenue for this purpose. But why should people’s hard-earned money be spent in this way? Because of the present world situation, Kṛṣṇa has descended in the form of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. This is quite natural, for without the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement the world cannot be peaceful and happy.
( from purport to SB 10.1.17)

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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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A Short Statement of the Philosophy of Krishna Consciousness

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July 9th Letter

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The Hare Krishna Explosion

Reference Material/Study Guide

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