Dipavali (Diwali)

krsna-breaks-the-yogart-pot

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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You Become A Lover of God

Radha is very sweet and charming

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…If you want happiness, then you must learn how to love God. You are trying to love somebody, but you are being frustrated, foiled. Because except God, nobody is loving object. And if you love God, then naturally you love everything because God is everything. The example is that if you pour water on the root of the tree, it goes everywhere—to the twigs, to the leaves, to the flowers, everywhere.

That technique is love of Godhead. If you learn, it doesn’t matter what religion you profess. It is no concern. We do not say that “You become Hindu,” “You become Muslim,” or “Christian.” No. We say that “You become lover of God.” You learn how to love God. Your loving propensity is there, but it is being misplaced. It is placed on dog instead of God; therefore you are unhappy. When your loving propensity will be placed in the proper place, you will be happy. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness, love of Godhead. (from Lecture)

Lecture by Srila Prabhupada
London, August 11, 1971

Prabhupāda: I have to speak something? So we are worshiping Rādhā-Mādhava, the lover or enjoyer of Rādhārāṇī. [break] Govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi **

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“God Only Cares How Much You Love Him”

Srila Prabhupada

…Everyone will say that “My system of religion is better than yours.” That is quite natural. A Hindu will say, “Oh, I am better than the Christian.” Christian will say, “I am better than the Hindu.” But Bhagavata says that that is not the test of religion. Bhagavat says, sa vai pumsam paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhoksaje [SB 1.2.6]. That type of religion is the best by which one develops love of Godhead. That’s all. The test is how much you have developed love of Godhead. Bhava-grahi janardana. In Vedic literature it is said that God, Krsna, simply accepts your bhava or your situation, how much you have developed your attraction for God, or Krsna. That is taken into account. He does not take account that “Oh, you are very rich. You are very beautiful. You are very opulent,” or “You are very poor. You are not beautiful.” These considerations are not there. The only consideration is how much you love God. Then your life is successful. (Srimad Bhagavatam Lecture 7.9.12, Montreal)

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Teachings of the Vedas

…The Vedas are not compilations of human knowledge. Vedic knowledge comes from the spiritual world, from Lord Krsna.

“Teachings of the Vedas” 

[Delivered as a lecture by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada on October 6, 1969, at Conway Hall, London, England.] 

Ladies and gentlemen, today’s subject matter is the teachings of the Vedas. What are the Vedas? The Sanskrit verbal root of veda can be interpreted variously, but the purpose is finally one. Veda means knowledge. Any knowledge you accept is veda, for the teachings of the Vedas are the original knowledge. In the conditioned state, our knowledge is subjected to many deficiencies. The difference between a conditioned soul and a liberated soul is that the conditioned soul has four kinds of defects. The first defect is that he must commit mistakes. For example, in our country, Mahatma Gandhi was considered to be a very great personality, but he committed many mistakes. Even at the last stage of his life, his assistant warned, “Mahatma Gandhi, don’t go to the New Delhi meeting. I have some friends, and I have heard there is danger.” But he did not hear. He persisted on going and was killed. Even great personalities like Mahatma Gandhi, President Kennedy — there are so many of them — make mistakes. To err is human. This is one defect of the conditioned soul.

Another defect: to be illusioned. Illusion means to accept something which is not: maya. Maya means what is not. Everyone is accepting the body as the self. If I ask you what you are, you will say, “I am Mr. John; I am a rich man; I am this, I am that.” All these are bodily identifications. But you are not this body. This is illusion.

The third defect is the cheating propensity. Everyone has the propensity to cheat others. Although a person is fool number one, he poses himself as very intelligent. Although it is already pointed out that he is in illusion and makes mistakes, he will theorize: “I think this is this, this is this.” But he does not even know his own position. He writes books of philosophy, although he is defective. That is his disease. That is cheating.

Lastly, our senses are imperfect. We are very proud of our eyes. Often, someone will challenge, “can you show me God?” But do you have the eyes to see God? You will never see if you haven’t the eyes. If immediately the room becomes dark, you cannot even see your hands. So what power do you have to see? We cannot, therefore, expect knowledge (veda) with these imperfect senses. With all these deficiencies, in conditioned life, we cannot give perfect knowledge to anyone. Nor are we ourselves perfect. Therefore we accept the Vedas as they are.

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Divine Culture

…When Lord Caitanya talked with the great devotee Ramananda Raya, the Lord asked him, “What is the basic principle of human life?” Ramananda Raya answered that human civilization begins when varnasrama-dharma is accepted. Before coming to the standard of varnasrama-dharma there is no question of human civilization. Therefore, the Krsna consciousness movement is trying to establish this right system of human civilization, which is known as Krsna consciousness, or daiva-varnasrama—divine culture.

Divine Culture
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Excerpted from ‘Back To Godhead 1974, Vol 1, No. 68

There is a misconception that the Krsna consciousness movement represents the Hindu religion. In act, however, Krsna consciousness is in no way a faith or religion that seeks to defeat other faiths or religions. Rather, it is an essential cultural movement for the entire human society and does not consider any particular sectarian faith. This cultural movement is especially meant to educate people in how they can love God.

Sometimes Indians both inside and outside of India think that we are preaching the Hindu religion, but actually we are not. One will not find the word “Hindu” in Bhagavad-gita. Indeed, there is no such word as “Hindu” in the entire Vedic literature. This word has been introduced by the Muslims from provinces next to India, such as Afghanistan, Baluchisthan and Persia. There is a river called “Sindhu” bordering the northwestern provinces of India, and since the Muslims there could not pronounce “Sindhu” properly, instead they called the river “Hindu,” and the inhabitants of this tract of land they called “Hindus.” In India, according to the Vedic language, the Europeans are called mlecchas or yavanas. Similarly, “Hindu” is a name given by the Muslims.

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Separating the Saints From the Swindlers

The Science of Self Realization
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
From Chapter II, Choosing a Spiritual Master

Separating the Saints From the Swindlers

Srila Prabhupada speaks out in an interview with the London Times: “If you want to be cheated, you will find many cheating gurus. But if you are sincere, you will find a sincere guru… The genuine guru is God’s representative, and he speaks about God and nothing else… A genuine guru is not a businessman. He is a representative of God. What ever God says, the guru repeats. He does not speak otherwise.”

Reporter: Your Grace, it seems to me that more people then ever are seeking some kind of spiritual life. I wonder if you could tell me why this is so.

Srila Prabhupada: The desire for spiritual life is an absolutely natural hankering. Because we are spirit souls, we can not be happy in the material atmosphere. If you take a fish out of the water, it cannot be happy on land. Similarly, if we are without spiritual consciousness, we can never be happy. Today, so many people are after scientific advancement and economic development, but they are not happy because these are not the actual goals of life. Many young people are realizing this, and they are rejecting materialistic life and are trying to search for spiritual life. Actually this is the proper search. Krishna consciousness is the proper goal of life. Unless you take to Krishna consciousness you cannot be happy. That is a fact. Therefore, we invite everyone to study and understand this great movement.

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