The Highest Yogi

It is by great fortune that one comes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness on the path of bhakti-yoga to become well situated according to the Vedic direction. The ideal yogī concentrates his attention on Kṛṣṇa, who is called Śyāmasundara, who is as beautifully colored as a cloud, whose lotus-like face is as effulgent as the sun, whose dress is brilliant with jewels and whose body is flower garlanded. Illuminating all sides is His gorgeous luster, which is called the brahmajyoti. He incarnates in different forms such as Rāma, Nṛsiṁha, Varāha and Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and He descends like a human being, as the son of Mother Yaśodā, and He is known as Kṛṣṇa, Govinda and Vāsudeva. He is the perfect child, husband, friend and master, and He is full with all opulences and transcendental qualities. If one remains fully conscious of these features of the Lord, he is called the highest yogī.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is – Macmillan 1972 Edition
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 6, Text 47

yoginām api sarveṣāṁ
mad-gatenāntar-ātmanā
śraddhāvān bhajate yo māṁ
sa me yuktatamo mataḥ

yoginām—of all yogīs; api—also; sarveṣām—all types of; mat-gatena—abiding in Me; antaḥ-ātmanā—always thinking of Me within; śraddhāvān—in full faith; bhajate—renders transcendental loving service; yaḥ—one who; mām—Me (the Supreme Lord); saḥ—he; me—Mine; yuktatamaḥ—the greatest yogī; mataḥ—is considered.

Translation
And of all yogīs, 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.

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Srila Prabhupada is a Friend to All

…Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita, “one who teaches this most confidential knowledge to others is very dear to Me.” Through his translations of Vedic texts such as the Bhagavad-gita, Srimad Bhagavatam, and the Sri Chaitanya-caritamrita, Srila Prabhupada taught others the instructions of Lord Krishna in a way that was understandable to all…

Srila Prabhupada is a Friend to All
Author unknown

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, more affectionately known as Srila Prabhupada, is the Founder Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, ISKCON, or more popularly known as The Hare Krishna Movement. The movement was inaugurated in India by Lord Caitanya almost five hundred years ago. The age that we currently live in is full of quarrel and dissent and the only means of self-realization is through the constant chanting of the holy name of God.

The Hare Krishna mantra, “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”, is found in the ancient scriptures of India, and is the most powerful of mantras in this age since it directly addresses God and His energy in a loving way. Lord Chaitanya freely distributed this mantra to all of India through congregational chanting. Srila Prabhupada, a spiritual master in the disciplic succession descending from Lord Chaitanya, preached this same movement in the mid 1960s beginning in America and eventually spreading throughout the world.

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Sri Sri Siksastakam

Click on image to enlarge

Lord Caitanya’s Mission and Precepts
Excerpted from ‘Back To Godhead’ magazine, 1973 Vol. 1, No. 49 & 50

As foretold in Vedic scriptures, the Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared on earth 500 years ago in the form of Lord Caitanya, who is God Himself playing the role of a devotee of Godhead. The eight verses entitled Sri Sri Siksastakam, which were the only written instructions of Lord Caitanya, reveal the essence of the Krsna consciousness movement.

Sri Sri Siksastakam

by Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu
translated by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
with purports by His Holiness Subaldasa Svami

1.
ceto-darpana-marjanam bhava-mahadavagni-nirvapanam
sreyah kairava-candrikavitaranam vidyavadhujivanam
anandambudhi-vardhanam pratipadam purnamrtasvadanam
sarvatma-snapanam param vijayate sri-krsna-sankirtanam

Translation

Glory to the Sri Krsna sankirtana, which cleanses the heart of all the dust accumulated for years and extinguishes the fire of conditional life, of repeated birth and death. This sankirtana movement is the prime benediction for humanity at large because it spreads the rays of the benediction moon. It is the life of all transcendental knowledge. It increases the ocean of transcendental bliss, and it enables us to fully taste the nectar for which we are always anxious.

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Past, Present and Future

…Anyone with a material body cannot remember his past life, nor can he foretell his future life, nor can he predict the outcome of his present life; therefore he cannot know what is happening in past, present and future. Unless one is liberated from material contamination, he cannot know past, present and future.

…out of millions and millions of men, some try to become perfect in this human form of life, and out of thousands and thousands of such perfected men, hardly one can understand what Lord Kṛṣṇa is. Even if one is perfected by realization of impersonal Brahman or localized Paramātmā, he cannot possibly understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, without being in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 7, Text 26

vedāhaṁ samatītāni
vartamānāni cārjuna
bhaviṣyāṇi ca bhūtāni
māṁ tu veda na kaścana

veda—know; aham—I; sama—equally; atītāni—past; vartamānāni—present; ca—and; arjuna—O Arjuna; bhaviṣyāṇi—future; ca—also; bhūtāni—living entities; mām—Me; tu—but; veda—knows; na—not; kaścana—anyone.

Translation
O Arjuna, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, I know everything that has happened in the past, all that is happening in the present, and all things that are yet to come. I also know all living entities; but Me no one knows.

Purport
Here the question of personality and impersonality is clearly stated. If Kṛṣṇa, the form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is considered by the impersonalists to be māyā, to be material, then He would, like the living entity, change His body and forget everything in His past life. Anyone with a material body cannot remember his past life, nor can he foretell his future life, nor can he predict the outcome of his present life; therefore he cannot know what is happening in past, present and future. Unless one is liberated from material contamination, he cannot know past, present and future.

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Teachings of Queen Kuntī

We begin a new series by offering the Teachings of Queen Kunti in weekly installments. We begin today with the Introduction to this wounderful book.

As they appear in the First Canto of the Bhāgavatam, Queen Kuntī’s celebrated prayers consist of only twenty-six couplets (verses 18 through 43 of the Eighth Chapter), yet they are considered a philosophical, theological, and literary masterpiece. The present book (Teachings of Queen Kuntī) includes those inspired verses and illuminating commentary by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder-Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness and the most renowned Vedic scholar and spiritual leader of our time. In addition to this commentary (originally written in 1962), Teachings of Queen Kuntī contains further explanations that Śrīla Prabhupāda gave more recently in an absorbing series of lectures. In those memorable talks, delivered in the spring of 1973 at ISKCON’s Western world headquarters in Los Angeles, he analyzed the verses in significantly greater detail and shed even more light upon them.

Teachings of Queen Kuntī By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Introduction

The tragic and heroic figure of Queen Kuntī emerges from an explosive era in the history of ancient India. As related in theMahābhārata, India’s grand epic poem of 110,000 couplets, Kuntī was the wife of King Pāṇḍu and the mother of five illustrious sons known as the Pāṇḍavas. As such, she was one of the central figures in a complex political drama that culminated fifty centuries ago in the Kurukṣetra War, a devastating war of ascendancy that changed the course of world events. The Mahābhārata describes the prelude to the holocaust as follows:

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Remembering Krishna

In the previous article, Srila Prabhupada is describing the nine types of devotional service recommended ….(hearing, chanting, remembering, worshiping, praying, serving, engaging as a servitor of the Lord, establishing friendly relations with the Lord, offering everything to the Lord). These are all easy to practice and should be joyfully performed. So with this in mind we are posting one of Krishna’s unlimited pastimes, to help us in remembering the Lord.

Both the gopīs and Kṛṣṇa entered the water of the Yamunā just to relieve their fatigue from the rāsa dance. The lily flower garlands around the necks of the gopīs were strewn to pieces due to their embracing the body of Kṛṣṇa, and the flowers were reddish from being smeared with the kuṅkuma on their breasts. The bumblebees were humming about in order to get honey from the flowers. Kṛṣṇa and the gopīs entered the water of Yamunā just as an elephant enters a water tank with his many female companions. Both the gopīs and Kṛṣṇa forgot their real identity, playing in the water, enjoying each others’ company and relieving the fatigue of rāsa dancing. The gopīs began to splash water on the body of Kṛṣṇa, all the while smiling, and Kṛṣṇa enjoyed this. As Kṛṣṇa was taking pleasure in the joking words and splashing water, the demigods in the heavenly planets began to shower flowers. The demigods thus praised the superexcellent rāsa dance of Kṛṣṇa, the supreme enjoyer, and His pastimes with the gopīs in the water of Yamunā. (Krsna The Supreme Personality of Godhead Chapter 32)

Image courtsy of Syamarani devi http://www.bhaktiart.net

Knowledge Beyond Saṁsāra

When Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja was asked, “What is the most wonderful thing in the world?” he replied, “The most wonderful thing is that every day, every moment, people are dying, and yet everyone thinks that death will not come for him.”

Raja – Vidya: The King of Knowledge
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 2

Knowledge Beyond Saṁsāra

Kṛṣṇa specifically states that this process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness is susukham, very pleasant and easy to practice. Indeed, the devotional process is very pleasant; we melodiously sing with instruments, and someone will listen and also join (śravaṇaṁ kīrtanam). Of course the music should be in relation with the Supreme Lord, in glorification of Him. Hearing Bhagavad-gītā is also part of devotional service, and in addition to hearing it one should be eager to apply it in his life. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is a science and should not be accepted blindly. There are nine processes of devotional service recommended (hearing, chanting, remembering, worshiping, praying, serving, engaging as a servitor of the Lord, establishing friendly relations with the Lord, offering everything to the Lord). These are all easy to practice and should be joyfully performed.

Of course if one thinks that Bhagavad-gītā and the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra are part of the Hindu system and doesn’t want to accept them because of this, he can nonetheless attend the Christian church and sing there. There is no difference between this process and that process; the point is whatever process one follows, he must become God conscious. God is neither Moslem nor Hindu nor Christian—He is God. Nor are we to be considered Hindu, Moslem or Christian. These are bodily designations. We are all pure spirit, part and parcel of the Supreme. God is pavitram, pure, and we are also pure. Somehow or other, however, we have fallen into this material ocean, and as the waves toss, we suffer. Actually we have nothing to do with the tossing waves of material miseries. We must simply pray, “Kṛṣṇa, please pick me up.” As soon as we forget Kṛṣṇa, the ocean of illusion is there, and it at once captures us. The chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa is most important in order to escape from this ocean. Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare is a sound (śabda) that is non-different from Kṛṣṇa. The sound Kṛṣṇa and the original Kṛṣṇa are the same. When we chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and dance, Kṛṣṇa is also dancing with us. Of course we may say, “Well, I do not see Him,” but why do we put so much stress on seeing? Why not hearing? Seeing, tasting, smelling, touching, and hearing are all instruments for experience and knowledge. Why do we put such exclusive stress on seeing? A devotee does not wish to see Kṛṣṇa; he is satisfied by simply hearing of Kṛṣṇa. Seeing may eventually be there, but hearing should not be considered any less important. There are things which we hear but do not see—the wind may be whistling past our ears, and we can hear it, but there is no possibility of seeing the wind. Since hearing is no less an important experience or valid one than seeing, we can hear Kṛṣṇa and realize His presence through sound. Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself says, “I am not there in My abode, or in the heart of the meditating yogī but where my pure devotees are singing.” We can feel the presence of Kṛṣṇa as we actually make progress.

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Giving Shelter to Others

They have dedicated their lives to the welfare of others. They are the perfect example of noble life.

One may take excellent lessons from the pious trees, who offer innumerable benefits, such as fruits, flowers, cooling shade and medicinal extracts. Even when a tree is suddenly cut down and dragged away, the tree does not protest but continues to give service to others in the form of firewood. Thus, one should become the disciple of such magnanimous trees and learn from them the qualities of saintly conduct. (Srimad Bhagavatam)

Taking shelter of the shade of the trees, Kṛṣṇa became very happy. While walking He began to address the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana. “My dear Stokakṛṣṇa, My dear Varūthapa, My dear Bhadrasena, My dear Sudāmā, My dear Subala, My dear Arjuna, My dear Viśāla, My dear Ṛṣabha–just look at these most fortunate trees of Vṛndāvana. They have dedicated their lives to the welfare of others. Individually they are tolerating all kinds of natural disturbances, such as hurricanes, torrents of rain, scorching heat and piercing cold, but they are very careful to relieve our fatigues and give us shelter. My dear friends, I think they are glorified in this birth as trees. They are so careful to give shelter to others that they are like noble, highly elevated charitable men who never deny charity to one who approaches them. No one is denied shelter by these trees. They supply various kinds of facilities to human society, such as leaves, flowers, fruit, shade, roots, bark, flavor extracts and fuel. They are the perfect example of noble life. They are like a noble person who has sacrificed everything possible–his body, mind, activities, intelligence and words–in engaging in the welfare of all living entities.”

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Spiritual Bongos And Neighborhood Beats

Spiritual Bongos And Neighborhood Beats
By Damodara Dasa

Adapted by Nandimukhi Devi Dasi from Remembering Srila Prabhupada (copyright 1998 Daniel Clark)

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, my spiritual master, enacted his life’s activities from his birth in 1896 to his passing in 1977. I knew him for the last eleven years of his exemplary pastimes. But to say I knew him is going too far. I watched him. I listened to him. I talked with him and corresponded with him. I followed him and obeyed him—and disobeyed him. I learned from him. I bowed down before him and prayed to him. I loved him, and still do. Through those eleven years, that person I first knew as the Swami, then as Swamiji, and then as Srila Prabhupada guided my life.

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Physically Departed / Spiritually Present

Srila Prabhupada Spiritually Present

Physically Departed / Spiritually Present
Author unknown

“Yes, I am the Spiritual Master of this institution, and all members of the society, they’re supposed to be my disciples. They follow the rules and regulations which I ask them to follow, and they are initiated by me spiritually.”

Srila Prabhupada left this world on November 14th 1977 in Krishna’s holy land of Vrindavan. He had been translating his books and instructing his disciples to the very last, and left in the most auspicious circumstances, surrounded by his disciples chanting the maha-mantra.

He left behind a massive legacy of teachings in the form of numerous books, audio and video taped lectures and conversations, as well as a worldwide Movement. He said he had given everything necessary to go back home, back to Godhead, we just had to read his books, chant and follow his instructions. He taught that there was no difference to serving him when he was physically present, to doing so when he was absent. He would remain spiritually present in his books and instructions:

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Krsna’s Scent

” ‘The scent of Kṛṣṇa’s transcendental body surpasses the aroma of musk and attracts the minds of all women. The eight lotus like parts of His body distribute the fragrance of lotuses mixed with that of camphor. His body is anointed with aromatic substances like musk, camphor, sandalwood and aguru. O My dear friend, that Personality of Godhead, also known as the enchanter of Cupid, always increases the desire of My nostrils.’

Sri-Caitanya-caritamrta 1975 Edition
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Antya 19 Text 88-106
The Inconceivable Behavior of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu

The entire garden was filled with the scent of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s transcendental body. When Srī Caitanya Mahāprabhu smelled it, He fell unconscious at once.

The scent of Kṛṣṇa’s body, however, incessantly entered His nostrils, and the Lord became mad to relish it.

Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī expressed to Her gopī friends how She hankers for the transcendental scent of Kṛṣṇa’s body. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu recited that same verse and made its meaning clear.

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The Story of MATCHLESS GIFTS

The words “Matchless Gifts” means something very special to the followers of this Hare Krsna movement. The founder and Acharya of this movement, His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, arrived in the United States from India. Alone, and at the late age of 69, and practically penniless; in September of 1965, on the order of His Spiritual Master, Bhaktisiddanta Saraswati Swami, He came by freighter steamboat, to attempt to spread this Krsna Consciousness to the western countries. He also asked Him to print books. In July 1966, in a storefront in New York City, He began the International Society for Krsna Consciousness, ISKCON, practically single-handed; except for a small group of bohemians and hippies, whom He attracted, while walking the streets of New York City.This small storefront building, had been a curiosity shop before Srila Prabhupada rented it, and someone had painted “Matchless Gifts” over the storefront window. At that time, no one realized just how prophetic these words were; for it was there, that this worldwide movement was started, at the storefront called “Matchless Gifts”. -Krsnadas

The Story of MATCHLESS GIFTS
By Hayagriva das

I walked around the corner with him, and he pointed out a small storefront building between First and Second Streets, next door to a Mobil filling station. It had been a curiosity shop, and someone had painted Matchless Gifts over the window. At the time I didn’t realize how prophetic the words were.

When I first met my spiritual master, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, I felt that there was never a time when I did not know him. I never tire of telling of my first meeting with him on the streets of Lower East Side New York. At the time, I was hurrying from my Mott Street apartment, which had become a refuge for psychedeliacs, to a much quieter apartment on Fifth Street where I hoped to get some peace.

I was walking down Houston Street and across Bowery, past the rushing traffic and stumbling derelicts, and after crossing Bowery, just before Second Avenue, I saw His Divine Grace jauntily strolling down the sidewalk, his head high in the air, his hand in a beadbag. He struck me like a famous actor in a very familiar movie. He seemed ageless, though later I found out that he was seventy years old. He was wearing the traditional saffron-colored robes of a sannyasi; the renounced order, and quaint white shoes with points. Coming down Houston Street, he looked like the genie that popped out of Aladdin’s lamp. I was fresh from a trip to India, and His Divine Grace reminded me of the many holy men I had recently seen walking the dirt roads of Hardwar and Hrishikesh and bathing in the Ganges. I had gone to India to look for a guru but had returned disappointed. It was on this bright July morning, when I was least expecting it, that Sri Krsna, out of His infinite mercy, sent guru to me.

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Raja – Vidya: The King of Knowledge

Raja-vidya: The King of Knowledge

In the first verse of this Ninth Chapter, by the word guhyatamam, Śrī Kṛṣṇa intimates that He is imparting the most confidential knowledge to Arjuna. Why is He proclaiming this to Arjuna? It is because Arjuna is anasūyu—non-envious. In the material world if someone is greater than us, we are envious. We are not only envious of one another, but of God. Also when Kṛṣṇa says, “I am the proprietor,” we disbelieve it. But this is not the case with Arjuna, who listens to Kṛṣṇa without envy. Arjuna does not cavil with Kṛṣṇa but agrees with whatever He says. This is his special qualification, and this is the way of understanding Bhagavad-gītā. It is not possible to understand what God is by our own mental speculations; we have to hear, and we have to accept.

Raja – Vidya: The King of Knowledge
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter One

śrī bhagavān uvāca
idaṁ tu te guhyatamaṁ
pravakṣyāmy anasūyave
jñānaṁ vijñāna-sahitaṁ
yaj jñātvā mokṣyase ’śubhāt

“The Supreme Lord said: My dear Arjuna, because you are never envious of Me, I shall impart to you this most secret wisdom, knowing which you shall be relieved of the miseries of material existence.” (Bg. 9.1)

The opening words of the Ninth Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā indicate that the Supreme Godhead is speaking. Here Śrī Kṛṣṇa is referred to as Bhagavān. Bhaga means opulences, and vān means one who possesses. We have some conception of God, but in the Vedic literature there are definite descriptions and definitions of what is meant by God, and what is meant is described in one word—Bhagavān. Bhagavān possesses all opulences, the totality of knowledge, wealth, power, beauty, fame and renunciation. When we find someone who possesses these opulences in full, we are to know that he is God. There are many rich, wise, famous, beautiful and powerful men, but no one man can claim to possess all of these opulences. Only Kṛṣṇa claims to possess them in totality.

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Lord Krsna’s Friend Sudama

…It is related that by his constant association with the Lord, Sudama had wiped away from his heart whatever contamination was remaining, and he was very shortly transferred to the eternal spiritual kingdom, which is the goal of all saintly persons in the perfectional stage of life. It is stated in the Krsna Book that whoever hears this history will become qualified like Sudama and will be transferred to the spiritual kingdom of Lord Krsna.

Lord Krsna’s Friend Sudama
Published in Back to Godhead Magizine 1971 Vol. 1, Number 49
By Satsvarupa dasa adhikari

The wonderful history of Krsna and His friend Sudama is told in its entirety in the Krsna Book, Volume II, by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada is kindly presenting to the western world the pastimes of Lord Krsna, which can act as a merciful shower upon the hearts of all of us. It is true that we have forgotten our eternal, blissful and loving relationships as servants of Krsna or God. The remedy to forgetfulness or ignorance of God is to hear about Him from the lips of His pure devotee. This is the view of authorized scriptures.

When Krsna descends from His eternal abode in the spiritual world and appears to this mundane world, as He did 5,000 years ago, He engages with others just as if He were an ordinary human being. Although He is unborn, He appears to have a mother and father. In the village of Vrndavana Krsna plays as a cowherd boy. He enacts these pastimes for His own transcendental pleasure and to attract all the suffering living entities back home, back to Godhead. Sudama was among those devotees who were childhood friends with Krsna, and Sudama was also His intimate school friend.

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Concentrate your mind upon Krishna

“…one should concentrate his mind upon Kṛṣṇa-the very form with two hands carrying a flute, the bluish boy with a beautiful face and peacock feathers in His hair. There are descriptions of Kṛṣṇa found in the Brahma-saṁhitā and other literatures. One should fix his mind on this original form of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa. He should not even divert his attention to other forms of the Lord. The Lord has multi-forms, as Viṣṇu, Nārāyaṇa, Rāma, Varāha, etc., but a devotee should concentrate his mind on the form that was present before Arjuna. Concentration of the mind on the form of Kṛṣṇa constitutes the most confidential part of knowledge, and this is disclosed to Arjuna because Arjuna is the most dear friend of Kṛṣṇa’s.”

Bhagavad-gita As It Is – Macmillan 1972 Edition
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 18, Text 65

man-manā bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru
mām evaiṣyasi satyaṁ te
pratijāne priyo ‘si me

man-manāḥ—thinking of Me; bhava—just become; mat-bhaktaḥ—My devotee; mat-yājī—My worshiper; mām—unto Me; namaskuru—offer your obeisances; mām—unto Me; eva—certainly; eṣyasi—come; satyam—truly; te—to you; pratijāne—I promise; prijaḥ—dear; asi—you are; me—My.

Always think of Me and become My devotee. Worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend.

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Advent of Bhagavad-gita


The Advent of Bhagavad-gita

Today is the anniversary commemorating the day when Sri Krishna spoke Bhagavad-gita to Arjuna, at the place known as Kurukṣetra.

Traditionally devotees go to Kurukṣetra (dharma-kṣetra, a place where religious rituals are performed) ) 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, and discuss the significance of the Bhagavad-gita.

Devotees who cannot get to Kurukṣetra, can honor the blessed event by reading or reciting the Bhagavad-gita, and discussing the subject matter of Bhagavad Gita in the association of devotees.

Distribution of Bhagavad-gita’s on this day is also a very auspicious activity to perform.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is – Macmillan 1972 Edition
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

dhṛtarāṣṭra uvāca
dharma-kṣetre kuru-kṣetre
samavetā yuyutsavaḥ
māmakāḥ pāṇḍavāś caiva
kim akurvata sañjaya

dhṛtarāṣṭraḥ—King Dhṛtarāṣṭra; uvāca—said; dharma-kṣetre—in the place of pilgrimage; kuru-kṣetre—in the place named Kurukṣetra; samavetāḥ—assembled; yuyatsavaḥ—desiring to fight; māmakāḥ—my party (sons); pāṇḍavāḥ—the sons of Pāṇḍu; ca—and; eva-certainly; kim—what; akurvata—did they do; sañjaya—O Sañjaya.

Translation

Dhṛtarāṣṭra said: O Sañjaya, after assembling in the place of pilgrimage at Kurukṣetra, what did my sons and the sons of Pāṇḍu do, being desirous to fight?

Purport

Bhagavad-gītā is the widely read theistic science summarized in the Gītā-māhātmya (Glorification of the Gītā). There it says that one should read Bhagavad-gītā very scrutinizingly with the help of a person who is a devotee of Śrī Kṛṣṇa and try to understand it without personally motivated interpretations. The example of clear understanding is there in the Bhagavad-gītā itself, in the way the teaching is understood by Arjuna, who heard the Gītā directly from the Lord. If someone is fortunate enough to understand Bhagavad-gītā in that line of disciplic succession, without motivated interpretation, then he surpasses all studies of Vedic wisdom, and all scriptures of the world. One will find in the Bhagavad-gītā all that is contained in other scriptures, but the reader will also find things which are not to be found elsewhere. That is the specific standard of the Gītā. It is the perfect theistic science because it is directly spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

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The Spell of Illusion (Maya)

The sense of a separated existence from Kṛṣṇa is called māyā (-not, -this).

People in general, especially in this age of Kali, are enamored by the external energy of Kṛṣṇa, and they wrongly think that by advancement of material comforts every man will be happy. They have no knowledge that the material or external nature is very strong, for everyone is strongly bound by the stringent laws of material nature. A living entity is happily the part and parcel of the Lord, and thus his natural function is to render immediate service to the Lord. By the spell of illusion one tries to be happy by serving his personal sense gratification in different forms which will never make him happy. Instead of satisfying his own personal material senses, he has to satisfy the senses of the Lord. That is the highest perfection of life. The Lord wants this, and He demands it. One has to understand this central point of Bhagavad-gītā. Our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is teaching the whole world this central point, and because we are not polluting the theme of Bhagavad-gītā As It Is, anyone seriously interested in deriving benefit by studying the Bhagavad-gītā must take help from the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement for practical understanding of Bhagavad-gītā under the direct guidance of the Lord. We hope, therefore, that people will derive the greatest benefit by studying Bhagavad-gītā As It Is as we have presented it here, and if even one man becomes a pure devotee of the Lord we shall consider our attempt a success.

The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is essential in human society, for it offers the highest perfection of life. How this is so is explained fully in the Bhagavad-gītā. Unfortunately, mundane wranglers have taken advantage of Bhagavad-gītā to push forward their demonic propensities and mislead people regarding right understanding of the simple principles of life. Everyone should know how God or Kṛṣṇa is great, and everyone should know the factual position of the living entities. Everyone should know that a living entity is eternally a servant and that unless one serves Kṛṣṇa one has to serve illusion in different varieties of the three modes of material nature, and thus perpetually one has to wander within the cycle of birth and death; even the so-called liberated Māyāvādī speculator has to undergo this process. This knowledge constitutes a great science, and each and every living being has to hear it for his own interest. (From the preface to the Bhagavad-gita As It Is)

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Black Friday / Material Fever

Consumerism is a kind of Material Fever

The problems of material existence-birth, old age, disease and death-cannot be counteracted by accumulation of wealth and economic development. In many parts of the world there are states which are replete with all facilities of life, which are full of wealth, and economically developed, yet the problems of material existence are still present.

If economic development and material comforts could drive away one’s lamentations for family, social, national or international inebrieties, then Arjuna would not have said that even an unrivalled kingdom on earth or supremacy like that of the demigods in the heavenly planets would not be able to drive away his lamentations. He sought, therefore, refuge in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and that is the right path for peace and harmony.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is – Macmillan 1972 Edition
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 2, Text 8

na hi prapaśyāmi mamāpanudyād
yac chokam ucchoṣaṇam indriyāṇām
avāpya bhūmāv asapatnam ṛddhaṁ
rājyaṁ surāṇām api cādhipatyam

na—do not; hi—certainly; prapaśyāmi—I see; mama—my; apanudyāt—they can drive away; yat—that; śokam—lamentation; ucchoṣaṇam—drying up; indriyāṇām—of the senses; avāpya—achieving; bhūmau—on the earth; asapatnam—without rival; ṛddham—prosperous; rājyam—kingdom; surāṇām—of the demigods; api—even; ca—also; ādhipatyam—supremacy.

Translation

I can find no means to drive away this grief which is drying up my senses. I will not be able to destroy it even if I win an unrivalled kingdom on the earth with sovereignty like that of the demigods in heaven.

Purport

Although Arjuna was putting forward so many arguments based on knowledge of the principles of religion and moral codes, it appears that he was unable to solve his real problem without the help of the spiritual master, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa. He could understand that his so-called knowledge was useless in driving away his problems, which were drying up his whole existence; and it was impossible for him to solve such perplexities without the help of a spiritual master like Lord Kṛṣṇa. Academic knowledge, scholarship, high position, etc., are all useless in solving the problems of life; help can only be given by a spiritual master like Kṛṣṇa. Therefore, the conclusion is that a spiritual master who is one hundred percent Kṛṣṇa conscious is the bona fide spiritual master, for he can solve the problems of life. Lord Caitanya said that one who is master in the science of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, regardless of his social position, is the real spiritual master.

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The Flow of Attraction to Krsna


The Flow of Attraction to Krsna
Back to Godhead Magazine
Volume 01, Number 60, 1973

tvayi me ‘nanya-visaya matir madhu-pate ‘sakrt
ratim udvahatad addha gangevaugham udanvati

“O Lord of Madhu, as the Ganges forever flows to the sea without hindrance, let my attraction be constantly drawn unto You without being diverted to anyone else.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam, 1.8.42 -Prayer by Queen Kunti)

By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

In the previous verses of Srimad-Bhagavatam Queen Kunti prayed that the Lord kindly cut off her attraction for her kinsmen, the Pandava and Vrsni families. However, giving up one’s attraction for material things is not sufficient. The Mayavadi philosophers say, brahma satyam jagan-mithya: “This world is false, and Brahman [spirit] is truth.” We admit this, but qualify it. As living entities, we want enjoyment. Enjoyment means variety. It is not possible to enjoy anything without variety. Why has God created so many colors and so many forms? In order to create enjoyment out of variety. Indeed, variety is the mother of enjoyment. Mayavadi philosophers wish to negate this variety, and therefore they are called impersonalists.

The human form of life is meant for reestablishing our relationship with God. This material world means forgetfulness of our relationship with God. There is no Krsna consciousness in this material world, for as soon as there is Krsna consciousness, as soon as there is action on the basis of Krsna, there is nothing material. Everything is spiritual.

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The Supreme Occupation (Dharma)


…the root meaning of the word dharma is “that which sustains one’s existence.” A living being’s sustenance of existence is to coordinate his activities with his eternal relation with the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa

Srimad Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Canto 1, Chapter 2, Text 6

sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo
yato bhaktir adhokṣaje
ahaituky apratihatā
yayātmā suprasīdati

saḥ—that; vai—certainly; puṁsām—for mankind; paraḥ—sublime; dharmaḥ—occupation; yataḥ—by which; bhaktiḥ—devotional service; adhokṣaje—unto the Transcendence; ahaitukī—causeless; apratihatā—unbroken; yayā—by which; ātmā—the self; suprasīdati—completely satisfied.

The supreme occupation [dharma] for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendent Lord. Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted to completely satisfy the self.

Purport
In this statement, Śrī Sūta Gosvāmī answers the first question of the sages of Naimiṣāraṇya. The sages asked him to summarize the whole range of revealed scriptures and present the most essential part so that fallen people or the people in general might easily take it up. The Vedas prescribe two different types of occupation for the human being. One is called the pravṛtti-mārga, or the path of sense enjoyment, and the other is called the nivṛtti-mārga, or the path of renunciation. The path of enjoyment is inferior, and the path of sacrifice for the supreme cause is superior. The material existence of the living being is a diseased condition of actual life. Actual life is spiritual existence, or brahma-bhūta [SB 4.30.20] existence, where life is eternal, blissful and full of knowledge. Material existence is temporary, illusory and full of miseries. There is no happiness at all. There is just the futile attempt to get rid of the miseries, and temporary cessation of misery is falsely called happiness. Therefore, the path of progressive material enjoyment, which is temporary, miserable and illusory, is inferior. But devotional service to the Supreme Lord, which leads one to eternal, blissful and all-cognizant life, is called the superior quality of occupation. This is sometimes polluted when mixed with the inferior quality. For example, adoption of devotional service for material gain is certainly an obstruction to the progressive path of renunciation. Renunciation or abnegation for ultimate good is certainly a better occupation than enjoyment in the diseased condition of life. Such enjoyment only aggravates the symptoms of disease and increases its duration. Therefore devotional service to the Lord must be pure in quality, i.e., without the least desire for material enjoyment. One should, therefore, accept the superior quality of occupation in the form of the devotional service of the Lord without any tinge of unnecessary desire, fruitive action and philosophical speculation. This alone can lead one to perpetual solace in His service.

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