The Nectar of Devotion Lecture

Nectar of Devotion Lecture

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The Nectar of Devotion Lecture
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Vṛndāvana, October 19, 1972

Pradyumna: (reading) “…happiness immediately terminates with his body as long as his life, as soon as his life is over. Death is therefore taken as the representative of God for the atheistic class of men. The devotee realizes the presence of God by devotional service, whereas the atheist realizes the presence of God in the shape of death.”

Prabhupāda: Yes. This point we have discussed last night that everyone can see God. To see God is not very difficult job. There are so many points described in the Bhagavad-gītā. For the devotees, those who are serious about seeing God, they can see God. God is present everywhere. And God Himself, Kṛṣṇa, is describing, raso ‘ham apsu kaunteya prabhāsmi śaśi-sūryayoḥ [Bg. 7.8]. So everyone drinks water. Now Kṛṣṇa says, “The taste of the water, I am.” So who has not tasted the water? Everyone drinks water at least four times, five times. So as soon as you drink water, the taste of the water is Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa says, “I am this.” Kṛṣṇa has described Himself in so many ways. “Amongst the trees, I am this. Amongst the aquatics, I am this. Amongst the nonmovable, I am this.” So why not see God in that way? The atheist class of men, they say, “Can you show me God?” So why don’t you see God? Why you close your eyes? If you have got eyes to see, you can see God everywhere.

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Vrindaban Days

Vrindaban Days  Front cover

Vrindaban Days
Memories of an Indian Holy Town
by Howard Wheeler (Hayagriva dasa)

“This transcendental land of Vrindaban is populated by goddesses of fortune, who manifest as milkmaids and love Krishna above everything. The trees here fulfill all desires, and the waters of immortality flow through land made of philosopher’s stone. Here, all speech is song, all walking is dancing, and the flute is the Lord’s constant companion. Cows flood the land with abundant milk, and everything is self-luminous, like the sun. Since every moment in Vrindaban is spent in loving service to Krishna, there is no past, present, or future.” -Brahma Samhita (as excerpted from the book Vrindaban Days by Hayagriva das)

It is with great pleasure that we share with you this travel journal by Hayagriva Prabhu as a free PDF download which you can veiw or save by clicking on the underlined link below;

Vrindaban-Days

This book is a free pass to India through the personal memories of Hayagriva Prabhu.

Many of you have also read the other exciting book by Hayagriva Prabhu entitled “The Hare Krishna Explosion”, which you can also download by clicking on book at bottom of page.

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The Purpose of Pilgrimages is to Remember the Lord Constantly

Indian-Railways

Whenever I plan a trip to India, it seems the first thing I do, is start looking at maps. I have always been a map person, as there is some romantic imagery for me, especially when I look at a map of India. The shape of this country has always invoked in me, a sense of spirituality and wonderment, as if the very shape of it is somehow what a spiritual holy land should look like.

There are so many ways to travel in India; on foot, by bicycle rickshaw, or the motorized “cockroach” rickshaws, by bus, by plane, or my favorite, by train.

Train in India

Actually we are planing to go to Vrndavana, but will take in some other places of interest as well. The following are some selections from Srila Prabhupada’s books which describe India, Vrndavana, and the purpose of pilgrimage etc.

The purpose of pilgrimages is to remember the Lord constantly, and therefore the Lord is known as tīrtha-kīrti. The purpose of going to a place of pilgrimage is to get the chance to glorify the Lord. Even today, although times have changed, there are still pilgrimage sites in India. For example, in Mathurā and Vṛndāvana, where we had a chance to stay, people are awake from early in the morning at 4 A.M. up until nighttime and are constantly engaged, some way or other, in chanting the holy glories of the Lord. The beauty of such a pilgrimage site is that automatically one remembers the holy glories of the Lord. His name, fame, quality, form, pastimes and entourage are all identical to the Lord, and therefore chanting the glories of the Lord invokes the personal presence of the Lord. Any time or anywhere pure devotees meet and chant the glories of the Lord, the Lord is present without any doubt. It is said by the Lord Himself that He always stays where His pure devotees chant His glories. (from purport SB 3.1.45)

Places of pilgrimage yield a special advantage for a devotee in quickly advancing his spiritual life. Lord Kṛṣṇa lives everywhere, but still it is very easy to approach Him in holy places of pilgrimage because these places are inhabited by great sages. Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa says that He lives wherever His devotees are chanting the glories of His transcendental activities. (from purport SB 4.8.42)

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Care for Cows

Care for Cows

Care for Cows Kartika Festivals

The following Links will take you to one of our favorite sites: “Care for Cows”. Sriman Kurma Rupa Prabhu has devoted his life to the care and protection of the cows in Vrndavan, and has helped advanced the cause for cow protection Internationally. You can click on following images to visit the sites (Web, Facebook, Newsletter, Contact). Our obeisances to this fine organization.

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How to Understand the Lord’s Activities

Founder-Acarya

…We can understand the pastimes of the Lord by following one or some of the authorized devotional processes.

śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ
smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam
arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ
sakhyam ātma-nivedanam
[SB 7.5.23]

“Hearing, chanting and remembering the holy name, form, pastimes, qualities and entourage of the Lord, offering service according to the time, place and performer, worshiping the Deity, offering prayers, always considering oneself the eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa, making friends with Him and dedicating everything unto Him—these are the nine processes of devotional service.” (Bhāg. 7.5.23)

…hearing and chanting, are the beginning of bhakti, devotional service. Therefore it is said: tāni me śraddadhānasya kīrtanyāny anukīrtaya. The word anukīrtaya means to follow the paramparā system… The Supreme Lord is more anxious to give us education and enlightenment than we are to receive them. He gives us His literature, His devotees and the paramparā system, but it is up to us to take advantage of these. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is intended to give society the proper understanding of the Absolute Truth. We are not presenting a manufactured, bogus philosophy. Why should we unnecessarily waste our time concocting some philosophy? There is so much to be learned that has already been given by the supreme authority. All we have to do is take this Vedic literature, try to learn it and distribute it. That is Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s mission.

Teachings of Lord Kapila, the Son of Devahūti
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter Three, Text 3

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The Singing Sadhu

Acyutananda das

It was my good fortune to finally meet one of my singing mentors, and God-brother, the legendary Acyutananda das, at the Festival of Inspiration held annually at the New Vrindavan farm community in West Virginia. He was a very likable character and willingly signed my 1974 copy of the Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas. He opened the Festival of Inspiration with a Question and Answer session, answering all kinds of questions on the “Early Days”, “India”, “Life with Srila Prabhupada”, “Spiritual Life” etc., etc. with his own blend of sarcastic humor, wit, and intellectual powers. It was quite enjoyable and enlightening. He is a very ‘real’, unpretentious fellow, and as I said very likable.

In honor of our visit with him we are posting the Foreword from the Songs of the Vaisnava Acarays, wherein Srila Prabhupada is giving his thanks and blessings:

…I confer all my blessings upon Acyutananda Swami for his genuine attempt to advance in Krishna consciousness. I hope he will attempt to advance more and more and never be hampered my maya. We should always remember the danger of maya’s influence and endeavor to save ourselves from her great power. We must therefore always merge in the transcendental mellow of kirtana-rasa, for kirtana-rasa is the safest situation within this material world. Hare Krishna.

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

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Bona Fide Spiritual Master

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…So to find out a bona fide guru is not difficult, provided one is bona fide to search out a guru. Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpāya pāya bhakti-latā-bīja [Cc. Madhya 19.151]. By the mercy of guru and Kṛṣṇa… Because by the mercy of Kṛṣṇa one gets a bona fide guru, and by the mercy of bona fide guru, one gets Kṛṣṇa. This is the process. When I am actually serious to have connection with Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa is sitting in everyone’s heart. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe ’rjuna tiṣṭhati [Bg. 18.61]. So Kṛṣṇa can understand. We cannot hide anything from Kṛṣṇa. That is not possible.

Bona Fide Spiritual Master

Lecture from The Nectar of Devotion
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Vṛndāvana, October 31, 1972

Pradyumna: (reading) Page xxi. “In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta, by Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī, Lord Caitanya states that it is a fortunate person who comes in contact with a bona fide spiritual master by the grace of Kṛṣṇa. One who is serious about spiritual life is given by Kṛṣṇa the intelligence to come in contact with a bona fide spiritual master.”

Prabhupāda: Yes. Here it is stated, “It is…, it is a fortunate person.” Not the unfortunate. “It is the fortunate person who comes in contact with a bona fide spiritual master.” This question, we were just discussing before coming to the class, how to select a bona fide spiritual master. So that is not very difficult. Just like in our ordinary business life, we accept somebody as representative of the firm who is actually come, canvassing for the benefit of the firm. He’s representative. Suppose he’s representing some book seller, publisher, so he should canvass for selling the books published by his firm, not for anything else. Suppose he has taken the advantage of becoming representative of a business firm, but he’s doing his own business. He’s not bona fide. He’s not bona fide. So real guru is Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa… Aham eva āsam agre. Kṛṣṇa existed before the creation. Then He made His representative, Brahma. Tene brahma hṛdā ādi-kavaye. He instructed the original guru, Brahma. Because there was no other living creature, except Brahma, in the beginning of creation, and He instructed Brahma. Tene brahma hṛdā ādi-kavaye. There are other versions in the Vedas, that He instructed Brahma. So therefore, the original guru is Kṛṣṇa. The same guru, Kṛṣṇa, is instructing Arjuna also. Kṛṣṇa became guru of Arjuna. Arjuna accepted Him guru: śiṣyas te ’ham. Arjuna said, “Now I am not talking with You as friend, but I accept You as my guru.” Therefore, by sastric conclusion, Kṛṣṇa is the original guru. Who can deny it? Kṛṣṇa is jagat-guru. He’s guru of everyone, because everyone (is) accepting this authority of Kṛṣṇa. Anyone is accepting the authority of Bhagavad-gītā, he’s accepting, imperceptibly, Kṛṣṇa as guru. Therefore, bona fide spiritual master means who is representing Kṛṣṇa. Who can deny it?

So to find out a bona fide spiritual master is not a very difficult job, because if one is representing guru, Kṛṣṇa, then he must speak of Kṛṣṇa, canvass for Kṛṣṇa. What do you think, Visanji?

Indian man: Jaya, Mahārāja.

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With Srila Prabhupada in Vrndavana

“We should try to make Krsna happy like the gopis of Vrndavana. In Vrndavana everyone is trying to please Krsna—the birds, trees, cows, the river and all His associates. It is not that Vrndavana is only here. We can have Vrndavana everywhere. Krsna is not limited. We should not think that Krsna is far away in Goloka Vrndavana and cannot accept food from us. If you offer food with love, Krsna eats. Krsna does not leave Goloka Vrndavana, but His expansion goes and accepts food. This Vrndavana, which so happens to appear in India, is as worshipable as Krsna. As Krsna is worshipable, His dhama [residence] is also worshipable. So we cannot offend His dhama. If we live in Vrndavana, we are living with Krsna, for Vrndavana is nondifferent from Krsna. There is no difference between the original Vrndavana and this Vrndavana. Vrndavana is so powerful.”

With Srila Prabhupada in Vrndavana
By Hayagriva Dasa

Vrndavana, India, the land of Krsna five thousand years after the disappearance of the Supreme Person, is invaded by eighty American and European disciples of Srila Prabhupada. The white and saffron robed pilgrims arrive in Vrndavana for Karttika, a celebration of Krsna’s rasa dance with the cowherd girls (gopis) of Vrndavana. Yearly, Vrndavana is crowded with Karttika pilgrims from October 15th to November 15th, the best time of year for Vrndavana, a month of clear, pleasant days and cool nights.

Vrndavana is approached by train from Delhi to Mathura, about ninety miles to the Southeast of Delhi. From Mathura, one takes a bus some eight miles to the village of Vrndavana bordered on three sides by the holy River Yamuna. As a cowherd boy, Krsna sported in the Yamuna, and Vaisnavas consider its waters more purifying than the Ganges itself. In Krsna’s time, Vrndavana was a forest, as its name indicates. Today it is a congested holy-town forgotten by the tourist maps, a town of crumbling temples, memories, chanting devotees, filth and poverty-stricken masses. Tourists whiz by it on the Delhi-Agra Express, unaware of passing Krsna’s old abode. Vrndavana was rediscovered by Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His disciples Rupa and Sanatana Gosvami in the early 16th Century. Many magnificent temples were built in honor of Lord Krsna, but despite the sanctity of the place, it has not been kept up.

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ISKCON vs Radha Damodar Mandir


ISKCON vs Radha Damodar Mandir
By; Sri Nirmal Chandra Goswami
Jun 27, 2011 — Vrindavan, India (SUN)

The writing of this notice to the devotees has been a long time waiting. Due to the mercy of Sri Sri Radha Damodar and now having email and Internet access, I am able to send out this information for the contemplation of sincere and thoughtful devotees.

Since past five years the court case in India, ISKCON vs Radha Damodar Mandir has been going on. The case originally filed by ISKCON is primarily to solve the question as to who is the legal owner/proprietor of the rooms at Radha Damodar Mandir known as “Srila Prabhupada’s Bhajan Kutir”.

As you know, Srila Prabhupada resided in these rooms for several years before he went to America and established ISKCON. In Srila Prabhupada’s own words, it was by the mercy of Radha Damodar that he was successful in the West.

A few months before the disappearance of Srila Prabhupada in 1977 the worship in Prabhupada’s bhajan kutir began, and after Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance, ISKCON continued paying rent to Radha Damodar Mandir and the puja of Srila Prabhupada continued.

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Initiation Ceremony at ISKCON Bangalore

Initiation Ceremony at ISKCON Bangalore
By Agrani Krishna Dasa

June 8 2011, Bangalore, India — Amongst the tension and tussle in Bangalore after the Hon’ble High Court’s verdict, May 29th was a memorable day for 37 devotees in the temple here. On the auspicious appearance day of Srila Vrindavana Dasa Thakura, 37 devotees took shelter under the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada and accepted him as their spiritual master. I was one among the 37 devotees who took diksha from Srila Prabhupada on that day.

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Second Avenue Fire Sacrifice (Chapter 4)

The Hare Krishna Explosion
by Hayagriva Prabhu

Part I: New York, 1966
Chapter 4

Second Avenue Fire Sacrifice

September 8, 1966. Janmastami. Lord Krishna, we learn, is not born like an ordinary child. He appears. Five thousand years ago, in Mathura, India, He appeared as four-armed Narayana, attired in His transcendental garments. At His mother’s request, He assumed a two-armed form, like an ordinary child. Sri Krishna is most obliging to His devotees.

“Today we will fast,” Swamiji tells us. “Normally we do not fast all day. Krishna consciousness is not for one who eats too much or too little. Gandhi fasted many days for political reasons, but we don’t. In Bhagavad-gita, that kind of fasting is considered rajasic, or passionate. We fast according to regulations: Ekadasi, the eleventh day of the full moon, we take no grains. That is a partial fast. And Janmastami, there is complete fast all day until midnight. So today we will fast and chant, and tomorrow there will be initiation.”

There are eleven of us to be initiated. Roy buys us beads for chanting, a hundred and eight round wooden beads the size of marbles. Standing in the courtyard behind the temple, I string them into a rosary called a japa-mala. While chanting, I carefully slide each bright, red bead up the string and then knot it. It takes hours to complete knotting all the beads. When I ask Swamiji why there are a hundred and eight, he tells me that they represent the gopis, the Vrindaban cowherd girls beloved of Lord Krishna.

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

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The Hare Krishna Cookbook

Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition “Online”

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Srimad Bhagavatam Online

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Raja-Vidya the King of Knowledge

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Important Slokas from the Brahma-samhita

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Slokas from the Sri Isopanisad

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Prayers By Queen Kunti (Slokas)

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Gajendra’s Prayers of Surrender (Slokas)

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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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