If One Offers Me with Love and Devotion a Leaf, a Flower, Fruit or Water, I will Accept It.

One of the first slokas I ever memorized from the Bhagavad-gita was 9.26 patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ… “If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it.” (Full text and purport follows). This was practically the beginning of my spiritual life. ‘Just try to love God by offering Him something, with devotion. A leaf, a flower, fruit or water.’

One does not need great wealth, education or opulence to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If one is fully absorbed in love and ecstasy, he need offer only a flower and a little water. As stated in Bhagavad-gītā, patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati: “If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower. fruit or water, I will accept it.” (Bg. 9.26)

The Supreme Lord can be pleased only by devotional service: therefore it is said here that the Lord is surely satisfied by devotion and nothing else. Quoting from the Gautamīya-tantra, the Hari-bhakti-vilāsa states:

tulasī-dala-mātreṇa
jalasya culukena vā
vikrīṇīte svam ātmānaṁ
bhaktebhyo bhakta-vatsalaḥ

“Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is very affectionate toward His devotees, sells Himself to a devotee who offers merely a tulasī leaf and a palmful of water.” The Supreme Lord is causelessly merciful upon His devotee, so much so that even the poorest of men can offer Him a little water and a flower in devotion and thus please Him. This is due to His affectionate dealings with His devotees. (SB 5.3.6 purport)

Everyone is searching after peace of mind. This is obtainable only when one is completely freed from the desire for material sense gratification and is engaged in the devotional service of the Lord. As stated in Bhagavad-gītā: patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati (9.26). Worship of the Lord is not at all expensive. One can offer the Lord a leaf, a flower, a little fruit and some water. The Supreme Lord accepts these offerings when they are offered with love and devotion. In this way, one can become freed from material desires. As long as one maintains material desires, he cannot be happy. As soon as one engages in the devotional service of the Lord, his mind is purified of all material desires. Then one becomes fully satisfied. (SB 5.7.11, purport)

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The Appearance Day of Srimati Radharani

Radha and Krishna

Today marks the Appearance of Srimati Radharani.  We honor it with a half day fast, puspanjali, discussion on the glories of Srimati Radharani, followed by a feast.

The following are just a few of the many quotes from Srila Prabhupada which encourage us to approach Krishna through the mercy of Srimati Radharani, Krishna’s eternal consort. For those of us who feel that there is no hope of making spiritual progress in this lifetime, Srimati Radharani, Who is compassion personified, kindly comes to our rescue if we can humbly invoke Her divine blessings.

tapta-kancana-gaurangi radhe vrndavanesvari
vrsabhanu-sute devi pranamami hari-priye

“I offer my respects to Radharani whose bodily complexion is like molten gold and who is the Queen of Vrndavana. You are the daughter of King Vrsabhanu, and You are very dear to Lord Krishna.”  (Sri Radha Pranama)

“So this is our philosophy, to please Krishna through Radharani, and just today is the auspicious day of Radharani appearance. So we should offer puspanjali and pray to Radharani that ‘Radharani, kindly be merciful and tell about me to Your Krishna. To Your Krishna. Krishna is Yours.’ Krishna, Radha-Krishna. Krishna is not independent. Krishna is Radharani’s property. So you have to approach Krishna through Radharani. That is, today is the auspicious day. Worship Radharani very nicely and be happy.”  (Srila Prabhupada Lecture, September 5, 1973)

“The beauty of Srimati Radharani’s eyes forcibly devours the beauty of newly grown blue lotus flowers, and the beauty of Her face surpasses that of an entire forest of fully blossomed lotuses. Her bodily luster seems to place even gold into a painful situation. Thus the wonderful, unprecedented beauty of Srimati Radharani is awakening in Vrindavana.”  (Caitanya-caritamrita Antya 1.169)

“I emphatically say to you, O brothers, you will obtain your good fortune from the Supreme Lord Krishna only when Srimati Radharani becomes pleased with you.”(Prayer to the Lotus Feet of Krishna, September 13, 1965)

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Radhaballabha Kachoris

Today we celebrate the Appearance Day of Srimati Radharani [Radhastami] with a half day fast followed by a feast cooked in honor of Srimati Radharani. She appears at noon so we begin our day with songs in praise of Srimati Radharani and time in the kitchen cooking up a nice vegetarian offering. Since She is fond of Kachori’s, we share with you this nice recipe from “The Hare Krishna Cookbok”; Radhaballabha Kachoris.

“This preparation is one of Srimati Radharani’s favorites and is always prepared for Her appearance day. There is nothing in the material world to compare with the flavor of Radhaballabha Kachoris”.

Radhaballabha Kachoris Recipe

ghee for deep frying
1 cup of cleaned, split urad dhal
2 cups white flour
cayenne pepper
asafoetida
2 T. freshly ground anise seed
butter or ghee solids

Wash urad dahl thoroughly. Soak in water overnight. Drain, leaving a tiny bit of water. In a blender, grind urad dhal untill it is a smooth paste, adding a little more water if necessary. The past should ve very thick. Set aside. Add ground anise seed to paste. Using white flour, butter or ghee solids and water, make a soft dough, like puri dough. (not wet.) Let the dough sit for one hour under a dampened cloth. Meanwhile prepare three very small bowls in the following manner:

1. Put in a mixture of 1 T. water and 1/2 t. asafoetida.
2. Put plain salt in the second.
3. Put cayenne pepper in the third.

Pinch off balls of dough one inch in diameter. Roll them out into circles of 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Pinch off a ball of kachori paste about one inch in diameter; dip into each of bowls in succession, and place in the center of the circle of kachori dough. Gather up the dough around the paste as you would gather a paper bag. Make sure all the urad dahl paste is covered, and seal the top edge very well using a little water. Flatten the sealed kachori with a rolling pin and then roll gently as you would apuri or chapati.

Be carful not to break the surfaces. If necessary, pat them out by hand. Deep-fry the kachori in fairly hot ghee as you would a puri. Stand up kachoris on paper toweling to drain. Before offering them, re-fry very quickly, but do not brown.

“This preparation is one of Srimati Radharani’s favorites and is always prepared for Her appearance day. There is nothing in the material world to compare with the flavor of Radhaballabha Kachoris”.

This recipe I copied from;The Hare Krishna Cookbook” [click on link to down load the entire book]

Krishna Janmastami

Joyous Celebration at Krishna’s Birth

Today we celebrate the birth of Lord Krsna, or Krishna Janmastami, with a full day fast and a feast after his appearance at Midnight tonight. We honor this auspicious day with a post from the Krsna Book.

The joyous vibrations at Krsna’s birth ceremony could be heard in all the pasturing grounds and houses.

 

KRSNA, The Supreme Personality of Godhead
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 5

Meeting of Nanda and Vasudeva

Although Kṛṣṇa was the real son of Vasudeva and Devakī, because of Kaṁsa’s atrocious activities Vasudeva could not enjoy the birth ceremony of his son. But Nanda Mahārāja, the foster father, celebrated the birth ceremony of Kṛṣṇa very joyfully. The next day, it was declared that a male child was born of Yaśodā. According to Vedic custom, Nanda Mahārāja called for learned astrologers and brāhmaṇas to perform the birth ceremony. After the birth of a child, the astrologers calculate the moment of the birth and make a horoscope of the child’s future life. Another ceremony takes place after the birth of the child: the family members take baths, cleanse themselves and decorate themselves with ornaments and garlands; then they come before the child and the astrologer to hear of the future life of the child. Nanda Mahārāja and other members of the family dressed and sat down in front of the birthplace. All the brāhmaṇas who were assembled there on this occasion chanted auspicious mantras, according to the rituals, while the astrologers performed the birth ceremony. All the demigods are also worshiped on this occasion, as well as the forefathers of the family. Nanda Mahārāja distributed 200,000 well decorated, dressed and ornamented cows to the brāhmaṇas. He not only gave cows in charity, but hills of grains, decorated with golden-bordered garments and many ornaments.

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Lord Krishna’s Appearance Day Lecture

Lord Krishna’s Appearance Day Lecture
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
(London, August 21, 1973)

Prabhupāda: His Excellency, the High Commissioner; ladies and gentlemen, I thank you very much for your coming here and participating in this ceremony, Janmāṣṭamī, advent of Kṛṣṇa. The subject matter I’ve been ordered to speak on is advent of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā,

janma karma me divyaṁ
yo jānāti tattvataḥ
tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma
naiti mām eti kaunteya
(BG 4.9)

This fact, that we can achieve such a stage of life when we can stop our birth and death… Sa ‘mṛtatvāya kalpate. This morning, I was explaining this verse:

yaṁ hi na vyathayanty ete
puruṣaṁ puruṣarsabha
sama-duḥkha-sukhaṁ dhīraṁ
so ‘mṛtatvāya kalpate

Amrtatva means immortality. So the modern civilization, they have no idea, either the great philosopher, great politician or great scientist, that it is possible to attain the stage of immortality. Amṛtatva. We are all amṛta. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, na jāyate na mrīyate vā kadācin. We living entities, we never die, never take birth. Nityaḥ śāśvato yaṁ, na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre (BG 2.20). Every one of us, we are eternal, nityaḥ śāśvato; Purāṇa, the oldest. And after annihilation of this body, we do not die. Na hanyate. The body is finished, but I have to accept another body. Tathā dehāntara prāptir dhīras tatra na muhyati. Dehino ‘smin yathā dehe kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā (BG 2.13).

This simple thing, at the present moment, they are lacking knowledge, that we, all living entities, part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, we are eternal, we are blissful, and we are cognizant. Kṛṣṇa is described in the Vedic śāstras:

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Reporting for Service

Srila Prabhupada with cane

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

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

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

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

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

Bhagavad-gita Chapter Nine,Texts 22-28 More

George Harrison Interview 1982

George-Harrison-and-Srila-Prabhupada

click on inage to enlarge

In the following conversation, taped at George’s home in England on September 4, 1982, George reveals some memorable experiences he has had chanting Hare Krishna and describes in detail his deep personal realizations about the chanting. He reveals what factors led him to produce “The Hare Krishna Mantra” record, “My Sweet Lord,” and the LPs All Things Must Pass and Living in the Material World, which were all influenced to a great extent by the Hare Krishna chanting and philosophy. He speaks lovingly and openly about his association with His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder-Acarya (spiritual master) of the Hare Krishna movement. In the following interview George speaks frankly about his personal philosophy regarding the Hare Krishna movement, music, yoga, reincarnation, karma, the soul, God, and Christianity. The conversation concludes with his fond remembrances of a visit to the birthplace of Lord Krishna in Vrndavana, India, home of the Hare Krishna mantra, and with George discussing some of his celebrity friends’ involvement with the mantra now heard and chanted around the world.

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The Passing Away of Bhismadeva

click on image to enlarge

…The dealings of Lord Kṛṣṇa and Bhīṣmadeva on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra are interesting because the activities of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa appeared to be partial to Arjuna and at enmity with Bhīṣmadeva; but factually all this was especially meant to show special favor to Bhīṣmadeva, a great devotee of the Lord. The astounding feature of such dealings is that a devotee can please the Lord by playing the part of an enemy.

Srimad Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
First Canto, Chapter 9, Text 38

The Passing Away of Bhismadeva

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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

Chanting Hare Krishna

visnujhana swami

It seems there is world wide fear over the outbreak of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, such as myself , and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness. But I refuse to live in fear, although we have accepted a self imposed quarantine, I have gone about my business working alone in my woodworking shop, and chanting the holy name. Hare Krishna! -V

Living beings who are entangled in the complicated meshes of birth and death can be freed immediately by even unconsciously chanting the holy name of Kṛṣṇa, which is feared by fear personified. (SB 1.1.14)

… It is stated herein that the name of Kṛṣṇa is feared even by fear personified. This indicates that the name of Kṛṣṇa is nondifferent from Kṛṣṇa. Therefore, the name of Kṛṣṇa is as powerful as Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself. There is no difference at all. Anyone, therefore, can take advantage of the holy names of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa even in the midst of greatest dangers. The transcendental name of Kṛṣṇa, even though uttered unconsciously or by force of circumstances, can help one obtain freedom from the hurdle of birth and death. (from purport)

Full tent and purport More

Glories of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is

086_-_BTG_Year-1973_Volume-01_Number-57_Page_01

1973 Back to Godhead cover

This morning I was reading from the Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 1, Chapter 15, Text 27, wherein Srila Prabhupada was describing the glories and importance of the the Bhagavad-gita As It Is. The following is some excerpts from this amazing purport, followed by full text and purport. I found this one purport to be a very nice synopsis of the entire Bhagavad-gita As It Is.

…The Lord left behind Him the instructions of the Bhagavad-gītā not for the benefit of Arjuna alone, but also for all time and in all lands. The Bhagavad-gītā, being spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the essence of all Vedic wisdom. It is nicely presented by the Lord Himself for all who have very little time to go through the vast Vedic literatures like the Upaniṣads, Purāṇas and Vedānta-sūtras.

…the Bhagavad-gītā can be consulted in all critical times, not only for solace from all kinds of mental agonies, but also for the way out of great entanglements which may embarrass one in some critical hour.

…The merciful Lord left behind Him the great teachings of the Bhagavad-gītā so that one can take the instructions of the Lord even when He is not visible to material eyesight.

…There is no difference between the sound representation of the Lord and the Lord Himself. One can derive the same benefit from the Bhagavad-gītā as Arjuna did in the personal presence of the Lord.

…The Bhagavad-gītā begins with the problems of life by discriminating the soul from the elements of matter and proves by all reason and argument that the soul is indestructible in all circumstances and that the outer covering of matter, the body and the mind, change for another term of material existence which is full of miseries. The Bhagavad-gītā is therefore meant for terminating all different types of miseries, and Arjuna took shelter of this great knowledge, which had been imparted to him during the Kurukṣetra battle. (from Purport to SB 1.15.27)

Full verse and purport More

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)

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Kartik: Month of Prayer and Giving


Kartik: Month of Prayer and Giving

Kartik, or the month of Damodar, is considered the best of months and is most auspicious for spiritual advancement. In the Skanda Purana it is stated:

“As Satya-yuga is the best of yugas, as the Vedas are the best of scriptures, as Ganga is the best of rivers, so Kartik is the best of months, the most dear to Lord Sri Krishna.”.

Also in the Skanda Purana it is stated:

“A person who offers a ghee lamp to Lord Krishna during Kartik burns away a collection of sins as big as Mt. Meru or Mt. Mandara, will not take birth again in this world and attains to the eternal spiritual realm where there is no suffering. Even if there are no mantras, no piety, and no purity, everything becomes perfect by such an offering.”

The Padma Purana describes the month of Kartik as Krishna’s favorite month. Devotional activities performed during this holy month are rewarded with greater spiritual results than usual so devotees often take vows to increase their spiritual practices or to simplify their material needs for the entire month. It is a way that they can remember Krishna more and increase their service to Him.

Month of Damodara (Kartika)

mother-yasoda-krishna

” Upon seeing His mothers whipping stick, He cried and rubbed His eyes again and again with His two lotus hands. His eyes were fearful and His breathing quick, and as Mother Yasoda bound His belly with ropes, He shivered in fright and His pearl necklace shook. To this Supreme Lord, Sri Damodara, who is bound with His devotee’s love, I offer my humble obeisances.” (Damodarastakam)

We are now in the month of Damodara (Kartika). In honor and in celebration of the month of Damodara, we will be focusing our attention on the pastimes of Krishna in Vrndavan. Especially Krishna’s childhood pastimes. The following song is sung morning and evening and it is customary to offer a candle or gee lamp as well to a picture of Lord Krsna and Mother Yasoda.

Following song lyrics is a link of Vishnujana Swami chanting the Damodara Prayers

Full song
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Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, Is the Attraction for the All-Attractive / Hlādinī—Pleasure Potency

Radha Vrindavan Candra

This morning there was this nagging voice that kept saying “read Adi-lila chapter 4, of the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta” I haven’t read from the Caitanya-caritamrta for a while because I was re-reading the Bhagavad-gita and Krsna Book and because it is summer, I am busy with work… But I responded to the nagging voice…and pulled Vol. 1 from the shelf. As I read I became more and more enlivened and the words jumped out at me…. Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, who is the attraction for the all-attractive. What is attracting the All Attractive? Srimati Radharani!

And the other thing that jumped out at me was the word hlādinī. Here is another word for your vaishnava vocabulary. So today is a two part post from the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, describing the hladini energy, and the attractiveness of Srimati Radharani.

Lord Kṛṣṇa enchants the world, but Śrī Rādhā enchants even Him. Therefore She is the supreme goddess of all. (Adi 4.95)

Śrī Rādhā is the full power, and Lord Kṛṣṇa is the possessor of full power. The two are not different, as evidenced by the revealed scriptures. (Adi 4.96)

Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is as fully spiritual as Kṛṣṇa. No one should consider Her to be material. She is definitely not like the conditioned souls, who have material bodies, gross and subtle, covered by material senses. She is all-spiritual, and both Her body and mind are of the same spiritual embodiment. Because Her body is spiritual, Her senses are also spiritual. Thus Her body, mind and senses fully shine in love of Kṛṣṇa. She is the personified hlādinī-śakti (the pleasure-giving energy of the Lord’s internal potency), and therefore She is the only source of enjoyment for Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

Śrī Kṛṣṇa cannot enjoy anything that is internally different from Him. Therefore Rādhā and Śrī Kṛṣṇa are identical. The sandhinī portion of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s internal potency has manifested the all-attractive form of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and the same internal potency, in the hlādinī feature, has presented Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, who is the attraction for the all-attractive. No one can match Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī in the transcendental pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. (from purport Adi 4.71)

…All the desires of Lord Kṛṣṇa rest in Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. (from purport)

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Janmāṣṭamī; Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s Appearance Day Lecture

srila-prabhupada-2-2

Today, being Janmastami, we thought we should include a lecture given by Srila Prabhupada on Janmastami. The following lecture given on August 16, 1968, in Montreal Canada, is very sweet and reminiscent of how this society grew in a very personal and organic way. With Srila Prabhupada inviting his students and guests to speak on their realizations of Krsna, and Krsna Consciousness.

…So today is that auspicious day, Janmāṣṭamī, when Lord Kṛṣṇa appeared five thousand years ago in India, Mathurā. Those who are Indian ladies and gentlemen present, they know very well where is Mathurā. It is about ninety miles south of New Delhi. Mathurā is still existing and it is eternally existing. Kṛṣṇa appeared in Mathurā in His maternal uncle’s house in a very precarious condition. That birthplace, Lord Kṛṣṇa’s birthplace, is now maintained very nicely. One who goes to India, they see.

So anyway, Lord Kṛṣṇa appeared on this planet five thousand years ago. Now Kṛṣṇa says, janma karma me divyam [Bg. 4.9]. Divyam means “not ordinary.” It should not be understood just like we take our birth. Kṛṣṇa does not take his birth like us.

…So we shall invite today to speak about Kṛṣṇa from our students, as well as all the members who are present here. So I shall request Janārdana to speak something about his realization of Kṛṣṇa. (pause) All right. Let him speak.

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Spiritual Master Is with You by His Words

Spiritual Master Is with You by His Words

Devotee: Sometimes this question comes up, with the devotees especially, that it says the devotee makes advancement when the spiritual master is pleased. Right? So sometimes the spiritual master is far, far away. He may be in Los Angeles. Somebody is coming to Hamburg temple. He thinks, “How will the spiritual master be pleased?”

Prabhupada: Just follow his order. Spiritual master is along with you by his words. Just like my spiritual master is not physically present, but I am associating with him by his words.

Devotee: And Krishna knows that; therefore we make advancement. He is sitting in our heart. He knows what we’re doing. So He sees, “He’s serving My pure devotee,” immediately there is advancement.

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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

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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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