The Butter Thief; Makhan Chor

Makhan-chor The Butter Thief

 

We will be posting some of Lord Krishna’s childhood pastimes durning this month of Damodara (Kartika)

All the gopī friends of Yaśodā and Rohiṇī enjoyed the naughty childish activities of Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma in Vṛndāvana. In order to enjoy further transcendental bliss, they all assembled and went to mother Yaśodā to lodge complaints against the restless boys. When Kṛṣṇa was sitting before mother Yaśodā, all the elderly gopīs began to lodge complaints against Him so that Kṛṣṇa could hear. They said, “Dear Yaśodā, why don’t you restrict your naughty Kṛṣṇa? He comes to our houses along with Balarāma every morning and evening, and before the milking of the cows They let loose the calves, and the calves drink all the milk of the cows. So when we go to milk the cows, we find no milk, and we have to return with empty pots. If we warn Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma about doing this, They simply smile charmingly. We cannot do anything. Also, your Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma find great pleasure in stealing our stock of yogurt and butter from wherever we keep it. When Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma are caught stealing the yogurt and butter, They say, ’Why do you charge Us with stealing? Do you think that butter and yogurt are in scarcity in Our house?’ Sometimes They steal butter, yogurt and milk and distribute them to the monkeys. When the monkeys are well fed and do not take any more, then your boys chide, ’This milk and butter and yogurt are useless–even the monkeys won’t take it.’ And They break the pots and throw them hither and thither. If we keep our stock of yogurt, butter and milk in a solitary dark place, your Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma find it in the darkness by the glaring effulgence of the ornaments and jewels on Their bodies. If by chance They cannot find the hidden butter and yogurt, They go to our little babies and pinch their bodies so that they cry, and then They go away. If we keep our stock of butter and yogurt high on the ceiling, hanging on a swing, although it is beyond Their reach, They arrange to reach it by piling all kinds of wooden crates over the grinding machine. And if They cannot reach, They make a hole in the pot. We think therefore that you better take all the jeweled ornaments from the bodies of your children.”

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The Rare Occasion of a Full Solar Eclipse

 

Today all of North America will be treated to an eclipse of the sun.  I wanted to get some reference from Srila Prabhupada’s books on some historical events that took place during the rare occasion of a full solar eclipse.  One such event took place some 5,000 years ago when Lord Krsna and Balarama meet with the inhabitiants of Vrndabana.

Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

Chapter Eighty-two

Lord Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma Meet the Inhabitants of Vṛndāvana

Once upon a time while Lord Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma were living peacefully in Their great city of Dvārakā, there was the rare occasion of a full solar eclipse, such as takes place at the end of every kalpa, or day of Brahmā. At the end of every kalpa the sun is covered by a great cloud, and incessant rain covers the lower planetary systems up to Svargaloka. By astronomical calculation, people were informed about this great eclipse prior to its taking place, and therefore everyone, both men and women, decided to assemble at the holy place in Kurukṣetra known as Samanta-pañcaka.

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Letter by Srila Prabhupada to George Harrision

 george-harrison-and-srila-prabhupada

 

February 16, 1970

My Dear George,

Please accept my blessings. I am so much obliged to you for your valued cooperation in spreading my movement of Krishna Consciousness throughout the whole world. I beg to acknowledge receipt herewith of your contribution of $19,000 (nineteen thousand dollars) for publication of my book, Krishna, now going to the press within the week.

Please note that every farthing of this money will be employed in the service of the Lord, and the Lord is so kind and grateful that He will bestow upon you benediction at least ten times more than that you have done for Him. It does not, however, mean that Lord Krishna is like a business man, and He bestows benediction when He is profited by our service. The Lord is full in Himself; He does not require our service, but if we render service unto Him in love and devotion, such action enriches our very existence.

 

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Prabhupada Blesses George Harrison

This is another fine compilation of quotes, in chronological order,  put together by Prabhupada Connection, this time Srila Prabhupada blessing and praising George Harrison.
“When Bhaktivedanta Manor was donated, Srila Prabhupada said of George, ‘Because he has given shelter to Krishna by providing this temple, Krishna will surely provide shelter for him.’ Just before Srila Prabhupada left this world in 1977, he removed the ring on his right hand and said to the disciples around him, ‘This is for George, give it to him.'”

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Description of Autumn

autumn

Today is the first day of Autumn. As is my custom, I like to read chapter 20 of the KRSNA Book, entitled “Description of Autumn”. Srila Prabhupada gives a very beautiful description of the Autumn season.

…Everything becomes naturally beautiful with the appearance of the autumn season. Similarly, when a materialistic person takes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness and spiritual life, he also becomes as clear as the sky and water in autumn. The autumn season takes away the rolling of dark clouds in the sky as well as the polluted water.

…Soon all the water reservoirs became very clean and pleasing, and refreshing air was blowing everywhere because of the appearance of autumn. The sky was completely cleared of all clouds, and it recovered its natural blue color. The blooming lotus flower in the clear water in the forest appeared like a person who has fallen down from yoga practice but again has become beautiful by resuming his spiritual life.

…Because of the appearance of the autumn season, the water of the ocean becomes calm and quiet, just as a person developed in self-realization is no longer disturbed by the three modes of material nature.

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KRSNA Book Vol. 1

Krsna Book Vol. 1

Today, being Krsna Janmastami, we are offering a free scanned copy of the original ISKCON Press 1970 Edition of KRSNA Book Vol. 1, which you can download. Just click on the following link to began downloading. This could take a while depending on the speed of your connection. This free scanned copy includes all the original art work as well.

KRSNA_Book_Vol.1_1970_ISKCON_Press_edition_SCAN

Krsna Book

Letter to Visnujana

Srila Prabhupada and Visnujhana

…I have got confidence in you because Krishna has given you special talent for chanting Hare Krishna Mantra. When you were chanting in L.A. temple in the evenings, or in the mornings, I enjoyed your chanting so nicely that I thought myself immediately carried to Vaikuntha. So I am always thankful to you for your activities in announcing the interest of our mission. Thank you very much. Most probably when I return to L.A. I may call you back just to hear your chanting of Hare Krishna Mantra.

…So take advantage and enchant those who are coming by your chanting of Hare Krishna Mantra. You will be victorious. And try to introduce our books there and it will be a great missionary success. One Krishna book sold means we go forward one step in our Krishna Consciousness. We should always remember this. (Letter to Visnujana Swami April 4, 1971)

This morning as I was reading some letters by Srila Prabhupada, this letter to Visnujana Swami really touched my heart. “My Dear Son, Visnujana Maharaja, Please accept my blessings.” Srila Prabhupada was so sweet in his dealings with his disciples, particularly those who took the mission seriously.

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Krishna and the Cowheard Boys

19-Sometimes-the-cowherd-boys-would-imitate-the-sounds-of-various-animals-and-birds-p77-1

All the boys would be differently engaged. Some boys blew their flutes, and others blew bugles made of horn. Some imitated the buzzing of the bumblebees, and others imitated the voice of the cuckoo. Some boys imitated flying birds by running after the birds’ shadows on the ground, some imitated the beautiful movements and attractive postures of the swans, some sat down with the ducks, sitting silently, and others imitated the dancing of the peacocks. Some boys attracted young monkeys in the trees, some jumped into the trees, imitating the monkeys, some made faces as the monkeys were accustomed to do, and others jumped from one branch to another. Some boys went to the waterfalls and crossed over the river, jumping with the frogs, and when they saw their own reflections on the water they would laugh. They would also condemn the sounds of their own echoes. In this way, all the cowherd boys used to play with Kṛṣṇa, who is the source of the Brahman effulgence for jñānīs desiring to merge into that effulgence, who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead for devotees who have accepted eternal servitorship, and who for ordinary persons is but another ordinary child. The cowherd boys, having accumulated the results of pious activities for many lives, were able to associate in this way with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. How can one explain their great fortune? (SB 10.12.7-11)

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The Gopīs’ Feelings of Separation

Gopis

Kṛṣṇa, The Supreme Personality of Godhead
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Vol. 1, Chapter 34

The Gopīs’ Feelings of Separation

The gopīs of Vṛndāvana were so attached to Kṛṣṇa that they were not satisfied simply with the rāsa dance at night. They wanted to associate with Him and enjoy His company during the daytime also. When Kṛṣṇa went to the forest with His cowherd boy friends and cows, the gopīs did not physically take part, but their hearts went with Him. And because their hearts went, they were able to enjoy His company through strong feelings of separation. To acquire this strong feeling of separation is the teaching of Lord Caitanya and His direct disciplic succession of Gosvāmīs. When we are not in physical contact with Kṛṣṇa, we can associate with Him like the gopīs, through feelings of separation. Kṛṣṇa’s transcendental form, qualities, pastimes, and entourage are all identical with Him. There are nine different kinds of devotional service. Devotional service to Kṛṣṇa in feelings of separation elevates the devotee to the highest perfectional level, to the level of the gopīs.

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Wonderful Krsna

Krishna Balarama and friends and cows

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KRSNA, The Supreme Personality
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Volume 1, Chapter 26

Wonderful Krsna

Without understanding the intricacies of Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and without knowing His uncommon spiritual opulences, the innocent cowherd boys and men of Vṛndāvana began to discuss the wonderful activities of Kṛṣṇa which surpass the activities of all men.

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Conversations with George Harrison

George-Harrison-and-Srila-Prabhupada

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Conversations with George Harrison
London, England – July 26, 1976

Srila Prabhupada: “Are you reading sometimes my books? Which one?”

George Harrison: “Mainly Krsna.”

Srila Prabhupada: “That is the main book.” [laughs)

George Harrison: “Mukunda gave me the new books, but there’s so much to read.”

Srila Prabhupada: “Philosophy.”

George Harrison: “I don’t know how anybody could have written it, it’s is difficult to read all that amount”

Srila Prabhupada: “Sometimes, they are surprised how one man can write so many books, but it is Krsna’ s grace. Otherwise, not possible. Human being, it is not possible.”

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Worshiping Govardhana Hill

Lifting Govardhana Hill

Today in honor of Govardhana-puja, we are posting the entire chapter from Krsna Book, entitled “Worshiping Govardhana Hill”

…The sacrifice known as Govardhana-pūjā is observed in the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Lord Caitanya has recommended that since Kṛṣṇa is worshipable, so His land, Vṛndāvana and Govardhana Hill, are also worshipable. To confirm this statement, Lord Kṛṣṇa said that Govardhana Pūjā is as good as worship of Him. From that day, the Govardhana Pūjā has been still going on and is known as Annakūṭa. In all the temples of Vṛndāvana or outside of Vṛndāvana, huge quantities of food are prepared in this ceremony and are very sumptuously distributed to the general population. Sometimes the food is thrown to the crowds, and they enjoy collecting it off the ground. From these instances, we can understand that prasādam offered to Kṛṣṇa never becomes polluted or contaminated, even if it is thrown on the ground. The people, therefore, collect it and eat with great satisfaction.

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Subduing Kaliya

Krsna dancing on head of Kali serpent

 

“O Lord, although You are able to give all kinds of benedictions, I do not pray to You for liberation, nor eternal life in Vaikuntha, nor any other boon. My only prayer is that Your childhood pastimes may constantly appear in my mind. O Lord, I do not even want to know Your feature of Paramatma. I simply wish that Your childhood pastimes may ever be enacted in my heart.” (Damodarasatka prayers)

 

Continuining our month long attempt to stay focused on the childhood pastimes of Krsna, during this month of Damodara (Kartika), we bring you another exciting chapter from; Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.  Today we are posting the chapter entitled  “Subduing Kāliya”

 

Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

Chapter Sixteen

Subduing Kāliya

When He understood that the water of the Yamunā was being polluted by the black serpent Kāliya, Lord Kṛṣṇa took action against him and made him leave the Yamunā and go elsewhere, and thus the water became purified.

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Krishna’s Childhood Pastimes

B.G. Sharma1

So…continuining our month long attempt to stay focused on the childhood pastimes of Krsna, during this month of Damodara (Kartika), we bring you another exciting chapter from; Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Today we are posting the chapter entitled “Killing the Demons Vatsāsura and Bakāsura”.

…All the cowherd boys would daily go to the bank of the river Yamunā to water their calves. Usually, when the calves drank water from the Yamunā, the boys also drank. One day, after drinking, when they were sitting on the bank of the river, they saw a huge animal which looked something like a duck and was as big as a hill. Its top was as strong as a thunderbolt. When they saw that unusual animal, they became afraid of it. The name of this beast was Bakāsura, and he was a friend of Kaṁsa’s. He appeared on the scene suddenly and immediately attacked Kṛṣṇa with his pointed, sharp beaks and quickly swallowed Him up. When Kṛṣṇa was thus swallowed, all the boys, headed by Balarāma, became almost breathless, as if they had died. But when the Bakāsura demon was swallowing up Kṛṣṇa, he felt a burning fiery sensation in his throat. This was due to the glowing effulgence of Kṛṣṇa. The demon quickly threw Kṛṣṇa up and tried to kill Him by pinching Him in his beaks. Bakāsura did not know that although Kṛṣṇa was playing the part of a child of Nanda Mahārāja, He was still the original father of Lord Brahmā, the creator of the universe. The child of mother Yaśodā, who is the reservoir of pleasure for the demigods and who is the maintainer of saintly persons, caught hold of the beaks of the great gigantic duck and, before His cowherd boy friends, bifurcated his mouth, just as a child very easily splits a blade of grass. From the sky, the denizens of the heavenly planets showered flowers like the cāmeli, the most fragrant of all flowers, as a token of their congratulations. Accompanying the showers of flowers was a vibration of bugles, drums and conchshells.

This description of Krishna killing the demon Bakasura by bifurcating his mouth, has always intriged me, and after years of hearing and reading this story I finially decided to look up the word bifurcate.

bi·fur·cate
verb
past tense: bifurcated; past participle: bifurcated
ˈbīfərˌkāt/
divide into two branches or forks.
“just below Cairo the river bifurcates”
(from Merriam Webster dictionary)

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The Killing of the Aghasura Demon

Aghasura Demon

click on image to enlarge

This story of the Killing of the Aghasura Demon, has always been one of my all time favorite stories in the Krsna Book. It is a good example of faith and trust.

….Only after accumulating heaps of pious activities were those boys promoted to personally associate with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Who can estimate the transcendental fortune of the residents of Vṛndāvana? They were personally seeing the Supreme Personality of Godhead face to face, He whom many yogīs cannot find even after undergoing severe austerities, although He is sitting within their hearts.

… “Dear friends, this figure appears to be a great animal, and he is sitting in such a posture just to swallow us all. Just see—is it not a big snake that has widened his mouth to eat all of us?”

Then they further consulted among themselves:

“If we all at one time entered into the mouth of this great serpent, how could it possibly swallow all of us? And even if it were to swallow all of us at once, it could not swallow Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa will immediately kill him” (excerpted from chapter 12 “The Killing of the Aghāsura Demon”)

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The Birth of Lord Krishna

The Birth of Lord Krishna Janmastami

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With the advent of Lord Krsna’s birthday celebration (Janmastami) rapidly approaching, it seemed fitting that we do a post on the birth of Lord Krsna. So the following is the entire third chapter from the Krsna Book entitled “The Birth of Lord Kṛṣṇa”.

…As stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, the Lord says that His appearance, birth, and activities, are all transcendental, and one who understands them factually becomes immediately eligible to be transferred to the spiritual world. The Lord’s appearance or birth is not like that of an ordinary man who is forced to accept a material body according to his past deeds. The Lord’s appearance is explained in the Second Chapter: He appears out of His own sweet pleasure. When the time was mature for the appearance of the Lord, the constellations became very auspicious. The astrological influence of the star known as Rohiṇī was also predominant because this star is considered to be very auspicious. Rohiṇī is under the direct supervision of Brahmā. According to the astrological conclusion, besides the proper situation of the stars, there are auspicious and inauspicious moments due to the different situations of the different planetary systems. At the time of Kṛṣṇa’s birth, the planetary systems were automatically adjusted so that everything became auspicious. ( from Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Chapter 3)

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Nityanavanavāyamāna or Transcendental Subject Matter

Krsna and the cowherd boys

I am so much enjoying my reading of the Krsna Book every morning. Although I have read and re-read it so many times before, it is more relishable with each new reading.

It is said that it is the nature of a devotee to constantly apply his mind, energy, words, ears, etc., in hearing and chanting about Kṛṣṇa. This is called Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and for one who is rapt in hearing and chanting Kṛṣṇa, the subject matter never becomes hackneyed or old. That is the significance of transcendental subject matter in contrast to material subject matter. Material subject matter becomes stale, and one cannot hear a certain subject for a long time; he wants change. But as far as transcendental subject matter is concerned, it is called nityanavanavāyamāna. This means that one can go on chanting and hearing about the Lord and never feel tired but will remain fresh and eager to hear more and more.

It is the duty of the spiritual master to disclose all confidential subject matter to the inquisitive and sincere disciple.

And thus in the Krsna Book, Srila Prabhupada reveals the activities of the Supreme Person Krsna as is evident from the following excerpt:

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The Killing of the Aghāsura Demon

Aghasura Demon

click on image to enlarge

This is one of my favorite stories from the Krsna Book. I always enjoyed how fearless the cowherd boys were. They were free of any fear. This is the benefit of Krsna Consciousness; “Any material arrangement for protecting oneself from death is always unsure, but if one is in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then immortality is confidently assured.”

…Aghāsura, thus deciding to kill all the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana, expanded himself by the yogic siddhi called mahimā. The demons are generally expert in achieving almost all kinds of mystic powers. In the yoga system, by the perfection called mahimā-siddhi, one can expand himself as he desires. The demon Aghāsura expanded himself up to eight miles and assumed the shape of a very fat serpent. Having attained this wonderful body, he stretched his mouth open just like a mountain cave. Desiring to swallow all the boys at once, including Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, he sat on the path.

The demon in the shape of a big fat serpent expanded his lips from land to sky; his lower lip was touching the ground, and his upper lip was touching the clouds. His jaws appeared like a big mountain cave, without limitation, and his teeth appeared just like mountain summits. His tongue appeared to be a broad traffic way, and he was breathing just like a hurricane. His eyes were blazing like fire. At first the boys thought that the demon was a statue, but after examining it they saw that it was a big serpent lying down on the road and widening his mouth. The boys began to talk among themselves: “Dear friends, this figure appears to be a great animal, and he is sitting in such a posture just to swallow us all. Just see—is it not a big snake that has widened his mouth to eat all of us?”

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Hearing is an Opportunity to Associate with the Lord

Krsna and Balarama

Todays post revolves around the first three paragraphs in chapter 7 of the Krsna Book and the associated verses from the Bhagavad-gita.

…Hearing is an opportunity to associate with the Lord; to hear His activities is to evolve to the transcendental nature–simply by hearing.

If someone takes advantage of hearing the pastimes of the Lord, the material contamination of dust, accumulated in the heart due to long association with material nature, can be immediately cleansed. Lord Caitanya also instructed that simply by hearing the transcendental name of Lord Kṛṣṇa, one can cleanse the heart of all material contamination.

Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes are not only beautiful; they are also very pleasing to the mind. (Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Chapter Seven “Salvation of Tṛṇāvarta”)

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“God is Great”

KRSNA Book

click on image to enlarge

This morning my attention was drawn to the Krsna Book. The book was laying on my book stand unopened, but it was so attractive, that I just had to open it, and read the Preface again. Back in the early 70’s, this was the first book I received from a devotee at the Chicago O Hara Airport, and I remember when I first opened it, and began to read this Preface, I was immediately convinced that Krsna was God. Immediately! Such is the power of the words of the pure devotee; Srila Prabhupada.

In these Western countries, when someone sees the cover of a book like Kṛṣṇa, he immediately asks, “Who is Kṛṣṇa? Who is the girl with Kṛṣṇa?” etc.

The immediate answer is that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. How is that? Because He conforms in exact detail to descriptions of the Supreme Being, the Godhead. In other words, Kṛṣṇa is the Godhead because He is all-attractive. Outside the principle of all-attraction, there is no meaning to the word Godhead. How is it one can be all-attractive? First of all, if one is very wealthy, if he has great riches, he becomes attractive to the people in general. Similarly, if someone is very powerful, he also becomes attractive, and if someone is very famous, he also becomes attractive, and if someone is very beautiful or wise or unattached to all kinds of possessions, he also becomes attractive. So from practical experience we can observe that one is attractive due to 1) wealth, 2) power, 3) fame, 4) beauty, 5) wisdom, and 6) renunciation. One who is in possession of all six of these opulences at the same time, who possesses them to an unlimited degree, is understood to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (from Preface to “Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead”)
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