Kṛṣṇa-kathā

Sukadeva Goswami and Parikshit

…The position of Mahārāja Parīkṣit and Śukadeva Gosvāmī is unique. Mahārāja Parīkṣit is the right person to hear about the transcendental pastimes of Kṛṣṇa, and Śukadeva Gosvāmī is the right person to describe them. If such a fortunate combination is made possible, then Kṛṣṇa-kathā immediately becomes revealed, and people may benefit to the highest possible degree from such a conversation.

This narration was presented by Śukadeva Gosvāmī when Mahārāja Parīkṣit was prepared to give up his body, fasting on the bank of the Ganges. In order to assure Śukadeva Gosvāmī that by hearing Kṛṣṇa-kathā he would not feel tired, Mahārāja Parīkṣit expressed himself very frankly: “Hunger and thirst may give trouble to ordinary persons or to me, but the topics of Kṛṣṇa are so nice that one can continue to hear about them without feeling tired because such hearing situates one in the transcendental position.” It is understood that one must be very fortunate to hear about Kṛṣṇa-kathā seriously, like Mahārāja Parīkṣit. He was especially intent on the subject matter because he was expecting death at any moment. Every one of us should be conscious of death at every moment. This life is not at all assured; at any time one can die. It does not matter whether one is a young man or an old man. So before death takes place, we must be fully Kṛṣṇa conscious.

At the point of his death, King Parīkṣit was hearing Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam from Śukadeva Gosvāmī. When King Parīkṣit expressed his untiring desire to hear about Kṛṣṇa, Śukadeva Gosvāmī was very pleased. Śukadeva was the greatest of all Bhāgavata reciters, and thus he began to speak about Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes, which destroy all inauspiciousness in this age of Kali. Śukadeva Gosvāmī thanked the King for his eagerness to hear about Kṛṣṇa, and he encouraged him by saying, “My dear King, your intelligence is very keen because you are so eager to hear about the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa.” He informed Mahārāja Parīkṣit that hearing and chanting of the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa are so auspicious that the processes purifies the three varieties of men involved: he who recites the transcendental topics of Kṛṣṇa, he who hears such topics, and he who inquires about Him. These pastimes are just like the Ganges water which flows from the toe of Lord Viṣṇu: they purify the three worlds, the upper, middle and lower planetary systems.

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The Essence of All Topics — The Topics of the Lord

Vidura and Maitreya

I have been reading, with rapt attention, from Volume One, of the Third Canto, of Srimad Bhagavatam, by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, each morning. As I was reading this morning the words “…all-inclusive welfare service for the entire human society”, just kinda jumped out at me, as did the words “…greatest welfare service for the world”. I am reminded of the importance of hearing Srimad Bhagavatam every day, and of our good fortune to be able to partake in this transcendental conversation (kṛṣṇa-kathā). There are many topics for different persons in different modes of material nature, but the essential topics are those in relationship with the Supreme Lord.

Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: Vidura, the best amongst the Kuru dynasty, who was perfect in devotional service to the Lord, thus reached the source of the celestial Ganges River [Hardwar], where Maitreya, the great, fathomless learned sage of the world, was seated. Vidura, who was perfect in gentleness and satisfied in transcendence, inquired from him. (SB 3.5.1)

The great sage Maitreya Muni is described here as bhagavān because he surpassed all ordinary human beings in learning and experience. Thus his selection of the greatest welfare service for the world is considered authoritative. The all-inclusive welfare service for the entire human society is devotional service to the Lord, and, as requested by Vidura, the sage described the same very appropriately. (purport 3.5.17)

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam: Canto 3: “The Status Quo”
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Canto Three, Chapter Five, Text 1-17

Vidura’s Talks with Maitreya

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Pasughna – Killer of Animals, Killer of the Soul

Cow Protection for the Benefit of Civilization

Cow Protection for the Benefit of Civilization

Here is another word for your vaisnava vocabulary; pasughna. I was reading this morning from the Introduction to the Krsna Book and this word [paśughna] just kinda jumped out at me. The meaning is: killing animals or killing oneself. I found this interesting, that killing animals was the same as killing oneself. I did a serch on Vani Quotes of this word and the following post is the results of that search.

…This book, Kṛṣṇa, which is filled with kṛṣṇa-kathā, will thus appeal equally to the liberated souls and to persons who are trying to be liberated, as well as to the gross, conditioned materialist. According to the statement of Mahārāja Parīkṣit, who heard about Kṛṣṇa from Śukadeva Gosvāmī, kṛṣṇa-kathā is equally applicable to every human being, whatever condition of life he is in. Surely everyone will appreciate it to the highest magnitude. But Mahārāja Parīkṣit also warned that persons who are simply engaged in killing animals and in killing themselves may not be very much attracted to kṛṣṇa-kathā. In other words, ordinary persons who are following the regulative moral principles of scriptures, no matter in what condition they are found, will certainly be attracted, but not persons who are killing themselves. The exact word used in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is paśughna, which means killing animals or killing oneself. Persons who are not self-realized and who are not interested in spiritual realization are killing themselves; they are committing suicide. Because this human form of life is especially meant for self-realization, by neglecting this important part of his activities one simply wastes his time like the animals. So he is paśughna. The other meaning of the word refers to those who are actually killing animals. This means persons who are animal-eaters (even dog-eaters), for they are all engaged in killing animals in so many ways, such as hunting and opening slaughterhouses. Such persons cannot be interested in kṛṣṇa-kathā. (Krsna Book Introduction)

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Delivery of the Message of Kṛṣṇa to the Gopīs

Uddhava, Radharani and the gopis

I like this image very much and found the text to go with it. It is from the 46th chapter of Krsna The Supreme Personality of Godhead. We have posted the entire chapter for anyone who has the time or inclination to read it. Enjoy!

…When the gopīs understood that Uddhava had a message from Kṛṣṇa, they became very happy and called him to a secluded place to sit down. They wanted to talk with him very freely and did not want to be embarrassed before unknown persons. They began to welcome him with polite words, in great submissiveness.

…Uddhava understood that the gopīs of Vṛndāvana were all simply absorbed in the thought of Kṛṣṇa and His childhood activities. While talking about Kṛṣṇa with Uddhava, they forgot all about their household business. They even forgot about themselves as their interest in Kṛṣṇa increased more and more.

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Lunch with the Lord

Krsna & the cowheard boys taking Prasadam

Today, being Monday, and the start of another workday week, I wanted to focus my mind, not on all the work ahead, but rather, on some Krishna Nectar from Srila Prabhupada’s Srimad Bhagavatam. We share with you a few of Srila Prabhupada’s divine ecstasies. As we mentioned is a previous post, there are two kṛṣṇa-kathās; narrations spoken by Kṛṣṇa, and narrations spoken about Kṛṣṇa. Please note text 5 & 6 which is spoken by Krsna.

…devotees who have accepted the essence of life, are attached to Kṛṣṇa in the core of their hearts, and He is the aim of their lives. It is their nature to talk only of Kṛṣṇa at every moment, as if such topics were newer and newer.

Like the whorl of a lotus flower surrounded by its petals and leaves, Kṛṣṇa sat in the center, encircled by lines of His friends, who all looked very beautiful. Every one of them was trying to look forward toward Kṛṣṇa, thinking that Kṛṣṇa might look toward him. In this way they all enjoyed their lunch in the forest.

Among the cowherd boys, some placed their lunch on flowers, some on leaves, fruits, or bunches of leaves, some actually in their baskets, some on the bark of trees and some on rocks. This is what the children imagined to be their plates as they ate their lunch.

Srimad Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Canto 10, Chapter 13, Text 1-12

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Kṛṣṇa-kathā, Part 2

Srimad Bhagavatam

The position of Mahārāja Parīkṣit and Śukadeva Gosvāmī is unique. Mahārāja Parīkṣit is the right person to hear about the transcendental pastimes of Kṛṣṇa, and Śukadeva Gosvāmī is the right person to describe them. If such a fortunate combination is made possible, then Kṛṣṇa-kathā immediately becomes revealed, and people may benefit to the highest possible degree from such a conversation.

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Kṛṣṇa-kathā

Krsna and Radharani

Here is a another word for your vaisnava vocabulary; Kṛṣṇa-kathā. The following is from the Introduction to the Krsna Book and how narrations describing the transcendental activities of the Lord are relished by liberated souls. But whether one is liberated or is trying to be liberated, or is even grossly materialistic, the pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa are worth studying. The more people know about Kṛṣṇa, the more they will be perfectly benefited in this human form of life.

…Kṛṣṇa-kathā means narrations about Kṛṣṇa. There are two kṛṣṇa-kathās: narrations spoken by Kṛṣṇa and narrations spoken about Kṛṣṇa. Bhagavad-gītā is the narration or the philosophy or the science of God, spoken by Kṛṣṇa Himself. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the narration about the activities and transcendental pastimes of Kṛṣṇa. Both are Kṛṣṇa-kathā. It is the order of Lord Caitanya that Kṛṣṇa-kathā should be spread all over the world, because if the conditioned souls, suffering under the pangs of material existence, take to Kṛṣṇa-kathā, then their path of liberation will be open and clear. The purpose of presenting this book is primarily to induce people to understand Kṛṣṇa or Kṛṣṇa-kathā, because thereby they can become freed from material bondage. (from introduction to “Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead”)

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Kṛṣṇa-kathā

Srila Prabhupada preaching to disciples

click on image to enlarge

…When discourses on kṛṣṇa-kathā take place between a liberated spiritual master and his disciple, others also sometimes take advantage of hearing these topics and also benefit. These topics are the medicine to stop the repetition of birth and death. The cycle of repeated birth and death, by which one takes on different bodies again and again, is called bhava or bhava-roga. If anyone, willingly or unwillingly, hears kṛṣṇa-kathā, his bhava-roga, the disease of birth and death, will certainly stop. Therefore kṛṣṇa-kathā is called bhavauṣadha, the remedy to stop the repetition of birth and death.

In India it is the practice among the general populace to hear about Kṛṣṇa, either from Bhagavad-gītā or from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, in order to gain relief from the disease of repeated birth and death. Although India is now fallen, when there is a message that someone will speak about Bhagavad-gītā or Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, thousands of people still gather to hear. The following verse indicates, however, that such recitation of Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam must be done by persons completely freed from material desires (nivṛtta-tarṣaiḥ).

If we hear the glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead from liberated persons, this hearing will certainly free us from the bondage of material activities, but hearing Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam spoken by a professional reciter cannot actually help us achieve liberation. Kṛṣṇa-kathā is very simple. In Bhagavad-gītā it is said that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As He Himself explains, mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat kiñcid asti dhanañjaya: “O Arjuna, there is no truth superior to Me.” Simply by understanding this fact—that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead—one can become a liberated person. (Purport SB 10.1.4)

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