More Attractive than the Hymns of the Vedas

gopis

Yesterday, I took a few moments to sit in the sun with a good book. I grabbed a book at random…it was the first Canto, Vol. 3 of the Srimad Bhagavatam. I adjusted my reading glass’s on my face, opened the book at random…and began to read

Absorbed in the thought of the transcendental qualities of the Lord, who is glorified in select poetry, the ladies on the roofs of all the houses of Hastināpura began to talk of Him. This talk was more attractive than the hymns of the Vedas. (SB 1.10.20)

…The ladies, who were all absorbed in the thought and actions of the Lord, developed the consciousness of Vedic wisdom by the grace of the Lord. And therefore although such ladies might not have been very learned scholars in Sanskrit or otherwise, still whatever they spoke was more attractive than the Vedic hymns. (from purport to SB 1.10.20)

…The ladies talking about this Vedic truth must have heard it from authoritative sources. An authoritative source is the only means of knowing about transcendental subject matter definitely. There is no alternative. (from purport to SB 1.10.21)

I was only able to read these two translations and purports before the rains came and I had to flee inside the house…but so moved by these two verses, I have thought of nothing else since. An authoritative source is the only means of knowing about transcendental subject matter definitely. There is no alternative. All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Full text and purports More

Become Very Eager To See Krsna

 

lord-krishna-and-cow

 

…The idea is that one gopī is advising another gopī, “My dear friend, there is one boy. His name is Govinda. He is standing on the bank of Yamunā near the Keśi-ghāṭa, and He’s playing on His flute. And He’s so beautiful that especially during full moon night, please do not go there.” [laughter] Why? “Now, because if you have got intention to enjoy in this material world with your family members, wife, children, husband, please do not go there.” Smerān bhaṅgī-traya-paricitāṁ sāci-vistīrṇa-dṛṣṭim. Bhaṅgī-traya. “Kṛṣṇa always stands in three-curved way with His flute. That is Kṛṣṇa’s tri-bhaṅga-murāri.” Tri-bhaṅga. Three places, He is bent. (Lecture 1.2.12)

Lecture on the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
First Canto, Chapter 2, Text 12

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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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Lord Krishna Shows the Universal Form Within His Mouth

Krishna eating dirt

click on image to enlarge

One day while Krishna was playing with His small playmates, including Balarama and other sons of the gopas, all His friends came together and lodged a complaint to mother Yasoda. “Mother,” they submitted, “Krishna has eaten earth.” Upon hearing this from Krishnas’s playmates, mother Yasoda, who was always full of anxiety over Krishna’s welfare, picked Krishna up with her hands to look into His mouth and chastise Him. Her eyes fearful, she spoke to her son as follows. Dear Krishna, why are You so restless that You have eaten dirt in a solitary place? This complaint has been lodged against You by all Your playmates, including Your elder brother, Balarama. How is this? Lord Śrī Krishna replied: My dear mother, I have never eaten dirt. All My friends complaining against Me are liars. If you think they are being truthful, you can directly look into My mouth and examine it. Mother Yasoda challenged Krishna, “If You have not eaten earth, then open Your mouth wide.” When challenged by His mother in this way, Krishna, the son of Nanda Mahārāja and Yasoda, to exhibit pastimes like a human child, opened His mouth. Although the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, who is full of all opulences, did not disturb His mother’s parental affection, His opulence was automatically displayed, for Krishna’s opulence is never lost at any stage, but is manifest at the proper time. When Krishna opened His mouth wide by the order of mother Yasoda, she saw within His mouth all moving and non-moving entities, outer space, and all directions, along with mountains, islands, oceans, the surface of the earth, the blowing wind, fire, the moon and the stars. She saw the planetary systems, water, light, air, sky, and creation by transformation of ahaṅkāra. She also saw the senses, the mind, sense perception, and the three qualities goodness, passion and ignorance. She saw the time allotted for the living entities, she saw natural instinct and the reactions of karma, and she saw desires and different varieties of bodies, moving and nonmoving. Seeing all these aspects of the cosmic manifestation, along with herself and Vṛndāvana-dhāma, she became doubtful and fearful of her son’s nature. (SB 10.8.32-45)

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Bhagavad-gita As It Is Introduction

kumbha mela

“One may cleanse himself daily by taking a bath in water, but if one takes a bath even once in the sacred Ganges water of Bhagavad-gita,
for him the dirt of material life is altogether vanquished. One who drinks the water of the Ganges attains salvation, so what to speak of one who drinks the nectar of Bhagavad-gita? Bhagavad-gita is the essential nectar of the Mahabharata, and it is spoken by Lord Krishna Himself, the original Vishnu.”
– Introduction to Bhagavad-gita As It Is

Sometimes when I need a boost in my Krsna consciousness, I will re-read the very powerful Introduction to the Bhagavad-gita As It Is. For me this Introduction explaines the entire philosophy of the Gita in a very nice way that even a layman like myself can easily understand. Although our readers can find this complete Introduction on other sites such as Prabhupadagita, Causlessmercy, or Prabhupadabooks I have decided to post the entire Introduction again here this morning. There is a print icon at the bottom of post where one can print out this entire post it they are son inclined. Hare Krishna!

Full Introduction More

The Arrival of a Pure Devotee

090_-_BTG_Year-1974_Volume-01_Number-61_Page_17

click on images to enlarge

 

I have always enjoyed going back in time and re-reading the old Back to Godhead Magazines. This one was from 1974 and chronicles the arrival of Srila Prabhupada.

The Arrival of a Pure Devotee
by Visakha-devi dasi

New York: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, founder and spiritual master of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), stopped here for a few days recently as part of his continuing tour of ISKCON centers around the world. At JFK International Airport, as more than one hundred disciples royally greeted him and curious reporters thronged around him, Srila Prabhupada explained, in clear language and with fixed conviction, the Krsna conscious philosophy of a God-centered society in which “everything animate and inanimate is recognized to be controlled and owned by the Lord.”

“Will this solve the energy crisis?” one reporter asked. “Yes, why not?” Srila Prabhupada immediately responded. “The only lack in the world today is the lack of God consciousness.”

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Spiritual Knowledge Through Kṛṣṇa

The Urgent need for Krsna Consciousness

click on image to enlarge

Kṛṣṇa Consciousness, The Matchless Gift
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter One

Spiritual Knowledge Through Kṛṣṇa

The aim of this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to bring all living entities back to their original consciousness. All living entities within the material world are, to varying degrees, afflicted with a type of madness. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement aims at curing man of his material disease and reestablishing his original consciousness. In a Bengali poem a great Vaiṣṇava poet has written, “When a man is haunted by ghosts, he can only speak nonsense. Similarly, anyone who is under the influence of material nature should be considered haunted, and whatever he speaks should be considered nonsense.” One may be considered a great philosopher or great scientist, but if he is haunted by the ghost of māyā, illusion, whatever he theorizes and whatever he speaks is more or less nonsensical. Today we are given the example of a psychiatrist who, when requested to examine a murderer, proclaimed that since all the patients with whom he had come in contact were more or less crazy, the court could excuse the murderer on those grounds if it so desired. The point is that in the material world it is very difficult to find a sane living entity. The prevailing atmosphere of insanity in this world is all caused by the infection of material consciousness.

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Hearing is Most Important

22-Varabasi-River-Ganges-Uttar-Pradesh-India

By associating with persons for whom the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Mukunda, is the all in all, one can hear of His powerful activities and soon come to understand them. The activities of Mukunda are so potent that simply by hearing of them one immediately associates with the Lord. For a person who constantly and very eagerly hears narrations of the Lord’s powerful activities, the Absolute Truth, the Personality of Godhead in the form of sound vibrations, enters within his heart and cleanses it of all contamination. On the other hand, although bathing in the Ganges diminishes bodily contaminations and infections, this process and the process of visiting holy places can cleanse the heart only after a long time. Therefore who is the sane man who will not associate with devotees to quickly perfect his life? (SB 5.18.11)
…Bathing in the Ganges can certainly cure one of many infectious diseases, but it cannot cleanse one’s materially attached mind, which creates all kinds of contaminations in material existence. However, one who directly associates with the Supreme Lord by hearing of His activities cleanses the dirt from his mind and very soon comes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
…All the great ācāryas strongly recommend that people be given a chance to hear about the Supreme Lord. Then success is assured. The more we cleanse the dirt of material attachment from our hearts, the more we will be attracted by Kṛṣṇa’s name, form, qualities, paraphernalia and activities. This is the sum and substance of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. (from purport SB 5.18.11)
Full Text and Purport

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Srimad-Bhagavatam Index (Part 4)

Srimad Bhagavatam cover

Sometime back one of our readers submitted this Index on the Srimad-Bhagavatam, and asked if I could post it. It is truly a very impressive piece of work, and represents a great deal of time and study. We applaud the effort that Jan has put into this Index, and with great pleasure we post it here, in the hopes that others can benefit.

Srimad-Bhagavatam Index, Notes, Topical Guide
compiled by Jan Alexander

This was written to help me find, understand and remember the massive truth found in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Every abbrieviated, shortened, misused, form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead’s name, fame, and pastimes is just in attempt to cram the Srimad-Bhagavatam into this being that I am. I hope that this will be of great help to others who are studying the Srimad-Bhagavatam. I offer this handful of rice to the Lord.
– Jan Alexander

This file is so large we will have to post it in parts. This Forth part is letters
Q – T

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Characteristics of the Bona Fide Guru

bona fide spiritual master Srila Prabhupada

Recently there has been some discussion on the internet about Jayadvaita Swami’s remarks on kirtana standards in his Kirtan Seminar lectures. I cannot repeat here, what he said on the YouTube Lecture, finding it offensive and not worthy of repeating. Rather than dwell on the negetive statements of Jayadvaita Swami, we thought it better to repeat the words of the bona fide spiritual master Srila Prabhupada, who so nicely describes the characteristics of the “Bona Fide Guru” in the pages of the Sri Caitanya-caritmrta.

…The guru must be situated on the topmost platform of devotional service. There are three classes of devotees, and the guru must be accepted from the topmost class. The first-class devotee is the spiritual master for all kinds of people. It is said: gurur nṛṇām. The word nṛṇām means “of all human beings.” The guru is not limited to a particular group. It is stated in the Upadeśāmṛta of Rūpa Gosvāmī that a guru is a gosvāmī, a controller of the senses and the mind. Such a guru can accept disciples from all over the world. Pṛthivīṁ sa śiṣyāt. This is the test of the guru.

…When one has attained the topmost position of mahā-bhāgavata, he is to be accepted as a guru and worshiped exactly like Hari, the Personality of Godhead. Only such a person is eligible to occupy the post of a guru. (purport Madhya 24.330)

Full text and purport More

Srimad-Bhagavatam Index (Part 3)

Srimad Bhagavatam cover

Sometime back one of our readers submitted this Index on the Srimad-Bhagavatam, and asked if I could post it. It is truly a very impressive piece of work, and represents a great deal of time and study. We applaud the effort that Jan has put into this Index, and with great pleasure we post it here, in the hopes that others can benefit.

Srimad-Bhagavatam Index, Notes, Topical Guide
compiled by Jan Alexander

This was written to help me find, understand and remember the massive truth found in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Every abbrieviated, shortened, misused, form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead’s name, fame, and pastimes is just in attempt to cram the Srimad-Bhagavatam into this being that I am. I hope that this will be of great help to others who are studying the Srimad-Bhagavatam. I offer this handful of rice to the Lord.
– Jan Alexander

This file is so large we will have to post it in parts. This Third part is letters L – P

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Placing Our Love in Krsna

Radha Krishna on swing

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Placing Our Love in Krsna

A talk given in September 1968 by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, at the Hare Krsna temple in Seattle.

Excerpted from Back to Godhead Magazine Vol. 16, No. 10

Govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami. Our program is to worship Govinda, the original person, with love and devotion. This is Krsna consciousness. We are teaching people to love Krsna. That’s all. Our program is to direct your love toward the proper place. Everyone wants to love, but they’re being frustrated because their love is being misplaced. People do not understand where to place their love. First of all you love your body. Then, a little extended, you love your father and mother. Then you love your community, then your country, then the whole human society. And at last you love all living entities. But all this extended love will not give you satisfaction—until you reach the point of loving Krsna. Then you’ll be satisfied.

For example, when you throw a stone into a lake, a circle begins expanding. The circle keeps expanding, expanding, expanding … And when the circle touches the shore, it stops. Until the circle reaches the shore of the lake, it must go on increasing. So we have to go on increasing and increasing our love until we love Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

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How to Increase Attachment for the Lord

Maharaja Ambarisa

This morning I happened to read about Maharaja Ambarisa, a great devotee of the Lord, who was famous as one who offered everything to the Lord.

Mahārāja Ambarīṣa always engaged his mind in meditating upon the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, his words in describing the glories of the Lord, his hands in cleansing the Lord’s temple, and his ears in hearing the words spoken by Kṛṣṇa or about Kṛṣṇa. He engaged his eyes in seeing the Deity of Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa’s temples and Kṛṣṇa’s places like Mathurā and Vṛndāvana, he engaged his sense of touch in touching the bodies of the Lord’s devotees, he engaged his sense of smell in smelling the fragrance of tulasī offered to the Lord, and he engaged his tongue in tasting the Lord’s prasāda. He engaged his legs in walking to the holy places and temples of the Lord, his head in bowing down before the Lord, and all his desires in serving the Lord, twenty-four hours a day. Indeed, Mahārāja Ambarīṣa never desired anything for his own sense gratification. He engaged all his senses in devotional service, in various engagements related to the Lord. This is the way to increase attachment for the Lord and be completely free from all material desires.

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A Short Sketch of the Life and Teachings of Lord Caitanya

Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu

Today marks the appearance of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the great apostle of love of God and the father of the congregational chanting of the holy name of the Lord. In honor of His Appearance we share with you “A Short Sketch of the Life and Teachings of Lord Caitanya”, which Srila Prabhupada has included in the introduction to the Srimad Bhagavatam.

In the modern age Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu preached the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam by practical demonstration. It is easier to penetrate into the topics of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam through the medium of Śrī Caitanya’s causeless mercy. Therefore a short sketch of His life and precepts is inserted herein to help the reader understand the real merit of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

It is imperative that one learn the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam from the person Bhāgavatam. The person Bhāgavatam is one whose very life is Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam in practice. Since Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is the Absolute Personality of Godhead, He is both Bhagavān and Bhāgavatam in person and in sound. Therefore His process of approaching the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is practical for all people of the world. It was His wish that the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam be preached in every nook and corner of the world by those who happened to take their birth in India.

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Govinda

I was surfing the other day and I ran across this really cool image of Krsna. I just wanted to see if I could make it work from our page. It works!

I found the image at http://www.prabhupada-iskcon.de/. Thanks!

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The Nectar of Instruction

Nectar of Instruction

The Nectar of Instruction
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

This morning I was reading through the “Bhakti-sastri Study Guide”, compiled by Atmatattva Dasa, and in the pages dedicated to the study of the ‘Nectar of Instruction’ there was the following summary which I use as an index to the Preface and the 11 Texts:

click on following underlined links to go to text

Preface

Text 1 Six urges to be controlled

Text 2 Six hindrances to advancement in devotional service

Text 3 Six principles favorable to the execution of devotional service

Text 4 Six Symptoms of love shared by devotees

Text 5 Appropriate etiquette for dealing with the three types of devotees

Text 6 A warning against offending a pure devotee

Text 7 The potency of the holy name, character and pastives of Kṛṣṇa to become attractive to the conditioned soul

Text 8 The essence of all advice; to engage in devotional service twenty-four hours a day

Text 9 Importance of Visiting the Holy Places

Text 10 The glory of the devotees of Kṛṣṇa

Text 11 The glory of Śrī Rādhā-kuṇḍa

for a free PDF download of entire book click on following link; The Nectar of Instruction

Mahatma; Great Soul

Srila Prabhupada with unbrella etc.

This morning I happened upon the above picture of Srila Prabhupada, and my mind immediately thought of the following two verses from the Bhagavad-gita:

O son of Pṛthā, those who are not deluded, the great souls, are under the protection of the divine nature. They are fully engaged in devotional service because they know Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, original and inexhaustible. (Bg 9. 13)

Always chanting My glories, endeavoring with great determination, bowing down before Me, these great souls perpetually worship Me with devotion. (Bg 9.14)

…In this verse the description of mahātmā is clearly given. The first sign of the mahātmā is that he is already situated in the divine nature…The mahātmā does not divert his attention to anything outside Kṛṣṇa because he knows perfectly well that Kṛṣṇa is the original Supreme Person, the cause of all causes. There is no doubt about it. Such a mahātmā, or great soul, develops through association with other mahātmās, pure devotees.

…The mahātmā cannot be manufactured by rubber-stamping an ordinary man. His symptoms are described here: a mahātmā is always engaged in chanting the glories of the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead. He has no other business. He is always engaged in the glorification of the Lord. In other words, he is not an impersonalist. When the question of glorification is there, one has to glorify the Supreme Lord, praising His holy name, His eternal form, His transcendental qualities and His uncommon pastimes. One has to glorify all these things; therefore a mahātmā is attached to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (from purports)

I find that for me personally, thinking about Srila Prabhupada is one of the best forms of meditation, is good for my Krishna consciousness, and makes me feel very fortunate to be a part of The Hare Krishna Movement.

Full text and purport More

The Cause of All Causes

Narada and Lord Brahma

As we continue to update one of our other sites Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam by posting a chapter at a time, of that great literary work by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, we will continue to share the progress with our readers here at The Hare Krishna Movement.

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam: Canto 2: “The Cosmic Manifestation”
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Canto Two, Chapter 5

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Krishna Nectar

Krsna Balaram and the cowherd boys

This morning I was reading from the Srimad Bhagavatam, Canto 3, Chapter 2, and I just stopped and re-read the following three verses and purports a second time, as they were so visually attractive. Srila Prabhupada in his purport, was painting a beautiful picture of the spiritual world.

In His childhood, the Almighty Lord was surrounded by cowherd boys and calves, and thus He traveled on the shore of the Yamunā River, through gardens densely covered with trees and filled with vibrations of chirping birds. (SB 3.2.27)

…The forests on the shore of the Yamunā are all beautiful gardens full of trees of mango, jackfruit, apples, guava, oranges, grapes, berries, palmfruit and so many other plants and fragrant flowers. And because the forest was on the bank of the Yamunā, naturally there were ducks, cranes and peacocks on the branches of the trees. All these trees and birds and beasts were pious living entities born in the transcendental abode of Vṛndāvana just to give pleasure to the Lord and His eternal associates, the cowherd boys. (from purport)

Canto Three, Chapter 2, Text 27-29 More

The Process of Creation

LordVishnu creator of the material world

click on image to enlarge

As we continue to update our (one of our other sites) Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam by posting a chapter at a time, of that great literary work by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, we will continue to share the progress with our readers here at The Hare Krishna Movement.

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Canto Two, Chapter Four

The Process of Creation

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Previous Older Entries

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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Raja-Vidya the King of Knowledge

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Prayers By Queen Kunti (Slokas)

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Gajendra’s Prayers of Surrender (Slokas)

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