Bhagavata Dharma Discourses

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This concludes our series on the “Bhagavata Dharma Discourses” at New Vrindavan in 1972.

…So this Bhāgavata discourse is meant for giving enlightenment to the people of the world. It is not a sectarian religion; it is meant for all human beings. They should take advantage of the instruction of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Bhagavad-gītā, and make their life perfect. That is our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam Lecture
Given by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
New Vrindaban, September 7, 1972
Canto One, Chapter 2, Text 9

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The Evolutionary Process

The evolutionary process

The evolutionary process

In the course of the evolutionary process, which is caused by fruitive activities due to undesirable material sense gratification, I have received this human form of life, which can lead to the heavenly planets, to liberation, to the lower species, or to rebirth among human beings. (SB7.13.25)

…All living entities within this material world are undergoing the cycle of birth and death according to the laws of nature. This struggle of birth and death in different species may be called the evolutionary process, but in the Western world it has been wrongly explained. Darwin’s theory of evolution from animal to man is incomplete because the theory does not present the reverse condition, namely evolution from man to animal.

Human life, which is obtained in the course of the evolutionary process, is a chance for elevation (svargāpavarga) or for degradation (tiraścām punar asya ca). If one uses this human form of life properly, he can elevate himself to the higher planetary systems, where material happiness is many thousands of times better than on this planet, or one may cultivate knowledge by which to become free from the evolutionary process and be reinstated in one’s original spiritual life. This is called apavarga, or liberation. (from purport to SB 7.13.25)

Some years back I was reading from one book and the author was explaining how within each of us, we have the Keys to the gates of the Kingdom of Heaven, and we also have the Keys to the gates of Hell. It is our choice at every moment which we choose to use. Or as the saying goes “It is Rama, or it is Drama”.

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Yoga for the Modern Age

Vaisnava Kirtanyas

…the bhakti-yoga system is recommended for everyone. Without training or education, one can automatically participate in bhakti-yoga. Even a small child can clap at kīrtana. Therefore Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu has proclaimed bhakti-yoga the only system practical for this age.

harer nāma harer nāma
harer nāmaiva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva
nāsty eva gatir anyathā

[Adi 17.21]

“In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy the only means of deliverance is chanting the holy name of the Lord. There is no other way. There is no other way. There is no other way.”

Chanting is very simple, and one will feel the results immediately. Pratyakṣāvagamaṁ dharmyam. If we attempt to practice other yoga systems, we will remain in darkness; we will not know whether or not we are making progress. In bhakti-yoga, one can understand, “Yes, now I am making progress.” This is the only yoga system by which one can quickly attain self-realization and liberation in this life. One doesn’t have to wait for another lifetime. (The Path of Perfection, Chapter Seven)

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Remembering Krishna

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This morning as I was reading from the Srimad Bhagavatam, my mind was drawn to the following verse:

The devotees of the Lord are accustomed to licking up the honey available from the lotus feet of the Lord. What is the use of topics which simply waste one’s valuable life? (SB 1.16.6)

Our duration of life is not very long, and there is no certainty of when we shall be ordered to leave everything for the next stage. Thus it is our duty to see that not a moment of our life is wasted in topics which are not related with Lord Kṛṣṇa. Any topic, however pleasant, is not worth hearing if it is devoid of its relation to Kṛṣṇa. (from purport)

Which lead me to remember another very beautiful verse from an earlier chapter entitled “The Passing Away of Bhīṣmadeva in the Presence of Lord Kṛṣṇa”

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The Spiritual Sky

Radha and Krishna  the Spiritual World

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The liberated living entities seek that place where there are no material miseries. The Bhāgavatam says:

samāśritā ye padapallava-plavaṁ
mahat-padaṁ puṇya-yaśo murāreḥ
bhāvambudhir vatsa-padaṁ paraṁ padaṁ
paraṁ padaṁ yad vipadāṁ na teṣām
(Bhāg. 10.14.58)

“For one who has accepted the boat of the lotus feet of the Lord, who is the shelter of the cosmic manifestation and is famous as Mukunda or the giver of mukti, the ocean of the material world is like the water contained in a calf’s hoofprint. Param padam, or the place where there are no material miseries, or Vaikuṇṭha, is his goal, not the place where there is danger in every step of life.” (From purport to Bg. 2.51)

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The Mahā-mantra

HareKrishnamantra

This morning I was reading from the Nectar of Devotion the chapter entitled “The Mahā-mantra”. We have posted the entire chapter as well as some other related quotes from the Nectar of Devotion on the Maha-mantra.

In the Padma Purāṇa there is a statement: “For any person who is chanting the holy name either softly or loudly, the paths to liberation and even heavenly happiness are at once open.”

When a mantra or hymn is chanted softly and slowly, that is called japa. The same mantra, when chanted loudly, is called kīrtana. For example, the mahā-mantra (Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare) when uttered very softly only for one’s own hearing is called japa. The same mantra, when chanted loudly for being heard by all others, is called kīrtana. The mahā-mantra can be used for japa and kīrtana also. When japa is practiced it is for the personal benefit of the chanter, but when kīrtana is performed it is for the benefit of all others who may hear.

In the Liṅga Purāṇa there is a statement about glorifying and singing about the Lord. It is said there: “A brāhmaṇa who is constantly engaged in singing the glories of the Lord is surely elevated to the same planet as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Lord Kṛṣṇa appreciates this singing even more than the prayers offered by Lord Śiva.”

In the Viṣṇu-dharma there is a statement glorifying this process of congregational chanting: “My dear King, this word ‘Kṛṣṇa’ is so auspicious that anyone who chants this holy name immediately gets rid of the resultant actions of sinful activities from many, many births.” That is a fact. There is the following statement in Caitanya-caritāmṛta: “A person who chants the holy name of Kṛṣṇa once can counteract the resultant actions of more sinful activities than he is able to perform.” A sinful man can perform many, many sinful activities, but he is unable to perform so many that they cannot be wiped out by one single uttering of “Kṛṣṇa.”

“Anyone who is engaged in chanting My transcendental name must be considered to be always associating with Me. And I may tell you frankly that for such a devotee I become easily purchased.”

In the Padma Purāṇa also it is stated: “The chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra is present only on the lips of a person who has for many births worshiped Vāsudeva.” It is further said in the Padma Purāṇa, “There is no difference between the holy name of the Lord and the Lord Himself. As such, the holy name is as perfect as the Lord Himself in fullness, purity and eternity. The holy name is no material sound vibration, nor has it any material contamination.”

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The Most Confidential Knowledge

Raja-Vidya The King of Knowledge1

…The very beginning of Bhagavad-gītā, the First Chapter, is more or less an introduction to the rest of the book; and in the Second and Third Chapters, the spiritual knowledge described is called confidential. Topics discussed in the Seventh and Eighth Chapters are specifically related to devotional service, and because they bring enlightenment in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, they are called more confidential. But the matters which are described in the Ninth Chapter deal with unalloyed, pure devotion. Therefore this is called the most confidential. One who is situated in the most confidential knowledge of Kṛṣṇa is naturally transcendental; he therefore has no material pangs, although he is in the material world. In the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu it is said that although one who has a sincere desire to render loving service to the Supreme Lord is situated in the conditional state of material existence, he is to be considered liberated. Similarly, we shall find in the Bhagavad-gītā, Tenth Chapter, that anyone who is engaged in that way is a liberated person.

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Appearance Day of Srila Haridasa Thakura

Today we honor the Appearance Day of Srila Haridasa Thakura, an associate of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Haridāsa Ṭhākura daily chanted 300,000 names of the Lord. Certainly the chanting of 300,000 holy names of the Lord is wonderful. No ordinary person can chant so many names, nor should one artificially imitate Haridāsa Ṭhākura’s behavior. It is essential, however, that everyone fulfill a specific vow to chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra.

Haridāsa Ṭhākura said that liberation and freedom from the reactions of sinful activities are only by-products of chanting the holy name of the Lord. If one chants the holy name of the Lord purely, he attains the platform of loving service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (SB 5.24.20)

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Chanting HareKrishna

The holy name of Lord Krishna is an attractive feature for many saintly, liberal people. It is the annihilator of all sinful reactions and is so powerful that save for the dumb who cannot chant it, it is readily available to everyone, including the lowest type of man, the candala. The holy name of Krishna is the controller of the opulence of liberation, and it is identical with Krishna.

Simply by touching the holy name with one’s tongue, immediate effects are produced. Chanting the holy name does not depend on initiation, pious activities or the purascarya regulative principles generally observed before initiation. The holy name does not wait for all these activities. It is self-sufficient. (Caitanya-caritmrta Mad.15.110)

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare,
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare…

The Process of Devotional Service

Narada-bhakti-sutra
Translation and Purport by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Text One

TRANSLATION

Now, therefore, I will try to explain the process of devotional service.
PURPORT

Devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā, where the Lord says that a self-realized person is always in the transcendental state known as brahma-bhūta, which is characterized by joyfulness. When one is self-realized he becomes joyful. In other words, he is free from the material contamination of lamentation and hankering. As long as we are in material existence, we lament for the losses in our life and hanker for that which we do not have. A self-realized person is joyful because he is free from material lamentation and hankering.

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Transcendental Teachings of Prahlāda Mahārāja

Transcendental Teachings of Prahlāda Mahārāja
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

Chapter 2
“We Are Spoiling Our Lives”

Therefore, instead of being very anxious to stimulate our senses to increase material happiness, we should try to attain spiritual happiness by practicing Kṛṣṇa consciousness. As Prahlāda Mahārāja says, “Although your life in this human body is temporary, it is very valuable. So instead of trying to increase your material sense enjoyment, your duty is to dovetail your activities in some way in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.”

Our higher intelligence comes with his human body. Because we have higher consciousness, we should try for the higher enjoyment in life, which is spiritual enjoyment. And how can that spiritual enjoyment be achieved? One should absorb himself in serving the Supreme Lord, who gives the pleasure of liberation. We should turn our attention to achieving the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, who can give us liberation from this material world.

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Hope and Change


Hope and Change
Posted by krishnasmercy on July 13, 2010

“A conditioned soul cannot deliver another conditioned soul. Only Krishna or His bona fide representative can deliver him.” (King Prithu, The Nectar of Devotion, Ch 9)

Most of us are familiar with the term “the blind leading the blind.” This refers to a person who has no vision directing others on where to go. The people that are lost are considered blind in the sense that they cannot see the light, the true path in life. When they ask for help, directions to the supreme destination, they are led astray by someone who is also blind. In order to find the proper path, we must seek out someone who has eyes, a vision which allows them to see things as they are. The Vedas tell us that only God possesses this vision and that He is kind enough to grant these spiritual eyes to His faithful adherents, the bona fide spiritual masters.

What are the prescriptions given by the liberated souls? In this age, the primary recommendation is that we should constantly engage in Krishna’s service. This discipline is known as bhakti-yoga, and its primary component is the regular chanting of God’s names, “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”. We shouldn’t mistakenly take bhakti-yoga to be a passing fad or a part-time activity. The liberated souls are free from conditioned life because they spend all their time working for Krishna. Obviously this is a very high level of devotion which can’t be achieved overnight, but the desire to reach this end must be there. The reason that chanting is the foremost spiritual practice is that it can be performed anywhere and at any time of the day. Moreover, there is no time limit to this chanting. We can take up the various gymnastics exercises that are part of hatha-yoga, but after half an hour we’ll get tired and move on to something else.

Bhakti-yoga, or devotional service, is meant to take up all of our time. The key is to always be conscious of God, no matter what we are doing. This is the difference between bhoga/tyaga and bhakti. Bhakti also brings about enjoyment and involves things that we like to do, but the difference is in the area of consciousness. With bhoga, we think of ourselves as the lord and master, and the same with tyaga. Many people take great pride in their renunciation capabilities. “I can go without eating anything for days; I only sleep four hours a day; I don’t eat meat”, etc. These things are certainly very nice, but our renunciation must have a purpose, otherwise the false ego kicks in and we start taking ourselves to be the masters of everything.

Bhakti-yoga involves service. We can’t see God in our conditioned state, so we are advised to consult with those who can. Our first business is to serve the eternally liberated soul, the spiritual master. How do we tell who is a bona fide spiritual master? Aside from being liberated, the spiritual master is a pure devotee of Krishna. What does it mean to be a pure devotee? This is actually quite easy to figure out. To gauge whether or not someone is a devotee, simply ask yourself what their aim in life is. What is the driving force behind that person’s activities? If the answer to these questions is love for Krishna, then you know the person is a devotee. A spiritual master may rub us the wrong way from time to time, saying things that offend us, but if their intention is to make Krishna happy, then we must take them to be liberated.

The liberated souls are so kind that they don’t want to hog the glory for themselves. Their business is to make other people liberated as well. In this way, they are the greatest freedom fighters, helping the distraught living entities out of the ditch. A spiritual master that all of us can approach is His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. He lives forever through His countless books and recorded lectures. We should all make good use of these resources and fix ourselves up to the highest position.

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

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The Hare Krishna Cookbook

Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition “Online”

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Srimad Bhagavatam Online

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Raja-Vidya the King of Knowledge

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Important Slokas from the Brahma-samhita

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Slokas from the Sri Isopanisad

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Prayers By Queen Kunti (Slokas)

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Gajendra’s Prayers of Surrender (Slokas)

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A Short Statement of the Philosophy of Krishna Consciousness

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July 9th Letter

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The Hare Krishna Explosion

Reference Material/Study Guide

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