Preface to the Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta

Sri_Caitanya_Caritamrta

This morning I reached for book off the shelve. I was inspired to go to the Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta Vol. 1 of the Ādi-līlā. Don’t know why, I just felt this pulling. So I opened it and began to read from the Preface. In these couple of pages, Srila Prabhupada explaines the entire philosophy of Krishna Consciousness. I was thinking I should just try to memorize these few pages, word for word, and the next time my mind began to wander off into maya, I could reel it back in, by simply remembering these basic instructions that Srila Prabhupada gave us back in 1968.

Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

Preface

There is no difference between the teachings of Lord Caitanya presented here and the teachings of Lord Kṛṣṇa in the Bhagavad-gītā. The teachings of Lord Caitanya are practical demonstrations of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s teachings. Lord Kṛṣṇa’s ultimate instruction in the Bhagavad-gītā is that everyone should surrender unto Him, Lord Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa promises to take immediate charge of such a surrendered soul. The Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is already in charge of the maintenance of this creation by virtue of His plenary expansion, Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, but this maintenance is not direct. However, when the Lord says that He takes charge of His pure devotee, He actually takes direct charge. A pure devotee is a soul who is forever surrendered to the Lord, just as a child is surrendered to his parents or an animal to its master. In the surrendering process, one should: (1) accept things favorable for discharging devotional service, (2) reject things unfavorable, (3) believe firmly in the Lord’s protection, (4) feel exclusively dependent on the mercy of the Lord, (5) have no interest separate from the interest of the Lord, and (6) always feel oneself meek and humble.

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Cow Protection and Brahminical Culture

Krsna and Balarama with Cows

“The Lord is the protector of cows and the brahminical culture. A society devoid of cow protection and brahminical culture is not under the direct protection of the Lord, just as the prisoners in the jails are not under the protection of the king but under the protection of a severe agent of the king. Without cow protection and cultivation of the brahminical qualities in human society, at least for a section of the members of society, no human civilization can prosper at any length. By brahminical culture, the development of the dormant qualities of goodness, namely truthfulness, equanimity, sense control, forbearance, simplicity, general knowledge, transcendental knowledge and firm faith in the Vedic wisdom, one can become a brāhmaṇa and thus see the Lord as He is.” (from within the Purport of Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.14.34)

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Srimati Radharani The Queen of Vrindavan

Installation Ceremony of Sri Sri Radha Shyamsundar  NJ 2015

Installation Ceremony of Sri Sri Radha Shyamsundar NJ 2015

“Once Lord Krsna considered with His heart: Although My beauty defeats the beauty of ten million cupids, although it is unequalled and unsurpassed and although it gives pleasure to the three worlds, seeing Radharani gives pleasure to My eyes.” (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta)

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Subduing Kāliya

Krsna dancing on the heads of Kalia serpent
Krishna’s Punishment to the Serpant Kaliya was Actually a Benediction

I love the stories and pastimes in the Krsna Book, and never tiring of hearing them. I ran across the above image on the Internet, I found it so sweet, that I opened up the Krsna Book and re-read the story of Krsna Subduing the Kaliya Serpent.

…When this story was being narrated by Śukadeva Gosvāmī, Mahārāja Parīkṣit became eager to hear more about Kṛṣṇa’s childhood pastimes. He inquired from Śukadeva Gosvāmī how Kṛṣṇa chastised Kāliya, who was living in the water for many years. Actually, Mahārāja Parīkṣit was becoming more and more enthusiastic to hear the transcendental pastimes of Kṛṣṇa, and his inquiry was made with great interest.

Śukadeva Gosvāmī narrated the story as follows.

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Unalloyed Affection in the Land of Vṛndāvana

Krsna splashing the gopis by Shyamarani devi

…In His boyhood at Vṛndāvana, Lord Kṛṣṇa was notorious as a teasing friend in transcendental love to all the girls His age. His love for them was so intense that there is no comparison to that ecstasy, and the damsels of Vraja were so much attached to Him that their affection excelled that of the great demigods like Brahmā and Śiva. Lord Kṛṣṇa finally admitted His defeat before the transcendental affection of the gopīs and declared that He was unable to repay them for their unalloyed affection. (from purport SB 3.2.14)

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Bhagavata Dharma Discourses

Prabhupada-New-Vrindaban-1972

Continuning with our “Bhagavata Dharma Discourses” series given at New Vrindavan, 1972.

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam Lecture
New Vrindaban, September 4, 1972
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Canto 1, Chapter Two, Text 5

Pradyumna: “O sages, I have been justly questioned by you. Your questions are worthy because they relate to Lord Kṛṣṇa and so are of relevance to the world’s welfare. Only questions of this sort are capable of completely satisfying the self.” [SB 1.2.5]

Prabhupāda: So there was a great meeting. Just like we are holding here meeting for a few days, a similar meeting was held thousands of years ago, at least four thousand years ago, in a place which is called Naimiṣāraṇya. The Naimiṣāraṇya is in India. It is near Lucknow. Here is Professor Shivasrava(?). He knows. The station is called now Nimsar. I think it is in Hardoi district? So still the place is there, and if you sometimes go to India you can visit this place. It is a very nice place for spiritual atmosphere. So formerly all the great sages used to assemble in that Naimiṣāraṇya. It is said that all the demigods used to visit that place. So in that great meeting, Bhāgavata was discussed.

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The Causeless Mercy of Lord Caitanya

the Causless Mercy of Lord Caitanya

By the mercy of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, even a foolish child can fully describe the real nature of Lord Kṛṣṇa, the enjoyer of the pastimes of Vraja, according to the vision of the revealed scriptures. (Ādi-līlā Chapter 4, Text 1)

This month as we explore the childhood pastimes of Lord Krsna in Vrndavan, it is important to keep in mind that, it is due to the mercy of the spiritual master and Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, that we are able to enter into the sublime understandings of the Lord. As is mentioned in the purport to the above sloka;

One can ascertain the meaning of this Sanskrit śloka only when one is endowed with the causeless mercy of Lord Caitanya. Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, being the absolute Personality of Godhead, cannot be exposed to the mundane instruments of vision. He reserves the right not to be exposed by the intellectual feats of nondevotees. Notwithstanding this truth, even a small child can easily understand Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa and His transcendental pastimes in the land of Vṛndāvana by the grace of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. (purport to Adi. 4.1)

but the real reason for this post is to remind out readers about the causeless mercy of Lord Caitanya

“May that Lord who is known as the son of Śrīmatī Śacīdevī be transcendentally situated in the innermost core of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has descended in the Age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation has ever offered before: the most elevated mellow of devotional service, the mellow of conjugal love.” (Ādi-līlā Chapter 3, Text 4)

PURPORT

This is a quotation from the Vidagdha-mādhava, a drama compiled and edited by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī.

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The Damsels of Vraja

gopis of vrndavan

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In our attempt to stay focused on the childhood pastimes of Lord Krsna throughout this month of Damodara, we were reading from the Third Canto of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, chapter 2, entitled; “Remembrance of Lord Kṛṣṇa”. The great devotee Uddhava, was asked by Vidura, to speak on the messages of Lord Krsna. The following is but one of the verses and purports from this famous chapter.

…In His boyhood at Vṛndāvana, Lord Kṛṣṇa was notorious as a teasing friend in transcendental love to all the girls His age. His love for them was so intense that there is no comparison to that ecstasy, and the damsels of Vraja were so much attached to Him that their affection excelled that of the great demigods like Brahmā and Śiva. Lord Kṛṣṇa finally admitted His defeat before the transcendental affection of the gopīs and declared that He was unable to repay them for their unalloyed affection. (from purport to SB 3.2.14)

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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

Krishna childhood pastimes

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“O Lord Damodara, in Your form as a baby, Mother Yasoda bound You to a grinding stone with a rope for tying cows, You then freed the sons of Kuvera, Manigriva, and Nalakuvera, who were cursed to stand as trees, and You gave them the chance to become Your devotees. Please bless me in this same way, I have no desire for liberation into Your effulgence.” (Damodarastka Prayers)

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 “The Deliverance of Nalakūvara and Maṇigrīva”.

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

The Deliverance of Nalakūvara and Maṇigrīva

The story of the cursing of Nalakūvara and Maṇigrīva and their deliverance by Kṛṣṇa, under the all-blissful desire of the great sage Nārada, is here described.

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The Killing of the Aghasura Demon

Aghasura Demon

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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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Prayers by the Demigods for Lord Kṛṣṇa in the Womb

Prayers by the Demigods1

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This morning I was reading Chapter Two in the Krsna Book, the chapter entitled “Prayers by the Demigods for Lord Kṛṣṇa in the Womb” and I was reminded of this above image from the Tenth Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, that I like very much. So I thought I would share this image with you, along with the brief chapter description. Hare Krishna!

…when the Supreme Personality of Godhead entered the womb of Devakī to kill Kaṁsa, all the demigods understood that the Lord was living within Devakī’s womb, and therefore in veneration they offered Him the Garbha-stuti prayers. (from chapter description SB 10.2)

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The Symptoms of a Sādhu

Srila Prabhupada

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The symptoms of a sādhu are that he is tolerant, merciful and friendly to all living entities. He has no enemies, he is peaceful, he abides by the scriptures, and all his characteristics are sublime. (SB. 3,25,21)

A sādhu, as described above, is a devotee of the Lord. His concern, therefore, is to enlighten people in devotional service to the Lord. That is his mercy. He knows that without devotional service to the Lord, human life is spoiled. A devotee travels all over the country, from door to door, preaching, “Be Kṛṣṇa conscious. Be a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Don’t spoil your life in simply fulfilling your animal propensities. Human life is meant for self-realization, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness.” These are the preachings of a sādhu. He is not satisfied with his own liberation. He always thinks about others. He is the most compassionate personality towards all the fallen souls. (from purport)

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Cleansing of the Heart

Srimad Bhagavatam

A friend of mine was asking me how we could realize Paramātmā or the Lord within the heart? How would I explain it to someone? I immediately thought of the following verses from the Second Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam, and I replied to his question by saying ‘by reading about the glories of the Lord and chanting His names, we can begin to purify our hearts and come to understand through His mercy, the Lord within our hearts’. After getting home and looking up these verses…it was clear I gave him the correct answer.

O greatly fortunate Śukadeva Gosvāmī, please continue narrating Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam so that I can place my mind upon the Supreme Soul, Lord Kṛṣṇa, and, being completely freed from material qualities, thus relinquish this body.

Persons who hear Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam regularly and are always taking the matter very seriously will have the Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa manifested in their hearts within a short time.

The sound incarnation of Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Soul [i.e. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam], enters into the heart of a self-realized devotee, sits on the lotus flower of his loving relationship, and thus cleanses the dust of material association, such as lust, anger and hankering. Thus it acts like autumnal rains upon pools of muddy water. (Srimad Bhagavatam 2.8.3-5)

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The Beauty of Srimati Radharani

Srimati Radharani

The following is a very beautiful verse from the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 8.166, describing the beauty and fragrance of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. The purport is a summary translation of the Sri Premāmbhoja-maranda, a song composed by Raghunatha Dasa Goswami, which Kavirāja Gosvāmī quotes, and is given to us by Srila Prabhupada, as described by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura. The full song follows the text and purport.

“Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī’s transcendental body is brilliant in luster and full of all transcendental fragrances. Lord Kṛṣṇa’s affection for Her is like a perfumed massage. (Madhya 8.166)

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When Service is Rendered in Affection, It is the Lord’s Special Mercy

Lord Krishna and the gopis

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Two Ways to Approach the Lord; Affection & Veneration

“Lord Kṛṣṇa’s mercy is dependent only on affection. Being obliged only by affection, Lord Kṛṣṇa acts very independently. (Cc. Madya 10. 139)

I have been looking for this(above) verse for the longest time. I remember reading this verse and purport a couple of years ago, and could not remember which book of the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta it came from. But today by Krsna’s mercy, I found the verse and purport.

“…Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is merciful, but His mercy does not depend on mundane rules and regulations. He is dependent only on affection and nothing else. Service to Lord Kṛṣṇa can be rendered in two ways. One can serve the Lord in affection or in veneration. When service is rendered in affection, it is the Lord’s special mercy. When service is rendered in veneration, it is doubtful whether Kṛṣṇa’s mercy is actually involved.” (from purport Cc. Madya 10. 139)

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Belief in the Words of Our Spiritual Master

Srila Prabhupada on morning walk

“I firmly believe in these words of My spiritual master, and therefore I always chant the holy name of the Lord, alone and in the association of devotees. That holy name of Lord Kṛṣṇa sometimes causes Me to chant and dance, and therefore I chant and dance. Please do not think that I intentionally do it. I do it automatically. (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 7.95-96)

A person who cannot keep his faith in the words of his spiritual master but acts independently never receives the authority to chant the holy name of the Lord. (from purport)

This is one of my favorite verses from the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, and the purport here is one of the most important lessons in spiritual life. Namely, success in spiritual life is faith in the words of the spiritual master and following his instructions. Thereby receiving his blessings. If one receives the blessings of his spiritual master he can chant the holy name of the lord constantly.

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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)

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Honey, which is Transcendentally Relished by the Devotees

honey1

This last week we harvested some of the honey from our bee hives, and as we extracted it I was in awe of its beautiful golden color. After we offered some of it to the Lord, we sampled its taste and it was amazing, not of this world. They must be devotee bees’s gathering the nectar from the lotus flowers and rose gardens at Srila Prabhupada’s Palace of Gold, here at New Vrindavan. The taste and texture was other-worldly, and remarkable. So I thought I would take a moment to to find some references on honey from Srila Prabhupada’s Books.

The pure devotees are always hankering after the lotus feet of the Lord. The lotus has a kind of honey which is transcendentally relished by the devotees. They are like the bees who are always after the honey. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, the great devotee ācārya of the Gauḍīya-Vaiṣṇava-sampradāya, has sung a song about this lotus honey, comparing himself to the bee:

“O my Lord Kṛṣṇa, I beg to offer my prayers unto You. My mind is like the bee, and it is after some honey. Kindly, therefore, give my bee-mind a place at Your lotus feet, which are the resources for all transcendental honey.” (SB 1.11.26)

When the Lord entered the forest of Vṛndāvana, all the inhabitants of the forest, both animate and inanimate, were eager to receive Him. He saw that the flowers of the forest, all fully blossoming, were weeping in ecstasy, honey flowing down their petals. The waterfalls on the hilly rocks were gladly flowing, and one could hear sweet sounds from the caves nearby. (Light of the Bhagavata text 24)

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The Killing of Kamsa

Killing of Kamsa by Krishna1

The Killing of Kamsa
Excerpted from Back to Godhead Magazine Volume 01, Number 67, 1974
by Satsvarūpa dāsa Goswāmī

Bhagavad-gita states that Lord Krsna descends to this world to vanquish miscreants and rescue His devotees. Once when the world was overburdened with demoniac forces, the demigods prayed for the appearance of the Lord. Lord Krsna accepted the prayer, and He decided to appear as the son of two pure devotees, Vasudeva and his wife, Devaki. Years before Krsna’s actual advent, on the day Devaki and Vasudeva were married, Kamsa, the brother of the bride, was driving the couple to Vasudeva’s home. In the middle of the joyous procession, a voice suddenly rang out from the sky. “Kamsa,” the voice said, “you are such a fool! You are driving the chariot of your sister, but you do not know that the eighth child of your sister will kill you!”

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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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