Remembering Krishna is the Essence

mantra1

This morning I was reminded of the importance of chanting sixteen rounds. Sometimes I think my work or service is more important than my chanting…but in the following verses and purports Srila Prabhupa makes it very clear; “One may have other duties to perform under the direction of the spiritual master, but he must first abide by the spiritual master’s order to chant a certain number of rounds.”, and I thank the devotee who reminded me of this important instruction.

…There are many regulative principles in the śāstras and directions given by the spiritual master. These regulative principles should act as servants of the basic principle-that is, one should always remember Kṛṣṇa and never forget Him. This is possible when one chants the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. Therefore one must strictly chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra twenty-four hours daily. One may have other duties to perform under the direction of the spiritual master, but he must first abide by the spiritual master’s order to chant a certain number of rounds. In our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, we have recommended that the neophyte chant at least sixteen rounds. This chanting of sixteen rounds is absolutely necessary if one wants to remember Kṛṣṇa and not forget Him. Of all the regulative principles, the spiritual master’s order to chant at least sixteen rounds is most essential. (from purport Madhya-lila 22.113)

…Of all the sacrifices, the chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare is the purest representation of Kṛṣṇa. (from purport Bg 10.25)

…Śrī Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Mahārāja comments in this connection, “One can become perfectly successful in the mission of his life if he acts exactly according to the words he hears from the mouth of his spiritual master.” This acceptance of the words of the spiritual master is called śrauta-vākya, which indicates that the disciple must carry out the spiritual master’s instructions without deviation. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura remarks in this connection that a disciple must accept the words of his spiritual master as his life and soul. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu here confirms this by saying that since His spiritual master ordered Him only to chant the holy name of Kṛṣṇa, He always chanted the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra according to this direction (‘kṛṣṇa-mantra’ japa sadā,-ei mantra-sāra). (from purport to Adi-lila 7.72)

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Qualities of a Devotee

Srila Prabhupada and Sudama Swami

For some time now I have been meaning to look up the 26 qualities of a devotee and print them out.  This was the topic of a discussion we had with a fellow devotee some time back.  None of us could exactly remember all 26 qualities, but we were pretty sure that we were not in possession of them all in full.  After a little searching we found them, and share them with you.

…These qualities of a devotee,twentysix in number, are listed as follows: (1) kind to everyone, (2) does not quarrel with anyone, (3) fixed in the Absolute Truth, (4) equal to everyone, (5) faultless, (6) charitable, (7) mild, (8) clean, (9) simple, (10) benevolent, (11) peaceful, (12) completely attached to Krsna, (13) has no material hankering, (14) meek, (15) steady, (16) self-controlled, (17) does not eat more than required, (18) sane, (19) respectful, (20) humble, (21) grave, (22) compassionate, (23) friendly, (24) poetic, (25) expert, (26) silent. (from purport to SB 4.20.16)

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Adhokṣaja

maitreya-buddha--ganden-monastery-tibet-craig-lovell

Adhokṣaja

If one were to do an image search on the Internet, of Maitreya; who is a character in the Srimad Bhagavatam, and the main person in our Previous post entitled “Vidura’s Talks with Maitreya”, the images that come up are of the Maitreya Buddha. It is interesting to note that In the Vedas, Adhokṣaja is one of the twenty-four forms of Lord Viṣṇu. Also in the Srimad Bhagavatam in the First Canto, Chapter Three, entitled “Kṛṣṇa Is the Source of All Incarnations”, Buddha is one of the incarnations to appear in this age. I thought it interesting to do a post on Adhokṣaja with some selected text from Srila Prabhupada’s books.

Maitreya Muni, who was experienced in the science of Transcendence, could understand that Vidura’s mind was fully absorbed in Transcendence. Adhokṣaja means that which transcends the limits of sense perception or sensuous experience. The Lord is transcendental to our sense experience, but He reveals Himself to the sincere devotee. Because Vidura was always absorbed in thought of the Lord, Maitreya could estimate Vidura’s transcendental value. He appreciated the valuable inquiries of Vidura and thus thanked him with great honor. (SB 3.5.18, Purport)

The Lord is explained here to be adhokṣaja, beyond the reach of all material calculation. Akṣaja means “the measurement of our senses,” and adhokṣaja means “that which is beyond the measurement of our senses.” (SB 3.19.25, Purport)

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Chanting Hare Krishna

Hare Krishna mantra

The following are a few select excerpts on the importance of chanting Hare Krishna. Even if there is still some offence, our chanting should not be abandoned, but rather continued day and night.

Simply our prayer should be, My dear Krishna, please remind me to always chant Your Holy Name, please do not put me into forgetfulness. You are sitting within me as Supersoul, so you can put me into forgetfulness or into remembering You. So please do not put me into forgetfulness. Please always remind me to chant, even You send me into the hell, it doesn’t matter, just so long as I can always chant Hare Krishna. (letter to Devananda, Nov. 23, 1968)

The chanting of the holy name of Lord Viṣṇu is the best process of atonement for a thief of gold or other valuables, for a drunkard, for one who betrays a friend or relative, for one who kills a brāhmaṇa, or for one who indulges in sex with the wife of his guru or another superior. It is also the best method of atonement for one who murders women, the king or his father, for one who slaughters cows, and for all other sinful men. Simply by chanting the holy name of Lord Viṣṇu, such sinful persons may attract the attention of the Supreme Lord, who therefore considers, “Because this man has chanted My holy name, My duty is to give him protection.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 6.2.9-10)

“I do not find the strength to carry on alone the sankirtana of the holy name of Hari. Please bless me by giving me just one drop of faith with which to obtain the great treasure of the holy name of Krsna.

Krsna is yours. You have the power to give Him to me. I am simply your servant running behind you shouting, “Krsna! Krsna!” (Ohe! Vaisnava Thakrua-Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur)

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Lord Nrsimhadeva Slays the King of the Demons

Back to Godhead - Volume 11, Number 09 - 1976

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In honnor of the Appearance of Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva, we are posting the entire Eighth Chapter from the Seventh Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam, entitled “Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva Slays the King of the Demons”. We are celebrating Lord Nrsimhadeva’s today, with a fast till dusk, because it is the variant date for our area. This is a wonderful chapter, and one I am fond of reading on this auspicious day.

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

Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva Slays the King of the Demons

As described in this chapter, Hiraṇyakaśipu was ready to kill his own son Prahlāda Mahārāja, but the Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared in front of the demon as Śrī Nṛkeśarī, half lion and half man, and killed him.

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“I Gradually Deprive Him of His Wealth”

Maharaja Yudhisthira in exile

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Yasyāham anugṛhṇāmi hariṣye tad-dhanaṁ śanaiḥ
“I Gradually Deprive Him of His Wealth”

In our previous post entitled Vṛndāvana Bhajana I was curious about the verse Srila Prabhupada used in the First Stanza; yasyāham anugṛhṇāmi hariṣye tad-dhanaṁ śanaiḥ “I gradually take away all the wealth of those upon whom I am merciful.”. So I did a search on the word “yasyāham anugṛhṇāmi” and was surprised to find that Srila Prabhupada had used that partictular verse 36 times in his books, lectures and conversations as documented by the very nice web site Vani Quotes. The verse originated from the Srimad Bhagavatam, 10.88.8 and is as follows:

śrī-bhagavān uvāca

yasyāham anugṛhṇāmi
hariṣye tad-dhanaṁ śanaiḥ
tato ‘dhanaṁ tyajanty asya
svajanā duḥkha-duḥkhitam

śrī-bhagavān uvāca—the Personality of Godhead said; yasya—whom; aham—I; anugṛhṇāmi—favor; hariṣye—I will take away; tat—his; dhanam—wealth; śanaiḥ—gradually; tataḥ—then; adhanam—poor; tyajanti—abandon; asya—his; sva-janāḥ—relatives and friends; duḥkha-duḥkhitam—who suffers one distress after another.

The Personality of Godhead said: If I especially favor someone, I gradually deprive him of his wealth. Then the relatives and friends of such a poverty-stricken man abandon him. In this way he suffers one distress after another.

So in this way, gradually, I became attached to these Gauḍīya Matha activities, and by the grace of Kṛṣṇa, my business also was not going very well. (laughter) (laughs) Yes. Kṛṣṇa says yasyāham anughṛṇāmi hariṣye tad-dhanaṁ śanaiḥ. If somebody wants to be actually devotee of Kṛṣṇa, at the same time, keeps his material attachment, then Kṛṣṇa’s business is He takes away everything material, so that cent percent he becomes, I mean to say, dependent on Kṛṣṇa. So that actually happened to my life.

All the references to this verse are listed (referenced) as follows: More

Transcendental Art

Radha Krishna

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This is perhaps the first picture I ever saw of Radha & Krishna. I remember thinking at the time: “This is the most beautiful picture I have ever seen in my life.” Since then I have been fortunate to have relished so many other beautiful pictures of Radha and Krishna, but one always remembers his first love. Srila Prabhupada by his causless mercy, has given us so much in the way of Art, Music, Knowledge, etc. that I am simply in awe!

Transcendental Art
Excrpted from Back to Godhead Magazine 1971, Vol. 1, No. 39

One of the basic principles of Krsna consciousness is that one may utilize whatever talent he has in the service of the Supreme Lord. And it is a symptom of a bona fide spiritual master that he is expert in engaging everyone in practical transcendental devotional service. His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada has thus engaged a number of very talented artists in the service of the Lord by asking them to use their natural artistic inclination in painting pictures of the Supreme Godhead. According to all the revealed Vedic scriptures, God is not formless or void, but on the contrary He has the most attractive personal form. In fact He has many transcendental forms. Krsna appears and expands Himself in multi expansions and incarnations, and these are described in Vedic literatures such as Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam.

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Meditation upon the Transcendental Form of Viṣṇu

In our previous post Fix your mind upon the Supreme Personality of Godhead it was recommended that we should fix one’s mind in the service of the Personality of Godhead. Now the next step is to meditate upon the form of the Lord. To move from the impersonal to the more personal aspects of the Absolute Truth.

Thereafter, you should meditate upon the limbs of Viṣṇu, one after another, without being deviated from the conception of the complete body. Thus the mind becomes free from all sense objects. There should be no other thing to be thought upon. Because the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu, is the Ultimate Truth, the mind becomes completely reconciled in Him only.

…Therefore, thinking of Viṣṇu or meditating upon the transcendental form of Viṣṇu, specifically upon Lord Kṛṣṇa, is the last word on the subject of meditation.

…it is definitely assured that the Supreme Lord is not impersonal. He is a person, but His body is different from those of conditioned persons like us. Otherwise, meditation beginning from the praṇava (oṁkāra) up to the limbs of the personal body of Viṣṇu would not have been recommended by Śukadeva Gosvāmī for the attainment of complete spiritual perfection. The Viṣṇu forms of worship in great temples of India are not, therefore, arrangements of idol worship, as they are wrongly interpreted to be by a class of men with a poor fund of knowledge; rather, they are different spiritual centers of meditation on the transcendental limbs of the body of Viṣṇu. The worshipable Deity in the temple of Viṣṇu is identical with Lord Viṣṇu by the inconceivable potency of the Lord.

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