The Sankirtana Movement is the Pastime of Lord Caitanya

pancha-tattva

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…The saṅkīrtana movement inaugurated by Lord Caitanya is a transcendental pastime of the Lord. “By it I live simultaneously to preach and popularize this movement in the material world.” In that saṅkīrtana movement of Lord Caitanya, Nityānanda and Advaita are His expansions, and Gadādhara and Śrīvāsa are His internal and marginal potencies. The living entities are also called marginal potency because they have, potentially, two attitudes-namely the tendency to surrender unto Kṛṣṇa and the tendency to become independent of Him. Due to the propensity for material enjoyment, the living entity becomes contaminated by the material world. When a living entity is dominated by a desire for material enjoyment and becomes entangled in material life, he is subjected to the threefold miseries of material existence. He is just like a seed sown in the earth. If a seed is overpowered by too much water, there is no possibility of its fructifying. Similarly, if a man is captivated by material enjoyment, and even if the seed of such enjoyment is within the heart of the conditioned soul, he can be overpowered by a flood of transcendental activities performed in love of God. In this way his potential seed cannot fructify into a conditional life of material existence. The conditioned living entities in the material world, especially in the present age of Kali, are overpowered by the flood of love of God inaugurated by Lord Caitanya and His associates. (from Teachings of Lord Caitanya Chapter 17)

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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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The Hlādinī Potency

Radha and Krishna

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Here is a new word for your vaisnava vocabulary; hlādinī .  As I was reading from the Caitanya-caritamrta this morning, this word hlādinī was used to describe the pleasure potency of the Lord.  Now keep in mind, that this is all way over my head, but still as an aspiring devotee, I am interested in developing  “Love of God”.  So I find all of Srila Prabhupada’s writings to be wonderfully beneficial.

 

…Hlādinī is the personal manifestation of the blissfulness of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, by which He enjoys pleasure… When the pleasure potency of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is exhibited by His grace in the person of a devotee, that manifestation is called love of God. “Love of God” is an epithet for the pleasure potency of the Lord. Therefore devotional service reciprocated between the Lord and His devotee is an exhibition of the transcendental pleasure potency of the Lord.  (from purport to Adi 4.60)

 

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Appreciating the Beauty of the Lord

Krsna and Arjuna

Certainly others who were fighters on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra were purified by the onslaught of Arjuna’s arrows, and while seeing the lotuslike face of Kṛṣṇa, so pleasing to the eyes, they achieved the abode of the Lord. (SB 3.2.20)

This morning as I was reading from the Srimad-Bhagavatam, the words “pleasing to the eyes of the seer” jumped out at me. And I was reminded again how just by appreciating the beauty of the Lord, one can attain success in life, as the following purport explains.

“…All the warriors who fought against Arjuna but who were able to see the lotuslike face of the Lord on the battlefront achieved the abode of the Lord, exactly as the devotees of the Lord do. The words “pleasing to the eyes of the seer” are very significant. When the warriors from the other side of the battlefield saw Lord Kṛṣṇa at the front, they appreciated His beauty, and their dormant instinct of love of God was awakened.

This love of God is awakened by the association of pure devotees of the Lord… Those who saw the beautiful face of the Lord on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra were purified first by Arjuna when he made his onslaught with arrows… All the activities of a pure devotee are executed on behalf of the Lord because a pure devotee of the Lord has nothing to do for his personal interest. Arjuna’s killing was as good as killing by the Lord Himself. As soon as Arjuna shot an arrow at an enemy, that enemy became purified of all material contaminations and became eligible to be transferred to the spiritual sky… those who awakened to love of God were transferred to the planets of the transcendental sky.

Those whose love of God is awakened to the fullest extent go back to the Goloka Vṛndāvana planet in the spiritual sky, whereas persons who have just awakened to love of Godhead by accident or association are transferred to the Vaikuṇṭha planets. Essentially there is no material difference between Goloka and Vaikuṇṭha, but in the Vaikuṇṭhas the Lord is served in unlimited opulence, whereas in Goloka the Lord is served in natural affection.” (from purport to SB 3.2.20)

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A Short Statement of the Philosophy of Krishna Consciousness

Srila Prabhupada on morning walk

A Short Statement of the Philosophy of Krishna Consciousness
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

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Kṛṣṇa Conscious Yogī (Part II)

Krishna Arjuna

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A true yogī observes Me in all beings, and also sees every being in Me. Indeed, the self-realized man sees Me everywhere. (Bg. 6.29)

For one who sees Me everywhere and sees everything in Me, I am never lost, nor is he ever lost to Me. (Bg. 6.30)

…A person in Kṛṣṇa consciousness certainly sees Lord Kṛṣṇa everywhere, and he sees everything in Kṛṣṇa…Nothing can exist without Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa is the Lord of everything—this is the basic principle of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

…Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the development of love of Kṛṣṇa—a position transcendental even to material liberation. (from purport to Bg.6.30)

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition
By His Divine Grace A.;C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 6, Text 29-30

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The Bliss Tasted by Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī

Lord Krsna Caitanya

In one of our previous posts “The Confidential Reasons for Lord Caitanya’s Appearance” The chapter summary described that:

Lord Caitanya appeared for three principal purposes of His own. The first purpose was to relish the position of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, who is the prime reciprocator of transcendental love of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Lord Kṛṣṇa is the reservoir of transcendental loving transactions with Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī.

The third reason that Lord Caitanya appeared was to enjoy the bliss tasted by Rādhārāṇī…Kṛṣṇa is the transcendental male, and Rādhārāṇī is the transcendental female. Therefore, to know the transcendental pleasure of loving Kṛṣṇa, Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself appeared as Lord Caitanya, accepting the emotions and bodily luster of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī.

Today in honor of the appearance of Srimati Radharani, we are posting more from this nectarean chapter More

You Become A Lover of God

Radha is very sweet and charming

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…If you want happiness, then you must learn how to love God. You are trying to love somebody, but you are being frustrated, foiled. Because except God, nobody is loving object. And if you love God, then naturally you love everything because God is everything. The example is that if you pour water on the root of the tree, it goes everywhere—to the twigs, to the leaves, to the flowers, everywhere.

That technique is love of Godhead. If you learn, it doesn’t matter what religion you profess. It is no concern. We do not say that “You become Hindu,” “You become Muslim,” or “Christian.” No. We say that “You become lover of God.” You learn how to love God. Your loving propensity is there, but it is being misplaced. It is placed on dog instead of God; therefore you are unhappy. When your loving propensity will be placed in the proper place, you will be happy. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness, love of Godhead. (from Lecture)

Lecture by Srila Prabhupada
London, August 11, 1971

Prabhupāda: I have to speak something? So we are worshiping Rādhā-Mādhava, the lover or enjoyer of Rādhārāṇī. [break] Govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi **

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Bhāva

Radha Krishna Bhava

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Here is a new word for your Vaisnava Vocabulary: Bhāva. In the Glossary in the back of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 1972 Edition, the word Bhāva is defined as; the preliminary stage of transcendental love of Godhead. Bhāva is a big word and has various meanings

The last stage of the devotional life is called bhāva, or transcendental love of Godhead.

“In the beginning one must have a preliminary desire for self-realization.This taste leads one further forward to attachment for Kṛṣṇa consciousness, which is matured in bhāva, or the preliminary stage of transcendental love of God. Real love for God is called premā, the highest perfectional stage of life.” In the premā stage there is constant engagement in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. So, by the slow process of devotional service, under the guidance of the bona fide spiritual master, one can attain the highest stage, being freed from all material attachment, from the fearfulness of one’s individual spiritual personality, and from the frustrations resulting from void philosophy. Then one can ultimately attain to the abode of the Supreme Lord. (Bhagavad-gita 4.11)

So it seem that bhāva is not only the preliminary stage of transcendental love of Godhead but we find that this preliminary stage of transcendental love is also the path to the highest perfectional stage of life, pure love or premā. There are two ways to approach the Lord, one is with awe and reverence and the other is with affection; bhāva. One who approaches the Lord with affection, is sure to advance spiritually.

In the Srimad Bhagavatam we find many references to the word Bhāva and highlighted some of them here. More

How to Perform Devotional Activities in the Association of Other Devotees

…Continuing with our series on the Nectar of Iststuction ( Upadeśāmṛta ). The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is conducted under the supervision of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī. The Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas, or Bengali Vaiṣṇavas, are mostly followers of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, of whom the six Gosvāmīs of Vṛndāvana are direct disciples. Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī was the leader of all the Gosvāmīs, and to guide our activities he gave us this Upadeśāmṛta (The Nectar of Instruction) to follow.

“Pure love for Kṛṣṇa is eternally established in the hearts of living entities. It is not something to be gained from another source. When the heart is purified by hearing and chanting, the living entity naturally awakens.” Since Kṛṣṇa consciousness is inherent in every living entity, everyone should be given a chance to hear about Kṛṣṇa. Simply by hearing and chanting—śravaṇaṁ kīrtanam—one’s heart is directly purified, and one’s original Kṛṣṇa consciousness is immediately awakened. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is not artificially imposed upon the heart, it is already there. When one chants the holy name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the heart is cleansed of all mundane contamination.

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

Text 4

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The Special Kindness of Lord Caitanya

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The Special Kindness of Lord Caitanya

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, an incarnation of the Supreme Lord, appeared in India in the fifteenth century. His mission was to freely distribute pure love of God to everyone without considering who was qualified or unqualified. He predicted that the whole world would one day hear the chanting of the Lord’s holy names. The first of the following three narratives is excerpted from Srila Prabhupada’s introduction to Srimad-Bhagavatam. The final two are taken from his English translation of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, an extensive account of Lord Caitanya’s life and teachings.

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A Pure Devotee Can Deliver You Krishna

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Pure devotee means he has no other desire, no material desire. Anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam, zero.

…And if it is mixed up, anyābhi…, with material desire or spiritual emancipation or fruitive activities, then it is not pure devotee.

So if you can approach such pure devotee… As it is stated in the Brahma-saṁhitā, adurlabham ātma-bhaktau. This is ātma-bhaktau, a pure devotee. He can deliver you Kṛṣṇa. “Take Kṛṣṇa. Here is Kṛṣṇa.” Kṛṣṇa-prema… That is…

The symbolic representation is Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He’s described by Rūpa Gosvāmī:

namo mahā-vadānyāya kṛṣṇa-prema-pradāya te kṛṣṇāya kṛṣṇa-caitanya-nāmne gaura-tviṣe namaḥ [Madhya 19.53]

When Rūpa Gosvāmī… He was minister in the government of Nawab Hussain Shah. At that time, very exalted personality. He could understand Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s mission. Therefore when he first met Him at Allahabad, Prayāga, he offered his respect with these words: namo mahā-vadānyāya, the most munificent incarnation. Why? Kṛṣṇa-prema-pradāya te. “You are distributing kṛṣṇa-prema. It is very difficult to understand Kṛṣṇa, but You are so kind that You are immediately delivering love of Kṛṣṇa.”

You can know one person. But to develop love for him, that is another transaction. So people cannot understand even Kṛṣṇa, and what is the saying of Kṛṣṇa’s love? But Caitanya Mahāprabhu is so kind that He’s immediately giving kṛṣṇa-prema, love of Kṛṣṇa. Therefore He is described as the most munificent incarnation. Kṛṣṇa Himself could not deliver Himself. He wanted. “First of all you surrender.” Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66] But Caitanya Mahāprabhu is so kind. Simply through this chanting and dancing, He is distributing love of Kṛṣṇa.

You can see practically. These boys from European and American countries, means all over the world, why they are chanting and dancing in this way? Do you think they have become mad? And one says, “Yes, they have become mad.” Why? For love of Kṛṣṇa. Now they have began they have become lover of Kṛṣṇa. So kṛṣṇa-prema is like that. That is through the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

Therefore Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is the symbolic representation of devotee. Bhaktāvatāraṁ bhaktākhyaṁ namāmi bhakta-śaktikam. Namāmi bhakta-śaktikam. He can give the strength to the devotee so that he can develop his dormant love of Kṛṣṇa. Therefore in the Brahma-saṁhitā it is stated that adurlabham ātma-bhaktau. If one is pure devotee, for him, Kṛṣṇa is available very easy. He says in the Bhagavad-gītā. Bhaktyā mām abhijānāti yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ [Bg. 18.55] “One can understand Me in truth…” Yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ. “Which is very, very difficult.”

manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu kaścid yatati siddhaye yatatām api siddhānāṁ kaścin māṁ vetti tattvataḥ [Bg. 7.3]

To understand Kṛṣṇa as He is, it is difficult. But if you take to this process of devotional service…

śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ sakhyam ātma-nivedanam [SB 7.5.23]

Either of these process. All the process or either of these. You become successful to develop your dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and then your life becomes successful. Thank you very much. (end)

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The Appearance of Lord Caitanya

The Appearance of Lord Caitanya

Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Krishna Himself, and He is teaching how to develop love of God by a very simple method…chanting the names of the Lord. Only five hundred years ago Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, prophesied that the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra would resound throughout every town and village in the world. At a time when Western man was directing his exploratory spirit toward studying the physical universe and circumnavigating the globe, in India Śrī Caitanya was inaugurating and masterminding a revolution directed inward. His movement swept the subcontinent, gained millions of followers, and profoundly influenced the future of religious and philosophical thinking, both in India and the West. In the following talk, presented in November 1969 at London’s Conway Hall, Śrīla Prabhupāda describes the divine appearance of Śrī Caitanya.

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the golden avatāra, appeared in India nearly five hundred years ago. It is the custom in India that when a child is born, an astrologer is called for. When Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, appeared five thousand years ago, Gargamuni was called by His father, and he said, “This child formerly incarnated in three complexions, such as red and golden, and now He has appeared in blackish color.” Kṛṣṇa’s color is described in the scriptures as blackish, just like the color of a cloud. Lord Caitanya is understood to be Kṛṣṇa appearing in golden complexion.

There is much evidence in Vedic literature that Caitanya Mahāprabhu is an incarnation of Kṛṣṇa, and this is confirmed by scholars and devotees. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is confirmed that the incarnation of Kṛṣṇa, or God, in this present age, Kali-yuga, will always engage in describing Kṛṣṇa. He is Kṛṣṇa, but as a devotee of Kṛṣṇa He describes Himself. And in this age His bodily complexion will not be blackish. This means that it may be white, it may be red, or it may be yellow, because these four colors—white, red, yellow, and black—are the colors assumed by the incarnations for the different ages. Therefore, since the red, white, and blackish colors were already taken by former incarnations, the remaining color, golden, is assumed by Caitanya Mahāprabhu. His complexion is not blackish, but He is Kṛṣṇa.

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The Transcendental Nature of the Holy Names of Krishna

The holy name of the Lord—Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare—is a transcendental vibration because it comes from the transcendental platform, the supreme abode of Kṛṣṇa. Because there is no difference between Kṛṣṇa and His name, the holy name of Kṛṣṇa is as pure, perfect and liberated as Kṛṣṇa Himself.

“It is the transcendental nature of the holy names of Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare to transport a man into spiritual madness. Anyone who sincerely chants this holy name very soon attains elevation to the platform of love of God and becomes mad after God. This madness arising from love of God is the first perfectional stage for a human being.”

Excerpted from; Teachings of Lord Caitanya
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter Eighteen, The Conversations with Prakāśānanda

…In this age of logic, argument and disagreement, the chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa is the only means for self-realization. Because this transcendental vibration alone can deliver the conditioned soul, it is considered to be the essence of the Vedānta-sūtra. According to the material conception, there is duality between the name, form, quality, emotions and activities of a person and the person himself, but as far as the transcendental vibration is concerned, there is no such limitation, for it descends from the spiritual world. In the spiritual world there is no difference between the name of the person and the quality of the person. Of course in the material world there is a difference. Because the Māyāvādī philosophers cannot understand this, they cannot utter the transcendental vibration.

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Disappearance Day of Srila Madhavendra Puri


Disappearance Day of Srila Madhavendra Puri

Madhavendra Puri appeared almost mad in his love of God. He loudly chanted and sang the names and glories of the Lord without thinking of the time or place. Sometimes in his ecstasy he didn’t know whether it was day or night. Sometimes he laughed and sometimes he wept. Sometimes he danced wildly and sometimes he fell to the ground unconscious. He took absolutely no interest in anything not connected with Krishna, and for fear of talking about anything other than the Lord, he always lived without a companion. He would eat only if someone offered him food—otherwise he would simply fast.

In many remarkable ways Krishna returned Madhavendra Puri’s intense love. Once Madhavendra was fasting and meditating beneath a tree in the forest of Vrindavana, where thousands of years before Krishna had played as a child. Suddenly a beautiful cowherd boy (gopala) came with a pot of milk and placed it before Madhavendra. “Please drink the milk I have brought you,” the boy said. Seeing the beauty of the boy, Madhavendra Puri became satisfied in his mind, and hearing these sweet words, he forgot all hunger and thirst. Then within an instant, the boy left the place and did not return. Madhavendra Puri’s heart was filled with wonder. Later, he realized who the boy actually was and cried out in; great ecstatic love: “I saw Lord Krishna directly—but I could not recognize I Him!”

Western religion usually teaches us that God is someone to fear and revere. In India, though, great spiritual masters have long taught that we can go beyond this limited conception and worship God as our master, friend, or child. And about five hundred years ago Madhavendra Puri taught that we can even worship God as our dear beloved.

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Narada-bhakti-sutra Text 3

Narada-bhakti-sutra Text 3
Translation & Purport by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

TRANSLATION

This pure love for God is eternal.

Purport

When a person attains to the perfectional stage of love of Godhead, he becomes liberated even in his present body and realizes his constitutional position of immortality. In the Bhagavad-gītā (4.9), the Lord says,

janma karma ca me divyam evaṁ yo vetti tattvataḥ
tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti so ’rjuna

Here the Lord says that any person who simply understands His transcendental activities and His appearance and disappearance in this material world becomes liberated, and that after quitting his present body he at once reaches His abode. Therefore it is to be understood that one who has attained the stage of love of God has perfect knowledge, and even if he may fall short of perfect knowledge, he has the preliminary perfection of life that a living entity can attain.

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Sri Caitanya-Caritamrta Adi Lila 7.22

Sri Caitanya-Caritamrta Adi Lila 7.22
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

TRANSLATION

Śrī Pañca-tattva themselves danced again and again and thus made it easier to drink nectarean love of Godhead. They danced, cried, laughed and chanted like madmen, and in this way they distributed love of Godhead.

PURPORT

People generally cannot understand the actual meaning of chanting and dancing. Describing the Gosvāmīs, Śrī Śrīnivāsa Ācārya stated, kṛṣṇotkīrtana-gāna-nartana-parau: not only did Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His associates demonstrate this chanting and dancing, but the six Gosvāmīs also followed in the next generation. The present Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement follows the same principle, and therefore simply by chanting and dancing we have received good responses all over the world. It is to be understood, however, that this chanting and dancing do not belong to this material world. They are actually transcendental activities, for the more one engages in chanting and dancing, the more he can taste the nectar of transcendental love of Godhead.

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

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The Hare Krishna Cookbook

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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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