Acting in Krishna Consciousness

 

Sri_Manohara_Montreal

This is perhaps my favorite sloka from the Srimad-Bhagavatam.  It fills me with hope, and helps me to learn patience.

In the Tenth Canto, Fourteenth Chapter, verse 8, it is said;  ‘My dear Lord, any person who is constantly awaiting Your causeless mercy to be bestowed upon him, and who goes on suffering the resultant actions of his past misdeeds, offering You respectful obeisances from the core of his heart, is surely eligible to become liberated, for it has become his rightful claim.’

This statement of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam should be the guide of all devotees. A devotee should not expect immediate relief from the reactions of his past misdeeds. No conditioned soul is free from such reactionary experiences, because material existence means continued suffering or enjoying of past activities. If one has finished his material activities then there is no more birth. This is possible only when one begins Kṛṣṇa conscious activities, because such activities do not produce reaction. Therefore, as soon as one becomes perfect in Kṛṣṇa conscious activities, he is not going to take birth again in this material world. A devotee who is not perfectly freed from the resultant actions should therefore continue to act in Kṛṣṇa consciousness seriously, even though there may be so many impediments. When such impediments arise he should simply think of Kṛṣṇa and expect His mercy. That is the only solace. If the devotee passes his days in that spirit, it is certain that he is going to be promoted to the abode of the Lord. By such activities, he earns his claim to enter into the kingdom of God. The exact word used in this verse is dāya-bhāk. Dāya-bhāk refers to a son’s becoming the lawful inheritor of the property of the father. In a similar way, a pure devotee who is prepared to undergo all kinds of tribulations in executing Kṛṣṇa conscious duties becomes lawfully qualified to enter into the transcendental abode.”

(Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 10)

text pasted from; Prabhupada Connect

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Deity Installation Ceremony of Sri Sri Radha Shyamsundar & Grand Opening of theTemple & Cultural Center

Sri Sri Radha Shyamsundar 256

Deity Installation Ceremony of Sri Sri Radha Shyamsundar & Grand Opening of the Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple & Cultrual Center

It was my good fortune and privilege to be in attendance at the Grand Opening of Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple & Cultural Center and witness the Deity Installation Ceremony of Sri Sri Radha Shyamsundar. The three day event took place August 28 – 30th. The new center is located at 1020 W 7th St., Plainfield, New Jersey in a residential neighborhood, and is very easy to find. I would encourage everyone to make it a point to visit there and have darshan with the beautiful Sri Sri Radha Shyamsundar.

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Krishna Nectar

gopal

Attraction and Remembrance

“My dear friend, I was just going to the bank of the Yamunā, and all of a sudden a very nice boy whose complexion is like a dark blue cloud became visible in front of My eyes. He glanced over Me in a way that I cannot describe. But since this has occurred, I am sorry that I can no longer engage My mind in the duties of My household affairs.” This is an instance of preliminary attraction for Kṛṣṇa. (Nectar of Devotion Chapter 44)

Once while Kṛṣṇa was out walking, one of the associates of Rādhārāṇī told Her: “My dear friend, do You think that this walking personality is a tāmala tree? If He is a tāmala tree, then how is it possible for Him to walk and be so beautiful? Then, this personality might be a cloud. But if He’s a cloud, then where is the beautiful moon within? Under the circumstances, I think it may be granted that this person is the same enchanting Personality of Godhead by whose flute vibration the three worlds are captivated. He must be the same Mukunda who is standing before Govardhan Hill.” This is another instance of an argumentative presentation of ecstatic love. (NOD Chapter 30)

One devotee said that even when he was not very attentive he would sometimes, seemingly out of madness, remember the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa within his heart. This is an instance of remembrance resulting from constant practice. In other words, devotees who are constantly thinking of the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, even if they are momentarily inattentive, will see the figure of Lord Kṛṣṇa appearing within their hearts.

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Friends of Krsna

Krsna and the cowherd boys

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When Kṛṣṇa and His devotees meet, the meeting is technically called yoga, or linking up with the Lord. (Nectar of Devotion Chapter 39)

Durning the month of Damadora (Kartika) I like to focus my attention on the childhood pastimes of Krsna in Vrndavan. So with this in mind we decided to post a chapter from the Nectar of Devotion which focus’s on the Lords relationships with His devotees in the fraternal mellow or better known as friendship.

When a devotee is permanently situated in devotional service, and by different symptoms of ecstasy he has developed and matured a fraternal mellow or flavor in relationship with the Personality of Godhead, his feeling is called fraternal love of Godhead.

The impetus for such fraternal love of God is God Himself. When one is liberated and discovers his eternal relationship with the Supreme Lord, the Lord Himself becomes the impetus for increasing fraternal love. The eternal associates of the Lord in Vṛndāvana have described this as follows: “The Lord, Hari, whose bodily hue is like the indranīla jewel, whose smiling is as beautiful as the kunda flower, whose silk dress is as yellow as golden autumn foliage, whose chest is beautified with garlands of flowers and who is always playing upon His flute—this enemy of the Agha demon is always attracting our hearts by wandering about Vṛndāvana.” (Nectar of Devotion Chapter 41)

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The Nectar of Devotion

The Nectar of Devotion - 1970 ISKCON press edition SCAN

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This morning I wanted to share with you all one of my most favorite books The Nectar of Devotion. I began re-reading it this morning, and feel very inspired to practice my bhakti yoga with new enthusiasm. You can click on following links to read or save to your computer the scanned version or the pdf version.

From Preface

…The Nectar of Devotion is a summary study of Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, which was written in Sanskrit by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī Prabhupāda. He was the chief of the six Gosvāmīs, who were the direct disciples of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. …The Nectar of Devotion is specifically presented for persons who are now engaged in the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. I beg to offer my sincere thanks to all my friends and disciples who are helping me to push forward the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement in the Western countries, and I beg to acknowledge, with thanks, the contribution made by my beloved disciple Śrīman Jayānanda brahmacārī. My thanks are due as well to the directors of ISKCON Press, who have taken so much care in publishing this great literature. Hare Kṛṣṇa.

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

ISKCON Headquarters
Los Angeles, California

Scanned The_Nectar_of_Devotion-1970_ISKCON_Press_edition-Hardcover-SCAN (1)

PDF Nectar-of-Devotion-1970-Edition

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The Beauty of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī

Radha Krsna Art of Sharma

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…The beauty of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is described as follows: “Her eyes defeat the attractive features of the eyes of the cakorī bird. When one sees the face of Rādhārāṇī, he immediately hates the beauty of the moon. Her bodily complexion defeats the beauty of gold. Thus, let us all look upon the transcendental beauty of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī.” Kṛṣṇa’s attraction for Rādhārāṇī is described by Kṛṣṇa Himself thus: “When I create some joking phrases in order to enjoy the beauty of Rādhārāṇī, Rādhārāṇī hears these joking words with great attention; but by Her bodily features and counterwords She neglects Me. And I even possess unlimited pleasure by Her neglect of Me, for She becomes so beautiful that She increases My pleasure one hundred times.” A similar statement can be found in Gīta-govinda, wherein it is said that when the enemy of Kaṁsa, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, embraces Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, He immediately becomes entangled in a loving condition and gives up the company of all other gopīs. (from Nectar of Devotion Chapter 44)

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The Nectar of Devotion Lectures

Nectar of Devotion Lectures Photo by Gurudas B18310

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..utilize everything for the purpose of Kṛṣṇa. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Most scientific and authorized movement. Trying to place people in his original, constitutional position and cooperate for the service of Kṛṣṇa. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.

…So bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu is to taste the mellow of serving Kṛṣṇa. That is the science of serving Kṛṣṇa. Therefore we have named this book, “Nectar of Devotion.” It is summary study of bhakti-rasa, the mellow, the transcendental mellow which one can taste. Everyone is tasting. Otherwise he cannot work. So yat karoṣi yaj juhoṣi. Kṛṣṇa says, “Whatever engagement you may have, kuruṣva tad mad-arpaṇam, do it for Kṛṣṇa.” Don’t take the result yourself. Give it to Kṛṣṇa. Then you’ll taste the rel…, relish the mellow, transcendental mellow, bhakti-rasa. And then you’ll be happy. (The Nectar of Devotion Lectures Vṛndāvana, October 17, 1972)

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Nectar of Devotion Lecture

Nectar of Devotion Lecture by Gurudas B18306

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The Nectar of Devotion
given by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Vṛndāvana, October 16, 1972

Pradyumna (reading): “The Nectar of Devotion is a summary study of Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, which was written in Sanskrit by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī Prabhupāda. He was the chief of the six Gosvāmīs who were the direct disciples of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. When he first met Lord Caitanya, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī Prabhupāda was engaged as a minister in the Muhammadan government of Bengal. He and his brother Sanātana were then named Sākara Mallika and Dabira Khāsa respectively, and they held responsible posts as ministers of Nawab Hussain Shah. At that time, five hundred years ago, the Hindu society was very rigid and if a member of the brāhmaṇa caste accepted the service of a Muhammadan ruler he was at once rejected from brāhmaṇa society. That was the position of the two brothers, Dabira Khāsa and Sākara Mallika. They belonged to the highly situated sārasvata-brāhmaṇa…”

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Devotees of Kṛṣṇa

Radha Krishna

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Continuing with our series on the Nectar of Devotion, we share with you Chapter 25 entitled “Devotees of Kṛṣṇa”. The Nectar of Devotion is a summary study of Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, which was written in Sanskrit by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī Prabhupāda. He was the chief of the six Gosvāmīs, who were the direct disciples of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and has since been translated into English by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.

…A person who is always absorbed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is called a devotee of Kṛṣṇa….In the Tenth Canto, Fourteenth Chapter, verse 32, of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam there is this statement: “How wonderful are the fortunate residents of Vṛndāvana…The Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Supreme Brahman, has actually become their intimate friend!”

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First Nectar of Devotion Lecture

Nectar of Devotion 1970 Edition

The Nectar of Devotion Lecture
Los Angeles, June 23, 1970

Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa.

So we have published our Nectar of Devotion.

So every one of you should read this Nectar of Devotion repeatedly.

The whole substance of Vaiṣṇava philosophy and activities, everything is there.

So every one of you read this Nectar of Devotion once, twice, thrice.

Unless you have got full-fledged ideas what is this devotional service… That was written by… Actually, it was spoken by Lord Caitanya to Rūpa Gosvāmī. For ten days continually He instructed Rūpa Gosvāmī at Prayāga, Daśāśvamedha-ghāṭa. You have seen the picture in TLC. Caitanya Mahāprabhu was at Allahabad, Prayāga, and Rūpa Gosvāmī met Him there. He was offering obeisances flat. You have seen that picture. So at that time Caitanya Mahāprabhu personally gave him instruction what is this cult of bhakti. So for ten days. And he took note of it and later on he placed this book in the form of Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu. That is in Sanskrit. It will be difficult for you. Therefore I have presented a summary study, and the summary study has come to 407 pages. If we would have elaborately described each and every verse, then it would have come to at least thousand pages.

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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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Ways of Meeting Krishna

Radha Krishna in the rain

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…When Kṛṣṇa and His devotees meet, the meeting is technically called yoga, or linking up with the Lord. Such meetings between Kṛṣṇa and His devotees can be divided into three classes-namely, perfection, satisfaction, and steadiness. When the devotee meets with Kṛṣṇa in great eagerness, that state of meeting is called perfection.

An example of this perfectional stage of meeting Krishna can be found in the words of Srimati Radharani in this very nice verse;

Rādhārāṇī told Her companion, “My dear friend, I was just going to the bank of the Yamunā, and all of a sudden a very nice boy whose complexion is like a dark blue cloud became visible in front of My eyes. He glanced over Me in a way that I cannot describe. But since this has occurred, I am sorry that I can no longer engage My mind in the duties of My household affairs.”

The following is Chapter 39 from the Nectar of Devotion More

Transcendental Qualities of the Lord

Gopal

This morning I just felt like singing. The weather is warm, amd Spring is in the air. So I was in our temple room and after singing one of my favorite vaisnava songs, “Śrī Śrī Ṣaḍ-gosvāmy-aṣṭaka”, Eight Prayers to the Six Gosvamis by Śrīnivāsa Ācārya, I read the English Translations. There was one verse in particular that spoke to me:

I offer my respectful obeisances unto the six Gosvāmīs, who were engaged in chanting the holy names of the Lord and bowing down in a scheduled measurement. In this way they utilized their valuable lives and in executing these devotional activities they conquered over eating and sleeping and were always meek and humble enchanted by remembering the transcendental qualities of the Lord.

I thought yes, today, let me remember the Transcendental Qualities of the Lord. So with that in mind we are posting Chapter 21 from the Nectar of Devotion, which is a summary study of Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, which was written in Sanskrit by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī Prabhupāda. He was the chief of the Six Gosvāmīs, who were the direct disciples of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

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Cleansing the Heart / Ceto-darpana-marjanam

Nectar of Devotion Lectures 1972 Vrindavan

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…Kṛṣṇa consciousness is a fact in everyone’s heart. It is already there. Otherwise how these Europeans and Americans, they’re taking to Kṛṣṇa consciousness very seriously? So it is to be understood that Kṛṣṇa consciousness was there already. By the process of hearing… As Caitanya Mahāprabhu has recommended: ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ paraṁ vijayate śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. Śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam is so auspicious that the chanting of this mantra awakens the dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam. The more you hear Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, the more your heart becomes cleansed. These are the statements given by Caitanya Mahāprabhu. There cannot be any defect. My statement may be defective, but Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s statement cannot be defective, because He is in the transcendental platform. He is transcendence Himself. Kṛṣṇa-caitanya-nāmne. Kṛṣṇāya kṛṣṇa-caitanya-nāmine. He’s Kṛṣṇa Himself, but He has appeared in the form of Kṛṣṇa Caitanya. Therefore, whatever He says, that is fact. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam. The more we hear the vibration, the transcendental vibration, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare, without any offense… Even with, mixed with offense… There are three stages of chanting this vibration: offensive chanting, and almost offenseless chanting, and offenseless chanting. Offensive chanting may give you material pains and pleasures, and almost offenseless will give you liberation, will place you in the transcendental platform. And when it is offenseless, then immediately you’ll invoke love of God, Kṛṣṇa-prema. So even in offensive stage, if you go on chanting and try to be, try to become safe from offensive condition… Daśa-vidhā-nāma, ten kinds of offenses, if we avoid, that is the process of auspicity. But even we are not in the platform of offenseless chanting, still, we must go on chanting. It will gradually make our heart cleansed and we’ll be offenseless. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. So the Kṛṣṇa consciousness, awakening of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is required. That is called ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam.

So here, Rūpa Gosvāmī says auspicity means that which spreads for everyone, in all parts of the world. That is auspicity. Not partial. In politics or sociology or humanitarian activities, there is partiality for a certain section of human being, or certain section of living beings. But this chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, awakening Kṛṣṇa consc…, dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is meant for all living entities. Even birds, beasts, insects, they can also awaken. This is the recommendation of Haridāsa Ṭhākura, that if we chant loudly, the trees will hear, the birds will hear, the insect will hear, and they will be liberated. That is the statement of Nāmācārya Haridāsa Ṭhākura. Therefore chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and awakening of dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the auspicious activities, welfare activities, for every living entity all over the world.

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Laughing Ecstasy

Srila Prabhupada smiling

Yesterday I was at the dentists office having a lose tooth removed, so naturally I was some what preoccupied with my toothless smile. But Krishna Consciousness is so nice, and Srila Prabhupada has given us so much knowledge I thought I would just do a search on the word ‘teeth’ an see if there was any reference in the books. To my surprise there was this whole section on smiling…

When the teeth are distinctly visible in a smile, that is called vihasita. One day when Kṛṣṇa was engaged in stealing butter and yogurt in the house of Jaṭilā, He assured His friends, “My dear friends, I know that this old lady is now sleeping very profoundly because she is breathing very deeply. Let us silently steal butter and yogurt without making any disturbance.” But the old lady, Jaṭilā, was not sleeping; so she could not contain her smiling, and her teeth immediately became distinctly visible. This is an instance of vihasita smiling.

Kṛṣṇa once addressed Jaratī thus: “My dear good woman, the skin of your face is now slackened, and so your face exactly resembles a monkey’s. As such, the King of the monkeys, Balīmukha, has selected you as his worthy wife.” While Kṛṣṇa was teasing Jaratī in this way, she replied that she was certainly aware of the fact that the King of the monkeys was trying to marry her, but she had already taken shelter of Kṛṣṇa, the killer of many powerful demons, and therefore she had already decided to marry Kṛṣṇa instead of the King of the monkeys. On hearing this sarcastic reply by the talkative Jaratī, all the cowherd girls present there began to laugh very loudly and clap their hands. This laughter, accompanied by the clapping of hands, is called atihasita.

…As I continued to read on, my toothless smile increased into outward laughter…

Sometimes there are indirect sarcastic remarks which also create atihasita circumstances. An example of one such remark was made by one of the cowherd girls to Kuṭilā, the daughter of Jaṭilā and sister of Abhimanyu, the so-called husband of Rādhārāṇī. Indirectly Kuṭilā was insulted by the following statement: “My dear Kuṭilā, daughter of Jaṭilā, your breasts are as long as string beans-simply dry and long. Your nose is so gorgeous that it is defying the beauty of the noses of frogs. And your eyes are more beautiful than the eyes of dogs. Your lips are defying the flaming cinders of fire, and your abdomen is as beautiful as a big drum. Therefore, my dear beautiful Kuṭilā, you are the most beautiful of all the cowherd girls of Vṛndāvana, and because of your extraordinary beauty, I think you must be beyond the attraction of the sweet blowing of Kṛṣṇa’s flute!”

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Krsna’s Exquisite Beauty

Madhava

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…Regarding the attractiveness of Kṛṣṇa’s bodily beauty and the sound vibration of His flute, in the Tenth Canto, 29th Chapter, 37th verse, of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the gopīs address Kṛṣṇa as follows: “Although our attitude towards You resembles loving affairs with a paramour, we cannot but wonder at how no woman can maintain her chastity upon hearing the vibration from Your flute. And not only women, but even stronghearted men are subject to falling down from their position at the sound of Your flute. In fact, we have seen that in Vṛndāvana even the cows, the deer, the birds, the trees-everyone-has been enchanted by the sweet vibration of Your flute and the fascinating beauty of Your person.”

In Rūpa Gosvāmī’s Lalita-mādhava, it is said: “One day Kṛṣṇa happened to see the shadow of His beautiful form reflected on the jeweled foreground. Upon seeing this bodily reflection, He expressed His feelings: ‘How wonderful it is that I have never seen such a beautiful form! Although it is My own form, still, like Rādhārāṇī, I am trying to embrace this form and enjoy celestial bliss.'” This statement shows how Kṛṣṇa and His shadow reflection are one and the same. There is no difference between Kṛṣṇa and His shadow reflection, nor between Kṛṣṇa and His picture. That is the transcendental position of Kṛṣṇa.

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Prabhupada Library

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Prabhupada Library

Reading Srila Prabhupada’s books is personal association with a pure devotee of Krishna. Prabhupada is living in his books and Krishna is also living in them.

“You may please me the most by reading my books and following the instructions therein…” (Srila Prabhupada)

A library of 16 essential books on Krishna consciousness by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder-Acarya of the Hare Krishna Movement. Includes: Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Krsna–The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.1, Science of Self-Realization,Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Nectar of Devotion, Nectar of Instruction, Sri Isopanisad, Perfection of Yoga, Beyond Birth and Death, Matchless Gift, Elevation to Krishna Consciousness, King of Knowledge, Easy Journey to Other Planets, On the Way to Krishna, Krsna the Reservoir of Pleasure, On Chanting Hare Krishna.

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Kṛṣṇa Means that He Attracts even Cupid; Madana-mohana

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“The very name Kṛṣṇa means that He attracts even Cupid. He is therefore attractive to everyone-male and female, moving and inert living entities. Indeed, Kṛṣṇa is known as the all-attractive one.

“Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has stated that devotional service attracts even Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa attracts everyone, but devotional service attracts Kṛṣṇa. The symbol of devotional service in the highest degree is Rādhārāṇī. Kṛṣṇa is called Madana-mohana, which means that He is so attractive that He can defeat the attraction of thousands of Cupids. But Rādhārāṇī is still more attractive, for She can even attract Kṛṣṇa. Therefore devotees call Her Madana-mohana-mohinī, the attractor of the attractor of Cupid. To perform devotional service means to follow in the footsteps of Rādhārāṇī…” (Nectar of Devotion Lecture, Nov. 11, 1972, Vrindavan)

…The name Madana refers to Cupid, but Kṛṣṇa is the spiritual Madana. His body is not material like the body of Cupid in this material universe. Kṛṣṇa’s body is all-spiritual-sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha. Therefore He is called Aprākṛta-madana. He is also known as Manmatha-madana, which means that He is attractive even to Cupid.

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Accepting the Shelter of a Bona Fide Spiritual Master

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The Nectar of Devotion is a summary study of Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, which was written in Sanskrit by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī Prabhupāda. He was the chief of the six Gosvāmīs, who were the direct disciples of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and has since been translated into English by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.

The author of Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, very humbly submits that he is just trying to spread Kṛṣṇa consciousness all over the world, although he humbly thinks himself unfit for this work. That should be the attitude of all preachers of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, following in the footsteps of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī. We should never think of ourselves as great preachers, but should always consider that we are simply instrumental to the previous ācāryas, and simply by following in their footsteps we may be able to do something for the benefit of suffering humanity. (From introduction to Nectar of Devotion)

Nectar of Devotion
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter 7 “Evidence Regarding Devotional Principles”

Accepting the Shelter of a Bona Fide Spiritual Master

In the Eleventh Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Third Chapter, verse 21, Prabuddha tells Mahārāja Nimi, “My dear King, please know for certain that in the material world there is no happiness. It is simply a mistake to think that there is happiness here, because this place is full of nothing but miserable conditions. Any person who is seriously desirous of achieving real happiness must seek out a bona fide spiritual master and take shelter of him by initiation. The qualification of a spiritual master is that he must have realized the conclusion of the scriptures by deliberation and arguments and thus be able to convince others of these conclusions. Such great personalities who have taken shelter of the Supreme Godhead, leaving aside all material considerations, are to be understood as bona fide spiritual masters. Everyone should try to find such a bona fide spiritual master in order to fulfill his mission of life, which is to transfer himself to the plane of spiritual bliss.”

The purport is that one should not accept as a spiritual master someone who is fool number one, who has no direction according to the scriptural injunctions, whose character is doubtful, who does not follow the principles of devotional service, or who has not conquered the influence of the six sense-gratifying agents. The six agents of sense gratification are the tongue, the genitals, the belly, anger, the mind and words. Anyone who has practiced controlling these six is permitted to make disciples all over the world. To accept such a spiritual master is the crucial point for advancement in spiritual life. One who is fortunate enough to come under the shelter of a bona fide spiritual master is sure to traverse the path of spiritual salvation without any doubt.

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Expecting the Lord’s Mercy

“In the Tenth Canto, Fourteenth Chapter, verse 8, it is said, “My dear Lord, any person who is constantly awaiting Your causeless mercy to be bestowed upon him, and who goes on suffering the resultant actions of his past misdeeds, offering You respectful obeisances from the core of his heart, is surely eligible to become liberated, for it has become his rightful claim.”

This statement of Srimad-Bhagavatam should be the guide of all devotees. A devotee should not expect immediate relief from the reactions of his past misdeeds. No conditioned soul is free from such reactionary experiences, because material existence means continued suffering or enjoying of past activities. If one has finished his material activities then there is no more birth. This is possible only when one begins Krsna conscious activities, because such activities do not produce reaction. Therefore, as soon as one becomes perfect in Krsna conscious activities, he is not going to take birth again in this material world. A devotee who is not perfectly freed from the resultant actions should therefore continue to act in Krsna consciousness seriously, even though there may be so many impediments. When such impediments arise he should simply think of Krsna and expect His mercy. That is the only solace. If the devotee passes his days in that spirit, it is certain that he is going to be promoted to the abode of the Lord. By such activities, he earns his claim to enter into the kingdom of God.”

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