Kundalini, Reincarnation, the Astral World, and More

This morning I happened upon this very interesting conversation between Srila Prabhupada and a guest, while I was visiting the Sampradaya Sun. We are reprinting the entire conversation as it was published in the Back to Godhead Magazine.

Kundalini, Reincarnation, the Astral World, and More
by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
excerpted from Back to Godhead Magazine 1983 Volume 18 No. 9

Questions and Answers On the Science of Transcendence

This conversation with guests took place at the Hare Krsna center in Los Angeles in the late sixties.

Guest: What is the outcome of the continual chanting of om?

Srila Prabhupada: Like the Hare Krsna mantra, om is a manifestation of the Supreme Lord in the form of sound vibration. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gita. So, Hare Krsna and om have practically the same value, but chanting Hare Krsna is easier. Another reason we chant Hare Krsna is that it was specifically chanted by Lord Caitanya. * [“Lord Caitanya is Krsna Himself in the role of His own devotee. He appeared in Bengal, India, five hundred years ago to teach love of God through the chanting of the Hare Krsna mantra.]

Om is generally chanted at the beginning of Vedic mantras: om tad visnoh paramam padam sada. . . . om purnam adah purnam idam. Om addresses the Lord, and Hare Krsna also addresses the Lord. But chanting Hare Krsna is easier, and it is recommended for this age. Otherwise, transcendentally, or spiritually, there is no difference.

Guest: What do you think of kundalini-yoga and raja-yoga?

Srila Prabhupada: Raja-yoga means “the king of yogas.” But we are practicing the emperor of yogas, bhakti-yoga, so raja-yoga is included in it. In the Bhagavad-gita [6.47], Lord Krsna says,

yoginam api sarvesam
mad-gatenantar-atmana
sraddhavan bhajate yo mam
sa me yuktatamo matah

“Anyone who is always thinking of Me within himself is the topmost yogi.”

Therefore a person who is in full Krsna consciousness has surpassed all other kinds of yogic principles”.

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Pranams (Prayers)

Srila Prabhupada playing harmonium

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One of the most used books in our temple room is the songbook. Everyday it seems, I am flipping through the “Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas”, singing one of the many songs or reciting some of the numerous pranams (prayers) as part of my daily sadhana. The following post is the first 13 pages of songbook, which in my mind is a nice way to start the day and is a good prelude to other devotional service.

Pranams
from the Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas

SRI GURU PRANAMA

om ajnana-timirandhasya jnananjana-salakaya
caksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri-gurave namah

om-address; ajnana-of ignorance; timira-by the darkness; andhasya-of one who was blinded; jnana-anjana-by the ointment of spiritual knowledge; salakaya-by a medical instrument called a salaka, which is used to apply medical ointment to eyes afflicted with cataracts: caksuh-eyes; unmilitam-were opened; yena-by whom; tasmai-unto him; sri-gurave-unto my spiritual master; namah-obeisances.

I offer my respectful obeisances unto my spiritual master, who has opened my eyes, which were blinded by the darkness of ignorance, with the torchlight of knowledge.

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The Letter U (u-kāra) Indicates Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, The Pleasure Potency of Kṛṣṇa.

Om in lotus petal

The other day as I was doing some research on Srimati Radharani, for her appearance day post, I ran across the following;

…Oṁkāra is a combination of the letters a, u and m. A-kāreṇocyate kṛṣṇaḥ the letter a (a-kāra) refers to Kṛṣṇa, who is sarva-lokaika-nāyakaḥ, the master of all living entities and planets, material and spiritual. Nāyaka means “leader.” He is the supreme leader (nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13)). The letter u (u-kāra) indicates Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, the pleasure potency of Kṛṣṇa, and m (ma-kāra) indicates the living entities (jīvas). Thus oṁ is the complete combination of Kṛṣṇa, His potency and His eternal servitors. In other words, oṁkāra represents Kṛṣṇa, His name, fame, pastimes, entourage, expansions, devotees, potencies and everything else pertaining to Him. As Caitanya Mahāprabhu states in the present verse of Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, sarva-viśva-dhāma: oṁkāra is the resting place of everything, just as Kṛṣṇa is the resting place of everything (brahmaṇo hi pratiṣṭhāham) (CC Adi 7.128, Purport)

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The Syllable Om

om

The Syllable Om

Many years ago as a young aspiring yogi, and with my very first attempts at meditation, I began my practice with the sacred syllable Om. Many years later and although I may have advanced somewhat spiritually, and practice bhakti-yoga, devotional service and the chanting of the Maha-mantra Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, still all my morning prayers still begin with the syllable Om. Such as “om namo bhagavate vasudevaya” before my reading of the Srimad Bhagavatam. And my morning offering of respectful obeisances to my spiritual master Srila Prabhupada with the prayer “om ajñāna-timirāndhasya jñānāñjana-śalākayā, cakṣur unmīlitaṁ yena tasmai śrī-gurave namaḥ” and “nama oṁ viṣṇu-pādāya kṛṣṇa-preṣṭhāya bhū-tale,śrīmate bhaktivedānta-svāmin iti nāmine”. Today we are looking at a few slokas from the Bhagavad-gita where the syllable Om is used.

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Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, What’s So Special About Chanting Hare Krishna?

spiritual enthusiasm

This will begin a new 6 part series on ‘Chanting Hare Krishna’ written by Sri Nandanandana Prabhu (Stephen Knapp).

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna,
What’s So Special About Chanting Hare Krishna?

By Stephen Knapp

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

We’ve all heard the Hare Krishna mantra at some time, but what the heck is so special about this mantra? Why are we supposed to spend time chanting it? What can it do for us?

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Fix Your Mind Upon the Personality of Godhead

In our previous post Om, Oṁkāra, or the Praṇava, is the Seed of Transcendental Realization Oṁkāra, or the praṇava, which is the seed of transcendental realization, and it is composed of the three transcendental letters a-u-m, was discussed. By its chanting by the mind, in conjunction with the breathing process, was a means of changing the habit of the mind, to bring the mind under control. But in this next verse, Śukadeva Gosvāmī recommends the next step in God Realization, namely to fix one’s mind in the service of the Personality of Godhead.

Gradually, as the mind becomes progressively spiritualized, withdraw it from sense activities, and by intelligence the senses will be controlled. The mind too absorbed in material activities can be engaged in the service of the Personality of Godhead and become fixed in full transcendental consciousness.

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Om, Oṁkāra, or the Praṇava, is the Seed of Transcendental Realization

…Oṁkāra, or the praṇava, is the seed of transcendental realization, and it is composed of the three transcendental letters a-u-m. By its chanting by the mind, in conjunction with the breathing process, which is a transcendental but mechanical way of getting into trance, as devised by the experience of great mystics, one is able to bring the mind, which is materially absorbed, under control.

Oṁkāra is the seed of all transcendental sound and it is only the transcendental sound which can bring about the desired change of the mind and the senses. Mind or desire cannot be stopped, but to develop a desire to function for spiritual realization, the quality of engagement by the mind has to be changed.

In the Bhagavad-gītā, the praṇava (oṁkāra) has been accepted as the direct, literal representation of the Supreme Absolute Truth. One who is not able to chant directly the holy name of the Lord, as recommended above, can easily chant the praṇava (oṁkāra). This oṁkāra is a note of address, such as “O my Lord,” just as oṁ hari om means “O my Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” As we have explained before, the Lord’s holy name is identical with the Lord Himself. So also is oṁkāra. But persons who are unable to realize the transcendental personal form or name of the Lord on account of their imperfect senses (in other words, the neophytes) are trained to the practice of self-realization by this mechanical process of regulating the breathing function and simultaneously repeating the praṇava (oṁkāra) within the mind.

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Om Hari Om

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

Om or Hare Krishna?

Om or Hare Krishna?
By Kurappiah Chockalingam

Though the sacred sound om is often associated with impersonalists, only the devotees understand its full import.

The Gosvamis of Vrndavana have analyzed om (a-u-m) as follows: The letter a refers to Krsna, the master of all planets and all living entities. The letter u indicates Srimati Radharani, the pleasure potency of Krsna, and m indicates the living entities. Thus omkara represents Krsna; His name, fame, pastimes, potencies, and devotees; and everything else pertaining to Him.

THROUGHOUT THE VEDAS there is much mention of the syllabel om. This spiritual vibration, which is sometimes called omkara or pranava, comprises three Sanskrit sounds – a, u, and ma (the a in ma is silent). When these three sounds are combined, the result is the single-syllabled vibration om.
An unusual attribute of om is that it has no direct translation from Sanskrit into English. And though every Vedantist will accept om to be a representation of God, exactly how om is viewed differs according to various schools to thought. These schools can be classified into two main categories, the Mayavadi, or impersonalist, and the Vaisnava, or devotee.

The impersonalist, as the name suggests, is happy to treat om as an impersonal, formless, representation of the Absolute Truth. Therefore, the Mayavadi will very openly chant om, being careful to avoid names such as Krsna and Rama, which according to them, are limited. A Mayavadi might explain his theory of pranava om like this: “Since this whole universe has been created by Him (God), whatever there is in the universe is Him alone.

As such, He has no name. But if He has to have a name, then all names are His, for He alone is appearing in all forms. The first sound in most languages is a; the last sound to leave as our mouth closes is m; u is the center of the two. Together, they represent all the basic sounds from which words are produced. And threfore, these three sounds, making up the syllable om, represent the entire universe of names and forms.”

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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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Srimad Bhagavatam Online

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Raja-Vidya the King of Knowledge

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Important Slokas from the Brahma-samhita

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Slokas from the Sri Isopanisad

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Prayers By Queen Kunti (Slokas)

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Gajendra’s Prayers of Surrender (Slokas)

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A Short Statement of the Philosophy of Krishna Consciousness

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July 9th Letter

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The Hare Krishna Explosion

Reference Material/Study Guide

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