Safety in a Dangerous World

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This morning I awoke to the news that Donald Trump has been elected as President on the United States of America. For some Americans this is frightening news. Others are rejoicing. I think we can all agree that the world is a dangerous place. This post by Padmapani Prabhu is really quite timely.

Safety in a Dangerous World
by Padmapani das

Ever since the tragic events of September 11, 2001, the world has been faced with unprecedented danger and uncertainty. Recent headlines suggest that the threat of terrorism has reached critical proportions. News of another possible attack in the U.S. has been circulating in the press and the rhetoric of war has dominated world politics for quite some time. Once again we are forced to contemplate our fragility and mortality in this material world. Anything can happen now and we know it.

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The Vaisnava Journal

the-vaisnava-journal

Recently my good friend Padmapani Prabhu, sent me this link to his page Prabhupada Connect where he has just posted the Vaisnava Journal in a pdf format. We will be posting all five issues here as well, for our readers, so you can download and save to your computer or just read online. Today we are posting Vol. 1, No. 2 as a free pdf download.

click on link to veiw or save; Vaisnava Journal

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The Vaisnava Journal
by Padmapani das

The Vaisnava Journal was created to help devotees work through our differences in a respectful and co-operative manner with the aim of preserving the loving mood in our spiritual family after the physical departure of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada. Although only five issues were printed and distributed over the next two-and-a-half years, the magazine was popular and well received by many leaders, members and friends of ISKCON.

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15th Anniversary of Tribhuvanatha Prabhu’s Departure

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15th Anniversary of Tribhuvanatha Prabhu’s Departure
by Padmapani das

I think the most important thing that I learned from Tribhuvanatha Prabhu is that one can serve the spiritual master in any condition of life and under any circumstances. We joined forces just after Srila Prabhupada’s departure, and from then on it was nonstop adventure and challenges. We had to quickly become self-reliant. It didn’t matter if we found ourselves in a safe situation or not, or whether we had lots of association or none at all. The main thing was serving Prabhupada. Service was our lifeline. So the Middle East program was great training, like being thrown into deep water without knowing how to swim. It was sink or swim, do or die. The material world is a war zone and only the strongest survive. Tribhuvanatha was a soldier for Srila Prabhupada and he led by example. The war against maya isn’t over, but at least I have some hope and inspiration thanks to Tribhuvanatha Prabhu.

Here is a video of Tribhuvanatha Prabhu’s memories of Srila Prabhupada:

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Simple Living and High Thinking

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My friend Padmapani Prabhu has been coming out with so many beautiful posts of late on his page The Prabhupada Connection, the following is one example.

Simple Living and High Thinking
by Padmapani Dasa

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Srila Prabhupada stayed in these rooms for six years (1959-1965) while he was preparing for his trip to America. The rooms were simple and austere.

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“Yes, we are trying to set a perfect example according to the Bhagavad-gita as it is, how to execute simple living and high thinking. We are not interested in any material comforts of life which are limited and temporary. We are interested in solving the real problems of life, birth, death, old-age, and disease. These problems must be solved, and Krishna gives the formula in the Bhagavad-gita.” (Srila Prabhupada letter, June 10, 1975)

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Vyasa-Puja Offering

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Vyasa-Puja Offering
by Padmapani das

nama om visnu-padaya krsna-presthaya bhutale
srimate bhaktivedanta-swamin iti namine
namaste sarasvate deve gaura-vani-pracarine
nirvisesa-sunyavadi-pacatya-desa-tarine

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

Dear Beloved Srila Prabhupada,

Please accept my humble obeisances in the dust of your lotus feet. All glories to Your Divine Grace.

Thank you for coming to this world to save us in spite of the tremendous difficulties and obstacles which you had to face alone, depending solely on the mercy of the Supreme Lord Krishna and your eternal spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura.

You are the Supreme Personality of Servitor Godhead, freely bestowing your causeless mercy upon the unqualified and ungrateful souls of Kali-yuga. I am amongst the most fallen of living entities and yet, by your unlimited compassion, you have glanced in my direction and now my life has become successful. Who can properly describe the glories of Your Divine Grace?

Many years have passed since the day I walked into your Los Angeles temple room and was so mercifully blessed with your divine association. Somehow or other you allowed me to join your happy family of loving devotees and it changed my life forever. You saved me, Srila Prabhupada, and I am eternally thankful and indebted to you.

Over the years our family has been struggling in your personal absence. Some of us have had difficulties and sometimes there have been harsh words spoken amongst us. In your personal presence, these things could always be resolved by your firm hand and loving guidance. But now we find everything more difficult.

Although I have no qualifications whatsoever, today I come before you with a humble prayer in my heart. Please help us to heal the rifts between us and to come together as a family once again at your lotus feet. There is so much service to be done in executing your blessed mission of delivering the conditioned souls in this world and therefore we need to work together in a spirit of love and co-operation to be truly effective in the way that you desired. But without your blessings, it will never come to pass. So I humbly pray at your lotus feet that you will so kindly enter our hearts and inspire us to find the ways and means of fulfilling your beautiful transcendental vision of a happy and unified world movement under your leadership and direction. Kindly help us to please you in this way.

Thank you very much, Srila Prabhupada. All glories to your divine lotus feet.

Your servant,
Padmapani das

Open for Everyone

Srila Prabhupada looking regal

My friend Padmapani Prabhu (the webmaster for Prabhupada Connect has been coming out with so many beautiful posts of late…we share another one with you here. Please visit his site if you get the chance.

“This Krishna consciousness movement is not something new, something that we have introduced or manufactured. It is authorized on the Vedic principles, authorized by acaryas like Caitanya Mahaprabhu and others. And the method is very simple; there is no loss. We are not charging anything, we are not asking for fees and giving the people some secret mantra and promising them that they will become God. No. This is open for everyone — children, women, girls, boys, old people — everyone can chant and see the results.” (Science of Self-Realization, Chapter 5)

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The Vaisnava Journal Free PDF Download

Vaisnava Journal

Recently my good friend Padmapani Prabhu, sent me this link to his page Prabhupada Connect where he has just posted the Vaisnava Journal in a pdf format. We will be posting all five issues here as well, for our readers, so you can download and save to your computer or just read online. Today we are posting Vol. 1, No. 1 as a free pdf download.

click on link to veiw or save; Vaisnava Journal Vol 1, No. 1 VJ-1
Note: this may take a few moments to load.

The Vaisnava Journal
by Padmapani das

The Vaisnava Journal was created to help devotees work through our differences in a respectful and co-operative manner with the aim of preserving the loving mood in our spiritual family after the physical departure of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada. Although only five issues were printed and distributed over the next two-and-a-half years, the magazine was popular and well received by many leaders, members and friends of ISKCON.

Read more…

Over the years, I’ve been approached by numerous devotees requesting copies of The Vaisnava Journal. Since I have only one set available, I was unable to comply until now. Please have a look at our humble attempt to serve Srila Prabhupada and his great mission during a time of change in our movement’s history.

In particular, I’d like to draw your attention to the Vaisnava Forum (letters section) which was launched to help facilitate a healthy dialogue among all participants. The mood was friendly and hopeful to which the devotees responded in kind. Writers and contributors read like a who’s who list of ISKCON members at the time. If anything, the journal proved that devotees of all persuasions can relate to one another with respect and godbrotherly love. This was Srila Prabhupada’s instruction and desire for us all.

“Perhaps you may know that there are many political parties in a country but when the country’s total responsibility has to be executed, they become combined. To have some little disagreements among yourselves is not very unnatural because we are all individual beings. But as we are working on behalf of Krishna, we should always forget our personal interests and see to the prime cause.” (Srila Prabhupada letter, January 21, 1969)

Respecting Srila Prabhupada

Drawing of Srila Prabhupada

From time to time I like to visit the web site The Prabhupada Connection just to drink in the nectar. If you haven’t visited this site yet, I recommend that you visit the underlined link above and bookmark it to your favorites.
The site was created by Padmapani Prabhu who is a disciple of Srila Prabhupada, and is well loved by the devotee community. The following is some nectar I found in the Editorial Notes category.

Respecting Srila Prabhupada
by Padmapani dasa

As disciples and followers of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krsna Consciousness, we all have an eternal debt to Srila Prabhupada for his unprecedented sacrifice in freely distributing the mercy of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu all over the world.

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Salvation from the Material World

Living in the Material World


Salvation from the Material World
By Sriman Padmapani Prabhu

On November 2nd, 1974, ex-Beatle George Harrison launched his North American tour in Vancouver, Canada. Since George was a follower of Krishna consciousness, the Vancouver devotees were eager to distribute Srila Prabhupada’s books and magazines to local fans attending the concert. George was expected to play a number of hits from his latest record (“Living in the Material World”), which contained many songs of devotion to the Lord:

“I’m living in the material world
Living in the material world
I hope to get out of this place
By the Lord Sri Krishna’s grace
My salvation from the material world.”

As we entered the Pacific Coliseum, Mahesh Prabhu and I headed for the floor, our saffron bags filled with books, magazines and incense. The crowd was obviously excited as we gradually walked to the front of the stage, distributing our spiritual goods along the way. “Hare Krishna” people shouted. Many of George’s fans knew that he had an affinity towards our movement, so they were very friendly and supportive. When the concert began, George appeared onstage wearing a number of buttons containing spiritual pictures and “om” signs. His neck was adorned with tulasi beads.

Mahesh Prabhu pulled out a large hardbound edition of Srila Prabhupada’s Krishna Book, which had been published with the help of a kind donation by George Harrison himself. When Mahesh got to the front row, he held the Krishna Book high in the air so that George could possibly see it from the stage. As he made his way towards Mahesh, George in fact noticed Srila Prabhupada’s book. His eyes lit up and a large smile beamed across his face as he bowed his head in respect. Since Mahesh was a big fan of the Beatles before joining ISKCON, he was thrilled to have this simple transcendental exchange with one of his old heroes. What an auspicious start to George Harrison’s 1974 tour.

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Prayer to the Lotus Feet of Krsna

Prayer to the Lotus Feet of Krsna
By: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krsna Consciousness

On September 13, 1965, Srila Prabhupada wrote the following prayer
on board the Jaladuta steamship bound for America.

I emphatically say to you, O brothers, you will obtain your good fortune from the Supreme Lord Krsna only when Srimati Radharani becomes pleased with you.

Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur, who is very dear to Lord Gauranga, the son of mother Saci, is unparalleled in his service to the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna. He is that great saintly spiritual master who bestows intense devotion to Krsna at different places throughout the world.

By his strong desire, the holy name of Lord Gauranga will spread throughout all the countries of the Western world. In all the cities, towns and villages on the earth, from all the oceans, seas, rivers and streams, everyone will chant the holy name of Krsna.

As the vast mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu conquers all directions, a flood of transcendental ecstacy will certainly cover the land. When all the sinful, miserable living entities become happy, the Vaisnava’s desire is then fulfilled.

Although my Guru Maharaja ordered me to accomplish this mission, I am not worthy or fit to do it. I am very fallen and insignificant. Therefore, O Lord, now I am begging for Your mercy so that I may become worthy, for You are the wisest and most experienced of all.

If You bestow Your power, by serving the spiritual master one attains the Absolute Truth — one’s life becomes successful. If that service is obtained, then one becomes happy and gets Your association due to good fortune.

evam janam nipatitam prabhavahikupe
kamabhikamam anu yah prapatan prasangat
krtvatmasat surarsina bhagavan grhitah
so ‘ham katham nu visrje tava bhrtya-sevam

“My dear Lord, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, because of my association with material desires, one after another, I was gradually falling into a blind well of snakes, following the general populace. But Your servant Narada Muni kindly accepted me as his disciple and instucted me how to achieve this transcendental position. Therefore, my first duty is to serve him. How could I leave his service?” (Prahlada Maharaja to Lord Nrsimhadeva, Srimad-Bhagavatam, 7.9.28)

O Lord Krsna, You are my eternal companion. Forgetting You, I have suffered the kicks of maya birth after birth. If today the chance to meet You occurs again, then I will surely be able to rejoin You.

O dear friend, in Your company I will experience great joy once again. In the early morning I will wander about the cowherd pastures and fields. Running and frolicking in the many forests of Vraja, I will roll on the ground in spiritual ecstacy. O when will that day be mine?

Today that remembrance of You came to me in a very nice way. Because I have a great longing I called to You. I am Your eternal servant and therefore I desire Your association so much. O Lord Krsna, except for You there is no other means of success.

Pasted from: The Prabhupada Connection

Jayananda

Jayananda Prabhu: Staunchness Personified
By Sriman Padmapani Prabhu

The first time I saw Jayananda Prabhu was in 1974 in San Francisco. A number of devotees had driven down from Vancouver to participate in the Rathayatra Festival there. As soon as we arrived, the brahmacaris were sent over to help out at the cart site. There were many devotees there lifting wooden beams, hammering nails and working like mad to meet the deadline. Then along came a tall serious looking devotee who struck me as a genuine no-nonsense leader. It was Jayananda Prabhu. He immediately took charge and began engaging everyone in Lord Jagannatha’s service. Along with Visnujana Swami, I had never seen anyone with such a powerful devotional aura about him. There was no mistaking his total dedication to his service. In fact, I recall thinking to myself at the time, “This devotee is staunchness personified.” To this day, I always remember him in that light.

Every day we had to help work on the carts and around the grounds to help get things ready in time for Rathayatra. I heard that there were about 500 brahmacaris there from all over the U.S. and Canada. It seemed like total mayhem to me, but Jayananda always

looked like he knew what he was doing, so I assumed that everything was in complete control.

Jayananda Prabhu was all over the site and beyond during those Rathayatra Festivals, attending to every little detail and making sure that everyone was engaged and well fed so that we could try and keep up to his pace. But it was obvious to everyone that he was specially empowered to perform this service like no one else. Yet he made no big fanfare about it nor showed even a trace of false ego. He was just totally sincere and worked harder and longer than anyone else.

While working alongside him, I think that the best word which comes to mind in describing his attitude is “determined.” His mind was totally fixed on devotional service. His consciousness was unlike that of an ordinary conditioned soul, prone to wandering here and there. He was blessed with pinpoint concentration, which he fully engaged in the service of his beloved Srila Prabhupada and Lord Jagannatha. What a blessing just to be in his presence and watch him serve with such unparalleled devotional zeal.

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Practicing Krishna Consciousness at Home


The Simple Method
by Sriman Padmapani Prabhu

Sometimes it appears very difficult to make advancement in Krsna consciousness, and we become impatient. If we expect immediate results and they aren’t forthcoming, we can easily become discouraged. For those of us who are unable to live in a temple (or even near a temple), this is especially true. So what’s the solution?

In November of 1969, while speaking in London’s Conway Hall, Srila Prabhupada stated the following:

“The process is very simple. Just keep a picture of Lord Caitanya with His associates. Lord Caitanya is in the middle, accompanied by His principal associates — Nityananda, Advaita, Gadadhara, and Srivasa. One simply has to keep this picture. One can keep it anywhere. It is not that one has to come to us to see this picture. Anyone can have this picture in his home, chant this Hare Krsna mantra, and thus worship Lord Caitanya. That is the simple method. But who will capture this simple method? Those who have good brains. Without much bother, if one simply keeps a picture of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu at home and chants Hare Krsna, then one will realize God. Anyone can adopt this simple method. There is no expenditure, there is no tax, nor is there any need to build a very big church or temple. Anyone, anywhere, can sit down on the road or beneath a tree and chant the Hare Krsna mantra and worship God. Therefore it is a great opportunity.”

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Forever Grateful to Srila Prabhupada


Forever Grateful to Srila Prabhupada
By Sriman Padmapani Prabhu

Thinking back to the late sixties and early seventies, I fondly remember how the Hare Krsna mantra had already infiltrated contemporary culture due to Srila Prabhupada’s extraordinary efforts to spread the holy names throughout the world. A number of famous musicians and artists had begun to discover the chanting and were promoting it in their records and books.

For example, the Broadway musical “Hair” was a big hit and the accompanying record — which included the chanting of Hare Krsna — became a popular staple on the radio. George Harrison recorded the song “My Sweet Lord” with the melodious chanting of Krsna’s names in the background, and prior to that, the words “Hare Krsna” could be found on one of the Beatles’ albums. Poet Allen Ginsberg, a self-styled leader of the new counterculture, had visited India and picked up the mantra there. He subsequently wrote about the chanting in at least one or more of his poetry books. After meeting Prabhupada at 26 Second Avenue in the Lower East Side of New York, Ginsberg increased his dedication to the holy names and often chanted them during “be-ins” and poetry readings. When John Lennon and Yoko Ono staged their famous “bed-in” at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal in 1969, the devotees were there singing Hare Krsna during the recording of “Give Peace a Chance.” The “Radha Krsna Temple” album produced by George Harrison in 1970 in co-operation with the London devotees could be found in record stores throughout Europe and North America. Such was the widespread influence of Srila Prabhupada’s dynamic preaching efforts even though he had only been in the western world for a short period of time. Srila Prabhupada was already expertly fulfilling the order of his spiritual master, His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaj.

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Practicing Krishna Consciousness at Home

Practicing Krishna Consciousness at Home
by Padmapani Prabhu

Since the vast majority of our readers are coming to Srila Prabhupada and Krishna Consciousness for the first time through Internet searches, and without access to devotee association or a nearby Hare Krishna temple, many people have inquired about how they can set up an altar in their homes and start practicing Krishna Consciousness at their own pace.

The first and foremost principle of Krishna Consciousness is chanting the Hare Krishna mantra:
“Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”

This mantra is a prayer to the Supreme Lord which means: “O energy of the Lord (Hare), O all-attractive Lord Krishna, O Supreme Enjoyer (Rama), please engage me in Your service.”

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Connecting with Srila Prabhupada


Prabhupada connect
by Padmapani Prabhu

Yet many times we still receive letters asking us how to connect with Srila Prabhupada now that he is apparently absent from our material vision. This should not be a mystery, since after all, Srila Prabhupada is a bona fide spiritual master, i.e. a master of spirit.

“A pure devotee of the Lord does not live on any planet of the material sky, nor does he feel any contact with material elements. His so-called material body does not exist, being surcharged with the spiritual current of the Lord’s identical interest, and thus he is permanently freed from all contaminations of the sum total of the mahat-tattva. He is always in the spiritual sky, which he attains by being transcendental to the sevenfold material covering by the effect of his devotional service. The conditioned souls are within the coverings, whereas the liberated soul is far beyond the cover.”

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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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