George Harrision and the Devotees

george harrison with devotees

 

This is a classic photo from the early days of the Hare Krishna Movement in England.

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Bringing the Holy Name to Germany

Sivananda das-temple-in-Germany

Sivananda Prabhu
Temple in Germany

Bringing the Holy Name to Germany
by Hamsaduta Dasa
Excerpted from; German ‘Back To Godhead’ Magazine

click on above link to view the original German Back to Godhead Magazines. Great Site!

In August of 1968, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada introduced Krsna consciousness to the European continent. At that time Srila Prabhupada was visiting the Montreal, Canada, branch of his newly founded ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness). The leading devotee of the Montreal Center, Sivananda dasa brahmacari, approached Srila Prabhupada and informed him that he had saved a thousand dollars that he had intended to use for his enrollment at London University. As a surrendered soul, Sivananda offered to engage this money directly in the service of his spiritual master. He submitted to Srila Prabhupada that he no longer felt that the best use of the money was to finance his education at the university, but he suggested that he might be allowed to go to Europe to open the way there for Krsna consciousness.

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Hari-kīrtana

Hare Krishna Mantra

harer nāma harer nāma
harer nāmaiva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva
nāsty eva gatir anyathā

In this Age of Kali there is no other means, no other means, no other means for self-realization than chanting the holy name, chanting the holy name, chanting the holy name of Lord Hari.
[Adi 17.21]


This hari-kīrtana was started five hundred years ago in Bengal by Lord Caitanya. In Bengal there is competition between the Vaiṣṇavas and the śāktas. The śāktas have introduced a certain type of kīrtana called kālī-kīrtana. But in the Vedic scriptures there is no recommendation of kālī-kīrtana. Kīrtana means hari-kīrtana. One cannot say, “Oh, you are Vaiṣṇava. You can perform hari-kīrtana. I shall perform śiva-kīrtana or devī-kīrtana or gaṇeśa-kīrtana.” No. The Vedic scriptures do not authorize any kīrtana other than hari-kīrtana. Kīrtana means hari-kīrtana, the glorification of Kṛṣṇa.

So this process of hari-kīrtana is very simple: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. Actually there are only three words: Hare, Kṛṣṇa, and Rāma. But they are very nicely arranged for chanting so that everyone can take the mantra and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare. Since we have started this movement in the Western countries, Europeans, Americans, Africans, Egyptians, and Japanese are all chanting. There is no difficulty. They are chanting very gladly, and they are getting the results. What is the difficulty? We are distributing this chanting free of charge, and it is very simple. Simply by chanting, one can have self-realization, God realization, and when there is God realization, then nature realization is included also. (from The Science of Self Realization)

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Madhudvisa dasa (ACBSP) Departs

Madhuvisa dasa

…I have no objection if you feel like going to Australia for heading up the Sankirtana party there and managing things in general….You can go to Australia, there you have got enough field for your dancing. (Letter to Madhudvisa dasa April 26, 1972)

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The Sankirtan Movement

Lord Caitanya Kirtan

I love reading all these letter written by Srila Prabhupada to his aspiring disciples, and the following letter written to Susan Beckman is very sweet.

…Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the incarnation of Godhead in this age has delivered the medicine for all problems of the world by his introducing the Sankirtan movement. Sankirtan means to chant that Holy names of the Lord and to give up all other engagements. The chanting is a process of purification. Just like we use soap to cleanse the body, this is material, but the chanting is spiritual cleansing.

…The conclusion is that one should learn the art of chanting the Holy name of Krishna 24 hours a day and that alone is the remedy for all problems of material existence. How is it possible to chant 24 hours a day? Lord Chaitanya gave the hint, “One can chant the holy name of God in a humble state of mind, thinking himself lower than the straw in the street, more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all kinds of sense of false prestige, and always ready to offer all respects to others. In such a humble state of mind one can chant the Holy name of God constantly.” So I cannot give you any better advice for your problem, simply chant Hare Krishna and everything will be all right. (Letter to Susan Beckman)

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Chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa Mahā-mantra

The Hare Krishna Movement 1

click on image to enlarge

Following in the footsteps of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is distributing the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra and inducing people all over the world to chant. We are giving people an immense treasury of transcendental literature, translated into all the important languages of the world, and by the grace of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu this literature is selling profusely, and people are chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra with great delight. This is the preaching process of the Caitanya cult. Since the Lord wanted this cult preached all over the world, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness is acting in a humble way so that the vision of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu may be fulfilled all over the world, especially in the Western countries. (Purport to Cc. Adi-lila 16.19)

…the human form of life is a chance to understand, and if one misses this opportunity, he is most unfortunate. The way to get out of illusory māyā is to engage in the topics of Kṛṣṇa. Lord Caitanya advocated a process whereby everyone may remain in his present position without change but simply hear from the proper authoritative sources about Kṛṣṇa. Lord Caitanya advised everyone to spread the word of Kṛṣṇa. He advised, “All of you become spiritual masters. Your duty is simply to talk to whomever you meet of Kṛṣṇa or of the instructions given by Kṛṣṇa.” The International Society for Krishna Consciousness is operating for this purpose. We do not ask anyone to first change his position and then come to us. Instead, we invite everyone to come with us and simply chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare, because we know that if one simply chants and hears the topics of Kṛṣṇa, one’s life will change; he will see a new light, and his life will be successful. ( from purport to SB 4.7.44)

This morning my reading took me to the following verses which describe the importance and ecstasy of chanting Hare Krishna. We share with you these very nice verses and purports More

Yoga as Action

kirtan

…In the Sixth and Eighth Chapters of Bhagavad-gītā, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, explains that the eightfold yoga system is a means to control the mind and senses. This method, however, is very difficult for people to perform, especially in this age of Kali, an age characterized by ignorance and chaos.

Although this eightfold yoga system is particularly recommended in the Sixth Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā, the Lord emphasizes that the process of karma-yoga, action in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is superior.

…No one really wants to sit down and meditate. Why should we? We’re meant for positive activity, for recreation, for pleasure. In Kṛṣṇa consciousness, our recreation is dancing and chanting, and when we get tired, we take prasāda. Is dancing difficult? Is chanting difficult? We don’t charge anything to dance in the temple. If you go to a ballroom, you have to pay to enter, but we do not charge. It is natural to enjoy music and dancing and palatable foods. These are our recreations, and this is our method of meditation. So this yoga system is not at all laborious. It is simply recreation, susukham. It is stated in the Ninth Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā (9.2) that this yoga is susukham—very happy. “It is everlasting, and it is joyfully performed.” It is natural, automatic, and spontaneous. It is our real life in the spiritual world. (The Path of Perfection)

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Sankirtan Stories

302_-_BTG_Year-1998_Volume-32_Number-02_Page_01

The following is a very nice story which appeared as a Back to Godhead Magazine Article back in 1998. It was written by Locanananda dasa and he recounts the true events that occurred while out chanting on a hot summers day, in the streets of New York City.

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Traveling Temple

Harinam Truck in NYC

Harinam Sankirtana

A friend shared these images with me on Facebook and we thought we would share them with you. I loved this idea of a traveling temple, and in the 1970’s I traveled on one of the famous Radha-Damodara bus’s. This idea of bringing the holy name to every Town & Village should be encouraged throughout our society more and more. This would help unite devotees under the banner of Lord Caitanya, and bring peace to the world.

In pursuance of the order of Lord Caitanya, the devotees of the Krishna Consciousness movement should try to introduce the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra throughout the world. It is only by chanting Hare Krishna that one may get free from the disease of forgetfulness of Krishna, which is the root cause of all suffering. However one is situated, whether one is single, married or renounced, one should have the determination to go out and preach Krishna consciousness. That was the instruction of our spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. (Locanananda das)

“We are saying that this Hare Krishna maha-mantra can save everyone, and we are therefore distributing it publicly, free of charge… The devotees are preaching without charge, declaring in the streets, parks, and everywhere. “Here! Here is the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. Come on, take it!” (POP p. 72)

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Heaven or Hell

Srila Prabhupada in New York City

click on image to enlarge

…The Kṛṣṇa conscious person can go even to hell and still be happy. The pure devotee is never unhappy in any condition of life.

For a devotee, being situated in the heavenly planets and being in the hellish planets are equal, for a devotee lives neither in heaven nor in hell but with Kṛṣṇa in the spiritual world. The secret of success for the devotee is not understood by the karmīs and jñānīs. Karmīs therefore try to be happy by material adjustment, and jñānīs want to be happy by becoming one with the Supreme. The devotee has no such interest. He is not interested in so-called meditation in the Himalayas or the forest. Rather, his interest is in the busiest part of the world, where he teaches people Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement was started for this purpose. We do not teach one to meditate in a secluded place just so that one may show that he has become very much advanced and may be proud of his so-called transcendental meditation, although he engages in all sorts of foolish materialistic activity.

A Vaiṣṇava is not interested in such a bluff of spiritual advancement. Rather, he is interested in enlightening people in Kṛṣṇa consciousness because that is the only way for them to become happy. One wanders within the universe, life after life, but by the grace of a devotee, a servant of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, one can get the clue to Kṛṣṇa consciousness and then not only become happy in this world but also return home, back to Godhead. That is the real target in life… The members of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement must be fully convinced that without Kṛṣṇa one cannot be happy. Thus the Kṛṣṇa conscious person avoids all kinds of pseudo spiritualists, transcendentalists, meditators, monists, philosophers and philanthropists. (from Purport to SB 7.9.44)

Full Verse and Purport More

The Best Advice

Jayananda das  Sankirtan

…Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the incarnation of Godhead in this age has delivered the medicine for all problems of the world by his introducing the Sankirtan movement. The chanting is a process of purification. Just like we use soap to cleanse the body, this is material, but the chanting is spiritual cleansing.

…one should learn the art of chanting the Holy name of Krishna 24 hours a day and that alone is the remedy for all problems of material existence. How is it possible to chant 24 hours a day? Lord Chaitanya gave the hint, “One can chant the holy name of God in a humble state of mind, thinking himself lower than the straw in the street, more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all kinds of sense of false prestige, and always ready to offer all respects to others. In such a humble state of mind one can chant the Holy name of God constantly.” So I cannot give you any better advice for your problem, simply chant Hare Krishna and everything will be all right. (Letter to Susan Bekman from Srila Prabhupada)

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Cleansing the Heart / Ceto-darpana-marjanam

Nectar of Devotion Lectures 1972 Vrindavan

click on image to enlarge

…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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Importance of Hari Nama Sankirtan

Kirtan Party

Importance of Hari Nama Sankirtan
Excerpted from letters and lectures by Srila Prabhupada

…I think you should try to always have Sankirtana going on. All other things are subsidiary. This chanting is our life and soul, so we must arrange our program now so that there will be as much chanting on the streets and at college engagements as possible.

…Outdoor kirtana must be done, even at the cost of suspending all editorial work. That is your first and foremost business. Temple worship is not so important. If need be, the whole temple can be locked, but the outdoor kirtana cannot be stopped.

…Your business is not to, I mean to say, satisfy the crowd. Your business is satisfy Kṛṣṇa, and then crowd will be automatically satisfied. We are not going to please the crowd. We are going to give them something, Kṛṣṇa. So you should be very much careful whether you are delivering Kṛṣṇa in the right way. Then they’ll be satisfied. Your only business should be to satisfy Kṛṣṇa.

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Practicing Kṛṣṇa Consciousness

…While churning the butter, mother Yaśodā was singing about the childhood activities of Kṛṣṇa. It was formerly a custom that if one wanted to remember something constantly, he would transform it into poetry or have this done by a professional poet. It appears that mother Yaśodā did not want to forget Kṛṣṇa’s activities at any time. Therefore she poeticized all of Kṛṣṇa’s childhood activities, such as the killing of Pūtanā, Aghāsura, Śakaṭāsura and Tṛṇāvarta, and while churning the butter, she sang about these activities in poetical form. This should be the practice of persons eager to remain Kṛṣṇa conscious twenty-four hours a day. This incident shows how Kṛṣṇa conscious mother Yaśodā was. To stay in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, we should follow such persons. (SB 10.9.1-2)

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The Generals Who Could Not Be Defeated

…whatever Krsna Consciousness exists outside of India is due to the humble efforts of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who openly challenged the scientific voidism and sectarian impersonalism dominating the world. Like Bhaktivinode Thakur and Bhaktisiddhanta Thakur, his predecessors in bringing Lord Caitanya’s causeless mercy of Harinama out of India, His Divine Grace remains undefeated, and is prepared to commission any and all of his followers to carry on the tradition of victory.

…The Generals who could not be defeated have already provided the strategy, weapons, and knowledge, the spiritual strength, to guarantee ultimate victory. The Parampara Acaryas have chosen Srila Prabhupada-vani to lead the mission into this 21st Century…

Therefore, the wise shall accept the infallible guidance and protection of Srila Prabhupada and to best capacity help deliver, by His Divine Grace, the inconceivable benediction of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

The Generals Who Could Not Be Defeated
by Sriman Rupanuga das

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada once remarked to his disciples, “You must become a general like me. I cannot be defeated.” Srila Prabhupada was commissioned by another undefeated general, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Thakur, who against all opposition established the legitimacy and influence of the Gaudiya Vaisnava siddhanta in India. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta met resistance from every quarter: professional gurus, prakrta-sahajiyas, caste goswamis, ecumenists, eclecticists, et al., but anyone who dared to sally forth and meet his challenge was ultimately trounced.

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Hare Kṛṣṇa Mahā-mantra

Taking it to the Streets

As each and every ISKCON Center is my life and soul for preaching this movement, I hope you are doing your best to conduct the regular routine duties of the Temple — chanting regularly the beads, observing the restrictive regulations, taking Sankirtana Party to the streets, and selling our magazines and books. (Los Angeles 4 May, 1970)

Pasted from; Iskcon Times

Importance of Book Distribution

I am glad to hear that you are distributing nicely books and magazines. The more we sell books, the more we advance in Krishna Consciousness, and the more we help others to have solid information how they may take advantage of their human form of life and achieve the supreme perfection. So I want that you should now increase very greatly this selling of books and literatures. (S.P.L. to Kulasekhara 20/1/72)

One Krishna book sold means we go forward one step in our Krishna Consciousness. We should always remember this. (S.P.L. to Visnujana Maharaja 4th April 1971)

I am very glad to hear all the good news, especially that you want to sell books more and more. That is the best preaching work; each book sold means there is some practical effect of preaching, there is some tangible progress. So try to sell books as many as possible in your country, and in this way, so long you remain active but not for your personal sense-gratification, so long you remain active only satisfying Krishna’s senses, then this movement will be successful without any doubt. As soon as someone wants to satisfy his own senses, then he fails at everything. (S.P.L. to Kuruksetra 23/11/72)

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The Lotus Feet of Lord Nityananda

Nitai-Pada-Kamala
The Lotus Feet of Lord Nityananda
By Srila Narottama dasa Thakura
Purport By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

nitai-pada-kamala, koti-chandra-susitala,
je chayay jagatu juray
heno nitai bine bhai, radha-krsna paite nai,
dridha kori’ dharo nitair pay

The lotus feet of Sri Nityananda are as cool as millions of moons. The whole universe gets peace by the shade of those lotus feet. Without the mercy of Sri Nityananda, nobody can get Radha and Krishna, the aim of human life. Therefore, catch hold of the two lotus feet of Sri Nityananda Prabhu very tightly.

se sambandha nahi ja’r, britha janma gelo ta’r,
se pashu bodo durachara
nitai na bolilo mukhe, majilo samsara-sukhe,
vidya-kule ki koribe tara

One who has not established a relationship with Sri Nityananda is a two-legged animal. A great beast! His whole life is finished. He cannot be called a human being. He never utters the name of Sri Nityananda. He is always immersed in enjoying material happiness and has forgotten Sri Nitai. He may have acquired all material scholarship and learning, but what is the value of such education? This will never help.

ahankare matta hoiya, nitai-pada pasariya,
asatyere satya kori mani
nitaiyer karuna habe, braje radha-krsna pabe,
dharo nitai-charana du’khani

They are so puffed up with their mundane education and scholarship. They are never humble at all. They have forgotten the lotus feet of Sri Nitai because of their false ego and pride. They are completely under the clutches of Maya. They accept the untruth as truth. If Sri Nityananda showers His mercy upon someone, he will get Sri Sri Radha Krishna in Vrajabhumi. So catch hold of the two lotus feet of Lord Nityananda very tightly.

nitaiyer carana satya, tanhara sevaka nitya,
nitai-pada sada koro asha
narottama bodo dukhi, nitai more koro sukhi,
rakho ranga-charanera pasha

The lotus feet of Sri Nityananda are eternally true. And those followers or servants of those lotus feet of Sri Nityananda are also eternal. Always aspire for the lotus feet of Sri Nityananda. Srila Narottama dasa Thakura says, “I am very distressed, and an unhappy person. I am drowning in this dreadful ocean of material exis­tence. O Sri Nityananda Prabhu, please make me very happy! Please keep me at Your lotus feet.”

Purport by Srila Prabhupada More

SRILA PRABHUPADA’S BOOK DISRIBUTION: INITIATING THE WORLD WITH THE HOLY NAME.


SRILA PRABHUPADA’S BOOK DISRIBUTION: INITIATING THE WORLD WITH THE HOLY NAME.

This series of Quotes was taken from http://www.prabhupada.org.uk/diksa.htm The author is unknown. Some editing was done by me -V

Srila Prabhupada’s transcendental books are his loud chanting of the holy name. Such loud chanting is giving the people of the world Harinama diksa.

Regarding Sankirtana and book distribution, book distribution is also chanting. Anyone who reads the books that is also chanting and hearing. Why distinguish between chanting and book distribution? These books I have recorded and chanted, and they are transcribed. It is spoken kirtanas. So book distribution is also chanting. These are not ordinary books. It is recorded chanting. Anyone who reads, he is hearing. Book distribution must not be neglected. (S.P.L. to Rupanuga dasa, 19th October, 1974)

When a devotee is perfectly qualified in chanting the transcendental vibration of the holy name, he is quite fit to become a spiritual master and to deliver all the people of the world. The chanting of the holy name is so powerful that it gradually establishes its supremacy above everything in the world. The devotee who chants it becomes transcendentally situated in ecstasy and sometimes laughs, cries and dances in his ecstasy. Sometimes the unintelligent put hindrances in the path of chanting this maha-mantra, but one who is situated on the platform of love of Godhead chants the holy name loudly for all concerned. As a result everyone becomes initiated in the chanting of the holy names–Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. (T.L.C. Chapter 18)

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Previous Older Entries

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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