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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Suddha Bhakata

Sudabhakta

Just to borrow a page from the “Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas” songbook…

Suddha-Bhakata

by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

Full song and lyrics More

Chanting Hare Krsna

caitanya34

Caitanya Mahāprabhu while passing on the road, He used to chant:

kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa he
kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa he
kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa rakṣa mām
kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa pāhi mām
rāma rāghava rāma rāghava rāma rāghava rakṣa mām
kṛṣṇa keśava kṛṣṇa keśava kṛṣṇa keśava pāhi mām

“O Lord Kṛṣṇa, please protect Me and maintain Me. O Lord Rāma, descendant of King Raghu, please protect Me. O Kṛṣṇa, O Keśava, killer of the Keśī demon, please maintain Me.”

If one always chants the holy name of Kṛṣṇa, gradually one is freed from all reactions of sinful life, provided he chants offenselessly and does not commit more sinful activities on the strength of chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. In this way one is purified, and his devotional service causes the arousal of his dormant love of God. If one simply chants the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and does not commit sinful activities and offenses, one’s life is purified, and thus one comes to the fifth stage of perfection, or engagement in the loving service of the Lord (premā pum-artho mahān).

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Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas

Songs of the Vaisnava Acharyas

If I had to pick one book that inspired me the most throughout my devotional life, I guess I would have to say it is “Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas”. I recently went to open it the other day, and it fell open to the Introduction. I took a moment to re-read it. We share it with you here today.

Introduction
by Acyutananda Swami

It was my good fortune to be in the service of Srila Prabhupada at Sri Mayapur, the birthplace of Lord Caitanya, in setting up the groundwork of our Society’s international center there. That year (1971) there was a terrible flood, but although for many days the water was rising, it was diverted from floodinging the Society’s property solely due to the embankment created by a road constructed by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, our Parama Guru Maharaja. I wrote a letter to His Divine Grace explaining the situation and I mentioned, “The water has not entered our property. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta’s road has saved us.” Srila Prabhupada, however, wrote back in answer in a different tone: “Yes”, we are always saved by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta’s road, so go on glorifying the disciplic succession, and your life will be a great success.” Later on, when I suggested writing down the songs of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Narottama Dasa Thakura in English translations, His Divine Grace said, “Yes, we must push on this mission of Bhaktivinoda.” So here in this book, which is the first of a series of translations of the complete works of the Vaisnava acaryas in the line of succession coming after Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, I have also included a short life sketch of Thakura Bhaktivinoda. In the following volumes, the lives of Srila Narottama Dasa Thakura, Srinivasa Acarya, and other Vaisnava acaryas will appear.

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Nama Sankirtan

Six Goswamis

Nāma-saṅkīrtana
by Śrīla Narottama Dāsa Ṭhākura

I have always liked the following song by Srila Narottama Dasa Thakur. And this song describes very simply, the beginning of the Sankirtan Movement, or The Hare Krishna Movement. The first four lines of the song, are the ones most often sung, with the first verse repeated as refrain.
Full Song and Purport follow.

…“You say that everything means Kṛṣṇa and we should ultimately always be chanting the names of Kṛṣṇa. Just how should we do this?” Then Lord Caitanya began to sing the names of Kṛṣṇa and clap His hands, and He began His nāma-saṅkīrtana movement. The names He sang are the first two lines of this song, and Narottama Dāsa Ṭhākura and others have placed these names in the beginning of their writings to immortalize these events in the memory of everyone.

…Then Śrīla Narottama Dāsa chants the names of the six Gosvāmīs. “I offer my obeisances at their feet,” he sings, “which destroy sufferings accumulated over many long years. I am the servant of these six Gosvāmīs, and the dust of their lotus feet is my five kinds of foodstuffs. To serve their lotus feet and keep the association of devotees is my only business, birth after birth.” (from purport to song by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada)

Song & Purport More

Gopinatha, Lord of the Gopis

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Gopinatha
by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura
translated from Bengali by Acyutananda Svami

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is one of the most important spiritual masters in the Krsna consciousness line of disciplic succession. His devotional songs and poems express the perfectional emotions of a pure devotee of Lord Krsna (Gopinatha).

O Gopinatha, Lord of the gopis, please hear my prayer. I am a materialistic rascal, always full of lust. I have no good qualifications.

O Gopinatha! You are my only resort. As Your eternal servant, I take shelter of Your lotus feet.

O Gopinatha! How can I uplift myself? I don’t know anything regarding devotional service. I am weak-minded and have fallen into a pit of illusion.

O Gopinatha! Everything here is but Your illusory energy. I have no power or pure knowledge, and and I am bound by a material body.

O Gopinatha! I desire to remain always at Your lotus feet. Please take this sinner, weeping and weeping, and show me Your mercy.

O Gopinatha! You can do anything. You have purified the most wicked by Your power, but who is more wicked than me?

O Gopinatha! You are the vessel of kindness. You enter into this mundane world and display Your sublime pastimes for the sake of the fallen souls.

O Gopinatha! I am the sinner of sinners. Yet I sit waiting for You to take me, for many demons have attained Your lotus feet.

O Gopinatha! Destroy the miseries of this world! I am strung on a necklace of births and deaths and cannot bear the kicking of maya.

O Gopinatha! I am a servant of lust, entangled in the net of material desire which has sprung up in my heart.

O Gopinatha! When will I wake up and cast this enemy of lust far from me? Then only will You be revealed to me in my heart.

O Gopinatha! I am Your own. By leaving Your lotus feet, forgetting Your treasures, I have served only maya.

O Gopinatha! You know everything. Take me to Your lotus feet and punish Your servant.

O Gopinatha! Is it to Your liking to reject me and not show me Your kindness?

O Gopinatha! I am the greatest fool. I don’t at all know what is good for me. I cannot understand anything. This is my fate.

O Gopinatha! You are the greatest intellect. Not considering that I am Your servant, judge me without bias.

O Gopinatha! I have no means of benefiting myself. By Your mercy and kindness, please pick me up from this miserable world and take me to You.

O Gopinatha! I have fallen into this dark world. Bound by wealth, wife and sons, I am feeling the pain of lust.

O Gopinatha! I am going mad! Never caring for spiritual practices, I am always unconscious and deeply sunk in the muck of sense gratification.

O Gopinatha! I surrender unto You. All my endeavors are a useless waste of time. Now I surrender unto You.

O Gopinatha! How shall I reach the goal? My mind is overwhelmed by the powerful senses. I cannot shake off attachment to worldly pleasures.

O Gopinatha! Please reside in my heart. Destroy these dangerous obstacles, correct my mind and guide me to Your own true path.

O Gopinatha! Please let Your glance fall on me. I am helpless, but You are Hrsikesa, the Lord of the senses. Please control my senses and pull me out of this world of dangers.

Bhaktivinoda Thakura prays: O Gopinatha! My voice is faltering. I must throw off these shackles and catch hold of Your mercy.

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Sri-guru-carana-padma (Sri Guru Puja)

Bury Place Vyasasana

This is a very nice song composed by Narottama dasa Thakura, which is sung daily in all of the Hare Krishna Temples around the world. What is interesting about transcendental sound vibration, is that it never gets old. This song is as relishable today, as it was 38 years ago. Actually even more relishable, as the meaning of the words become more and more realized.

The lotus feet of our spiritual master are the only way by which we can attain pure devotional service. I bow to his lotus feet with great awe and reverence. By his grace one can cross the ocean of material suffering and obtain the mercy of Krsna.

My only wish is to have my consciousness purified by the words emanating from his lotus mouth. Attachment to his lotus feet is the perfection that fulfills all desires.

He opens my darkened eyes and fills my heart with transcendental knowledge. He is my Lord birth after birth. From him ecstatic prema emanates; by him ignorance is destroyed. The Vedic scriptures sing of his character.

Our spiritual master is the ocean of mercy, the friend of the poor, and the lord and master of the devotees. O master! Be merciful unto me. Give me the shade of your lotus feet. Your fame is spread all over the three worlds.

Full song with synonyms; More

Sri Damordastaka

vishnujana swami

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Sri Damordastaka sung by Vishnujana Swami

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Sri Damodarastakam

He ran in retreat in fear of Mother Yasoda bus was ultimately caught, to that Supreme Lord, Sri Damodara, I offer my humble obeisances.

Sri Damodarastakam
By Sri Satyavrata Muni
From the original 1974 “Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas” songbook

This eight sloka prayer is sung morning and evening during the month of Damodara, which begins Friday Oct. 19, 2013

namāmīśvaraḿ sac-cid-ānanda-rūpaḿ
lasat-kuṇḍalaḿ gokule bhrājamanam
yaśodā-bhiyolūkhalād dhāvamānaḿ
parāmṛṣṭam atyantato drutya gopyā

1) To the supreme controller who possesses an eternal form of blissful knowledge, whose glistening earrings swing to and fro, who manifested Himself in Gokula, who stole the butter that the gopis kept hanging from the rafters of their storerooms and who then quickly jumped up and ran in retreat in fear of Mother Yasoda, but was ultimately caught-to that Supreme Lord, Sri Damodara, I offer my humble obeisances.

rudantaḿ muhur netra-yugmaḿ mṛjantam
karāmbhoja-yugmena sātańka-netram
muhuḥ śvāsa-kampa-trirekhāńka-kaṇṭha-
sthita-graivaḿ dāmodaraḿ bhakti-baddham

2) Upon seeing His mothers whipping stick, He cried and rubbed His eyes again and again with His two lotus hands. His eyes were fearful and His breathing quick, and as Mother Yasoda bound His belly with ropes, He shivered in fright and His pearl necklace shook, To this Supreme Lord, Sri Damodara, who is bound with His devotee’s love, I offer my humble obeisances.

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Radhika Stava: the Glory of Srimati Radharani

radha krishna on swing

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Radhika Stava: the Glory of Srimati Radharani
by Srila Rupa Goswami

Glories, Glories to Sri Radharani, the beloved of Madhava and most worshipable of the the cowherd girls of Gokula Mandala!

Decorated by the dress of Lord Damodara’s increasing ecstasy, You are the lady of the house of Lord Hari and the groves of Vrndavana.

From the ocean of Vrsabhanu has arisen a new moon which is overwhelming the qualities of Lalita and Visakha.

O Goddess, Your qualities are described by Sanaka and Sanatana Rsis and by Sanatana Goswami. Please bestow your mercy upon me.

Full song in Sanskrit More

Appearance of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

Today marks the appearance day of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. To honor this day, we are posting a very nice song written by Srila Bhaktivinoda entitled “Suddha-bhakta”, and are observing a 1/2 day fast.

The dust of the lotus feet of pure devotees, enthusiastic devotional service, and service to the pure devotees of the highest order are the roots of the creeper of devotion. The holy days like Ekadasi and Janmastami are the mother of devotion for those devotees who respect them. Let the holy places of Krsna’s pastimes be my places of worship, and bless me. May I always visit all the holy places associated with the lila of Lord Caitanya and His devotees. When I hear the sound of the mrdanga in my heart I always desire to join in kirtana; and when I hear the bonafide songs describing Lord Caitanya’s pastimes, my heart dances in ecstasy. Whenever I see the transcendental sri-vigrahas of Radha-Krsna I am in bliss, for by taking Their Lordships’ prasada we can conquer over the material elements. One day while performing devotional practices, I saw my house transformed into Goloka Vrndavana. When I take the caranamrta of the Deity, I see the holy Ganges waters that come from the feet of Lord Visnu, and my bliss knows no bounds. By seeing the tulasi tree my heart feels joy and Lord Madhava (Krsna) is also satisfied. When I eat the prasada favored by Lord Caitanya it is a new life’s experience. (Lord Caitanya was very fond of a green vegetable preparation called sak, and there is another song in this book that tells of the amazing effects of this type of prasada). Bhaktivinoda concludes by saying: “Whosoever attains the stage of enthusiasm for these devotional practices will be supremely blissful wherever he may be.”

Full song lyrics More

Śrī Nāma-kīrtana

Krishna stealing the cloths of the gopis

Krishna is very pleased when we call on Him by His Names, which are associated with His devotees, qualities and pastimes. This song by Bhaktivinoda Thakura is composed of the Nanes of Krsna in different aspects. (from the Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas)

Śrī Nāma-kīrtana
Chanting of the Holy Names
by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

1) yaśomatī-nandana, 2) braja-baro-nāgara,
3) gokula-rañjana kāna
4) gopī-parāṇa-dhana, 5) madana-manohara,
6) kāliya-damana-vidhāna

7) amala harinām amiya-vilāsā

8) vipina-purandara, 9) navīna nāgara-bora,
10) vaṁśī-badana, 11)suvāsā

12) braja-jana-pālana, 13) asura-kula-nāśana
14) nanda-godhana-rākhowālā
15) govinda mādhava, 16) navanīta-taskara,
17) sundara nanda-gopālā

18) yāmuna-taṭa-cara, 19) gopī-vasana-hara,
20) rāsa-rasika, 21) kṛpāmoya
22) śrī-rādhā-vallabha, 23) vṛndābana-naṭabara,
24) bhakativinod-āśraya

English translation More

Śrī Nāma-kīrtana

Sri Krishna

click on image to enlarge

In honor of the disappearance day celebration of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, we are posting one of his famous songs, entitled “Śrī Nāma-kīrtana”.

Krishna is very pleased when we call on Him by His Names, which are associated with His devotees, qualities and pastimes. This song by Bhaktivinoda Thakura is composed of the Nanes of Krsna in different aspects. (from the Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas)

Śrī Nāma-kīrtana
Chanting of the Holy Names
by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

full song with synonyms and translations More

The Singing Sadhu

Acyutananda das

It was my good fortune to finally meet one of my singing mentors, and God-brother, the legendary Acyutananda das, at the Festival of Inspiration held annually at the New Vrindavan farm community in West Virginia. He was a very likable character and willingly signed my 1974 copy of the Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas. He opened the Festival of Inspiration with a Question and Answer session, answering all kinds of questions on the “Early Days”, “India”, “Life with Srila Prabhupada”, “Spiritual Life” etc., etc. with his own blend of sarcastic humor, wit, and intellectual powers. It was quite enjoyable and enlightening. He is a very ‘real’, unpretentious fellow, and as I said very likable.

In honor of our visit with him we are posting the Foreword from the Songs of the Vaisnava Acarays, wherein Srila Prabhupada is giving his thanks and blessings:

…I confer all my blessings upon Acyutananda Swami for his genuine attempt to advance in Krishna consciousness. I hope he will attempt to advance more and more and never be hampered my maya. We should always remember the danger of maya’s influence and endeavor to save ourselves from her great power. We must therefore always merge in the transcendental mellow of kirtana-rasa, for kirtana-rasa is the safest situation within this material world. Hare Krishna.

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

Foweard More

Vṛndāvana is a Transcendental Beautiful Place

Radha-Krishna

Vṛndāvana
by Narottama das Thakura

Vrndavan is a transcendental beautiful place.  It is the spiritual sky, where everything is made of touchstone, which fulfills all desires.  All the temples there are bedcked with costly jewels,  In that far distant place is the River Yamuna, which is full of lotus flowers,  In the midst of that throng of lotus flowers there is a golden boat, appearing like another big lotus flower, with eight petals, who are none but the eight chief gopis who always surround Radha and Krishna,  In the surrounding petals there is a golden throne where the two transcendental lovers, namely Radha and Krishna are seated, but of all of them the governing Deity is Srimati Radharani.  There is no comparison to Radharani’s beauty and the luster of Her transcendental body.  The so-called beauty of the moon has fallen on the ground in the presence of Radharani’s beauty.  In that assembly of Radha-Krishna and their principal associates there is a flood of laughing and joking as they address one another.  Narottama das says that the eternal pastimes of Radha-Krishna from day to day are full of transcendental pleasure,  Let us all remember them now and then and thus become happy even in this material world.

Full Song Lyrics More

Sri Kṛṣṇa-pranama

Gopala Krishna

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Sri Kṛṣṇa-pranama

he kṛṣṇa karuṇā-sindho dīna-bandho jagat-pate
gopeśa gopikā-kānta rādhā-kānta namo ‘stu te

he-O; kṛṣṇa-Kṛṣṇa; karuṇā-sindho-ocean of mercy; dīna-of the distressed; bandho-friend; jagat-of the universe; pate-the Lord; gopeśa-master of the cowheard men; gopikā-kānta-very dear to the gopis; rādhā-kānta-lover of Rādhārāṇī; namah-obeisnaces; astu-let there be; te-unto You.

“O my dear Kṛṣṇa, You are the friend of the distressed and the source of creation. You are the master of the cowherdsmen and the lover of the gopīs, especially Rādhārāṇī. I offer my respectful obeisances unto You.” (Translation from Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas 1974 Edition)

also…

“O my dear Kṛṣṇa, You are the friend of the distressed and the source of creation. You are the master of the gopīs and the lover of Rādhārāṇī. I offer my respectful obeisances unto You.” (Translation from Introduction to Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition)

The Holy Places of Vrndavan

Krsndasa Kaviraja Goswami

The Holy Places of Vrndavan
by Krsnadasa Kaviraja Goswami

1)

jaya rādhe, jaya kṛṣṇa, jaya vṛndāvan
śrī govinda, gopīnātha, madana-mohan

jaya rādhe jaya kṛṣṇa–all glories to Srī Srī Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa; jaya vṛndāvana–glories to the transcendental realm of Vṛndāvana; śrīgovinda gopīnātha madana-mohana–glories to the three presiding Deities of Vṛndāvana : Govinda, Gopīnātha and Madana-mohana.

All glories to Radha and Krsna and the divine forest of Vrndavana. All glories to the three presiding Deities of Vrndavana–Sri Govinda, Gopinatha, and Madana-mohana.

2)

śyama-kunḍa, rādhā-kuṇḍa, giri-govardhan
kālindi jamunā jaya, jaya mahāvan

śyāma-kuṇḍa–glories to the personal lake of śyāma; rādhā-kuṇḍa–glories to the personal lake of Rādhā; giri-govardhan–glories to Govardhana Hill; kālindī yamunā jaya–glories to the Yamunā river, known as Kālindī, the daughter of the Kalinda mountain; jaya mahāvana–glories to the great forest of Mahāvana, the place of Kṛṣṇa’s childhood pastimes.

All glories to Syama-kunda, Radha-kunda, Govardhana Hill, and the Yamuna River (Kalindi). All glories to the great forest known as Mahavana, where Krsna and Balarama displayed all of Their childhood pastimes.

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Vrndavana

Radha-Krishna

by Narottama das Thakura

Vrndavan is a transcendental beautiful place.  It is the spiritual sky, where everything is made of touchstone, which fulfills all desires.  All the temples there are bedcked with costly jewels,  In that far distant place is the River Yamuna, which is full of lotus flowers,  In the midst of that throng of lotus flowers there is a golden boat, appearing like another big lotus flower, with eight petals, who are none but the eight chief gopis who always surround Radha and Krishna,  In the surrounding petals there is a golden throne where the two transcendental lovers, namely Radha and Krishna are seated, but of all of them the governing Deity is Srimati Radharani.  There is no comparison to Radharani’s beauty and the luster of Her transcendental body.  The so-called beauty of the moon has fallen on the ground in the presence of Radharani’s beauty.  In that assembly of Radha-Krishna and their principal associates there is a flood of laughing and joking as they address one another.  Narottama das says that the eternal pastimes of Radha-Krishna from day to day are full of transcendental pleasure.  Let us all remember them now and then and thus become happy even in this material world.

Bengali lyrics; More

Jaya Radha Madhava

Jaya Radha Madhava

Jaya Radha Madhava
by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura
with Purport by Srila Prabhupada

jaya rādhā-mādhava kuñja-bihārī
gopī-jana-vallabha giri-vara-dhārī
yaśodā-nandana braja-jana-rañjana
yāmuna-tīra-vana-cārī

Translation
from the 1974 Edition of “Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas”

Sri Rādhā-Mādhava have their loving pastimes in the groves (kuñja) of Vrndavana. Gopī-jana-vallabha means “one who attracts and reciprocates loving pastimes with the gopis. Giri-vara-dhārī is Krishna’s name in the pastime of lifting Goverdhana Hill. Yaśodā-nandana is the son of Yasoda (“nanda” means son and is also the name of Krishna’s father, so Krishna is also Nanda-nandana). Braja-jana-rañjana means the attractive darling of the inhabitants of Vrndavana. He is always playing in the groves (vana) on the bank (tira) of the Yamuna River, therefore Krishna is also known as Yāmuna-tīra-vana-cārī.

Srila Prabhupada was very fond of this song and sang it just before his lectures. In Allahabad and Gorakhpur Srila Prabhupada fell into a trance after singing the first two lines, and after some time he came back into external consciousness and said, “Now just chant Hare Krsna.” Srila Prabhupada said that this song is “a picture of Vrndavana. Everything is there–Srimati Radharani, Vrndavana, Govardhana, Yasoda, and all the cowherd boys.”

Purport by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada More

Disappearance Day of Srila Narottama Dasa Thakur

click on image to slightly enlarge

In honor of the disappearance day of Srila Narottama das Thakur we are posting one of his famous songs, Sri-Krsna-Caitanya-Prabhu, along with a purport to that song by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. (from the original “Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas” songbook). There is also a brief Biography of the life of Narottama Dasa Thakur following song.

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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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Slokas from the Sri Isopanisad

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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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