A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Today I was visiting a web page that I like very much, and respect the time d effort that must have gone into its creation. The page is simply titled Srila Prabhupada There are Books, Audio files, Letters, a Reference Glossary, Sanskrit & Bengali Dictionary, Prabhupada Videos, Prabhupada Photos, and Music with Purports. Very impressive Archive!!!

Anyway, I urge all my readers to check it out!

The following was a nice page about Srila Prabhupada…

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The Most Blessed Event; Sri Vyasa-puja

The Most blessed Event; Sri Vyasa-puja 

Dear Srila Prabhupada 

Please accept my most humble and heartfelt obeisance’s on this most auspicious day of your appearance.  Although I am an unworthy disciple, full of faults, I approach you with the greatest appreciation, and utmost respect, for you are the greatest spiritual ambassador to spread Krishna Consciousness all over the world. 

Thank you for coming to America, and bringing with you so many matchless gifts.  Not only did you bring the message of Krishna and Lord Caitanya, but you brought with you music and art, Vedic medicine, the science of cooking vegetarian food, and the keys to a healthy and productive life, in the service of God.  I may never have learned who is God, had you not appeared on our shores. 

One of the very first books of yours I read, just a small book called the “Raja-vidya”, on the very first page, you gave the definite description of God.  Although I had some conception of God from my early religious training, God is great, God is good, but no one could ever tell me who He was, what He looked like, where He lived, or what He does.  But you could.  On that very first page you gave the perfect definitive description of God. 

“God possesses all opulence’s, the totality of knowledge, wealth, power, beauty, fame, and renunciation.  When we find someone who possesses these opulence’s in full, we are to know that He is God…Only Krishna claims to possess  them in totality.” 

In time as I began to read from the Bagavad-gita As It Is, and the KRSNA Book, all my questions were answered.  I came to know who God is, what He looks like, where He lives, what He does, and what is our relationship with Him. 

It is interesting, but from the very first moment I saw a picture of you, on the back cover of the KRSNA Book, I knew, that at long last, I had found my spiritual master. 

I fell in love with you from the very first moment I saw your picture.  and I am still in love with you today.  I have no words that convey the love that I feel , only to say, there is nothing that can compare. 

Begging to remain in your service 

Your unworthy disciple 

Vyasasan das 

The Pen of Fire

I saw this on Facebook, and found it interesting.

Govinda dasi found some old Indian newspapers from the 1970s in her attic, in boxes, and one had an article about Srila Prabhupada written by an astrologer: 


“Nobody can read this chart; if they say they can they are simply lying. This personality comes and goes at his own sweet will; he is not bound by anybody or anything. The stars are lined up perfectly—there is no question of karma. He is working directly under the will of God. And when he writes, his pen does not have in it ink. His pen has in it fire which will burn the ignorance of the whole world.” 

Srila Prabhupada: The Most Extraordinary Person

The Science of Self Realization
Foreword By Mukunda Das

From the very start, I knew that His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda was the most extraordinary person I had ever met. The first meeting occurred in the summer of 1966, in New York City. A friend had invited me to hear a lecture by “an old Indian svāmī” on lower Manhattan’s Bowery. Overwhelmed with curiosity about a svāmī lecturing on skid row, I went there and felt my way up a pitch-black staircase. A bell-like, rhythmic sound got louder and clearer as I climbed higher. Finally I reached the fourth floor and opened the door, and there he was.

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The Sankirtan Movement

October 1966, Tomkins Sq. Park, Srila Prabhupada begins His Sankirtan Movement, sitting among the ‘hippies’ with no microphone, no harmonium, karatals, and mridungas, only a small ‘bongo’ drum and pure devotion……….

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The Most Blessed Event; Sri Vyasa-puja

His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada’s Appearance Day Homage

by Vyasasan das

Dear Srila Prabhupada

On this most blessed and auspicious day, the celebration of your appearance; Sri Vyasa-puja, please accept my most humble obeisance’s at your divine lotus feet, and kindly forgive my offences.

On my 21st birthday I shaved my head, put on tilak and a dhoti for the first time.  It was the day I decided to become a devotee with the hope of someday becoming your disciple.  On the very first day of my adult life I surrendered to your instructions, following the four regulative principles and trying to chant 16 rounds of japa a day, with the hopes of someday becoming a worthy disciple.  And in spite of my shortcomings, within a year, you initiated me and gave me the name Vyasasan das.

The Vyasasana is the sacred seat of Srila Vyasadeva, who is the original Spiritual Master because he compiled and disseminated the Vedic knowledge, and you are the bona-fide representative of Srila Vyasadeva.  Therefore according to the Vedic system, on the birthday of the spiritual master the disciples and followers offer homage to you, by writting and speaking about your glories.  This is the meaning of Vyasa Puja.

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The Biography of a Pure Devotee

For a while Srila Prabhupada lived
In this building, in a windowless fifth floor room.

The Biography of a Pure Devotee
Srila Prabhupada in New York City, 1965 – Struggling Alone
by Satsvarupa dasa Goswami

On arriving in New York, Srila Prabhupada had nowhere to stay but the asrama of an impersonalist svami. To see students submissively listening to a speaker who denied the Personality of Godhead was painful for the pure devotee. But was he to go homeless and beg in the streets? A holy man might have been able to do that in India, but not in Manhattan.

Srila Prabhupada knew no one in New York City, but at least he had a contact. In India he had met a publisher of religious books, Paramananda Mehra of Bombay, who had, written a note introducing him to a guru based in New York City, Dr. Rammurti Misra, While still in Butler, Pennsylvania, Srila Prabhupada had sent Mr. Mehra’s note and one of his own to Dr. Misra. He had also phoned Dr. Misra, who had told him he was welcome to come join him in New York.

A student of Dr. Misra’s met Srila Prabhupada on his arrival, from Butler and brought him directly to an Indian festival in the city. There he was introduced to Dr. Misra, as well as to Ravi Shankar and his brother, the dancer Uddhar Shankar. Srila Prabhupada then accompanied Dr. Misra to his apartment at 33 Riverside Drive, beside the Hudson River, The apartment was on the fourteenth floor and had large windows facing the river. Dr. Misra gave Srila Prabhupada a room to himself.

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Srila Prabhupada

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Srila Prabhupada

At various times people have called him a scholar, a philosopher, a cultural ambassador, a prolific author, a religious leader, a spiritual teacher, a social critic, and a holy man. In truth, he was all these things and more.

Over five hundred years ago, Lord Sri Krishna appeared as Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in Navadvipa, a village in West Bengal. The purpose of His appearance was to inaugurate the Sankirtana Movement, the Yuga Dharma for this age of Kali. He declared that the chanting of His holy names would spread beyond the shores of India to every town and village in the world. He predicted that His commander-in-chief would appear to accomplish this mission.

Yes… Srila Prabhupada appeared to fulfill this prophecy.

On September 01, 1896, the day after Janmashtami (the auspicious appearance day of Lord Sri Krishna) in a little house in the Tollygunge suburb of Calcutta, a male child was born. His father, Gour Mohan De, and his mother Rajani, named him Abhay Charan (one who is fearless – having taken shelter at the lotus feet of Lord Krishna).

An astrologer prepared the horoscope for the baby and revealed: When this child reaches the age of seventy, he will cross the ocean, become a great teacher of religion and establish 108 Krishna temples.

And this is exactly what happened.

Srila Prabhupada set out to America in 1965 and established the International Society for Krishna Consciousness at the age of sixty-nine. He travelled around the world fourteen times, established more than 100 temples of Krishna and initiated more than 10000 disciples into Krishna consciousness.

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Spiritual Master Is with You by His Words

Spiritual Master Is with You by His Words

Devotee: Sometimes this question comes up, with the devotees especially, that it says the devotee makes advancement when the spiritual master is pleased. Right? So sometimes the spiritual master is far, far away. He may be in Los Angeles. Somebody is coming to Hamburg temple. He thinks, “How will the spiritual master be pleased?”

Prabhupada: Just follow his order. Spiritual master is along with you by his words. Just like my spiritual master is not physically present, but I am associating with him by his words.

Devotee: And Krishna knows that; therefore we make advancement. He is sitting in our heart. He knows what we’re doing. So He sees, “He’s serving My pure devotee,” immediately there is advancement.

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The Spiritual Master, Acarya, Transcendental Professor of Spiritual Science

This morning as we were reading from the Sri Caianya-caritamrta a sentence jumped out at me and I had to reach for my yellow highlighter pen. We were reading…

…how a brahmacārī should behave under the care of a spiritual master. A spiritual master is not an enjoyer of facilities offered by his disciples. He is like a parent. Without the attentive service of his parents, a child cannot grow to manhood; similarly, without the care of the spiritual master one cannot rise to the plane of transcendental service.

The spiritual master is also called ācārya, or a transcendental professor of spiritual science…

I thought this was very funny and a beautiful description of Srila Prabhupada: A Transcendental Professor

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Important Instructions in Regard to Constructing Temples and Publishing Books

Important Instructions

The following is an excerpt from the summary for Canto 8, Chapter 1 of the Srimad Bhagavatam, wherein Srila Prabhupada is describing the instructions given to him at Radha Kunda in August of 1935, by his spiritual master His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami.
Summary

First of all, let me offer my humble, respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of my spiritual master, His Divine Grace Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Prabhupāda. Sometime in the year 1935 when His Divine Grace was staying at Rādhā-kuṇḍa, I went to see him from Bombay. At that time, he gave me many important instructions in regard to constructing temples and publishing books. He personally told me that publishing books is more important than constructing temples. Of course, those same instructions remained within my mind for many years. In 1944 I began publishing my Back to Godhead, and when I retired from family life in 1958 I began publishing Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam in Delhi. When three parts of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam had been published in India, I then started for the United States of America on the thirteenth of August, 1965.

I am continuously trying to publish books, as suggested by my spiritual master. Now, in this year, 1976, I have completed the Seventh Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, and a summary of the Tenth Canto has already been published as Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Still, the Eighth Canto, Ninth Canto, Tenth Canto, Eleventh Canto and Twelfth Canto are yet to be published. On this occasion, therefore, I am praying to my spiritual master to give me strength to finish this work. I am neither a great scholar nor a great devotee; I am simply a humble servant of my spiritual master, and to the best of my ability I am trying to please him by publishing these books, with the cooperation of my disciples in America. Fortunately, scholars all over the world are appreciating these publications. Let us cooperatively publish more and more volumes of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam just to please His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura.

 

 

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Who is the Jagad-Guru?

Jagat-Guru__large_

Who is the Jagad-Guru?

Compilation of Quotes

by Prabhupada Connection

“The acaryadeva to whom we have assembled tonight to offer our humble homage is not the guru of a sectarian institution or one out of many differing exponents of the truth. On the contrary, he is the jagad-guru, or the guru of all of us, the only difference is that some obey him wholeheartedly, while others do not obey him directly.”

 

(Srila Prabhupada Vyasa-Puja Speech, Bombay, 1935)

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Finding a Genuine Guru

Saw this nice post in my mailbox this morning courtesy of my friend Padmapani Prabhu over at  Prabhupada Connect and thought we would share it with all of you.  The photo is by Mathuranath Prabhu I believe.
Finding a Genuine Guru
Excerpted from Science of Self Realization Chapter 2
Reporter: Have you ever had people come to you who had previously been involved with a fake
guru?
Srila Prabhupada: Yes, there are many.
 
Reporter: Were their spiritual lives in any way spoiled by the fakegurus?
 
Srila Prabhupada: No, they were genuinely seeking something spiritual, and that was their qualification. God is within everyone’s heart, and as soon as someone genuinely seeks Him, He helps that person find a genuine guru.

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The Importance of Srila Prabhupada’s Books

This is a very nice compilation of quotes by Srila Prabhupada on the importance of reading his books.

The Importance of Prabhupada’s Books
Quotes compiled by Padmapani dasa

“Thank you for reading my books and appreciating them. Please continue to do so. That will help you advance nicely in spiritual life. By reading my books and chanting Hare Krishna, your life will become perfect.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, March 14, 1975)

“Sometimes I become surprised how I have written this. Although I am the writer, still sometimes I am surprised how these things have come. Such vivid description. Where is such literature throughout the whole world? It is all Kṛṣṇa’s mercy. Every line is perfect.” (Srila Prabhupada Conversation, June 28, 1977)

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Srila Prabhupada’s Humility

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Srila Prabhupada’s Humility
by Padmapani das

“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.” (Prayer to the Lotus Feet of Krishna, on board the ship Jaladuta, September 13, 1965)

“It is all Krishna’s Grace that He has sent such a nice assistants to me, for executing the mission of my Spiritual Master. Personally, I am nonentity; I have come here on the order of my Spiritual Master, and He has kindly sent you all boys to assist me. So whatever is being done, there is no credit for me, but all the credit goes to my Spiritual Master, because He has arranged everything, and I am simply to abide by His order.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, October 16, 1968)

“I am just trying to disseminate this message of my Spiritual Master and if there’s any credit for this service, everything goes to Him.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, March 14, 1969)

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Honoring our Godbrothers and Godsisters

new_vrindavan__1972

(Click photo to see a larger image of Srila Prabhupada and disciples, New Vrindavan, 1972.)

Honoring our Godbrothers and Godsisters
by Padmapani dasa

“Regarding serving your godbrothers, this is a very good practice. The Spiritual Master is never without His followers, so to serve the Spiritual Master also means to be the servant of His disciples. When you want to serve the king, you must also serve his minister, secretary, and everyone who serves him. And to serve his servants may please him more than to serve the king personally. So the Spiritual Master is not alone. He is always with His entourage. We are not impersonalists. We take care of every part of the whole, as much as one should take care of his hat as well as his shoes. Both are equally important for the upkeep of the body. I hope that you will understand this rightly.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, January 23, 1969)

“Relationship between Godbrothers must be very genuine and pleasing. Otherwise, the future of our institution will not be very hopeful.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, October 1, 1969)

“We are never alone in Krsna consciousness; you have got so many wonderful brothers and sisters who are really your family, and besides that the spiritual master is always in his instructions, and Krsna is there within your heart, so you need not feel you are ever alone.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, August 11, 1972)

“Your appreciation for the service of your God-brothers is very much laudable. This is actually a devotee’s business that everyone should appreciate the value of other devotees. Nobody should criticize anyone. Because everyone is engaged in the service of the Lord, according to one’s capacity, and the thing is, Krishna wants to see how much one is sincere in rendering Him service. Materially we may think that his service is greater than his, that is our material vision. Actually on the spiritual platform, the service rendered by a calf to Krishna and service rendered by Radharani and Her Associates, to Krishna, there is no difference. Krishna is so kind and liberal that everyone’s service, when it is sincerely offered to Krishna, He accepts.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, August 19, 1968)

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The Secret of Success in Spiritual Life

smiling-prabhupada

The Secret of Success
by Padmapani das

“Satisfaction of the self-realized spiritual master is the secret of advancement in spiritual life. Inquiries and submission constitute the proper combination for spiritual understanding. Unless there is submission and service, inquiries from the learned spiritual master will not be effective. One must be able to pass the test of the spiritual master, and when he sees the genuine desire of the disciple, he automatically blesses the disciple with genuine spiritual understanding.” (Bhagavad-gita As It Is 4.34, Purport)

“First there must be the devotee’s mercy; then Krishna’s mercy will descend. Yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasado/ yasyaprasadan na gatih kuto ’pi. Our first duty, therefore, is to satisfy the spiritual master, who can arrange for the Lord’s mercy. A common man must first begin to serve the spiritual master, or the devotee. Then, through the mercy of the devotee, the Lord will be satisfied. Unless one receives the dust of a devotee’s lotus feet on one’s head, there is no possibility of advancement.” (Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya 11.58, Purport)

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Remembering Krishna is the Essence

mantra1

This morning I was reminded of the importance of chanting sixteen rounds. Sometimes I think my work or service is more important than my chanting…but in the following verses and purports Srila Prabhupa makes it very clear; “One may have other duties to perform under the direction of the spiritual master, but he must first abide by the spiritual master’s order to chant a certain number of rounds.”, and I thank the devotee who reminded me of this important instruction.

…There are many regulative principles in the śāstras and directions given by the spiritual master. These regulative principles should act as servants of the basic principle-that is, one should always remember Kṛṣṇa and never forget Him. This is possible when one chants the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. Therefore one must strictly chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra twenty-four hours daily. One may have other duties to perform under the direction of the spiritual master, but he must first abide by the spiritual master’s order to chant a certain number of rounds. In our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, we have recommended that the neophyte chant at least sixteen rounds. This chanting of sixteen rounds is absolutely necessary if one wants to remember Kṛṣṇa and not forget Him. Of all the regulative principles, the spiritual master’s order to chant at least sixteen rounds is most essential. (from purport Madhya-lila 22.113)

…Of all the sacrifices, the chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare is the purest representation of Kṛṣṇa. (from purport Bg 10.25)

…Śrī Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Mahārāja comments in this connection, “One can become perfectly successful in the mission of his life if he acts exactly according to the words he hears from the mouth of his spiritual master.” This acceptance of the words of the spiritual master is called śrauta-vākya, which indicates that the disciple must carry out the spiritual master’s instructions without deviation. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura remarks in this connection that a disciple must accept the words of his spiritual master as his life and soul. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu here confirms this by saying that since His spiritual master ordered Him only to chant the holy name of Kṛṣṇa, He always chanted the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra according to this direction (‘kṛṣṇa-mantra’ japa sadā,-ei mantra-sāra). (from purport to Adi-lila 7.72)

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15th Anniversary of Tribhuvanatha Prabhu’s Departure

tribhuvanatha

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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Forgetfulness of God

hogs

Back when I was a new aspiring devotee, and was hearing and learning the stories from the Srimad-Bhagavatam for the very first time, the story of King Indra cursed to take birth as a hog, was without a doubt one of my favorites. I first read it in the Raja-Vidya, then heard it repeated so many times in Srimad-Bhagavatam class’s, and it became more relishable with each hearing.

…At one time, Indra, the king of heaven, committed an offense at the feet of his spiritual master, and his spiritual master cursed him to take the birth of a hog. Thus the throne of the heavenly kingdom became empty as Indra went to earth to become a hog.

Seeing the situation, Brahma came to earth and addressed the hog: “My dear sir, you have become a hog on this planet earth. I have come to deliver you. Come with me at once.” But the hog replied:. “Oh I cannot go with you. I have so many responsibilities—my children, wife and this nice hog society.”

Even though Brahma promised to take him back to heaven, Indra, in the form of a hog, refused. This is called forgetfulness. Similarly, Lord Sri Krishna comes and says to us, “What are you doing in this material world? Sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66].

Come to Me, and I’ll give you all protection.” But we say, “I don’t believe You Sir. I have more important business here.” This is the position of the conditioned soul—forgetfulness. This forgetfulness is quickly dissipated by following in the path of disciplic succession.

We become so attached to our so-called material enjoyment, but what is this enjoyment? Our situation is not always so good, and there is birth, death, disease, and old age, but still we are attached; to my hog wife, my hog children, my hog pen. Lol, this seems to be our situation.

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108 Imporant Slokas from the 1972 Bhagavad-gita As It Is

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The Hare Krishna Cookbook

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Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition “Online”

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Important Slokas from the Brahma-samhita

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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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