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

prabhupada_offering_dandavats

 

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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

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(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

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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

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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

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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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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.

Full Chapter from Raja-Vidya More

Letter by Srila Prabhupada to His Disciples

Srila Prabhupada with devotees

Vyasa Puja Reply

Letter to: Devotees
Los Angeles
26 August, 1972
72-08-26

My dear beloved Children,

Please accept my blessings. I am so much pleased with your kind and affectionate words on the occasion of my birthday anniversary on the Nandotsava day this year (1972). My Guru Maharaja wanted me to spread this Krishna Consciousness Movement in western world, and you are all helping in this great attempt.

My Spiritual Master knew it that alone I could not do this great work. Therefore He has very kindly sent you all to help me in this task. I accept you therefore as representatives of my Guru Maharaja playing as my affectionate disciples.

It is said that child is father of man. Kindly therefore continue your help in this great task and act as my young father and mother in my old age. I am

Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
ACBS/sda

Lord Balaram’s Appearance Day

Balarama Yamuna praying for His Mercy

Today marks the auspicious appearance of Lord Balaram. We honor it with a half day fast and celebration. Our post today includes a few select excerpts, as well as a slide show on images of Sri Balarama in various pastimes.

…Mahā-Viṣṇu is actually an expansion of Balarāma, who is Kṛṣṇa’s first expansion and, in the Vṛndāvana pastimes, His brother. In the mahā-mantra-Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare-the word Rāma refers to Balarāma. Since Lord Nityānanda is an expansion of Balarāma, Rāma also refers to Lord Nityānanda. Thus Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Rāma addresses not only Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma but Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityānanda as well. (from Introduction to Sri Caitanya-caritamrta 1975 Edition)

…Amongst various names of the relatives, the name of Rāma or Balarāma, eldest brother of Lord Kṛṣṇa, is added with the words “the Personality of Godhead” because Lord Balarāma is the immediate expansion of viṣṇu-tattva as prakāśa-vigraha of Lord Kṛṣṇa. The Supreme Lord, although one without a second, expands Himself as many other living beings. The viṣṇu-tattva living beings are expansions of the Supreme Lord, and all of them are qualitatively and quantitatively equal with the Lord. But expansions of the jīva-śakti, the category of the ordinary living beings, are not at all equal with the Lord. One who considers the jīva-śakti and the viṣṇu-tattva to be on an equal level is considered a condemned soul of the world. Śrī Rāma, or Balarāma, is the protector of the devotees of the Lord. Baladeva acts as the spiritual master of all devotees, and by His causeless mercy the fallen souls are delivered. Śrī Baladeva appeared as Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu during the advent of Lord Caitanya, and the great Lord Nityānanda Prabhu exhibited His causeless mercy by delivering a pair of extremely fallen souls, namely Jagāi and Mādhāi. Therefore it is particularly mentioned herein that Balarāma is the protector of the devotees of the Lord. By His divine grace only one can approach the Supreme Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and thus Śrī Balarāma is the mercy incarnation of the Lord, manifested as the spiritual master, the savior of the pure devotees. (from purport to SB 1.14.29)

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Bhagavad-gītā As It Is

Raja-vidya

Somehow while reading the Srimad Bhagavatam the other day, I was reminded again that all the philosophy of Krishna Consciousness is contained in the Bhagavad-gita As It Is. It is such an important book. The song of God, sung by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Himself. Hare Krishna!

Whoever knows Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, without doubting, is to be understood as the knower of everything, and he therefore engages himself in full devotional service, O son of Bharata (Bg 15.19)

This is the most confidential part of the Vedic scriptures, O sinless one, and it is disclosed now by Me. Whoever understands this will become wise, and his endeavors will know perfection. (Bg 15.20)

The Lord clearly explains here that this is the substance of all revealed scriptures. And one should understand this as it is given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Thus one will become intelligent and perfect in transcendental knowledge. In other words, by understanding this philosophy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and engaging in His transcendental service, everyone can become freed from all contaminations of the modes of material nature. Devotional service is a process of spiritual understanding. Wherever devotional service exists, the material contamination cannot coexist. Devotional service to the Lord and the Lord Himself are one and the same because they are spiritual—the internal energy of the Supreme Lord. The Lord is said to be the sun, and ignorance is called darkness. Where the sun is present, there is no question of darkness. Therefore, whenever devotional service is present under the proper guidance of a bona fide spiritual master, there is no question of ignorance. (from purport to Bg 15.20)

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More Attractive than the Hymns of the Vedas

gopis

Yesterday, I took a few moments to sit in the sun with a good book. I grabbed a book at random…it was the first Canto, Vol. 3 of the Srimad Bhagavatam. I adjusted my reading glass’s on my face, opened the book at random…and began to read

Absorbed in the thought of the transcendental qualities of the Lord, who is glorified in select poetry, the ladies on the roofs of all the houses of Hastināpura began to talk of Him. This talk was more attractive than the hymns of the Vedas. (SB 1.10.20)

…The ladies, who were all absorbed in the thought and actions of the Lord, developed the consciousness of Vedic wisdom by the grace of the Lord. And therefore although such ladies might not have been very learned scholars in Sanskrit or otherwise, still whatever they spoke was more attractive than the Vedic hymns. (from purport to SB 1.10.20)

…The ladies talking about this Vedic truth must have heard it from authoritative sources. An authoritative source is the only means of knowing about transcendental subject matter definitely. There is no alternative. (from purport to SB 1.10.21)

I was only able to read these two translations and purports before the rains came and I had to flee inside the house…but so moved by these two verses, I have thought of nothing else since. An authoritative source is the only means of knowing about transcendental subject matter definitely. There is no alternative. All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!

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Connecting with Prabhupada is Connecting with Krishna

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I saw this photo and post yesterday on the Prabhupada Connect web page. It was such a special photo that I thought we should share it with you all here as well.

“The Lord is seated in the heart of all living beings, and thus, He knows very well the movements of all individual persons. As soon as the Lord finds that a particular soul is very eager to go back to Godhead, the Lord at once sends His bona fide representative. The sincere devotee is thus assured by the Lord of going back to Godhead. The conclusion is that to get the assistance and help of a bona fide spiritual master means to receive the direct help of the Lord Himself.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.19.36, Purport)

The Spiritual Master of The Hare Krishna Movement

The Hare Krishna Movement

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“I will always be the spiritual master for the entire Krishna consciousness movement; for anyone in this age willing to follow the principles I have given for the benefit of everyone.”

Srila Prabhupada’s Conversation 1975, Ookala, Hawaii

The Arrival of a Pure Devotee

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I have always enjoyed going back in time and re-reading the old Back to Godhead Magazines. This one was from 1974 and chronicles the arrival of Srila Prabhupada.

The Arrival of a Pure Devotee
by Visakha-devi dasi

New York: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, founder and spiritual master of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), stopped here for a few days recently as part of his continuing tour of ISKCON centers around the world. At JFK International Airport, as more than one hundred disciples royally greeted him and curious reporters thronged around him, Srila Prabhupada explained, in clear language and with fixed conviction, the Krsna conscious philosophy of a God-centered society in which “everything animate and inanimate is recognized to be controlled and owned by the Lord.”

“Will this solve the energy crisis?” one reporter asked. “Yes, why not?” Srila Prabhupada immediately responded. “The only lack in the world today is the lack of God consciousness.”

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Vyasa-puja 2015

Jaladuta

Sri Vyasa-puja Homage
by Vyasasan das

Dear Srila Prabhupada

On this most blessed and auspicious day, the celebration of your appearance, Sri Vyasa-puja

Please let me offer my respectful obeisances:

nama oṁ viṣṇu-pādāya kṛṣṇa-preṣṭhāya bhū-tale
śrīmate bhaktivedānta-svāmin iti nāmine

I offer my respectful obeisances unto His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, who is very dear to Lord Kṛṣṇa, having taken shelter at His lotus feet.

namas te sārasvate deve gaura-vāṇī-pracāriṇe
nirviśeṣa-śūnyavādi-pāścātya-deśa-tāriṇe

Our respectful obeisances are unto you, O spiritual master, servant of Sarasvatī Gosvāmī. You are kindly preaching the message of Lord Caitanyadeva and delivering the Western countries, which are filled with impersonalism and voidism.

Today I am reminded that 50 years ago, you boarded the ship Jaladuta, which was bound for America, just to execute the order of your spiritual master Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami, and preach the message of Lord Caitanya, to the Western speaking world.

This year we celebrate the 50th aniversery of that famous journey to America. While aboard the Jaladuta, on Sept 13th, 1965, in the middle of the Atlantic ocean you wrote the poem “Prayers to the Lotus Feet of Krsna”. I would like to read it here today, on this auspicious and blessed day of you appearance, to remind everyone of that famous journey and of the great sacrifice you made at the age of 69 years old, with several boxes of your books, and 40 rupees to your name.

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Characteristics of the Bona Fide Guru

bona fide spiritual master Srila Prabhupada

Recently there has been some discussion on the internet about Jayadvaita Swami’s remarks on kirtana standards in his Kirtan Seminar lectures. I cannot repeat here, what he said on the YouTube Lecture, finding it offensive and not worthy of repeating. Rather than dwell on the negetive statements of Jayadvaita Swami, we thought it better to repeat the words of the bona fide spiritual master Srila Prabhupada, who so nicely describes the characteristics of the “Bona Fide Guru” in the pages of the Sri Caitanya-caritmrta.

…The guru must be situated on the topmost platform of devotional service. There are three classes of devotees, and the guru must be accepted from the topmost class. The first-class devotee is the spiritual master for all kinds of people. It is said: gurur nṛṇām. The word nṛṇām means “of all human beings.” The guru is not limited to a particular group. It is stated in the Upadeśāmṛta of Rūpa Gosvāmī that a guru is a gosvāmī, a controller of the senses and the mind. Such a guru can accept disciples from all over the world. Pṛthivīṁ sa śiṣyāt. This is the test of the guru.

…When one has attained the topmost position of mahā-bhāgavata, he is to be accepted as a guru and worshiped exactly like Hari, the Personality of Godhead. Only such a person is eligible to occupy the post of a guru. (purport Madhya 24.330)

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An Eternal Relationship

Bahulavan and Srila Prabhupada (9)

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An Eternal Relationship
Prabhupada’s Fourth Visit to New Vrindaban
(written by Madhava Smullen, archival aesearch by Chaitanya Mangala)

Thank you to Madhava Smullen and Caitanya Mangala prabhus. They are trying to re-create the history on New Vrindaban. The fact that they have focused their writing around the time frame of Srila Prabhupada’s visit there makes it noteworthy.

June 21st, 1976 was a normal day at the Pittsburgh International airport until a group of Krishna devotees from New Vrindaban, dressed in an odd combination of dhotis or saris with large rubber farm boots, appeared. Commuters stared open-mouthed as the fifty-strong crew exploded into a cacophonous burst of chanting, mridanga drums, and gongs in front of the arrival gate.

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The Guru Is A Pure Devotee!

Guru Is a pure devotee Prabhupada

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The following is a very nice post written by Madhudvisa Prabhu, it is heavy, but is backed up by scripture and quotes by Srila Prabhupada himself. It was worth my time reading, and thus I share it with all of you. Hare Krishna!

The Guru Is A Pure Devotee!
by Madhudvisa dasa

During Srila Prabhupada’s physical presence there was no confusion in ISKCON over the qualifications and qualities of a bona fide guru. Srila Prabhupada was personally present and he exhibited all the qualities perfectly and all the devotees understood the spiritual master was a pure devotee. That’s what Srila Prabhupada demonstrated by his personal actions, that’s what he wrote in his books, that’s what he preached in his classes and that’s what the devotees understood and accepted. The spiritual master is a transparent via-medium to Krishna. His words are non-different from Krishna’s, hearing him is just as good as hearing Krishna personally. And his words are absolute and perfect because he is not presenting his own ideas, he is simply repeating what Krishna and the previous acaryas have said in a way suitable for the understanding of the audience. He’s not changing the message, adulterating it or adding in any ideas of his own, he’s presenting Krishna’s words and Krishna’s philosophy AS IT IS.

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Prabhupada (Free PDF Download)

Prabhupada1

The following PDF file entitled “Prabhupada” is a very nice little pamphlet describing Srila Prabhupada’s Journey to the West, the society he formed, his teachings, ect. It is very nice and you can click on the following link to view it or save it to your comuputer.

click of the following link to veiw or save pdf file Prabhupada

The Nectar of Devotion Lecture

Nectar of Devotion Lecture

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The Nectar of Devotion Lecture
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Vṛndāvana, October 19, 1972

Pradyumna: (reading) “…happiness immediately terminates with his body as long as his life, as soon as his life is over. Death is therefore taken as the representative of God for the atheistic class of men. The devotee realizes the presence of God by devotional service, whereas the atheist realizes the presence of God in the shape of death.”

Prabhupāda: Yes. This point we have discussed last night that everyone can see God. To see God is not very difficult job. There are so many points described in the Bhagavad-gītā. For the devotees, those who are serious about seeing God, they can see God. God is present everywhere. And God Himself, Kṛṣṇa, is describing, raso ‘ham apsu kaunteya prabhāsmi śaśi-sūryayoḥ [Bg. 7.8]. So everyone drinks water. Now Kṛṣṇa says, “The taste of the water, I am.” So who has not tasted the water? Everyone drinks water at least four times, five times. So as soon as you drink water, the taste of the water is Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa says, “I am this.” Kṛṣṇa has described Himself in so many ways. “Amongst the trees, I am this. Amongst the aquatics, I am this. Amongst the nonmovable, I am this.” So why not see God in that way? The atheist class of men, they say, “Can you show me God?” So why don’t you see God? Why you close your eyes? If you have got eyes to see, you can see God everywhere.

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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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