Importance of Visiting the Holy Places

Nectar of Instruction

Continuing with our series on the Nectar of Instruction (Upadeśāmṛta), we are posting Text 9, the very important instructions given by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī on visiting the holy places of pilgrimage.

The Nectar of Instruction
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Text Nine

vaikuṇṭhāj janito varā madhu-purī tatrāpi rāsotsavād
vṛndāraṇyam udāra-pāṇi-ramaṇāt tatrāpi govardhanaḥ
rādhā-kuṇḍam ihāpi gokula-pateḥ premāmṛtāplāvanāt
kuryād asya virājato giri-taṭe sevāṁ vivekī na kaḥ

SYNONYMS

vaikuṇṭhāt—than Vaikuṇṭha, the spiritual world; janitaḥ—because of birth; varā—better; madhu-purī—the transcendental city known as Mathurā; tatra api—superior to that; rāsa-utsavāt—because of the performance of the rāsa-līlā; vṛndā-araṇyam—the forest of Vṛndāvana; udāra-pāṇi—of Lord Kṛṣṇa; ramaṇāt—because of various kinds of loving pastimes; tatra api—superior to that; govardhanaḥ—Govardhana Hill; rādhā-kuṇḍam—a place called Rādhā-kuṇḍa; iha api—superior to this; gokula-pateḥ—of Kṛṣṇa, the master of Gokula; prema-amṛta—with the nectar of divine love; āplāvanāt—because of being overflooded; kuryāt—would do; asya—of this (Rādhā-kuṇḍa); virājataḥ—situated; giri-taṭe—at the foot of Govardhana Hill; sevām—service; vivekī—who is intelligent; na—not; kaḥ—who.

TRANSLATION

The holy place known as Mathurā is spiritually superior to Vaikuṇṭha, the transcendental world, because the Lord appeared there. Superior to Mathurā-Purī is the transcendental forest of Vṛndāvana because of Kṛṣṇa’s rāsa-līlā pastimes. And superior to the forest of Vṛndāvana is Govardhana Hill, for it was raised by the divine hand of Śrī Kṛṣṇa and was the site of His various loving pastimes. And, above all, the superexcellent Śrī Rādhā-kuṇḍa stands supreme, for it is overflooded with the ambrosial nectarean prema of the Lord of Gokula, Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Where, then, is that intelligent Person who is unwilling to serve this divine Rādhā-kuṇḍa, which is situated at the foot of Govardhana Hill?

PURPORT

The spiritual world is three fourths of the total creation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and it is the most exalted region. The spiritual world is naturally superior to the material world; however, Mathurā and the adjoining areas, although appearing in the material world, are considered superior to the spiritual world because the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself appeared at Mathurā. The interior forests of Vṛndāvana are considered superior to Mathurā because of the presence of the twelve forests (dvādaśa-vana), such as Tālavana, Madhuvana and Bahulāvana, which are famous for the various pastimes of the Lord. Thus the interior Vṛndāvana forest is considered superior to Mathurā, but superior to these forests is the divine Govardhana Hill because Kṛṣṇa lifted Govardhana Hill like an umbrella, raising it with His lotuslike beautiful hand to protect His associates, the denizens of Vraja, from the torrential rains sent by the angry Indra, King of the demigods. It is also at Govardhana Hill that Kṛṣṇa tends the cows with His cowherd friends, and there also He had His rendezvous with His most beloved Śrī Rādhā and engaged in loving pastimes with Her. Rādhā-kuṇḍa, at the foot of Govardhana, is superior to all because it is there that love of Kṛṣṇa overflows. Advanced devotees prefer to reside at Rādhā-kuṇḍa because this place is the site of many memories of the eternal loving affairs between Kṛṣṇa and Rādhārāṇī (rati-vilāsa).

In Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Madhya-līlā) it is stated that when Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu first visited the area of Vrajabhūmi, He could not at first find the location of Rādhā-kuṇḍa. This means that Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was actually searching for the exact location of Rādhā-kuṇḍa. Finally He found the holy spot, and there was a small pond there. He took His bath in that small pond and told His devotees that the actual Rādhā-kuṇḍa was situated there. Later the pond was excavated by Lord Caitanya’s devotees, headed first by the six Gosvāmīs, such as Rūpa and Raghunātha dāsa. Presently there is a large lake known as Rādhā-kuṇḍa there. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has given much stress to Rādhā-kuṇḍa because of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s desire to find it. Who, then, would give up Rādhā-kuṇḍa and try to reside elsewhere? No person with transcendental intelligence would do so. The importance of Rādhā-kuṇḍa, however, cannot be realized by other Vaiṣṇava sampradāyas, nor can persons uninterested in the devotional service of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu understand the spiritual importance and divine nature of Rādhā-kuṇḍa. Thus Rādhā-kuṇḍa is mainly worshiped by the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas, the followers of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

radha_kund

The Confidential Reasons for Lord Caitanya’s Appearance

Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu in Vrndavan

“Lord Kṛṣṇa desired to taste the limitless nectarean mellows of the love of one of His multitude of loving damsels [Śrī Rādhā], and so He has assumed the form of Lord Caitanya. He has tasted that love while hiding His own dark complexion with Her effulgent yellow color. May that Lord Caitanya confer upon us His grace.”(This is the third verse of the second Caitanyāṣṭaka of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī’s Stava-mālā.)

Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Summary of Ādi-līlā, Chapter 4

The Confidential Reasons for Lord Caitanya’s Appearance

In this chapter of the epic Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī has stressed that Lord Caitanya appeared for three principal purposes of His own. The first purpose was to relish the position of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, who is the prime reciprocator of transcendental love of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Lord Kṛṣṇa is the reservoir of transcendental loving transactions with Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. The subject of those loving transactions is the Lord Himself, and Rādhārāṇī is the object. Thus the subject, the Lord, wanted to relish the loving mellow in the position of the object, Rādhārāṇī.

The second reason for His appearance was to understand the transcendental mellow of Himself. Lord Kṛṣṇa is all sweetness. Rādhārāṇī’s attraction for Kṛṣṇa is sublime, and to experience that attraction and understand the transcendental sweetness of Himself, He accepted the mentality of Rādhārāṇī.

The third reason that Lord Caitanya appeared was to enjoy the bliss tasted by Rādhārāṇī. The Lord thought that undoubtedly Rādhārāṇī enjoyed His company and He enjoyed the company of Rādhārāṇī, but the exchange of transcendental mellow between the spiritual couple was more pleasing to Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī than to Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Rādhārāṇī felt more transcendental pleasure in the company of Kṛṣṇa than He could understand without taking Her position, but for Śrī Kṛṣṇa to enjoy in the position of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī was impossible because that position was completely foreign to Him. Kṛṣṇa is the transcendental male, and Rādhārāṇī is the transcendental female. Therefore, to know the transcendental pleasure of loving Kṛṣṇa, Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself appeared as Lord Caitanya, accepting the emotions and bodily luster of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī.

Lord Caitanya appeared to fulfill these confidential desires and also to preach the special significance of chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare, and to answer the call of Advaita Prabhu. These were secondary reasons.

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The Beauty of Kṛṣṇa

B.G. Sharama Krishna & the Gopis

click on image to enlarge

“The gopīs used to relish the beauty of Kṛṣṇa as a ceremony of perpetual enjoyment. They enjoyed the beautiful face of Kṛṣṇa, His beautiful ears with earrings, His broad forehead and His smile, and when enjoying this sight of Kṛṣṇa’s beauty, they used to criticize the creator Brahmā for causing their vision of Kṛṣṇa to be momentarily impeded by the blinking of their eyelids.” (Teachings of Lord Caitanya Chapter 10)

The beauty of Lord Kṛṣṇa increases at the sight of the beauty of the gopīs. And the more the gopīs see Lord Kṛṣṇa’s beauty, the more their beauty increases. (Cc. Adi 4.192)

“May the pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa reduce the miseries existing in the material world and nullify all unwanted desires. The pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are like śikhariṇī, a blend of yogurt and sugar candy. They overpower the pride of even the nectar produced on the moon, for they distribute the sweet fragrance of the concentrated loving affairs of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī and the gopīs.” (Cc. Antya 1.128)

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Karma-Yoga


Bhagavad-gita As It Is – Macmillan 1972 Edition
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 3

TEXT 1
arjuna uvāca
jyāyasī cet karmaṇas te
matā buddhir janārdana
tat kiṁ karmaṇi ghore māṁ
niyojayasi keśava

arjunaḥ—Arjuna; uvāca—said; jyāyasī—speaking very highly; cet—although; karmaṇaḥ—than fruitive action; te—your; matā—opinion; buddhiḥ—intelligence; janārdana—O Kṛṣṇa; tat—therefore; kim—why; karmaṇi—in action; ghore—ghastly; mām—me; niyojayasi—engaging me; keśava—O Kṛṣṇa.

TRANSLATION

Arjuna said: O Janārdana, O Keśava, why do You urge me to engage in this ghastly warfare, if You think that intelligence is better than fruitive work?

PURPORT

The Supreme Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa has very elaborately described the constitution of the soul in the previous chapter, with a view to deliver His intimate friend Arjuna from the ocean of material grief. And the path of realization has been recommended: buddhi-yoga, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Sometimes Kṛṣṇa consciousness is misunderstood to be inertia, and one with such a misunderstanding often withdraws to a secluded place to become fully Kṛṣṇa conscious by chanting the holy name of Lord Kṛṣṇa. But without being trained in the philosophy of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, it is not advisable to chant the holy name of Kṛṣṇa in a secluded place where one may acquire only cheap adoration from the innocent public. Arjuna also thought of Kṛṣṇa consciousness or buddhi-yoga, or intelligence in spiritual advancement of knowledge, as something like retirement from active life and the practice of penance and austerity at a secluded place. In other words, he wanted to skillfully avoid the fighting by using Kṛṣṇa consciousness as an excuse. But as a sincere student, he placed the matter before his master and questioned Kṛṣṇa as to his best course of action. In answer, Lord Kṛṣṇa elaborately explained karma-yoga, or work in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, in this Third Chapter.

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Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead

That Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead, is the only object of worship is confirmed in these two ślokas.

Srimad-Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Canto 1, Chapter Two, Text 28-29

TEXTS 28-29

vāsudeva-parā vedā
vāsudeva-parā makhāḥ
vāsudeva-parā yogā
vāsudeva-parāḥ kriyāḥ

vāsudeva-paraṁ jñānaṁ
vāsudeva-paraṁ tapaḥ
vāsudeva-paro dharmo
vāsudeva-parā gatiḥ

vāsudeva—the Personality of Godhead; parāḥ—the ultimate goal; vedāḥ—revealed scriptures; vāsudeva—the Personality of Godhead; parāḥ—for worshiping; makhāḥ—sacrifices; vāsudeva—the Personality of Godhead; parāḥ—the means of attaining; yogāḥ—mystic paraphernalia; vāsudeva—the Personality of Godhead; parāḥ—under His control; kriyāḥ—fruitive activities; vāsudeva—the Personality of Godhead; param—the supreme; jñānam—knowledge; vāsudeva—the Personality of Godhead; param—best; tapaḥ—austerity; vāsudeva—the Personality of Godhead; paraḥ—superior quality; dharmaḥ—religion; vāsudeva—the Personality of Godhead; parāḥ—ultimate; gatiḥ—goal of life.

In the revealed scriptures, the ultimate object of knowledge is Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead. The purpose of performing sacrifice is to please Him. Yoga is for realizing Him. All fruitive activities are ultimately rewarded by Him only. He is supreme knowledge, and all severe austerities are performed to know Him. Religion [dharma] is rendering loving service unto Him. He is the supreme goal of life.

Purport
That Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead, is the only object of worship is confirmed in these two ślokas. In the Vedic literature there is the same objective: establishing one’s relationship and ultimately reviving our lost loving service unto Him. That is the sum and substance of the Vedas. In the Bhagavad-gītā the same theory is confirmed by the Lord in His own words: the ultimate purpose of the Vedas is to know Him only. All the revealed scriptures are prepared by the Lord through His incarnation in the body of Śrīla Vyāsadeva just to remind the fallen souls, conditioned by material nature, of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead. No demigod can award freedom from material bondage. That is the verdict of all the Vedic literatures. Impersonalists who have no information of the Personality of Godhead minimize the omnipotency of the Supreme Lord and put Him on equal footing with all other living beings, and for this act such impersonalists get freedom from material bondage only with great difficulty. They can surrender unto Him only after many, many births in the culture of transcendental knowledge.

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The Purpose of Lord Kapila’s Advent

…The purpose of this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to inform everyone that no one is superior to Kṛṣṇa, God. Because many young Americans and Europeans are fortunate and know nothing of any hodgepodge god, they have taken this bona fide Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement seriously. Kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam: Bhagavān, God, means Śrī Kṛṣṇa. We have simply presented this information, saying, “Here is God. Śrī Kṛṣṇa.” Because they have taken this seriously, many young Americans and Europeans are advancing in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Consequently many people are surprised to see how Americans and Europeans have become such great devotees and are dancing in ecstasy. How is it they are so advanced? They have taken the information seriously: kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam. Whether one touches fire blindly or knowingly, fire will burn. It is not that because the fire is touched by a child, fire will not burn. These young Westerners have touched fire, and consequently it is acting as fire.

…If we hear about Kṛṣṇa, we become purified. Hearing about Kṛṣṇa means associating with Kṛṣṇa. In this way we may perfect our lives.

Teachings of Lord Kapila, the Son of Devahūti
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter One

The Purpose of Lord Kapila’s Advent

TEXT 1

śaunaka uvāca
kapilas tattva-saṅkhyātā
bhagavān ātma-māyayā
jātaḥ svayam ajaḥ sākṣād
ātma-prajñaptaye nṛṇām

TRANSLATION

Śrī Śaunaka said: Although He is unborn, the Supreme Personality of Godhead took birth as Kapila Muni by His internal potency. He descended to disseminate transcendental knowledge for the benefit of the whole human race.

PURPORT

The word ātma-prajñaptaye indicates that the Lord descends for the benefit of the human race to give transcendental knowledge. Material necessities are quite sufficiently provided for in the knowledge given in the Vedic literatures, which offer a program for good living and gradual elevation to the platform of sattva-guṇa, the mode of goodness. Once one is situated in sattva-guṇa, one’s knowledge expands. On the platform of passion there is no knowledge, for passion is an impetus to enjoy material benefits. On the platform of ignorance there is neither knowledge nor enjoyment but simply animalistic living.

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I Meditate Upon Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam:
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

Canto 1: “Creation”, Chapter 1, Text 1

Questions by the Sages

oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya

janmādy asya yato ’nvayād itarataś cārtheṣv abhijñaḥ svarāṭ
tene brahma hṛdā ya ādi-kavaye muhyanti yat sūrayaḥ
tejo-vāri-mṛdāṁ yathā vinimayo yatra tri-sargo ’mṛṣā
dhāmnā svena sadā nirasta-kuhakaṁ satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi

om—O my Lord; namaḥ—offering my obeisances; bhagavate—unto the Personality of Godhead; vāsudevāya—unto Vāsudeva (the son of Vasudeva), or Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the primeval Lord; janma-ādi—creation, sustenance and destruction; asya—of the manifested universes; yataḥ—from whom; anvayāt—directly; itarataḥ—indirectly; ca—and; artheṣu—purposes; abhijñaḥ—fully cognizant; sva-rāṭ—fully independent; tene—imparted; brahma—the Vedic knowledge; hṛdā—consciousness of the heart; yaḥ—one who; ādi-kavaye—unto the original created being; muhyanti—are illusioned; yat—about whom; sūrayaḥ—great sages and demigods; tejaḥ—fire; vāri—water; mṛdām—earth; yathā—as much as; vinimayaḥ—action and reaction; yatra—whereupon; tri-sargaḥ—three modes of creation, creative faculties; amṛṣā—almost factual; dhāmnā—along with all transcendental paraphernalia; svena—self-sufficiently; sadā—always; nirasta—negation by absence; kuhakam—illusion; satyam—truth; param—absolute; dhīmahi—I do meditate upon.

TRANSLATION

O my Lord, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, son of Vasudeva, O all-pervading Personality of Godhead, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You. I meditate upon Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa because He is the Absolute Truth and the primeval cause of all causes of the creation, sustenance and destruction of the manifested universes. He is directly and indirectly conscious of all manifestations, and He is independent because there is no other cause beyond Him. It is He only who first imparted the Vedic knowledge unto the heart of Brahmājī, the original living being. By Him even the great sages and demigods are placed into illusion, as one is bewildered by the illusory representations of water seen in fire, or land seen on water. Only because of Him do the material universes, temporarily manifested by the reactions of the three modes of nature, appear factual, although they are unreal. I therefore meditate upon Him, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is eternally existent in the transcendental abode, which is forever free from the illusory representations of the material world. I meditate upon Him, for He is the Absolute Truth.

PURPORT

Obeisances unto the Personality of Godhead, Vāsudeva, directly indicate Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is the divine son of Vasudeva and Devakī. This fact will be more explicitly explained in the text of this work. Śrī Vyāsadeva asserts herein that Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the original Personality of Godhead, and all others are His direct or indirect plenary portions or portions of the portion. Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī has even more explicitly explained the subject matter in his Kṛṣṇa-sandarbha. And Brahmā, the original living being, has explained the subject of Śrī Kṛṣṇa substantially in his treatise named Brahma-saṁhitā. In the Sāma-veda Upaniṣad, it is also stated that Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the divine son of Devakī. Therefore, in this prayer, the first proposition holds that Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the primeval Lord, and if any transcendental nomenclature is to be understood as belonging to the Absolute Personality of Godhead, it must be the name indicated by the word Kṛṣṇa, which means the all-attractive. In Bhagavad-gītā, in many places, the Lord asserts Himself to be the original Personality of Godhead, and this is confirmed by Arjuna, and also by great sages like Nārada, Vyāsa, and many others. In the Padma Purāṇa, it is also stated that out of the innumerable names of the Lord, the name of Kṛṣṇa is the principal one. Vāsudeva indicates the plenary portion of the Personality of Godhead, and all the different forms of the Lord, being identical with Vāsudeva, are indicated in this text. The name Vāsudeva particularly indicates the divine son of Vasudeva and Devakī. Śrī Kṛṣṇa is always meditated upon by the paramahaṁsas, who are the perfected ones among those in the renounced order of life.

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Kṛṣṇa, the Reservoir of Pleasure

Kṛṣṇa, the Reservoir of Pleasure
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

Kṛṣṇa—this sound is transcendental. Kṛṣṇa means the highest pleasure. All of us, every living being, seeks pleasure. But we do not know how to seek pleasure perfectly. With a materialistic concept of life, we are frustrated at every step in satisfying our pleasure because we have no information regarding the real level on which to have real pleasure. For the last few weeks we have been learning that we are not this body; we are consciousness. Not exactly consciousness, for consciousness is actually the symptom of our real identity: we are pure soul, now merged within this material body. Modern material science lays no stress on this; therefore the scientists are sometimes misled in their understanding of spirit soul. But spirit soul is a fact, which anyone can understand by the presence of consciousness. Any child can understand that consciousness is the symptom of the spirit soul.

Now the whole process we are trying to learn from the Bhagavad-gītā (The Song of God) is how to bring ourselves to this level of consciousness. And if we act from the level of consciousness, then we may not be pushed again into the level of this bodily conception; and, if we can continue on that level, if we can continue to act in pure consciousness, then, at the end of this body we shall be free from material contamination, our spiritual life will be revived, and the ultimate result will be that in our next life, after leaving this body, we shall have our full, eternal spiritual life. Spirit, as we have already discussed, is described as eternal.

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“Śrī Kṛṣṇa is enjoying the season of spring”

“My dear friends, just see how Śrī Kṛṣṇa is enjoying the season of spring! With the gopīs embracing each of His limbs, He is like amorous love personified. With His transcendental pastimes, He enlivens all the gopīs and the entire creation. With His soft bluish-black arms and legs, which resemble blue lotus flowers, He has created a festival for Cupid.”

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Adi-lila 4.224

The Confidential Reasons for Lord Caitanya’s Appearance

viśveṣām anurañjanena janayann ānandam indīvara-
śreṇī-śyāmala-komalair upanayann aṅgair anaṅgotsavam
svacchandaṁ vraja-sundarībhir abhitaḥ praty-aṅgam āliṅgitaḥ
śṛṅgāraḥ sakhi mūrtimān iva madhau mugdho hariḥ krīḍati

viśveṣām—of all the gopīs; anurañjanena—by the act of pleasing; janayan—producing; ānandam—the bliss; indīvara-śreṇī—like a row of blue lotuses; śyāmala—bluish black; komalaiḥ—and soft; upanayan—bringing; aṅgaiḥ—with His limbs; anaṅga-utsavam—a festival for Cupid; svacchandam—without restriction; vraja-sundarībhiḥ—by the young women of Vraja; abhitaḥ—on both sides; prati-aṅgam—each limb; āliṅgitaḥ—embraced; śṛṅgāraḥ—amorous love; śakhi—O friend; mūrtimān—embodied; iva—like; madhau—in the springtime; mugdhaḥ—perplexed; hariḥ—Lord Hari; krīḍati—plays.

“My dear friends, just see how Śrī Kṛṣṇa is enjoying the season of spring! With the gopīs embracing each of His limbs, He is like amorous love personified. With His transcendental pastimes, He enlivens all the gopīs and the entire creation. With His soft bluish-black arms and legs, which resemble blue lotus flowers, He has created a festival for Cupid.”

This is a verse from Jayadeva Gosvāmī’s Gīta-govinda (1.11).

Text Pasted from; Prabhupada Books

Raja – Vidya: The King of Knowledge

Raja-vidya: The King of Knowledge

In the first verse of this Ninth Chapter, by the word guhyatamam, Śrī Kṛṣṇa intimates that He is imparting the most confidential knowledge to Arjuna. Why is He proclaiming this to Arjuna? It is because Arjuna is anasūyu—non-envious. In the material world if someone is greater than us, we are envious. We are not only envious of one another, but of God. Also when Kṛṣṇa says, “I am the proprietor,” we disbelieve it. But this is not the case with Arjuna, who listens to Kṛṣṇa without envy. Arjuna does not cavil with Kṛṣṇa but agrees with whatever He says. This is his special qualification, and this is the way of understanding Bhagavad-gītā. It is not possible to understand what God is by our own mental speculations; we have to hear, and we have to accept.

Raja – Vidya: The King of Knowledge
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter One

śrī bhagavān uvāca
idaṁ tu te guhyatamaṁ
pravakṣyāmy anasūyave
jñānaṁ vijñāna-sahitaṁ
yaj jñātvā mokṣyase ’śubhāt

“The Supreme Lord said: My dear Arjuna, because you are never envious of Me, I shall impart to you this most secret wisdom, knowing which you shall be relieved of the miseries of material existence.” (Bg. 9.1)

The opening words of the Ninth Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā indicate that the Supreme Godhead is speaking. Here Śrī Kṛṣṇa is referred to as Bhagavān. Bhaga means opulences, and vān means one who possesses. We have some conception of God, but in the Vedic literature there are definite descriptions and definitions of what is meant by God, and what is meant is described in one word—Bhagavān. Bhagavān possesses all opulences, the totality of knowledge, wealth, power, beauty, fame and renunciation. When we find someone who possesses these opulences in full, we are to know that he is God. There are many rich, wise, famous, beautiful and powerful men, but no one man can claim to possess all of these opulences. Only Kṛṣṇa claims to possess them in totality.

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Eligibility of the Candidate for Accepting Devotional Service

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


The Nectar of Devotion – 1970 Edition
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Chapter 3

Eligibility of the Candidate for Accepting Devotional Service

On account of his association with mahātmās, or great souls one hundred percent in the devotional service of the Lord, one may attain a little bit of attraction for Śrī Kṛṣṇa. But at the same time one may remain very much attached to fruitive activities and material sense enjoyment and not be prepared to undergo the different types of renunciation. Such a person, if he has unflinching attraction to Kṛṣṇa, becomes an eligible candidate for discharging devotional service.

This attraction for Kṛṣṇa consciousness in association with pure devotees is the sign of great fortune. It is confirmed by Lord Caitanya that only the fortunate persons, by the mercy of both a bona fide spiritual master and Kṛṣṇa, will get the seed of devotional service. In this connection, Lord Kṛṣṇa says in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Eleventh Canto, 20th Chapter, verse 8: “My dear Uddhava, only by exceptional fortune does someone become attracted to Me (Kṛṣṇa). And even if one is not completely detached from fruitive activities, or is not completely attached to devotional service, such service is quickly effective.”

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