Photos by Gurudas

From time to time, I like to post some of the old photos from Gurudas Prabhu’s camera. He was one of the first ISKCON photographers and took many of the famous and beautiful pictures of Srila Prabhupada. The following were from Parikama with Srila Prabhupada in India.

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Padayatra

padayatra

Last evening we had the good fortune to spend it with Lokanath Swami at a home program here in New Vrindaban. He spoke for 2 1/2 hours on village life, simple living-high thinking, the padayatra, how he joined the Hare Krishna Movement, meeting Srila Prabhupada, and ending it with a very moving account about Srila Prabhupada’s final request to go on parikrama in a bullock cart. Then in summary, hw spoke about Srila Prabhupada’s last desire to travel to all the holy places of pilgrimage, and the continuation of the Padayatra program Srila Prabhupada wanted.

“…However in the evening of the 14th of November, Srila Prabhupada left this mortal world. Some days after his departure, in order to fulfill his last desire, the devotees performed parikrama on Govardhana Hill with a bullock cart, carrying a portrait of their eternal well-wisher. Thousands of disciples and followers of Srila Prabhupada participated in this last procession. Something to deeply think about Only a few days before his departure, Srila Prabhupada wanted to go on pilgrimage with a bullock cart. Every moment of Prabhupada’s life had a purport that is meant to teach us some lesson. It is something for his followers to deeply think about, especially since traveling on a bullock cart was one of Prabhupada’s last desires, as well as to visit the holy places of pilgrimage. The Padayatra idea remained dormant for the next seven years, but then in 1984, at the advent of the 500th anniversary of the appearance of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the GBC requested Lokanath Maharaja to be the leader of an all-India Padayatra party that would travel from Dvaraka, Gujarat to Mayapur, West Bengal.”

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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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“I Have No Capacity to Repay You”

 

Mohana-Madhuri

“I Have No Capacity to Repay You”
by Yadurani Devi Dasi
Excerpted from Back to Godhead Magazine
Vol. 26, No. 2, 1992

Srila Prabhupada placed great spiritual value on the sometimes crude paintings of ISKCON’s first artists.

TWENTY-SIX SECOND AVENUE, New York City, 1967: Govinda Dasi had recently painted Srila Prabhupada’s quarters—blue walls with gold borders. His desk was his trunk from India. He sat on second-hand mats donated by his disciples.

Prabhupada showed me a beautiful print of Radha and Krsna with the eight principal gopis, standing together in the moonlight in a garden in the Vrndavana forest. He wanted me to copy the scene onto a large canvas.

Prabhupada told me that the gopis in the picture had Bengali beauty because they’d been painted by a Bengali artist. The flowers at Krsna’s feet didn’t seem very clearly painted to me. They looked like colored blobs. I asked Prabhupada what kind of flowers I should paint. “You can take any flower and transport it to Vrndavana,” he answered.

“What color should I paint Krsna’s eyes?” I asked. Sometimes we read that Krsna’s eyes are red.

“They are reddish, reddish black,” he said.

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In the Age of Kali-yuga… There is Still One Good Thing…

We all have our favorite quotes and slokas from the pages of Srila Prabhupada’s books. One of mine is the following:

“My dear King, although Kali-yuga is full of faults, there is still one good quality about this age. It is that simply by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, one can become free from material bondage and be promoted to the transcendental kingdom.” (Bhāg. 12.3.51)

Srila Prabhupada quotes this partictular verse from the Bhagavatam many times in his lectures, conversations, books etc., for instance:

“In the sastra it is said this Kali-yuga is full of faults, so many faults. It is the ocean of faults. But there is a very nice thing, asti hy eko mahan gunah, a very great quality. What is that? Kirtanad eva krsnasya mukta-sangah param vrajet [SB 12.3.51]. If you simply chant Hare Krishna mantra, then you become perfect. Is it very difficult? Chant Hare Krishna and you become perfect. But we are so unfortunate, we are not even prepared to chant. This is our position. So you have to make little determination that ‘I shall chant henceforward Hare Krishna mantra.’ Then everything is all right.”

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Pleasing Srila Prabhupada by reading his books

Reading Srimad Bhagavatam

By Gauridas Pandita Prabhu

Vrndavan India June 1977. I used to take Srila Prabhupada’s paraphernalia to translate his books up to the rooftop before sundown every evening. Part of the roof was covered and part was open and there is an inside room also and a bathroom. Srila Prabhupada would come up just at about sunset to start his translation work for the night.

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Spiritual Advancement – The Simple Method

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Spiritual Advancement – The Simple Method
by Padmapani Prabhu

Sometimes it appears very difficult to make advancement in Krsna consciousness, and we become impatient. If we expect immediate results and they aren’t forthcoming, we can easily become discouraged. For those of us who are unable to live in a temple (or even near a temple), this is especially true. So what’s the solution?

In November of 1969, while speaking in London’s Conway Hall, Srila Prabhupada stated the following:

“The process is very simple. Just keep a picture of Lord Caitanya with His associates. Lord Caitanya is in the middle, accompanied by His principal associates — Nityananda, Advaita, Gadadhara, and Srivasa. One simply has to keep this picture. One can keep it anywhere. It is not that one has to come to us to see this picture. Anyone can have this picture in his home, chant this Hare Krsna mantra, and thus worship Lord Caitanya. That is the simple method. But who will capture this simple method? Those who have good brains. Without much bother, if one simply keeps a picture of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu at home and chants Hare Krsna, then one will realize God. Anyone can adopt this simple method. There is no expenditure, there is no tax, nor is there any need to build a very big church or temple. Anyone, anywhere, can sit down on the road or beneath a tree and chant the Hare Krsna mantra and worship God. Therefore it is a great opportunity.”

In this brief statement, Srila Prabhupada underlines the simplicity and accessibility of Krsna consciousness for everyone. Nothing fancy is required. Srila Prabhupada says here that one simply has to chant Hare Krsna, and keep a picture of Lord Caitanya and His associates (Sri Panca-Tattva) in his or her home. “That is the simple method,” he declares. But who will take to it? “Those who have good brains.”

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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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Please Accept My Blessings

“As far as my blessing is concerned it does not require my physical presence. If you are chanting Hare Krishna there and following my instructions, reading the books, taking only Krsna prasadam etc., then there is no question of your not receiving the blessings of Lord Caitanya whose mission I am humbly trying to push on.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter June 30, 1974)

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Disappearance Day of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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Vyasasana decorations by Lokadrsti devi dasi

His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada’s Disappearance Day homage
by Vyasasan das

Dear Srila Prabhupada

Please accept my fallen obeisance’s, and my love, on this auspicious day of your disappearance. With your arrival on the shores of America, you brought with you the shinning lamp of knowledge; the wisdom on India and the Supreme Absolute Truth. You appeared on the shores of America the way the sun appears on the Eastern Horizon. Slowly revealing itself at first, then dominating the sky with its blazing effulgence. Illuminating the entire world with its golden light. Where there is light there is no darkness. And wherever your words are being sung and repeated, there is a glimmer of hope for the materially conditioned souls.

Your words and instructions are the very life and soul of a genuine disciple. It is said that the best process of understanding Krishna is to hear about Him, either from Krishna Himself as given in statements from the Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, or from the self realized pure devotee. One does not even need to change his worldly position; he simply has to hear the message of Krishna.

It is from you only, Srila Prabhupada, that I know anything at all about Krishna or the spiritual world. By your grace only, the knowledge is revealed, and you become revealed to your disciples and listeners. Anyone who submissively hears from you, either by reading your books, or hearing your lectures, can attain the highest perfectional platform. Just as there is the sun and the sunshine, so, there is Krishna and Krishna’s pure representative. When we feel the sunshine, we know the sun is there, and when we hear from you, we know that Krishna is there.

Your fallen servant

Vyasasan das

Appearance Day of Advaita Acarya

Today marks the appearance of Advaita Acarya. We honor his appearance day with a half day fast, A lecture given by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, and a gallery of images.

jaya jaya śrī-caitanya jaya nityānanda
jayādvaita-candra jaya gaura-bhakta-vṛnda

Glory to Śrī Caitanya and Nityānanda! Glory to Advaitacandra! And glory to all the devotees of Śrī Gaura [Lord Caitanya]! (Adi 1.17)

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Disappearance Day of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

 Srila Prabhupada's 2014 disappearance day  Vyasasan 054

 

Picture taken before Guru-puja

Today we honor His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada’s disappearance day, with a half day fast,  followed by offerings, and Pushpanjali. The beautiful Vyasasana decoration was done some years back by Her Grace Lokadrsti devi dasi, with assistance from Hari Nama, Maha Laxmi, and Christine prabhus. More

The Appearance Day of Srimati Radharani

Today marks the Appearance of Srimati Radharani.  We honor it with a half day fast, puspanjali, discussion on the glories of Srimati Radharani, followed by a feast.
The following are just a few of the many quotes from Srila Prabhupada which encourage us to approach Krishna through the mercy of Srimati Radharani, Krishna’s eternal consort. For those of us who feel that there is no hope of making spiritual progress in this lifetime, Srimati Radharani, Who is compassion personified, kindly comes to our rescue if we can humbly invoke Her divine blessings.
 
tapta-kancana-gaurangi radhe vrndavanesvari
vrsabhanu-sute devi pranamami hari-priye
 
“I offer my respects to Radharani whose bodily complexion is like molten gold and who is the Queen of Vrndavana. You are the daughter of King Vrsabhanu, and You are very dear to Lord Krishna.”
 
(Sri Radha Pranama)
“So this is our philosophy, to please Krishna through Radharani, and just today is the auspicious day of Radharani appearance. So we should offer puspanjali and pray to Radharani that ‘Radharani, kindly be merciful and tell about me to Your Krishna. To Your Krishna. Krishna is Yours.’ Krishna, Radha-Krishna. Krishna is not independent. Krishna is Radharani’s property. So you have to approach Krishna through Radharani. That is, today is the auspicious day. Worship Radharani very nicely and be happy.”
 
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, September 5, 1973)
“The beauty of Srimati Radharani’s eyes forcibly devours the beauty of newly grown blue lotus flowers, and the beauty of Her face surpasses that of an entire forest of fully blossomed lotuses. Her bodily luster seems to place even gold into a painful situation. Thus the wonderful, unprecedented beauty of Srimati Radharani is awakening in Vrindavana.”
 
(Caitanya-caritamrita Antya 1.169)
“I emphatically say to you, O brothers, you will obtain your good fortune from the Supreme Lord Krishna only when Srimati Radharani becomes pleased with you.”
 
(Prayer to the Lotus Feet of Krishna, September 13, 1965)

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Vyasa Puja Homage

 

Today marks The Most Blessed Event:

Sri Vyasa-Puja
The Appearance Day of Our Beloved Spiritual Master.
Om Visnupada Paramahamsa Parvrajakacarya Astottara-sata Sri Srimad A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

We celebrate it with a half day fast, offerings, puspanjali, followed by a Srila Prabhupada Feast

Vyasa Puja Homage
by Vyasasan das

Dear Srila Prabhupada

On this Blessed day, we celebrate your auspicious appearance it this material world.  It is with deep heartfelt gratitude, I offer my humble obeisances at your Divine Lotus feet.

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Srila Prabhupada: The Prominent Link

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

The following is from the first printing of “The Prominent Link” by Dhira Govinda dasa, which I read many years ago. I recently opened the book again just to refresh my memory, and be reminded again the prominent role Srila Prabhupada continues to play in our society. I have included a pfd link at bottom of post so anyone can have access to the entire new printing and supplementing articles. -V

Srila Prabhupada: The Prominent Link
by Dhira Govinda dasa

Many members of Srila Prabhupada’s movement who did not receive formal initiation from him experience Srila Prabhupada as the primary giver of direct transcendental knowledge. This empirical reality forms the basis of recognizing Srila Prabhupada as the prominent link to the parampara. Such a conception is supported by sastric descriptions of the essence of the initiation process, and by the delineation of the parampara described by Srila Prabhupada and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura.

Introduction

This paper presents a framework for understanding Srila Prabhupada’s position that is derived from a comprehension of Srila Prabhupada’s direct and personal relationship with the members of his movement. The central idea is that Srila Prabhupada is the prominent link to the parampara by virtue of being the prime deliverer of transcendental knowledge. We present these ideas in a mood of open-minded discussion and ask that the reader approach the material with a fresh perspective and a willingness to reexamine the issues.

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In the Age of Kali-yuga… There is Still One Good Thing…

We all have our favorite quotes and slokas from the pages of Srila Prabhupada’s books. One of mine is the following:

“My dear King, although Kali-yuga is full of faults, there is still one good quality about this age. It is that simply by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, one can become free from material bondage and be promoted to the transcendental kingdom.” (Bhāg. 12.3.51)

Srila Prabhupada quotes this partictular verse from the Bhagavatam many times in his lectures, conversations, books etc., for instance:

“In the sastra it is said this Kali-yuga is full of faults, so many faults. It is the ocean of faults. But there is a very nice thing, asti hy eko mahan gunah, a very great quality. What is that? Kirtanad eva krsnasya mukta-sangah param vrajet [SB 12.3.51]. If you simply chant Hare Krishna mantra, then you become perfect. Is it very difficult? Chant Hare Krishna and you become perfect. But we are so unfortunate, we are not even prepared to chant. This is our position. So you have to make little determination that ‘I shall chant henceforward Hare Krishna mantra.’ Then everything is all right.”

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In the Spirit of Cooperation

 

In the Spirit of Cooperation

 

Recently there was a post on Dandavats with a letter (at bottom of post) by the BBT Communications Team trying to justify their attempts to stop the distribution of the newly printed Original Srimad-Bhagavatams that Jitarati Prabhu has printed.  I read the article with some interest, just to hear their argument and justification, for trying to stop the distribution of this fine set.  But what was more interesting to me was the nice comment posted by Padmapani Prabhu.

 

His comment is as follows:

 

Hare Krishna Prabhus. Thank you for airing this matter publicly. I’ve been deluged with inquiries from concerned devotees around the world about this conflict and I’d like to get a better understanding of the details so that I can respond accurately. I was under the impression that devotees had reached an amicable agreement after the last court case that KBI (Krishna Books Inc.) could legally print Srila Prabhupada’s original books, so I was surprised and dismayed to learn that there is yet another court case on the horizon. Surely devotees can somehow or other work this out co-operatively between one another without resorting to expensive lawyers and creating even more bad publicity for Srila Prabhupada’s movement.

 

On a personal note, I’d like to mention that I served with Jitarati Prabhu back in the 70’s in both the Winnipeg and Montreal yatras. Due to Jitarati’s leadership and dedication to sankirtana, the Winnipeg temple was consistently number one in distributing Srila Prabhupada’s books for years in the small temple category. Later Jitarati helped to spearhead large-scale collections for remodeling the old church in Montreal which is now the beautiful home of Sri Sri Radha Manohara. Although I haven’t seen Jitarati Prabhu for at least 40 years, I always remember him as a sincere and devoted disciple of Srila Prabhupada.

 

We all have our own slants in Krishna Consciousness, but Srila Prabhupada repeatedly told us that we should try and work together despite our differences. I know from personal experience in publishing a magazine for devotees back in the 80’s (The Vaisnava Journal) that we can get along no matter how far apart we might be on personal or philosophical issues. Devotees of all persuasions and from all camps — including the GBC — were communicating together on the same page, so I know it can be done. Where there’s a will there’s a way.

 

 

Below are but a few of the many quotes from Srila Prabhupada which I hope will remind us all of the bigger picture and our collective duty to His Divine Grace. Thank you for listening.

 

“Now all my disciples must work combinedly and with cooperation to spread this Sankirtan Movement. If you cannot work together then my work is stopped up. Our Society is like one big family and our relationships should be based on love and trust. We must give up the fighting spirit and use our intelligence to push ahead.” (SPL to Upendra, August 6, 1970)

 

“We have so much work to do, we cannot lose our solidarity.” (SPL to Malati, January 7, 1974)

 

“Let us try to work cooperatively, otherwise the fighting spirit will ruin our great movement.” (SPL to Ramesvara, April 10, 1974)

 

“So we have to all cooperate amongst ourselves, otherwise what will people think if we ourselves fight with one another?” (SPL to Patita Uddharan, December 12, 1974)

 

“Everyone should be friendly for the service of the Lord. Everyone should praise another’s service to the Lord and not be proud of his own service. This is the way of Vaisnava thinking, Vaikuntha thinking. There may be rivalries and apparent competition between servants in performing service, but in the Vaikuntha planets the service of another servant is appreciated, not condemned. This is Vaikuntha competition. There is no question of enmity between servants. Everyone should be allowed to render service to the Lord to his best ability, and everyone should appreciate the service of others. Such are the activities of Vaikuntha. Since everyone is a servant, everyone is on the same platform and is allowed to serve the Lord according to his ability.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.5.12, Purport)

 

 

 

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Who is the Jagad-Guru?

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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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Mothers Day

 click on image to enlarge
I was doing a search on Mothers this morning and this interesting bit of conversation jumped out at me…
Room Conversation with Mr. & Mrs. Wax,
Writer and Editing Manager of Playboy Magazine
July 5, 1975, Chicago
Prabhupāda: Yes. So all the mothers of my disciples, they will get salvation because she has got nice son like…

Jayatīrtha: All the mothers will get salvation.

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.

Mrs. Wax: Oh, good. (laughter)

Devotee (3): What about the fathers.

Prabhupāda: Father also. Both the father and mother. Because they are father and mother of a Vaisnava devotee, so they will be taken special care. You’ll find from the Pralada Mahārāja’s description. Even a father like Hiraṇyakaśipu, he got salvation because Pralada was son.

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Astronomical Calculations

For some reason this Purport from the First Canto of the Srimad-Bhagavatam caught my attention this morning.  I generally do not put much thought into the Zodiac, or stellar influences upon us, or how the laws of nature are controlling us at every moment.  But in this purport by Srila Prabhupada,  he mentions the importance of preforming pious acts to take advantage of good stellar influences.   “Suitable arrangement of astral influences is never a creation of man’s will, but is the arrangement of the superior management of the agency of the Supreme Lord. Of course, the arrangement is made according to the good or bad deeds of the living being. Herein lies the importance of pious acts performed by the living being. Only by pious acts can one be allowed to get good wealth, good education and beautiful features.” (Purport Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.12.12)

Astronomical calculations of stellar influences upon a living being are not suppositions, but are factual, as confirmed inŚrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Every living being is controlled by the laws of nature at every minute, just as a citizen is controlled by the influence of the state. The state laws are grossly observed, but the laws of material nature, being subtle to our gross understanding, cannot be experienced grossly. As stated in the Bhagavad-gītā (3.9), every action of life produces another reaction, which is binding upon us, and only those who are acting on behalf of Yajña (Viṣṇu) are not bound by reactions. Our actions are judged by the higher authorities, the agents of the Lord, and thus we are awarded bodies according to our activities. The law of nature is so subtle that every part of our body is influenced by the respective stars, and a living being obtains his working body to fulfill his terms of imprisonment by the manipulation of such astronomical influence. A man’s destiny is therefore ascertained by the birthtime constellation of stars, and a factual horoscope is made by a learned astrologer. It is a great science, and misuse of a science does not make it useless… (Purport Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.12.12)

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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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Raja-Vidya the King of Knowledge

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Important Slokas from the Brahma-samhita

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Slokas from the Sri Isopanisad

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Prayers By Queen Kunti (Slokas)

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Gajendra’s Prayers of Surrender (Slokas)

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A Short Statement of the Philosophy of Krishna Consciousness

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July 9th Letter

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The Hare Krishna Explosion

Reference Material/Study Guide

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