Acting in Krishna Consciousness

 

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This is perhaps my favorite sloka from the Srimad-Bhagavatam.  It fills me with hope, and helps me to learn patience.

In the Tenth Canto, Fourteenth Chapter, verse 8, it is said;  ‘My dear Lord, any person who is constantly awaiting Your causeless mercy to be bestowed upon him, and who goes on suffering the resultant actions of his past misdeeds, offering You respectful obeisances from the core of his heart, is surely eligible to become liberated, for it has become his rightful claim.’

This statement of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam should be the guide of all devotees. A devotee should not expect immediate relief from the reactions of his past misdeeds. No conditioned soul is free from such reactionary experiences, because material existence means continued suffering or enjoying of past activities. If one has finished his material activities then there is no more birth. This is possible only when one begins Kṛṣṇa conscious activities, because such activities do not produce reaction. Therefore, as soon as one becomes perfect in Kṛṣṇa conscious activities, he is not going to take birth again in this material world. A devotee who is not perfectly freed from the resultant actions should therefore continue to act in Kṛṣṇa consciousness seriously, even though there may be so many impediments. When such impediments arise he should simply think of Kṛṣṇa and expect His mercy. That is the only solace. If the devotee passes his days in that spirit, it is certain that he is going to be promoted to the abode of the Lord. By such activities, he earns his claim to enter into the kingdom of God. The exact word used in this verse is dāya-bhāk. Dāya-bhāk refers to a son’s becoming the lawful inheritor of the property of the father. In a similar way, a pure devotee who is prepared to undergo all kinds of tribulations in executing Kṛṣṇa conscious duties becomes lawfully qualified to enter into the transcendental abode.”

(Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 10)

text pasted from; Prabhupada Connect

Photos by Gurudas

Today we are posting some of the very famous photographs taken by me dear friend and senior God brother Gurudas Prabhu.  Gurudas was well known for his photography and he traveled around the world with Srila Prabhupada taking pictures and writting.  We share some of them with you here today.

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Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu

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Today marks the appearance of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu otherwise known as Gaura Purnima. We will honor it today with a fast till moonrise followed by a feast. The following post is a beautiful biography on Lord Caitanya, written by Stephen Knapp.

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu
by Stephen Knapp

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu [pronounced Chaitanya] (February 27,1486 to 1534 A.D.) was born in Navadvipa, Bengal, on a full moon night during a lunar eclipse. It is typical for people to bathe in the Ganges during an eclipse and chant the Lord’s holy names for spiritual purification. So, everyone in the area was chanting the holy names when He was born. His parents, Jagannatha Misra and Sachidevi, gave Him the name of Vishvambhara, meaning the support of the universe, because astrologers had predicted His super human qualities and that He would deliver the people of the world. He was also nicknamed Nimai because He had been born under a nima tree.

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The Disciplic Succession

Lord Caitanya chanting

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When someone heard the chanting of the holy name from the mouth of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and someone else heard this chanting from that second person, and someone again heard this chanting from the third person, everyone in all countries became a Vaiṣṇava through such disciplic succession. Thus everyone chanted the holy name of Kṛṣṇa and Hari, and they danced, cried and smiled. (Madhya-lila 17. 48-49)

The transcendental power or potency of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra is herein explained. First, the holy name is vibrated by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. When someone hears from Him directly, he is purified. When another person hears from that person, he also is purified. In this way the purification process is advanced among pure devotees. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and no one can claim His potency. Nonetheless, if one is a pure devotee, hundreds and thousands of men can be purified by his vibration. This potency is within every living being, provided he chants the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra offenselessly and without material motives. When a pure devotee chants offenselessly, another person will become a Vaiṣṇava, and from him another Vaiṣṇava will emerge. This is the paramparā system. (Purport)

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Siva Ratri

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Today marks the annual festival of Shiva Ratri , in honor of the God Shiva. Although as Vaisnavas or as Krishna bhaktas, we do not participate in the many Hindu festivals, still we honor Lord Shiva as being the greatest yogi (SB. 2.8.20) and as the greatest devotee (SB. 4.24.18). Both Text and purports by Srila Prabhupada follow.

Maha Shivaratri is a Hindu festival celebrated annually in honour of the god Shiva. There is a Shivaratri in every luni-solar month of the Hindu calendar, on the month’s 13th night/14th day, but once a year in late winter (February/March, or Phalguna) and before the arrival of spring, marks Maha Shivaratri which means “the Great Night of Shiva”.

It is a major festival in Hinduism, but one that is solemn and marks a remembrance of “overcoming darkness and ignorance” in life and the world. It is observed by remembering Shiva and chanting prayers, fasting, doing Yoga, and meditating on ethics and virtues such as self-restraint, honesty, noninjury to others, forgiveness, and the discovery of Shiva. The ardent devotees keep awake all night. Others visit one of the Shiva temples or go on pilgrimage to Jyotirlingams. This is an ancient Hindu festival whose origin date is unknown. (text pasted from; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maha_Shivaratri)

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Who’s Crazy

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For some time now I have been meaning to look up the word Sociopath. Srila Prabhupada has wrriten a very nice essay, which was published in our Back To Godhead Magazine, entitled, “Who Is Crazy” (which is at bottom of post). Today we see leaders and public figures who seem to fit the category of ‘Crazy’, or ‘Sociopathtic’. So I wanted to look into the description of the Sociopth, to get a better understanding.

…The so called democratic government means some of the sudras, rascals without any knowledge of the highest aim of life. By hook and crook they get some votes and get the responsible chair in government. Naturally they can whimsically enact any law which is against the interest of the people in general. (Letter to: Madhudvisa Kenya 15 September, 1971)

Profile of the Sociopath

Pathological Lying Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.

Manipulative and Conning They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an instrument to be used. They may dominate and humiliate their victims.

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I Me Mine

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This morning I was reading from the Fourth Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam, wherein Narada Muni was discussing about material intelligence…

The great sage Nārada continued: The word pramadā mentioned in this regard refers to material intelligence, or ignorance. It is to be understood as such. When one takes shelter of this kind of intelligence, he identifies himself with the material body. Influenced by the material consciousness of “I” and “mine,” he begins to enjoy and suffer through his senses. Thus the living entity is entrapped. (SB4.29.5)

…and in the purport Srila Prabhupada explains

“…in material existence the living entity falsely claims things to be his. He thinks, “I am the monarch of all I survey.” This is ignorance. Actually, nothing belongs to him. Even the body and the senses do not belong to him, for they are given to him by the grace of the Lord to satisfy his different propensities through the material energy. Nothing actually belongs to the living entity, but he becomes mad after everything, claiming, “This is mine. This is mine. This is mine.” Janasya moho ’yam ahaṁ mameti [SB 5.5.8]. This is called illusion. Nothing belongs to the living entity, but he claims that everything belongs to him. Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu recommends that this false intelligence be purified (ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]). When the mirror of intelligence is polished, the real activities of the living entity begin. This means that when a person comes to the platform of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, his real intelligence acts. At that time he knows that everything belongs to Kṛṣṇa and nothing belongs to him. As long as one thinks that everything belongs to him, he is in material consciousness, and when he knows perfectly that everything belongs to Kṛṣṇa, he is in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.” (from purport to SB4.29.5)

While I was reading this, the last song ever recorded by the Beatles, “I Me Mine” kept playing in my head. We have also included the song lyrics at bottom of post.

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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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Who Is Crazy?

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It seems that the world has gone crazy. This last election cycle, and the aftermath has provoked fear and anxiety in millions of people around the world. Americans are rushing to buy land in Canada, there is talk about building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, thousands are in fear of being deported, there are demonstrations in the street, and we have a President elect who claims to know more than all the Generals.

Although I have posted this essay written by our Srila Prabhupada before, it seems an appropriate time to re-read this Original Manuscript, entitled “Who Is Crazy”.

…People are working hard, and earning enough to eat. Especially in your country, there are sufficient means for eating, and nobody is starving. That’s all right, but they are still not satisfied. I have studied this very carefully. The younger people all appear to be frustrated. It is not a very good condition, when the young generation, which is the future hope of the country, feels that there is no hope. Their future is dark. Why? Because they have no direction. What is the aim of life? What will they become? The philosophy is, work hard, get dollars, and enjoy as you like. This is misguidance. Therefore, the young are not happy. So, they take center of something which is objectionable for satisfaction. But that cannot give total satisfaction.

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Safety in a Dangerous World

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This morning I awoke to the news that Donald Trump has been elected as President on the United States of America. For some Americans this is frightening news. Others are rejoicing. I think we can all agree that the world is a dangerous place. This post by Padmapani Prabhu is really quite timely.

Safety in a Dangerous World
by Padmapani das

Ever since the tragic events of September 11, 2001, the world has been faced with unprecedented danger and uncertainty. Recent headlines suggest that the threat of terrorism has reached critical proportions. News of another possible attack in the U.S. has been circulating in the press and the rhetoric of war has dominated world politics for quite some time. Once again we are forced to contemplate our fragility and mortality in this material world. Anything can happen now and we know it.

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His Final Instructions

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Today we honor the disappearance day of His Dive Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada with a half day fast and are celebrating your disappearance with remembrances and prayers.

The Disappearance of a Vaisnava was explained very nicely by Srila Prabhupada is a lecture given on the disappearance day lecture of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Maharaja Prabhupada on Dec. 13, 1973 in Los Angeles:

“So spiritually, appearance and disappearance, there is no difference. Just like in material point of view, if a person takes birth… Suppose you get a son born, you become very happy. The same son, when passes away, you become very unhappy. This is material. But spiritually, there is no such difference, appearance or disappearance. So although this is the disappearance day of Oṁ Viṣṇupāda Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, so there is nothing to be lamented. Although we feel separation, that feeling is there, but spiritually, there is no difference between appearance and disappearance.”

For today’s post we are going back in time…to the first issue of Back to Godhead Magazine after Srila Prabhu’s departure.

Srila Prabhupada Speaks Out
text excerpted from; Back to Godhead Magazine

His Final Instructions

During his last months, Srila Prabhupada was not very active physically, and he spoke relatively little. Yet when he did speak, his words were full of spiritual strength. These excerpts from Srila Prabhupada’s last statements reveal the mind of the pure devotee and universal teacher. And they show that Srila Prabhupada is indeed a transcendental personality, whose devotion to Lord Krsna and to the mission of spreading love of Krsna is undying.

“I cannot speak. I am feeling weak. I wanted to travel to Chandigarh and other places, but I changed my program because my health is deteriorating. I decided to come here to Vrndavana (the land of Lord Krsna). If death takes place, let it take place here.”

“There is nothing new to be said. Whatever I had to say, I have already said in my books. Now you must all try to understand it and continue with your endeavors. Whether I am present or not present doesn’t matter. Just as Krsna is living eternally, the living being also lives eternally. But especially… kirtir yasya sa jivati: ‘One who has done service to the Lord lives forever.’ You have been taught to serve Krsna, and with Krsna we’ll live eternally. Our life is eternal. Na hanyate hanyamane sarire: the disappearance of this temporary body doesn’t matter. The body is meant for disappearance. So, live forever by serving Krsna. Thank you very much.”

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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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Arjuna Teaches Us How to Serve the Spiritual Master in His Absence

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I ran across this interesting compilation of quotes this morning on the Prabhupada News website, by Vidura Prabhu. This is a nice reminder that Krsna is present today, through His spoken words on the battlefield of Kuruksetra, and by chanting his holy names. And that Srila Prabhupada is also present today, through his words and instructions. I have done some slight editing (highlighting), and have included the full text and purports to SB 1.15.27-31 at bottom of post. -Vyasasan das

Arjuna Teaches Us How to Serve the Spiritual Master in His Absence
by: Vidura dasa

Oct 23 2011, USA — “The Lord left behind Him the instructions of the Bhagavad-gita not for the benefit of Arjuna alone, but also for all time and in all lands(1). […]The problem which arose in the heart of Arjuna on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra was solved by the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita. […]The merciful Lord left behind Him the great teachings of the Bhagavad-gita so that one can take the instructions of the Lord even when He is not visible to material eyesight(2). […] Thus the Bhagavad-gita, or any authentic scriptural sound representation of the Lord, is also the incarnation of the Lord. There is no difference between the sound representation of the Lord and the Lord Himself. One can derive the same benefit from the Bhagavad-gita as Arjuna did in the personal presence of the Lord.” (SB 1.15.27)

“Arjuna began to think of the Lord’s instructions to him on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra. Only those instructions began to eliminate the tinges of material contamination(3) in the mind of Arjuna.” (SB 1.15.28)

“As soon as Arjuna turned his attention towards the instructions of the Lord, as they are inculcated in the Bhagavad-gita, his true color of eternal association with the Lord became manifest, and thus he felt freed from all material contaminations.” (SB 1.15.29)

“As soon as Arjuna took up the instructions of the Bhagavad-gita, expert as he was, he could at once eradicate the material conception of Lord Krishna, his eternal friend. He could realize that the Lord was still present before him by His instruction(4), by His form, by His pastimes, by His qualities and everything else related to Him. […] One is not able to feel the presence of the Lord in all circumstances until one is endowed with the required transcendental vision made possible by devotional service prescribed in the revealed scriptures. Arjuna had attained this stage long before on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra, and when he apparently felt the absence of the Lord, he at once took shelter of the instructions of the Bhagavad-gita(5), and thus again he was placed in his original position*.” (SB 1.15.31)

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Govardhana Puja

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Today we celebrate Govardhana-puja, when Krishna exhibited His transcendental pastime of lifting Govardhana Hill to protect the inhabitants of Vrndavan. In honor of this auspicious day, we are posting the entire chapter from the KRSNA Book entitled “Devastating Rainfall in Vrndavana”. Enjoy!

…Lord Kṛṣṇa immediately picked up Govardhana Hill with one hand, exactly as a child picks up a mushroom from the ground. Thus He exhibited His transcendental pastime of lifting Govardhana Hill. Lord Kṛṣṇa then began to address His devotees, “My dear brothers, My dear father, My dear inhabitants of Vṛndāvana, you can now safely enter under the umbrella of Govardhana Hill, which I have just lifted. Do not be afraid of the hill and think that it will fall from My hand. You have been too much afflicted from the heavy rain and strong wind; therefore I have lifted this hill, which will protect you exactly like a huge umbrella. I think this is a proper arrangement to relieve you from your immediate distress. Be happy along with your animals underneath this great umbrella.” Being assured by Lord Kṛṣṇa, all the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana entered beneath the great hill and appeared to be safe along with their property and animals.

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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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Dipavali (Diwali)

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Today marks the festival of Dipavali. Dipavali [Diwali} Sunday, October 30, 2016 [Mayapura, West Bengal, India time]. The Dīpāvalī festival takes place on the dark-moon night in the month of Kārttika (October-November).

Diwali or Deepavali is the Hindu festival of lights celebrated every year in autumn in the northern hemisphere (spring in southern hemisphere) is one of the major festivals of Hinduism. It spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair. Its celebration includes millions of lights shining on housetops, outside doors and windows, around temples and other buildings in the communities and countries where it is observed. The festival preparations and rituals typically extend over a five-day period, but the main festival night of Diwali coincides with the darkest, new moon night of the Hindu Lunisolar month Kartika in Bikram Sambat calendar. (excerpted from Wikipedia)

Although we do not celebrate in typical Hindu fashion, we do honor Dipavli as Srila Prabhupada has explained that the actual meaning of Dipavali celebration is Lord Krsna breaking the pot of yogurt and being bound by Yasodamayi.

Srila Prabhupada Explains Dipavali (Diwali)

…Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, quoting from the Vaiṣṇava-toṣaṇī of Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī, says that the incident of Kṛṣṇa’s breaking the pot of yogurt and being bound by mother Yaśodā took place on the Dipavali Day, or Dīpa-mālikā. Even today in India, this festival is generally celebrated very gorgeously in the month of Kārtika by fireworks and lights, especially in Bombay. It is to be understood that among all the cows of Nanda Mahārāja, several of mother Yaśodā’s cows ate only grasses so flavorful that the grasses would automatically flavor the milk. Mother Yaśodā wanted to collect the milk from these cows, make it into yogurt and churn it into butter personally, since she thought that this child Kṛṣṇa was going to the houses of neighborhood gopas and gopīs to steal butter because He did not like the milk and yogurt ordinarily prepared. (from purport to SB 10.9.1-2)

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The Vaisnava Journal

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Recently my good friend Padmapani Prabhu, sent me this link to his page Prabhupada Connect where he has just posted the Vaisnava Journal in a pdf format. We will be posting all five issues here as well, for our readers, so you can download and save to your computer or just read online. Today we are posting Vol. 1, No. 2 as a free pdf download.

click on link to veiw or save; Vaisnava Journal

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The Vaisnava Journal
by Padmapani das

The Vaisnava Journal was created to help devotees work through our differences in a respectful and co-operative manner with the aim of preserving the loving mood in our spiritual family after the physical departure of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada. Although only five issues were printed and distributed over the next two-and-a-half years, the magazine was popular and well received by many leaders, members and friends of ISKCON.

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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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Accept Krishna’s Plan

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Thanks again to Padmapani Prabhu at The Prabhupada Connection for compiling this nice list of quotes on accepting the authorized plan for happiness.

“So far your thinking about things and making so many plans, that is all right, but our first business is Krishna’s plan. That is the only plan, and no matter how many schemes we employ to adjust things in this material world, if they have no solid basis in Krishna’s plan, they remain merely dreams of phantasmagoria. So in this Krishna Consciousness Movement, I am training boys and girls all over the world how to act nicely by practically serving Krishna in their everyday lives. That is more important than trying for something which I may like to do but which will never happen.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, April 10, 1972)

“Our plan should be to accept Krishna’s plan, that’s all. Approved, authorized plan. That is very easy. Take any words of Krishna, it is very easy.” (Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, Tehran, August 12, 1976)

“If you follow Krishna’s instruction, you’ll always be happy. And if you create your own plans, then you’ll be unhappy. This is the whole instruction. Sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja: (BG 18.66) ‘You give up your own plans, nonsense plan. You take My plan. You’ll be happy.’ This is the whole purpose of Bhagavad-gita. You take Krishna’s plan and you’ll be happy.” (Srila Prabhupada Conversation, April 22, 1976, Melbourne)

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Seeing The Real Vrndavana

 

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Seeing The Real Vrndavana
by Hayagriva Dasa
excerpted from Back To Godhead Magazine
Oct 1, 2006 Volume-03 Number-31 (Indian)

Learning from Srila Prabhupada how to see beyond the material coverings to perceive the real dhama

I bend down to get through the door and enter a small, sparsely furnished room. Suddenly, I’m face to face with Srila Prabhupada. He’s sitting on the floor behind a low desk piled with books and papers.

“Jai!” he says. “Our Hayagriva has arrived.”

I pay dandabat obeisances by prostrating myself and touching his feet with my right hand. Then I place my hand to my forehead. To remember the spiritual master’s lotus feet is to remember Krsna. The effect is as cooling as sandalwood.

“nama om visnu-padaya krsna presthilya bhu-tale srimate bhaktivedanta- svamin iti namine,” I say, offering respects. Then I sit before him, and he smiles.

Although seventy-six, Prabhupada seems as ageless as ever. His head is freshly shaved, and the aroma of mustard- seed oil tells me that he has just received a massage. His complexion is radiant, his eyes clear, his face full and healthy. This is the face that attracted me that day when I was walking down New York’s Houston Street and first met him, the face that brought so many young seekers to that little storefront temple on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday nights. For us, his face embodies all the attractive qualities of devotion, for it’s a pure, truthful, and compassionate face. It is both happy and grave. It is magnanimous, gentle, and forgiving. It is also determined and self-controlled, and, above all, most learned and intelligent. It’s a face not afraid to love and give all in love for Krsna.

Indeed, Prabhupada’s face conjures all those virtues that lead to love of Krsna. It’s not an ordinary man’s face. It transports an entire spiritual fact, the Vedic culture, an atmosphere of bhakti . I first began realizing his potency just by Jlooking at his face. Whenever I’m Kr,na conscious, it makes me joyful. Whenever I’m not, I’m afraid to look at it; it accuses me, makes me ashamed without uttering a word. What power there is in the spiritual master’s face! What magne tism! What volumes of wisdom! ‘

“I’m glad you invited me here, Srila Prabhupada,” I say.

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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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