Radhastami

Today we celebrate the appearance day of Srimati Radharani with a quote from Srila Rupa Goswami and an excerpt from Srila Prabhupada’s Srimad Bhagavatam purport. She appears at noon.

“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)

…Wherever Kṛṣṇa goes, the goddess of fortune naturally resides with Him. The chief of the goddesses of fortune is Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. Therefore, Kṛṣṇa’s appearance in the land of Vraja indicated that the chief goddess of fortune, Rādhārāṇī, would also appear there very soon. (excerpted from purport to SB 10,5.18)

“O Radharani, O Queen of Vrindavana, Your complexion is like molten gold, Your doe-like eyes are captivatingly restless, a million full and brilliant moons wane before Your lustrous countenance, and a blue sari, having stolen the hue of a fresh rain-laden cloud, has enwrapped Your exquisite form. O Radha, You are the crest-jewel of all the dallying damsels of Vrindavana, fragrant and pristine like a budding jasmine flower. Your sublime form is adorned with priceless jewelry, and you are the best of all the charming and intelligent gopis. You are decorated with all wonderful excellences and surrounded by eight dedicated and beloved cowherd girls known as the asta-sakhis.

“The ambrosia of Your beautiful lips, red as the bimba fruit, is life-giving syrup to Krishna. O Radha, I am rolling on the banks of the Yamuna, my poor heart filled with anticipation, praying to You with all humility. I am guilty of being an offender, a rascal, a useless wretch — yet I beg You to kindly engage me in even the smallest service to Your lotus feet. O most merciful Lady, it will not become You to ignore this most distressed soul, for Your heart is always overflowing with compassion and love.”

[Sri Prarthana-paddhati [Stavamala], Srila Rupa goswami]

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Identity of Lord Chaitanya

lord-caitanya-krsna-radha

 

Identity of Lord Chaitanya
By A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Excerpted from Back to Godhead Magazine 1960 Vol. 3 Part 16

Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is no other than the combined form of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna. He is the life of those devotees who strictly follow the footprints of Sri Srila Rupa Goswami.

Srila Rupa Goswami and Srila Sanatan Goswami both are principal followers of Sri Swarup Damodar Goswami who acted as the most confidential servitor and constant companion of Lord Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu whose name was known as Viswambhar in His early life.

And from Srila Rupa Goswami, Srila Raghunath Das Goswami comes as the direct disciple and the author of Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita i. e., Sri Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami stands to be his direct follower.

From Goswami Krishna Das Kaviraj the direct disciple is Srila Narottam Das Thakur who accepted Viswanath Chakrabarty as his servitor. Viswanath Chakrabarty accepted Jagannath Das Babajee from whom Srila Bhaktivinode Thakore was initiated and Srila Gour Kishore Das Babajee the spiritual master of Om Vishnupada Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Prabhupad-the Divine spiritual Master of our humbleself.

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Simple Living and High Thinking

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My friend Padmapani Prabhu has been coming out with so many beautiful posts of late on his page The Prabhupada Connection, the following is one example.

Simple Living and High Thinking
by Padmapani Dasa

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Srila Prabhupada stayed in these rooms for six years (1959-1965) while he was preparing for his trip to America. The rooms were simple and austere.

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“Yes, we are trying to set a perfect example according to the Bhagavad-gita as it is, how to execute simple living and high thinking. We are not interested in any material comforts of life which are limited and temporary. We are interested in solving the real problems of life, birth, death, old-age, and disease. These problems must be solved, and Krishna gives the formula in the Bhagavad-gita.” (Srila Prabhupada letter, June 10, 1975)

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Rupanugaus / The Mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu

The Sankirtan Movement of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu

The Sankirtan Movement of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu

Devotees acknowledge Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s special mercy upon Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī in the following words:

śrī-caitanya-mano ’bhīṣṭaṁ-
sthāpitaṁ yena bhū-tale
svayaṁ rūpaḥ kadā mahyaṁ
dadāti sva-padāntikam

“When will Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī Prabhupāda, who has established within this material world the mission to fulfill the desire of Lord Caitanya, give me shelter under his lotus feet?”

The special function of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī is to establish the feelings of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. These feelings are His desires that His special mercy be spread throughout the world in this Kali-yuga.

pṛthivīte āche yata nagarādi-grāma
sarvatra pracāra haibe mora nāma

His desire is that all over the world everyone, in every village and every town, know of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His saṅkīrtana movement. These are the inner feelings of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī committed to writing all these feelings of the Lord. Now again, by the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the same feelings are being spread all over the world by the servants of the Gosvāmīs, and devotees who are pure and simple will appreciate this attempt. As concluded by Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī, however, those who are on the level of hogs and dogs will never appreciate such a great attempt. Yet this does not matter to the preachers of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s cult, for all over the world they will continue to perform this responsible work, even though persons who are like cats and dogs do not appreciate them.

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The Nectar of Devotion Lecture

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This is a continuation of Lectures on the Nectar of Devotion, given by Srila Prabhupada in Vrndavan India at Srila Rupa Goswami’s samadi in 1972. Photos are by Gurudas Prabhu.

…So this movement, Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, is a process to give chance everyone. Just like we are holding this meeting. It is a chance given to everyone to hear about Kṛṣṇa, to learn about devotional service. And if it attracts him, if he says, “Yes, it is nice,” then it is called śraddhā. So śraddhā, by repeated hearing, śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam [SB 7.5.23]. If we hear repeatedly, then we develop our dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness. In everybody there is dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So that is also stated in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta: nitya-siddha kṛṣṇa-bhakti sādhya kabhu naya. Kṛṣṇa bhakti is there. It is not artificially we acquire it. It is already there. But we are in the forgotten stage. Therefore, by repeated hearing, it is awakened. Śravaṇādi-śuddha-citte karaye udaya. If we hear Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare/Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare, then śuddha-citta. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. The, the heart, the mirror of the heart, will be cleansed. And as soon as it is cleansed, we awaken, we remember, “Oh, I am eternal.” Jīvera svarūpa haya nitya kṛṣṇa dāsa [Cc. Madhya 20.108-109]. This remembrance comes, that “I am eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa.” And when he understands that he’s eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa and he engages himself in that service, then immediately he becomes liberated. (Vṛndāvana, October 19, 1972)

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The Nectar of Instruction

Nectar of Instruction

The Nectar of Instruction
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

This morning I was reading through the “Bhakti-sastri Study Guide”, compiled by Atmatattva Dasa, and in the pages dedicated to the study of the ‘Nectar of Instruction’ there was the following summary which I use as an index to the Preface and the 11 Texts:

click on following underlined links to go to text

Preface

Text 1 Six urges to be controlled

Text 2 Six hindrances to advancement in devotional service

Text 3 Six principles favorable to the execution of devotional service

Text 4 Six Symptoms of love shared by devotees

Text 5 Appropriate etiquette for dealing with the three types of devotees

Text 6 A warning against offending a pure devotee

Text 7 The potency of the holy name, character and pastives of Kṛṣṇa to become attractive to the conditioned soul

Text 8 The essence of all advice; to engage in devotional service twenty-four hours a day

Text 9 Importance of Visiting the Holy Places

Text 10 The glory of the devotees of Kṛṣṇa

Text 11 The glory of Śrī Rādhā-kuṇḍa

for a free PDF download of entire book click on following link; The Nectar of Instruction

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.

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Pranams (Prayers)

Paris vyasasana pranamas closer

click on image to enlarge

One of the most used books in our temple room is the songbook. Everyday it seems, I am flipping through the “Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas”, singing one of the many songs or reciting some of the numerous pranams (prayers) as part of my daily sadhana. The following post is the first 13 pages of songbook, which in my mind is a nice way to start the day and is a good prelude to other devotional service.

Pranams
from the Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas More

The Nectar of Instruction

Nectar of Instruction

…In this verse Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī advises the devotee to be intelligent enough to distinguish between the kaniṣṭha-adhikārī, madhyama-adhikārī and uttama-adhikārī. The devotee should also know his own position and should not try to imitate a devotee situated on a higher platform. Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has given some practical hints to the effect that an uttama-adhikārī Vaiṣṇava can be recognized by his ability to convert many fallen souls to Vaiṣṇavism. One should not become a spiritual master unless he has attained the platform of uttama-adhikārī. A neophyte Vaiṣṇava or a Vaiṣṇava situated on the intermediate platform can also accept disciples, but such disciples must be on the same platform, and it should be understood that they cannot advance very well toward the ultimate goal of life under his insufficient guidance. Therefore a disciple should be careful to accept an uttama-adhikārī as a spiritual master.

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The Face of the Lord is the Embodiment of Beauty

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…The essence of everything is the Supreme Lord: He is called the sāram. And those who sing and talk about Him are called the sāraṅgas, or the pure devotees. The pure devotees are always hankering after the lotus feet of the Lord. The lotus has a kind of honey which is transcendentally relished by the devotees. They are like the bees who are always after the honey. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, the great devotee ācārya of the Gauḍīya-Vaiṣṇava-sampradāya, has sung a song about this lotus honey, comparing himself to the bee: “O my Lord Kṛṣṇa, I beg to offer my prayers unto You. My mind is like the bee, and it is after some honey. Kindly, therefore, give my bee-mind a place at Your lotus feet, which are the resources for all transcendental honey. I know that even big demigods like Brahmā do not see the rays of the nails of Your lotus feet, even though they are engaged in deep meditation for years together. Still, O infallible one, my ambition is such, for You are very merciful to your surrendered devotees. O Mādhava, I know also that I have no genuine devotion for the service of Your lotus feet, but because Your Lordship is inconceivably powerful, You can do what is impossible to be done. Your lotus feet can deride even the nectar of the heavenly kingdom, and therefore I am very much attracted by them. O supreme eternal, please, therefore, let my mind be fixed at Your lotus feet so that eternally I may be able to relish the taste of Your transcendental service.”

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Devotional Service

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…Devotional service means transcendental activities.

Devotional service is not a matter of sentimental speculation or imaginative ecstasy. Its substance is practical activity.

The execution of devotional service is not a matter of idle meditation but practical action in the foreground of spiritual life.

“In the course of traversing the universal creation of Brahmā, some fortunate soul may receive the seed of bhakti-latā, the creeper of devotional service. This is all by the grace of guru and Kṛṣṇa.” (Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya 19.151)

If by fortune one takes advantage of this opportunity to engage in devotional service, the path of liberation immediately opens.

One should accept this opportunity to return home, back to Godhead, very enthusiastically.

The Nectar of Instruction
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Text 3

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The Nectar of Instruction

Click on link at bottom of post to download the entire “Nectar of Instruction” on pdf file.

The Nectar of Instruction
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Preface

The Krishna consciousness movement is conducted under the supervision of Srila Rupa Gosvami. The Gaudiya Vaisnavas, or Bengali Vaisnavas, are mostly
followers of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, of whom the six Gosvamis of Vrndavana are direct disciples. Therefore Srila Narottama dasa Thakura has sung:

rupa-raghunatha-pade ha-ibe akuti
kabe hama bujhaba se yugala-piriti

“When I am eager to understand the literature given by the Gosvamis, then I shall be able to understand the transcendental loving affairs of Radha and Krishna.”

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared in order to bestow upon human society the benediction of the science of Krishna. The most exalted of all the activities of Lord Krishna are His pastimes of conjugal love with the gopis. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared in the mood of Srimati Radharani, the best of the gopis. Therefore, to understand the mission of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and follow in His footsteps, one must very seriously follow in the footsteps of the six Gosvamis–Sri Rupa, Sanatana, Bhatta Raghunatha, Sri Jiva, Gopala Bhatta and Dasa Raghunatha.

Sri Rupa Gosvami was the leader of all the Gosvamis, and to guide our activities he gave us this Upadesamrta (The Nectar of Instruction) to follow. As Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu left behind Him the eight verses known as Siksastaka, Rupa Gosvami gave us Upadesamrta so that we may become pure Vaisnavas.

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Accepting the Shelter of a Bona Fide Spiritual Master

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The Nectar of Devotion is a summary study of Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, which was written in Sanskrit by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī Prabhupāda. He was the chief of the six Gosvāmīs, who were the direct disciples of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and has since been translated into English by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.

The author of Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, very humbly submits that he is just trying to spread Kṛṣṇa consciousness all over the world, although he humbly thinks himself unfit for this work. That should be the attitude of all preachers of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, following in the footsteps of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī. We should never think of ourselves as great preachers, but should always consider that we are simply instrumental to the previous ācāryas, and simply by following in their footsteps we may be able to do something for the benefit of suffering humanity. (From introduction to Nectar of Devotion)

Nectar of Devotion
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter 7 “Evidence Regarding Devotional Principles”

Accepting the Shelter of a Bona Fide Spiritual Master

In the Eleventh Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Third Chapter, verse 21, Prabuddha tells Mahārāja Nimi, “My dear King, please know for certain that in the material world there is no happiness. It is simply a mistake to think that there is happiness here, because this place is full of nothing but miserable conditions. Any person who is seriously desirous of achieving real happiness must seek out a bona fide spiritual master and take shelter of him by initiation. The qualification of a spiritual master is that he must have realized the conclusion of the scriptures by deliberation and arguments and thus be able to convince others of these conclusions. Such great personalities who have taken shelter of the Supreme Godhead, leaving aside all material considerations, are to be understood as bona fide spiritual masters. Everyone should try to find such a bona fide spiritual master in order to fulfill his mission of life, which is to transfer himself to the plane of spiritual bliss.”

The purport is that one should not accept as a spiritual master someone who is fool number one, who has no direction according to the scriptural injunctions, whose character is doubtful, who does not follow the principles of devotional service, or who has not conquered the influence of the six sense-gratifying agents. The six agents of sense gratification are the tongue, the genitals, the belly, anger, the mind and words. Anyone who has practiced controlling these six is permitted to make disciples all over the world. To accept such a spiritual master is the crucial point for advancement in spiritual life. One who is fortunate enough to come under the shelter of a bona fide spiritual master is sure to traverse the path of spiritual salvation without any doubt.

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“Everyone Of You – Become Guru”

…If we simply keep Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu within our heart, then it will be very easy to understand what is Krsna, because if you understand Krsna, then your life is successful. Our Krsna consciousness movement means just try to understand Krsna; then your life is successful. Krsna says, “Anyone who understands Me, why I come here, what is My activities,” [Bg. 4.9], “he becomes liberated. After giving up this body, he does not accept any material body. In his own spiritual body he goes back to home, back to Godhead.” This is our Krsna consciousness..

…The mission of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is that you become, every one of you, you become a guru. How to become guru? You simply present what Krsna says as it is. Then every one of you will become a guru. Don’t adulterate — “I think,” “In my opinion.” These nonsense things should be given up. We should always be aware that we are insignificant creature. Our opinion and thinking has no value. This should be the first principle. Why should you give opinion on the words of Krsna? Are you more authoritative person than Krsna? This is foolishness, to try to become more than Krsna. There are so many rascals. They present that “Now we have advanced. We know more than Krsna.” So be saved from these rascals. Then you will understand Krsna, and through Caitanya Mahaprabhu you will understand what is the position of Krsna, what is your relationship with Krsna, what is the ultimate goal of life…

“Everyone Of You – Become Guru”
Lecture on Caitanya Caritamrta Adi 1.4
Given By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada 
Mayapur, March 28, 1975 

Nitai: “May that Lord, who is known as the son of Srimati Sacidevi, be transcendentally situated in the innermost chambers of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has appeared in the age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation ever offered before: the most sublime and radiant spiritual knowledge of the mellow taste of His service.”

Prabhupada:

anarpita-carim cirat karunayavatirnah kalau
samarpayitum unnata ujjvala-rasam sva-bhakti-sriyam
harih purata-sundara-dyuti-kadamba-sandipitah
sada hrdaya-kandare sphuratu vah saci-nandana

 [Cc. Adi 1.4]

This is the blessings of Srila Rupa Gosvami upon everyone.

sri-caitanya-mano-‘bhistam
sthapitam yena bhu-tale
svayam rupah kada mahyam
dadati sva-padantikam

[When will Srila Rupa Gosvami Prabhupada, who has established within this material world the mission to fulfill the desire of Lord Caitanya, give me shelter under his lotus feet?]

We should pray to Rupa Gosvami for his blessings so that we can understand what is the actual position of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the most merciful incarnation to bestow upon us Krsna-prema. Srila Rupa Gosvami understood it, Srila Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya understood it, and we should take their viewpoint of view, what they have studied about Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. So Srila Rupa Gosvami says… In the beginning Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was appreciated by Srila Rupa Gosvami as maha-vadanyavatara. There are many incarnations of Krsna, kesava dhrta-mina-sarira jaya jagadisa hare, kesava dhrta-nrsimha-rupa jaya jagadisa…, many incarnations. But this incarnation, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, is anarpita-carim cirat. The mercy of this incarnation is unlimited. It was never given before. That is Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s mercy. He distributed the most confidential part of love of Godhead. Although we are living in this fallen age, Kali-yuga, but He is giving the topmost platform of loving Krsna. Anarpita-carim cirat. Therefore He is supposed to be the most munificent incarnation. Namo maha-vadanyaya krsna-prema-pradaya te [Cc. Madhya 19.53]. He is giving directly Krsna-prema.

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How to Discharge Devotional Service

The Nectar of Devotion is a summary study of Srila Rupa Goswami’s Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, or “the nectar that is derived from the ocean of devotion (bhakti).” It fully contains the complete science of bhakti-yoga, or linking with the Supreme by transcendental loving devotion. Bhakti-yoga is the highest path of attaining God consciousness, and it is simultaneously simple and sublime. It is recommended for everyone in this age.

The Nectar of Devotion 1970 Edition
By Hia Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 6

How to Discharge Devotional Service

Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī states that his elder brother (Sanātana Gosvāmī) has compiled Hari-bhakti-vilāsa for the guidance of the Vaiṣṇavas and therein has mentioned many rules and regulations to be followed by the Vaiṣṇavas. Some of them are very important and prominent, and he will now mention these very important items for our benefit. The purport of this statement is that Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī proposes to mention only basic principles, not details. For example, a basic principle is that one has to accept a spiritual master. Exactly how one follows the instructions of his spiritual master is considered a detail. For example, if one is following the instruction of his spiritual master and that instruction is different from the instructions of another spiritual master, this is called detailed information. But the basic principle of acceptance of a spiritual master is good everywhere, although the details may be different. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī does not wish to enter into details here, but wants to place before us only the principles.

He mentions the basic principles as follows: 1) accepting the shelter of the lotus feet of a bona fide spiritual master, 2) becoming initiated by the spiritual master and learning how to discharge devotional service from him, 3) obeying the orders of the spiritual master with faith and devotion, 4) following in the footsteps of great ācāryas (teachers) under the direction of the spiritual master, 5) inquiring from the spiritual master how to advance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, 6) being prepared to give up anything material for the satisfaction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa (This means that when we are engaged in the devotional service of Kṛṣṇa, we must be prepared to give up something which we may not like to give up, and also we have to accept something which we may not like to accept.), 7) residing in a sacred place of pilgrimage like Dvārakā or Vṛndāvana, 8) dealing with the material world only as far as necessary, 9) observing the fasting day on Ekādaśī, and 10) worshiping sacred trees like the banyan tree.

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Srila Rupa Goswami

Srila Rupa Goswami

The topmost maidservant of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna is Sri Rupa Manjari who appeared as the head of the Gaudiya Vaisnava sampradaya, Srila Rupa Goswami (1489-1588). Sri Rupa appeared in East Bengal, the son of a pious brahmana named Kumaradeva along with his brothers, Sanatana and Anupama. The three brothers later moved to Ramakeli where they were solicited by the powerful Nawab Hussein Shah to join his government. Due to their association with the Muslim king, Rupa and Sanatana became known by the Muslim names Dabir Khas and Sakir Mallik.

When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to Ramakeli, the three brothers petitioned the Lord to alleviate their suffering condition and grant them His mercy. Mahaprabhu pacified them and told them that Krsna would deliver them very soon.

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Glories of Sri Rādhā-kuṇḍa

Rādhā-kuṇḍa

It is stated that a devotee will at once develope pure love of Kṛṣṇa in the wake of the gopīs if he once takes a bath in Rādhā-kuṇḍa.

The Nectar of Instruction
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Text 11

kṛṣṇasyoccaiḥ praṇaya-vasatiḥ preyasībhyo ’pi rādhā
kuṇḍaṁ cāsyā munibhir abhitas tādṛg eva vyadhāyi
yat preṣṭhair apy alam asulabhaṁ kiṁ punar bhakti-bhājāṁ
tat premedaṁ sakṛd api saraḥ snātur āviṣkaroti

kṛṣṇasya—of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa; uccaiḥ—very highly; praṇaya-vasatiḥ—object of love; preyasībhyaḥ—out of the many lovable gopīs; api—certainly; rādhā—Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī; kuṇḍam—lake; ca—also; asyāḥ—of Her; munibhiḥ—by great sages; abhitaḥ—in all respects; tādṛk eva—similarly; vyadhāyi—is described; yat—which; preṣṭhaiḥ—by the most advanced devotees; api—even; alam—enough; asulabham—difficult to obtain; kim—what; punaḥ—again; bhakti-bhājām—for persons engaged in devotional service; tat—that; prema—love of Godhead; idam—this; sakṛt—once; api—even; saraḥ—lake; snātuḥ—of one who has bathed; āviṣkaroti—arouses.

Of the many objects of favored delight and of all the lovable damsels of Vrajabhūmi, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is certainly the most treasured object of Kṛṣṇa’s love. And, in every respect, Her divine kuṇḍa is described by great sages as similarly dear to Him. Undoubtedly Rādhā-kuṇḍa is very rarely attained even by the great devotees; therefore it is even more difficult for ordinary devotees to attain. If one simply bathes once within those holy waters, one’s pure love of Kṛṣṇa is fully aroused.

Why is Rādhā-kuṇḍa so exalted? The lake is so exalted because it belongs to Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, who is the most beloved object of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Among all the gopīs, She is the most beloved. Similarly, Her lake, Śrī Rādhā-kuṇḍa, is also described by great sages as the lake that is as dear to Kṛṣṇa as Rādhā Herself. Indeed, Kṛṣṇa’s love for Rādhā-kuṇḍa and Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is the same in all respects. Rādhā-kuṇḍa is very rarely attained, even by great personalities fully engaged in devotional service, not to speak of ordinary devotees who are only engaged in the practice of vaidhī bhakti.

It is stated that a devotee will at once develope pure love of Kṛṣṇa in the wake of the gopīs if he once takes a bath in Rādhā-kuṇḍa. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī recommends that even if one cannot live permanently on the banks of Rādhā-kuṇḍa, he should at least take a bath in the lake as many times as possible. This is a most important item in the execution of devotional service. Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura writes in this connection that Śrī Rādhā-kuṇḍa is the most select place for those interested in advancing their devotional service in the wake of the lady friends (sakhīs) and confidential serving maids (mañjarīs) of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. Living entities who are eager to return home to the transcendental kingdom of God, Goloka Vṛndāvana, by means of attaining their spiritual bodies (siddha-deha) should live at Rādhā-kuṇḍa, take shelter of the confidential serving maids of Śrī Rādhā and under their direction engage constantly in Her service.

This is the most exalted method for those engaged in devotional service under the protection of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. In this connection Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura writes that even great sages and great devotees like Nārada and Sanaka do not get an opportunity to come to Rādhā-kuṇḍa to take their baths. What, then, to speak of ordinary devotees? If, by great fortune, one gets an opportunity to come to Rādhā-kuṇḍa and bathe even once, he can develop his transcendental love for Kṛṣṇa, exactly as the gopīs did. It is also recommended that one should live on the banks of Rādhā-kuṇḍa and should be absorbed in the loving service of the Lord. One should bathe there regularly and give up all material conceptions, taking shelter of Śrī Rādhā and Her assistant gopīs. If one is thus constantly engaged during his lifetime, after giving up the body he will return back to Godhead to serve Śrī Rādhā in the same way as he contemplated during his life on the banks of Rādhā-kuṇḍa. The conclusion is that to live on the banks of the Rādhā-kuṇḍa and to bathe there daily constitute the highest perfection of devotional service. It is a difficult position to attain, even for great sages and devotees like Nārada. Thus there is no limit to the glory of Śrī Rādhā-kuṇḍa. By serving Rādhā-kuṇḍa, one can get an opportunity to become an assistant of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī under the eternal guidance of the gopīs.

“O Radharani, O Queen of Vrindavana

“O Radharani, O Queen of Vrindavana, Your complexion is like molten gold, Your doe-like eyes are captivatingly restless, a million full and brilliant moons wane before Your lustrous countenance, and a blue sari, having stolen the hue of a fresh rain-laden cloud, has enwrapped Your exquisite form. O Radha, You are the crest-jewel of all the dallying damsels of Vrindavana, fragrant and pristine like a budding jasmine flower. Your sublime form is adorned with priceless jewelry, and you are the best of all the charming and intelligent gopis. You are decorated with all wonderful excellences and surrounded by eight dedicated and beloved cowherd girls known as the asta-sakhis.

“The ambrosia of Your beautiful lips, red as the bimba fruit, is life-giving syrup to Krishna. O Radha, I am rolling on the banks of the Yamuna, my poor heart filled with anticipation, praying to You with all humility. I am guilty of being an offender, a rascal, a useless wretch — yet I beg You to kindly engage me in even the smallest service to Your lotus feet. O most merciful Lady, it will not become You to ignore this most distressed soul, for Your heart is always overflowing with compassion and love.”

[Sri Prarthana-paddhati [Stavamala], Srila Rupa goswami]

Pasted from; http://www.harekrsna.de/radha-beauty.htm

The First Stages of Devotion

Nectar of Devotion
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter Two

We should always try to mold the activities of our lives in such a way that we will constantly remember Viṣṇu, or Kṛṣṇa. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Whether one concentrates his mind on the four-handed form of Viṣṇu or on the form of two-handed Kṛṣṇa, it is the same. The Padma Purāṇa recommends: somehow or other always think of Viṣṇu, without forgetting Him under any circumstances. Actually this is the most basic of all regulative principles. For, when there is an order from a superior about doing something, there is simultaneously a prohibition. When the order is that one should always remember Kṛṣṇa, the prohibition is that one should never forget Him. Within this simple order and prohibition, all regulative principles are found complete.

The First Stages of Devotion

The three categories of devotional service which Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī describes in Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu are listed as devotional service in practice, devotional service in ecstasy and devotional service in pure love of Godhead. There are many subheadings in each of these categories. Generally it is understood that in the category of devotional service in practice there are two different qualities, devotional service in ecstasy has four qualities, and devotional service in pure love of Godhead has six qualities. These qualities will be explained by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī later on.

In this connection, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī suggests that the person eligible for Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or devotional service, can be classified by his particular taste. He says that devotional service is a continual process from one’s previous life. No one can take to devotional service unless he has had some previous connection with it. For example, suppose in this life I practice devotional service to some extent. Even though it is not one-hundred-percent perfectly performed, whatever I have done will not be lost. In my next life, from the very point where I stop in this life, I shall begin again. In this way there is always a continuity. But even if there is no continuity, if only by chance a person takes interest in a pure devotee’s instruction, he can be accepted and can advance in devotional service. Anyway, for persons who have a natural taste for understanding books like Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, devotional service is easier than for those who are simply accustomed to mental speculation and argumentative processes.

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Srila Prabhupada at Radha Damodar Temple

Srila Prabhupada at Radha Damodar Temple

“I eternally reside in my rooms at the Radha Damodara Temple” [Srila Prabhupada]

His Divine Grace Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the foremost preacher of Krsna Consciousness in the world, first came to live in Radha Damodar Temple in 1959 after accepting the sannyasa order of life. The sevaite of the temple, Sri Gaurachanda Goswami, approached Srila Prabhupada and invited him to come and live there since it was the eternal home of Srila Rupa Goswami and Srila Jiva Goswami.

Srila Prabhupada took two rooms, one that acted as a kitchen, the other as a study where he would write.

In the early morning at Radha Damodar Temple, Srila Prabhupada would write and chant japa. He would then circumambulate the samadhis of Jiva Goswami and Rupa Goswami. At 10:00 he would go and take darsana of the other temples of Vrndavana, purchase vegetables and return by 11:00 to cook. Using a kerosene burner and a three-tiered cooker, he would prepare rice, dahl, potatoes, chapattis and subji. He would eat once a day and take some hot milk at night. In the afternoon he would rest for 15 minutes and resume his writing after honoring Radha Damodar Raj bhoga prasadam.

From his kitchen he would gaze out of the small window into the courtyard where Rupa Goswami’s samadhi mandir is situated. He later said that he received great inspiration from Rupa Goswami and that his plans for spreading Krsna Consciouness were formulated during his years at the Radha Damodar Temple.

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