17 Feb 2015
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Acyutanananda das, Introduction
Tags: A.C. Bhaktiveanta Swami Prabhupada, Acyutananda das, Goloka, Hare Krishna, Hari, Narottama Dasa Thakura, six goswamis of vrndavan, Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas, Srila Bhaktivinoda, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srinivasa Acarya, Vaisnava acaryas, Vaisnavas, Vedic mantras
If I had to pick one book that inspired me the most throughout my devotional life, I guess I would have to say it is “Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas”. I recently went to open it the other day, and it fell open to the Introduction. I took a moment to re-read it. We share it with you here today.
by Acyutananda Swami
It was my good fortune to be in the service of Srila Prabhupada at Sri Mayapur, the birthplace of Lord Caitanya, in setting up the groundwork of our Society’s international center there. That year (1971) there was a terrible flood, but although for many days the water was rising, it was diverted from floodinging the Society’s property solely due to the embankment created by a road constructed by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, our Parama Guru Maharaja. I wrote a letter to His Divine Grace explaining the situation and I mentioned, “The water has not entered our property. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta’s road has saved us.” Srila Prabhupada, however, wrote back in answer in a different tone: “Yes”, we are always saved by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta’s road, so go on glorifying the disciplic succession, and your life will be a great success.” Later on, when I suggested writing down the songs of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Narottama Dasa Thakura in English translations, His Divine Grace said, “Yes, we must push on this mission of Bhaktivinoda.” So here in this book, which is the first of a series of translations of the complete works of the Vaisnava acaryas in the line of succession coming after Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, I have also included a short life sketch of Thakura Bhaktivinoda. In the following volumes, the lives of Srila Narottama Dasa Thakura, Srinivasa Acarya, and other Vaisnava acaryas will appear.
14 Jun 2014
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Demigod, Demons, Devaki
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Anantadeva, Baladeva, demigods, Devaki, devaki's womb, Garbha-stuti prayers, Jarasandha, Kamsa, Lord Krsna, saktas, Sankarsana, Srimad Bhagavatam, Vaisnavas, yogamaya
click on image for full size resolution
This morning I was reading Chapter Two in the Krsna Book, the chapter entitled “Prayers by the Demigods for Lord Kṛṣṇa in the Womb” and I was reminded of this above image from the Tenth Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, that I like very much. So I thought I would share this image with you, along with the brief chapter description. Hare Krishna!
…when the Supreme Personality of Godhead entered the womb of Devakī to kill Kaṁsa, all the demigods understood that the Lord was living within Devakī’s womb, and therefore in veneration they offered Him the Garbha-stuti prayers. (from chapter description SB 10.2)
11 Feb 2014
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Varaha
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, demon, Garbhodaka Ocean, gigantic for of a boar, Hiranyaksa, Lord Brahma, Lord Varaha, planets of the universes, Vaisnavas, water of garbhodaka
click on image to enlarge
Today we honor the appearance day of Lord Varaha, we are posting the following verse from the Srimad Bhagavatam Canto Two, Chapter 7 entitled “Scheduled Incarnations with Specific Functions”, Text 1. It is interesting to note that the New Vrindavan farm community in West Virginia, has a gas meeting scheduled tonight to discuss the signing of a new ‘gas lease’. The following verse is very timely.
Lord Brahmā said: When the unlimitedly powerful Lord assumed the form of a boar as a pastime, just to lift the planet earth, which was drowned in the great ocean of the universe called the Garbhodaka, the first demon [Hiraṇyākṣa] appeared, and the Lord pierced him with His tusk. (SB 2.7.1)
Since the beginning of creation, the demons and the demigods, or the Vaiṣṇavas, are always the two classes of living beings to dominate the planets of the universes. Lord Brahmā is the first demigod, and Hiraṇyākṣa is the first demon in this universe. Only under certain conditions do the planets float as weightless balls in the air, and as soon as these conditions are disturbed, the planets may fall down in the Garbhodaka Ocean, which covers half the universe. The other half is the spherical dome within which the innumerable planetary systems exist. The floating of the planets in the weightless air is due to the inner constitution of the globes, and the modernized drilling of the earth to exploit oil from within is a sort of disturbance by the modern demons and can result in a greatly harmful reaction to the floating condition of the earth. A similar disturbance was created formerly by the demons headed by Hiraṇyākṣa (the great exploiter of the gold rush), and the earth was detached from its weightless condition and fell down into the Garbhodaka Ocean. The Lord, as maintainer of the whole creation of the material world, therefore assumed the gigantic form of a boar with a proportionate snout and picked up the earth from within the water of Garbhodaka. (from purport)
22 Nov 2013
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Durga
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, demigods, Durga, durga-devi, external energy of Krishna, goddess durga, Krsna, material enjoyment, saktas, servants of the lord, spiritual salvation, Vaisnavas
This morning I ran across this nice image of the Goddess Durgā. Durgā-devī, is actually the external energy of Kṛṣṇa, the shadow energy of the Lord. People in general worship goddess Durgā, the wife of Lord Śiva, for material prosperity. As devotees of Krishna, we do not worship the demigods or demigoddess’s. As Srila Prabhupada points out;
There is a misconception that there are many Gods. Actually that is not a fact. God is one, but there are many other powerful living entities who are in charge of different departments of administration. They are called demigods. All the demigods are servants who carry out the orders of the Supreme Lord, the Personality of Godhead.
Only the less intelligent worship the demigods for their various purposes. The most intelligent worship only the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa.
Sometimes we, the members of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, are accused of not approving of the worship of demigods….
…Because Kṛṣṇa and His energy appeared simultaneously, people have generally formed two groups—the śāktas and the Vaiṣṇavas—and sometimes there is rivalry between them. Essentially, those who are interested in material enjoyment are śāktas, and those interested in spiritual salvation and attaining the spiritual kingdom are Vaiṣṇavas. Because people are generally interested in material enjoyment, they are interested in worshiping Māyādevī, the energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Vaiṣṇavas, however, are śuddha-śāktas, or pure bhaktas, because the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra indicates worship of the Supreme Lord’s energy, Harā. A Vaiṣṇava prays to the energy of the Lord for the opportunity to serve the Lord along with His spiritual energy. Thus Vaiṣṇavas all worship such Deities as Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, Sītā-Rāma, Lakṣmī-Nārāyaṇa and Rukmiṇī-Dvārakādhīśa, whereas durgā-śāktas worship the material energy under different names. ( from purport SB 10.2.11-12)
…But he also points out that we offer all respect to the demigods as they are all servants of the Lord.
10 Oct 2013
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Nectar of Instruction, Rupa Goswami, Upadesamrta
Tags: A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prbhupada, avoid offenses, consciousness, instructions on spiritual life, Krsna consciousness movement, Nectar of Instruction, pure devotee, Rupa Goswami, Srila Prabhupada, Srila Rupa Gosvami, Upadesamrta, Vaisnavas
Continuing with our series on the Nectar of Iststuction (Upadeśāmṛta), we are posting Text 6, the very important instructions given by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī on the position of a person situated in Krsna consciousness. Srila Prabhupada explains in the purport that a person engaged in devotional service must be free from material motives. In this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, one’s consciousness is what needs to be changed. How we should view the pure devotee, and also the warning is there how to avoid offenses at the feet of the Vaiṣṇavas. Very important instructions.
The Nectar of Instruction
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Text Six More
26 Sep 2013
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Guru & Disciple, guru-tattva, Lectures
Tags: a perfect guru, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada varnasrama-dharma, audio link, brahmacari, class on the srimad bhagavatam, guru what is guru, hindu dharma, hinduism, human civilization, Indus region, prabhupada vani, Sanatana-kharma, Sanskrit, SB 7.12.2, Srila Prabhupada lecture, Srimad Bhagavatam lecture, Vaisnavas, Vedas
This is a very nice lecture given by Srila Prabhupada in Bombay April, 1976 and is a very good description of what is a guru. We have also included a link to the audio file so that you can listen to the lecture at the same time you are reading it. This is our first audio link that we have posted from this site, as an experiment.
In this lecture Srila Prabhupada begins “So the first training, how to create a brahmacari… This is human civilization…So we must come to the platform of varnasrama-dharma, not “Hindu dharma”. As he’s stated many times, the term “Hindu” is not a name that you find in the Vedas or in Sanskrit. Rather, it was a name given by the Muslims, who were referring to the people of the Indus region. The religion of the Vaisnavas is Sanatana-dharma, not Hinduism.
Also a very nice definition of what it means to be a guru is described; “A perfect guru is one who is speaking on behalf of Krsna – not on his own behalf.” “If you want to have a perfect guru, then you have to see whether he is speaking on behalf of Krsna or on his own behalf. One who speaks on his own behalf, manufactures, he is not guru. He’s a rascal. One who speaks on behalf of Krsna, he is guru.”
Class on the Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.12.02
Bombay, April 13, 1976
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
to Listen to Lecture
22 Apr 2012
in Devotional Service, Krishna Consciousness, Vaisnava-aparadha
Tags: bhakti creeper, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Krsna consciousness becomes polluted by material activities, laws of nature, Lord Krsna, mad elephant offense, offending a brahmana, offending a vaisnava, pure consciousness, Srimad Bhagavatam, vaiṣṇava-aparādha, Vaisnavas
Sometimes we see that devotees, even though they are following the rules and regulations, appear not to be making very much spiritual advancement. Often we see that they appear to be going backwards rather than forward in their devotional lives. This is often the case of “the mad elephant offense” or vaisnava-aparadha, which can stop or destroy their devotional career, and should be carefully avoided. We have included a few select verses from Srila Prabhupada’s Srimad Bhagavatam which support this statement.
…To commit an offense against a devotee is very dangerous in devotional service. Lord Caitanya therefore said that an offense to a devotee is just like a mad elephant run loose; when a mad elephant enters a garden, it tramples all the plants. Similarly, an offense unto the feet of a pure devotee murders one’s position in devotional service…
…One’s pure intelligence, or pure Kṛṣṇa consciousness, becomes polluted by material activities. Pure consciousness can be revived by the process of sacrifice, charity, pious activities, etc., but when one pollutes his Kṛṣṇa consciousness by offending a brāhmaṇa or a Vaiṣṇava, it is very difficult to revive. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has described the vaiṣṇava-aparādha, or offense to a Vaiṣṇava, as “the mad elephant offense.” One should be very careful not to offend a Vaiṣṇava or a brāhmaṇa…
Srimad Bhagavatam 3.15.39
snehāvaloka-kalayā hṛdi saṁspṛśantam
śyāme pṛthāv urasi śobhitayā śriyā svaś-
cūḍāmaṇiṁ subhagayantam ivātma-dhiṣṇyam
The Lord is the reservoir of all pleasure. His auspicious presence is meant for everyone’s benediction, and His affectionate smiling and glancing touch the core of the heart. The Lord’s beautiful bodily color is blackish, and His broad chest is the resting place of the goddess of fortune, who glorifies the entire spiritual world, the summit of all heavenly planets. Thus it appeared that the Lord was personally spreading the beauty and good fortune of the spiritual world.
When the Lord came, He was pleased with everyone; therefore it is stated here, kṛtsna-prasāda-sumukham. The Lord knew that even the offensive doormen were His pure devotees, although by chance they committed an offense at the feet of other devotees. To commit an offense against a devotee is very dangerous in devotional service. Lord Caitanya therefore said that an offense to a devotee is just like a mad elephant run loose; when a mad elephant enters a garden, it tramples all the plants. Similarly, an offense unto the feet of a pure devotee murders one’s position in devotional service. On the part of the Lord there was no offended mood because He does not accept any offense created by His sincere devotee. But a devotee should be very cautious of committing offenses at the feet of another devotee. The Lord, being equal to all, and being especially inclined to His devotee, looked as mercifully at the offenders as at the offended. This attitude of the Lord was due to His unlimited quantity of transcendental qualities. His cheerful attitude towards the devotees was so pleasing and heart-touching that His very smile was attractive for them. That attraction was glorious not only for all the higher planets of this material world, but beyond, for the spiritual world also. Generally a human being has no idea of what the constitutional position is in the higher material planets, which are far better constituted in regard to all paraphernalia, yet the Vaikuṇṭha planet is so pleasing and so celestial that it is compared to the middle jewel or locket in a necklace of jewels.
19 Jan 2012
in Books by Srila Prabhupada, Devotional Service, Nectar of Devotion
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, bhakti, bhakti yoga, Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Hari-bhakti-vilasa, Nectar of Devotion, Sanatana Goswami, spiritual master, Srila Rupa Goswami, Vaisnavas
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
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.
08 Dec 2011
in Chanting Hare Krishna, Sankirtan
Tags: chanting Hare Krishna, Iskcon, Krishna consciousness movement, Locananda dasa, Lord Caitanya, nama-sankirtan, sankirtan, Sri Panca-Tattva, Srila Prabhupada, The Hare Krishna Movement, Vaisnavas
Sri Panca Tattva Wellington New Zealand
…What the Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself proclaims to be the prime benediction for mankind, and the activity that He Himself appeared in this world to inaugurate, has been very badly neglected by ISKCON’s leaders. To attract devotees, to engage devotees and to elevate the awareness of the public, there is no better method than to perform nama-sankirtana. This same instruction was given to Lord Caitanya by His spiritual master:
“My dear child, continue dancing, chanting and performing sankirtana in association with devotees. Furthermore, go out and preach the value of chanting Krishna-nama, for by this process You will be able to deliver all fallen souls.”
Editorial (VNN) – by Locanananda Das
Originally Published on Vaishnava News
By reading the Sri Caitanya Caritamrita, one should become convinced that the Krishna consciousness movement is the vehicle through which the mercy of Caitanya Mahaprabhu will deliver the entire world. But events taking place within the movement over the last twenty years have shaken everyone’s faith, and it has become very difficult to take pride in being a member of ISKCON, the organization that Srila Prabhupad risked his life to create. The year of the Centennial having come and gone, ISKCON continues to be plagued by a malaise that is rooted in its leaders’ lack of vision and apparent lack of concern for the spiritual well-being of the devotees. Compounded by the offensive banning of vaisnavas and the enactment of deviant policies, the movement has been thrown into a tailspin from which some think it may not recover.
Personally, I have tremendous faith in the system established by Srila Prabhupad. I am thoroughly convinced that there can be a reconciliation of the parties on the different sides of all current issues, but it will require that we rise above false ego and agree to do what is best for the Krishna consciousness movement.
07 Jun 2011
in Sri Caitanya-Caritamrta
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, envious, jealous people in the dress of Vaisnavas, Krsna consciousness movement, Rupa Goswami, Sanatana Goswami, Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Vaisnavas
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Madhya 1: The Later Pastimes of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu
The spiritual master initiates the disciple to deliver him, and if the disciple executes the order of the spiritual master and does not offend other Vaiṣṇavas, his path is clear.
“There are many jealous people in the dress of Vaisnavas in this Krsna consciousness movement, and they should be completely neglected. There is no need to serve a jealous person who is in the dress of a Vaisnava.”
One should neglect an envious person. A preacher’s duty is to love the Supreme Personality of Godhead, make friendships with Vaiṣṇavas, show mercy to the innocent and reject or neglect those who are envious or jealous.
dui jane prabhura kṛpā dekhi’ bhakta-gaṇe
‘hari’ ‘hari’ bale sabe ānandita-mane
dui jane—unto the two persons; prabhura—of the Lord; kṛpā—the mercy; dekhi’-seeing; bhakta-gaṇe—all the devotees; hari hari—the holy name of the Lord; bale—chant; sabe—all; ānandita—cheerful; mane—in the mind.
When all of the devotees saw the mercy of the Lord upon the two brothers, they were very much gladdened, and they began to chant the holy name of the Lord, “Hari! Hari!”
Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says, chāḍiyā vaiṣṇava sevā nistāra pāyeche kebā: unless one serves a Vaiṣṇava, he cannot be delivered. The spiritual master initiates the disciple to deliver him, and if the disciple executes the order of the spiritual master and does not offend other Vaiṣṇavas, his path is clear. Consequently Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu requested all the Vaiṣṇavas present to show mercy toward the two brothers, Rūpa and Sanātana, who had just been initiated by the Lord. When a Vaiṣṇava sees that another Vaiṣṇava is a recipient of the Lord’s mercy, he becomes very happy. Vaiṣṇavas are not envious. If a Vaiṣṇava, by the mercy of the Lord, is empowered by Him to distribute the Lord’s holy name all over the world, other Vaiṣṇavas become very joyful-that is, if they are truly Vaiṣṇavas. One who is envious of the success of a Vaiṣṇava is certainly not a Vaiṣṇava himself, but an ordinary mundane man. Envy and jealousy are manifested by mundane people, not by Vaiṣṇavas. Why should a Vaiṣṇava be envious of another Vaiṣṇava who is successful in spreading the holy name of the Lord? An actual Vaiṣṇava is very pleased to accept another Vaiṣṇava who is bestowing the Lord’s mercy. A mundane person in the dress of a Vaiṣṇava should not be respected but rejected. This is enjoined in the śāstra (upekṣā). The word upekṣā means neglect. One should neglect an envious person. A preacher’s duty is to love the Supreme Personality of Godhead, make friendships with Vaiṣṇavas, show mercy to the innocent and reject or neglect those who are envious or jealous. There are many jealous people in the dress of Vaiṣṇavas in this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, and they should be completely neglected. There is no need to serve a jealous person who is in the dress of a Vaiṣṇava. When Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says chāḍiyā vaiṣṇava sevā nistāra payeche kebā, he is indicating an actual Vaiṣṇava, not an envious or jealous person in the dress of a Vaiṣṇava.