Hearing the Pastimes of the Lord

The Importance of Hearing
Excerpted from: Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter Seven The Salvation of Tṛṇāvarta

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, is always full of six opulences–namely complete wealth, complete strength, complete fame, complete knowledge, complete beauty and complete renunciation. The Lord appears in different complete, eternal forms of incarnation. The conditioned soul has immense opportunity to hear about the transcendental activities of the Lord in these different incarnations. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, janma karma ca me divyam. The pastimes and activities of the Lord are not material; they are beyond the material conception. But the conditioned soul can benefit by hearing such uncommon activities. Hearing is an opportunity to associate with the Lord; to hear His activities is to evolve to the transcendental nature–simply by hearing. The conditioned soul has a natural aptitude to hear something about other conditioned souls in the form of fiction, drama and novel. That inclination to hear something about others may be utilized in hearing the pastimes of the Lord. Then one can immediately evolve to his transcendental nature. Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes are not only beautiful; they are also very pleasing to the mind.

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Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura’s Appearance Day

“Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura’s Appearance Day”
Lecture given by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Given on March 2, 1975 in Atlanta

Prabhupada: Today is the most auspicious day, 101 years ago, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, he appeared on this day. So Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura is gaura-sakti. Gaura-sakti means empowered, empowered by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, He wanted His mission to be broadcast all over the world. He desired:

prthivite ache yata nagaradi-grama
sarvatra pracara haibe mora nama

prthivite, all over the world, as many towns and villages are there, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu predicted that His mission will spread. This prediction was made by Caitanya Mahaprabhu personally five hundred years ago.

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You Are Never Alone

Srila Prabhupada

Don’t Feel Alone
by The Prabhupada Connection

“Don’t feel yourself to be alone because Krishna is always with you. Krishna is always with every living entity as Supersoul, and to His devotee especially He talks and gives instructions how to attain the perfectional stage of meeting Him. So don’t feel alone. Always chant whenever possible, read our books, and there will be no great difficulty.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, April 3, 1969)

“Please don’t feel lonely. Krishna is always with you and I shall pray for you and to Krishna also that you may make progress more and more in this faithful discharge of duties in Krishna Consciousness.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, March 30, 1968)

“Regarding your question: Is it not true that by service I am with you? It is very correct. You are not only in connection with me, but you are connected with the whole posterity, up to Krishna. It is so nice thing. By service only, we are connected. As it is stated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, ‘Sevon mukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuraty adhah.’ So the presence of Krishna is always everywhere, but it is simply manifested by your service. That is the technique. ‘Sabhung Kalidumbrum’ everywhere Brahma is present. Just like everywhere there is electricity. It is the technical art that brings out electric power from everywhere. So by service, you are not only in touch with me, but my Predecessors, the Acaryas, up to Krishna.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, August 19, 1968)

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Moon Rocks from Arizona & Faith

moon rocks

This is a very interesting morning walk discussion. You can click on following link to listen and/or read along below. Great questions and answers.

“Moon Rocks from Arizona”
Morning walk discussion by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and disciples
Recorded July 21, 1975

To hear lecture

Prabhupada: Oh. [break] Krsna dasa, some scientists say that there is no life in the other planets, and some scientists said there may be. So who is correct?

Paramahamsa: Well, didn’t the Yamadutas… You stated in your lecture yesterday that the Yamadutas said that what is truth is what is in the Vedas. So I assume from the Vedic knowledge that there is life on other planets. Logically speaking also.

Prabhupada: Yes. How can you say there is no life?

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“A Month in the Life of Srila Prabhupada”

Srila Prabhupada

Recently this following letter appeared in my mailbox with a wonderful link from Vanipedia.org A month in the life of Srila Prabhupada is generated from the Timeline of Srila Prabhupada’s life and from A Day in the Life of Srila Prabhupada

Dear Devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thanks to Visnu Murti Prabhu and the Vanipedia team, we can now easily
follow Srila Prabhupada’s life from 1966 all the way to 1977 here:

http://vanipedia.org/wiki/A_Month_in_the_Life_of_Srila_Prabhupada

Please visit this link and share widely.

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Asssociate Derectly with Srila Prabhupada by Reading His Books

Book distribution to the masses

Sometime back I saw this article on the Prabhupada News website that I saved to my files because it is a good assortment of quotes.

 

You Can Directly Associate With Srila Prabhupada by Reading His Books

compiled by Mahesh Raja

 

…. it is described here that ONE HAS TO ASSOCIATE WITH LIBERATED PERSONS NOT DIRECTLY, PHYSICALLY, BUT BY UNDERSTANDING, THROUGH PHILOSOPHY AND LOGIC, THE PROBLEMS OF LIFE.  (Srimad-Bhagavatam – 3.31.48 Purport)

 

 Prabhupada:   JUST FOLLOW HIS ORDER. SPIRITUAL MASTER IS ALONG WITH YOU BY HIS WORDS. Just like my spiritual master is not physically present, but I am associating with him by his words.  (Lecture – London, August 18, 1971)

 

 

 

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The Secret of Success in Spiritual Life

Srila Prabhupada, Secret of Success in Spiritual Life

click on image to enlarge

“The Words of the Spiritual Master”
by Ananda devi dasi

“Believing in the words of His Spiritual Master, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu introduced the Sankirtana movement, just as the present Krishna Consciousness movement was started with belief in the words of our Spiritual Master. He wanted to preach, we believed in his words and tried somehow or other to fulfill them, and now this movement has become successful all over the world. Therefore faith in the words of the Spiritual Master and the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the secret of success. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu never disobeyed the orders of His Spiritual Master and stopped propagating the Sankirtana movement.

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami, at the time of his passing away, ordered all his disciples to work conjointly to preach the message of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu all over the world. Later, however, some self-interested, foolish disciples disobeyed his orders. Each one wanted to become head of the mission, and they fought in the courts, neglecting the orders of their Spiritual Master, and the entire mission was defeated. We are not proud of this, however the truth must be explained. We believed in the words of our Spiritual Master and started in a humble way-in a helpless way – but due to the spiritual force of the Supreme Authority, this movement has become successful.” (From the Chaitanya Charitamrita written and presented by Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, Srila Prabhupada Cc Adi 7.95-96)

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Belief in the Words of Our Spiritual Master

Srila Prabhupada on morning walk

“I firmly believe in these words of My spiritual master, and therefore I always chant the holy name of the Lord, alone and in the association of devotees. That holy name of Lord Kṛṣṇa sometimes causes Me to chant and dance, and therefore I chant and dance. Please do not think that I intentionally do it. I do it automatically. (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 7.95-96)

A person who cannot keep his faith in the words of his spiritual master but acts independently never receives the authority to chant the holy name of the Lord. (from purport)

This is one of my favorite verses from the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, and the purport here is one of the most important lessons in spiritual life. Namely, success in spiritual life is faith in the words of the spiritual master and following his instructions. Thereby receiving his blessings. If one receives the blessings of his spiritual master he can chant the holy name of the lord constantly.

Full text and purport More

Yasya deve para bhaktir

Srila Prabhupada and Lord Sri Krishna

Last night I was having a discussion with a fellow vaisnava, and the following, important sloka, came up in the course of our conversation. I was reminded of a story that once Gurukrpa Swami asked Srila Prabhupada what was the most important sloka in our literature, and Srila Prabhupada responded:

yasya deve parā bhaktir
yathā deve tathā gurau
tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ
prakāśante mahātmanaḥ

“Only unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed.” (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.23)

I wanted to see how many times Srila Prabhupada used this sloka in his books and lectures so I went to Vani Quotes and did a search. It appears that this verse was used in:

Bhagavad-gita; 2 times
Srimad Bhagavatam; 11 times
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta; 12 times
Lectures; 43 times
Letters; 7 times
Morning Walks and Conversations; 22 times
Other books; twice

We share with you some of the the results of the Vani Quotes Research team, and thank Visnu Murti and Mayapur prabhu’s efforts.

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I Have Instructed Everything in My Books

 Srila Prabhupada  LA Garden

Here are some nice quotes stressing the importance of reading Srila Prabhupada’s books.

One has to associate with liberated persons not directly, physically, but by understanding, through philosophy and logic, the problems of life.
(SB 3.31.48)

What we have heard from the spiritual master, that is living.
(Lecture Excerpt – Los Angeles, January 13, 1969)

In my books the philosophy of Krishna Consciousness is explained fully so if there is anything which you do not understand, then you simply have to read again and again. By reading daily the knowledge will be revealed to you and by this process your spiritual life will develop.…You may please me the most by reading my books and following the instructions therein and by becoming fully Krishna Conscious in this life time.
(Letter to: Bahurupa Bombay 74-11-22)

I have instructed everything in my books.
(Letter to: Dina Dayala Mayapur 76-02-25)

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Transcendental Knowledge is Received by Hearing/Reading Srila Prabhupada’s Books

Srila Prabhupada Translating

This is a nice post put together by Krishna Path entitled “Accepting the Line of Disciplic Succession”, with some slight editing (highlighting) done by us. What is particularly nice about it, are the Quotes at bottom stressing the importance of reading Srila Prabhupada’s books.

So there is nothing to be said new. Whatever I have to speak, I have spoken in my books. Now you try to understand it and continue your endeavor. Whether I am present or not present, it doesn’t matter. (Arrival Speech – May 17, 1977, Vrndavana)

So although a physical body is not present, the vibration should be accepted as the presence of the spiritual master, vibration. What we have heard from the spiritual master, that is living. (Lecture Excerpt – Los Angeles, January 13, 1969)

So utilize whatever time you find to make a thorough study of my books. Then all your questions will be answered. (Letter to: Upendra – Nellore 7 January, 1976)

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Definitions of Vāṇī

Srila Prabhupada Vani

By chance I happened upon the Vanipedia About Page this morning while researching a post for Srila Bhaktisiddhanta’s appearance day, and found this most fascinating definition of the word Vani. We can see from studying Srila Prabhupada’s books just how vast the Sanskrit language is just from the example of this one word; vāṇī. In one letter written to Tribhuvanatha in June of 1972, Srila Prabhupada writes:

“I am very much stressing nowadays that my students shall increase their reading of my books and try to understand them from different angles of vision. Each sloka can be seen from many, many angles of vision, so become practiced in seeing things like this.

So here is a word for your Vaisnava Vocabulary with its many meanings.

“Although according to material vision His Divine Grace Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda passed away from this material world on the last day of December, 1936, I still consider His Divine Grace to be always present with me by his vāṇī, his words. There are two ways of association-by vāṇī and by vapuḥ. Vāṇī means words, and vapuḥ means physical presence. Physical presence is sometimes appreciable and sometimes not, but vāṇī continues to exist eternally. Therefore we must take advantage of the vāṇī, not the physical presence. The Bhagavad-gītā, for example, is the vāṇī of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Although Kṛṣṇa was personally present five thousand years ago and is no longer physically present from the materialistic point of view, the Bhagavad-gītā continues.”

Definitions of Vani
Śrīla Prabhupāda has translated vāṇī in the following ways;

vāṇī—a voice
vāṇī—injunction
vāṇī—message
vāṇī—talking
vāṇī—teachings
vāṇī—the organ of speech
vāṇī—transcendental words
vāṇī—vibration
vāṇī—words
vāṇī—words, the power of speech

and here we see the meaning when connected to other words; More

Vani Seva

Srila Prabhupada with cartals

Vani Seva
by Ananda devi dasi
May 12 2009, UK

In Srimad Bhagavatam 4.28.47 we read: “The disciple and spiritual master are never separated because the spiritual master always keeps company with the disciple as long as the disciple follows strictly the instructions of the spiritual master. This is called the association of Vani. Physical presence is called Vapuh. As long as the spiritual master is physically present, the disciple should serve the physical body of the spiritual master, and when the spiritual master is no longer physically existing, the disciple should serve the instructions of the spiritual master.”

Srila Prabhupada makes it crystal clear that after the disappearance of the Spiritual Master, the disciple follows the instructions of the Spiritual Master. The Spiritual Master left His instructions in the form of Books, verbal instructions, letters, tapes, videos, all these are instructions from the Spiritual Master,Vani.

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Śrīla Prabhupāda vāṇī

Śrīla Prabhupāda vāṇī
From Letters, Lectures, and Conversations
Submitted by Vidura Prabhu

“They say that you are all my disciples. So the guru is not on the scene. He has fled away and nobody knows where he is, but the Krishna consciousness program is going on. That was also going on during the time of Lord Caitanya. In South India He used to travel, and in a village He would meet some man and induce him to chant, and the man would become a devotee, and Lord Caitanya would go away, but still the man would continue to chant. So, I am not personally present, but still things are going on, and it is increasing. So the books are selling and we are expanding. This book distribution is the brihat mrdangam. It is the greater preaching.” (Letter to: Sri Govinda: — Bombay 6 December, 1974)

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Follow the Instruction, Not the Body

Follow the Instruction, not the Body.
Quotes by Srila Prabhupada from books, letters and lectures

“So far as personal association with Guru is concerned, I was only with Guru Maharaj 4 or 5 times, but I have never left his association, not even for a moment. Because I am following his instruction, I have never felt any separation. There are some of my Godbrothers here in India, who had constant personal association with Guru Maharaja, but who are neglecting his orders. This is just like the bug who is sitting on the lap of the king. He may be very puffed up by his position but all he can succeed in doing is biting the king. Personal association is not so important as association through serving.”
(SP Letter to Satyadhana, 20/2/72) 

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Association with the Pure Devotee

From the Concluding Words to the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

…There are two ways of association-by vāṇī and by vapu. Vāṇī means words, and vapu means physical presence. Physical presence is sometimes appreciable and sometimes not, but vāṇī continues to exist eternally. Therefore we must take advantage of the vāṇī, not the physical presence. Bhagavad-gītā, for example, is the vāṇī of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Although Kṛṣṇa was personally present five thousand years ago and is no longer physically present from the materialistic point of view, Bhagavad-gītā continues.

I still consider His Divine Grace Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda to be always present with me by his vāṇī, his words.

It is my wish that devotees of Lord Caitanya all over the world enjoy this translation, and I am glad to express my gratitude to the learned men in the Western countries who are so pleased with my work that they are ordering in advance all my books that will be published in the future. On this occasion therefore, I request my disciples who are determined to help me in this work to continue their cooperation fully, so that philosophers, scholars, religionists and people in general all over the world will benefit by reading our transcendental literatures such as Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta.

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Does the Guru have to be Physically Present?

…”What we have heard from the Spiritual Master, that is living.”

Paramananda:
We’re always feeling your presence very strongly, Srila Prabhupada, simply by your teachings and your instructions. We’re always meditating on your instructions.

Srila Prabhupada:
Thank you. That is the real presence. Physical presence is not important.

“But always remember that I am always with you. As you are always thinking of me, I am always thinking of you also. Although physically we are not together, we are not separated spiritually. So we should be concerned only with this spiritual connection.”

Does the Guru have to be physically present?
Quotes by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

“Physical presence is immaterial. Presence of the transcendental sound received from the Spiritual Master should be the guidance of life. That will make our spiritual life successful. If you feel very strongly about my absence you may place my pictures on my sitting places and this will be source of inspiration for you.”
(SP Letter to Brahmananda and other students, 19/1/67)

“But always remember that I am always with you. As you are always thinking of me, I am always thinking of you also. Although physically we are not together, we are not separated spiritually. So we should be concerned only with this spiritual connection.”
(SP Letter to Gaurasundara, 13/11/69) 

“So we should associate by vibration, and not by the physical presence. That is real association.” 
(SP Lectures SB, 18/08/68) 

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“How can I Recognize a Vaiṣṇava?

The Param-guru
By Sriman Rupanuga Prabhu (ACBSP)
Jan 20, 2012 (SUN)

Those sincere souls who have been submitting for decades to disciples of Srila Prabhupada as spiritual masters, only to be disappointed, need not leave the proven path of Bhakti as revealed by Srila Prabhupada (who is not at all at fault). Because of such disappointments, one may have doubts about success in Krsna consciousness. But the path is not to be abandoned. Instead, under the complete shelter of Srila Prabhupada one will be saved for sure from material existence.

There is no need to get initiated again and again. One can take complete shelter of Srila Prabhupada and the Holy Name, Nama Prabhu. Nama Rupe is independent, as confirmed in Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya lila, Chapter 15, verses 105 through 111 with purports, a must read carefully. These verses and purports below, clearly indicate that a sincere soul, initiated or not, can take shelter of Srila Prabhupada-vani and Lord Krsna, the Holy Name, directly.

The disappointed disciples of our Godbrothers remain on duty to give Srila Prabhupada’s mercy to the suffering masses of conditioned souls on this planet, which is known as Martyaloka or the planet of death. Krsna consciousness is a matter of life and death for everyone. Srila Prabhupada wanted millions, he said “a hundred million” devotees.

Respectful obeisances must go out to all the recently disappointed 1,500+ disciples, with the prayer to please take care to remain disciples under the direct protection of their Param-guru, Srila Prabhupada, who said that the grandfather is more kind to the sons than the father. So be it.

Pasted from; http://www.harekrsna.com/sun/editorials/01-12/editorials8173.htm

Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya lila, Chapter 15, text 105-111 with purports

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Srila Prabhupada is the Diksa Guru for ISKCON

Vani Seva
By Ananda devi dasi
May 12 2009, UK

“In the absence of physical presentation of the Spiritual Master, the vaniseva is more important. My Spiritual Master Saraswati Goswami, may appear to be physically not present but still I try to serve His Instruction, I never feel separated from Him” (Srila Prabhupada Lecture, August 22, 1970)

After the disappearance of Srila Prabhupada His instructions remained the same, they didn’t change. Therefore Srila Prabhupada is the Diksa Guru and His ISKCON-specific instructions and the process of Diksa remains the same. A disciple who has had no chance of serving the Spiritual Master, Srila Prabhupada, when He was in His Vapuh, can still follow His Vani, instructions, and fully benefit from this association and advance in devotional service.

The Officiating Acarya process is not a replacement system for the Disciplic Succession, nor is it an initiating system, either. Srila Prabhupada is the Initiator Guru whether there is an Officiating Acarya system in place or not, whether or not the July 9th Letter is implemented or not. Devotees that join ISKCON can only be initiated by Srila Prabhupada because He is the Diksa Guru for ISKCON, period.

In Srimad Bhagavatam 4.28.47 we read:

“The disciple and spiritual master are never separated because the spiritual master always keeps company with the disciple as long as the disciple follows strictly the instructions of the spiritual master. This is called the association of Vani. Physical presence is called Vapuh. As long as the spiritual master is physically present, the disciple should serve the physical body of the spiritual master, and when the spiritual master is no longer physically existing, the disciple should serve the instructions of the spiritual master.”

Srila Prabhupada makes it crystal clear that after the disappearance of the Spiritual Master, the disciple follows the instructions of the Spiritual Master. The Spiritual Master left His instructions in the form of Books, verbal instructions, letters, tapes, videos, all these are instructions from the Spiritual Master,Vani.

After the disappearance of Srila Prabhupada His instructions remained the same, they didn’t change. Therefore Srila Prabhupada is the Diksa Guru and His ISKCON-specific instructions and the process of Diksa remains the same. A disciple who has had no chance of serving the Spiritual Master, Srila Prabhupada, when He was in His Vapuh, can still follow His Vani, instructions, and fully benefit from this association and advance in devotional service.

In Caitanya-caritamrta Adi 1.35 we read:

“It is imperative that one accepts a spiritual master if he at all desires to gain the favor of the Lord. The service of the Spiritual Master is essential. If there is no chance to serve the spiritual master directly, a devotee should serve Him by remembering His instructions. There is no difference between the spiritual masters instructions and the spiritual master Himself. In His absence,therefore,His words of direction should be the pride of the disciple.”

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Association with the Spiritual Master; Srila Prabhupada

Srila Prabhupada is our Spiritual Master, the Bona Fide Uttama-Adhikari, the current link to the Disciplic succession, the all merciful, all compassionate Diksa Guru, impartially distributing Sri Caitanya’s mercy. And Initiating the general population into the cult of Devotional Service to Lord Krsna.

Our relationship with Srila Prabhupada is a spiritual relationship, it is not based on whether or not we were physically present simultaneously. Spiritual inspiration comes from within the heart, wherein the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in His Paramatma feature, is always sitting with all His devotees and associates. The Spiritual Master is the external manifestation of the Supersoul and is simultaneously manifest within the heart of the sincere disciple seated with the Supersoul and accompanying the disciple everywhere.

The disciple and spiritual master are never separated because the spiritual master always keeps company with the disciple as long as the disciple follows strictly the instructions of the spiritual master.

“In the absence of physical presentation of the Spiritual Master, the vaniseva is more important. My Spiritual Master Saraswati Goswami, may appear to be physically not present but still I try to serve His Instruction, I never feel separated from Him” (Srila Prabhupada Lecture, August 22, 1970)

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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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Raja-Vidya the King of Knowledge

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Important Slokas from the Brahma-samhita

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Slokas from the Sri Isopanisad

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Prayers By Queen Kunti (Slokas)

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Gajendra’s Prayers of Surrender (Slokas)

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A Short Statement of the Philosophy of Krishna Consciousness

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July 9th Letter

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The Hare Krishna Explosion

Reference Material/Study Guide

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