The Laws of Nature

the-laws-of-naturejpg

This morning I was looking through our bookshelf at some of the small paperback books we used to distribute at preaching programs. I always had a fondness for these small books, because it was the small books published by the BBT in the early days, that brought so many of us to the movement. Although I very much appreciated the original Bhagavad-gita As It Is when I first received it back in the early 70’s, it was too much information for me to process at the time, but the small paperback books were something I could read cover to cover, and thus my spiritual life took shape.

We have posted just the first chapter of this small book entitled “God and the Law of Karma”, but have also included a link at bottom of post where you can download the entire book.

This book explains the laws of karma and how these unseen but inescapable laws control the conditioned soul. One will also learn how to rise above these laws of karma through the powerful transcendental process of Krishna consciousness. It was compiled from the lectures and books of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

The Laws of Nature: An Infallible Justice
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter 1

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More Attractive than the Hymns of the Vedas

gopis

Yesterday, I took a few moments to sit in the sun with a good book. I grabbed a book at random…it was the first Canto, Vol. 3 of the Srimad Bhagavatam. I adjusted my reading glass’s on my face, opened the book at random…and began to read

Absorbed in the thought of the transcendental qualities of the Lord, who is glorified in select poetry, the ladies on the roofs of all the houses of Hastināpura began to talk of Him. This talk was more attractive than the hymns of the Vedas. (SB 1.10.20)

…The ladies, who were all absorbed in the thought and actions of the Lord, developed the consciousness of Vedic wisdom by the grace of the Lord. And therefore although such ladies might not have been very learned scholars in Sanskrit or otherwise, still whatever they spoke was more attractive than the Vedic hymns. (from purport to SB 1.10.20)

…The ladies talking about this Vedic truth must have heard it from authoritative sources. An authoritative source is the only means of knowing about transcendental subject matter definitely. There is no alternative. (from purport to SB 1.10.21)

I was only able to read these two translations and purports before the rains came and I had to flee inside the house…but so moved by these two verses, I have thought of nothing else since. An authoritative source is the only means of knowing about transcendental subject matter definitely. There is no alternative. All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Full text and purports More

Picture of the Material World

tree

We will be away traveling for a short time and will be away from our computer, but we leave you with this nice image and a verse from Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita. Hare Krishna!

…In the Fifteenth Chapter of the Bhagavad-gītā, the real picture of the material world is given. It is said there:

“The Supreme Lord said: There is a banyan tree which has its roots upward and its branches down, and the Vedic hymns are its leaves. One who knows this tree is the knower of the Vedas.” (Bg. 15.1)

Here the material world is described as a tree whose roots are upwards and branches are below. We have experience of a tree whose roots are upward: if one stands on the bank of a river or any reservoir of water, he can see that the trees reflected in the water are upside down. The branches go downward and the roots upward. Similarly, this material world is a reflection of the spiritual world. The material world is but a shadow of reality. In the shadow there is no reality or substantiality, but from the shadow we can understand that there is substance and reality. In the desert there is no water, but the mirage suggests that there is such a thing as water. In the material world there is no water, there is no happiness, but the real water of actual happiness is there in the spiritual world. (from Introduction to the Bhagavad-gita As It Is)

Full Text and Purport to text 15.1 More

Pure Devotional Service: The Change in Heart

Pure Devotional Service

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As we continue to update our (one of our other sites) Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam by posting a chapter at a time, of that great literary work by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, we will continue to share the progress with our readers here at The Hare Krishna Movement.

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Canto 2, Chapter Three

Pure Devotional Service: The Change in Heart

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A Perfect Guru

Srila Prabhupada speaking

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

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The Mission of Lord Buddha

Buddha's

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For some reason, I have always been attracted to Buddha since my early childhood. Later in my life as I turned 18, I also became interested in vegetarianism, which peaked my interest in spiritual life as well. So it was, I began the practice of yoga and meditation. It is interesting to note that later (age 21) when I became a Hare Krishna devotee, was when my actual education in Lord Buddha began. We share with you two select verses from the Srimad Bhagavatam describing the mission of Lord Buddha.

The mission of Lord Buddha was to save people from the abominable activity of animal killing and to save the poor animals from being unnecessarily killed.

Lord Buddha, a powerful incarnation of the Personality of Godhead, appeared in the province of Gayā (Bihar) as the son of Añjana, and he preached his own conception of nonviolence and deprecated even the animal sacrifices sanctioned in the Vedas. At the time when Lord Buddha appeared, the people in general were atheistic and preferred animal flesh to anything else. On the plea of Vedic sacrifice, every place was practically turned into a slaughterhouse, and animal killing was indulged in unrestrictedly. Lord Buddha preached nonviolence, taking pity on the poor animals. He preached that he did not believe in the tenets of the Vedas and stressed the adverse psychological effects incurred by animal killing. Less intelligent men of the age of Kali, who had no faith in God, followed his principle, and for the time being they were trained in moral discipline and nonviolence, the preliminary steps for proceeding further on the path of God realization. He deluded the atheists because such atheists who followed his principles did not believe in God, but they kept their absolute faith in Lord Buddha, who himself was the incarnation of God. Thus the faithless people were made to believe in God in the form of Lord Buddha. That was the mercy of Lord Buddha: he made the faithless faithful to him.

Select verses: More

The Yoga of the Supreme Person

Banyan tree  Plate35

Bhagavad-gītā As It Is Complete 1972 Edition
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter Fiveteen

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How the Teachings of Lord Caitanya Came to the Western World

BTG_Year-1974_Volume-01_Number-63_Page_01

This is a very informative article which gives not only some of the History of Lord Caitanya’s Mission, but on the preaching of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur, Gaudiya Vaisnavism, and the Hare Krishna Movement here in the West.

How the Teachings of Lord Caitanya Came to the Western World
Excerpted from Back to Godhead Magazine
Vol.1, No. 66, 1974
Part 1
by His Holiness Brahmananda Swami

“He reasons ill who tells that Vaisnavas die When thou art living still in Sound! The Vaisnavas die to live and living try To spread a holy life around!”—verse by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura on the tomb of the great saint Thakura Haridasa at Puri, India

In Calcutta in 1896, the teachings of Lord Caitanya began their journey to the West. In Bengali-speaking Calcutta on August 20th of that year, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura published a small English treatise entitled Lord Caitanya—His Life and Precepts. Seventyone years later, in 1967, in Montreal, Canada, a graduate student came across a copy of this book while browsing through the rare-book collection of the McGill University library. The book was a wonderful find for him because he was a dedicated follower of Lord Caitanya’s, having been convinced of Lord Caitanya’s teachings by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, whom he had accepted as his spiritual master. Srila Prabhupada was born in Calcutta on September 1, 1896, only a few days after Lord Caitanya-His Life and Precepts was published. Thus by a transcendental arrangement this significant book and he who would fulfill the purpose of the book appeared together.

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Here is Krishna, Here is God

KrishnaFrance

Śrīmad Bhāgavatam Lecture

…So our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is so nice.. We present, “Here is God.” Here is God. Take His name. Take His address also. It is so perfect. They are searching after God. We are giving the name, address, activity, everything, quality, all. Nāma-rūpa-līlā-parikara-vaiśiṣṭhyam, everything. Nāma means name. Here is Kṛṣṇa, “He is engaged in enjoyment with Rādhārāṇī and playing on His flute.” Veṇuṁ kvaṇantam aravinda-dalāyatākṣaṁ bar… [Bs. 5.30]. We are not imagining. Not that this artist imagines, the poet imagines. No. We don’t do that rascaldom. We don’t do that. We take information from the Vedas. Kṛṣṇa, when He was present personally, He played on His flute. The gopīs saw and the cowherds boys saw five thousand years ago. And the ācāryas took information. Even if you don’t believe in the history, then come to śāstra. The śāstra says veṇuṁ kvaṇantam aravinda-dalāyatākṣam: [Bs. 5.30] “Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is always engaged in playing on His flute.” This is Vedic statement. Veṇuṁ kvaṇantam aravinda-dalāyatākṣam: [Bs. 5.30] “His eyes are just like lotus petals.” Veṇuṁ kvaṇantam aravinda-dalāyatākṣaṁ barhāvataṁsam asitāmbuda-sundarāṅgam: [Bs. 5.30] “He has got a peacock feather on His head.” These are the description in the Vedas. “He has got a peacock feather on His head.” Barhāvataṁsam asitāmbuda: “His color is blackish.” What kind of blackish? Asitāmbuda: “Just like new cloud.” Asitāmbuda-sundarāṅgam: “But don’t think because He is blackish, He is not beautiful. He is most beautiful.” How much beautiful? Kandarpa-koṭi-kamanīya-viśeṣa-śobham: [Bs. 5.30] “He is so beautiful that if you gather millions of Cupids, still He is more beautiful.” These descriptions are there.

So Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is very nice. You will be able to understand what is God, and you will be able to understand what is your relationship with God. And you will be able to understand how you can go back to home, back to Godhead.

Thank you very much. (end)

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The Appearance Day of Lord Kṛṣṇa, Janastami

…The appearance of Kṛṣṇa is the answer to all imaginative iconography of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Everyone imagines the form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead according to his mode of material nature. In the Brahmā-saṁhitā it is said that the Lord is the oldest person. Therefore a section of religionists imagine that God must be very old, and therefore they depict a form of the Lord like a very old man. But in the same Brahmā-saṁhitā, that is contradicted; although He is the oldest of all living entities, He has His eternal form as a fresh youth.

…”O dear Lord,” the demigods continued, “You are unborn; therefore we do not find any reason for Your appearance other than for Your pleasurable pastimes.” Although the reason for the appearance of the Lord is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā (He descends just to give protection to the devotee and vanquish the nondevotee), actually He descends for His pleasure-meeting with the devotees, not really to vanquish the nondevotees. The nondevotees can be vanquished simply by material nature. “The action and reaction of the external enregy of material nature (creation, maintenance and annihilation) are being carried on automatically. But simply by taking shelter of Your holy name–because Your holy name and Your personality are nondifferent–the devotees are sufficiently protected.” The protection of the devotees and the annihilation of the nondevotees are actually not the business of the Supreme Personality of Godhead when He descends. They are just for His transcendental pleasure. There cannot be any other reason for His appearance.

Excerpts from; KRSNA, The Supreme Personality of Godhead
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Volume 1, Chapter 2

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Teachings of the Vedas

…The Vedas are not compilations of human knowledge. Vedic knowledge comes from the spiritual world, from Lord Krsna.

“Teachings of the Vedas” 

[Delivered as a lecture by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada on October 6, 1969, at Conway Hall, London, England.] 

Ladies and gentlemen, today’s subject matter is the teachings of the Vedas. What are the Vedas? The Sanskrit verbal root of veda can be interpreted variously, but the purpose is finally one. Veda means knowledge. Any knowledge you accept is veda, for the teachings of the Vedas are the original knowledge. In the conditioned state, our knowledge is subjected to many deficiencies. The difference between a conditioned soul and a liberated soul is that the conditioned soul has four kinds of defects. The first defect is that he must commit mistakes. For example, in our country, Mahatma Gandhi was considered to be a very great personality, but he committed many mistakes. Even at the last stage of his life, his assistant warned, “Mahatma Gandhi, don’t go to the New Delhi meeting. I have some friends, and I have heard there is danger.” But he did not hear. He persisted on going and was killed. Even great personalities like Mahatma Gandhi, President Kennedy — there are so many of them — make mistakes. To err is human. This is one defect of the conditioned soul.

Another defect: to be illusioned. Illusion means to accept something which is not: maya. Maya means what is not. Everyone is accepting the body as the self. If I ask you what you are, you will say, “I am Mr. John; I am a rich man; I am this, I am that.” All these are bodily identifications. But you are not this body. This is illusion.

The third defect is the cheating propensity. Everyone has the propensity to cheat others. Although a person is fool number one, he poses himself as very intelligent. Although it is already pointed out that he is in illusion and makes mistakes, he will theorize: “I think this is this, this is this.” But he does not even know his own position. He writes books of philosophy, although he is defective. That is his disease. That is cheating.

Lastly, our senses are imperfect. We are very proud of our eyes. Often, someone will challenge, “can you show me God?” But do you have the eyes to see God? You will never see if you haven’t the eyes. If immediately the room becomes dark, you cannot even see your hands. So what power do you have to see? We cannot, therefore, expect knowledge (veda) with these imperfect senses. With all these deficiencies, in conditioned life, we cannot give perfect knowledge to anyone. Nor are we ourselves perfect. Therefore we accept the Vedas as they are.

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“Vedic Knowledge Points To Krsna”

“Vedic Knowledge Points To Krsna”
Lecture on Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya 20.146-151
New York, December 3, 1966
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Prabhupada:

mukhya-gauna-vrtti, kimva anvaya-vyatireke
vedera pratijna kevala kahaye krsnake

So Lord Caitanya says, “You study Vedas in any way, directly, indirectly. In whatever way you like you study Vedas, but the ultimate objective is Krsna.”

Now, Caitanya, Lord Caitanya, is describing about the various forms of Krsna. This is very important subject. How Krsna is all-pervading, He is describing.

krsnera svarupa-ananta, vaibhava-apara
cic-chakti, maya-sakti, jiva-sakti ara

Krsnera svarupa ananta. The transcendental forms of Krsna, innumerable, vaibhava, and His opulence, that is also innumerable. Nobody can estimate. How many forms are there of Krsna or how much opulent He is, nobody can estimate; nobody can measure. This is inconceivable. The first proposition. Cic-chakti maya-sakti jiva-sakti ara. And His potencies are also unlimited, out of which, three potencies are generally accepted: cit-sakti, spiritual potency; material potency; and marginal potency. These three potencies I have described many times. Cit-sakti, the spiritual potency, is a manifestation of the spiritual world, and material potency is a manifestation of this material world, and the marginal potency, we are, we living entities. We are marginal potency. Why it is marginal? Because although we belong to the spiritual potency, but we have got tendency to come into contact of this material potency. Therefore it is called marginal, “this way or that way.” That a slight independence which is there in every living entity, he can use that, and he may select either to live in the spiritual potency or in the material potency. Therefore the living entities are called marginal potency. So parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate [Cc. Madhya 13.65, purport]. Although the energies of the Supreme Lord are innumerable — nobody can count or measure — but they are divided into three.

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Lord Varāha’s Appearance Day

Varāha-dvadaśī, 
Lord Varāha’s Appearance Day Lecture
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Los Angeles, February 18, 1970

Prabhupāda: …lifted the world when it was submerged within the water of Garbhodaka Ocean. The universe which we are seeing, it is only half. The other half is filled with water, and in that water is Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu lying. So one demon, Hiraṇyākṣa, he pushed this earthly planet within that water, and Lord Kṛṣṇa delivered this earthly planet from water in the shape of a boar. So that auspicious day is today, Varāha-dvadaśī. This is called Varāha-dvadasi. So on this day it is better to sing, to glorify the different incarnations of Lord within this universe. The first incarnation is the fish form.
 
So these prayers were offered by Jayadeva Gosvāmī. One Vaiṣṇava poet advented about seven hundred years before Lord Caitanya’s appearance. He was a great devotee, and his specific poetry, Gīta-govinda, is very famous all over the world. Gīta-govinda. Gīta-govinda is the subject matter of Kṛṣṇa playing on flute about Rādhārāṇī. That is the subject matter of Gīta-govinda.The same poet, Jayadeva Gosvāmī, has offered this prayer, pralaya-payodhi-jale-dhṛtavān asi vedam **. He says, “My dear Lord, when there was devastation within this universe, everything was filled with water. At that time You saved the Vedas, stacked in a boat. And you held the boat from being drowned in the water, in the shape of a big fish.” This fish first of all was caught in the waterpot just like a small fish. Then it enlarged, and the fish was kept in a bigger water reservoir. In this way the fish was increasing. Then the fish informed that “Devastation is coming. You just save all the Vedas on a boat, and I shall protect it.” So Jayadeva Gosvāmī is offering prayer, “My Lord, You saved the Vedas when there was devastation in the shape of a fish.”

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Krishna Is the Source of All Incarnations

Krsna Is the Source of All Incarnations
Srimad Bhagavatam; Canto 1, Chapter 3, Text 24
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Lord Buddha

TEXT 24
tataḥ kalau sampravṛtte
sammohāya sura-dviṣām
buddho nāmnāñjana-sutaḥ
kīkaṭeṣu bhaviṣyati

SYNONYMS
tataḥ—thereafter; kalau—the age of Kali; sampravṛtte—having ensued; sammohāya—for the purpose of deluding; sura—the theists; dviṣām—those who are envious; buddhaḥ—Lord Buddha; nāmnā—of the name; añjana-sutaḥ—the son of Añjana; kīkaṭeṣu—in the province of Gayā (Bihar);bhaviṣyati—will take place.

TRANSLATION

Then, in the beginning of Kali-yuga, the Lord will appear as Lord Buddha, the son of Añjana, in the province of Gayā, just for the purpose of deluding those who are envious of the faithful theist.

PURPORT
Lord Buddha, a powerful incarnation of the Personality of Godhead, appeared in the province of Gayā (Bihar) as the son of Añjana, and he preached his own conception of nonviolence and deprecated even the animal sacrifices sanctioned in the Vedas. At the time when Lord Buddha appeared, the people in general were atheistic and preferred animal flesh to anything else. On the plea of Vedic sacrifice, every place was practically turned into a slaughterhouse, and animal killing was indulged in unrestrictedly.

Lord Buddha preached nonviolence, taking pity on the poor animals. He preached that he did not believe in the tenets of the Vedas and stressed the adverse psychological effects incurred by animal killing. Less intelligent men of the age of Kali, who had no faith in God, followed his principle, and for the time being they were trained in moral discipline and nonviolence, the preliminary steps for proceeding further on the path of God realization. He deluded the atheists because such atheists who followed his principles did not believe in God, but they kept their absolute faith in Lord Buddha, who himself was the incarnation of God. Thus the faithless people were made to believe in God in the form of Lord Buddha. That was the mercy of Lord Buddha: he made the faithless faithful to him.

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Lord Sri Krishna

Lord Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as described by the Vedas. The Vedas are the eternal truths of life originating in India that have been passed down from time immemorial originally through oral reception, and more recently through written scripture in the Sanskrit language. Though there are many different religions in the world each having their own name for God, God is still one. There isn’t one God for Hindus and another for Christians and Jews.

Even in the Vedic literatures, God has many names and many different incarnations and expansions. Lord Krishna is the original of all other expansions. In Sanskrit, the word Krishna means “all-attractive.” Krishna is the most beautiful, powerful, famous, wealthy, wise and renounced. Since He possesses all these opulences at the same time and in full, He is defined as the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

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108 Imporant Slokas from the 1972 Bhagavad-gita As It Is

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The Hare Krishna Cookbook

Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition “Online”

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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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