Siva Ratri

bangalore_shiva

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

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

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

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Srila Haridasa Thakura’s Disappearance Day

haridas_thakur

Today we honor Srila Haridasa Thakura’s Disappearance Day. We are posting the entire chapter from the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta entitled “The Passing of Haridasa Takura”

“After the passing away of Haridasa Ṭhakura, the Lord Himself took his body on His lap and danced with it in great ecstasy.” (Caitanya-caritamrta Adi 10.46)

“The transcendental qualities of Haridasa Ṭhakura are innumerable and unfathomable. One may describe a portion of them, but to count them all is impossible.” (Caitanya-caritamrta Antya 3.95)

Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Antya-līlā, Chapter 11

The Passing of Haridāsa Ṭhākura

The summary of the chapter is given by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura in his Amṛta-pravāha-bhāṣya as follows. In this chapter, Brahma Haridāsa Ṭhākura gave up his body with the consent of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and the Lord Himself personally performed the funeral ceremony and carried the body to the sea. He personally entombed the body, covered it with sand, and erected a platform on the site. After taking bath in the sea, He personally begged prasāda of Jagannātha from shopkeepers and distributed prasāda to the assembled devotees.

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Saints and Swindlers

Bury Place Room Conversation Photo by Gurudas

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Saints and Swindlers
London Times Interview with Srila Prabhupada
Excerpted from the Science of Self Realization

Every day the number of people interested in practicing yoga and meditation increases by the thousands. Unfortunately, a person looking for a suitable guide is likely to encounter a bewildering array of magicians, self-styled gurus, and self-proclaimed gods. In an interview with the London Times, Śrīla Prabhupāda explains how a sincere seeker can tell the difference between a counterfeit and genuine spiritual guide.

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The Culmination of Yoga Practices

Syamasundara

“Of all yogis, he who abides in Me with great faith is the highest of all.”

It is by great fortune that one comes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness on the path of bhakti-yoga to become well situated according to the Vedic direction. The ideal yogī concentrates his attention on Kṛṣṇa, who is called Śyāmasundara, who is as beautifully colored as a cloud, whose lotus-like face is as effulgent as the sun, whose dress is brilliant with jewels and whose body is flower garlanded. Illuminating all sides is His gorgeous luster, which is called the brahmajyoti. He incarnates in different forms such as Rāma, Nṛsiṁha, Varāha and Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and He descends like a human being, as the son of Mother Yaśodā, and He is known as Kṛṣṇa, Govinda and Vāsudeva. He is the perfect child, husband, friend and master, and He is full with all opulences and transcendental qualities. If one remains fully conscious of these features of the Lord, he is called the highest yogī. (from purport to Bg. 6.47)

This is more or less a continuation of yesterdays post Freedom From All Miseries as it is the last verse in the Chapter 6, entitled; “Sankhya-yoga”. This is one of the very best verses and purports in the Bhagavad-gita for study if one is an aspiring yogi…

…The culmination of all kinds of yoga practices lies in bhakti-yoga. All other yogas are but means to come to the point of bhakti in bhakti-yoga. Yoga actually means bhakti-yoga; all other yogas are progressions toward the destination of bhakti-yoga. From the beginning of karma-yoga to the end of bhakti-yoga is a long way to self-realization. Karma-yoga, without fruitive results, is the beginning of this path. When karma-yoga increases in knowledge and renunciation, the stage is called jñāna-yoga. When jñāna-yoga increases in meditation on the Supersoul by different physical processes, and the mind is on Him, it is called aṣṭāṅga-yoga. And, when one surpasses the aṣṭāṅga-yoga and comes to the point of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Kṛṣṇa, it is called bhakti-yoga, the culmination. Factually, bhakti-yoga is the ultimate goal, but to analyze bhakti-yoga minutely one has to understand these other yogas. The yogī who is progressive is therefore on the true path of eternal good fortune. (from purport to Bg. 6.47)

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Freedom From All Miseries

sun-salutation1

This morning my body was stiff when I woke from sleep, as I have been working rather hard lately, and I thought that I would do my morning Yoga out on the deck as the Sun was rising. Going through all the different asanas, my mind was thinking about the actual meaning of the word yoga (union with God). So after my shower I opened the Bhagavad-gita As It Is and read chapter six entitled “Sankhya-yoga”.

I guess you could say I felt some pleasure while performing my hatha-yoga asanas, as the stiffness left my body and blood circulation returned, and then from my reading I could understand that this was understandable and acceptable.

…There is an acceptance of transcendental pleasure in the Patañjali system, but the monists do not accept this transcendental pleasure out of fear of jeopardizing the theory of oneness. The duality of knowledge and knower is not accepted by the nondualist, but in this verse transcendental pleasure—realized through transcendental senses—is accepted. And this is corroborated by the Patañjali Muni, the famous exponent of the yoga system. The great sage declares in his Yoga-sūtras: puruṣārtha-śūnyānāṁ guṇānāṁ pratiprasavaḥ kaivalyaṁ svarūpa-pratiṣṭhā vā citi-śaktir iti.

This citi-śakti, or internal potency, is transcendental. Puruṣārtha means material religiosity, economic development, sense gratification and, at the end, the attempt to become one with the Supreme. This “oneness with the Supreme” is called kaivalyam by the monist. But according to Patañjali, this kaivalyam is an internal, or transcendental, potency by which the living entity becomes aware of his constitutional position. In the words of Lord Caitanya, this state of affairs is called ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam, or clearance of the impure mirror of the mind. This “clearance” is actually liberation, or bhava-mahādāvāgni-nirvāpaṇam. The theory of nirvāṇa—also preliminary—corresponds with this principle. In the Bhāgavatam this is called svarūpeṇa vyavasthitiḥ. The Bhagavad-gītā also confirms this situation in this verse. (from purport to Bg. 6.20-23)

Maybe I just use the philosophy to justify my enjoyment of yoga-asanas, or perhaps controlling the mind, body and senses, is the preliminary path leading to liberation, freedom from all miseries.

As a lamp in a windless place does not waver, so the transcendentalist, whose mind is controlled, remains always steady in his meditation on the transcendent Self. (Bg. 6.19)

Patanjali_Yoga

The stage of perfection is called trance, or samādhi, when one’s mind is completely restrained from material mental activities by practice of yoga. This is characterized by one’s ability to see the self by the pure mind and to relish and rejoice in the self. In that joyous state, one is situated in boundless transcendental happiness and enjoys himself through transcendental senses. Established thus, one never departs from the truth, and upon gaining this he thinks there is no greater gain. Being situated in such a position, one is never shaken, even in the midst of greatest difficulty. This indeed is actual freedom from all miseries arising from material contact.
(Bg. 6.20-23)

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The Practice of Yoga

The gopis remembered their pastimes with Krishna p208

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This morning as I was making a breakfast offering, and was offering a nice glass of fresh milk, my mind just seemed to go to this picture of Krsna milking a cow. And I thought ‘milk is such a wonderful food, miraculous really. One can live on milk, and as small children milk is all that is required, and as we develop as yogis, we can subsist on the gifts of God, such as fruits, grains and milk, without a need for killing.

The above picture is one of my very favorites from the Krsna Book, because it is so simple and sweet, and there is a noticeable absence of technology.

The following are two verses from the Bhagavad-gita As It Is describing the healthy diet, and activities of the yogi.

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Lord Kapila Takes Charge of His Mother, Devahūti

Lord Kapila

The following is chapter five in our series on the Teaching of Lord Kapila entitled “Lord Kapila Takes Charge of His Mother, Devahūti”. This chapter contains the timeless instructions on receiving spiritual knowledge. We are fortunate in this age to have the books of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada to guide us. Human knowledge was originally preserved through oral tradition, but today we have this knowledge preserved in the books of His Divine Grace.

Teachings of Lord Kapila, the Son of Devahūti
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter Five

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The Pleasure (ānanda) Potency of the Lord

Sharma-village-cows-krishna-gopies-gopas-gopas-cowherd-men

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This morning as I was finishing the Tenth Chapter of the Second Canto, the following verse and purport jumped out at me from the pages. And I realized for the thousandth time, what great good fortune we have in that we can hear directly from the pure devotee of the Lord, about the eternal pastimes of the Lord, through the pages of the Srimad Bhagavatam.

Of the three types of Transcendentalist’s, namely the jñānī, the yogī and the bhakta, or the impersonalist, the meditator and the devotee. It is only the devotee who can factually know the Lord as He is and thus be trained in the bona fide service of the Lord and be allowed to enter into the direct association of the Lord in so many capacities. The highest glorious association with the Lord is made possible in the planet of Goloka Vṛndāvana, where Lord Kṛṣṇa enjoys Himself with the gopīs and His favorite animals, the surabhi cows.

… The impersonalist is satisfied simply by understanding the all-pervasive influence of the Lord. This is called Brahman realization. Greater than the impersonalist is the mystic who sees the Lord situated in his heart as Paramātmā, the partial representation of the Lord. But there are pure devotees who take part in the direct pleasure (ānanda) potency of the Lord by factual reciprocation of loving service. The Lord in His abode called the Vaikuṇṭha planets, which are eternal manifestations, always remains with His associates and enjoys transcendental loving services by His pure devotees in different transcendental humors.

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The Path of Eternal Good Fortune

Yogi

And of all yogīs, he who always abides in Me with great faith, worshiping Me in transcendental loving service, is most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all.

…The culmination of all kinds of yoga practices lies in bhakti-yoga. All other yogas are but means to come to the point of bhakti in bhakti-yoga. Yoga actually means bhakti-yoga; all other yogas are progressions toward the destination of bhakti-yoga. From the beginning of karma-yoga to the end of bhakti-yoga is a long way to self-realization. Karma-yoga, without fruitive results, is the beginning of this path. When karma-yoga increases in knowledge and renunciation, the stage is called jñāna-yoga. When jñāna-yoga increases in meditation on the Supersoul by different physical processes, and the mind is on Him, it is called aṣṭāṅga-yoga. And, when one surpasses the aṣṭāṅga-yoga and comes to the point of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Kṛṣṇa, it is called bhakti-yoga, the culmination. Factually, bhakti-yoga is the ultimate goal, but to analyze bhakti-yoga minutely one has to understand these other yogas. The yogī who is progressive is therefore on the true path of eternal good fortune. (from purport to Bhagavad-gita 6.47)

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Kṛṣṇa Conscious Yogī (Part II)

Krishna Arjuna

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A true yogī observes Me in all beings, and also sees every being in Me. Indeed, the self-realized man sees Me everywhere. (Bg. 6.29)

For one who sees Me everywhere and sees everything in Me, I am never lost, nor is he ever lost to Me. (Bg. 6.30)

…A person in Kṛṣṇa consciousness certainly sees Lord Kṛṣṇa everywhere, and he sees everything in Kṛṣṇa…Nothing can exist without Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa is the Lord of everything—this is the basic principle of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

…Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the development of love of Kṛṣṇa—a position transcendental even to material liberation. (from purport to Bg.6.30)

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition
By His Divine Grace A.;C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 6, Text 29-30

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Kṛṣṇa Consciousness Yoga

Srila Prabhupada on Vyasasana

This morning my reading focused on the end of the 6th and beginning of the 7th chapters of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is. Wherein Srila Prabhupada describes…

…The culmination of all kinds of yoga practices lies in bhakti-yoga. All other yogas are but means to come to the point of bhakti in bhakti-yoga. Yoga actually means bhakti-yoga; all other yogas are progressions toward the destination of bhakti-yoga.

…Therefore, to become Kṛṣṇa conscious is the highest stage of yoga.

…Different types of yoga are only steppingstones on the path of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. One who takes directly to Kṛṣṇa consciousness automatically knows about brahmajyoti and Paramātmā in full. By practice of Kṛṣṇa consciousness yoga, one can know everything in full—namely the Absolute Truth, the living entities, the material nature, and their manifestations with paraphernalia.

In these two important verses (Bg 6.47 & 7.1) there is much good information about yoga, the different types of yoga, yoga practices, and the ultimate goal of yoga. Very informative!

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Devotional Service

Krishna riding on Garuda  Plate 33

In this 12th chapter of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is entitled Devotional Service, the path of liberation is explained…

For one who worships Me, giving up all his activities unto Me and being devoted to Me without deviation, engaged in devotional service and always meditating upon Me, who has fixed his mind upon Me, O son of Pṛthā, for him I am the swift deliverer from the ocean of birth and death.

Also a nice description of the qualities of a devotee are given…

One who is not envious but who is a kind friend to all living entities, who does not think himself a proprietor, who is free from false ego and equal both in happiness and distress, who is always satisfied and engaged in devotional service with determination and whose mind and intelligence are in agreement with Me—he is very dear to Me.

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Sāṅkhya-yoga

Plate 21

A yogī is greater than the ascetic, greater than the empiricist and greater than the fruitive worker. Therefore, O Arjuna, in all circumstances, be a yogī.

And of all yogīs, he who always abides in Me with great faith, worshiping Me in transcendental loving service, is most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all.

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

Sāṅkhya-yoga More

Bhakti-yoga; The Culmination of Yoga

If one is fortunate enough to come to the point of bhakti-yoga, it is to be understood that he has surpassed all the other yogas. Therefore, to become Kṛṣṇa conscious is the highest stage of yoga, just as, when we speak of Himalayan, we refer to the world’s highest mountains, of which the highest peak, Mount Everest, is considered to be the culmination.

The culmination of all kinds of yoga practices lies in bhakti-yoga. All other yogas are but means to come to the point of bhakti in bhakti-yoga. Yoga actually means bhakti-yoga; all other yogas are progressions toward the destination of bhakti-yoga. From the beginning of karma-yoga to the end of bhakti-yoga is a long way to self-realization. Karma-yoga, without fruitive results, is the beginning of this path. When karma-yoga increases in knowledge and renunciation, the stage is called jñāna-yoga. When jñāna-yoga increases in meditation on the Supersoul by different physical processes, and the mind is on Him, it is called aṣṭāṅga-yoga. And, when one surpasses the aṣṭāṅga-yoga and comes to the point of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Kṛṣṇa, it is called bhakti-yoga, the culmination. Factually, bhakti-yoga is the ultimate goal, but to analyze bhakti-yoga minutely one has to understand these other yogas. The yogī who is progressive is therefore on the true path of eternal good fortune.

It is by great fortune that one comes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness on the path of bhakti-yoga to become well situated according to the Vedic direction. The ideal yogī concentrates his attention on Kṛṣṇa, who is called Śyāmasundara, who is as beautifully colored as a cloud, whose lotus-like face is as effulgent as the sun, whose dress is brilliant with jewels and whose body is flower garlanded. Illuminating all sides is His gorgeous luster, which is called the brahmajyoti. He incarnates in different forms such as Rāma, Nṛsiṁha, Varāha and Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and He descends like a human being, as the son of Mother Yaśodā, and He is known as Kṛṣṇa, Govinda and Vāsudeva. He is the perfect child, husband, friend and master, and He is full with all opulences and transcendental qualities. If one remains fully conscious of these features of the Lord, he is called the highest yogī.

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The Highest Yogi

It is by great fortune that one comes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness on the path of bhakti-yoga to become well situated according to the Vedic direction. The ideal yogī concentrates his attention on Kṛṣṇa, who is called Śyāmasundara, who is as beautifully colored as a cloud, whose lotus-like face is as effulgent as the sun, whose dress is brilliant with jewels and whose body is flower garlanded. Illuminating all sides is His gorgeous luster, which is called the brahmajyoti. He incarnates in different forms such as Rāma, Nṛsiṁha, Varāha and Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and He descends like a human being, as the son of Mother Yaśodā, and He is known as Kṛṣṇa, Govinda and Vāsudeva. He is the perfect child, husband, friend and master, and He is full with all opulences and transcendental qualities. If one remains fully conscious of these features of the Lord, he is called the highest yogī.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is – Macmillan 1972 Edition
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 6, Text 47

yoginām api sarveṣāṁ
mad-gatenāntar-ātmanā
śraddhāvān bhajate yo māṁ
sa me yuktatamo mataḥ

yoginām—of all yogīs; api—also; sarveṣām—all types of; mat-gatena—abiding in Me; antaḥ-ātmanā—always thinking of Me within; śraddhāvān—in full faith; bhajate—renders transcendental loving service; yaḥ—one who; mām—Me (the Supreme Lord); saḥ—he; me—Mine; yuktatamaḥ—the greatest yogī; mataḥ—is considered.

Translation
And of all yogīs, he who always abides in Me with great faith, worshiping Me in transcendental loving service, is most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all.

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Freedom in Krsna

Freedom in Krsna
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Re-printed from Back to Godhead Magazine 1973, Vol. 1, No. 48

vande rupa-sanatanau raghuyugau sri-jiva-gopalakau.

We are following in the footsteps of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu in order to understand Krsna consciousness. Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is said in Sri Isopanisad to be very far away from us yet at the same time to be very near. Isvara, the supreme controller, is situated in everyone’s heart, not only in the hearts of human beings, but also within the beasts, birds, aquatics, and even within the atoms themselves. We simply have not realized Him. Actually anyone, however, can find Krsna within his heart.

The process of finding Krsna is called yoga. There are many types of yoga. In the Western countries people are generally familiar with the process of hatha-yoga. This is an approved method and is described in the Sixth Chapter of Bhagavad-gita. At the present moment, however, people are short-lived, they are not very fortunate, and they are always disturbed by many external affairs, and therefore it is not possible to properly execute this hatha-yoga. Even five thousand years ago when Krsna advised His friend Arjuna to accept the hatha-yoga process, Arjuna said, “Krsna, this practice is impossible.” He further said that to control the mind is as difficult as to control the wind. The mind flickers from one engagement to another and changes so swiftly that it is very difficult to control it in this age. Therefore Arjuna said that for him this process of hatha-yoga was not possible.

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The Mystic Yogī


…The real purpose of yogic performances is to control the mind and the senses. In other words, one cannot attain the mercy and benediction of the Supreme Lord until one is able to control the mind and the senses. This is actually possible when one fully engages in Kṛṣṇa consciousness…

Srimad-Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Canto 3: “The Status Quo”
SB 3.15: Description of the Kingdom of God

There is no defeat in this material world for persons who control the mind and senses by controlling the breathing process and who are therefore experienced, mature mystics. This is because by such perfection in yoga they have attained your mercy.

Purport

The purpose of yogic performances is explained here. It is said that an experienced mystic attains full control of the senses and the mind by controlling the breathing process. Therefore, controlling the breathing process is not the ultimate aim of yoga. The real purpose of yogic performances is to control the mind and the senses. Anyone who has such control is to be understood to be an experienced, mature mystic yogī. It is indicated herein that a yogī who has control over the mind and senses has the actual benediction of the Lord, and he has no fear. In other words, one cannot attain the mercy and benediction of the Supreme Lord until one is able to control the mind and the senses. This is actually possible when one fully engages in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. A person whose senses and mind are always engaged in the transcendental service of the Lord has no possibility of engaging in material activities. The devotees of the Lord are not defeated anywhere in the universe. It is stated, nārāyaṇa-parāḥ sarve: one who is nārāyaṇa-para, or a devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is not afraid anywhere, whether he is sent to hell or promoted to heaven (Bhāg. 6.17.28).

Pasted from; PrabhupadaBooks.com

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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