The Essence of All Topics — The Topics of the Lord

Vidura and Maitreya

I have been reading, with rapt attention, from Volume One, of the Third Canto, of Srimad Bhagavatam, by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, each morning. As I was reading this morning the words “…all-inclusive welfare service for the entire human society”, just kinda jumped out at me, as did the words “…greatest welfare service for the world”. I am reminded of the importance of hearing Srimad Bhagavatam every day, and of our good fortune to be able to partake in this transcendental conversation (kṛṣṇa-kathā). There are many topics for different persons in different modes of material nature, but the essential topics are those in relationship with the Supreme Lord.

Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: Vidura, the best amongst the Kuru dynasty, who was perfect in devotional service to the Lord, thus reached the source of the celestial Ganges River [Hardwar], where Maitreya, the great, fathomless learned sage of the world, was seated. Vidura, who was perfect in gentleness and satisfied in transcendence, inquired from him. (SB 3.5.1)

The great sage Maitreya Muni is described here as bhagavān because he surpassed all ordinary human beings in learning and experience. Thus his selection of the greatest welfare service for the world is considered authoritative. The all-inclusive welfare service for the entire human society is devotional service to the Lord, and, as requested by Vidura, the sage described the same very appropriately. (purport 3.5.17)

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam: Canto 3: “The Status Quo”
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Canto Three, Chapter Five, Text 1-17

Vidura’s Talks with Maitreya

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Devotion – The Highest Yoga

Prabhupada1

Devotion – The Highest Yoga
A lecture given by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
1968

The word yoga has become synonymous in Western vernacular with a lithe figure, radiant health, peace of mind, and other material benefits. But the original meaning of the Sanskrit term carries a different, higher import: linking with the Supreme. In this lecture from 1968, Srila Prabhupada distinguishes the true goal of yoga—loving devotion to the Supreme Lord—from the physical and psychological elements of yoga practice.

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Appearance Day of Oṁ Viṣṇupāda Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Mahārāja

Srila Bhaktivinoda holding young Bhaktisiddhanta

Today marks the appearance day of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Maharaja, the spiritual master of our Srila Prabhupada. We honor his appearance day with a half day fast, and this short post.

Or he takes his birth in a family of transcendentalists who are surely great in wisdom. Verily, such a birth is rare in this world.
(Bhagavad-gita As It Is 6.42)

Birth in a family of yogīs or transcendentalists—those with great wisdom—is praised herein because the child born in such a family receives spiritual impetus from the very beginning of his life. It is especially the case in the ācārya or gosvāmī families. Such families are very learned and devoted by tradition and training, and thus they become spiritual masters. (From purport)

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Mother Yaśodā Binds Lord Kṛṣṇa

Mother Yasoda & Krishna1

In celebration of the month of Damodara (Kartika) we are focusing our attention on the pastimes of Krishna in Vrndavan. Especially Krishna’s childhood pastimes. So with this in mind we are posting the entire 9th chapter from the Tenth Canto of Srila Prabhupada’s Srimad Bhagavatam entitled Mother Yaśodā Binds Lord Kṛṣṇa.

When caught by mother Yaśodā, Kṛṣṇa became more and more afraid and admitted to being an offender. As she looked upon Him, she saw that He was crying, His tears mixing with the black ointment around His eyes, and as He rubbed His eyes with His hands, He smeared the ointment all over His face. Mother Yaśodā, catching her beautiful son by the hand, mildly began to chastise Him. (SB 10.9.11)

Yogīs, mystics, want to catch Kṛṣṇa as Paramātmā, and with great austerities and penances they try to approach Him, yet they cannot. Here we see, however, that Kṛṣṇa is going to be caught by Yaśodā and is running away in fear. This illustrates the difference between the bhakta and the yogī. Yogīs cannot reach Kṛṣṇa, but for pure devotees like mother Yaśodā, Kṛṣṇa is already caught. (from purport to SB 10.9.9)

Srimad-Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Tenth Canto, Chapter 9

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Elevation at Death

Back to Godhead - Volume 10, Number 09 - 1975

*click on image to enlarge

This is a continuation (chapter 2) from the small book, “Beyond Birth and Death”, by Srila Prabhupada. Personally, I like these small books, as so much of the philosophy of Krishna Consciousness is contained in them, in a very readable format. For a Free pdf download of entire book; follow link at bottom of post. Hare Krishna!

Beyond Birth and Death
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter Two

Elevation at Death

There are different kinds of transcendentalists who are called yogīs—haṭha-yogīs, jñāna-yogīs, dhyāna-yogīs, and bhakti-yogīs—and all of them are eligible to be transferred to the spiritual world. The word yoga means “to link up,” and the yoga systems are meant to enable us to link with the transcendental world. As mentioned in the previous chapter, originally we are all connected to the Supreme Lord, but now we have been affected by material contamination. The process is that we have to return to the spiritual world, and that process of linking up is called yoga. Another meaning of the word yoga is “plus.” At the present moment we are minus God, or minus the Supreme. When we add Kṛṣṇa—or God—to our lives, this human form of life becomes perfect.

At the time of death we have to finish that process of perfection. During our lifetime we have to practice the method of approaching that perfection so that at the time of death, when we have to give up this material body, that perfection can be realized.

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The Gopīs Attracted by the Flute

The Gopis Attracted by the Flute

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…Kṛṣṇa was very expert in playing the flute, and the gopīs were captivated by the sound vibration, which was not only attractive to them, but to all living creatures who heard it. One of the gopīs told her friends, “The highest perfection of the eyes is to see Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma entering the forest and playing Their flutes and tending the cows with Their friends.”

Persons who are constantly engaged in the transcendental meditation of seeing Kṛṣṇa, internally and externally, by thinking of Him playing the flute and entering the Vṛndāvana forest, have really attained the perfection of samādhi. Samādhi (trance) means absorption of all the activities of the senses on a particular object, and the gopīs indicate that the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa are the perfection of all meditation and samādhi. It is also confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā that anyone who is always absorbed in the thought of Kṛṣṇa is the topmost of all yogīs.

Kṛṣṇa, The Supreme Personality of Godhead 1970 Edition
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Vol. 1, Chapter 21

The Gopīs Attracted by the Flute

Kṛṣṇa was very pleased with the atmosphere of the forest where flowers bloomed and bees and drones hummed very jubilantly. While the birds, trees and branches were all looking very happy, Kṛṣṇa, tending the cows, accompanied by Śrī Balarāma and the cowherd boys, began to vibrate His transcendental flute. After hearing the vibration of the flute of Kṛṣṇa, the gopīs in Vṛndāvana remembered Him and began to talk amongst themselves about how nicely Kṛṣṇa was playing His flute. When the gopīs were describing the sweet vibration of Kṛṣṇa’s flute, they also remembered their pastimes with Him; thus their minds became disturbed, and they were unable to describe completely the beautiful vibrations. While discussing the transcendental vibration, they remembered also how Kṛṣṇa dressed, decorated with a peacock feather on His head, just like a dancing actor, and with blue flowers pushed over His ear. His garment glowed yellow-gold, and He was garlanded with a vaijayantī necklace. Dressed in such an attractive way, Kṛṣṇa filled up the holes of His flute with the nectar emanating from His lips. So they remembered Him, entering the forest of Vṛndāvana, which is always glorified by the footprints of Kṛṣṇa and His companions.

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Beyond Samsara

samsara

Beyond Saṁsāra

As I was reading from the Srimad Bhagavatam this morning about the passing of Bhīṣmadeva it was being described how “The perfect yogīs or mystics can leave the material body at their own sweet will at a suitable time and go to a suitable planet desired by them.” And how it is possiable to go beyond Saṁsāra, and go back to Godhead without any doubt.

…In the momentous hour of leaving his material body, Bhīṣmadeva set the glorious example concerning the important function of the human form of life. The subject matter which attracts the dying man becomes the beginning of his next life. Therefore, if one is absorbed in thoughts of the Supreme Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, he is sure to go back to Godhead without any doubt.

And what is Samsara?

Saṁsāra means material existence. That is called saṁsāra. Bhūtvā bhūtvā pralīyate (BG 8.19). You take your birth once in some form of body. You live for some time. Then you have to give up this body. Then you have to accept another body. Then again live for some time. Then give up that body. Again accept another body. In this way, it is going on. That is called saṁsāra, rotating within this material world. (Lecture on Gurvastakam at Upsala University by His Divine Grace -Stockholm, September 9, 1973)

The saṁsāra means repetition of different bodies. That is called saṁsāra. (Lecture on SB 1.2.4 -Rome, May 28, 1974)

Saṁsāra means this material entanglement. This is called saṁsāra.
(Lecture on CC Madhya-lila 25.40-50 – San Francisco, January 24, 1967)

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Kumbh Mela 2013

Kumbh Mela 2013 in Allahabad

Kumbh Mela 2013

The World’s Biggest Religious Festival

The Kumbh Mela, believed to be the largest religious gathering on earth is held every 12 years on the banks of the ‘Sangam’- the confluence of the holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati. The Mela alternates between Nasik, Allahabad, Ujjain and Haridwar every three years. The one celebrated at the Holy Sangam in Allahabad is the largest and holiest of them.

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Bhisma’s Passing Away

Today we observe the Disappearance of Bhismadeva or “Bhismastami” with these verses from the Srimad Bhagavatam describing this monumental event.

The perfect yogīs or mystics can leave the material body at their own sweet will…

In the momentous hour of leaving his material body, Bhīṣmadeva set the glorious example concerning the important function of the human form of life. The subject matter which attracts the dying man becomes the beginning of his next life. Therefore, if one is absorbed in thoughts of the Supreme Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, he is sure to go back to Godhead without any doubt. This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā (8.5-15):

Srimad Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Canto 1, Chapter 9, Text 29-30
Bhisma’s Passing Away

dharmaṁ pravadatas tasya
sa kālaḥ pratyupasthitaḥ
yo yoginaś chanda-mṛtyor
vāñchitas tūttarāyaṇaḥ

dharmam—occupational duties; pravadataḥ—while describing; tasya—his; saḥ—that; kālaḥ—time; pratyupasthitaḥ—exactly appeared; yaḥ—that is; yoginaḥ—for the mystics; chanda-mṛtyoḥ—of one who dies according to one’s own selection of time; vāñchitaḥ—is desired by; tu—but; uttarāyaṇaḥ—the period when the sun runs on the northern horizon.

While Bhīṣmadeva was describing occupational duties, the sun’s course ran into the northern hemisphere. This period is desired by mystics who die at their will.

The perfect yogīs or mystics can leave the material body at their own sweet will at a suitable time and go to a suitable planet desired by them. In the Bhagavad-gītā (8.24) it is said that self-realized souls who have exactly identified themselves with the interest of the Supreme Lord can generally leave the material body during the time of the fire-god’s effulgence and when the sun is in the northern horizon, and thus achieve the transcendental sky. In the Vedas these times are considered auspicious for quitting the body, and they are taken advantage of by the expert mystics who have perfected the system. Perfection of yoga means attainment of such supermental states as to be able to leave the material body as desired. Yogīs can also reach any planet within no time without a material vehicle. The yogīs can reach the highest planetary system within a very short time, and this is impossible for the materialist. Even attempting to reach the highest planet will take millions of years at a speed of millions of miles per hour. This is a different science, and Bhīṣmadeva knew well how to utilize it. He was just waiting for the suitable moment to quit his material body, and the golden opportunity arrived when he was instructing his noble grandsons, the Pāṇḍavas. He thus prepared himself to quit his body before the exalted Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the pious Pāṇḍavas and the great sages headed by Bhagavān Vyāsa, etc., all great souls.

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

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