Meditation and the Self Within

The Science of Self Realization
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

Meditation and the Self Within

excerpted from Chapter 5

Can meditation solve our everyday problems? Is there life after death? Can drugs help us achieve self-realization? During a visit to South Africa in 1976, Śrīla Prabhupāda answered these and other questions for interviewer Bill Faill of the Durban Natal Mercury.

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa is a name for God that means “all-attractive.” Unless one is all-attractive he cannot be God. So Kṛṣṇa consciousness means God consciousness. All of us are small particles of God, equal in quality with Him. Our position as living entities is like that of a small particle of gold in relation to a large quantity of gold.

Mr. Faill: Are we something like sparks in a fire?

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. Both the fire and the spark are fire, but one is big, and the other is very small. Unlike the relationship between the spark and the fire, however, our relationship with God is eternal, although at the present moment we have forgotten that relationship due to contact with the material energy. We are facing so many problems only because of this forgetfulness. If we can revive our original God consciousness, then we shall become happy. This is the sum and substance of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. It is the best process by which to revive our original God consciousness. There are different processes of self-realization, but in the present age of Kali, people are very fallen, and they require the simple process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Now they are thinking that so-called material advancement is the solution to their problems, but this is not a fact. The real solution is to get out of the material condition entirely by becoming Kṛṣṇa conscious. Because God is eternal, we are also eternal, but in the material condition we are thinking, “I am this body,” and therefore we must repeatedly change from body to body. This is due to ignorance. Actually we are not our bodies but spiritual sparks, parts and parcels of God.

Mr. Faill: Then the body is just like a vehicle for the soul?

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Process of Surrender

This morning I was going through some files and came across this important verse from the Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila Chapter 22, text 100 describing the process of surrender. I always liked this verse because it describes the simple process of surrender; namely accepting things favorable to devotional service, rejecting things that are unfavorable to devotional service, and developing the faith that Krishna will give protection.

’The six divisions of surrender are the acceptance of those things favorable to devotional service, the rejection of unfavorable things, the conviction that Kṛṣṇa will give protection, the acceptance of the Lord as one’s guardian or master, full self-surrender and humility.

One who is fully surrendered is qualified with the six following characteristics. (1) The devotee has to accept everything that is favorable for the rendering of transcendental loving service to the Lord. (2) He must reject everything unfavorable to the Lord’s service. This is also called renunciation. (3) A devotee must be firmly convinced that Kṛṣṇa will give him protection. No one else can actually give one protection, and being firmly convinced of this is called faith. (from purport)

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Jaya Radha-Madhava

I love all the “Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas“, particularly the ones written by Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Śrīla Prabhupāda was also very fond of this song and sang it just before his lectures. We share it with you today.

Jaya Rādhā-Mādhava
by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura

(jaya) rādhā-mādhava (jaya) kuñja-bihārī
(jaya) gopī-jana-vallabha (jaya) giri-vara-dhārī
(jaya) jaśodā-nandana, (jaya) braja-jana-rañjana,
(jaya) jāmuna-tīra-vana-cārī

Kṛṣṇa is the lover of Rādhā. He displays many amorous pastimes in the groves of Vṛndāvana, He is the lover of the cowherd maidens of Vraja, the holder of the great hill named Govardhana, the beloved son of mother Yaśodā, the delighter of the inhabitants of Vraja, and He wanders in the forests along the banks of the River Yamunā.

Śrīla Prabhupāda was very fond of this song and sang it just before his lectures. In Allahabad and Gorakhpur Śrīla Prabhupāda fell into a trance after singing the first two lines, and after some time he came back into external consciousness and said, “Now just chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.” Śrīla Prabhupāda said that this song is “a picture of Vṛndāvana. Everything is there—Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, Vṛndāvana, Govardhana, Yaśodā, and all the cowherd boys.

Appearance Day of Lord Nrsimadeva

Prahlāda Mahārāja loudly chanted the holy name of Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva. May Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva, roaring for His devotee Prahlāda Mahārāja, protect us from all fear of dangers created by stalwart leaders in all directions through poison, weapons, water, fire, air and so on. May the Lord cover their influence by His own transcendental influence. May Nṛsiṁhadeva protect us in all directions and in all corners, above, below, within and without.

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Om Namo Bhagavate Narasimhaya

In honor of the appearance day of Lord Nrsimha, we are posting a beautiful verse and purport from the Srimad Bhagavatam 5.18.8 glorifying the Lord and his devotees.

Om Namo Bhagavate Narasimhaya

oṁ namo bhagavate narasiṁhāya namas tejas-tejase āvir-āvirbhava
vajra-nakha vajra-daṁṣṭra karmāśayān randhaya randhaya tamo grasa
grasa oṁ svāhā; abhayam abhayam ātmani bhūyiṣṭhā oṁ kṣraum

TRANSLATION

I offer my respectful obeisances unto Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva, the source of all power. O my Lord who possesses nails and teeth just like thunderbolts, kindly vanquish our demonlike desires for fruitive activity in this material world. Please appear in our hearts and drive away our ignorance so that by Your mercy we may become fearless in the struggle for existence in this material world.

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Disappearance Day of Jayananda das Brahmacari

Today marks the disappearance day of my dear friend and Godbrother, Jayananda das. Srila Prabhupada wanted us to honor his memory. In a letter he wrote shortly after Jayananda’s passing, Srila wrote:

    Letter: Ramesvara  

     77-05-11.Ram       318337/530501

   Jayananda’s death is glorious. It is very good that he had stated, what is the use of such a useless body, better to give it up. He has left his body very wonderfully, and he has been transferred to Vaikuntha. I have already sent a condolence letter for publication in Back To Godhead. Everyone should follow the example of Jayananda. I am very proud that I had such a nice disciple.  If possible Jayananda’s picture should be hung in the ratha of Lord Jagannatha, and in all of our temples a day may be set aside for holding a festival in his honor, just as we do on the disappearance day of the other great Vaisnavas.

We should remember him and his service to Srila Prabhupada. He was an inspiration to all he met.

His Grace Pankajanghri Prabhu has Departed

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of His Grace Pankajanghri Prabhu, the beloved Nrsimhadeva pujari, and twin brother of His Grace Jananivasa Prabhu. He died of Covid-19 complications in Mayapur, India.

HG Pankajanghri Prabhu has Departed

By the GBC Executive Committee

Dear Devotees,

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

HG Pankajanghri Prabhu, ISKCON’s most beloved Nrsimhadeva pujari, has departed from this world in Sri Dham Mayapur.

Having joined ISKON in the footsteps of his twin brother, HG Jananivasa Prabhu, in 1973, the two brothers dedicated their lives to serving the Lordships of ISKCON’s International Headquarters in Lord Caitanya’s divine abode of Sri Mayapur.

Pankajanghri Prabhu served not only the Lord, but devotees worldwide, who would turn to him in their time of need, begging him to offer their hearts’ prayers at Lord Nrsimhadeva’s feet. Every devotee who has visited Mayapur Dham will hold fondly the image of Pankajanghri Prabhu standing on Nrsimhadeva’s altar, offering prayers and puja on behalf of the devotees, and in turn, offering the Lord’s mahaprasadam to the devotees.

Not many of us, however, were aware that in the background, Pankajanghri Prabhu was also managing the pujari department for many years, ensuring that the service to Their Lordships continues efficiently while expanding and deepening exponentially. We are all indebted to Pankajanghri Prabhu for the great inspiration we derive from the beautiful darshans and festivals that can be experienced only in Sri Dham Mayapur.

Pankajanghri Prabhu also graced the devotees with weekly classes on Srimad-Bhagavatam and Caitanya-caritamrita. He was a founding board member and inspiration for Mayapur Academy, an international school for brahminical training, where he taught the proper mood and method of deity worship to hundreds of students as instructed by Srila Prabhupada.

Along with fifty years of steadfast service as a pujari, manager, speaker, and educator, Pankanjanghri Prabhu was also a dear brother, uncle, and friend to both the Mayapur community and ISKCON worldwide. Today is a heartbreaking day especially for the generations of Mayapurvasis who grew up in the affectionate shelter of such a loving and playful uncle.

It is rare indeed to find a personality with the combination of such dedication, humility, joviality, and kindness. As Srila Prabhupada himself said in 1976, “The two brothers Pankajanghri and Jananivasa – there is no comparison.”

We join the worldwide family of Vaisanvas, especially HG Jananivasa Prabhu and the Mayapur community, in grieving the loss of a beloved godbrother and friend while simultaneously feeling gratitude for the mercy of Sri Nrsimhadeva, who kindly brought His dear servant home to Sri Dham Mayapur for a glorious departure befitting a dedicated devotee like Pankajanghri Prabhu.

Hare Krsna,

An Interview With His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


An Interview in London with
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Excerpted from Back To Godhead Magazine Vol 55, 1973

1973-01-55-04

Srila Prabhupada: The purpose of this Krsna consciousness movement is to awaken man’s original consciousness. At the present moment our consciousness is designated. I am thinking, “I am American,” and you are thinking, “I am Englishman,” or he is thinking, “I am American.” But actually we do not belong to any of these designations. We are all part and parcel of God—that is our real identification. If we simply come to that consciousness, all the problems of the world will be solved. Now due to our designated consciousness we are thinking ourselves to be different from one another, but if we come to Krsna consciousness we shall come to know that we are one-the same spirit soul. The same spirit soul is within everyone, although it may be in a different dress. This is the explanation given in Bhagavad-gita

This Krsna consciousness movement is actually a purificatory process. Sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam. Its purpose is to make people free from all designations. Tat-paratvena nirmalam. In Krsna consciousness we become purified, and when we are purified our activities carried out by our purified senses make us perfect. That is the ideal perfection of human life. This process is also very simple. It is not necessary for one to become a great philosopher, scientist or whatever. We need only chant the holy name of the Lord, understanding that His person, His name and His qualities are all absolute. This Krsna consciousness process is a great science; unfortunately in the universities there is no department for this science. Therefore we invite all serious men who are interested in the welfare of human society to understand this great movement, and, if possible, take part in it and cooperate with us. The problems of the world will be solved. This is also the verdict of Bhagavad-gita, the most authoritative book of knowledge. Many of you have heard of Bhagavad-gita. It is most important, for our movement is based on it. It is approved by all great acaryas in India—Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya, Lord Caitanya and so many others. You are all representatives of newspapers, so now I am asking you to try to understand this movement as far as possible for the good of all human society.

“I am asking you to understand this moment… for the good of all human society.”

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Śrī Rāma-Navamī, Lord Rāmacandra’s Appearance Day

Today marks the Appearance Day of Lord Ramacandra. We honor it with a fast until sunset, followed by a nice vegetarian feast, and with reading and chanting throughout the day.

We share with you a lecture given by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, explaining the Lords activities and glories.

The following is the transcription… but you can also listen by clicking on following link; Śrī Rāma-Navamī, Lord Rāmacandra’s Appearance Day

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Milk: The Most Miraculous Food

Ever since I first became a vegetarian, back in the early 1970’s, I have relied on Dairy Products to keep up my health and strength. Of course I also became an avid organic gardener to supply fresh vegetables to my diet, planted fruit trees, started keeping bees, and learned how to cook with beans, rice and whole wheat flour. Not all of us have the luxury to live on the land, but all the ingredients for a healthy life are available in your local grocery store. We do not have to rely on the sinful practice of killing innocent animals to maintain our health.

Milk is such a miraculous food source! From it we get yogurt, butter, cheese’s, ghee etc., and all of it is delicious and filled with essential nutrients.

Packed with Essential Nutrients

Milk, cheese and yogurt are nutrient power houses! Three daily servings of dairy contribute to 3 out of the 4 under consumed nutrients of public concern ― calcium, vitamin D and potassium. The fourth is fiber, which can be found in foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans ― all foods that pair well with dairy! Vitamin A, Vitamin D and protein are also essential for a healthy immune function and are all found in dairy.

Every 8 ounce glass of milk delivers the following 13 essential nutrients:

  • Calcium (25% Daily Value, or DV): Calcium helps build and maintain strong bones and teeth.
  • Protein (16% DV): Protein helps build and repair muscle tissue.
  • Vitamin D (15% DV): Vitamin D helps build and maintain strong bones and teeth.
  • Phosphorus (20% DV): Phosphorus helps build and maintain strong bones and teeth, and support tissue growth.
  • Vitamin A (15% DV): Vitamin A helps keep skin and eyes healthy, and helps promote growth.
  • Riboflavin (35% DV): Riboflavin, also known as vitamin B2, helps your body use carbohydrates, fats and protein for fuel.
  • Vitamin B12 (50% DV): Vitamin B12 helps with normal blood function and keeping the nervous system healthy.
  • Pantothenic Acid (20% DV): Pantothenic Acid, also known as vitamin B5, helps your body use carbohydrates, fats and protein for fuel.
  • Niacin (10% DV): Niacin is used in energy metabolism in the body.
  • Zinc (10%): Zinc helps to maintain a healthy immune system, support normal growth and development, and maintain healthy skin.
  • Selenium (10%): Selenium helps to maintain a healthy immune system, regulate metabolism and protect healthy cells from damage.
  • Iodine (60%): Iodine is necessary for proper bone and brain development during pregnancy and infancy, and is linked to cognitive function in childhood.
  • Potassium (10%): Potassium supports heart health and helps to maintain a healthy blood pressure, regulate body fluid balance and maintain normal muscle function.

Yogurt is packed with seven essential nutrients: protein, phosphorus, calcium, zinc, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and vitamin B12, and cheese delivers six essential nutrients: protein, phosphorus, calcium, niacin, vitamin A and vitamin B12

Essential Nutrients Text pasted from; drink-milk.com