This morning I was doing a little internet searching and revisiting some of my favorite sites. This took me to The Prabhupada Connection. For some reason I clicked on the Editorial Notes and began reading some of the essays. I was a big fan of Visnujana Swami, as was everyone, and I enjoyed reading this memory by Padmapani Prabhu.
When Visnujana Swami led kirtan in Stanley Park, hundreds of people encircled our party, all transfixed by his melodious chanting. Usually we might have a couple of dozen onlookers in attendance for harinam, but this was a monumental occasion. The devotees twirled and jumped and danced with great abandon. The sense of harmony amongst us was real and palpable. The swelling crowd was a testament to the infectious joy of chanting Hare Krsna in unity and love.
A Time for Reflection
by Padmapani das
When I first joined the Vancouver temple in 1973, a devotee explained to me that everyone who comes in contact with Krsna is a great soul, a mahatma. He told me that even the postman who delivers Krsna’s mail is very special and should be respected. I was in total awe.
‘Whatever may come by Your mercy, let it come.’ That’s our philosophy. That’s our siddhanta. But if you know it’s going to rain, it’s better to take an umbrella.”
Srila Prabhupada on Astrology By Patita Pavana das Feb 28, 2012 — FRANCE (SUN) — From:
‘Memories of Srila Prabhupada, Anecdotes of a Modern Day Saint’.
Shrila Prabhupada often called Pradyumna das Adhikary his “Panditji.” Beginning from 1968 Pradyumna was the first among the Western disciples to learn Sanskrit. Under the guidance of his spiritual master, he lent his expertise into all of Prabhupada’s literary projects. A natural scholar, Pt. Pradyumna Prabhu traveled the world with Shrila Prabhupada carrying any number of weighty tomes with him. He assisted with the Bhagavatam project right until the last days of the pure devotee’s earthly manifest appearance.
The Vedas recommend that in the present age the most effective means for achieving self-realization is to always hear about, glorify, and remember the all-good Supreme Lord, who is known by many names. One of these names is “Krishna” which means “He who is all-attractive,” another is “Rama” which means “He who is the reservoir of all pleasure,” and “Hare” indicates the Lord’s inconceivable energy.
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
This sublime chanting puts us directly in touch with the Supreme Lord through the sound vibration of His holy names and gradually awakens us to our original relationship with God. ISKCON’s primary mission is to encourage all members of the human society to devote at least some portion of their time and energies to this process of hearing and chanting about God. In this way they will gradually come to realize that all living beings are spirit souls, eternally related to the Supreme Lord in service and in love.
It is mentioned in the scriptures that Sri Krishna, the Reservoir of Pleasure, dances on the tongue of the chanter of His name. To chant and hear fixes the mind, in meditation, in direct contact with God. The mantra is not to be mistaken for an ordinary song or anything tinged with the mundane; it is a pure transcendental sound vibration of the Absolute and has been upheld as such since time immemorial by the great sages and Vedic scriptures.
Anyone who hears the chanting also benefits if he simply likes the sound of the chanting or he appreciates the sankirtana in some way or other. The holy name is compared to a fire; whether one is scientifically conversant with all the properties of fire or knows nothing about it, if one puts his hand in fire, he will be burnt. Sincere chanting and hearing of the mantra will cleanse the mind and elevate one and all to the natural original position of spirit soul.
The Nine Processes of Devotional Service are described by Prahlada Maharaja in the 7th Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam, chapter 5, text 24-25. The great personalities who attained perfection by practice of the nine processes are listed below, followed by the complete text and purport, describing in full these nine processes. If I am not mistaken, this purport to text 24-25 from the seventh canto, chapter five, is one of the longest in the entire Srimad Bhagavatam. Stressing the importance of the verse.
Prahlāda Mahārāja said: Hearing and chanting about the transcendental holy name, form, qualities, paraphernalia and pastimes of Lord Viṣṇu, remembering them, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, offering the Lord respectful worship with sixteen types of paraphernalia, offering prayers to the Lord, becoming His servant, considering the Lord one’s best friend, and surrendering everything unto Him (in other words, serving Him with the body, mind and words)—these nine processes are accepted as pure devotional service. One who has dedicated his life to the service of Kṛṣṇa through these nine methods should be understood to be the most learned person, for he has acquired complete knowledge. (SB 7.5.24-25)
HEARING (sravanam) Maharaja Pariksit(the last seven days of his life, he constantly heard the Srimad Bhagavatam).
CHANTING (kirtanam) Sukadeva Goswami(spoke the Bhagavatam to Maharaja Pariksit)
REMEMBERING (visnu smaranam) Prahlada Maharaja(never forgot Krsna despite constant tortures from his father- Hiranyakashipu)
SERVING THE LORD’S LOTUS FEET (pada sevanam) Laxmi, the Goddess of Fortune, is always engaged in serving the lotus feet of the Lord.
DEITY-WORSHIP (arcanam) Maharaja Prthu used all of his royal possessions in order to offer them in pure devotion to the Lord.
PRAYING (vandanam) Akura offered prayers to Krsna when he was traveling to Vrndavana in order to see Krsna.
EXECUTING ORDERS (dasyam) Hanuman, the intimate servant of Ramacandra executed all of Sri Ramacandra’s orders despite all kinds of difficulties.
SERVING AS A FRIEND (sakhyam) Arjuna was so close to Krsna, that the Lord offered Himself to become his chariot driver and serve Arjuna and his brothers in various ways.
COMPLETE SURRENDER (atma nivedanam) Bali Maharaja gave Sri Vamanadeva his entire kingdom, his possessions as well as his own body, although his own spiritual master was against it.
All these great devotees served the Lord according to a particular process, but every one of them attained salvation and became eligible to return home, back to Godhead