Identity of Lord Chaitanya


Today marks the appearance of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu otherwise known as Gaura Purnima. We will honor it today with a fast till moonrise followed by a feast.

 Identity of Lord Chaitanya
By A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Excerpted from Back to Godhead Magazine 1960 Vol. 3 Part 16

Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is no other than the combined form of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna. He is the life of those devotees who strictly follow the footprints of Sri Srila Rupa Goswami.

Srila Rupa Goswami and Srila Sanatan Goswami both are principal followers of Sri Swarup Damodar Goswami who acted as the most confidential servitor and constant companion of Lord Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu whose name was known as Viswambhar in His early life.

And from Srila Rupa Goswami, Srila Raghunath Das Goswami comes as the direct disciple and the author of Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita i. e., Sri Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami stands to be his direct follower.

From Goswami Krishna Das Kaviraj the direct disciple is Srila Narottam Das Thakur who accepted Viswanath Chakrabarty as his servitor. Viswanath Chakrabarty accepted Jagannath Das Babajee from whom Srila Bhaktivinode Thakore was initiated and Srila Gour Kishore Das Babajee the spiritual master of Om Vishnupada Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Prabhupad-the Divine spiritual Master of our humbleself.

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Radha Damodara Traveling Sankirtan Party

Radha Damodara Traveling Sankirtan Party
by Vyasasan das

First let me begin by offering my respectful obesiences to all the vaisnave devotee’s of the Lord, who are so merciful to the fallen conditioned souls that they put themselves in perilous and austere conditions of life voluntarily, in order to help others. And as always, let me offer my most humble obeisances to my beloved spiritual master A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who is very dear to Lord Krishna, haven taken shelter at his Lotus feet.

I had the great fortune to be a part of the Historic RDTSKP in the years 1975-1976. What great and extraordinary personalities did I encounter in that time of my life. There was the legendary Vishnujhan Swami who could bring the Hare Krishna revelers to a state of ecstasy with his vibrant and enthusiastic chanting. And his speaking was like honey dripping from the vine, so sweet and relish able. Then there was the remarkable Jayananda Thakur, so devoted to Srila Prabhupada’s mission that most of us never saw him sleeping. He woke me in the morning by touching my feet or shaking my leg and shouting jiv jago, jiv jago, gauracanda bole, “wake up sleeping soul, wake up sleeping soul, Lord Gauranga is calling! How long will you sleep in the lap of the witch called Maya?” Jayananda taught me what it meant to be a disciple of Srila Prabhupada by his enthusiastic and never ending service. Whether he was taking out the trash, or making 500 Simply Wonderful sweet balls for the festival, he was caught up in a world of joy and devotion. And of course there was Tamal Krishna Goswami, so powerful a personality, you just couldn’t ‘say no to Tamal’. And my dear friend ‘the rascal’ Gurudas Swami, who tricked me into shaving up and traveling on the bus for the next year by promising to introduce me to George Harrison “the Beatle”. But I love him dearly because through his cunning trickery, I instead got to meet His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada. And Gurudas was a gifted storyteller, and could entertain devotees and guests alike for hours with his gifts of “Prabhupada Katha”.

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Bilvamangala Thakura’s Pure Devotion

Bilvamangala Thakura’s Pure Devotion

“Śrī Bilvamaṅgala Thākur has said, ‘If I am engaged in devotional service unto You, my dear Lord, then very easily can I perceive Your presence everywhere. And as far as liberation is concerned, I think liberation stands at my door with folded hands waiting to serve me.’ To pure devotees, therefore, liberation and spiritual emancipation are not very important things.” (Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 3)

“Everything has some value, and one has to pay the value before obtaining or possessing it. It is stated in the Vedic literature that to purchase the most valuable thing, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, one has to develop intense eagerness for achieving success. This intense eagerness is very nicely expressed by Bilvamaṅgala Thākur in his book Kṛṣṇa-karṇāmṛta. He says, ‘I am eagerly waiting to see that boy of Vṛndāvana whose bodily beauty is captivating the whole universe, whose eyes are always bounded by black eyebrows and expanded like lotus petals, who is always eagerly glancing over His devotees and therefore moving slightly here and there. His eyes are always moist, and His lips are colored like copper, and through those lips there comes a sound vibration which drives one madder than a mad elephant. I want so much to see Him at Vṛndāvana!’ “ (Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 18)

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Appearance Day of Lord Nityananda


Today we honor the Appearance Day of Lord Nityananda. It is advised that devotees observe a half day fast, and meditate on some of the glories of Lord Nityananda.

“I offer my respectful obeisances unto Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya and Lord Nityānanda, who are like the sun and moon. They have arisen simultaneously on the horizon of Gauḍa to dissipate the darkness of ignorance and thus wonderfully bestow benediction upon all.”

Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, the Personalities of Godhead, who formerly appeared in Vṛndāvana and were millions of times more effulgent than the sun and moon, have arisen over the eastern horizon of Gauḍadeśa [West Bengal], being compassionate for the fallen state of the world.

The appearance of Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya and Prabhu Nityānanda has surcharged the world with happiness.

As the sun and moon drive away darkness by their appearance and reveal the nature of everything, these two brothers dissipate the darkness of ignorance covering the living beings’ and enlighten them with knowledge of the Absolute Truth.

By the grace of Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityānanda, this darkness of ignorance is removed, and the truth is brought to light.

The Absolute Truth is Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and loving devotion to Śrī Kṛṣṇa exhibited in pure love is achieved through congregational chanting of the holy name, which is the essence of all bliss.

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama
Rama Rama, Hare Hare

These two, the sun and moon, are very kind to the people of the world. Thus for the good fortune of all, They have appeared on the horizon of Bengal.

sun and moon

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Preface from Sri Caitanya-caritamrta

We recently decided to start reading everyday from the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta. My wife and I, are starting from page one of the Ādi-līlā, vow to read through the entire Madhya-līlā, and hopefully finish the Antya-līlā. We always talk about how we should make a regulated time to read Srila Prabhupada’s books, but never quite got around to it. But with the advent of a New Year, it is our resolution, to read all 17 Volumes it in its entirety.

As we began our reading, it was interesting to note, that the Preface was written in 1968, years before the publication of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta. It was written for the book “Teachings of Lord Chaitanya”. We are posting the Preface in its entirety. Very good read!

Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda


There is no difference between the teachings of Lord Caitanya presented here and the teachings of Lord Kṛṣṇa in the Bhagavad-gītā. The teachings of Lord Caitanya are practical demonstrations of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s teachings. Lord Kṛṣṇa’s ultimate instruction in the Bhagavad-gītā is that everyone should surrender unto Him, Lord Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa promises to take immediate charge of such a surrendered soul. The Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is already in charge of the maintenance of this creation by virtue of His plenary expansion, Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, but this maintenance is not direct. However, when the Lord says that He takes charge of His pure devotee, He actually takes direct charge. A pure devotee is a soul who is forever surrendered to the Lord, just as a child is surrendered to his parents or an animal to its master. In the surrendering process, one should: (1) accept things favorable for discharging devotional service, (2) reject things unfavorable, (3) believe firmly in the Lord’s protection, (4) feel exclusively dependent on the mercy of the Lord, (5) have no interest separate from the interest of the Lord, and (6) always feel oneself meek and humble.

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What is Real Initiation ?

What is Real initiation ?
excerpted from: Back to Godhead Magizine

Srila Prabhupada….“Initiation is a formality. First of all you have to decide whether you will abide by the rules and regulations and become Krsna conscious. That is your consideration. You have to decide for yourself whether you are going to take this Krsna consciousness seriously. That is your decision. Initiation is a formality. If you are serious, that is real initiation. If you have understood this Krsna philosophy and if you have decided that you will take Krsna consciousness seriously and preach the philosophy to others, that is your initiation. My touch is simply a formality. It is your determination. That is initiation.”

Back to Godhead Magazine…”The Search for the Divine”. From a conversation with His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada on July 5,1972 in New York.

The Worshiping of Srimati Tulasi-devi

worshiping of Srimati Tulasi devi

For devotees aspiring to enter the eternal realm of Vrindavan, service to Vrinda-devi is essential. Srila Prabhupada stressed this by making Tulasi puja a daily part of our morning program. Tulasi-devi is an expansion of Vrinda-devi in this world. Every morning we pray to Vrinda-devi:

“ye tomara sarana loy tara vancha purna hoy krpa kori koro tare vrndavana-vasi“

“Whoever takes shelter of you, all his desires are fulfilled and by your mercy he becomes a resident of Vrndavana.”

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A Conversation between A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami & Allen Ginsberg


This morning I was cleaning out one of the sheds, and found this old suitcase filled with cassette tapes. There were some of the old Bhaktivedanta Archive tapes, Golden Avatar tapes, various lectures, bahjans and kirtans. I started to listed to some of the old vintage kirtans and lectures and I was filled with a nostalgic mood of yearning, for the early days of the Hare Krishna Movement. This lead me to re-examine the old Back to Godhead magazine issues. The following is one article I found very reminiscence of those early days.

A Conversation between A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami & Allen Ginsberg
Recorded by Guru Das Adhikary

Swamiji had come to San Francisco in late January, 1967 for the opening of the Krishna Consciousness Temple there, at 518 Frederick Street. Allen Ginsberg had always shown friendly and helpful interest in the Society; and he agreed to attend a giant “Mantra Rock Festival,” which the temple members were planning to hold in the Avalon Ballroom. And so, a few days before that event, the good poet came to early morning Kirtan (7 A. M.), and later joined the Swami upstairs in the apartment his pupils had rented for him.

We were sitting in the glow of this holy man, munching on Indian sweetballs cooked by the Swami, when Allen Ginsberg came through the door, a warm smile on his face.

The Swami offered him a sweetball: “Take.”

They sat in silence for a few moments, radiating mutual love.

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