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

Preface

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

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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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George Harrison Interview: Hare Krishna Mantra–There’s Nothing Higher (1982)

George Harrison at peace

George Harrison Interview: Hare Krishna Mantra–There’s Nothing Higher (1982)
This entry is part 3 of 10 in the series The Beatles and Hare Krishna

George: It’s really the same sort of thing as meditation, but I think it has a quicker effect. I mean, even if you put your beads down, you can still say the mantra or sing it without actually keeping track on your beads. One of the main differences between silent meditation and chanting is that silent meditation is rather dependent on concentration, but when you chant, it’s more of a direct connection with God.

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Prabhupada in New York City — Enlightenment on Skid Row

The Biography of a Pure Devotee
by Srila Satsvarupa dasa Goswami
excerpted from Back To Godhead Magazine August 1979

…Now that Srila Prabhupada had left Seventy-second Street and had moved downtown, it wasn’t long before new people were coming to see him. ‘After a few minutes … the sound of the cymbals and the incense . . . we weren’t in the Bowery any longer. We started chanting Hare Krsna.. . . I remember it was relaxing and very interesting to be able to chant, and I found Swamiji very fascinating. . . .”

One of the first women to take an interest in Srila Prabhupada was twenty-year-old Carol Bekar. She came from an immigrant Catholic background, and she immediately associated Catholicism with the philosophy of bhakti-yoga. She was divorced and was now living with the brother of Carl Yeargens.

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The Happening Album: “Krishna Consciousness”

The Happening Album: “Krishna Consciousness”
by Hansadutta Das on KRSNA Tunes

This is the first Hare Krishna record album, produced in 1966 by Alan Kallman in New York. Satsvarupa das Gosvami has written about it: First Hare Krsna Albums (posted at bottom). Mr. Kallman, a record producer, and his wife came to see Prabhupada at 26 Second Avenue one evening in 1966, and inspired by the joyous kirtan, suggested that Prabhupada and the devotees make a record. Continue reading

Krishna’s Childhood Pastimes; The Butter Thief

During this Month of Damodara (Kartika) we will try to post some of Krsna’s childhood pastimes.

“Our dear friend Yaśodā, your son sometimes comes to our houses before the milking of the cows and releases the calves, and when the master of the house becomes angry, your son merely smiles. Sometimes He devises some process by which He steals palatable curd, butter and milk, which He then eats and drinks. When the monkeys assemble, He divides it with them, and when the monkeys have their bellies so full that they won’t take more, He breaks the pots. Sometimes, if He gets no opportunity to steal butter or milk from a house, He will be angry at the householders, and for His revenge He will agitate the small children by pinching them. Then, when the children begin crying, Kṛṣṇa will go away. (SB 10.8.29)

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Month of Damodara (Kartika)

Today marks the begining of the month of Damodara (Kartika). In honor and in celebration of the month of Damodara, we will be focusing our attention on the pastimes of Krishna in Vrndavan. Especially Krishna’s childhood pastimes. The following song is sung morning and evening and it is customary to offer a candle or gee lamp as well to a picture of Lord Krsna and Mother Yasoda.

click on underlined link to listen

Sri Damordastaka sung by Vishnujana Swami

after clicking on above link you can return to page and sing along with the words listed below

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His Final Instructions

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For today’s post we are going back in time…to the first issue of Back to Godhead Magazine after Srila Prabhu’s departure.

Srila Prabhupada Speaks Out
text excerpted from; Back to Godhead Magazine

His Final Instructions

During his last months, Srila Prabhupada was not very active physically, and he spoke relatively little. Yet when he did speak, his words were full of spiritual strength. These excerpts from Srila Prabhupada’s last statements reveal the mind of the pure devotee and universal teacher. And they show that Srila Prabhupada is indeed a transcendental personality, whose devotion to Lord Krsna and to the mission of spreading love of Krsna is undying.

“There is nothing new to be said. Whatever I had to say, I have already said in my books. Now you must all try to understand it and continue with your endeavors. Whether I am present or not present doesn’t matter. Just as Krsna is living eternally, the living being also lives eternally. But especially… kirtir yasya sa jivati: ‘One who has done service to the Lord lives forever.’ You have been taught to serve Krsna, and with Krsna we’ll live eternally. Our life is eternal. Na hanyate hanyamane sarire: the disappearance of this temporary body doesn’t matter. The body is meant for disappearance. So, live forever by serving Krsna. Thank you very much.”

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