Yoga

The word yoga has become very popular in todays vocabulary, but we understand from the Bhagavad-gita the real definition of the word, and its ultimate goal.

A yogī is greater than the ascetic, greater than the empiricist and greater than the fruitive worker. Therefore, O Arjuna, in all circumstances, be a yogī. (Bg. 6.46)

And of all yogīs, he who always abides in Me with great faith, worshiping Me in transcendental loving service, is most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all. (Bg. 6.47)

When we speak of yoga we refer to linking up our consciousness with the Supreme Absolute Truth. Such a process is named differently by various practitioners in terms of the particular method adopted. When the linking up process is predominantly in fruitive activities, it is called karma-yoga, when it is predominantly empirical, it is called jñāna-yoga, and when it is predominantly in a devotional relationship with the Supreme Lord, it is called bhakti-yoga. Bhakti-yoga or Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the ultimate perfection of all yogas (from purport to Bg. 6.46)

The culmination of all kinds of yoga practices lies in bhakti-yoga. All other yogas are but means to come to the point of bhakti in bhakti-yoga. Yoga actually means bhakti-yoga; all other yogas are progressions toward the destination of bhakti-yoga. From the beginning of karma-yoga to the end of bhakti-yoga is a long way to self-realization. Karma-yoga, without fruitive results, is the beginning of this path. When karma-yoga increases in knowledge and renunciation, the stage is called jñāna-yoga. When jñāna-yoga increases in meditation on the Supersoul by different physical processes, and the mind is on Him, it is called aṣṭāṅga-yoga. And, when one surpasses the aṣṭāṅga-yoga and comes to the point of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Kṛṣṇa, it is called bhakti-yoga, the culmination. Factually, bhakti-yoga is the ultimate goal (from purport to Bg. 6.47)

full texts and purports

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Divine Ecstasies

Krsna & the cowheard boys taking Prasadam

Today, being Monday, and the start of another workday week, I wanted to focus my mind, not on all the work ahead, but rather, on some Krishna Nectar from Srila Prabhupada’s Srimad Bhagavatam. We share with you a few of Srila Prabhupada’s divine ecstasies. As we mentioned is a previous post, there are two kṛṣṇa-kathās; narrations spoken by Kṛṣṇa, and narrations spoken about Kṛṣṇa. Please note text 5 & 6 which is spoken by Krsna.

…devotees who have accepted the essence of life, are attached to Kṛṣṇa in the core of their hearts, and He is the aim of their lives. It is their nature to talk only of Kṛṣṇa at every moment, as if such topics were newer and newer.

Like the whorl of a lotus flower surrounded by its petals and leaves, Kṛṣṇa sat in the center, encircled by lines of His friends, who all looked very beautiful. Every one of them was trying to look forward toward Kṛṣṇa, thinking that Kṛṣṇa might look toward him. In this way they all enjoyed their lunch in the forest.

Among the cowherd boys, some placed their lunch on flowers, some on leaves, fruits, or bunches of leaves, some actually in their baskets, some on the bark of trees and some on rocks. This is what the children imagined to be their plates as they ate their lunch.

Srimad Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Canto 10, Chapter 13, Text 1-12

Translations and purports

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The Beautiful Kusum Sarovar, Vrindavan

Located between Govardhan and Radha Kund in Vrindavan, Mathura, Kusum Sarovar is a beautiful reservoir fringed by palatial sandstone building from the bygone era. The reservoir has a flight of stairs which can be used to descend in the pond. The sarovar is believed to have got its name from one of the girl attendants of Radha, named Kusum. The water is ideal for swimming and dips. Kusum Sarovar also has several temples and ashrams in the vicinity.

Filled with emerald green water, Kusum Sarovar dates back to the era of Radha and Krishna. The pond is bordered on all sides by forest containing flowers like beli, chameli, juhi, yuthi, mallika and campaka. It is believed that Krishna would collect flowers and make garlands for Radha here. Pilgrims from all over the country visit the lake to explore the magnificent structures that surround the Sarovar, the beautiful paintings depicting the life of Krishna and his pastimes and the temple dedicated to Grijraja in there. The Kusum Sarovar is perfect for quiet evening outings where one can spend a complete evening watching the sunset while resting under the Kadamb tree under which Krishna would play and hide mischievously.

This beautiful place is located about one-and-a-half miles south-west of Sri Radha Kunda. It is also known as Sumana Sarovara due to the beautiful forest that surrounded the lake formerly.

The Divine Couple Radha and Krishna performed many pastimes here.

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Milk, the Miracle Food

Milk

This morning as I was heating up some hot milk to offer, I was reminded of something Srila Prabhupada said about drinking milk; ‘that we should drink milk “sipping hot” this will help develop the finer brain cells needed to understand spiritual subject matter’

I don’t have anything against vegans, rather I respect their endeavor to not promote violence against animals by refraining, but we are getting our milk from protected cows, and I view milk as one of the many gifts from God. Milk, yogurt, butter, ghee, and paneer (cheese curd), have all been used for thousands of years in Vedic cooking. And Krishna is also known as Makhan Chor (the butter thief) and is very fond of eating butter and yogurt, and is something that is offered daily in all the ISKCON temples

…Milk is compared to nectar, which one can drink to become immortal. Of course, simply drinking milk will not make one immortal, but it can increase the duration of one’s life. In modern civilization, men do not think milk to be important, and therefore they do not live very long. Although in this age men can live up to one hundred years, their duration of life is reduced because they do not drink large quantities of milk. This is a sign of Kali-yuga. In Kali-yuga, instead of drinking milk, people prefer to slaughter an animal and eat its flesh.

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, in His instructions of Bhagavad-gītā, advises go-rakṣya, which means cow protection. The cow should be protected, milk should be drawn from the cows, and this milk should be prepared in various ways. One should take ample milk, and thus one can prolong one’s life, develop his brain, execute devotional service, and ultimately attain the favor of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As it is essential to get food grains and water by digging the earth, it is also essential to give protection to the cows and take nectarean milk from their milk bags. (purport to SB 8.6.12)

Full Text and Purport

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Teaching and Study Guide to the Bhagavad-gita As It is

Krsna and Arjuna

This morning we share with you this nice Study Guide on the Bhagavad-gita As It Is.  It begins with the Introduction to the Bhagavad-gita, some notes on the Original Edition, the significance of the Bhagavad-gita, a philosophical synopsis, chapter by chapter summary, Q & A, and a suguested teaching syllabus.  All in all ,a very nice presentation prepared by disciples and followers of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

We are offing it here as a free pdf download that you can view, save or print, by clicking on the following link:

Teaching_and_Study_Guide_to_Bhagavad-gita_As_It_Is

Beautiful Krishna

I just love this picture of Krishna. It is on my desktop computer so I see it every morning when I turn on my computer, and I always pause for a moment, to just gaze at the beautiful face of the Lord. We have included some nice verses which describe the Beauty of Krishna.

“O my Lord, the transcendental body of Krishna is very sweet, and His face is even sweeter than His body. The soft smile on His face, which is like the fragrance of honey, is sweeter still.” (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta: Madhya, 21.136)

“My dear friend, if you are indeed attached to your worldly friends, do not look at the smiling face of Lord Govinda as He stands on the bank of the Yamunā at Keśīghāṭa. Casting sidelong glances, He places His flute to His lips, which seem like newly blossomed twigs. His transcendental body, bending in three places, appears very bright in the moonlight.” (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta: Adi-lila 5.224)

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Savoury Wholemeal Pancakes (Dosa)

This Sunday morning, as most Sunday mornings, I cook and offer the Lord either nice egg-less pancakes or waffles. But because my wife made a large cake last night, I opted to go with a more savory pancake. The following recipe is taken from “Great Vegetarian Dishes” by Kurma Dasa. I followed the recipe for the most part…but because I didnt have hot green chilies or fresh coriander leaves on hand I substituted them with green peas and green pepper. It was the first time I ever made them but they turned out great.

Check out Kurma Dasa’s website Cooking with Kumar for other great vegetarian recipes. Or look for his cookbooks.

Savoury Wholemeal Pancakes (Dosa)

Each country of the world has many varieties of pancakes, and India is no exception. Each region has its favorite versions, dosas are a favorite in South India. Whereas traditional dosas are quite large, this following recipe presents smaller pancakes to fit a household pan. And whereas traditional dosas are prepared from varieties of dal and rice combinations, these are prepared from basically just chapati flour, spices and fresh herbs. Serve these slightly crisp pancakes with tomato chutney, mango pickle or plain yogurt.

Recipe follows;

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Prabhupada Direct

This is an older article written by Sriman Rupanuga Prabhu. I like re-reading the articles written by Sriman Rupanuga Prabhu, as he has a very good appreciation for the potency and attributes of Srila Prabhupada.

Prabhupada Direct
By Rupanuga das (ACBSP)
Mar 21, FLORIDA, USA (SUN)

The primary test of a devotee’s speech or behavior is whether he/she is being a transparent medium for Srila Prabhupada, i.e., exactly in the disciplic succession. But, buyer beware! It is said that one must know something about gold before purchasing it in the marketplace. Otherwise, it is most certain one will be cheated. Unfortunate is the person who accepts someone as an authority on bhakti-yoga without testing for gold.

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The Year Long Lunch

The Year-Long Lunch

Excerpted from Back to Godhead Magazine 1977, Vol. 12, # 1

“Dear friends,” said Lord Krsna to the other cowherd boys, “Look at this wonderful place!” He’d brought them to the sun-dappled bank of the Yamuna River, after an adventurous morning in the pastures outside Vrndavana town. “This is an ideal place to eat our lunch. Afterward, we can play on the soft, sandy river bank.”

Krsna turned to the sparkling river and glorified its beauty. “See those lotus flowers in the water, their petals opened wide; and smell their fragrance drifting all around us. And listen—nearby in the trees the peacocks are calling out to one another, and their calls are mingling with the songs of other birds and the whispers of the leaves. This is clearly the best place for us to have our lunch. The calves can stay close to us, drink water from the Yamuna, and graze on the tasty grass.”

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