Today we are celebrating Śrī Rāma-Navamī, Lord Rāmacandra’s Appearance Day. We are honoring it with a fast until sunset, followed by a nice vegetarian feast. We are including a lecture by Srila Prabhupada on the appearance of Lord Ramachandra
…So Rāmacandra’s life, God’s activities, pastimes, if we hear, that means we are associating with Rāmacandra. There is no difference between His form, His name, His pastimes, and Himself. He’s absolute. Therefore either you chant the holy name of Rāma or you see the statue of Rāma or you talk of His pastimes, transcendental pastimes, everything, that means you are associating with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So we take advantage of these days when the incarnation of God appears or disappears, and we try to associate with Him. By His association we become purified. Our process is purification. Kṛṣṇa consciousness means simply we are purifying our consciousness. (Lecture by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada Recorded in Hawaii, March 27, 1969)
Today we celebrate the appearance day of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. We honor His appearance with a full day fast (until moon rise), followed by a special vegetarian feast. Also to honor the Lord’s appearance day, we have selected these two verses from the Sri Caitanya-caritmrta.
“O most munificent incarnation! You are Kṛṣṇa Himself appearing as Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu. You have assumed the golden color of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, and You are widely distributing pure love of Kṛṣṇa. We offer our respectful obeisances unto You.
“We offer our respectful obeisances unto that merciful Supreme Personality of Godhead who has converted all three worlds, which were maddened by ignorance, and saved them from their diseased condition by making them mad with the nectar from the treasure-house of love of God. Let us take full shelter of that Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya, whose activities are wonderful.”
We just wanted to remind our readers that today is the appearance of Lord Nityananda Prabhu. It is recommended that one fast till noon, in honor of Lord Nityananda’s appearance, and for spiritual benefit.
“Therefore, Krishna Consciousness is also a sort of fight; but not with rifles. Our weapon is kartals. In this age there is no need of fighting with rifles because the population is so poor that they are already killed by so many disturbances. They are short lived, poor in knowledge, slack in advancement of spiritual life, unfortunate, and embarrassed by so many miserable conditions of life; like war, famine pestilence, poverty and so on. So to kill these persons by rifle is like bringing a cannon for killing a mosquito. So Lord Chaitanya introduced this fighting principle of Sankirtan Movement to reclaim all the fallen souls, who consist of so-called philosophers, half-educated scientists, misguided educationists and a miscreant society. If you can consolidate a party of soldiers as described by you, chanting Hare Krishna Mantra and claiming everyone of them to Krishna Consciousness, that will be a glorious task, and you have all of my good wishes for you for this purpose.”
(Srila Prabhupada letter to disciple, August 3, 1969)
“Consider this example: when the sun is in the sky, there is no question of darkness. Similarly, when the Hare Krsna mantra is vibrating on your tongue and you are hearing attentively, then your consciousness becomes Krsna consciousness, or clear consciousness, and there is no question of maya, or hazy consciousness. Just as when light and darkness come together the darkness cannot stand before the light, maya cannot remain in the presence of Krsna.
“In Bhagavad-gita, Krsna says to offer Him at least a leaf or a flower. It is not that Krsna needs a flower or leaf. He is full. He does not need you. But He wants you to come to Him in love. Therefore Krsna says, ‘Just stop all your nonsense and surrender to Me.’ “
“People are thinking that if they get a car and an apartment, everything will be all right. But the problems are still there. Still they must undergo death, old age, and diseaseóso how is everything taken care of? They are thinking in terms of this spot life. They do not know that they are eternal. There are so many kinds of bodies, and they don’t know which kind they will have to take in their next life. But if they take to Krsna consciousness, all problems are solved.”
Remembrance of Kṛṣṇa is not possible for the impure soul who has not practiced Kṛṣṇa consciousness in devotional service. To remember Kṛṣṇa one should chant the mahāmantra, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare, incessantly, following in the footsteps of Lord Caitanya, being more tolerant than the tree, humbler than the grass and offering all respect to others without requiring respect in return. In such a way one will be able to depart from the body successfully remembering Kṛṣṇa and so attain the supreme goal. (Prabhupada purport Bg As it is 8:5)
The process is that everything is offered to the Spiritual Master, and the Spiritual Master is supposed to offer the same foodstuff to the Lord. When a thing is offered to the Spiritual Master, he immediately offers to the Lord. That is the system, and as we come by parampara system, it is our duty to go through the right channel—namely, first the Spiritual Master, then Lord Caitanya, and then Krishna. So when we chant prayers, we do this, Bande ham Sri Guru . . . and gradually to the Goswamis, then to Lord Caitanya, and then to Radha Krishna. That is the praying system. But offering the prasadam to present everything before the Spiritual Master whose picture is also in the altar, means that the Spiritual Master will take care of offering the foodstuff to the Lord. Therefore simply by chanting the prayer to the Spiritual Master, everything will be complete. (Prabhupada letter to Harer Nama 28th May, 1968)
Who can deliver the Conditioned Soul and who is Eligible to occupy the post of guru ?
Srila Prabhupada…“No demigod can perform this act of delivering the conditioned souls, because the demigods themselves are conditioned. A conditioned soul cannot deliver another conditioned soul. Only Kṛṣṇa or His bona fide representative can deliver him.”
(NOD – 1970 Edition : Further Consideration of Devotional Principles)
Srila Prabhupada...”When one has attained the topmost position of mahä-bhägavata, he is to be accepted as a guru and worshiped exactly like Hari, the Personality of Godhead. Only such a person is eligible to occupy the post of a guru.”
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Madhya 24:330: The Sixty-One Explanations of the Atmarama Verse : Srila Prabhupada’s PURPORT)