A man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman.
A man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist.
My wife shared this quote with me she saw on Facebook. I have spent the morning thinking about it and drawing inspiration from it. It has aslo reminded me that the Supreme Artist is God (Krishna). The following is a lecture by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada given at an art gallery in Auckland in 1972
O learned one, in this iron age of Kali men have but short lives. They are quarrelsome, lazy, misguided, unlucky and, above all, always disturbed. (SB 1.1.10)
This morning as I was reading from the Srimad Bhagavam, and Srila Prabhupada was describing the symptoms of this age.
…In Kali-yuga, the duration of life is shortened not so much because of insufficient food but because of irregular habits. By keeping regular habits and eating simple food, any man can maintain his health. Overeating, over-sense gratification, overdependence on another’s mercy, and artificial standards of living sap the very vitality of human energy. Therefore the duration of life is shortened.
The people of this age are also very lazy, not only materially but in the matter of self-realization.
In this age, men are victims not only of different political creeds and parties, but also of many different types of sense-gratificatory diversions, such as cinemas, sports, gambling, clubs, mundane libraries, bad association, smoking, drinking, cheating, pilfering, bickerings, and so on. Their minds are always disturbed and full of anxieties due to so many different engagements… In the Kali-yuga the whole atmosphere is surcharged with faithlessness. Men are no longer interested in spiritual values. Material sense gratification is now the standard of civilization.
Although it is indeed a difficult age to live in, still there is a solution. In this First Chapter of Srimad Bhagavatam;
…The sages of Naimiṣāraṇya are anxious to disentangle all fallen souls, and here they are seeking the remedy from Śrīla Sūta Gosvāmī.
This morning I was reading about Maharaja Pariksit and of his qualities and position in life. He was in a position to enjoy life to the fullest extent,then why should he give up all these favorable circumstances and sit down on the bank of the Ganges, fasting till death? This is astonishing, and therefore all were eager to know the cause. He gave up everything to hear Sriman Bhagavatam from the lips of the pure devotee.
He was a great emperor and possessed all the opulences of his acquired kingdom. He was so exalted that he was increasing the prestige of the Pāṇḍu dynasty. Why did he give up everything to sit down on the bank of the Ganges and fast until death?
…There was nothing undesirable in his life. He was quite a young man and could enjoy life with power and opulence. So there was no question of retiring from active life. There was no difficulty in collecting the state taxes because he was so powerful and chivalrous that even his enemies would come to him and bow down at his feet and surrender all wealth for their own benefit. Mahārāja Parīkṣit was a pious king. He conquered his enemies, and therefore the kingdom was full of prosperity. There was enough milk, grains and metals, and all the rivers and mountains were full of potency. So materially everything was satisfactory. Therefore, there was no question of untimely giving up his kingdom and life. The sages were eager to hear about all this.
Last week a friend of mine shared this photo with me. It was a picture I had never seen before, one taken a long time ago in Potomac Maryland, 1976. This was the first time I ever met His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
I was told that I could go on a morning walk with Srila Prabhupada, so I tagged along. I remember the morning very clearly. I never took my eyes of Srila Prabhupada the entire time I was in his presence. I don’t remember a thing he said because I was just so in awe of his person.
Seeing him reminded me of a book I read before I joined the Hare Krishna Movement, “Siddhartha” by Herman Hesse. When young Siddhartha meet the illustrious Gautama Buddha and could recognize by his every movement and gesture that this was an enlightened being, so was my impression of Srila Prabhupada on that morning walk.
My insignificant self is looking over his shoulder, on the right in this picture. -Vyasasan das
I ran across the following article on the Sampradaya Sun the sometime ago, on Vegetarian Ethics. It is a very nice collection of quotes on the importance of a vegetarian diet, and a case against animal slaughter.
“Many people consider the ethical reasons the most important of all for becoming vegetarian. The beginning of ethical vegetarianism is the knowledge that other creatures have feelings, and that their feelings are similar to ours. This knowledge encourages one to extend personal awareness to encompass the suffering of others.” (The Hare Krishna Book of Vegetarian Cooking)
“If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.” (St. Francis of Assisi)
We all have our favorite quotes and slokas from the pages of Srila Prabhupada’s books. One of mine is the following:
“My dear King, although Kali-yuga is full of faults, there is still one good quality about this age. It is that simply by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, one can become free from material bondage and be promoted to the transcendental kingdom.” (Bhāg. 12.3.51)
Srila Prabhupada quotes this partictular verse from the Bhagavatam many times in his lectures, conversations, books etc., for instance:
“In the sastra it is said this Kali-yuga is full of faults, so many faults. It is the ocean of faults. But there is a very nice thing, asti hy eko mahan gunah, a very great quality. What is that? Kirtanad eva krsnasya mukta-sangah param vrajet [SB 12.3.51]. If you simply chant Hare Krishna mantra, then you become perfect. Is it very difficult? Chant Hare Krishna and you become perfect. But we are so unfortunate, we are not even prepared to chant. This is our position. So you have to make little determination that ‘I shall chant henceforward Hare Krishna mantra.’ Then everything is all right.”
This is another fine compilation of quotes, in chronological order, put together by Prabhupada Connection, this time Srila Prabhupada blessing and praising George Harrison.
“When Bhaktivedanta Manor was donated, Srila Prabhupada said of George, ‘Because he has given shelter to Krishna by providing this temple, Krishna will surely provide shelter for him.’ Just before Srila Prabhupada left this world in 1977, he removed the ring on his right hand and said to the disciples around him, ‘This is for George, give it to him.'”
Here is a new word for your Vaisnava Vocabulary; Acaryopasanam. I ran across this word the other day while reading and had to go to Vani Quotes to get a better understanding of the word. The following is some of data which came from the researched words: “acaryopasana” and “acaryopasanam”. Interesting that I have heard or read this word many times and never bothered to look it up.
Acaryopasanam: one must approach the acarya for real knowledge. SB 7.15.56, Purport:
In Bhagavad-gita, Thirteenth Chapter, it is clearly stated that one should execute devotional service and advance on the path of spiritual knowledge by accepting the acarya. Acaryopasanam: one should worship an acarya, a spiritual master who knows things as they are. The spiritual master must be in the disciplic succession from Krsna. The predecessors of the spiritual master are his spiritual master, his grand spiritual master, his great-grand spiritual master and so on, who form the disciplic succession of acaryas. SB 3.29.17, Purport:
Don’t follow rascals and fools. Then it will be useless waste of time. Follow the great ācāryas. Ācāryavān puruṣo veda. One who is ācāryavān, who has accepted ācārya, he knows. Lecture on SB 1.2.19 — Calcutta, September 27, 1974:
Ācāryopāsanā. We have to worship the ācāryas. That is recommended in the Bhagavad-gītā, for making advancement in spiritual life, ācāryopāsanā. Lecture — San Francisco, June 28, 19
Ācāryopāsanam. Ācārya upāsanā is one of the process of making progress. Lecture — Bhuvanesvara, January 21, 1977:
This was the first book I ever read cover to cover. I remains my favorite small book by Srila Prabhupada. We share it in its entirety with you.
This is the index to the Contents of “Raja-Vidya The King of Knowledge” by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. This index will give you immediate access to the chapters by clicking on the following underlined links. And for a free PDF download click on link at bottom of post.
This is the list of 108 of the most important slokas from the Bhagavad-gita As It Is (1972 Macmillan Edition) by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. The index to these verses was taken from the Bhakti-sastri Study Guide compiled by Atmatattva dasa as used by the Bhaktivedanta Academy in Mayapur. [*Note for this collection of slokas, we are using the Original Translations rather than the later re-vised Translations. These were the Translations that Srila Prabhupada approved and which were memorized by heart, by all of the early disciples of His Divine Grace.]
These are important verses for memorizing. Srila Prabhupada has said, that when you quote a verse, your argument becomes authoritative.