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.
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.
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.
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.
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 →
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)
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.”
Today marks the Appearance of Lord Vamanadeva. We have posted the summaries of the 18th – 22nd chapters from the eight canto of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, which briefly describes the pastimes of Lord Vamanadeva and Bali Maharaja.
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Canto Eight, Chapter 18-22, Summaries
Lord Vāmanadeva, the Dwarf Incarnation
This chapter describes how Lord Vāmanadeva appeared and how He went to the sacrificial arena of Mahārāja Bali, who received Him well and fulfilled His desire by offering Him benedictions.
Today we celebrate the birth of Lord Krsna, or Krishna Janmastami, with a full day fast and a feast after his appearance at Midnight tonight. We honor this auspicious day with a post from the Krsna Book.
The joyous vibrations at Krsna’s birth ceremony could be heard in all the pasturing grounds and houses.
KRSNA, The Supreme Personality of Godhead
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 5, Meeting of Nanda and Vasudeva
Although Kṛṣṇa was the real son of Vasudeva and Devakī, because of Kaṁsa’s atrocious activities Vasudeva could not enjoy the birth ceremony of his son. But Nanda Mahārāja, the foster father, celebrated the birth ceremony of Kṛṣṇa very joyfully. The next day, it was declared that a male child was born of Yaśodā. According to Vedic custom, Nanda Mahārāja called for learned astrologers and brāhmaṇas to perform the birth ceremony. After the birth of a child, the astrologers calculate the moment of the birth and make a horoscope of the child’s future life. Another ceremony takes place after the birth of the child: the family members take baths, cleanse themselves and decorate themselves with ornaments and garlands; then they come before the child and the astrologer to hear of the future life of the child. Nanda Mahārāja and other members of the family dressed and sat down in front of the birthplace. All the brāhmaṇas who were assembled there on this occasion chanted auspicious mantras, according to the rituals, while the astrologers performed the birth ceremony. All the demigods are also worshiped on this occasion, as well as the forefathers of the family. Nanda Mahārāja distributed 200,000 well decorated, dressed and ornamented cows to the brāhmaṇas. He not only gave cows in charity, but hills of grains, decorated with golden-bordered garments and many ornaments.
The transcendental Scent of Kṛṣṇa’s Body
excerpted from; Sri Caitanya-caritamrta
…Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī expressed to Her gopī friends how She hankers for the transcendental scent of Kṛṣṇa’s body. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu recited that same verse and made its meaning clear.
” ‘The scent of Kṛṣṇa’s transcendental body surpasses the aroma of musk and attracts the minds of all women. The eight lotus like parts of His body distribute the fragrance of lotuses mixed with that of camphor. His body is anointed with aromatic substances like musk, camphor, sandalwood and aguru. O My dear friend, that Personality of Godhead, also known as the enchanter of Cupid, always increases the desire of My nostrils.’
“The scent of Kṛṣṇa’s body surpasses the fragrances of musk and the bluish lotus flower. Spreading throughout the fourteen worlds, it attracts everyone and makes the eyes of all women blind.
“My dear friend, the scent of Kṛṣṇa’s body enchants the entire world. It especially enters the nostrils of women and remains seated there. Thus it captures them and forcibly brings them to Kṛṣṇa.
“Kṛṣṇa’s eyes, navel and face, hands and feet are like eight lotus flowers on His body. From those eight lotuses emanates a fragrance like a mixture of camphor and lotus. That is the scent associated with His body.
“When sandalwood pulp with aguru, kuṅkuma and musk is mixed with camphor and spread on Kṛṣṇa’s body, it combines with Kṛṣṇa’s own original bodily perfume and seems to cover it.