Lord Balarama and the Demon Balvala

Today marks the appearance day of Lord Balarama and we honor it with a short story from the Krsna Book.

Lord Balarāma prepared Himself to meet the demon Balvala. At the time when the demon usually attacked the sacred place, there appeared a great hailstorm, the whole sky became covered with dust and the atmosphere became surcharged with a filthy smell. Just after this, the mischievous demon Balvala began to shower torrents of stool and urine and other impure substances on the arena of sacrifice. After this onslaught, the demon himself appeared with a great trident in his hand. He was a gigantic person, and his black body was like a huge mass of carbon. His hair, his beard and his mustache appeared reddish, like copper, and because of his great beard and mustache, his mouth appeared to be very dangerous and fierce. As soon as He saw the demon, Lord Balarāma prepared to attack him. He first began to consider how He could smash the great demon to pieces. Lord Balarāma called for His plow and club, and they immediately appeared before Him. The demon Balvala was flying in the sky, and at the first opportunity Lord Balarāma dragged him down with His plow and angrily smashed the demon’s head with His club. By Balarama’s striking, the forehead of the demon became fractured. There was a profuse flow of blood from his forehead, and he began to scream loudly. In this way the demon, who had been such a great disturbance to the pious brāhmaṇas, fell to the ground. His falling was like a great mountain with a red oxide peak being struck by a thunderbolt and smashed to the ground. (Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Chapter 79, The Liberation of Balvala, and Lord Balarāma’s Touring the Sacred Places)

Natural Disasters: Adhidaivka

Every time we turn on the News, look at a Newspaper or open up our Web browser, we are bombarded with news of natural disasters; forest fires,flooding, hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes. Some people blame it on climate change or global warming, others say it is a result of to much sinful activity. But whatever the cause, it is clear we are all in danger, and are all susceptible to the threefold miseries; miseries caused by the mind and body, miseries caused by other living entities, and miseries caused by natural disasters.

The following post deals with the threefold miseries and a spiritual approach to understanding “What am I, and why am I suffering from the threefold miseries?”

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The Scent of Krsna’s Body

Scent of Krishna

…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 lotuslike 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.

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Letters by Srila Prabhupada

” As far as my blessing is concerned it does not require my physical presence. If you are chanting Hare Krishna there and following my instructions, reading the books, taking only Krsnaprasadam etc., then there is no question of your not receiving the blessings of Lord Caitanya whose mission I am humbly trying to push on.” (from letter to Bal Krishna June 30, 1974)

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Meditation and the Self Within

The Science of Self Realization
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

Meditation and the Self Within

excerpted from Chapter 5

Can meditation solve our everyday problems? Is there life after death? Can drugs help us achieve self-realization? During a visit to South Africa in 1976, Śrīla Prabhupāda answered these and other questions for interviewer Bill Faill of the Durban Natal Mercury.

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa is a name for God that means “all-attractive.” Unless one is all-attractive he cannot be God. So Kṛṣṇa consciousness means God consciousness. All of us are small particles of God, equal in quality with Him. Our position as living entities is like that of a small particle of gold in relation to a large quantity of gold.

Mr. Faill: Are we something like sparks in a fire?

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. Both the fire and the spark are fire, but one is big, and the other is very small. Unlike the relationship between the spark and the fire, however, our relationship with God is eternal, although at the present moment we have forgotten that relationship due to contact with the material energy. We are facing so many problems only because of this forgetfulness. If we can revive our original God consciousness, then we shall become happy. This is the sum and substance of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. It is the best process by which to revive our original God consciousness. There are different processes of self-realization, but in the present age of Kali, people are very fallen, and they require the simple process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Now they are thinking that so-called material advancement is the solution to their problems, but this is not a fact. The real solution is to get out of the material condition entirely by becoming Kṛṣṇa conscious. Because God is eternal, we are also eternal, but in the material condition we are thinking, “I am this body,” and therefore we must repeatedly change from body to body. This is due to ignorance. Actually we are not our bodies but spiritual sparks, parts and parcels of God.

Mr. Faill: Then the body is just like a vehicle for the soul?

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Process of Surrender

This morning I was going through some files and came across this important verse from the Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila Chapter 22, text 100 describing the process of surrender. I always liked this verse because it describes the simple process of surrender; namely accepting things favorable to devotional service, rejecting things that are unfavorable to devotional service, and developing the faith that Krishna will give protection.

’The six divisions of surrender are the acceptance of those things favorable to devotional service, the rejection of unfavorable things, the conviction that Kṛṣṇa will give protection, the acceptance of the Lord as one’s guardian or master, full self-surrender and humility.

One who is fully surrendered is qualified with the six following characteristics. (1) The devotee has to accept everything that is favorable for the rendering of transcendental loving service to the Lord. (2) He must reject everything unfavorable to the Lord’s service. This is also called renunciation. (3) A devotee must be firmly convinced that Kṛṣṇa will give him protection. No one else can actually give one protection, and being firmly convinced of this is called faith. (from purport)

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Om Namo Bhagavate Narasimhaya

In honor of the appearance day of Lord Nrsimha, we are posting a beautiful verse and purport from the Srimad Bhagavatam 5.18.8 glorifying the Lord and his devotees.

Om Namo Bhagavate Narasimhaya

oṁ namo bhagavate narasiṁhāya namas tejas-tejase āvir-āvirbhava
vajra-nakha vajra-daṁṣṭra karmāśayān randhaya randhaya tamo grasa
grasa oṁ svāhā; abhayam abhayam ātmani bhūyiṣṭhā oṁ kṣraum

TRANSLATION

I offer my respectful obeisances unto Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva, the source of all power. O my Lord who possesses nails and teeth just like thunderbolts, kindly vanquish our demonlike desires for fruitive activity in this material world. Please appear in our hearts and drive away our ignorance so that by Your mercy we may become fearless in the struggle for existence in this material world.

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An Interview With His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


An Interview in London with
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Excerpted from Back To Godhead Magazine Vol 55, 1973

1973-01-55-04

Srila Prabhupada: The purpose of this Krsna consciousness movement is to awaken man’s original consciousness. At the present moment our consciousness is designated. I am thinking, “I am American,” and you are thinking, “I am Englishman,” or he is thinking, “I am American.” But actually we do not belong to any of these designations. We are all part and parcel of God—that is our real identification. If we simply come to that consciousness, all the problems of the world will be solved. Now due to our designated consciousness we are thinking ourselves to be different from one another, but if we come to Krsna consciousness we shall come to know that we are one-the same spirit soul. The same spirit soul is within everyone, although it may be in a different dress. This is the explanation given in Bhagavad-gita

This Krsna consciousness movement is actually a purificatory process. Sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam. Its purpose is to make people free from all designations. Tat-paratvena nirmalam. In Krsna consciousness we become purified, and when we are purified our activities carried out by our purified senses make us perfect. That is the ideal perfection of human life. This process is also very simple. It is not necessary for one to become a great philosopher, scientist or whatever. We need only chant the holy name of the Lord, understanding that His person, His name and His qualities are all absolute. This Krsna consciousness process is a great science; unfortunately in the universities there is no department for this science. Therefore we invite all serious men who are interested in the welfare of human society to understand this great movement, and, if possible, take part in it and cooperate with us. The problems of the world will be solved. This is also the verdict of Bhagavad-gita, the most authoritative book of knowledge. Many of you have heard of Bhagavad-gita. It is most important, for our movement is based on it. It is approved by all great acaryas in India—Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya, Lord Caitanya and so many others. You are all representatives of newspapers, so now I am asking you to try to understand this movement as far as possible for the good of all human society.

“I am asking you to understand this moment… for the good of all human society.”

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Śrī Rāma-Navamī, Lord Rāmacandra’s Appearance Day

Today marks the Appearance Day of Lord Ramacandra. We honor it with a fast until sunset, followed by a nice vegetarian feast, and with reading and chanting throughout the day.

We share with you a lecture given by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, explaining the Lords activities and glories.

The following is the transcription… but you can also listen by clicking on following link; Śrī Rāma-Navamī, Lord Rāmacandra’s Appearance Day

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Teachings of Lord Chaitanya

1968 Edition of Teachings of Lord Chaitanya

Today we honor the Appearance of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu with a fast until moon rise, followed by a nice vegetarian feast. We also will be chanting and reading about some of the many pastimes of the Lord. You can read about some of the very important teachings of Lord Caitanya in the book “Teachings of Lord Chaitanya” which we have included as a free download, (just click of following link to view or download. Hare Krishna!

Teachings-of-Lord-Chaitanya-original-1968