Today we celebrate the Appearance Day of Lord Sri Krishna, otherwise known as Janmastami. We honor it with a full day fast, followed by a feast after midnight, with chanting, reading, and remembering, throughout the course of the day. We started our day by reading the first chapter from The Krsna Book, and we share it with you today.
Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
The Advent of Lord Kṛṣṇa
Once the world was overburdened by the unnecessary defense force of different kings, who were actually demons, but were posing themselves as the royal order. At that time, the whole world became perturbed, and the predominating deity of this earth, known as Bhūmi, went to see Lord Brahmā to tell of her calamities due to the demoniac kings. Bhūmi assumed the shape of a cow and presented herself before Lord Brahmā with tears in her eyes. She was bereaved and was weeping just to invoke the lord’s compassion. She related the calamitous position of the earth, and after hearing this, Lord Brahmā became much aggrieved, and he at once started for the ocean of milk, where Lord Viṣṇu resides. Lord Brahmā was accompanied by all the demigods headed by Lord Śiva, and Bhūmi also followed. Arriving on the shore of the milk ocean, Lord Brahmā began to pacify the Lord Viṣṇu who formerly saved the earthly planet by assuming the transcendental form of a boar.
Bhagavad-gita “As It Is” Original 1972 Edition by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
I like to promote worthwhile and inspiring web sites by other devotees. Recently I visited this site Prabhupada-books.de and was very impressed. I liked the fact that in addition to the preface, foreword, and introduction, they included the glossary, pronunciation guide, picture index, index of sanskrit verses, sanskrit pronunciation guide, etc.
It seems there is world wide fear over the outbreak of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, such as myself , and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness. But I refuse to live in fear, although we have accepted a self imposed quarantine, I have gone about my business working alone in my woodworking shop, and chanting the holy name. Hare Krishna! -V
Living beings who are entangled in the complicated meshes of birth and death can be freed immediately by even unconsciously chanting the holy name of Kṛṣṇa, which is feared by fear personified. (SB 1.1.14)
… It is stated herein that the name of Kṛṣṇa is feared even by fear personified. This indicates that the name of Kṛṣṇa is nondifferent from Kṛṣṇa. Therefore, the name of Kṛṣṇa is as powerful as Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself. There is no difference at all. Anyone, therefore, can take advantage of the holy names of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa even in the midst of greatest dangers. The transcendental name of Kṛṣṇa, even though uttered unconsciously or by force of circumstances, can help one obtain freedom from the hurdle of birth and death. (from purport)
This morning as I was reading from the Srimad Bhagavatam, my mind was drawn to the following verse:
The devotees of the Lord are accustomed to licking up the honey available from the lotus feet of the Lord. What is the use of topics which simply waste one’s valuable life? (SB 1.16.6)
Our duration of life is not very long, and there is no certainty of when we shall be ordered to leave everything for the next stage. Thus it is our duty to see that not a moment of our life is wasted in topics which are not related with Lord Kṛṣṇa. Any topic, however pleasant, is not worth hearing if it is devoid of its relation to Kṛṣṇa. (from purport)
Which lead me to remember another very beautiful verse from an earlier chapter entitled “The Passing Away of Bhīṣmadeva in the Presence of Lord Kṛṣṇa”
Let my mind be fixed upon Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, whose motions and smiles of love attracted the damsels of Vrajadhāma [the gopīs]. The damsels imitated the characteristic movements of the Lord [after His disappearance from the rāsa dance].
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)
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.
I still remember very clearly when I opened the book Raja-Vida by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, back in the early 70’s and read the first page…and Srila Prabhupada described very simply the definition of God…
śrī bhagavān uvāca
idaṁ tu te guhyatamaṁ
yaj jñātvā mokṣyase ’śubhāt
“The Supreme Lord said: My dear Arjuna, because you are never envious of Me, I shall impart to you this most secret wisdom, knowing which you shall be relieved of the miseries of material existence.” (Bg. 9.1)
The opening words of the Ninth Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā indicate that the Supreme Godhead is speaking. Here Śrī Kṛṣṇa is referred to as Bhagavān. Bhaga means opulences, and vān means one who possesses. We have some conception of God, but in the Vedic literature there are definite descriptions and definitions of what is meant by God, and what is meant is described in one word—Bhagavān. Bhagavān possesses all opulences, the totality of knowledge, wealth, power, beauty, fame and renunciation. When we find someone who possesses these opulences in full, we are to know that he is God. There are many rich, wise, famous, beautiful and powerful men, but no one man can claim to possess all of these opulences. Only Kṛṣṇa claims to possess them in totality. (Raja-Vidya, Chapter One)
This was my first real introduction to Krishna Consciousness, and it was enough to convince me that Krishna was God. And that Srila Prabhupada was my spiritual master.