Beyond Birth & Death

This morning as I was driving up our lane, I saw a hawk flying past me with a live squirrel in his talons. And I thought, ‘how fragile is this life’. One moment the squirrel was out collecting nuts to store in his home for the winter, and the next moment, he is being carried away to his sure death. I was reminded of the famous quote “Life takes Life”, and of how all of ours lives, hang in the balance.

There is another famous Quote from the Srimad Bhagavatam:

“Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira was asked by Yamarāja, “What is the most wonderful thing in this world? Can you explain?” So Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira answered, “Yes. The most wonderful thing is that at every moment one can see that his friends, his fathers, and his relatives have died, but he is thinking, ‘I shall live forever.’”” (The Science of Self Realization)

This is the great illusion (maya)

So today I am moved to post another chapter from the book “Beyond Birth & Death” by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Chapter One entitled “We Are Not These Bodies”.

Also for a Free PDF download of entire book click the link at bottom of post.

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On Chanting the Hare Krishna Maha-Mantra

On Chanting the Hare Krishna Maha-Mantra

by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, 
Founder and Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

The transcendental vibration established by the chanting of Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare is the sublime method for reviving our transcendental consciousness. As living spiritual souls, we are all originally Krishna Conscious entities, but due to our association with matter since time immemorial, our consciousness is now adulterated by the material atmosphere. The material atmosphere, in which we are now living, is called maya, or illusion. Maya means “that which is not.” And what is this illusion? The illusion is that we are all trying to be lords of material nature, while actually we are under the grip of her stringent laws. When a servant artificially tries to imitate the all-powerful master, he is said to be in illusion. 

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“I have instructed everything in my books.”

Srila Prabhupada with books

“I have instructed everything in my books.”

Srila Prabhupada wrote and published over 80 volumes of spiritual literature which he considered to be his most important contribution. Despite the heavy demands of establishing and managing a worldwide movement, Srila Prabhupada never failed to rise early in the morning to perform his beloved writing work. He applied great devotion and care in translating the ancient Vedic literatures into English from the original Sanskrit and Bengali languages. He would then dictate his famous “Bhaktivedanta Purports,” further explaining the meaning of each verse and its relevance to the modern age. His books are highly acclaimed by scholars and students alike (see reviews below). They have been translated into more than 60 languages and have been sold in the hundreds of millions. TWe encourage everyone to take advantage of these timeless literatures which are so full of spiritual knowledge and potency.

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The Welfare of Others

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click on image to enlarge

The following verse from the Srimad-Bhagavatam describes the qualities of a Vaiṣṇava, devotee of the Lord

May there be good fortune throughout the universe, and may all envious persons be pacified. May all living entities become calm by practicing bhakti-yoga, for by accepting devotional service they will think of each other’s welfare. Therefore let us all engage in the service of the supreme transcendence, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and always remain absorbed in thought of Him. (Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.18.9)

…Just like a desire tree, a Vaiṣṇava can fulfill all the desires of anyone who takes shelter of his lotus feet… he prays not for himself, but for all living entities—the gentle, the envious and the mischievous…This is the attitude of a Vaiṣṇava, who always thinks of the welfare of the entire universe.

…If the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement spreads all over the world, and if by the grace of Kṛṣṇa everyone accepts it, the thinking of envious people will change. Everyone will think of the welfare of others. (from purport)

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Srila Prabhupada On Chanting Hare Krishna

Srila Prabhupada chanting in park

Srila Prabhupada On Chanting Hare Krishna

As explained on the cover of the record album, this transcendental vibration– by chanting of Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare– is the sublime method for reviving our Krsna consciousness. As living spiritual souls we are all originally Krsna conscious entities, but due to our asociation with matter since time immemorial, our consciousness is now poluted by material atmosphere. In this polluted concept of life, we are all trying to exploit the resources of material nature, but actually we are becoming more and more entangled in our complexities.

This illusion is called maya, or hard struggle for existence over the stringent laws of material nature. This illusory struggle against the material nature can at once be stopped by revival of our Krsna consciousness.

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