Dissapearance day of Jayananda Thakur

Today marks the disappearance day of my dear friend and God Brother, Jayananda das Thakur.

My Dear Jayānanda

Please accept my blessings.

I am feeling very intensely your separation. In 1967 you joined me in San Francisco. You were driving my car and chanting Hare Krishna. You were the first man to give me some contribution ($5000) for printing my Bhagavad-gītā. After that, you have rendered very favorable service to Krishna in different ways. I so hope at the time of your death you were remembering Krishna and as such, you have been promoted to the eternal association of Krishna. If not, if you had any tinge of material desire, you have gone to the celestial kingdom to live with the demigods for many thousands of years and enjoy the most opulent life of material existence. From there you can promote yourself to the spiritual world. But even if one fails to promote himself to the spiritual world, at that time he comes down again on the surface of this globe and takes birth in a big family like a yogis’ or a brāhmaṇas’ or an aristocratic family, where there is again chance of reviving Krishna Consciousness. But as you were hearing Krishna-kirtana, I am sure that you were directly promoted to Kṛṣṇa-loka .(Srila Prabhupada Letter to: Jayānanda — Bombay 5 May, 1977)

Appearance Day of Lord Nrsimhadeva

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 demon like 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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Real Intelligence Does Not Come From the Brain

I found this interesting, something my wife shared with me this morning, about the brain and intelligence.

The conclusion is that it is the particular consciousness of an individual soul which acts. The brain substance is only an instrument which has nothing to do with real intelligence. The real intelligence, mind and consciousness are part of the particular individual soul.

…Therefore it is definitely concluded that the brain substance is not the center of intelligence; it is the consciousness of a particular soul that works intelligently. The whole movement of Kṛṣṇa consciousness is to purify the consciousness. It doesn’t matter what kind of brain one has because if he simply transfers his consciousness from matter to Kṛṣṇa, his life becomes successful. (from purport SB 4.7.5)

Full Purport

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Bhava; Transcendental Love

Radha Krishna Bhava

Here is a new word for your Vaisnava Vocabulary: Bhāva. In the Glossary in the back of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 1972 Edition, the word Bhāva is defined as; the preliminary stage of transcendental love of Godhead. Bhāva is a big word and has various meanings

The last stage of the devotional life is called bhāva, or transcendental love of Godhead.

“In the beginning one must have a preliminary desire for self-realization.This taste leads one further forward to attachment for Kṛṣṇa consciousness, which is matured in bhāva, or the preliminary stage of transcendental love of God. Real love for God is called premā, the highest perfectional stage of life.” In the premā stage there is constant engagement in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. So, by the slow process of devotional service, under the guidance of the bona fide spiritual master, one can attain the highest stage, being freed from all material attachment, from the fearfulness of one’s individual spiritual personality, and from the frustrations resulting from void philosophy. Then one can ultimately attain to the abode of the Supreme Lord. (Bhagavad-gita 4.11)

So it seem that bhāva is not only the preliminary stage of transcendental love of Godhead but we find that this preliminary stage of transcendental love is also the path to the highest perfectional stage of life, pure love or premā. There are two ways to approach the Lord, one is with awe and reverence and the other is with affection; bhāva. One who approaches the Lord with affection, is sure to advance spiritually.

In the Srimad Bhagavatam we find many references to the word Bhāva and highlighted some of them here.

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Special Talent for Chanting Hare Krishna

“As soon as I remember that you are trying to fullfill my desire of trying to open ten centers, it gives me renewed vigor and life. Please do it nicely. I have got confidence in you because Krishna has given you special talent for chanting Hare Krishna Mantra. When you were chanting in L.A. temple in the evenings, or in the mornings, I enjoyed your chanting so nicely that I thought myself immediately carried to Vaikuntha. So I am always thankful to you for your activities in announcing the interest of our mission. Thank you very much. Most probably when I return to L.A. I may call you back just to hear your chanting of Hare Krishna Mantra. I am very anxious to meet you also. “(Srila Prabhupada letter to “My Dear Son, Vishnujana Maharaj,” 4th April, 1971)

IMPORTANCE OF CHANTING AND MEMORIZING SHLOKAS…

IMPORTANCE OF CHANTING AND MEMORIZING SHLOKAS…

Srila Prabhupäda: No, this same verse. Practice it. In this way you practice one mantra daily. Each mantra will purify you hundred yards daily. Go forward. These mantras are very powerful, given by Vyäsadeva Gosvämi, vibrated…..So we should try to learn, get it by heart, at least one shloka, two shlokas in a week. And if we chant that… Just like you are chanting so many songs, similarly, if we chant one or two verses of Srimad-Bhägavatam, that will make you very quickly advanced for spiritual realisation.

We are therefore taking so much trouble to get this transliteration, the meaning, so that the reader may take advanced step, full advantage of the mantra. It is not that to show some scholarship, that ― I know so much Sanskrit. No. It is just offered with humility to learn the mantra because one who will chant the mantra… They are all transcendental vibration. Just Hare Krishna,mantra…

This is mahä-mantra, but they are also mantras, all the verses from Bhagavad-gitä, Srimad-Bhägavatam, spoken by Krishna, spoken by…. Bhägavata also, spoken by Krishna. Vyäsadeva is incarnation of Krishna. They‘re also mantras, infallible instructions. So try to get it by heart, chanting. Either you chant by seeing the book or get it by heart, it is all the same. But try to chant one, two shlokas daily. (Lecture, April 20, 1972).

Appearance Day of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta

For some reason I love reading the Concluding Words of the Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, and find myself reading it again and again. The printing of this English translation is historically, a miraculous achievement, and yet reading Srila Prbhupada’s words and hearing the depth of his humility, is awe inspiring. He gives thanks to his American disciples, and to His Spiritual Master His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura with the following words:

…I think that His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura is always seeing my activities and guiding me within my heart by his words. As it is said in Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, tene brahma hṛdā ya ādi-kavaye. Spiritual inspiration comes from within the heart, wherein the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in His Paramātmā feature, is always sitting with all His devotees and associates. It is to be admitted that whatever translation work I have done is through the inspiration of my spiritual master because personally I am most insignificant and incompetent to do this materially impossible work. I do not think myself a very learned scholar, but I have full faith in the service of my spiritual master, His Divine Grace Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhakura. If there is any credit to my activities of translating, it is all due to His Divine Grace. Certainly if His Divine Grace were personally present at this time, it would have been a great occasion for jubiliation, but even though he is not physically present, I am confident that he is very pleased by this work of translation. He was very fond of seeing many books published to spread the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Therefore our society, the International Society for Kṛṣṇa Consciousness, has formed to execute the order of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His Divine Grace Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhakura.

Although Srila Prabhupada gives all credit to his spiritual master, we give all credit to him. All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!

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What is a Guru?

The following lecture was first published in Back to Godhead Magazine in1975 Vol. 10, No. 8


om ajnana-timirandhasya
jnananjana-salakaya
caksur unmilitam yena
tasmai sri-gurave namah

“I was born in the darkest ignorance, and my guru, my spiritual master, opened my eyes with the torch of knowledge. I offer my respectful obeisances unto him.”

The word ajnana means ignorance or darkness. If all the lights in this room immediately went out, we would not be able to tell where we or others are sitting. Everything would become confused. Similarly, we are all in darkness in this material world, which is a world of tamasTamas or timira means darkness. This material world is dark, and therefore it needs sunlight or moonlight for illumination. However, there is another world, a spiritual world, that is beyond this darkness. That world is described by Sri Krsna in Bhagavad-gita:

na tad bhasayate suryo
na sasanko na pavakah
yad gatva na nivartante
tad dhama paramam mama

“That abode of Mine is not illumined by the sun or moon, nor by electricity. One who reaches it never returns to this material world.” (Bg. 15.6)

From Darkness to Light

The guru’s business is to bring his disciples from darkness to light. At present everyone is suffering due to ignorance, just as one contacts a disease out of ignorance. If one does not know hygienic principles, he will not know what will contaminate him. Therefore due to ignorance there is infection, and we suffer from disease. A criminal may say, “I did not know the law,” but he will not be excused if he commits a crime. Ignorance is no excuse. Similarly, a child, not knowing that fire will burn, will touch the fire. The fire does not think, “This is a child, and he does not know I will burn.” No, there is no excuse. Just as there are state laws, there are also stringent laws of nature, and these laws will act despite our ignorance of them. If we do something wrong out of ignorance, we must suffer. This is the law. Whether the law is a state law or a law of nature, we risk suffering if we break it.

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Don’t Consider What Will Happen to this World

“Instead of contemplating what will happen to this world, you have got a short duration of life, say fifty, sixty years. You chant Hare Krsna and go back to home, back to Godhead. Don’t consider what will happen to this world. Nature will take care of it. You don’t puzzle your brain with these thoughts. You utilize whatever time you have got in your possession and go back to home, back to Godhead. You cannot check it. Best thing is that you mold your life and go back to home, back to Godhead. Because people will go on with their rascal civilization, natural consequences will be there. You better take advantage of whatever time you have got and become fully Krsna conscious and go back to home.”[Srila Prabhupada, Morning Walk, February 21, 1975, Caracas]