This was the first book I ever read cover to cover. I remains my favorite small book by Srila Prabhupada. We share it in its entirety with you.
This is the index to the Contents of “Raja-Vidya The King of Knowledge” by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. This index will give you immediate access to the chapters by clicking on the following underlined links. And for a free PDF download click on link at bottom of post.
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.
This will be a four part series which I will post over the next few weeks. Worthwhile reading. -Vyasasan das
Arsha Prayoga Part (I) – Resistance To Change By Locanananda Prabhu
Let me first offer my prostrated obeisances unto the lotus feet of that supreme swan-like devotee of the Lord, our spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, by whose mercy the fallen souls of Kali Yuga may taste the sweetness of the narrations of the pastimes of the Lord and His pure devotees. As the bonafide representative of Sri Vyasadeva, he composed a mountain of transcendental literature to enlighten the entire human society, explaining even the most confidential truths regarding vaisnava philosophy.
His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada displayed all of the symptoms of an empowered jiva soul, working tirelessly to distribute the transcendental message of love of Godhead throughout the world. It is therefore the duty of his followers to preserve the legacy and protect the honor of such a great spiritual personality whose every moment was dedicated to the spreading of Krishna consciousness.
To guarantee that his teachings would not be forgotten in the oblivion of time, Srila Prabhupada created the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust and, assisted by his disciples, he astounded the academic community with his literary output. What follows is a brief account of Srila Prabhupada’s struggle with the BBT staff to keep the final version of his books intact by resisting what he called the “American disease” of always wanting to change things. As will be seen from the letters and conversations cited in this article, Srila Prabhupada would finally insist on an “absolutely no change” policy based on the principle of “arsa prayoga”.
Today we share with you Krsna, the Reservoir of Pleasure. It is a small 16 page publication that was widely distributed. It is a nice introduction to the Krishna Consciousness philosophy.
Kṛṣṇa, the Reservoir of Pleasure by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Kṛṣṇa—this sound is transcendental. Kṛṣṇa means the highest pleasure. All of us, every living being, seeks pleasure. But we do not know how to seek pleasure perfectly. With a materialistic concept of life, we are frustrated at every step in satisfying our pleasure because we have no information regarding the real level on which to have real pleasure. For the last few weeks we have been learning that we are not this body; we are consciousness. Not exactly consciousness, for consciousness is actually the symptom of our real identity: we are pure soul, now merged within this material body. Modern material science lays no stress on this; therefore the scientists are sometimes misled in their understanding of spirit soul. But spirit soul is a fact, which anyone can understand by the presence of consciousness. Any child can understand that consciousness is the symptom of the spirit soul.
We recently decided to start reading everyday from the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta. My wife and I, are starting from page one of the Ādi-līlā, vow to read through the entire Madhya-līlā, and hopefully finish the Antya-līlā. We always talk about how we should make a regulated time to read Srila Prabhupada’s books, but never quite got around to it. But with the advent of a New Year, it is our resolution, to read all 17 Volumes it in its entirety.
As we began our reading, it was interesting to note, that the Preface was written in 1968, years before the publication of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta. It was written for the book “Teachings of Lord Chaitanya”. We are posting the Preface in its entirety. Very good read!
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
There is no difference between the teachings of Lord Caitanya presented here and the teachings of Lord Kṛṣṇa in the Bhagavad-gītā. The teachings of Lord Caitanya are practical demonstrations of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s teachings. Lord Kṛṣṇa’s ultimate instruction in the Bhagavad-gītā is that everyone should surrender unto Him, Lord Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa promises to take immediate charge of such a surrendered soul. The Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is already in charge of the maintenance of this creation by virtue of His plenary expansion, Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, but this maintenance is not direct. However, when the Lord says that He takes charge of His pure devotee, He actually takes direct charge. A pure devotee is a soul who is forever surrendered to the Lord, just as a child is surrendered to his parents or an animal to its master. In the surrendering process, one should: (1) accept things favorable for discharging devotional service, (2) reject things unfavorable, (3) believe firmly in the Lord’s protection, (4) feel exclusively dependent on the mercy of the Lord, (5) have no interest separate from the interest of the Lord, and (6) always feel oneself meek and humble.
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.