On My Behalf

“So I cannot speak. I am feeling weak. I was to go to other places like Chandigarh, but I canceled the program because the condition of my health is very deteriorating. So I preferred to come to Vrindavan. If death takes place, let it take here. So there is nothing new to be said. Whatever I have to speak, I have spoken in my books. Now you try to understand it and continue your endeavor. Whether I am present or not present, it doesn’t matter. As Krsna is living eternally, similarly, the living being also lives eternally.

On My Behalf
Srila Prabhupada’s Initiation System
by Sriman Gauridasa Pandita Prabhu

Srila Prabhupada arrived in Sri Vrindavan Dhama on May 17th 1977 to prepare to ‘leave his body.’ He made all of the arrangements for the future of his movement. He formed his Will, the Temple Property Trusts, he gave instructions for the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust and the GBC and he established his initiation system for the future of ISKCON.

Due to some unseen good fortune I got the opportunity to serve Srila Prabhupada, at that time. Actually, I began to personally serve him in Bombay as one of his guards and then went with him to Hrsikesh to ‘regain his failing health’ on the advice of one of the life members, Mahadevia Kartikeya.

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Vrndavan Bhajan

Srila Prabhupada in Vrindavan3

Vṛndāvana Bhajana

Written by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami in 1958,
Published December of that Year in Gauḍīya Patrika,
The Magazine of the Gauḍīya Vedānta Samiti.

Verse 1.

I am sitting alone in Vṛndāvana-dhāma In this mood I am getting many realizations. I have my wife, sons, daughters, grandsons, everything, But I have no money so they are a fruitless glory. Kṛṣṇa has shown me the naked form of material nature, By his strength it has all become tasteless to me today. yasyāham anugṛhṇāmi hariṣye tad-dhanaṁ śanaiḥ
“I gradually take away all the wealth of those upon whom I am merciful.”
How was I able to understand this mercy of the All-merciful?

Verse 2.

Everyone has abandoned me, seeing me as penniless, Wife, relatives, friends, brothers, everyone. This is misery, but it gives me a laugh. I sit alone and laugh. In this māyā-saṁsāra, whom do I really love? Where have all my loving father and mother gone to now? And where are all my elders, who were my own folk? Who will give me news of them, tell me who? All that is left of this family life is a list of names.

Verse 3.

Like the froth on the sea water mixes again in the sea, Māyā’s saṁsāra’s play is just like that. No one is mother or father, or personal relative, Just like the sea-foam they remain but a short time, Just as the froth on sea water mixes again in the sea, The body made of five elements meets with destruction. How many bodies does the embodied soul take in this way; His relatives are all simply related to this temporal body.

Verse 4.

But everyone is your relative, brother? on the spiritual platform. This relationship is not tinged with the smell of māyā. The Supreme Lord is the soul of everyone, In relation to Him, everyone in the universe is the same. All your relatives, brother! All the billions of jīvas. When seen in relation to Kṛṣṇa they are all in harmony. Forgetting Kṛṣṇa, the jīva desires for sense gratification, And as a result he is firmly grasped by māyā.

Verse 5.

As a result of past activities he takes on different types of body. Absorbed in that dress he remains forgetful of Śrī Hari. Therefore māyā gives him so many kinds of miseries And although he bobs up and down in this ocean of misery, he still thinks that he is happy. Lying on a bed, suffering greatly, having been sick a long time “I am very well today,” he says laughing. I get a laugh out of his “feeling very well” This is the way the soul conditioned by māyā feels “well”

Verse 6.

How many plans they have to remain “well” But time and time again nature destroys them. daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī that is the Supreme Lord’s māyā. Try to understand exactly the meaning of their “feeling well”; No one is well in the whole world, but still they are saying In this way māyā cheats the conditioned soul. But, ignoring that he is being cheated, he remains absorbed in māyā; And although māyā kicks him, he will not give up his mistaken conception.

Verse 7.

Again and again making plans, and again and again they are destroyed. Sometimes he falls on the dry earth and sometimes in the mud. In this way the universe is filled with wandering jīva souls who finally by the grace of Guru and Kṛṣṇa get bhakti-the eternal wealth. Gaining that wealth if they can give up all other so-called wealth, Then very easily he crosses over the ocean of saṁsāra. There on the other side is unparalled spiritual variegatedness. There he enjoys in eternal happiness and peace.

Verse 8.

The mad say, “There everything is formless, Without special feature like a kind of nothing.” He is actually the storehouse of spiritual tastes—raso vai saḥ The intelligent knowers of tastes serves him becoming his subordinate Śānta, dāsya, sakhya, vātsalya are those tastes and The best of all, mādhurya, is the essence of them all. But in the spiritual world all these tastes are relishable, Whereas the material tastes are just shadow reflections and are all contemptible.

Verse 9.

One who worships Kṛṣṇa is clever But one who worships māyā is a pauper. Becoming a pauper one engages in temporary pastimes Without knowledge of the true relationships of things he simply becomes bound up in māyā’s knot. Arjuna and Duryodhana both fought in the same war, But Arjuna was the best devotee and Duryodhana died. on one battlefield both dear and detestable One who is intelligent will be able to understand.

Verse 10.

One who fights the war of life knowing his true relationship, He will remain alive while all others will perish. One who does not know his relationship, and takes up some other path, He will never attain love of god, and his whole life is useless. First understand properly your relationship with Kṛṣṇa And then keeping that relationship, go and fight with māyā. Other than this all the heroes of jñāna and karma Never attained liberation, they were all uncertain.

Verse 11.

In name only they were great sober and unaffected men, They were all unpeaceful. Desiring liberation, sense gratification or mystic powers, all had uncontrolled senses. The uncontrolled senses don’t answer to the potency of yoga. How many yogis and munis there were, and always the senses remained independent. Without service of the master of the senses there can be no sense control. They all return to material activities after a short term of peace. By the process of yoga, no one ever attains sense control. This is explained extensively in the Vedas and Purāṇas.

Verse 12.

Viśvāmitra sat on the yogic āsana But he desired the pure beauty Śakuntalā. In this way the yogis fall down, what to speak of the jñānīs And the karmīs are all just asses, suffering in all respects. The one to whom Kṛṣṇa is merciful and gives His instruction, Becomes equally as fortunate as Arjuna. But one who fights for his own happiness’ sake He, like Duryodhana, dies along with his family.

Verse 13.

One who always fights on behalf of Kṛṣṇa, Wealth, power, knowledge are all within his grasp. Understand properly the Gītā’s message You will attain Kṛṣṇa’s service and will worship Śrī Hari, The devotees are endowed with all qualities, So what are “non-violence” or “freedom from anger” to them?

Verse 14.

Śrī Hari teaches the living entities by means of his devotees, one such helper is Pārtha. Arjuna acted just like a conditioned soul Like one bewildered was the Pāṇḍava brother Violence to his relatives and then enjoyment of the Kingdom Could this be happiness? Arjuna showed lamentation. This though, was all dehātma-buddhiḥ identification with the body one who is a kṣatriya gives up such family affection on the battlefield.

Verse 15.

Kṛṣṇa, seeing his illusion, chastised him Therefore Arjuna accepted the position of disciple Becoming a disciple he listened to the Bhagavad-gītā. All his ignorance dissipated as well as his material bondage. His material bondage was cut, but he was not dressed as a sannyāsī. The householders understand the Gītā’s meaning this way. The perfection of mantras, kariṣye vacanaṁ tava Therefore the war that he fought brought him an increase in fame.

Verse 16.

The Vaiṣṇavas have no desire, they all chant japa on their beads. So what kind of Vaiṣṇava is this Arjuna in the middle of saṁsāra? The Vaiṣṇava freed from duality simply chants japa on his beads, So say those who are eating the mind’s bananas. The Vaiṣṇava is without desire, and amicable by nature But he is not a forceless weakling as people foolishly think. In two great Indian wars, two great personalities; Leaders amongst the Vaiṣṇavas and were victorious.

Verse 17.

Because of desire for the satisfaction of his own senses he would not fight. But he is one who is known by everyone as a Vaiṣṇava. Those who do not see the real Vaiṣṇavas say that a Vaiṣṇava is inactive. But the Vaiṣṇava is always active in the service of the Lord. The lifeless kaniṣṭha-adhikārīs don’t perform any service. For profit adoration and prestige they stay in their lonely place, Nityānanda prabhu, who is worshipable by the Vaiṣṇavas Suffered blows, but still distributed love of God one after the other.

Verse 18.

Gaura Hari came with the cakra in His hand and gave punishment, After that the Vaiṣṇava haters were subdued. The Lord sets example Himself to teach the jīvas So one who performs nirjana bhajana simply cheats himself. The world has now become full of Jagāis and Mādhāis The Nityānanda Vaṁśa has increased its following of disciples. But eating, sleeping, wearing the dress, but remaining unconcerned It is not proper for the Vaiṣṇavas to remain so uncompassionate.

Verse 19.

Śrīla Cakravartī Ṭhākura says in his Mādhurya Kaḍambinī Just see his conclusion and what is his judgement. Devotional service is causeless and self-manifesting But the Eternally Perfect Substance is always covered over. The madhyama-adhikārī therefore being compassionate Gives mercy to the innocent souls by awakening devotion in them. The Supreme Lord acts according to the will of the Vaiṣṇavas, Therefore by the mercy of the Vaiṣṇavas the bewildered can be awakened.

Verse 20.

The Vaiṣṇavas can awaken the sleeping world By their mercy the sinful can all become devotees. Therefore they do not perform nirjana bhajana, That is the world cheating process of the kaniṣṭha-adhikārī All the big big famous vaishnavas were in assembly And Padri Saheb came in to meet them He asked some questions about Kṛṣṇa’s līlā in Vṛndāvana But that association of venerable Vaiṣṇavas was not able to enlighten him as to the real truth.

Verse 21.

The kaniṣṭha-adhikārīs do not understand these scriptures In the false pride of being alone they simply hunt for chapatis and dal. Our spiritual master said these are all kaniṣṭha Now I can understand the truth of what he said. One well versed in the scripture and who has strong faith Is an uttama-adhikārī and can deliver the whole world. He is the deliverer of the most fallen and is famous through the world. Now, save this fallen one and thus become really famed.

Verse 22.

In the Kali-yuga the jīvas are all fallen and the lowest of mankind. Seeing they do not see the different activities The Supreme Lord Gaurasundara is the most magnanimous And His instructions are all full of nectar. One who has taken his birth in the land of Bharata Should engage in welfare activities according to His instructions. The Supreme Lord’s līlā was to relish mellows in the nirajana But it is not the play of Vaiṣṇavas to imitate these activities.

Verse 23.

This transcendental service cannot actually be tasted by those who are not Vaiṣṇavas. In the material body one cannot relish this transcendental nectar. One who has the material concept that the body is his self Cannot relish spiritual mellows. But those who have conceptions of the Vaiṣṇavas in terms of birth etc. Are very bold when it comes to relishing the līlās of the Lord. Like the clerk in the post office, one caste goswami. The bābājīs all pay their obeisances to him a lot.

Verse 24.

The Gosāi Ṭhākura has false pride in his birth Which Nityānanda Prabhu cut into pieces. I see all these things going on in Vṛndāvana Therefore I can understand that there is some work to be done here The prākṛta-sahajiyās all commit adultery Taking someone else’s wife they go to relish transcendental līlā. This is not Vṛndāvana as always think like this my dear mind Remember the Lotus feet of the six gosvāmīs.

Verse 25.

The six gosvāmīs came and preached religious life They saved the process of devotional service on the order of Lord Caitanya. They are all eternally perfect associates of the Lord and always remember Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa Remembering them all the conditioned souls sins are cleared away But if he tries to imitate them taking on their dress and characteristics He becomes the plaything of māyā and does not cross over the material ocean Always preach! From jīva’s door to door Your life will be successful as a result of your preaching.

Verse 26.

Śrī Dayitā dāsa prabhu gave this instruction “Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa loudly, this is my initiation: Kīrtana is not just drums and karatālas The sound of kīrtana is not this modern system Anything favourable for devotional service is all Mādhava And the only enjoyer of the three worlds is Yadava Māyā’s pride and joy, the radio sound Destroy them all by forceful kīrtana.

Verse 27.

Māyā’s is all these newspapers Preach that throughout the whole world. Sitting alone in your room shouting, you may increase your bile’s secretion But in ten million births Śrī Hari won’t be pleased. Śrī Hari is no one’s father’s property Come out of your cage, stop making objection Everything belongs to Śrī Hari and Śrī Hari belongs to everyone. Chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra loudly By the performance of such saṅkīrtana there will come remembrance automatically Then there will be nirjana bhajana manifested in the heart spontaneously.

Text pasted from Prabhupada Books

Disappearance Day of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Today we honor the disappearance day of Srila Prabhupada.

om ajñāna-timirāndhasya
jñānāñjana-śalākayā
cakṣur unmīlitaṁ yena
tasmai śrī-gurave namaḥ

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

Dear Srila Prabhupada

On this most auspicious day, we are celebrating your disappearance, with remembrances and prayers.

There are so many days on the Vaisnava Calendar where we are celebrating some auspicious holiday or festival, but none of them are as important to me personally, as the two days when we honor your appearance and disappearance. There is no day more important to this insignificant disciple, then your appearance into my life.

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George Harrison Interview: Hare Krishna Mantra–There’s Nothing Higher (1982)

George Harrison at peace

George Harrison Interview: Hare Krishna Mantra–There’s Nothing Higher (1982)
This entry is part 3 of 10 in the series The Beatles and Hare Krishna

George: It’s really the same sort of thing as meditation, but I think it has a quicker effect. I mean, even if you put your beads down, you can still say the mantra or sing it without actually keeping track on your beads. One of the main differences between silent meditation and chanting is that silent meditation is rather dependent on concentration, but when you chant, it’s more of a direct connection with God.

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Prabhupada in New York City — Enlightenment on Skid Row

The Biography of a Pure Devotee
by Srila Satsvarupa dasa Goswami
excerpted from Back To Godhead Magazine August 1979

…Now that Srila Prabhupada had left Seventy-second Street and had moved downtown, it wasn’t long before new people were coming to see him. ‘After a few minutes … the sound of the cymbals and the incense . . . we weren’t in the Bowery any longer. We started chanting Hare Krsna.. . . I remember it was relaxing and very interesting to be able to chant, and I found Swamiji very fascinating. . . .”

One of the first women to take an interest in Srila Prabhupada was twenty-year-old Carol Bekar. She came from an immigrant Catholic background, and she immediately associated Catholicism with the philosophy of bhakti-yoga. She was divorced and was now living with the brother of Carl Yeargens.

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His Final Instructions

131_-_btg_year-1978_volume-13_number-01-02_page_01

For today’s post we are going back in time…to the first issue of Back to Godhead Magazine after Srila Prabhu’s departure.

Srila Prabhupada Speaks Out
text excerpted from; Back to Godhead Magazine

His Final Instructions

During his last months, Srila Prabhupada was not very active physically, and he spoke relatively little. Yet when he did speak, his words were full of spiritual strength. These excerpts from Srila Prabhupada’s last statements reveal the mind of the pure devotee and universal teacher. And they show that Srila Prabhupada is indeed a transcendental personality, whose devotion to Lord Krsna and to the mission of spreading love of Krsna is undying.

“There is nothing new to be said. Whatever I had to say, I have already said in my books. Now you must all try to understand it and continue with your endeavors. Whether I am present or not present doesn’t matter. Just as Krsna is living eternally, the living being also lives eternally. But especially… kirtir yasya sa jivati: ‘One who has done service to the Lord lives forever.’ You have been taught to serve Krsna, and with Krsna we’ll live eternally. Our life is eternal. Na hanyate hanyamane sarire: the disappearance of this temporary body doesn’t matter. The body is meant for disappearance. So, live forever by serving Krsna. Thank you very much.”

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108 Imporant Slokas from the 1972 Bhagavad-gita As It Is

This is the list of 108 of the most important slokas from the Bhagavad-gita As It Is (1972 Macmillan Edition) by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. The index to these verses was taken from the Bhakti-sastri Study Guide compiled by Atmatattva dasa as used by the Bhaktivedanta Academy in Mayapur. [*Note for this collection of slokas, we are using the Original Translations rather than the later re-vised Translations. These were the Translations that Srila Prabhupada approved and which were memorized by heart, by all of the early disciples of His Divine Grace.]

These are important verses for memorizing. Srila Prabhupada has said, that when you quote a verse, your argument becomes authoritative. -Vyasasana dasa

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Pranams (Prayers)

One of the most used books in our temple room is the songbook. Everyday it seems, I am flipping through the “Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas”, singing one of the many songs or reciting some of the numerous pranams (prayers) as part of my daily sadhana. The following post is the first 13 pages of songbook, which in my mind is a nice way to start the day and is a good prelude to other devotional service.

Pranams
from the Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas

SRI GURU PRANAMA

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

om-address; ajnana-of ignorance; timira-by the darkness; andhasya-of one who was blinded; jnana-anjana-by the ointment of spiritual knowledge; salakaya-by a medical instrument called a salaka, which is used to apply medical ointment to eyes afflicted with cataracts: caksuh-eyes; unmilitam-were opened; yena-by whom; tasmai-unto him; sri-gurave-unto my spiritual master; namah-obeisances.

I offer my respectful obeisances unto my spiritual master, who has opened my eyes, which were blinded by the darkness of ignorance, with the torchlight of knowledge.

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Very Important History!

This is the last written instruction we have on initiations. It is a very important letter that all members of ISKCON should be familiar with, regardless of your position. It was adressed to All G.B.C., and Temple Presidents. This is where the first eleven names originated, and how initiations were to be carried out. This letter was based on the equally important May 28th Conversation between the GBC and Srila Prabhupada, as regards to how initiations in the future, will go on, particularly at that time when Srila Prabhupada is no longer with us.

It is essential for devotees to understand that all ISKCON members are first and foremost followers of Srila Prabhupada and that it is by his blessings that we advance in Krishna consciousness. The eternal spiritual master is a resident of Vaikuntha and is our ever well-wisher. It is he who is preparing a place for us in the spiritual world.

Very important history!

The full text is as follows:

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Arsha Prayoga – Part IV

This series of papers (in four parts) written by Locananda Prabhu, is amongst the most compelling of arguments, for not changing the books of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. At the bottom of post are the links to the other parts of Arsha Prayoga, as well as links to other papers written on the subject of Book Changes.

Arsha Prayoga – Part IV
By Sriman Locanananda Prabhu

For those who saw the Hare Krishna movement spread from city to city and from country to country, it was clear that the original version of Srila Prabhupada’s books was full of spiritual potency and did not require to be changed in any way for his words to act upon the hearts of the conditioned souls.

The question as to whether the writings of the Acharya may or may not be revised by his disciples after his disappearance is answered by the rule of arsha-prayoga.

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