Sri-Guru-Carana-Padma

Sri-Guru-Carana-Padma
by Srila Narottama dasa Thakura, is performed here by Acyutananda dasa.

Today marks the disappearance of His Dive Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. We honor it with a half day fast, prayers, memories, and the following song.

Sri-Guru-Carana-Padma
by Narottama dasa Thakura
From Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas

śrī-guru-caraṇa-padma, kevala-bhakati-sadma,
bando muñi sāvadhāna mate
jāhāra prasāde bhāi, e bhava toriyā jāi,
kṛṣṇa-prāpti hoy jāhā ha’te

The lotus feet of our spiritual master are the only way by which we can attain pure devotional service. I bow to his lotus feet with great awe and reverence. By his grace one can cross the ocean of material suffering and obtain the mercy of Krsna.

Continue reading

The Hare Krishna Tree

Inscription on Plaque:

HARE KRISHNA TREE
Tompkins Square Park

One of Tompkins Square Park’s most prominent features is its collection of venerable American elm (Ulmus americana) trees. One elm in particular, located next to the semi-circular arrangement of benches in the park’s center, is important to adherents of the Hare Krishna religion. After coming to the United States in September, 1965, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (1896-1977), the Indian spiritual leader, founded the International Society for Krishna Consciousness in New York. He worked from a storefront on nearby Second Avenue that he used as the Society’s American headquarters. Prabhupada and his disciples gathered in Tompkins Square Park in the fall of 1966 to introduce the East Village to the group’s distinctive 16-word mantra:

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare

On October 9, 1966, Prabhupada and his followers sat beneath this tree and held the first outdoor chanting session outside of India. Participants chanted for two hours as they danced and played cymbals, tambourines, and other percussive instruments; the event is recognized as the founding of the Hare Krishna religion in the United States. Prabhupada’s diverse group that day included Beat poet Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997). Krishna adherents continue to return to the tree to acknowledge its significance.

American elm trees are known for their towering canopies, which provide abundant shade through spring, summer, and fall. It is rare today to find such a collection of American elms, since many of the mature elms planted across the country have been killed by Dutch Elm Disease. This incurable disease, a fungus carried by bark beetles ( Coleoptera Scolytidae) which colonize on the branches of the elm tree, swept across the United States in the 1930s and remains a threat to the park’s collection of elms. Despite having lost at least 34 of the trees, Tompkins Square Park still hosts a large assemblage of elms, which continue to this day to enchant park patrons. The East Village Parks Conservancy, a volunteer group, raises significant private funds for the ongoing care and maintenance of the American elms and other historic trees in Tompkins Square Park.

City Of New York
Parks and Recreation

Rudolph Giuliani, Mayor
Henry J. Stern, Commissioner

October 2001

Conversations with George Harrison

George-Harrison-and-Srila-Prabhupada

click on image to enlarge

Conversations with George Harrison
London, England – July 26, 1976

Srila Prabhupada: “Are you reading sometimes my books? Which one?”

George Harrison: “Mainly Krsna.”

Srila Prabhupada: “That is the main book.” [laughs)

George Harrison: “Mukunda gave me the new books, but there’s so much to read.”

Srila Prabhupada: “Philosophy.”

George Harrison: “I don’t know how anybody could have written it, it’s is difficult to read all that amount”

Srila Prabhupada: “Sometimes, they are surprised how one man can write so many books, but it is Krsna’ s grace. Otherwise, not possible. Human being, it is not possible.”

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. 

Continue reading

Gurukrpa: What Really Happened in 1977-78

This is an older post that originally surfaced on the Sampradaya Sun some years ago, however, for those of you who have not seen this recorded interview, or those of you who like to hear and remember some of the truth that transpired after the departure of Srila Prabhupada in 1977, we again share this important recollection from a senior member of The Hare Krishna Movement.

Gurukrpa: What Really Happened in 1977-78

By Bhakta dasa
Feb 04, INDIA (SUN)

Dear Prabhus: Gurukrpa is here with me and on his behalf I am writing here.

Question: What happened the final months of Srila Prabhupada’s appearance in connection with the process of initiating new devotees?

Gurukrpa: Nothing happened. In the beginning Srila Prabhupada did the diksa, the yajna and the name giving. As the numbers increased, he authorized GBC, and senior sannyasis to pick names and chant on the beads, etc. In 1977 during the months of May, June, July 1977 I was in Vrindaban with Srila Prabhupada, giving him his massage in his bed between 1 AM and mangala aratik. During the day, many letters would arrive. Satsvarupa Swami was the secretary and we decided that only letters that would give joy to Srila Prabhupada would be read. Like numbers of books sold, etc. A maximum of five letters daily were read to Srila Prabhupada.

After some weeks like this, there were stacks and stacks of letters, all relating to initiation. Hundreds of people were panicking that Srila Prabhupada would leave the planet before they were given initiation. At this time, this situation was brought before Srila Prabhupada in his room by Satsvarupa, Tamal, myself, and maybe some others.

Up until this time it was a very simple matter that we were doing the initiations, but we first had to ask permission. Srila Prabhupada NEVER refused any recommendation from his senior men. And personally, I would sometimes argue with some GBC that they were giving it too easily.

At this meeting, Srila Prabhupada basically said, “From here on, if you feel they are ready, then you may give the initiation on my behalf.” I understood this for what it was, simply extending the authority a little further than it had been. Tamal Krsna Swami, began to say, “But who will do it?. Which devotees will do this?” Srila Prabhupada said, “The nearest one will do it. Whoever is closest.” Tamal said, “Can Bhavananda do? Can Jayapataka do?” Thus these eleven names came out.

Question: Why were you not on the list of eleven?

Continue reading

Arsha Prayoga Part II

Arsha Prayoga Part II
By Sriman Locanananda Prabhu

Srila Prabhupada’s desire was to see his books translated into all of the major languages of the world. By 1970, numerous centers had opened in countries outside of the United States and translation work had begun in Germany, France, Canada, South America and Japan. When the German devotees undertook the translation of the Srimad Bhagavatam, they discovered what they thought were grammatical discrepancies in the original English. The translators reasoned that if their spiritual master could publish his books with flaws included, then their own translation work could also contain mistakes and no harm would be done. In a very strongly-worded letter, Srila Prabhupada chastised his disciples for thinking they could imitate their spiritual master and explained that to avoid this offense, they must follow the principle of arsha prayoga.

One should not see mistakes in the books written by his spiritual master, nor should one think he is able take the same liberties taken by him. His Divine Grace warned his disciples that only if they were able to spread Krishna consciousness all over the world as he had done could discrepancies in their translation work be overlooked, otherwise not.

Continue reading

Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas (Free download)

Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas

Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas (Free download)

Today we celebrate the disappearance day of Srila Bhaktivonda Thakur, and we thought it fitting to make available the original songbook in honor of that great song writter and poet Bhaktivinoda Thakur.

It is with great pleasure that we share with you the Original 1974 Edition of the Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas. This Song Book and The Hare Krishna Cookbook, were probably my two favorite books as a new devotee. They were so cherished that I had the pages laminated in plastic to preserve them.

for a free pdf download click on following link;

Songs_of_The_Vaishnava_Acharyas

Pdf download courtesy of; krishnapath.org

Image from; http://protectacow.typepad.com/photos/songs/index.html

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading