Today, being Janmastami, we thought we should include a lecture given by Srila Prabhupada on Janmastami. The following lecture given on August 16, 1968, in Montreal Canada, is very sweet and reminiscent of how this society grew in a very personal and organic way. With Srila Prabhupada inviting his students and guests to speak on their realizations of Krsna, and Krsna Consciousness.
…So today is that auspicious day, Janmāṣṭamī, when Lord Kṛṣṇa appeared five thousand years ago in India, Mathurā. Those who are Indian ladies and gentlemen present, they know very well where is Mathurā. It is about ninety miles south of New Delhi. Mathurā is still existing and it is eternally existing. Kṛṣṇa appeared in Mathurā in His maternal uncle’s house in a very precarious condition. That birthplace, Lord Kṛṣṇa’s birthplace, is now maintained very nicely. One who goes to India, they see.
So anyway, Lord Kṛṣṇa appeared on this planet five thousand years ago. Now Kṛṣṇa says, janma karma me divyam [Bg. 4.9]. Divyam means “not ordinary.” It should not be understood just like we take our birth. Kṛṣṇa does not take his birth like us.
…So we shall invite today to speak about Kṛṣṇa from our students, as well as all the members who are present here. So I shall request Janārdana to speak something about his realization of Kṛṣṇa. (pause) All right. Let him speak.
Lord Balarama is the first expansion of Lord Krishna appearing as His elder brother eight days before Krishna’s appearance in this world. While Krishna’s complexion is like a dark bluish cloud, Balarama’s complexion is like a white autumn cloud. He assisted Lord Krishna in His earthly pastimes of protecting the devotees and ridding the world of the misguided. Whilst Krishna is known for carrying a flute whose beautiful sound enchants His devotees, Balarama holds a plough in His hand that represents His strength. Devotees fast till noon on this day, followed by a feast in His honour.
Today we honor the Appearance of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu with a fast until moon rise, followed by a nice vegetarian feast. We also will be chanting and reading about some of the many pastimes of the Lord. You can read about some of the very important teachings of Lord Caitanya in the book “Teachings of Lord Chaitanya” which we have included as a free download, (just click of following link to view or download. Hare Krishna!
I met Vishnujana Swami off and on from 1970 to 1976. From the first time I met him to the last, he was always the same, always on a mission, and he was unstoppable. I believe he found his relationship with Krishna in his brief time here on Earth as Srila Prabhupada’s dear disciple. He came to Portland, Oregon temple in 1971 or ’72 I believe, and gave a lecture that put me into a sort of trance that I think I never recovered from. Then he did it again in Los Angeles, and again in New York when I saw him there. So each time I was more inspired to go out on harinamwith him and his traveling group of devotees and experience the real thing, the nectar of the holy name in congregational chanting. Anyone who knew him can tell you that he was created for Harinam Sankirtan. His kirtans set a precedent for full-speed-ahead, lose-yourself-totally-in-the-sound-vibration kirtans. When he danced and sometimes ran with the mridanga in his arms chanting till his voice was cracking, like he was crying out to Krishna, and sweating, and losing contact with the world around him, I would say it affected everyone in an emotional way that would make them also transcend the world around them and transport them into spiritual bliss. He was contagious. The milder side of his nature was deep and mysterious, thoughtful and intelligent. His lectures poured out like some kind of hypnotic river of perfectly timed overflow of nectar. And to this day I have not heard anyone ever preach like that.
“The Words of the Spiritual Master” by Ananda devi dasi
“Believing in the words of His Spiritual Master, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu introduced the Sankirtana movement, just as the present Krishna Consciousness movement was started with belief in the words of our Spiritual Master. He wanted to preach, we believed in his words and tried somehow or other to fulfill them, and now this movement has become successful all over the world. Therefore faith in the words of the Spiritual Master and the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the secret of success. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu never disobeyed the orders of His Spiritual Master and stopped propagating the Sankirtana movement.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami, at the time of his passing away, ordered all his disciples to work conjointly to preach the message of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu all over the world. Later, however, some self-interested, foolish disciples disobeyed his orders. Each one wanted to become head of the mission, and they fought in the courts, neglecting the orders of their Spiritual Master, and the entire mission was defeated. We are not proud of this, however the truth must be explained. We believed in the words of our Spiritual Master and started in a humble way-in a helpless way – but due to the spiritual force of the Supreme Authority, this movement has become successful.” (From the Chaitanya Charitamrita written and presented by Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, Srila Prabhupada Cc Adi 7.95-96)
This morning I was doing a little internet searching and revisiting some of my favorite sites. This took me to The Prabhupada Connection. For some reason I clicked on the Editorial Notes and began reading some of the essays. I was a big fan of Visnujana Swami, as was everyone, and I enjoyed reading this memory by Padmapani Prabhu.
When Visnujana Swami led kirtan in Stanley Park, hundreds of people encircled our party, all transfixed by his melodious chanting. Usually we might have a couple of dozen onlookers in attendance for harinam, but this was a monumental occasion. The devotees twirled and jumped and danced with great abandon. The sense of harmony amongst us was real and palpable. The swelling crowd was a testament to the infectious joy of chanting Hare Krsna in unity and love.
A Time for Reflection
by Padmapani das
When I first joined the Vancouver temple in 1973, a devotee explained to me that everyone who comes in contact with Krsna is a great soul, a mahatma. He told me that even the postman who delivers Krsna’s mail is very special and should be respected. I was in total awe.
Origin of the Hare Krishna Movement By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Back to Godhead Magazine Volume 01, Number 20, 1968
Lord Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Great Apostle of love of God and the Father of the Sankirtan Movement, advented Himself in the City of Nabadwipa in Bengal, India. This was in February, 1486, by Christian reckoning.
By the will of the Lord there was a lunar eclipse on that evening. It is the custom of the Hindu public to bathe in the Ganges of any other sacred river during the hours of eclispe, and to chant the Vedic mantras for purification. When Lord Chaitanya was born during the eclipse, then, the whole India was roaring with the holy sound of Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
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.
Radha Damodara Traveling Sankirtan Party
by Vyasasan das
First let me begin by offering my respectful obesiences to all the vaisnave devotee’s of the Lord, who are so merciful to the fallen conditioned souls that they put themselves in perilous and austere conditions of life voluntarily, in order to help others. And as always, let me offer my most humble obeisances to my beloved spiritual master A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who is very dear to Lord Krishna, haven taken shelter at his Lotus feet.
I had the great fortune to be a part of the Historic RDTSKP in the years 1975-1976. What great and extraordinary personalities did I encounter in that time of my life. There was the legendary Vishnujhan Swami who could bring the Hare Krishna revelers to a state of ecstasy with his vibrant and enthusiastic chanting. And his speaking was like honey dripping from the vine, so sweet and relish able. Then there was the remarkable Jayananda Thakur, so devoted to Srila Prabhupada’s mission that most of us never saw him sleeping. He woke me in the morning by touching my feet or shaking my leg and shouting jiv jago, jiv jago, gauracanda bole, “wake up sleeping soul, wake up sleeping soul, Lord Gauranga is calling! How long will you sleep in the lap of the witch called Maya?” Jayananda taught me what it meant to be a disciple of Srila Prabhupada by his enthusiastic and never ending service. Whether he was taking out the trash, or making 500 Simply Wonderful sweet balls for the festival, he was caught up in a world of joy and devotion. And of course there was Tamal Krishna Goswami, so powerful a personality, you just couldn’t ‘say no to Tamal’. And my dear friend ‘the rascal’ Gurudas Swami, who tricked me into shaving up and traveling on the bus for the next year by promising to introduce me to George Harrison “the Beatle”. But I love him dearly because through his cunning trickery, I instead got to meet His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada. And Gurudas was a gifted storyteller, and could entertain devotees and guests alike for hours with his gifts of “Prabhupada Katha”.
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.