…Almost every Vaisnava and aspiring Vaisnava in the Western world is indebted to Srila Prabhupada, who made the ultimate sacrifice for us all. No matter our personal doubts, at least we can afford him the respect and love that he so rightly earned and so richly deserves in a public forum read by people all over the world.
Respecting Srila Prabhupada
by Padmapani Prabhu
As disciples and followers of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krsna Consciousness, we all have an eternal debt to Srila Prabhupada for his unprecedented sacrifice in freely distributing the mercy of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu all over the world.
At great personal inconvenience, Srila Prabhupada left the peaceful and holy village of Vrindavan at the advanced age of 69 to travel by steamship across the Atlantic Ocean, suffering two heart attacks en route to New York City and arriving with less than seven dollars in his pocket and with no help from anyone except his beloved Lord Sri Krsna. Almost immediately upon his arrival after more than 30 days at sea — traveling by freighter and not by plane or luxury cruiser — Prabhupada began his preaching work as ordered by his spiritual master, His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. Rather than focus on the wealthy or privileged class of society, Srila Prabhupada — an educated and scholarly master of the Vedic literatures — chose to humbly deliver his message to the poorest of the poor in the Bowery and later in the Lower East Side of New York City. In spite of his exalted position as an authorized representative of the highly esteemed Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya-Sampradaya in direct disciplic succession from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krsna, Srila Prabhupada always remained humble and respectful to everyone — especially to those whom he endeavored so hard to help with his personal instructions, encouragement and unlimited patience:
“I am very poor and I have nothing to return for your loving service, but I can simply pray to Krishna for your gradual advancement in Krishna Consciousness. I think that is the best blessing which we can have in this material existence.” (Srila Prabhupada letter, October 21, 1968)Continue reading
Dear Srila Prabhupada
Please accept my humble obeisances, and kindly forgive my offences.
Today your disappearance is being observed by the offering of prayers and remembrances.
With your arrival on the shores of America, you brought with you the shining lamp of knowledge, and the Supreme Absolute Truth. You appeared on the shores of America the way the sun appears on the Eastern Horizon. Slowly revealing itself at first, then dominating the sky with its blazing effulgence. Illuminating the entire world with its golden light.
Where there is light there is no darkness. And wherever your words are being sung and repeated, there is a glimmer of hope for the materially conditioned souls of this world.
It is from you only, Srila Prabhupada, that I know anything at all about Krishna or the spiritual world. By your grace only, the knowledge is revealed, and you become revealed to your disciples and listeners. Anyone who submissively hears from you, either by reading your books, or hearing your lectures, can attain the highest perfectional platform of spiritual realization.
Just as there is the sun and the sunshine, so there is Krishna, and Krishna’s pure representative. When we feel the sunshine, we know the sun is there, and when we hear from you, we know that Krishna is there.
Begging to remain forever in Your Divine Service
Today marks the annual celebration of Lord Krishna’s lifting Govardhana Hill to protect the residents of Vrindavana from the wrath of Indra. Typically devotees prepare varieties of foodstuff with grain and ghee (like rice, dhal, halva, pakora, puri etc.) and all kinds of milk preparations (such as sweet rice, rabri, sweetballs, sandesha, rasagulla and laddu). The food is stacked like a small mountain and offered to the Lord. Then it is distributed to everyone.
Of all the devotees, this Govardhana Hill is the best! O my friends, this hill supplies Krishna and Balarama, along with Their calves, cows and cowherd friends, with all kinds of necessities: water for drinking, very soft grass, caves, fruits, flowers and vegetables. In this way the hill offers respects to the Lord. Being touched by the lotus feet of Krishna and Balarama, Govardhana Hill appears very jubilant. (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.21.18)
Devotees also worship the cows on the day of Govardhana Puja. Krishna is known as Gopala – the protector of cows. There is also a prayer in Vishnu Purana (1.19.65) that states: namo brahmanya-devaya go-brahmana-hitaya ca. Here Krishna is described as the well-wisher of the cows and the brahmanas. The cows are decorated and fed well. Keeping the cows in front, devotees circumambulate the Govardhana Hill.
There is a misconception that the Krsna consciousness movement represents Hinduism. Krsna consciousness is in no way a faith or religion that seeks to defeat other faiths or religions. Rather, it is an essential cultural movement for the entire human society and does not consider any particular sectarian faith. This cultural movement is especially meant to educate people in how they can love God.Continue reading
Today marks the Appearance Day of Narottama Dasa Thakura. We honor him today with this beautiful song he composed about the glories of devotional service to Radha and Krishna and Their wonderful pastimes.
Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, my living force! O youthful couple, in life or death I have nothing more than you. On the banks of the Yamunā, in a grove of flowering kadamba trees, I will prepare a golden throne, and seat You there. I will anoint Your dark and fair forms with sandalwood pulp sented with aguru. I will fan You with a peacock tail fan, and see Your two moonlike faces. I will string garlands of mālatī flowers and place them around Your Lordship’s necks, and for Your lotus lips I will offer betel leaves scented with camphor. By the side of Lalitā and Viśākhā, I will stand, ready to fulfill any order of service at their Lotus feet. Narottama dasa, the servant of the servant of the servant of Lord Caitanya, says: “Allow me to engage in these pastimes of devotionas service” (translation from the Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas)
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” Upon seeing His mothers whipping stick, He cried and rubbed His eyes again and again with His two lotus hands. His eyes were fearful and His breathing quick, and as Mother Yasoda bound His belly with ropes, He shivered in fright and His pearl necklace shook. To this Supreme Lord, Sri Damodara, who is bound with His devotee’s love, I offer my humble obeisances.” (Damodarastakam)
We are now in the month of Damodara (Kartika). In honor and in celebration of the month of Damodara, we will be focusing our attention on the pastimes of Krishna in Vrndavan. Especially Krishna’s childhood pastimes. The following song is sung morning and evening and it is customary to offer a candle or gee lamp as well to a picture of Lord Krsna and Mother Yasoda.
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Question: Can One See God from Different Angles of Vision such as Christian, Hinduism, Islam, etc.??………
Prabhupada: If you see God, Krsna, from the Hindu angle of vision, if you see God from Christian angle of vision, then you cannot see God. That is not seeing God. You have to become free from all these designation. Just like Caitanya Mahaprabhu taught us, “I am not a Brahmin. I am not a ksatriya. I am not a vaisya. I am not a sudra. I am not a sannyasi. I am not a grhastha. I am not a brahmacari.” Then “What You are?” Because within these eight categories you are living. But Caitanya Mahaprabhu says “I don’t belong to all these categories.” “Then what You are, Sir?” “I am the servant of the servant of the servant of the servant of Krsna, the maintainer of the gopis.” So unless you come to this stage, free from all designation, you cannot serve Krsna. Krsna accepts service from the devotee. Krsna is not beggar, that He has come to your place and asking some food from you. No. But Krsna accepts your food provided you are a devotee. That is Krsna. (The Nectar of Devotion – October 18, 1972, Vrndavana)
Śrī Śrī Śikṣāṣṭaka
Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu
Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu instructed His disciples to write books on the science of Kṛṣṇa, a task which His followers have continued to carry out down to the present day. The elaborations and expositions on the philosophy taught by Lord Caitanya are, in fact, the most voluminous, exacting, and consistent, due to the system of disciplic succession. Although Lord Caitanya was widely renowned as a scholar in His youth, He left only eight verses, called Śikṣāṣṭaka. These eight verses clearly reveal His mission and precepts. These supremely valuable prayers are translated herein.Continue reading
Today being the Disappearance of Haridāsa Ṭhākura, we honor him with this short post. We have selected a verse from the Bhagavad-gita 6.44 wherein Srila Prabhupada mentions in the purport;
…Lord Caitanya, accepted Ṭhākur Haridāsa as one of His most important disciples. …he was elevated to the post of nāmācārya by Lord Caitanya due to his rigidly attended principle of chanting three hundred thousand holy names of the Lord daily: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare.
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