Letters by Srila Prabhupada

I have been reading through some of the many letters written by Srila Prabhupada to his disciples. It is interesting to me how he deals with every disciple in such a personal and intimate way. How he gently instructs on behavior, while at the same time presenting the philosophy of Krishna consciousness,in such a clear, and matter of fact way.

Letter to Hamsaduta

February 09, 1969

My Dear Hamsaduta,

Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter of January 30, 1969, and I have noted the contents carefully. I am pleased to note that you are seeing into obtaining a dictaphone for helping me in preparing so many Krishna Consciousness literatures. The maker of my present dictaphone is Grundig, and it is an Embassy de Jur, Sterorette. This model was purchased by Hayagriva in New York for $190 by cash payment, but it can be had by installment payment at a higher price. So you may do the needful in this matter.

Regarding the Panca-tattva picture, it is simply a pose of Lord Caitanya and some of His associates receiving service from Their devotees and chanting Hare Krishna. Panca-tattva is described as Krishna in five expansions, namely Krishna Himself in the role of a devotee; His Incarnation in the role of a devotee; His energy in the role of a devotee; His expansion in the role of a devotee; and His two energies (internal and marginal) in the role of devotees. So the external energy is not there. Therefore the whole manifestation is transcendental. There are three energies, namely internal, external, and marginal. Although all of the energies are connected with Krishna, the external energy is differentiated. Just like darkness is another part of light, and therefore darkness can not stand before the light, but it stands somewhere by the side of the light. Without light, there is no existence of darkness, but darkness cannot be found in the light. Similarly, there is no darkness or activities of the external energy in the Pastimes of Lord Caitanya.

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Krishna Philosophy

I just wanted to post this beautiful picture of Srila Prabhupada.

I was reading one letter Srila Prabhupada had written to Tribhuvanatha das this morning, and I am always amazed how patient and encouraging Srila Prabhupada was with all his disciples.

Letter to: Tribhuvanatha
Los Angeles
16 June, 197272-06-16

My Dear Tribhuvanatha,

Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated 10th June, 1972, and with great pleasure I have noted the contents. I was wondering what you are doing, so I am very glad to hear your report of getting the very nice temple in Edinburgh. I think it is Krishna’s desire that you have got that place in such perfect location, so now apply yourself very seriously and take advantage of this opportunity for spreading Krishna Consciousness all over that city and in other places in Scotland. The price of 13 Pounds a week for such a large place is not at all bad. Yes, take the place for as many years as they will agree to.

Because there is close proximity of many students, the important thing to give them is our book and literature. They are interested to get knowledge, but the materialistic knowledge will lead them astray from real goal of their intelligence, and all of their credits in education will only add up to so many zeros. But if you yourself are very much well-acquainted with our Krishna philosophy, you will be able to convince them that if they make Krishna or God the center of their learning process, never mind they’re scientists, chemists, politicians, whatever they may be, if they put Krishna in front of so many zeros they will come out with a huge sum and their life will be very much perfect…

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The Vedas Are Eternal

I always like going back to the letters written by Srila Prabhupada. He explains so nicely and patiently the philosophy of Krsna consciousness.

Dear Brian Marvin,

Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your long letter dated February 14, 1974 and I have examined the contents.

Your first question is, how can the Vedas be considered eternal since they contain many historical references? But history is also eternal…There is a saying, “History repeats itself.” Why make a distinction between history and eternity. Things are happening eternally; this is history.

…You have further questioned how the Vedas can be 3,000 B. C. in age. Modern historians cannot pick up when the Vedas came into existence. From our historical references, however, we understand the Vedic knowledge has been current since the time of creation but the knowledge was originally accepted in disciplic succession from spiritual master to disciple. Later, when Vyasadeva found the peoples’ memories decreasing he wrote it into language. Otherwise it was existing by sruti, or hearing. So when this hearing began there is no history. He simply recorded the sruti, and there is no question of change. We have to understand Vedic knowledge on the authority of the disciplic succession not from mental speculators who are simply rascals and have no entrance into the Vedic knowledge. (Letter to Brian Marvin 1974, March 15)

Full Letter

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The Nine Processes of Devotional Service

Rama & Hanuman

The Nine Processes of Devotional Service

The Nine Processes of Devotional Service are described by Prahlada Maharaja in the 7th Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam, chapter 5, text 23-24. The great personalities who attained perfection by practice of the nine processes are listed below, followed by the complete text and purport, describing in full these nine processes. If I am not mistaken, this purport to text 23-24 from the seventh canto, chapter five, is one of the longest in the entire Srimad Bhagavatam. Stressing the importance of the verse.

Prahlāda Mahārāja said: Hearing and chanting about the transcendental holy name, form, qualities, paraphernalia and pastimes of Lord Viṣṇu, remembering them, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, offering the Lord respectful worship with sixteen types of paraphernalia, offering prayers to the Lord, becoming His servant, considering the Lord one’s best friend, and surrendering everything unto Him (in other words, serving Him with the body, mind and words)—these nine processes are accepted as pure devotional service. One who has dedicated his life to the service of Kṛṣṇa through these nine methods should be understood to be the most learned person, for he has acquired complete knowledge. (SB 7.5.23-24)

1. HEARING (sravanam)
Maharaja Pariksit(the last seven days of his life, he constantly heard the Srimad Bhagavatam).

2. CHANTING (kirtanam)
Sukadeva Goswami(spoke the Bhagavatam to Maharaja Pariksit)

3. REMEMBERING (visnu smaranam)
Prahlada Maharaja(never forgot Krsna despite constant tortures from his father- Hiranyakashipu)

Laxmi, the Goddess of Fortune, is always engaged in serving the lotus feet of the Lord.

5. DEITY-WORSHIP (arcanam)
Maharaja Prthu used all of his royal possessions in order to offer them in pure devotion to the Lord.

6. PRAYING (vandanam)
Akura offered prayers to Krsna when he was traveling to Vrndavana in order to see Krsna.

Hanuman, the intimate servant of Ramacandra executed all of Sri Ramacandra’s orders despite all kinds of difficulties.

8. SERVING AS A FRIEND (sakhyam)
Arjuna was so close to Krsna, that the Lord offered Himself to become his chariot driver and serve Arjuna and his brothers in various ways.

9. COMPLETE SURRENDER (atma nivedanam)
Bali Maharaja gave Sri Vamanadeva his entire kingdom, his possessions as well as his own body, although his own spiritual master was against it.

All these great devotees served the Lord according to a particular process, but every one of them attained salvation and became eligible to return home, back to Godhead

Full Text and purport follows

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Cow Protection – Practical Necessity for a Peaceful Society

Happy New Year! My first post of the New Year, an issue very dear to my heart, Cow Protection.

…The Srimad-Bhagavatam says the cow is an offenseless living being. It’s Krsna’s arrangement that the cow takes so little and gives so much. From her milk you can make hundreds of delicious preparations. She simply performs her service very peacefully without any bother to anyone.

Cow Protection – Practical Necessity for a Peaceful Society

(excerpted from Back to Godhead Magazine January 1976 Vol. 11, No. 1)

by Visakha-devi dasi

Speaking on the troubled condition of our modern world, the late historian Arnold Toynbee once said, “The cause of it [the world’s malady] is spiritual. We are suffering from having sold our souls to the pursuit of an objective which is both spiritually wrong and practically unobtainable. We have to reconsider our objective and change it. And until we do this, we shall not have peace, either amongst ourselves or within each of us.”

The conditions of our urbanized, technology-oriented society that prompted Dr. Toynbee’s remarks are no mystery to us. Especially in the West, and increasingly in the rest of the world, the mad quest for artificial luxuries has created a chaotic atmosphere pervaded by greed and power-seeking.

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