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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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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With regard to your question about Bengali style kirtana and mrdanga playing, one or two styles is best. To introduce more styles is not good. It will become an encumbrance. Who is that Krsna das Babaji who is teaching? If we introduce so much emphasis on style of kirtana, then simply imitation will go on. Devotional emotion is the main thing. If we give stress to instrument and style then attention will be diverted to the style. That will be spiritual loss. (Prabhupada letter to Satsvarupa Goswami 30th June, 1976)
Today marks the Disappearance day of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. We honor it with a half day fast, followed by a nice vegetarian feast.
Hare Krsna Maha-mantra
Purport by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura
हरे कृष्ण हरे कृष्ण कृष्ण कृष्ण हरे हरे |
हरे राम हरे राम राम राम हरे हरे ||
hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare
hare rāma hare rāma rāma rāma hare hare
The Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra is known as the mahāmantra, or the greatest of sound vibrations. The mahamantra is a thirty-two syllable mantra chanted requesting Harā (another name of His supreme pleasure energy, personified by Srimati Radharani), and the Supreme Lord (given by two of His names, Krsna, the All-Attractive One, and Rama, the Reservoir of Pleasure) an opportunity to serve Them.
There are four cosmic ages, namely, Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dvapara Yuga, and Kali Yuga. Satya Yuga is known as the “Golden Age”, for values of truth and virtues were at the peak. In Treta Yuga (the age where Lord Sri Ramacandra appeared), vice was introduced. Then, Dvapara Yuga (the age when Sri Krsna appeared on Earth) took place, where vice and virtue was leveled off. Following Dvapara Yuga is the darkest age, known as Kali Yuga. It began approximately five thousand years ago, after Sri Krsna left the world. Throughout each age, the prescribed method of salvation changed. In Satya Yuga, strict penances and austerities was the path of salvation. Then, Treta Yuga introduced the concept of conducting sacrifices as mentioned in scriptures. Dvapara Yuga’s method of salvation comprised of developing personal relations with the Lord.
In Kali Yuga, however, lifespan, intelligence, and qualities are significantly lowered. Therefore, performing severe penance and austerities is impractical. Conducting sacrifices per scriptures is immensely difficult, for those scriptures are not easily accessible, and conductors of such sacrifices are not present on Earth. Receiving personal association and forming relations with the Lord was only fortunate for a few. Therefore, such methods are not practical and applicable for this age. Therefore, the Brhad Naradiya Purana has claimed:
harer nāma harer nāma harer nāmaiva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva nāsty eva gatir anyathā
“Only the Holy Name, Only the Holy Name, Only the Holy Name, is the only way. There is no other way, no other way, no other way in this Age of Kali”
Therefore, it is clearly indicated that in Kali Yuga, the only method of salvation is by chanting the holy name of God. However, the most powerful mantra for salvation was hidden in confidentiality until this age. It wasn’t until the late fifteenth century when the mahamantra was openly revealed by Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Typically, the Lord does not incarnate on Earth during Kali Yuga, until the very end. However, this Kali Yuga was especially fortunate to have Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s incarnation of gold appear on earth. Through His mission to spread the movement of devotional service in degraded age, He brought the Hare Krsna mahamantra openly for all to benefit.
Memory by Gauridas Pandita das
Associating with His Holiness Visnujana Swami for my first year in Krsna Consciousness was amazing. Chanting with him all day every day was nonstop bliss. He used to say we should be so busy in Krsna Consciousness that we have no time for Maya.
I used to make the flower garlands for Sri Sri Radha Damodar which included picking the flowers wherever we were. Since I was serving Sri Sri Radha Damodar in this way Their pure devotee Visnujana Swami showed me favor. Most devotees that joined our party got shipped out to other buses. I got to stay a whole year.
Whatever we say we say to everyone. It doesn’t matter what is his age. Krishna Consciousness teaching does not depend on the age. It is the eternal platform of the soul. This is the meaning of transcendental; that is is beyond any consideration of material qualifications such as age or intelligence. Just like thunder in the sky does not need any explanation to any old person or to a young child, similarly, the transcendental sound vibration of Hare Krishna and preaching of Bhagavad-gita philosophy will act on everyone, regardless of whether or not they are understanding at first. When preaching you only repeat what you have heard from the disciplic succession and this will act. (Prabhupada letter to Prahladananda 5th October, 1969)
“Therefore, Krishna Consciousness is also a sort of fight; but not with rifles. Our weapon is kartals. In this age there is no need of fighting with rifles because the population is so poor that they are already killed by so many disturbances. They are short lived, poor in knowledge, slack in advancement of spiritual life, unfortunate, and embarrassed by so many miserable conditions of life; like war, famine pestilence, poverty and so on. So to kill these persons by rifle is like bringing a cannon for killing a mosquito. So Lord Chaitanya introduced this fighting principle of Sankirtan Movement to reclaim all the fallen souls, who consist of so-called philosophers, half-educated scientists, misguided educationists and a miscreant society. If you can consolidate a party of soldiers as described by you, chanting Hare Krishna Mantra and claiming everyone of them to Krishna Consciousness, that will be a glorious task, and you have all of my good wishes for you for this purpose.”
(Srila Prabhupada letter to disciple, August 3, 1969)
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Excerpted from Back to Godhead Magazine
Vol. 13, Number 102, 1978
“Consider this example: when the sun is in the sky, there is no question of darkness. Similarly, when the Hare Krsna mantra is vibrating on your tongue and you are hearing attentively, then your consciousness becomes Krsna consciousness, or clear consciousness, and there is no question of maya, or hazy consciousness. Just as when light and darkness come together the darkness cannot stand before the light, maya cannot remain in the presence of Krsna.
“In Bhagavad-gita, Krsna says to offer Him at least a leaf or a flower. It is not that Krsna needs a flower or leaf. He is full. He does not need you. But He wants you to come to Him in love. Therefore Krsna says, ‘Just stop all your nonsense and surrender to Me.’ “
“People are thinking that if they get a car and an apartment, everything will be all right. But the problems are still there. Still they must undergo death, old age, and diseaseóso how is everything taken care of? They are thinking in terms of this spot life. They do not know that they are eternal. There are so many kinds of bodies, and they don’t know which kind they will have to take in their next life. But if they take to Krsna consciousness, all problems are solved.”Continue reading