This morning I was reading from Srila Prabhupada’s Srimad Bhagavatam:
…Any living being, if he terrifies other living beings, is a most wretched subject, and the king should at once kill such a disturbing element. As the wild animal is killed when it creates disturbances, similarly any man who unnecessarily kills or terrifies the jungle animals or other animals must be punished at once. By the law of the Supreme Lord, all living beings, in whatever shape they may be, are the sons of the Lord, and no one has any right to kill another animal, unless it is so ordered by the codes of natural law. The tiger can kill a lower animal for his subsistence, but a man cannot kill an animal for his subsistence. That is the law of God, who has created the law that a living being subsists by eating another living being. Thus the vegetarians are also living by eating other living beings. Therefore, the law is that one should live only by eating specific living beings, as ordained by the law of God. The Īśopaniṣad directs that one should live by the direction of the Lord and not at one’s sweet will. A man can subsist on varieties of grains, fruits and milk ordained by God, and there is no need of animal food, save and except in particular cases. (from purport SB 1.17.10-11)
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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.
When I clicked on the About Srila Prabhupada link, the following essay appeared, we share it with you here today.
About Śrīla Prabhupāda
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
It is very difficult to write about His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda for several reasons. First is the challenge how to properly honor and represent such a personality who exhibited unprecedented greatness by his humility and dedication to the order of his spiritual predecessor. Second, how to condense into a short historical and introductory narrative his mission, his mood, his struggles, and his kindness and endearing humanness. And last, how to present his mission and the organization he formed to perpetuate it while recognizing that it has deviated from his mood and standards since the time of his passing. This last challenge is the most difficult for our hearts to face, having ourselves dedicated many years of hard work to building and supporting the organization, and having those efforts discounted, minimized, and in fact, betrayed by later management. We have observed persons who would have otherwise studied Śrīla Prabhupāda’s books been too affected by the misdeeds of the organization to enter into the wisdom upon which it had been founded, not being able to separate the pure spiritual essence from the superficial structure. We have also suffered the embarrassment of being “lumped in” with something that has become a mere shadow of the original intent and purity. We are bound out of our love for Śrīla Prabhupāda to keep his teachings alive and to create community in which those who are sincere in their spiritual quest may find support and solace in a kind and genuine way if they desire. That all being said, here is our humble effort to introduce to you our spiritual preceptor.Continue reading
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
Remembrance of Kṛṣṇa is not possible for the impure soul who has not practiced Kṛṣṇa consciousness in devotional service. To remember Kṛṣṇa one should chant the mahāmantra, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare, incessantly, following in the footsteps of Lord Caitanya, being more tolerant than the tree, humbler than the grass and offering all respect to others without requiring respect in return. In such a way one will be able to depart from the body successfully remembering Kṛṣṇa and so attain the supreme goal. (Prabhupada purport Bg As it is 8:5)
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The process is that everything is offered to the Spiritual Master, and the Spiritual Master is supposed to offer the same foodstuff to the Lord. When a thing is offered to the Spiritual Master, he immediately offers to the Lord. That is the system, and as we come by parampara system, it is our duty to go through the right channel—namely, first the Spiritual Master, then Lord Caitanya, and then Krishna. So when we chant prayers, we do this, Bande ham Sri Guru . . . and gradually to the Goswamis, then to Lord Caitanya, and then to Radha Krishna. That is the praying system. But offering the prasadam to present everything before the Spiritual Master whose picture is also in the altar, means that the Spiritual Master will take care of offering the foodstuff to the Lord. Therefore simply by chanting the prayer to the Spiritual Master, everything will be complete. (Prabhupada letter to Harer Nama 28th May, 1968)