Monday 27 February 2017

What does Devotee mean?

Following are the excerpts from Śrīla Prabhupāda's teachings:

"Vaiṣṇava devotee means give me simply a place to lay down, little prasādam, whatever little service you have got please give me, that's all." -Śrīla Prabhupāda's Letter to: Gurudāsa, Yamunā — Bombay 19 December, 1972

"Devotee means he is able to tolerate all kinds of discomfort and whims of the material nature, and because he is so much absorbed in serving Kṛṣṇa, he takes no time to become angry or take offense with others or find out some fault." -Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Letter to: Haṁsadūta — Ahmedabad 10 December, 1972 "Devotee means very liberal and kind to everyone, always gentleman under all kinds of conditions of life." -Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Letter to: Haṁsadūta — Ahmedabad 10 December, 1972 "Devotee means one should be firmly convinced of his being the eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa." -Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Letter to: Mr. Kair — Los Angeles 8 July, 1969 "So to become devotee means to do the best service to the family." -Śrīla Prabhupāda, Discussion on Deprogrammers -- January 9, 1977, Bombay
"A devotee means he knows everything."
-Śrīla Prabhupāda’s room Conversation with Professor Francois Chenique -- August 5, 1976, New Mayapur (French farm)
"Devotee means the first sign will be happy, brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā [Bg. 18.54]. If he's not prasannātmā, he's a rascal. He has not entered even devotional life. He's outside. That is the test." -Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Morning Walk -- April 24, 1976, Melbourne
"Devotee means tattva-darśī. He has seen the real truth." Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Morning Walk -- March 25, 1976, Delhi
"Devotee means who follows Kṛṣṇa." -Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Morning Walk -- March 25, 1976, Delhi
"Devotee means sa guṇān samatītyaitān brahma-bhūyāya kalpate [Bg. 14.26]. He is above these material laws. That is devotee." -Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Morning Walk -- March 25, 1976, Delhi
"Devotee means brahmacārī. Pure devotee means brahmacārī. Anyabhilasita-sunyam [Brs. 1.1.11]. He has no other desire. That is brahmacārī." -Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Morning Walk -- November 3, 1975, Bombay
"Devotee means serious devotee." -Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Conversation with Professor Hopkins -- July 13, 1975, Philadelphia
"Devotee means he has no sense gratification." -Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Room Conversation with Tripurāri -- March 2, 1975, Atlanta
"Devotee means one who has taken shelter of Kṛṣṇa." -Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Morning Walk -- June 13, 1974, Paris "Devotee means he does not know anything better than Kṛṣṇa, that's all." -Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Room Conversation -- November 4, 1973, Delhi
"The devotee means who is always pleasing Kṛṣṇa. He has no other business. That is devotee." -Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Talk with Bob Cohen -- February 27-29, 1972, Māyāpura
"Devotee means to hear about Kṛṣṇa, to chant the glories of Kṛṣṇa, to think of Kṛṣṇa, to offer fruits and flowers to Kṛṣṇa." -Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Departure Address -- Los Angeles, July 15, 1974 "Devotee means to become fully qualified with all the noble qualities." -Śrīla Prabhupāda, Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 20.119-121 -- New York, November 24, 1966
"Devotee means he must be sinless." -Śrīla Prabhupāda, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 7.6.1 -- Madras, January 2, 1976
"Devotee, means he is prepared to do anything for God. That is pure devotee." -Śrīla Prabhupāda, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 7.5.22-30 -- London, September 8, 1971
"Devotee means not with four hands or four legs, no. The hands, legs are the same. But his mode of thinking different. That's all. That is devotee. Devotee does not depend on the country, color or religion or circumstance. Devotee means the mind. Anyone who is always thinking of Kṛṣṇa, he is devotee." -Śrīla Prabhupāda, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 6.1.50 -- Detroit, June 16, 1976
"Devotee means he's not blind." -Śrīla Prabhupāda, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam1.7.40 -- Vṛndāvana, October 1, 1976 "Devotee means he does not ask anything from God." -Śrīla Prabhupāda, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam1.3.7 -- Los Angeles, September 13, 1972 "A devotee means who is abiding by the laws given by God." -Śrīla Prabhupāda, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam1.1.2 -- London, August 17, 1971 "Devotee means complete spiritual." -Śrīla Prabhupāda, Bhagavad-gītā 4.2, Bombay, March 22, 1974 "Devotee means he is firmly convinced about his relationship with God." -Śrīla Prabhupāda, Bhagavad-gītā 4.1-6 -- Los Angeles, January 3, 1969
"Devotee means servant—not paid servant—but servant by affection." -Śrīla Prabhupāda, Bhagavad-gītā 4.1 -- Delhi, November 10, 1971
"Devotee means he can act anything and everything for the Lord." -Śrīla Prabhupāda, Bhagavad-gītā 4.1 -- Montreal, August 24, 1968 "Devotee means one who has engaged his senses cent percent for the service of the Lord, he is devotee, pure devotee." -Śrīla Prabhupāda, Bhagavad-gītā 3.6-10 -- Los Angeles, December 23, 1968
"Devotee means although he is very, very powerful, he never thinks that "I am powerful." He thinks that "I am acting simply by the order of the powerful." -Śrīla Prabhupāda, Bhagavad-gītā 2.15 -- London, August 21, 1973
"Devotee means to finish all miserable conditions of materialistic life." -Śrīla Prabhupāda, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 4.12.46

Friday 24 February 2017

Lord Śiva

1. In what way do devotees of Lord Kṛṣṇa offer respect to Lord Śiva? 

It is said, vaiṣṇavānāṁ yathā śambhuḥ: Lord Śiva is the best of all devotees. Therefore all devotees of Lord Kṛṣṇa are also devotees of Lord Śiva. In Vṛndāvana there is Lord Śiva's temple called Gopīśvara. The gopīs used to worship not only Lord Śiva but Kātyāyanī, or Durgā, as well, but their aim was to attain the favor of Lord Kṛṣṇa. A devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa does not disrespect Lord Śiva, but worships Lord Śiva as the most exalted devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Consequently whenever a devotee worships Lord Śiva, he prays to Lord Śiva to achieve the favor of Kṛṣṇa, and he does not request material profit. In Bhagavad-gītā (7.20) it is said that generally people worship demigods for some material profit. Kāmais tais tair hṛta jṣānāḥ. Driven by material lust, they worship demigods, but a devotee never does so, for he is never driven by material lust. That is the difference between a devotee's respect for Lord Śiva and an asura's respect for him. The asura worships Lord Śiva, takes some benediction from him, misuses the benediction and ultimately is killed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who awards him liberation.
-Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 4.24.30 Purport

2. What is the relationship between Lord Śiva and the ghosts?

Lord Śiva, or Rudra, is the king of the ghosts. Ghostly characters worship Lord Śiva to be gradually guided toward a path of self-realization. Māyāvādī philosophers are mostly worshipers of Lord Śiva, and Śrīpāda Śaṅkarācārya is considered to be the incarnation of Lord Śiva for preaching godlessness to the Māyāvādī philosophers. Ghosts are bereft of a physical body because of their grievously sinful acts, such as suicide. The last resort of the ghostly characters in human society is to take shelter of suicide, either material or spiritual. Material suicide causes loss of the physical body, and spiritual suicide causes loss of the individual identity. Māyāvādī philosophers desire to lose their individuality and merge into the impersonal spiritual brahmajyoti existence. Lord Śiva, being very kind to the ghosts, sees that although they are condemned, they get physical bodies. He places them into the wombs of women who indulge in sexual intercourse regardless of the restrictions on time and circumstance.
-Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.14.24 Purport

3. Why do so many ladies worship Lord Śiva?

Today in Hindu society, unmarried girls are still taught to worship Lord Śiva with the idea that they may get husbands like him. Lord Śiva is the ideal husband, not in the sense of riches or sense gratification, but because he is the greatest of all devotees. Vaiṣṇavānāṁ yathā śambhuḥ: Śambhu, or Lord Śiva, is the ideal Vaiṣṇava. He constantly meditates upon Lord Rāma and chants Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. Lord Śiva has a Vaiṣṇava sampradāya, which is called the Viṣṇu Svāmī-sampradāya. Unmarried girls worship Lord Śiva so that they can expect a husband who is as good a Vaiṣṇava as he. The girls are not taught to select a husband who is very rich or very opulent for material sense gratification; rather, if a girl is fortunate enough to get a husband as good as Lord Śiva in devotional service, then her life becomes perfect. The wife is dependent on the husband, and if the husband is a Vaiṣṇava, then naturally she shares the devotional service of the husband because she renders him service.
-Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.23.1 Purport

4. Why does Lord Śiva have snakes all over his body?

In order to get release from the false ego, one has to worship Saṅkarṣaṇa. Saṅkarṣaṇa is also worshiped through Lord Śiva; the snakes which cover the body of Lord Śiva are representations of Saṅkarṣaṇa, and Lord Śiva is always absorbed in meditation upon Saṅkarṣaṇa.
-Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.26.21

5. What is the position of Lord Śiva ?

In the Vāmana Purāṇa it is said that the same Viṣṇu expands Himself as Brahmā and Śiva to direct the different qualities.

Maheśvara, or Lord Śiva, is not an ordinary living being, nor is he equal to Lord Viṣṇu. Effectively comparing Lord Viṣṇu and Lord Śiva, the Brahma-saṁhitā says that Viṣṇu is like milk, whereas Śiva is like curd. Curd is nothing like milk, but nevertheless it is milk also.
-Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta Ādi 5.104-105 Purport

Thursday 23 February 2017

How does kṛpā-siddhi work?

Guru dāsa: How does kṛpā-siddhi work, Śrīla Prabhupāda?
Prabhupāda: Hm?
Guru dāsa: Kṛpā-siddhi. How does that work?
Prabhupāda: Kṛpā-siddhi means that you are not willing take this bag. I say, "Take it, take it, take it." (laughter) "No." That is kṛpā-siddhi. Even you are unwilling, I give you in your pocket, push it. That is kṛpā-siddhi. (laughter)

Morning Walk-March 25 1976, Delhi

Tuesday 21 February 2017

Why and How to observe Ekadashi

Regarding you first question, we observe Ekadasi from sunrise to sunrise. The 12 midnight is western astronomical calculation, but the Vedic astronomical calculation begins either from the sunrise or the moonrise. Generally it is sunrise. Our calculation is like this: when the sunrise is there, Ekadasi tithi (date) must be there. If Ekadasi tithi is not in the sunrise and the tithi begins, say after a few minutes after the sunrise, then we accept that day as previous to Ekadasi. All our ceremonies are calculated in that way. This means we must see the tithi during sunrise. Therefore, sometimes our dates of ceremonies do not exactly coincide like the western calculations. Just like Christmas Day they have fixed up on the 25th December, but our Janmastami tithi is not fixed up like that. My birthday is on the 1st September, 1896, but this year the tithi of my birthday was fixed for the 4th September. So it is very difficult to calculate, therefore we have to take help from the Indian expert almanac astronomers. 

( Śrīla Prabhupāda's Letter to Madhudvisa 30th September 1969. England.)

One such occasion for remembrance is Ekädaçé, which comes twice a month on the eleventh day of the moon, both waning and waxing. On that day all the devotees remain fasting throughout the night and continuously chant the glories of the Lord. 
( Nectar of Devotion chapter 26.)

Just like... The, everything is described in the Bhagavad-gétä. Just like in hospital. In hospital there are many patients, they are not eating anything on the Ekädaçé day. Does it mean that is observing Ekädaçé? He is simply hankering after, “When I shall eat, when I shall eat, when I shall eat?.” But these students, they voluntarily don’t eat anything. We, we don’t say that you don’t eat anything. Some fruits, some flowers. That’s all. So paraà dåñövä nivartate. Just like a child. He has got in his hand something he’s eating. and if you give him better thing, he will throw away the inferior thing and will take that better thing. So here is Kåñëa consciousness, this better engagement, better life, better philosophy, better consciousness, everything better. Therefore they can give up the sinful activities of life and that will promote to Kåñëa consciousness. 

(Srimad Bhagavatam lecture 1:8:30. 22nd April 1973. Los Angeles)

The Ekädaçé, why we observe? To become pure. 
( Srimad Bhagavatam lecture 7:9:8. 21st October 1968. Seatle.)

Don’t Feel Alone

“Don’t feel yourself to be alone because Krishna is always with you. Krishna is always with every living entity as Supersoul, and to His devotee especially He talks and gives instructions how to attain the perfectional stage of meeting Him. So don’t feel alone. Always chant whenever possible, read our books, and there will be no great difficulty.” 

(Srila Prabhupada Letter, April 3, 1969)

Wednesday 15 February 2017

Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur - 'The Lion Guru'

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, the guru of Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, appeared in Sri Ksetra Dhama.(Jagannatha Puri) on 6 February 1874 as the son of Srila Sacidananda Bhaktivinoda Thakura. In his childhood he quickly mastered the Vedas, memorized the Bhdgavad-gita, and relished his father's philosophical works. He became known as "The Living Encyclopedia" for his vast knowledge.

   He preached convincingly against casteism and philosophical deviations from Gaudiya Vaisnavism. He tried to unite the four Vaisnava sampradayas by publishing their teachings. Srila Sarasvati Thakura earned the title Nrisimha Guru for his fearless and powerful delivery of the Vaisnava siddhanta. Mayavadis would cross the street to avoid confronting the "lion guru." Besides being a courageous preacher, he was ornamented with all divine qualities and full of ecstatic love of God. He established 64 Gaudiya Math temples in India and centers in Burma, England, Germany.

    Srila Sarasvati Thakura excavated Lord Caitanya's appearance place at the Yogapitha in Sridhama Mayapur, despite heavy opposition from the money-hungry caste Goswamis of Navadvipa. He built a beautiful Gaudiya Math temple there.

    His three "Brhat-mrdangas" (printing presses) in Madras, Calcutta, Krishna-nagara used to pump out books, magazines, and newspapers to spread the message of Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu.

   When asked why he printed a daily spiritual newspaper entitled Nadia Prakash, Srila Sarasvati Thakura replied, "If an insignificant city can produce five daily newspapers, then why can't we publish a newspaper every 'Second about the eternal, ever-fresh transcendental activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His unlimited spiritual planet, Goloka Vrindavana?" Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur
Sri Chaitania Gaudiya Math, Mayapur.

   Apart from his father's writings, he published many authorized sastras: Bhagavad-gita, Srimad Bhagavatam, Caitanya Bhagavata, Caitanya Mangala, Prema-bhakti-candrika, and his favorite book Sri Caitanya-caritamrta. He predicted that foreigners would learn Bengali to relish the nectar left by Srila Krishna Dasa Kaviraja in the Caitanya-caritamrta.

   He introduced many innovations to expand preaching. All over India he staged free theistic exhibits and dioramas depicting the pastimes of, Sri Krishna and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Employing the latest technology, he even had animated dolls. To commemorate the many holy places visited by Lord Caitanya he installed marble impressions of the Lord's lotus feet. Breaking tradition, he let his sannyasis wear tailored kurtas and overcoats, ride in cars and motor-boats, and carry Mahaprabhu's message across the sea to Europe.

   Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saravati's revolutionary preaching ideas sprang from the sastrie principle of yukta-vairagya set forth by the rasa acarya, Srila Rupa Gosvami. Being an eternally liberated soul, Srila Sarasvati Thakura knew how to perfectly engage Maya (the illusory energy) in the service of Lord Krishna.

   Following Srila Thakura Bhaktivinoda's footsteps, he preached daivi varnashrama to harmonize society and provide spiritual fulfillment for all. Advocating the teachings of Sri Rupa and Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswamis, he taught the science of devotional service, and showed thousands how to attain pure love for Sri-Sri Gandharvika-Giridhari (Radha-Krishna).

Srila Prabhupada was ordered by his Guru to preach Krishna Consciousness in English. And he fulfilled that desire.

   Aside from his phenomenal preaching success in India, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura's greatest. contribution was Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, whom he initiated and inspired to distribute Krishna consciousness all over the world. When Srila Prabhupada was asked to describe his spiritual master Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, he said, "What can I say? He was a Vaikuntha man."

   In Radha-Govinda's eternal pastimes in Goloka Vrndavana, Srila Sarasvati Thakura serves as Nayana-mani manjari. His pushpa samadhis are at Radha-kunda and Radha Damodara.

Srila Prabhupada has said a lot about his dear spiritual master, here are some excerpts:
"We wish that this mass of our body of flesh and blood may be sacrificed at the altar of preaching the Samkirtan Movement (congregational chanting of the Holy Name of Godhead) propagated by Lord Chaitanya. We are not desirous of becoming a hero of work or a reformer of religion, but our reality may be identified with the dust of the Lotus Feet of Sree Rupa and Raghunath for that is our everything. The flow of the transcendental tide of the attraction of devotion will never be blocked, and you with your all energy shall devote yourself for fulfilling the desire of Sreela Bhakti Vinode Thakur. There are many amongst you who are well qualified and able workers. We have no other desire whatsoever."

Spoken a few days before His Divine Grace passed from this world, December 23, 1936.

"....So his method of preaching is just according to the, strictly according to the rules and regulation of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. And as Caitanya Mahaprabhu was called by Advaita Prabhu, similarly, Bhaktivinoda Thakura, when he saw this condition of pseudo Vaisnava all over the country, he also prayed to Lord Caitanya that "You kindly send somebody from Your personal staff so that I can start this movement." You see? So by the grace of Lord Caitanya, as we pray, sri-gaura-karuna-sakti-vigrahaya namo 'stu te. Gaura... He is mercy representation of Lord Caitanya. And he appeared as the son of this Bhaktivinoda Thakura. At that time he was known as Kedaranath Datta. Ken Datta. And he appeared in 1867 as the child of Bhaktivinoda Thakura. And the house is still preserved in Jagannatha Puri. At that time Jagannatha Puri, he was magistrate in Jagannatha Puri, and he was... The system in the Jagannatha Puri, the manager, the official manager, is the district magistrate. So he was district magistrate. And in February 1867, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura appeared. And when he appeared, his, this what is called, the intestine?
Madhudvisa: Umbilical cord?
Prabhupada: Cord, cord. What is it called?
Visnujana: Umbilical.

Prabhupada: Embryo cord. That embryo cord was like this. Yes. That means brahmana from the beginning. You see? So when he was a child... He appeared in February. Then... When the Ratha-yatra takes place? In July. So February, March, April, May, June, July. So when he was six months old, the Ratha-yatra festival was held. And by chance the big cart stopped in front of that house. That is generally in the Jagannatha car stops. Just like our car also stops somewhere. And you have some difficulty to push it again? That's nice. That also happens in Jagannatha Puri. It was stopped, and some people were... Caitanya Mahaprabhu used to push with His head. So that was wonderful. So anyway the car stopped, and mother of our Guru Maharaja, the child Guru Maharaja, so she took the opportunity, and because she was manager's wife, so everyone respected with the child. So she put the child on the leg of Jagannatha. And as there are so many garlands, one garland immediately fell on the child. Yes. Automatically. So in this way Bhaktivinoda Thakura could understand that "This child is not ordinary child," and he knew that "I prayed to Gaurasundara to send me somebody. So this boy, this child, is sent by Him." So he took care of him very carefully. And in this way his name was Bimala Prasada, Bimala Prasada Datta.
"So when he was three years or four years old, he took one mango from the Deity room and ate it. So Bhaktivinoda Thakura said, "Oh, you have done a great wrong thing. You have taken the mango of the Deity before offering Him? It is a great offense." The child took it very serious, and my Guru Maharaja never took mango throughout his whole life. Whenever mango was offered, he would say, "Oh, I am a offender. I cannot take that." You see? So there was a big meeting. What is this sound? Somebody's sleeping? All right. (laughter) In Midnapur district, when he was young man, he was holding meeting. He was a great astrologer, and he opened an astrological school when he was young man. And there are many big students still practicing. They are all students of my Guru Maharaja. And there was a meeting in Midnapur district. The subject matter "Brahmanas and Vaisnavas." So in that meeting Bhaktivinoda Thakura was invited. At that time he was not very in healthy condition, indisposed. So he asked Sarasvati Thakura that "You go and speak there." So he spoke on the distinction between brahmanas and Vaisnavas, and he defeated so many learned panditas. Then the whole audience began to take, touch his lotus feet and touch with water and drink it, in this way, when he was young man. That book is also available in Bengali, Brahmana- Vaisnava."
Srila Prabhupada Lecture on Appearance Day of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami, 02-07-69, Los Angeles

"Devotee: "His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati accepted both Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Srila Gaurakisora as his spiritual master.
"Prabhupada: Gaurakisora dasa... Bhaktivinoda Thakura was his father, and Gaurakisora dasa Babaji was treating Bhaktivinoda Thakura... Although he was householder and Gaurakisora dasa Babaji was renounced order, still he used to offer great respect to Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and Bhaktivinoda Thakura saw him a pure devotee; therefore he recommended his son, Bimala Prasada. His former name was Bimala Prasada, and he got this title Siddhanta Sarasvati by writing one thesis on astronomy, astrology, astrological calculation according to solar system. So he got this title Siddhanta Sarasvati. So this Siddhanta Sarasvati, Sarasvati title also accepted by sannyasa. Sarasvati, Bharati, Puri, Aranya, Bon, Parvat--there are ten names of sannyasa according to Mayavadi school, and according to Vaisnava school there are 108 names. So this "svami" and "gosvami," they're also included within that 108 names. So he accepted Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja his spiritual master. Yes?
"Devotee: Does our line of succession go directly to Gaurakisora dasa Babaji or to Bhaktivinoda Thakura?
"Prabhupada: No. Because he was treating Bhaktivinoda Thakura as his siksa guru, preceptor guru, so it is in the line.
"Devotee: But is Bhaktivinoda Thakura directly in succession from Lord Caitanya?
"Prabhupada: Yes.
"Devotee: And Gaurakisora dasa Babaji also?
"Prabhupada: Yes...."
Srila Prabhupada, Questions & Answers, 08-62-68, Montreal

"My Guru Maharaja was very great scholar, and his Guru Maharaja, from literary point of view, he could not even sign his name, Gaura-kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja. And Bhaktivinoda Thakura asked Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura to accept Gaura-kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja as his, as his spiritual master, that "You go and take your initiation from Gaura-kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja." So he thought that "I am a great scholar, and I am son of a magistrate, Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and great Vaisnava. He'll be very much pleased to accept me." Of course, he was very much pleased. But in the beginning he refused. He refused. Because... Of course, that is only show. He was not proud. Just to teach us. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati explained that "I was little proud. So I was thrice refused by Guru Maharaja," although he was the only disciple. So the scholarship is not a qualification of becoming devotee. That is Caitanya Mahaprabhu's teaching. Scholarship may help, but it is not necessary. Real necessary is that one should be humble and meek and follow the instruction of the spiritual master. This is real qualification."
Srila Prabhupada Lecture on Caitanya-caritamrta, 03-13-74, Vrindaban

Saturday 11 February 2017

As good as Vedic mantras

Anything sung in the praise of the Lord is Śruti-mantra. There are songs of Ṭhākura Narottama dāsa, one of the ācāryas in the Gauḍīya-sampradāya, composed in simple Bengali language. But Ṭhākura Viśvanātha Cakravartī, another very learned ācārya of the same sampradāya, has approved the songs by Ṭhākura Narottama dāsa to be as good as Vedic mantras. And this is so because of the subject matter. The language is immaterial, but the subject matter is important.


Thursday 9 February 2017


1)      nityanando 'vadhutendur vasudha-prana-vallabhah
         jahnavi-jivita-patih krsna-prema-pradah prabhuh

      *  Nityananda  --  He Who embodies eternal bliss
      *  Avadhutendu  --  The Moon of divine madmen
      *  Vasudha-prana-vallabha  --  The beloved of the life-breath of Vasudha
      *  Krsna-prema-prada  --  He Who bestows ecstatic love for Krsna
      *  Prabhu  --  The Lord and Master of the devotees

      2)  padmavati-sutah sriman saci-nandana-purvajah
          bhavonmatto jagat-trata rakta-gaura-kalevarah

      *  Padmavati-suta  --  The dear son of Padmavati
      *  Sriman  -- Of splendrous transcendental majesty
      *  Saci-nandana-purvaja  --  The older brother of mother Saci's son
      *  Bhavonmatta  --  He Who is maddened in overwhelming ecstatic emotions
      *  Jagat-trata  --  The savior of the universe
      *  Rakta-gaura-kalevara  -  He Whose complexion is golden tinged with red

      3)  sri nityananda candrasya nama-dvadasakam subham
           ya idam pratyaham pratah praty utthaya pathen narah

"That person who recites these twelve auspicious holy names of the moonlike Nityananda-chandra every day upon arising in the morning..."

      4)  sa klesa-rahito bhutva prapnuyat sva-mano-ratham
           turnam caitanya-devasya karuna-bhajanam bhavet

 "Such a person becomes free from all difficulties & attains all their most cherished desires. Very soon they become the object of Lord Chaitanya-deva's mercy."

Written by Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya

Wednesday 8 February 2017

"Don't spoil your children."

"Don't spoil your children. The modern educational system without any knowledge of Bhagavān, I may tell you frankly, not only in India, everywhere, they are practically slaughterhouse."
Śrīla Prabhupāda, Pandal Lecture -- Delhi, November 20, 1971

Tuesday 7 February 2017

Ekādaśī Excerpts from Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta

dina-kṛtya, pakṣa-kṛtya, ekādaśy-ādi-vivaraṇa
māsa-kṛtya, janmāṣṭamyādi-vidhi-vicāraṇa

"You should describe the ritualistic duties of every day, and you should describe the fortnightly duties-especially observing Ekādaśī fast, which comes every fortnight. You should also describe the duties of every month, especially the observance of ceremonies like Janmāṣṭamī, Rāma-navamī and Nṛsiṁha-caturdaśī.
Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta Madhya 24.340

ei sabe viddhā-tyāga, aviddhā-karaṇa
akaraṇe doṣa, kaile bhaktira lambhana

"You should recommend the avoidance of mixed Ekādaśī and the performance of pure Ekādaśī. You should also describe the fault in not observing this. One should be very careful as far as these items are concerned. If one is not careful, one will be negligent in executing devotional service.

Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta Madhya 24.342

Saturday 4 February 2017

"There is no difference between the attitude of the gopis and Bhismadeva"

Regarding your questions: This incidence is in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Bhismadeva.., when he was lying on his arrow bed before passing away, Lord Krishna, accompanied with the Pandavas, came to see him. Ordinarily, Bhismadeva.. was worshipper of Lord Visnu, but he knew also that Krishna is the same Lord Visnu. 

When Krishna came to see Bhismadeva.. on his death bed, Bhismadeva.. remembered Krishna in His fighting feature at the battlefield of Kuruksetra. Bhismadeva.. wanted to see Krishna angry, he knew that Krishna was very kind upon him, but to make a front he displayed a chivalrous mood, pretending to kill Arjuna, although he knew it very well that no power in the world could kill Arjuna while he was shielded by Krishna Himself as his charioteer. Yet he tried to agitate the mind of Krishna, but Arjuna he almost killed. 

Actually, Krishna thought it that Bhismadeva.. was to see Him in His angry mood and supposed to be broken in His promise, to fulfill the desire of Bhismadeva.. He got down from the chariot and took a wheel of the chariot, going forward as if to kill Bhismadeva.. Bhismadeva.., as soon as found Krishna in that angry mood, he gave up his fighting weapons and prepared himself for being killed by Krishna. This attitude of Krishna pleased Bhismadeva.. very much, and at the time of his death he recalled back the angry feature of Krishna. He was a military man so he was pleased to see Krishna in military spirit, as much as the Gopis wanted to see Krishna as the most beautiful lover. There is no difference between the attitude of the gopis and Bhismadeva.. in the matter of exchanging transcendental mellows between God and His devotee. Krishna can be loved in any feature and because he is absolute there is no difference to love Krishna as a military man or as a simple Gopi.

During the day the two sides would battle, and at night they would visit one another's camps, just like friends, talking and eating together. Bhisma was accused of not trying hard enough to kill the Pandavas, due to affection for them. So, he said, tomorrow I will kill all five brothers, and these five special arrows I shall kill them with. For safekeeping Bhismadeva.. gave the five arrows to Duryodhana, who had accused Bhisma of too much affection for the Pandavas. 

Formerly, Duryodhana had made promise to Arjuna that he could someday ask for some favor, so Krishna, knowing all these things, sent Arjuna to Duryodhana for asking favor of giving the arrows to Arjuna. So as the promise was made, Duryodhana gave Arjuna the arrows, that night. Next day, Bhisma knew it was Krishna who arranged all this, and so he told Duryodhana, today it will be either Arjuna or I, but one of us will die. And so he fought very hard to kill Arjuna, but with Krishna as Protector, no one in world could kill Arjuna. Krishna's body was pierced, here and there, all over as you like. As military man, Bhisma had no right to shoot the chariot driver, but he knew Krishna's body is not material, and will not be harmed, so he took pleasure in piercing the body of the Lord. Bhismadeva.. became so pierced with arrows that he laid down and with the arrows all standing on end, all over stuck through his body. 

Yes, Lord Brahma and Lord Siva came and were there in the sky with many demigods, and throwing flowers. You can consult Srimad-Bhagavatam second part.

Letter to: Jadurani — San Francisco 29 December, 1967

Friday 3 February 2017

Advaita Acarya :Principle reason for Shri Chaitanya’s advent

As the life of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is very confidential and full of meaning so is the appearance and life of Shri Advaita Acharya whose appearance day is today(3rd February 2017). He is considered to be the principle reason for Shri Chaitanya’s advent. Whenever Krishna incarnates, so do his expansions, energies and confidential devotees. Since Lord Chaitanya is considered to be Krishna himself (in the mood of the greatest devotee, Shri Radha) we find that preceding him, as well as during and after his manifest “lila” or divine pastimes, his whole entourage of eternal associates came to facilitate his mission of spreading the “yuga-dharma” or the process of self-realization for this age--the congregational chanting of the holy names in joyous celebration.
Like Lord Chaitanya who is in the category of “Vishnu-tattva” or God, so is Shri Advaita, who has been identified in various Vaishnava writings as either Lord Maha-Vishnu (Who is the source and sustainer of infinite universes), or Sada-Shiva (the original form of Shiva, the great devotee and empowered destroyer), or both: Sada Shiva Maha Vishnu. So we can just simply equate him with God playing the part of a devotee of God, as does Lord Chaitanya and Nitai who are Krishna and Balarama, but playing the part of devotees and teaching us how to be Krishna conscious by their example.
Although God is one without a second, he expands himself unlimitedly to serve his different divine purposes. Though this fact can be confusing to those of us brought up with only one aspect or "face" of God, it does explain the infinite nature of the Sweet Absolute, and the varied understandings of him. The Shrimad Bhagavatam describes that in fact the incarnations of God are as uncountable as are the waves of the ocean. At the same time there is a Supreme original source of all these incarnations of Godhead.
This source is Shri Krishna: "All of the above-mentioned incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord, but Lord Sri Krishna is the original Personality of Godhead. All of them appear on planets whenever there is a disturbance created by the atheists. The Lord incarnates to protect the theists." [SB 1.3.28] and Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is none different from Lord Krishna.
Although the appearance of Lord Chaitanya was already destined in order to serve his internal purposes and as a “yuga-avatar”(incarnation who brings the process of God realization for the particular age), it appears from another angle of vision that he came at the behest of Shri Advaita Acharya. This demonstrates how much Krishna is affected by the pleading of and welfare for his pure devotees. We see in studying the different advents of God in the Vedas, that there are many simultaneous reasons for their appearance that have to be harmonized. In the Bhagavad-gita 4th chapter we read that God comes to Earth and presumably other planets to annihilate the miscreants and protect the devotees. Prabhupada and our Vaishnava acharyas have explained that Krishna has sufficient means through the material nature (natural calamities or diseases, etc.) to take care of those of demoniac tendencies, but he has to come personally to mitigate the separation his pure devotees feel for him.
Advaita Acharya could be considered the efficient cause of both Lord Chaitanya’s appearance and disappearance. Here is a Shrimad Bhagavatam [3.9.11]verse quoted in the Chaitanya Charitamrita in explaining the effect of Shri Advaita’s prayers: “O my Lord, You always dwell in the vision and hearing of Your pure devotees. You also live in their lotuslike hearts, which are purified by devotional service. O my Lord, who are glorified by exalted prayers, You show special favor to Your devotees by manifesting Yourself in the eternal forms in which they welcome You.” The Cc explains that verse as follows: “The essence of the meaning of this verse is that Lord Krsna appears in all His innumerable eternal forms because of the desires of His pure devotees.”