ajayadhvamaja yadhvam na sansayah
kalau sankirtana rambhe bhavisyami saci sutah
“The Supreme Lord said: ‘In Kali-yuga, I will appear as the son of Saci, and inaugurate the sankirtana movement. There is no doubt about this.’”
sarve mam eva draksyanti kalau sannyasa-rupinam
“O sage whose wealth is austerity, in the Kali-yuga everyone will see My form as a sannyasi, a form filled with tears of bliss and bodily hairs standing erect in ecstasy.”
~ Bhavishya Purana
harer nāma harer nāma
harer nāmaiva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva
nāsty eva gatir anyathā
(CC Adi 17.21)
In this Age of Kali there is no other means, no other means, no other means for self-realization than chanting the holy name, chanting the holy name, chanting the holy name of Lord Hari.
Check out the incredible list of Kirtaniyas coming to Toronto for 24 hour kirtan! Ashtaprahar 2011 is happening over family day weekend February This is being organized by Munish Bhakri and a group of young devotees.
★★★ Kirtaniyas ★★★
The Mayapuris (Florida, USA)
Ajamil Das & Radha Govinda Kirtan Mandali (Toronto, Canada)
Hari Bhakti Dey (Australia)
Maha Bhagavat Dey (Bombay, India)
Gaura Mani Devi Dasi & Param Das (Vrindavan, India)
Keshav Das (Vrindavan, India)
Vrndavana Das (Vrindavan, India)
Bada Hari Das (Florida, USA)
Rupesh Pandey (Toronto, Canada)
Ayush Sharma (Seattle, USA)
Ramdas Shingdia (DC, USA)
Anish Pillai (Houston, USA)
Krishna Prasad Das (Baltimore, USA)
Gopal Trivedi (Detroit, USA)
Amala Kirtan Das (Dallas, USA)
Keshavacharya Das (New York, USA)
Boil a potato. Peel. Add salt to taste and perhaps a tad of butter.
Okay. I am kidding but isn't the point of Ekadasi to honor the fast, increase our service and enhance our devotional mood.
I can understand preparing elaborate offering for the deities but sometimes on Ekadasi it seems that instead of feeding our soul more thought is put into how to feed our bellies.
Food for thought. (Ekadasi food that is...)
What Srila Prabhupada has given us is a treasure box of Krishna Consciousness which is based on scripture passed through an authorized parampara link which is not only factual but logical and scientific.
Sometimes there is a pull to move towards quasi-Hinduism. However, we use the words "hodge-podge" Hinduism quite a bit and in discussions with Hindu friends, we love to use the example of Santhoshi Mata. So if you are looking for an example of "hodge-podge" hinduism, read about the "Goddess" created in the 60s and promoted by a Bollywood movie that has spawned her own set of deities, temples, songs and fasts without any scriptural back up.
The following is a small Wiki excerpt that sumarized the invention of this new goddess:
Santoshi Mata (Hindi: संतोषी माता) or Santoshi Maa (संतोषी माँ) is a relatively new goddess in the Hindu pantheon. She is venerated as "the Mother of Satisfaction",the meaning of her name. Santoshi Mata is particularly worshipped by women of North India. A vrata (ritual fast) called the Santoshi Maa vrata performed by women on 16 consecutive Fridays is believed to win the goddess' favour.
Santoshi Mata emerged as the goddess in the early 1960's. Her cult initially spread through word of mouth, vrata-pamphlet literature, and poster art. Her vrata was gaining popularity with North Indian women. However, it was the 1975 Bollywood film Jai Santoshi Maa ("Hail to Santoshi Maa")—narrating the story of the goddess and her ardent devotee Satyavati—which propelled this then little-known "new" goddess to the heights of devotional fervour. With the rising popularity of the film, Santoshi Mata entered the pan-Indian Hindu pantheon and her images and shrines were incorporated in Hindu temples. The film portrayed the goddess to be the daughter of the popular Hindu god Ganesha and related her to the Raksha Bandhan festival, however, it had no basis in Hindu scriptures.
So when you are asked if we are "Hindus", tell them we prefer to be called Vaishnavas or better yet Gaudiya-Vaishnavas or Hare Krishnas.
Japa is very rewarding but one of the biggest challenges is to conquer the distractions. I got these Gems from an email Mitra Sena Prabhu sent and he is actually sharing the gems that he got from Archana Siddhi Mataji. So as devotees we need to share these Gems, so here you go...
(see excerpt below)
She explained how there are *5 gates* you must pass through to reach the goal of your chanting. These are compared to the gates one walks through to enter a large temple.
*1. Space*- You have to create a sacred space where you will be inspired, where you won't be distracted. It must be at a conducive time, preferably before you begin your workday.
*2.Body*- You must bring your body there, sit upright, wide awake, bathe and wear clean clothes. This means your meditation begins the night before. Go to sleep early so you can rise early.
*3.Mind*-Wherever the mind wanders you must bring it back to the mantra. Don't allow it to simply contemplate the shopping list. This takes concentration and diligence.
*4. Heart*- Chant with feeling, prayerful, heart deep, not just from your lips.
*5. Mercy*- After doing the previous 4 steps, one must sit patiently waiting at the fifth gate. Only Radha and Krishna can open that for you.
Today marks the disappearance day of Sri Jayadeva Goswami on the Vaishnava Calendar. To honor Sri Jayadeva Goswami and his literary contributions including the transcedental nectar found in Gita Govinda, please read a brief biography on this great Vaishnava below.
Shri Jayadeva Goswami was the court pandit of Shri Lakshman Sena, the King of Bengal. Jayadeva's father was Bhojadev, and his mother's name was Bamadevi. They lived in the Birbhum district of what is now West Bengal in a village called Kenubilva Gram. He was born at the beginning of the twelfth centrury AD.
Jayadeva Goswami's wife was named Shri Padmavati. When he was the court pandit of Laksman Sen, he lived on the banks of the Ganges. Approximately three hundred years before the appearance of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Shri Jayadeva Goswami lived in Bengal. He was the author of Shri Gita Govinda, which is mentioned by Krishnadas Kaviraja Goswami in the Chaitanya Charitamrita as follows (CC ML 2/11): "Day and night, in teh company of Svarupa Damodara and Ramananda Raya, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu used to hear with great ecstasy the songs of Vidyapati and Chandidas, as well as a drama composed by Ramananda Raya. He also used to relish hearing the Krishna-Karnamrita and the Gita-Govinda. In his introduction, Jayadeva says that the Gita Govinda is a scripture describing the intimate pastimes of Shri Radha and Govinda. It may be worshiped and served by those who are extremely qualified in devotional piety. For those who are constantly remembering the rasik pastimes of Shri Hari within his mind, Shri Jayadeva has composed this divine poetic song glorifying the Lord's internal pastimes. He requests the topmost spiritually advanced souls to hear it with gravity and attention.
There are many many traditional stories regarding the life of Shri Jayadeva. The following story is generally accepted as authoritative. One day, Shri Jayadeva Goswami was composing a particulary sensitive section of the Gita-Govinda, describing Krishna's relationship with the gopis headed by Radharani. He meditated deeply on what he had written and became concerned that he had perhaps gone too far in describing the exalted character of the gopis. What he had written seemed to represent Krishna's position as being, in a sense, subordinate to that of the gopis. And yet Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. How could he be subordinate to the gopis? He had been inspired to pen a line stating that Krishna bows down to touch the lotus feet of Shri Radha. But his hand shrank from the page. He hesitated thinking, "How can I commit such an idea to writing? How can I have the audacity to put such a thing it in black and white?" At that time he decided to go bathe in the Ganges, in hopes that perhaps some inspiration would come to him.
Jayadeva Goswami went off to take his afternoon bath, leaving his wife Padmavati behind to cook the offering for the Deities. While he was away, Krishna arrived at his house in the dress of Jayadeva. Krishna went over to Jayadeva's writing desk, and there found the sheaves of palm upon which the Gita-Govinda was written. Krishna picked up Jayadeva's pen and wrote the verse with the line "dehi padapallava-mudaram," wherein it says "Krishna bows down his head to the lotus feet of Shri Radha." With this Krishna, disguised as Jayadeva, sat down and took the prasadam prepared by Padmavati. After finishing his prasadam, Krishna stepped outside and vanished. Just at that time, Jayadeva returned from bathing at the Ganges. When he asked about prasadam, his wife was perplexed. When she told Jayadeva what had just happened, Jayadeva was astonished. He was he went over to his book and saw there in wet ink the verse he had thought of writing before he had gone to bathe in the Ganges: dehi padapallavam udaram: Krishna bows down his head to the lotus feet of Shri Radha. Upon seeing that verse he said to Padmavati, "It is a miracle! See here: what I told you I was reluctant to write has been written here exactly as I thought of it." Tears of ecstasy flowed in rivers from his eyes as he understood the mystery of what had just transpired. "Padmavati!" he said, "You are most fortunate. Krishna Himself has written the line, dehi padapallavam udaram, and accepted prasadam from your own hand."
Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has written that although Chandidasa, Vidyapati, Bilvamangala, and Jayadeva lived before Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was externally manifest within this world, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's conception of bhakti had arisen within their hearts and was expresed in their writings. Besides the Gita Govinda, Jayadeva Gowsami has written another book called Chandraloka.
The famous Dasa-Avatara-Gita, describing the ten avatars of Vishnu is from Gita-Govinda. Jayadeva Goswami's disappearance day is on Pausha-Sankranti. At present, at Jayadeva's birthplace in Kendubiva Gram, there is a festival every year on this day which is known as the Jayadeva Mela.
After finishing Gita Govinda Jayadeva visited Vrndavana and then lived his last in Jagannatha Puri. He introduced daily reading of Gita Govinda in the temple for the pleasure of Lord Jagannatha.
Today marks the appearance day of Srila Gopala Bhatta Goswami and is expecially important in our Brahma Madhava Gaudiya Vaishnava Samradaya tradition. Srila Gopala Bhatta Goswami is one of the Six Goswamis of Vrindavan who wrote extensively and formalized the scriptural understandings and philosophical basis of our Sampradaya tradition.
Srila Gopala Bhatta Goswami met Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabu when he was a young boy. When Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was about to leave Gopala Bhatta became very disheartened and to pacify him the Lord stayed and gave him and his family direct association for some more time.
Srila Gopala Bhatta Goswami had the spirtual realization that Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was none other than Krishna Himself and at wanted to go to Vrindavan. However, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu told him to stay and first carry out his duties towards his parents.
Eventually Srila Gopala Bhatta Goswami did go to Vrindavana where he wrote including assisting Srila Sanatana Goswami with the much celebrated writing of Hari Bhakti Vilasa. Srila Gopala Bhatta Goswami established the Sri Radha Raman Temple in Vrindavan and once you see Sri Radha Raman Devji, you truly lose your heart in Vrindavan. A picture and some of the nectar of of Sri Radha Raman Devji's appearance can be found below.
Jaya Srila Gopala Bhatta Goswami!
When Srila Gopal Bhatta Goswami was visiting the pilgrimage centers of northern India, he found a Shalagram Sila on the banks of the Gandaki River. He took the worshipable stone form and carried it with him wherever he went, attending to it as a Vrajendranandan Krishna Himself.
Srila Gopal Bhatta Goswami used to daily worship twelve Shalagrams. He developed a desire to serve the Lord in the form of a deity, thinking that in this way he would be able to worship him in a much better way. The Lord within his heart knew his feelings. Through a rich merchant, he was provided with many beautiful items used in the worship of the deity, such as ornaments and clothes, sent to him. Gopal began to worry that all these beautiful objects would be wasted because there was no way that he could use them unless he had a deity in human form. That night, he put the Shalagrams to rest and in the morning he saw that one of them had been transformed into the Radha Raman deity.
The Shalagram Silas had transformed itself into Radha Raman to fulfill the wish of his devotee. This deity stands alone without any form of Radha standing by His side. Instead, a symbol of Radharani is placed on His left side.
When Rupa and Sanatan heard that Krishna had so mercifully appeared to Gopal Bhatta, they immediately came with the other devotees for darshan, and when they saw him, they were ecstatic with love. To this day Radha Raman is worshipped by his devotees and an unbroken and the descedents of Srila Gopala Bhatta Goswami's disciple. The Radha Raman temple is considered one of the most important in Vrindavan and in this temple you cannot only get darshan of Sri Radha Raman but also original artifacts that Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu sent for Srila Gopala Bhatta Goswami.
Sri Radha Raman ki jaya!
Srila Gopala Bhatta Goswami ki jaya!
Every day we should be thankful to Srila Prabhupada who has given us so much nectar and provided us the link to such an illustrious parampara that connects us to Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu glorious sankirtan movement.
The last 2 pictures (from the newly found envelope containing 7 pictures) are of great significance to me. These 2 pictures are of myself, Subhavilasa das and my wife, Ashalata devi dasi taking initiation. It took us some time to get to this stage, however when we got there we understood this was a lifetime commitment and we were very fortunate to be getting the Shleter of Srila Prabhupada.
We are so blessed to get initiation from the greatest Acharya of modern times, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada. We were blessed to take initiation in Srila Prabhupada's beloved New Remuna Dham (ISKCON Toronto) and in front of the ever merciful Sri Sri Radha Gopinatha.We were also blessed by so many Godbrothers and Godsisters who prepared and encouraged us. For the blessings of our Guru, Srila Prabhupada and our Godbrothers and Godsisters, we will be forever grateful. Everyday we continue to beg Sri Sri Radha Gopinatha for Their mercy and shelter.
So without requiring much more explanation, we titled these pictures, "Shelter".
So guru means spiritual master means who can deliver one from this forest fire. Just like when there is forest fire, the animals are very much disturbed, and they die mostly. The snakes, they die immediately. So this forest fire, saṁsāra-dāvānala, is going on perpetually, and the person or the authorized person who can deliver you from this forest fire of material existence, he's called guru, or the spiritual master. Saṁsāra-dāvānala-līḍha-loka-trāṇāya kāruṇya-ghanāghanatvam. How he delivers? What is his means? The same example. Where there is fire in the forest, you cannot send fire brigade, or you cannot go there with bucketful of waters to extinguish the fire. That is not possible. Then how it will be extinguished? Fire means it requires water to be extinguished. But where the water is coming from? From your bucket or from your fire brigade? No. It must come from the sky. It must come from the sky. When there will be torrents of rain from the sky, this forest fire, blazing forest fire will be extinguished. So these rains from the sky, it does not depend on your scientific propaganda or manipulation. It depends on the mercy of the Supreme Lord. So the spiritual master is compared with the cloud. Just like from the cloud there is torrents of rain, similarly, a spiritual master is considered just like cloud. Saṁsāra-dāvānala-līḍha-loka ** . Just like cloud takes the water from the sea-cloud hasn't got its own water; cloud takes water from the sea—similarly, a spiritual master brings mercy from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Just see the comparison. He has no own mercy, but he carries the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is the qualification of spiritual master. A spiritual master will never say that "I am God. I can give you mercy." No. That is not spiritual master. That is a bogus, pretender. A spiritual master will say, "I am servant of God. I have brought His mercy. Please take it and be satisfied." This is spiritual master's business. Just like a post peon. A post peon, when he delivers you some large amount of money, it is not his own money. The money is sent by somebody else. But he honestly delivers you: "Sir, here is your money. Take it." So you become very much satisfied with the peon. Although it is not his money, but when, in case of need, you get the money sent by your father or somebody else, brought by the peon, on oh, you get very much satisfaction. Similarly, we are all suffering in this blazing fire of material existence. The spiritual master brings the message from the Supreme Lord and delivers you. And if you kindly accept, then you'll be satisfied. This is the business of the spiritual master. saṁsāra-dāvānala-līḍha-loka-
vande guroḥ śrī-caraṇāravindam **
So spiritual master is offered obeisances: "Sir, you have brought the mercy from the Supreme Lord. Therefore we are much obliged to you. To deliver us, you have come. We offer our respectful obeisances." This is the meaning of this verse. Vande guroḥ śrī-caraṇāravindam. That means the first qualification of the spiritual master, or guru, is to deliver you some message by which immediately your blazing fire in the heart will be stopped. This is the test. Everyone has blazing fire within the heart. That is the proof of material existence. Nobody is without anxieties. That blazing fire means anxieties, always. Everyone has got anxieties. Even the small bird, he has got anxiety. You give the small bird some grains to eat, he'll eat it. But he's not very peacefully eating. He'll see this way, that way, "If somebody's coming to kill me?" Yes. This is material existence. Everyone... Even President Nixon, he's also full of anxieties, what to speak of others. Even Gandhi, in our country, he was full of anxieties. All politicians, they're full of anxiety; although they hold very exalted post, still the material disease, anxiety, is there. So if you want to be anxiety-less, without any anxiety, then you must take shelter of the guru, or the spiritual master, and the test is that by the instruction of guru, by following the instruction of guru, you will be anxiety-less. This is the test. saṁsāra-dāvānala-līḍha-loka-
vande guroḥ śrī-caraṇāravindam **
Don't make a cheap guru or a fashion guru, just like you keep sometimes a dog as a fashion. Similarly, if you want to keep a dog, or if you want to keep a guru as a fashion—"I have got a guru"—that will not help. You must accept a guru who can extinguish the blazing fire of anxiety within your heart. That is the first test of a guru. And the second test is, mahāprabhoḥ kīrtana-nṛtya-gīta-vaditra-mādyan manaso rasena. The guru... Second system, symptom, is that guru is always engaged in chanting Mahāprabhu, glorifying Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. That is his business. Mahāprabhoḥ kīrtana-nṛtya-gīta. He's dancing and chanting in the... By chanting the holy name of the Lord... Because this is the remedy for all calamities within this material world at the present moment. At the present moment, nobody can meditate. The so-called meditation is humbug. It is very difficult to meditate in this disturbing age of Kali. Therefore śāstra says, kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇum SB 12.3.52 . Meditation means dhyāna, dhyāyato. So Kṛte, in the Satya-yuga, when people used to live for 100,000's of years... The Vālmīki Muni, he got perfection by meditation after meditating for sixty thousands of years. So there is no guarantee whether we are going to live for sixty years or sixty hours. So meditation is not possible in this age. That was possible in the Satya-yuga. Then the next path is performing rituals as they are enjoined in the Vedic śāstra. Kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇuṁ tretāyāṁ yajato makhaiḥ. Yajato makhaiḥ. Makhaiḥ means performing big, big sacrifices. It requires huge lots of money. They, in this age, people are very poor. They cannot perform. Dvāpare paricaryāyām. And in the Dvāpara-yuga it was possible to worship the Deity in the temple. But nowadays, in this Kali-yuga, that is also very impossible fact. Therefore, the general recommendation is, kalau tad dhari-kīrtanāt: "In this age of Kali, simply by chanting the holy name of the Lord, you can get all perfection." All perfection. That is the... Our this movement, Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, is meant for that purpose. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu... The picture is there, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Here, Ṣaḍ-bhūja. So He inaugurated this movement five hundred years ago, chanting. Chanting and dancing. So this is going on for the last five hundred years. In India it is very popular, but in the Western countries, we have just introduced five or six years ago, and people are taking to it, and they are feeling happy. So this is the only process. Therefore, the guru is always engaged in chanting. Mahāprabhoḥ kīrtana-nṛtya-gīta ** , Chanting and dancing. Unless he performs himself, how he can teach his disciple? So first symptom is that he will give you such instruction that immediately you will feel relief from all anxieties. And the second symptom is that he's personally engaged also in chanting and dancing the holy name of the Lord. Mahāprabhoḥ kīrtana-nṛtya-gīta-vaditra-mādyan manaso rasena. And enjoy the transcendental bliss within the mind by chanting and dancing. Unless you become blissful, very happy, you cannot dance. It is not... Artificially, you cannot dance. These dances, they are not artificial. They feel some transcendental bliss; therefore they dance. It is not they are dancing dog. No. They dance from the spiritual platform. Vaditra-mādyan manaso rasena. Romāñca-kampāśru-taraṅga-bhājo. And there are sometimes transformation of the body with spiritual symptoms—sometimes crying, sometimes there is, I mean to..., swelling on the end of the hairs. There are so many symptoms. These are later. These are not to be imitated. But when one is spiritually advanced, these symptoms are visible. This is the second symptom of guru. And the third is: śrī-vigrahārādhana-nitya-nānā-
yuktasya bhaktāṁś ca niyuñjato 'pi
vande guroḥ śrī-caraṇāravindam **
The spiritual master's duty is to engage the disciples in Deity worship, śrī-vigraha. Śrī-vigraha. In our centers, all centers... We have got about..., more than one hundred centers all over the world. We have got the method of Deity worship. Here we have not yet established, but we worship the picture of Lord Caitanya and guru. But in other centers... In London, we have got two centers, two temples. In America we have got about forty centers. In this way, in each and every center, there is Deity worship. Śrī-vigrahārādhana-nitya-nānā: to worship the Deity, to dress the Deity very nicely; to cleanse the temple very nicely; to offer nice foodstuff to the Deity and accept the remnants of the foodstuff as our eating. In this way, there is method of Deity worship. The Deity worship is done by guru himself, and he engages the disciple also in that business. This is the third symptom. Śrī-vigrahārādhana-nitya-nānā-śṛṅgāra-tan-mandira-mār janādau, yuktasya bhaktāṁś ca niyuñjato 'pi. Not that he is not engaged. He is also engaged. His disciples are engaged. He's always showing, "Do like that. Do like that. Do like that." Or sometimes, if he cannot, the guru shows how to do it. That is the business of guru. Then fourth symptom is: catur-vidha-śrī-bhagavat-prasāda-
kṛtvaiva tṛptiṁ bhajataḥ sadaivavande guroḥ śrī-caraṇāravindam **
The fourth symptom is that a guru, the spiritual master, encourages prasāda distribution, remnants of foodstuff distributed to the public. Ours is not dry philosophy, simply we talk and go home. No. We distribute prasādam, very sumptuous prasādam. In every temple, anyone who comes, we can offer prasādam. In each and every temple, we have got already from fifty to two hundred devotees. And outsiders also, they come and take prasādam. This is an... This introduction is also another symptom of guru, prasāda distribution. Catur-vidha. Not ordinary. Catur-vidha means four kinds of eatables: carvya, cūṣya, lehya, peya. Something is chewed, something is swallowed up, something is licked up. In this way, there are different kinds of palatable dishes. Catur-vidha-śrī... Catur-vidha means four kinds of different types of varieties of prasādam. Catur-vidha-śrī... Śrī-bhagavat-prasādam. Śrī means opulent. If you eat bhagavat-prasādam, then gradually you become spiritualized. It has got the potency. If you eat the prasādam. Therefore it is said that realization of God can be done by the tongue. Sevonmukhe hi jihvādau [Brs . 1.2.234] . If you engage your tongue in the service of the Lord, then you realize God realization. So what is that tongue engagement? The tongue engagement is you chant the holy name of the Lord, and you take the prasādam, remnants of foodstuff given to the Lord. Then you become self-realized, God realized. By these two methods. You don't require to be very highly educated philosopher, scientist, and a rich man and..., to realize God. If you sincerely engage your tongue only in the service of the Lord, you realize Him. It is so simple thing. It is not very difficult. Therefore, this prasādam program is there, introduced by the guru, spiritual master. Śrī-vigra... Catur-vidha-śrī-bhagavat-prasāda-svādv-anna-tṛptān hari-bhakta-saṅghān. Hari-bhakta-saṅga means association of the devotees. These things are done... Outside we cannot do it. But if there are some devotees, we can order, "Please do it. Distribute like this. Do like this." Therefore hari-bhakta-saṅghān. Kṛtvaiva tṛptiṁ bhajataḥ sadaiva. And when he's fully satisfied that the prasāda distribution is going on, he's very much pleased and engages himself in the devotional service of the Lord by chanting and dancing. This is the fourth symptom. And fifth symptom is: śrī-rādhikā-mādhavayor apāra-
What is that? Anyway. Vande guroḥ śrī-caraṇāravindam. And the spiritual master is always thinking of the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa. Śrī-rādhikā-mādhavayor apāra: with Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, His consort, and the gopīs. That is always his thinking. Sometimes he's thinking about His pastimes with the cowherds boys. That means that he's engaged always thinking of Kṛṣṇa, engaged in some kind of pastime. Śrī-rādhikā-mādhavayor apāra-mādhurya-līlā-guṇa-rūpa-nāmnām pratikṣaṇa asvādana lolupasya. Pratikṣaṇa, twenty-four hours, he's thinking. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. One must be engaged twenty-four hours in thinking of Kṛṣṇa. You have to make your such program. Just like we have, at least, made such program. All these boys and girls, those who are engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, they are engaged twenty-four hours. Not officially, once in a week, they meditate or go to some temple. No. Not like that. Twenty-four hours. Twenty-four hours. They have got engagement twenty-four hours. Ask anyone how they are engaged. You can ask. The next symptom is... What is that? Haṁsadūta: Nikuñja-yūno. Prabhupāda: Nikuñja-yūno rati-keli-siddhyai yā yālibhir yuktir apekṣaṇīyā ** . So the ultimate goal of the spiritual master is that he wants to be transferred to the planet of Kṛṣṇa, where he wants to associate with the gopīs to help them to serve Kṛṣṇa. Some, some of them are, some of the devotees, spiritual master, they are thinking of becoming assistants to the gopīs, some of them are thinking to be assistants to the cowherds boy, some of them are thinking to be assistant to mother Yaśodā or Nanda, and some of them are thinking to the servants of God. Or some of them are thinking how to become a flower, tree, a fruit tree or a calf or a cow in Vṛndāvana. There are five kinds of mellows: śānta, dāsya, sākhya, vātsalya and mādhurya. The... Everything is there spiritual. That I shall describe next. Cintāmaṇi-prakara-sadmasu. So in the spiritual sky, the land is spiritual, the tree is spiritual, the fruit is spiritual, the flower is spiritual, the water is spiritual, the servant is spiritual, the friend is spiritual, the Lord is spiritual and His associates are spiritual. Everything. Therefore oneness, Absolute Truth, everything absolute. Although there are varieties, these varieties, the spiritual varieties, are simply reflection in this material world. Just like there is a tree on the bank of the river. That is reflected in the water. But reflected how? The top has gone down. The topmost thing has gone down. So this material world is the reflection of the spiritual world—but perverted reflection. In the spiritual world, there is love between Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is always young. Nava-yauvanaṁ ca [Bs. 5.33] . And Rādhārāṇī is also always young. Pleasure potency of Kṛṣṇa. We worship: śrī-rādhikā-mādhavayor apāra ** . Mādhava. Jaya jaya Rādhā-Mādhava. We worship not Kṛṣṇa alone—with His eternal consort, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. So there is eternal love between Rādhārāṇī and Kṛṣṇa. Therefore in the Vedānta-sūtra, it is said, janmādy asya yataḥ SB 1.1.1 . This Absolute Truth means wherefrom everything comes, emanates. Just like here we find love between mother and son, love between wife and husband, love between master and servant, love between friends and friends, love between master and the dog or the cat or the cow. Same thing. These are only reflection of the spiritual world. The same thing is there. Kṛṣṇa is also good lover of the animals, calves and cows. As we love here dogs and cats, Kṛṣṇa loves there cows and calves. You have seen the picture of Kṛṣṇa. So the propensity to love even an animal is there. Otherwise how it can be reflected here? This is simply shadow reflection. If, in the reality, there is nothing like that, then how it can be reflected here? So everything is there. Therefore, that mellow, to understand, you have to practice. Here we have got frustration. Here we love. A man loves a woman or woman loves a man. But there is frustration. After some time, they are separated, they divorce, because it is perverted reflection. There is no real love in this material world. It is simply lust. Real love is in the spiritual world between Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. Real love is between Kṛṣṇa and the gopīs. Real love, the friendship is there between Kṛṣṇa and His cowherds boys. Real love between animal and man is there. Kṛṣṇa is loving the cows and calves. Real love between trees, flowers, water, simply that is the platform of love. That is spiritual world. Everything love. So we are simply satisfied within this material world by the shadow reflection of such thing, as in the spiritual world. Therefore we have got this opportunity of human life. Let us understand Kṛṣṇa. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Let us understand Kṛṣṇa. And if you simply understand Kṛṣṇa, as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, janma karma me divyaṁ yo jānāti tattvataḥ... Tattvataḥ, in truth, not superficially. Learn this science of Kṛṣṇa. Janma karma me divyaṁ yo jānāti tattvataḥ. Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti kaunteya BG 4.9 . This is the instruction: if you simply try to love. The process is that you worship the Deity, you take the prasādam, you chant the holy name, you follow the instruction of the spiritual master. In this way you'll be trained up how to understand Kṛṣṇa, and then you life is successful. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa.
~ Srila Prabhupada, Lecture on Gurvastakam, Stockholm, 09/09/73
So the next picture in the envelope is set at Srila Prabhupada's dear ISKCON Toronto Temple at 243 Avenue Road. Just see how purity attracts. Srila Prabhupada is surrounded by devotees. His noble sons and daughters ready to serve him and Krishna in any way possible.
This picture is a attractive because of Srila Prabhupada and all the devotees and it is titled "Purity". Purity since our Acharya is Pure and purity since the devotees had pure hearts and desires to serve Krishna's pure devotee, Srila Prabhupada.
We are preaching the same thing -- "Always think of Krsna. Chant Hare Krsna. You remember Krsna always." This is the simplest process. You see all these young boys. They are chanting Hare Krsna. And they are becoming purified from the mode of our life. ~ Srila Prabhupada
Continuing from the envelope of newly found pictures from last weekend...
So the 4th of 7 pictures we found is of Srila Prabhupada leaving our home in 1975.
Gracious is defined as "pleasantly kind, benevolent, and courteous". Another alternate definition is "merciful or compassionate". Srila Prabhupada was all of these and he was so "COMPASSIONATE" and this is the title of this picture.
Why "compassionate"? In yesterday's picture Srila Prabhupada was holding a glass vase with flowers and now as he is leaving clutching the same vase of glass flowers. In this picture Srila Prabhupada is 78 and he has so many disciples, temples and responabilities and yet he is holding this simple offering in his own hands. What an inconvenience for him to carry a glass vase with water and flowers all the way with him. Just see how merciful and compassionate Srila Prabhupada is.
In this picture His Grace Brahmananda is right behind Srila Prabhupada and he could have handed it to him or another assistant, but the most gracious Guru, Srila Prabhupada takes the simple offering to show compassion to "nincompoops" like us.
kripa-sindhubhya eva ca
vaishnavebhyo namo namah
...... They can fulfill the desires of everyone, just like desire trees, and they are full of compassion for the fallen souls.