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Thursday, 1 June 2017

Did Humans Create Religion?


Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura Prabhupada

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (6.3.19) states:

dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītaṁ,
na vai vidur ṛṣayo nāpi devā
na siddha-mukhyā asurā manuṣyāḥ,
kuto nu vidyādhara-cāraṇādaya

Real religious principles are enacted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Although fully situated in the mode of goodness, even the great ṛṣis, who occupy the topmost planets, cannot ascertain the real religious principles, nor can the demigods or the leaders of Siddhaloka, to say nothing of the asuras, ordinary human beings, Vidyadharas and Caranas.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

WHO IS A MAHĀ-BHĀGAVATA?


His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta
Swami Prabhupada

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura says that if an observer immediately remembers the holy name of Krishna upon seeing a Vaishnava, that Vaishnava should be considered a mahā-bhāgavata, a first-class devotee. Such a Vaishnava is always aware of his Krishna conscious duty, and he is enlightened in self-realization. He is always in love with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, and this love is without adulteration. Because of this love, he is always awake to transcendental realization. Because he knows that Krishna

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Association Of Devotees Leads To Taste In Hearing

Srila Jiva Goswami

In spite of the fact that hearing the Lord’s pastimes can easily slash the knot of karma, unfortunate people may not develop a taste for hearing His pastimes. Considering this possibility, Suta Goswami offers an easy method to awaken their taste. He delineates the progression of bhakti, beginning from the taste in Katha, the pastimes of the Lord, upto naiṣṭhikī, or fixity in devotion:

śuśrūṣoḥśraddadhānasya
vāsudeva-kathā-ruciḥ
syānmahat-sevayāviprāḥ
puṇya-tīrtha-niṣevaṇāt
-Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 1.2.16

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Who Are Debarred From Tasting The Pure Juicy Sweetness Of The Bhāgavatam?

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupada

There are those who instead of listening to the Bhāgavatam discourses of liberated paramhaṁsa vaiṣṇava, make a fuss of listening to the lectures on Bhāgavatam given by professional persons and others that are full of tendencies that are harmful to the culture of true well-being in order to gain some sensuous gratifications through the poetic literary grammatical, and other such false kind of appreciations expressed by these speakers. They are debarred from tasting the pure juicy sweetness of the Bhāgavatam, and are deluded to think that the bad or indifferent taste is the Bhāgavatams true taste. When persons like Parikshit who are sure of the temporariness of human life, listen to the Bhāgavatam discourse from liberated paramhaṁsa-vaiṣṇavas like Sri Sukadeva, they become eternal tasters of Bhāgavatam-rasa, absolved from all worldly attachment. The process of jñāna, the process of vairāgya, and the process of bhakti are convergent. They all culminate in nāiskarma ( freedom from karma ) instead of gratification of senses.

A Devotee Bhagavata Is As Good As The Book Bhagavata

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Prabhupada

Here is the remedy for eliminating all inauspicious things within the heart which are considered to be obstacles in the path of self-realization. The remedy is the association of the Bhāgavatas. There are two types of Bhāgavatas, namely the book Bhāgavata and the devotee Bhāgavata. Both the Bhāgavatas are competent remedies, and both of them or either of them can be good enough to eliminate the obstacles. A devotee Bhāgavata is as good as the book Bhāgavata because the devotee Bhāgavata leads his life in terms of the book Bhāgavata and the book Bhāgavata is full of information about the Personality of Godhead and His pure devotees, who are also Bhāgavatas. Bhāgavata book and person are identical.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

The only qualification to study Srimad Bhagavatam

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Śrīmad-Bhāgvatam begins with the definition of the ultimate source. It is a bona fide commentary on the Vedānta-sūtra by the same author, Srila Vyāsadeva, and gradually it develops into nine cantos up to the highest state of God realization. The only qualification one needs to study this great book of transcendental knowledge is to proceed step by step
cautiously and not jump forward haphazardly like with an ordinary book. It should be gone through chapter by chapter, one after another. The reading matter is so arranged so that one is sure to become a God-realized soul at the end of finishing the first nine cantos.
The Tenth Canto is distinct from the first nine cantos

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

No other book like the Bhagavata

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupada

One will not attain salvation by studying Vedānta for many crores of years. No good will come out of squeezing the nose (for yoga practice) for eternity, even if one acquires thereby the power to rise into the sky to a height of ten or twenty cubits. True well being will be available to the people of the world only if they listen to the discourse on Bhāgavata from one who is himself a Bhāgavata, leading the practical life of a true devotee without maintaining the slightest attachment for the life of a karmi or the life of a monistic jnani. Even if all of the books of the world are to be burned there would be no harm

Monday, 3 April 2017

Two editions of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam


Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is one of the eighteen Purāṇas, but Srila Vyasdeva wrote it after compiling the essence of the Vedas in the Vedānta-sūtra and also composing the Mahābhārata and Purāṇas. But, one might ask, if the eighteen Purāṇas had already been compiled, does this make Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam the nineteenth Purāṇa?

Srila Jiva Goswami explains in Tattva Sandharbha that this is not the case. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam appeared first to Srila Vyasa in a concise and subtle form, as one of the eighteen Purāṇas. Srila Vyasa composed the Vedānta-sūtra on the basis of this first edition of the Bhāgavatam. Later, when He sat in trance in pursuance of Nārada Muni’s order, the expanded form of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam was revealed to Him as the natural commentary on the Vedānta-sūtra. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and the Vedānta-sūtra share the same subject, the Absolute Truth, and they describe the same principles of sambandha (the relationship between the soul and God),

Sunday, 2 April 2017

The proper method of receiving Srimad Bhagavatam


His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Śrīmad-Bhāgvatam is a personal commentation on the Vedānta-sūtra by Srila Vyasadeva It was written in the maturity of his spiritual life through the mercy of Narada. Srila Vyasadeva is the authorized incarnation of Narayana, the Personality of Godhead. Therefore, there is no question as to his authority. He is the author of all other Vedic literatures, yet he recommends the study of Śrīmad-Bhāgvatam above all others. In other Purāṇas there are different methods set forth by which one can worship the demigods.

The oneness of Lord Krishna and Bhagavatam

pādau yadīyau prathama-dvitīyau
tṛtīya-turyau kathitau yad-ūrū
nābhis tathā paṣcama eva ṣaṣṭho
bhujāntaraṁ dor-yugalaṁ tathānyau
kaṇṭhas tu rājan navamo yadīyo
mukhāravindaṁ daśamaṁ praphullam
ekādaśo yaś ca lalāṭa-paṭṭaṁ
śiro ’pi yad dvādaśa eva bhāti

“The Bhāgvatam’s First and Second Cantos are Lord Krishna’s feet, and the Third and Fourth Cantos are His thighs. The Fifth Canto is His navel, the Sixth Canto is His chest, and the Seventh and Eighth Cantos are His arms. The Ninth Canto is His throat, the Tenth His blooming lotus face, the Eleventh His forehead, and the Twelfth His head.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Śrī Sanmodana Bhāṣyam on Śrī Śikṣāṣṭaka


Translated by Sarvabhāvana dāsa
Śloka One
ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇaṁ
śreyaḥ-kairava-candrikā-vitaraṇaṁ vidyā-vadhū-jīvanam
ānandāmbudhi-vardhanaṁ prati-padaṁ pūrṇāmṛtāsvādanaṁ
sarvātma-snapanaṁ paraṁ vijayate śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam

Synonyms: cetaḥ—of the heart; darpaṇa—the mirror; mārjanam—cleansing; bhava—of material existence; mahā-dāvāgni—the blazing forest fire; nirvāpaṇam—extinguishing; śreyaḥ—of good fortune; kairava—the white lotus; candrikā—the moonshine; vitaraṇam—spreading; vidyā—of all education; vadhū—wife; jīvanam—the life; ānanda—of bliss; ambudhi—the ocean; vardhanam—increasing; prati-padam—at every step; pūrṇa-amṛta—of the full nectar; āsvādanam—giving a taste; sarva—for everyone; ātma-snapanam—bathing of the self; param—transcendental; vijayate—let there be victory; śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam—for the congregational chanting of the holy name of Kṛṣṇa.

The Forgetfulness of the Humanists

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura.
This article was originally published in The Harmonist on Sept 19th, 1934  Volume XXI No.2.

The Fountainhead of all eternal and temporal manifestations is confined in Sree Krishna alone. The non-absolute phases are emanations from a particular potency whose analytical distributions are known as gunas or qualities. In the factor of time, they are branched as past, present and future and their material representations have three characteristics viz. evolution, sustenance and dissolution. The Fountainhead is Absolute and His borderland emanations are absolute infinitesimals, though they are recognized in the same qualities. Their quantitative reference is then considered as apart from the Absolute, but swayed by a quality and their special characteristic is that the infinitesimal bearing should not be confused with the Infinitude.
The resources of manifestive nature have their common origin in the absolute existence of the Fountainhead. The delegation of the power of the Absolute Infinity is traced in the spirit and the matter. The family of

Thursday, 16 March 2017

The age of Kali: curse or a boon?



In the Age of Kali, intelligent persons perform congregational chanting to worship the incarnation of Godhead who constantly sings the names of Krsna. Although His complexion is not blackish, He is Krsna Himself. He is accompanied by His associates, servants, weapons and confidential companions.

My dear Lord, You are the Maha-purusa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and I worship Your lotus feet, which are the only eternal object of meditation. Those feet destroy the embarrassing conditions of material life and freely award the greatest desire of the soul, the

The story of a Pigeon

There once was a pigeon who lived in the forest along with his wife. He had built a nest within a tree and lived there for several years in her company. The two pigeons were very much devoted to their household duties. Their hearts being tied together by sentimental affection, they were each attracted by the other’s glances, bodily features and states of mind. Thus, they completely bound each other in affection. Naively trusting in the future, they carried out their acts of resting, sitting, walking, standing, conversing, playing, eating and so forth as a loving couple among the trees of the forest. Whenever she desired anything, O King, the she-pigeon would flatteringly cajole her husband, and he in turn would gratify her by faithfully doing

Qualities of Saintly persons


The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: O Uddhava, a saintly person is merciful and never injures others. Even if others are aggressive he is tolerant and forgiving toward all living entities. His strength and meaning in life come from the truth itself, he is free from all envy and jealousy, and his mind is equal in material happiness and distress. Thus, he dedicates his time to work for the welfare of all others.

His intelligence is never bewildered by material desires, and he has controlled his senses. His behavior is always pleasing, never harsh and always exemplary, and he is free from possessiveness. He never endeavors in ordinary, worldly activities, and he strictly controls his eating. He therefore always remains peaceful and steady.

Mundane literature or Srimad Bhagavatam


na yad vacas citra-padam harer yaso
jagat-pavitram pragrnita karhicit
tad vayasam tirtham usanti manasa
na yatra hamsa niramanty usik-ksayah

Translation:
Those words which do not describe the glories of the Lord, who alone can sanctify the atmosphere of the whole universe, are considered by saintly persons to be like unto a place of pilgrimage for crows. Since the all-perfect persons are inhabitants of the transcendental abode, they do not derive any pleasure there.

Why does Lord wants his devotees to rule the world ?


This world is compared to a forest fire caused by the cohesion of bamboo bushes. Such a forest fire takes place automatically, for bamboo cohesion occurs without external cause. Similarly, in the material world the wrath of those who want to lord it over material nature interacts, and the fire of war takes place, exhausting the unwanted population. Such fires or wars take place, and the Lord has nothing to do with them. But because He wants to maintain the creation, He desires the mass of people to follow the right path of self-realization, which enables the living beings to enter into the kingdom of God.

The prostitutes of Dvārakā


We may not hate even the prostitutes if they are devotees of the Lord. Even to date there are many prostitutes in great cities of India who are sincere devotees of the Lord. By tricks of chance one may be obliged to adopt a profession which is not very adorable in society, but that does not hamper one in executing devotional service to the Lord. Devotional service to the Lord is uncheckable in all circumstances. It is understood herewith that even in those days, about five thousand years ago, there were prostitutes in a city like Dvārakā, where Lord Kṛṣṇa resided. This means that prostitutes are necessary citizens for the proper upkeep of society. The government opens wine shops, but this does not mean that the government encourages the drinking of wine. The idea is that there is a class of men who will drink at any cost, and it has been experienced that prohibition in great cities encouraged illicit smuggling of wine. Similarly, men who are not satisfied at home require such concessions, and if there is no prostitute, then such low men will induce others into prostitution. It is better that prostitutes be available in the marketplace so that the sanctity of society can be maintained. It is better to maintain a class of

Divinity of Lord Caitanya

The humble form of prayer offered to Lord Caitanya is stated in the Bhāgavata Purāṇa as follows:
"Let us offer our most sincere obeisances to the lotus feet of Lord Caitanya who is the protector of all surrendered souls. The Supreme Lord is always anxious to bestow upon us the fortune of unalloyed love of God, untouched by such deviating processes as dry speculative empiric knowledge or unsatiated desire for fruitive activities to acquire shifting material gains. He is the Supreme leader of the chain of disciplic succession in the line of Śrīla Ānanda Tīrtha and is worshiped by Śrī Śrīmad Advaita Prabhu and Śrī Śrīmad Haridāsa hākuras

Assuming Responsibility of Being Guru

We have taken upon ourselves the responsibility of welcoming this grave charge. All the audience have accepted ordinary seats, I alone have been provided with a lofty seat. All are being told in effect—“Do have a look at a big animal from the Zoo-gardens. What arrogance! So foolish! So wicked! Have you ever seen such a big brute? Garlands of flowers have been put round his neck! What laudations! What bombastic long-drawn, and hyperbolic adjectives! And how complacently too he is listening to the praise of his own achievements, how intently, and with his own ears! He also evidently feels delighted in mind! Is he not acting in plain violation of the teaching of Mahäprabhu? Can such a big brute, so selfish and insolent, be ever reclaimed from brutishness?”