HKS/PDA Newsletter – April 2024 (Vol. 1, No. 4)

April 6, 2024 in Articles by Venkata bhatta dasa

Please find attached the third issue of our monthly newsletter.

HKS/PDA Newsletter – March 2024 (Vol. 1, No. 3)

March 5, 2024 in Articles by Venkata bhatta dasa

Please find attached the third issue of our monthly newsletter.

Appearance Day of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura (150 Years Anniversary)

February 28, 2024 in Articles by Yasoda nandana dasa

🌼Thursday, 29 February 2024 [Mayapur, West Bengal, India Time]🌼

🌟 Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur (Spiritual Master of Srila Prabhupada) Appearance Day 🌟

🌸Fasting Till Noon🌸

A Biography of His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura (Spiritual master of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta swami Srila Prabhupada):-

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura was born in the holy pilgrimage place of Jagannatha Puri to Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, a great Vaisnava acarya in the line of succession coming from Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Although employed as a government magistrate, Srila Bhaktivinoda worked tirelessly to establish the teachings of Lord Chaitanya in India. He envisioned a worldwide spiritual movement and prayed for a son to help him achieve his dream.

On February 6, 1874, in the sacred pilgrimage town of Jagannath Puri, where Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura served as superintendent of the famous Jagannatha temple, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta appeared in this world. He was given the name Bimala Prasada. At the age of seven, Bimala Prasada had memorized the more than seven hundred Sanskrit verses of the Bhagavad-gita and could speak illuminating commentaries upon them. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, the author of many important books and other writings on Gaudiya Vaisnava philosophy, trained his son in printing and proofreading.

By the time he was twenty-five years old, Bimala Prasada had acquired an impressive reputation as a scholar of Sanskrit, mathematics, and astronomy. His astronomical treatise, Surya- siddhanta, won him the title Siddhanta Sarasvati in recognition of his immense learning. In 1905, following the advice of his father, Siddhanta Sarasvati accepted spiritual initiation from Srila Gaurakishora dasa Babaji. Although Srila Gaurakishora dasa Babaji was illiterate, he was renowned throughout the continent as a great saint and Vaisnava acarya.

Siddhanta Sarasvati, although a great scholar, exhibited humility and dedication in the presence of Srila Gaurakishora. Satisfied with such humility and dedication of his highly educated disciple, Srila Gaurakishora gave Siddhanta Sarasvati his full blessings and requested him to “preach the Absolute Truth and keep aside all other work.” Upon the disappearance of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura in 1914, Siddhanta Sarasvati became editor of his father’s journal, Sajjana- tosani, and founded the Bhagawat Press for the publication of Gaudiya Vaisnava literature.
In 1918 Siddhanta Sarasvati accepted the renounced order of spiritual life, assuming the title Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Maharaja. For purposes of propagating Gaudiya Vaisnavism throughout India, he organized the Gaudiya Math, with sixty-four branches throughout the country. The headquarters of his mission, the Chaitanya Gaudiya Math, is located in Sridhama Mayapura, the birthplace of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta adjusted ancient traditions to conform with technological and social conditions of the twentieth century. He considered the printing press a most effective means of spreading this message throughout the world and was himself the author of many important translations, commentaries, and philosophical essays. He was the first spiritual teacher in this line to allow his renounced preachers (sannyasis) to wear Western clothes and travel in modern conveyances rather that on foot. Throughout the 1930s, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta expanded and increased his missionary work and succeeded in reestablishing Gaudiya Vaisnavism as the leading force in Indian spiritual life.

On January 1, 1937, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura passed from this world.

(Taken from the book ‘Brahma Samhita’ by Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur)

Appearance Day of Lord Nityananda (Nityananda Trayodashi)

February 23, 2024 in Articles by Yasoda nandana dasa

“So far your questions are concerned. Nityananda is the principle of the Guru. So, the Gurudeva is the incarnation of Nityananda. Anyone strictly following the instruction of the Guru is following Nityananda. The price one has to pay if he wants to become Krsna conscious is that he must dedicate himself to following the order of the spiritual master, mahat seva. If the Spiritual Master is pleased with disciple then the blessings of Guru will be there. That is the best way to become Krsna conscious, and Krsna is non-different from Nityananda. You may pray to Lord Nityananda to help you become dedicated in the service of your Guru. Krsna consciousness cannot be achieved artificially. You should approach Nityananda Prabhu through your Spiritual Master.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, October 24, 1976)

“According to Narottama das Thakura, one has to worship the Lotus Feet of Nityananda, and by His Grace one is able to worship Lord Caitanya Who transfers us back to Godhead.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, February 20, 1969)

O MY DEAR PRABHU NITYANANDA

O my dear Prabhu Nityananda
I beg you hear the prayers of this demon
only by the mercy of Thy servant Prabhupada
my ignorance I’m begging to be leaving.

Bound up in a body that is lazy
I am condemned to be most crazy
I am a most mentally crippled begger
stuck in my bed I can’t get it together.

It feels impossible to obey my guru
who has been fully empowered by You
and so I don’t know what else I can do
but by his most expert advice pray to You..

Srila Prabhupada’s mercy flows from You
O most merciful Lord and dearest friend of all
You came here with Your brother Lord Gauranga
to deliver all the souls here from their terrible fall.

O Lord Nityandanda I beg the shelter of Thy Feet
the only cooling shelter from Maya’s desert heat
and the only means to be blessed to obey his grace
Srila Prabhupada in his books to save the human race.

I know in myself I’m devoid of qualifications
I am simply polluted by unlimited abominations
it is only by Prabhupada’s intervention on me
I am begging you Lord Nityananda to set me free.

With a montain of only sin resting on my head
I am finding it impossible to get up out of bed
this truth must be known and spoken at Thy feet
if all I can do is be honest O Lord unlimitedly sweet..

Out of control of my senses I commit only unlimited offences
so I beg You Lord Nityananda bless me to not commence this
I bow down to Thy feet with all the humility at my command
to bless me to be Thy servant by You grabing hold of Thy hand.

O my dear most merciful Lord Nityananda
You and Thy devotees are this world’s only hope
and ahead of them all is Your topmost Prabhupada
who You blessed with books to give the greatest scope.

I must live by them and make them known worldwide
only by Thy mercy by his instructions may I fully abide
so my dear Lord Nityananda please appear in all hearts
so this world wakes up for You and leaves all the dark.

This darkness of ignorance blinds all from God
to not know their duty through his grace Prabhupada
all must beg to You and Your all merciful brother
to wake up their love that now is completely covered..

Our love deep within is for every living being
for from Lord Krishna all existince does spring
and now only by Thy mecy this wisdom I bring
so please pour all Thy mercy on this sick fiend.

Please bless me to always cry Krishna’s holy names
so in Lord Sri Krishna’s service I am lovingly engaged
or I must remaiin Maya’s most helpless sinful slave
taking birth in this world with only unlimited graves.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare

copy anubhavananda dasa 2024

Sri Nityananda Trayodasi, February 22, 2024 [Mayapura, West Bengal, Bharata Bhumi]

February 21, 2024 in Articles by Yasoda nandana dasa

Srila Prabhupada describes the glories of Lord Nityananda Prabhu.

In Rāḍhadeśa, the part of Bengal where the Ganges is not visible, Nityānanda Prabhu, Gaṅgādāsa Paṇḍita, Murāri Gupta and Mukunda took birth

Purport

Here rāḍha-deśe refers to the village of the name Ekacakrā in the district of Birbhum, next to Burdwan. After the Burdwan railway station there is another branch line, which is called the Loop Line of the eastern railway, and there is a railway station of the name Mallārapura. Eight miles east of this railway station Ekacakrā Village is still situated. Ekacakrā Village extends north and south for an area of about eight miles. Other villages, namely Vīracandra-pura and Vīrabhadra-pura, are situated within the area of the village of Ekacakrā. In honor of the holy name of Vīrabhadra Gosvāmī, these places are renowned as Vīracandra-pura and Vīrabhadra-pura.

In the Bengali year 1331 (A.D. 1924) a thunderbolt struck the temple of Ekacakrā-grāma. Therefore the temple is now in a broken state. Before this, there were no such accidents in that quarter. Within the temple there is a Deity of Śrī Kṛṣṇa established by Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu. The name of the Deity is Baṅkima Rāya or Bāṅkā Rāya.

On the right side of Baṅkima Rāya is a Deity of Jāhnavā, and on His left side is Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. The priests of the temple describe that Lord Nityānanda Prabhu entered within the body of Baṅkima Rāya and that the Deity of Jāhnavā-mātā was therefore later placed on the right side of Baṅkima Rāya. Afterwards, many other Deities were installed within the temple. On another throne within the temple are Deities of Muralīdhara and Rādhā-Mādhava. On another throne are Deities of Manomohana, Vṛndāvana-candra and Gaura-Nitāi. But Baṅkima Rāya is the Deity originally installed by Nityānanda Prabhu.

On the eastern side of the temple is a ghāṭa known as Kadamba-khaṇḍī on the bank of the Yamunā, and it is said that the Deity of Baṅkima Rāya was floating in the water and Lord Nityānanda Prabhu picked Him up and then installed Him in the temple. Thereafter, in a place known as Bhaḍḍāpura, in the village of Vīracandra-pura, about half a mile west, in a place underneath anima tree, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī was found. For this reason, the Rādhārāṇī of Baṅkima Rāya was known as Bhaḍḍāpurera Ṭhākurāṇī, the mistress of Bhaḍḍāpura. On another throne, on the right side of Baṅkima Rāya, is a Deity of Yogamāyā.

Now the temple and temple corridor rest on a high plinth, and on a concrete structure in front of the temple is a meeting hall. It is also said that on the northern side of the temple there was a Deity of Lord Śiva named Bhāṇḍīśvara and that the father of Nityānanda Prabhu, Hāḍāi Paṇḍita, used to worship that Deity. At present, however, the Bhāṇḍīśvara Deity is missing, and in his place a Jagannātha Svāmī Deity has been installed. Lord Nityānanda Prabhu did not factually construct any temples. The temple was constructed at the time of Vīrabhadra Prabhu. In the Bengali year 1298 (A.D. 1891), the temple being in a dilapidated condition, a brahmacārī of the name Śivānanda Svāmī repaired it.

In this temple there is an arrangement to offer foodstuffs to the Deity on the basis of seventeen seers of rice and necessary vegetables. The present priestly order of the temple belongs to the family of Gopījana-vallabhānanda, one of the branches of Nityānanda Prabhu. There is a land settlement in the name of the temple, and income from this land finances the expenditures for the temple. There are three parties of priestly gosvāmīs who take charge of the temple management, one after another. A few steps onward from the temple is a place known as Viśrāmatalā, where it is said that Nityānanda Prabhu in His childhood used to enjoy sporting with His boyfriends by enacting the rāsa-līlā and various other pastimes of Vṛndāvana.

Near the temple is a place named Āmalītalā, which is so named because of a big tamarind tree there. According to a party named the Neḍādi-sampradāya, Vīrabhadra Prabhu, with the assistance of twelve hundred Neḍās, dug a great lake of the name Śvetagaṅgā. Outside of the temple are tombs of the Gosvāmīs, and there is a small river known as the Mauḍeśvara, which is called the water of Yamunā. Within half a mile from this small river is the birthplace of Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu. It appears that there was a big meeting hall in front of the temple, but later it became dilapidated. It is now covered by banyan trees. Later on, a temple was constructed within which Gaura-Nityānanda Deities are existing. The temple was constructed by the late Prasannakumāra Kārapharmā. A tablet was installed in his memory in the Bengali year 1323 (A.D. 1916), in the month of Vaiśākha (April-May).

The place where Nityānanda Prabhu appeared is called Garbhavāsa. There is an allotment of about forty-three bighās (fourteen acres) of land to continue the worship in a temple there. The Mahārāja of Dinājapura donated twenty bighās (6.5 acres) of land in this connection. It is said that near the place known as Garbhavāsa, Hāḍāi Paṇḍita conducted a primary school. The priests of this place, listed in a genealogical table, were as follows: (1) Śrī Rāghavacandra, (2) Jagadānanda dāsa, (3) Kṛṣṇadāsa, (4) Nityānanda dāsa, (5) Rāmadāsa, (6) Vrajamohana dāsa, (7) Kānāi dāsa, (8) Gauradāsa, (9) Śivānanda dāsa and (10) Haridāsa. Kṛṣṇadāsa belonged to the Ciḍiyā-kuñja at Vṛndāvana. The date of his disappearance is Kṛṣṇa-janmāṣṭamī. Ciḍiyā-kuñja is a place now managed by the gosvāmīs of Śiṅgāra-ghāṭa in Vṛndāvana. They are also known as belonging to the Nityānanda family, most probably on the basis of their relationship with Kṛṣṇadāsa.

Near Garbhavāsa is a place called Bakulatalā, where Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu and His boyfriends used to take part in sporting activities known as jhāla-jhapeṭā. There is a bakula tree there that is wonderful because all its branches and subbranches look like the hoods of serpents. It has been suggested that by the desire of Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu, Anantadeva manifested Himself in that way. The tree is very old. It is said that formerly it had two trunks, but later on, when the playmates of Nityānanda Prabhu felt inconvenience in jumping from the branches of one trunk to those of the nother, Nityānanda Prabhu, by His mercy, merged the two trunksinto one.

Another place nearby is named Hāṅṭugāḍā. It is said that Lord Nityānanda Prabhu brought all the holy places there. Therefore, the people in the surrounding villages go there instead of to the Ganges to take bath. It is named Hāṅṭugāḍā because Śrīla Nityānanda Prabhu used to perform the dadhi-ciḍā festival of distributing chipped rice with yogurt prasāda there and He took the prasāda kneeling down. A sanctified lake in this place is always full of water throughout the year. A great fair is held there during Goṣṭhāṣṭamī, and there is another big fair on the birthday of Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu. In the Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā it is described that Halāyudha, Baladeva, Viśvarūpa and Saṅkarṣaṇa appeared as Nityānanda Avadhūta.

[Cc. Adi-lila 13.61]

 

After this function at the house of Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura, Nityānanda Prabhu appeared, and when He met with Lord Caitanya, He got the opportunity to see Him in His six-armed form.

Purport

The form of Ṣaḍ-bhuja, the six-armed Lord Gaurasundara, is a representation of three incarnations. The form of Śrī Rāmacandra is symbolized by a bow and arrow, the form of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is symbolized by a stick and flute like those generally held by a cowherd boy, and Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu is symbolized by a sannyāsa-daṇḍa and kamaṇḍalu, or waterpot.Śrīla Nityānanda Prabhu was born in the village of Ekacakra in the district of Birbhum as the son of Padmāvatī and Hāḍāi Paṇḍita. In His childhood He played like Balarāma. When He was growing up, a sannyāsī came to the house of Hāḍāi Paṇḍita, begging to have the paṇḍita’s son as his brahmacārīassistant. Hāḍāi Paṇḍita immediately agreed and delivered his son to him, although the separation was greatly shocking, so much so that Hāḍāi lost his life after the separation. Nityānanda Prabhu traveled on many pilgrimages with the sannyāsī. It is said that for many days He lived at Mathurā with him, and at that time He heard about Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s pastimes in Navadvīpa. Therefore, He came down to Bengal to see the Lord. When Lord Nityānanda came to Navadvīpa, He was a guest at the house of Nandana Ācārya. Understanding that Nityānanda Prabhu had arrived, Lord Caitanya sent His devotees to Him, and thus there was a meeting between Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Nityānanda Prabhu.

[CC Adi-lila Adi 17.12]

HKS/PDA Newsletter – February 2024 (Vol. 1, No. 2)

February 6, 2024 in Articles by Venkata bhatta dasa

Please find attached the second issue of our monthly newsletter.

Goṣṭhy-ānandīs and Bhajanānandīs

January 30, 2024 in Articles by Yasoda nandana dasa

There are two types of devotees—bhajanānandīs and goṣṭhy-ānandīs. Bhajanānandīs worship the Lord for their personal benefit, while goṣṭhy-ānandīs try to elevate all others to Kṛṣṇa consciousness so that they may be saved :”There are goṣṭhy-ānandī and bhajanānandī. Bhajanānandī is interested for his own welfare, or they think it that he is not competent enough to preach; therefore he does not go for preaching work. Sva-vimukti-kāmā: “Let me look after my own affairs.” “Oil your own machine.”So this is another stage, and other stage is a devotee taking all risk, preaching for the benefit of the whole human society. He is called goṣṭhy-ānandī, increasing the number of devotees. That is preferred by Kṛṣṇa. It is said in the Bhagavad-gītā, ya imaṁ paramaṁ guhyaṁ mad-bhakteṣv abhidhāsyati: “Anyone who is engaged in preaching this confidential science of Bhagavad-gītā,” na ca tasmān manuṣyeṣu kaścid me priya-kṛttamaḥ, “nobody is dearer to Me than he is.” So if you want very quickly recognition by Kṛṣṇa, go on preaching Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Even if it imperfectly done, but because you are sincere in your capa…, whatever capacity you have got, if you preach, then Kṛṣṇa will be very much pleased. I have seen practically.”(Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Lecture on Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 7.9.44 — Delhi, March 26, 1976) “So my Guru Mahārāja, Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, he was goṣṭhyānandī. He wanted to increase the number of devotees. And the more you increase the number of devotees, the more you become very much recognized by Kṛṣṇa. It is Kṛṣṇa’s business. Kṛṣṇa personally comes as He is, Kṛṣṇa, to spread this bhakti cult. Man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru (BG 18.65). Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). He’s canvassing personally.”

(Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Lecture on Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta » Ādi-līlā 1.13 — Mayapur, April 6, 1975) 

“Prabhupāda: Bhajanānandī is not so important than goṣṭhyānandī. Bhajanānandī is doing for himself, and goṣṭhyānandī is doing for all living being. If you prepare some rasagullā for you, and if you prepare rasagullā for mass of people, then who is better? Rasagullā is good, but if you prepare for yourself only, then that is also good. But one who is preparing for so many hundreds and thousands is better.”

(Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Morning Walk — January 20, 1976, Mayapura)

The Path of Liberation

January 30, 2024 in Articles by Yasoda nandana dasa

The importance of approaching a self-realized soul:

In the Bhagavad-gita, Lord Krishna instructs Arjuna, “Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge to you because he has seen the truth.” (Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 4.34) In Chapters 6 and 7 of the Gita, Lord Krishna describes the symptoms of a liberated soul. The Bhagavad-gitaSrimad Bhagavatam, and all revealed scriptures teach that a genuine spiritual master must be a fully liberated soul. Why? Srila Prabhupada offers a commonsense explanation: “A man bound by the hands and feet cannot free himself—he must be helped by a person who is unbound. Because the bound cannot help the bound, the rescuer must be liberated.” (Bg.7.14, Purport)

In Vedic culture even common people understood that a spiritual master must be a liberated soul. To this day in India such understanding is still not uncommon. For that reason, unscrupulous men sometimes try to imitate liberated persons for the sake exploiting the sentiments of uneducated spiritual seekers. Srila Prabhupada said that his mission to spread the teachings of Lord Krishna and Lord Chaitanya was made more challenging due to the propaganda of upstarts and deviants who pose as gurus and/or self-realized souls. False “gurus” and their misguided followers generally ignore or distort scriptural conclusions for selfish motives. They contradict the instructions of the genuine teachers of Krishna consciousness (acharyas). Ignorant people are lured to follow the personality cults of false teachers, who flatter their followers for the sake of extracting money and services. Those who pervert or neglect fundamental principles of Vedic religion, or varnashrama-dharma, mislead others by their bad examples. Such posers concoct their own paths and practices in defiance of scriptures and the genuine Vaishnava acharyas.

“A person who doesn’t have knowledge of devotional service may think himself liberated but actually he is not. Aruhya krcchrena param padam tatah patanty adho ‘nadrta-yusmad-anghrayah: such people may approach the impersonal Brahman effulgence, but they fall down again into material enjoyment because they have no knowledge of devotional service.” (SB.5.5.5, Purport)

Srila Prabhupada often quotes this Sanskrit verse mentioned above. It specifically refers to transcendentalists who practice severe austerities for the sake of attaining Brahman realization. Usually, due to incomplete realization, such people return to material life and take up some political or social cause. Sometimes they imitate devotional activities for the sake of gaining wealth and followers.  Even those who approach the bona fide spiritual master and the mission of Krishna consciousness—but for ulterior motives–may fail to achieve liberation for many lifetimes.

“After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.” (Bg.7.19)

“In the lowest stage of devotional life, one is not an unalloyed devotee. Anyabhilasita-sunyam jnana-karmady-anavrtam: to be an unalloyed devotee one must be freed from all material desires and untouched by fruitive activity and speculative knowledge.” (SB.5.5.7, Purport)

All revealed scriptures and Vaishnava acharyas emphasize that students of Krishna consciousness should accept a self-realized pure devotee as spiritual master or diksa-guru. Therefore, serious students must first learn the characteristics of a “highly elevated paramahamsa”. Lord Rishabhadeva instructs His sons: “O My sons, you should accept a highly elevated paramahamsa, a spiritually advanced spiritual master. In this way, you should place your faith in Me, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” (SB.5.5.10) Previously, in Vedic society, most people recognized the obvious differences between a liberated person and a non-liberated person. It was common knowledge that only a liberated soul can act as a genuine spiritual master. Unfortunately, people in India and around the world are losing interest in religion and the path of liberation. If one has any interest at all, he (or she) is often misled by pretenders.

“Presently people are so fallen that they cannot distinguish between a liberated soul and a conditioned soul.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.18.5, Purport)

Characteristics of a liberated person:

It is surely important to understand the symptoms of a liberated person. Srila Prabhupada has often explained that only a liberated person, or “unbound” person, can help the “bound”, the conditioned soul, become free from the cycle of birth and death. “Without such superior help, one cannot be freed from the bondage of material nature.” (Bg.7.14, Purport) Charlatan “gurus” may fool people who don’t understand the symptoms of a liberated soul, or a jivan-mukta.

“By the slight association of a devotee, one can be freed from the clutches of maya. Without the mercy of the pure devotee, one cannot get freedom by any means.” (SB. 5.3.14, Purport)

In the Srimad-Bhagavatam we find numerous descriptions of self-realized souls and the paths such great souls followed.  For instance, in Fifth Canto of Bhagavatam we find descriptions of Maharaja Nabhi, the father of Lord Rishabhadeva. Maharaja Nabhi was a great Vaishnava king, a raja-rishi. He carefully followed the varanashrama way of living throughout his life and finally retired with his wife to Bhadrikashrama in the Himalayas. King Nabhi attained liberation, or full Krishna consciousness (samadhi-yoga), and was promoted to the spiritual world, Vaikuntha. In the fourth chapter, citing recognized authorities, Srila Prabhupada presents a detailed description of a person who is already liberated, even while living in this world:

“This is the way of Vedic life. One must stop the process of repeated birth and death and return home, back to Godhead. The words tanmahimānam avāpa are significant in this regard. Śrīla Śrīdhara Svāmī says that mahimā means liberation in this life. We should act in such a way in this life that after giving up this body, we will become liberated from the bondage of repeated birth and death. This is called jīvanmukti. Śrīla Vīrarāghava Ācārya states that in the Chāndogya Upaniṣad there are eight symptoms of a jīvanmukta, a person who is already liberated even when living in this body. The first symptom of one so liberated is that he is freed from all sinful activity (apahatapāpa). As long as one is under the clutches of māyā in the material energy, one has to engage in sinful activity. Bhagavad-gītā describes such people as duṣkṛtinaḥ, which indicates that they are always engaged in sinful activity. One who is liberated in this life does not commit any sinful activities. Sinful activity involves illicit sex, meat-eating, intoxication and gambling. Another symptom of a liberated person is vijara, which indicates that he is not subjected to the miseries of old age. Another symptom is vimṛtyu. A liberated person prepares himself in such a way that he does not take on any more material bodies, which are destined to die. In other words. he does not fall down again to repeat birth and death. Another symptom is viśoka, which indicates that he is callous to material distress and happiness. Another is vijighatsa, which indicates that he no longer desires material enjoyment. Another symptom is apipātā, which means that he has no desire other than to engage in the devotional service of Krishṇa, his dearmost pursuable Lord. A further symptom is satyakāma, which indicates that all his desires are directed to the Supreme Truth, Kṛishṇa. He does not want anything else. He is satyasaṅkalpa. Whatever he desires is fulfilled by the grace of Krishna. First of all, he does not desire anything for his material benefit, and secondly if he desires anything at all, he simply desires to serve the Supreme Lord. That desire is fulfilled by the Lord’s grace. That is called satyasaṅkalpa. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī points out that the word mahimā means returning to the spiritual world, back home, back to Vaikuṇṭha. Śrī Śukadeva says that the word mahimā means that the devotee attains the qualities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is called sadharma, or “the same quality.” Just as Kṛishna is never born and never dies, His devotees who return to Godhead never die and never take birth within the material world.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.4.5, Purport)

In this Fifth Canto of Bhagavatam, Srila Prabhupada confirms that the purpose of varnashrama-dharma is to help people attain liberation—even in this lifetime. In this age, wherein false preachers and bogus gurus are rampant, it is especially important to understand the characteristics of truly liberated souls like Maharaja Nabhi. By this understanding, people can avoid getting cheated and learn to hear from and follow Srila Prabhupada, who perfectly represents the teaching of Lord Krishna and Lord Chaitanya and Their great devotees. Srila Prabhupada encouraged his disciples to make their lives perfect in this lifetime. “We should act in such a way in this life that after giving up this body, we will become liberated from the bondage of repeated birth and death.” (SB.5.4.5, Purport)

“Although we may be engaged in the Lord’s devotional service in the temple, material conditions are so tough and inevitable that we may forget the Lord at the time of death due to a diseased condition or mental derangement. Therefore we should pray to the Lord to be able to remember His lotus feet without fail at the time of death, when we are in such a precarious condition…” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.3.12, Purport)

[Note: All book quotes cited are from Srila Prabhupada’s authorized original editions (AOE).]

Compiled by,

Narasimha dasa

Blueprint of Rāma-rājya

January 30, 2024 in Articles by Yasoda nandana dasa


Srila Prabhupada : Good government can exist when the relationship between the citizens and the government is like that exemplified by Lord Rāmacandra and His citizens. Lord Rāmacandra ruled His kingdom ex- actly as a father takes care of his children, and the citizens, being obliged to the good government of Lord Rāmacandra, accepted the Lord as their father. Thus the relationship between the citizens and the government should be exactly like that between father and son….🌟👑
Simply enforcing laws and ordinances cannot make the citizens obedient and lawful. That is impossible…..🚫
People must be trained according to the different varṇāśrama occupational duties. As confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (4.13), cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ: the four varṇas must be established according to varying qualities and work
……🎓🌍


Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam » Canto 9 » Chapter 10 » Text 50 | 1977 Edition :


अग्रहीदासनं भ्रात्रा प्रणिपत्य प्रसादित: ।प्रजा: स्वधर्मनिरता वर्णाश्रमगुणान्विता: ।जुगोप पितृवद् रामो मेनिरे पितरं च तम् ॥ ५० ॥
agrahīd āsanaṁ bhrātrāpraṇipatya prasāditaḥprajāḥ sva-dharma-niratāvarṇāśrama-guṇānvitāḥjugopa pitṛvad rāmomenire pitaraṁ ca tam 👑
🤝


Synonyms:

agrahīt — accepted; āsanam — the throne of the state; bhrātrā — by His brother (Bharata); praṇipatya — after fully surrendering unto Him; prasāditaḥ — having been pleased; prajāḥ — and the citizens; sva-dharma-niratāḥ — fully engaged in their respective occupational duties; varṇāśrama — according to the system of varṇa and āśrama; guṇa-anvitāḥ — all of them being qualified in that process; jugopa — the Lord protected them; pitṛ-vat — exactly like a father; rāmaḥ — Lord Rāmacandra; menire — they considered; pitaram — exactly like a father; ca — also; tam — Him, Lord Rāmacandra.


TRANSLATION
Being pleased by the full surrender and submission of Lord Bharata, Lord Rāmacandra then accepted the throne of the state. He cared for the citizens exactly like a father, and the citizens, being fully engaged in their occupational duties of varṇa and āśrama, accepted Him as their father.


PURPORT
People are very fond of the pattern of Rāma-rājya, and even today politicians sometimes form a party called Rāma-rājya, but unfortunately they have no obedience to Lord Rāma. It is sometimes said that people want the kingdom of God without God. Such an aspiration, however, is never to be fulfilled. Good government can exist when the relationship between the citizens and the government is like that exemplified by Lord Rāmacandra and His citizens. Lord Rāmacandra ruled His kingdom ex- actly as a father takes care of his children, and the citizens, being obliged to the good government of Lord Rāmacandra, accepted the Lord as their father. Thus the relationship between the citizens and the government should be exactly like that between father and son. When the sons in a family are well trained, they are obedient to the father and mother, and when the father is well qualified, he takes good care of the children. As indicated here by the words sva-dharma-niratā varṇāśrama-guṇān-vitāḥ, the people were good citizens because they accepted the institution of varṇa and āśrama, which arranges society in the varṇa divisions of brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaisya and sudra and the asrama divisions of brahmacarya, gṛhastha, vānaprastha and sannyāsa. This is actual human civilization. People must be trained according to the different varṇāśrama occupational duties. As confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (4.13), cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ: the four varṇas must be established according to varying qualities and work. The first principle for good government is that it must institute this varṇāśrama system. The purpose of varṇāśrama is to enable people to become God conscious. Varṇāśramācāravatā puruṣeṇa paraḥ pumān viṣṇur ārādhyate. The entire varṇāśrama scheme is intended to enable people to become Vaiṣṇavas. Viṣṇur asya devatā. When people worship Lord Vişņu as the Supreme Lord, they become Vaiṣṇavas. Thus people should be trained to become Vaiṣṇavas through the system of varṇa and āśrama, as they were during the reign of Lord Rāmacandra, when everyone was fully trained to follow the varṇāśrama principles.


Simply enforcing laws and ordinances cannot make the citizens obe-dient and lawful. That is impossible. Throughout the entire world there are so many states, legislative assemblies and parliaments, but still the citizens are rogues and thieves. Good citizenship, therefore, cannot be enforced; the citizens must be trained. As there are schools and colleges to train students to become chemical engineers, lawyers or specialists in many other departments of knowledge, there must be schools and col-leges to train students to become brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, vaiśyas, śūdras, brahmacāris, gṛhasthas, vānaprastha and sannyāsīs. This will provide the preliminary condition for good citizenship (varnāśrama-guṇān- vitāḥ). Generally speaking, if the king or president is a rājarṣi, the rela-tionship between the citizens and the chief executive will be clear, and there will be no possibility of disruption in the state, because the number of thieves and rogues will decrease. In Kali-yuga, however, because the varṇāśrama system is neglected, people are generally thieves and rogues. In the system of democracy, such thieves and rogues naturally collect money from other thieves and rogues, and thus there is chaos in every government, and no one is happy. But here the example of good govern-ment is to be found in the reign of Lord Rāmacandra. If people follow this example, there will be good government all over the world. 🌟🏛

Spontaneous Love of Godhead

January 30, 2024 in Articles by Yasoda nandana dasa

“Bhakti” means spontaneous loving service. When a servant renders service to his master in consideration of monetary exchange, it is no loving service neither this hired service can come within the category of “Bhakti“. When a friend renders service to a fellow friend in consideration of obligation or in expectation of reward or as a matter of gratitude, it is no longer spontaneous loving service and therefore cannot be called “Bhakti”. When a father loves his son in expectation of future reward or self satisfaction or a son loves his father in consideration of gain or gratitude, it is no longer a spontaneous loving service and it is out of the operation of “Bhakti“. Similarly when a wife loves her husband with a view to the inflated pocket of the husband or a husband loves the skin and complexion of his wife or in consideration of duty towards each other, it is no longer a spontaneous loving service. During our stay in the material world we have to maintain a relation between a material thing and its owner; between a master and a servant; between a friend and a friend between a father or a mother and a child or between a husband and a wife or such similar extended relation between man to man, man to beast or man to nature and none of these categories of different relations can be termed as “Bhakti“. No relation within this mundane affair is possible without a motive behind it and even though apparently we may meet some relativities without any motive behind them, by deep analysis it will be possible to see behind them some sort of motive, may be in a lower or higher degree. As such “Bhakti” or spontaneous loving service cannot be applied to any object within the world of three dimension but it is a thing which is absolute monopoly of the Personality of Godhead.

When there is a question of service, there is automatically the acceptance of one who is served and also a servant. The Master or the Almighty Godhead being omnipresent, His service or His servants are also omnipresent and as such “Bhakti” is also omnipresent. Omnipresent as the Personality of Godhead is “Bhakti” is a term which is transcendental to all mundane ideas of service with its ineffectiveness or inebrieties. The service of the mundane world has its selfishness, insufficiency, and ineffectiveness but “Bhakti” is completely different from all such mundane ideas. “Bhakti” is self-sufficient eternal and independant. Nothing is helpful for attainment of “Bhakti” and nothing is determinative for discharge of “Bhakti“. She is herself the means and herself the end, in her pure state.

This “Bhakti” which is applicable to Godhead only is unalloyed devotion without any desire for reward. Service of Godhead with a view to gain something is not unalloyed “Bhakti“. It is quite possible that the devotee while within the modes of material nature, will as a matter of course, perform his services to Godhead with some form or other desire. These desires are divided into the modes of darkness, passion and goodness. Service of Godhead, with a desire of envy, pride, enmity, anger etc. which are the products of differentiation, is alloyed “Bhakti” in the mode of darkness. The example of such mixture of “Bhakti” in the mode of darkness, is set by those who offer prayers to Godhead for the annihilation of their enemies. Godhead need not be prayed specifically for the annihilation of one’s enemies, for even though there is no prayer for such specific purpose, Godhead is always with his pure devotee to protect him from the hands of the enemies. The Personality of Godhead declares most emphatically in the Bhagwat Geeta that His devotee is never vanquished in all circumstances. Admixture of “Bhakti” in the modes of passion is evident when one renders service to Godhead with a view to accumulate wealth, fame and name which are the products of the modes of passion. And an admixture of “Bhakti” in the modes of goodness is found when one renders service to Godhead as a matter of duty towards the Supreme. But pure “Bhakti” is transcendental to all such material modes of goodness, passion or darkness. This “Bhakti” is a spontaneous response to a call of transcendental service. A tinged apparent spontaneous love is visible amongst the younger section of man and woman. A young man as soon as meets a young woman, spontaneously desires from his heart to associate with the young woman and in the same way the young woman’s heart also desires the association of the young man with equal promptness and inclination. Apart from the genuineness of this lusty desires of the young man and the young woman, as set forth above, the promptness, natural inclination and the mode of spontaneity when awakened for the transcendental service of Godhead without personal gain whatsoever-are but genuine signs of love of Godhead, which springs up from pure spiritual plane as opposed to mental or physical actions. “Bhakti” when devoid of all mental and physical actions, is called unalloyed. She is unalloyed in the sense that she has not the slightest tinge of the modes of goodness, passion or darkness as these modes are limited within the spheres of mental and physical plane. Such unalloyed devotion free from the tinges of all designations of mental and physical plane, when engaged in the transcendental service of Sree Krishna the Personality of Godhead with a view to satisfy His senses only, is called pure “Bhakti“. According to Kaviraj Goswami, the author of Chaitanya Charitamrita, the symptoms of unalloyed devotion are as follows. There can be no desire except a determination to make progress in (transcendental realisation of) the devotion of Godhead. There is no other worship than that of the Personality of Godhead neither there is any desire to worship the Impersonal feature of Godhead such as “Brahman” or “Paramatma”. There can be no tendency for knowing for the sake of knowledge nor for working for the sake of fruitive results. Freed from all these, when one tries to take no more than what he requires for the sake of livelihood and for the culture of transcendental service of Godhead with heart and soul-it is called pure unalloyed devotion “Bhakti“.

Such pure “Bhakti” is undying and ever increasing as opposed to material dying lust. Material lust which wrongly passes as love is satiable and dying.

We have examples of thousand and one cases of divorce of so called love affairs after the satiation of physical lust, but spiritual love of Godhead is never satiated. On the contrary, such unalloyed love of Godhead increases the spiritual propensity without a pause for a moment. These are some of the acid tests of spiritual love of Godhead and a devotee must be always on his guard against an undue analogy of material lust and spiritual love. There is a gulf of difference between the two.

By attainment of this transcendental love of Godhead, one becomes perfect immortal and satisfied of all material hankerings. Perfection, satisfaction or immortality are never achieved by a method which is itself imperfect, mortal and insufficient. There can not be any experiment with the Absolute Truth. The Absolute Truth has to be attained first by the Absolute method and then only absolute perfection immortality and satisfaction are attained. Vivid example of such completeness is Dhruba Moharaj. He began his penance with the purpose of material gain but at the end of penance and meditation when he met the Absolute Personality of Godhead, he saw himself completely satisfied of all his material hankerings. When the Personality of Godhead wanted to reward him with whatever he might desire, he declined to have anything as he thought that there was nothing valuable than the Personality of Godhead’s presence before him which was never to be attained even by severest penances of many many ages. He felt himself to have got the most valuable jewel while he was searching after an insignificant stone. So by the attainment of the Absolute Truth, no one desires for anything but the Absolute only. The Absolute method for attaining such stage is to rouse the latent spontaneous love of Godhead, known as loving service “Bhakti” which is also Absolute.

By attainment of “Bhakti” or loving service of Godhead, the devotee-

(1) Does not wish for any other engagement.

(2) Does not fear from anything.

(3) Does not envy any object.

(4) Does not enjoy sensually.

(5) Does not endeavour for anything mundane.

A pure devotee or transcendental servitor of the Personality of Godhead having rejected himself completely under the direction of Godhead, has no other engagement whatsoever. Therefore his attainments, gain or loss are never to be considered as the results of his own works but they are all the awards of the Personality of Godhead. It is not to be considered that only he who works most diligently for his own benefit enjoys all pleasures in this world and the devotee as he simply engages himself in the transcendental service of Godhead-suffers from all sorts of material wants. The devotee having fully engaged himself in the service of Godhead, naturally thinks of Him in every moment of his life and whatever he does for the maintenance of the body and soul together are always done with a view to the transcendental service. Godhead rewards such sincere devotees sufficiently even materially and protects His devotee from all encounters. Such is the mission of the Personality of Godhead in the BhagavatGita (Bg. 9.22).

Ananya chintayanto mam jo janaparyupasate.
Tesam nityavijuktanam jogakshemam bahami aham.

The Personality of Godhead takes pleasure in maintaining and subsidizing His devotees as an ordinary man takes pleasure in maintaining his family even at a personal sacrifice. It is not that the pure devotee wants anything from the Personality of Godhead but the Personality of Godhead Himself out of His own accord looks after the necessities of His pure devotee and protects everything belonging to such devotee. Outwardly it may seem that the activities of a pure devotee is similar to the activities of an ordinary man but there is a gulf of difference between the two class of activities. The devotee’s activities are performed automatically being inspired by the Personality of Godhead while the activities of an ordinary man is done dictated by centralised or extended personal aims. The special benefit of the devotee is that his gains for such inspired activities are all but the Grace of the Almighty Godhead but the gains of an ordinary worker, however great, are the results of his own activities. Grace of Godhead is a source of permanent and transcendental pleasure and gains by personal endeavours are temporary transient and reactionary in the modes of nature. The former is liberation while the later is bondage. The devotee by the Grace of Godhead approaches nearer to the kingdom of Godhead and ordinary worker in due course glides down again in the field of material activities bound up by the modes of nature. The Personality of Godhead although remains neutral and silent in respect of all activities of conditioned soul, he derives pleasure in rewarding His devotees in these activities of unalloyed transcendental service for the Personality of Godhead. In this respect there is no offense on the part of the devotee because he does not want anything for his own benefit but it is the Personality of Godhead who takes pleasure in rewarding the devotee.

A pure devotee is not afraid of anything. In all circumstances he keeps himself fit and steady. According to Sreemad Bhagavat fear of a conditioned soul is due to his intimate association with the material nature the external separated energy of the Personality of Godhead. The conditioned soul thinks always perversely due to his forgetfulness of Godhead, and therefore there is always an anxiety as to what is going to happen next moment. But the devotee is always fearless because he knows well that nothing can happen without the sanction of Godhead directly or indirectly and as such everything that comes from Him is considered by the devotee as His grace. Even in the most reverse position he (the devotee) stands without any fear and accepts all odds as His blessings in different forms. Pralhad Moharaj was put to many such odds even by his father HiranyaKasipu but Pralhadmoharaj stood all such tests with firmness and without fear. The devotees who are always absorbed in the service of Narayana the Lord is never afraid of anything whatsoever. He looks equally on both the hell and the heaven.

A pure devotee has no object to envy. In the Bhagwat Gita it is stated that prior to ones attaining the plane of devotional service, one has to make himself identified with the quality of Brahman the Supreme, when such liberated soul becomes ever cheerful. He has at that time nothing to lament for neither anything to envy.

Brahmabhuta Prasannaatmanasochati na kankshati:
Sama Sarbesu bhutesumadbhakti lavate param.
(Bg. 18.54)

Na prahinshyat priyamprapyanodbijet prapya chapriayam.
Sthirabuddhi assammodha Brahmabid Brahmani sthitha.
(Bg. 5.19)

Jamhina byathaeneta purusham Purusarsava
Samadukham sukham dheera saamritatataya Kalpate.
(Bg. 2.15)

(To be continued).

Link to this page: https://prabhupadabooks.com/btg/2/2e