Sri Syamananda Goswami avirbhava tithi [appearance day]Friday, April 19, 2019

April 17, 2019 in Articles, Narasimha Dasa, Yasoda nandana Dasa by Laksman dasa

Sri Syamananda Goswami avirbhava tithi [appearance day]

Friday, April 19, 2019
compiled by Narasimha dasa and Yasoda nandana dasa


Srila Prabhupada explains the unique position of Sri Syamananda Goswami.

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Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu explained this mode of devotional service in three stages, and therefore these worshipable Deities were installed in Vṛndāvana by different Gosvāmīs. They are very dear to the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas there, who visit the temples at least once a day. Besides the temples of these three Deities, many other temples have been established in Vṛndāvana, such as the temple of Rādhā-Dāmodara of Jīva Gosvāmī, the temple of Śyāmasundara of Śyāmānanda Gosvāmī, the temple of Gokulānanda of Lokanātha Gosvāmī, and the temple of Rādhā-ramaṇa of Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī. There are seven principal temples over four hundred years old that are the most important of the five thousand temples now existing in Vṛndāvanaooks : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 1: The Spiritual Masters : Adi 1.19 : PURPORT :




Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 7: Lord Caitanya in Five Features : Adi 7.45 : PURPORT :

There are many Vaiṣṇava families in Bengal whose members, although not actually born brāhmaṇas, act as ācāryas by initiating disciples and offering the sacred thread as enjoined in the Vaiṣṇava tantras. For example, in the families of Ṭhākura Raghunandana Ācārya, Ṭhākura Kṛṣṇadāsa, Navanī Hoḍa and Rasikānanda-deva (a disciple of Śyāmānanda Prabhu), the sacred thread ceremony is performed, as it is for the caste Gosvāmīs, and this system has continued for the past three to four hundred years. Accepting disciples born in brāhmaṇa families, they are bona fide spiritual masters who have the facility to worship the śālagrāma-śilā, which is worshiped with the Deity. As of this writing, śālagrāma-śilā worship has not yet been introduced in our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, but soon it will be introduced in all our temples as an essential function of arcana-mārga (Deity worship).

Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 7: Lord Caitanya in Five Features : Adi 7.164 : PURPORT :

When Rūpa Gosvāmī and Sanātana Gosvāmī went to Vṛndāvana, there was not a single temple, but by their preaching they were gradually able to construct various temples. Sanātana Gosvāmī constructed the Madana-mohana temple, and Rūpa Gosvāmī constructed the Govindajī temple. Similarly, their nephew Jīva Gosvāmī constructed the Rādhā-Dāmodara temple, Śrī Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī constructed the Rādhā-ramaṇa temple, Śrī Lokanātha Gosvāmī constructed the Gokulānanda temple, and Śyāmānanda Gosvāmī constructed the Śyāmasundara temple. In this way, many temples were gradually constructed. For preaching, construction of temples is also necessary. The Gosvāmīs not only engaged in writing books but also constructed temples because both are needed for preaching work. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu wanted the cult of His saṅkīrtana movement to spread all over the world. Now that the International Society for Krishna Consciousness has taken up this task of preaching the cult of Lord Caitanya, its members should not only construct temples in every town and village of the globe but also distribute books that have already been written and further increase the number of books. Both distribution of books and construction of temples must continue side by side in parallel lines. Read the rest of this entry →

The Path of Reality

March 5, 2019 in Articles, Narasimha Dasa by Laksman dasa

By Narasimha das

Many dishonest preachers pose as scriptural scholars, brahmins or even Vaishnavas. Srila Prabhupada clearly states in His Third Canto Bhagavatam Purports that these kinds of hypocrites who pose as religious authorities yet ignore or deny the real path of devotional service and surrender to Krishna are even more dangerous than avowed atheists who simply do not believe in God or religion in any form.

Atheists and posers sometimes challenge faithful devotees, saying, “What is the use your sentiment and mythologies? Can you predict an eclipse or create a space shuttle? Better you worship scientists, who make our lives easy.”

One infamous atheist posing as a sadhu (Vivekananda) advised devout Hindus to uproot their sacred Tulasi plants and grown eggplants instead. He proposed that growing eggplants would be more useful than growing Tulasi. Similarly, other pseudo-spiritualists advise, “All books are just words on a page. They are under lock and key. Better you listen to me, “a living guru,” or one of my followers, to understand the truth. Unless you accept me and my authority you can’t understand Srila Prabhupada’s books.”

Are Devotees of Krishna Fools?

Srila Prabhupada has often countered the assertion that pure devotees are “foolish” or “blind” followers: “The way of devotional service in neither sentimental nor mundane. It is the path of reality by which the living entity can attain the transcendental happiness of being freed from the three kinds of material miseries… The argument that unless one has proper knowledge one cannot be freed from material miseries is undoubtedly true. But because the lotus feet of the Lord are full of transcendental knowledge, acceptance of His lotus feet completes that necessity… There is no want of knowledge in the devotional service of Vasudeva, the personality of Godhead. He, the Lord, personally takes charge of dissipating the darkness of ignorance from the heart of a devotee. He confirms this in Bhagavad-gita (10.10)”:

tesam satata-yuktanam, bhajatam priti-purvakam

dadami buddhi-yogam tam, yena mam upayanti te

In this connection, Srila Prabhupada also quotes Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.7)

vasudeve bhagavati, bhakti-yogah prayojitah

janaya asu vairagyam, jnanam ca yad ahaitukam

In his Bhagavatam purports (Third Canto, Chapter Five), Srila Prabhupada comments, “The conclusion is that the physical elements may work very wonderfully to the laymen’s eyes, but these workings actually take place under the supervision of the Lord. Those who can mark only the changes of the physical elements and cannot perceive the hidden hands of the Lord behind them are certainly less intelligent person, although they may be advertised as great material scientists.”

Interestingly, in this chapter, “Vidura’s Talks with Maitreya,” two great and highly advanced devotees are meeting but focusing first on the basic premises for understanding both mundane reality and spiritual reality. They do this to show us the example of what’s important to learn first. Srila Prabhupada has pointed out that unless we understand the fundamentals of material existence and spiritual existence simultaneously, attempts to become free from ignorance and misery will prove futile.

Srila Prabhupada comments, “The conception of various controlling demigods who inhabit the higher planetary systems for management of universal affairs is not imaginary, as proposed by persons with a poor fund of knowledge. The demigods are expanded parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord Vishnu, and they are embodied by time, external energy, and partial consciousness of the Supreme. Human beings, animals, birds, and so on are also parts and parcels of the Lord and have different material bodies, but they are not controlling deities of material affairs. They are, rather, controlled by such demigods. Such control is not superfluous; it is as necessary as the controlling departments in the affairs of a modern state.”

This is last sentence (underlined above), is an excellent example. Pious heads of state in ancient India accepted the supremacy of the Lord, the authority of the Vedas, as well as the controls and limitations imposed by Krishna’s empowered representatives, the demigods. In this way, they and their followers were satisfied. But leaders of modern society, while sometimes posing as religious men, don’t accept any authority above their own, or above their manufactured and superfluous laws. They feel that manmade laws are essential to maintain peace, but laws of God may be neglected—even to the extent of trying to forcefully break free from the planet upon which we have been placed.

Although, by Krishna’s arrangements, the earth is the most suitable place for human life, demons are never satisfied with the natural order. They are willing to go to any extreme to defy God. Their plan that men should travel for many months in a metal tube to arrive on a planet (Mars) that they say is barren and extremely harsh is proof of their insane rebellious attitude. They are like a child who holds his breathe until blue just to get his way.

In ancient times, great demons tried to conquer heaven or build a stairway to heaven, but modern demons don’t believe in heaven. For instance, they think the Mars is barren and lifeless, yet they still try to go there by force–just to prove their independence. It’s no wonder, therefore, that they are constantly bewildered by all varieties of illusions and limitations imposed on them by higher authorities.

In this regard Srila Prabhupada comments, “The demigods should not be despised by the controlled living beings. They are all great devotees of the Lord entrusted to execute certain functions of the universal affairs… Demigods like Yamaraja and other controllers are there for the unwanted conditioned souls who always engage in threatening the tranquility of the kingdom of God. Since all the demigods are confidential devotee-servitors of the Lord, they are never to be condemned.”

Modern science and most leaders of modern society imagine that advanced techno sciences will one day liberate them and their most wealthy supporters from most restrictions– so they can do whatever they like. They exploit the Earth by force for their own profit and prestige and then reassure their foolish followers, saying “Science will reveal how we can live with all pollution happily, and when we finally destroy this earth with toxic nuclear wastes, viruses and pesticides, we will go live on Mars.”

Sound insane? According the infamous atheist “genius” Steve Hawkins (a bankrolled NASA promoter), human migration to other planets is the only way humans can be saved from extinction. This cripple-minded freak is grossly deformed and confined to a wheel chair and, like many modern scientists, is envious of God and the demigods who confine us all to the miseries and limitations of our frail material bodies on this planet. Insanely, they suggest that although peace and prosperity is not possible on Earth (where we have plenty of fertile land, air, water and other resources just suitable for human life), we will miraculously become free and happy through space travel. As we have heard from Bhagavatam and other Vedic puranas, and have seen practically, demons are never satisfied, even if they conquer a huge kingdom or planet.

O Father, O Lord, O Personality of Godhead, the living entities in the material world can never have any happiness because they are overwhelmed by the three kinds of miseries. Therefore, they take shelter of the shade of Your lotus feet, which are full of knowledge, and we also thus take shelter of them. (SB. 3.5.40)

Materialistic scientists are just like ignorant tribesmen or small children who think that a car runs automatically, with no driver. They can’t understand that the Supreme Lord and His parts and parcels, the living beings, or jivas, are the unseen ingredients who make the world dynamic, animated and alive. Because ignorant and misguided men have no real information of God or the soul, they must remain perpetually bound by the cruel laws of material nature, which confine them to a crippled life of darkness and misery–birth after birth–on this planet and others.

The devotees of the Lord, on the other hand, are fully and forever freed from the miseries and limitations of material existence in both this life and the next. They are not under the control of even the greatest demigod–or even Mother Durga Devi herself. Real devotees of the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna are free to move anywhere and everywhere, riding on the “wings of the Vedas”, throughout the material and spiritual words. For learned devotees there are no punishments, time outs, restrictions, fears or miseries, of which birth, old age, disease and death are chief.

Miracles of Devotion

Srila Prabhupada: “Intelligent persons, who are like swans, take shelter of the Lord by all means and do not hover on the mental plane by fruitlessly speculating on different philosophies.”

“Simply by hearing about Your lotus feet with eagerness and devotion and my meditating upon them within the heart, one at once becomes enlightened with knowledge, and on the strength of detachment one becomes pacified. We must therefore take shelter of the sanctuary of Your lotus feet.” (SB. 3.5.42)

Commenting on this verse, Srila Prabhupada explains: “The miracles of meditating on the lotus feet of the Lord with eagerness and devotion are so great that no other process can compare to it. The minds of materialistic persons are so disturbed that it is almost impossible for them to search after the Supreme Truth by personal regulative principles. But even such materialistic men, with a little eagerness for hearing about the transcendental name, fame, qualities and so on can surpass all other methods of attaining knowledge and detachment… Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu strongly recommended this process of hearing from a bona fide devotee, and by following this process one can achieve the highest result, conquering all other methods.”

To give up the path of real freedom and knowledge taught by the Vedas and the bona fide spiritual master in favor of mundane and defective systems of pseudo-science or pseudo-religion is surely the greatest folly, a path of deepening darkness. Srila Prabhupada raises this question: “If liberation is so easy just by hearing about Krishna’s pastimes and glories, why don’t more people take advantage of this easy path to complete freedom?” Srila Prabhupada then explains the answer to this puzzle. It is due their offense to Krishna and His pure devotees, who come to this miserable world just to give everyone the right advice. What is the offense that makes hearing and chanting about Krishna impossible for most people? They deliberately defy, insult or ignore Krishna’s instructions and the advice of His pure devotees. Therefore, such envious persons are prevented by “supernatural control” from understanding the value of hearing and chanting about Krishna. Serious devotees avoid offenses by avoiding offensive persons, particularly pseudo-spiritualists.

Srila Namacarya Haridasa Thakura Tirobhava Tithi [disappearance] – Sunday, September 23, 2018 [Mayapura, West Bengal, Bharata Bhumi time]

September 24, 2018 in Articles, Narasimha Dasa, Yasoda nandana Dasa by Laksman dasa

Srila Namacarya Haridasa Thakura Tirobhava Tithi [disappearance]
Sunday,  September 23, 2018 [Mayapura, West Bengal, Bharata Bhumi time]
Srila Prabhupada glorifies Srila Haridasa Thakura
compiled by Narasimha dasa and Yasoda nandana dasa


‘upala-bhoga’ dekhi’ haridāsere dekhite
pratidina āisena, prabhu āilā ācambite
 
SYNONYMS
 
upalabhoga—the offering of food to Lord Jagannātha at noon; dekhi‘-seeing; haridāsere dekhite—to see Haridāsa Ṭhākura; pratidina—daily; āisena—comes; prabhu—Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; āilā—He reached there; ācambite—all of a sudden.
 
TRANSLATION
 
After seeing the upalabhoga ceremony at the Jagannātha temple, Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu would regularly come to see Haridāsa every day. Thus He suddenly arrived there.  CC Antya-Lila 1.47
 
haridāsa-rūpe lañā prabhu vasilā eka-sthāne
kuśala-praśna, iṣṭa-goṣṭhī kailā kata-kṣaṇe
 
SYNONYMS
 
haridāsarūpe—both Haridāsa Ṭhākura and Rūpa Gosvāmī; lañā—with; prabhu—Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; vasilāsat down; ekasthāne—in one place; kuśalapraśna—questions about auspicious news; iṣṭagoṣṭhī—talking together; kailā katakṣaṇe—continued for some time.
 
TRANSLATION
 
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu then sat down with Haridāsa and Rūpa Gosvāmī. They inquired from one another about auspicious news, and then continued to talk together for some time. CC Antya-Lila 1.49
 
pratidina āsi’ rūpe karena milane
mandire ye prasāda pāna, dena dui jane
 
SYNONYMS
 
pratidina—every day; āsi‘-going; rūpeRūpa Gosvāmī; karena milaneCaitanya Mahāprabhu meets; mandire—at the Jagannātha temple; ye—whatever; prasāda pānaprasāda He gets; dena—gives; dui jane—to two persons, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī and Haridāsa Ṭhākura.
 
TRANSLATION
 
Every day Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu would go to see Rūpa Gosvāmī, and whatever prasāda He received from the temple He would deliver to Rūpa Gosvāmī and Haridāsa Ṭhākura. CC Antya-Lila 1.59
 
 
prasāda khāya, ‘hari’ bale sarva-bhakta-jana
dekhi’ haridāsa-rūpera haraṣita mana
 
SYNONYMS
 
prasāda khāya—eat the prasāda; hari bale—chant the holy name of Hari; sarvabhaktajana—all the devotees; dekhi‘-seeing this; haridāsa—of Haridāsa Ṭhākura; rūpera—and of Rūpa Gosvāmī; haraṣita—jubilant; mana—the minds.
 
TRANSLATION
 
When Haridāsa Ṭhākura and Rūpa Gosvāmī saw that all the devotees were accepting prasāda and chanting the holy name of Hari, they both were greatly pleased. CC vAntya-Lila 1.63
 
govinda-dvārā prabhura śeṣa-prasāda pāilā
preme matta dui-jana nācite lāgilā
 
SYNONYMS
 
govindadvārā—through Govinda; prabhura—of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; śeṣaprasāda—remnants of food; pāilā—they got; preme matta—overwhelmed by ecstasy; duijana—both of them; nācite lāgilā—began to dance.
 
TRANSLATION
 
When they received the remnants of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s prasāda through Govinda, they respected it, and then they both began to dance in ecstasy. CC Antya-Lila 1.64
 
 
sambhrame duṅhe uṭhi’ daṇḍavat hailā
duṅhe āliṅgiyā prabhu āsane vasilā
 
SYNONYMS
 
sambhrame—with great respect; duṅheHaridāsa Ṭhākura and Rūpa Gosvāmī; uṭhi‘-standing up; daṇḍavat hailā—fell down to offer obeisances; duṅhe—the two of them; āliṅgiyā—embracing; prabhu—Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; āsane vasilāsat down on a seat.
 
TRANSLATION
 
As soon as Haridāsa Ṭhākura and Rūpa Gosvāmī saw the Lord coming, they both stood up and then fell down to offer Him their respectful obeisances. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu embraced them both and then sat down. CC Antya-Lila 1.95
 
 
 
sei patre prabhu eka śloka ye dekhilā
paḍitei śloka, preme āviṣṭa ha-ilā
 
SYNONYMS
 
sei patre—on that palm leaf; prabhu—Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; eka śloka—one verse; ye—which; dekhilā—He saw; paḍitei—by reading; śloka—the verse; preme—ecstatic love; āviṣṭa hailā—was overwhelmed.
 
TRANSLATION
 
While reading the manuscript, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu saw a verse on that page, and as soon as He read it He was overwhelmed by ecstatic love. CC Antya-lila 1.98
 
 
 
tuṇḍe tāṇḍavinī ratiṁ vitanute tuṇḍāvalī-labdhaye
karṇa-kroḍa-kaḍambinī ghaṭayate karṇārbudebhyaḥ spṛhām
cetaḥ-prāṅgaṇa-saṅginī vijayate sarvendriyāṇāṁ kṛtiṁ
no jāne janitā kiyadbhir amṛtaiḥ kṛṣṇeti varṇa-dvayī
 
SYNONYMS
 
tuṇḍe—in the mouth; tāṇḍavinī—dancing; ratim—the inspiration; vitanute—expands; tuṇḍaāvalīlabdhaye—to achieve many mouths; karṇa—of the ear; kroḍa—in the hole; kaḍambinī—sprouting; ghaṭayate—causes to appear; karṇaarbudebhyaḥ spṛhām—the desire for millions of ears; cetaḥprāṅgaṇa—in the courtyard of the heart; saṅginī—being a companion; vijayate—conquers; sarvaindriyāṇām—of all the senses; kṛtim—the activity; no—not; jāne—I know; janitā—produced; kiyadbhiḥ—of what measure; amṛtaiḥ—by nectar; kṛṣṇa—the name of Kṛṣṇa; iti—thus; varṇadvayī—the two syllables.
 
TRANSLATION
 
“I do not know how much nectar the two syllables ‘Kṛṣ-ṇa’ have produced. When the holy name of Kṛṣṇa is chanted, it appears to dance within the mouth. We then desire many, many mouths. When that name enters the holes of the ears, we desire many millions of ears. And when the holy name dances in the courtyard of the heart, it conquers the activities of the mind, and therefore all the senses become inert.”
 
PURPORT
 
This verse is included in the Vidagdhamādhava (1.15), a seven-act play written by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī describing the pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa in Vṛndāvana. CC Antya-Lila 1.99
 
 
śloka śuni haridāsa ha-ila ullāsī
nācite lāgilā ślokera artha praśaṁsi’
 
SYNONYMS
 
śloka śuni‘-hearing this verse; haridāsaHaridāsa Ṭhākura; hailā ullāsī—became very jubilant; nācite lāgilā—he began to dance; ślokera—of the verse; artha praśaṁsi‘-praising the meaning.
 
TRANSLATION
 
When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu chanted this verse, Haridāsa Ṭhākura, upon hearing the vibration, became jubilant and began dancing and praising its meaning. CC Antya-Lila 1.100 
 
 
kṛṣṇa-nāmera mahimā śāstra-sādhu-mukhe jāni
nāmera mādhurī aiche kāhāṅ nāhi śuni
SYNONYMS
 
kṛṣṇanāmera mahimā—the glories of the holy name of Lord Kṛṣṇa; śāstra—of the revealed scriptures; sādhu—of the devotees; mukhe—in the mouth; jāni—we can understand; nāmera mādhurī—the sweetness of the holy name; aiche—in that way; kāhāṅ—anywhere else; nāhi śuni—we do not hear.
 
TRANSLATION
 
One has to learn about the beauty and transcendental position of the holy name of the Lord by hearing the revealed scriptures from the mouths of devotees. Nowhere else can we hear of the sweetness of the Lord’s holy name.
 
PURPORT
 
It is said in the Padma Purāṇa, ataḥ śrīkṛṣṇa-nāmādi na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ. Chanting and hearing of the transcendental holy name of the Lord cannot be performed by the ordinary senses. The transcendental vibration of the Lord’s holy name is completely spiritual. Thus, it must be received from spiritual sources and must be chanted after having been heard from a spiritual master. One who hears the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra must receive it from the spiritual master by aural reception. Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī has forbidden us to hear the holy name of Kṛṣṇa chanted by non-Vaiṣṇavas, such as professional actors and singers, for it will have no effect. It is like milk touched by the lips of a serpent, as stated in the padma purāṇa:
 
avaiṣṇava-mukhodgīrṇaṁ
pūtaṁ hari-kathāmṛtam
śravaṇaṁ naiva kartavyaṁ
sarpocchiṣṭaṁ yathā payaḥ
 
As far as possible, therefore, the devotees in the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement gather to chant the holy name of Kṛṣṇa in public so that both the chanters and the listeners may benefit.  CC Antya-lila 1.101
 
bhakta-saṅge prabhu āilā, dekhi’ dui jana
daṇḍavat hañā kailā caraṇa vandana
 
SYNONYMS
 
bhaktasaṅge—accompanied by other devotee associates; prabhu—Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; āilā—came; dekhi‘-seeing this; dui janaRūpa Gosvāmī and Haridāsa Ṭhākura; daṇḍavat hañā—falling flat like logs; kailā—did; caraṇa vandana—prayers to their lotus feet.
 
TRANSLATION
 
When Haridāsa Ṭhākura and Rūpa Gosvāmī saw that Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu had come with His intimate devotees, they both immediately fell down like logs and offered prayers to their lotus feet.  CC Antya-Lila 1.109
 
 
prabhu kahe,–“kaha rūpa, nāṭakera śloka
ye śloka śunile lokera yāya duḥkha-śoka
 
 
SYNONYMS
 
prabhu kahe—Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said; kaha—please recite; rūpa—My dear Rūpa; nāṭakera śloka—the verse of your drama; ye—which; śloka—verse; śunile—hearing; lokera—of all people; yāya—go away; duḥkhaśoka—the unhappiness and lamentation.
 
TRANSLATION
 
Thus Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “My dear Rūpa, please recite that verse from your drama which, upon being heard, makes all people’s unhappiness and lamentation go away.” CC Antya Lila 1.118
bāra bāra prabhu yadi tāre ājñā dila
tabe sei śloka rūpa-gosāñi kahila
 
SYNONYMS
 
bāra bāra—again and again; prabhu—Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; yadi—when; tāre—him; ājñā dila—ordered; tabe—at that time; sei śloka—that particular verse; rūpagosāñi—of the name Rūpa Gosvāmī; kahila—recited.
 
TRANSLATION
 
When the Lord persisted in asking this again and again, Rūpa Gosvāmī recited that verse [as follows]. CC Antya-Lila 1.119

Sri Syamananda Goswami tirobhava tithi [disappearance day] – Friday, June 29, 2017 [Mayapura, West Bengal, Bharata Bhumi time]

June 28, 2018 in Articles, Narasimha Dasa, Yasoda nandana Dasa by Laksman dasa

Subject: Sri Syamananda Goswami tirobhava tithi – Friday, June 29, 2017  [Mayapura, West Bengal, Bharata Bhumi time]
Srila Prabhupada explains the exalted position of Sri Shyamananda Goswami
compiled by Narasimha dasa and Yasoda nandana dasa

Srila Prabhupada explains the unique position of Sri Syamananda Goswami.

Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 1: The Spiritual Masters : Adi 1.19 : PURPORT :

Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu explained this mode of devotional service in three stages, and therefore these worshipable Deities were installed in Vṛndāvana by different Gosvāmīs. They are very dear to the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas there, who visit the temples at least once a day. Besides the temples of these three Deities, many other temples have been established in Vṛndāvana, such as the temple of Rādhā-Dāmodara of Jīva Gosvāmī, the temple of Śyāmasundara of Śyāmānanda Gosvāmī, the temple of Gokulānanda of Lokanātha Gosvāmī, and the temple of Rādhā-ramaṇa of Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī. There are seven principal temples over four hundred years old that are the most important of the five thousand temples now existing in Vṛndāvana


Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 7: Lord Caitanya in Five Features : Adi 7.45 : PURPORT :

There are many Vaiṣṇava families in Bengal whose members, although not actually born brāhmaṇas, act as ācāryas by initiating disciples and offering the sacred thread as enjoined in the Vaiṣṇava tantras. For example, in the families of Ṭhākura Raghunandana Ācārya, Ṭhākura Kṛṣṇadāsa, Navanī Hoḍa and Rasikānanda-deva (a disciple of Śyāmānanda Prabhu), the sacred thread ceremony is performed, as it is for the caste Gosvāmīs, and this system has continued for the past three to four hundred years. Accepting disciples born in brāhmaṇa families, they are bona fide spiritual masters who have the facility to worship the śālagrāma-śilā, which is worshiped with the Deity. As of this writing, śālagrāma-śilā worship has not yet been introduced in our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, but soon it will be introduced in all our temples as an essential function of arcana-mārga (Deity worship).

Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 7: Lord Caitanya in Five Features : Adi 7.164 : PURPORT :

When Rūpa Gosvāmī and Sanātana Gosvāmī went to Vṛndāvana, there was not a single temple, but by their preaching they were gradually able to construct various temples. Sanātana Gosvāmī constructed the Madana-mohana temple, and Rūpa Gosvāmī constructed the Govindajī temple. Similarly, their nephew Jīva Gosvāmī constructed the Rādhā-Dāmodara temple, Śrī Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī constructed the Rādhā-ramaṇa temple, Śrī Lokanātha Gosvāmī constructed the Gokulānanda temple, and Śyāmānanda Gosvāmī constructed the Śyāmasundara temple. In this way, many temples were gradually constructed. For preaching, construction of temples is also necessary. The Gosvāmīs not only engaged in writing books but also constructed temples because both are needed for preaching work. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu wanted the cult of His saṅkīrtana movement to spread all over the world. Now that the International Society for Krishna Consciousness has taken up this task of preaching the cult of Lord Caitanya, its members should not only construct temples in every town and village of the globe but also distribute books that have already been written and further increase the number of books. Both distribution of books and construction of temples must continue side by side in parallel lines.


Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Madhya-lila : Madhya 1: The Later Pastimes of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu : Madhya 1.97 : PURPORT :

This Kṣīra-curī Gopinātha is situated about five miles away from the Bāleśvara station on the Northeastern Railway, formerly known as the Bengal Māyāpura Railway. This station is situated a few miles away from the famous Kargapura junction station. Sometimes the charge of the temple was given to Śyāmasundara Adhikārī from Gopīvallabhapura, which lies on the border of the district of Medinīpura. Śyāmasundara Adhikārī was a descendant of Rasikānanda Murāri, the chief disciple of Śyāmānanda Gosvāmī.


Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Madhya-lila : Madhya 4: Sri Madhavendra Puri’s Devotional Service : Madhya 4.12 : PURPORT : There is a railway station named Baleśvara, and five miles to the west is the village of Remuṇā. The temple of Kṣīra-corā-gopīnātha still exists in this village, and within the temple the samādhi tomb of Rasikānanda Prabhu, the chief disciple of Śyāmānanda Gosvāmī, can still be found.

Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Madhya-lila : Madhya 8: Talks Between Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Ramananda Raya : Madhya 8.128 : PURPORT : na sudrah bhagavad-bhaktas te ‘pi bhagavatottamah sarva-varnesu te sudra ye na bhakta janardane :

One who is actually advanced in spiritual knowledge of Kṛṣṇa is never a śūdra, even though he may have been born in a śūdra family. However, even if a vipra, or brāhmaṇa, is very expert in the six brahminical activities (paṭhana, pāṭhana, yajana, yājana, dāna, pratigraha) and is also well versed in the Vedic hymns, he cannot become a spiritual master unless he is a Vaiṣṇava. But if one is born in the family of caṇḍālas yet is well versed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he can become a guru. These are the śāstric injunctions, and strictly following these injunctions, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, as a gṛhastha named Śrī Viśvambhara, was initiated by a sannyāsī-guru named Īśvara Purī. Similarly, Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu was initiated by Mādhavendra Purī, a sannyāsī. According to others, however, He was initiated by Lakṣmīpati Tīrtha. Advaita Ācārya, although a gṛhastha, was initiated by Mādhavendra Purī, and Śrī Rasikānanda, although born in a brāhmaṇa family, was initiated by Śrī Śyāmānanda Prabhu, who was not born in a caste brāhmaṇa family. There are many instances in which a born brāhmaṇa took initiation from a person who was not born in a brāhmaṇa family. The brahminical symptoms are explained in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (7.11.35), wherein it is stated

yasya yal-lakṣaṇaṁ proktaṁ
puṁso varṇābhivyañjakam
yad anyatrāpi dṛśyeta
tat tenaiva vinirdiśet

If a person is born in a śūdra family but has all the qualities of a spiritual master, he should be accepted not only as a brāhmaṇa but as a qualified spiritual master also. This is also the instruction of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura therefore introduced the sacred thread ceremony for all Vaiṣṇavas according to the rules and regulations.


Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Madhya-lila : Madhya 24: The Sixty-One Explanations of the Atmarama Verse : Madhya 24.330 : PURPORT : samo damas tapah saucam ksantir arjavam eva ca jnanam vijnanam astikyam brahma-karma svabhava-jam :

Unless one is qualified with all these attributes, he cannot be accepted as a brāhmaṇa. It is not a question of simply taking birth in a brāhmaṇa family. In this regard, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura remarks that Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura and Śyāmānanda Gosvāmī, although not born in brāhmaṇa families, are accepted as bona fide spiritual masters because they were brāhmaṇas by qualification. Personalities like Śrī Gaṅgā-nārāyaṇa, Rāmakṛṣṇa and many others, who were actually born in brāhmaṇa families, accepted Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura and Śyāmānanda Gosvāmī as their spiritual masters.


Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Antya-lila : Antya 5: How Pradyumna Misra Received Instructions from Ramananda Raya : Antya 5.88 : PURPORT :

To inundate the three worlds with nectar is the purpose of the pastimes of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. How this could be possible was exhibited by Śrīla Raghunātha Gosvāmī and later by Ṭhākura Narottama dāsa and Śyāmānanda Gosvāmī, who all represented the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Now that same mercy is overflooding the entire world through the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. The present Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is nondifferent from the pastimes performed by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu when He was personally present, for the same principles are being followed and the same actions performed without fail.

Lectures : General Lectures : Sunday Feast Lecture — London, July 25, 1976 : 760725LE.LON :

Prabhupāda: Somebody fanning, and water also. (chants maṅgalacaraṇa prayers) So śrī-caitanya-mano-‘bhiṣṭam. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s ambition or mission. Śrī-caitanya-mahāprabhu mano ‘bhiṣṭaṁ sthāpitaṁ yena bhū-tale. His ambition was propagated or established by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, Sanātana Gosvāmī. They were ministers in charge of the then Pathan government in Bengal and very learned scholar in Urdu and Sanskrit, but after meeting Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu at Rāmakeli village in the district of Maldah in Bengal, North Bengal… That was supposed to be the capital of Nawab Hussain Shah. So then they joined to preach this saṅkīrtana movement or Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. So their mission was to establish the Rādhā-Govinda Mandir, as many as possible. They first started in Vṛndāvana, Madana-mohana temple. Most Indians present here, they know. There are… [break] …temples in Vṛndāvana. There are five thousand temples in one small city of fifty thousand population, but the most important because they were established by the Gosvāmīs. Rūpa, Sanātana, Bhaṭṭa Raghunātha, Śrī Jīva, Gopāla Bhaṭṭa, Dāsa Raghunātha, the Six Gosvāmīs, direct disciple of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. The Sanātana Gosvāmī established first the Madana-mohana temple. Then Rūpa Gosvāmī established Govindajī’s temple. Then Jīva Gosvāmī established Rādhā-Dāmodara temple, then… [break] …Gosvāmī established Rādhā-Madana-mohana temple. Śyāmānanda Gosvāmī, he established Śyāmasundara temple. These are important temples.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Sri Syamananda made his appearance at Orissa in the village of Dharenda Bahadurpur. His father’s name was Sri Krishna Mandal and his mother’s name was Sri Durika. Sri Krishna Mandal had many sons and daughters who unfortunately passed away before the birth of this son. For this reason this son was named Dukhiya.
Everyone said that this child would be a very saintly person. The scholars were astounded to see his profound intellect. Within a short period he completed his studies of grammar, poetry and rhetoric. His parents were overjoyed to see his talents and his religious proclivity. After having carefully listened to the glories of Gauranga and Nityananda from devotees, he was able to repeat them to others. When listening to the activities of Gaura-Nitai or those of Radha and Krishna, tears would flow in waves from his eyes. He also devotedly served his parents and they told him to get initiated so that he could fully commit himself to the service of the Lord. Duhkhi agreed and told them that he wished to take diksha from Hriday Chaitanya, the disciple of Gauri Das Pandit. His parents happily gave him permission to go there.
When Duhkhi arrived in Ambika Kalna, he threw himslf at the feet of Hriday Chaitanya, who upon learning his identity, happily gave him Krishna-mantra and named him Krishna Das. Hriday Chaitanya ordered him to go to Vrindavana to study the literatures of the under the tutelage of Srila Jiva Gosvami. Krishna das bowed his head in assent, and on an auspicious day he set out for the holy dhama.
In Vrindavan, Krishna Das studied the Vaishnava scriptures under Sri Jiva Goswami, who was the leading scholar of the sampradaya. Krishna das very carefully began to serve Jiva Gosvami as well as study the literatures of the Gosvamis. Srinivasa Acarya and Narottama dasa Thakura also came to Sri Jiva at this time to study under him. Thus Krishna das had the opportunity to meet them.
Krishna das requested Srila Jiva Gosvami for a special service. Sri Jiva instructed him to sweep the forest grove of Sevakunja everyday. From that day he began to carry out this service with great pleasure. He felt that his life had become successful.
One day, Krishna das was sweeping the Rasa-mandala in Vrindavan, absorbed in ecstatic trance. Suddenly, by Radharani’s transcendental mercy, he found her ankle bracelet lying on the ground. In his excitement, he touched the ankle bracelet to his forehead, where it left a mark. It is known as nupura tilaka.  While in Vrindavan, Krishna das was given the name Shyamananda because he brought great joy to Shyamasundar.
Jiva Goswami sent Srinivas Acharya, Narottama Das Thakur and Shyamananda back to Bengal with the Vaishnava scriptures. But the books were stolen by the dacoit king. There Srinivasa Acarya prabhu remained behind to recover the books while Narottama continued on towards Kheturi and Shyamananda proceeded to Ambika Kalna. Arriving there, Syamananda paid his obeisances to his guru, and Sri Hrday Caitanya Prabhu embraced him and inquired about the well being of the gosvamis of Vrindavana.
Syamananda served the lotus feet of his guru in great happiness and in this way passed his days. At this time most of the devotees of Lord Caitanya in Orissa had all left the planet. Thus the preaching of Mahaprabhu’s teachings had all but come to a halt. Hrdaya Caitanya Prabhu considered this a very serious problem and finally instructed Syamananda Prabhu to go there to carry on the preaching of Mahaprabhu’s mission.
Syamananda set out for Orissa. After entering Orissa he first went to his birth place at Dharenda Bahadurpur. From there he came to Dandeshwar, where his father, Sri Krishna Mandal, had previously resided. By the auspicious arrival of Syamananda Prabhu in Utkala the teachings of Mahaprabhu revived. On the banks of the Suvarna Rekha River lived one pious and devoted landholder by the name Sri Acyuta deva. His only son was called Rasik. From his very childhood Rasik was very devoted to Lord Krishna. As he gradually attained the appropriate, age his father engaged some panditas to see to his education. However he didn’t have much regard for material knowledge. He had already ascertained that the greatest goal in life is devotion to Lord Hari. Rasik became anxious to take shelter at the lotus feet of a bonafide spiritual master. One day as he was sitting alone, contemplating on this subject, when he heard a divine voice: “Rasik! Don’t be in anxiety anymore. Very soon a very great personality of the name Syamananda will arrive here. Just take shelter of his lotus feet.”
Hearing this, Rasika was encouraged and took to continuously waiting and watching for the arrival of Prabhu Syamananda. After a few days Shyamananda prabhu, accompanied by his disciples, came to the village of Rohini. Syamananda prabhu initiated Rasika. Many people of Rohini also became disciples of Syamananda prabhu.
From here Sri Syamananda Prabhu went to Sri Nrsimhapur, where many atheists lived. But when Syamananda stayed a few days, these atheists got the chance to hear his necterian talks, which melted their hard hearts in love for Krishna. Thus, in this place also, he gained many disciples.

Day by day the glories of Syamananda spread throughout Utkaladesa. From Nrsimhapur he came to Gopiballabhpur. Here again, many well to do people were attracted to his lotus feet and so took shelter there. The people here especially requested him to install the Sri Vigraha of Radha-Krishna. Thus, a temple for the deity was constructed. The greatness of Syamananda became known throughout all of Orissa and the worship of Sri Gaura-Nityananda was inaugurated in many, many places.  Shyamananda’s disciples have established five principle seats in the towns of Dharenda, Bahadurapura, Rayani, Gopiballabhapura, and Nrisinghap.

The Way of Self-Realization

April 15, 2018 in Articles, Narasimha Dasa by Laksman dasa

The Way of Self-Realization
According to the Vedas, the scriptures of ancient India, this human form of life is a unique opportunity in the evolutionary cycle. A human being has the potential to achieve self-realization, or God-realization. This is the greatest opportunity in life.
What is self-realization?
Self-realization begins when we understand we are spiritual beings, distinct from our temporary material bodies and minds. We rely of our bodies and minds in this world, but unless these are utilized for self-realization, they cause our bondage. The spirit soul, the self within, is eternal, pure, indestructible and free. Our real self, the soul, never dies or grows old. We are the soul, not the body or mind. Due to our obsession with material objects, pains and pleasures, we have become implicated in illusion in this prison-house of material existence. We have accepted fleeting lives full of disappointments and hard struggles due to our false attachment to material existence. Human life is the chance offered by God, or Krishna, to free ourselves forever from illusion and bondage by returning to our real home of eternal bliss in the Kingdom of God.
What is God-realization?
God-realization is the process of understanding our intimate relationship with the Absolute Truth, who is known by many names, such as God, Allah, Jehovah, Narayana, Vishnu, Rama and Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Full self-realization and God-realization are one and the same.
What is the best spiritual practice?
The best spiritual practice is bhakti-yoga, the path of devotion to God. Every living being is part of God and one with God in essence. Krishna, the Absolute Truth, is always perfect and complete. Our complete life of perfection and bliss can be realized when we resume our loving relationship with God, the Absolute Complete. Because we have forgotten our real life with God in the eternal world of knowledge and bliss, we must purify our impure consciousness by chanting devotional prayers or mantras. The best mantra for this purpose is the Hare Krishna maha-mantra: “The Great Mantra for Deliverance.”
What is the best way of learning about Krishna consciousness, or God-realization?
According the Bhagavad-gita and all Vedic scriptures, one must hear from a self-realized soul to learn the true science of liberation and God-consciousness. Hearing from professional “teachers” and speakers will not help us achieve freedom from the cycle of birth and death. One must hear from a self-realized soul or his genuine representative.
Where can I find a self-realized soul?
Sri Krishna Chaitanya, the avatar of Krishna for this age, encouraged everyone to regularly chant the names of God, particularly those of Krishna and Rama. He advised everyone to advance quickly in spiritual life by reading Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam and studying the commentaries of great spiritual masters in the guru-parampara. These books and other essential Vedic scriptures have been translated and explained in English by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, a God-realized soul. Although one need not apply for admission in any school, club, seminary or cult, it is best to study these books in the association of serious practitioners, as far as possible.  Sri Krishna Chaitanya and A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada have opened the door for everyone in this age to achieve love of God through the chanting and singing of Krishna’s holy names. They have shown us the highest essence of Vedic knowledge in the form of Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam and the commentaries (bhasyas) of self-realized souls. Swami Prabhupada repeatedly advised, “Please chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. Your life will be sublime.”
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare.

Sri Syamananda Goswami Avirbhava tithi [appearance day] saturday, March 31, 2018 [Mayapura, West Bengal, Bharata Bhumi time]

March 31, 2018 in Articles, Narasimha Dasa, Yasoda nandana Dasa by Laksman dasa

Sri Syamananda Goswami avirbhava tithi [appearance day]

Saturday, March 31, 2018
compiled by Narasimha dasa and Yasoda nandana dasa

Srila Prabhupada explains the unique position of Sri Syamananda Goswami.   Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu explained this mode of devotional service in three stages, and therefore these worshipable Deities were installed in Vṛndāvana by different Gosvāmīs. They are very dear to the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas there, who visit the temples at least once a day. Besides the temples of these three Deities, many other temples have been established in Vṛndāvana, such as the temple of Rādhā-Dāmodara of Jīva Gosvāmī, the temple of Śyāmasundara of Śyāmānanda Gosvāmī, the temple of Gokulānanda of Lokanātha Gosvāmī, and the temple of Rādhā-ramaṇa of Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī. There are seven principal temples over four hundred years old that are the most important of the five thousand temples now existing in Vṛndāvana

Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 7: Lord Caitanya in Five Features : Adi 7.45 : PURPORT :

There are many Vaiṣṇava families in Bengal whose members, although not actually born brāhmaṇas, act as ācāryas by initiating disciples and offering the sacred thread as enjoined in the Vaiṣṇava tantras. For example, in the families of Ṭhākura Raghunandana Ācārya, Ṭhākura Kṛṣṇadāsa, Navanī Hoḍa and Rasikānanda-deva (a disciple of Śyāmānanda Prabhu), the sacred thread ceremony is performed, as it is for the caste Gosvāmīs, and this system has continued for the past three to four hundred years. Accepting disciples born in brāhmaṇa families, they are bona fide spiritual masters who have the facility to worship the śālagrāma-śilā, which is worshiped with the Deity. As of this writing, śālagrāma-śilā worship has not yet been introduced in our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, but soon it will be introduced in all our temples as an essential function of arcana-mārga (Deity worship).

Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 7: Lord Caitanya in Five Features : Adi 7.164 : PURPORT :

When Rūpa Gosvāmī and Sanātana Gosvāmī went to Vṛndāvana, there was not a single temple, but by their preaching they were gradually able to construct various temples. Sanātana Gosvāmī constructed the Madana-mohana temple, and Rūpa Gosvāmī constructed the Govindajī temple. Similarly, their nephew Jīva Gosvāmī constructed the Rādhā-Dāmodara temple, Śrī Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī constructed the Rādhā-ramaṇa temple, Śrī Lokanātha Gosvāmī constructed the Gokulānanda temple, and Śyāmānanda Gosvāmī constructed the Śyāmasundara temple. In this way, many temples were gradually constructed. For preaching, construction of temples is also necessary. The Gosvāmīs not only engaged in writing books but also constructed temples because both are needed for preaching work. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu wanted the cult of His saṅkīrtana movement to spread all over the world. Now that the International Society for Krishna Consciousness has taken up this task of preaching the cult of Lord Caitanya, its members should not only construct temples in every town and village of the globe but also distribute books that have already been written and further increase the number of books. Both distribution of books and construction of temples must continue side by side in parallel lines.

Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Madhya-lila : Madhya 1: The Later Pastimes of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu : Madhya 1.97 : PURPORT :

This Kṣīra-curī Gopinātha is situated about five miles away from the Bāleśvara station on the Northeastern Railway, formerly known as the Bengal Māyāpura Railway. This station is situated a few miles away from the famous Kargapura junction station. Sometimes the charge of the temple was given to Śyāmasundara Adhikārī from Gopīvallabhapura, which lies on the border of the district of Medinīpura. Śyāmasundara Adhikārī was a descendant of Rasikānanda Murāri, the chief disciple of Śyāmānanda Gosvāmī.

Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Madhya-lila : Madhya 4: Sri Madhavendra Puri’s Devotional Service : Madhya 4.12 : PURPORT : There is a railway station named Baleśvara, and five miles to the west is the village of Remuṇā. The temple of Kṣīra-corā-gopīnātha still exists in this village, and within the temple the samādhi tomb of Rasikānanda Prabhu, the chief disciple of Śyāmānanda Gosvāmī, can still be found.

Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Madhya-lila : Madhya 8: Talks Between Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Ramananda Raya : Madhya 8.128 : PURPORT : na sudrah bhagavad-bhaktas te ‘pi bhagavatottamah sarva-varnesu te sudra ye na bhakta janardane :

One who is actually advanced in spiritual knowledge of Kṛṣṇa is never a śūdra, even though he may have been born in a śūdra family. However, even if a vipra, or brāhmaṇa, is very expert in the six brahminical activities (paṭhana, pāṭhana, yajana, yājana, dāna, pratigraha) and is also well versed in the Vedic hymns, he cannot become a spiritual master unless he is a Vaiṣṇava. But if one is born in the family of caṇḍālas yet is well versed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he can become a guru. These are the śāstric injunctions, and strictly following these injunctions, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, as a gṛhastha named Śrī Viśvambhara, was initiated by a sannyāsī-guru named Īśvara Purī. Similarly, Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu was initiated by Mādhavendra Purī, a sannyāsī. According to others, however, He was initiated by Lakṣmīpati Tīrtha. Advaita Ācārya, although a gṛhastha, was initiated by Mādhavendra Purī, and Śrī Rasikānanda, although born in a brāhmaṇa family, was initiated by Śrī Śyāmānanda Prabhu, who was not born in a caste brāhmaṇa family. There are many instances in which a born brāhmaṇa took initiation from a person who was not born in a brāhmaṇa family. The brahminical symptoms are explained in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (7.11.35), wherein it is stated

yasya yal-lakṣaṇaṁ proktaṁ
puṁso varṇābhivyañjakam
yad anyatrāpi dṛśyeta
tat tenaiva vinirdiśet

If a person is born in a śūdra family but has all the qualities of a spiritual master, he should be accepted not only as a brāhmaṇa but as a qualified spiritual master also. This is also the instruction of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura therefore introduced the sacred thread ceremony for all Vaiṣṇavas according to the rules and regulations.

Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Madhya-lila : Madhya 24: The Sixty-One Explanations of the Atmarama Verse : Madhya 24.330 : PURPORT : samo damas tapah saucam ksantir arjavam eva ca jnanam vijnanam astikyam brahma-karma svabhava-jam :

Unless one is qualified with all these attributes, he cannot be accepted as a brāhmaṇa. It is not a question of simply taking birth in a brāhmaṇa family. In this regard, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura remarks that Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura and Śyāmānanda Gosvāmī, although not born in brāhmaṇa families, are accepted as bona fide spiritual masters because they were brāhmaṇas by qualification. Personalities like Śrī Gaṅgā-nārāyaṇa, Rāmakṛṣṇa and many others, who were actually born in brāhmaṇa families, accepted Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura and Śyāmānanda Gosvāmī as their spiritual masters.

Books : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Antya-lila : Antya 5: How Pradyumna Misra Received Instructions from Ramananda Raya : Antya 5.88 : PURPORT :

To inundate the three worlds with nectar is the purpose of the pastimes of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. How this could be possible was exhibited by Śrīla Raghunātha Gosvāmī and later by Ṭhākura Narottama dāsa and Śyāmānanda Gosvāmī, who all represented the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Now that same mercy is overflooding the entire world through the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. The present Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is nondifferent from the pastimes performed by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu when He was personally present, for the same principles are being followed and the same actions performed without fail.

Lectures : General Lectures : Sunday Feast Lecture — London, July 25, 1976 : 760725LE.LON :

Prabhupāda: Somebody fanning, and water also. (chants maṅgalacaraṇa prayers) So śrī-caitanya-mano-‘bhiṣṭam. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s ambition or mission. Śrī-caitanya-mahāprabhu mano ‘bhiṣṭaṁ sthāpitaṁ yena bhū-tale. His ambition was propagated or established by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, Sanātana Gosvāmī. They were ministers in charge of the then Pathan government in Bengal and very learned scholar in Urdu and Sanskrit, but after meeting Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu at Rāmakeli village in the district of Maldah in Bengal, North Bengal… That was supposed to be the capital of Nawab Hussain Shah. So then they joined to preach this saṅkīrtana movement or Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. So their mission was to establish the Rādhā-Govinda Mandir, as many as possible. They first started in Vṛndāvana, Madana-mohana temple. Most Indians present here, they know. There are… [break] …temples in Vṛndāvana. There are five thousand temples in one small city of fifty thousand population, but the most important because they were established by the Gosvāmīs. Rūpa, Sanātana, Bhaṭṭa Raghunātha, Śrī Jīva, Gopāla Bhaṭṭa, Dāsa Raghunātha, the Six Gosvāmīs, direct disciple of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. The Sanātana Gosvāmī established first the Madana-mohana temple. Then Rūpa Gosvāmī established Govindajī’s temple. Then Jīva Gosvāmī established Rādhā-Dāmodara temple, then… [break] …Gosvāmī established Rādhā-Madana-mohana temple. Śyāmānanda Gosvāmī, he established Śyāmasundara temple. These are important temples.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sri Syamananda PrabhuSri Syamananda made his appearance at Orissa in the village of Dharenda Bahadurpur. His father’s name was Sri Krishna Mandal and his mother’s name was Sri Durika. Sri Krishna Mandal had many sons and daughters who unfortunately passed away before the birth of this son. For this reason this son was named Dukhiya.
Everyone said that this child would be a very saintly person. The scholars were astounded to see his profound intellect. Within a short period he completed his studies of grammar, poetry and rhetoric. His parents were overjoyed to see his talents and his religious proclivity. After having carefully listened to the glories of Gauranga and Nityananda from devotees, he was able to repeat them to others. When listening to the activities of Gaura-Nitai or those of Radha and Krishna, tears would flow in waves from his eyes. He also devotedly served his parents and they told him to get initiated so that he could fully commit himself to the service of the Lord. Duhkhi agreed and told them that he wished to take diksha from Hriday Chaitanya, the disciple of Gauri Das Pandit. His parents happily gave him permission to go there.
When Duhkhi arrived in Ambika Kalna, he threw himslf at the feet of Hriday Chaitanya, who upon learning his identity, happily gave him Krishna-mantra and named him Krishna Das. Hriday Chaitanya ordered him to go to Vrindavana to study the literatures of the under the tutelage of Srila Jiva Gosvami. Krishna das bowed his head in assent, and on an auspicious day he set out for the holy dhama.
In Vrindavan, Krishna Das studied the Vaishnava scriptures under Sri Jiva Goswami, who was the leading scholar of the sampradaya. Krishna das very carefully began to serve Jiva Gosvami as well as study the literatures of the Gosvamis. Srinivasa Acarya and Narottama dasa Thakura also came to Sri Jiva at this time to study under him. Thus Krishna das had the opportunity to meet them.
Krishna das requested Srila Jiva Gosvami for a special service. Sri Jiva instructed him to sweep the forest grove of Sevakunja everyday. From that day he began to carry out this service with great pleasure. He felt that his life had become successful.
One day, Krishna das was sweeping the Rasa-mandala in Vrindavan, absorbed in ecstatic trance. Suddenly, by Radharani’s transcendental mercy, he found her ankle bracelet lying on the ground. In his excitement, he touched the ankle bracelet to his forehead, where it left a mark. It is known as nupura tilaka.  While in Vrindavan, Krishna das was given the name Shyamananda because he brought great joy to Shyamasundar.
Jiva Goswami sent Srinivas Acharya, Narottama Das Thakur and Shyamananda back to Bengal with the Vaishnava scriptures. But the books were stolen by the dacoit king. There Srinivasa Acarya prabhu remained behind to recover the books while Narottama continued on towards Kheturi and Shyamananda proceeded to Ambika Kalna. Arriving there, Syamananda paid his obeisances to his guru, and Sri Hrday Caitanya Prabhu embraced him and inquired about the well being of the gosvamis of Vrindavana.
Syamananda served the lotus feet of his guru in great happiness and in this way passed his days. At this time most of the devotees of Lord Caitanya in Orissa had all left the planet. Thus the preaching of Mahaprabhu’s teachings had all but come to a halt. Hrdaya Caitanya Prabhu considered this a very serious problem and finally instructed Syamananda Prabhu to go there to carry on the preaching of Mahaprabhu’s mission.
Syamananda set out for Orissa. After entering Orissa he first went to his birth place at Dharenda Bahadurpur. From there he came to Dandeshwar, where his father, Sri Krishna Mandal, had previously resided. By the auspicious arrival of Syamananda Prabhu in Utkala the teachings of Mahaprabhu revived. On the banks of the Suvarna Rekha River lived one pious and devoted landholder by the name Sri Acyuta deva. His only son was called Rasik. From his very childhood Rasik was very devoted to Lord Krishna. As he gradually attained the appropriate, age his father engaged some panditas to see to his education. However he didn’t have much regard for material knowledge. He had already ascertained that the greatest goal in life is devotion to Lord Hari. Rasik became anxious to take shelter at the lotus feet of a bonafide spiritual master. One day as he was sitting alone, contemplating on this subject, when he heard a divine voice: “Rasik! Don’t be in anxiety anymore. Very soon a very great personality of the name Syamananda will arrive here. Just take shelter of his lotus feet.”
Hearing this, Rasika was encouraged and took to continuously waiting and watching for the arrival of Prabhu Syamananda. After a few days Shyamananda prabhu, accompanied by his disciples, came to the village of Rohini. Syamananda prabhu initiated Rasika. Many people of Rohini also became disciples of Syamananda prabhu.
From here Sri Syamananda Prabhu went to Sri Nrsimhapur, where many atheists lived. But when Syamananda stayed a few days, these atheists got the chance to hear his necterian talks, which melted their hard hearts in love for Krishna. Thus, in this place also, he gained many disciples.

Day by day the glories of Syamananda spread throughout Utkaladesa. From Nrsimhapur he came to Gopiballabhpur. Here again, many well to do people were attracted to his lotus feet and so took shelter there. The people here especially requested him to install the Sri Vigraha of Radha-Krishna. Thus, a temple for the deity was constructed. The greatness of Syamananda became known throughout all of Orissa and the worship of Sri Gaura-Nityananda was inaugurated in many, many places.  Shyamananda’s disciples have established five principle seats in the towns of Dharenda, Bahadurapura, Rayani, Gopiballabhapura, and Nrisinghap.

After the disappearance of Srimati Vishnupriya Devi, he worshiped her deities in Navadvipa.
(Pictured at right is the deity worshiped by Vishnupriya Devi and later Vamsivadana Thakura.)
vamshi krishna-priya yasit sa vamshi-dasa-thakkurah
Vamshivadanananda Thakur was Krishna’s flute in Vraja.
(Gaura-ganoddesha-dipika 179)
The gopis praised the good fortune of Krishna’s flute, for he was able to constantly drink the nectar of Krishna’s lips. Everything in Vraja is spiritual, i.e., conscious, and so the flute could take human form as Sri Vamshivadanananda Thakur. His life story has been recounted by his grandson, Shrivallabha Das, in the book Vamshi-vilasa. Other books which contain details of his life are Shripata-paryatana and Bhakti- ratnakara, and the Gaudiya Vaishnava Abhidhana also gives a brief biography.
Vamshivadanananda Thakur was known by five names in Gaudiya Vaishnava society: Vamshivadana, Vamshidas, Vamshi, Vadana, and Vadanananda. He was a well-known writer of devotional songs. His appearance took place on the day of the spring full moon (in the month of Chaitra) in either 1416 (according to Vamshi-shiksha) or 1427 of the Shaka era (1495 or 1506 AD.).

What is Krishna Consciousness?

March 10, 2018 in Articles, Narasimha Dasa by Laksman dasa

What is Krishna Consciousness?
By Narasimha das

“If one is somehow or other able to understand Krishna, his life will be successful. Tyaktva dehan punar janma naiti mam eti so ‘rujuna. A perfect devotee is able to understand Krishna through the disciplic succession, and his entrance into the kingdom of God is thereby certainly opened. When one understands Krishna, there is no difficulty in transferring oneself to the spiritual kingdom.” (Caitanya-caritamrita, Madhya, 25. 271, Purport)
We find many statements like this in Srila Prabhupada’s books, assuring that those who understand krsna-tattva, or the science of Krishna, can return back to Godhead after this very lifetime. Anyone who understands Krishna in truth (even those born in families of dog eaters or dog lovers) can become guru and accept disciples all over the world. This is the verdict of all Vaishnava acharyas in the line of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
But what does it mean to be Krishna conscious, or to “understand Krishna”? Any 8-year-old child can learn ideas of Krishna and Krishna-lila, but does this mean he can become an acharya and accept disciples all over the world? Does this mean he is assured of the highest liberation?
“One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna.” (Bhagavad-gita, 4.9)
“Out of many thousands among men, one may endeavor for perfection, and of those who have achieve perfection, hardly one knows Me in truth.” (Bhagavad-gita 7.3)
“It is very difficult to understand Krishna, but if one tries to understand Srimad-Bhagavatam through Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s bhakti cult, one will undoubtedly understand Krishna very easily.” (Caitanya-caritamrita, Madhya 25.270, Purport)
“Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, as the ideal teacher, or acharya, explained Srimad-Bhagavatam very elaborately Himself. He sometimes also empowered His devotees to speak while he listened. This is the way an acharya should train His disciples. Not only should he describe the bhagavata cult personally, but he should also train his disciples to speak on this sublime subject.” (Caitanya-caritamrita. Madhya, 25.267, Purport)
Although parrot-like repetition is also good when it comes to the teachings of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, His mission is best served by those who can correctly teach His mission in various situations. A useful, expert preacher knows the science of Krishna and how to explain it to others. Otherwise, as Srila Prabhupada warned, he may become an embarrassment to the mission if unable to answer doubts, arguments and questions that arise in the minds of listeners.
I heard a story about an occasion when one Gaudiya Math preacher returned from England to Calcutta. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati and many other devotees came to welcome him back. This preacher later mentioned that in England people had asked him difficult questions that could not be answered. Hearing this, Srila Prabhupada and one of his learned Godbrothers were surprised and asked: “What questions are these that couldn’t be answered?” Hearing the questions, Srila Prabhupada and his Godbrother immediately answered them. Thus, it was revealed that this devotee who had gone to England was not a qualified preacher of Krishna consciousness. This was again exposed, years later, when this same person artificially tried to become an acharya.
Srila Prabhupada wanted devotees to give class and write articles in Krishna consciousness. Preaching is the best way to increase and refine our understanding of Krishna consciousness. Srila Prabhupada constantly encouraged devotees to carefully study the teachings of Krishna consciousness, practice the principles, and teach others.
Real Krishna consciousness is more than just reading, lecturing, managing temples, or even memorizing a lot of verses. Real Krishna consciousness is more than being able to play some instruments, sing nicely, give interesting lectures, write nicely, or even build and manage temples. The most concise explanation I have found for what it truly means to be Krishna consciousness is in given in Srila Prabhupada’s lucent translation of one of Srila Krishna Das Kaviraja’s verses in Sri Caitanya-caritamrita:
Krishna-tattva, bhakti-tattva, prema-tattva sara, bhava-tattva, rasa-tattva, lila-tattva ara.
“Krishna consciousness means understanding the truth of Krishna, the truth of devotional service, the truth of love of Godhead, the truth of emotional ecstasy, the truth of transcendental mellow and the truth of the pastimes of the Lord. (Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Madhya-lila 25.265)
We may wonder, “How can Krishna consciousness be preached in this modern world? What is the formula? Do we absolutely require big institutions, temples, websites, money, farms, followers or cults?” According to the Srila Rupa Gosvami material things can be used in Krishna’s service (yukta-vairagya) by an expert devotee, particularly if such things are easily available, but no acharya has prescribed material formulas as a necessity for preaching Krishna consciousness.
Then what is the real method? That is revealed by Srila Krishna Das Kaviraja in Caitanaya-caritamrita, Madhya-lila 25.276:
“The devotees who have taken shelter of the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu take responsibility for distributing nectarean devotional service all over the world. They are like clouds pouring water on the ground that nourishes the fruit of love of Godhead in the world. The devotees eat that fruit to their hearts’ content, and whatever remnants they leave are eaten by the general populace. Thus, they live happily.”
This statement suggests that sharing the joy of relishing the mercy of Lord Chaitanya and His great devotees is the genuine way to spread Krishna consciousness all over the world. This is the real way by which the mission of Krishna consciousness is broadly expanded. All Gaudiya acharyas, beginning with Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Sanatana Gosvami, have recommended hearing and chanting without personal ambition as the best and primary means of devotional service. All other devotional service and preaching is dependent on our careful hearing and chanting of the name, fame and glories of Sri Krishna and His great devotees.
In His Brihad-Bhagavatamrita, Srila Sanatana Gosvami elaborately reveals how great devotees associate directly with the Supreme Lord by carefully hearing and chanting the holy names of Krishna in a humble state of mind, in appreciation of Lord Krishna, His many forms, and His many great devotees. By careful hearing and chanting everything is revealed, and everything desirable is easily achieved. This was clearly illustrated by a long story first told by Sri Narada Muni, regarding the wonderful life of a boy named Sri Gopa Kumara. As the name suggests, this astonishing and luminous book teaches us to relish the essence of Srimad-Bhagavatam.
 
 

Immortal Charity

January 23, 2018 in Narasimha Dasa by Laksman dasa

Immortal Charity:
Srila Prabhupada’s Gift to the World
By Narasimha das
Text 41
O spotless one, your answers to all these questions will grant immunity for all material miseries. Such charity is greater than all Vedic charities, sacrifices, penances and so on.  (Srimad-Bhagavatam, 3.7.41)
Purport
“The highest perfectional work of charity it to give people in general immunity from the anxieties of material existence. This can be done only by performing activities in devotional service to the Lord. Such knowledge is incomparable. Cultivation of knowledge in the Vedas, performance of sacrifice, and distribution of munificent charities all together cannot form even a part of the immunity from the pangs of material existence that is gained from devotional service. The charity of Maitreya not only will help Vidura, but, due to its universal nature, will deliver all others in all times. Thus Maitreya is immortal.” (SB.3.7.41, Purport)
In this section of Third Canto Bhagavatam, Vidura puts forward many questions to Maitreya Rishi. His aim was to point out the principles of transcendental loving service to the Lord. He knew that by this understanding anyone, past, present or future, will be liberated from the miseries of material existence and return to the spiritual world via the methods of pure devotion.
In this age Srila Prabhupada has adjusted and prescribed methods of devotional service, as described in the Vedas, the Puranas, the Upanisads and Vaishnava commentaries, in a way suitable not only for highly intellectual sadhus of Vedic times but for people in general—even those of this present degraded age.
The charity of Srila Prabhupada is meant not only for a small group of disciples that he personally met and guided but, due to its “universal nature, will deliver all others in all times”. Thus Srila Prabhupada, like Maitreya Rishi, is immortal. This mystery can never be appreciated by posers whose ulterior aim is to exploit the eternal mission of the Supreme Lord for material profit, or personal ambition.  Nor can it be understood by mayavadis, impersonalists, sahajiyas or, in many cases, the prakrita-bhaktas, who deliberately remain attached to this material world in spite of all good instructions for detachment.
“The demigods in the heavenly planets, and many devotees on this planet also, want to remain in the material world as devotees of the Lord and take advantage of material happiness. They do so at the risk of falling down to the lower status of existence, and this makes the Lord dissatisfied with them.” (SB.3.9.12, Purport)
 
 
 

The Path of Reality

December 4, 2017 in Narasimha Dasa by Laksman dasa


The Path of Reality
By Narasimha das
Many dishonest preachers pose as scriptural scholars, brahmins or even Vaishnavas. Srila Prabhupada clearly states in His Third Canto Bhagavatam Purports that these kinds of hypocrites who pose as religious authorities yet ignore or deny the path of devotional service and surrender to Krishna are even more dangerous than avowed atheists who simply do not believe in God or religion in any form.
Atheists and posers sometimes challenge faithful devotees, saying, “What is the use your sentiment and mythologies? Can you predict an eclipse or create a space shuttle? Better you worship scientists, who make our lives easy.”
One infamous atheist posing as a sadhu (Vivekananda) advised devout Hindus to uproot their sacred Tulasi plants and grown eggplants instead. He proposed that growing eggplants would be of more consequence that growing Tulasi. Similarly, other pseudo-spiritualists advise, “All books are just words on a page. They are under lock and key. Better you listen to me, “a living guru,” or one of my followers, to understand the truth. Unless you accept me as authority you can’t understand scripture.”
Are Devotees of Krishna Fools?
Srila Prabhupada has often countered the assertion that devotees are “foolish” or “blind” followers: “The way of devotional service in neither sentimental nor mundane. It is the path of reality by which the living entity can attain the transcendental happiness of being freed from the three kinds of material miseries… The argument that unless one has proper knowledge one cannot be freed from material miseries is undoubtedly true. But because the lotus feet of the Lord are full of transcendental knowledge, acceptance of His lotus feet completes that necessity… There is no want of knowledge in the devotional service of Vasudeva, the personality of Godhead. He, the Lord, personally takes charge of dissipating the darkness of ignorance from the heart of a devotee.  He confirms this in Bhagavad-gita (10.10)”:
tesam satata-yuktanam, bhajatam priti-purvakam
dadami buddhi-yogam tam, yena mam upayanti te
In this connection, Srila Prabhupada also quotes Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.7)
 
vasudeve bhagavati, bhakti-yogah prayojitah
janaya asu vairagyam, jnanam ca yad ahaitukam
In his Bhagavatam purports (Third Canto, Chapter Five), Srila Prabhupada comments, “The conclusion is that the physical elements may work very wonderfully to the laymen’s eyes, but these workings actually take place under the supervision of the Lord. Those who can mark only the changes of the physical elements and cannot perceive the hidden hands of the Lord behind them are certainly less intelligent person, although they may be advertised as great material scientists.”
Interestingly, in this chapter, “Vidura’s Talks with Maitreya,” two great and highly advanced devotees are meeting but focusing first on the basic premises for understanding both mundane reality and spiritual reality. They do this to show us the example of what’s important to learn first. Srila Prabhupada has pointed out that unless we understand the fundamentals of material existence and spiritual existence simultaneously, attempts to become free from ignorance and misery will prove futile.
Srila Prabhupada comments, “The conception of various controlling demigods who inhabit the higher planetary systems for management of universal affairs is not imaginary, as proposed by persons with a poor fund of knowledge. The demigods are expanded parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord Vishnu, and they are embodied by time, external energy, and partial consciousness of the Supreme. Human beings, animals, birds, and so on are also parts and parcels of the Lord and have different material bodies, but they are not controlling deities of material affairs. They are, rather, controlled by such demigods. Such control is not superfluous; it is as necessary as the controlling departments in the affairs of a modern state.”
This is last sentence (underlined above), is an excellent example. Pious heads of state in ancient India accepted the supremacy of the Lord, the authority of the Vedas, as well as the controls and limitations imposed by Krishna’s empowered representatives, the demigods. In this way, they and their followers were satisfied. But leaders of modern society, while sometimes posing as religious men, don’t accept any authority above their own, or above their manufactured and superfluous laws. They feel that manmade laws are essential to maintain peaceful society but laws of God may be neglected—even to the extent of trying to forcefully break free from the planet upon which we have been placed.
Although, by Krishna’s arrangements, the earth is the most suitable place for human life, demons are never satisfied with the natural order. They are willing to go to any extreme to defy God. Their plan that men should travel for many months in a metal tube to arrive on a planet (Mars) that they say is barren and extremely harsh is proof of their insane rebellious attitude. They are like a child who holds his breathe until blue just to get his way.
In ancient times, great demons tried to conquer heaven or build a stairway to heaven, but modern demons don’t believe in heaven. For instance, they think the Mars is barren and lifeless, yet they still try to go there by force–just to prove their independence. It’s no wonder, therefore, that they are constantly bewildered by all varieties of illusions and limitations imposed on them by higher authorities.
In this regard Srila Prabhupada comments, “The demigods should not be despised by the controlled living beings. They are all great devotees of the Lord entrusted to execute certain functions of the universal affairs… Demigods like Yamaraja and other controllers are there for the unwanted conditioned souls who always engage in threatening the tranquility of the kingdom of God. Since all the demigods are confidential devotee-servitors of the Lord, they are never to be condemned.”
Modern science and most leaders of modern society imagine that advanced techno sciences will one day liberate them and their most wealthy supporters from all restrictions– so they can do whatever they like. They exploit the Earth by force for their own profit and prestige and then reassure their foolish followers, saying “Science will reveal how we can live with all pollution happily, and when we finally destroy this earth with toxic nuclear wastes, viruses and pesticides, we will go live on Mars.”
Sound insane? According the infamous atheist “genius” Steve Hawkins (a bankrolled NASA promoter), human migration to other planets is the only way humans can be saved from extinction. This cripple-minded fool is grossly deformed and confined to a wheel chair and, like many modern scientists, is envious of God and the demigods who confine us all to the miseries and limitations of our frail material bodies on this planet.  Insanely, they suggest that although peace and prosperity is not possible on Earth (where we have plenty of fertile land, air, water and other resources just suitable for human life), we will miraculously become free and happy through space travel.  As we have heard from Bhagavatam and other Vedic puranas, and have seen practically, demons are never satisfied, even if they conquer a huge kingdom or planet.
O Father, O Lord, O Personality of Godhead, the living entities in the material world can never have any happiness because they are overwhelmed by the three kinds of miseries. Therefore, they take shelter of the shade of Your lotus feet, which are full of knowledge, and we also thus take shelter of them. (SB. 3.5.40)
Materialistic scientists are just like ignorant tribesmen or small children who think that a car runs automatically, with no driver. They can’t understand that the Supreme Lord and His parts and parcels, the living beings, or jivas, are the unseen ingredients who make the world dynamic, animated and alive. Because ignorant and misguided men have no real information of God or the soul, they must remain perpetually bound by the cruel laws of material nature, which confine them to a crippled life of darkness and misery–birth after birth–on this planet and others.
The devotees of the Lord, on the other hand, are fully and forever freed from the miseries and limitations of material existence in both this life and the next. They are not under the control of even the greatest demigod–or even Mother Durga Devi herself. Real devotees of the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna are free to move anywhere and everywhere, riding on the “wings of the Vedas”, throughout the material and spiritual words. For learned devotees there are no punishments, time outs, restrictions, fears or miseries, of which birth, old age, disease and death are chief.
Miracles of Devotion
Srila Prabhupada: “Intelligent persons, who are like swans, take shelter of the Lord by all means and do not hover on the mental plane by fruitlessly speculating on different philosophies.”
Simply by hearing about Your lotus feet with eagerness and devotion and my meditating upon them within the heart, one at once becomes enlightened with knowledge, and on the strength of detachment one becomes pacified. We must therefore take shelter of the sanctuary of Your lotus feet. (SB. 3.5.42)
Commenting on this verse, Srila Prabhupada says, “The miracles of meditating on the lotus feet of the Lord with eagerness and devotion are so great that no other process can compare to it. The minds of materialistic persons are so disturbed that it is almost impossible for them to search after the Supreme Truth by personal regulative principles. But even such materialistic men, with a little eagerness for hearing about the transcendental name, fame, qualities and so on can surpass all other methods of attaining knowledge and detachment… Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu strongly recommended this process of hearing from a bona fide devotee, and by following this process one can achieve the highest result, conquering all other methods.”
To give up the path of real freedom and knowledge taught by the Vedas and the bona fide spiritual master in favor of mundane and defective systems of pseudo-science or pseudo-religion is surely the greatest folly, a path of deepening darkness. Srila Prabhupada raises this question: “If liberation is so easy just by hearing about Krishna’s pastimes and glories, why don’t more people take advantage of this easy path to complete freedom?” Srila Prabhupada then explains the answer to this puzzle. It is due their offense to Krishna and His pure devotees, who come to this miserable world just to give everyone the right advice. What is the offense that makes hearing and chanting about Krishna impossible for most people? They deliberately defy, insult or ignore Krishna’s instructions and the advice of His pure devotees. Therefore, such envious persons are prevented by “supernatural control” from understanding the value of hearing and chanting about Krishna. Serious devotees avoid offenses by avoiding offensive persons, particularly pseudo-spiritualists. 

Sri Vijaya dasami- Sri Ramacandra Vijaya Utsava and Sripad Madhvacarya Avirbhava tithi [appearance day of Madhva Acarya]

September 30, 2017 in Narasimha Dasa, Yasoda nandana Dasa by Laksman dasa

Sri Vijaya dasami-  Sri Ramacandra Vijaya Utsava. Saturday, September 30, 2017
[Mayapura, West Bengal, India time]
Srila Prabhupada explains the pastimes of Lord Ramacandra
compiled by Narasimha dasa and Yasoda nandana dasa

Srila Prabhupāda: No, special observance means to discuss about the life and works of …then October, Vijayādaśamī, appearance date of Śrīla Madhvācārya, and the victory day of Lord Rāmacandra. So there is no fasting, but in the evening we should celebrate some feasting and discuss about the life and works of Śrī Madhvācārya as well as Rāmāyaṇa incidents where Rāma and Rāvaṇa fought. Devotee: Thank you Prabhupāda. (end) Srila Prabhupada conversation, Vrindavana, Uttara Pradesh, India, March 11, 1972
Devotee: …engagement, one devotee commented that the reason that Lord Rāma worshiped Lord Śiva was because He wanted to kill Rāvaṇa and Rāvaṇa was a devotee of Śiva, so Lord Rāma worshiped Śiva in that respect.
Srila Prabhupada;  Hm? What is that?
Devotee: He said that because Lord Śiva was, ah, excuse me, Rāvaṇa was a devotee of Lord Śiva, that in order that Lord Rāmacandra could kill Rāvaṇa, He worshiped Śiva.
Devotee:: He wanted to take permission of him, so they say. Rāma wanted to take permission from Śiva…
Srila Prabhupāda: So, Śiva is so rascal that he gave permission? That means they are trying to prove Śiva is a rascal. (devotees laugh) Because he gave permission to kill his devotee. Then what is the use of his, of one becoming Śiva’s devotee? If such a rascal that one can take his permission to kill his devotee, so what is the use of becoming a devotee of such a rascal? Huh?
Devotee: He protected Bāṇāsura.
Srila Prabhupāda: Huh? What is that? That means that proving that Śiva is a rascal. He gave permission to kill his devotee. Then what is the use? Then nobody should become Śiva’s devotee. That is the conclusion. Because he gives permission to somebody else to kill his devotee. They are trying to prove Lord Śiva is a rascal. What do you think? Huh? If I want your permission, please give me your permission, I shall kill your son, and if you say, “Yes, I give my permission,” then are you not a rascal? By this example they are making Lord Śiva a rascal, that he has no common sense even.
Indian man: (Hindi)

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Spiritual Advancement

September 25, 2017 in Narasimha Dasa by Laksman dasa

Spiritual Advancement

By Narasimha das

“All these are pitfalls of personal sense gratification. Just to cheat some innocent people, one makes a show of advanced spiritual life and becomes known as a sadhu, mahatma or religious person. All this means that the so-called devotee has become victimized by all these unwanted creepers and that the real creeper of bhakti-lata-bija has been stunted.”  (Cc. Madhya 19.160, PURPORT) See purport below.

Any intelligent devotee who knows iskcon history since 1978 to the present day can easily understand the meaning and context of the above statement and how it applies to many or most iskcon leaders. But the question has been raised whether the “innocent people” who follow such posers can make tangible spiritual advancement. Any devotee or group can ask others to chant Hare Krishna and begin devotional life but not every sanga can assist us to advance further. Unless innocent people learn to follow the self-realized acharya and hear from him with rapt attention, they risk losing their innocence by associating with offenders posing as sadhus. This is practically seen all over the world, and most of these innocent people end up leaving the mission or compromising with deviants.

It may be wrong to suggest that because we might not be perfect we therefore have no right to preach or judge who is making spiritual advancement– and who is on a deviant path that leads to degradation. It’s our duty as disciples to try to protect our own devotional service and the mission of the guru. How to do this? We must discriminate to understand and preach the correct path. We must accept the right association with genuine devotees. If we are content remain in a blind society of pretenders, we may leave the path of devotional service and fall down completely.

Srila Prabhupada once said, “I may be perfect or I may not be perfect, but I am repeating the message of the all-perfect Supreme Personality of Godhead without the slightest change. That is perfect.” Read the rest of this entry →

Srila Namacarya Haridasa Thakura Tirobhava Tithi [disappearance] – Tuesday, September 5, 2017 [Mayapura, West Bengal, Bharata Bhumi time]

September 4, 2017 in Narasimha Dasa, Yasoda nandana Dasa by Laksman dasa

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Foundations of Knowledge: The Path of Reality

September 4, 2017 in Narasimha Dasa by Laksman dasa

Foundations of Knowledge: The Path of Reality

By Narasimha das

Many dishonest atheists pose as scholars or even brahmins and Vaishnavas. Srila Prabhupada indicated that these kinds of hypocrites are even more dangerous than avowed atheists who simply do not believe in God or religion in any shape or form. Poser atheists sometimes challenge faithful devotees, saying, “What is the use your sentiment and mythologies? Can you predict an eclipse or create a space shuttle? Better you worship scientists, who can make our lives free and easy.”

One infamous atheist posing as a sadhu (Vivekananda) advised devout Hindus to uproot their sacred Tulasi plants and grown eggplants instead. He proposed that growing eggplants would be of more consequence that growing Tulasi. Similarly, other atheists advise, “Go to the forest and practice vanaprastha so you don’t disturb others with your fanatical religious ideas. Join an assembly of sages in the jungle– because a festival of sages in the jungle will be of no consequence and thus will not disturb our advanced scientific society.

Srila Prabhupada has often countered the assertion that devotees are “idiots” or “blind” followers. “The way of devotional service in neither sentimental nor mundane. It is the path of reality by which the living entity can attain the transcendental happiness of being freed from the three kinds of material miseries… The argument that unless one has proper knowledge one cannot be freed from material miseries is undoubtedly true. But because the lotus feet of the Lord are full of transcendental knowledge, acceptance of His lotus feet completes that necessity… There is no want of knowledge in the devotional service of Vasudeva, the personality of Godhead. He, the Lord, personally takes charge of dissipating the darkness of ignorance from the heart of a devotee.  He confirms this in Bhagavad-gita (10.10)”: Read the rest of this entry →

Moon Madness

August 29, 2017 in Narasimha Dasa by Laksman dasa

Moon Madness

By Narasimha das

Recently I heard an odd accusation from a so-called senior devotee. He suggested that those who teach what Srila Prabhupada taught or repeat what he said about various controversial facts are trying to embarrass Srila Prabhupada because they hate Srila Prabhupada and His mission. This came up recently because some devotees in the Hare Krishna Society sent out excerpts from Bhagavatam regarding eclipses. They did this apparently in response to the recent eclipse-event mania, wherein hundreds of thousands of people drove hundreds of miles, both north and south, to bask in the darkness of a total solar eclipse.

Apparently this above-mentioned devotee is himself embarrassed by some of Srila Prabhupada’s statements and teachings, which he believes are obviously mistaken and should therefore be hidden, ignored, or totally forgotten. Those who aspire to create their own congregations worry that talk of certain subjects will scare away potential converts and thus impede their own sense gratification in the name of preaching. Read the rest of this entry →

Srila Prabhupada and Prahlada Maharaja

August 21, 2017 in Narasimha Dasa by Laksman dasa

Dear Srila Prabhupada,

Please accept millions of my prostrated obeisances at your most divine lotus feet. Please forgive my millions of offenses at your feet. My mind remains attached to matter in spite of all your good instructions.

You once wrote me and said, “Please study all of my books very thoroughly.” I have tried to do that, although insufficiently to fully control my turbulent mind, which is harder to control than the wind. The only hope for me is full engagement in your transcendental service. Your mercy is the only hope for all conditioned souls. You are the real acharya for this age. You once wrote to leading preachers in ISKCON and asked, “What is the use of so many devotees if none of them are knowledgeable?” I hope to one day become your useful disciple. Read the rest of this entry →