A very powerful lecture about chanting with quality by Sacinandana Swami.
Websites from the ISKCON Universe
(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 02 September 2014, Mayapur, India, Radhastami Lecture)
Krsna roams through the forest of Vrindavan and then, Krsna sees on a leaf his name written with red kumkum. Then Krsna plays his flute and when Krsna plays his flute, the entire universe becomes agitated…
When Krsna plays his flute, the cows in Vrindavan go mad! The cows cannot control themselves. Their ears are like cups on their heads and they are drawn to that sound; and when they hear that sound, they go mad! Therefore, they stand on their hind legs and cover their ears so as to not hear the sound but Krsna keeps on playing. Then the cows put blades of grass in their mouth as a treatise of humility and beg Krsna to stop but Krsna continues playing. Then the cows cannot contain themselves anymore and freeze on the spot and stand like statues…
This weekend is Labour weekend and on the Monday 27 October is Wellington’s Free Yoga Day!
Bhakti Lounge will be hosting a free 5pm Yoga + Kirtan class to encourage newcomers, please bring a friend! The class will run for 45 minutes followed by half hour Kirtan then cookies & chai.
Please note the 6pm Yoga + Dinner class will not be on. Regular schedule will resume on Tuesday 28 October.
For more info about Wellington’s Free Yoga Day, please visit here http://freeyogaday.wix.com/wellington2014#!schedule/c2271
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The Governing Body Commission (GBC) of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) recently completed a special three-day session during which the GBC Body considered whether or not this worldwide Vaishnava community should endorse and implement the policy of having women serve as diksa-gurus, or initiating spiritual masters, within the ISKCON society.
“On this date forty years ago, I went up to Srila Prabhupada’s quarters in Juhu, Bombay, as usual, at 6 a.m. But very unusually, his door was locked. I had never come and found his door locked before. I knocked and waited, and eventually his secretary opened the door a little and spoke very quietly. He said that during the night Srila Prabhupada had finished translating Sri Caitanya-caritamrta and that he had written the most beautiful glorification of his spiritual master after completing the work. He said that Srila Prabhupada was in a very ecstatic mood and instructed that the devotees should celebrate by having a feast.”
Bhagavatam-daily is a daily talk of approximately 10 min on a verse of Srimad Bhagavatam. This feature is especially meant to serve those devotees who want to hear the Bhagavatam regularly and systematically in short segments that they can conveniently fit into their schedules.
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2014 10 12 SB 10 51 45 Real Artha Servant of the Servant of Servants Radhanath Swami ISKCON Chowpatty
From Promila Mataji
I heard this in one of your classes. Can you please explain, especially when Prabhupada says that Krishna consciouness is a science that can take us God.
From Pancha Pandava Prabhu
Devahūti requested her son, “Please say more about the type of bhakti that pleases you the most, is within my reach, and will swiftly make my obstacles obsolete and eternally situate me with you in your abode.” [ŚB 3.25.28]
Her son, Kapila replied, “The most perfect form of bhakti is greater than any other perfection. It absorbs your consciousness in the All-Attractive by directing your activities and perceptions towards his spiritual reality, without interruption or ulterior motive. This can be done by following the instructions and mantras given by your guru from the śāstra, and is particularly excellent when it arises naturally from your own desire.” [ŚB 3.25.32]
First, Kapila makes it clear that there is no attainment to be achieved that is greater than this topmost bhakti. Not even mokṣa (liberation) can compare to this, because this automatically includes mokṣa right from the start (viz. Gītā 18.54).
Next, he explains the basic principle of how bhakti-yoga works: ”It absorbs your consciousness in the All-Attractive by directing your activities and perceptions towards his spiritual reality.
Kapila describes consciousness as “sentience” (sattva), and as, “the divine faculty which grants perception of sense objects” (davānāṁ guṇa-liṅgānām).
The essence of bhakti-yoga is to absorb our consciousness in the All-Attractive (bhāgavatī) — and the simple, practical way to do that is to focus our perceptions and activities (karmaṇām) on the All-Attractive. For example, if we look at a painting or mūrti of Krishna we absorb our visual perception in the All-Attractive. Another example is that we can absorbs our aural perception in the All-Attractive by hearing kīrtan of his name, or describing his beauty, attractive qualities, and loving pastimes.
Bhakti-yoga also entails direction our actions towards the All-Attractive. One example of such action is to host a party where people come together to perform kīrtan. Other examples: to dress Krishna’s mūrti, cook and offer food to him, clean his temple, offer ārati, visit his temple and sacred places, tend to the care of his devotees, and so on.
By directing our activities and perceptions towards the All-Attractive, our consciousness becomes absorbed in him, and this is the essence of what bhakti-yoga is all about.
Next, Kapila explains purity in bhakti-yoga. He says that our endeavor to absorb our consciousness in the All-Attractive should be, ”without interruption or ulterior motive.
Bhakti-yoga is “mixed” with “impurity” when it is used as a vehicle to some other goal. For example, if we visit a temple and donate money in the hopes that we will become rich as a result of that righteous sacrifice, our activities could in some ways be considered bhakti-yoga but it is impure (miśra-)bhakti-yoga. Ulterior motives are very subtle and difficult to completely root out. We can practice bhakti-yoga for decades only to find that in truth we were motivated to get three steady meals a day and a place to sleep, or to find some sense of community, or to convince at least a few people to respect us and listen to our opinions.
Kapila says that pure bhakti-yoga has no ulterior motive, using the words evaika-manaso which literally means “certainly with nothing else in mind.” To practice pure bhakti-yoga we should strive to absorb our consciousness in the All-Attractive simply because we wish to absorb our consciousness in the All-Attractive, not for any ulterior goal. Unfortunately it usually takes many years or lifetimes to root out ulterior motives by truly realizing that the All-Attractive is in fact “ALL-Attractive” and no other motive is attractive in comparison.
Kapila also indicates that pure bhakti-yoga as “no interruption” (animittā). The two principles (“no interruption” and “no ulterior motive”) go hand-in-hand, for if we have ulterior motive we will be distracted into other pursuits, or distracted by other concerns and tribulations. If we simply and purely desire to absorb our consciousness in the All-Attractive we will not be distracted from our pursuit of bhakti-yoga.
So, Kapila says that our endeavor to absorb our consciousness in the All-Attractive by direction our actions and perceptions towards him should be concentrated and attentive, which becomes possible only as we give up on hoping for other achievements and pursuing other motivations.
Finally, Kapila says that there are two ways to do bhakti-yoga: “This can be done by following the instructions and mantras given by your guru from the śāstra, and is particularly excellent when it arises naturally from your own desire.”
The two ways are not at all mutually exclusive!
First Kapila indicates that our endeavor to practice bhakti-yoga should be “anuśravika” — following the instructions and mantras given by guru, from śāstra. Śrī Rūpa Goswāmī classifies this approach as “vaidhi — the endeavor that is directed by the instructions (vidhi) given by guru, from śāstra.
Not just bhakti-yoga but any spiritual endeavor, any yoga, must be directed by śāstra because our senses and intellect cannot yet directly comprehend spiritual reality on their own. Therefore the guru teaches us the śāstra and thus guides and informs our activities and perceptions, which then gradually become capable to directly interact with and perceive spiritual realities. It is something like an expert musician pointing out the specific notes and nuances in a sophisticated melody. Guided by such an expert, even a novice musician begins to appreciate the subtleties of music, and thus gradually becomes expert herself.
But Kapila also says, ”it is particularly excellent when it arises naturally from your own desire” (svabhāvikī tu). Śrī Rūpa classifies this as rāgānugā — the endeavor that arises naturally from pursuing (anuga) your natural passion (rāga) for the All-Attractive.
The greatest misconception is that when one pursues ones natural passion one does not follow the guidance of Guru. What foolishness!
The greatest misconception is that when one pursues ones natural passion one does not follow the guidance of Guru. What foolishness! If one passionately wants to become a great violinist, does she not carefully and fastidiously consider the advice of great teachers, does she not attentively listen to the playing and technique of great violinists? To counteract this dull mistake, Śrī Rūpa explicitly states that Rāgānugā also observes the viddhi (BRS 1.2.296) and quotes an important śloka from Brahma-yamala (BRS 1.2.101) stating that so-called bhakti-yoga that ignores śāstra is nothing but a disturbance.
It is said that bhakti-yoga motivated by spontaneous passion doesn’t “depend” on the instructions of guru and śāstra — but we can’t twist this to mean that it ignores or transgresses the instructions of guru and śāstra, unless we are foolishly content to fall outside the umbrella of the bhakti-yoga established on behalf of Śrī Caitanya by Śrī Rūpa — for in so interpreting we would contradict his explicit statements in BRS 1.2.296 and 1.2.101.
That spontaneous devotion “doesn’t depend on instructions” simply means that when one has inherent desire to absorb ones consciousness in the All-Attractive, that become the prime motivating factor, one doesn’t need any convincing or argumentation or logic. As a result of spontaneous passion for bhakti-yoga, one will seek out and apply the guidance of guru and śāstra with even more ardor and intent that then person without spontaneous passion for it. Again, the example of the violinist is useful.
In short, Kapila states that the most powerful form of bhakti-yoga is svabhāvakī — it arises naturally from our own inherent desire for the All-Attractive, and avails of the guidance of guru and śāstra as a result of that inherent passion.
No, vaidhi does not automatically become Rāgānugā, but it does eventually become bhāva-bhakti, and the bhāva-bhakti that arises from vaidhi-sādhana is svabhāvikī, a lot like rāgānugā-sādhana in some ways.
Commenting on this verse of Bhāgavatam, Śrī Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākur explains that vaidhi-sādhana naturally becomes svabhāvikī when it achieves perfection as bhāva-bhakti, but that rāgānugā-sādhana is svabhāvikī even in the stage of practice, even before attaining perfection as bhāva-bhakti. The svabhāvakī trait is therefore qualitatively greater in the perfection attained through rāgānugā-sādhana (termed rāgānugauttara-bhāva-bhakti) compared to that which can be attained through vaidhi-sādhana (termed vaidhyottara-bhāva-bhakti).
Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmīpāda defined the most perfect form of bhakti (uttama-bhakti) In Bhakti Rasāmṛta Sindhu 1.1.11:
anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ, jñāna-karmādy anāvṛttam
anukūlyena kṛṣṇānu-śilanam bhaktir uttamam
This definition is exactly analog to Kapila’s definition.
Kapila says that bhakti-yoga is absorption of the consciousness in the All-Attractive by focusing ones actions and perceptions on him. Śrī Rūpa says this with the words anukūlyena kṛṣṇānu-śilanam.
Kapila says that bhakti-yoga is to be done without ulterior motive or interruption. Śrī Rūpa says the same with the words, anyābhilāṣitā śūnyam, jñāna-karmādy anāvṛttam.
Kapila says that bhakti-yoga is done under guidance of guru and śāstra and is particularly effective when it arises from ones own spontaneous passion for it. Śrī Rūpa explains the same at great length in his sections on Vaidhi and Rāgānugā sādhanas.
Kapila says that bhakti-yoga makes all other perfections insignificant. Śrī Rūpa says the same, for example in BRS 1.1.17 and 1.1.33.
Srila Prabhupada said that in every activity, the Vaisnava should pray to the previous acarya, “Kindly help me”—that the Vaisnava always thinks himself helpless and begs help from the previous acarya. And he gave the example of Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, the author of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, who at the end of every chapter prayed,
sri-rupa-raghunatha-pade yara asa
caitanya-caritamrita kahe krsnadasa
As Srila Prabhupada explained, “In every line he is thinking of Rupa-Raghunatha, previous acaryas: ’Let me surrender to the Gosvamis and they will help me how to write.’ You cannot write. That is not possible.” And Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami is saying it openly here, that “I did not write this book. I could not write this book. It was written only by the mercy of these personalities.” And he mentions the Deities of Vrndavana and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates and followers. And then he writes, “I have also been specifically favored by another supreme personality. Sri Madana-mohana Deity of Vrndavana has given the order that is making me write.” In other words, “I am not qualified, but still I am writing because I have been given the order to write.”
(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 28 September 2014, Durban, South Africa, Sunday Feast Lecture)
Question: Can we have Krsna katha with Muslims and Christians? Will that change their hearts and make them take to devotional service?
Srila Prabhupada said that there is a spark of Krsna consciousness in everyone; you have to find it and fan it. So, you cannot just immediately tell a Christian that Krsna is the only way! That is too much for most Christians to swallow and with Muslims too. There are differences so be sensitive to the differences. Look for common ground and then look where their devotion is.
A good Muslim is daily studying the Koran and daily bowing down five times. I mean, that is quite something. He does Ramadan and he does so many other things. So we can appreciate some piety there.
I was on a plane and I had a look at the magazine in the seat pocket. It showed a story about Muslim girls. I was sort of reading it and it said that Muslim girls always had to be covered, except with their own father and brothers. If their Aunty had breast fed them as children then also with those cousins, they may be uncovered. Very complicated and very strict rules. So, I was reading that and then a movie started on the screen in front of me. In this American movie, a young girl went into a chemist and she bought something over the counter and later on, we found out it was a pregnancy test; and she tested positive. So we have these two stories.
So we saw on the one end of the description, a very rigid society with its limits that seem to be too tight. And then, we saw in another culture, young girls of thirteen are sent out on a Saturday night… So it was interesting to see the two scenarios. I normally have time to tell the whole story but you get the idea, the rest you can fill in. Now what would you choose for? What is better? Sending a thirteen year old daughter into the streets on a Saturday night… or keep her covered?
My point is that we can see the merit of some traditions, and although we ourselves are not coming from those traditions, we can have some appreciation for the dedication that people have and for the values that they have. That is something to be appreciated. I think if we look for the common ground and then bring Krsna in, then it will be very good. Of course, that does not mean that we have to go to the Mosque and bow down five times a day and all the men have to grow beards, in the name of preaching. But still, common ground is what we look for with people who are fixed in some faith.
New Delhi, October 18, 2014 – His Holiness Jayapataka Swami was discharged yesterday for a few days from the hospital where he stayed for 11 days. He is still under medical supervision as an Outpatient, and is meant to return to hospital to continue further treatment. The Doctors have agreed to discharge him under the […]
Our Dear Godsister and long time Mayapur Resident Ramadevi Dasi, needs all our prayers. Ramadevi Mataji has been serving in Mayapur for many years as Sri Sri Radha Madhava’s seamstress. She is very well known as being the midwife of many many Babies born here in the Dham. Ramadevi also has been the councilor and […]
View the full gallery here: Kartik in Mayapur “In the month of Kartik, which is very dear to Sri Hari, one who bathes early in the morning attains the merit of bathing in all places of pilgrimage. Anybody who offers the Lord a ghee lamp in the month of Kartik, O brahmana, becomes free […]
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Its the kind of news that gives on real life.
“Dear Guru Maharaja, Venugopal went for book distribution yesterday. He distributed 2 krishnabook, 1 Gita, 2 prabhupada, 1 josd and 7 Q&A. He collected 20.000,-ft. Ys,ppd”
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