Vaishnava Thakura
→ ISKCON News

A video featuring Srila Prabhupada. Poem written by Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura, music performed by As Kindred Spirits.

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Govardhan Eco-village
→ ISKCON News

A video featuring Radhanath Swami. 

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The Great Yajna Beyond Imagination: “Pol’ & Rock” with Indradyumna Swami
→ ISKCON News

This year’s Krisna’s Village Of Peace at Polish Woodstock [ Pol’ And ‘Rock ] was successful beyond the devotees' wildest imagination. Tens of thousands of people got a first hand experience of Krisna consciousness through daily Ratha Yatras, prasadam and the chanting of the holy names. It was an historic few days in the history of our ISKCON movement. A video by Ananta Vrindavan. 

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Harvard Is Going Vegan to Save the Planet
→ ISKCON News

Harvard plans to focus promoting plant-based food as part of a commitment to reduce food-related greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2030.

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Like an Uprooted Tree
→ ISKCON News

A poem by Ananda Vrindavan Dasi. 

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Radhadesh Team Attends Child Protection Training in Italy
→ ISKCON News

There were about 15 attendees participating from Italy, Germany, Czech Republic, Ireland and Belgium. 

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European Farm Conference 2019, Krishna Dvur Farm, Czech Republic
→ ISKCON News

For the past 13 years ISKCON’s Ministry for Cow Protection and Agriculture (IMCPA) has organized a European conference for ISKCON farmers and anyone interested in agriculture and cow protection. The idea is to create networks and unite everyone towards Srila Prabhupada’s goals for cow protection and simple living.

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Sun Love Feast – Oct 13th, 2019 – Vedic discourse by Her Grace Kamla Gopi Mataji
→ ISKCON Brampton

                  


Chant: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare 

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare 

And Be Happy!!

ayur harati vai pumsam
udyann astam ca yann asau
tasyarte yat-ksano nita
uttama-sloka-vartaya

Both by rising and by setting, the sun decreases the duration of life of everyone, except one
who utilizes the time by discussing topics of the all-good Personality of Godhead.
 ~ Srimad Bhagavatam 2.3.17




11.00 - 11.15      Tulsi Puja
11.15  - 11.30     Guru Puja
11:30 - 11:55     Aarti & Kirtan
11.55  - 12.00    Sri Nrsingadeva Prayers
12.00 - 1:00     Vedic discourse
  1.00 - 1.30      Closing Kirtan
  1.30 - 2.00     Sanctified Free Vegetarian Feast

COMING UP AHEAD

 Rama Ekadasi
Fasting.....................on Thu Oct 24th,2019
Breakfast................  on Fri Oct 25th, 2019 b/w 7:44am – 9:40am


Every fortnight, we observe Ekadasi, a day of prayer and meditation. On this day we follow a complete fast from eating and drinking. We spend extra time reading the scriptures and chanting the auspicious Hare Krishna mantra. By constantly ‘exercising’ our minds through regular japa we can train our senses to push the threshold of contentment.

ONGOING PROGRAMS


Vedic Education & Learning For Grownups
 Krsna Yoga - Be fit to serve Krsna seminar - Sat Oct 26th 9:30am to 12:30pm

Hare Krishna devotees.  Our upcoming seminar at ISKCON Brampton is on October 26th by HG Gaura Natraj Das. Following is the registration link: https://clicktime.symantec.com/3HVXG35JEmX2jPwwgGM3kkB7Vc?u=http%3A%2F%2Fbit.ly%2F30LWSez
Please do register by Monday 21st Oct so that prasadam can be arranged accordingly. 


For further information, please contact HG Prema Gaurangi Devi Dasi @ premagaurangi.jps@hotmail.com
ISKCON Brampton offers various courses and Seminars for adults. The courses take a personal approach to learning. It encourages the student not only to study thoroughly the contents of Srila Prabhupada’s books but also to clearly understand the philosophy and practically apply it. The course focuses on behaviour and character, nurturing students in appropriate Vaishnava values. Professionally designed and presented, it draws on the principles of Krishna consciousness and the best of progressive education. In this way, it is true to ISKCON’s heritage and at the same time relevant to its mission in contemporary society.


Sunday School

To register,contact us
Email:sundayschool108@gmail.com
Call:647.893.9363

The Sunday School provides fun filled strategies through the medium of music, drama, debates,
quizzes and games that present Vedic Culture to children. However the syllabus is also designed
to simultaneously teach them to always remember Krishna and never forget Him.
The Sunday School follows the curriculum provided by the Bhaktivedanta College of Education and Culture (BCEC).


Monthly sankirtan Festival(MSF)
“One who has life can preach, and one who preaches gets life.”(Previous Acaryas)
Every member of ISKCON should have the opportunity to make advancement in Krishna
consciousness by preaching.We encourage everyone to come out and participate and make
Srila Prabhupada happy.

Please contact:
Dharma Dasa- dharandev58@gmail.com-647.892.0739(Mississauga and Brampton regions)


The Mentorship Program

Please note that registration in the Mentorship System is now a mandatory requirement for all initiation requests at ISKCON Brampton.It

1.Facilitates  and nurtures devotees aspiring for first and second Initiation.
2.One-on-One personal follow up on a regular basis.
3.Systematic training to devotees in matters of Philosophy, Sadhna, Vaishnava behavior, etiquette, Lifestyle and attitudes.

To find details please click here


Gift Shop

Are you looking for some amazing gift items which are less expensive and more beautiful for your
loved ones for festivals or many other occasions??
Our boutique is stocked with an excellent range of products, perfect for gifts or as souvenirs of your
visit. It offers textiles, jewelry, incense, devotional articles, musical instruments, books, and CDs
inspired by Indian culture.We're open on all Sundays and celebrations marked in our annual calendar.

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Pondering on the Karma Delivery System
→ simple thoughts

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Over the past year I’ve been pondering over a small exercise my guru maharaj suggested we do in order to correctly identify the real cause of my happiness and distress. More so as loss of health and then the job one has worked in for over 14 years does knock one’s self esteem and perspective.

It’s easier to blame others or circumstances the “if only” indeed we live in a society now were seeking blame is almost a way of life “it’s not my fault because” relating it then to individuals or circumstances. Indeed in many ways we can all do this identifying people or situations that have either benefited or hindered us and for those who hinder resentment can come in.

If only this or that would have happened then I could have been, why is it that I’ve not achieved this or that which then leads to resentment of those who appear or have achieved something you personally think you rather than them should have.

Yes karma, due to my activity in previous life’s m happiness, distress, intelligence, wealth and health are established; the reality is what I am experiencing is of my own making; I’m simply subjected to this amazing karma delivery system.

So I’ve been pondering the karma delivery system and how it entrapped each one in repeated birth and death. Without a delivery system our karma will not come but the fact we can point to individuals and situations binds us we can simply satisfy ourselves that the reality is were not the problem, it’s pushed onto others so the illusion of material nature becomes real.

The karma delivery system drives us forward to achieve I’ll show them! Dissolve’s us for taking full responsibility for our actions and inactions, allows us to surround ourselves with excuses whilst creating a situation for later Karma and our next form of life.

As I look in the mirror staring back is the true cause of all that is happening to me; yes I can point to situations, people act. but within this I can also see the solution the science of self realization to move one’s self from ignorance to understand my constitutional self. This means that even the way one deals with others must and have to change, to be not the one who delivers the missery to others but who delivers the inspiration to others; to be the ever well wisher.

It’s a tall order and indeed each day in one way or another I fail as one simply remans a slave to one’s mind or wrapped in circumstances to which one reacts.

There is no other way than the chanting of the holy names and may one each and every day may I and those I meet always remember Sri Krishna.

And to realise that those who appear to do me harm are in actual fact only delivering my karma and to forgive and not be resentful or wish them I’ll is the biggest lesson; it reminded me of Lord Jesus Christ who simply said “farther forgive them for they simply don’t know what they are doing” deep down it shows he had already forgiven them even though there actions would lead to his death.

May I show such forgiveness and by the mercy of the devotees continue to grow in true knowledge of self.

I pray this makes sense and that you all remain steady in your own walk in self realization, Krishna consciousness and grow each and every day

Hare Krishna

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Iskcon Chennai
→ Ramai Swami

It was about five years ago that I last visited our temple in Chennai, India and it was certainly wonderful to be back. Their Lordships, Sri Sri Radha Krsna, Jagannatha, Baladeva, Subhadra and Gaura Nitai looked as beautiful as ever.

I caught up with my god-brother and old friend, HH Bhanu Swami, who has his headquarters there. He had just arrived back from a tour of our temples in Italy. Needless to say, I enjoyed my stay there immensely.

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Everyone Should Appreciate the Service of Others, November 9, Darshan Room, Dallas
Giriraj Swami

Giriraj Swami read and spoke from Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.5.12.

 

Posted by Nityananda Chandra Granger on Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Audio
Darshan Room Talk (Right click to download)

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From your place, at your pace, access God’s grace
→ The Spiritual Scientist

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Gita lite course (3)
→ The Spiritual Scientist

The post Gita lite course (3) appeared first on The Spiritual Scientist.

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Gita lite 3 – Chps 6-8
→ The Spiritual Scientist

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Gita lite 2 – Chps 3-5
→ The Spiritual Scientist

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Gita lite 1 – Chps 1-2
→ The Spiritual Scientist

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Bhima the Action Hero
→ simple thoughts

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Food For All London


Although most of our very limited funds comes our Rock and Roll friends, we also receive a steady income from Bhima our action hero.

He is regularly appearing in movies, advertisements, and videos for songs.

Apparently he is over 7 foot, 6 inches in height.

Lives at Krishna’s Castle and distributes 500 Meals daily near University College London.

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This Is the Bhagavata
Giriraj Swami

Today I heard a beautiful talk by Srila Prabhupada, Los Angeles, January 5, 1974, on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.16.8, which says, “Living beings who are under [Yamaraja’s] grip should take advantage by hearing the deathless nectar in the form of this narration of the transcendental pastimes of the Lord.” And Srila Prabhupada glorified Srimad-Bhagavatam and the importance of book distribution:

“This is the Bhagavata. There is no comparison. There is no literature throughout the universe like Srimad-Bhagavatam. There is no comparison. There is no competition. Every word is for the good of the human society—each and every word. Therefore we stress so much on book distribution. Somehow or other, if the book goes in one’s hand, he will be benefited. At least he will think, ‘Oh, they have taken so much price; let me see what is there.’ If he reads one sloka, his life will be successful—if he reads one sloka, one word. It is such a nice thing. Therefore we are stressing so much, ‘Please distribute book, distribute book, distribute book.’ A greater mridanga. We are chanting, playing our mridanga. It is heard within this room or a little more. But this mridanga will go home to home, country to country, community to community—this mridanga.”

Hare Krishna.

Yours in service,
Giriraj Swami

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Sunday, October 6th, 2019
→ The Walking Monk


Dundas, Ontario

Back to the Bruce

Oksana, who grew up in Latvia, joined our small troupe of walkers.  The Bruce Trail, at the nine kilometre stretch we achieved today, brought memories to her of when she was young.  It was the vegetation of maple, oak, beech, spruce and pine, and the shrubs and wild flowers which reminded her of the past.

David, Pariksit and Jay were the other comrades.  ‘Sherman Falls’ was stunning.  One section of the trail veered off putting us in a loop.  Where did that white marker go that clearly demarcates the Bruce Trail?  That lost twenty minutes or so was not something we regretted in the least.  The tree canopies were so rich in colour and smell.  We adored the heights of these, our best friends, the trees.  https://www.instagram.com/p/B3TubzCAqNd/?igshid=1p1fgdhzllmtu

Blue jays, amongst all the birds, seem to dominate the kingdom of creatures in flight.  People, too, we found, were in greater numbers more than on any other length of the Bruce that we have ever experienced.  Was it the temperature of 19 degrees Celsius, the over-castness, the lack of mosquitoes, or it being Sunday that was the big draw?  Or all of the above?

By the time our quota of nine clicks was completed, I realized how fatigued I really was.  I went for a lie down on the grass.  I went to sleep fast for a mere seven minutes.  Thank you Krishna, for that. 

A park personnel in a white truck pulled up.  I was informed by the woman that I was drawing too much attention.  Well, I was a few metres from a rather busy road, Governor's Road.  "You are not allowed to sleep in the park," was her final conclusion.

Oh well, yesterday I ate some pumpkin pie on my birthday.  Today I ate humble pie.

May the Source be with you!
9 km






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Saturday, October 5th, 2019
→ The Walking Monk


Brampton, Ontario

I'm 67

Most people assume that their father and mother are responsible for their birth.  This may be biologically so.  However, one should consider what it means to be truly alive and truly born.  Our tradition in Krishna Consciousness tells us that it is the guru who opens one’s eyes to live a life that is new.

I turned sixty-seven today, and I had a chance to speak to a group of Brampton congregants, students, disciples, and well-wishers about what my guru, Prabhupada, did for me.  I also told of my past recollections of him, although I never personally spoke to him.  I was too shy.  But I did hear from, and sat in on his classes, personally heard him chant, and also watched him looking at a drama presentation in Atlanta, Georgia.

That was the first time I saw him.  He was rather petite, but had a strong message, as always, and delivered it loud and clear.  It was in February of '75.  He told of how he was a follower of Gandhi in his college years, and also how he was skeptical of holy men.  When he first met his guru, Bhaktisidhanta, he was won over by his straightforwardness, his pureness, focus and commitment.

My sister, Connie, called. "Do your people do something for you on your birthday?" And I said, "Yes, of course!"

In any event, the hall at ISKCON Brampton was at full-person capacity.  They said nice things—more than was necessary.  I was flanked by two sizeable birthday cakes.  Mukesh Gelda, who's a year younger, shares the same birthday every year.  It was wonderful!  https://www.instagram.com/p/B3Qnts7gm5d/?igshid=ym97cka1u9kj

May the Source be with you!
3 km

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Friday, October 4th, 2019
→ The Walking Monk







Winnipeg, Manitoba

We Love St. Francis

I guess I made a wrong turn early this morning for that daily stretch.  Nevertheless, I found another forest trail, different from the one anticipated.  And during that walk, thousands of geese heading south flew above me.  I was in awe.  What wonder these creatures are for us!

And I thought of St. Francis of Assisi, who was close to the animals.  He died at the age of forty-four on October the 4th.  Lucky me, I was invited to be the special guest speaker at an interfaith event held at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish on Roblin Blvd.  The event, "Instruments of Peace," by Farida and husband, Noble, welcomed reps from Islam, Judaism, Christianity (of course), First Nations, Buddhism, Bahai, and Hinduism.

The Vice-President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Most Rev. Richard Gagnon Archbishop of Winnipeg, sat right next to me, and we chatted about some meaningful stuff at the end of the prayers, songs and speeches.  Also on board were Rev. Msgr. Maurice Comeault, and Rev. Msgr. Stan Jaworski—altogether a host of spiritualists.

Here is part of the universally popular prayer by St. Francis:

"Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love...."

May the Source be with you!
5 km 


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Thursday, October 3rd, 2019
→ The Walking Monk


Winnipeg, Manitoba

On the Trail of Spirits

Yesterday, I asked a resident, and my host, Amie, how to get to the nearest trail.  We stood in front of her home on this gorgeous clear-sky morning while she gave us directions.  The location is one of those swirly-street neighbourhoods in the suburbs. 

"Turn right, then left, then right..." she said, with a ‘this’ and a ‘that’ added on.  It got complicated.  A crow flew over our heads. 

"How about I follow that crow?"

"Follow the snow," she said half-assertively and half-humorously.

So I followed the crow, and after making two turns the crow was just waiting, like a guide, perched on a street lamp post.  On the second flight, he led me to the trail.  "Caw! Caw!"

Today, in Winnipeg, I found myself at an entrance of the Sentier Bois-des-Esprits, or the trail of the woodland/forest spirits.  This well-worn path is majorly blessed with stones (not asphalt), is off-white in colour, and has many sub-trails adjoined to it, muddy and dark.  Deer are aplenty here, yet it appears that the grey owl dominates.  It can be heard but not seen.  At least a couple of pedestrians and I both stood, looked above to see if we could spot the source of the spooky sound.  "Hoo Hoo Hooooo!"

My trekking today came after much prep-work with Vrnda and Daniel for organizing an upcoming leader's meeting in British Columbia, and it occurred just before night-fall.  The entire day was over-cast except for a mere seven minutes when the sun was just about to set.  It spread this red glow over the tree tops to enhance the moment.  Birches, oaks and other forest beauties had captured a touch of warmth before darkness put them to bed.

May the Source be with you!
5 km

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Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019
→ The Walking Monk


Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

The Mexico-India Link

A second Vivek, who owns and runs Karma Café, took me to a Burrito restaurant in Saskatoon, which is now a commercial chain in the province.  It is a father and son business which arranged to accommodate my vegetarian needs.  During the lunch, I sat and chatted for an hour with this dynamic duo who happen to be Gujaratis from Surat, India.  I was impressed by their efforts to promote the plant-based diet (for the most part).  The ahimsaconcept is very firmly held onto by these gentlemen.


And since it is Gandhi's birthday (and he happened to also be of Gujarati descent), Vivek and I moved on for a great walk along the Saskatchewan River, a peaceful few moments.  We came upon a circular structure, The Reconciliation Circle, in honour of the abused native peoples of the past.  Vivek and I stood under it, and then turned clockwise in a pose of rejoicing to honour a moment of meditative resolve.  Affixed to the sculptor piece are hundreds of chimes, ringing sweet vibes, encouraged by the wind.  We also felt comfort in a decorative pagoda.  https://www.instagram.com/p/B3KKrD2AOYY/?igshid=hhku1scd9rp5

"Peace!" or as the Vedas say, "Shanti!"

A kirtan was held at Vivek Joshi's home. Some local people thrived on the sound, and also delighted in hearing about the less-peaceful story of "The killing of the Aghasura Demon."  Indeed, when Krishna was young, He performed the heroic task of annihilating demonic forces.  We completed our evening sangha with, once again, burritos.  It looks like Gujaratis really like Mexican food.

May the Source be with you!
7 km




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How to stop overthinking – Attribute, Analyze, Anchor, Act
→ The Spiritual Scientist

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Mahabharata controversies – how life was unfair to both Karna and Arjuna
→ The Spiritual Scientist

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Temporary Identity
→ KKSBlog

Our relationship with the material body is a temporary one; it is not part of our true self. The body is simply a temporary identity.

Home program, Cape Town, South Africa, 20 September 2018

You can watch the video below or visit Youtube.

The article " Temporary Identity " was published on KKSBlog.

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Srila Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami
Giriraj Swami

Today is the auspicious disappearance day of three great acharyas in the Gaudiya-Vaishnava sampradaya: Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Srila Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami, and Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami. We shall read about Srila Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami from Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja’s Sri Caitanya-caritamrta.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila, Chapter Thirteen: “Pastimes with Jagadananda Pandita and Raghunatha Bhatta.”

TEXT 89

etha tapana-misra-putra raghunatha-bhattacarya
prabhure dekhite calila chadi’ sarva karya

TRANSLATION

During this time, Raghunatha Bhattacarya, the son of Tapana Misra, gave up all his duties and left home, intending to meet Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

TEXT 90

kasi haite calila tenho gauda-patha diya
sange sevaka cale tanra jhali vahiya

TRANSLATION

Accompanied by a servant carrying his baggage, Raghunatha Bhatta started from Varanasi and traveled along the path leading through Bengal.

TEXT 91

pathe tare milila visvasa-ramadasa
visvasa-khanara kayastha tenho rajara visvasa

TRANSLATION

In Bengal he met Ramadasa Visvasa, who belonged to the kayastha caste. He was one of the king’s secretaries.

PURPORT by Srila Prabhupada

The words visvasa-khanara kayastha indicate a secretary or clerk belonging to the kayastha caste. Kayasthas were usually secretaries to kings, governors, or other important persons. It is said that anyone working in the government secretariat at this time was a kayastha.

TEXT 92

sarva-sastre pravina, kavya-prakasa-adhyapaka
parama-vaisnava, raghunatha-upasaka

TRANSLATION

Ramadasa Visvasa was very learned in all the revealed scriptures. He was a teacher of the famous book Kavya-prakasa and was known as an advanced devotee and worshiper of Raghunatha [Lord Ramacandra].

PURPORT

Commenting on the word parama-vaisnava, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura says that anyone who desires to merge into the existence of the Lord cannot be a pure Vaisnava, but because Ramadasa Visvasa was a great devotee of Lord Ramacandra, he was almost a Vaisnava. In those days, no one could distinguish between a pure Vaisnava and a pseudo Vaisnava. Therefore Ramadasa Visvasa was known as a Vaisnava because he worshiped Lord Ramacandra.

TEXT 93

asta-prahara rama-namajapena ratri-dine
sarva tyaji’ calila jagannatha-darasane

TRANSLATION

Ramadasa had renounced everything and was going to see Lord Jagannatha. While traveling, he chanted the holy name of Lord Rama twenty-four hours a day.

TEXTS 94–102

When he met Raghunatha Bhatta on the way, he took Raghunatha’s baggage on his head and carried it.

Ramadasa served Raghunatha Bhatta in various ways, even massaging his legs. Raghunatha Bhatta felt some hesitation in accepting all this service.

“You are a respectable gentleman, a learned scholar, and a great devotee,” Raghunatha Bhatta said. “Please do not try to serve me. Just come with me in a happy mood.”

Ramadasa replied, “I am a sudra, a fallen soul. To serve a brahmana is my duty and religious principle.

“Therefore please do not be hesitant. I am your servant, and when I serve you my heart becomes jubilant.”

Thus Ramadasa carried the baggage of Raghunatha Bhatta and served him sincerely. He constantly chanted the holy name of Lord Ramacandra day and night.

Traveling in this way, Raghunatha Bhatta soon arrived at Jagannatha Puri. There he met Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu with great delight and fell at His lotus feet.

Raghunatha Bhatta fell straight as a rod at the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Then the Lord embraced him, knowing well who he was.

Raghunatha offered respectful obeisances to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu on behalf of Tapana Misra and Candrasekhara, and the Lord also inquired about them.

TEXT 103

“bhala ha-ila aila, dekha ‘kamala-locana’
aji amara etha kariba prasada bhojana”

TRANSLATION

“It is very good that you have come here,” the Lord said. “Now go see the lotus-eyed Lord Jagannatha. Today you will accept prasada here at My place.”

TEXTS 104–111

The Lord asked Govinda to arrange for Raghunatha Bhatta’s accommodations and then introduced him to all the devotees, headed by Svarupa Damodara Gosvami.

Thus Raghunatha Bhatta lived with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu continuously for eight months, and by the Lord’s mercy he felt increased transcendental happiness every day.

He would periodically cook rice with various vegetables and invite Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to his home.

Raghunatha Bhatta was an expert cook. Whatever he prepared tasted just like nectar.

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu would accept with great satisfaction all the food he prepared. After the Lord was satisfied, Raghunatha Bhatta would eat His remnants.

When Ramadasa Visvasa met Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Lord did not show him any special mercy, although this was their first meeting.

Within his heart, Ramadasa Visvasa was an impersonalist who desired to merge into the existence of the Lord, and he was very proud of his learning. Since Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the omniscient Supreme Personality of Godhead, He can understand the heart of everyone, and thus He knew all these things.

Ramadasa Visvasa then took up residence in Jagannatha Puri and taught the Kavya-prakasa to the Pattanayaka family [the descendants of Bhavananda Raya].

TEXT 112

asta-masa rahi’ prabhu bhatte vidaya dila
“vivaha na kariha” bali’ nisedha karila

TRANSLATION

After eight months, when Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu bade farewell to Raghunatha Bhatta, the Lord flatly forbade him to marry. “Do not marry,” the Lord said.

PURPORT

Raghunatha Bhattacarya had become a greatly advanced devotee while still unmarried. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu could see this, and therefore He advised him not to begin the process of material sense gratification. Marriage is a concession for people who are unable to control their senses. Raghunatha, however, being an advanced devotee of Krsna, naturally had no desire for sense gratification. Therefore Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu advised him not to enter the bondage of marriage. Generally a person cannot make much advancement in spiritual consciousness if he is married. He becomes attached to his family and is prone to sense gratification. Thus his spiritual advancement is very slow or almost nil.

COMMENT by Giriraj Swami

I once had the good fortune to receive a similar instruction from Srila Prabhupada. We were in Gorakhpur, and Prabhupada had received the latest issue of Back to Godhead, with an article I had written in Boston before I went to India—“The Genuine Spiritual Master.” He was pleased with the article and asked to see me. I was still quite young in Krishna consciousness, and Srila Prabhupada didn’t generally call for me. He said, “I have read your article, and it was very nice. You should write.” And he invited me to travel with him so he could train me how to write. Then he asked, “Do you ever think of getting married?” I said no. “Better to remain brahmachari,” he said, “and after some time I will give you sannyasa.” He said that the demands of the senses are like itches and that if you scratch the itches, the itching will get worse. It is better to tolerate the itches, and if you tolerate, gradually the itching will subside. The demands for eating and sleeping too—all of them—if we indulge them they become aggravated. But if we tolerate them, they gradually subside.

TEXT 113

“vrddha mata-pitara yai’ karaha sevana
vaisnava-pasa bhagavata kara adhyayana”

TRANSLATION

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said to Raghunatha Bhatta, “When you return home, serve your aged father and mother, who are devotees, and try to study Srimad-Bhagavatam from a pure Vaisnava who has realized God.”

PURPORT

One should note how Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, advised Raghunatha Bhattacarya to learn Srimad-Bhagavatam. He advised him to understand Srimad-Bhagavatam not from professional men but from a real bhagavata, a devotee. He also advised Raghunatha Bhatta to serve his mother and father because they were both Lord Caitanya’s devotees. Anyone who wishes to advance in Krsna consciousness must try to serve the devotees of Krsna. As Narottama dasa Thakura says, chadiya vaisnava-seva nistara peyeche keba: “Without serving a self-realized Vaisnava, no one has ever been released from the materialistic way of life.” Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu would have never advised Raghunatha Bhatta to serve ordinary parents, but since his parents were Vaisnavas, the Lord advised him to serve them.

One might ask, “Why shouldn’t ordinary parents be served?” As stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam (5.5.18):

gurur na sa syat sva-jano na sa syat
pita na sa syaj janani na sa syat
daivam na tat syat na patis ca sa syan
na mocayed yah samupeta-mrtyum

“One who cannot deliver his dependents from the path of birth and death should never become a spiritual master, a relative, a father or mother, or a worshipable demigod, nor should such a person become a husband.” Everyone naturally gets a father and mother at the time of birth, but the real father and mother are those who can release their offspring from the clutches of imminent death. This is possible only for parents advanced in Krsna consciousness. Therefore any parents who cannot enlighten their offspring in Krsna consciousness cannot be accepted as a real father and mother. The following verse from the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.2.200) confirms the uselessness of serving ordinary parents:

laukiki vaidiki vapi ya kriya kriyate mune
hari-sevanukulaiva sakarya bhaktim icchata

“One should perform only those activities—either worldly or prescribed by Vedic rules and regulations—which are favorable for the cultivation of Krsna consciousness.”

Concerning the study of Srimad-Bhagavatam, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu clearly advises that one avoid hearing from a non-Vaisnava professional reciter. In this connection Sanatana Gosvami quotes a verse from the Padma Purana:

avaisnava-mukhodgirnam
putam hari-kathamrtam
sravanam naiva kartavyam
sarpocchistam yatha payah

“No one should hear or take lessons from a person who is not a Vaisnava. Even if he speaks about Krsna, such a lesson should not be accepted, for it is like milk touched by the lips of a serpent.” Nowadays it is fashionable to observe Bhagavata-saptaha and hear Srimad-Bhagavatam from persons who are anything but advanced devotees or self-realized souls. There are even many Mayavadis who read Srimad-Bhagavatam to throngs of people. Many Mayavadis have recently begun reciting Srimad-Bhagavatam in Vrndavana, and because they can present the Bhagavatam with word jugglery, twisting the meaning by grammatical tricks, materialistic persons who go to Vrndavana as a matter of spiritual fashion like to hear them. All this is clearly forbidden by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. We should note carefully that since these Mayavadis cannot personally know the meaning of Srimad-Bhagavatam, they can never deliver others by reciting it. On the other hand, an advanced devotee of the Lord is free from material bondage. He personifies Srimad-Bhagavatam in life and action. Therefore we advise that anyone who wants to learn Srimad-Bhagavatam must approach such a realized soul.

COMMENT

Here Lord Chaitanya gave two instructions to Raghunatha Bhattacarya. First He instructed him to go back and serve his parents, because they were Vaishnavas. Serving Vaishnavas is most important for spiritual advancement. Srila Prabhupada remarks that Lord Chaitanya would have never advised Raghunatha Bhatta to return home to serve ordinary parents, and thus Srila Prabhupada quoted the verse gurur na sa syat sva-jano na sa syat.

One time, in Bombay, after he had finally acquired Hare Krishna Land in Juhu, Srila Prabhupada, sitting in his room in a thatched hut nearby with Mahamsa Prabhu and me, quoted the same Bhagavatam verse: “No one should become a spiritual master, no one should become a relative, no one should become a father, no one should become a mother, and no one should become a husband unless he can deliver his or her dependents from repeated birth and death.” And he gave some examples. He said that if the father is attacked, the duty of the son is to defend him, but that when Lord Nrsimhadeva attacked Hiranyakasipu, Prahlada made no effort to defend him. Rather, he glorified the attacker. But Prahlada was not at fault, because his father was not a real father—he was not helping him become liberated from the repetition of birth and death. Similarly, it is the duty of the son to obey the mother, but when Kaikeyi told Bharata to sit on the throne, he disobeyed. And he was not at fault, because Kaikeyi was not a real mother, because she was not helping him to become liberated from the repetition of birth and death and to engage in devotional service. Similarly, it is the duty of the wife to obey the husband, but when the Vedic brahmans told their wives not to go to Krishna and Balarama in the forest, their wives disobeyed. And they were not at fault, because their husbands were not real husbands, because they were not helping them become Krishna conscious. Similarly, it is the duty of the disciple to obey the spiritual master, but when Sukracarya ordered Bali Maharaja not to surrender everything to Lord Vishnu and not to keep his promise to Vishnu, Bali Maharaja disobeyed him. And Bali Maharaja was not at fault, because his spiritual master was not a real spiritual master. Then Srila Prabhupada told us, “You have left your mothers and fathers, but they are not real mothers and fathers. So you have done the right thing.”

Still, we offer respect to relatives. And, of course, for the service of guru and Krishna, a devotee may also serve relatives. In any case, the presence of a pure devotee in a family liberates the entire family.

Regarding the second instruction, Lord Chaitanya told Raghunatha Bhatta to hear and learn Srimad-Bhagavatam from a devotee. Svarupa Damodara Gosvami gave a similar instruction, that one should learn the book Bhagavata from the person Bhagavata.

In 1970, when the first groups of Western devotees went to India, Srila Prabhupada instructed Gurudas Prabhu to go to his quarters at Radha-Damodara, go through all his old papers, and keep only the ones that were appropriate; the ones that were not appropriate—those that pertained to his householder life—should be destroyed. Gurudas invited me to accompany him, and when we went through Srila Prabhupada’s old papers, we found so many letters that he had written. One was to a man who had organized Bhagavata Week in Bombay and had invited Srila Prabhupada to attend. Prabhupada had written back that the Bhagavata should be heard from liberated souls who are free from pretentious religiosity, and not from Mayavadis, who have no access to the “great scripture” and who mislead the innocent public. He had informed the organizer, “Therefore I have not only refrained from attending the function myself but have advised many others not to attend as well.” Srila Prabhupada was so bold and forthright and fearless: abhaya.

TEXT 114

“punarapi eka-bara asiha nilacale”
eta bali’ kantha-mala dila tanra gale

TRANSLATION

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu concluded, “Come again to Nilacala [Jagannatha Puri].” After saying this, the Lord put His own neck beads on Raghunatha Bhatta’s neck.

TEXTS 115–119

Then the Lord embraced him and bade him farewell. Overwhelmed with ecstatic love, Raghunatha Bhatta began to cry due to imminent separation from Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

After taking permission from Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and all the devotees, headed by Svarupa Damodara, Raghunatha Bhatta returned to Varanasi.

In accordance with the instructions of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he continuously rendered service to his mother and father for four years. He also regularly studied Srimad-Bhagavatam from a self-realized Vaisnava.

Then his parents died at Kasi [Varanasi], and he became detached. He therefore returned to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, giving up all relationships with his home.

As previously, Raghunatha remained continuously with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu for eight months. Then the Lord gave him the following order.

TEXT 120

“amara ajnaya, raghunatha, yaha vrndavane
tahan yanaraha rupa-sanatana-sthane

TRANSLATION

“My dear Raghunatha, on My order go to Vrndavana and live there under the care of Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis.

TEXT 121

“bhagavata pada, sada laha krsna-nama
acire karibena krpa Krsna bhagavan”

TRANSLATION

“In Vrndavana you should chant the Hare Krsna mantra twenty-four hours a day and read Srimad-Bhagavatam continuously. Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, will very soon bestow His mercy upon you.”

TEXT 122

eta bali’ prabhu tanre alingana kaila
prabhura krpate krsna-preme matta haila

TRANSLATION

After saying this, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu embraced Raghunatha Bhatta, and by the Lord’s mercy Raghunatha was enlivened with ecstatic love for Krsna.

TEXTS 123–125

At a festival Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu had been given some unspiced betel and a garland of tulasi leaves fourteen cubits long. The garland had been worn by Lord Jagannatha.

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu gave the garland and betel to Raghunatha Bhatta, who accepted them as a worshipable Deity and preserved them very carefully.

Taking permission from Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Raghunatha Bhatta then departed for Vrndavana. When he arrived there, he put himself under the care of Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis.

TEXT 126

rupa-gosanira sabha ya karena bhagavata-pathana
bhagavata padite preme aulaya tanra mana

TRANSLATION

When reciting Srimad-Bhagavatam in the company of Rupa and Sanatana, Raghunatha Bhatta would be overwhelmed with ecstatic love for Krsna.

TEXT 127

asru, kampa, gadgada prabhura krpate
netra kantha rodhe baspa, na pare padite

TRANSLATION

By the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he experienced symptoms of ecstatic love—tears, trembling, and faltering of the voice. His eyes filled with tears, his throat became choked, and thus he could not recite Srimad-Bhagavatam.

TEXTS 128–130

His voice was as sweet as a cuckoo’s, and he would recite each verse of Srimad-Bhagavatam in three or four tunes. Thus his recitations were very sweet to hear.

When he recited or heard about the beauty and sweetness of Krsna, he would be overwhelmed with ecstatic love and become oblivious to everything.

Thus Raghunatha Bhatta surrendered fully at the lotus feet of Lord Govinda, and those lotus feet became his life and soul.

COMMENT

Actually, Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami arranged for the construction of the Radha-Govinda temple in Vrindavan, which was the most beautiful and famous of all the temples in Vrindavan. So he may also give us some mercy to build a temple here.

TEXT 131

nija sisye kahi’ govindera mandira karaila
vamsi, makara kundaladi ‘bhusana’ kari’ dila

TRANSLATION

Subsequently Raghunatha Bhatta ordered his disciples to construct a temple for Govinda. He prepared various ornaments for Govinda, including a flute and shark-shaped earrings.

TEXT 132

gramya-varta na sune, na kahe jihvaya
krsna-katha-pujadite asta-prahara yaya

TRANSLATION

Raghunatha Bhatta would neither hear nor speak about anything of the material world. He would simply discuss Krsna and worship the Lord day and night.

TEXT 133

vaisnavera nindya-karma nahi pade kane
sabe krsna bhajana kare,—ei-matra jane

TRANSLATION

He would not listen to blasphemy of a Vaisnava, nor would he listen to talk of a Vaisnava’s misbehavior. He knew only that everyone was engaged in Krsna’s service; he did not understand anything else.

PURPORT

Raghunatha Bhatta never did anything harmful to a Vaisnava. In other words, he was never inattentive in the service of the Lord, nor did he ever violate the rules and regulations of a pure Vaisnava. It is the duty of a Vaisnava acarya to prevent his disciples and followers from violating the principles of Vaisnava behavior. He should always advise them to strictly follow the regulative principles, which will protect them from falling down. Although a Vaisnava preacher may sometimes criticize others, Raghunatha Bhatta avoided this. Even if another Vaisnava was actually at fault, Raghunatha Bhatta would not criticize him; he saw only that everyone was engaged in Krsna’s service. That is the position of a maha-bhagavata. Actually, even if one is serving maya, in a higher sense he is also a servant of Krsna. Because maya is the servant of Krsna, anyone serving maya serves Krsna indirectly. Therefore it is said:

keha mane, kehana mane, sabatanra dasa
ye na mane, tarahaya sei papenasa

“Some accept Him, whereas others do not, yet everyone is His servant. One who does not accept Him, however, will be ruined by his sinful activities.” (Cc Adi 6.85)

COMMENT

Srila Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami “would not listen to blasphemy of a Vaisnava, nor would he listen to talk of a Vaisnava’s misbehavior. He knew only that everyone was engaged in Krsna’s service.” Yet in the purport, Srila Prabhupada comments that the Vaishnava acharya has to train his disciples according to the regulative principles and that if he sees that they are violating principles of Vaishnava behavior, he has to correct them. Even if the spiritual master is a maha-bhagavata, when he acts as spiritual master and takes the responsibility to train disciples, he must discriminate between proper and improper behavior. And if the disciples are behaving improperly, he must point out the defects and correct them.

When Srila Prabhupada first met his guru maharaja, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, he thought that Srila Bhaktisiddhanta was simply criticizing—criticizing the fruitive workers, criticizing the mental speculators, criticizing the impersonalists. But Prabhupada remarked that later he realized that what his guru maharaja had been saying was actually correct. Sadhu also means “to cut.” The sadhu must cut people’s false attachments, and therefore he may have to criticize—not out of envy or malice, as we may criticize, but only for the sake of cutting people’s false attachments and bringing them to the proper standards of devotional service.

Once, in Indore, Srila Prabhupada was strongly criticizing some popular religious figures. One of the gentlemen in the room became very upset and said, “You should not criticize. You should see everyone equally, as atma, and you should not criticize.” Srila Prabhupada replied, “That is a very high stage, sama-darsinah.” A maha-bhagavata doesn’t criticize anyone, because he sees everyone is already serving Krishna. Then Prabhupada discussed the verse (Gita 5.18) panditah sama-darsinah:

vidya-vinaya-sampanne
brahmane gavi hastini
suni caiva sva-pake ca
panditah sama-darsinah

“The humble sages, by virtue of true knowledge, see with equal vision a learned and gentle brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog, and a dog-eater.”

Prabhupada said that a learned brahman is supposed to be virtuous and that a dog is supposed to be sinful. So to see a brahman and a dog equally means that one doesn’t distinguish between pious and sinful activities; one sees that everyone is serving Krishna. “But,” Srila Prabhupada said, “I am not on that stage. I say that because you don’t surrender to Krishna, you are sinful.”

So even the uttama Vaishnava, when he preaches, has to act as a madhyama Vaishnava and point out faults and correct them. But if one is not in a position to actually instruct others for their benefit, he should act like Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami. He should avoid material talks in general and blasphemy of Vaishnavas in particular, and he should remain absorbed in his service to Krishna.

The Bhagavad-gita (17.15) confirms,

anudvega-karam vakyam
satyam priya-hitam ca yat
svadhyayabhyasanam caiva
van-mayam tapa ucyate

“Austerity of speech consists in speaking words that are truthful, pleasing, beneficial, and not agitating to others, and also in regularly reciting Vedic literature.”

And Srila Prabhupada explains in the purport, “One should not speak in such a way as to agitate the minds of others. Of course, when a teacher speaks, he can speak the truth for the instruction of his students, but such a teacher should not speak to those who are not his students if he will agitate their minds. This is penance as far as talking is concerned. Besides that, one should not talk nonsense. The process of speaking in spiritual circles is to say something upheld by the scriptures. One should at once quote from scriptural authority to back up what he is saying. At the same time, such talk should be very pleasurable to the ear. By such discussions, one may derive the highest benefit and elevate human society. There is a limitless stock of Vedic literature, and one should study this. This is called penance of speech.”

One of the divine qualities mentioned in the Bhagavad-gita (16.1–3) is apaisunam, “aversion to faultfinding.” There Srila Prabhupada comments, “Apaisunam means that one should not find fault with others or correct them unnecessarily. Of course to call a thief a thief is not faultfinding, but to call an honest person a thief is very much offensive for one who is making advancement in spiritual life.”

TEXT 134

mahaprabhura datta mala mananera kale
prasada-kadara saha bandhi lena gale

TRANSLATION

When Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami was absorbed in remembrance of Lord Krsna, he would take the tulasi garland and the prasada of Lord Jagannatha given to him by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, bind them together, and wear them on his neck.

TEXT 135

mahaprabhura krpaya krsna-prema anargala
eita’ kahilun tate caitanya-krpa-phala

TRANSLATION

Thus I have described the powerful mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, by which Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami remained constantly overwhelmed with ecstatic love for Krsna.

TEXTS 136–137

TRANSLATION

In this chapter I have spoken about . . . how Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami achieved ecstatic love of Krsna by the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

TEXT 138

ye ei-sakala katha sune sraddha kari’
tanre krsna-prema-dhana dena gaurahari

TRANSLATION

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu [Gaurahari] bestows ecstatic love for Krsna upon anyone who hears these topics with faith and love.

TEXT 139

sri-rupa-raghunatha-pade yara asa
caitanya-caritamrta kahe krsnadasa

TRANSLATION

Praying at the lotus feet of Sri Rupa and Sri Raghunatha, always desiring their mercy, I, Krsnadasa, narrate Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, following in their footsteps.

Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports to Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila, Thirteenth Chapter, describing . . . Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami’s achieving love of Krsna.

Giriraj Swami: Are there any questions or comments?

Devotee: In this country there are Bhagavata kathas, and sometimes people invite us to do a katha also. Should we accept the invitation to go and chant or speak?

Giriraj Swami: We should be careful, because we are quite well established in Mauritius now. We should rather hold our own programs and invite people to our programs. When Srila Prabhupada first returned to India, he accepted invitations to the Vedanta Sammelan in Amritsar and the Gita Jayanti Mahotsava in Indore because people did not know us. And by attending such programs, people came to know us. But as soon as we became established, Prabhupada stopped accepting such invitations. In fact, when I went to Madras, one Mr. Ratnam Iyer had his own organization, called Astika Samaj, and he offered to take full responsibility to arrange Srila Prabhupada’s program in Madras; but in the end, he didn’t really help, because ultimately he was a Mayavadi. He didn’t actually like us. When I informed Srila Prabhupada in a letter, Prabhupada wrote back that it is never good to have to depend on others for our preaching: “I am not surprised that Mr. Ratnam Iyer has decided to cancel the program you were planning. I was not eager to accept his proposal in the beginning, because it has been our experience that it is never good to have to depend upon others for our preaching.” We should make our own arrangements.

People sometimes invite us just to decorate their program, to attract people, and to get our stamp of approval—they try to use us for their own purposes. But we may not actually approve of their program, so we must be careful. Once, Guru-Gauranga Prabhu, Srila Prabhupada’s disciple who was based in Switzerland, arranged for His Divine Grace to meet the head of the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) in Geneva. Srila Prabhupada was so intelligent and perceptive that when he agreed to meet the person he said that no photos should be allowed. And he explained to us that the W.H.O. was trying to introduce birth control in Third World countries and considered India to be difficult because people in India understood contraceptive methods and abortion to be sinful. “So they will want to take my photo and use it to make propaganda that I approve of the World Health Organization’s program.” And that is actually what happened: at the end of the meeting, they wanted to have their photos taken with Srila Prabhupada. Because we are authorized, people want to use us to gain credibility for their programs. But we may not actually approve of their programs. So we should be careful how we associate with them and how we are perceived to be associated with them.

Krsnacandra dasa: Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gave different instructions to Raghunatha Bhatta at different times. First He instructed him to serve his devotee parents and to study Srimad-Bhagavatam from a realized devotee, and then He told him to go to Vrindavan and chant Hare Krishna and take shelter of Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami. The spiritual master gives instructions to his disciples according to time, place, and circumstances, and so the spiritual master may change his instruction.

Giriraj Swami: Yes, that is true. Once, on a morning walk on Juhu Beach, Srila Prabhupada was discussing surrender, and he was pointing out various defects in supposed surrender. One defect is that the disciple will receive an instruction from the spiritual master, and later, when the spiritual master gives a different instruction, the disciple will object: “But previously you told me such-and-such.” Srila Prabhupada said that surrender means you accept the latest instruction, the immediate instruction. Once, when he gave an instruction to a disciple and then later gave him a different instruction, the disciple said, “Srila Prabhupada, previously you told me that, and now you are telling me this.” And Srila Prabhupada replied, “If you accepted my authority then, why don’t you accept it now?” So we have to be careful not to pick and choose what instruction we like and what instruction we don’t like.

Mukta-purusa dasa: Lord Chaitanya advised that one hear Srimad-Bhagavatam from a realized soul. But how can ordinary people know who is a realized soul? Sometimes professional reciters speak very ornamentally, and they are very attractive to ordinary people.

Giriraj Swami: First we must know the constitutional position of the living entity. Jivera ‘svarupa’ haya—krsnera ‘nitya-dasa’: the living entity’s constitutional position is to be an eternal servant of Krishna. One who is acting as an eternal servant of Krishna—in other words, one who is a devotee—is self-realized. He has realized that he is the eternal servant of Krishna.

How can ordinary people know who is self-realized? They have to be educated. Either in person or from books, they have to hear from devotees to be educated in the science of self-realization. Someone who is choosing where to study, in which university, will make inquiries, and only after careful consideration will he or she decide which university to attend. He or she will inquire: What is the reputation of the school? Who are the professors? What are the results of the graduates? And that’s just for a few years of academic education. So if we take so much care to decide where to go for a few years of academic education, how much more care we should take to decide where we go for spiritual education, which will guide us in our eternal spiritual life. We have to inquire and learn.

But many people are not actually serious or sincere; they just want to make a show that they are very pious, very religious. And they may want to be entertained. But if someone is sincere and serious, he or she will try to understand the science of spiritual life from devotees. And ultimately one will come to the conclusion that one must learn from devotees.

We take knowledge from Krishna and Krishna’s representatives, and because we take knowledge from Krishna we know that the knowledge is perfect and we don’t need to go to anyone else for knowledge. In one talk, Srila Prabhupada related how one disciple, Acyutananda Prabhu, went to distribute books at the ashram of a well-known Mayavadi sannyasi who gave Bhagavata-saptahas, and when one of the sannyasi’s disciples canvassed him, “Why don’t you ask some question to Swamiji?” Acyutananda replied, “No. I have nothing to question from your Swamiji.” Prabhupada continued, “So, actually bring any so-called yogi, swami, or incarnation and our student will challenge him: he does not know anything. We have got such a nice book of knowledge, Bhagavad-gita.” Srila Prabhupada was very happy, very proud. Because we are getting knowledge from Krishna and Krishna’s representatives in disciplic succession, we don’t have anything to learn from anyone else.

Devotee: What happens to the relationship between spiritual master and disciple after death?

Giriraj Swami: In principle, the relationship between the spiritual master and the disciple is eternal. If the disciple is not completely successful in his or her attempt to go back to Godhead at the end of this life, he or she gets the chance to continue the process of devotional service in the next life and to follow the same instructions that he or she received from the spiritual master in this life. So service to the spiritual master is eternal. And the spiritual master will arrange to guide the sincere disciple until he or she is completely successful and goes back home, back to Godhead.

Sri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami ki jaya!
Sri Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami ki jaya!
Sri Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami ki jaya!

[A talk by Giriraj Swami on Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami’s Disappearance Day, October 23, 1996, Hare Krishna Land, Phoenix, Mauritius]

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A lot to learn from Chicken Little
→ Jayadvaita Swami

In an old fable, Chicken Little (in Britain, we hear, it’s Henny Penny) gets hit on the head by a leaf or an acorn and panics, thinking the sky is falling.

Here, for the internet age, is a slightly updated retelling I find amusing and instructive: The Story of Chicken Little.

In 1943, during World War II, Walt Disney Productions made an animated version of the tale, at the request of the United States government, with the aim of counteracting Nazi propaganda tactics.

To say nothing about ordinary folks, by false propaganda even sincere people dedicated to following a spiritual path may sometimes get tricked into thinking the sky is falling.

In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is said that one can learn from the python and the bumblebee. Similarly, there’s a lot we can learn from Chicken Little.

The post A lot to learn from Chicken Little appeared first on Jayadvaita Swami.

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Sri Ramachandra Vijayotsava!
→ Mayapur.com

Today is Ramchandra Vijayotsava. In Mayapur, the festival is celebrated with procession of Sri Rama, Lakshman , Sita and Hanuman with kirtan around the campus. Devotees also visit the Sripat of Sri Murari Gupta, located just behind the birthplace of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to take darshan of Sri Ramachandra. Below is the message on Ramchandra […]

The post Sri Ramachandra Vijayotsava! appeared first on Mayapur.com.

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Kartik Month of Prayer and Giving
- TOVP.org

Kartik, or the month of Damodar, is considered the best of months and is most auspicious for spiritual advancement. In the Skanda Purana it is stated:

“As Satya-yuga is the best of yugas, as the Vedas are the best of scriptures, as Ganga is the best of rivers, so Kartik is the best of months, the most dear to Lord Sri Krishna.”

Also in the Skanda Purana it is stated:

“A person who offers a ghee lamp to Lord Krishna during Kartik burns away a collection of sins as big as Mt. Meru or Mt. Mandara, will not take birth again in this world and attains to the eternal spiritual realm where there is no suffering. Even if there are no mantras, no piety, and no purity, everything becomes perfect by such an offering.”

The Padma Purana describes the month of Kartik as Krishna’s favorite month. Devotional activities performed during this holy month are rewarded with greater spiritual results than usual so devotees often take vows to increase their spiritual practices or to simplify their material needs for the entire month. It is a way that they can remember Krishna more and increase their service to Him.

This Kartik we ask all ISKCON devotees and well-wishers to make a special effort to pray to Lord Damodar for His mercy and blessings to complete the TOVP by our anticipated goal of 2022 with this prayer composed by Kalakantha das (ACBSP):

Oh Radha Madhav, Asta-sakhis, Sri Mahaprabhu,
Oh Panca-tattva, great acharyas! If it pleases You,
Build Your temple, born of Srila Prabhupada’s heart.
Oh Lord Nrsimhadev, please help me. Let me do my part.

During this month we also ask all devotees to increase their giving spirit along the lines of the above prayer to ensure on a practical level that the completion of the TOVP is achieved unhindered and without any obstacles. If you have not given yet, please take advantage of this auspicious time to do so. Please give again if you already have or upgrade your completed pledge to a higher level. Restart your pledge if you’ve stopped for some reason, or start your pledge if you haven’t yet begun. Or make an extra-large pledge payment using the General Donation option or even complete your pledge if possible. No time is better than now to do the above.

Go here ​to make your donation today.

 

TOVP NEWS AND UPDATES – STAY IN TOUCH

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Support us at: https://tovp.org/donate/seva-opportunities/

The post Kartik Month of Prayer and Giving appeared first on Temple of the Vedic Planetarium.

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Sri Rama’s Victory, October 6, Dallas
Giriraj Swami

Giriraj Swami read and spoke from Srimad-Bhagavatam 9.10.20.

HH Giriraj Swami – ?B 9.10.20 / Sunday Krsna Fest

HH Giriraj Swami – ?B 9.10.20 / Sunday Krsna Fest

Posted by Radha Kalachandji Temple in Dallas on Sunday, October 6, 2019

Audio
Rama-vijaya-dasami Talk (Right click to download)

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ISKCON Devotee Nominated Co-Chair of UN Multifaith Advisory Council
→ ISKCON News

Gopal Lila Das (Gopal Patel) is Director of the Bhumi Project, an environmental effort of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies. He also co-leads The Sacred Ecology Forum at the Bhakti Center in New York City, and is an advisor to the Climate Action Task Force at the Parliament of the World’s Religions.

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A Good Call
→ ISKCON News

I want to help.  Still, I know my limitations when it comes to rescuing people. So I tell them the only thing I know to be true.

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“This Is My Request” – An Offering to Srila Prabhupada
→ ISKCON News

This is a small offering made by ISKCON Pune Devotees to His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

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Devotees Inaugurate West Bengal Festivities
→ ISKCON News

“Beating the normal trend we are thrilled to be invited to inaugurate the Durga Puja festival. It gave us a good platform to highlight the relationship of goddess Durga with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Our mission is to worship and spread the message of Bhagwan Sri Krishna, however, as per Gaudiya Vaishnava philosophy, Ma Durga is revered as a demigod and the external energy of Lord Sri Krishna by the devotees," said Subroto Das, Media Spokesperson of ISKCON Mayapur.

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Connecting the Community: The Launching of the ISKCON Chile Newsletter
→ ISKCON News

The Newsletter is sent by mail every Ekadasi (every 15 days), informing about upcoming classes, programs, seminars and outstanding visits. In addition, several of the newsletters include a note thanking a member of the community for their service.

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Prabhupada’s Palace Added to National Register of Historic Places
→ ISKCON News

“For the past number of years, we’ve been trying to get the Palace a status as a historic building in West Virginia,” said Palace Reunion Festival organizer Sukhavaha Dasi, to cheers from the crowd. “It’s a federal thing, not just a state thing, backing that this is a historic building!”

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Paramahamster: Uncoupling Part 2
→ ISKCON News

Our "Paramahamster" comic strip follows an enthusiastic devotee as he navigates a 9 - 5 work day in the corporate world. Please check back weekly for new episodes!

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40th Anniversary of Prabhupada’s Palace Brings Memories, Connection and Healing
→ ISKCON News

Srila Prabhupada’s Palace is one of ISKCON’s most impressive achievements. Built by young, inexperienced devotees who trained themselves in construction and artisanal skills, it began in 1973 as a simple residence for Prabhupada.

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Srila Madhvacharya Appearance
→ Ramai Swami

Madhvacharya was a great religious reformer and an orthodox commentator on the Brahma Sutras and the ten Upanishads. He was born in 1199 A.D. at Velali, a few miles from Udipi in the district of South Kanara in South India.

He was a Tulu Brahmin by birth. He was born of Madhya Geha and Vedavati. Vedavati was a virtuous woman. Madhva is regarded as an incarnation of Vayu, the Wind-God. The father gave him the name Vasudeva.

Madhva distinguished himself in physical exercises and field games. He had a wonderful physique. He could wrestle, run, jump and swim. So people gave him the nickname Bhima. Madhva took to the study of the Vedas and the Vedangas and became well-versed in them.

He took Sannyasa in his twenty-fifth year. Achyutaprakashacharya initiated him. Madhva was now known by the name Purna Prajna. Achyutaprakashacharya found that Madhva was a brilliant Sannyasin with efficient knowledge in Vedanta and other scriptures. He put Madhva as head of the Mutt in his place. Madhva received the name of Ananda Tirtha now.

Madhva had superhuman powers. He performed many miracles. He saved a boat which was caught in a storm. A boat which contained an image of Lord Krishna capsized. Madhva brought back the image from the ocean.

During his tour, king Ishvara Deva in Maharashtra asked Madhva to work in building a dam. Madhva noticed that he had been unconsciously working for the king the whole day. Once he stilled the waves of the ocean when he went to take bath.

He went on an extensive tour in Southern and Northern India to preach his gospel of Bhakti. He made several converts. He went to Badrinarayan, and soon after his return, he wrote his commentary on the Bhagavad Gita and the Vedanta Sutras. He built several temples at Udipi, the principal centre of the Madhva sect. Most of the orthodox Madhvas try to go to Udipi at least once in their life.

Madhvacharya is the great exponent of the Dvaita school of philosophy. His Vaishnavism is called Sad-Vaishnavism in order to distinguish it from the Sri-Vaishnavism of Ramanujacharya. According to his philosophy, the Supreme Being is Vishnu or Narayana

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