B H A K T I (Devotional Service). part 7.


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kṛṣṇa-bhakti — abhidheya, sarva-śāstre kaya
ataeva muni-gaṇa kariyāche niścaya

A human being’s activities should be centered only on devotional service to Lord Kṛṣṇa. That is the verdict of all Vedic literatures, and all saintly people have firmly concluded this. (CC-2:22:5).
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B H A K T I (Devtional Service). part 5.


The attitude of the disciple should be to satisfy the bona fide spiritual master.
Then it will be very easy for him to understand spiritual knowledge.
This is confirmed in the Vedas, and Rūpa Gosvāmī will further explain
that for a person who has unflinching faith in God and the spiritual master,
everything becomes revealed very easily. (The Nectar of Devotion). More

B H A K T I (Devtional Service). part 4.


Śuddha-bhakti, the activity of the soul proper, in other words, engagement in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, is performed in a liberated condition.
(The Nectar of Instruction). More

B H A K T I (Devotional Service). part 3.


“atyāhāraḥ prayāsaś ca
prajalpo niyamāgrahaḥ
jana-sańgaś ca laulyaḿ ca
ṣaḍbhir bhaktir vinaśyati”

One’s devotional service is spoiled when one becomes too entangled in the following six activities:
(1) eating more than necessary or collecting more funds than required;
(2) overendeavoring for mundane things that are very difficult to obtain;
(3) talking unnecessarily about mundane subject matters;
(4) Practicing the scriptural rules and regulations only for the sake of following them
and not for the sake of spiritual advancement,
or rejecting the rules and regulations of the scriptures
and working independently or whimsically;
(5) associating with worldly-minded persons
who are not interested in Kṛṣṇa consciousness; and
(6) being greedy for mundane achievements.
(The Nectar of Instruction). More

B H A K T I (Devotional Service). part 1.


There are six characteristics of pure devotional service, which are as follows:

(1) Pure devotional service brings immediate relief from all kinds of material distress.
(2) Pure devotional service is the beginning of all auspiciousness.
(3) Pure devotional service automatically puts one in transcendental pleasure.
(4) Pure devotional service is rarely achieved.
(5) Those in pure devotional service deride even the conception of liberation.
(6) Pure devotional service is the only means to attract Kṛṣṇa.
(The Nectar of Devotion). More

The Importance of Congregational Chanting


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In this age, the congregational chanting of the holy names of the Lord is the prescribed method for waking up. The ways and means are most scientifically presented by Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and intelligent persons may take advantage of His teachings in order to bring about real peace and prosperity.
(Srimad Bhagavatam–1:1:4–purport). More

The Importance Of Chanting 16 Rounds Of The Hare Krishna Mantra‏


As far as our ISKCON movement is concerned, we simply ask that one observe the four prohibitive rules, chant sixteen rounds and, instead of indulging in luxurious eating for the tongue, simply accept prasāda offered to the Lord. This does not mean that with our fasting the Lord should also fast. The Lord should be given foodstuff which is as nice as possible. But we should not make it a point to satisfy our own tongues. As far as possible we should accept simple foodstuff, just to keep the body and soul together to execute devotional service.
(Srimad Bhagavatam–4:8:72–purport). More

Chanting The Holy Name Of Lord Krishna – Part 10


The Meaning Of The Hare Krishna Mahamantra

BY Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura.

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HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE
HARE RAMA HARE RAMA RAMA RAMA HARE HARE.

Chanting the Hare Krishna mantra will give one full benefit if one knows and understands the meanings. The meanings of the Hare Krishna mantra varies according to the different levels of spiritual consciousness. More

Chanting The Holy Name Of Lord Krishna – Part 7


It is stated in Srila Rupa Goswami`s Krsna Namastakam, ” O holy name, the tips
of the toes of your lotus feet are eternally worshipped by the glowing effulgence of the Upanisads, the crest jewels of the Vedas. You are eternally adored and chanted by great liberated souls like Sri Narada and Srila Sukadeva Goswami. O Harinama, clearing myself of all offenses, I take complete shelter of You.” More

Chanting The Holy Name Of Lord Krishna – Part 5



There are no hard and fast rules for chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra.

One can chant anywhere, anytime, in any situation.

In fact, the Caitanya-caritamrta (Antya-lila, 20.18) describes that chanting the holy name at any time or place, even during sleep or while eating, brings one all perfection. However, there are different stages of chanting. More

Chanting The Holy Name Of Lord Krishna – Part 4


VJE3VAPVTZUP
By constant chanting, then one can come to realize Parabrahman (the Supreme Brahman), or the Absolute Truth.

Any person, under any circumstances, can reach an elevated state of consciousness by properly hearing the Bhagavad-gītā, and then, by constantly chanting the name of God, he can win God over.

One can constantly chant any name of the Lord at any time, and at stage of life, and thereby constantly associate with Him. More

Lord Sri Krishna Is The Supreme Controller


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“Kṛṣṇa, who is known as Govinda, is the supreme controller. He has an eternal, blissful, spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin, for He is the prime cause of all causes.”
(Srimad Bhagavatam——6:1:41——purport).

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The Bliss Of Brahman


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Lord Viṣṇu‘s impersonal aspect is known as Brahman. So when the jīva soul, a product of Lord Viṣṇu’s superior, spiritual energy, attains sāyujya-mukti, or liberation by merging with Brahman, it is not at all surprising. The energetic principle always enjoys the prerogative of enfolding within itself His own energy, but that does not destroy the energy’s eternal individuality. The impersonalists, desiring to merge with Brahman and knowing that it is feasible, still experience intense suffering in their effort to reach brahmānanda, “the bliss of Brahman.” More

A REAL VAISHNAVA


So every Vaiṣṇava, every devotee of Kṛṣṇa, pure devotee of Kṛṣṇa, is a paramahaṁsa. So you, we are teaching people to become immediately paramahaṁsa, highest stage of sannyāsa. And the method is simply chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. You see? The post is paramahaṁsa. Vaiṣṇava. Vaiṣṇava means paramahaṁsa. He’s above brāhmaṇa, above sannyāsa. But we must be real Vaiṣṇava. Vaiṣṇava means ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānuśīlanam (CC.2:19:167). Anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam (Brs. 1.1.11). There is no other desire, material desire. Desire means material desire, this contaminated desire. It does not mean that we shall not desire to become Kṛṣṇa conscious. That desire is real desire. And any other desire, anyābhilāṣitā, for some material benefit, that is not required. But if we can keep ourself without any material desire, without any propensity for enjoying fruitive result… “I am doing something, I must enjoy this result. I must be enjoyer.” This is called jñāna-karma. “Oh, I must try to understand Kṛṣṇa by my speculative method.” Why? Kṛṣṇa is explaining Himself. Why don’t you try to understand Him in that way? Nonsense. (chuckling) What speculative power you have got? Simply you’ll commit blunder.
(Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam——1:5:9-11——–by Srila Prabhupada).

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Prahlāda Mahārāja, he said to Nṛsiṁhadeva, “My Lord,” na udvije, “I am not at all in anxiety.” Na udvije. Para: “You are transcendental.” Naivodvije para duratyaya-vaitaraṇyās. Duratyaya means very difficult to cross over. Vaitaraṇyā, vaitaraṇi, the nescience, ocean of nescience. “Why you are not afraid of?” Tvad-vīrya-gāyana-mahāmṛta-magna cittaḥ: “Because I am now Kṛṣṇa conscious, and as soon as I hear the glories of Your wonderful activities, I become merged in it. So I have no problem.” “Then you appear to be little unhappy. Why?” “No,” śoce, “I am very much aggrieved.” “Why?” Tato vimukha-cetasa: “For these rascals who do not take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. I am thinking of them. Instead of taking to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, they are busy in māyā-sukhāya, māyā, this temporary, little temporary happiness. They are making big, big program. He will live for fifty years, but he is making program for five millions of years. So I am…,” śoce, “I am actually lamenting for them.” This is Vaiṣṇava. Vaiṣṇava is not very anxious or unhappy for his personal affair. He knows that “Everywhere I will be protected by Kṛṣṇa,” so he has no problem. Therefore real Vaiṣṇava, he wants to deliver all these fallen souls from this miserable condition of life. So Parīkṣit Mahārāja is Vaiṣṇava. His first attention was drawn to the persons in the hellish planet. They are suffering. He questioned, “How they can be saved?” That is his concern. This is Vaiṣṇava.
(Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam——6:1:8——–by Srila Prabhupada).

Taking advantage of these verses, there are some sahajiyās who, taking everything very cheaply, consider themselves elevated Vaiṣṇavas but do not care even to touch the Vedānta-sūtra or Vedānta philosophy. A real Vaiṣṇava should, however, study Vedānta philosophy, but if after studying Vedānta one does not adopt the chanting of the holy name of the Lord, he is no better than a Māyāvādī. Therefore, one should not be a Māyāvādī, yet one should not be unaware of the subject matter of Vedānta philosophy. Indeed, Caitanya Mahāprabhu exhibited His knowledge of Vedānta in His discourses with Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī. Thus it is to be understood that a Vaiṣṇava should be completely conversant with Vedānta philosophy, yet he should not think that studying Vedānta is all in all and therefore be unattached to the chanting of the holy name. A devotee must know the importance of simultaneously understanding Vedānta philosophy and chanting the holy names. If by studying Vedānta one becomes an impersonalist, he has not been able to understand Vedānta. This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā (15.15). Vedānta means “the end of knowledge.” The ultimate end of knowledge is knowledge of Kṛṣṇa, who is identical with His holy name. Cheap Vaiṣṇavas (sahajiyās) do not care to study the Vedānta philosophy as commented upon by the four ācāryas. In the Gauḍīya-sampradāya there is a Vedānta commentary called the Govinda-bhāṣya, but the sahajiyās consider such commentaries to be untouchable philosophical speculation, and they consider the ācāryas to be mixed devotees. Thus they clear their way to hell.
(Sri Caitanya Caritamrta——1:7:72——purport).

This behavior is indicative of real Vaiṣṇavas. When they saw that Rūpa and Sanātana were fortunate enough to receive the mercy of the Lord, they were so pleased that they all congratulated the two brothers. A jealous person in the dress of a Vaiṣṇava is not at all happy to see the success of another Vaiṣṇava in receiving the Lord’s mercy. Unfortunately, in this Age of Kali there are many mundane persons in the dress of Vaiṣṇavas, and Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has described them as disciples of Kali. He says, kali-celā. He indicates that there is another Vaiṣṇava, a pseudo Vaiṣṇava with tilaka on his nose and kaṇṭhī beads around his neck. Such a pseudo Vaiṣṇava associates with money and women and is jealous of successful Vaiṣṇavas. Although passing for a Vaiṣṇava, his only business is earning money in the dress of a Vaiṣṇava. Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura therefore says that such a pseudo Vaiṣṇava is not a Vaiṣṇava at all but a disciple of Kali-yuga. A disciple of Kali cannot become an ācārya by the decision of some high-court. Mundane votes have no jurisdiction to elect a Vaiṣṇava ācārya. A Vaiṣṇava ācārya is self-effulgent, and there is no need for any court judgment. A false ācārya may try to override a Vaiṣṇava by a high-court decision, but Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura says that he is nothing but a disciple of Kali-yuga.
(Sri Caitanya Caritamrta——2:1:220——purport).

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu would certainly not have liked to hear about marital dealings unless such dealings were exchanged between two Vaiṣṇavas. Marriage arrangements and ceremonies belong to ordinary material karma-kāṇḍa sections of the scriptures. The Vaiṣṇavas, however, are not interested in any kind of karma-kāṇḍa dealings. Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says: karma-kāṇḍa jñāna-kāṇḍa kevala viṣera bhāṇḍa. For a Vaiṣṇava, the karma-kāṇḍa and jñāna-kāṇḍa sections of the Vedas are unnecessary. Indeed, a real Vaiṣṇava takes these sections as a poison pot (viṣera bhāṇḍa). Sometimes we take part in a marriage ceremony for our disciples, but this does not mean that we are interested in karma-kāṇḍa activities. Sometimes, not knowing the Vaiṣṇava philosophy, an outsider criticizes such activity, maintaining that a sannyāsī should not take part in a marriage ceremony between a young boy and a young girl. However, this is not a karma-kāṇḍa activity, because our purpose is to spread the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. We are giving all facility to the general populace to take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and in order to fix the devotees in concentration on the service of the Lord, marriage is sometimes allowed. We have experienced that such married couples actually render very important service to the mission. Therefore, one should not misunderstand when a sannyāsī takes part in a marriage ceremony. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Nityānanda Prabhu took great pleasure in hearing about the marriage ceremony between the young brāhmaṇa and the daughter of the elderly brāhmaṇa.
(Sri Caitanya Caritamrta——2:5:24——purport).

In his statement, Jhaḍu Ṭhākura presents himself as being born in a low-caste family and not having the qualifications of a bona fide devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa. He accepts the statements declaring a lowborn person highly exalted if he is a Vaiṣṇava. However, he feels that these descriptions from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam appropriately describe others, but not himself. Jhaḍu Ṭhākura’s attitude is quite befitting a real Vaiṣṇava, for a Vaiṣṇava never considers himself exalted, even if he factually is. He is always meek and humble and never thinks that he is an advanced devotee. He assigns himself to a lower position, but that does not mean he is indeed low. Sanātana Gosvāmī once said that he belonged to a low-caste family, for although he was born in a brāhmaṇa family, he had associated with mlecchas and yavanas in his service as a government minister. Similarly, Jhaḍu Ṭhākura presented himself as someone who belonged to a low caste, but he was actually elevated above many persons born in brāhmaṇa families. Not only is there evidence for this in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, as quoted by Kālidāsa in verses 26 and 27, but there is also considerable evidence for this conclusion in other śāstras.
(Sri Caitanya Caritamrta——3:16:29——purport).

WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF DEVELOPING GENUINE LOVE ?‏


The ultimate result of devotional service is to develop genuine love for the Supreme Personality. Love is a word which is often used in relation with man and woman. And love is the only word that can be properly used to indicate the relation between Lord Kṛṣṇa and the living entities. The living entities are mentioned as prakṛti in the Bhagavad-gītā, and in Sanskrit prakṛti is a feminine object. The Lord is always described as the parama-puruṣa, or the supreme male personality. Thus the affection between the Lord and the living entities is something like that between the male and the female. Therefore the term love of Godhead is quite appropriate.
(Srimad Bhagavatam——1:7:7——purport).

The spiritual situation, however, is completely different. A bona fide lover of God could never forget Him, even in exchange for everything else. The devotee of the Lord cannot be happy in any circumstance without the Lord. In the absence of the Lord the devotee associates with Him by remembering His separation, and because the Lord is absolute, the devotee’s feeling of separation is transcendentally more relishable than direct contact. This is possible only when we develop genuine love for Him. In that state the devotee is always with the Lord by feelings of separation, which become more acute and intolerable in suitable circumstances. The mild wind reminded the gopīs of the association of the Lord, and they felt separation from Him acutely.
(Light of the Bhagavata).

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For the intelligent person, it is essential to be in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, in order to achieve a permanent, blissful abode for eternal happiness. The process of achieving such a marvelous result is very easy and can be attempted even by the poorest of the poor, without any kind of qualification. The only qualification required in this connection is to be a pure devotee of the Lord. It does not matter what one is or where one is situated. The process is so easy that even a leaf or a little water or fruit can be offered to the Supreme Lord in genuine love and the Lord will be pleased to accept it. No one, therefore, can be barred from Kṛṣṇa consciousness, because it is so easy and universal. Who is such a fool that he does not want to be Kṛṣṇa conscious by this simple method and thus attain the highest perfectional life of eternity, bliss and knowledge? Kṛṣṇa wants only loving service and nothing more. Kṛṣṇa accepts even a little flower from His pure devotee.
(Bhagavad-Gita——9:26——purport).

 

The Lord is the absolute form of eternity, bliss and knowledge. As such, transcendental loving service to the Lord in one of the five principal relations, namely śānta, dāsya, sakhya, vātsalya and mādhurya, i.e., neutrality, servitorship, fraternity, filial affection and conjugal love, is graciously accepted by the Lord when offered to the Lord in genuine love and affection. Śrī Bhīṣmadeva is a great devotee of the Lord in the relation of servitorship. Thus his throwing of sharp arrows at the transcendental body of the Lord is as good as the worship of another devotee who throws soft roses upon Him.
(Srimad Bhagavatam——1:9:34——purport).

Demons sometimes declare to a devotee that they cannot accept the existence of God because they cannot see Him. But what the demon does not know is stated by the Lord Himself in Bhagavad-gītā (7.25): nāhaṁ prakāśaḥ sarvasya yogamāyā-samāvṛtaḥ. “I am never manifest to the foolish and unintelligent. For them I am covered by yogamāyā.” The Lord is open to being seen by devotees, but nondevotees cannot see Him. The qualification for seeing God is stated in Brahma-saṁhitā (5.38): premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti. A devotee who has developed a genuine love for Kṛṣṇa can always see Him everywhere, whereas a demon, not having a clear understanding of the Supreme Lord, cannot see Him. When Hiraṇyakaśipu was threatening to kill Prahlāda Mahārāja, Prahlāda certainly saw the column standing before him and his father, and he saw that the Lord was present in the pillar to encourage him not to fear his demoniac father’s words. The Lord was present to protect him. Hiraṇyakaśipu marked Prahlāda’s observation and asked him, “Where is your God?” Prahlāda Mahārāja replied, “He is everywhere.” Then Hiraṇyakaśipu asked, “Why is He not in this pillar before me?” Thus in all circumstances the devotee can always see the Supreme Lord, whereas the nondevotee cannot.
(Srimad Bhagavatam——7:8:12——purport).

The Supreme Personality of Godhead is so kind to the conditioned souls that if they call upon Him by speaking His holy name, even unintentionally or unwillingly, the Lord is inclined to destroy innumerable sinful reactions in their hearts. Therefore, when a devotee who has taken shelter of the Lord’s lotus feet chants the holy name of Kṛṣṇa with genuine love, the Supreme Personality of Godhead can never give up the heart of such a devotee. One who has thus captured the Supreme Lord within his heart is to be known as bhāgavata-pradhāna, the most exalted devotee of the Lord.
(Srimad Bhagavatam——11:2:55——-translation).

Omkara


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I am the father of this universe, the mother, the support and the grandsire. I am the object of knowledge, the purifier and the syllable oṁ. I am also the Ṛg, the Sāma and the Yajur Vedas.
The entire cosmic manifestations, moving and nonmoving, are manifested by different activities of Kṛṣṇa’s energy. In the material existence we create different relationships with different living entities who are nothing but Kṛṣṇa’s marginal energy; under the creation of prakṛti some of them appear as our father, mother, grandfather, creator, etc., but actually they are parts and parcels of Kṛṣṇa. As such, these living entities who appear to be our father, mother, etc., are nothing but Kṛṣṇa. In this verse the word dhātā means “creator.” Not only are our father and mother parts and parcels of Kṛṣṇa, but the creator, grandmother and grandfather, etc., are also Kṛṣṇa. Actually any living entity, being part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, is Kṛṣṇa. All the Vedas, therefore, aim only toward Kṛṣṇa. Whatever we want to know through the Vedas is but a progressive step toward understanding Kṛṣṇa. That subject matter which helps us purify our constitutional position is especially Kṛṣṇa. Similarly, the living entity who is inquisitive to understand all Vedic principles is also part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa and as such is also Kṛṣṇa. In all the Vedic mantras the word oṁ, called praṇava, is a transcendental sound vibration and is also Kṛṣṇa. And because in all the hymns of the four Vedas-Sāma, Yajur, Ṛg and Atharva-the praṇava, or oṁkāra, is very prominent, it is understood to be Kṛṣṇa.  (Bhagavad-Gita—–9:17—–purport).

Persons who are learned in the Vedas, who utter oṁkāra and who are great sages in the renounced order enter into Brahman. Desiring such perfection, one practices celibacy. I shall now briefly explain to you this process by which one may attain salvation.
Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa has recommended to Arjuna the practice of ṣaṭ-cakra-yoga, in which one places the air of life between the eyebrows. Taking it for granted that Arjuna might not know how to practice ṣaṭ-cakra-yoga, the Lord explains the process in the following verses. The Lord says that Brahman, although one without a second, has various manifestations and features. Especially for the impersonalists, the akṣara, or oṁkāra—the syllable oṁ—is identical with Brahman. Kṛṣṇa here explains the impersonal Brahman, into which the renounced order of sages enter.
In the Vedic system of knowledge, students, from the very beginning, are taught to vibrate oṁ and learn of the ultimate impersonal Brahman by living with the spiritual master in complete celibacy. In this way they realize two of Brahman’s features. This practice is very essential for the student’s advancement in spiritual life, but at the moment such brahmacārī (unmarried celibate) life is not at all possible. The social construction of the world has changed so much that there is no possibility of one’s practicing celibacy from the beginning of student life. Throughout the world there are many institutions for different departments of knowledge, but there is no recognized institution where students can be educated in the brahmacārī principles. Unless one practices celibacy, advancement in spiritual life is very difficult. Therefore Lord Caitanya has announced, according to the scriptural injunctions for this Age of Kali, that in this age no process of realizing the Supreme is possible except the chanting of the holy names of Lord Kṛṣṇa: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare.
(Bhagavad-Gita—–8:11—–translation and purport).

My dear King, in a sacred and holy place of pilgrimage one should select a place in which to perform yoga. The place must be level and not too high or low. There one should sit very comfortably, being steady and equipoised, keeping his body straight, and thus begin chanting the Vedic praṇava.
Generally the chanting of oṁ is recommended because in the beginning one cannot understand the Personality of Godhead. As stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.2.11):

 

vadanti tat tattva-vidas
tattvaṁ yaj jñānam advayam
brahmeti paramātmeti
bhagavān iti śabdyate

 

“Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call this nondual substance Brahman, Paramātmā or Bhagavān.” Unless one is fully convinced of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one has the tendency to become an impersonalist yogī searching for the Supreme Lord within the core of his heart (dhyānāvasthita-tad-gatena manasā paśyanti yaṁ yoginaḥ (S.B.12:13 !). Here the chanting of oṁkāra is recommended because in the beginning of transcendental realization, instead of chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, one may chant oṁkāra (praṇava). There is no difference between the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra and oṁkāra because both of them are sound representations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. praṇavaḥ sarva-vedeṣu. In all Vedic literatures, the sound vibration oṁkāra is the beginning. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. The difference between chanting oṁkāra and chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra is that the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra may be chanted without consideration of the place or the sitting arrangements recommended in Bhagavad-gītā (6.11):

 

śucau deśe pratiṣṭhāpya
sthiram āsanam ātmanaḥ
nāty-ucchritaṁ nātinīcaṁ
cailājina-kuśottaram

 

“To practice yoga, one should go to a secluded place and should lay kuśa grass on the ground and then cover it with a deerskin and a soft cloth. The seat should neither be too high nor too low and should be situated in a sacred place.” The Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra may be chanted by anyone, without consideration of the place or how one sits. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has openly declared, niyamitaḥ smaraṇe na kālaḥ. In chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra there are no particular injunctions regarding one’s sitting place. The injunction niyamitaḥ smaraṇe na kālaḥ includes deśa, kāla and pātra—place, time and the individual. Therefore anyone may chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, without consideration of the time and place. Especially in this age, Kali-yuga, it is very difficult to find a suitable place according to the recommendations of Bhagavad-gītā. The Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, however, may be chanted at any place and any time, and this will bring results very quickly. Yet even while chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra one may observe regulative principles. Thus while sitting and chanting one may keep his body straight, and this will help one in the chanting process; otherwise one may feel sleepy.
(Srimad Bhagavatam—–7:15:31—–translation and purport).

In the Satya-yuga, the first millennium, all the Vedic mantras were included in one mantra-praṇava, the root of all Vedic mantras. In other words, the Atharva Veda alone was the source of all Vedic knowledge. The Supreme Personality of Godhead Nārāyaṇa was the only worshipable Deity; there was no recommendation for worship of the demigods. Fire was one only, and the only order of life in human society was known as haṁsa.

In Satya-yuga there was only one Veda, not four. Later, before the beginning of Kali-yuga, this one Veda, the Atharva Veda (or, some say, the Yajur Veda), was divided into four—Sāma, Yajur, Ṛg and Atharva—for the facility of human society. In Satya-yuga the only mantra was oṁkāra (oṁ tat sat). The same name oṁkāra is manifest in the mantra Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. Unless one is a brāhmaṇa, one cannot utter oṁkāra and get the desired result. But in Kali-yuga almost everyone is a śūdra, unfit for pronouncing the praṇava, oṁkāra. Therefore the śāstras have recommended the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. Oṁkāra is a mantra, or mahā-mantra, and Hare Kṛṣṇa is also a mahā-mantra. The purpose of pronouncing oṁkāra is to address the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vāsudeva (oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya). And the purpose of chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra is the same. Hare: “O energy of the Lord!” Kṛṣṇa: “O Lord Kṛṣṇa!” Hare: “O energy of the Lord!” Rāma: “O Supreme Lord, O supreme enjoyer!” The only worshipable Lord is Hari, who is the goal of the Vedas (vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ (B.G.15:15). By worshiping the demigods, one worships the different parts of the Lord, just as one might water the branches and twigs of a tree. But worshiping Nārāyaṇa, the all-inclusive Supreme Personality of Godhead, is like pouring water on the root of the tree, thus supplying water to the trunk, branches, twigs, leaves and so on. In Satya-yuga people knew how to fulfill the necessities of life simply by worshiping Nārāyaṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The same purpose can be served in this age of Kali by the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, as recommended in the Bhāgavatam. Kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya mukta-saṅgaḥ paraṁ vrajet (S.B.12:3:51). Simply by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, one becomes free from the bondage of material existence and thus becomes eligible to return home, back to Godhead. (Srimad Bhagavatam—–9:14:48—–translation and purport).

The impersonal sound of Kṛṣṇa is oṁ, but the sound Hare Kṛṣṇa contains oṁ. The chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra is clearly recommended for this age. So if one quits his body at the end of life chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare, he certainly reaches one of the spiritual planets, according to the mode of his practice. The devotees of Kṛṣṇa enter the Kṛṣṇa planet, Goloka Vṛndāvana. For the personalists there are also innumerable other planets, known as Vaikuṇṭha planets, in the spiritual sky, whereas the impersonalists remain in the brahmajyoti.  (Bhagavad-Gita—–8:13—–purport).

What is the significance of sound vibration in Krishna Consciousness ?


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One’s memory of Kṛṣṇa is revived by chanting the mahā-mantra, Hare Kṛṣṇa. By this practice of chanting and hearing the sound vibration of the Supreme Lord, one’s ear, tongue and mind are engaged.  (Bhagavad-Gita—–8:8—–purport).

In all the Vedic mantras the word oṁ, called praṇava, is a transcendental sound vibration and is also Kṛṣṇa. And because in all the hymns of the four Vedas-Sāma, Yajur, Ṛg and Atharva-the praṇava, or oṁkāra, is very prominent, it is understood to be Kṛṣṇa.
(Bhagavad-Gita—–9:17—–purport).

There is no difference between the Lord and sound vibration coming from Him, even though He is not personally present. The best way of understanding is to accept such divine instruction, and Brahmā, the prime spiritual master of everyone, is the living example of this process of receiving transcendental knowledge.  (Srimad Bhagavatam—–2:9:8—–purport).

If one thinks that the holy name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the names and activities of the demigods are on the same level, or if one accepts the holy name of Viṣṇu to be a material sound vibration, that is also an offense.
(Srimad Bhagavatam—–3:15:25—–purport).

By chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra one immediately concentrates on the sound vibration and thinks of the lotus feet of the Lord, and very quickly one is elevated to the position of samādhi, or trance. If one goes on chanting the holy names of the Lord, which are not different from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, naturally his mind becomes absorbed in thought of the Lord.
(Srimad Bhagavatam—–4:8:44—–purport).

Thus one can gloriously become freed from all material contamination by the simple process of chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. Just as life in this material world has its beginning in material sound, similarly a spiritual life has its beginning in this spiritual sound vibration.
(Srimad Bhagavatam—–4:23:17—–purport).

Vedic evidence is called śabda-brahma. There are many things which are beyond the perception of our imperfect senses, yet the authoritative evidence of sound vibration is perfect. The Vedas are known as śabda-brahma because evidence taken from the Vedas constitutes the ultimate understanding. This is because śabda-brahma, or the Vedas, represents the Supreme Personality of Godhead. However, the real essence of śabda-brahma is the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. By vibrating this transcendental sound, the meaning of everything, both material and spiritual, is revealed. This Hare Kṛṣṇa is nondifferent from the Personality of Godhead. The meaning of everything is received through the air through sound vibration. The vibration may be material or spiritual, but without sound vibration no one can understand the meaning of anything.
(Srimad Bhagavatam—–4:24:40—–purport).

The origin of creation is sound vibration, and if the sound vibration is clear and purified, perfect knowledge and perfect activities actually become manifest. This is enacted by the chanting of the mahā-mantra, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. (Srimad Bhagavatam—–4:24:43—–purport).

There is no difference between the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra and oṁkāra because both of them are sound representations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. praṇavaḥ sarva-vedeṣu. In all Vedic literatures, the sound vibration oṁkāra is the beginning. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. The difference between chanting oṁkāra and chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra is that the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra may be chanted without consideration of the place or the sitting arrangements recommended in Bhagavad-gītā (6.11)  (Srimad Bhagavatam—–7:15:31—–purport).

The vibration of Kṛṣṇa’s flute is the origin of the Vedic hymns. Lord Brahmā, who is seated on a lotus flower, heard the sound vibration of Kṛṣṇa’s flute and was thereby initiated by the Gāyatrī mantra.  (Sri Caitanya Caritamrta—–2:8:138—–purport).

A bona fide spiritual master chants the holy names—Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare—and the transcendental sound vibration enters into the ear of the disciple, and if a disciple follows in the footsteps of his spiritual master and chants the holy name with similar respect, he actually comes to worship the transcendental name. When the transcendental name is worshiped by the devotee, the name Himself spreads His glories within the heart of a devotee. (Teachings of Lord Caitanya).

That the sound vibration of the Supreme Lord is identical with the Supreme Lord is a fact. This is confirmed in the Nārada-pañcarātra:
vyaktaṁ hi bhagavān eva
sākṣān-nārāyaṇaḥ svayam
aṣṭākṣara-svarūpena
mukheṣu parivartate
“When the transcendental sound vibration is practiced by a conditioned soul, the Supreme Lord is present on his tongue.”  (Teachings of Lord Caitanya).

In the Padma Purāṇa also it is stated, “The chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra is present only on the lips of a person who has for many births worshiped Vāsudeva.” It is further said in the Padma Purāṇa, “There is no difference between the holy name of the Lord and the Lord Himself. As such, the holy name is as perfect as the Lord Himself in fullness, purity and eternity. The holy name is not a material sound vibration, nor has it any material contamination.” The holy name cannot, therefore, be chanted offenselessly by one who has failed to purify his senses. In other words, materialistic senses cannot properly chant the holy names of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. But by adopting this chanting process, one is given a chance to actually purify himself, so that he may very soon chant offenselessly. (Nectar of Devotion).

In his book Vidagdha-mādhava, Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī thus describes the vibration of Kṛṣṇa’s flute: “The sound vibration created by the flute of Kṛṣṇa wonderfully stopped Lord Śiva from playing his ḍiṇḍima drum, and the same flute has caused great sages like the four Kumāras to become disturbed in their meditation. It has caused Lord Brahmā, who was sitting on the lotus flower for the creative function, to become astonished. And Anantadeva, who was calmly holding all the planets on His hood, was moving in this way and that due to the transcendental vibration from Kṛṣṇa’s flute, which penetrated through the covering of this universe and reached to the spiritual sky.”  (Nectar of Devotion).

Thus by chanting the holy name of the Lord one can directly associate with the Supreme Lord by sound vibration. As one practices chanting this sound vibration, one passes through three stages of development: the offensive stage, the clearing stage and the transcendental stage. In the offensive stage of chanting one may desire all kinds of material happiness, but in the second stage one becomes clear of all material contamination. When one is situated on the transcendental stage, one attains the most coveted position—the stage of loving God. Lord Caitanya taught that this is the highest stage of perfection for human beings. (Sri Caitanya Caritamrta—–preface).

Bhagavad-Gītā As It Is, Preface by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada


Originally I wrote Bhagavad-gita As It Is in the form in which it is presented now. When this book was first published, the original manuscript was, unfortunately, cut short to less than 400 pages, without illustrations and without explanations for most of the original verses of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita. In all of my other books — Srimad-Bhagavatam, Sri Isopanishad, etc. — the system is that I give the original verse, its English transliteration, word-for-word Sanskrit-English equivalents, translations and purports. This makes the book very authentic and scholarly and makes the meaning self-evident. I was not very happy, therefore, when I had to minimize my original manuscript. But later on, when the demand for Bhagavad-gita As It Is considerably increased, I was requested by many scholars and devotees to present the book in its original form. Thus the present attempt is to offer the original manuscript of this great book of knowledge with full parampara explanation in order to establish the Krishna consciousness movement more soundly and progressively.

Our Krishna consciousness movement is genuine, historically authorized, natural and transcendental due to its being based on Bhagavad-gita As It Is. It is gradually becoming the most popular movement in the entire world, especially amongst the younger generation. It is becoming more and more interesting to the older generation also. Older gentlemen are becoming interested, so much so that the fathers and grandfathers of my disciples are encouraging us by becoming life members of our great society, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. In Los Angeles many fathers and mothers used to come to see me to express their feelings of gratitude for my leading the Krishna consciousness movement throughout the entire world. Some of them said that it is greatly fortunate for the Americans that I have started the Krishna consciousness movement in America. But actually the original father of this movement is Lord Krishna Himself, since it was started a very long time ago but is coming down to human society by disciplic succession. If I have any credit in this connection, it does not belong to me personally, but it is due to my eternal spiritual master, His Divine Grace Om Vishnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajakacarya 108 Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja Prabhupada.

If personally I have any credit in this matter, it is only that I have tried to present Bhagavad-gita as it is, without any adulteration. Before my presentation of Bhagavad-gita As It Is, almost all the English editions of Bhagavad-gita were introduced to fulfill someone’s personal ambition. But our attempt, in presenting Bhagavad-gita As It Is, is to present the mission of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna. Our business is to present the will of Krishna, not that of any mundane speculator like the politician, philosopher or scientist, for they have very little knowledge of Krishna, despite all their other knowledge. When Krishna says, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65], etc., we, unlike the so-called scholars, do not say that Krishna and His inner spirit are different. Krishna is absolute, and there is no difference between Krishna’s name, Krishna’s form, Krishna’s qualities, Krishna’s pastimes, etc. This absolute position of Krishna is difficult to understand for any person who is not a devotee of Krishna in the system of parampara (disciplic succession). Generally the so-called scholars, politicians, philosophers, and svamis, without perfect knowledge of Krishna, try to banish or kill Krishna when writing commentary on Bhagavad-gita. Such unauthorized commentary upon Bhagavad-gita is known as Mayavada-bhashya, and Lord Caitanya has warned us about these unauthorized men. Lord Caitanya clearly says that anyone who tries to understand Bhagavad-gita from the Mayavadi point of view will commit a great blunder. The result of such a blunder will be that the misguided student of Bhagavad-gita will certainly be bewildered on the path of spiritual guidance and will not be able to go back to home, back to Godhead.

Our only purpose is to present this Bhagavad-gita As It Is in order to guide the conditioned student to the same purpose for which Krishna descends to this planet once in a day of Brahma, or every 8,600,000,000 years. This purpose is stated in Bhagavad-gita, and we have to accept it as it is; otherwise there is no point in trying to understand the Bhagavad-gita and its speaker, Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna first spoke Bhagavad-gita to the sun-god some hundreds of millions of years ago. We have to accept this fact and thus understand the historical significance of Bhagavad-gita, without misinterpretation, on the authority of Krishna. To interpret Bhagavad-gita without any reference to the will of Krishna is the greatest offense. In order to save oneself from this offense, one has to understand the Lord as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as He was directly understood by Arjuna, Lord Krishna’s first disciple. Such understanding of Bhagavad-gita is really profitable and authorized for the welfare of human society in fulfilling the mission of life.

The Krishna consciousness movement is essential in human society, for it offers the highest perfection of life. How this is so is explained fully in the Bhagavad-gita. Unfortunately, mundane wranglers have taken advantage of Bhagavad-gita to push forward their demonic propensities and mislead people regarding right understanding of the simple principles of life. Everyone should know how God, or Krishna, is great, and everyone should know the factual position of the living entities. Everyone should know that a living entity is eternally a servant and that unless one serves Krishna one has to serve illusion in different varieties of the three modes of material nature and thus wander perpetually within the cycle of birth and death; even the so-called liberated Mayavadi speculator has to undergo this process. This knowledge constitutes a great science, and each and every living being has to hear it for his own interest.

People in general, especially in this Age of Kali, are enamored by the external energy of Krishna, and they wrongly think that by advancement of material comforts every man will be happy. They have no knowledge that the material or external nature is very strong, for everyone is strongly bound by the stringent laws of material nature. A living entity is happily the part and parcel of the Lord, and thus his natural function is to render immediate service to the Lord. By the spell of illusion one tries to be happy by serving his personal sense gratification in different forms which will never make him happy. Instead of satisfying his own personal material senses, he has to satisfy the senses of the Lord. That is the highest perfection of life. The Lord wants this, and He demands it. One has to understand this central point of Bhagavad-gita. Our Krishna consciousness movement is teaching the whole world this central point, and because we are not polluting the theme of Bhagavad-gita As It Is, anyone seriously interested in deriving benefit by studying the Bhagavad-gita must take help from the Krishna consciousness movement for practical understanding of Bhagavad-gita under the direct guidance of the Lord. We hope, therefore, that people will derive the greatest benefit by studying Bhagavad-gita As It Is as we have presented it here, and if even one man becomes a pure devotee of the Lord, we shall consider our attempt a success.

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

12 May, 1971

Sydney, Australia

Bhagavad-Gītā As It Is – Song of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Bhagavan Sri Krishna


Bhagavad-Gītā is also known as Gitopanisad. It is the essence of Vedic knowledge and one of the most important Upanisads in Vedic literature.

Bhagavad-Gītā As It Is By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

What is Srimad Bhagavad Gita?

Srimad Bhagavad Gita, is the word of Supreme God in person. It is the divine conversation between a man called Arjun & Supreme God himself in the human form, Supreme Lord Sri krishna. The conversation took place in Kurukshetra India, more than 5,000 thousand years ago.

Srimad Bhagavad Gita answers the all important questions of :-

Who are we ?
Who is Supreme God ?
Why do we suffer ?
Is there life after death ?
Is there life on other planets ?
How do we become & remain happy in this & the next life ?
How can we attain the Kingdom of Supreme God ?

One may ask, what lead to the great war on the battle-field of Kurukshetra, where Srimad Bhagavad Gita was spoken. More than 5000 thousand years ago, the great king Vichitravirya passed away, because his eldest son Dhirthrastra was born blind and thus not fit to rule, Pandu the younger son inherited the kingdom. After the death of King Pandu, his five sons known as the Pandavas became the lawful inheritors of the kingdom whereas the Pandavas were just still boys, Dhirthrastra assumed the throne for himself. Dhirthrastra had one hundred sons known as the kauravas. When the Panadavas came off age and were ready to rule the kingdom they did not want the entire kingdom for themselves, which was rightfully theirs. They were willing to share the kingdom with their cousins. Thus the kingdom was divided into two halves between the Pandavas & the Kauravas.

Duryodhana the eldest of the kauravas, was not satisfied with his share, he wanted to enjoy the entire kingdom for himself. He made several attempts to kill the Pandavas, but was unsuccessfull. He then unlawfully took possession of the entire kingdom and forced the pandavas into exile. The Pandavas then requested just five villages one for each brother, to this, Duryodhana replied he would not give them enough land to stick a pin into. Supreme Lord Sri Krishna pleaded for a peaceful non violent resolution to the land’s dispute but Duryodhana rejected him and declared war on the Pandavas. The big war Mahabharat, was thus inevitable.

In preparation for the war, both Duryodhana & Arjun approached Supreme Lord Sri krishna for help. Lord krishna as God Himself, would not turn way anyone who approaches him for help, be they good or wicked. Lord krishna offered his entire army to oneside and himself as an advisor to the other side. Duryodhana snapped at Lord Krishna’s army and Arjun was eager for the Lord himself as an advisor, thus Lord krishna became the advisor & charioteer to Arjun.

Arjuna faced a dilemma on the battlefield whether to fight for his rights or runaway from the war and let the wicked & evil sons of Dhirathrastra rule the kingdom. Lord Krishna as an advisor, consoled & spoke to Arjun in his moment of grief.

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