Sanatana Goswami on Guru and Disciple. Kripamoya das: Sri…

Sanatana Goswami on Guru and Disciple.
Kripamoya das: Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu begins his teaching to Sanatana Goswami by explaining that the soul wanders the universe, life after life, and then in one special life, by the grace of Krishna and the guru, he begins the journey of bhakti.
When Srila Rupa Goswami wrote about the sixty-four elements of bhakti, the first five on the list are related to the guru and disciple; and when Sanatana Goswami wrote his Hari Bhakti Vilasa along with his friend Gopala Bhatta Goswami, the first two of twenty chapters in the manual explain the guru and disciple relationship. This is a brief extract of his quotations from several scriptures.
“The human body is a ship, the guru is the captain, the instructions of God are the favourable winds.” – Srimad Bhagavatam 11.20.17
“Any person who desires happiness must seek a guru and take shelter of him. The qualification of the guru is that he has realised the conclusions of scripture and is able to convince others.” – Srimad Bhagavatam 11.3.21
“One should approach a guru who is in full knowledge of me as I am, who is peaceful, and who by spiritual elevation is non-different from me.” – Srimad Bhagavatam 11.10.5
“To learn about transcendence one must approach the guru with wood in his hands for the fire sacrifice. The symptom of such a guru is that he is expert in the Vedas and therefore he constantly engages in the service of God.” – Mundaka Upanishad 1.2.12
“The disciple should be free from false prestige, active, never lazy, and should give up all proprietorship. He should have feelings of friendship towards the guru, and should not become bewildered or deviated. The disciple should always desire advancement in spiritual understanding, should not not envy anyone and always avoid useless conversation.” – Srimad Bhagavatam 11.10.6
“The guru and disciple should reside together for at least a year, testing each other before they decide to enter into a guru-disciple relationship. They should examine each other to find out their nature, character and compatibility.” Mantra Muktavalli
“A disciple must endeavour with his life, wealth and work for the favoured projects of the acarya and serve him with body, mind and words. In this way the disciple attains the highest spiritual good.” – Vishnu Smriti
“When a person obtains the mercy of his guru, he receives the Vaishnava mantra from him. By constantly chanting the mantra he inherits unimaginable opulence and ultimately the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord. Those who have performed immense pious deeds and austerities over many hundreds of years chant this mantra and thus are able to deliver the entire world.” – Agama Shastra
“When a person who has been properly chanting the Vaishnava mantra constantly for a long time glances on anyone, that person is instantly freed from the worst type of fear and anguish.” – Vishnu Purana

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THE ALL INDIA PADAYATRA IN KANYAKUMARI, TAMIL NADU (Album with…

THE ALL INDIA PADAYATRA IN KANYAKUMARI, TAMIL NADU (Album with photos)
Acarya Dasa: The Southernmost tip of India!
We reached Kanyakumari on March 29th, also known as Kanniyakumari and formerly referred to as Cape Comorin. It is located in the Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu and situated at the southernmost tip of the Indian subcontinent at the confluence of the Indian Ocean, the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea. These bodies of water are the final destination of most of India’s holy rivers such as the Ganges and the Yamuna. The nearest town, Nagercoil, serves as the administrative headquarters of the Kanyakumari district and is twenty-two kilometers away. Kanyakumari is less than a three hour drive from Trivandrum.

A special place for Vaishnavas

dakṣiṇaṁ tatra kanyākhyāṁ
durgāṁ devīṁ dadarśa saḥ

Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.79

Kanyakumari is a significant place for all devotees. It is mentioned in Srimad-Bhagavatam Canto 10, Chapter 79, in verses 16 to17 that Lord Balarama visited Kanyakumari on pilgrimage. It states that He went to the shore of the southern ocean, where He saw Goddess Durga in her form as Kanya-kumari.

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu also visited there during His South India tour.

kanyā-kumārī tāhāṅ kaila daraśana

Translation: “Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to Kanyakumari. Lord Caitanya took His bath at the holy confluence of three oceans” (CC Madhya 9.223).

Other great souls have also visited this place. On his way to America, Srila Prabhupada sailed through here on the Jaladuta. However, the main reason why we, as Vaisnavas should visit Kanayakumari is because Lord Caitanya visited there. Wherever the Lord went that place was transformed into Vrindavana. Srila Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami explained that what Lord Caitanya didn’t give in Navadvipa, He gave in South India. During that time many people in Navadvipa were very materialistic and ritualistic but in South India people were simple, and they opened their hearts to receive the Lord’s mercy and thus attained perfection.

The All India Padayatra’s experience in South India

We stayed at the Vivekananda ashram in Kanyakumari for three days. While there we visited the sea shore, Lady of Ransom Church, Vivekananda Rock Memorial, Sunrise Point and Sunset Point and performed sankirtana along the way. We went to the temple of mother Kanyakumari as well and took darsana of her foot prints. Mother Kanyakumari is a great Vaishnavi, she is always chanting the Holy Names of the Lord. When Lord Caitanya visited Kanyakumari, He gave her darsana. She becomes very happy when Vaishnavas come to take darsana and so we all prayed to her to give us unalloyed devotion to Lord Krishna. All the padayatris took bath at the same place that Lord Balaram and Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu took bath at too.

During the sankirtana we met many pilgrims from Maharashtra, Gujarat and Bengal all of whom joined us in loudly chanting the mahamantra. It was a great pleasure being in Kanyakumari –as padayatris we travel all over India from North, to South, to East and West all by the mercy of Lord Caitanya, who gives us the strength to walk.
Photos and videos: https://goo.gl/L2rvEH

Travel Adventures of a Krishna Monk. Krishna-kripa Das: I share…

Travel Adventures of a Krishna Monk.
Krishna-kripa Das: I share some fascinating material on Hare Krishna devotees surviving the war in the former Yugoslavia by Vrsabha Prabhu of Croatia.
Vrsabha Prabhu: Material opulence can never give us satisfaction. There was one beautiful opera singer who was very fat and voluntarily ate a tape worm, hoping that would help her become more shapely. It worked, but unfortunately the worm did not leave enough to nourish her, and she ultimately died. Other people who were rich and famous, not being satisfied, turned to drugs and ruined their lives. So many examples are there, Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monoe, Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jackson, etc.

Many people received Srila Prabhupada’s books in Yugoslavia, but most did not take them seriously. When the war began, however, people began to take the books off the shelves and read them.

Sarajevo is a city in valley, and Serbian soldiers surrounded it. Only a one-kilometer tunnel the residents had dug could take people out of the city. One man, who read the books and heard there were devotees in Sarajevo, wanted to go inside the city. No one could believe it. He did and found the devotees and became one.

The UN donated two truck loads of ingredients to devotees distributing food in Sarajevo.

The devotees in Sarajevo were so enthusiastic to hear about Krishna, they would walk across the city at the risk of being shot by Serbian snipers, either coming or going to the Sunday feast. One invalid devotee had a friend who would bring him and his wheelchair, one at a time, down 14 flights of stairs and push him 7 kilometers to the Sunday feast.

There is one Croatian devotee Madhavananda who was captured by the Serbians, who put him to work in a death camp. He refused to eat meat, and said, “You can kill me but I will not eat meat.” They needed him to dig ditches, so they gave him vegetarian food. He would preach Bhagavad-gita to people in the camp, whether they were Croatians or Muslims. Serbian army people noticed that the people who heard his preaching were easier to control, so they told him to give classes twice a day and gave him an office to prepare for them. Previously before being captured, he had organized a gurukula in one city because the men were engaged in the war and the city was filled with women and children who were unengaged. He taught them verses and bhajanas and the chanting of Hare Krishna. Even so many years later, he still gets messages on Facebook or by email from kids who were there, thanking him for taking care of them.

One woman who came to Hare Krishna in Sarvejo during the war, considered, “When I was chanting Hare Krishna in a mood of helplessness and praying to God, I was in bliss, I complete forgot about my identification with the material body. That was best time of my life.”

One person who later became a devotee but was an atheist at the time, when he saw a line of Serbian tanks approaching him, addressed the Lord, “Dear God, if you really exist, get me out of this situation.” Dark clouds appeared, lightning struck his machine gun, which exploded and blew off his boots and left him unconscious. He was moved off the battlefield and was saved. Many of his friends were killed.

Sometimes war causes people to take shelter of God. Many people in Bosnia, and also in Croatia, became devotees because of the war. Not a single devotee in Bosnia died or was injured.

Just one virus, so small you cannot see it, can reduce a body builder, who has worked out for years, to a skin-and-bones guy like me.

God does not need money from us. He is the richest person in the world.

God demands us to give up only that which is not good for us anyway, sinful activities.

Comments by Bhakti Rasa Prabhu:

One of the consequences of misusing of our independence is that we come to this world. You can say “if things are so nice in the spiritual world, how could anyone one leave?” but by eliminating the possibility of one leaving, you eliminate their free will.

It is comforting to reflect, “Our karma is temporary, but we are eternal and Krishna is eternal.”

Comment by Caitanya Vallabha Prabhu: Suppose after 45 years of marriage to your wife, you find out the only the reason she married you was someone put a gun to her head, how would you feel? In the same way, Krishna is looking for freely given love.
To read the entire article click here: https://goo.gl/rKxqvI

Holy Cow! Another early morning at the Krishna Village. Walking…

Holy Cow!
Another early morning at the Krishna Village. Walking towards the paddock amidst the dew and early morning light, a group of around twenty cows becomes visible, calves and their mothers huddled around the milking shed. A mixture of black and white friesians and light brown and white Indian gyrs, they are waiting patiently to be herded after the daily 5am milking, an activity that can be joined by any Krishna Village guest who wishes to attend.
Claire, one of their main custodians, explains how despite being vegan she drinks this milk because it is ‘ahimsa’ milk – obtained in a non violent way. Unlike the cows at mainstream dairies, these cows are milked by hand, leaving them with more than enough milk for their calves, who are free to stay with their mothers from birth. Visible most times of day in the paddocks eating grass or frolicking with their friends, the cows are an integral part of the Krishna Farm, considered sacred by Hare Krishnas and loved by everyone in the community.
To read the entire article click here: https://goo.gl/IPkfXo

Book distribution for the pleasure of Srila Prabhupada

Hare KrishnaThe Spiritual Master and Krishna are two parallel lines. The train, on two tracks, moves forward. The Spiritual Master and Krishna are like these two tracks, they must be served simultaneously. Krishna helps one to find bona fide Spiritual Master, and bona fide Spiritual Master helps one to understand Krishna. If one does not get bona fide Spiritual Master, then how he can ever understand Krishna? You cannot serve Krishna without Spiritual Master, or serve Spiritual Master without serving Krishna. They must be served simultaneously. Letter to Mahapurusa, February 12, 1968