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"Instructions for the week" are short selections from Srila Romapada Swami's lectures and writings which capture essential, inspirational messages for progressive spiritual development. These Instructions are especially personal, practical, and universal in their relevance to devotional aspirants, and they are intended to help remind, guide, and be applied by the reader/recipient.

HH Romapada Swami in Vrindavan Oct 2009
November 23, 2015

The quality of inner happiness which is dormant is awakened by association with those who have similarly received it and have had that awakened. It is like a spark igniting a fire. A pile of dry leaves just sits there; but if a spark lands on it then it becomes fire. The fire potential is there, but it is dormant. A spark is all it takes to get fire. By the association of those whose happiness in relationship with the Personality of Godhead has been awakened by similar association, that happiness can awaken in us. Otherwise, by default, the happiness that we may find will be in the modes of nature - mode of goodness happiness, mode of passion happiness, or mode of ignorance happiness.

HH Romapada Swami & HG Dravida Prabhu in Chicago Dec 2009
November 16, 2015

Real happiness is reached by transcendental sound. There are all kinds of other sounds - the sound of rap music; the sound when you are logging in to dialup networking; so many sounds. Those don’t awaken the happiness of the soul. There are sounds in material goodness happiness - the sounds of the wind going through the trees; the sounds of nature. That is conducive to the quality of happiness in goodness. There are sounds in passion, and others in ignorance. But atma suprasana comes from transcendental sound. 

 

HH Romapada Swami in Guyana Jan 2008
November 9, 2015

Atmarama is finding happiness within the soul. Rama means pleasure. Atma means soul. Atmarama means one who is finding pleasure in the soul. Finding happiness is at the soul level, not the sense and mind level. Finding real happiness is in fact the topic of the first seven chapters of Bhagavatam. A phrase that is used again and again as a refrain is atma suprasana. Prasana means happiness. Suprasana means complete happiness. The author Vyasadeva is indicating again and again how that atma suprasana is reached. It is something that is already there but covered, and it is uncovered by the process of receiving spiritual sounds that resonate and awaken the soul.

HH Romapada Swami in Boston Apr 2010
November 2, 2015

The Bhagavatam is the entire twelve Cantos, and each of those twelve Cantos is as transcendental as the other eleven. It is like saying you don’t need your hand, you don’t need your arm, you don’t need your leg, you don’t need your belly; you just need a head. The transcendental body of the Lord is fully transcendental and so the literature which is His literary incarnation is fully transcendental. One part is as transcendental as the other parts. The body of the Lord is not to be thought of otherwise in an ordinary limited way, and the Bhagavatam is not to be thought of in that way.

HH Romapada Swami and Youth in Puri
October 26, 2015

How does one become viṣṇu-jana-priyaḥ? How does one become dear to the devotees?
Viṣṇu-jana can be translated as a devotee of the Lord, a person of Visnu. Suta Goswami became priyah, very dear to the devotees. Likewise, the devotees became very dear to him. Suta is saying, because he had that quality, viṣṇu-jana-priyaḥ, he underwent the study of Srimad-Bhagavatam. When you are dear to the devotees, and the devotees are dear to you, there is something that you share, and that is the Lord. So with the devotee Vyasadeva, he wanted to share the topics of the Lord, therefore he underwent the study because of his viṣṇu-jana-priyaḥ quality. One becomes viṣṇu-jana-priyaḥ by associating with one who has that quality.

HH Romapada Swami in Hyderabad Oct 2011
October 19, 2015

Vyasadeva saw that the bewildering influence of the material energy conditions the soul, and he completely forgets his real happiness. He completely forgets himself and the Supreme Lord from whom he has come. Vyasadeva then also understood the nitidity process – the way of slacking or reducing that influence through the process of hearing the spiritual sound vibration of transcendental topics. Based on that understanding, Vyasadeva compiled the Srimad Bhagavatam. When one hears that message, the natural affinity or attachment for the Supreme Lord awakens and, correspondingly, śoka-moha-bhayāpahā - destroyed. Lamentation, illusion and fear that have a strong hold on conditioned souls is eliminated - apaha.

SI_Yatra_370_ISKCON_Tirupati_Deities
October 5, 2015

Durvasa Muni went to Lord Visnu and said, "Help! Please save me with Your Sudarsana-cakra!" Lord Visnu replied, “I can’t help. I am bound by the love of My devotee. I can’t independently do anything from My devotee. Why not?

HH Romapada Swami in Hyderabad 2009
September 28, 2015

There is a natural order of things because Krishna is God and He loves. We have propensity to love because that is there in God, unlimitedly. His propensity is unlimited love, and in that unlimited lovingness of Krishna, there is a natural order. He wants our happiness, but He won’t interfere with our misuse of free-will either. How do we find happiness? Krishna wants that happiness for us, and the natural order of happiness is on His terms. Krishna’s nature is He wants to be on our terms, but that on-our-terms situation is when there is genuine love because He is the Supreme.

Adapted from a lecture by His Holiness Romapada Swami on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.7.11-12, given on October 8, 2008 in Mclean, VA.

HH Romapada Swami in Guyana Jan 2009
September 21, 2015

How does the living entity become bewildered? By thinking in false conception of self: “I am who I am not. And who I am is who I am not.” It is a mistaken conception of self. If I have mistaken myself to be a product of matter (ātmānaṁ tri-guṇātmakam) instead of spirit soul, part and parcel of the Supreme, my knowledge becomes covered. Neither do I understand myself, nor do I understand the Supreme. If I don’t understand the self and I don’t understand the Supreme, how can I be happy? But I want to be happy, so I pursue happiness in terms of who I think I am. And so I am very, very busy my whole life, and lifetime after lifetime, trying to find happiness by getting things to be mine.

HH Romapada Swami in Hyderabad 2003
September 14, 2015

Sṛṇvanti gāyanti gṛṇanti sādhavaḥ. By the process of hearing and chanting, the bhagavatas bring this message within their hearts, they internalize the message, and they live the message of bhāgavata-dharma. That is the person bhāgavata. So nityaḿ bhāgavata-sevayā. By rendering service to the book bhāgavata and the person bhāgavata, all that is inauspicious in the heart is cleansed away. That is the message of bhāgavata-dharma.

Adapted from a lecture by His Holiness Romapada Swami on Srimad Bhagavatam 1.7.4-6, given on August 4, 2008 in Portland.