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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.

October 1, 2007

A faithless person hears but has some uncertainty: "Well that's very interesting, but will it work for me?" We probably all have experience of this with either ourselves or other persons who we're trying to help with their faith in God who feel: "Oh, I'm so lowly and so disqualified, it can't work for me." It may not even be explicit, but there's something in their hearts that says that. "It's good for some people because they're this kind, but I'm that kind." Faithless. Where there's faith, one sees that the real qualification is universal. You just have to be spirit soul. That is every one of us!

Bhakti Vinod Thakur
September 24, 2007

[On one morning walk in Sridham Mayapur] Prabhupada was speaking about Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and it was as Caitanya-caritamrta describes that when Lord Caitanya would speak about His devotees, he would speak as if He had five or ten mouths. Prabhupada was in such a state of enthusiasm, describing the glories of Bhaktivinoda Thakura. When Srila Prabhupada would become very excited about something he would stop, put his cane into the ground, and then look at everyone so that they were very clearly hearing what he had to say. He did that many times on this particular morning. We didn't get very far, because he was so enthusiastically glorifying Bhaktivinoda Thakura.

Srimati RadhaRani
September 18, 2007

Radharani's inseparable nature from Krsna:
The internal potency of the Lord and the Lord are non different. I'll say it again: The internal potency of the Lord and the Lord are non different. The Lord and His potency are non different, just like the sun and the shine of the sun are non different. You're not going to find the shine without the sun, nor the sun without the shine. Similarly, you're not going to find Srimati Radharani without Krsna, or Krsna without Srimati Radharani.

Radharani's qualities:

September 10, 2007

Bhajana-kriya: Kriya means activity. Bhajana means worship, specifically, glorifying the name, fame, and activities of the Personality of Godhead and the spiritual world through the process of hearing and chanting. Bhajana-kriya is a kind work, but it is spiritual work. That is what follows having the association of devotees. We engage in preaching activity in Caitanya Mahaprabhu's movement in order to engage others in the opportunity to hear about Krsna, to have some contact with Krsna in one form or another: Hearing the harinama party, or receiving some recorded message about Krsna in the form of printed literature, or sadhu-sanga, having even brief association with a devotee, because the devotees are carrying the mercy of Krsna to others.

September 3, 2007

There's no question of Krsna entering into the womb of Devaki, or of Krsna being born. Krsna is all-pervading throughout time… As the soul is never created nor destroyed, Krsna is never created nor destroyed. His abode is never created nor destroyed. His pastimes are never created nor destroyed. There is some period of time when His pastimes are manifest, and then again not manifest. .

Krsna Balaram
August 27, 2007

Q: Are we removing anarthas, or is Krsna the remover of anarthas?
A: Krsna gives us the strength. But that strength is also Krsna. The potency and the potent are nondifferent. It's not that we're doing…Just like Arjuna killing all the persons on the battlefield of Kuruksetra. Krsna showed Arjuna that He (Krsna) had already done it, but He was giving Arjuna the credit. He wanted to give Arjuna the credit, and He did. He empowered Arjuna. The power was Krsna's power. Krsna was doing, and Arjuna was the instrument. So Krsna gives us the strength.

August 20, 2007

"Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura discusses the idea that every practicing devotee should make periodic or regular evaluations of themselves. It's also good to have evaluation from peers and others, the whole way around – a 360 evaluation. But minimally, on a regular basis, one should evaluate: 'How am I progressing?' One of the standards that Bhaktivinoda Thakura gives is this condition of the development of faith. When there is development of faith, we will also find the condition of detachment from worldly things. We don't need to make a long list of worldly things. But I'm sure that everyone here has experienced that things one's life was previously made up of just fall away at some point in time. It's not a matter of gritting your teeth and giving them up. They just fall away.

August 13, 2007

The following Instruction for the Week is adapted from a lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam given by Srila Romapada Swami in Los Angeles. After discussing the principles upon which material energy works -- from the process of reproduction to the creation of the material world -- Srila Romapada Swami succinctly emphasized the purpose of all such analysis found within the scriptures, whether presented in simplicity or expanded into complex detail:

August 6, 2007

Faith is created in the association of devotees. Actually, faith is already there, and faith comes out in the association of devotees. In a chapter of Bhagavad-gita called Divisions of Faith, Arjuna wants to know, "My dear Lord Krsna, if someone does not have faith in Your words, do they not have faith in something?" And the answer is yes, indirectly. Faith is intrinsic to the soul. It's already there. But if you don't have faith in Krsna, you'll have faith in something non-Krsna, or illusions, or divisions according to the modes of nature. The modes of nature will rule, instead of Krsna ruling in one's life. So faith is already there. Specifically, faith means faith in Krsna. It's already there. Love for Krsna is already there.

August 6, 2007

"Spiritual life, religious life, means to gradually progress through different stages of understanding very clearly not only that a Supreme entity exists, but what and who that Supreme is, and how I am to develop my understanding and my relationship with that Supreme Being. Starting with that initial faith, sraddha, then sadhu-sanga or association with saintly persons follows. Bhaktivinoda Thakura describes that that seed of sraddha accompanies the jiva all the way to the stage of love of God. In other words, it's just like a seed that you would plant in the ground. Within that little seed is the potentiality of a whole tree. That is God's arrangement. Similarly, within sraddha there is the potentiality of love of God. That sraddha, as well as love of God, is intrinsic to the soul.