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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.

February 28, 2006

Accept that gift which Lord Caitanya came to give. Open your heart to Him, and to His associates, because ecstatic love of Godhead is the gift they came to give. Open your heart and receive it!

-- Srila Romapada Swami

February 24, 2006

The following is a continuation from Srila Romapada Swami's lecture on "The Ultimate Goal of Life", based on Lord Caitanya's talks with Ramananda Raya: "How are we to understand the position of varnasrama? Srila Prabhupada, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura all address varnasrama in their writings. Prabhupada certainly gave us a very strong direction to establish varnasrama. So what is the element that Lord Caitanya is rejecting, and how are we to understand that the acaryas have also declared the importance of varnasrama?

LordCaitanya-Ramananda Raya
February 19, 2006

The essence may be couched in so many external activities. Lord Caitanya wasn't rejecting those actvities. Rather, He was objecting to the description of the perfection simply in terms of those activities. The second feature [of Ramananda Raya's suggestion] was yat karosi yad asnasi... An important part of the description why Lord Caitanya rejected this point was that one can continue -- not only can, one will continue -- to carry a material conception about the Supreme, unless one is instructed about the proper conception of the Supreme. More than instructed, one must be rightfully instructed in such a way that that instruction directly brings purification.

Dependent on Lord
February 18, 2006

"Krsna says, 'I am the swift deliverer from the ocean of birth and death for those who execute their activities in devotional service.' Because Krsna does the delivering, that's a different dependency than the dependency of someone who is thinking 'If I do this and I do this and I do this, then I'm secure.' They're not thinking, 'I'm depending on Krsna'. They're thinking, 'Im depending on this, that, and the other thing' -- some activity, not the quality of their devotion and dependency on God."

February 15, 2006

Suta Goswami has the answer to the purpose of the Lord's appearance. The reason he knows that purpose is because he heard the discussion previously between Sukadeva Goswami and Maharaja Pariksit. "All blessings upon you", the sages therefore say to Suta Goswami. They're recognizing that Suta Goswami is already filled with all blessings because of his understanding of this subject matter. This theme will keep reappearing in both the questions as well as the answers, namely that one who has heard spiritual messages properly is in a most fortunate, benedicted, or blessed situation. Just by giving their association, they in turn can similarly bestow the same blessing or gift upon others. Only one who has received can in turn give to others.

-- Srila Romapada Swami, 1/12/89 NY


Q: "Maharaja, you said that we're here for a very long time. So, even though our nature is marginal, does it mean that when we choose against Krsna it's very difficult to... that we'll stay here forever, or we'll stay here until we happen to meet a devotee? Or is there [a time line set up for us and we just have to follow it]?"

A: "It's variable. It's not etched in stone; [it's not that] we just have to follow our time the bell rings and we go back to the spiritual world. It's a function of consciousness, not a function of a pre-existing plan. The function of consciousness means the instruction is there, and now we have to embrace it. Embracing the instruction of Krsna, so that we can embrace Krsna." .


"Balarama's regard or mood in relation to Krsna is servitude. In all cases, without exception, Balarama is in the mood of servitude. In fact, because Balarama is the first expansion of Krsna, then we can say that from Balarama that all other expansions come. The first Sankarsana, and then the catur-vyuha, and Lord Narayana, then the second catur-vyuha, then the purusa-avataras, all living entities and all empowerments that go to those living entities, and the issuing forth of the material creation from the body of Maha-Visnu, all expansions flow from Balarama.


"This [initiation] ceremony is not just some pageantry. It signifies freeing one from one's previous misdeeds, by this event of submission to guru and the holy name. But that ongoing ridding of one's heart of the seed-like conditions is the vigilant duty of the disciple. Therefore, in an ongoing way, to very carefully guard against the ten offenses while chanting the holy name is imperative, in order to actually experience the real success of chanting.


".....What is our qualification to carry Krsna's mercy? The idea of carrying the quality of mercy of Krsna is that we have been given the instruction to take this message of devotion and share it with others. Just give that impelling encouragement to others. Then one is connected to Krsna. By distributing Krsna's mercy, one receives Krsna's mercy. Even if you have Krsna's mercy to give, if you don't give it, you'll feel without it." .

-- Srila Romapada Swami 3/26/00, Chicago


"How does one get the favor of the Supreme Lord?Favor of the Supreme Lord means that He is particularly kindly disposed... A personality who was particularly bestowed some mercy because of his nice qualities was Narada. In his former life as the son of a maidservant, he received the association of the sages, or the bhakti-vedantas, while they were in residence at the inn where he and his mother were residing. He had the opportunity to serve those bhaktivedantas, and through that service rendered, the way that Narada conducted himself, they were pleased with him.