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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.

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.

HH Romapada Swami in Chicago, May 2011
August 31, 2015

Acaryavan is one who has a spiritual master. Acaryavan puruso veda. The sruti mantras say that one who has a spiritual master knows the Supreme Person. That is the duty of one who has a spiritual master - to know who the Supreme Person is. One who has a spiritual master receives that understanding of the Supreme Person.

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

HH Romapada Swami in Boston Sept 2010
August 24, 2015

The purpose of all the Vedas is to know Krishna. He says vedānta-kṛd veda-vid eva cāham: I am the compiler of the Vedas. As His expansion Vedavyasa, He compiled the Vedas. Veda-vid: He knows the Vedas. When you write something you know the purpose of that which you have written. The author knows the purpose of something that he has written. Krishna is saying, "I am the author by my expansion Vedavyasa, and the purpose of what I have written is to know Me!"

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

HH Romapada Swami in Chicago, Jan 2013
August 17, 2015

Prabhupada explained that the process of devotional service has two tracks. One is purifying the heart by chanting of the holy name, and the other is spiritual teachings that give proper direction. Knowledge alone is not enough. Likewise, the means for cleansing of heart alone is not enough. We need both things.

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

HH Romapada Swami in Boston Apr 2009
August 10, 2015

Lord Kapiladeva is asked by Devahuti, “Devotional service is pure. Is it possible to render devotional service impurely?”

Kapiladeva’s reply is, “Yes. According to one’s involvement in the modes of material nature, our consciousness while rendering devotional service (which is pure in and of itself) can be tainted by ignorance or passion or goodness. Then there is pure devotional service, in which the consciousness of the performer is free of all such taints. This is what he is describing. Gauna-bhakti is the practice of devotional service in the material field, and prakrta-bhakti is devotional service of different qualities. Above such activities is the transcendental practice of devotional service.

Guru Maharaja Hearing SP
August 3, 2015

Brahma-bhūtaḥ - on a spiritual platform. Prasannātmā – one feels not just relief of the pressure of being harassed, but one feels positive spiritual happiness. Prasannātmā. What is a feature of that? Na śocati na kāńkṣati – no hankering and no lamenting. When there is positive spiritual happiness, that pressure of the material hankering for something we don’t have and lamenting for something that we lose is taken away. It becomes so insignificant that it just vanishes. The example given is that of a light from a firefly. In the mid-day sun, what is the illumination from the firefly?

HH Romapada Swami in Mayapur April 2009
July 31, 2015

The Personality of Godhead is always with His loving associates in His transcendental abode engaging in loving exchanges with them in His fullness. Puruṣaḿ pūrṇaḿ. His fullness is everything. He saw the spiritual world, the Lord in the center of that spiritual world, and His external energy which was under His full control. The external energy specifically is situated behind Him, under His control. Normally we don’t see the Personality of Godhead because all we see is external energy. It is like looking in the sky and seeing lots of clouds but not seeing the sun. We know that the sun is there because it is light instead of dark, but we can’t see the sun because of the clouds.