It is said that the mind is the cause of suffering and happiness. The mind absorbed on mundane objects leads to suffering, whereas the same mind engaged in Krishna consciousness leads one to happiness.

"Meditations on Krishna" is an invitation from Srila Romapada Swami to direct our mind's thinking, feeling and willing capacities to various aspects of Krishna consciousness. Each meditation includes some reading material, a short essay based on the material followed by questions, tailored to help us understand and apply the principles of Krishna consciousness.

Jananivas prabhu serves the deities intimately
June 7, 2009

In this text from Ray of Visnu chapter 13, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati discusses the difference between Idolatry and worship of Sri Murti with an American Professor.

Reading Assignment

Taking shelter of the Holy Name
March 21, 2009

"I am overjoyed to hear that your enthusiasm for chanting is increasing. As our contaminations are removed by chanting, the Lord's form, qualities, and pastimes will be revealed to us in the holy name. There is no point in making a separate effort to artificially remember the Lord's form, qualities, and pastimes. The Lord and His name are one and the same. This will be understood clearly when the coverings in your heart are removed. By chanting without offenses you will personally realize that all perfections come from the holy name. Through chanting, the distinction that exists between the self, and the gross and subtle bodies, is gradually effaced and one realizes one's own spiritual form.

Srila Prabhupada
March 6, 2009

In this short passage, I wish to show how Srila Prabhupada uniquely and uncharacteristically reveals the super-confidential relationship that he had with his guru maharaja. Only by receiving the very special mercy of a great personality can one understand their inner feelings and purpose.

Reading Assignment

There is a passage in the Caitanya-Caritamrita about the confidental verse Mahaprabhu sang while dancing in front of Lord Jagannatha, to which Srila Rupa Goswami composed a complimentary verse which described the meaning of the originally composed verse. He wrote it on a palm leaf and stuck it unto the roof of his hut. The two verses are as follows.

Association
March 1, 2009

The principle of association is what determines elevation or degredation of character and consciousnes. "We take on the qualities of those with whom we associate", Srila Prabhupada often taught us. This is confirmed by Rupa Goswami in his Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. We should *very carefully* select our association. And we should meticulously seek quality exchanges with those provide good association for us. For those who we become well-wishers of, but who may be victims of Kali yuga's influence in various way, the very best benefit we can offer them is to become good association for them -- by the grace and mercy of those more elevated than ourselves. Below are direct quotes from Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu on this topic.

Reading Assignment

Srila Prabhupada empowered his disciples
February 20, 2009

This letter was read aloud at our GBC meeting, related to the capacity Srila Prabhupada had to impart inspiration and empowerment to young Western devotees to expand the mission of Lord Caitanya. Hundreds of such letters are there. It was expressed that commonly devotees would only *see* Srila Prabhupada once every few years!

Maharaja with Srila Prabhupada
February 17, 2009

Faith in one's spiritual master is life. It can carry one all the way to Krishna without a doubt, and in between it can empower one to do that which one cannot do otherwise. The following is from Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur's commentary on the vyavasayatmika-buddhi verse of Bhagavad Gita [2.41], the potency of which propelled Srila Prabhupada all the way to the other side of the planet, following the order of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur. Srila Prabhupada read this commentary while preparing his Bhagavad Gita purports in India. He explained the affect upon him when reading what Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur wrote: he felt absolutely compelled to somehow execute his guru-given "mission impossible" with full confidence and conviction.

Krishna's inconceivable nature and His activities
January 29, 2009

The "Simulated birth and death" lila of Krishna, is compared by Visvanatha Cakravatri Thakur to that of a worldly magician, apparently known in history.

Reading Assignment

Srimad Bhagavatam 12.31.11

TRANSLATION "My dear King, you should understand that the Supreme Lord's appearance and disappearance, which resemble those of embodied conditioned souls, are actually a show enacted by His illusory energy, just like the performance of an actor. After creating this universe He enters into it, plays within it for some time, and at last winds it up. Then the Lord remains situated in His own transcendental glory, having ceased from the functions of cosmic manifestation."

Krsna in Vrindavan.JPG
January 25, 2009

In his Caitanya Caritamrita commentary, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati, in a purport listing various types of sins, includes cutting of green trees for fuel as one. Below are some additional scriptural references which express similar injunctions or teachings.

Reading Assignment

Manu samhita

5.40 Herbs, trees, cattle, birds, and (other) animals that have been destroyed for sacrifices, receive (being reborn) higher existences.

8.285 According to the usefulness of the several (kinds of) trees, a fine must be inflicted for injuring them; that is the settled rule.

8.330 For flowers, green corn, shrubs, creepers, trees, and other unhusked (grain) the fine (shall be) five krishnalas.

Supreme Lord is our shelter
January 20, 2009

Uddhava-gita, the chapters from Canto 11 of Srimad Bhagavatam in which Krishna is instructing Uddhava just as He instructed Arjuna in Bhagavad-gita, is a great treasure of further instructions from Krishna, which provide a great solace for those who truly want shelter in the realm of pure devotion. Two verses which are inspiring to someone who struggles with some persistent anartha, some bad habit or worldly attractions of some kind, are found below.

Sincerity is what enables us to embrace the initial descending mercy we have received. That same sincerity is what Krishna accepts from those who have received some portion of His mercy but may continue to struggle with worldly thoughts, attractions, etc. even though continuing to strive for His shelter.

Festival of Holy Name
January 13, 2009

A core theme in Srimad Bhagavatam is its distinction as para dharma, i.e. *NOT* executed from the platform of the material world, nor targeted towards temporary (insignificant) worldly gains. One is an offender who thinks otherwise, who utilizes bhakti for material gain. The same is said regarding the chanting of the holy name, namely "considering the chanting of the Holy Name to be on the same platform as a karma-kanda ritual."

Our devotional service in today's real time, as well as Srimad Bhagavatam's devotional service described in this verse, begins with chanting. When we strive for unalloyed service unto Krishna, joined with chanting the Holy Name -- this is para dharma!