Summary: For those who wish to strictly follow the restrictions given by our Founder-acarya, the careful way that Srila Prabhupada considered the circumstance brought before him mentioned below, as much as his conclusion on the topic, are very noteworthy. If one does a little research on the internet it will be apparent that chocolate is not good for the human system for multiple reasons. The amount of caffeine is minimal, but it has several other stimulants in it which are much heavier than caffeine and are considered CNS (Central Nervous System) stimulants. The stimulants are so heavy that dogs suffer a severe reaction when they are given chocolate.

Sound incarnation of Krsna enters into the heart of a self-realized devotee
December 1, 2006

Summary: Below is a quote from Srimad-Bhagavatam which I find very inspirational. It's application is perfectly appropriate with chanting Hare Krishna, as well as hearing Srimad-Bhagavatam. One devotee, hearing me lecture on this verse, became inspired to draw the painting which you find in the attached file. I will be providing gift copies of the lecture which prompted the painting at my Vyasa Puja, along with a few other things. Otherwise it can be downloaded from caitanya.com.

Application: Try meditating upon the message and spirit of this verse while chanting, or while reading Srimad-Bhagavatam. It is very powerful, as well as very beautiful.

Reading Assignment

a) Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.8.4-5

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.

Maharaja Ambarisha is a picture of steadiness even amidst seeming reversals
December 16, 2010

Summary: While we certainly must attend to illness, fire, accidents, circumstances which are causing impediments to our service, etc -- we must not become obsessed with the situation. There is a time and place for simply accepting these things as providential.

Reading Material

TRANSLATION "My dear King, do not be agitated and anxious because your sacrifices have not been properly executed due to providential impediments. Kindly take my words with great respect. We should always remember that if something happens by providential arrangement, we should not be very sorry. The more we try to rectify such reversals, the more we enter into the darkest region of materialistic thought."

Taking shelter of a pure devotee

Summary: Srimad Bhagavatam 11.5.41 is a very important verse; it is quoted twice in Bhagavad-gita purports and a total of 59 times in Srila Prabhupada's teachings. This verse was explained in great detail in the second lecture I heard Srila Prabhupada give, so it has special meaning for me. We require the instructions of a pure devotee to enable us to understand fully the purport of the transcendental literature, Srimad-Bhagavatam. Renunciation alone does not entitle us to spiritual attainment; in fact, although it may make one extrodinarily powerful, our hearts may easily become contaminated by pride due to possessing the quality of renunciation, as much as possessing wealth, knowledge, beauty or any other opulence can also make us proud.

Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur

Summary: The text which you have received as an attached file is an English translation of a passage taken from a book written by Bhaktivinoda Thakura in Sanskrit entitled Tattva Sutra. The quoted passage from this book describes Bhaktivinoda Thakura's analysis of how bad habits are to be removed. Although Bhaktivinoda Thakura does not go into great detail about the method of retraction of bad habits, he certainly gives his reader the clear picture that retraction of bad habits is a MUST, that it takes great commitment sustained over time to accomplish the result, and that its successful accomplishment brings us closer to reaching our spiritual goal.