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Srimad Bhagavad Gita AS IT IS

Bhagavad Gita:   Chapter 6 - Dhyana-yoga

                              arjuna uvaca
                       yo 'yam yogas tvaya proktah
                           samyena madhusudana
                          etasyaham na pasyami
                       cancalatvat sthitim sthiram
   arjunah uvaca--Arjuna said; yah ayam--this system; yogah--mysticism; tvaya--by You; proktah--described; samyena--generally; madhu-sudana--O killer of the demon Madhu; etasya--of this; aham--I; na--do not; pasyami--see; cancalatvat--due to being restless; sthitim--situation; sthiram--stable.
   Arjuna said: O Madhusudana, the system of yoga which You have summarized appears impractical and unendurable to me, for the mind is restless and unsteady.
PURPORT by HDG Srila A. C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad:

   The system of mysticism described by Lord Krsna to Arjuna beginning with the words sucau dese and ending with yogi paramah is here being rejected by Arjuna out of a feeling of inability. It is not possible for an ordinary man to leave home and go to a secluded place in the mountains or jungles to practice yoga in this Age of Kali. The present age is characterized by a bitter struggle for a life of short duration. People are not serious about self-realization even by simple, practical means, and what to speak of this difficult yoga system, which regulates the mode of living, the manner of sitting, selection of place, and detachment of the mind from material engagements. As a practical man, Arjuna thought it was impossible to follow this system of yoga, even though he was favorably endowed in many ways. He belonged to the royal family and was highly elevated in terms of numerous qualities; he was a great warrior, he had great longevity, and, above all, he was the most intimate friend of Lord Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Five thousand years ago, Arjuna had much better facilities than we do now, yet he refused to accept this system of yoga. In fact, we do not find any record in history of his practicing it at any time. Therefore this system must be considered generally impossible in this Age of Kali. Of course it may be possible for some very few, rare men, but for the people in general it is an impossible proposal. If this were so five thousand years ago, then what of the present day? Those who are imitating this yoga system in different so-called schools and societies, although complacent, are certainly wasting their time. They are completely in ignorance of the desired goal.

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Copyright 1983 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International. Used with permission.

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Prabhupada Uvacha:
(here's some nectar, sometimes it comes in the form of Srutakirti prabhu's diary, other times from Govinda dasi's diary, Hari Sauri prabhu's Transcendental Diary, Bhurijan prabhu's book, or sometimes from a letter, or other related source, but still nectar...)

Knowing the Truth

While a roaring kirtana continued downstairs, Prabhupada gave a short audience in his room to our Italian printer, Bruno. A jolly, rotund man with rosy cheeks, Bruno appeared simple and unpretentious. He couldn't speak English, but he spoke fluent French through a devotee interpreter. Although he said he had many questions to ask Srila Prabhupada, he thought that Prabhupada might be feeling to tired to meet with him.

Prabhupada, however, assured him he wasn't.

Bruno said he was interested in the pursuit of truth. He was impressed with both the devotees' character and lifestyle. He wanted to know what our goal was and what freedom we derived from our activities.

Prabhupada told him that liberty means "whatever you like you can do," but now we can't do what we like. In the spiritual world, though, we are free to travel anywhere we want, like Narada Muni. He said this type of freedom was just one item of spiritual life and there were many others.

Bruno wondered whether he could find spiritual truth by following his own path, by keeping his own freedom to do whatever he liked, or if it required daily adherence to scriptures and principles.

Prabhupada told him, "No, you have no freedom; you have to accept some way for freedom."

Yogesvara explained that Bruno found it difficult to accept that truth was something that can be described in black and white. "He seems to feel that it's more something you can realize through meditation."

"How you'll realize?" Prabhupada asked him. "Unless you learn ABCD, how you can realize truth?"

Bruno said that since each person finds the truth in himself, didn't that mean that the truth is different for each person? He felt that each person had own his truth; although the truth is one, as individuals we all realized that truth at different levels.

"That is rascaldom," Srila Prabhupada told him. "Truth is one."

Bruno suggested that one person may have a higher knowledge of that truth while another may have a lower.

"That is different thing," Srila Prabhupada replied, "but truth is one. Just like top floor is one. And one has gone few steps, another hundred steps, one has got ten steps, that is depending. But top is one."

Bhugarbha asked, "Can he find the truth on his level, because he hasn't arrived at your level?"

Prabhupada shook his head. "How he can? If the top floor is hundred steps, how you can get it at ten steps?"

Bhagavan said a person had to at least be aiming in the right direction.

Prabhupada agreed, adding, "But one who has gone ten steps and one who has gone thousand steps, they are not equal."

Now Bruno understood. He nodded his head, "D'accord, d'accord."

"So, truth is one," Prabhupada went on. "Everyone is trying to go to the truth. Somebody has gone ten steps, somebody has hundred steps. But to cover all the steps, say one thousand steps. So unless you have passed one thousand steps, you cannot reach to the truth."

Bruno said that it has always been difficult for him to keep climbing up the stairs in the right direction.

Srila Prabhupada smiled at us. "So we shall give him a lift, one second. You haven't got to go step by step; we shall give immediately, one minute. If you refuse to take the advantage of the lift, that's your choice. Krsna personally says, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja/ aham tvam sarva-papebhyah. Immediately, one second. But we will not accept, that is our misfortune."

Bruno admitted it was difficult for him.

"Why difficult?" Prabhupada declared. "Obstinacy. It is not difficult, it is obstinacy. 'I'll not take.'A child can take."

Bruno said that for a child it was simple because he's pure and can accept everything presented to him; but for those who are older and already engaged in so many contaminated activities, it was hard.

Still Prabhupada didn't accept. "No, there is no question. It is apratihata, it cannot be checked by old age or any material condition."

Bruno laughed. He said he wasn't free to choose because the devotees were always forcing him to take prasadam.

"Yes, this child has to be forced to do something, for his interest. Just like horse is not prepared to take the medicine, but four men force him to take the medicine. Nobody was crying for this edition of Bhagavata, but we are forcing, 'You must read. You must take.' We are printing and forcing everyone. French edition Bhagavata, they were not dying for this book, but this is our force."

Bruno was very satisfied with the answers and he thanked Srila Prabhupada. He promised that he would go on trying to make his books look even nicer.

"Very good, do that," Prabhupada thanked him. "That will be service to Krsna."

- From the "A Transcendental Diary Vol 3" by HG Hari Sauri dasa

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"Civilized--Less Then Animal"

Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.14
September 19, 1972, Los Angeles

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Pradyumna: (leads chanting, etc.)

rsibhir yacito bheje
navamam parthivam vapuh
dugdhemam osadhir vipras
tenayam sa usattamah

Translation: "O brahmanas, the ninth incarnation of the Lord, prayed for by sages, was King Prthu, who cultivated the land to yield various produces, and for that reason the earth was beautiful and attractive."

Prabhupada: So this refers to King Prthu, Maharaja Prthu. So his father's name was King Vena. And his father's name was... I don't remember. Perhaps Anga, like that. So the Vena's father married one woman. She was the daughter of Death, means the family was not very good. So as a result of this marriage, a son was born, whose name was Vena, who came out to be first-class rogue. So the father of Vena wanted to reform him in so many ways, but he could not. The son was not to be corrected. So the father became disgusted, and one day he left home without any knowledge of the family members or the officers and king. He left.

Then the great sages and brahmanas, because without king there was irregularities in the kingdom... Just like we have got experience. If there is no good government, strong government, the rogues, thieves, smugglers and so many other disrupting elements, they will grow. Because they are always existing. They find out the opportunity. As soon as there is some revolution, political upsurge, or mismanagement of the government, these undesirable elements, they come out. So when the father of Vena Maharaja left home, the kingdom became unruly. Therefore the sages and saintly persons, they asked the queen that "Your son, although he is worthless, so let him become king. There must be some king."

So this Vena was made king by the desire of the saintly person. The significance is that formerly the brahmanas, the ksatriyas, the vaisyas and the sudras, these four departments, they must remain. Varnasrama. That must be maintained, class division. So the brahmanas, the saintly persons, sages, they used to recommend that "Yes, this person is fit for becoming king." Then the coronation was celebrated. Or... This means that the ksatriyas were under the order of the brahmanas. So when Vena become king, of course, the rogues and thieves, they were immediately subdued. Because rogues and thieves, and here the king is also greater rogue. So the smaller rogues were subdued immediately. That was one of the benefit, because he was very strong and cruel. Immediately, caught a rogue, he will immediately cut off his head. So they were subdued. But he himself is a rogue. Nunam mahatam tatra. This is our experience. "Might is right." If you are stronger, then you can subdue less strong. But he became very much disturbing. He was atheist, and he ordered that "There is no God. I am God. So what I say, you have to abide." The brahmanas were also... "You cannot perform yajnas. This is not required." In this way, he became too much disturbing.

Then one day all the brahmanas and the sages, they came to give him instruction: "My dear king, it is not your duty to stop all kinds of religious activities." Just like the Communist government. Yes. But who hears? He said, "No. Why you are trying to pacify God? I am God. You just act. If you are actually God conscious, then you act according to my order." So when the sages and brahmanas became disgusted, he was killed by the brahmanas, by their order. You see? The brahmanas were so strong. By simply cursing, they could kill anyone. So the Vena was killed. Then again the rogues and thieves came out. Then from the body of Vena, they created two sons. One son was black, and he was ordered that "You go to the forest." Because they could know that he was exactly son of the father. Nisada. Nisada. They were sent... He was sent to the forest. And then the King Prthu was born. The King Prthu, He is incarnation of, power incarnation of God. Saktyavesavatara So he proved himself as a great king on this earth. He produced foodstuff, foodgrains, profusely.

That from the life of King Prthu we can understand. We are discussing that in the Fourth Canto, the life of Maharaja Prthu, how good government can be maintained. Prthu Maharaja is the ideal king. He produced, he made arrangement. The earth was not producing sufficient foodgrains, so he attacked the earth that "Why you are not producing?" The mother earth said that "Because the people have become demon and they are simply eating, but they are not doing their duty. Therefore I have minimized producing grain." This is to be very important, that the earth can produce any amount of foodgrains. There is no question of overpopulation. There is no question of overpopulation, because everyone is being fed by the mercy of God. Eko bahunam yo vidadhati kaman. God is giving everyone the foodstuff.

I have several times explained in this class that nobody has got any food problem. Simply the so-called civilized, advanced in science, these people have got problems of foodgrains. Otherwise, there are millions of elephants, they are eating very nicely. There are ants, there are elephants, there are tigers, there are monkeys, there are trees... So many, 8,400,000 forms of body. How they are eating? Unless they are eating... We kill animals, but the animals do not come to the..., to us, that "We are starving. Give us food." Never. By nature, there is arrangement, foodstuff. The cows, the other animals, they are eating grass. There is profuse growth of grass. So they are not eating your nice foodstuff, sandesa, rasagulla. You are making sandesa, rasagulla from the milk which they deliver. They are eating grass and delivering you nice foodstuff, milk. And from the milk, you can make hundreds and thousands of nice, nutritious, full of vitamin foodstuff. But no. We are so fool that instead of utilizing the milk, we are utilizing the blood. You see?

These rascals, the scientists, they do not know that milk is nothing but transformation of the blood. That everyone knows. So if you want to... That is nature's way, by God's will, that a cow gives forty pounds, fifty pounds milk daily, but it does not drink. Although it is her milk, no, it gives you, human society: "You take. But don't kill me. Let me live. I am eating only grass." Just see. And the civilized men killing them, killing them. And they want peace. Just see the fun. Without touching your foodstuff, the cow is eating the grass which is given by God, immense grass, and they are giving you the finest foodstuff, milk. Just after your birth you have only to drink milk, either mother's milk... Nowadays, mothers do not supply milk. That is also to be supplied by the cow. So from the very beginning of my life I am subsisting by the foodstuff given by mother, cow, and when I am grown up, I kill. This is my gratitude. Just see. And they are called civilized. Less than lowest animal, naradhama. They are called naradhama, lowest of the mankind. Those who are killing cows, maintaining slaughterhouse, they are lowest of the mankind. They are not human being. Less than animal. They have no gratitude.


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© 2001 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International. Used with permission.


This Maya will attack the body always, because the body itself is the source of all troubles.
We try to make a solution of our misfortunes, but at the same time we want to keep this body.

Letter to Brahmananda, Los Angeles1968

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Quotes from Shastra - scriptures
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"The Cäturmäsya period begins in the month of Äñäòha (June-July) from the day of Ekädaçé called Çayanä-ekädaçé, in the fortnight of the waxing moon. The period ends in the month of Kärtika (October-November) on the Ekädaçé day known as Utthänä-ekädaçé, in the fortnight of the waxing moon. This four-month period is known as Cäturmäsya. Some Vaiñëavas also observe it from the full-moon day of Äñäòha until the full-moon day of Kärtika. That is also a period of four months. This period, calculated by the lunar months, is called Cäturmäsya, but others also observe Cäturmäsya according to the solar month from Çrävaëa to Kärtika. The whole period, either lunar or solar, takes place during the rainy season. Cäturmäsya should be observed by all sections of the population. It does not matter whether one is a gåhastha or a sannyäsé. The observance is obligatory for all äçramas. The real purpose behind the vow taken during these four months is to minimize the quantity of sense gratification. This is not very difficult. In the month of Çrävaëa one should not eat spinach, in the month of Bhädra one should not eat yogurt, and in the month of Äçvina one should not drink milk. One should not eat fish or other nonvegetarian food during the month of Kärtika. A nonvegetarian diet means fish and meat. Similarly, masüra dhal and urad dhal are also considered nonvegetarian. These two dhals contain a great amount of protein, and food rich in protein is considered nonvegetarian. On the whole, during the four-month period of Cäturmäsya one should practice giving up all food intended for sense enjoyment."

Sri Chaitanya Charitamritam Madhya lila 4:169 purport.

See more about Chaturmasya BELOW:

Who is Sri Krishna? What is Sri Krishna Janmastami?

Sri Krishna Janmastami - Appearance of Lord Sri Krishna (Fasting 'till Midnight)
Ekadasi style breakfast for Janmastami at midnight

Nandotsav - Jata karman of Sri Krishna by Nanda maharaj

Krishna is God, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This fact is stated and corroborated in the Vedic scriptures and by various authorities. Lord Brahma in Brahma Samhita says, "Krishna who is known as Govinda is the Supreme Godhead. He has an eternal blissful spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin and He is the prime cause of all causes" (BS 5.1). In the Bhagavata Purana Krishna becomes the chief object of devotion. After describing various incarnations of the Lord such as Rama, Balarama, Vamana, Nrsimha, and Vishnu, Srila Sukadeva Goswami states, "All of the above mentioned incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord, but Lord Krishna is the original Personality of Godhead" (SB 1.3.28).

Lord Shiva in Gita Mahatmya, states that "only one God - Krishna, the son of Devaki" (Verse 7). In the Padma Purana it is stated, "By scrutinizingly reviewing all the revealed scriptures and judging them again and again, it is now concluded that Lord Narayana is the Supreme Absolute Truth, and thus He alone should be worshipped". Similarly it is said in the Skanda Purana, "In the material world, which is full of darkness and dangers, combined with birth and death and full of different anxieties, the only way to get out of the great entanglement is to accept loving transcendental devotional service to Lord Vasudeva. This is accepted by all classes of philosophers".

The position of Krishna as God is confirmed by great personalities like Narada, Asita, Devala, Vyasa, Parasara, Brahma and Shiva. Finally Krishna Himself confirms this fact in the Bhagavad-gita to His friend and devotee, Arjuna. He clearly says that He is "the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods" (BG 5.29), that "there is no truth superior to Me" (BG 7.7) and - "I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me" (BG 10.8).

What is the position of Krishna?

As God, there is no one equal to or greater than Krishna. He is the original, unborn, eternal person, the most ancient, completely independent, and the cause of all causes. Parasara Muni, the father of Srila Vyasadeva and a great scholar who had himself held the position of Vyasa in a previous kalpa, very nicely defines the position of Bhagavan (God) as one Who is complete in six kinds of opulence namely - wisdom, beauty, fame, power, wealth and renunciation. While there are many great personalities who are very famous or very wealthy, only Krishna as God is replete in all six opulence.

The scriptures not only give us the unique position of Krishna but also give us a detailed description of all His aspects. They tell us that above this temporary material universe is an eternal spiritual world called Vaikuntha, and Krishna lives in the topmost planet of this universe called Goloka Vrindavana which is full of palaces made of touch-stone (cintamani), with trees that are capable of fulfilling all desires (kalpa-vraksha) and cows that are called Surabhi.

Here Krishna eternally resides, served by hundreds and thousands of goddesses of fortune. He sports with His most confidential and intimate devotees, headed by Srimati Radharani. He has a form just like us but His body is spiritual and thus eternal. His complexion is dark-blue, like that of a rain-filled cloud and His eyes are like lotus petals. He is ever youthful, full of bliss and His beauty excels that of thousands of cupids. He likes to play the flute, He sports a crown with a peacock feather and He is adorned by the exquisite kastuba jewel.

What is Krishna avatar?

In Chaitanya-charitamrita (2.20.263-264) it is stated that the "avatar, or incarnation of Godhead, descends from the kingdom of God for creating and maintaining the material manifestation. And the particular form of the Personality of Godhead who so descends is called an incarnation, or avatar. Such incarnations are situated in the spiritual world, the kingdom of God. When They descend to the material creation, They assume the name avatar."

The Srimad Bhagavatam states that there are countless incarnations just like the waves of the oceans. They fall in various categories like lila (pastime), yuga (period of yuga), manavantara (period of Manu), purusa (Vishnu expansions) and shaktivesa (empowered). These avatars perform various pastimes based on the time, place and circumstances, but their purpose is always the same - "to attract the conditioned souls back to their eternal spiritual abode".

The incarnations emanate from Vishnu. Maha-Vishnu is the original cause of all material creation and from Him Garbhodakashai-Vishnu expands and then Ksirodakasayi-Vishnu. Generally all incarnations appearing within the material world are plenary portions of Ksirodakasayi-Vishnu (also known as Hari).

However only once in a day of Lord Brahma (which lasts for 4.32 billion of our years), does Krishna descend in His original form, as the avataree, the cause of all avatars. When Krishna appears all the incarnations join with Him. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the complete whole and all the plenary portions and incarnations always live with Him. So when Krishna appeared, Lord Vishnu was always with Him, and while Krishna enjoyed His pastimes in Vrindavan, the killing of the demons was actually carried out by the His Vishnu portion. Since Krishna eternally resides in Vrindavan, when He left Vrindavan at the age of ten, it was His Vasudeva expansion that actually left.

Appearance of Krishna

In the era of the Svayambhuva Manu, prajapati Sutapa and his wife Prsni were instructed by Lord Brahma to have progeny. They performed severe austerities for twelve thousand years of the demigods to have the Lord as their child. Pleased by their austerities the Lord appeared and granted them this benediction. Since He gave them this benediction three times, in Satya-yuga He first appeared as the son of Prsni and Sutapa and was called Prsnigarba. In Treta-yuga they were Aditi and Kasyapa Muni and the Lord appeared as Vamanadeva. Finally in the Dvapara yuga, Krishna in His original form, appeared as the child of Devaki and Vasudeva.

Krishna appeared specifically on the request of Bhudevi, the presiding deity of the Earth planet. Distressed by the burden of many demons who had appeared as powerful Kshatriyas and were ruling the planet impiously, she assumed the form of a cow and pleaded to Lord Brahma for help. Lord Brahma with all the demigods prayed to Lord Vishnu in Svetadvipa by chanting the Purusa-sukta prayers. At this time the Lord informed Brahma that in order to establish religiosity and destroy evil, He would soon appear as His original Self. In the meantime the various demigods were instructed to take birth in various families in the Yadu dynasty and prepare for the appearance of the Lord.

Lifeline of Sri Krishna

Historically, Lord Krishna appeared in the Dvapara yuga, on the midnight of the 8th day of the dark half of the month of Sravan. This corresponds to July 19th in the year 3228 BC. ( important NOTE) He exhibited His pastimes for a little over 125 years and disappeared on February 18th 3102 BC on the new moon night of Phalgun. His departure marks the beginning of the current age of corruption known as Kali.

The great scholar Srila Vishvanatha Chakravarti neatly outlines Lord Krishna's activities in this way. He was born in Mathura in the prison cell of Kamsa and carried to Gokul. The first three years and four months were spent in Gokula, then equal lengths of time in Vrindavan and Nandagram. At the age of eleven He left Vrindavan for Mathura where He lived for eighteen years and four months, and finally ninety-six years and eight months in Dvaraka totaling about 126 years of manifest pastimes. At the time of Mahabharata, when Krishna spoke the Bhagavad-gita, He was about ninety years of age.

Pastimes of Krishna

The tenth canto of Srimad Bhagavatam describes the activities and transcendental pastimes of Sri Krishna. They are also described in the epic Mahabharata, specially in the Bhishma parva which also contains the Bhagavad-gita. The pastimes of Krishna appeal to the liberated souls, those that are trying to get liberated and also to the gross materialists.

The pastimes of Sri Krishna, known as Krishna-katha fall into two categories. Words spoken by Krishna, as the Bhagavad-gita, and words spoken about Krishna, as in the Srimad Bhagavatam. Souls in the liberated stage derive great pleasure in relishing anything and everything related to Krishna. For those that are trying to be liberated, Krishna-katha makes their path of liberation very clear. By studying the Gita one becomes fully conscious of the position of Sri Krishna; and when one is situated at the lotus feet of the Lord, he understands the narration's of Krishna as described in the Srimad Bhagavatam.

Even the gross materialists are attracted by the pleasure pastimes of Krishna with the Gopis and His wives. Even though the loving affairs of Krishna have nothing to do with the gross, mundane sex affairs, they attract the people engrossed in sense-gratification and gradually elevate them to higher levels of spirituality.

Causeless mercy of Krishna

Even though Krishna is completely self sufficient and self satisfied, He descends for the benefit of all the conditioned souls. His most endearing quality is that of "bhakta vatsala". His pure devotees are always trying to please Him, and He is always trying to please His devotees. Just as He lives in the heart of His devotees, His devotees constantly reside in Him.

Krishna is so merciful that He not only helps His devotees, but also those who are envious of Him. Krishna destroys evil by providing them with an opportunity to take up devotion.

On the greatly auspicious day of Krishna-Janamashtami, let us all pray to Sri Krishna for a drop of His causeless mercy, for only that alone is sufficient to take us out from this material word, back home, back to Godhead.

All glories to the appearance day of Lord Krishna ! All glories to Sri Krishna and His devotees !!

Courtesy of http://www.acbspn.com/festivals/janmastami.htm (2002)

See more on our Janmastami pages http://www.hknet.org.nz/calendar-janmastami.htm

Sweetest Description of Janmastami-lila
from Ananda Vrindavan Champu by Srila Kavi Karnapura
Translated by Bhanu Swami & Subhaga Swami
Published by Mahanidhi Swami

Now we will discuss the truth about the transcendental birthplace of Bhagavan and the appearance of Lord Sri Krishna. Once upon a time, Bhumi, the predominating deity of the earth, felt overburdened by different demons posing as members of the royal order. Feeling aggrieved upon seeing her miserable condition, the lotus-born Brahma appealed to Ksirodakasayi Visnu, the maintainer of the universe, saying, "Please deliver Goddess Bhumi who is feeling greatly distressed by these demoniac kings. Only You can remove this terrible influence from the earth."

The time for an appearance of the Lord coincided with two internal desires of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. First the Lord desired to descend on earth to increase the fortune of Yasoda and Nanda. Also at that time Krishna wanted to relish the sweet mellow of smgara rasa (paramour love) while enacting His worldly pastimes. For these two reasons the Lord appeared within the material creation on Bhuloka, (earth planet), along with His parents, friends, and other eternal associates.

Another distinction of Lord Krishna's earthly pastimes is that when the eternally liberated gopis such as Srimati Radharani, Candravali, and others appeared, the Srutis personified also appeared in the homes of other gopis, because they had previously cultivated the desire to serve Sri Krishna as Vraja gopis. The Dandakaranya sages, upon seeing the svakiya bhava (the sweet conjugal relationship) of Lord Ramacandra and Sitadevi, desired to have the same relationship with their Lord Madana Gopala. Upon attaining perfection in their sadhana they achieved the fortunate position of appearing as gopis in Vrindavan. Yogamaya, Lord Krishna's pastime potency who possesses unlimited abilities, appeared invisibly in Gokula to arrange this, and perform other difficult tasks on behalf of the Lord.

Sri Nanda, Yasoda, and others appeared in Brhadvana (Mahavana) before the Lord. The gopas, gopis, and other eternally liberated associates appeared after the Lord. Then those who had attained perfection by sadhana, namely the sruti-caris and muni-caris, took birth in Vrindavan.

Learning of Krishna's imminent appearance, the earth personified, feeling like a wife happily greeting her husband after a long separation, immersed in unlimited joy. At the time of Krishna's birth the general mass of people tasted the inner bliss that devotees forever relish. Auspicious signs abounded everywhere. As Visnu's conchshell Pancajanya opens in a clockwise fashion, similarly, auspicious sacrificial fires glowed in all directions. Pure gentle breezes brought a refreshing coolness like devotees who satisfy and sanctify everyone with their calm, sweet, and affectionate behavior.

The whole atmosphere became as completely purified as the heart of a devotee. The devotees once again found peace and prosperity in worshiping the lotus feet of Lord Hari. Fruits filled the jubilant trees. But the envious demons exhibited various inauspicious signs of degradation such as rapidly aging bodies and symptoms of imminent death. The desire vines of the celestial denizens seemed to be hanging in the air as if eager to produce fruits. At that time all the directions became felt as pure and joyful as the mind of a devotee who has received the mercy of Lord Hari. Just as gems, mantras, or medicines can a remove a poisonous disease from the body of a man, the advent of the Lord relieved the world from the contamination of material existence and the sinful effect of the demons. Happiness gradually replaced the distress in everyone's hearts.

The bodies of all creatures manifested extraordinary beauty and youthful vitality. Men felt extremely joyful and displayed virtuous qualities. Throughout the world people behaved cordially and interacted amicably. Happiness twinkled in everyone's eye. At the end of Dvapara-yuga, which completely destroys faults and doubts, an auspicious, favorable, obstacle-free time appeared on the eighth day of the waning moon in Bhadra month. Just at that sweet moment the Rohini Naksatra, along with the good qualities of the moon and an auspicious conjunction of stars called Ayusman, appeared in the sky to give shelter to gentle persons.

As the living entity comes out from the womb of his mother and the moon appears on the lap of the eastern direction, Yogesvara Sri Krishna, the personification of complete bliss, appeared amidst great festivities. As the moon appears in the lap of the eastern direction, which is like a beautiful bride, Krishna manifested the wonderful pastime of His appearance out of His love and compassion for the conditioned souls.

Due to austerities performed in previous lives, Vasudeva and Devaki received the opportunity to momentarily relish parental affection for Lord Sri Krishna when He appeared before them in His form as Vasudeva. Thereafter in fear of Kamsa, Vasudeva brought Vasudeva Krishna to Gokula. There the Supreme Lord appeared as Govinda before Nanda and Yasoda, His eternal parents who have been smothering Him with the sweetest form of parental love since time immemorial. The four symbols of Visnu (sankha, cakra, gada, padmd) adorned His hands and feet. The flute, flower garland, and kaustubha mani, although present within Him, had not yet manifested.

In fear of cruel Kamsa, Vasudeva decided to transfer all his wives except Devaki to Gokula. He sent Rohini to the house of Vrajaraja Nanda. By the sweet will of the Lord, Yogamaya arranged for the seventh child of  Devaki (Balarama) to enter the womb of Rohini. As a result, Balarama appeared in the home of Vrajaraja Nanda before the birth of Krishna.

Lord Hari, who is bliss personified, appeared in the home of Nanda Maharaja, the king of Vrindavan for three reasons: to engage the self satisfied sages in devotional service, to please the devotees by performing sweet transcendental pastimes, and to relieve the earth's burden caused by the demons. At the time of His majestic birth Krishna employed His inconceivable powers to appear in a body of eternity, bliss and knowledge. Everyone in the maternity room swelled with joy upon seeing the Lord's exquisite transcendental form that looked like a creeper of beauty.

Mother Yasoda resembled a lake of spiritual ecstasy in which a brilliant blue lotus of personified bliss had appeared. Neither the wind nor the bees relished the fragrance of that blue lotus. That unborn lotus was never touched by the waves of the modes of nature. Even Lord Brahma could not see it, what to speak of ordinary men.

After Yasoda and her family members fell asleep in the maternity room, Hari cried beautifully like a newborn baby. His crying sounded like the maha-vakya omkara announcing the auspicious arrival of His pastimes. Omkara is a transcendental vibration that had previously emanated from the mouth of Lord Brahma. When the ladies of Vrindavan heard the sweet sound of Krishna's crying, they woke up and ran to see the Lord. With the mellow of their matchless overflowing affection they anointed His body.

The natural fragrance of Krishna's body smelled just like musk. After the ladies bathed Krishna hi sweet ambrosia, He looked cleansed and beautiful. Then they smeared His body with fragrant sandalwood pulp. The presiding deity of the house sent a campaka flower resembling the flame of a lamp into the maternity room to worship that ornament of the three worlds. With the strength of His little arms, delicate as the tender leaves of a tree, Krishna made all the lamps in the maternity room look like a garland of lotus flower buds.

The ladies of Vrindavan saw baby Krishna like a blossoming flower made of the best of blue sapphires, or like a newly unfurled leaf of a tamala tree. Krishna looked like a fresh rain cloud decorated with the musk tilaka of the goddess of fortune of the three worlds. The ointment of the greatest auspiciousness lined His eyes. His presence filled the maternity room with good fortune. Although a mere baby, Krishna had a head full of curly hair. To hide the unique signs on His hands (goad, fish, conch etc.) the Lord folded His delicate petal-like fingers into His lotus palm. At that time Krishna laid on His back with His eyes closed.

Mother Yasoda awoke amidst the joyous chattering of the elderly gopis. Leaning over the bed she admired her gorgeous son. But upon noticing her own reflection on Krishna's body, she imagined it another woman. Thinking that a witch had assumed her form to kidnap Krishna, Yasoda became bewildered and yelled, "Get out of here! You go away!" Spontaneously she cried out to Nrsimhadeva to protect her precious son. Beholding Krishna's tender face, Yasoda showered tears of affection that looked like an offering of a pearl necklace.

Yasoda saw Krishna's body as a mound of dark blue musk, softer than the butter churned from the milk ocean. Overflowing with nectar, His charming body appeared like the foam of milk, but being dark blue in color it seemed the foam was full of musk juice. Admiring the supremely delicate form of her son, Yasoda worried about His safety and feared the touch of her body might hurt his tender body.

As she leaned over the bed Yasoda bathed Krishna with the milk dripping from her breasts. The elderly gopis instructed Yasoda how to caress the baby in her lap, and affectionately push the nipple of her breast into Krishna's mouth to feed Him. Due to Yasoda's intense love, personified bliss flowed from her breasts as steady streams of milk. When milk sometimes spilled out of Krishna's bimba fruit red lips onto His cheeks, Mother Yasoda would wipe His face with the edge of her cloth. After feeding her son, Yasoda gazed affectionately at Him in wonder.

She saw her child's body as made of dazzling blue sapphires. His mouth resembled a red bimba fruit and His hands and feet looked like exquisite rubies. Krishna's nails shone like precious gems. In this way, Yasoda thought her child was completely made of jewels. Then she perceived that His naturally reddish lips looked like bandhuka flowers, His hands and feet resembled Java flowers, His nails looked like maJlika flowers. Yasoda then thought, "Krishna's whole body seems to be made of blue lotus flowers. He does not appear to be mine." After thus deliberating within herself Yasoda became stunned in amazement.

The beautiful, soft curly hairs on the right side of Krishna's chest resembled the tender stems of a lotus. Seeing the mark of Srivatsa on His chest, Yasoda thought it was breast milk that had previously spilled out of His mouth. She tried unsuccessfully to remove these 'milk stains' with the edge of her cloth. Struck with wonder, Yasoda thought this must be the sign of a great personality. Observing the sign of Laksmi (a small golden line) on the left side of Krishna's chest, Yasoda thought a small yellow bird had made a nest amidst the leaves of a tamala tree. Could this be a streak of lightning resting on a rain cloud, or could it be the golden streaks marking a black gold-testing stone? Krishna's delicate, leaf-like hands and feet, glowing pink like the rising sun, looked like clusters of lotus flowers floating in the Yamuna.

Sometimes Yasoda saw the curly, dark blue locks of baby Krishna as a swarm of bumblebees surrounding His face. Intoxicated from drinking too much honey nectar, the bees just hovered in the sky. His thick, beautiful blue hair appeared like the dark night. The two lotus eyes of Krishna looked like a pair of blue lotus buds. His cheeks resembled two huge bubbles floating in a lake of liquefied blue sapphires. Krishna's attractive ears looked like a pair of fresh unfurled leaves growing on a blue creeper.

The tip of Krishna's dark nose appeared like the sprout of a tree, and His nostrils looked like bubbles in the Yamuna River, the daughter of the sun god. His lips resembled a pair of red Java flower buds. Krishna's chin rivaled a pair of ripe, redjambu fruits. Seeing the extraordinary beauty of her son fulfilled the purpose of her eyes and submerged Yasoda in an ocean of bliss. The elderly Vrajavasi ladies addressed Vrajaraja Nanda, "O most fortunate one, you fathered a son!" Previously Nanda Maharaja had felt deeply aggrieved over his long-standing inability to obtain a son. His heart was like a small lake that had completely dried up during a long hot summer. But when Nanda Maharaja heard of his son's birth he felt as if the dry lake of his heart had been blessed with a sudden downpour of nectar. The gentle sound of Krishna's voice removed all his grief and lamentation. Now he bathed in the rains of bliss, swam in the ocean of nectar, and felt embraced by the joyful stream of the celestial Ganges.

Eager to see his son, Nanda's body thrilled with astonishment and waves of ecstasy as he stood outside the maternity room. Because he had accumulated heaps of pious activities, it appeared that the King of Vrindavan was now shaking hands with the personification of pious deeds. Anxiously standing in the background, Yogamaya induced Nanda Maharaja to enter the maternity room. He rushed in to see his son, the personified seed of condensed bliss. It seemed that all the auspiciousness of the three worlds now resided within Krishna, the original cause of everything. Nanda saw his son as a perfectly charming person. The kajala around Krishna's eyes looked like lines on a black creeper of beauty. As the very embodiment of Nanda's good fortune, Sri Krishna bloomed like a beautiful flower in a garden of desire trees.

The aparajita flower is compared to the body of the Queen of Vrindavan. Her son is like the representative of the Upanisads that are compared to the fruit of the desire creepers. By seeing his glorious son Nanda felt that he had attained happiness, perfection, and the fulfillment of all his desires. Meeting that embodiment of bliss overwhelmed Nanda with immeasurable satisfaction. He stood motionless, stunned; his hair stood erect and tears flowed from his eyes. He appeared like a person carved in stone or a figure drawn in a painting. For some time Nanda Maharaja remained in this semi-conscious state like a sleeping man about to awaken.

Upananda, Sunanda, and other relatives felt extremely joyful while observing the best ofbrahmanas perform the rites of purification for Krishna's birth. To insure his son's welfare Nanda Maharaja donated newborn calves to each and every brahmana, thus turning their homes into abodes of surabhi cows. These cows had gold and silver plated horns and hooves, and jeweled necklaces adorning their necks. In addition, Vrajapati Nanda filled the courtyards of their homes with hills of gold, jewels, and sesame seeds. While Nanda distributed charity, the kamadhenus, touch- stones, and desire-trees lost their power to produce valuable items. Even the jewel-producing oceans lost their stock of jewels, and the goddess of fortune, the abode of lotuses, had but one lotus in her hand. The auspicious news of Krishna's wonderful appearance spread in all directions by word of mouth. Delight danced in the hearts of Nanda, his brothers Upananda and Sunanda, and all the other gopas. The gopas brought many varieties of delicious dairy products such as milk, yogurt, butter, wet cheese, and hard cheese in jewel-studded pots. The pots were tied to the ends of bamboo poles with jute straps and carried on their shoulders. Bedecked with many precious jeweled ornaments, the gopas appeared very handsome. They dressed in beautiful yellow cloth defeating the brilliance of lightning, and held staffs topped with gold and jewels in their lotus hands. As a great ocean spreads its waves in all directions, the birth of Krishna filled the Vrajavasis with unbounded bliss. The gopas and gopis enjoyed a grand festival by happily eating and by splashing each other's bodies with a mixture of yogurt, butter, milk, and condensed milk. The society girls visiting Nanda Maharaja's house experienced more happiness than they had ever felt since their birth. Their minds saturated with joy and satisfaction. Hearing the delightful description of Krishna's birth carried away the chariots of their minds and made them abandon all other duties. They became possessed with the desire to see Krishna.

Sparkling rubies hung from the necklaces adorning the society girls. Their diamond-studded armlets shown more beautifully than drops of crystal clear water. Their jewel inlaid golden bangles boasted unparalleled elegance. For this unique festival they took out some highly ornamental waist-belts from their jewel boxes and tied them around their hips. The sweet jingling of the waist-bells resting on their broad hips enhanced the beauty of these society girls. They attracted the minds of everyone with their bulky golden anklets, loosened hair braids, and graceful gait, which resembled the smooth gliding of swans. Their minds entered a state of enchantment as they gazed upon the captivating beauty of Krishna's transcendental body. To worship Krishna they brought golden trays full of auspicious articles such as fruits, flowers, yogurt, durva grass, uncooked rice, and jewel bedecked lamps. They covered the offering plates with splendid yellow silk cloth and held them in their soft lotus hands. Their jeweled ankle-bells vibrated pleasantly as they walked.

Beholding the astounding beauty of the delicate baby, the society girls considered the purpose of their eyes fulfilled. They perceived Krishna's perfect birth to be like the appearance of the leaves of an important herbal medicine. Krishna resembled a blue lotus floating hi the lake of His parent's affection. After bestowing their blessings for Krishna's prosperity, they worshiped Krishna with fresh flowers and a constant shower of loving glances. With great enthusiasm the society girls glorified Vrajesvari Yasoda since she had attained the essence of all good fortune by having Krishna as her son. Leaving the maternity room, the society girls entered the assembly hall of Nanda Maharaja's palace. Their faces looked exceedingly beautiful as they sung melodious songs, which resembled the soft sweet humming of bees moving amidst a cluster of lotus flowers. All the guests bathed in a nectar shower produced by these soothing sounds. Overwhelmed with love, they filled then- lotus palms with fragrant oil, turmeric paste, and fresh butter and started smearing each other's faces and bodies. They looked very attractive with then* smiling faces and glittering white teeth.

Then: red lips seemed more beautiful than red bandhuka flowers. This incredible display of elegance smashed the pride of the goddess of fortune of the three worlds. Carried away with joy over Krishna's birth, they fearlessly threw cheese balls, butter, and yogurt at each other. One could mistake the white balls of cheese for hailstones, solidified moonlight, or white mud from the floor of the milk ocean. Then they showered each other with buttermilk, aromatic oils, and water mixed with turmeric.

Cymbals, damru drums, bherries, and big drums vibrated auspicious sounds hi specific melodies. A celestial concert of precise poetical meters, proper rhythms, and metrical compositions suddenly manifested there. The musical ensemble inspired the society girls to sing and dance in mirth and merriment. Though not good singers, by the will of the Lord they sang with great virtuoso. Then" wonderful songs filled Nanda Maharaja's heart with joy. The combined vibrations of brahmanas' chanting Vedic hymns, the recitation of Purank lore, and the panegyrists' prayers transformed the ethers into sabda brahman,

The joy of Krishna's birth celebration taxed the drains of Nanda's capital city as they swelled to the brim with milk, yogurt, and other auspicious liquids. Soon rivers of this nectar flooded the streets of the town and permeated the entire atmosphere with a sweet fragrance. Disguising themselves as birds, the demigods descended to Vrajapura to happily drink the flood of nectar. The Vrajavasis decorated their cows with gold and jeweled ornaments. Then in great excitement they smeared them with oil, fresh butter, and turmeric paste. Beholding Krishna in their hearts, these fortunate cows looked like the essence of the earth's auspicious-ness. The whole world resounded with their jubilant bellowing. Absorbed in the ecstasy of Krishna's birth, they forgot about eating and drinking.

The festival drowned the gopis in an ocean of joy. After offering oil, vermilion, garlands, and utensils in charity to all the assembled gopis, Rohini, the wife of Vasudeva, asked them to bless Krishna, Upon completion of the sacrifice, Upananda and the other relatives felt constant happiness while taking their baths. Keeping the King of Vrindavan in the front, Nanda's relatives offered opulent cloth, jeweled ornaments, tambula, garlands, and sandalwood pulp to the guests. Then they humbly requested all in attendance to bless that wonderfully auspicious boy who had just appeared in Vrindavan.

Hare Krishna!

"O Lord, You are the personification of all religion. Therefore You manifest Yourself in three millenniums, and thus You protect this universe, which consists of animate and inanimate beings. By Your grace, which is of pure goodness and is the bestower of all blessings, kindly drive away the elements of rajas and tamas for the sake of the demigods and twice-born."
(Srimad Bhagavatam 3.16.22)

courtesy of www.Vedabase.com

"'The transcendental form of Krsna is shown to the world by Lord Krsna's internal, spiritual energy, which is a transformation of pure goodness. This jewellike form is the most confidential treasure of the devotees. This form is manifested from Krsna's eternal pastimes.'"
(Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya lila 21.103)

courtesy of www.Vedabase.com

"`When devotional service is executed on the transcendental platform of pure goodness, it is like a sun-ray of love for Krsna. At such a time, devotional service causes the heart to be softened by various tastes, and one is then situated in bhava [emotion].'"
Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya 23.5

Courtesy of http://www.vedabase.com/ used with permission

Srila Prabhupada's Vyasa-puja

This is the birthday celebration of Srila Prabhupada, ISKCON's founder-acarya.

Srila Prabhupada was born on the day immediately after Janmastami, 1896. Festivities are therefore carried over from Janmastami to the next day in celebration of the arrival in this world of the great personality who introduced so many people to Krishna consciousness. In fact he is still introducing people to his beloved Lord Krishna through his books.

This special day brings an increased awareness of him and more elaborate worship. Devotees gather in the morning and share homages written in praise and appreciation of Srila Prabhupada. This can be a very moving and spiritually uplifting event in which to participate.

Srila Prabhupada Vyasa-puja 2007

Download or view the Vyaasa puja homage book

High speed connections, with pictures.

    * Vyasa-puja Book 2007 [PDF/ZIP, 2.11MB]

Low speed connections, no pictures.

    * Vyasa-puja Book 2007 (no pictures) [PDF/ZIP, 2.11MB]

The Chaturmasya Vrata from Haribhakti Vilasa
15th vilasa

Caturmasya Benefits

Bhavisya Purana-  "One who passes the Chaturmasya season without observing religious vows, austerities and chanting of japa, such a fool although living should be considered to be a dead man."
Kanda Purana, Nagava Khunda-  "In the month of shravana (July, August) one should refrain from eating spinach.  In the month of Bhadra (August, September) of yogert in Ashvina (September, October) milk. In Kartik (October, November) meat and urd dall.
Various vows and austerities during Chaturmasya and Their respective results.
"O King, one who is My devotee and is fixed in vow, whether man or woman, for the purpose of Dharma, should accept these various austerities and observances. I shall now describe to you all of them along with their respective results.
1) No salt—One's voice becomes sweet.
2) No oil—One's life is prolonged and gets progeny.
3) No oil massages—One's body becomes beautiful.
4) No cooking with oil—One's enemies are vanished.
5) No licorice and oil—One becomes wealthy.
6) Give up wearing unoffered flowers—One becomes a Vidyadhara in Devapura.
7) Give up six kinds of tastes (spice, sour, bitter, sweet, salty and harsh)—One never becomes ugly, smelly, or obtains a bad birth.
8) Practice of yoga—One goes to Brahmaloka.
9) No betal nuts—One becomes happy.
10) No cooked food (raw fruits & Vegetables)—One obtains purity.
11) No honey—One becomes lustrous.
12) No yogert or milk—One attains Goloka.
13) No cooking with earthen pots—One gets ... (?)
14) No hot food—One gets offspring with a long life.
15) Take rest on the ground or on stone—One becomes an associate of Vishnu.
16) One who gives up meat & honey is a yogi and muni.
17) No intoxicating liquors—One becomes powerful and free from disease.
18) Fast for one day—One is honored in Brahmaloka.
19) No cutting of hair and nails—One gets the benefit of taking bath daily in Ganges.
20) No speaking of grama katha (nonsense)—One's order will never be disobeyed.
21) Eat food on the ground without dish or plate—One obtains a kingdom on Earth.
22) Chant the mantra Namo Narayana—One obtains the result of giving in charity 100 times.
23) Offer prayers to the Lord—One gets the result of giving cows in charity.
24) Touch the lotus feet of the Deity—One becomes a successful person.
25) Clean the temple of the Lord—If one is king he remains so for a Kalpa.
26) Circumambulating the temple three times offering prayers—At the time of death one will mount a swan airplane and go to Vaikuntha.
27) Singing or playing musical instruments in the temple of the Lord—One goes to Gardharvaloka.
28) Take pleasure in studying the sastras—One goes to Vishnuloka.
29) Sprinkle water in the temple—One goes to apsaraloka.
30) Take bath in a holy place—One's body becomes pure.
31) Worship Lord Vishnu with flowers—One goes to Vaikuntha.
32) Eat panchagavya—One gets the result of observing candrayana fasting.
33) Eat one meal a day—One gets the results of performing an Agnihotra.
34) Eat at night only—One gets the result of going to all the places of pilgrimage.
35) Eat at noon only—One attains Devaloka.
36) Take food not obtained by begging or any extraneous endeavor—One gets the results of opening water stands and digging wells.
37) Take bath daily—One will never see hell.
38) No eating on a plate—One gets the result of bathing at Pushkara
39) Eat on a leaf—One obtains the result of living at Kurukshetra.
40) Eat on a stone—One obtains the result of bathing at Prayog.
41) Giving up drinking to six hours—One will not be attacked by diseases.
42) During the Chaturmasya, garlands, caranamrta, candana and water from the conshell of the Lord, mahaprasädam, Deity garlands must be accepted.

In this way one who performs this vrata for the satisfaction of Lord Kesava becomes satisfied himself. O best of the Pandavas, among My devotees, he who accepts these vows and austerities during the Chaturmasya goes to my abode at the time of death, of this there is no doubt.

Vishnu Rahasya-  Lord Brahma to Narada Muni.

If one accepts all these Vaisnava austerities and observances with devotion, one attains the supreme destination O Narada. One who desires within himself to execute all these Vaisnava austerities and vows, his sins obtained within one hundred births is destroyed. If one is exclusively devoted, peaceful, takes daily bath, is fixed in vow and worships the Lord during these four months, he goes to the abode of the Lord. He who accepts the austerity of sleeping on the ground this time when the Vishnu Deity is sleeping in yoga nidra underwater, he goes to the abode of Laxmi.

Read more about vrata, sankalpa and Chaturmasya in general HERE

The vows of Chaturmasya and Kartika are not optional, but should be observed by all, as noted in Hari-bhakti-vilasa (16.19):

niyamena vinA caiva yo nayet kArttikaM mune |
cAturmAsyaM tathA caiva brahma-hA sa kulAdhamaH ||

"He, who lives through the periods of Karttika and Chaturmasya without vows is indeed the killer of a brahmin and the lowest of his dynasty."

Jiva Goswami quotes (BhS 270) on the best of austerities from the Caturmasya Mahatmyam of Skanda Purana:

tathA caivottamaM loke tapaH zrI-hari-kIrtanam |
kalau yuge vizeSeNa viSNu-prItyai samAcaret ||

"Certainly in this world, the best of all austerities is Sri Hari-kirtana. Especially in the age of Kali, it is to be done for the satisfaction of Vishnu."

Many householders, busy as they are in their daily routines and work, may not find the time for kirtan every day. In the four months of Chaturmasya, one should, as the most important of all vows, endeavor to engage daily in kirtan. If the Lord is not glorified and remembered, of what use are the varieties of ritual observances, of which the primary intent is to prepare the mind for those very activities?

All pictures from Srimad Bhagavatam and Iskcon works - Copyright ©2005 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust
International, on the web at .http://www.krishna.com/. Used with permission.