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Srimad Bhagavad Gita AS IT IS

Bhagavad Gita:   Chapter 6 - Dhyana-yoga

                           asamyatatmana yogo
                          dusprapa iti me matih
                          vasyatmana tu yatata
                         sakyo 'vaptum upayatah
   asamyata--unbridled; atmana--by the mind; yogah--self-realization; dusprapah--difficult to obtain; iti--thus; me--My; matih--opinion; vasya--controlled; atmana--by the mind; tu--but; yatata--while endeavoring; sakyah--practical; avaptum--to achieve; upayatah--by appropriate means.
   For one whose mind is unbridled, self-realization is difficult work. But he whose mind is controlled and who strives by appropriate means is assured of success. That is My opinion.
   The Supreme Personality of Godhead declares that one who does not accept the proper treatment to detach the mind from material engagement can hardly achieve success in self-realization. Trying to practice yoga while engaging the mind in material enjoyment is like trying to ignite a fire while pouring water on it. Yoga practice without mental control is a waste of time. Such a show of yoga may be materially lucrative, but it is useless as far as spiritual realization is concerned. Therefore, one must control the mind by engaging it constantly in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. Unless one is engaged in Krsna consciousness, he cannot steadily control the mind. A Krsna conscious person easily achieves the result of yoga practice without separate endeavor, but a yoga practitioner cannot achieve success without becoming Krsna conscious.

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...)

An evening lecture

On one of his last evenings in Hamburg, Srila Prabhupada lectured on the need to inquire about solving the problems of material existence. Such inquisitiveness, he said, differentiates human and animal consciousness. After giving some examples of how an advanced civilization finds solutions to problems, he asked his audience, "So what is the ultimate problem? The ultimate problem is we do not want to suffer. That's all. We want a comfortable, peaceful life. This is the ultimate problem. Is it not? Just think it over. In Sanskrit it is called atyantika-duhkha-nivrttih: to solve the problem of miseries. We don't want any kind of misery. We don't want to suffer. We want a very peaceful and joyful life. But that is not possible within this material world. That is the problem."

He gave one of his favorite examples to illustrate the fleeting nature of material happiness-John F. Kennedy: "He had a very nice wife, children, honor, prestige, everything. He was riding in procession, people were honoring him, and within a second-finished."

After enumerating more problems that people face, Srila Prabhupada asked his audience, "Then what is the solution? That solution is there in Bhagavad-gita, in the seventh chapter, fourteenth verse: 'This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it.' Yes. The solution is we have to surrender unto the Supreme. Just like if you are arrested by the police, then it is very difficult to get out of their clutches. But if you are a good citizen, a soul surrendered to the state, there is no problem. The police have nothing to do with you. Is it very difficult to understand?"

Prabhupada impressed upon his listeners the urgency to perfect their lives: "So before death overcomes you, you make a solution to the problem. Those who have come in touch with Krsna consciousness and have been initiated should be very determined that 'In this life we shall make a solution. No more coming back again to the cycle of birth and death.' That should be our determination. We should be determined to make a solution and go back home, back to Godhead, where we get an eternal, blissful life of knowledge. This is the sum and substance of our Krsna consciousness movement."

When Srila Prabhupada asked for questions, one devotee asked if it was possible to become Krsna conscious in this very lifetime. "It is possible in one second, provided you are serious," Prabhupada said. "It is not difficult. Bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyate: 'After many, many births, when one is intelligent, wise, fully grown in wisdom, he surrenders unto Me,' Krsna says. So if I am intelligent, then I will see: 'If that is the goal of life, that after many, many births one has to surrender to Krsna, why not surrender myself immediately?' This is intelligence. Why shall I wait for many, many births if this is a fact? So that requires a little intelligence. It does not require many, many births. It requires a little intelligence. Take to this Krsna consciousness seriously; then your problems are solved. Now, if you don't believe in it, then come to argument, come to philosophy, come to reason. Go on arguing. There are volumes of books. You can be convinced. You can learn it. Every answer is there in the Bhagavad-gita. You can try to understand it with your reason, with your arguments."

Srila Prabhupada then added a fascinating explanation about relativity: "So it requires relative intelligence. This world is relative. One can become immediately Krsna conscious, within a second, or one may not become Krsna conscious even after many, many births. So it is relative. If you have got sufficient intelligence, you can accept it immediately. If there is less intelligence, then it will take time. You cannot say that 'It will be possible after so many years.' That cannot be said. It is relative. Everything is relative. For a human being, from here to here, one step; and for a small microbe, it is ten miles from here to here, ten miles for him. So everything is relative. This world is a relative world. There is no such formula that 'One can be Krsna conscious after so many years.' No. There is no such formula. One may not become Krsna conscious even after millions of births, and one can become Krsna conscious within a second. But within this life we can become perfect in Krsna consciousness, if we take it seriously. Especially you are all young boys. We expect you'll live at least fifty more years. Oh, that is sufficient time. Sufficient. More than sufficient. More than sufficient. If for fifty years one chants simply 'Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna,' he is sure to become perfect. There is no doubt about it. Simply if you chant this mantra, Hare Krsna-oh, there is no doubt about it."

Next, a question was asked why some people accept Krsna consciousness and some do not. Prabhupada repeated that the choice is ours. If something stopped us, it was maya, and the only remedy was to take shelter of Krsna more strongly by chanting Hare Krsna. He appealed to his listeners to induce people to chant Hare Krsna; they would receive the real thing and become happy.

"Don't be misled that, 'There are no problems in life. We are very happy-eating, sleeping, mating.' This is animal life. There are so many great problems. Very great problems: birth, death, old age, disease-and repeatedly. Bhutva bhutva praliyate: the universe is manifested, again nonmanifested, again manifested, again nonmanifested. So stop this problem. Yad gatva na nivartante tad dhama paramam mama: go to Krsna's abode. And what is the difficulty? You do your own work and chant Hare Krsna. We don't say that you stop your business, stop your occupation. You remain. Just like he is a teacher [pointing to Hayagriva]-all right, he is a teacher. He [referring to Krsna Dasa] is a jeweler-remain a jeweler. He's something. He's something. That doesn't matter. But be Krsna conscious. Chant Hare Krsna. Think of Krsna. Take Krsna prasadam. Everything is there. And be happy. That is our propaganda. You learn yourself and preach this cult. People will be happy. Simple method."

- From the "Srila Prabhupada and His Disciples in Germany" by HG Vedavyasa dasa

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Please Chant:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

...................and be Happy

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"The Rented House"

75/10/13 Durban, Bhagavad-gita 13.1-3

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Prabhupada: Om namo bhagavate vasudevaya. We are reading one chapter from Bhagavad-gita, thirteenth chapter. The subject matter is nature, the enjoyer, and consciousness. In Sanskrit it is called ksetra-ksetra-jna. Ksetra means the field. Just like an agriculturist. They work on the field. The worker or the agriculturist owns the land, and he works there, and according to his labor he enjoys the fruits. Similarly, we have been given this body as the field of activity. Every one of us, not only human being, but also other living entities...

There are eight million four hundred thousand forms of living entities. Jalaja nava-laksani. In the water there are nine hundred thousand forms of living entity. Then, jalaja nava-laksani sthavara laksa-vimsati. Sthavarah means the living entities who cannot move, just like the trees, plants, grass, vegetables. They are standing in one place. They are also called "having no leg." Ahastani sahastanam apadani catus-padam. This is nature's law, that the living entities which have no hands, they are eatable for the living entities who have hands. Ahastani sahastanam apadani catus-padam. And the living entities which cannot move, they are the food for the living entities which has got four legs. Phalguni mahatam tatra jivo jivasya jivanam.

In this way the weak is the food for the strong. This is the law of nature, that one living entity is the food for another living entity. So when a person eats another living entity, it is not unnatural. This is nature's law. But when you come to the human form of living entity, you must use your discrimination. Just like one living entity is food for the another living entity. It does not mean... In the lower animals sometimes the father-mother eat the offspring, but in the history of human society it has not come into notice that the father and mother eating the offspring. But time has come when the mother is killing offspring. That has come already. This is due to Kali-yuga.

So here Arjuna's question is to understand the field and the worker on the field. He questions, arjuna uvaca, Arjuna inquired from Krsna,

prakrtim purusam caiva
ksetram ksetra-jnam eva ca
etad veditum icchami
jnanam jneyam ca kesava

Krsna's another name is Kesava. So he is addressing Krsna, "My dear Kesava, I want to know these subject matters -- prakrti, purusa." Prakrti means nature, material nature, and purusa means the enjoyer, just like the living entities. We are trying to enjoy this material nature. Another prakrti-purusa... Purusa means, real purusa means, the supreme enjoyer, God, Krsna. And prakrti means which is enjoyed. Another meaning -- prakrti, means woman and purusa means man. So this material world is going on -- one party is trying to enjoy, and the other party is being enjoyed.

So Arjuna wanted to know what is the distinction, what is the integral part and parcel of this prakrti and purusa. Then ksetram ksetra-jna. Jna means one who knows, and ksetra-jna means one who knows the field. Just like the agriculturist, the cultivator, he knows that "This is my field." He works there. Different cultivator works in his own field. So this ksetra means this body, ksetra, the field of activity. We have got different field of activities. So ksetram ksetra-jnam ca, ksetram eva etad veditum icchami: "My dear Krsna, I want to know from You." Why he wants to know from Krsna? Because Krsna is infallible. Whatever knowledge we get from the infallible, that is perfect knowledge.

Ordinary human being, they are not perfect. Ordinary human being, they are subjected to four deficiencies. We are ordinary human being; we commit mistake. That's a fact, every one of us. We are illusioned. Our senses are imperfect, and with all this paraphernalia, when we want to teach, that is not teaching; that is cheating. Because I am imperfect, how can I be teacher? That is not possible. Therefore we have to learn from a person who has no defects in his life or a liberated person. Liberated person means he does not commit mistake, he is not illusioned, he does not cheat and his senses are not imperfect. This is the four signs of liberated person.

So our process, the Krsna consciousness movement, means we take knowledge from Krsna who is liberated from these four kinds of deficiencies. That knowledge is perfect. Similarly, Arjuna is also inquiring from Krsna. Etad veditum icchami. Etad veditum icchami jnanam jneyam ca kesava. What is actual knowledge and what is the subject matter of knowledge. That means six questions are presented by Arjuna before Krsna. One pair, prakrti-purusa, ksetra-ksetra-jna, and jnanam jneyam, what is knowledge and what is the subject matter of knowledge. Six questions. Sri bhagavan uvaca. Now, here Krsna is speaking, but Vyasadeva, who recorded this dialogue between Krsna and Arjuna, he is writing, "bhagavan uvaca." He does not say, "krsnah uvaca." "Krsna" may be misunderstood. But Krsna is bhagavan. He wants to stress on this point.

Krsnas tu bhagavan svayam. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam it is stated by Vyasadeva that krsnas tu bhagavan svayam. Similarly, in the Brahma-samhita it is stated, isvarah paramah krsnah [Bs. 5.1]. Isvara means controller. So parama means the supreme. So every one of us, we are more or less controller. But we are not supreme controller. We must know this. Isvarah paramah krsnah [Bs. 5.1]. There are some men who claim to become Isvara, to become God. So we have no objection, that if somebody says, "I am God," or "I am controller," we have no objection. But if somebody says that "I am supreme God," or "supreme controller," then we have got objection. Supreme means he has no controller. And ordinary controller, just like we are... You are controller. You are controlling some sphere of life. I am also controlling some. But I also being controlled.

But isvarah paramah krsnah [Bs. 5.1] means He is the supreme controller. He has no controller over Him. He controls everyone, but He is not controlled by anyone. Therefore it is called

isvarah paramah krsnah
anadir adir govindah
 [Bs. 5.1]

These are the Vedic statement. And our process of knowledge, Veda... Veda means knowledge. Vetti veda vido jnane. Supreme knowledge, perfect knowledge, that is Veda. So Krsna is the supreme person. He is the speaker of Vedas. The subject matter of Vedas is to know Krsna. Vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyah [Bg. 15.15]. If you are a student of Vedas, then you must have clear conception of God. That is real knowledge, no vague idea, but clear conception. That is knowledge, Vedic knowledge, ultimate... Therefore the Vedanta philosophy. Veda means knowledge, and anta means the ultimate. Everything has got ultimate. So Vedanta means the ultimate knowledge of Vedas. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gita. You will find in the fifteenth chapter. Vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyo vedanta-vid vedanta-krd ca aham. [break]


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He is thinking he is more than them. That means rascal, over intelligent. Over intelligent means rascal. Intelligence means you must have reason. And if he is going beyond reason, only depending on himself, then he is over intelligent rascal. You understand over intelligent rascal? Don't be over intelligent. That is very risky. Be intelligent. Over intelligent means rascal. Spoiling. Just like milk. You are heating, and if you give overheat, spoil so many. That kind of heating is not required. You just push on heat as much required. Otherwise you'll spoil by your intelligence.

Room Conversation -- Fiji 1976

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Chaturmasya Vrata

"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:

The Month of Karttika Begins

Festivals in the Holy Month of Karttika (27th October - 24th November 2007 )(in NZ)

Information about the Karttika vratam:
Kartika Mahatmya from Hari Bhakti Vilas: - all the benefits of the month of Kartika
Bahulastami - Radha kunda snan dan
Diwali - Dipavali - Dip dan - Akash Dipa (Significance of the various days of the Diwali period):
Go-puja - Go Krd
Govardhan Puja - Annakuta
Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada's Tirubhava - Commemorative day of His passing - Samadhi - Vrindavan
Padma Purana on Kartika Vrata
Quotes from the Dik-darshini tika commentary of Srila Sanatan Goswami, on Srila Gopal Bhattar Goswami's Hari Bhakti Vilas.
Significance of each of the Days of Kartika
Glories of Kartika from Srila Rupa Goswami and Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Damodara vrata
Damodarastakam Tika of Sanatan Goswami
Bhishma panchaka fast for Karttika
Haribodhini (Prabodhini) ekadasi - When the Lord wakes up

The glories of the Month of Karttik - in one .pdf file - a must read

How the followers of Madhwacharya follow the Festivals of Kartika (2005)

Navaratri and Dusserha
Shaligram Tulasi Vivaha

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

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

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.