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Harinam-sankirtan in Gibraltar

Since May the B.L.I.S.S. extended it´s influence to Gibraltar, which is a nice preaching ground with open-minded people and lively streets. Book distribution and chanting of the Maha-mantra – Hare Krishna, Hare Rama – goes on practically daily. Books distributed there travel to all parts of the world as many tourists visit this place. One of the sweet fruits of this endeavor was a featuring in a very prestigious local magazine – Gibraltar Insight with the Fuengirola Deities, Their Lordships Jagannath, Baladeva and Subhadra on the front cover of the June 2019 Issue. Wish us luck and Lord Krsna´s favor, so this nice program can go on succesfully.

“Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated November 14, 1972, and I have noted the contents with care. Yes, we shall base our preaching work on Lord Caitanya’s formula: sankirtana. After all, He is God, and if He recommends, what is the question of failure? that is not possible. If we simply stick to this programme as I have done it since the beginning, namely, kirtana, preaching, kirtana, distribution of prasadam — if you do like this only that will be sufficient. Of course, you may make the kirtana as nice as possible, with dancing, many kholes, karatalas, conches, and if you preach sincerely, anyone will listen and become convinced. The potency of Krishna Consciousness movement does not come from some outward showing, no, it is the transcendental sound vibration of Hare Krishna Mantra and the words of Bhagavad-Gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, like that. So now go on and develop the things in this spirit, that will be nice. We are not interested to attract millions of men to see some show. Better we attract one sincere soul to join us in ecstatic chanting and hearing, that will be of real value. And distribute books, as many as possible. If anyone hears something philosophy from us, that will help him. But if he purchases one book that may turn his life. So selling books is the best preaching activity. Sell books, hold the kirtana in public places like schools and colleges, preach — if you practice these things, and try to improve them more and more simply by your practicing sincerely, that simple programme will please Krishna the most and you will see that very soon.


Hoping this will meet you in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

(Srila Prabhupada ´s Letter to: Sudama — Bombay 25 November, 1972)

Why Do We Want The Original Books Of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada?

It is of utmost importance to preserve the teachings of disciplic succesion intact, so that the spiritual medicine of Krsna consciousness remains concentrated and potent to be capable of curing the bhava-roga, material disease of the souls embodied in material nature.

Krsna consciousness, the system of bhakti-yoga, the supermost process and state of spiritual realization was confined in the Vedas, written in Sanskrit language for thousands of years and after the appearance of Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu, when His disciples, the Goswamis of Vrindavana and other Vaisnavas expounded on His teachings, in Bengali language for hundreds of years. One had to be very fortunate to take his birth in India to be able to take advantage of this divine messages, or he had to learn Sanskrit and Bengali to study the original writings. The first pioneer to change this for the benefit of the whole world was Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, who first started to write on the topics of Krsna consciousness in English language and was the first to send a book on Lord Caitanya´s life and precepts to the Western educational institution, namely the McGill University in Montreal, Canada. His son, the great acarya Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura continued in his effort to expose the proper conclusions of Vedanta to the English-speaking populace of the world and on the order of His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja, our spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada came to the West, to unlock this long sought after “fountain of youth” of spiritual knowledge, to inundate the whole world with ocean of transcendental nectar that brings about life of eternal knowledge and bliss. He accomplished this great task through the medium of his transcendental books and recorded sound in forms of lectures, conversations, song purports etc. which will circulate around the planet on and on for the next ten thousand years as a crystal-clear guide for those who aspire to make their way back home, back to Godhead.

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1972 Gita Changes Exposed. Part 1: Label On the Bottle

It is an understood principle in the Vedic tradition that the words of the spiritual master should not be changed in any way. The guru is not an ordinary man subjected to the four defects of human frailty therefore whatever he writes is perfect. Being in direct connection with Krsna, his words are dictated by the Lord Himself.

Srila Prabhupada in his manifested lila engaged some of his early disciples in the service of editing his manuscripts and transcripts of his dictation tapes. They were to correct the technicalities of the language for clarity and never change any of the intended meanings in his books. Being initiated and therefore somehow already familiar with the philosophy of Krsna consciousness by following  Srila Prabhupada, they would try to understand the meaning from his rough manuscripts or dictations and then present the same meaning in a polished and grammatically correct English. That’s all. Since these early editors could understand Srila Prabhupada’s words in order to do their editing, in no way should Srila Prabhupada’s original words be considered incomplete or incomprehensible. As the early editors could understand, certainly new devotees can also understand, especially now when the full body of Srila Prabhupada’s vani is freely available with lectures, conversations, other books can be also consulted.

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1972 Gita Changes Exposed. Part 2: Best Understood

In these series we show various changes found in the 1972 edition of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is and how they change the meaning of Srila Prabhupada’s words. It is understood that while editing, sometimes words are changed for clarity. Therefore, in these series of articles, we try to avoid spending too much time focusing on changes that alter the words with the purpose of giving the intended meaning in the original writing more force. With each change discussed we present the original spoken dictation as recorded by Srila Prabhupada on February the 19-20th 1966, the same passage in the 1972 Macmillan edition and finally our humble commentary.

INTRODUCTION

Now here is a direction that Bhagavad-gita is especially instructed to Arjuna, the devotee of the Lord, the direct student of Krsna. And not only that, he is intimately in touch with Krsna as friend. Therefore Bhagavad-gita is understood by a person who has similar qualities like Krsna. That means he must be a devotee, he must be in relation, direct relationship with the Lord.

Introduction to Gitopanisad (Earliest Recording of Srila Prabhupada in the Bhaktivednta Archives) Bhagavad-gita Introduction,  New York, February 19-20, 1966.

So we see that Bhagavad-gita is instructed to Arjuna especially because Arjuna was a devotee of the Lord, a direct student of Krsna, and His intimate friend. Therefore Bhagavad-gita is BEST understood by a person who has qualities similar to Arjuna’s. That is to say he must be a devotee in a direct relationship with the Lord.

Bg-1972: introduction

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How Swamiji Became Prabhupada.

by Govinda Dasi

A significant thing that happened in Boston was that Swamiji became Srila Prabhupada. Gaurasundar was studying various forms of address in Sanskrit and he learned that “ji” is an affectionate form of address, which was news to us. I was sitting in Srila Prabhupada’s room taking dictation, as I often did, and Gaurasundar, at the doorway, said, “Swamiji, is it okay if I call Govinda dasi ‘Govindaji’?” Swamiji said, “No, ‘ji’ is a third-class form of address. You should not.” I said, “Why are we calling you Swamiji if it’s a third-class form of address?” He said, “It is not very important.” I said, “No, it is very important. What is the best thing we can call you?” Swamiji said, “You could call me Gurudeva or Guru Maharaj or Srila Prabhupada.” I said, “Which of those three is best?” and Swamiji said, “Srila Prabhupada is nice.” I said, “Okay,” and told all the devotees. From that day he was no longer Swamiji but Srila Prabhupada.

(Memories of Srila Prabhupada)

Why Are The Original Books Changed?

This short book is a shocking revelation to the community of devotees who assume that the first editions of Srila Prabhupada are without any changes to Srila Prabhupada’s divine words. Makhancora Prabhu through elaborate research work shows us passages that have been changed against Srila Prabhupada’s clear instructions and suggest to re-define what our aim in preserving Srila Prabhupada’s legacy should be. A must read for every devotee who does not want to see Srila Prabhupada’s words being played with.

Why Not Try Deity Worship

There have been many discussions over how to actually perform Deity worship after Srila Prabhupada’s physical departure. This simply compilation serves as a guide to all sincere devotees who want to get the information from the authoritative source of Srila Prabhupada’s direct words. You can’t go wrong by following Srila Prabhupada’s standard. Everything else is questionable.

Who can serve Krsna?

In course of our preaching work, we many times encounter persons with doubts about their ability to take up devotional service to Krsna, especially when they see the procedures in the temple, the devotee looks (shaven heads, robes, tilak etc.) and when they hear about the discipline followed by the devotees, the deep philosophy behind the practice and so on and so forth. Often it becomes „too much“ in their minds.

Seems like a completely different world. And it indeed is a different world. It´s the spiritual world, but now we are encaged in this world of material forms and procedures. So how can one come to the platform of connecting with the Absolute Truth, how can one achieve that perfection of yoga? It may seem like an insoluble difficulty, to come out of our common ways and take to the path of bhakti. But is it so? Is it really so difficult? What is actually required?

The thing here is, that nowadays people in general are superficial. They let themselves to be guided by their eyes without hearing patiently and sufficiently, what to speak of pondering over what was heard. They come, they SEE and they go. They see these strange guys bowing down to pictures, ringing bells, speaking some freaky language and smashing their cherished ideas. „This brainwash is not for me.“

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Advanced Embryology in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam

The Hare Kṛṣṇa movement transplanted from the timeless vedic tradition into the western world by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda is based on authorized revealed scriptures, of which Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the formost. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam written down by Śrīla Dvaipāyana Vyāsa is the natural commentary on the Vedānta-sūtra, which in turn is the summary of the four VedasṚg, Yajur, Sāma and Atharva. Śrīla Prabhupāda summarizes the importance and purpose of vedic literature in one of his purports:

“The Vedas are compared with the desired tree because they contain all things knowable by the human being both for mundane necessities as well as spiritual realisation. The Vedas contains regulated principles of knowledge covering social, political, religious, economical, military, medical, chemical, physical, metaphysical and all that may be necessary for the proper up keep of the body and the soul together and above all there is specific direction for spiritual realisation also. Regulated knowledge means to raise the living entity gradually to the spiritual plane and the highest spiritual realisation is to know the Personality of Godhead as the reservoir of all mellows (Rasas).” (SB 1.1.3 purport)

Fools often object: “These are some fairy-tales of primitive people who were freaking out because there were lightning and thunders in the sky…” Unfortunately for them, it will not be so easy to prove this assumption. In the light of modern science, the statements and mind-blowing details of different aspects of material nature (to start with) described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam call for attention of serious Absolute Truth seekers who are willing and ready to go beyond the limited range of sense perception, mental speculation, intellectual acrobacy and egotistical “I know everything” self-deception.

One astonishing description, amongst many, is the profound and extremely accurate account of the development of a human, from the stage of gametes (ovum and sperm), through the stages of an embryo and fetus within mother´s womb up to the point of delivery and after.

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The Acharya Is Self-effulgent.

There have always been two types of transcendentalists: the impersonalists and the personalists. Both of them seek liberation from the illusory identification with the body in their respective ways.
The impersonalists’ idea of liberation beyond the body means annihilation of an individual self and merging with the Brahman, which is the all-pervading aspect of the Supreme Absolute Truth. The personalists, however, do not want to give up their individuality. Quite the opposite, the perfection of the personal path is brought about by full revival of individuality without any trace of material contamination and engaging the pure self in devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The following example illustrates the distinct differences between the two types of transcendentalists.

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