Live Webcasts From Hare Krishna Temples introducing Bhagavad-gita e-Courses

We offer two Bhagavad-gita eCourses:

Bhagavad-gita courseLord Krishna’s instructions for mankind were spoken on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra thousands of years ago in the form of Bhagavad-gita, ‘The Song of God.’

This ancient Sanskrit text was translated into English with elaborate commentaries by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, whose life of devotion exemplified the message of Bhagavad-gita. Srila Prabhupada founded the International Society for Krishna Consciousness in the hopes of benefiting the people of the world with the teachings of Lord Krishna.

Themes Discussed in the Bhagavad-gita

  • Sanatana Dharma - The Eternal Nature of Every Living Entity
  • Samsara - The Soul’s Cycle in Birth and Death
  • Reincarnation Explained in Detail
  • Yoga - Instructions for the Body & Mind
  • What Every Human Being Must Remember at Death to Become Free From Samsara
  • How to Make Bhagavad-gita Relevant in Your Daily Life eCourses are designed to accommodate users from all over the world - even in different time zones. We set up Virtual Classrooms so you are not required to be at your computer at any particular time. Bhagavad-gita eCourse participants study one chapter of the text per week, but this is done from the comfort of your own home - on your own time schedule.

You can choose between an introductory and a complete course. The complete course approximately covers one chapter of Bhagavad-gita per week. The introductory course gives you an overview of the Bhagavad-gita, along with an in-depth study of the book’s Introduction, Chapters 1 and 2. Participants have the option to upgrade to the complete course, and continue with Chapters 3 through 18. In both courses, students will have a personal instructor who is a devoted practitioner of Bhakti yoga, work with fellow students via online forums, answer study questions, quizzes, write essays and learn to apply the essential teachings of Lord Krishna in their everyday lives.

Check the left sidebar for upcoming courses.

Introducing: The eBook Club

The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust’s TitlesThe Bhaktivedanta Book Trust’s Titles

-because drops of water can wear away the stone

Don’t have time to sit down and read Krishna conscious books often? Life too busy? That’s no reason to stop reading altogether. is here to support your Krishna conscious goals. We’re launching our simple eBook Club to bring the books to you in easy readable sections so you can be inspired and enlightened daily.

The Basic Idea:

Choose the eBook Club you want to join, and on the beginning date you’ll start receiving easily readable sections of the book in your email inbox. Read on your own for daily meditations, or participate in the group discussion online for inspiration and clarification.

Since everyone in each book club is literally on the same page, you can ask questions and share your thoughts with a group of people who are in the same place as you are.

The Goal:

Maybe you haven’t read these books. Maybe you have but it’s been a while. Either way, reading books with a group can help awaken new insights. A reading community brings together and inspires, and will help both those new to bhakti-yoga and long-time practitioners.

The Experience:

Each section of the book emailed to you will be readable in approximately five minutes. Read from your computer or your smart phone—from anywhere you can check your email. We will send you book installments every weekday.

Each eBook Club starts on a specific date, so your group can login and discuss the book together if you would like to. Your participation in the forum group is not required, but is a nice complement to your study and mediation on the selection you’re reading.

The Forum Groups

Each forum group will be limited to eBook Club participants and mediators. This reading community is a valuable resource, so please log in and meet your peers to get the most out of the eBook Club experience.

How To Get Started:

Fill in your name and e-mail address on our Newsletter Sign-up Page. Then, simply scroll down to “E-Book Club,” and click the box(es) next to the book(s) you’re interested in.

The Books:

Bhagavad-gita As It Is:
Starting October 23, 2009

Specifically chosen sections of the Gita will be sent out in installments, one or two verses at a time—including Srila Prabhupada’s commentary.

About the book
Starting October 30, 2009

This is a compilation of Krishna’s pastimes on Earth, told in a readable, narrative style by Srila Prabhupada. Affectionately known as ‘Krishna Book,’ this is a summary of the Tenth Canto of the Srimad-Bhagavatam. The whole book will be serialized into installments.

About the book
A Second Chance:
Extended: Starting November 13, 2009

The story of Ajamila’s near-death experience opens the doors to a metaphysical and philosophical debate on life’s deepest questions. The entire book will be serialized into installments.

About the book…
The Science of Self-Realization:
Starting December 4, 2009

This title is an ideal introduction to the integral philosophy behind Krishna consciousness, covering topics from reincarnation to super-consciousness, and Christ to Krishna. The entire book will be serialized into installments.

About the book…
Cookbook eBook Club:
Starting: Whenever you want to join!

We will be selecting delicious vegetarian recipes from our many cookbooks—from Kurma to Yamuna Devi—and sending weekly meal suggestions, cooking tips, and meditations on offering food to Krishna. Join the eBook Club and participate in the forum group to share your cooking skills or learn from experts. This eBook Club will be ongoing.

About these books …

Ready to try an eBook club? Yes, it sounds great. Sign me up!

By signing up for an eBook Club, you are agreeing to our Terms and Conditions

It is happening now

Srila Prabhupada said:
All the government men will become thieves and rogues. Dasyu, dasyu means
thieves and rogues. So as the thieves and rogues capture you on the street
and ask "Whatever you have got, give, otherwise I shall kill you," so this
will be the position in the Kali-yuga. It is happening now. You cannot have
any private property; everything you have to declare. Otherwise, it will be
taken by force. So people will be very much embarrassed by two things: one
thing is taxation, and another thing will be scarcity of food. In this way,
all the people all over the world will be embarrassed, so much so that they
will leave their home, hearth and home, acchinna-dara-dravina yasyanti
giri-kananam. [From SB 12.2.8: "Losing their wives and properties to such
avaricious and merciless rulers, who will behave no better than ordinary
thieves, the citizens will flee to the mountains and forests."] Being
separated from family and property, they will take shelter in the hilly
ranges or in the forest to get relief. This will be the position.
Harassment, so much harassment, by nature, by government.
So therefore for complete happy society, this Krsna consciousness movement
is essential. All intelligent persons, they should join this movement and
reform the present social, political, religious. All field of activities,
they should reform. Then people will be happy. Not only happy in this life,
but also next life.
VD 31: New York, July 14, 1976: Interview with Newsday Newspaper

Simplicity and Faith

by Gour Govinda Maharaja

Gopal and the Schoolboy

A mother has a six or seven year old son. She wanted to admit him into primary school so that he could get some education, but the school was a little far away, half a mile from their house. Still she told the boy that he should go every day to the school in the morning.

So, the boy started going. On the path to the school, he had to pass through a jungle where there were some ferocious animals, tigers, and snakes. Being a small child, he was afraid. He came to his mother and said, “Oh mother, when I was going through that jungle on the way to school, I was very afraid. So many ferocious animals are there. I can’t go any more.”

His mother said, “Why are you afraid? Don’t you know that your friend Gopal is there? Just call your friend; He will help you. You need not be afraid.”

“Oh, my friend is there?”

“Yes. When you feel afraid, you should call out, ‘Oh my friend Gopal, I am in a fearful situation! Where are You? Please come!’ You should say like that.”

The child followed her instruction. When he was passing through the jungle and he felt afraid, he called out, “Friend Gopal! My brother Gopal! Where are You? I am in a fearful situation. Please come! Help me!”

Gopal appeared before him. “Yes, I am here. Why are you afraid?”

“I have to go through the jungle to go to school and it is full of ferocious animals.”

“All right, don’t fear. Come with Me!” Every day, Gopal was helping him.

Milk from Gopal

In Indian school they perform ganesa-puja and sarasvati-puja to give the students knowledge. For these festivals, the teacher will collect some fees from the students. One day at school the teacher announced that they were going to have such a festival, and that the students should all pay some fee. But the boy and his mother were very poor. There was nobody in that family, only the mother and the son, and they had no money.

The teacher told him, “You are poor. You don’t have enough money. But you should at least bring fifty paisa—half of a rupee.”

The child returned home and told his mother that the teacher said that he had to pay fifty paisa for the festival. But they had nothing, not even a single paisa. The mother said, “Tell the teacher that we have no money. We are very poor. But we will bring milk.”

The child said, “Who will give us milk?”

“Oh, your friend Gopal will give us milk. He tends cows. He can supply as much milk as your teacher wants. Yes. You tell Gopal!”

So that day in the forest he called out to his friend, “O Gopal, where are You?”

“I am here.” Gopal appeared. “What do you need?”

“My teacher has said that I have to pay fifty paisa, but we have no money. My mother said to ask You to give us some milk, because they need milk for the festival. So you must supply as much milk as they need.”

“Oh yes, I must supply, I am always here to help you.”

“Later, on the puja day when he was passing through the jungle, he called his friend, “Gopal, today is the day. Please come!”

Gopal came with a small earthen pot filled with milk. “All right, take this milk. Give it to your teacher. This pot will give as much milk as they want. It will never be empty.” The boy took it and gave it to the teacher.

Seeing the small pot, the teacher said, “Oh this is just a small amount of milk. We need a large amount, ten buckets of milk. You have only brought a small pot.”

“No, no, no. It will never be empty. You bring ten buckets and pour this pot out. All ten buckets will be filled.”

The teacher did so, and amazingly, ten buckets were filled. Then the teacher asked, “Where did you get such a pot?”

“My friend Gopal gave it to me.”

“Your friend Gopal? Who is He?”

“Oh, He stays in the jungle. Every time I need, I call Him. My mother told me that whenever I am in a fearful situation I should call out, ‘Gopal! Gopal! O brother! O my friend Gopal!’ Then He appears. He helps me, protects me, and leads me to school. He gave this pot of milk. He says that He is a friend to one and all.” Krishna says in Bhagavad-Gita (5.29), suhrdam sarva bhutanam—“I am the only well wishing friend of all living entities.”

“He says He is not only my friend, He is a friend to one and all. If one calls, He is there ready to help in time of danger, in time of need, in time of calamities.”

Why Doesn’t Gopal Come to You?

Such a simple child gets help from Krishna. But you are worrying, he is worrying, she is worrying, “What shall I do? What shall I do? I need so much money. How can I do it? I cannot collect. I have to do this thing. I have to do that thing. I have so many problems, so many hindrances, so many obstacles. Why don’t you ask Gopal? Gopal is ready to help you, but you are not asking Him. If you are asking, then why is Gopal not coming? You say, “Yes, yes I am asking, ‘O Krishna! O Krishna! Please help me, please help me!’ But Krishna is not coming and helping me.”

Gopal immediately appeared before that small child. Why can’t you get Gopal’s help? Why doesn’t Gopal come to you? What is the difficulty? What is the reason? It’s because you have no faith in Gopal, no faith in Krishna. It’s a question of faith. That small child had strong faith. As soon as his mother told him, he put strong unflinching faith in her words, and he got Krishna. But you do not have faith.

Now in America, many, many people have lost faith. In his Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu(1.4.15) Srila Rupa Goswami says, adau sraddha, the first thing is unflinching faith. Similarly Krsna says in Gita (4.39)

sraddhavan labhate jnanam tat-parah samyatendriyah

jnanam labdhva param santim acirenadhigacchati

“A faithful man who is dedicated to transcendental knowledge and who subdues his senses is eligible to achieve such knowledge, and having achieved it he quickly attains the supreme spiritual peace.”

What do we mean by sraddha? Rupa Goswami says that the first thing is sraddha. Following that comes other things. Sraddha means strong, unflinching faith.Bhajante mam drdha-vratah—those who have faith, they do bhajana with determination[Bg. 7.28]. Strong faith in what?

Sadhu-sastra-guru-vakya; faith in what sadhu says, what guru says, what sastrasays—what Krishna says [Narottama Das Thakur’s Prema-bhakti-candrika 1.10] You should put strong unflinching faith in what Krishna says in Bhagavad-gita andSrimad Bhagavatam. It is said:

visvasa mile krsna tarke bahu dura

If one has faith, then he can easily obtain Krishna and arguments or doubts stay far away.

Why Depressed and Disappointed?

If you have strong faith, you will get Krishna. You have faith, but it is not strong. It is soft faith. At any time it can break and you feel yourself disappointed, depressed. Why such feelings? Why disappointed? Why depressed? Because you do not have strong faith in Krishna. You have no faith in sadhu-sastra-guru vakya You have lost faith, therefore you feel disappointed and depressed.

Faith is the most important thing. It has been stressed in Bhagavad-gita, in Srimad Bhagavatam, and all of our acaryas have said it. Rupa Goswami says in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.4.15-16) that everything begins with sraddha:

adau sraddha tatah sadhu-sango ‘tha bhajana-kriya

tato ‘nartha-nivrttih syat tato nistha rucis tatah

athasaktis tato bhavas tatah premabhyudancati

sadhakanam ayam premna pradurbhave bhavet kramah

“First comes sraddha, faith; next sadhu-sanga, association with saintly persons; after that bhajana-kriya, spiritual practices; then anartha-nivrtti, cessation of all offenses or obstacles; next nistha, firmness; which is followed by ruci, taste; after that asakti, attachment; then bhava; and then appears prema. These are the different stages leading to prema’s appearance within the heart of a spiritual practitioner.”

It’s a gradual process. Mahaprabhu said the same thing:

ucca sankirtane kari sraddhara pracara

“Loudly chant the holy names and preach with faith.”

When my guru-maharaja came to the West, what did he have with him? Only strong faith in Krishna, strong faith in the words of his guru, strong faith in the holy name. He had nothing else. It is a question of strong faith in Gopal. But people are lacking faith. You should develp strong faith. Caitanya-caritamrta (madhya 22.62) states:

‘sraddha’-sabde - visvasa kahe sudrdha niscaya

krsne bhakti kaile sarva-karma krta haya

Sraddhais defined as confident, firm faith that by rendering transcendental loving service to Krishna one automatically performs all subsidiary activities. Such faith is favorable to the discharge of devotional service.”

Chant Loudly!

If you develop krsna-bhakti, all of your duties and obligations are finished. You are thinking, “This is my duty, my responsibility, to look after the maintenance of my family, my wife, and my children. But it is said, krsne bhakti kaile sarva-karma krta haya - “All of your work is finished.” Everyone says this, but they are only speaking from the lips. In their heart, 99.9% people have no faith. Therefore Guaranga Mahaprabhu has said, ucca sankirtane kari sraddhara pracara — “Chant loudly:hare krsna hare krsna, krsna krsna hare hare, hare rama hare rama, rama rama hare hare. Inculcate sraddha, faith unto those people who have not developedsraddha.”

My guru-maharaja did that. When he first arrived here he came with only a pair ofkartalas. He simply went to a park and chanted Hare Krishna. The hippies were rolling on the ground, half-naked, taking strong drugs like LSD and marijuana, and becoming mad. My guru-maharaja just played karatalas and chanted, and thereby he inculcated sraddha in them. Cora-vesya-satha—the thieves, the prostitutes, and the cheaters — sadhu is able to inculcate sraddha even into them. That is Mahaprabhu’s instruction; agre sraddha diya - “First inculcate sraddha unto them.” Then when they are sraddhavan, when they ahve developed sraddha,strong faith in the holy name, strong faith in Krishna, and sadhu-sastra-guru-vakya, then they are eligible to be initiated.

There is the offense to the holy name known as sraddha-hina-jane namopadesa - “giving someone nama-upadesa, instructions on chanting, if they are lacking insraddha.” So agre-sraddha—first one must have sraddha.

How can one develop sraddha? That is another question—for this reason we perform loud sankirtan. Doing so you can develop sraddha. Don’t feel depressed or disappointed; Mahaprabhu is there, Krishna is there, Srila Prabhupada is there. Chant loudly and fill the atmosphere with transcendental sound vibration! You should have full faith in the holy name, in Gopal, in Krishna and Mahaprabhu. Don’t feel depressed at any time, under any circumstances. There is no quetion of pessimism in Mahaprabhu’s movement. There is all optimism. I have seen during my tour that now this pessimism is widespread amongst the devotees in America. Seing that, I feel very sorry. I am crying in my heart. What has happened? Myguru-maharja came here first. He sowed the seed here. Now what has happened? They have lost faith — such a sorry state of affairs.

How is it that a small boy immediately developed faith and got Krishna? He cried out, “O Gopal! Where are You? My mother has said to call you!” And immediately Gopal appeared..

The Determination of Dhruva

Dhruva Maharaja was also only a child, a five-year old boy. When he inquired from his mother Suniti, she told him, “Narayan is there. If you get the mercy of Lord Narayan then all of your desires will be fulfilled.”

Dhruva siad, “Yes! Lord Narayan. Where is He?”

Suniti said, “I have heard that saints and sages go to the forest to get Him.”

Dhruva said, “Oh, I must go! I must go and get Him!” He was only a five-year-old boy ,but he had such determination.

Later, Narada Muni told him, “The forest is a very dangerous place. There are many fearful, ferocious animals here - tigers, lions, and snakes. You are a small boy, what can you do here?”

Dhruva said, “No! No! My mother said that Narayan is there. I must go and find Him. Dhruva wouldn’t hear any dissuasion. He was so strong and determined! Therefore his name is Dhruva. “Dhruva” means “determined”. His determination never shakes. Rupa Goswami therefore says in Upadesamrta (text 3):

utsahan niccayads dhairyattat-tat-karma-pravartanat
sanga-tyagat sato vrtthe sadbhir bhakti prasidhyati

“One can execute the process of bhakti-yoga successfully with full-hearted enthusiasm, perseverance, and determination, by following the prescribed duties in the association of devotees and engaging completely in activities of goodness.”

Rupa Goswami, mahajana-acarya, says one must have utsaha, enthusiasm, andniscaya, determination. “Yes, I am determined to achieve this thing. I must achieve it.” Dhruva had that kind of determination. But also dhairya, you must have patience. Don’t lose patience. This strong determination and strong faith is most important. Nothing is impossible. Krishna is always there to help you. He is there in your heart. He will test how strong your faith is in Him. Your faith is shaking; it is not strong. How determined are you? Krishna creates everything. His will is supreme. By His mere desire creation, maintenance, and destruction take place. We are completely dependent on His will. Bhaktivinoda says in Sarangati (3.4.7)tomara icchaya achi nirbhara koriya - “I am completely dependent on Your will, O Krishna.” So Krishna says, “Okay, I will test your faith, to see if you are really completely dependent on My will.” But you are lacking faith and Krishna knows, “Oh, he has no faith. He only speaks from the lips. In his heart he has no faith.”

Everything takes place according to the will of Krishna. If He doesn’t will, a blade of grass will not shake. So it is a question of faith. But why do we lack faith? Dhruva immediately put strong faith. He was not afraid of any situation. “Where is that Narayan? Where is Narayan!” The example is also there in the story about the young boy and Gopal. But we can’t put faith. What is the reason? Why are these small children able to have faith, but adults cannot? It is because you are crooked and they are simple. A child is very simple, but as soon as he grows up and associates with adults, those who are very crooked, he develops crookedness. Otherwise, in the beginning a child is very simple. Simplicity is vaisnavism. All ouracaryas have said this. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami stresses on this;saralata hi vaisnavata—simplicity is vaisnavism. Real vaisnavas are a simple as a child.

There is no question of crookedness, duplicity or pretentiousness in them. But our heart is full of these things. We are not al all simple-hearted persons. We are very crooked. Duplicity, crookedness, and pretentiousness are in you. But Krishna is in your heart. He knows what is in you; you cannot cheat Him. Therefore we say thatsadhu-guru-mahajan are patita pavana, not kapati-pavana - they are the saviors of the fallen, not saviors of the crooked.

Some persons say, “Shall I just have blind faith? Shall I not think anything? Shall I not apply my intelligence, my deliberation? Should I just put blind faith in whatever sadhu and sastra say?”

They say, “We have our own intelligence. We must think very seriously before we can accept.”

How can you deliberate on what Krishna says, what sastra says , what themahajanas say? They have no defects. You are a conditioned soul with four defects; bhrama (tendency to commit mistakes), pramada (the tendency to be illusioned), vipralipsa (the tendency to cheat), and karanapatava (imperfect senses). Your senses are defective. The thoughts in your mind are defective. What you perceive through your senses is defective.

“There is no Sadhu Present”

You say, “Oh! we have been cheated so many times. Now we won’t put faith in anyone. No sadhus are there. We don’t see any sadhu.”

Can you see a sadhu? Do you have the vision to see a sadhu? You are a conditioned soul. You have defective vision. How can you see a sadhu? You have developed this motto, “Seeing is believing.” You say, “ If I see, then I will believe. Can you show me? Can you show me the Lord? Then I will believe.”

But you are not prepared to admit that you are blind. You have no vision to see the Lord. Even if I show you the Lord, how can you see without vision? You are not prepared to admit your shortcoming. You are such a crooked, pretentious, duplicitous person. You are always trying to hide your defects. You are not prepared to admit them. This is proof that you are not at all simple. You are a crooked person. Be simple! If you just once say with an open heart, “Krishna I am Yours!” then immediately Krishna will accept you. He is there in your heart, but you can’t cry out to Him. Your heart if filled with such filth, such duplicity and crookedness. You are ever simple. And Krishna knows it.

This is the reason why you cannot develop strong faith. Now you want to seesadhu. You say, “We don’t see any sadhus. There are no sadhus.

If there is no sadhu, then how are things going on? This is Kali-yuga, the most sinful and degraded age. Still there is ekapad-dharma, one-legged religion, therefore things are continuing. Otherwise everything would have been finished, destroyed. In Satya-yuga dharma had four legs. In Treta-yuga three legs were there. In Dvarpara-yuga two legs were there, and in Kali-yuga there is one leg. Because this one leg of dharma is present, things are going on and we are all here.

The holy name came - this is the yuga-dharma for Kali-yuga. But we have no faith, no belief in it. We are such crooked persons. We have no simplicity. We only speak with the lips while something else is in the heart. This simplicity is vaisnavism It is the only thing required. Make your heart simple. Drive out, throw out all this filth, crookedness, duplicity, and pretentiousness, and immediately you will get Krishna.

Krishna emphasizes this sraddha in many places in the Gita: Chapter four, text 39 states: sraddhaval labhate jnanam - “A faithful person quickly obtains transcendental knowledge.” In chapter nine, text three, Krishna states:asraddadhanah purusa aprapya mam nivartante mrtyu-samsara-vartmani -.Those who have no sraddha, no faith, cannot approach Me. Again and again they will fall down here to this mrtyu-samsara, world of death.

Sadhus Have No Defects

Those who have vision, they see and they say, arya-vijna-vakya nahi dosa catustaya—the words of the mahajanas, sadhus, are free from the four defects. Why don’t you put unflinching faith in their words? You say, “I must think about it first. I must deliberate on what they say. If I am convinced then I will apply it.” - This is all duplicity, crookedness, lack of faith! You are not prepared to admit that you have four defects. Your senses are defective, how can you see? You think, “I am the seer. I will see.” But you are not the seer. You have defective vision. How can you see a sadhu who is free from defects and exists on the transcendental platform? He is in the fourth dimension.

You are limited to three dimensions: length, breadth and height. Can your material mind conceive the fourth dimension? Then how can you say, “If I see, only then I will accept?” Nonsense! Such nonsense! You can only act on faith. Nothing else.

In the story I told, the mother instructed and the child put faith in her words. The mother is authority and the child is simple. Sadhu, mahajana, and sastra are authority. But you have no faith in them. How can you get Krishna? Faith is the most important thing. Even if you put blind faith, still you will be delivered becausesadhu mahajanas are free from defects. What they say is real truth - mahajana yei kahe, sei satya mani (Cc. Madhya 25.56). Suppose you put blind faith in sadhu’swords and you go to hell; then sadhu-mahajan will go to hell to deliver you. But by your manipulations, politics, and duplicity, even if you elevate yourself to the position of Brahmaloka, Satyaloka, still you will fall from there and you cannot be delivered by sadhu-mahajana.

One who is very simple, immediately puts strong unflinching faith, immediately surrenders, and immediately is accepted by Krishna. That is what is needed. Simplicity isvaisnavism, but we are lacking that thing.

You should take example from mahajanas like Rupa and Sanatana Goswami. How simple they are! Once a very puffed-up, proud pandit came to see them. He was traveling everywhere, challenging and trying to defeat others. That pandit came to Sanatana Gosvami and Rupa Goswami and said, “You debate with me. If I am victorious then you will sign a certificate of defeat and if you defeat me then I will sign a certificate that you have defeated me.” Rupa and Sanatana immediately said, “No, we will give you a certificate. Please go, dandavats. Yes, we are defeated. You are victorious” This is simplicity.

Jada Bharat and the Dacoits

Jada Bharat was also simple in this way. A group of dacoits were searching for a nice human being to sacrifice so that Kali would be pleased and they could get a benediction from her. They found Jada Bharat sitting in a cornfield. He was very strong, stout, and good-looking. They thought he would be very nice for sacrifice. Jada Bharat was like a madman - dumb and callous like an animal. Just like the butcher taking an animal to the slaughterhouse, the dacoits took him to be sacrificed. Jada Bharat went with no protest, just like a simple child. He was such an elevated paramahamsa! The dacoits bathed him and put new clothes on him. The put vermilion on is forehead. Then they asked him, “Please bow down here.” Like a simple child he did what they said. Then they raised a sword to cut off his head.

Kali is a vaisnava, a maidservant of Krishna. Seeing their activity, she said, “What are these rascals dacoits doing?” Kali suddenly came out from deity with a sword in her hand and chopped off the heads of those dacoits and Jada Bharat was saved.

Nevertheless you are thinking, “Shall I put faith blindly? Shall I not think about it? Shall I not deliberate on it?” You are saying like that because you have no faith. Because duplicity and crookedness is there in your heart. You are not simple.

One who is very simple is really surrendered. He is a real sadhu, and he is protected. This simplicity is lacking in you. You think, “I will see.” But you are not the seer. Krishna is the seer; sadhu is the seer. You are to be seen. But you are thinking just the opposite, “I will be the seer and the sadhu will be seen.” What is this nonsense? They are the seer - Krishna is the seer, sadhu is the seer. You have to be seen. When they cast their merciful glance on you, then your good fortune arises. You become fortunate, subhagya. But you are thinking, “I am the seer.” Just the opposite. That’s the whole problem, nothing else.


Devotee: How can someone develop simplicity?

Gour Govinda Swami: Associate with a simple sadhu. As I described by guru-maharja, how he came and inculcated faith. And why are you lacking faith now? Because you are not associating with sadhus! You say, “We cannot see sadhu. There are no sadhus present now.” That’s the whole trouble with you.

But if we are duplicitous in the heart, then we will be blind and won’t be able to see who is a sadhu. So how can we associate with sadhus if we don’t know who is asadhu?

Therefore I say, even if sadhucomes, because you are blind you have no faith in him. You want to be the seer, so you cannot get any benefit. You cannot associate. If a sadhu comes and chants here, speaks krsna-katha, it will never enter your ear. You cannot get any benefit. You don’t do sadhu-sanga at all. Although you come and sit here, you are just posing, you are just pretending. You are such a pretender! Because you have no faith, the sadhu’s katha will never enter your ear. Thus, you cannot get any benefit. Just pretending. Sitting for ten or fifteen minutes, then getting up and going out. Why is this? Because you have no faith. You are not simple. You want to be the seer. But you are not the seer. That’s the whole trouble.

So I should just give it up?

Gour Govinda Swami: Yes! Give up everything! Just throw it out! Throw it out! Make your heart clean and open. Jesus Christ said, “Empty thyself. I will fill thee.” But you are not emptying. Your heart is full to the brim with crookedness, duplicity and enviousness - all nasty things. How can he fill you? There is no space. Empty yourself. Throw it out! Then you will get.

[From an evening program in Lansing, Michigan on 28 October 1991]

How Knowledge Becomes Wisdom

Soul, God, self-realization – many can talk about these terms, but to experience them as a reality – to realize them – is not so easy. For example, if one realizes that God is the only source of real happiness, one will give up seeking happiness through self-destructive means like intoxication, gambling, illicit sex, meat-eating. The Bhagavad-gita (5.17) describes how to realize the spiritual truths, “By investing one’s intelligence, mind, faith and goal in the Supreme, one becomes cleansed of all impurities by spiritual knowledge and proceeds straight on the path of liberation.” Let’s discuss these four aspects of spiritual investment:
1. Intelligence: A fanatic may be very showy about his beliefs, but his inability to rationally explain his beliefs exposes their shallowness. Often his only response to questions is aggression – verbal and physical – against those who don’t agree with his beliefs. Such pseudo-spiritual practice without investment of one’s intelligence cannot lead to any tangible spiritual advancement. The Bhagavad-gita (18.64) urges Arjuna to deliberate deeply on the message spoken and then choose his course of action. Devotional service based on
intelligence leads to firm yet sensitive practice.
2. Mind: A ritualistic worshiper may use his intelligence to expertly recite memorized verses, but his mind may well be fixed on the adoration that he hopes to get for his religious performance. Only when his mind is fixed on the Lord whom he is praising with the verses will his recitation lead to internal
spiritual growth.
3. Faith: A salesman may use his intelligence and mind to sell a medicine, but he may have no faith in the potency of the medicine due to suspecting that it may be counterfeit. When a devotee exhorts others to chant the names of God, he has complete faith that God will bless and heal those who start chanting His
4. Goal: A software engineer may fix his intelligence and mind on his software programs and he may also have faith that the software programs will work, but his goal is not the software program, but the money that the programming is going to earn. A devotee’s goal is not any material gain that God is going tobestow on him; his goal is God Himself. He wants to love and serve God eternally.
Thus serious spirituality is not just a part of life; it is life itself – what we really deliberate, contemplate, believe and aspire in our life. When we invest all these faculties of our life in God, Krishna, then we can reap the rich returns of positive transformation and lasting fulfillment.

The Advent of Bhagavad Gita

This is the annirversary day commemorating the day that Srimad Bhagavad Gita
was spoken by Lord Sri Krishna to His dearmost devotee Arjuna at the place
now known as Jyotisar Tirtha amid the waring families of the Kurus and the
Pandavas at Kurukshetra. If one wishes one can still go and visit that place
and see the monument erected there with Krishna as Parthasarati (the chariot
driver) and Arjuna the warrior on their chariot. It is claimed by the ashram
who maintain the shrine that the tree that is next to Them is a continum
growth of the original tree witness that was there at the actual day of

Traditionally devotees come to Kurukshetra (Dharmakshetra) and recite
Bhagavad Gita from early morning until the next morning, perform arati to
Bhagavad Gita and to Krishna and Arjuna upon the chariot, offer lamps 'deep
daan' at Brahma Sarovar, shloka recitals, shobha yatras and seminars on the
significance of the Gita today.

Devotees who cannot get to Jyotisar Tirtha remember the blessed event by
reciting Bhagavad Gita, performing Bhagavad Gita ahuti of each verse or
selected chapters into the sacred fire, and discussing the subject matter of
Bhagavad Gita in the association of devotees. Distribution of Bhagavad
Gitas' on this day is also a very auspicious activity to perform.

Remembering the Scene:

The Pandavas army took the western side of the battlefield of Kurukshetra.
They were facing the east. Their army was stationed near a lake. A white
royal umbrella was seen in the Kauravas army. The soldiers started warning
up at the thought of the battle ahead. Blowing of conches raised a great
tumult and beating of drums and many other instruments were sounded to
announce the readiness for the war. Excitement was building up.

The warriors of both the sides met and settled the rules of the war. Only
equals will fight in personal duels. Those who surrender, there lives will
be spared, No charioteer, animal, or servants who were not soldiers were to
be attacked. These and some other rules that were usual in a Dharma-Yuddha
or a righteous war were finalised and both the sides agreed to abide by

On the eve of the war, sage Vyasa visited the palace of Dhritarastra, who
was his son, now the terrible days are in store. All your sons and the kings
will be killed soon. This is settled by fate. It is ordained so, do not be
sorry. I shall grant you your eyesight so that you may witness the war.
Dhritarastra was shaken by the stark words of the sage. He said, 'My lord, I
have been blind all my life. I do not want to see my sons dying in the
battlefield. If someone can give me an account of the war as it unfolds, I
shall be happy. Vyasa said, Sanjaya would get the power to see everything
that happens in the war. He will be able to see during the day as well as in
the night. He shall be even able to know the thoughts of the persons engaged
in the war. He shall not be tired or exhausted. The omens are all against
the Kauravas." Saying this the great sage departed.

(After this the entire account of the war is as related by Sanjaya to the
blind king Dhritarastra)

Duryodhana was busy arranging his troops in a battle array. He told
Dussashan, 'take care to protect our grandsire, Bhishma. All the chariots
and warriors should be placed in such a position to Bhishma. He alone is
capable of destroying the entire army of the Pandavas led by Dhristadhyumna.
We should pay special attentions to kill Shikhandi. He could be a source of
danger to Bhishma.

Then (one Akshauhini of Army comprises of 21870 chariots, 21870 elephants,
65610 horses and 109350 men.) akshauhinis of the Kauravas army was arranged
in Vyuha (battle array) and one akshauhini was under the direct control of
Bhishma. Bhishma chariot was white-silver coloured, it was driven by white
horses and his flag was golden, bearing his personal insignia. The Sun was
rising in a golden dawn. Bhishma spoke to his soldiers, "Today is a very
auspicious day. The gates of heavens are open to all the Kshatriyas who will
be fortunate to die in the battle. It is not beckoning of a Kshatriya to die
in bed or of sickness. Battlefield is the only glorious place to die.
Without thinking about tomorrow do your best to win the war. Karna was the
only warrior who had not joined the war. Bhishma chief body guard was
Ashwathama, who was supported by seven more warriors. Salya and Bhurishrava
were among them. Duryodhana's banner was proudly fixed a top his chariot.

Looking at the vast army of the Kauravas, Yudhisthira said to Arjuna. Their
army is so huge. They have eleven akshauhinis against them we have only
seven. How best can be arrange our army in battle formation. Bhishma is
quite formidable. Arjuna said, that he would arrange the army in a 'Vyuha'
named 'Vajra'. This was the favourite arrangement of lord Indra.
Dhristadhyumna was in the centre of the army. Bhima, Yudhisthira, protected
him and Arjuna supported Shikhandi. The most prominent banner in the Pandava
side was that of Arjuna, having lord Hanumana himself on it, driven by
Krishna, having white horses. All those who knew the reality, saluted
Krishna. Krishna said to Arjuna, 'See the army of the Kauravas, led by your
old grandsire. The lion among the Kaurava heroes, is your first victim.

courtesy BBT Int.

This is the anniversary day commemorating the day that Srimad Bhagavad Gita
was spoken by Lord Sri Krishna to His dearmost devotee Arjuna at the place
now known as Jyotisar Tirtha amid the waring families of the Kurus and the
Pandavas at Kurukshetra. If one wishes one can still go and visit that place
and see the monument erected there with Krishna as Parthasarati (the chariot
driver) and Arjuna the warrior on their chariot. It is claimed by the ashram
who maintain the shrine that the tree that is next to Them is a continum
growth of the original tree witness that was there at the actual day of

Traditionally devotees come to Kurukshetra (Dharmakshetra) and recite
Bhagavad Gita from early morning until the next morning, perform arati to
Bhagavad Gita and to Krishna and Arjuna upon the chariot, offer lamps 'deep
daan' at Brahma Sarovar, shloka recitals, shobha yatras and seminars on the
significance of the Gita today.

Devotees who cannot get to Jyotisar Tirtha remember the blessed event by
reciting Bhagavad Gita, performing Bhagavad Gita ahuti of each verse or
selected chapters into the sacred fire, and discussing the subject matter of
Bhagavad Gita in the association of devotees. Distribution of Bhagavad
Gitas' on this day is also a very auspicious activity to perform.

What is the Bhagavad Gita?

The Bhagavad Gita(BG) was spoken by Sri Krishna to His friend and disciple,
Arjuna at the beginning of the epic war, Mahabharata. BG provides the
concise conclusion of the millions of verses in all the Vedic scriptures. In
just eighteen chapters containing seven hundred verse, Sri Krishna answers
all questions about the duty of the living entity. In glorifying the BG,
Lord Shiva says in the Gita Mahatmya (Padma Purana) that it is sufficient to
lead one to liberation.

How should one read the BG?
The BG should be studied in the same mood as it was heard by Arjuna. Sri
Krishna declares that He is revealing this most confidential knowledge to
Arjuna because is not envious and He is a friend. So one must read and
understand the BG in the mood of at least theoretically accepting the
position of Krishna as God. This knowledge is never revealed to one who
reads it in a challenging and speculative mood.

Owing to the universal message in the BG, many people take to it
instinctively. Unfortunately its importance has also given rise to many
people speculating and misinterpreting it. In order to protect the trusting
people from this kind of cheating, Sri Krishna stresses the importance of
Paramapara (disciplic succession) and Guru (spiritual master) in receiving
the knowledge of the BG.

Who should read the BG?
The BG is often referred to as the "Handbook for humanity". Never in the BG
has Sri Krishna restricted the scope of the BG to Hindus or Indians. It is
completely non-denominational, meant for any one inquiring about his reason
for existence. Indeed many people following Christianity or Islam get a much
better perspective of their own religion after reading the BG and are able t
o follow their religions with greater conviction.

What is Purpose of the BG?
The BG was spoken to guide the conditioned soul on the path of the spiritual
advancement. It is presented as principle and details. The dominating
principle of the BG is to develop God consciousness. In the details, Sri
Krishna explains three primary ways of doing this and then further expands
on these paths. He then relates them to each other and brings forth the
single most effective path for returning back to God

What are the three paths?
These paths are explained as yoga. The Sanskrit word "yoga" means connecting
to the absolute, and it is in this context that the word yoga is used in the

The three paths given by Sri Krishna are Karma yoga, Jnana yoga and Bhakti
yoga. The first six chapters primarily discuss Karma yoga, liberation by
performing prescribed activities. The last six chapters primarily talk about
Jnana yoga, liberation by worshipping the Lord through one's intelligence.
Ensconced between these two "protective" covers, like a pearl in the oyster,
in the middle six chapters, Krishna reveals the most confidential of all
knowledge, Bhakti yoga, the path of pure, unalloyed devotional service. He
declares this to be the highest, the easiest and the fastest path to Him,
and for one who is fortunate to embark on it, the binding illusions of Maya
are dispelled in no time.

What is Karma yoga?
A person situated in Karma yoga executes one's prescribed duties. These
duties are as prescribed by the Varnashrama system created By Krishna
through the Vedas. According to one's ability and inclination, a person may
acquires a particular varna. He may become a Brahaman (teacher, guide),
Ksatriya (administrator, warrior), Vaishya (merchant, farmer) or Sudra
(worker). According to his situation he lives in one of the four ashrams:
Brahamacari (student), Grahastha (married), Vanaprastha (retired) and
Sannyasa (detached). The eight fold Varnashram system is created to allow
one to be aware of his prescribed duties and execute them properly. It is
important to note here is that the BG stresses that a varna is acquired by
one's ability and inclination, never by birth. So in the BG, there is no
support of the "caste-system" prevalent in India. The Varnashram system
appears naturally in all societies over the world.

Performing prescribed duties will earn a person much pious credit, but it
will also continue to bind him to the material world. So Karma can be
"sakarma" (done in anticipation of enjoying its fruits) or "nishkarma"
(detached from the results). In both cases a person is attached to
performing the activity. However, when a person performs activities only for
the pleasure of the Lord, he has reached the stage of Bhakti. For instance
Sadhna (japa, arati, kirtan) are activities performed with no material
motives, simply to glorify or remember the Lord. Thus Karma yoga can be used
to elevate one self to the position of Bhakti yoga by first performing
prescribed activities, then renouncing the fruits of the activities to
Krishna and finally by renouncing the activity in itself to Krishna.

What is Bhakti yoga?
The path of devotion is described as the most confidential path back to
Godhead. It is described as the "elevator" approach to Krishna as opposed to
all the other "staircase" paths. The essence of the Bhakti yoga is
summarized by Sri Krishna in Chapter 9, Verse 34, as follows: "Engage your
mind always in thinking of Me, become My devotee, offer obeisances to Me and
worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me."

This verse, often considered to be the summary verse of the entire BG,
contains the essence of the existence of a spirit soul. In the material
world, trapped in the illusory sense of identifying with the body and its
extensions, a spirit soul remains forever bewildered by the duality of
existence. However by simply surrendering to Krishna, understanding Him to
be the original, primeval cause of all causes and thus worshipping Him
without any desires of material benefit, one can easily go back to Him.

Bhakti yoga does not mean inactivity. Indeed a bhakta is most active, for he
sees all his activities now in relation to the Supreme. But he is detached
from the activity and the fruits of the activity, neither happy in success
nor distressed in failure, understanding that all this is ultimately for
Krishna and coming from Him only.

What is Jnana yoga?
In the Jnana section Krishna elaborates about the five factors of existence:
Isavara (God), Jivatma (Soul), Kala (Time), Karma (actions) and Prakriti
(Nature). He explains that while Kala, Prakriti, Jiva and Isavara are
eternal, Karama is not. As long as one is involved in fruitive activities,
the cycle of Karma, performed in one of the three modes of material Nature
(goodness, passion, ignorance) is binding. For every action, good or bad,
there is a reaction. This cycle can only be broken by performing devotional
service, since that does not have any reactions, good or bad. In this stage
the person transcends the material plane of existence and enters into the
spiritual realm.

When Krishna explains the path of spiritual advancement by knowledge, Arjuna
gets confused between the Karma (action) and Jnana (inaction). Krishna
explains that one must strive for activities performed in knowledge of Him,
which will ultimately lead to Bhakti. Philosophy without faith is
speculation, and faith without philosophy is rituals. The two must
complement each other. Thus, Krishna once again stresses that the ultimate
goal of all transcendentalists is Him. They may reach Him directly by Bhakti
or first reach Bhakti through Karma or Jnana.

Why has Krishna given alternatives?
A confusing aspect of the BG is the fact that while acknowledging the
superiority of Bhakti yoga. Krishna spends considerable time talking about
Jnana and Karma yoga. He even speaks briefly about the eight fold astanga
yoga process followed by the mystics. For many people this is very confusing
if not apparently contradictory.

In reality. Krishna is offering some thing for every one according to their
levels of advancement and inclination. As God, He does not interfere with
the free will of a living entity. But as the most compassionate well wisher
He wants every one to leave this material world of misery and return to the
original spiritual abode.

The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust's TitlesThe Bhaktivedanta Book Trust’s Titles
So, for a person attracted to action, there is Karma yoga. For the
intellectual there is Jnana yoga. For the mystic there is astanga yoga. The
BG meets the person at the level they are in and gradually elevates them to
the platform where they become qualified to execute Bhakti yoga, pure
devotional service. A very few fortunate souls, by the causeless mercy of
Krishna and His devotees, are able to take directly to Bhakti, and for them
the way back to Godhead is quick and easy.

We hope that these points address your interests and motivate you to read
the Bhagavad Gita As It Is.

compiled by HG JT caran prabhu

Globalization and meat-eating

Please sign our petition for the legal ban of meat.

If we do not act now, a global ecological disaster of seismic proportion

will emerge within the next few years.

According to the FAO, the agricultural livestock industry produces more

greenhouse gases than the use of petrol for cars, trucks and other


- Livestock industry uses 70% of the world's agricultural surface, including

33% of agricultural land used for planting animal feed.

- Agricultural animal farming leads to deforestation to make way for new

pastures and it leads to devastating, widely prevalent soil deterioration

caused by over overgrazing, soil compaction and erosion.

- Agricultural livestock raising is the number one threat for the ever

decreasing world water resources. An enormous amount of water is used to

produce the feed for livestock animals.

- Livestock animals eat more protein than they produce. For every 1 kg of

animal protein produced, animals consume on average 6 kg of plant protein,

in the form of cereal and green fodder.

- It takes about 20?000 - 40?000 litres of water to produce 1 kg of beef and

approximately 900 litres to produce 1 kg of wheat.

- Every day millions of animals are killed globally for the unhealthy

consumption of meat.

- A child dies of hunger every 2-3 seconds. The 760 million tons of grain

that is consumed yearly by farm animals worldwide would be enough to cover

the worldwide food shortage 14 times.

It is the responsibility of the government to safeguard its citizens, the

animals and this would be warranted by the ban of meat.

Please sign our petition. Without you, things will not change and without

your help they will not change fast enough. Every signature counts! If you

support a legal ban of meat, sign here. The petition will be delivered to

governments in Europe (and other countries of the world).

Thanks for your help and best wishes!


relief for eyes, relief from death

..we are preaching Bhagavad-gita as it is. In Bhagavad-gita there is no

such statement that you take care of the eyes of the people. There is no

such statement. That is your manufactured idea. But we are preaching

Bhagavad-gita as it is. That is the difference. Our preaching is that

instead of giving relief to the eyes, give him relief in such a way he

hasn't got to accept any more this body with eyes. You cannot make a

solution of the problem. Somebody is taking care of the eyes, somebody's

taking of the finger, somebody of the hair, somebody of another, genital,

and so on, so on. This will not solve the problem. The problem is, as it is

said in the Bhagavad..., janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi-duhkha-dosanudarsanam [Bg.

13.9]. This is intelligence. As soon as you take birth, then you'll have

eyes, you'll have eye trouble, vyadhi. Janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi. If you

accept janma-mrtyu, then between janma-mrtyu there is vyadhi and jara. You

have to accept. You may give some relief, but you have to accept. So that is

not solution. The solution is how to stop this janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi. That

is solution. That is bigger solution. So we are giving that thing -- there

will be no more eyes' trouble. The main disease... Suppose one man is

diseased, so sometimes he is feeling headache, sometimes eye-ache, sometimes

finger-ache, and you are applying some medicine for headache. That is not

the solution. The solution is that this man is suffering from this disease.

How to cure it? So Bhagavad-gita is meant for that purpose.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Room Conversation -- January 8, 1977, Bombay

Chant Hare Krishna and Be Happy

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