Kartika is coming!

Hare Krishna,

13th Oct, 2016. Gurgaon.



In the Padma Puräëa it is said, “The Lord may offer liberation or material happiness to a devotee, but after some devotional service has been executed, particularly in Mathurä during the month of Kärttika, the devotees want only to attain pure devotional service unto the Lord.” The purport is that the Lord does not award devotional service to ordinary persons who are not serious about it. But even such unserious persons who execute devotional service according to the regulative principles during the month of Kärttika, and within the jurisdiction of Mathurä in India, are very easily awarded the Lord’s personal service.

(NoD chapter 12)

As we read the above lines from Nectar of Devotion, we can not help but appreciate that if ‘unserious’ persons can be awarded so much benefit then surely Krishna may bestow on us, aspiring devotees, something even more valuable to hold on to and cherish all our life. Kartika is the month which is most dear to Krishna. We receive so many articles/ whatsapp messages/emails glorifying Kartika and how Krishna is easily pleased by anyone who renders even little devotional service to Him during this special month. So we can not even imagine what great benedictions await each one of us, aspiring devotees, if we make some sincere and serious endeavour to please Krishna, and Srimati Radharani, this Kartika.

It is known as Kartika because..

The predominating deity of Kartika month is Kirtika-kumari, the young daughter of Kirtika, Srimati Radharani. So  this month is called Kartika. It a great month to please Srimati Radharani by keeping special vows to please Her. We may offer whatever little benediction we earn in this month at Her lotus feet. If, somehow, we are able to please Srimati Radharani then Krishna too would be very pleased.

Month of Lord Damodara


“During this month, in Vrndavana it is the regulative principle to pray daily to Lord Krishna in His Damodara form. The Damodara form refers to Krishna in His childhood when He was tied up with rope by His mother, Yasoda. Dama means ‘ropes,’ and udara means ‘the abdomen.’ So mother Yasoda, being very disturbed by naughty Krsna, bound Him round the abdomen with a rope, and thus Krishna is named Damodara.”

(NoD, Chapter 5)

We can keep devotional vows to please Lord Damodara this Kartika and pray to Srimati Radharani to bestow upon us a drop of pure love by which a devotee can bind Krishna!

Sing Damodarastakam

“In the month of Kartika one should worship Lord Damodara and daily recite the prayer known as Damodarastaka, which has been spoken by Sage Satyavratra and which attracts Lord Damodara.

 (Sri Hari Bhakti Vilasa 2.16.198)

We hanker all our life to somehow attract Krishna and now simply by singing the most sweet Damodarastakam prayers in right consciousness we can attract the most attractive!

Offering Deep daan


“By offering a lamp during the month of Karttika one burns away a collection of sins as big as Mount Meru or Mount Mandara. Of this there is no doubt.”

(Skanda Purana)

The only doubt is in our mind! With faith and conviction in the words of shastras all sins could get removed this Kartika.

Offer Tulasi to Krishna


“The result one obtains by giving ten thousand cows in charity can be obtained by offering only one tulasi leaf to the Supreme Lord during the month of Kārttika.”

(Sri Hari-Bhakti-Vilasa, 7.335)

Daily offer Tulasi leaves to deities at home and/or temple.

Visit Sri Vrindavan Dhama

Spectacular, magical, spellbinding, miraculous, mysterious, enchanting, otherworldly, extraordinary, astonishing, inexplicable, stupefying, incredible, unfathomable, enigmatic or simply transcendental ! No words can describe the experience of offering lamp to Lord Damodar with hundreds of devotees from all over the world, their eyes tinged with salve of love.


Krishna has given us so much, so easily. Still it is finally up to us to take advantage of it. Our conditioned nature may sometimes have trouble with this, for such nature tends to be a little gross, doubtful and forgetful. Perhaps the preciousness and potency of what Krishna has given us has not really impressed upon our hearts. Perhaps with the passing of time our enthusiasm has waned or perhaps been crushed by following the process mechanically. So let us take a vow to take advantage of the most Holy month Kartika and who knows we may discover that I had one devotional life before 2016 Kartika and altogether another one after this Kartika!

Just as a mother picks up her child and feeds him her breast milk, the compassionate Lord affectionately gives shelter to sincere devotees who offer Him prayer with devotion.

(Sri Hari-Bhakti-Vilasa, 8.351)

In the meanwhile, in Vrindavan, Gopīs sing of Kṛṣṇa as He wanders in the forest this time of the year..

The gopīs said: When Mukunda vibrates the flute He has placed to His lips, stopping its holes with His tender fingers, He rests His left cheek on His left arm and makes His eyebrows dance. At that time the demigoddesses traveling in the sky with their husbands, the Siddhas, become amazed.

O girls! This son of Nanda, who gives joy to the distressed, bears steady lightning on His chest and has a smile like a jeweled necklace. Now please hear something wonderful. When He vibrates His flute, Vraja’s bulls, deer and cows, standing in groups at a great distance, are all captivated by the sound, and they stop chewing the food in their mouths and cock their ears. Stunned, they appear as if asleep, or like figures in a painting.
My dear gopī, sometimes Mukunda imitates the appearance of a wrestler by decorating Himself with leaves, peacock feathers and colored minerals. Then, in the company of Balarāma and the cowherd boys, He plays His flute to call the cows. At that time the rivers stop flowing, their water stunned by the ecstasy they feel as they eagerly wait for the wind to bring them the dust of His lotus feet. But like us, the rivers are not very pious, and thus they merely wait with their arms trembling out of love.

Kṛṣṇa moves about the forest in the company of His friends, who vividly chant the glories of His magnificent deeds. He thus appears just like the Supreme Personality of Godhead exhibiting His inexhaustible opulences. When the cows wander onto the mountainsides and Kṛṣṇa calls out to them with the sound of His flute, the trees and creepers in the forest respond by becoming so luxuriant with fruits and flowers that they seem to be manifesting Lord Viṣṇu within their hearts. As their branches bend low with the weight, the filaments on their trunks and vines stand erect out of the ecstasy of love of God, and both the trees and the creepers pour down a rain of sweet sap.

Maddened by the divine, honeylike aroma of the tulasī flowers on the garland Kṛṣṇa wears, swarms of bees sing loudly for Him, and that most beautiful of all persons thankfully acknowledges and acclaims their song by taking His flute to His lips and playing it. The charming flute-song then steals away the minds of the cranes, swans and other lake-dwelling birds. Indeed they approach Kṛṣṇa, close their eyes and, maintaining strict silence, worship Him by fixing their consciousness upon Him in deep meditation.

(SB 10.35.2-11)

Let us pray, and keeping our material mind and intelligence aside, and again read the most nectarean songs gopīs sing to express their feelings of separation from Kṛṣṇa when He goes to the forest during the day. Let us read these lines slowly, relishing each word as as we fix our consciousness on Krishna, His Name, His Form, His qualities and His pastimes. Who knows what may happen to our heart!

All glories to the most glorious Kartika month.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.


Opposite of oneness is being a separatist!

Hare Krishna.

5th Oct, 2016. 2016

Krishna destroys all ignorance

In the last blog we read about oneness. As I went on to read the next verse of Bhagavatam it was another condensed drop of nectar and, Gaura willing, I will write about it shortly. However as I was reading it I suddenly felt that as we read about oneness we should also know what is opposite to oneness.  Sri Isopanishad says:

Only one who can learn the process of nescience and that of transcendental knowledge side by side can transcend the influence of repeated birth and death and enjoy the full blessings of immortality.

— Sri Isopanisha, matra 11

So we should know about both, what is vidyā (knowledge) and what is avidyā (nescience) on this topic.

But before I write further on this subject let me clarify few points. What we are going to read is more for us as a devotee and not so much for karmis or jnanis. This knowledge is not to be used to judge others but to see our own self in a mirror. The purpose is to check if I am situated in devotional service in right consciousness. If not, then at whichever stage I am currently situated I  make some adjustments to make progress towards pure unalloyed devotional service (which should be our goal) rather than being stuck in a particular stage of purification. I will again stress that we should be fully aware that the process of bhakti is purifying for every soul. An aspiring devotee may be stuck at a particular state but he is definitely making progress with time (even faster than us!) and hence we should never be judgemental about devotees, it is an offense. All devotees are under the direct shelter of Supreme Lord, Krishna.

The opposite to oneness is a separatist. This has been very precisely explained by Lord Kapila, who explains that devotion itself is pure but it is practiced by devotees in 81 different modes of nature depending on their nature. Here are the exact translations of the verses:

Lord Kapila, the Personality of Godhead, replied: O noble lady, there are multifarious paths of devotional service in terms of the different qualities of the executor.

Devotional service executed by a person who is envious, proud, violent and angry, and who is a separatist, is considered to be in the mode of darkness.

The worship of Deities in the temple by a separatist, with a motive for material enjoyment, fame and opulence, is devotion in the mode of passion.

When a devotee worships the Supreme Personality of Godhead and offers the results of his activities in order to free himself from the inebrieties of fruitive activities, his devotion is in the mode of goodness.

— SB 3.29.7-10

Please read the above verses again carefully and having digested them a little let’s hear what  Prabhupada has to say in the purports of the above verses.

Who is a separatist ?

A separatist is one who sees his interest as separate from that of the Supreme Lord. Mixed devotees, or devotees in the modes of passion and ignorance, think that the interest of the Supreme Lord is supplying the orders of the devotee; the interest of such devotees is to draw from the Lord as much as possible for their sense gratification. This is the separatist mentality. (completely opposite to what we read in the last blog )

Devotion in mode of ignorance

If one has a motive for personal sense gratification, his devotional service is manifested differently. Such a man may be violent, proud, envious and angry, and his interests are separate from the Lord’s.

One who approaches the Supreme Lord to render devotional service but who is proud of his personality, envious of others or vengeful is in the mode of anger. He thinks that he is the best devotee. Devotional service executed in this way is not pure; it is mixed and is of the lowest grade, tāmasaḥ. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura advises that a Vaiṣṇava who is not of good character should be avoided. A Vaiṣṇava is one who has taken the Supreme Personality of Godhead as the ultimate goal of life, but if one is not pure and still has motives, then he is not a Vaiṣṇava of the first order of good character. One may offer his respects to such a Vaiṣṇava because he has accepted the Supreme Lord as the ultimate goal of life, but one should not keep company with a Vaiṣṇava who is in the mode of ignorance.

Devotion in the mode of passion

When the so-called devotee desires material enjoyment, without reference to the interest of the Supreme Lord, or he wants to become famous or opulent by utilizing the mercy or grace of the Supreme Lord, he is in the mode of passion.

Devotion in the mode of goodness

When such activities are performed and the results are offered to the Supreme Lord, they are called karmārpaṇam, duties performed for the satisfaction of the Lord….If this offering process is in the mode of goodness rather than in pure devotion, then the interest is different. The four āśramas and the four varṇas act for some benefit in accordance with their personal interests. Therefore such activities are in the mode of goodness; they cannot be counted in the category of pure devotion.

So what is pure devotional service?

Pure devotional service as described by Rūpa Gosvāmī is free from all material desires. Anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam. There can be no excuse for personal or material interest. Devotional activities should be transcendental to fruitive activities and empiric philosophical speculation. Pure devotional service is transcendental to all material qualities.

Devotion is pure but I may not be!

Devotional service in the modes of ignorance, passion and goodness can be divided into eighty-one categories. There are different devotional activities, such as hearing, chanting, remembering, worshiping, offering prayer, rendering service and surrendering everything, and each of them can be divided into three qualitative categories. There is hearing in the mode of passion, in the mode of ignorance and in the mode of goodness. Similarly, there is chanting in the mode of ignorance, passion and goodness, etc. Three multiplied by nine equals twenty-seven, and when again multiplied by three it becomes eighty-one. One has to transcend all such mixed materialistic devotional service in order to reach the standard of pure devotional service.

Too high for me! And isn’t this a motive too?

That is not actually a motive; that is the pure condition of the living entity.

(I don’t have to aim to reach out for some exalted, unattainable, lofty goal, it is within me. Doesn’t it feel better and encouraging to become aware that is MY natural state. That I am a pure spirit soul and this quality inherent inside me. I do not have to get it from any where outside of me but I have to endeavor to cleanse various layers of ignorance covering my pure consciousness. )

But right now I am a conditioned soul, so what should I do at this stage?

In the conditioned stage, when one engages in devotional service he should follow the instruction of the bona fide spiritual master in full surrender. The spiritual master is the manifested representation of the Supreme Lord because he receives and presents the instructions of the Lord, as they are, by disciplic succession.

(We should not act whimsically and must take each step under the guidance of our spiritual master, siksha guru or councilor, this is the safest and surest way to make progress.)

I hope and pray that we all understood a little bit about what is separatist consciousness. More importantly, we feel inspired to take some corrective steps and make rapid progress on this incredible path of Krishna consciousness.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Your servant,

Giriraj dasa

Oneness with God

Hare Krishna.

2nd Oct, 2016. Gurgaon


Many a times we read or hear about the term ‘oneness’ with God. Unfortunately, most of the time this terms is misunderstood by mayavadis as merging with God/Brahman and hence looked down upon by the devotees. Srila Prabhupada, as usual, gave us so much clarity on this term by explaining how a vaishnava practices oneness with Krishna. I read the below verse last evening and it was so nectarean, I read it repeatedly and every time I learnt something new to aspire for. I am sharing the same with all of you hoping it will help all of us clear what is actually meant by oneness with God and how to practice it in our daily life.  

muktāśrayaṁ yarhi nirviṣayaṁ viraktaṁ
nirvāṇam ṛcchati manaḥ sahasā yathārciḥ
ātmānam atra puruṣo ’vyavadhānam ekam
anvīkṣate pratinivṛtta-guṇa-pravāhaḥ


When the mind is thus completely freed from all material contamination and detached from material objectives, it is just like the flame of a lamp. At that time the mind is actually dovetailed with that of the Supreme Lord and is experienced as one with Him because it is freed from the interactive flow of the material qualities.

(SB 3.28.35)

Srila Prabhupada writes in his purport of the above verse:

In the material world the activities of the mind are acceptance and rejection. As long as the mind is in material consciousness, it must be forcibly trained to accept meditation on the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but when one is actually elevated to loving the Supreme Lord, the mind is automatically absorbed in thought of the Lord. In such a position a yogé has no other thought than to serve the Lord. This dovetailing of the mind with the desires of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is called nirväëa, or making the mind one with the Supreme Lord.

The best example of nirväëa is cited in Bhagavad-gétä. In the beginning the mind of Arjuna deviated from Kåñëa’s. Kåñëa wanted Arjuna to fight, but Arjuna did not want to, so there was disagreement. But after hearing Bhagavad-gétä from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Arjuna dovetailed his mind with Kåñëa’s desire. This is called oneness.…When the mind is completely purified in love of Godhead, the mind becomes the mind of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The mind at that time does not act separately, nor does it act without inspiration to fulfill the desire of the Lord. The individual liberated soul has no other activity. Pratinivåtta-guëa-pravähaù. In the conditioned state the mind is always engaged in activity impelled by the three modes of the material world, but in the transcendental stage, the material modes cannot disturb the mind of the devotee. The devotee has no other concern than to satisfy the desires of the Lord. That is the highest stage of perfection, called nirväëa or nirväëa-mukti. At this stage the mind becomes completely free from material desire.

Vaishnava oneness is different

One can attain direct contact with the Supreme Personality of Godhead in full Kåñëa consciousness and revive one’s eternal relationship with Him as lover, as Supreme Soul, as son, as friend or as master. One can reestablish the transcendental loving relationship with the Supreme Lord in so many ways, and that feeling is true oneness.

In the transcendental world, the servant and master are one. That is the absolute platform. Although the relationship is servant and master, both the servant and the served stand on the same platform. That is oneness.

(SB 3.32.11p)

Everyone should come to the platform of Kåñëa consciousness and thus feel oneness as a servant of the Lord. Although there are 8,400,000 species of life, a Vaiñëava feels this oneness. The Éçopaniñad advises, ekatvam anupaçyataù [Éço 7]. A devotee should see the Supreme Personality of Godhead to be situated in everyone’s heart and should also see every living entity as an eternal servant of the Lord. This vision is called ekatvam, oneness. Although there is a relationship of master and servant, both master and servant are one because of their spiritual identity.

(SB 7.5.12)

Oneness is actually based on oneness of interest. A pure devotee has no interest but to act on behalf of the Supreme Lord. When one has even a tinge of personal interest, his devotion is mixed with the three modes of material nature.

(SB 3.29.9p)

The devotee therefore endeavors to apply everything in the service of the Lord because he knows that everything is the property of the Lord and that no one can claim anything as one’s own. This perfect conception of oneness helps the worshiper in being engaged in His loving service

(SB 2.6.23p)

Our philosophy of Kåñëa consciousness is the same, but instead of becoming one with Kåñëa, we depend on Kåñëa. That is actual oneness. If we simply agree to abide by the orders of Kåñëa and have no disagreement with Him, we are situated in actual oneness.

(TQK, 10p)

Surrender. That is oneness. Not that individually he has become different. Individually he is, but he does not disagree with Kåñëa. That is oneness. Just like we are sitting, we are of different interests. But so far my disciples are, they will not disagree with me. That is oneness. But he is individual. He was individual, he is individual, and he will continue his individuality. But as soon as he accepts me as the leader, then he is agreement. That is oneness.

( conversation, 22nd Dec, 1976, Pune)

Kåñëa is the central point. If you know what is milk, then you know what is butter, what is cheese, what is yogurt, everything, because everything is milk product. So if you know Kåñëa, everything is Kåñëa product, so you know everything. That is universal knowledge. That is oneness. When you know what is milk, then, in spite of so many varieties of preparation of milk, you know it is milk. That is oneness. When you know, understand Kåñëa, that “Whatever we are seeing, in our presence, experiencing, they’re all different energies of Kåñëa.

(SPL, 10th March, 1967 San Francisco)

Oneness of a lover

When a lover submits to his lover without any pinch of personal consideration, that is called oneness. Lord Caitanya has taught us this feeling of oneness in His Çikñäñöaka: Kåñëa may act freely, doing whatever He likes, but the devotee should always be in oneness or in agreement with His desires.

(KB, chapter 23)

That’s why gopis’s oneness is highest

Let my mind be fixed upon Lord Çré Kåñëa, whose motions and smiles of love attracted the damsels of Vrajadhäma [the gopés]. The damsels imitated the characteristic movements of the Lord [after His disappearance from the räsa dance]. ( Bhishmadeva prayer to Krishna at his deathbed)

Srila Prabhupada writes in his purport: By intense ecstasy in loving service, the damsels of Vrajabhümi attained qualitative oneness with the Lord by dancing with Him on an equal level, embracing Him in nuptial love, smiling at Him in joke, and looking at Him with a loving attitude. The relation of the Lord with Arjuna is undoubtedly praiseworthy for devotees like Bhéñmadeva, but the relation of the gopés with the Lord is still more praiseworthy because of their still more purified loving service. By the grace of the Lord, Arjuna was fortunate enough to have the fraternal service of the Lord as chariot driver, but the Lord did not award Arjuna with equal strength. The gopés, however, practically became one with the Lord by attainment of equal footing with the Lord. Bhéñma’s aspiration to remember the gopés is a prayer to have their mercy also at the last stage of his life. The Lord is satisfied more when His pure devotees are glorified, and therefore Bhéñmadeva has not only glorified the acts of Arjuna, his immediate object of attraction, but has also remembered the gopés, who were endowed with unrivalled opportunities for rendering loving service to the Lord. The gopés’ equality with the Lord should never be misunderstood to be like the säyujya liberation of the impersonalist. The equality is one of perfect ecstasy where the differential conception is completely eradicated, for the interests of the lover and the beloved become identical.

(SB 1.9.40+p)

But a devotee should not ‘manufacture’ his own ‘oneness’

The Kåñëa consciousness movement is teaching people how to come to the stage of dedicating everything to the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Kåñëa says in Bhagavad-gétä (9.27):

yat karoñi yad açnäsi   yaj juhoñi dadäsi yat

yat tapasyasi kaunteya  tat kuruñva mad-arpaëam

“O son of Kunté, all that you do, all that you eat, all that you offer and give away, as well as all austerities that you may perform, should be done as an offering unto Me.” If whatever we do, whatever we eat, whatever we think and whatever we plan is for the advancement of the Kåñëa consciousness movement, this is oneness. There is no difference between chanting for Kåñëa consciousness and working for Kåñëa consciousness. On the transcendental platform, they are one. But we must be guided by the spiritual master about this oneness; we should not manufacture our own oneness.

(SB 7.15.64p)

I hope, and pray, that henceforth we will look at the term oneness in a more positive manner and even aspire to become one with Krishna- by simply dovetailing our mind with the desire of Krishna and under the guidance of our spiritual master.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

 your servant,

Giriraj dasa

Causeless mercy of Krishna

Hare Krishna.

25th Sept., 2016. Gurgaon


Each single verse of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam tastes like transcendental condensed milk of a Surabhi cow mixed with kesar, simply delicious and a nectar most satisfying to even conditioned souls (although it is meant to be tasted by paramhansas – liberated souls).  No wonder that, along with Bhagavad-gītā, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the specific scripture meant for kali-yuga.

I am sharing another transcendental verse and its nectarean purport by Srila Prabhupada, for the pleasure of devotees, describing causeless mercy of Krishna.

yathā tvaṁ kṛpayā bhūtyā
tejasā mahimaujasā
juṣṭa īśa guṇaiḥ sarvais
tato ’si bhagavān prabhuḥ

O my Lord, because You are endowed with causeless mercy, all opulences, all prowess and all glories, strength and transcendental qualities, You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master of everyone.

(SB 6.19.5)

This verse, more specifically Srila Prabhupada’s purport, describes how kind is Krishna and how He bestows His causeless mercy on His devotees. Srila Prabhupada writes in his purport (I have taken the liberty to break the purport into short sentences) :

In this verse the words tato ’si bhagavān prabhuḥ mean “Therefore You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master of everyone.”

The Supreme Personality of Godhead is endowed with all six opulences in full, and moreover He is extremely kind to His devotee. Although He is full in Himself, He nonetheless wants all the living entities to surrender unto Him so that they may engage in His service. Thus He becomes satisfied.

Although He is full in Himself, He nonetheless becomes pleased when His devotee offers Him patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyam — a leaf, flower, fruit or water — in devotion.

Sometimes the Lord, as the child of mother Yaśodā, requests His devotee for some food, as if He were very hungry. Sometimes He tells His devotee in a dream that His temple and His garden are now very old and that He cannot enjoy them very nicely. Thus He requests the devotee to repair them. Sometimes He is buried in the earth, and as if unable to come out Himself, He requests His devotee to rescue Him. Sometimes He requests His devotee to preach His glories all over the world, although He alone is quite competent to perform this task.

Even though the Supreme Personality of Godhead is endowed with all possessions and is self-sufficient, He depends on His devotees.

Therefore the relationship of the Lord with His devotees is extremely confidential. Only the devotee can perceive how the Lord, although full in Himself, depends on His devotee for some particular work. This is explained in Bhagavad-gītā (11.33), where the Lord tells Arjuna, nimitta-mātraṁ bhava savyasācin: “O Arjuna, merely be an instrument in the fight.” Lord Krishna had the competence to win the Battle of Kurukṣetra, but nonetheless He induced His devotee Arjuna to fight and become the cause of victory.

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was quite competent enough to spread His name and mission all over the world, but still He depended upon His devotee to do this work.

Considering all these points, the most important aspect of the Supreme Lord’s self-sufficiency is that He depends on His devotees. This is called His causeless mercy.

The devotee who has perceived this causeless mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead by realization can understand the master and the servant.

I strongly suggest that we go back to the beginning of the purport and slowly and carefully read it again, chewing it slowly this time, relishing the sweet nectar.

Could we see any practical application while reading the purport? Here is some food for thought


  1. Do I feel and behave like a master (controller) in my day to day dealings or do I take, and also feel, shelter of Krishna in every step?
  2. When I daily offer bhoga to Krishna then do I make each offering to please Him? (or is to please my own senses?)
  3. Am I surrendered to Krishna (or my spiritual master) and properly engaged in His service. Do I even desire to surrender to Krishna? Can I take some steps to progress in that direction. Rather than endlessly waiting for some future ‘favourable’ circumstances  can I make a small beginning today?
  4. Can the Lord depend upon me for any task? Have I purified my consciousness by endeavoring to daily chant offenselessly and by being sincere & serious in my sadhna bhakti.
  5.  Do I have even have a desire to become His (or His instrument’s) instrument. If Yes, then do I share my desire with Krishna by daily praying to Him for the same?
  6.  Which special devotee Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu sent : Srila Prabhupada! (phew! this was easy)
  7. Do I feel causeless mercy of Lord, and His devotees, on me or am I busy speculating being a victim of family, job, circumstances,……
  8. Do I understand, and hence relish & taste, the sweet relationship between Krishna and His devotees or do I read such pastimes merely as stories from which I try to take ‘moral of the story’?
  9. And, last but not the least, am I reading, and tasting, and relishing, Bhagavatam daily ? How much time does it take to read one verse, and its purport, daily? Do I get the time to read newspaper (or browse internet) daily?

But I am a conditioned soul?

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is so carefully presented that a sincere and serious person can at once enjoy the ripened fruit of Vedic knowledge simply by drinking the nectarean juice through the mouth of Śukadeva Gosvāmī or his bona fide representative.

(SB 1.1.3p)

All glories to the causeless mercy of Krishna.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Happy Radha Ashtami, Appearance day of Radharani

Hare Krishna.

8th September, 2016. Gurgaon.

Tomorrow is the most auspicious Radhastami.


sharad-vikaca-pankaja-shriyam ativa-vidveshakam
milinda-muni-sevitam kulisha-kanja-cihnavritam
sphurat-kanaka-nupuram dalita-bhakta-tapa-trayam
calad-dyuti-pada-dvayam hridi dadhami radha-pateh

In my heart I place the splendid feet of Radha’s Lord, feet that eclipse the glory of autumn lotuses, are served by hosts of bumblebee sages, are marked with lightning and lotus and decorated with glistening golden anklets, and break the three sufferings of the devotees.

(Garga Samhita, Canto 1, chapter 1, verse 2)

Radharani’s Birth

Then, placing Her glorious transcendental form in (the womb of) King Vrishabhanu’s wife, Shri Radha descended into a great palace in a garden by the Yamuna’s shore.

In the month of Bhadra (August-September), on a Monday that was the eighth day of the bright fortnight of the moon, at midday, when the sky was covered with clouds, (to celebrate Radha’s descent) the demigods scattered flowers that had blossomed in the Nandana gardens.

Because of Radha’s descent the rivers became very pure and clear, the directions became auspicious and happy, and graceful, gentle, cooling breezes carried the pollen of lotus flowers.

Gazing at her daughter beautiful as hundreds of moons, the gopi Kirti became happy. To bring auspiciousness she gave two hundred thousand cows in charity to please the brahmanas.

(Garga Samhita, Canto 1, chapter 8, verse 6-9)

Who exactly is Radharani?

Today is Radharani’s appearance day. So we should try to understand Radharani’s feature. Radharani is the pleasure potency, hladini-shakti. Änandamayo ‘bhyäsät (Vedänta-sütra 1.1.12). In the Vedänta-sütra the Absolute Truth is described as änandamaya, always in pleasure potency. That änandamaya potency… Just like änanda. When you want änanda, pleasure, you cannot have it alone. Alone, you cannot enjoy. When you are in the circles of friend or family or other associates, you feel pleasure. Just like I am speaking. The speaking is very pleasing when there are many persons here. I cannot speak alone here. That is not änanda. I can speak here at night, dead of night, nobody here. That is not änanda. Änanda means there must be others. So because Krishna, the Absolute Truth, is änandamaya, therefore eko bahu syäm, He has become many. We are also Krishna’s part and parcel, to give pleasure to Krishna. And the chief pleasure potency is Radharani.

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, London, 29th August 1971)

Radha Shyamsundar Vrindavan

We approach Krishna through the mercy Radharani

Actual aim of life is to satisfy Lord Vishnu, and Krishna is the origin of Vishnu-tattva. And He is pleased through Radharani. Therefore we don’t keep Krishna alone. No, Radha-Krishna. First Radharani. So that day is today. First you have to worship Radharani.

Therefore in Vrindavan you will see all devotees, they will address one another, “Jaya Radhe.” Still. Because they know that “If Radharani is pleased, if I can please Radharani …” Radharani is presented, the original pleasure potency, always absorbed in thought of Krishna. So anyone who comes before Radharani to serve Krishna, oh, She becomes so pleased, “Oh, here is a devotee of Krishna.” She immediately recommends, “Krishna, oh, here is a devotee. He is better than Me.” This is Radharani . I may be a, not devotee. I may be most fallen rascal. But if I try to reach Krishna through Radharani , then my business is successful. Therefore we should worship Radharani first. That is our business. Instead of offering directly one flower to Krishna, you just put it in the hands of Radharani : “My mother Radharani, Jagan-mata, if you kindly take this flower and offer it to Krishna.” “Oh,” Radharani says, “Oh, you have brought a flower?” Krishna said, patraà puñpaà phalaà toyaà yo me bhaktyä prayacchati [Bg. 9.26], but don’t try to offer Krishna directly. Just offer through Radharani. It will be very much appreciated by Radharani.

So this is our philosophy, to please Krishna through Radharani, and just today is the auspicious day of Radharani appearance. So we should offer pushpanjali and pray to Radharani that “Radharani , kindly be merciful and tell about me to Your Krishna. To Your Krishna. Krishna is Yours.” Krishna , Radha-Krishna. Krishna is not independent. Krishna is Radharani’s property. So you have to approach Krishna through Radharani. That is, today is the auspicious day. Worship Radharani very nicely and be happy.

( Srila Prabhupada lecture, London 5th September 1973)

Radharani’s position: always feeling the separation.

As Radharani is always in feelings of separation of Krishna, similarly, in the position of Radharani, Lord Caitanya was feeling separation of Krishna. That is the teachings of Lord Caitanya, feelings of separation, not meeting. The process of devotional service taught by Caitanya Mahäprabhu and His disciplic succession is how to feel separation from Krishna. That is Radharani’s position, always feeling the separation.

The Gosvamis, they also, when they were in Vrindavan, they never said that “I have seen Krishna.” Although they were the most perfect, they never said that “I have seen Krishna.” Their prayers were like this: he rädhe! vraja-devike! he nanda-suno! kutaù. He rädhe, Radharani, he rädhe! vraja-devike! ca. Radharani does not remain alone. He (She) remains always with His (Her) friends, vraja-devé, Lalita or Vishakha and other damsels of Vrindavan. So the Gosvamis are praying, in their mature stage, when they were living at Vrindavan, they were praying in this way, he rädhe! vraja-devike! ca lalite! he nanda-suno! kutaù: “Where, Radharani, where You are? Where are Your associates? Where You are, Nanda-suno, the son of Nanda Mahäräja, Krishna? Where you are, all?” They were searching after. They never said, “I have seen Krishna dancing with the gopis. Last night I saw.” (laughter) This is sahajiyä. This is not mature devotee. They are called sahajiyä. They take everything very cheap—Krishna very cheap, Radharani very cheap—as if they can see every night. No. The Gosvamis do not teach us like that. They’re searching after. He rädhe! vraja-devike! ca lalite! he nanda-suno! kutaù, çré-govardhana-pädapa-tale kälindé-vanye kutaù: “Are you there under the Govardhana Hill or on the banks of the Yamunä?” Kälindé-vanye kutaù. Ghoñantäv iti sarvato vraja-pure khedair mahä-vihvalau. Their business was crying like this, “Where You are? Where You are, Radharani? Where you are, Lalita, Vishakha, the associates of Radharani? Where You are, Krishna? Are You near Govardhana Hill or on the bank of the Yamuna?” Ghoñantäv iti sarvato vraja-pure. So throughout the whole tract of Vrindavan they were crying and searching after Them, khedair mahä-vihvalau, as if madman. Khedair mahä-vihvalau. Vande rüpa-sanätanau raghu-yugau çré-jéva-gopälakau.

So we have to follow the footprints of the Gosvamis, how to search out Krishna and Radharani, Vrindavan, or within your heart. That is the process of Caitanya Mahäprabhu’s bhajana: feeling of separation, vipralambha, vipralambha-sevä…..Not that very easily, “We have seen Krishna or seen Radharani in rasa-lila.” No, not like that. Feel the separation. The more you feel separation from Krishna, you should understand that you are advancing. Don’t try to see Krishna artificially. Be advanced in separation feeling, and then it will be perfect.

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, London, 29th August 1971)

Let us now close our eyes, open our heart and get absorbed in the bhajan below

All glories to Srimati Radharani.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Happy Janmashtami

Hare Krishna

24th August, 2016. Gurgaon

A very happy Janmashtami to everyone!


janma karma ca me divyam evaà yo vetti tattvataù

tyaktvä dehaà punar janma naiti mäm eti so ‘rjuna

One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna.

(BG 4.9)

Our Lila!

Why are we born?

One has to take birth according to one’s activities of life. And after finishing one term of activities, one has to die to take birth for the next. In this way one is going through one cycle of birth and death after another without liberation.

(BG 2.27p)

How do we take birth?

When the child comes out of the abdomen through the narrow passage, due to pressure there the breathing system completely stops, and due to agony the child loses his memory. Sometimes the trouble is so severe that the child comes out dead or almost dead. One can imagine what the pangs of birth are like. The child remains for ten months in that horrible condition within the abdomen, and at the end of ten months he is forcibly pushed out.

(SB 3.31.23p)

We are forced to take birth

Everyone takes birth in this material world in continuation of his previous life, and thus he is subject to the stringent laws of nature, such as birth and death, distress and happiness, profit and loss.

(KB, chapter 73)

Any auspiciousness?

One who has taken birth in the material world is in a fallen situation.

(SB 11.2.7p)

And the results so far..

In whichever species of life I have taken birth, compelled by the force of my own activities, I have very painfully experienced two things, namely separation from my beloved and meeting with what is not wanted. And to counteract them, the remedies which I undertook were more dangerous than the disease itself. So I drift from one point to another birth after birth.

(SB 1.19.20p)

 Krishna’s Lila

Why does Krishna takes ‘birth’?

Lord Hari, who is  bliss personified, appeared in the home of Nanda Maharaja, the king of  Vrndavana for three reasons: to engage the self satisfied sages in  devotional service, to please the devotees by performing sweet  transcendental pastimes, and to relieve the earth’s burden caused by the  demons.

(Ananda Vrindavana Campu, chapter 2)

His appearance and disappearance vs. ours

His appearance and disappearance are like the sun’s rising, moving before us, and then disappearing from our eyesight. When the sun is out of sight, we think that the sun is set, and when the sun is before our eyes, we think that the sun is on the horizon. Actually, the sun is always in its fixed position, but owing to our defective, insufficient senses, we calculate the appearance and disappearance of the sun in the sky. And because Lord Krishna’s appearance and disappearance are completely different from that of any ordinary, common living entity, it is evident that He is eternal, blissful knowledge by His internal potency—and He is never contaminated by material nature. The Vedas also confirm that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is unborn yet He still appears to take His birth in multimanifestations. The Vedic supplementary literatures also confirm that even though the Lord appears to be taking His birth, He is still without change of body.

(BG 4.6p)

Is Krishna ‘obliged’ to take a birth like us?

The Lord is not obliged to take birth, but we are obliged to do so. That is the distinction between our birth and the birth of Krishna.

Krishna’s birth is transcendental, whereas our birth takes place by force, by the laws of nature. Krishna is not under the laws of nature; the laws of nature work under Him. Prakrti, nature, works under the order of Krishna, and we work under the order of nature. Krishna is the master of nature, and we are servants of nature.

(TQK, chapter 15)

Krishna’s Birth

In Mathura..

Vasudeva then saw the newborn child, who had very wonderful lotuslike eyes and who bore in His four hands the four weapons śaṅkha, cakra, gadā and padma. On His chest was the mark of Śrīvatsa and on His neck the brilliant Kaustubha gem. Dressed in yellow, His body blackish like a dense cloud, His scattered hair fully grown, and His helmet and earrings sparkling uncommonly with the valuable gem Vaidūrya, the child, decorated with a brilliant belt, armlets, bangles and other ornaments, appeared very wonderful.

(SB 10.3.9-10)

But something very special is happening in Gokula..

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

Krishna’s Body

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

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

(Ananda Vrindavana Campu, chapter 2)


Krishna’s beauty..

Due to Yasoda’s intense love, personified bliss flowed  from her breasts as steady streams of milk. When milk sometimes spilled  out of Krishna’s bimba fruit red lips onto His cheeks, Mother Yasoda would  wipe His face with the edge of her cloth. After feeding her son, After feeding her son, Yasoda  gazed affectionately at Him in wonder.

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

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

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

The tip of Krishna’s dark nose appeared like the sprout of a tree, and His  nostrils looked like bubbles in the Yamuna River, the daughter of the sun  god. His lips resembled a pair of red Java flower buds. Krishna’s chin  rivaled a pair of ripe, red jambu fruits. Seeing the extraordinary beauty  of her son fulfilled the purpose of her eyes and submerged Yasoda in an  ocean of bliss.

Nanda maharaja is stunned.

The elderly Vrajavasi ladies addressed Vrajaraja Nanda, “O most for­tunate  one, you fathered a son!” Previously Nanda Maharaja had felt deeply  aggrieved over his long-standing inability to obtain a son. His heart was  like a small lake that had completely dried up during a long hot sum­mer.  But when Nanda Maharaja heard of his son’s birth he felt as if the dry  lake of his heart had been blessed with a sudden downpour of nectar. The  gentle sound of Krishna’s voice removed all his grief and lamentation. Now  he bathed in the rains of bliss, swam in the ocean of nectar, and felt  embraced by the joyful stream of the celestial Ganges.

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

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

Let the celebrations begin…

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

The joy of Krishna’s birth celebration taxed the drains of Nanda’s capital  city as they swelled to the brim with milk, yogurt, and other auspicious  liquids. Soon rivers of this nectar flooded the streets of the town and  permeated the entire atmosphere with a sweet fragrance. Disguising  them­selves as birds, the demigods descended to Vrajapura to happily drink  the flood of nectar. The Vrajavasis decorated their cows with gold and jeweled ornaments. Then in great excitement they smeared them with oil,  fresh butter, and turmeric paste. Beholding Krishna in their hearts, these  fortunate cows looked like the essence of the earth’s auspiciousness. The  whole world resounded with their jubilant bellowing. Absorbed in the  ecstasy of Krishna’s birth, they forgot about eating and drinking. The festival drowned the gopis in an ocean of joy. After offering oil,  vermilion, garlands, and utensils in charity to all the assembled gopis,  Rohini, the wife of Vasudeva, asked them to bless Krishna. Upon comple­tion  of the sacrifice, Upananda and the other relatives felt constant  hap­piness while taking their baths. Keeping the King of Vrndavana in the  front, Nanda’s relatives offered opulent cloth, jeweled ornaments,  tambula, garlands, and sandalwood pulp to the guests. Then they humbly  requested all in attendance to bless that wonderfully auspicious boy who  had just appeared in Vrndavana.

(Ananda Vrindavana Campu, chapter 2)

Reading about both, ‘our’ lila as well as Krishna’s lila, do we have any doubt on whose lila should we be thinking and meditating upon!

On this Janmashtami let us read the first 3 chapters of Krishna book, or same chapters from Srimad Bhagavatam,  to our deities, praying Krishna that let His katha purify our heart and then beg Him that this Janamashtami let His lotus feet make an appearance in our heart. Let us think, feel that desire deep within us and then speak aloud unequivocally that I want Krishna’s lotus feet to appear in my heart this Janmashtami. And then take a vow that from this very day I am willing to act and change my life to show my sincerity and determination.

The appearance of the form of Krishna anywhere, and specifically within the heart, is called dhäma

(SB 10.2.18p)

All glories to the most auspicious Janmashtami.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

We are under the supervision of Srila Rupa Goswami.

Hare Krishna.

15th August, 2016. Gurgaon

“The best way to search for the truth is to follow the path that has previously been gone over by saintly persons and devotees, and by which they have attained the supreme goal of life. Such a path is always free from all kinds of obstacles and hindrances to our progress, and by following it one very quickly attains the desired result.”

(BRS 1.2.100)

Priti Vardhana Prabhuji

By Lord’s mercy I was very fortunate to get association of HG Priti Vardhana Prabhuji while coming back from Vrindavan to Gurgaon few days back. During our two and half hour ride I had some amazing discussions with prabhuji. During that discussion I shared with prabhuji how I am struggling on a particular aspect of being conscious of Krishna and requested Prabhuji to kindly help me how to practice it. Prabhuji replied for that I will have to read Upadesamrta (Nectar of Instruction). I was surprised because as far I knew Srila Rupa Goswami did not touch the particular topic I was struggling in this book. I asked Prabhuji in which verse or purport I can find this topic. Prabhuji’ reply further stumped me- the first four verses! Seeing the  puzzled expression on my face, Prabhuji clarified: you have to first start practicing these first four verses of Upadesamrta and only then I can hope to develop a consciousness to help me understand and practice the area I am currently struggling with. It was a wake up call for me to start practicing what I was reading and not merely understanding it philosophically.


Today is the disappearance Day of Srila Rupa Goswami

I was thinking what to read on the disappearance day of Srila Rupa Goswami today. After some thinking I felt inspired to check what HG Priti Vardhana prabhuji had told me few days back. I started writing what are the qualities in each of the first four verses of Upadesamrta and where do I stand vis-à-vis each of them. It was a mixture of embarrassment and some hope!

On the auspicious occasion of disappearance day of Srila Rupa Goswami we can do this exercise to write down these qualities on one side of a paper and then in front of each quality we can write down how are we situated and compare, say 1 year back, and see how is our progress under each quality.  It might turn out to be a good reality check!

Here the first four verses:

vāco vegaṁ manasaḥ krodha-vegaṁ  jihvā-vegam udaropastha-vegam
etān vegān yo viṣaheta dhīraḥ  sarvām apīmāṁ pṛthivīṁ sa śiṣyāt

A sober person who can tolerate the urge to speak, the mind’s demands, the actions of anger and the urges of the tongue, belly and genitals is qualified to make disciples all over the world.

atyāhāraḥ prayāsaś ca  prajalpo niyamāgrahaḥ
jana-saṅgaś ca laulyaṁ ca ṣaḍbhir bhaktir vinaśyati

One’s devotional service is spoiled when he becomes too entangled in the following six activities: (1) eating more than necessary or collecting more funds than required; (2) over-endeavoring for mundane things that are very difficult to obtain; (3) talking unnecessarily about mundane subject matters; (4) practicing the scriptural rules and regulations only for the sake of following them and not for the sake of spiritual advancement, or rejecting the rules and regulations of the scriptures and working independently or whimsically; (5) associating with worldly-minded persons who are not interested in Kṛṣṇa consciousness; and (6) being greedy for mundane achievements.

utsāhān niścayād dhairyāt tat-tat-karma-pravartanāt
saṅga-tyāgāt sato vṛtteḥ ṣaḍbhir bhaktiḥ prasidhyati

There are six principles favorable to the execution of pure devotional service: (1) being enthusiastic, (2) endeavoring with confidence, (3) being patient, (4) acting according to regulative principles [such as śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇam – hearing, chanting and remembering Kṛṣṇa], (5) abandoning the association of nondevotees, and (6) following in the footsteps of the previous ācāryas. These six principles undoubtedly assure the complete success of pure devotional service.

dadāti pratigṛhṇāti guhyam ākhyāti pṛcchati
bhuṅkte bhojayate caiva ṣaḍ-vidhaṁ prīti-lakṣaṇam

Offering gifts in charity, accepting charitable gifts, revealing one’s mind in confidence, inquiring confidentially, accepting prasāda and offering prasāda are the six symptoms of love shared by one devotee and another.

(Verses 1-4, Upadesamrta)

We may list down the qualities described in these four verses as below

Verse 1 : Becoming a sober person by tolerating these six urges

  • Urge to speak
  • the mind’s demands
  • the actions of anger
  • urge of tongue
  • urge of belly
  • urge of genitals

Verse 2: Not to get too entangled in the below six activities

  • Eating more than necessary or collecting more funds than required
  • over-endeavoring for mundane things that are very difficult to obtain
  • talking unnecessarily about mundane subject matters
  • practicing the scriptural rules and regulations only for the sake of following them and not for the sake of spiritual advancement, or rejecting the rules and regulations of the scriptures and working independently or whimsically
  • associating with worldly-minded persons who are not interested in Kṛṣṇa consciousness
  • being greedy for mundane achievements.

Verse 3: Six principles favourable to devotional service

  • being enthusiastic
  • endeavoring with confidence
  • being patient
  • acting according to regulative principles [such as śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇam – hearing, chanting and remembering Krishna]
  • abandoning the association of non-devotees,
  • following in the footsteps of the previous ācāryas.

Verse 4: Practicing six symptoms of love shared between devotees

  • Offering gifts in charity
  • accepting charitable gifts
  • revealing one’s mind in confidence
  • inquiring confidentially
  • accepting prasāda
  • offering prasāda

Let’s read few gems Srila Prabhupada wrote on the process given by Srila Rupa Goswami in Upadesamrta

The Krishna consciousness movement is conducted under the supervision of Srila  Rupa Goswami.

In all spiritual affairs, one’s first duty is to control his mind and senses.

Upadeśāmṛta constitutes the first instructions for neophyte devotees. (!!)

(Nectar of Instruction, preface)

Self-realisation is not so cheap!

Yoga means training the mind and the senses to be fixed on the Self. This is not possible by meditating only fifteen minutes a day and then going out and doing whatever the senses dictate. How can the problems of life be solved so cheaply? If we want something precious, we have to pay for it.

(Path of Perfection, chapter 5)

From go-däsa to goswami…

The nature of the mind is flickering and unsteady. But a self-realized yogi has to control the mind; the mind should not control him. At the present moment, the mind is controlling us (go-däsa). The mind is telling us, “Please, why not look at that beautiful girl?” and so we look… “Why not go to this restaurant for such palatable food? Why not do this? Why not do that?” In this way, the mind is dictating, and we are following. Material life means being controlled by the senses, or the mind, which is the center of all the senses. Being controlled by the mind means being controlled by the senses, because the senses are the mind’s assistants. The master mind dictates, “Go see that,” and the eyes, following the directions of the mind, look at the sense object. The mind tells us to go to a certain place, and the legs, under the mind’s directions, carry us there. Thus, being under the direction of the mind means coming under the control of the senses. If we can control the mind, we will not be under the control of the senses. One who is under the control of the senses is known as go-däsa. The word go means “senses,” and däsa means “servant.” One who is master of the senses is called goswami, because swami means “master.” Therefore, one who has the title goswami is one who has mastered the senses. As long as one is servant of the senses, he cannot be called a goswami or swami.

(Path of Perfection, chapter 5)

How would I know I am following it properly?

After eating, a man can understand that his hunger has been satisfied; similarly, by following the principles of Krishna consciousness, one can understand that he has advanced in self-realization.

(Path of Perfection, chapter 5)

Each one of us can follow the process given by previous acharyas and make our present life successful by simply endeavoring for it, perfection is not required. And on special days, like today, we can receive extra mercy. So it may not be such a bad idea today to pray to Srila Rupa Goswami with a sincere and honest heart and seek his mercy to help us follow the instructions he left for us.

All glories to the auspicious occasion of disappearance day of Srila Rupa Goswami.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.