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Bhakti Shastri [25 Apr 2006|11:30am]

I just wanted to forward information I got about a Bhakti Shastri class.
For more info. contact:
Ekacakra dasa <bhaktisastri108@yahoo.com>

Course DetailsCollapse )
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revival attempt and thoughts... [14 Dec 2005|12:11pm]

I was having a chat with one of the devotees I live with, and I kinda realised how the different motives of the Kauravas and Arjuna exhibited in the battle of Kuruksetra give a good example of what goes wrong in alot of peoples spiritual lives.
Myself and Nalakuvara prabhu were talking about the difference between dovetailing once propensities, fulfilling ones propensities, and acting with a selfish desire.
The Kauravas were Ksatriya's, so their propensity was to fight, and by fighting in the war they were fulfilling their propensities and acting according to their duties. However, they were doing so with a selfish desire, and therefore their activities could not be considered spiritual as such. Often devotees do this, they claim to be acting according to their propensities and duties, but because they are doing so without the recommendation of a spiritual master, and not for the pleasure of guru and Krsna, their actions are simply material, providing no spiritual advancement or bliss, and often create a distance between themselves and other devotees, as was the case with the Kauravas.
Then you have Arjuna, who's propensity was also to fight, and Krsna wanted him to fight, yet his own desire was to take up the life of sannyasa, claiming that to be more spiritual. This is also often carried out by devotees, who think that a certain service or position is more desirable then the one they actually have the propensity to fulfill, and thus they act on their own desire, not for Krsna's pleasure, and end up achieving neither spiritual nor material success in their endeavour, and end up frustrated.
But ultimately Arjuna sets the best example in the end, by approaching Krsna as a disciple, asking Him what the best thing is to do. Sometimes we get confused about what is actually our propensity, and what is just a whimsical desire, and even more so, what can we do to actually please Guru and Krsna. And it is actually only through the advice of the spiritual master that one can be given the proper guidance by which to act properly and make real spiritual advancement, not degrading oneself.

(see BG 4:34-35, 6:23 plus purports as reference to some of the points)
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gita test.....reference provided if needed..... [25 Feb 2005|04:24pm]

Chapter 1

1.Explain the significance of the following names of Krsna used in ch. 1:
Acyuta, Govinda, Madhava, Hrsikesa. (refer to purports 15, 21-22, 24, 32-35, 36)

2. Who among the following warriors are in the Kaurava’s party? (Refer to verses 3-19, 9p)
Somadatta, Vikarna, Kuntibhoja, Yudhamanyu, Krpa, Jayadratha, Dhrstaketu, Yuyudhana, Krtavarma, Sikhandi, Dhrstadyumna, Satyaki, Uttamauja, Kasiraja, Bhurisrava.

3. Who are the six kinds of aggressors fit to be killed?

4.Give two examples of Duryodhana’s attempt to inspire his army by using diplomacy (verses 3-12).

5.Explain how killing of elders leads to chaos in society, based on Arjuna’s argument in this chapter. (verses 39-42)

6.Match the following:
(a) Pancajanya 1. Yudhisthira
(b) Sughosha 2. Krsna
(c) Manipushpaka 3. Bhima
(d) Varnasankarah 4. son of Kunti
(e) Bhisma 5. brother of Draupadi
(f) Partha 6. Nakula
(g) Dhrstadyumna 7. Sahadeva
(h) Sanjaya 8. unwanted progeny
(i) Abhimanyu 9. father of Dhrtarastra, Pandu & Vidura
(j) Vyasadeva 10. son of Arjuna
11. grandfather of Duryodhana
12. secretary of Arjuna’s uncle

(answers in comments....no peeking!!)
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hi all. [28 Nov 2004|11:18pm]

[ mood | curious ]

I was wondering if anyone in this community was a devotee of Hare Krsna and possibly lived in a temple.

I'm supposed to write a paper on a religion and since I always wished to learn more about Hare Krsna I figured this was the best oppurtunity. And I didn't want to hit a bunch of books and websites, I'm more of a fan of interviews with actual people that are part of the religion.

Theres a temple in my city but most of those who live there dont speak good enough english for an interview :( so I figured I might check out this community.

(on another note this was the ONLY community in all on LJ that had Hare Krsna listed as an interest :( )

If anyone is interested with helping me out you can leave a comment or email me at therealdye@gmail.com

Thank you.

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[03 Nov 2004|09:51pm]

This is to announce the reincarnation of the om_namah_sivaya community, a place for sivaites and those that are interested. Please come join us.
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translation [16 Aug 2004|06:21pm]

[ mood | contemplative ]

Can anyone recommend a specific translation of the Bhagavad Gita? My version is by Juan Mascaro...but I don't really know if it is any better or worse than any other. I am really enjoying it thus far.

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New Here [14 Aug 2004|09:12pm]

Hello, I am new here, and just wanted to introduce myself.

I am 23, my main interests are philosophy, music, spirituality, literature and this crazy world we live in. I am a writer, a student and a clerk. My website is:


I hope to chat, learn, teach, rant and make friends.
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[12 May 2004|07:50pm]

Chapter 12. Devotional Service

abhyase 'py asamartho 'si
mat-karma-paramo bhava
mad-artham api karmani
kurvan siddhim avapsyasi


abhyase--in practice of; api--even; asamarthah--unable; asi--you are; mat-karma--My work; paramah--supreme; bhava--you become; mat-artham--for My sake; api--even though; karmani--work; kurvan--performing; siddhim--perfection; avapsyasi--achieve.

If you cannot practice the regulations of bhakti-yoga, then just try to work for Me, because by working for Me you will come to the perfect stage.

One who is not able even to practice the regulative principles of bhakti-yoga, under the guidance of a spiritual master, can still be drawn to this perfectional stage by working for the Supreme Lord. How to do this work has already been explained in the fifty-fifth verse of the Eleventh Chapter. One should be sympathetic to the propagation of Krsna consciousness. There are many devotees who are engaged in the propagation of Krsna consciousness, and they require help. So, even if one cannot directly practice the regulative principles of bhakti-yoga, he can try to help such work. Every endeavor requires land, capital, organization, and labor. Just as, in business, one requires a place to stay, some capital to use, some labor, and some organization to expand, so the same is required in the service of Krsna. The only difference is that in materialism one works for sense gratification. The same work, however, can be performed for the satisfaction of Krsna, and that is spiritual activity. If one has sufficient money, he can help in building an office or temple for propagating Krsna consciousness. Or he can help with publications. There are various fields of activity, and one should be interested in such activities. If one cannot sacrifice the results of such activities, the same person can still sacrifice some percentage to propagate Krsna consciousness. This voluntary service to the cause of Krsna consciousness will help one to rise to a higher state of love for God, whereupon one becomes perfect.
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india planning!!!! [23 Apr 2004|10:37am]

i am in the process of planning an itinerary to visit nepal, the himalayas, and india this summer!!! i will be there for all of june and july although i wish it was longer. i am trying to center this trip around places of religious interest... i.e. ashrams i can go to... i am interested in the guru lineage of babaji, lahiri mahasaya, sri yukteswar, and darling paramhansa yogananda... i am also a devotee of sri sri ravi shankar. i implore help from any of you who have been to india or any must see places. please be specific as far as location... since i will only be there for two months i am only concentrating on a region... i.e. south west, north east, etc.

om shanti!!
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[ new to list ] [20 Apr 2004|06:03pm]

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mercy of Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaj [01 Mar 2004|01:34pm]

[ mood | anxious ]

Jagadish and Jagannath Deva
By Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Gosvami Maharaj

The following is an excerpt from the book "Sri Chaitanya: His Life and Associates" by Mandala Media.

Deep in the jungles of West Bengal, on the road from Calcutta to Mayapur, lies the tiny village of Jasra. A hidden jewel lies there, in the form of this beautiful deity of Lord Jagannath, Who originally lived in the Jagannath Temple in Puri, Orissa. Jasra is famous for the wonderful snan-yatra festival held there every year wherein thousands of villagers flock to the temple there, now in the care of the Sri Chaitanya Gaudiya Math. How the Lord of the Universe came to live in this tiny, out-of-the-way place is a wonderful story, narrated below by His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaj as it appears in the book, Sri Chaitanya: His Life and Associates. Here, Srila Tirtha Maharaj gives us a delightfully colourful account of Lord Jagannath's journey to Jasra and His pastimes in the area, including the history of the temple.

Before taking sannyas, Mahaprabhu ordered Jagadish to go to Nilachala to preach Krishna bhakti and the religious practice of the age, Harinam sankirtan. The son of Nanda, Sri Krishna and the son of Jagannath Mishra, Sri Gaurasundar, are the same supreme divinity as Jagannath. When Jagadish arrived in Puri, he went for Lord Jagannath's darshan and melted with love when he saw Him. On his way back to Bengal, however, he felt extreme separation from Jagannath. Thousands and thousands of people go on pilgrimage to Puri every single day. All of them take darshan of Jagannath, but how many of them are overcome by feelings of separation when returning home? Perhaps once in a while some fortunate individual is able to feel such emotions. If one truly feels such pangs of separation, then this is a sign of Jagannath's mercy; if not, then one has not truly received the grace of the Lord.

Jagannath Deva saw Jagadish crying and mercifully appeared to him in a dream and told him to take His vigraha and serve it. Simultaneously, He appeared to the king of Orissa and ordered him that at the time of the nava-kalevara, when the wooden deity of Jagannath is renewed, the outgoing form should be given to Jagadish Pandit. As a result of this dream, the Maharaj considered it to be a great honor to give Jagadish Lord Jagannath's outgoing form, which is known as the samadhi-stha-vigraha.

Jagadish prayed to Jagannath, asking Him how he could possibly carry the deity's heavy body all the way back to Bengal. Jagannath answered that for his sake He would become as light as cork. Then Jagadish was to cover Him with a piece of new cloth and then carry Him suspended on the end of a staff. Jagannath further told him that he would have to make permanent arrangements to stay wherever He was set down on the ground. Jagadish enlisted the aid of two Brahmins and they took turns carrying Jagannath as far as the village of Jashora on the banks of the Ganges, near the town of Chakdaha. Jagadish left Jagannath with one of the Brahmins and went to take his bath in the Ganges and to perform oblations of Ganga water. While he was gone, the Brahmin found that Jagannath was suddenly becoming very heavy and that he was no longer able to hold Him up. When Jagadish came back from his bath, he saw Jagannath sitting on the ground and realized that the Lord wanted to stay in that very spot.

Chakdaha is a historical site and an ancient holy place. During the Puranic age, it was known as Rathavarma. Pradyumna killed the demon Sambara there during Krishna's incarnation at the end of the Dvapara age and thus it was known as Pradyumna-nagara. Prior to that, when Bhagiratha was bringing down the Ganga in order to save the Sagara dynasty, he buried the wheel of his chariot here. Thus the town was also given the name Chakradaha, which in time has been corrupted into Chakdaha. When the local people heard that the Jagannath deity from Puri had come to stay in Jashora, they flocked there in the thousands to seek His darshan. This is how Jagadish decided to remain in Jashora rather than return to to his home in Mayapur.

Being attracted by Jagadish Pandit and his wife's parental devotion, Nityananda Prabhu and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu both visited the Jagannath temple in Jashora on two different occasions. The two Prabhus held sankirtan and a feast both times. As the Lord was about to leave Jashora to go to Puri, Duhkhini began to cry from the imminent separation so intensely that the Lord agreed to remain behind in the form of the Gaura Gopal deity. In the course of the couple's householder life, they also had a son named Ramabhadra.

The Jashora temple after Jagadish Pandit
At first the deity was kept under a Bata tree near the Ganges, and later the king of Krishnagar, Krishna Chandra, had a temple built there for Him. When the temple became old and dilapidated, Umesh Chandra Majumdar's wife Mokshada Devi arranged for repairs to be made. The temple building has no spire, but has been constructed in the manner of an ordinary house. Along with Jagannath, it houses Sri Sri Radha Vallabha and Gaura Gopal. The staff that Jagadish Pandit used to carry the deity from Puri continues to be kept there. Devotees for the service of the Jagannath deity donated a large amount of land, but over the course of time, Jagadish Pandit's descendants sold it all off in order to keep the service of the deity alive. No Rathayatra festival is held here, though his Snana Yatra is celebrated with great pomp. On that occasion, the deity is carried from the temple to an altar built in a large field not far from the temple for the purpose of the bathing ritual. A mela or fair is also held in the field, attracting countless people. This Jashora Jagannath Snana Yatra fair is still very well known. There is also a 500 year-old dais (maïca) for Dola Yatra at the site that is used to swing Radha Vallabha on Phalguni purnima.

Siddha Bhagavan Das Babaji of Khalna stayed in Jashora for some time to do his bhajan. There is an annual festival celebrating Jagadish Pandit's disappearance day on the third day of the waxing moon (sukla trtiya) in the month of Paush (December-January). His appearance day is the twelfth day of the waxing moon (sukla dvadasi) in the same month.

Jagadish Pandit's temple is currently under the management of the Sri Chaitanya Gaudiya Math. How this came to pass was described in the Chaitanya Vani magazine (2.9) in the following way:

"The Supreme Lord is most affectionate to His devotees and is conquered by their love. How many different stratagems He engages in just to accept the service of His devotee! Though served in Goloka by hundreds of thousands of goddesses of fortune, Govinda still seems to not have enough people to serve Him. It is as though He feels that the service is not being conducted as it should. How many tricks He plays in order to engage the devotee He wants in His service!

Just look at the ploy that Govardhan-dhari Gopal used to engage Madhavendra Puri. His previous pujari had buried Him in the jungle on top of Govardhan out of fear of Muslim marauders. Gopal waited there patiently until Puripada happened by. He said to him, "I have been waiting impatiently for you for many days, just wondering when Madhavendra will come to render Me service." The Lord plays His cosmic game and these are all different aspects of His pastime.

So now, the very same Jagannath and Gaura Gopal deities who were worshiped by Nityananda Prabhu's dear associate, Jagadish Pandit, have similarly displayed the wonderful pastime of voluntarily offering Themselves to the great devotee, Tridandi Swami Srimad Bhakti Dayita Madhava Maharaj, in order to accept his service."

Due to increasing monetary difficulties three of Jagadish Pandit's descendants, Vishvanath Goswami, Shambhunath Mukhopadhyaya and Mrityunjaya Mukhopadhyaya, had come to realize that they were no longer able to maintain the day-to-day service nor undertake the annual festivals of their ancestral deities. The condition of the temple buildings had also deteriorated and they were unable to make the necessary repairs. As a result, they decided to take the counsel of Sri Panchu Thakur of Jashora and Santosh Kumar Mallik of Ranaghat and eventually surrender the temple, without conditions, to my spiritual master, the founder and acharya of Sri Chaitanya Gaudiya Math, Om 108 Sri Srimad Bhakti Dayita Madhava Goswami Maharaj. Guru Maharaj immediately spent a large sum of money on making the needed repairs and improvements to the temple, adding electric lighting and a new hostel building.

In the first year after taking over Jagannath's service, Guru Maharaj came to the annual festival and personally sat several thousand men and women in the neighboring field and fed them with maha prasad. I still feel goose bumps when I remember the ecstasy that flooded over Jashora on that day.

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Actual reading of the Gita [06 Feb 2004|10:14am]

You will find at the end of the Gita, its glorification:

gita su-gita kartavya
kim anyaih sastra-vistaraih
ya svayam padmanabhasya

"Gita should be rightly read, with one-pointed devotion for the satisfaction of Sri Krsna. No other scripture is needed if one takes shelter of the Gita. Gita emerges from the Holy Lips of Sri Krsna and is one with Him."

It is not material sound. In material sound, you will find the thing referred to by a sound is different from the sound. If you utter the word "water, water, water," the water-word is not the water- thing. The word "water" refers to a thing understood to be water. Here you will find a difference between the water-word and the thing referred to by the word "water." But Krsna and the Name of Krsna are One and the same. Gita and Krsna are identical. So, by taking shelter of the Gita we can have contact with Krsna. We have gone through the Gita, we have read the Gita, but we have no devotion to Krsna, This is not actual reading. If we read Gita actually, we will have devotion to Sri Krsna.

His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Goswami Maharaj
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[28 Nov 2003|02:33pm]

Hare Krishna!

I have a question, I hope you can help me. In the Gita it is said that one should offer their food to Krishna before eating. But I don't know how... I want to know how I can do this at home as well and if it's possible.

Thank you in advance!

*Hare Krishna*
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New Hindi Community [08 Nov 2003|03:48pm]

A new community has been started for those interested in learning and discussing the Hindi language. It's called "Hindi" and you can get to it by going to www.livejournal.com/users/hindi if you would like to join and discuss the Hindi language.
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Chapter One, Texts 23-28 [15 Sep 2003|12:41pm]

Haribolo, devotees!
I know this is a surprise to you, to see a GitaDiscussion update. I apologize for my lack of updates. My husband and I will be regularly updating this as a service, and hope to inspire some nice comments from you. Hare Krsna!
Your aspiring servant,
Bhargavi devi dasi.
PS- This entry is long, but it is full of nectar!
yotsyamanan avekse 'ham
ya ete 'tra samagatah
dhartarastrasya durbuddher
yuddhe priya-cikirsavah

Let me see those who have come here to fight, wishing to please the evil-minded son of Dhrtarastra.

PURPORT by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
It was an open secret that Duryodhana wanted to usurp the kingdom of the Pandavas by evil plans, in collaboration with his father, Dhrtarastra. Therefore, all persons who had joined the side of Duryodhana must have been birds of the same feather. Arjuna wanted to see them on the battlefield before the fight was begun, just to learn who they were, but he had no intention of proposing peace negotiations with them. It was also a fact that he wanted to see them to make an estimate of the strength which he had to face, although he was quite confident of victory because Krsna was sitting by his side.

sanjaya uvaca
drstva tu pandavanikam
vyudham duryodhanas tada
acaryam upasangamya
raja vacanam abravit

Sanjaya said: O descendant of Bharata, having thus been addressed by Arjuna, Lord Krsna drew up the fine chariot in the midst of the armies of both parties.

In this verse Arjuna is referred to as Gudakesa. Gudaka means sleep, and one who conquers sleep is called gudakesa. Sleep also means ignorance. So Arjuna conquered both sleep and ignorance because of his friendship with Krsna. As a great devotee of Krsna, he could not forget Krsna even for a moment, because that is the nature of a devotee. Either in waking or in sleep, a devotee of the Lord can never be free from thinking of Krsna's name, form, qualities and pastimes. Thus a devotee of Krsna can conquer both sleep and ignorance simply by thinking of Krsna constantly. This is called Krsna consciousness, or samadhi. As Hrsikesa, or the director of the senses and mind of every living entity, Krsna could understand Arjuna's purpose in placing the chariot in the midst of the armies. Thus He did so, and spoke as follows.

sarvesam ca mahi-ksitam
uvaca partha pasyaitan
samavetan kurun iti

In the presence of Bhisma, Drona and all the other chieftains of the world, the Lord said, Just behold, Partha, all the Kurus assembled here.

As the Supersoul of all living entities, Lord Krsna could understand what was going on in the mind of Arjuna. The use of the word Hrsikesa in this connection indicates that He knew everything. And the word Partha, or the son of Kunti, or Prtha, is also similarly significant in reference to Arjuna. As a friend, He wanted to inform Arjuna that because Arjuna was the son of Prtha, the sister of His own father Vasudeva, He had agreed to be the charioteer of Arjuna. Now what did Krsna mean when He told Arjuna to "behold the Kurus"? Did Arjuna want to stop there and not fight? Krsna never expected such things from the son of His aunt Prtha. The mind of Arjuna was thus predicted by the Lord in friendly joking.

tatrapasyat sthitan parthah
pitrn atha pitamahan
acaryan matulan bhratrn
putran pautran sakhims tatha
svasuran suhrdas caiva
senayor ubhayor api

There Arjuna could see, within the midst of the armies of both parties, his fathers, grandfathers, teachers, maternal uncles, brothers, sons, grandsons, friends, and also his fathers-in-law and well-wishers.

On the battlefield Arjuna could see all kinds of relatives. He could see persons like Bhurisrava, who were his father's contemporaries, grandfathers Bhisma and Somadatta, teachers like Dronacarya and Krpacarya, maternal uncles like Salya and Sakuni, brothers like Duryodhana, sons like Laksmana, friends like Asvatthama, well-wishers like Krtavarma, etc. He could see also the armies which contained many of his friends.

tan samiksya sa kaunteyah
sarvan bandhun avasthitan
krpaya parayavisto
visidann idam abravit

When the son of Kunti, Arjuna, saw all these different grades of friends and relatives, he became overwhelmed with compassion and spoke thus.

arjuna uvaca
drstvemam sva-janam krsna
yuyutsum samupasthitam
sidanti mama gatrani
mukham ca parisusyati

Arjuna said: My dear Krsna, seeing my friends and relatives present before me in such a fighting spirit, I feel the limbs of my body quivering and my mouth drying up.

Any man who has genuine devotion to the Lord has all the good qualities which are found in godly persons or in the demigods, whereas the nondevotee, however advanced he may be in material qualifications by education and culture, lacks in godly qualities. As such, Arjuna, just after seeing his kinsmen, friends and relatives on the battlefield, was at once overwhelmed by compassion for them who had so decided to fight amongst themselves. As far as his soldiers were concerned, he was sympathetic from the beginning, but he felt compassion even for the soldiers of the opposite party, foreseeing their imminent death. And while he was so thinking, the limbs of his body began to quiver, and his mouth became dry. He was more or less astonished to see their fighting spirit. Practically the whole community, all blood relatives of Arjuna, had come to fight with him. This overwhelmed a kind devotee like Arjuna. Although it is not mentioned here, still one can easily imagine that not only were Arjuna's bodily limbs quivering and his mouth drying up, but he was also crying out of compassion. Such symptoms in Arjuna were not due to weakness but to his softheartedness, a characteristic of a pure devotee of the Lord. It is said therefore:

yasyasti bhaktir bhagavaty akincana
sarvair gunais tatra samasate surah
harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-guna
mano-rathenasati dhavato bahih
"One who has unflinching devotion for the Personality of Godhead has all the good qualities of the demigods. But one who is not a devotee of the Lord has only material qualifications that are of little value. This is because he is hovering on the mental plane and is certain to be attracted by the glaring material energy." (SB. 5.18.12)
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Chapter One, Texts 19-22 [01 Jun 2003|01:34pm]

Haribol, devotees! Please accept my humble obeisances! All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Again, my apologies for the lack of regular updates. The Cleveland Ratha-yatra is over, so things will be returning to normal here. It was a success, though, so I am very thankful! Anyways, here are the next texts. Thank you for all the awesome comments left! Hare Krsna!

Your servant,
Bhargavi devi dasi.
om namo bhagavate vasudevaya

sa ghoso dhartarastranam
hrdayani vyadarayat
nabhas ca prthivim caiva
tumulo 'bhyanunadayan

The blowing of these different conchshells became uproarious. Vibrating both in the sky and on the earth, it shattered the hearts of the sons of Dhrtarastra.

PURPORT by His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
When Bhisma and the others on the side of Duryodhana blew their respective conchshells, there was no heart-breaking on the part of the Pandavas. Such occurrences are not mentioned, but in this particular verse it is mentioned that the hearts of the sons of Dhrtarastra were shattered by the sounds vibrated by the Pandavas' party. This is due to the Pandavas and their confidence in Lord Krsna. One who takes shelter of the Supreme Lord has nothing to fear, even in the midst of the greatest calamity.

atha vyavasthitan drstva
dhartarastran kapi-dhvajah
pravrtte sastra-sampate
dhanur udyamya pandavah
hrsikesam tada vakyam
idam aha mahi-pate

At that time Arjuna, the son of Pandu, seated in the chariot bearing the flag marked with Hanuman, took up his bow and prepared to shoot his arrows. O King, after looking at the sons of Dhrtarastra drawn in military array, Arjuna then spoke to Lord Krsna these words.

The battle was just about to begin. It is understood from the above statement that the sons of Dhrtarastra were more or less disheartened by the unexpected arrangement of military force by the Pandavas, who were guided by the direct instructions of Lord Krsna on the battlefield. The emblem of Hanuman on the flag of Arjuna is another sign of victory because Hanuman cooperated with Lord Rama in the battle between Rama and Ravana, and Lord Rama emerged victorious. Now both Rama and Hanuman were present on the chariot of Arjuna to help him. Lord Krsna is Rama Himself, and wherever Lord Rama is, His eternal servitor Hanuman and His eternal consort Sita, the goddess of fortune, are present. Therefore, Arjuna had no cause to fear any enemies whatsoever. And above all, the Lord of the senses, Lord Krsna, was personally present to give him direction. Thus, all good counsel was available to Arjuna in the matter of executing the battle. In such auspicious conditions, arranged by the Lord for His eternal devotee, lay the signs of assured victory.

TEXTS 21-22
arjuna uvaca
senayor ubhayor madhye
ratham sthapaya me 'cyuta
yavad etan nirikse 'ham
yoddhu-kaman avasthitan

kair maya saha yoddhavyam
asmin rana-samudyame

Arjuna said: O infallible one, please draw my chariot between the two armies so that I may see those present here, who desire to fight, and with whom I must contend in this great trial of arms.

Although Lord Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, out of His causeless mercy He was engaged in the service of His friend. He never fails in His affection for His devotees, and thus He is addressed herein as infallible. As charioteer, He had to carry out the orders of Arjuna, and since He did not hesitate to do so, He is addressed as infallible. Although He had accepted the position of a charioteer for His devotee, His supreme position was not challenged. In all circumstances, He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hrsikesa, the Lord of the total senses. The relationship between the Lord and His servitor is very sweet and transcendental. The servitor is always ready to render service to the Lord, and, similarly, the Lord is always seeking an opportunity to render some service to the devotee. He takes greater pleasure in His pure devotee's assuming the advantageous position of ordering Him than He does in being the giver of orders. Since He is master, everyone is under His orders, and no one is above Him to order Him. But when He finds that a pure devotee is ordering Him, He obtains transcendental pleasure, although He is the infallible master of all circumstances.

As a pure devotee of the Lord, Arjuna had no desire to fight with his cousins and brothers, but he was forced to come onto the battlefield by the obstinacy of Duryodhana, who was never agreeable to any peaceful negotiation. Therefore, he was very anxious to see who the leading persons present on the battlefield were. Although there was no question of a peacemaking endeavor on the battlefield, he wanted to see them again, and to see how much they were bent upon demanding an unwanted war.
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Appearance of Lord Nrsimhadeva [13 May 2003|07:57pm]

Hare Krsna, devotees! Tomorrow is the Appearance Day of Lord Nrsimhadeva, the half-lion half-man form of Krsna. Since we have to fast until dusk, I thought it'd be nice to post a little something about Lord Nrsimha to keep our minds occupied. Hehe. Actually, it's just nice to hear about this awesome pasttime! Nrsimha-bhagavan ki jaya!

There was once a great demon who was overwhelmed with rage: his brother Hiranyaksa had just been killed by the incarnation of Vishnu known as Lord Varaha. Thus he became very determined to become the emperor of the entire universe. In order to increase his power, he performed very powerful austerities. This penance was so severe that it disturbed the demigods. In fact, the demigods requested Lord Brahma to stop him. The chief of the demigods, Lord Brahma, therefore descended to pacify him by granting him a wish.

"Please grant that I not be killed by any crated living being," commanded Hiranyakasipu, "that I not die inside or outside any residence, during the daytime or night, nor on the ground or in the sky; that I not be killed by any being created by you, nor by any weapon, nor by any human being or animal indeed that I not meet death from any entity, either living or non-living; that I have no competitor; that I have sole lordship over all living entities and presiding deities, and that I acquire all mystic powers."

After Brahma had granted him all these requests, Hiranyakasipu very swiftly conquered all the planets in the universe, took up residence in the lavish palace of King Indra, and forced the demigods to bow down to his feet. He even stole the sacrificial oblations meant for the demigods. Intoxicated physically by wine and mentally by power, Hiranyakasipu ruled the universe very severely.

During this time his queen, Kayadhu, returned to the palace of her husband and bore him a son, Prahlada. He was a reservoir of all transcendental qualities because he was an pure devotee of Lord Visnu. Determined to understand the Absolute Truth, he had full control over his senses and mind He was kind to all living creatures and the best friend of everyone. Toward respectable persons he behaved just like a menial servant, to the poor he was like a father, and to his equals he was always like a sympathetic brother. Always very humble, he considered his teachers and spiritual masters to be as good as the Lord Himself. Indeed, he was completely free of and pride that might have arisen from his good education, riches, beauty, and aristocratic birth.

Hiranyakasipu wanted to raise his son to be a powerful demon, but Prahlada only wanted to learn about devotional service to Lord Visnu. After Prahlada attended school for some time, Hiranyakasipu took him on his lap and affectionately inquired, "My dear son, please tell me about your favorite subject in school."

Fearlessly, Prahlada said, "Hearing (sravanam) and chanting (kirtanam) about the holy name, form, qualities, paraphernalia, and pastimes of the Supreme Lord; remembering (smaranam) them; serving the lotus feet of the Lord (pada-sevanam); offering the Lord respectful worship with sixteen types of paraphernalia (arcanam); offering prayers to the Lord (vandanam); becoming His servant (dasyam); considering the Lord one’s best friend (sakhyam); and surrendering to Him (atma-nivedanam, in other words, serving Him with body, mind and words); these nine processes are known as pure devotional service, and I consider anyone who has dedicated his life to service of Lord Visnu through these nine methods to be the most learned person to be the most learned person, for he has acquired complete knowledge."

Blinded by anger, Hiranyakasipu threw Prahlada from his lap onto the ground. "Servants! Take him away and kill him at once!" he screamed. However, Prahlada just sat silently and meditated on the Personality of Godhead, and the demons’ weapons had no effect on him. Seeing this Hiranyakasipu became fearful and contrived various ways to kill his son. His servants threw Prahlada beneath an elephant’s feet; they cast him into the midst of huge, fearful snakes; they cursed him with destructive spells; they hurled him from a hilltop; they gave him poison; they starved him; they exposed him to severe cold, winds, fire and water; they threw heavy stones to crush him. Hiranyakasipu even sent his sister Holika to burn him but instead she herself was burned. But throughout these trials Prahlada was simply absorbed in thoughts of Lord Visnu, and thus he remained unharmed. Hiranyakasipu became very anxious about what to do next.

"You say there is a being superior to me," said Hiranyakasipu, "but where is He? If He is present everywhere, then why is He not present in this pillaryou see before you? Do you think He is in this pillar?"

"Yes," Prahlada answered, "He is there."

Hiranyakasipu's rage flared more and more. "Because you are speaking so much nonsense, I shall now sever your head from your body. Now let me see your most worshipable God come to protect you. I want to see it." Cursing him again and again, Hiranyakasipu took up his sword, got up from his royal throne, and with great anger struck his fist against the column.

Then from within the very pillar that he had singled out came a wonderful half-man, half-lion form never before seen. The Lord’s form was extremely fearsome because of His angry eyes, which resembled molten gold; His shining mane, which expanded the dimensions of His fearful face; His deadly teeth; and His razor-sharp tongue. Lord Nrsimha then proceeded to battle with the wasp-like Hiranyakasipu.

Finally at twilight, Lord Nrsimha captured Hiranyakasipu and placed him in His lap on the doorway of the assembly hall. As He began ripping the demon to pieces with His many, many hands, Lord Nrsimha’s mouth and mane became sprinkled with drops of blood, and His fierce eyes, full of anger, were impossible to look at. Licking the edge of His mouth with His tongue, the Supreme Lord decorated Himself with a garland of intestines taken from Hiranyakasipu's abdomen. Lord Nrsimha uprooted Hiranyakasipu’s heart and finally threw him aside and destroyed an army of Hiranyakasipu’s faithful followers.

By His transcendental cleverness, Lord Nrsimhadeva was able to kill Hiranyakasipu without contradicting any of Lord Brahma’s benedictions. The execution took place neither inside nor outside, but in the doorway; neither on land nor in sky, but on the Lord’s lap; neither during the day nor during the night, but at twilight; neither by man, beast, or demigod nor by any created being, but by the Personality of Godhead; and not by any weapon, but by the Lord's own lotus hand, relieving the whole universe of Hiranyakasipu’s demonic activities.

Having been protected by the Lord, Prahlada Maharaja offered many prayers in a voice that faltered with love:

"My dear Lord Nrsimhadeva, please, therefore, allow Your angry feature to diminish, now that my evil father Hiranyakasipu has been killed . . . [The saintly persons] will always remember Your auspicious is fearsome incarnation, for it frees them from fear. In this way, my Lord, You appear in various incarnations as a human being, an animal, a great saint, a demigod, a fish or a tortoise, thus maintaining the entire creation in different planetary systems and killing the demoniac principles."

Adapted from Srimad Bhagavatam (7) translated by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

namas te narasimhaya
hiranyakasipor vaksah

I offer my obeisances to Lord Nrsimha, who is always giving bliss to His devotees like Prahlada Maharaja and chiseling at the hearts of demons like Hiranyakashipu.

ito nrsimhah parato nrsimho
yato yato yami tato nrsimhah
bahir nrsimho hrdaye nrsimho
nrsimham adim saranam prapadye

Lord Nrsimha is here and also there. Wherever I go Lord Nrsimha is there. He is in the heart and is outside as well. I surrender to Lord Nrsimha, the origin of all things and the supreme refuge.

tava kara-kamala-vare nakham abhuta-sringam
kesava dhrta-narahari-rupa jaya jagadisa hare
O my Lord Nrsimha, Your hands are very beautiful, like the lotus flower, but with Your long nails You have ripped apart the wasp Hiranyakashipu. Unto You, Lord of the universe, I offer my humble obeisances.

For more information on Lord Nrsimha, visit this page.
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Chapter One, Texts 13-18 [08 May 2003|08:38pm]

Haribolo, devotees! Please accept my humble obeisances! All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

I know this "weekly" thing isn't working so well for me... but I promise to try to keep it somewhat regular. I'm also going to start commenting more myself. Again, I appreciate everyone's involvement!! Keep it up! Hare Krsna!

om namo bhagavate vasudevaya

tatah sankhas ca bheryas ca
sa sabdas tumulo 'bhavat

After that, the conchshells, drums, bugles, trumpets and horns were all suddenly sounded, and the combined sound was tumultuous.

tatah svetair hayair yukte
mahati syandane sthitau
madhavah pandavas caiva
divyau sankhau pradadhmatuh

On the other side, both Lord Krsna and Arjuna, stationed on a great chariot drawn by white horses, sounded their transcendental conchshells.

PURPORT by His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
In contrast with the conchshell blown by Bhismadeva, the conchshells in the hands of Krsna and Arjuna are described as transcendental. The sounding of the transcendental conchshells indicated that there was no hope of victory for the other side because Krsna was on the side of the Pandavas. Jayas tu pandu-putranam yesam pakse janardanah. Victory is always with persons like the sons of Pandu because Lord Krsna is associated with them. And whenever and wherever the Lord is present, the goddess of fortune is also there because the goddess of fortune never lives alone without her husband. Therefore, victory and fortune were awaiting Arjuna, as indicated by the transcendental sound produced by the conchshell of Visnu, or Lord Krsna. Besides that, the chariot on which both the friends were seated had been donated by Agni (the fire-god) to Arjuna, and this indicated that this chariot was capable of conquering all sides, wherever it was drawn over the three worlds.

pancajanyam hrsikeso
devadattam dhananjayah
paundram dadhmau maha-sankham
bhima-karma vrkodarah

Lord Krsna blew His conchshell, called Pancajanya; Arjuna blew his, the Devadatta; and Bhima, the voracious eater and performer of herculean tasks, blew his terrific conchshell, called Paundra.

Lord Krsna is referred to as Hrsikesa in this verse because He is the owner of all senses. The living entities are part and parcel of Him, and therefore the senses of the living entities are also part and parcel of His senses. The impersonalists cannot account for the senses of the living entities, and therefore they are always anxious to describe all living entities as sense-less, or impersonal. The Lord, situated in the hearts of all living entities, directs their senses. But He directs in terms of the surrender of the living entity, and in the case of a pure devotee He directly controls the senses. Here on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra the Lord directly controls the transcendental senses of Arjuna, and thus His particular name of Hrsikesa. The Lord has different names according to His different activities. For example, His name is Madhusudana because He killed the demon of the name Madhu; His name is Govinda because He gives pleasure to the cows and to the senses; His name is Vasudeva because He appeared as the son of Vasudeva; His name is Devaki-nandana because He accepted Devaki as His mother; His name is Yasoda-nandana because He awarded His childhood pastimes to Yasoda at Vrndavana; His name is Partha-sarathi because He worked as charioteer of His friend Arjuna. Similarly, His name is Hrsikesa because He gave direction to Arjuna on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra.

Arjuna is referred to as Dhananjaya in this verse because he helped his elder brother in fetching wealth when it was required by the king to make expenditures for different sacrifices. Similarly, Bhima is known as Vrkodara because he could eat as voraciously as he could perform herculean tasks, such as killing the demon Hidimba. So the particular types of conchshell blown by the different personalities on the side of the Pandavas, beginning with the Lord's, were all very encouraging to the fighting soldiers. On the other side there were no such credits, nor the presence of Lord Krsna, the supreme director, nor that of the goddess of fortune. So they were predestined to lose the battle--and that was the message announced by the sounds of the conchshells.

anantavijayam raja
kunti-putro yudhisthirah
nakulah sahadevas ca

kasyas ca paramesv-asah
sikhandi ca maha-rathah
dhrstadyumno viratas ca
satyakis caparajitah

drupado draupadeyas ca
sarvasah prthivi-pate
saubhadras ca maha-bahuh
sankhan dadhmuh prthak prthak

King Yudhisthira, the son of Kunti, blew his conchshell, the Ananta-vijaya, and Nakula and Sahadeva blew the Sughosa and Manipuspaka. That great archer the King of Kasi, the great fighter Sikhandi, Dhrstadyumna, Virata, the unconquerable Satyaki, Drupada, the sons of Draupadi, and the others, O King, such as the mighty-armed son of Subhadra, all blew their respective conchshells.

Sanjaya informed King Dhrtarastra very tactfully that his unwise policy of deceiving the sons of Pandu and endeavoring to enthrone his own sons on the seat of the kingdom was not very laudable. The signs already clearly indicated that the whole Kuru dynasty would be killed in that great battle. Beginning with the grandsire, Bhisma, down to the grandsons like Abhimanyu and others--including kings from many states of the world--all were present there, and all were doomed. The whole catastrophe was due to King Dhrtarastra, because he encouraged the policy followed by his sons.
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Chapter One, Texts 5-12 [21 Apr 2003|02:41pm]

Haribol, devotees! Since I didn't post any texts last week, I am quadrupling up. Actually, a few of the texts don't have purports, so I am posting more. I hope to hear more thoughts from all of you! Hare Krsna!

om namo bhagavate vasudevaya

dhrstaketus cekitanah
kasirajas ca viryavan
purujit kuntibhojas ca
saibyas ca nara-pungavah

There are also great, heroic, powerful fighters like Dhrstaketu, Cekitana, Kasiraja, Purujit, Kuntibhoja and Saibya.

yudhamanyus ca vikranta
uttamaujas ca viryavan
saubhadro draupadeyas ca
sarva eva maha-rathah

There are the mighty Yudhamanyu, the very powerful Uttamauja, the son of Subhadra and the sons of Draupadi. All these warriors are great chariot fighters.

asmakam tu visista ye
tan nibodha dvijottama
nayaka mama sainyasya
samjnartham tan bravimi te

But for your information, O best of the brahmanas, let me tell you about the captains who are especially qualified to lead my military force.

bhavan bhismas ca karnas ca
krpas ca samitim-jayah
asvatthama vikarnas ca
saumadattis tathaiva ca

There are personalities like you, Bhisma, Karna, Krpa, Asvatthama, Vikarna and the son of Somadatta called Bhurisrava, who are always victorious in battle.

PURPORT by His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Duryodhana mentions the exceptional heroes in the battle, all of whom are ever victorious. Vikarna is the brother of Duryodhana, Asvatthama is the son of Dronacarya, and Saumadatti, or Bhurisrava, is the son of the King of the Bahlikas. Karna is the half brother of Arjuna, as he was born of Kunti before her marriage with King Pandu. Krpacarya's twin sister married Dronacarya.

anye ca bahavah sura
mad-arthe tyakta-jivitah
sarve yuddha-visaradah

There are many other heroes who are prepared to lay down their lives for my sake. All of them are well equipped with different kinds of weapons, and all are experienced in military science.

As far as the others are concerned--like Jayadratha, Krtavarma and Salya--all are determined to lay down their lives for Duryodhana's sake. In other words, it is already concluded that all of them would die in the Battle of Kuruksetra for joining the party of the sinful Duryodhana. Duryodhana was, of course, confident of his victory on account of the above-mentioned combined strength of his friends.

aparyaptam tad asmakam
balam bhismabhiraksitam
paryaptam tv idam etesam
balam bhimabhiraksitam

Our strength is immeasurable, and we are perfectly protected by Grandfather Bhisma, whereas the strength of the Pandavas, carefully protected by Bhima, is limited.

Herein an estimation of comparative strength is made by Duryodhana. He thinks that the strength of his armed forces is immeasurable, being specifically protected by the most experienced general, Grandfather Bhisma. On the other hand, the forces of the Pandavas are limited, being protected by a less experienced general, Bhima, who is like a fig in the presence of Bhisma. Duryodhana was always envious of Bhima because he knew perfectly well that if he should die at all, he would only be killed by Bhima. But at the same time, he was confident of his victory on account of the presence of Bhisma, who was a far superior general. His conclusion that he would come out of the battle victorious was well ascertained.

ayanesu ca sarvesu
yatha-bhagam avasthitah
bhismam evabhiraksantu
bhavantah sarva eva hi

All of you must now give full support to Grandfather Bhisma, as you stand at your respective strategic points of entrance into the phalanx of the army.

Duryodhana, after praising the prowess of Bhisma, further considered that others might think that they had been considered less important, so in his usual diplomatic way, he tried to adjust the situation in the above words. He emphasized that Bhismadeva was undoubtedly the greatest hero, but he was an old man, so everyone must especially think of his protection from all sides. He might become engaged in the fight, and the enemy might take advantage of his full engagement on one side. Therefore, it was important that other heroes not leave their strategic positions and allow the enemy to break the phalanx. Duryodhana clearly felt that the victory of the Kurus depended on the presence of Bhismadeva. He was confident of the full support of Bhismadeva and Dronacarya in the battle because he well knew that they did not even speak a word when Arjuna's wife Draupadi, in her helpless condition, had appealed to them for justice while she was being forced to appear naked in the presence of all the great generals in the assembly. Although he knew that the two generals had some sort of affection for the Pandavas, he hoped that these generals would now completely give it up, as they had done during the gambling performances.

tasya sanjanayan harsam
kuru-vrddhah pitamahah
simha-nadam vinadyoccaih
sankham dadhmau pratapavan

Then Bhisma, the great valiant grandsire of the Kuru dynasty, the grandfather of the fighters, blew his conchshell very loudly, making a sound like the roar of a lion, giving Duryodhana joy.

The grandsire of the Kuru dynasty could understand the inner meaning of the heart of his grandson Duryodhana, and out of his natural compassion for him he tried to cheer him by blowing his conchshell very loudly, befitting his position as a lion. Indirectly, by the symbolism of the conchshell, he informed his depressed grandson Duryodhana that he had no chance of victory in the battle, because the Supreme Lord Krsna was on the other side. But still, it was his duty to conduct the fight, and no pains would be spared in that connection.
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Lord Ramachandra! [10 Apr 2003|11:10am]

Haribol, devotees! Happy Rama Navami! (Depending on where you are!) It's the appearance day of Lord Rama, so here is a pasttime that I found:
The son of Maharaja Khatvanga was Dirghabahu, and his son was Raghu.

The son of Raghu was Aja, the son of Aja was Dasaratha, and the son of Dasaratha was Lord Ramachandra, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When the Lord descended into this world in His full quadruple expansion-as Lord Ramachandra, Lakshmana, Bharata and Satrughna - great sages like Valmiki who were actually in knowledge of the Absolute Truth described His transcendental pastimes.

Lord Ramachandra went with Visvamitra and killed Raksasas like Marica. After breaking the stout and strong bow known as Haradhanu, the Lord married Sita and cut down the prestige of Parasurama. To obey the order of His father, He entered the forest, accompanied by Lakshmana and Sita. There He cut off the nose of Surpanakha and killed the associates of Ravana, headed by Khara and Dusana. Ravana's kidnapping of Sitadevi was the beginning of this demon's misfortune. When Marica assumed the form of a golden deer, Lord Ramachandra went to bring the deer to please Sitadevi, but in the meantime Ravana took advantage of the Lord's absence to kidnap her.

When Sitadevi was kidnapped, Lord Ramachandra accompanied by Lakshmana, searched for her throughout the forest. In the course of this search, They met Jatayu. Then the Lord killed the demon Kabandha and the commander Vali and established a friendly relationship with Sugriva. After organising the military strength of the monkeys and going with them to the shore of the sea, the Lord awaited the arrival of Samundra, the ocean personified, but when Samundra did not come, the Lord the master of Samundra, became angry. Then Samundra came to the Lord with great haste and surrendered to Him, wanting to help Him in every way.

The Lord then attempted to bridge the ocean, and, with the help of advice from Vibhisana, He attacked Ravana's capital, Lanka. Previously, Hanuman, the eternal servant of the Lord, had set fire to Lanka, and now, with the help of Lakshmana, the forces of Lord Ramachandra killed Ravana. Mandodari and other wives lamented for Ravana, and in accordance with Lord Ramachandra's order, Vibhisana performed the funeral ceremonies for all the dead in the family. Lord Ramachandra then gave Vibhisana the right to rule Lanka and also granted him a long duration of life.

The Lord delivered Sitadevi from the Asoka forest and carried her in a flower airplane to His capital Ayodhya, where He was received by His brother Bharata. When Lord Ramachandra entered Ayodhya, Bharata brought His wooden shoes. Lord Ramachandra them accompanied by Lord Lakshmana and mother Sitadevi, met all His relatives, the great sage Vasistha enthroned Him as King.

The Personality of Godhead Sri Krsna assumed a human form as Sri Ramachandra and appeared on the earth for the purpose of doing some pleasing work for the demigods or the administrative personalities to maintain the order of the universe. Sometimes great demons and atheists like Ravana and Hiranyakasipu and many others become very famous due to advancing material civilization by the help of material science and other activities with a spirit of challenging the established order of the Lord. For example, the attempt to fly to other planets by material means is a challenge to the established order. The conditions of each and every planet are different, and different classes of human beings are accommodated there for particular purposes mentioned in the codes of the Lord. But, puffed up by tiny success in material advancement, sometimes the godless materialists challenge the existence of God.
Ravana was one of them, and he wanted to deport ordinary men to the planet of Indra (heaven) by material means without consideration of the necessary qualifications. He wanted a staircase to be built up directly reaching the heavenly planet so that people might not be required to undergo the routine of pious work necessary to enter that planet.

He also wanted to perform other acts against the established rule of the Lord. He even challenged the authority of Sri Rama, the Personality of Godhead, and kidnapped His wife, Sita. Of course Lord Rama came to chastise this atheist, answering the prayer and desire of the demigods. He therefore took up the challenge of Ravana, and the complete activity is the subject matter of the Ramayana. Because Lord Ramachandra was the Personality of Godhead, He exhibited superhuman activities which no human being, including the materially advanced Ravana, could perform.

Lord Ramachandra prepared a royal road on the Indian Ocean with stones that floated on the water. The modern scientists have done research in the area of weightlessness, but it is not possible to bring in weightlessness anywhere and everywhere. But because weightlessness is the creation of the Lord by which He can make the gigantic planets fly and float in the air, He made the stones even within this earth to be weightless and prepared a stone bridge on the sea without any supporting pillar. That is the display of the power of God.
- AC Bhaktivedanta Swami

For more information, visit Ramayana.

Don't forget to fast until sunset! Hare Krsna!
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