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Krishna Janmastami




Posted: 09 Aug 2012 05:26 AM PDT



Kṛṣṇa! Kṛṣṇa! Kṛṣṇa! Kṛṣṇa! Kṛṣṇa! Kṛṣṇa! Kṛṣṇa! he
Kṛṣṇa! Kṛṣṇa! Kṛṣṇa! Kṛṣṇa! Kṛṣṇa! Kṛṣṇa! Kṛṣṇa! he
Kṛṣṇa! Kṛṣṇa! Kṛṣṇa! Kṛṣṇa! Kṛṣṇa! Kṛṣṇa! rakṣa mām
Kṛṣṇa! Kṛṣṇa! Kṛṣṇa! Kṛṣṇa! Kṛṣṇa! Kṛṣṇa! pāhi mām
Rāma! Rāghava! Rāma! Rāghava! Rāma! Rāghava! rakṣa mām Kṛṣṇa! Keśava! Kṛṣṇa! Keśava! Kṛṣṇa! Keśava! pāhi mām


Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Madhya 7.96)
Today, here in the Western half of the World, we are celebrating Janmastami: the appearance day of Lord Sri Krishna. So let us take advantage of this auspicious day and hear, chant, and 
 remember the pastimes of the Lord. Hare Krishna!

Janmāṣṭamī
Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s Appearance Day Lecture
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Montreal, August 16, 1968

Devotees: govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
Prabhupāda:
cintāmaṇi-prakara-sadmasu kalpa-vṛkṣa-
lakṣāvṛteṣu surabhīr abhipālayantam
lakṣmī-sahasra-śata-sambhrama-sevyamānaṁ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
[Bs. 5.29]
(repeats govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi and devotees respond)
veṇuṁ kvaṇantam aravinda-dalāyatākṣaṁ
barhāvataṁsam asitāmbuda sundarāṅgam
kandarpa-koṭi-kamanīya-viśeṣa-śobhaṁ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
[Bs. 5.30]
(govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi)
ālola-candraka-lasad vanamālyavaṁsi
ratnāṅgadam praṇaya-keli-kalā-vilāsam
śyāmaṁ tribhaṅga-lalitaṁ niyata-prakāśaṁ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
[Bs. 5.31]
(govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi)
aṅgāni yasya sakalendriya-vṛtti-manti
paśyanti pānti kalayanti ciraṁ jaganti
ānanda-cin-māyā-saduj-jvala-vigrahasya
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
[Bs. 5.32]
(govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi)
advaitam acyutam anādim ananta-rūpam
ādyaṁ purāṇa-puruṣaṁ nava-yauvanaṁ ca
vedeṣu durlabham adurlabham ātma-bhaktau
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
[Bs. 5.33]
(govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi)
panthāstu koṭi-śata-vatsara-sampragamyo
vāyor athāpi manaso muni-puṅgavānāṁ
so ‘pyasti yat prapada-sīmny-avicintya-tattve
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
(govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi)
So today, the birth appearance ceremony of Lord Kṛṣṇa. In the Bhagavad-gītā the Lord says,
janma karma me divyaṁ
yo jānāti tattvataḥ
tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma
naiti mām eti kaunteya
[Bg. 4.9]
“My dear Arjuna, any person who simply tries to understand about My transcendental birth or appearance and disappearance and activities, janma karma…” The Personality of Godhead is not niṣkriya, without activities. So anyone who can understand that what kind of activities the Lord has and what kind of birth He accepts, simply by understanding these two things one gets wonderful result. What is that? Tyaktvā deham. By quitting this body, tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti [Bg. 4.9], he does not take any more birth in this material world. Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti. Some of us may think that punar janma naiti means he becomes vanquished. No. Punar janma naiti, but mām eti, “He does not come to this material world, but he comes to Me.” Mām eti. Mām eti means, then… [break] …abode where we can go. Simply by understanding the nature of His appearance and activities.
So today is that auspicious day, Janmāṣṭamī, when Lord Kṛṣṇa appeared five thousand years ago in India, Mathurā. Those who are Indian ladies and gentlemen present, they know very well where is Mathurā. It is about ninety miles south of New Delhi. Mathurā is still existing and it is eternally existing. Kṛṣṇa appeared in Mathurā in His maternal uncle’s house in a very precarious condition. That birthplace, Lord Kṛṣṇa’s birthplace, is now maintained very nicely. One who goes to India, they see. So anyway, Lord Kṛṣṇa appeared on this planet five thousand years ago. Now Kṛṣṇa says, janma karma me divyam [Bg. 4.9]. Divyam means “not ordinary.” It should not be understood just like we take our birth. Kṛṣṇa does not take his birth like us. That is also explained in the Bhagavad-gītā. When Arjuna inquired from Kṛṣṇa, “My dear Kṛṣṇa, You are speaking that formerly You spoke this yoga system of Bhagavad-gītā to the sun-god. That means it is millions and trillions years ago You spoke. How can I believe it?” Because Kṛṣṇa was contemporary to Arjuna, so he was thinking that “Kṛṣṇa is my friend, is my cousin brother. How it is possible that He spoke this Bhagavad-gītā yoga to sun-god?” So what was the reply? The reply was this, that “You also appear many, many times; I also appear many, many times. The difference is that I can remember. You cannot remember.”
That is the difference between God and ordinary living creature, that we are also taking birth after birth. There are 8,400,000 species of life, and so long we are in this material world, we are cycling round this birth after birth. So Kṛṣṇa’s birth is not like that. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, janma karma me divyaṁ yo jānāti tattvataḥ [Bg. 4.9]. Tattvataḥ means in truth. Not superficially. Scientifically, one who knows, he can get immediately liberation. And how one can understand the same truths? That is also explained in the Bhagavad-gītā. Bhaktyā mām abhijānāti yāvan yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ [Bg. 18.55]. Again the same thing, tattvataḥ, in truth. If anyone wants to know God, or Kṛṣṇa, in truth, not superficially, then he has to undertake the process of devotional service. Bhaktyā. In another place Kṛṣṇa says, patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati [Bg. 9.26]. “Any person who gives Me a little fruit, little flower, little water, but with devotion, bhaktyā…” That is the only qualification. So Kṛṣṇa says, tayā bhaktyā upāhṛtam aṣnāmi. “Because he brings it with devotion and faith and love, I eat.” Kṛṣṇa eats. We are offering in the temple prasādam. So He eats because He says “I eat.” How you can say that He does not eat? Some gentleman asked me that “Swamijī, you offer prasādam in the temple, but do you think Kṛṣṇa or God eats?” I answered, “Yes, why not? He says, ‘I eat.’ How you can say He does not eat? But you do not know how He eats.” Due to poor fund of knowledge, you think that God does not eat. But eat…, His eating process is different. That is answered in the Brahma-saṁhitā. Brahma-saṁhitā, it is said aṅgāni yasya sakalendriya-vṛtti-manti [Bs. 5.32]. God’s senses, Kṛṣṇa’s senses are as powerful as other senses. Just like I can see with my eyes, but Kṛṣṇa can eat also with His eyes. That is… Aṅgāni yasya sakalendriya-vṛtti-manti. Just like…
There is many examples. Kṛṣṇa or Viṣṇu, the first creation is that Garbhośāyī (Garbhodakaśāyī) Viṣṇu lying on the ocean and Brahmā was created from His navel. There was a lotus stem grown from the abdomen of the Lord, and Brahmā was born. Now Lakṣmī, the goddess of fortune, was just sitting. But as we understand that if we beget child, we require the cooperation of wife, but here we see that wife was sitting, but He begot Brahmā from the navel. This is called sarva-śaktimān. He does not require anyone’s help. He can beget child. Not exactly as we beget child. Therefore janma karma me divyam [Bg. 4.9]. He is within your heart, He is everywhere, so He can appear from everywhere. Just like sun rises from the eastern side. It does not mean that eastern side is the mother of sun. We simply see that sun is rising from the eastern side. In this way, if we try to understand in truth, then we can understand what is God. Superficially, if we try to understand by our experimental knowledge, then it is not possible to understand God.
panthāstu koṭi-śata-vatsara-sampragamyo
vāyor athāpi manaso muni-puṅgavānāṁ
so ‘pyasti yat prapada-sīmny-avicintya-tattve
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
The Brahma-saṁhitā said that if one starts on the chariot of air and makes progress on the speed of mind, still one cannot understand what is God. Vedeṣu durlabham adurlabham ātma-bhaktau [Bs. 5.33]. He cannot be understood simply by studying Vedas. Traiguṇya viṣayā vedaḥ nistraiguṇyo bhavārjuna. One has to transcend the position of Vedas also. Then one can understand what is God or what is Kṛṣṇa.
So that process is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā, that bhaktyā mām abhijānāti yāvan yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ [Bg. 18.55]. So this bhakti, devotional service of Kṛṣṇa, is so nice. And under that bhakti category, this Janmāṣṭamī… Of course, this Janmāṣṭamī ceremony is observed by all Hindus. Irrespective of becoming Vaiṣṇava or not, this ceremony is observed in India every home. Just like in your Western countries the Christmas is observed in every home, similarly Janmāṣṭamī is observed in every home. Today is a great ceremonial day. So our program is, at twelve o’clock night the Lord will take birth and we shall receive Him. And just now it is ten o’clock. For two hours our program will continue in kīrtana. Kīrtana means sometimes chanting with music, and sometimes speaking. Both of them are kīrtana. Kīrtayati iti kīrtanam. Whenever we glorify the Lord, that is called kīrtana. The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam reading is also kīrtana. Abhavad vaiyāsakī kīrtane. Vaiyāsakī, Śukadeva Gosvāmī, he achieved the highest perfection, liberation, simply by reciting Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Śrī-viṣṇu-śravane parīkṣit. Parīkṣit Mahārāja, he simply heard. There are nine processes of devotional service. Śravanaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam. Chanting, hearing. First hearing, then chanting. Without hearing, nobody can chant. Śravanaṁ kīrtanam. And what sort of śravanaṁ kīrtanam? Viṣṇoḥ, of Viṣṇu. Not anything else.
śravanaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ
smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam
arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ
sakhyam ātmā-nivedanam
[SB 7.5.23]
These are nine processes of devotional service, of which śravanam, hearing, is most important. Without hearing, nobody can understand the science of God. Therefore the Vedic mantras are called śruti. Śruti means it is to be heard. It is not to be experimented in the laboratory. It is simply to be heard. Therefore it is called śruti. So śravanaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam, arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyam. Vandanam, offering prayer. We also offer prayer. The other religious sect, just like the Christians, they offer prayer; the Muhammadans, they offer prayer. So prayer, offering prayer is also one of the items of bhakti. Chanting, hearing, meditating, offering prayers, arcanam, worshiping the Deity in the temple, all of them are together devotional service. So out of the nine… If you can execute all the nine, it is very good. But it is not possible. So even if you can execute one item, you become perfect. It is so nice. Śrī viṣṇu śravane parīkṣit. Just like Mahārāja Parīkṣit, he simply executed the function of hearing, he got perfection. Similarly, abhavad vaiyāsakī kīrtane. Vaiyāsakī means Śukadeva Gosvāmī, he simply glorified the Lord. Prahlādaḥ smarane. Prahlāda Mahārāja, he was simply meditating. There are many examples. Simply by following one principle of this devotional service, they got the highest perfectional life, liberation, back to home, back to Godhead.
So we shall invite today to speak about Kṛṣṇa from our students, as well as all the members who are present here. So I shall request Janārdana to speak something about his realization of Kṛṣṇa. (pause) All right. Let him speak.
Janārdana:
nama oṁ viṣṇu-pādāya kṛṣṇa-preṣṭhāya bhūtale
śrīmate bhaktivedānta svāmin iti nāmine
Kṛṣṇa, we know, is the ultimate Supreme Personality of Godhead. The name Kṛṣṇa has a meaning. The meaning of the name Kṛṣṇa is “the supreme attractive.” Whatever there is that holds any attraction, that attraction is given by Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa explains this Himself in the Bhagavad-gītā. So in our life in this material world, we have so many different attractions which we are pursuing in order to build what we think will be our happiness. All this attraction is the attraction of Kṛṣṇa’s inferior energy. Kṛṣṇa’s māyā holds a great attraction for all the conditioned souls. And by following this attraction of Kṛṣṇa’s māyā, they are continuing in the circle of birth and death. We are born into this world because we desire to enjoy something, so Kṛṣṇa provides us with a body that is suitable for that enjoyment, and He provides us also the objects of the enjoyment that we desire. However, also to remind us of our highest possible potential, that of the spiritual, unconditioned existence, we have along with these material enjoyments various kinds of suffering. These material enjoyments, although they are temporarily real, come to an end, and then there is feeling of bereavement and regret.
So we are now enjoying the māyā of Kṛṣṇa’s external potency in our ordinary life. Unless we realize the personality of Kṛṣṇa Himself… We must have personal realization, personal contact with Lord Kṛṣṇa. So long as we are enjoying these objects of our senses and thinking that these objects belong to us, and so long as we don’t know to whom all these objects belong, to whom belongs the land, the money, the foods that we eat, the clothes that we wear, our families—so long as we do not know to whom all these belong, then we are enjoying in a state of ignorance. Factually we are being thieves. We cannot be happy in such a condition. Kṛṣṇa is very kind. He provides us with all these objects of enjoyment, as we like them. But we can achieve a far happier state, not only for ourselves but for the whole human kind, if we realize that Kṛṣṇa, who is the supreme source of all the attractive objects that we are enjoying, is a person who is ready to receive as His loving servants the moment we want to surrender all our false ideas of ownership and come back to the spiritual platform.
So Lord Kṛṣṇa for this reason has appeared. He wants to call the conditioned souls back to Godhead. He wants us to realize that He is the source of the whole universe, He is the owner of the universe, He is the supreme enjoyer, the supreme knower of everything, and that we are always welcome to associate with Him by the grace of His devotees, by the grace of a spiritual master. And so He has appeared, and we are now celebrating the Janmāṣṭamī day, the day when Lord Kṛṣṇa came to this conditioned plane out of His own transcendental power, with His full spiritual potency, in order to reveal the supreme nature of sac-cid-ānanda vigrahaḥ [Bs. 5.1], eternal knowledge, consciousness, and bliss, to all the conditioned souls so that they might be attracted to Him, and so that they might come out of the miseries of material existence and of ignorance. At this particular time in the world it is very much necessary that all people hear about Kṛṣṇa and that they should become attracted to chanting the name of Kṛṣṇa, to hearing about Kṛṣṇa’s wonderful pastimes. So that by this exquisite attraction for Kṛṣṇa they might forget their lower desires, which are now leading everybody to a hellish condition of life in which it seems inevitable there are going to be wars and pestilences and starvation, diseases, all kinds of social injustice. All these things are unavoidable so long as the world at large does not understand who owns everything, who owns the land, who owns the money, who owns the food. So long as they don’t understand that Kṛṣṇa is the owner and enjoyer of everything, so long as they don’t understand that it is the highest enjoyment for the living soul to serve Kṛṣṇa, it is the perfect harmony in this condition to serve Kṛṣṇa, so long there will be fighting due to ignorance and deluded cross purposes.
This International Society for Kṛṣṇa Consciousness movement is meant for spreading the Kṛṣṇa consciousness to the whole world so that people might realize their spiritual existence, and so that the whole atmosphere of the world can become spiritualized by chanting the names of Kṛṣṇa. So we welcome everybody who comes to this temple to inquire about how to make your life perfect by tuning in to the desires of the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa. You’ll find that this is such a pleasant proposition, that all insignificant lower desires will be forgotten. There will not be any need for unnecessary fighting among the people of the world if they can only understand the spiritual plane of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The way to realize Kṛṣṇa consciousness is very simple. Simply chant
Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare
Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare


Chant this mahā-mantra under the guidance of the spiritual master and the results will be very quick.

Thank you very much.

Amit Teli

Amit Teli is the man behind the Chant Hare Krishna Blog.

He likes ISKCON, Pure Vegan Food and Devotes to Almighty Lord Sri Krishna who is his spiritual Master.

In his free time he mostly blogs, prays to the lord and sleeps.

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