Category Archives: Gaudiya Vaishnavism – An overview

What is Yoga ? | Types of Yoga

yoga ashtanga

Yoga, contrary to popular opinion, does not refer to some impossible physical postures. The actual meaning of Yoga does not merely refer to bending, curving your body, or even holding your breath. The word yoga is derived from the Sanskrit root yuj, meaning “to yoke,” or “to unite”. The practice aims to create a union between body, mind, and spirit, as well as between the individual self and universal consciousness. The yoga system was originally meant for realizing God, and all varieties of yoga practice are assumed to bring one to that point. Success in Yoga ultimately depends on the quality of one’s consciousness and the will of the Supreme Person, rather than on our own gymnastic endeavors. The various yogic asanas, breath control, and withdrawal of the senses are meant to help pacify the mind so that one can focus one’s entire attention on the Supreme Lord (Paramatma) who is eternally present within our heart.

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What is Jnana Yoga ? | Bhagavad Gita

books knowledge jnana yoga

The process of Yoga connects one to his/her spiritual essence. There are several kinds of Yoga, but it has been broadly classified into 3 – Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga, and Bhakti Yoga. We have discussed Karma Yoga previously. In this article, we shall be discussing Jnana Yoga in detail. Jnana Yoga involves mental speculation, evaluating ideas, through logic and discourse, and aspiring to ultimately comprehend what is what. Jnana Yoga is the realization of the self through philosophical discussions. Jnana Yoga involves discrimination between matter and spirit through mental speculation. Hence Jnana Yoga promotes knowledge through seclusion, study, and sense abnegation. Activities and necessities of life are minimized in Jnana Yoga, as the focus is placed on becoming free from sensual desires that deceive the soul. By rejecting matter, Jnana Yogis aim at attaining liberation (moksha).

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What is Bhakti Yoga ?

chaitanya pancha tattva bhakti yoga

According to the ‘Sandilya Bhakti Sutra’, Bhakti is the transcendental attachment to Krishna, the Supreme Lord. The process of reawakening this transcendental loving relationship between God and the living entity is called ‘Bhakti Yoga’. Bhakti or pure devotional service is free from all traces of Karma (fruitive activities) and Jnana (speculative knowledge). A devotee established in Bhakti Yoga, constantly serves Krishna, engaging his mind, intellect and all of his senses in the Lord’s service. Bhakti Yoga purifies one and frees one from all material designations. Upon attaining pure love of God, one neither hankers nor laments. He is freed from all attachments and detachments, and takes no pleasure in material things. Lord Krishna explains the exalted stature of Bhakti Yoga in Bhagavad Gita as follows –

tapasvibhyo ‘dhiko yogi
jnanibhyo ‘pi mato ‘dhikah
karmibhyas cadhiko yogi
tasmad yogi bhavarjuna
(Bhagavad Gita 6.46)

A yogi is greater than the ascetic, greater than the wise speculative thinker and greater than the fruitive worker. Therefore, O Arjuna, under all circumstances, be a yogi.

yoginam api sarvesam
mad-gatenantar-atmana
sraddhavan bhajate yo mam
sa me yuktatamo matah
(Bhagavad Gita 6.47)

And of all yogis, he who always abides in Me (Krishna) with great faith, worshiping Me in transcendental loving service (bhakti), is most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all. That is My opinion.

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All about Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (Gauranga)

dandabhanga leela bhumi dwadash bhuja gauranga chaitanya mahaprabhu

Contents : Identity, Pastimes and Teachings of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu

Identity – Who is Chaitanya Mahaprabhu ?

  1. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is Lord Krishna | Evidence from Vedic scriptures
  2. Gauranga and Krishna – Lord Krishna reveals the form of Gauranga
  3. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu – Biography, Teachings & Hare Krishna movement
  4. Kali Yuga and its savior – Chaitanya Mahaprabhu | Chaitanya Upanishad
  5. Gauranga Mora Dharma
  6. Devotion to Lord Gauranga is the topmost spiritual practice
  7. 108 Names of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu | Gauranga Ashtottara ShataNamaVali
  8. Sri Godruma Chandra Bhajan upadesha – Worshiping Lord Chaitanya, the moon of Godruma
  9. Lord Chaitanya and the Parrot | Holy name of Gauranga | Prema Vivarta

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Cows and Krishna | Sacred Cow

cows india sacred krishna

Namo brahmanya devaya
Go brahmana hitaya ca
Jagad dhitaya Krsnaya
Govindaya namo namah
(Vishnu Purana 1.19.65)

I offer my obeisances again and again to Lord Krishna, who is always worshiped by qualified brahmanas and is very dear to them. He is always concerned with the welfare of the cows, the brahmanas, and the whole world. I offer my repeated obeisances unto the Personality of Godhead, known as Krishna and Govinda.

The above mantra, quoted in Vishnu Purana, is used to worship and offer bhoga to Lord Krishna. The above prayer lays a striking emphasis on the protection of cows and the brahmanas. Brahmanas, or the intellectuals, are the symbols of spiritual education. In Vedic India, cows were treated as mothers and they sustained the entire society with their milk. From the above verse, it is abundantly clear that cows were very dear to Krishna. In fact, the Bhagavad Gita quotes Lord Krishna in saying –

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Karma, Akarma and Vikarma

karma akarma vikarma

Actions that are performed in terms of one’s prescribed duties, as mentioned in the revealed scriptures, are called Karma. ‘Akarma’ are actions that are devoted to the Supreme Lord and are free from material bondage. Actions that are opposed to the instructions of the revealed scriptures, performed through the misuse of one’s freedom, are called ‘Vikarma’.

‘Vikarma’ leads one to the lower forms of life. Of these three, the work, i.e. Akarma, that frees one from the bondage of material life, is favored by intelligent men. Ordinary men might want to conduct good deeds for fame and recognition in this life or perhaps attain heavenly pleasures in the next. However, intelligent men know that both good and bad work binds one to material miseries and hence they choose to act so that they would become free from both good and bad reactions. Vikarma, however, is sinful work that drags one to hellish life.

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Hindu Sacred Books | Holy Books of Sanatan Dharma | Vedic literature

srimad bhagavatam bhagavata veda hinduism books sanatan dharma

Dharma is often interpreted as “duty,” “religion” or “religious duty” and yet its definition is more profound, defying the concise English translation. The word ‘Dharma’ originates from the Sanskrit root “dhri,” which means “to sustain.” Another correlated meaning of ‘Dharma’ is ‘that which is indispensable and fundamental to something’. So what is Sanatan Dharma ? The word ‘Sanatan’ translates to ‘eternal’ and the phrase ‘Sanatan Dharma’ alludes to that which is eternally integral to a living entity. That which is ‘Sanatan’ does not have either a beginning or an end. Likewise, ‘Sanatan Dharma’, also referred to as ‘Hinduism’, is timeless, non-sectarian and not limited by any boundaries. Religion conveys the idea of faith, and the faith of a person may change. But ‘Sanatan Dharma’ is that which cannot be changed. For instance liquidity cannot be taken away from water, nor can heat be taken away from fire. In this article, we shall focus our attention on the holy texts or the sacred books of Hinduism (Sanatan Dharma).

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Brahman, Paramatma, Bhagavan – 3 ways to conceive the Supreme

brahman paramatma bhagavan sun

Krishna, who is the personification of eternity, knowledge, and bliss, is perceived in three of His aspects – Brahman (residing everywhere), Antaryami (residing within as the Supersoul), and Bhagavan (the Supreme Person who lives beyond this material world and possesses six kinds of opulence in full – strength, fame, wealth, knowledge, beauty and renunciation). It will be easier to understand with the help of an example. The sun, sunshine and sun’s reflection are one but also different. All pervading sunshine (compared to Brahman) is non-different from the sun. Both are heat and light, yet the sun (compared to the Supreme Personality of Godhead) retains its form and identity as the source of everything. Similarly, the same sun may be reflected upon ponds or numerous pots of water. In this way, the same God is reflected within the hearts of all living entities as Paramatma or supersoul. Hence Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan are 3 aspects of the Supreme. Brahman and Paramatma are partial whereas Bhagavan is the complete realization of the Supreme truth.

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Glories of Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana) | Ripened fruit of the Vedas

vaishnava vaishnavism krishna srimad bhagavatam

#1 Srimad Bhagavatam is the literary incarnation of Krishna

Krsne sva dhamopagate dharma jnanadibhih saha
Kalau nasta-drsam esa puranarko dhunoditah
(Srimad Bhagavatam 1.3.43)

Srimad Bhagavatam is as luminous as the sun. After Lord Krishna left for His abode, accompanied by dharma and knowledge, Bhagavata Purana emerged to save the people from the darkness of Kali-yuga.

Muni, mora bhakta, ara grantha bhagavate
Yara bheda ache tara nasa bhalamate
(Chaitanya Bhagavata, Madhya,  21.18)

Myself (Supreme Lord), My devotees, and the scripture Srimad Bhagavatam – one who sees any distinction between these three will find all his intelligence destroyed.

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