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By:Mahanidhi Swami

In Bhagavata-gita (18.54), Bhagavan Sri Krishna says, “After one [a bhakta] becomes liberated from the three modes of material nature, he attains para-bhakti or pure devotion, uttama-bhakti to Me (brahma bhuta prasannatma, mad-bhaktim labhate param)”.

It is significant here that Bhagavan uses the word labhate (achieves, attains), instead of the word kurute (do, make). Labhate means that uttama bhakti is achieved only by the mercy of Bhagavan or His bhaktas; it is not attainable by one’s own efforts.

This is the position of Bhagavan Sri Krishna and the Bhagavad-gita: first liberation then para-bhakti.

Now let’s look at the grantha-raja Srimad Bhagavatam (10.33.39). Here the devotee, Sri Sukadeva Goswami promises that simply by hearing or describing Radha-Krishna’s Rasa Dance, one will first attain uttama-bhakti, para-bhakti, pure devotion to Bhagavan Sri Krishna. And then he will quickly attain liberation from the modes of nature, and their concomitant qualities like lust, anger, greed and so on (vikriditam vraja-vadhubhir, srnuyad atha varnayed, bhaktim param bhagavati pratilabhya, kamamhrd-rogam ashu apahinoti acirena).

This is the position of the bhakta Sukadeva Goswami and the Bhagavatam: first para-bhakti then liberation.

The conclusion is that the devotees of Krishna are more merciful than Bhagavan Sri Krishna.

Grantha-raja Srimad Bhagavatam ki jai!

Krpa-shakti murti Sukadeva Goswami ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

By: Mahanidhi Swami

The Srimad Bhagavatam is the sweet liquid that Srila Vyasadeva extracted from all the transcendental Vedic scriptures. He nourished his divine son Shukadeva Goswami with that liquid. And upon realizing the ambrosial essence of the Bhagavata within his pure heart, Sri Shuka Muni concentrated it into a nectar called a rasayana.

The Tenth Canto, which is the smiling sweet face of Shyamasundara, is that rasayana. How is this? A material rasayana is an ayurvedic medicine that rejuvenates one’s body, and fills one with the nectar taste of robust health and mental satisfaction. The Tenth Canto is a spiritual rasayana which does all these things and much more as you will learn below.

Now let’s hear from Sri Chaitanyadeva and our Gaudiya rasika acharyas about the amazing power and benefits of hearing and reading the Srimad Bhagavatam. And how much more do all these glories apply to the Tenth Canto!

In Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.2.226), Srila Rupa Goswamipada says that of the 64 limbs of sadhana-bhakti, relishing the Srimad Bhagavatam is one of five most important and powerful limbs; and also a part of pancha-anga bhakti (sankirtana, sadhu sanga, Thakuraji seva, Vraja vasa). Later in verse 240, Sri Rupa specifically singles out and glorifies the Tenth Canto as the most significant and important of all the twelve cantos. Srila Visvanatha Cakravartipada stresses the special position of the Tenth Canto by stating, “One will achieve Krishna prema by hearing it.”

On several occasions, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu glorified the Srimad Bhagavatam, so that all His followers past and present would realize its topmost absolute importance. Now let’s hear Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Srila Rupa Goswamipada, Sri Jiva Goswamipada, Srila Visvanatha Cakravartipada, and my Gurudeva exalt the Srimad Bhagavatam:

Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu said:

Krishna-tulya bhaagavata, vibhu sarvaashraya, prati-shloke prati-akshare, naanaa artha kaya

“Srimad Bhagavatam is as great as Bhagavan Sri Krishna Himself, the supreme shelter of everything. In each and every verse and syllable of Srimad Bhagavatam, there are multi-faceted meanings, for it is as infinite as Krishna.” (Cc. 2.24.318)

In the next quote Lord Gauranga explains how the Srimad Bhagavatam is the transcendental body of Bhagavan Sri Krishna and it is full of pure love of God:

premamaya bhaagavata, Krishnera sri anga,

taahaate kahena yata, gopya Krishneranga

“The Srimad Bhagavatam is saturated with Krishna prema. The Srimad Bhagavatam is non-different from the beautiful body of Krishna and is a part of Krishna Himself, for it describes Krishna’s confidential pastimes with His intimate associates like Sri Radha and the Vraja-gopis.” (Cb. Antya 3.516)

In this last quote, Prema-Purusottama Gauranga establishes the Srimad Bhagavatam’s preeminent position over all other Vedic shastras and spiritual scriptures:

pade pade bhaagavata, prema-rasa-maya,

shuniyaa dravila ati, tomaara hrdaya

“Every single line of Srimad Bhagavatam is full of prema-rasa, ecstatic divine raptures. By hearing the Srimad Bhagavatam, your heart will melt.” (Cb. 2.9.91)

In the Preface to Krishna book, Gurudeva Srila Prabhupada says that love of Godhead will fructify by reading [or hearing] this one book, Krishna, which contains only the Tenth Canto pastimes of Bhagavan. In the 90th chapter of Krishna Book, Srila Prabhupada describes the wonderful benefits of the Tenth Canto. He said, “The transcendental pastimes of Sri Krishna [in the Tenth Canto] are so powerful that simply by hearing, reading and memorizing this book, Krishna, one is sure to be transferred to the spiritual world.”

We will conclude our discussion by explaining why it is so necessary and important for serious sadhakas to focus and concentrate their Bhagavata studies on hearing, reading and meditating upon the sublime rasa-filled teachings of the TENTH CANTO.

In Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.2.226), Srila Rupa Goswamipada says that of the 64 limbs of sadhana-bhakti, relishing the Srimad Bhagavatam is one of five most important and powerful limbs; and also a part of pancha-anga bhakti (harinama sankirtana, sadhu sanga, Thakuraji seva, Vraja vasa). Later in verse 240, Sri Rupa specifically singles out and praises the Tenth Canto as the most significant and important of all the twelve cantos. Srila Visvanatha Cakravartipada stresses the special position of the Tenth Canto by stating, “One will achieve Krishna prema by hearing it.”

While finishing his glorification of the Srimad Bhagavatam and the pancha-anga bhakti in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Srila Rupa Goswamipada says (1.2.244): “These five limbs or practices (pancha-anga-bhakti) have the inconceivable power to manifest both bhaava and Sri Krishna Himself at the same time.”

In other words, even a brief association with these five supremely powerful angas of vaidhi-sadhana bhakti [such as hearing Tenth Canto] can arouse bhaava in bhakti-sadhakas, provided that one’s practice of these is free from offenses in the form of the ten nama-aparadhas and the offenses in Thakurji archana, Deity worship.

Sri Jiva Goswamipada gives a very encouraging illumination of this section of Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu: “The Srimad Bhagavatam [especially the Tenth Canto] is exclusively devoted to and full of the sweet taste of bhakti-rasa for Bhagavan Sri Krishna alone and nothing else. Anyone who hears Srimad Bhagavatam will attain pure rasa-filled bhakti, which in turn will destroy all one’s fears, diseases, material desires and false attachments. Srimad Bhagavatam is the rasa-svarupa of Bhagavan Sri Krishna. Among all the scriptures existing on this planet, the Srimad Bhagavatam, and only the Srimad Bhagavatam, contains the highest bliss. Srimad Bhagavatam is totally transcendental, pure and uncontaminated with any tinge of the three modes of material nature, ignorance, passion or goodness.”

Watch our web site mnsaudio.com for a soon to be released free download CD with this title “Tenth Canto Nectar”. We call it that because by repeatedly hearing the “Tenth Canto Nectar”, we guarantee you will become completely rejuvenated and thrilled with the joy of transcendence, feeling the rapture of Radha-Krishna’s pure love flooding your entire being.

Grantha Raja Srimad Bhagavatam ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

By:Mahanidhi Swami

Just by casually hearing/reading about Sri Krishna’s wonderful, sweet pastimes depicted in the Srimad Bhagavatam, you will attain four amazing blessings, even without desiring such priceless gifts.

Moreover, the inner peace and heart’s satisfaction you’ll feel by hearing the Srimad Bhagavatam will soon make you “fall in love with Bhagavata”, as you hanker to hear/read it every day, nityam bhagavata sevaya (SB 1.2.15).

But how does it all happen? As you hear/read the Srimad Bhagavatam, you will automatically acquire higher knowledge which will subdue your lower material nature and remove your miseries. You won’t even realize how this is happening—a magical transformation of YOU.

An extraordinary inner joy and satisfaction will arise in your heart like a rich sweet aroma coming from a field of blossoming roses. This new found joy will make you detached from material sense objects, and non-devotional people and places, even without trying for it.

You, the former materialist, have now become a spiritualist—a seeker of life’s essence, God’s love. And with your Bhagavata treasures of a peaceful mind and a happy heart, you will move quickly along the path of Krishna prema bhakti.

As Bhagavan Sri Krishna says in Gita (18.54): “A spiritualist—free from grief and hankering—sees all equally and soon attains My pure love!”

To summarize, let’s see the four great treasures of hearing/reading the Srimad Bhagavatam:

1)You acquire divine knowledge and peace to subdue your lower nature.

2)Delight fills your mind to dispel your gloom and despair.

3)Your joy brings easy detachment from material sense objects/people.

4)You attain a state of liberation leading you to life’s goal of Sri Krishna prema bhakti.

So my dear friends of loving faces!

May you all dive deeply into the fathomless, beautiful, exciting, fulfilling, romantic, wisdom-filled, purifying and blissful ocean of immortal nectar ambrosia named “The Srimad Bhagavatam!”

Grantha Raja, Amala Purana,

Srimad Bhagavatam ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

By: Mahanidhi Swami

Many religious-minded people throughout India and the rest of the world wear necklaces of Tulasi wood (tulasi-kanthi-mala). Tulasi wood is sacred to Lord Krishna and His followers.

However, there are many popular taboos and misconceptions regarding who can and cannot wear tulasi.

This article will answer this question by citing the infallible authority of the Vedas. It is a fact that all actions, be they secular or spiritual, will be beneficial and successful when done in accordance with transcendental scriptures i.e. Shruti, Smrti and Puranas like Mahabharata and Bhagavad-gita.

Without being swayed by popular beliefs or opinions, Gaudiya Vaisnavas base their spiritual conduct on the authority of the Gaudiya Smrti titled Hari-bhakti vilasa by Srila Sanatana Goswamipada. This book is basically a collection of quotes from various Puranas and Vedas to establish the proper spiritual practices for adherents of the devotional path, bhakti-yoga.

Quoting this pramana, we will describe the glories of wearing tulasi neckbeads and who can wear them.

  1. Benefits of Wearing Tulasi Kanthi:
  2. Destroys greatest sins (maha pataka samhantrim) Skanda Purana: HBV: 4.318
  3. Sri Hari always with you (deha sada harih) Garuda Purana: HBV: 4.335
  4. Million times benefit from punya karmas, pitr or devata puja (pitrnam devata krtam koti gunam) Garuda Purana: HBV: 4.336
  5. Yamaraja stays far away (preta raja dutakah drstva nashyanti durena) Garuda Purana: HBV: 4.337
  6. Gives full protection…from bad dreams, accidents, attack by weapons, and the Yamaduttas (duhsvapnam durnimittam bhayam shastrajam) Garuda Purana: HBV: 4.338

Who Can Wear Tulasi Neckbeads?

The following authoritative quotes should put to rest all rumors, taboos and speculations regarding this question. Bhagavan Sri Krishna Himself states that ANYONE CAN WEAR TULASI kanthi mala. There are no restrictions! The wearing of tulasi neckbeads, (tulasi kanthi mala) simply depends on one’s personal sense of allegiance to his beliefs, duty, or simply as a matter of inspiration if he/she wants to do so. Srila Sanatana Goswamipada calls this a taste or attraction to wear them, (yatha ruchi) HBV: 4.308

In Vishnu Dharmottara, Bhagavan Sri Krishna says, “Without a doubt, ANYONE who wears tulasi neckbeads, even if he/she is unclean or of bad character, will surely attain Me.” (ashauco anacharo mam eva iti na samshaya) HBV: 4.322

The following quote from a book titled, Associates of Sri Chaitanya, says that Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura gave tulasi neckbeads to a Calcutta industrialist who had neither diksha nor the most exemplary behavior: “Mr. S.K. Ghosh often visited Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura at his residence called “Bhakti Bhavana.” Under the direction of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Mr. Ghosh started wearing a tulasi mala around his neck, although he was not able to accept the principles of Vaishnava behavior in their entirety.”

In addition, an Iskcon publication titled “Vaisnava Etiquette”, quoting Hari-bhakti Vilasa states: “The Padma Purana states regardless of whether one is an impure or pure state, ONE SHOULD ALWAYS WEAR TULASI MALA. And one should never take it off even when bathing, eating or passing stool and urine.” In other words, tulasi beads are always pure and purify anyone who contacts them.

We hope this article will encourage all those who are pious and sincerely trying to progress spiritually to wear tulasi kanthi mala. You will be greatly benefitted by this, and experience some amazing miracles in your life. Tulasi ki jai ho!

Tulasi kanthi mala ki jai! Srimati Tulasi Maharani ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

*footnotes not in net article on mso

OFFERING MALA:

One should then pray, “O necklace! You are prepared out of tulasi wood and you are very dear to the Vaisnavas; I am wearing you on my neck, please make me dear to Krsna. The meaning of the word ‘ma’ is ‘to me’, and the meaning of ‘la’ is ‘to give’; O beloved of Hari! Please offer me to the devotees of Krsna. In this way you are known as ‘mala’.”

—-tulasira hara, na pare je chara, jamalaye basa tara; contemptible person who never wears tulasi neckbeads takes his permanent residence in the abode of Yama,(locan das thakura bhajan Nitai Gaur nama.