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Bhakta Vriksa Program

What is the Bhakta Vriksa Program?

Every Saturday evening, devotees hold an additional program called the Bhakti Vraksha program. Devotees host this program in their homes around Columbus. It is open to all interested persons. The purpose of the program is to discuss sadha. One of the main topics of discussion is the Srimad Bhagvatam. Currently, the basic program schedule includes:

  • Reading from Japa walks, Japa Talks
  • Chanting one round of the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra
  • Reading from The Srimad Bhagvatam
  • Kirtan and then Prasadam
Throughout the entire program it is an open forum where all devotees are welcome to share their realizations.

What's on this page?

Every week the contents of the Bhakti Vraksha programs will be posted here so that those who cannot be with us can be share in the devotional teachings and some of the realizations of the devotees.

We will also be creating an archive of older programs as the weeks go by so that the older programs are still available.

More Information

If you would like more information on these programs, please either call the temple at (614) 442-1661 or email the temple.

Please remember there are also regular programs at the Columbus temple. Click for days and times.

 

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Review of Bhakta Vriksa Program

February 3, 2001

Our program was hosted by their graces, Gaura Nitai Prabhu and Guna Manjari Prabhu. This class featured the largest number of devotees yet. Thank you all for attending.

We began with a reading from one of Satsvarupa das Goswami's journals in which he discusses chanting. The main focus of the passage is a disciple's testimony. Remuna dasi laments that her chanting has become a chore over the years especially since her family obligations have greatly increased. She explains that when she initially began chanting she was quite young and her parents were unaware of it. The circumstances made her secret chanting very exciting for her. The mind is such a monkey that any new task will hold its attention for some time. She explains that in the beginning she was very na´ve. Satsvarupa Maharaj also says that he himself feels na´ve when he thinks he has become a man of prayer. No matter what level we are on, we all have to keep endeavoring in Krishna Consciousness.

Her Grace Malati Prabhu reiterated the fact that in the neophyte stage especially, chanting and other devotional service seem wonderful and exciting so in order to keep ourselves strong we have to maintain extremely regulated sadhana. We should not feel that at any time spiritual advancement will just fall into our laps. Satsvarupa Mararaj's passage also mentions the Catholic saint Teresa of Avila. She states in her autobiography that it took twenty years for her to detect any substantial spiritual progress. We can all benefit from the experience and encouragement of these great souls.

We were able to cover two texts from Srimad Bhagavatam (1.1.5-6). In text five, the sages complete their morning duties and then offer the vyasasana to Srila Suta Goswami because he is the representative of Vyasadeva. The representative of Vyasadeva can present the teachings exactly as they are. In the purport it says that the morning hours are the best for spiritual practice, specifically during the brahma-muhurta, one and a half hours before sunrise. We have discussed many times that chanting done in the morning has a more beneficial overall effect. Even though one can chant the holy name anywhere and at any time, Prabhupada says there are no hard and fast rules, but he most definitely stresses the fact that early morning chanting is the best. The potency of the holy name can more readily be felt when the mind is fresh and uninfluenced by the events of the day.

A few other points from this text are that the goswamis, or the masters of the senses who follow the previous acaryas, do not lecture on the scriptures capriciously. They do not become puffed up with knowledge and try to ingratiate themselves. If they seek profit, adoration, and distinction; they are guilty of "subtle sex desire" as mentioned later on in the Bhagavatam. This is not a characteristic of a goswami. The goswamis also do not jump immediately to the Tenth Canto in order to exploit the sacred pastimes of Radha and Krishna. The acaryas and goswamis maintain impeccable character and deliver the Krishna-conscious philosophy without any personal motivation. They sincerely want to guide the conditioned souls. "One must learn the transcendental subject by submissive aural reception from the right sources (S.Bhag. 1.1.5)". In this way, both the speaker and hearer are qualified.

Verse six further discusses the characteristics of a goswami because the sages continue to glorify Suta Goswami. A goswami must be well versed in the revealed scriptures and be free from vice. The processes for understanding the scriptures are sravana and kirtana, hearing and explaining (chanting). In the Kali yuga, four vices are very prominent which is why the four regulative principles are so important. We should not engage in meat eating, gambling, illicit sex, or intoxication. If we participate in these activities, spiritual life becomes extremely difficult to perform because the execution and ramifications of these activities increase our anxiety and our negative karmic reactions. Above all, they are not pleasing to Krishna. During class, some devotees did bring up the idea that if one falls down we should still respect that devotee because we are all on different levels in life based upon the modes of material nature. No one can judge anyone else as it says in Nectar of Instruction, text six: "Even if a devotee sometimes seems to engage in abominable activities, he should be considered a sadhu, a saintly person, because his actual identity is that of one engaged in the loving service of the Lord. In other words, he is not to be considered an ordinary human being."

That devotee is still a servant of Krishna, but has problems like we all have in our own ways. We are making an effort on this path so we have to have compassion on one another and on ourselves. We cannot take the easy way out though. This concludes the notes for this section. Let's look forward to another pizza-ghosti. Hare Krishna

 

The Hare Krishna Maha Mantra

Hare Krishna
Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna
Hare Hare
Hare Rama
Hare Rama
Rama Rama
Hare Hare

Chant and Be Happy!

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare  |  Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare