Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupäda:
Founder-Acarya of ISKCON (Acharya means Spiritual Teacher who teaches by
example). He established the ISKCON society, opened over 108 temples all over
the world, translated the Srimad Bhagavatam and Caitanya Caritamrita, Bhagavad
Gita As It Is and other books into English and authored many other books as well
all on the science of Krishna Consciousness.
called Çréla Prabhupäd by his followers. He comes in the direct line of
spiritual masters, known as the Brhama-Madhva-Gaudiya Sampradaya, which extend
all the way back to Krishna. He is Krishna’s chief representative for the
- Bhaktivedanta Book Trust:
publishing arm of ISKCON. Formed by Çréla Prabhupäd to publish and distribute
Gita (Bhagavad Gita As It Is):
Gita is the most popular of all Vedic literatures. It is a record of the spoken
words of Lord Krishna. Krishna’s (God’s) direct teachings on Spiritual Life.
Bhagavad Gita As It Is is the authorized translation of the Gita in English by
His Divine Grace Çréla Prabhupäd.
means a celibate female student. However, technically there is no such thing as
this in Vedic culture. Srila Prabhupad created this ashram so as to facilitate
the young unwed girls who were joining the temple. However, he instructed it was
an artificial system. The proper Vedic system is the girl remains at home, only
the boy goes to the school of his spiritual master. The girls are trained at
home and married before or just after puberty.
Caritamrita is a great work by Krishna Das Kaviraj written in Bengali over 400
years ago and translated into English by Çréla Prabhupäd. It describes the
teachings and activities of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who appeared in Bengal
years ago and is Lord Krishna Himself.
varëäçram for a description of the class system.
modern India the class system has degraded into a caste system. The difference
is that a caste system is based on family birth only. If my father was a
brahmana, then automatically I become brahmana. This is the caste system. It
not supported by the Vedas, but is a degraded from of varëäçram.
The caste system is prone to all corruption and is suppressive. In the
caste system as long as my father was a brahmana, then I must be respected as a
brahama priest no matter what non-sense activities I engage in.
scriptures, however, define varëäçram to be based on one’s actions and
personal character. It is defined in scripture what are the qualities and
occupations of the different classes. Depending on ones occupation and his
qualities he is to be known to belong to that class. It is by qualification,
by birth. This system of varëäçram
is referred to as daiva, or Godly as it is based directly on Lord Krishna’s
teaching in the Bhagavad Gita.
has many connotations. It is often translated to mean religion or religiousity.
However, Çréla Prabhupäd has also defined it to means constitutional quality,
or innate duty. The constitutional
quality of sugar is that it is sweet. In relation to society one has certain
innate duties or occupational duties. A policeman, for instance, has innate
duties to society to perform. That is his dharma. In this way the four classes
or varnas have specific duties to society to perform. As well as there are
different duties or dharmas for men and women in society. The Sanatan-Dharma is
our eternal dharma or eternal duty. That is our loving service to the Supreme
Personality of Godhead, Krishna.
- Governing Body Commission:
up by Çréla Prabhupäd to manage and guide the International Society for
Krishna Consciousness. The board
consists of a number of members from different places of the world.
- International Society for Krishna Consciousness:
was legally established by Çréla Prabhupäd in July of 1966. ISKCON is the legal name for the Hard Krishna Movement. The
purpose of ISKCON is to propagate the teachings of Krishna as presented to us
through His Divine Grace, Çréla Prabhupäd. And to create a society of
devotees where they can live and associate together for the purpose of
glorifying and serving the Supreme Lord,. Sri Krishna.
means young girl, unwed daughter. And däya means unforgivable duty or
obligation. The term describes the father’s most obligatory duty to get his
daughter married during her youth.
is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is God. The source of all material and
spiritual energies. God is eternal
and He is non-different from His name and form. Krishna displayed His original
form and activities here on earth over 5,000 years ago. His teachings are
recorded in the Bhagavad Gita.
great history of Earth. It is the
history of the rulers of the Earth planet at the time of Krishna’s appearance
here 5,000 years ago. Bhagavad Gita,
Krishna’s own direct teachings, is one of the chapters of the Mahabharat.
Samhita (or Manu Smriti):
(refer to section on Information About Manu
means mother. In Vedic culture all women, except one’s wife, are addressed as
mother, mataji. Ji at the end is a salutation of added respect.
is the congregational chanting of the Holy Names of God. It was used in this
book in reference to the women’s traveling Sankirtan party. In this context
sankirtan refers to the distribution of books which are about Krishna. Books
which are about Krishna are also considered sankirtan as they chant the glories
of Krishna Name as well.
See A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupäda
Beautiful Story of God. The Bhagavatam is one of the 18 Puranas. The Puranas are
the Vedic history books which related historical events that took place not only
on this planet, but throughout the universe. These histories were written down
5,000 years ago, but tell of events that happened not just at that time, but
back to the beginning of creation, 100’s of millions of years ago.
Srimad Bhagavatam is the Purana which deals specifically with the histories of
human society there are 4 varnas and 4 asrams.
4 varnas are sudras, the laborer or working class man. The vaishya are the
merchants, businessmen, and landlords. The
ksatriyas are the government men, and the brahmanas, the educated or priestly
class of men. All human societies
have these 4 classes, however, the Vedic culture emphasizes
these 4 class divisions, defining each of the duties and engagements in a
scientific manner for organizing the society.
The aim and result is a more peaceful and prosperous society that has God
and religious or spiritual values and goals as its central foundation.
are also 4 asrams. These are the 4 spiritual divisions. The word Brahma means
spirit. Of or about spiritual or religious knowledge.
The first social division is the brahmacari. This means a celibant student who is engaged in study and
learning of brahman, or the spiritual qualities of life. The grhasta, the
married man, then vanaprastha, one who is renouncing his family life, and
sannyas, one who gives up all connection with worldly family life and dedicates
his remaining years as a teacher of the scriptures.
Dharma are the laws and rules given by scriptural injunction which are intended
to regulate and govern the social orders society.
means knowledge. The Vedas are
scriptures written in the Sanskrit language. By their own description they are
the oldest and original scripture of not just this planet, but the entire
universe. There are 4 main Vedas, Rig, Yajnur, Sama and Atharva.
And the Upanishads, the 18 Puranas or history books, of which Srimad
Bhagavatam is consider the spotless Purana as it is a history of the many
appearances of the Supreme Godhead and His activities. Bhagavad Gita is but one
chapter of the Mahabharat. The history of the ruling kings of the planet at the
time of Krishna’s advent 5,000 years ago.