Diary of a Traveling Sadhaka, Vol. 16, No. 9
By Krishna Kripa Das
(May 2020, part one)
(Sent from Tallahassee on May 15, 2020)
Where I Went and What I Did
I continued staying at ISKCON Tallahassee, chanting Hare Krishna three hours a day on the porch with local devotees and sharing it on Facebook Live. We have received some more appreciation from our online audience. Krishna Lunch has a steady group of people who regularly eat our meals, and we are thinking of different ways to increase it, like offering a free lunch to people who bring a friend for the first time. In Tallahassee we celebrated Nrsimha Caturdasi by having a four-hour kirtan, offering flowers to our murti of Lord Nrsimha, and getting all our residents to contribute at least one preparation to an ecstatic feast in His honor.
I share several inspirational quotes from Srila Prabhupada’s books. I continue to share many insightful quotes from the “Uddhava Gita” wherein Lord Krishna personally enlightens His great devotee Uddhava with additional knowledge not included in Bhagavad-gita. This is found in Srimad-Bhagavatam, Canto Eleven, by the humble servants of Srila Prabhupada. I share excerpts from the writing of Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami. I share notes on recorded lectures by Janananda Goswami and Niranjana Swami, and notes on classes in Tallahassee by Brajananda Prabhu and Daniel.
Thanks to Daniel for the the videos of Brajananda Prabhu, Dharmaraja Prabhu and Kumari Sakhi Devi Dasi leading kirtan. Many thanks to the many devotees and organizations that shared our Facebook Live harinama videos including Keli Vrndavana Devi Dasi, Caitanya Mangala Prabhu, Food 4 Life Krishna Mantra Yoga Citizens Of NAm, Gary Mc Carney, Alik Balatov, Hridoy Sutradhat, Vishwa Hindu Mahasabha, and Politics of Rajasthan. In particular, Keli Vrndavana Devi Dasi, a disciple of Kadamba Kanana Swami from London, shared almost every video. Thanks also to Jayasri Radha Devi Dasi of Florida, who has shared many of my harinama videos past and present on her Facebook pages, Hare Krishna Sankirtana Movement World Wide and JOIN Hare Krishna. Thanks to the Internal Revenue Service for their kind donation.
March 23–June?: Tallahassee temple porch harinamas
June?–early August?: Paris harinama
August 7–8: Liverpool harinama
August 9: Liverpool Ratha-yatra
August 19–23: Canada Vaishnava Sanga Festival
August 24: Montreal harinama
September 16?–December 31: Yuga Dharma Ashram harinama party
Chanting Hare Krishna in Tallahassee
We continued chanting Hare Krishna for at least three hours each day on the porch of the temple and streaming it on Facebook.
Kumari Sakhi Devi Dasi writes, “Just wanted to share your kirtan here is well-received by many!!
“From a friend who met devotees in Australia while WWFing and who I met in Jacksonville, who now lives in New York with her family: ‘I’ve popped on and watched parts of the ISKCON Tallahassee porch streams!’
“From a nice Indian girl who has come to few programs in Gainesville: ‘I follow your kirtan sessions on Facebook. I’m always happy to see and hear you 🙂’
“From a friend who came often to Jacksonville programs and now lives in Colorado: ‘I recently saw a recording of your chanting I think even in Tallahassee.’
“And these are just a few people I’ve reached out to. Hare Krishna!”
Later Kumari mentioned that all three of the people above subsequently gave donations for the spiritual care packages she and Brajananda Prabhu are distributing.
Among people who appreciated on Facebook were devotees who are very committed to sharing the holy names themselves, such as Govardhan Devi Dasi, a Prabhupada disciple who does harinama in the North of England and Paris, Madhava Naidoo, who is famous for promoting kirtana all over the world, and Gaura Sundara Prabhu of Ukraine, who does harinama in different countries, and who I have chanted with in Paris at least two different summers.
Here Brajananda Prabhu plays guitar and chants Hare Krishna on the Tallahassee temple porch (https://youtu.be/nLgAj2NrzbU):
Dharmaraja Prabhu chants Hare Krishna at Tallahassee Krishna Lunch on Rukmini Dvadasi (https://youtu.be/grr14dkdVMg):
Daniel chants Hare Krishna in Tallahassee evening kirtan on Jayananda Prabhu’s disappearance day (https://youtu.be/-NyDcp6obv4):
We had played a record lecture by Deena Bandhu Prabhu on Jayananda Prabhu that morning, and I made one of his favorites, peanut butter halava, for breakfast.
Brajananda Prabhu chants Hare Krishna at Tallahassee Krishna Lunch (https://youtu.be/r6DrEC7f7BI):
We did our Nrsimha Caturdasi program outside so guests could come, and Daniel chanted Gaura Arati and Brajananda Prabhu chanted the Nrsimha Prayers. Jorge, in the back right, is the only nonresident who came (https://youtu.be/6gZyOq3tr1s):
During the Nrsimha Prayers we offered flowers to our murti of Lord Nrsimha.
The devotees also did a brief drama of the pastime of Lord Nrsimha killing the tyrant, Hiranyakasipu, who was so demoniac he had tried to kill his godly son, Prahlada, in several different ways.
I encouraged everyone to cook something for the feast and everyone did. Brajananda Prabhu made strawberry simply wonderfuls, a favorite of the legendary Vishnujana Maharaja, Dharmaraja Prabhu made sweet potato pakoras, Kumari Sakhi Devi Dasi made dal, Chris and Linda each made a vegetable preparation, Daniel made a fancy kind of rice, and I made sweet rice and coconut burfi. There was also a green coconut chutney to go with the pakoras.
Kumari Sakhi took of photo of it.
So did I.
Daniel chants Hare Krishna in the Tallahassee evening kirtan, this day on the temple lawn to accommodate Deva Sanga Devi Dasi, a longtime resident of Tallahassee, who came for the program (https://youtu.be/bsGqZWaeji0):
All seven devotees at ISKCON Tallahassee chanted Hare Krishna during four minutes of our daily three-hour harinama at Tallahassee Krishna Lunch. Playing the harmonium is Kumari Sakhi Devi Dasi, and clockwise, Brajananda Prabhu, me, Linda, Chris, Dharmaraja Prabhu (playing gong), and Daniel (who is walking around the tulasi plant and whose left arm you occasionally see) (https://youtu.be/KgnxUuPbZLU):
Here is video of Kumari Sakhi Devi Dasi chanting that day by Daniel using his own phone and including closeups of the individual devotees (https://youtu.be/Ah2Po3NnIBE):
And one by myself using my iPhone (https://youtu.be/aFYt-YutsGE):
Saturday Brajananda Prabhu chanted Hare Krishna in front of the Tallahassee temple, and seven devotees participated (https://youtu.be/g4TrpDi7ykA):
The next week Kumari Sakhi Devi Dasi played harmonium and chanted Hare Krishna at Tallahassee Krishna Lunch (https://youtu.be/vDU2CyRt_Y8):
Brajananda Prabhu chants Hare Krishna at Tallahassee Krishna Lunch, and devotees dance (https://youtu.be/lH00eW9Iliw):
A friendly guy from Haiti just moved into an apartment next door. He was attracted by the music and looked in the direction of our chanting party for a while. I saw he was unloading a djembe and a box drum from his car, so I invited him to play, saying we needed a drummer.
You can hear him playing in the background of this video of Kumari Sakhi Devi Dasi chanting Hare Krishna, but you cannot see him as he was behind the camera (https://youtu.be/joi-2wFjZQQ):
From Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Madhya 9.266:
“‘As long as one is not satiated by fruitive activity and has not awakened his taste for devotional service by sravanam kirtanam vishnoh, one has to act according to the regulative principles of the Vedic injunctions.’” [Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.20.9]
From Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Madhya 9.289, purport:
“The spiritual master who is fully surrendered unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead and has no business other than the Lord’s service is called the best of the paramahamsas. A paramahamsa has no program for sense gratification; he is interested only in satisfying the senses of the Lord. One who has control of the senses in this way is called a gosañi or a goswami, master of the senses. The senses cannot be controlled unless one is engaged in the service of the Lord; therefore the bona fide spiritual master, who has full control over his senses, engages twenty-four hours a day in the Lord’s service. He can therefore be addressed as gosañi or gosvami.”
From Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Madhya 10.14, purport:
“Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya was a brahmana and a realized soul, whereas Prataparudra was a ksatriya. Ksatriya kings used to obey very faithfully the orders of learned brahmanas and saintly persons, and in this way they would rule their country. Similarly, vaisyas used to follow the king’s orders, and sudras used to serve the three higher castes. In this way the brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas and sudras used to live cooperatively, performing their respective duties. Consequently society was peaceful, and people were able to discharge the duties of Krishna consciousness. Thus they were happy in this life and able to return home, back to Godhead.”
From Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Madhya 10.119:
“O ocean of mercy, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu! Let there be an awakening of Your auspicious mercy, which easily drives away all kinds of material lamentation by making everything pure and blissful. Indeed, Your mercy awakens transcendental bliss and covers all material pleasures. By Your auspicious mercy, quarrels and disagreements arising among different scriptures are vanquished. Your auspicious mercy pours forth transcendental mellows and thus causes the heart to jubilate. Your mercy, which is full of joy, always stimulates devotional service and glorifies conjugal love of God. May transcendental bliss be awakened within my heart by Your causeless mercy.” [written by Kavi-karnapura in his Sri Caitanya-candrodaya-nataka 8.10]
From Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Madhya 10.139–40:
“Lord Krishna’s mercy is dependent only on affection. Being obliged only by affection, Lord Krishna acts very independently. In conclusion, dealings in affection with the Supreme Personality of Godhead bring happiness many millions of times greater than dealings with Him in awe and veneration. Simply by hearing the holy name of the Lord, the devotee is merged in transcendental bliss.”
From Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Madhya 11.10, purport:
“The mind is always accompanied by six enemies — namely, kama, krodha, mada, moha, matsarya and bhaya — that is, lust, anger, intoxication, illusion, envy and fear. Although the mind may be merged in spiritual consciousness, one should always be very careful in dealing with it, just as one is careful in dealing with a snake. One should never think that his mind is trained and that he can do whatever he likes. One interested in spiritual life should always engage his mind in the service of the Lord so that the enemies of the mind, who always accompany the mind, will be subdued. If the mind is not engaged in Krishna consciousness at every moment, there is a chance that it will give way to its enemies. In this way we become victims of the mind.
“Chanting the Hare Krishna mantra engages the mind at the lotus feet of Krishna constantly; thus the mind’s enemies do not have a chance to strike.”
From Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Madhya 11.29–30:
[Lord Krishna says to Uddhava:] “My devotees take great care and respect in rendering Me service. They offer obeisances to Me with all their bodily limbs. They worship other devotees and find all living entities related to Me. For Me they engage the entire energy of their bodies. They engage the power of speech in the glorification of My qualities and form. They also dedicate their minds unto Me and try to give up all kinds of material desires. Thus My devotees are characterized.” [from Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.19.21–22)]
From Krishna: The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Chapter 58:
“Krishna is called Mukunda because as soon as one comes in constant touch with Krishna or sees Him in full Krishna consciousness, one immediately becomes freed from all material anxieties. Not only that, but one is immediately blessed with all spiritual bliss.”
The humble servants of Srila Prabhupada:
From Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.12.13:
[Lord Krishna speaking to Uddhava:] “All those hundreds of thousands of gopis, understanding Me to be their most charming lover and ardently desiring Me in that way, were unaware of My actual position. Yet by intimately associating with Me, the gopis attained Me, the Supreme Absolute Truth.”
From Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.13.1, purport:
“Real truth is eternal, and real mercy means to situate people in eternal truth.”
From Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.13.6:
“Until one revives one’s direct knowledge of the spirit soul and drives away the illusory identification with the material body and mind caused by the three modes of nature, one must cultivate those things in the mode of goodness. By increasing the mode of goodness, one automatically can understand and practice religious principles, and by such practice transcendental knowledge is awakened.”
From Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.13.26, purport:
“By himself, the living entity does not have the potency to give up his false identification with the material mind and sense objects, but by worshiping the Lord in the mood of being His eternal part-and-parcel servant, one is infused with the Lord’s potency, which easily drives away the darkness of ignorance.”
From Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.13.27–28:
[Lord Krishna speaking to Uddhava:] “Waking, sleeping and deep sleep are the three functions of the intelligence and are caused by the modes of material nature. The living entity within the body is ascertained to possess characteristics different from these three states and thus remains as a witness to them. The spirit soul is trapped in the bondage of material intelligence, which awards him constant engagement in the illusory modes of nature. But I am the fourth stage of consciousness, beyond wakefulness, dreaming and deep sleep. Becoming situated in Me, the soul should give up the bondage of material consciousness. At that time, the living entity will automatically renounce the material sense objects and the material mind.”
From Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.13.30:
[Lord Krishna speaking to Uddhava:] “According to My instructions, one should fix the mind on Me alone. If, however, one continues to see many different values and goals in life rather than seeing everything within Me, then although apparently awake, one is actually dreaming due to incomplete knowledge, just as one may dream that one has wakened from a dream.”
From Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.13.30, purport:
“One who is not Krishna conscious cannot understand that everything is resting within Lord Krishna, and thus it is impossible for him to retire from material sense gratification. One may adopt a particular process of salvation and consider oneself to be ‘saved’; nevertheless, his material conditioning will remain and thus he will maintain his attachment to the material world. While one is dreaming he sometimes imagines that he has awakened from a dream and is experiencing normal consciousness. Similarly, one may consider oneself to be saved, but if he remains absorbed in making material value judgments between good and bad, without reference to devotional service to the Supreme Lord, he is understood to be a conditioned soul covered by the illusory identification with matter.”
From Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.13.31, purport:
“Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura remarks in this regard that just as one soon forgets the experience of a dream after awakening, similarly, a liberated soul in Krishna consciousness does not see anything substantial in even the most exalted rewards offered by the Vedas, such as promotion to the heavenly planets.”
From Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.13.32:
“While awake the living entity enjoys with all of his senses the fleeting characteristics of the material body and mind; while dreaming he enjoys similar experiences within the mind; and in deep dreamless sleep all such experiences merge into ignorance. By remembering and contemplating the succession of wakefulness, dreaming and deep sleep, the living entity can understand that he is one throughout the three stages of consciousness and is transcendental. Thus, he becomes the lord of the senses.”
From Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.13.34:
“One should see that the material world is a distinct illusion appearing in the mind, because material objects have an extremely flickering existence and are here today and gone tomorrow. They can be compared to the streaking red line created by whirling a fiery stick. The spirit soul by nature exists in the single state of pure consciousness. However, in this world he appears in many different forms and stages of existence. The modes of nature divide the soul’s consciousness into normal wakefulness, dreaming and dreamless sleep. All such varieties of perception, however, are actually maya and exist only like a dream.”
From Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.13.35:
“Having understood the temporary illusory nature of material things, and thus having pulled one’s vision away from illusion, one should remain without material desires. By experiencing the happiness of the soul, one should give up material speaking and activities. If sometimes one must observe the material world, one should remember that it is not ultimate reality and therefore one has given it up. By such constant remembrance up till the time of death, one will not again fall into illusion.”
From Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.13.36:
“Just as a drunken man does not notice if he is wearing his coat or shirt, similarly, one who is perfect in self-realization and who has thus achieved his eternal identity does not notice whether the temporary body is sitting or standing. Indeed, if by God’s will the body is finished or if by God’s will he obtains a new body, a self-realized soul does not notice, just as a drunken man does not notice the situation of his outward dress.”
From Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.13.37:
“The material body certainly moves under the control of supreme destiny and therefore must continue to live along with the senses and vital air as long as one’s karma is in effect. A self-realized soul, however, who is awakened to the absolute reality and who is thus highly situated in the perfect stage of yoga, will never again surrender to the material body and its manifold manifestations, knowing it to be just like a body visualized in a dream.”
From Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.14.8, purport:
“Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has given a most interesting example, as follows. The water of the Ganges is always pure and very sweet. On the banks of that great river, however, there are several types of poisonous trees whose roots drink up the Ganges water from the soil and use it to produce poisonous fruits. Similarly, those who are atheistic or demoniac utilize their association with Vedic knowledge to produce the poisonous fruits of atheistic or materialistic philosophy.”
From Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.14.9–13:
[Lord Krishna speaking to Uddhava:] “O best among men, the intelligence of human beings is bewildered by My illusory potency, and thus, according to their own activities and whims, they speak in innumerable ways about what is actually good for people. Some say that people will be happy by performing pious religious activities. Others say that happiness is attained through fame, sense gratification, truthfulness, self-control, peace, self-interest, political influence, opulence, renunciation, consumption, sacrifice, penance, charity, vows, regulated duties or strict disciplinary regulation. Each process has its proponents. All the persons I have just mentioned obtain temporary fruits from their material work. Indeed, the meager and miserable situations they achieve bring future unhappiness and are based on ignorance. Even while enjoying the fruits of their work, such persons are filled with lamentation. O learned Uddhava, those who fix their consciousness on Me, giving up all material desires, share with Me a happiness that cannot possibly be experienced by those engaged in sense gratification. One who does not desire anything within this world, who has achieved peace by controlling his senses, whose consciousness is equal in all conditions and whose mind is completely satisfied in Me finds only happiness wherever he goes.”
From Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.14.16, purport:
“Lord Krishna thought, ‘I have established this strict rule that one can enjoy My transcendental bliss only through devotional service obtained from the dust of the lotus feet of My devotees. Since I also desire to experience My own bliss, I will observe the standard procedure and accept the dust of My devotees’ feet.’”
From Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.14.17:
[Lord Krishna speaking to Uddhava:] “Those who are without any desire for personal gratification, whose minds are always attached to Me, who are peaceful, without false ego and merciful to all living entities, and whose consciousness is never affected by opportunities for sense gratification — such persons enjoy in Me a happiness that cannot be known or achieved by those lacking such detachment from the material world.”
From Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.14.20:
[Lord Krishna speaking to Uddhava:] “My dear Uddhava, the unalloyed devotional service rendered to Me by My devotees brings Me under their control. I cannot be thus controlled by those engaged in mystic yoga, Saṅkhya philosophy, pious work, Vedic study, austerity or renunciation.”
From Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.14.22, purport:
“In the eternal kingdom of God, loving reciprocation between the Lord and His devotees is manifest. One who has not come to this stage of enlightenment must remain on the material platform, which is always full of discrepancies and contradictions. Thus everything is incomplete and imperfect without loving service to the Lord.”
From Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.14.23:
“If one’s hairs do not stand on end, how can the heart melt? And if the heart does not melt, how can tears of love flow from the eyes? If one does not cry in spiritual happiness, how can one render loving service to the Lord? And without such service, how can the consciousness be purified?”
From Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.14.25:
[Lord Krishna speaking to Uddhava:] “Just as gold, when smelted in fire, gives up its impurities and returns to its pure brilliant state, similarly, the spirit soul, absorbed in the fire of bhakti-yoga, is purified of all contamination caused by previous fruitive activities and returns to its original position of serving Me in the spiritual world.”
From Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.14.26:
[Lord Krishna speaking to Uddhava:] “When a diseased eye is treated with medicinal ointment it gradually recovers its power to see. Similarly, as a conscious living entity cleanses himself of material contamination by hearing and chanting the pious narrations of My glories, he regains his ability to see Me, the Absolute Truth, in My subtle spiritual form.”
From Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.14.27–28:
[Lord Krishna speaking to Uddhava:] “The mind of one meditating upon the objects of sense gratification is certainly entangled in such objects, but if one constantly remembers Me, then the mind is absorbed in Me. Therefore, one should reject all material processes of elevation, which are like the mental creations of a dream, and should completely absorb one’s mind in Me. By constantly thinking of Me, one becomes purified.”
From Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.14.31, purport:
“The acaryas explain that one cannot fully appreciate the beauty and perfection of bhakti-yoga unless one sees its superiority to all other processes. Through comparative analysis, the devotees become fully ecstatic in their appreciation of bhakti-yoga.”
From Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.15.29, purport:
“If a human being falls into the middle of the ocean he quickly drowns, whereas the fish enjoy happiness sporting in the same waves. Similarly, the conditioned souls have fallen into the ocean of material existence and are drowning in the reactions to their sinful activities, whereas the devotees recognize this world to be the potency of the Lord and enjoy pleasurable pastimes within it by fully engaging in the loving service of Lord Krishna.”
From Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.15.33–34:
[Lord Krishna speaking to Uddhava:] “Learned experts in devotional service state that the mystic perfections of yoga that I have mentioned are actually impediments and are a waste of time for one who is practicing the supreme yoga, by which one achieves all perfection in life directly from Me. Whatever mystic perfections can be achieved by good birth, herbs, austerities and mantras can all be achieved by devotional service to Me; indeed, one cannot achieve the actual perfection of yoga by any other means.”
Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami:
From Seeking a New Land:
“My heart is broken over what became of this official religion. But there is still joy in the words of the acaryas and sincere hearts in relation to Krishna.”
“It’s a dangerous world where people will accuse you and claim they have proof you have committed the worst crimes. You say you hope it isn’t true but, ‘I don’t remember – what do they say I did?’
“In such a world, attacked by dreams, the guru, Prabhupada, is our invincible protector. Stay with him, little child.”
“Dear Srila Prabhupada, A. C. Swami Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada…thank you. Please let us always engage in your service. You protect us, you give us security, you we choose. You are capable, intrepid. You spread Krishna consciousness. To you I bow, I wish to serve.”
“he protects us,
he’s a great sacrifice,
a hundred percent he obeyed
his own Guru Maharaja.”
“Spoke how Srila Prabhupada gave up bodily comforts, left sweet Vrindavan, torn quilt and broken water pot of Gaudiya Vaishnava and daily Yamuna bathing – to go to NYC. Signs of a paramahamsa.”
“Probation is a trial period during which somebody or other determines whether a person is qualified – you know. And, ‘The supervised release of a convicted offender on the promise of good behavior.’ We may say we are all probationers, or worse.”
“This is Prabhupada’s Appearance Day, by his grace we are operating.”
“‘Prabhupada, you are the friendly face in all the Hare Krishna temples,’ said one man today. He seemed happy with his life as a resident in various ISKCON places.”
“Is love palatable? Love. We want to love God. Ah. But we can’t do it easily. You have to be convinced in His greatness. ‘I don’t know even what to say,’ said Hemanta to himself. Heard the soft sound of a car passing. ‘Therefore, I must remember what Srila Prabhupada said on this subject. And I have to keep going.’
“‘Is there a spiritual advancement you can make from which you won’t fall back?’
“‘Yes,’ he said.”
“‘Yes,’ he said.”
“What about love, protection? ‘When we don’t feel trust in Krishna isn’t that an insult to Him?’
Yes, I expressed.”
“I may sleep, the island won’t sink,
we won’t be attacked by a bigger predator.
We will remember Lord Hari
and His holy names.”
“And Prabhupada, they can’t really see your face just by looking at the pictures. You are now a mysterious and personal presence in vani. Now, despite my faults, you accept me. I could not explain the full weight of this at this year’s Vyasa-puja because I’m not expected to give a less than perfect, loyal profile. This is another greatness of yours, Prabhupada, that you tolerate our slowness and don’t reject us. I depend on you for this. I could not say it.”
“Some like banana ice cream, some like Italian cooking. And some like the Prabhupada-flavored Krishna consciousness.”
“This book is an offering. Don’t quarrel
go about your work to please Lord
Hari and He’ll like you
“just for that
and you’ll get your reward
No, that’s enough motive.”
and revive me
in your studentship
like I used to be –
or in a new way
vital to share with
others true when I
say I depend on
him totally, and need no
other guru, love.”
“And so, we rushed to the end signaling personal doom or good ending, just reward, don’t judge the stern ones as too stern
or blame those who
after the book marathon”
believe there are kind
devotees still in
“and we needn’t run
to the mountains of live
gurus other than Srila
but it’s better to do
your loyalty in Wicklow
said the cabbage to the
“The namnam akari verse (Siksastakam 2) is ‘my’ verse. I theoretically believe and even teach that the holy names are fully infested with God’s potencies. But because of my offenses I am not able to pay attention to or taste the nectar of the holy names.
“If I truly felt this, it might plunge me into remorse and humility which is expressed in trnad api sunicena. You call out to Krishna to pick you up from the ocean of death and allow you to serve Him by chanting. Yes, I can speak something on this topic.
“We all desire to chant better, and we’re committed to it. We don’t want to think our main method of meditation is ineffective.
“O Lord, kindly
appear in Your names.”
“the bhakti-yogi is never
alone as God is in
“Be careful you don’t take advantage of someone who offers to help.”
“Hey, the trains hit head on above Calcutta and the volcanoes…earthquake, they want to put God into the dock and ask him how come he made it happen.”
[Regarding Radhastami:] “No lecture on an esoteric topic but at least a reading. Read together, ‘Don’t even utter Her name. You are not qualified,’ said a brother. But it makes me happy to know She is a person with beautiful pastimes with Krishna, under expert guidance. ‘We have not taken a vow to boycott the gopis.’”
“Are you convinced?
‘If you don’t believe
Bhagavad-gita and Krishna that
it is a different thing. But
it is a fact.’”
“‘If you have a combative spirit,’
he said, ‘use it to fight
maya and pay attention to
japa. It’s a declaration of
“But blessed are the peace-
makers who find that
way. You cannot beat the
or kill desires.
“Make peace, brother
bring the mind back gently
to hearing Hare Krishna
and reach out your hand
to that of God the Father
“You thought it would be
more? Or worse? Thank
God it is what it is
“you can be sorry you
failed but even that in
restrained measure. Speak
it true no pose”
“Memories, I live in them
cozy cubbyholes that
“Live in illusion. In one
body after another.”
“At least enter the scriptural world if you are going to leave this one.”
“‘What about after
you die?’ he asked. I
said I have no plans.”
“may you be blessed
and pass the test”
“He’s a lover, He’s a cheat
and His love, it can’t be beat
- Govinda’s theme
That’s who He is. The Lord of all beings, the one supplier of everyone’s needs. Write about the Supreme Self. We are all part and parcel of Him. We are individual sparks. Eternal fragments.”
“I don’t do obscure deep knee
bends like some.
I’m just walking briefly
in the rain.”
“Get away from playing the role of the monk so you can become the monk. You are a person you don’t know.”
“We read of Radha and Krishna. They love each other so much. They faint when They have to separate.”
“He wanted to properly observe Vamanadeva’s appearance by taking a big step of his own.”
“Srila Prabhupada in the  lecture said people nowadays in Kali-yuga don’t even have the basic necessities of life, eating, mating, sleeping and defending. It struck Hemanta to hear that, and he recalled his own plight in 1966. He was without mating and suffering and suffering for it. And without any real residence, just a horrible slum hole, and same without food, and always fearing. How accurate Srila Prabhupada was, and he also saw it himself when he came over to live amidst the Americans on the Lower East Side.”
“remember Krishna conscious truth
is what we came for”
“In an age of crackpots…my pot may seem sane enough, decorated and garlanded.”
“Lord, Lord can a body
(person) call out
to his God, please guide
me in a way that’s bearable
to me and give me strength.
The predicament we’re in is not
so bad, is it?”
“I don’t deplore
just this one.”
“Surely Srila Prabhupada’s way alone
will deliver us and
my patience will be rewarded.”
“But if you offend
even in the slightest a devotee
or even a creature you’ll lose
your spiritual potency
so be careful. I’m just a boy, and that’s
not good enough.
“Therefore we ask Lord
Krishna please help us
win this life of
self over pride.”
From Free Write Journal #90:
“So many disciples claim I am their only shelter, but they will not follow my instructions. So what is the basis of the relationship? It is sentimental.”
From The Summer Marathon:
“The devotee who gave class today spoke about the need to use our intelligence in Krishna’s service. He also spoke about surrender. He quoted a letter by Prabhupada to Upendra dasa in which Prabhupada recited a prayer we can make to Krishna. The prayer goes like this: ‘I’m unwilling to surrender, so You please put me in a situation where I’ll be forced to surrender.’ The lecturer said, ‘The way out is the way through.’ We should ask Krishna to put us through whatever karma we are due. Otherwise, he said, it’s possible to live in this institution for forty years and not be more advanced in bhakti than we were forty years ago. Instead of trying to choose our own form of surrender, we should pray to Krishna to put us through whatever we need. If we do that, our lives will be more glorious than we could imagine. He said that Prabhupada exemplified this attitude when although he didn’t want to take sannyasa, he finally did and everything became glorious.
“These seem to be solid points, but I’m still left with the question of how to surrender. We have to act. What, then, does it take to make such a sincere prayer? How to prove my willingness to accept Krishna’s guidance? We learn this, it seems, in small increments.”
“Twenty or thirty people here. Girls grow older like wilting flowers. Men get pudgy and old. All die. So fast, it happens.”
From a Zoom lecture for ISKCON of NJ on May 9, 2020:
I hesitated to tell the humorous Gopala Bhan stories which Srila Prabhupada introduced us to, as now is a distressful time with the global pandemic. But then I thought that Srila Prabhupada saw the world as always in a distressful condition, and yet he told these stories. I think a little comic relief in times of duress is not unwelcome.
Jayapataka Swami knows all the Gopala Bhan stories. There was a group of sannyasis gathered and he told many of them, and we were all laughing. He told them in both English and Bengali.
Jagattarini tells how Krishna has His parrots, and Radharani has Her parrots.
There is a story where as Queen of Vrindavan Radharani is offered an abhiseka. Krishna is in the audience and offers to be her constable. She offers that He sit on an equal level with Her. She ends up sitting in His lap.
In 1969 Boston was the most populated temple in America because ISKCON Press moved there with all its workers. I was temple president, and we had sixty devotees.
When Srila Prabhupada visited Boston one hundred and fifty devotees were there to see him.
“This is the heart of ISKCON,” Srila Prabhupada said, as he embraced the devotee in charge of ISKCON Press.
A devotee said, “You are the heart of ISKCON.”
Srila Prabhupada said, “This is my heart.”
Prabhupada said, “Print my books, at least one every two months, and you will go back to Godhead.”
When Srila Prabhupada was in India, he would keep the door open and the devotees had more access to him. This made the austerities living there worthwhile.
When the train arrived at Kurukshetra you stood up and said, “They say Kurukshetra is a mythical place,” to demonstrate its reality.
[Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami read “Pandal” from Remembering Srila Prabhupada, Book 4, which I reproduce here completely:]
It is not so easy to hold a pandal.
When Prabhupada first introduced the idea
to his followers in Bombay,
they didn’t want to say no,
but they wondered:
Where could they collect so much money?
How could they erect such a big tent?
Where would they get so much food?
And how would they be able to cook it?
Prabhupada smiled and said,
“If you are going to hunt,
go after the rhinoceros.”
A pandal is a triumph in preaching.
The helium balloon hovering over the city . . .
And in the newspaper
a beautiful picture of the Founder-Acharya,
superimposed over a globe,
and the words, “ Bhagwat Dharma Discourses . .
A pandal is anxiety,
a chance to work hard
and surrender to Krishna.
A pandal is a marriage of two disciples on stage
a boy from Sweden and a girl
(with a red sari and a nose ring)
A pandal is a particular event,
and it is also a symbol
of a great endeavor
to convince people
by cultural presentation—
a mass festival.
Rathayatra or any big preaching is similar,
and Prabhupada wanted it.
“Don’t be satisfied that you have understood.
This knowledge should be distributed.”
True humility is to think: “I only exist for Krishna’s pleasure.”
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura says in Amrita Vani that:
“Among the limbs of devotional service, chanting Krishna’s holy name is the best. Activities such as hearing and chanting about the Lord’s pastimes are subordinate to chanting of the holy name. Without the holy name’s mercy, we cannot experience the Lord’s pastimes. Trying to remember the Lord’s pastimes without chanting is nothing but an attempt to achieve mundane fame.”
We have to hear the holy name by the descending process and not impress our mundane conceptions on the holy name.
All of Srila Prabhupada’s books are for the personal enlightenment of everyone just as Krishna’s speaking of Bhagavad-gita to Arjuna was.
My friend, Bhakta Vatsala, gave Bill Clinton a Bhagavad-gita.
About this ISKCON News writes, “On Thursday 14 June 2012 ISKCON devotee, Bhakta Brian [now Bhakti Vatsala Das], dressed as a devotee, was out distributing books on a crowded sidewalk on Santa Monica Boulevard in Santa Monica, California when all of a sudden former U.S. President Bill Clinton chose him out of the crowd, walked up to him, shook his hand, and gave him a warm hug.”
To hear Bhakta Vatsala Prabhu tell more details of the story, click here: http://www.backtohome.com/audio/Bill.Clinton.gets.Gita.mp3 ]
From a reading of Navadvipa Mahatmya:
Lord Nityananda said that although it appears that Lord Caitanya took sannyasa and left Navadvipa, He never really leaves Navadvipa and the devotees can perceive His daily lila (pastimes) there.
Seeing the fortune of Yamuna Devi of having Krishna perform pastimes in her waters, Ganga Devi did austerities and the Lord appeared to her saying He would appear as Lord Gauranga and sport in her waters.
Lord Caitanya appeared to Lord Brahma and told him how he would appear in His pastimes as Haridasa Thakura. He would be completely devoid of pride and chant 300,000 holy names. At the end of his long life as Brahma, he would attain his eternal rasa in Navadvipa.
One who fasts, bathes in the Ganges, and worships Lord Gauranga on Gaura Purnima, attains Goloka along with a thousand of his ancestors.
Chand Kazi’s home is the Mathura of Navadvipa.
In Navadvipa offenders are given prema, while in Vrindavan, the demoniac who are killed by Krishna, merge into His existence.
The Supreme Lord is the supreme knower of religious principles. We learn from Srimad-Bhagavatam that He appears in this age of degradation as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, along with with His associates, and He is worshiped by intelligent people chiefly by the sankirtana-yajna, the sacrifice of the congregational chanting of the holy name. Thus when Sarvobhauma Bhattacarya, one of the greatest scholars of his time, who had just accepted the path of krishna-bhakti, devotional service to Krishna, asked Lord Caitanya, “What is the most important practice of devotional service?” He responded, “Nama-sankirtana – the congregational chanting of the holy name.” Thus it is good for those who are followers of Lord Caitanya to remember that nama-sankirtana is the most important spiritual practice in this age, and thus I am sharing this verse to remind myself and others, as dharma is easily obscured these days.
bhakti-sadhana-srestha sunite haila mana
prabhu upadesa kaila nama-sankirtana
“Then the Bhattacarya asked Caitanya Mahaprabhu, “Which item is most important in the execution of devotional service?” The Lord replied that the most important item was the chanting of the holy name of the Lord [nama-sankirtana].” (Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Madhya-lila 6.241)