Travel Adventures of a Krishna Monk

by Krishna-kripa Das

Monday, July 06, 2015

Travel Journal#11.11: Harinama All Over the UK


Diary of a Traveling Sadhaka, Vol. 11, No. 11
By Krishna-kripa das
(June 2015, part one)
The North of England, Edinburgh, Brighton, London and Birmingham
(Sent from Newcastle-upon Tyne on July 6, 2015)

Where I Went and What I Did

After so much traveling around The North of England in May, and even visiting London, I finally settled down in Newcastle for a week, except for two one-day trips, one on Tuesday to Edinburgh to do harinama and speak at their weekly Tuesday evening program, and one on Saturday to York, to do harinama and speak at their monthly evening program. While in Newcastle I did harinama there and in the nearby cities of Chester-le-Street, Durham, and Sunderland. The following week I did harinama and an evening program in Chester. Then to Sheffield for their Wednesday evening program and Thursday afternoon kirtana, and to Brighton to do harinama and spend time with Janananda Goswami on Friday and Saturday. Back to London for the Ratha-yatra on Sunday. Monday I chanted in Birmingham with Sutapa Prabhu and devotees from the Manor and the world harinama party, Harinam Ruci, on our way to chant in the cities around Manchester for the next several days.

I share a quote by Srila Prabhupada from Srimad-Bhagavatam, a quote by Sanatana Goswami from Brihad-bhagavatamrita, quotes from the books and journal of Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami, a story by Jayadvaita Swami, and notes on lectures by Janananda Goswami, Jagadatma Prabhu, Parividha Prabhu, and Sadbhuja Prabhu.

Thanks to Agi for the pictures of Chester harinama and evening program, Dharmatma Prabhu for the picture of Parividha Prabhu and me at the London Ratha-yatra, the Hare Krishna Festivals devotees for two pictures of the London Ratha-yatra stage show, Martine for two pictures of Brighton, and Harinama Ruci for two pictures of Birmingham.

I would like to thank Janananda Goswami, Clive of Chester, Lochan Das Thakura Prabhu of Brighton, Rima of Edinburgh, and Gaura Karuna and Vishnujana Prabhus of the Harinama Ruci world traveling harinama party for their kind donations.

Itinerary

July 5–6: Newcastle
July 7: Edinburgh
July 8–9: Newcastle
July 10: Leeds
July 11: Chester
July 12: Manchester
July 13–15: London
July 16–17: Prague
July 18: Munich Ratha-yatra
July 19: Prague Ratha-yatra
July 20–26: Baltic Summer Festival
July 28–August 2: Polish Woodstock
August 3–15: Czech Padayatra?
August 16–18: Bratislava?
August 19: Prague?
August 20–23: Trutnov (Czech Woodstock)
August 24: London
August 25: Edinburgh?
August 26: Newcastle
August 27: Preston
August 28: Liverpool
August 29: Manchester
August 30: Leeds
August 31–September 1
September 2–3: Sheffield
September 4–7: Ireland
September 8: New York City


Harinama in Chester-le-Street


I was simply amazed by the positive response we received in Chester-le-Street, a city of 37,000 near Newcastle. One devotee named Atula Krishna Caitanya Prabhu lives there. His health is not good, and it is hard for him to come to the temple regularly. It means a lot to him for us to chant in his town, and he always joins us.


Prema Sankirtana Prabhu, Radhe Shyam Prabhu, Madhuri Devi Dasi, who are all young and enthusiastic, came from Newcastle. We chanted for ten minutes to and from our car to the front of a shopping center where there was a steady flow of people.

One lady, who gave us a donation, passed by our party a second time telling Madhuri, “It is nice to hear some music that makes you happy for a change.” A few school children, dressed in their uniforms, moved with the music and joked with us.
Considering the smallness of the place, the sorts of people you find there, and that we stayed barely an hour, I was surprised that people donated £10.96 and took four or five books!

Harinama in Durham 


After Chester-le-Street, Prema Sankirtana Prabhu, Radhe Shyam Prabhu, Madhuri Devi Dasi, and I went to Durham. They are so enthusiastic, it was great to be chanting with them.
 
I thought it was humorous we stood near a Marks and Spencer display entitled “Tastes of the British Isles.”
 
One favorable young man from Singapore, who had come to one of the Durham programs, was happy to see the devotees again.

Still it was striking to me that although people are more sophisticated in Durham, a university town, much fewer people gave donations and took books than in Chester-le-Street.

Harinama in Edinburgh


In Edinburgh we have a new storefront called Gauranga Mantra Centre, which is run by a Lithuanian couple, Lucas and Rima, who have three programs a week there, Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday.

I chanted in Edinburgh for three hours the day of our Tuesday program and an hour the next day. Yamuna Devi Dasi, a devotee who lived in Scotland for many years, and who was up from London visiting her daughters that go to the university there, joined me most of the time. We had a busy location and amazing weather for Scotland. We met a couple of Indian families and a couple of local musicians who were interested in hearing of our programs in Edinburgh, but otherwise not so many people interacted with us.
 

There were a few Scottish people at the program and many Bengali speaking people who had emigrated there. The final kirtana was very lively.

Harinama in Newcastle
 

I decided to encourage the devotees in Newcastle to do harinama before our two-hour evening kirtana on Wednesday, and I was very happy that six of them came out. 
One kid played the karatalas with us.
 
Some Muslim kids enjoyed dancing with us.
 
Their mom enjoyed taking a video of the kids.

The Muslim family gave a £5 donation, and I gave them a Higher Taste cookbook.


On the way back to the temple, we met some partying young people who got into dancing to our music.

One young lady delighted in playing the karatalas.

I took a video of the end of it (https://youtu.be/BlL9phSedNw):



As I was doing harinama one day, an Indian student stopped to purchase Bhagavad-gita. He was from Iowa but getting his masters in organic farming at Newcastle University. He attended Hare Krishna programs in New York’s Lower East Side but had not met devotees in Newcastle yet. 
 
He chanted with me for half an hour.

Later that day a young lady majoring in psychology at the same school and interested in Hinduism’s oneness and altered states of consciousness also bought a Gita.

Harinama in York

Harinama in York was amazing. We had nine devotees coming from Newcastle and a couple from Leeds. Many groups of people danced with us, mostly ladies. Govardhan Dasi of Scarborough, is the inspiration behind the York harinama, and she sings in this video and many people dance (https://youtu.be/6BecU_ZP9KU):


One man holding a tray of pizza samples really enjoyed dancing with us, but because I was playing karatalas I could not take a photo of it.
 

A married couple danced in front of our kirtana, and if you have Facebook, you can see Govardhan Dasi's video of it: https://www.facebook.com/jackie.parcellgovardhana/videos/vb.100007077215749/1638889076356984/?type=2&theater

We also chanted in a fast food place, where all the employees were delighted to take part (https://youtu.be/96nd-H82aPE):


 A lady delighted in dancing in front of a cafe with us for several minutes, while her dining partners watched and took photos.


Another lady tried playing our instruments, both drum and gong.


Priya Sundari Devi Dasi swung one lady around.


Later when Radhe Shyam Prabhu was singing, another group of ladies danced with us (https://youtu.be/hIRIo-0vJ-g):


Two young men who were friends stayed with us for over two hours, one coming to the entire program and taking japa beads. 
 
During the kirtana at our evening program, he accompanied the singer on the harmonium. Later he admitted to being a musician himself and said his favorite instrument is a 14-string lute.
 
He also danced with the men.
 
The ladies also danced at the program.

Harinama in Sunderland
 
We met a 55-year old man named Colin who asked me if I knew a devotee named Janananda. He remembered him from 35 years ago. He had been to Soho and the Manor, Juhu, Vrindavan, and Kurukshetra. He was more into yoga and said bhakti was not for him. Too bad.

Harinama in Chester


I chanted with Clive for two and a half hours in Chester. Agi, Clive’s wife, was there for almost all the time, except when she picked up their boy, Mark, who stayed for the end of the harinama. Then Chand and his two kids joined.

About the harinama, Agi wrote, “We chanted for 3 hours in Chester yesterday. Many people stopped, listened and talked to us. The kids were fascinated by the chanting. Some of them even tried to play the little drum we had. One man stopped and was taking pictures of us. We were sitting in front of a shop, which was closed, but it seemed like had a new owner and was getting ready to open, so this man came and we asked ‘Is this your shop?’ and he said yes. Clive told him that we were blessing his shop. . . . He was from London, but took a leaflet and a book and gave a small donation.”

Some social activists from a group called Concern were enlisting support for their cause. I noticed two of them seemed attracted to the kirtana, the guy moving to the music and the red-haired young lady glancing at us and smiling. I found they were from Manchester, and I gave them invitations to our temple there. The lady said she liked the chanting.

We learned from one busker that we were supposed to relocate every hour, and he relocated us after we had sung two hours in one place.


We had an evening program after the harinama, and three people who had come to a program the Hare Krishna Festivals devotees did in Chester earlier in the year came, all having a good time.

Harinama in Liverpool

While traveling between Chester and Sheffield, I had to change trains at Liverpool Lime, and I had about 25 minutes to do harinama there. I set up on the ramp leading up to the station, across from the steps where people were smoking cigarettes and eating, while waiting for trains or rides to their next destination. After my brief kirtana, I made a short announcement thanking the people for listening, telling them that Hare Krishna was a spiritual sound vibration and offering them invitations to our programs in Liverpool. A lady and her daughter, who had taken some pictures of me, applauded, and I inquired if they were from Liverpool. They said they were from Brighton, and I told them I would be there this Friday, and one swami was doing a program there at the Phoenix Center from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. I also gave them a “On Chanting Hare Krishna,” and an invitation to our Soho center in London, which is just an hour from Brighton on the train. As I began to pack up my books, a guy asked if they were sale. I said yes, and he asked the price. I told him the Gita was £5, but the others were just £1. He took two small books for £2. I felt victorious that I had connected with some people in Liverpool. I had chanted half an hour in Chester before starting my journey that morning, but no one had interacted with me there.

Chanting in Sheffield

Hari Suta Devi Dasi came up and chanted for two hours with me in Sheffield, and a couple of her friends had positive interactions with us. A few people gave donations, a couple books went out, and a few people learned of our weekly program.

The second day I chanted by myself for three hours in the morning. I thought people would be more interested in the morning, as goodness is more prominent then, but it was slow. One lady who wished I had some Hindi books gave a pound and took Krishna Consciousness: The Topmost Yoga System.
 
The chanting at the Burngreave Ashram was very inspired.

Calib, a Christian preacher in his early seventies with a very universal vision, was dancing both indoors and outside.

He even danced on a chair,
 
and then the table!

Many people looked in the window and smiled, with several giving the old thumbs up in appreciation. The devotees and attendees decided to do a harinama in the town the next week to spread the mercy beyond the Burngreave Ashram and its passersby, and since I was to be based in Manchester then, I decided to join them.
 
Harinama in Brighton

Taking advantage of a cheap £5 advanced purchase ticket, I took a midday train to Brighton on Friday to do harinama that afternoon, instead of arriving just in time for Janananda Goswami's evening program there.

I chanted by myself for three hours, getting a mixed reception, although expecting a more positive one from this community, largely of descendants of the hippies.

I set up first in between two shops, hoping to avoid antagonizing anyone. Because one shop was displaying clothes in front of it, I was actually to side of the shop adjacant to it. After I played no more than 7 minutes, the lady from the clothes shop went into the shop next door, and told the owner to kick me out, which he did in not a very polite way. I was not enthusiastic to pack up so soon after setting up, but I did so anyway. As I left, I told the clothes shop lady that usually people let me play half an hour or an hour before they tell me to leave, and I expressed surprise. She said something about business. I could not see how her business would suffer if she let me sing for half an hour before complaining. I was not blocking traffic to her shop nor singing so loud she could not talk to her customers.

Next I set up in front of a vacant shop. A couple people gave donations in the course of an hour, but I think neither wanted books. One guy, who claimed to be a Buddhist, told me that my chanting was agitating everyone's mind and that I should stop. He thought it was cruel that I was forcing the chanting on people. I pointed to my donation bowl and said, “Well, some people liked it, otherwise they would not have given anything.” He scoffed at what he called £1.20 which was in reality more like £1.80. Completely disgusted with his mentality, I decided to move to another location where he would not be bothered. I was planning to stay only an hour at each location anyway, as some towns have rules like that for buskers. Before I could pack up even one of my books, a lady from a nearby shop came up to me, saying she could hear me singing in her shop, and that she just wanted to give a donation. She gave £1, and I gave her a book. I was very pleased to see the arrogant rascal's statement that everyone disliked my chanting proved false immediately!

I chanted over an hour at my next spot, which was near a bank machine, and as luck would have it, the Buddhist guy came by to take money out. He used the opportunity to say more negative things to me, calling me a Nazi for forcing my beliefs on people. This time I did not move. Several other people had appreciated my chanting by then, and I knew the guy had no authority in Brighton despite his threats and that he would go away. Thus I just chanted, being happy I was doing my duty, and giving pleasure to more open-minded people. People gave £8.22 and took two books that afternoon in Brighton.

After chanting by myself for three hours, I did harinama with Janananda Goswami and local devotees from the library to the Phoenix Community Centre. I was happy to be in the association of the devotees again, after a more stressful afternoon than usual.

On Saturday, there was a music festival in The Level, a park near the devotees regular meeting place, the Phoenix Community Center, and we did harinama there for three hours.

The presence of Janananda Goswami was a great inspiration. He has a lot of faith in the holy name and interacts nicely with both the devotees and the onlookers.

Many, many people were there, and the venue was big enough we could chant and be heard in several places in the park and still not disturb people who wanted to hear the music on the stage.

One girl, wearing black, who loved dancing with us, said one of her best friends was Sita Dasi, a devotee from London. 
 
She did a video phone call with Sita Dasi so she could show her that she encountered the Hare Krishnas in Brighton. 

The girl was happy when I told her and her friends about tomorrow’s Ratha-yatra in London, and she said she would try to go.
 
It was beautiful to see the happy smiles of those dancing with us.

 Sometimes people would raise their arms like dancing devotees.
 
One couple swung each other around.
 
Another danced with us for fifteen minutes.
 
One couple followed us for at least an half an hour.
 
One young mom wanted blessings for her baby.

One girl who sometimes attended our Brighton programs danced the best she could on her rollerblades.
 

One devotee lady delighted in swinging onlookers around.


She was so bold, she even swung one police lady.
 

At one point we chanted in a nearby indoor market.


Here is a video clip of some of The Level Summer Festival harinama (https://youtu.be/Y_3WIWLihd0):


Janananda Goswami had to leave after 2¼ hours, but I like to chant three hours a day, so I was overjoyed that several devotees were willing to stay out another forty-five minutes. 
 
 We chanted at the entrance to the park.

A devotee lady named Priya took this video of it (https://youtu.be/yMBzpHEBOF0):



Some people who danced with us in the park earlier, danced with us again at the exit, like this lady in the purple.


One devotee got separated from the harinama party. He expressed to his friend some worry that he would not be able find the Hare Krishnas in the festival crowd. His friend reassured him, “They will be easy to spot. They will be the ones who are smiling.”

London Ratha-yatra

I was very happy that when I got to the Soho temple, Radhe Shyam Prabhu, Veera, and Priyanka, who I did harinama with in Newcastle, were there at reception to greet me.

  
Erzsebet was organizing a harinama to the Ratha-yatra site, and I arrived with my harmonium and amplifier, and there at reception were four friends I had done harinama with before. Thus we chanted together to Hyde Park Corner, the start of the procession. I led for ten minutes.


Madhuri led the rest of the time.

 
Madhuri’s mother came with us, carried the Hare Krishna sign, and liked her experience on harinama. Radhe Shyam Prabhu played the drum.


Although devotees traditionally have three carts in the London Ratha-yatra, this year Titiksu Prabhu broke his foot, so they did not have enough cart drivers. Rather than having two carts, they had just one, as we do in the smaller cities.

I like to dance for Lord Jagannatha, so I like to be in the chanting party closest to His cart. In the procession, there were some kirtana parties with powerful sound systems, but immediately in front of Lord Jagannatha there was Parividha Prabhu, a great performer, with only a bull horn. 


I joined him, and played the kalatalas.

Ratnavali dd played the djembe, and Rupa Manjari dd played the mrdanga. Later I let Parividha Prabhu use my amplifier to supplement his bull horn.
 

At one point, there was no kirtana near the deities between the lines of rope pullers, and I lent Govardhan dd, who does harinama in York and other cities in The North of England, my karatalas and amplifier to start a kirtana for the pleasure of Lord Jagannatha and His chariot pulling devotees.

At London Ratha-yatra I saw devotees from Newcastle, York, Leeds, Sheffield, Preston, Manchester, Chester, Leicester, Birmingdam, Brighton, Amsterdam, Paris, and Berlin. I talked to onlookers from Ireland, Sweden, and Australia.

One group of four young ladies asked about this one man was sitting on a platform by himself the whole time, pointing to the Prabhupada murti. I explained that Prabhupada left this world in 1977, and that was like a statue of him, which we consider worshipable. They were surprised because he looked so real. One of them who was from Ireland had been to Govinda’s there. The ones who lived in London I gave an invitation to a couple of introductory programs we are having at our Soho temple in the summer. I also gave that invitation to others who showed some interest in our stage program and festival.

Jayadvaita Swami had a questions and answer booth, and was answering questions and promoting his book, Vanity Karma, about Bhagavad-gita, Ecclesiastes, and the purpose of life.
 
Sometimes I would dance with those chanting on the stage.


Generally I felt satisfied being engaged the Lord’s service in many ways.

After the festival, the Harinama Ruci world harinama party led a harinama back to the temple that lasted for one and a half hours. Especially at Piccadilly Circus, many people interacted with us. I took some video of it but lost my best video because my memory card was full. Here is what I have (https://youtu.be/6Z-Z1nwIx2Q):


My friends in Newcastle passed by that harinama on their way to the train station, and joined us for fifteen minutes. I took a little video of that (https://youtu.be/_vwvyU-KazY):


Chanting in Birmingham

The day after the London Ratha-yatra, I chanted in Birmingham with Sutapa Prabhu, devotees from the Manor and the world harinama party, Harinam Ruci, on our way to Manchester to chant in the cities around there for the next several days.
 
We chanted through a shopping center of several buildings called the Bullring, and after the security kicked us out, we posed for a picture at the bull that was their mascot.

While in Birmingham, a young lady advertising for an oriental restaurant danced with us.
 

We also chanted in a Clark's shoe shop, and a couple workers especially loved it (https://youtu.be/EbKHed7PCDY):


We chanted at the Lush Natural Cosmetics shop as well (https://youtu.be/QSRa-EGOtuQ):


The workers in these shops are often open to having the devotees chant there, and we have chanted in the ones in Leeds and York before.

It was wonderful to be chanting with such a large and enthusiastic harinama party there in Birmingham.

Unusual Picture of the Month

I have seen people using two computers before, but when Kanwar of Sheffield works at home, he uses three!

To see pictures I took but did not include in this issue, click on the link below:

Insights

Srila Prabhupada:

from Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.14.10, purport:

Simply ruling the land cannot solve mans problems unless the leader has spiritual capabilities. He must be like Maharaja Yudhisthira, Pariksit Maharaja or Ramacandra. Then all the inhabitants of the land will be extremely happy.”

Sanatana Goswami:

From Brihad-bhagavatamrita:

Indeed, without prema [love of God] the nine kinds of devotional service are like vegetables without salt, an elaborate meal without hunger, scriptural study without understanding or gardens without fruit.”

Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami:


Chanting Hare Krishna brings happiness
to the self like no other thing.
If you take a fish out of the
water and offer to wine and
dine it, it will remain
miserable. It can only
be happy if it is returned
to the water. Our natural,
constitutional situation is
to serve Krishna and we
cannot be happy if
we are not doing that.
Even if we have profit,
fame and adoration.
The scriptures say that

i
n the present age intelligent persons
will perform congregational
chanting, ‘
in order to worship
the Lord who always sings
the names of Krishna.’ The chanting
of Hare Krishna pleases Lord Caitanya,
the
yuga-avatara, and therefore
fills our heart with bliss
because He is our Lord and savior.”


The harinama chanters
are empowered. To a superficial
observer they may look
like ordinary street singers
or religious sectarians.
But they are delivering
the completely transcendental,
potent sound vibration,
the Hare Krishna mantra.
This chant, composed
of the names of Radha and Krishna
is confidential even to
the Vedas, but it has
been made easily
accessible by Lord Caitanya.
He requested His followers to always
chant the holy names.
And He predicted the
day would come when the Name would be heard
in every town and village. Those
who are actually assisting in His
mission are very dear to Him,
and they are making the world auspicious.”


Kirtana is the life and soul
of the
harinama devotees.
They go out every day
and sing in public
for many hours until
their voices become
hoarse. Krishna re-energizes
them so they can
sing another day.
They taste the kirtana
as the greatest nectar
and have no higher
desire than to do it
perpetually. They
are direct descendants
of Lord Caitanya,
who appeared
to inaugurate congregational chanting
and who personally took
part manifesting many
physical transformations
of ecstasy. Lord Caitanya stayed
in India, but He wanted the mission
to be sung in every town and village.
Those who are carrying out
His mission are empowered by Lord Caitanya
with direct
sakti.


JAPA REPORT

I prayed to Lord Caitanya
that the chanting not feel monotonous.
The
audarya Lord revealed to me
that the mantra is ever-fresh. You
have to concentrate, be alert, creative,
and mindful. Hare Krishna is like a
vaidurya
stone and as you turn it on your
tongue it lets you perceive
new jewel-like features.”

From Japa Transformations:

The Hare Krishna mantra is Him. It’s nothing else. It’s not about Him, it’s Him. The song is made up of His NamesHis Name and the Name of Radha. The song is Him. The song is Her. Listen closely and you won’t miss it. The song is Krishna embodied, Krishna personified. The song is not another thing but Krishna Himself, and that’s what’s so wonderful about it. The song is Radha, the song is Krishna.”


Harinama brings together
many varieties of people,
and they all get along
amicably and chastely.
They may have different
opinion and moods,
but when they get together
and sing Hare Krishna they are
a unified group.
Harinama is a
great melting pot
where all people
of different backgrounds
mix harmoniously.
This is because beneath
all the external differences
we are all spirit souls,
servants of Krishna.
In
harinama the
superficial differences
are forgotten, and
the spiritual oneness
becomes prominent.”


“Lord Caitanya then asks how the
trees and insects can be saved.
Haridasa replies that when there
is loud
kirtana an echo occurs.
He says this is not actually an echo
but the chanting of the non-moving living entities.
Then Haridasa says, ‘When loud chanting
of the Hare Krishna mantra is performed
all over the world by those who follow in Your
footsteps, all the living entities moving and
nonmoving dance in ecstatic love.’ (Cc. Antya 3.72)
This verse is appropriate to present-
day
harinama chanters, and they should
frame it and put it in a prominent place.”
 

Jayadvaita Swami:

from a question and answer session after the London Ratha-yatra 2015:

A nurse told me how she became a devotee. One lady said to her in great anxiety, “Nurse! I am dying. What do I do?” The nurse said she did not know. The lady died. As she was packaging the body, the nurse considered, “I am also going to die. It is a problem that I do not know what to do at the time of death. I should find out.”

Janananda Goswami:

Sometimes we feel there has got to be something more to life. I remember when I was young I felt like that when I was watching a football game.

The real happiness and peace is within, but it is covered over by our attempts to find it in a material way.

We cannot enjoy in this material world as it is a reflection of the spiritual world. We cannot really enjoy a reflection of a person.

When you are attached to someone, then their picture is more than a piece of paper. Thus it is not hard to understand that the picture of the Pancatattva, Lord Caitanya and His principal associates, is special.

I was talking with a Sioux Indian, and I learned from him that they believe in reincarnation. He explained, “If we have to kill some animal, we offer prayers because that soul could be our grandfather. We do not know for sure.” According to their history, they came from India 20,000 years ago, and their totem poles were originally Garuda stambas.

In one Chinese city, some government officials asked the devotees to chant in public in their devotional clothes.

When I became vegetarian in 1969 that was such an uncommon thing that my parents thought I should see a psychiatrist.

The consciousness, not the work itself, is the key.

When I was treasurer we had so many unpaid bills. We had not paid the rent on Bury Place since we moved in six years before. The bailiff came to the Manor to see if he could get anything to pay off the debts, but because the property was in George Harrison’s name he could not seize it. Had George Harrison given it to us, the court would have taken away.

The Queen’s counselor told Sivarama Swami at the time of the court case against the Manor, “You do not know what a great thing your teacher has done.” When he saw that Sivarama Swami could not understand what he meant, he explained, “You do not know what a great thing he did, nor can you know, because you are in your forties, but I am in my seventies, and that your teacher started his worldwide movement in his seventies is not humanly possible.” The Queen’s counselor had read Srila Prabhupada-lilamrita to understand the case, and that was his realization.

Let us all try to realize that we are of the same quality spiritually though not materially. That is what the Ratha-yatra is all about.

Q: I was trying collect money for Food for Life in Nepal, and when I mentioned Hare Krishna, the person I was talking to said, “I do not give anything to religions.” What do I do?
A: It is just some covering from their past experience. You can ask them, if you want, what is their issue with religion. Just be humble. Everyone is entitled to his opinion.

Q: Have you found the truth?
A: Yes. In my encounters with my teacher, Srila Prabhupada, in the five or six years before he left this world, I realized he was someone who was living, loving, and giving the truth. I may not have fully realized the truth myself. It is not a monopoly. Jesus Christ also was giving the truth, maybe in different dosages and in different details.

All truly spiritual persons have feelings of goodwill for everyone.

Host: “This His Holiness Janananda Goswami.”
Janananda Goswami: “Not his holiness, his lowliness.”

Lord Vishnu is not so impressed with the demigods who come to Him to pray that He descend to kill the demons so the demigods can continue to enjoy a life of sense gratification.

Some of the pastimes in the Bhagavatam take place on the heavenly planets, so when it says something happened on the bank of the Narmada River, it may well be in the celestial Narmada and not the Narmada on this earth.

We are like postmen since we are just delivering the message of Krishna. We are not manufacturing it.

We think because we are born in a country, it belongs to us, and we can keep other people out. This discrimination takes place all over the world and is based on this false premise.

In Papua New Guinea, people did not recognize anyone beyond their rift valley, and thus on this small island, there were 750 languages.

In Kali-yuga, in a society of rascals, the biggest rascal becomes a leader. There are not pious leaders. If someone is pious, he gets the ax.

If Srila Prabhupada did not come to the Western world, there would be no sankirtana movement, even in India.

About fifteen years ago on Prabhupada’s disappearance day in Vrindavan, one of Puri Maharaja’s disciples said, “No one else actually understood the message of Bhaktisiddhanta Saravati, but Swami Maharaja [our Srila Prabhupada] alone. While others sat around discussing philosophy, he took the message and preached and boldly attacked science and sense gratification.”

There are 1 billion phones in India, which has a population of 1.2 billion.

In Chinese they have ant farms where they cultivate ants for human consumption. Still, eating ants and frogs is much less sinful than eating cows.

It makes no difference if we are in the mode of ignorance, passion, or goodness. If we take shelter of the holy name, we will be delivered.

When Bhaktivinoda Thakura encountered the pure teachings of Lord Caitanya, his love for Krishna immediately awakened, and he realized how much deviation had occurred in the practice of Gaudiya Vaishnavism since Lord Caitanya’s time.

Bhaktivinoda Thakura predicted, “A personality will soon appear to preach the teachings of Lord Caitanya and move unrestrictedly over the whole world with His teachings.”

Srila Prabhupada in his Back to Godhead was very topical. He wrote about topics that were on the peoples’ minds.

Jaladuta, the name of the boat on which Srila Prabhupada traveled to America, means “messenger of the water.”

For about twelve days there was a break in his Jaladuta diary because Srila Prabhupada was too sick to write.

One year we distributed 500 Bhagavad-gitas from our book table on the Boston common to students attending the hemp festival there.

Srila Prabhupada’s song, “Markine Bhagavata Dharma” is his mission statement. It a revelation from his heart.

Jagatatma Prabhu:

Bhaktivinoda Thakura was born into a situation where his family ate meat and worshiped the goddess Kali.

Lord Caitanya appeared in a dream to Bhaktivinoda Thakura and told him to take initiation from a jati-gosai guru, Bipin Bihari Goswami, because that was all that was available and so he did. This guru was one of those who thought Navadvipa, not Mayapur, was the birth site of Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Bhaktivinoda Thakura had the place in Mayapur excavated and found broken mrdangas and evidence for Vaishnavas.

Jagannatha Dasa Babajai chanted Gauranga ecstatically and leaped six feet in the air when brought to Mayapur, although he was 120 years and carried in a basket by his disciple.

Bhaktivinoda Thakura was the first person who was not British to be a high order judge during the British Raj.

The British were happy to let Bhaktivinoda Thakura worry about the Jagannath temple. They considered it was a Hindu place, and they did not want to deal with. It was actually the British Christians who originally discouraged Westerners from going into the Jagannath temple, not the Indians.

The British were afraid of Bhaktivinoda Thakura. One of them considered, “This Hindu is so powerful and so pure he could take over the world, minimizing Christianity, Islam and the other religions. He is a real saint.”

Bhaktivinoda Thakura is very strong and strict and has the full mercy of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He was especially empowered to write so many books, to establish a world Vaishnava organization, and to reestablish the teachings of Lord Caitanya.

Bhaktivinoda Thakura has written confidential things beyond what the Six Goswamis had given, and thus he was considered the seventh Goswami.

Parividha Prabhu:

All my material desires were satisfied in my early twenties, but I was not satisfied at heart. Thus I was looking for what life was all about.

We are always in maya, either maha-maya [the material energy of the Lord] or yoga-maya [the spiritual energy of the Lord] .

If you become rich or famous, it is difficult because you do not know who you can trust. You do not know who likes you or who is attracted by your opulence. Thus rich and famous people have friends from their youth, before they became rich or famous.

London is one of the temples where they have plenty of flowers. Srila Prabhupada said that many flowers make for opulent deity worship. If you worship the Lord with opulence, you will find you will be blessed with opulence.
Pajama” you can say is related to yamini in Sanskrit which means “night.”

What is not in relationship with the Lord becomes boring, but that which is in relationship to the Lord is ever fresh.

I went to a reunion of my secondary schoolmates about ten years ago, when I was 55 years old, and most of them appeared to be at the end of life. There bodies were aching. But we devotees still have lots of energy.

If we find a hobby we can do in devotional service, we can find our niche and be very satisfied.

Sadbhuja Prabhu:

People seek harmony and peace, but love is higher than these.

For one to give one’s complete love, requires the perfect object. That is Krishna, who is the complete whole.

There is a verse in the Srimad-Bhagavatam that says if you worship Krishna you may come to Him but if you worship His devotee, you will definitely come to him.

Lord Caitanya said, “When Vrakresvara Pandit is dancing I am present. Indeed, when he is dancing both the demigods and demons are in ecstasy.”

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mad-asrayah katha mrstah
srnvanti kathayanti ca
tapanti vividhas tapa
naitan mad-gata-cetasah

[Lord Kapila said:] “Engaged constantly in chanting and hearing about Me, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the sadhus [saints] do not suffer from material miseries because they are always filled with thoughts of My pastimes and activities.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.25.23)