Diary of a Traveling Sadhaka, Vol. 13, No. 17
By Krishna-kripa das
(September 2017, part one)
The North of England, Dublin, New York City
(Sent from New York City on November 16, 2017)
Where I Went and What I Did
After chanting in Paris on Friday, September 1, I took a bus and train from Paris to York, England, and did harinama in York during the day, and attended the monthly program on the first Saturday. Sunday I chanted with Govardhan Dasi and Nitaichand Prabhu in Scarborough in the morning and gave the Sunday lecture in Newcastle afternoon. Monday I flew to Dublin and did harinama with Manu Prabhu on Bhaktivinoda Thakura's Appearance Day and attended the evening festival. Tuesday I flew to New York City and caught the end of our harinama that evening. For the rest of the first half of September I chanted with the Yuga Dharma New York City harinama party four to six hours a day, happy to take a break from traveling. While in New York City, we were happy to be visited by Mahavishnu Swami, Harinama Ruci, and Indradyumna Swami and his traveling festival team, all of which made for some extraspecial harinamas!
I share excerpts from Sri Ksetra: Vaikuntha on Earth by Sundarananda Vidyavinoda Prabhu, a disciple of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, which I proofread for several months in the summer and which will be soon published by Touchstone Publishing. I share notes from a class in York, England, by Bhakti Prabhava Swami, and notes on a Skype class by Mahatma Prabhu, which I heard in Dublin. I share notes on classes in New York City at The Bhakti Center, by Candrasekhara Swami and a visiting swami, and by Adi Purusa Prabhu, Yogesvara Prabhu, Caitanya Carana Prabhu, Sundaranatha Prabhu, Vasudeva Prabhu, and Asin Govinda Prabhu.
Many thanks to Ron of Dublin for his very generous donation. Thanks to Govardhan Dasi and Nitaichand Prabhu for their kind donation of our harinama collections in York and Scarborough. Thanks to Dennis and the York nama-hatta for their kind donation. Thanks to the Dublin temple for reimbursing my travel from the airport and for their donation from our harinama collections there. Thanks to Mahotsaha and Rama Raya Prabhus for their donations of foreign currency. Thanks to The Bhakti Center staff for allowing me to use their address as my “permanent” residence. Thanks to the great State of New York for giving me Medicaid so I could have my hernia operation done for free.
Thanks to Bhaktin Diana for her photo of me on harinama in Union Square.
November 11, 2017–January 7?, 2018: Yuga Dharma New York City harinama party
December 2, 2017: Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami Vyasa-puja in Stuyvesant Falls
December 24, 2017: Christmas Eve with my relatives in Albany
Chanting in York and Scarborough in The North of England
I like to chant in the streets for three hours before our monthly program in York on the first Saturday. Govardhan Dasi and Nitaichand Prabhu, who love harinama, are almost always willing to join me. York is crowded on Saturdays with both locals and tourists, and we pass out invitations that Govardhan designed that tell about all our programs in The North of England. That night I stay at their house, and we sing in their hometown of Scarborough, where they have a monthly program at the local library. We always meet some people attracted by the chanting and the literature in both places. This time we were blessed to not have a cold wind blowing in off the North Sea at Scarborough, so it was easier than usual.
Chanting Hare Krishna in Newcastle
I was glad to arrive in Newcastle from Scarborough before Vishnu Priya Devi Dasi finished her kirtan before the Sunday lecture (https://youtu.be/sivNmTriYdo):
I was happy to see the enthusiasm of the Newcastle devotees for chanting and dancing in their Sunday feast kirtan as you can see in these videos:
Satya Medha Gauranga Prabhu chants Hare Krishna at the Newcastle Sunday feast and many devotees dance (https://youtu.be/aKXU9pW1Xk0):
Dhananjaya Prabhu chants Hare Krishna at the Newcastle Sunday feast and many devotees dance (https://youtu.be/2I5B2-hrAhU):
Chanting Hare Krishna in Dublin
I hoped we could get a few more devotees to do harinama on Bhaktivinoda Thakura's Appearance Day in Dublin as we had on Lord Balarama's Appearance Day, but it was not to be. Still Manu Prabhu and I chanted Hare Krishna on O'Connell Street in Dublin for three hours altogether, and people donated about 28 euros and accepted eight books, including two Bhagavad-gitas (https://youtu.be/u2VSnD6p7dI):
Chanting Hare Krishna in Union Square
Every autumn, as advised by Niranjana Swami, one of my spiritual preceptors, I join Rama Raya Prabhu and his Yuga Dharma New York City harinama party.
Rama Raya Prabhu, our fearless leader, chants Hare Krishna with great devotion and great intensity at Union Square on several occasions, here combined together in a single video clip (https://youtu.be/yAoUxK7Qj1g):
On the New York City harinama party, I contribute by sometimes leading the chanting, sometimes dancing, and often sitting at the book table.
I have had interesting experiences sitting at our book table while we chant Hare Krishna in Union Square. Once at our Union Square book table, I asked one young lady who had donated three dollars what her occupation was. She said she was an actor. I smiled and said, “You mean an actress.”
She replied, “This world is so male-dominated, I like to think of myself as an actor.”
I asked her to take a book, and she selected Science of Self-Realization. To encourage her, I told her, “That book tells you how you can become so powerful you can control God.” She said with a smile, “I know. That is why I chose it.”
I talked with a friendly older man at Union Square who had a great attachment to the Beatles and to George Harrison.
In fact, he opened his shirt up and showed me a prominent tattoo he had of George Harrison on his chest.
An hour and a quarter later he returned and donated $30 and accepted several books. I smile when I think about how George Harrison is selling Krishna literature even now!
I am not a real book distributor, but occasionally I meet someone actually sincere. This one fortunate student donated $20 and accepted four books.
As usual people play the shakers with us like this lady
or her daughter.
The devotees always try to give passersby some devotional opportunities. Here Krishna Prasad Prabhu tries to engage a video team interviewing people about candy corn in filming the harinama party and getting Krishna literature.
I share some videos from harinama in New York City, mostly in chronological order. If you cannot watch them all, the ones with Indradyumna Swami and Mahavishnu Swami are especially lively.
Sandipani Muni Krishna Prabhu chants Hare Krishna and two girls dance at Union Square. Mahotsaha Prabhu, who encouraged the girls in their dancing, sold them a book (https://youtu.be/FbjsGkU1dZE):
Kaliya Krishna Prabhu chants Hare Krishna at Union Square, and Candrasekhara Swami joins the Yuga Dharma harinama party in singing the response (https://youtu.be/_dbMVUH3sV8):
Braja-raja Prabhu chants Hare Krishna at Union Square and passersby play shakers (https://youtu.be/Y9yQozfiHko):
Indradyumna Swami and his festival team of talented musicians and dancers, visiting the northeast USA for three weeks, one day visited the Yuga Dharma New York City harinama party, chanted Hare Krishna at Union Square, inspired many to dance, attracted a large crowd and invited onlookers to their festival of India's spiritual culture the next evening (https://youtu.be/vn0OpK11i-E):
Kira of the Bhakti House in Jacksonville, who loves to go on harinama with me there, while in the greater New York area to visit The Bhakti Center, to see relatives, and to avoid hurricanes, chanted Hare Krishna at Union Square with the Yuga Dharma New York City harinama party (https://youtu.be/b5Vs6p5Qxf4):
In addition to joining us on harinama, Kira assisted Adi Purusha Prabhu, who with help from volunteers, distributes prasadam [Krishna food] to low income people three days a week in New York City, Monday and Friday at Tompkins Square Park.
As you can see Adi Purusha Prabhu's prasadam looks really good!
One cloudy day at Union Square Natabara Gauranga, Kaliya Krishna, Damodara, and Krishna Prasad Prabhus kept the chanting of Hare Krishna going under an umbrella until a storm passed. Thanks to Jayadvaita Swami for visiting us. Thanks to Bhaktin Kate and Richard Richard for holding the umbrella (https://youtu.be/y_LPTJAHdhM):
Priya Krishna Prabhu, a disciple of Bhakti Charu Swami, works in the court, but sometimes after work he chants with the Yuga Dharma New York City harinama party. Here he chants Hare Krishna at Union Square, and Kaliya Krishna Prabhu plays harmonium for him (https://youtu.be/pMN-Z7gGsXM):
New York City's resident swami, Candrasekhara Swami, chanted Hare Krishna at Union Square with the Yuga Dharma harinama party twice in early September. The second time Jayadvaita Swami also joined us (https://youtu.be/5_zRz0mfIl4):
Lila Padma Devi Dasi, who lives in New Jersey but comes to New York City to teach yoga and who makes great cookies for our harinama party, leads the chanting of Hare Krishna at Union Square while a couple of her friends join with the Yuga Dharma New York City harinama party in singing the response (https://youtu.be/w6rXxo02D94):
Mahavishnu Swami and Harinama Ruci chant Hare Krishna with the Yuga Dharma New York City harinama party at Union Square (https://youtu.be/N4In65I0TOQ):
Jaya Jagannatha Prabhu chants Hare Krishna in Union Square, attracting passersby to stop and play the instruments, sing, and dance (https://youtu.be/Ogsxfs48ROY):
Chanting Hare Krishna in Times Square
Times Square is a great location for walking harinamas, and we often go there in the evening when we have visiting devotees who like harinama.
Mahotsaha Prabhu of the Yuga Dharma New York City harinama party chants Hare Krishna with Harinama Ruci in Times Square, getting passersby to chant and dance (https://youtu.be/DUMhUPsBieE):
Mahavishnu Swami and Harinama Ruci join with devotees from the Yuga Dharma New York City harinama party in Manhattan, the Radha-Govinda temple in Brooklyn, and the Krishna-Balarama temple in Queens to induce people of a variety of races, ages, and nationalities to chant Hare Krishna and dance in the streets and shops of Times Square (https://youtu.be/zHUU1n8wWNI):
Mahavishnu Swami chanted Hare Krishna with Harinama Ruci and the local Yuga Dharma party on the New York City subway to and from Times Square. Devotees from Brooklyn joined us on the way home (https://youtu.be/f0CXyo8Oi7Q):
Once after chanting Hare Krishna in Times Square, Sandipani Muni Krishna and Vishnu Jana Prabhus returned to Brooklyn on the C Train, and Manhattan-based Yuga Dharma New York City devotees chanted Hare Krishna with them, as far as West 4th Street / Washington Square, (https://youtu.be/2_IyBGCuWi4):
Chanting Hare Krishna in the Times Square Subway Station
On rainy days, we would sing in Times Square subway station, which is actually much better for book distribution than Union Square. My first full day back was such a rainy day.
Here Kanai Krishna Prabhu of Germany chants Hare Krishna in the Times Square subway station (https://youtu.be/vx8Gvy0t0OQ):
Jaya Jagannatha Prabhu, now based in New York City, chants Hare Krishna in the Times Square subway station (https://youtu.be/BK0yAhQrU5g):
Chanting Hare Krishna at The Bhakti Center
The Yuga Dharma NYC harinama devotees attend the morning program at The Bhakti Center every day. Here are a couple of kirtans from there:
Vasudeva Prabhu, a disciple of Kadamba Kanana Swami who teaches revealed literature at The Bhakti Center, chants Hare Krishna at The Bhakti Center morning program and many devotees dance (https://youtu.be/nrhVNxblqUU):
Virabhadra Rama Prabhu, on the staff of The Bhakti Center, leads a lively kirtan at The Bhakti Center morning program, bringing the dancing to another level (https://youtu.be/Z2z-GY9CDqo):
Sundarananda Vidyavinoda Prabhu:
From Sri Ksetra: Vaikuntha on Earth:
“There is a story about Siddha Bakula that every morning three pieces of twigs from there are sent to Sri Jagannatha, Sri Balabhadra, and Sri Subhadra for brushing Their teeth. These twigs are collected the day before from the tree called ‘Kumbhatuya.’ One day, suddenly one of the three Kumbhatuya twigs was accidentally lost. It was the time for the Lord’s brushing His teeth, therefore either by mistake or knowingly one twig from the bakula tree was added and offered to the Lord. After the Lord uses these twigs, the pandas give them to distinguished persons as prasada.
“On this particular day the pandas offered Sri Jagannathadeva’s remnants of the bakula toothbrush to Sri Gaurasundara. Having received such a remnant of Sri Jagannatha, Sri Mahaprabhu became absorbed in ecstatic love and He planted that twig at Sri Haridasa Thakura’s place. Gradually it grew as a giant tree with lots of shade. It is said that Srila Haridasa Thakura used to chant his rounds under this tree.
“After the disappearance of Sri Haridasa Thakura, during the time of his follower, Sri Jagannatha Dasa Gosvami Mahasaya, the royal officials of Puri came to cut this tree in order to make wheels for the chariot. Sri Jagannatha Dasa objected to this proposal, understanding that this tree was worshipable because it was planted by Sriman Mahaprabhu and is included in the spot where Thakura Srila Haridasa performed his bhajana, but since the royal officials were not prepared to hear the appeal of the possessionless Vaishnava, he then thought that it must the will of Sri Jagannathadeva. The day before the king’s men were to cut the tree, it suddenly turned into a hollow tree. When they came on the next day and saw the condition of the tree, they were astonished and informed the king what had happened. From that time onward people address this tree as Siddha Bakula.
“It is said that Sriman Mahaprabhu planted the toothbrush twig on the last day in the month of Caitra, hence there is a festival dedicated to this incident at Sri Siddha Bakula matha even today. On that day the Sri Siddha Bakula tree is bathed with 108 pitchers of water.”
“One can go to the village of Caturdvara by crossing the river Mahanadi from Cuttack. The local people call this village Cauduyara. In this village there is a place called Canapada-ghata. At this place there are wonderful footprints marked by nature on a large stone slab. These footprints are said to be Sriman Mahaprabhu’s lotus footprints. When Sri Gaurahari, who was intoxicated with love of God, walked through Caturdvara village, even hard stone melted by the touch of His lotus feet and thus created these footprints. However, there is no Deity there at present.”
Most of the Vedas deal with pravrtti-marga, the path to heaven, which is a waste of time because you can only stay in heaven temporarily, and there is no relief from the cycle of birth and death.
We strive for nrvrtti-marga, the path of renunciation. What we renounce is not the material world, but the spirit of enjoying separately from Krishna.
God is God, and Santa Claus is Santa Claus. Keep the two separate. God is not our order supplier.
By performing devotional service, we become free from ignorance and passion, and closer to the goal of serving Krishna for His pleasure.
Only by bhakti will the seeds of our sinful desires be fried so they will never sprout.
We are convinced by avidya [ignorance] that we can be happy by sense enjoyment, and we are surrounded by others having the same idea. Bhakti can free us from this false conviction.
We see others as objects we can suck some enjoyment from. This misconception is defeated by the practice of bhakti as we derive a higher satisfaction.
A swami visiting The Bhakti Center:
Hell is a consciousness and a place, but if you have the right consciousness, the place does not matter. The devotee can find the opportunity to serve Krishna anywhere.
For the materialist, suffering is when the world goes against your attachments.
There is a story about a guru who sent his disciple to get fire every day. One day he could not find sufficient wood for fire. When he came back to the guru and told him of his failure, the guru told him to go to hell. As an obedient disciple, he went to hell. He was very happy to see so much fire there, and he asked Yamaraja for some fire. Yamaraja replied, “There is no fire here.”
The surprised disciple exclaimed, “But I see so many people burning!”
Yamaraja explained, “Oh, they brought their own fire.”
One man in Vrindavana, the proprietor of many beautiful gardens, was telling me how he lost so much money, and that he had to get his four daughters married and needed a suitable dowry. Although apparently complaining, he still appeared very happy. I asked him about that, and he replied, “Real happiness comes from a heart full of devotion to God, not external things.”
Karma is the parenting technique of God. The degree of our selfishness is the degree of the reaction we will get to wake us up from our selfishness.
The Jains have a very developed understanding about karma. Those advanced in it can tell you why you are suffering and what you can do now to counteract it.
There are different degrees of severity of an offense that be neutralized by different acts, here listed in order of rectification for offenses of increasing severity: apologizing, atonement, and suffering the sinful reaction.
Sometimes your well-wishers do not instruct you because they know you will not listen. God also knows He cannot tell you how to improve because you will not listen, so He creates situations whereby you will learn.
Q (by me): In the class yesterday, someone made the point that we do not actually know what offense we are suffering for and thus karma does not work to discourage us from committing a particular activity.
A: We may not know the particular act, but through the suffering we will still become purified of the sinful mentality. Ultimately, when you follow your selfishness you will come to a desperate situation, and then you will ask, “Is there something else?”
Our goal is not just speaking truth but having truth understood.
Adi Purusha Prabhu:
Marx wrote his manifesto, but it was not till 70 years later it was spread around the world and a third of the world was ruled by communism.
Confucius's teachings were carried on by his disciples for three hundred years until one ruler took them seriously and for 2,400 years children were required to learn Confucius's teachings in school.
It is difficult in this world to live without doing something that is spiritually illegal.
We met a man from the Pentagon whose appendix exploded. He told us he saw beings which he described to be like the Yamadutas coming to get his soul. Because of his religious upbringing, he heard a voice which he interpreted as that of Jesus, saying “Pray now!” He cried, “Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!” The people coming to get his soul said, “It is too late!” but he could see the praying was having some effect so he kept crying, “Jesus!” He then re-entered his body and was saved. Out of gratitude he created an interfaith meditation and prayer room within that place of war, the Pentagon.
Comment by Sundari Gopi Devi Dasi: Jayapataka Swami tells the story of one disciple who left her practice for many years. She was present as her uncle was leaving his body, and she was given the vision of seeing the Yamadutas coming to get his soul. She was so scared seeing that reality that she wrote Jayapataka Swami and apologized for leaving her practice and again began to practice Krishna consciousness.
Srila Prabhupada said that if someone offends us that is their ignorance, but if we take offense, that is our ignorance.
Obstacles are an opportunity to cry out to the Lord.
From a Skype class in Dublin on Bhaktivinoda Thakura's Appearance Day:
Ananda Dasa Babaji glorified our Srila Prabhupada for having done more than anyone else to spread Krishna consciousness, but it is Bhaktivinoda Thakura who developed the idea of taking Krishna consciousness to the West and set the scene for Srila Prabhupada.
Bhaktivinoda Thakura played the lila of an ordinary person, being educated, studying philosophy, studying Christianity, and when he encountered Caitanya-caritamrita he became a Vaishnava.
You can see he was empowered because he spent six hours a day writing about the philosophy of Lord Caitanya, and he wrote a hundred books in his life!
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura took initiation because people would criticize him for preaching without being initiated. Although he took initiation from a caste goswami as he could not find anyone else at that time, his siksa-guru [instructing guru] Jagannatha das Babaji Maharaja was more influential in his life.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, in addition to presenting the philosophy, gave a lot of practical advice about chanting the holy name.
Once after you have read Srila Prabhupada's books two or three times, you should read Jaiva Dharma, a book by Bhaktivinoda Thakura that Srila Prabhupada recommended and which he said contains the whole philosophy of Krishna consciousness.
Sri Caitanya Siksamrita is the philosophy in Jaiva Dharma without the story.
Even though Srila Prabhupada did so much, he considered himself insignificant in comparison to Bhaktivinoda Thakura. That is his humility.
Bhaktivinoda Thakura wrote to increase faith in Vaishnavism among those in the intellectual class.
We are told to follow in the footsteps of the great souls, like Bhaktivinoda Thakura, but they are so far ahead of us, sometimes we might get discouraged. The proper understanding to be inspired by them to move in their direction even though in a small way.
The king was misspending the money and becoming degraded, and thus Bhaktivinoda Thakura engaged him in making so many daily offerings of food to Lord Jagannatha.
Srila Prabhupada explained that a pure devotee knows what Krishna wants him to know for his service.
Just because something is predicted to happen, it does not minimize the glory of the person who makes it happen. In fact, that Srila Prabhupada did spread Krishna consciousness all over the world, means he was especially qualified to be so empowered.
Srila Prabhupada felt if one percent of the people could become Krishna conscious brahmanas then the demoniac face of the world would change. If you see demoniac things and become disgusted, that can be an impetus to increase your own purity.
We were relevant in the 1960s and 1970s. Then if you were weird, you were cool. If your values were different than society's you were respected. Now it is not that way. We have to become relevant to the present mentality. Now people want to be successful materially and have spirituality to keep themselves from going crazy.
The descriptions of the hellish punishments are too difficult to accept for some people who are willing to accept many other aspects of Krishna consciousness.
We do not make progress in Krishna consciousness, but rather knowledge is revealed to us. Knowledge is not revealed to people who are not ready for it.
We have to be sensitive to people who are not yet able to accept different parts of the philosophy.
The moon appears barren when seen through a telescope but when seen through the scripture it is full of life and gardens.
In the USA we have the greatest percentage of people in prison of any other country. Considering that, verses that offer heavy punishments for telling a lie will not be appealing.
Accepting scripture without discernment is fanaticism.
Sometimes if we read something that is too much for us to accept, we adjust it in our mind, “Srila Prabhupada could not have meant that.”
My memories of traveling with Srila Prabhupada and seeing him dealing with different issues have kept me in Krishna consciousness.
Although some drastic punishments are there, there are also descriptions of amazing mercy, and these are much more numerous and more important.
Softness of the heart is necessary to approach scripture. If you have an agenda or a manipulative intent, you will never understand it.
Bhakti Prabhava Swami:
Krishna explains to Arjuna how to connect with Him through bhakti-yoga.
The first quality of the soul that Krishna reveals in Bhagavad-gita is that the soul is eternal.
Krishna says our disease is identifying with the body.
We are meant for higher things – spiritual love.
Love is the purity of giving without asking anything in return.
We do not have to become anything in this world. We have only to realize our self.
Attachment, fear, and anger arise from false identification of ourselves with the body.
The material energy is constantly changing.
What do we control? Not very much. We do not control our digestion or our heart rate.
The first lesson is that everything is Krishna's and for His pleasure.
The material body is a machine to give pure suffering. If you do not understand this, wait a few years.
Krishna is our only protector and maintainer.
Ravana wanted to separate Sita from Rama for His enjoyment, and he was destroyed. Spiritual vision to unite Sita with Rama.
We assist Radha in engaging everything for Krishna's pleasure.
All the residents of Vrindavan want to unite Radha and Krishna.
In Vrindavan everyone is conscious of Krishna, but they have forgotten that He is God. They see Him according to their relationships with Him.
Abhimanyu, the husband of Radharani, is said to be the shadow of Krishna.
[Maharaja told a pastime of Krishna leaving His flute in Radha's room which was too elaborate for me to note down. You can hear him tell it in his Radhastami lecture on SB 10.30.28 at http://kadamba.net/lilasuka.html.]
If we love Krishna, we love everyone because everyone is part of Krishna.
We become free from our attachment to material objects by associating with spiritual objects.
Caitanya Carana Prabhu:
The Srimad-Bhagatavam was spoken to help Pariksit remember Krishna at death, and it can help us remember Krishna.
Five questions give us insight into the purpose of a book.
1. What is at the beginning?
Remembrance of Krishna.
2. What is at the end?
Remembrance of Krishna.
3. What is repeated most?
That bhakti is sufficient to maintain liberation.
Bhakti can give all perfection.
5. What is not mentioned in earlier literature?
Krishna-bhakti in Vraja.
Srila Prabhupada says scripture is self-evident. Why then does he comment on it? Often that which is self-evident is not evident to the self. Why? Because our previous conceptions keep us from seeing what is in the scripture.
Because they are only aware of the Judeo-Christian conception of hell, people have a negative reaction when they hear hell is mentioned in the Vedas. But the Vedic conception of hell is temporary and is meant for reformation not punishment. The negative reaction of suffering in hell keeps people from continuing on a self-destructive path.
The biggest Christian seminary in India trains preachers for ten years. Only 25% of the curriculum is the Bible. 50% is Hinduism, and 25% is contemporary Indian culture. The reason for that is preachers need to know where the people are coming from to preach to them.
The purpose of the elaborate cosmological sections of the Bhagavatam is to fix the mind on Krishna. If they do not have that effect, we can focus on Srila Prabhupada's purports which remind us of that point.
It is our responsibility to see that people actually understand what we are presenting.
In Srila Prabhupada's speaking he used strong language, calling people fools and rascals perhaps 500 times. But if you look at his books, you will find 50 times such words are used. But if you eliminate books compiled from his lectures, then they appear just 20 times.
Pandering to people occurs if we refuse to present parts of Krishna's message they cannot appreciate. We must present Krishna in a way that people have the opportunity to become attracted to Him.
Krishna has set up the rules, and it is up to us how we play the game. If we violate the rules, there is a penalty. He set it up in such a way that if we surrender to Him, we will be victorious.
Although the city maintains the prison and prisons are required, the prison is not in the center of the city and the prison is not the main focus of the city administration. So also is the relationship of the hellish planets with the universal government.
According to Manu-samhita, there are different punishments according to the person's situation in the varnasrama social system. This is because the goal is reformation. For example, a brahmana who steals is lightly scolded, a ksatriya is more severely scolded, a vaisya is required to pay a fine, and a sudra is beaten or put into prison. The particular punishment is sufficient to bring about the reformation of persons in the different levels of consciousness.
Comment Adi Purusa Prabhu: Suffering provokes the inquiry, “What did I do to deserve this?”
Even if Krishna revealed to us all the misdeeds we did in all our previous lives, it would not help us to become free from the reactions or the tendency to commit sin. The real solution to attain the spiritual world.
At the end of the Fifth Canto, Sukadeva Goswami tells that he explained the layout of the universe to describe the glories of the Lord.
Everyone should ask the question, “Why I am dissatisfied?” as Vyasadeva did to Narada, his guru. Then our spiritual life will really take off.
Krishna never leaves His body. He is eternal.
Seeing the greatness of the Lord, spiritual feelings are evoked.
Superficially it appeared as if Krishna was killed being shot in the foot by a hunter, but how is it that Krishna, who had killed so demons, could be killed simply by being shot in the foot by arrow? Krishna enacts such pastimes so people who desire to can imagine Him to be ordinary.
Jiva Goswami glorifies Bhagavan in an elaborate sentence, which is like ten sentences put together, the essence of which is that all contradictory attributes are resolved in Him.
Asin Govinda Prabhu:
Although externally surrendering one's body is not as important as surrendering internally, those who are proud cannot even bow down.
Different disciples of Srila Prabhupada show exemplary surrender. When the devotees were on a train in India, one man offered some land in Delhi for a temple, and Srila Prabhupada asked some of his disciples to get off the train in the middle of their journey, along with the man, and get the land and start a temple, although they were young and inexperienced.
For those who chant the name of Krishna, authorized verses from the revealed literature proclaiming its glories are an inspiration. This is one of many favorite verses of mine.
nama cintamanih krishnas
purnah suddho nitya-mukto
“The holy name of Krishna is transcendentally blissful. It bestows all spiritual benedictions, for it is Krishna Himself, the reservoir of all pleasure. Krishna’s name is complete, and it is the form of all transcendental mellows. It is not a material name under any condition, and it is no less powerful than Krishna Himself. Since Krishna’s name is not contaminated by the material qualities, there is no question of its being involved with maya [the material energy of the Lord]. Krishna’s name is always liberated and spiritual; it is never conditioned by the laws of material nature. This is because the name of Krishna and Krishna Himself are identical.” (Padma Purana, quoted in Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Madhya 17.133)