Monday, August 14, 2017

Travel Journal#13.13: Paris

Diary of a Traveling Sadhaka, Vol. 13, No. 13
 By Krishna-kripa das
 (July 2017, part one)
 Paris
 (Sent from on August 14, 2017 from Ottawa, Canada)

Where I Went and What I Did

July began with Janananda Goswami, Harinama Ruci, and other visitors joining us in Paris for the Paris Ratha-yatra on July 2. Balavanta Prabhu and Fernanda from Mexico stayed a few days after Ratha-yatra and did harinama. Then Gaura Sundara Prabhu, a harinama brahmacari from Russia, joined us for several days, along with his traveling partner, an expert book distributor, Gopi Jivana Prabhu, of South Africa. Next Govardhan Dasi, a Prabhupada disciple from England, who loves harinama came for a week. Thus the last week of my stay in Paris, we had a great boost in the harinama department. We chanted at a new venue, the Sarcelles market, which we will add to our list of places to regularly go.

I share excerpts from letters, a room conversation, and an essay of Srila Prabhupada. I share an excerpt from the introduction of Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s Krishna Samhita. I share excerpts from the books and poems of Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami. I share notes on lectures by Janananda Goswami, Adikarta Prabhu, Govardhan Dasi, Pranesvara Prabhu, Rajadharma Prabhu, Hari Rama Prabhu, Acarya Prabhu, and Gaura Sundara Prabhu. I share excerpts from Vyasa-puja offerings in Srila Prabhupada Tributes written by Ali Krishna Devi Dasi, Ambarisa Prabhu, Arjuna Prabhu, Badarayan Prabhu, Gopimata Devi Dasi, Karanodakasayi Vishnu, Krishna Priya, and Caturbhuja Prabhus, Mahaman Prabhu, and Subuddhi Devi.

Thanks to Jagattarini, Marut, Sophia, and the other devotees in Paris who kindly and generously contributed to my attempts to travel and promote the yuga-dharma of harinama sankirtana. Thanks to Pranesvara Prabhu, who regularly bought train tickets for the Paris harinama party. Thanks to Rajadharma Prabhu, who drove me to the airport.

Thanks to Harinama Ruci, Gopi Jivana Prabhu, Gaura Sundara Prabhu, and Jagattarini Devi Dasi for sharing pictures of me on harinama.

Itinerary

August 9–16: Ottawa Vaishnava Sanga Retreat / Janmastami and Vyasa-puja
August 17: York (UK) harinama (2:30 to 5:30 p.m.)
August 18: York Ratha-yatra
August 19: Newcastle Ratha-yatra
August 20: Glasgow Ratha-yatra
August 21: Edinburgh Ratha-yatra
August 22: Edinburgh Fringe Festival Harinama and Tuesday program
August 24: harinama in Liverpool to promote Ratha-yatra
August 25: harinama in Manchester to promote Ratha-yatra
August 26: Liverpool Ratha-yatra
August 27: Manchester Ratha-yatra
August 28–September 1: Paris harinama
September 2: York harinama and program
September 3: Scarborough harinama and Newcastle Sunday feast
September 4: Bhaktivinoda Thakura Appearance Day harinama in Dublin
September 5–January : New York City (except Sept. 19–23: Philadelphia)

Paris Ratha-yatra


Janananda Goswami and Harinama Ruci chanted Hare Krishna in Paris the day before the Ratha-yatra and many danced with joy (https://youtu.be/HJOGGGOhIV4):


During the Ratha-yatra itself, Ananta Gauranga Prabhu recalled the traffic on four converging streets was at a standstill and as the trucks containing water and prasadam for distribution which preceded the Ratha-yatra cart passed, irate motorists honked their honks. Yet when the Ratha-yatra cart appeared in view, they all stopped honking, got out of their cars, and took photos of the cart.

One lady in her shop looked at the chariot through the door, and being attracted went to grab her cell phone from behind the counter to take a picture. Smiling, she ran out into the street to get a close up shot of the cart. Her mind fixed on subject of her photo, the all-attractive Lord and His vehicle, she was completely oblivious to the fact that she was putting her life at risk standing in a lane with moving traffic. The devotees had to make that fact known to her.

Here is one lady eager to get a photo of the procession.


Many people watched from their apartments along the route of the procession, and many of them took photos or videos.

Harinama Ruci chants Hare Krishna on the train from the temple to Paris, and Janananda Goswami, Adikarta Prabhu, and others join them in leading the chanting during the three-hour Paris Ratha-yatra from La Chapelle to Les Halles (https://youtu.be/mix3ehrjqhQ):


Harinama Ruci sings on the stage during the Paris Ratha-yatra festival at Les Halles and gets the crowd to dance (https://youtu.be/nLVLT59KPoc):


A new addition since last year was that Harinama Ruci chanted Hare Krishna at the Ratha-yatra festival site at Les Halles by the fountain for over half an hour and devotees and onlookers danced (https://youtu.be/JLAbywjziPE):


Vishnu Jana Prabhu took of photo at the end of the fountain harinama.

The young ladies born in devotee families who delighted in dancing on our harinama by the fountain and also in engaging girls from the crowd in joining them, told me they wished Harinama Ruci would come to New Mayapur next year so they could do more harinamas with them.

Then Harinama Ruci chanted Hare Krishna along the streets with sidewalk cafes near the Ratha-yatra festival site at Les Halles and many onlookers joyfully participated (https://youtu.be/atQWtGLV__8):


When we returned to the site of our Ratha-yatra festival some kids danced with us, and Vishnu Jana Prabhu took a photo of them.

Chanting Hare Krishna in Paris

One man came on harinama learning of it from liking our Facebook page after meeting us at Ratha-yatra the previous week.

Christina, a lady with the lifestyle of a sadhu, goes places when prompted by the Lord in the heart. She met us on harinama last year, purchased a Bhagavad-gita, and came for serveral harinamas. I wondered if she was still around, and she appeared on harinama at Saint Michel, just a week before my two months in Paris expired.

The face of one Moroccan lady lit up with happiness to hear the joyful Hare Krishna mantra, and she gave a donation, took a book, and still smiling, thanked us for making her happy.

While I was in Paris, once a week we would chant Hare Krishna at Garge Sarcelles, the larger of the two trains stations nearest the temple. Here Acarya Prabhu and I sing, while Fernanda and Balavanta Prabhu play drum, and one man had a great time dancing for quite a while (https://youtu.be/sSU2nuEEEEM):


Acarya Nistha Prabhu chants Hare Krishna at Eiffel Tower (https://youtu.be/JiO_Ad_ysWw):


Balavanta Prabhu of Mexico chants Hare Krishna at Eiffel Tower (https://youtu.be/1EFhtKTv_mk):


Here Rohininandana Prabhu, Paris harinama leader, chants Hare Krishna outside Printemps on Boulevard Hausmann in Paris (https://youtu.be/d8QRu_FctfA):


Acarya Nistha Prabhu chants Hare Krishna outside Printemps (https://youtu.be/NmSyymD3YJM):


Govardhan Dasi, a Prabhupada disciple from England, and Gaura Sundara Prabhu, a brahmacari from Russia, happened to both visit Paris for about a week around the same time, and they they gave the Paris harinama program a big boost. They both gave lectures, and Govardhan also dressed the deities and helped cook for the devotees.

Here Govardhan Dasi leads the chanting of Hare Krishna on the streets near Les Halles, on the RER, at Gare du Nord, on the suburban train, and on the platform at Sarcelles Saint Brice (https://youtu.be/gU1d9riwCe4):


Here Govardhan Dasi leads the chanting of Hare Krishna at the Sarcelles market (https://youtu.be/1FealcPZgpM):


Govardhan liked the chanting at the market, and we did it another day, and people gave us 7.70 euros and took a few books.

Govardhan and Gaura Sundara Prabhus led the chanting of Hare Krishna at the Eiffel Tower in Paris and many tourists from a variety of countries were attracted (https://youtu.be/hSqayJ-2OaE):


In particular, these two Turkish girls were happy to encounter the Hare Krishnas while visiting the Eiffel Tower and to chant and dance with us. After awhile they expressed the desire to hear a particular tune, and they played a video from their smart phone of Harinama Ruci singing in London in 2013 to indicate which tune it was (https://youtu.be/lOLj7xX8bTI):


Here Gaura Sundara Prabhu from Russia leads the chanting of Hare Krishna at Les Halles, Pompidou Centre, La Republique, and Gare Du Nord, and on the Paris metro in between (https://youtu.be/DE53iy8gqZ4):



While Gaura Sundara Prabhu was chanting at Les Halles, Dhruva Prabhu, the son of Dharmatma Prabhu, who has completed a book on Lord Nrsimha, and who is traveling with a friend and promoting his book stopped by to say “Haribol!” 

We ended at Republique.

Pranesvara Prabhu brought his Hare Krishna sign
to encourage people to chant the mantra.


Atmarama Rasa and Jagattarini Prabhus have an hour-long kirtan at their place in downtown Paris every Wednesday night, and here Govardhan Dasi, visiting from England, participates in that program (https://youtu.be/b5h53xvgHew):


Insights

Srila Prabhupada:

From a letter to Vajresvari, written in Mayapur on October 7, 1974:

I have noted in your letter that you want to serve me. I only want that all you my disciples always think of Krishna and never forget Him for a moment. In this way you can conquer Krishna. He becomes so attracted by pure devotion that He gives Himself to His devotee. And if you get Krishna, then what you want more?”

From a letter to Visnujana, written in Allahabad, on January 8, 1971:

When you may feel morose, chant Hare Krishna mantra loudly and hear it. That will re-establish you on the platform of transcendental bliss.”

From a room conversation on December 4, 1975: 

“I want to see that one disciple has understood Krishna’s philosophy. That is success. That’s all.”

From “Conception of Gita-nagari,” Part 2:

There is a sweet transcendental interrelation between all living entities, irrespective of not only caste, creed, and colour between man and man, but between man and beast, man and birds, man and reptiles, man and plants, etc., and so also between man and God, and between God and others, and so on….as such the [farm] shall be the centre for such supreme culture of knowledge. [It] shall set the example that neither God nor the living being nor Nature is in any way antagonistic toward one another, but that all of them exist in harmony as a complete whole unit.”

Srila Bhakivinoda Thakura:

From Sri Krishna-samhita, Introduction: 

“Sectarianism is a natural by-product of the Absolute Truth. When acaryas [great spiritual teachers] first ascertain and instruct the Truth, it is not polluted with sectarianism. But the rules and regulations received through disciplic succession regarding the goal and the method of achieving it are changed in due course of time according to the mentality and locale of the people. A rule that is followed by one society is not necessarily accepted in another society. That is why one community is different from another. As a community gradually develops more respect for its own standards, it develops hatred towards other communities and considers their standards inferior. These sectarian symptoms are seen in all countries since time immemorial. This is prominent amongst neophytes and found to some extent amongst madhyama-adhikaris [devotees in the middle stage]. Amongst uttama-adhikaris [the topmost devotees], however, there is no trace of sectarianism.”

Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami:

From “A Devotee’s Poetry is Different” in Gentle Power:

A Krishna devotee ought to make
a different kind of poem.
He reads Bhagavatam and is inspired
to repeat what Narada instructed Dhruva
as it comes down to us
through the millennia.

Prabhupada says fools don’t know
how to preach in the West.
They measure things against the
Hindu standard.
They don’t know how to
adjust for America and France.
Prabhupada married the boyfriends to their
girlfriends, encouraged Murari dasa
to go on playing your guitar in kirtana.
There is no need to learn to play sitar.
Life is short and education is long –
so use whatever you have got
in service to the Lord.’”

From Japa Transformations:

“Those first months with Swamiji were wonderful . . . Taking lunch with him in his apartment room. ‘Take more!’ Rice, dahl, subji, and plenty of capatis. Conversations with him. Jokes and Krishna-tattva and lila while eating. He led us and took part with us. Concern with getting his visa extended. Raising money for expenses. Brahmananda (a substitute high school teacher) and Satsvarupa (a case worker with the Department of Welfare) donating their weekly checks. An occasional donation from a friend. Enough to get by. Talking with him in his room on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, when he didn’t hold a class. He’d talk about Krishna, answer questions, gradually teaching us Krishna consciousness. The best friend and spiritual father. Living on the Lower East Side became a paradise after two years of living there in artistic, loveless frustration. New friends gathered around the Swami. Typing for him. Getting close to him. “From the beginning, sraddha, to the end, prema, faith is the essential ingredient. A doubting person cannot make progress. Acting on our original faith, we can progress to associate with devotees, take vows of initiation, become steady, attached, and develop taste. Then the first bud of love of God begins to open. Faith is cultivated by good association and by chanting and hearing. Please, Lord, keep my faith protected and always growing, so that I may not stagnate at the neophyte stage of doubting. I shall practice faith and attain devotion to Radha-Krishna without disruption or delay. That is my earnest request.”

“A little faith will help us. We are in a great, dangerous position. We don’t know it because we are sleeping. Sometimes a person is killed while he is sleeping. It requires a third person to come and wake you and warn you. Hearing the Vedic mantra is required. The most important mantra is the maha-mantra.

“We are sleeping in the lap of mother material nature. We have the power to awaken by good association of sadhu, guru, and sastra. The greatest welfare is to chant loudly so that others can wake up. If we hear the Hare Krishna mantra, it will cleanse the mirror of the heart. In the heart there is such a stock of impressions from different lives. Experience of material things is a dirty covering. There is the potency to hear and have the covering removed.

“We should take help of the spiritual master. Lord Caitanya has given us this easy process. There is no loss if we chant. There are no hard and fast rules in the chanting. The gain is very great. If the mirror is covered with dust, you cannot see your face. Similarly, the heart is covered. If we try to clean, Krishna will help. Krishna is so nice as Paramatma, caitya-guru. He is always ready to help. He sends His representative from without. A little faith is required. There must be inclination.”

From “Distribute Books” in Soul Eyes:

Distribute books. They’re out on the
street with a big stack of Prabhupada’s
books and non-larcenous lines,

just repeating what he’s said in his
writing, ‘this Bhagavata Purana is
as brilliant as the sun,’ and the
people listened and handed a volume
from the stack.

Just give a donation.’ He gave
five dollars. That’s enough. Someone
else gave them ten. The books went out.
The distributor lost his fear and grew
confident and happy in his heart, and
remembered the things Prabhupada said
about book distribution.

They will certainly go back to Godhead . . .
everyone should go out
with the sankirtan party.”

From “Poem to Radha-Govinda”:

But just a brief glimpse
at Govinda’s lotus feet
and Radharani’s petite lovely face
is enough to make me
Your eternal, loving
worshiper.
I am greedy.
I have dormant laulyam
but I have to develop it more.
I am grateful Radha-Govinda
reside with me in Viraha Bhavan.”

Janananda Goswami:

Everything about this movement is a festival.

This movement is all about serving Krishna.

This Ratha-yatra festival is all about bringing everyone back to Vrindavan.

Srila Prabhupada said by introducing this Ratha-yatra festival and mass distribution of books we can conquer the world.

The scriptures do not describe “the sweet sound of the djembe.

When I was in Malaysia, we had a Jagannath Mandir, and we would chant the “Jagannathastaka” every night. Many people from the congregation would come to the temple in the evening for it, and that was one of the most ecstatic times in my devotional life.

Two police ladies attended a program in Swindon, sitting on the floor a while before moving on. The chief of police also attended, and the member of parliament for Swindon, who was just re-elected. One guy was dancing like anything and later said he felt 50 years younger. He was a street musician who liked to dance with the Hare Krishnas in 1969 on Oxford Street.

Malaysia has 35 Ratha-yatras a year, even though it is a Muslim country that is somewhat conservative. Sometimes the Muslims even pull the cart. Lord Jagannatha is just magnetic. He is so striking. I have never heard anyone criticize Him, even though His worship is not part of their traditions.

Once in New Zealand, some American yachters were very attracted by our Ratha-yatra. The most striking things for them were Lord Jagannatha and Mahavishnu Swami, both of whom they found fascinating.

Considering the architecture in the city center, Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

Sometimes unexpected things happen during Ratha-yatra. During the first London Ratha-yatra the wheel came off the cart, and it was stranded, causing one of the biggest traffic jams in London history. The devotees carried the deities to Trafalger Square and had a great festival, which pleased Srila Prabhupada when he heard about it.

In Ratha-yatra, by the pulling of the ropes and by the enthusiastic chanting of the holy names, we are bringing Lord Jagannatha to Vrindavana.

Once I went to the New York City Ratha-yatra. There were three kirtana parties. The first with invited guests, the next with the youth, and the last with the New York devotees. I went to the one with the guests, then to the one led by the New York devotees, and I ended with the youth kirtan, led by Gauravani. That kirtan was so ecstatic I stayed there the whole rest of the time. They played just mrdanga and karatalas, and there were only the chanting of Hare Krishna and “Jaya Jagannatha.” I asked Gauravani later about it. He explained he just wanted do kirtana the way Srila Prabhupada had taught for the pleasure of Lord Jagannatha. Pretty good for a Vaishnava youth!

Sometimes in the photos of Ratha-yatra, even in Back to Godhead, you see with people talking on mobiles. Better everyone is chanting Hare Krishna with arms upraised.

If you get into the kirtana, Lord Jagannatha will take you out of the material world.

We are meant to come up to the platform of only existing for Krishna’s pleasure. If we can get into that mood for Ratha-yatra, it will be wonderful.

In London they did Ratha-yatra even before they had a temple.

I wish there was a Ratha-yatra in every city every day.

There is one devotee in Australia who takes a Ratha-yatra cart to different cities in the country. Parasurama is even now doing Ratha-yatras one after another in Scandinavia.

In 1974 Srila Prabhupada said, “Anyone who has seen Lord Jagannatha today on the Ratha-yatra will go back to Godhead.”

Adikarta Prabhu:

In Vidagdha-madhava Rupa Goswami explained that because they could not tolerate being separated from Krishna when he left Vrindavan for Dvaraka, Radharani incarnated as Satyabhama and Candravali incarnated as Rukmini.

Thinking of Krishna can be as ecstatic or more ecstatic than being with Him personally.
There is a type of punishment for those who laugh at devotees who are dancing for the pleasure of the Lord.

Material life they are walking dead man. T. S. Eliot wrote a poem “The Hollow Men” pointing to the emptiness of the lives of the mass of people.

Cooperation is the biggest austerity in this age.

Yamunacarya was a brahmana originally, but he won a kingdom in a debate with the king’s minister. As a king he got involved in all kinds of sense gratification. A well-wisher who remembered his previous position preached to him and convinced him to return his former spiritual focus.

Ali Krishna Devi Dasi:

from her Vyasa-puja offering in Srila Prabhupada Tributes:

“The house [the first temple in Rome] was in a busy part of Rome and your [Srila Prabhupada’s] bed/office room was in the direction of a crossroad from where the sound of the traffic and the horns of the cars was very intense. Dhana├▒jaya apologized for the noise and said that he was hoping it didn’t disturb you too much. ‘Not at all, you replied, ‘that means that the house is located in a very central section of the town. Thank you for establishing a center in this very important city. Mahaprabhu will take you by the hand and bring you back home, back to Godhead.’ Your words left us astonished and speechless.”

“As soon as we got the news of your arrival, we rushed here and there to organize a nice public preaching program for you. With the help of some friends we booked the hall of the prestigious Hotel ‘Parco dei Principi’ (Princes’ Park), with more than 600 seats, in the center of Rome. To advertise the event, we printed a large number of black and white posters with your picture and name, and pasted them all over the city inviting the people to your conference, free of charge, on the 25th of May. We were afraid that being hardly interested in Indian gurus and philosophy, only a few people would attend, and that the program would result in a flop. That evening, however, when we entered the hall to accompany you on the stage, we were amazed to see people sitting on the floor and standing in the corridors and at the back, since no more sitting places were available. It was packed! More than 800 people were present that evening, and while you were lecturing on one of the verses of the Bhagavad-gita, they all listened silently and respectfully. At the end you answered many questions, and thereafter expressed to us your appreciation by saying that Italian people took very seriously the knowledge of Krishna consciousness. It was a great success. Some the the boys and girls who were present became full-time devotees, and lots of people came to visit our center. By visiting Rome, Your Divine Grace inaugurated a new era in those people’s consciousness, and from that moment the Hare Krishna movement spread like wild fire all over the country. Once, when somebody asked if you were able to manifest some mystic power, you answered that you had the power to transform material consciousness into spiritual consciousness. That power is actually the greatest, and you, Srila Prabhupada, fully displayed it during that public conference.”

“Without your mercy and constant help and guidance, I wouldn’t be able to even pronounce a few words of glorification in your honor! May the desire to please you expand more and more in my heart, because to be an instrument in your hand is the key to overcome all obstacles and at the end be reunited with you.”

Ambarisa Prabhu:

From Srila Prabhupada Tributes:

“I remarked one time on a morning walk with you, that materialists were always looking for the bright side. You said gravely that ‘there is no bright side in the material world.’ You are that bright side, Srila Prabhupada. You are the sun which is bringing light to this place of darkness. We only beg for your continued mercy. We are in so much need of the compassion you brought so many years ago. Please engage us in your eternal seva [service].”

Arjuna Prabhu:

From Srila Prabhupada Tributes:

“On a morning walk in Mayapur on March 12, 1976, Satsvarupa commented, ‘One time you said you were happier then, (in the days of staying with and cooking for Dr. Misra), maintaining yourself, than having thousands of disciples.’ You replied, ‘Yes. There was no chance of finding fault. (laughter) Now I have to find fault.’”

Badarayan Prabhu:

From Srila Prabhupada Tributes:

You ordered your disciples on no less than five occasions before you departed this world, “Your love will be tested by how you work together cooperatively to keep this institution going.’ Prophetic words most worthy of our contemplation.”

Gopimata Devi Dasi:

From Srila Prabhupada Tributes:

There is no personal effort grand enough to elevate myself without the kind hand you extend to lift me up. Entrance into the spiritual realm is by invitation only – by those who have already been there.”

Govardhan Devi Dasi:

We are only as strong as the links between us.

As in our family we have some siblings we may or may not like, so it is the same in our devotional family.

An Indian family was excited to have their photo taken with the devotees’ harinama party. At one point, I held up a large photo of Srila Prabhupada from the back of the “On Chanting Hare Krishna,” and the man said, “Let me take another photo with Prabhupada.” To see his knowledge of and sentiment for Srila Prabhupada really touched my heart.

It is better to get a slap here, from the Bhagavatam, than from the material energy.

We know a materialist is very attached to his body, but what is the point of a spiritualist being attached to his body after studying the scriptures so much?

My husband had a brain tumor a year ago, and he was prepared to leave his body. He said all the chanting he done for the previous few years had brought him to that point. As it turned out by Krishna’s grace, he survived.

We are so tiny. We cannot even execute bhakti-yoga without Krishna’s help. We cannot come to the material world without His help.

The pastime of Krishna manifesting two forms to simultaneously visit two residents of Mathila, a wealthy king and a poor brahmana, shows how there is no material qualification for approaching Him.

I am interested in my body, my family’s bodies, the bodies of those in my country. That is a very limited vision.

When someone dear to us passes on, we will remember them for the rest our our life, but they will not remember us. How many people do we remember from our previous life? That is the saddest thing.

In many languages, there are two words for know, one for knowing a person and one for knowing a fact.

The problem is that most people imagine that the material world is meant for their enjoyment.

Comments by Pitavasa Prabhu:

Srila Prabhupada said when the materialists see the devotees, they laugh, and when the devotees see the materialists they laugh, but the devotees’ laugh is best because they have knowledge.

It is our mission that people render some service to Krishna, knowingly or unknowing, for then they will benefit spiritually.

Just as a table constructed by a carpenter belongs to the person who supplied the wood, similarly everything we make belongs to the Lord who supplies the ingredients.

Had the Indians appreciated the message of Lord Caitanya, an army of people would come from India with Srila Prabhupada to assist him.

Mr. Seti was constructing rooms for the devotees to live in on the Bombay ISKCON project. Srila Prabhupada told him, “You are constructing places for the devotees to live in Bombay, and Krishna is constructing a place for you to live in Goloka Vrindavana in the spiritual world.”

Someday in the future, when we have a palatial temple in the center of Paris, you may have to wait in line for a year to do arati to Radha-Paris-isvara, so you should take advantage of your present opportunities.

Persons whose bodily features change in ecstasy and who breathe heavily and perspire due to hearing the glories of the Lord are promoted to the kingdom of God, even though they do not care for meditation and other austerities. The kingdom of God is above the material universes, and it is desired by Brahma and other demigods.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.15.25)

Srinivas Acarya, who wrote “Sad-goswamy-astaka,” was a disciple of Gopala Bhatta Goswami.

Respecting the humility of Gopala Bhatta Goswami, Krishnadasa Kaviraja Goswami did not mention he was the son of Vyenkata Bhatta, who met Lord Caitanya during his trip to South India.

Karanodakasayi Vishnu Dasa Adhikari, Krishna Priya Devi Dasi, and Caturbhuja Dasa:

From Srila Prabhupada Tributes:

Dear Srila Prabhupada, you have guided and counselled countless number of souls to the Lord’s lotus feet, during that time, and as you yourself said, you will never die, but live forever in your mighty transcendental books. In this regard there is a Chinese proverb which says that the faintest writing is far superior than the most powerful memory. Your eternal writings will remain with us forever.”

Mahaman Prabhu:

From Srila Prabhupada Tributes:

“Srila Prabhupada, the sankirtana movement of Lord Caitanya which you have spread is the best thing that is going on at present on this planet; it is the best thing that ever happened here or anywhere, and it is the best thing that will ever happen.”

Subuddhi Devi Dasi:

From Srila Prabhupada Tributes:

“Meeting a guru is not an ordinary occurrence and never accidental. Life’s journey leads to the junction where Krishna arranges someone to hold your hand and direct you to your real home.”

Rajadharma Prabhu:

Bhakti Charu Swami said that no matter how strong you are if you leave the association of devotees you will fall down and no matter how weak you are if you remain in the association of devotees you will not fall down.

Radhanath Swami explained that if everything always happened according to our desire we would not make much advancement.

Sometimes this movement is compared to a hospital for curing our disease of materialism, but attaining the hospital does not mean we are cured. Sometimes we temporarily suffer more in the hospital than when we entered, such as when we are recovering from an operation that will cure us.

Disgusted with the politics in the GBC, once Bhakti Charu Swami thought of leaving the GBC and even the movement, but he credited three reasons for his staying. Srila Prabhupada said that the GBC is the ultimate managing authority in ISKCON, our love will be shown by how we cooperated, and whatever happens we should not leave ISKCON. Since then, people who were causing trouble were removed, and the situation improved.

The Lord keeps His identity and His supernatural potency even though appearing as a human being.

The Lord is supreme in everything, even in cheating. Even the great dacoits or cheaters have been cheated by the Lord.

We are not striving for material success but rather for transcending material nature and its three qualities.

Our nature is to work completely in harmony with Krishna, and our disease is our independent spirit.

It is intelligent to take knowledge from someone who knows.

Bhakti Charu Swami says that the character of a child develops by drinking the breast milk of the mother.

We worship Krishna because Radharani likes Him.

Comment Gauranga Sundara Prabhu: Some Bhagavatam speakers say we have one friend, one enemy, and all others are gurus. The one friend is Krishna and His holy name, and the one enemy is the mind.

Pranesvara Prabhu:

Bhaktivinoda Thakura says in Harinama Cintamani, There is nothing equal to the holy name, and one who understands that can chant the holy name properly.”

In one of the world wars, people in Paris were starving, and they would eat the animals from the zoo. Poor animals.

I did not hear it myself, but people said that Srila Prabhupada commented about Paris, “It is bit like Dvaraka.”

Hari Rama Prabhu:

The Lord is pleased simply with the spirit or the desire of the devotee to please Him.

Sometimes we may have a conception that God is always displeased, but that is not a fact. Thus we have to hear prayers from authorities, from personalities who actually know Him.

Lord Ramacandra is famous for having an army of monkeys, bears, and other animals. Animals are not seen to easily perform austerities yet by their attitude of service to the Lord, they pleased Him.

A mistaken idea of God does not foster a relationship with the Supreme Lord.

Lord Ramacandra was so satisfied with the residents of Ayodhya that He took them all back to Godhead, back to the spiritual world.

We may see the Lord externally, such as Lord Krishna is black, Lord Rama is green, Lord Jagannatha is very peculiar, but actually we should learn the truth about the Lord from authorities as we are learning here that He accepts the attitude of service.

In India people are very anxious to see the deities because they think their desires will be fulfilled, but here we learn that by simply trying to please the Lord, we will attain the spiritual world where we will be so pleased that we will have nothing to desire.

If I am doing what Krishna wants, I should understand that Krishna is pleased.

It is amazing that Isvara Puri told Lord Caitanya, who is completely omniscient, that He was a fool and incapable of understanding Vedanta-sutra and should better chant Hare Krishna.

Indians from India had difficulty understanding Srila Prabhupada, but Westerners could understand him.

Bhakti Charu Maharaja tells that once when he was cooking for Srila Prabhupada, Prabhupada advised him to make an eggplant preparation with a lot of oil. Bhakti Charu Maharaja thought that was way too much oil and just used a little instead. When Srila Prabhupada saw the result he said, “Why have you disobeyed me?”

In one lecture Srila Prabhupada said, “Krishna will not ask you to kill your relatives [as he asked Arjuna to].”

Often the guru asks the disciple to do some menial service, however, Lord Caitanya asks that one become guru and deliver everyone.

Whatever we do, we do to our capacity. If you just become guru to your capacity that will be sufficient. The other residents of Ayodhya did not have the same capacity as Hanuman, but they all attained the spiritual world.

Acarya Prabhu:

Whenever Krishna speaks, people are pleased to hear. We can learn from this to speak nicely.

If we cannot control our minds and speech, we are on the level of animals and not human beings.

Life is so crazy in the cities nowadays with some people working twelve hours a day, it is so difficult even to chant sixteen rounds.

My guru, Bhakti Vikasa Swami, has been preaching for fifteen years trying to get devotees to move to farms and live a simpler more spiritually focused life.

What Srila Prabhupada is writing in his books is not just for the devotees but for the whole world.

The trouble with liberalism is that sinful activities are accepted as OK, and thus the society becomes more and more degraded.

In varnasrama if all people are doing their duties in relationship with Krishna, society can run very smoothly.

In India they are producing such an excess of engineers, it is not uncommon to find taxi drivers in Delhi who are IT majors. In varnasrama people are trained according to their natures, and such anomalies would not arise.

In Ireland, they have schools for kids aged from zero to four so the mothers can go to work without having to worry about them, but actually it is the mothers’ nature to take care of their children, and some career women later regret they did not spend enough time with their children.

As devotees we have an opportunity to follow Srila Prabhupadas instructions and demonstrate the value of the varnasrama system.

By following the revealed literature we can transcend all material contamination.

If you look at Srila Prabhupadas purports, you will see in the beginning he does not stress varnasrama and even said it was not possible in this age, but later witnessing the falling down of many disciples due to sex desire, he emphasized the importance of varnasrama.

Gaura Sundara Prabhu:

By no amount of pious acts or accumulation of knowledge can one attain bhakti. Bhakti is something that is beyond this world.

No amount of money can give you bhakti. The only price according to Rupa Goswami is that one must have laulyam [greed, eagerness] to attain Krishna in this very life.

You can get bhakti from devotees. They are the carriers of bhakti.

Krishna does not have bhakti, love of Krishna. He is not narcissistic.

Devotional service eliminates all four kinds of karma.

A person by placing the mind on the lotus feet of Krishna attains liberation. This is the goal of life.

Material life involves having a false sambandha or false connection with a temporary situation.

The root cause of our suffering is avidya.

Merely staying away from material things is false because there is no knowledge of the connection of everything with Krishna.

Srila Prabhupada came to the West to engage all our Western facilities in Krishnas service.

We are wasting our time if we acquire so much knowledge from the sastra [revealed literature] and do not use it.

Comment by Govardhan Devi Dasi: Our challenge is to see the members of our family as servants of Krishna and treat them that way. People will see how we are dealing in our relationships with others, and if we do it nicely, that will be very impressive to them.

Comment by Haladhara Prabhu: Srila Prabhupada says when we understand there is no difference between Krishna and His name, then our material attachment is finished.

Varnasrama, in itself cannot produce devotional service, but it provides a facility for people to accumulate piety that ultimate gives them the association of devotees of the Lord. In the course of performing duties to benefit society, one may benefit a sadhu and get unknowing devotional piety.

Bhaktivinoda Thakura says we have nice prosperity now because in the Middle Ages people were very dutiful.

Bhaktivinoda Thakura divides people into theists who are moral and atheists, some of whom are moral and some of whom are immoral. Among the theists, there are the sadhana bhaktas and the bhava bhaktas.

We cannot speak of “a brahmana Vaishnava” or “a sudra Vaishnava” because a Vaishnava is above all that.

Leaders presently engage people in sinful activities to make money, but they unknowingly accumulate one-sixth of the sinful reactions of the people. They would be better off engaging them in pious activities and get one-sixth of their pious credits.

It does not matter if Krishna kills you or kisses you because the result is the same. You go back to Godhead.

Gauri Dasi, a Prabhupada disciple who distributed books for many years, commented that the people she meets are doing just the opposite of what is good for their spiritual life. It is just because of the intense desire of the devotees to benefit them that they end up purchasing the books.

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Persons who reject the direct meaning of the revealed literature find they have difficulty agreeing on the absolute truth, and they encounter great confusion. Why is this? This is explained in the Hamsa-guyha prayers:

yac-chaktayo vadatam vadinam 
vai vivada-samvada-bhuvo bhavanti 
kurvanti caisam muhur atma-moham 
tasmai namo ’nanta-gunaya bhumne

“Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto the all-pervading Supreme Personality of Godhead, who possesses unlimited transcendental qualities. Acting from within the cores of the hearts of all philosophers, who propagate various views, He causes them to forget their own souls while sometimes agreeing and sometimes disagreeing among themselves. Thus He creates within this material world a situation in which they are unable to come to a conclusion. I offer my obeisances unto Him.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.4.31)