Diary of a Traveling Sadhaka, Vol. 7, No. 6
By Krishna-kripa das
(March 2011, part two)
Gainesville and St. Augustine
(Sent from New York City on April 19, 2011)
Where I Was and What I Did
I came back from Arizona to observe the Gaura Purnima festivals with my friends in Gainesville and Alachua, and I wasn’t disappointed. There were lots of chanting, talks on spiritual wisdom, a couple different opportunities to bathe Lord Caitanya, lots of friendly devotees, and great prasadam. [I include my Gaura Purnima lecture notes in the section of Gaura Purnima and not with the others lectures.] The next week was St. Augustine Ratha-yatra, a great festival, in some ways better than the previous year. Mother Vaikuntha-lila, Damodara Prasada, Sagar and I did a dorm program at University of Florida, teaching yoga, japa, and kirtana, as ways students can become free from stress. Some students left after the yoga, others left after the kirtana, but the three who stayed to the end, all of foreign backgrounds, including the residence director who arranged the program, were all very happy they had come. The residence director said he would be glad to recommend us to others. March was a difficult month for the Krishna Lunch team, because Stacie Lavendar, who served out lunch for three years, left her body unexpectedly due to head injuries resulting from a motorcycle accident. It is always extra sad when a good person dies at an early age. We thought a lot about how the soul is eternal, that life in this body is temporary and uncertain, and we heard about Stacie and her qualities and activities, noting that her natural concern for others is a characteristic of great devotees. The reassuring thing is that all the spiritual activities that she did like, eating and serving spiritual food and chanting the names of God, have eternal benefit which goes with her soul to next situation. As Krishna says in Bhagavad-gita, “One who does good, My friend, is never overcome by evil.” (Bg. 6.40)
Philadelphia: April 20–April 24
New York City: April 25–26
London: April 27
Radhadesh: April 28–29
Amsterdam: April 30
Antwerp, Amsterdam, Cologne: May 1–11
Munich: May 12–15
Simhacalam: May 16
UK: May 18–July 6
Scandinavian Ratha-yatras: July 8–16
Prague Ratha-yatra?: mid July
Lithuanian Festival?: last week in July
Czech Padayatra?: usually 4th week in July
Poland Woodstock: August 1–6
Croatian Harinama Tour: rest of August
Kirtana-mela, Leipzig?: August 29–September 4
Kharkov, Ukraine: September 6–beginning of Ukraine Festival
Ukraine Festival: second week of September
Boston Ratha-yatra and Prabhupada festival: September 17–18
Albany: September ?
Philadelphia Ratha-yatra: September 24
Gaura Purnima in Gainesville and Alachua
Gaura Purnima, the celebration of Lord Caitanya’s appearance in this world, was special for me this year in many ways. We started celebrating by transformating our weekly Friday program in Gainesville into a Gaura Purnima festival. That afternoon I went on harinama with the Alachua devotees at the corner of University and 13th, and I told almost everybody who I met on the street about our special evening program. One family actually came by my invitation and even got to bathe the Deities of Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda, a rare success. I played a little bit of a role in the bathing ceremony, and although deity worship is not my favorite item of devotional service, it was nice to participate in the Gaura Purnima festival in that way.
Kalakantha Prabhu gave one of his best lectures on Lord Caitanya. Here are some notes.
Kalakantha Prabhu [on Gaura Purnima]:
The happiness of material life is short-lived and surrounded by suffering, like that of prisoner repeatedly let up for air after being repeatedly dunked into water.
Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s appearance is predicted in Srimad-Bhagavatam. He was not just another upstart claiming to be God.
Caitanya Mahaprabhu was a social reformer as well as a divine avatar and spiritual teacher. He did not accept the caste system based on birth which is based on illusion, but taught that social divisions are based on one’s qualifications and activities and not by birth. Furthermore, he taught one can perfect one’s devotion to God no matter what his social position.
As soon as I tell people it is the age of quarrel, they will object, “What do you mean?”
Caitanya Mahaprabhu spread His mission throughout India and left it to the International Society of Krishna Consciousness to spread it all over the world.
Bhaktivinoda Thakura studied many religions and philosophies and came to the conclusion that Lord Caitanya’s philosophy was the most comprehensive. He envisioned the day when people all over the world would celebrate the appearance anniversary of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
Srila Prabhupada said preaching Krishna consciousness is India is like trying to wake up someone who is pretending to be asleep. It is easy to wake up a person who is actually sleeping but very difficult to wake someone who is pretending to be asleep.
Never mind your caste, your country, your background. Lord Caitanya does not care. Everyone who wants to take part in His movement can do so.
God is like a father who always loves the children no matter what they do.
If you are interested in Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s movement, you will become at odds with the people in the world, because they are absorbed in their bodies and not interested in their souls. Yet to take part in His movement, you may remain in your social position, your work, or your home. You do not have to wear robes and move into a temple.
If we have had enough of the troubles of the material world, Lord Caitanya is offering us relief.
If you render service to the Lord, you will experience His reciprocation. I can talk about it all night, but you actually have to experience it.
Lord Caitanya taught that everyone is a servant of God. The conception of becoming God is a mistaken idea. One Godbrother of mine wrote in a poem:
“If to become God is your ambition,
Why should God help His own competition.”
After the program, a few of the devotees were enthusiastic enough to do harinama (group chanting with instruments) downtown. One of these was Zulay, who has only been coming to Krishna House programs since January. I always feel victorious when we go out chanting, especially in celebration of Lord Caitanya’s appearance, as it was He who personally inaugurated this movement of chanting in West Bengal five hundred years ago. To be chanting past 10:00 p.m. and then to get up by 3:30 a.m. to drive to Alachua was a little austere, and it was nice to see a few people were willing to do a little extra austerity to share the chanting with others.
There were lots of people for the early morning worship in Alachua as usual on holy days. Varsana Swami, visiting from New Vrindavana, gave a nice class. Here are some highlights:
Varsana Swami [on Gaura Purnima]:
Persons who were willing to consider deeply the pastimes of Lord Caitanya realized that they are greater than those of all the other avatars. Such especially wonderful pastimes include giving the divine love of the residents of Krishna’s abode to the rogues Jagai and Madhai, the deliverance of the Mayavadi Prakasananda Sarasvati, the inspiring of the flora and fauna of Jarikhanda Forest to chant and dance in ecstasy. Lord Caitanya manifested indiscriminate, unreserved mercy surpassing any other avatar.
Lord Caitanya blessed all those who contacted Him in any way, positive or negative, with liberation.
Dasya rasa, service to the Lord with reverence, is natural to be offered to the yuga avatar. Yet Krishna says that he is not controlled by love made feeble by reverence.
Krishna wrestles sometimes with Sridhama and sometimes with Srimati Radhanani. Sometimes Radharani wins.
The higher rasas do not exist in this world but descend from the spiritual realm.
In this world, we worship the yuga-avatara in daysa-rasa. But as our heart becomes purified, and we appreciate that Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda are Krishna and Balaram of Vrindavana, and we become attracted to Their pastimes in Vrndavana.
Just as Balarama engages us in the service of Lord Krishna, Lord Nityananda engages us in the service of Lord Caitanya.
At the Vyasa Puja function, everyone requested Lord Nityananda to place the garland on the picture of Srila Vyasadeva, but he stood there and did not do anything. Finally Lord Caitanya made the same request of Nitai, but Nitai put the garland on Lord Caitanya, who then manifest His sad-bhuja form, a form revealing Him to be both Krishna and Rama as well.
In Christianity, Jesus Christ appears and that is the culmination, and similarly, in Islam, Mohammed is the last prophet. But in the Gaudiya Vaishnavism, the understanding is that it is necessary that the Lord comes periodically to remind the people of the spiritual path.
After Lord Caitanya attained love of God, he could not continue to teach grammar. The reason is that at the beginning of the class, the students would chant the holy name “Hari Hari” as an invocation. Then Lord Caitanya would go into ecstasy and become absorbed in thinking and speaking only of Krishna. Lord Caitanya told them to find another teacher, but after studying with the Lord, they had no desire to study from another.
Even the devotees cannot recognize the Lord until He wills it.
Advaita Acarya asked that Lord Krishna come Himself because only He can offer the intimate love of residents of Vraja, sakhya (friendship), vatsalya (parenthood), and madhurya (conjugal love).
All the mercy available during Lord Caitanya’s manifest presence is also available on His auspicious appearance day, Sri Gaura Purnima. The same is true with Krishna’s mercy on Janmastami.
How can we always think of Krishna as He requests in Bhagavad-gita? Only if we have love for Him.
It is offensive to imagine ourselves as direct servants of Krishna. Only Radharani and Balarama offer direct service to Krishna. By Radharani it is in the conjugal mellow, and by Balarama it’s in the other mellows.
There was a bathing ceremony of the deities in Alachua, and Ramanya Prabhu encouraged me to take part in it. Because it was pleasant to take part in the one the day before, I decided to do it.
There were so many priests, we each took part half of the time, and I would listen to Badahari Prabhu’s kirtana and dance the other half of the time.
I did service in the kitchen to help out for an hour or so.
Amrita-keli dd was too sick to sing her half hour slot in the all day kirtana, and I found out about it ahead of time, so I got to sing for that time myself. Usually there is so much competition to sing, I do not have a chance. Fortunately, there were a couple of expert Vaisnava youth kalatala and mrdanga players to accompany me.
I planned to not fast from water, but as I survived to 4:00 p.m. without drinking, I decided to continue to the end. I planned to take a nap during the day, but it never worked out. Despite these physical challenges, I was less disturbed by the fast than usual. I think Lord Caitanya must have given me some special mercy.
From the feast, I remember the mango sweet rice and gulab jamuns best of all. I always did like the desserts. I think having first class desserts is important because the dessert is at the end, and it leaves a final good impression on the mind! Thank you Kripa Sindhu Prabhu for the great sweet rice and Madhava Prabhu for the great gulab jamuns! Sri Gaura Purnima ki, jaya!
St. Augustine Ratha-yatra
Although Cordova Street was not as good a route for our Ratha-yatra procession in St. Augustine, we were allowed a one-hour chanting precession beforehand on St. George Street, one of the most crowded streets in that tourist town. Initially just a few people took the small plastic bags with nuts and raisins and invitations to our festival in the park, but after a few minutes, the atmosphere was transformed by the many chanting devotees, and almost everyone would take. We also passed out pamphlets to many people. We went down the street, moving away from the cathedral, and then came back to the park in front of the cathedral, but the snacks and invitations ran out half way. Usually I am just a distributor, but this time I was in charge of all the distributors, and I was told I would be in trouble if we had any left over. Now I know for next year, we need twice as many.
The high points of the stage show for me were the number of newcomers who were really attracted to the music and to the whole atmosphere. One girl, Emma, originally from Connecticut but studying in Jacksonville stayed for the whole program. I promised to give her the details about the Ratha-yatra in New York City, so she can attend that when she goes home for the summer. I also especially appreciated Bada Hari Prabhu’s chanting at the end of the program which got a lot of people, both young and old, dancing. In Tallahassee I met one new devotee who used to live in St. Augustine and was there for the Ratha-yatra. He said a lot of the locals he knew really liked our program this year. Of course, Sunanda Prabhu’s wonderful prasadam was also a hit.
On the whole, I thought that the St. Augustine Ratha-yatra was a very successful event.
Stacie Lavender: An Exemplary Krishna Lunch Worker
(May 1, 1989-March 15, 2011)
It was a shock for everyone involved with Krishna Lunch that Stacie Lavender, a University of Florida senior, aged 21, who had worked with Krishna Lunch for three years, was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident and left her body a couple days later, when doctors determined she could never recover and life support was cut off.
The nurses in the hospital were amazed that she had so many friends coming to see her, wishing for her recovery.
As a server at the lunch, she was always in a jolly mood, and anyone who got frazzled would be pacified by her kind words and behavior.
I did not know her very well, as I am not so social anyway, and as a brahmacari it is not my business to get to know the girls too well, especially the more attractive ones. I told her this semester, as I had seen her helping out for so long, that I was impressed with her steadiness in her service to Krishna Lunch, and I could see she was a likeable person from her response. In January, she was sick for a week, and then I went to Tallahassee the next week, so I had not seen her for two weeks, and I told her I was glad she was back, and that is probably the last thing I said to her before I left for Arizona. She left her body the night before I returned to Florida. Not many of the student Krishna Lunch workers, who are not part of the Krishna House educational programs, sit and chant with us on the campus during their breaks from serving, but she would from time to time, and I always appreciated her making that choice. For a student to sit with the Hare Krishnas and chant with them on the campus in view of all one’s friends and teachers takes a certain amount of courage. As for what she thought of me, her friends at Krishna Lunch say she liked my dancing at the campus.
Kalakantha Prabhu spoke about the problem of death in general, and Stacie’s death in particular, at the morning class a few days after:
Kalakantha Prabhu began by quoting many of the Bhagavad-gita verses from Chapter Two, which describe the immortality of the soul, such as: “Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be. As the embodied soul continuously passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. A sober person is not bewildered by such a change.” (Bg. 2.12–13)
He then described that in India, the body of the deceased is carried on a procession so everyone sees. The body is taken to the crematorium, which is on the bank of a sacred river, and in front of everyone the body is burned. This creates a sense of detachment, which lasts a day, a week, or month. Witnessing this repeatedly one becomes serious about life. We are not allowed to do this in America, but actually that is a violation of our civil rights.
We imagine we have entitlement to a certain duration of life and a certain number of family members, and when that is violated, we become indignant.
God acts for purposes higher than our own. He does not owe us an explanation, and we are left to try to understand why. Sometimes it is many decades before we get a clue to the reason why, and sometimes we never do.
Srila Prabhupada said philosophy means to keep death at the front. He also said material life means shock after shock.
Stacie’s death can be an occasion for us to understand the temporality of our situation in this world and become sober and serious about life.
Sam: “We should appreciate every day as if it is your last,” is something that I have heard before, but now I am taking it more seriously.
Kalakantha Prabhu: Once we take to Krishna consciousness, Krishna takes care of us. It is not our karma anymore. For some reason, Krishna plucked Stacie out of this situation.
Srila Prabhupada explains the liberation that the family members of devotees get is that they get to become devotees.
Jude [Stacie’s boyfriend]:
I never saw Stacie sin, although she was surrounded by it.
I felt that Krishna blessed me and her family that we were able to handle her unexpected death much more peacefully than would be expected.
Duane: Her family and friends appreciated her compassion and other good qualities and became more inclined to adopt them.
Kalakantha Prabhu: Her sister said every time Stacie spoke to her and her husband she talked about Krishna Lunch.
That Sunday for the Krishna Lunch Sunday Lunch program we had a memorial service for Stacie. I made my pineapple-almond coconut sweet for the feast. Many people spoke very nicely, but I did not take notes as I got there late and there was little room to sit. I stood outside the door listening in. I recall Stacie’s sense of adventure, her friendliness, and her compassion were qualities repeatedly coming up in the speeches. When she and her friends went skydiving, she wanted to be the first one out of the plane. She would talk to new people for hours to get to know them and would be happy she made another friend. Malati, who was a Krishna Lunch server who came to America from abroad, said that Stacie told her, “Now that you are in America, you are going to have to learn how to say ‘Hi!’ to people.” Before Stacie trained her up, people thought that Malati was upset with them because she never smiled or greeted them. Duane said that he never met a person who could tolerate her own distress to the extent that Stacie could in order to help other people. Hanan said Stacie asked to learn how to meditate, and he taught her to chant Hare Krishna, a practice she would do an hour or two each morning. He also mentioned she told him she planned to focus more on her spiritual life after her graduation, when she would move to a new situation.
Hanan once saw Stacie doing some service that was not given to her, but which needed to be done. When Hanan asked why she was doing it, she replied that one of the devotees had told her, “If you see something that needs to be done and no one is doing it, it becomes your service.” When Nic heard that, he recalled that he was the one who gave her that advice. Nic also said Stacie became vegetarian when she was just eleven or twelve, and that because her parents would not cook vegetarian food for her, she learned to cook for herself. Once Stacie told him that she chanted Hare Krishna sixteen times around the string of beads, as do the initiated Hare Krishna devotees
To go to Krishna Lunch, and beyond that, to work for Krishna Lunch, and then to try chanting Hare Krishna as a meditation, all were part of Stacie’s life of adventure, and they all benefited herself and many others who came to Krishna Lunch and even worked for Krishna Lunch because of her enthusiasm for it.
Acts of devotion to the Lord, such as chanting His names and eating and distributing food offered to Him, are remembered by Him eternally and ultimately culminate in one’s spiritual perfection. As Krishna says in Bhagavad-gita 2.40: “In this endeavor there is no loss or diminution, and a little advancement on this path can protect one from the most dangerous type of fear.”
So I rejoice in these acts of supreme good fortune of hers, and in the fact that she shared her fortune with her friends, many of whom came to eat and some of whom came to work with Krishna Lunch, thus getting permanent spiritual gain.
Stacie’s sudden exit reminded me that any of us can leave this world at any time, and so if we want to say anything to anyone or do anything for anyone, today is the best time, for we may never get another chance.
We might also remember that our acts of devotion to the Lord are our only imperishable asset, and so we should take our spiritual practice with utmost seriousness. The date of life’s final exam is not given and may be sooner than we think or wish.
Insights from Lectures
Hridayananda Goswami [from a recording]: It is one thing to not worship God because of too much love for Him, and yet it is another thing to not worship God because of too little love for Him.
These descriptions of Krishna’s activities are transcendental pastimes and not mythology. Persons who just study them in an academic way, because of lack of faith, do not experience their transcendental nature. But a person who realizes he does not know who God is, and therefore that Krishna may be God, by listening to the pastimes with that theoretical acceptance of Krishna, understanding that God can easily perform such wonders, will experience a transcendental effect. This effect is not empirically understandable; one must experience it for oneself. However, reading just some mythology will have no such effect.
The cowherd men are repeated confused about Krishna because they have paternal affection for him, yet He continually performs such superhuman activities.
Krishna arranged that plants would bloom out of season to make a nice atmosphere for the rasa dance.
In the beginning of the pastime there was a competition among the gopis to have Krishna for themselves, but Krishna then disappeared. But when the gopis were lamenting together in separation, then Krishna reappeared and manifested a form of Himself personally to enjoy with each and every gopi, thus satisfying their desires. One thing we can learn from this is that when we cooperate to please Krishna, we will be satisfied individually, but when we try to please Krishna on our own, without regard for others, we will not be satisfied.
One of the first times I went on book distribution as a new devotee, the very first person I spoke to, said to me, “I know you Seth Spellman, but you probably do not remember me. We were in school together and you spoke very harshly to me.” [She had some physical disability and sometimes the kids spoke to her insensitively because of it.] She was gracious and may even have taken some literature, but how much more I could have benefited her if she had memories of me speaking nicely to her.
Our speech must be controlled, according to Bhagavad-gita, otherwise the results can be catastrophic, not just to the object of our speech, or to ourselves, but to the whole world.
Duryodhana ordered that Draupadi be stripped naked in the assembly and his brother Dusasana hastily went to do it. Vidura told the assembly of the Kurus to stop insulting Draupadi, but no one else would dare say a word in protest. Millions of soldiers were killed in the Mahabharata War simply due to the harsh speech of Duryodhana.
Sometimes harsh words are needed to keep a person from taking the wrong path, but if we have not invested in developing a good relationship with the person, such harsh words may not be taken in the right way.
Comment by Sukhada Prabhu: Perhaps you did not personally insult your classmate, but remained silent when others did and thus she considered you a party to it. So we also have a responsibility to speak out against injustice and not remain silent.
There is one Indian poet who says that many people will be willing to hear you, if you speak sweetly like a cuckoo and not harshly like a crow.
The holy name is always pure, but conditioned souls are covered by a mist, which makes it difficult to perceive the pure name.
Not blaspleming the devotees who are preaching the holy name includes devotees in other traditions, and even all living entities.
The other offenses arise because of inattention.
Even if we become free of all offenses, if we cannot give up thinking in terms of “I” and “mine,” we will not attain Krishna prema [love of God].
Some people say that Srila Prabhupada made mistakes by arranging the marriages of devotees who later broke up. But it was not Srila Prabhupada’s fault the marriages broke up. The individuals involved lost their focus on pleasing Krishna and sought sense enjoyment through the marriages, and when the marriages did not meet their expectations in that way, they abandoned them, but that was in ignorance of Srila Prabhupada’s instructions.
The distinguishing feature of a sadhu is unalloyed devotion to Krishna. Superficially one may criticize Arjuna saying his violence in killing is not characteristic of a sadhu, but because he was actually following Krishna’s instructions, he was not actually acting out of violence.
Chanting one pure name can destroy all sins, but in the beginning some traces of sinfulness may remain. If one criticizes, such a sincere devotee, he falls under the wrath of Krishna.
A pure devotee is infused with the spiritual energy of the Lord, and when we contact such a person, the spiritual energy moves within us.
Sometimes people criticize a Vaishnava for his caste, previous sinful activities, traces of sinful reactions, unpremeditated sinful acts, but these reasons are not justified because the devotee is so dear to the Lord for chanting the holy name, He does not consider these faults to be significant.
Giving up association with those who are not devotionally inclined is important because by associating nondevotees we can become implicated in blaspheming the devotees of the Lord.
If a guru becomes a impersonalist or a sense gratifier, he can be rejected.
Q [by Ali Krishna]: From my study of other religions, I see many recommend isolating themselves from those not following their practice. Is that a universal spiritual principle?
A: It is true that monks stay in monasteries, etc., so it is an important principal.
Some devotees, who have a particular skill, after many years practicing devotional service, decide they will go, and for example, play rock music and try to preach to other rock musicians. But Prabhupada wanted us to convince musicians to engage their talent in Krishna’s service and not to become professional musicians to do it.
In trying to creating an ideal situation for us to progress spiritually, we can end up getting in a spiritual rut.
Tamohara Prabhu [from a Sunday feast lecture in Alachua on faith]:
Sometimes intellectual people think that faith is for the ignorant, but in reality, faith leads to knowledge and realization.
Much of our lives we spend in our mind. It is easier to understand that we are not the body, but to understand we are not the mind is more difficult. When we understand we are not the mind, then we can spend less time lost in our own mind.
The whole process of devotional service begins with faith, which drives one to associate with devotees and take up devotional service.
The devotee maintains faith, despite inevitably difficulties, that Krishna is there and understands our heart and is our well-wisher.
If you go to the White House you cannot demand to see the president, similarly we cannot demand to see God.
We accept what God gives us and what is His plan for us.
Lord Caitanya is the most merciful incarnation because He comes in the mood of Srimati Radharani.
In Kali-yuga, we are very stubborn because we have been around in this material world for a long time. Thus Krishna does not demand our surrender but just asks that we chant His holy name.
“Work is love made visible”, a quote by Kahil Gibran, describes bhakti, devotional service.
Krishna Kesava Prabhu:
Ignorance causes fear and misery.
It is good that people are worried about 2012 because it may motivate them to take shelter of God.
No one asks for problems, but Queen Kunti is such a pure devotee, she recognizes that she always remembers Krishna when she is in distress, and thus she asks Krishna for more distress so that she will always remember Krishna.
We cannot really help each other at the time of death, but Krishna can help us because He is the supreme controller.
I am not seeing you, and you are not seeing me. I am seeing your body, and you are seeing my body, but I am not my body and you are not your body. When someone dies, we say that person is gone although the lifeless body may be present before us. That conscious soul that leaves at death we have never seen.
If Krishna wants to save you, then no one can kill you, and if Krishna wants to kill you then no one can save you. Therefore it is intelligent to take shelter of Krishna.
Q: Why does the sadhu bless the brahmacari to die immediately?
A: His life is so perfect now, it is better that he dies before he falls down, for then he will attain perfection.
One who is with God is always joyful.
Each morning a devotee is grateful that the Lord has allowed him to survive the night, and he knows this day might be his last, so he takes his devotional duties to God very seriously.
If you are a servant of a rich man, then you may swim in his pool, when he is not around, but if you become a servant of Krishna, he will fulfill all your needs.
These sixteen words, thirty-two syllables, of the Hare Krishna mantra, have so much power that we cannot imagine it. They can cleanse us from lifetimes of material reactions.
Just as the prisoners have to tolerate all the inconvenience of prison life, we as prisoners in the material world have to tolerate all the things that go on here.
As energies of Krishna we are all female in relationship to Krishna therefore we should not be envious Krishna for having many queens.
Although in the gopi vastra hara lila, Krishna steals away the gopis cloths, in Mahabharata when Draupadi was being disrobed, Krishna supplied additional cloth to protect her dignity. This is evidence that Krishna was not a selfish enjoyer. Krishna knew the gopis desired to have Krishna as their husband, and His stealing their clothes was His way of showing that He accepted their desire. Krishna fulfills everyone’s desire, but He may not do so in a way one expects.
Since I made the resolution “Go to mangala-arati or die!” I have been coming every day, and it has been wonderful.
Nanda Kumar: There is a pastime that Mother Sita fed Agastya Muni and his associates sumptuously but did not have sufficient water to quench their thirst. Lord Rama said in the future, when He lifted Govardhan, He would have plenty of water for them. Thus Agastya went into meditation waiting for that time, and he and his associates drank the torrents of rain supplied by Indra.
According to Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, Krishna’s name-giving ceremony actually occurred before the demons Putana and Trnavarta were killed.
Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu is mentioned in the Vishnu Sahasra Nama in the Mahabharta.
Radhanatha Swami mentions while commenting on the pastime of Krishna’s denying that He ate dirt. “Here you have the Absolute Truth telling lies.”
Pride in wealth is more dangerous than pride in family or pride in knowledge, because it is the cause of all kinds of sinful activities.
Comment by Kalakantha Prabhu: That due to my karma I have little to offer to Krishna is not as important as that I offer Krishna whatever I have.
In Lord Krishna’s damodara-lila, the flowers fell from Yasoda’s hair to her feet, seeing the greatness of her devotion to Krishna.
Damodar Prasad Prabhu:
According to Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, the fruit vendor was so overwhelmed by Krishna’s beauty she ignored the fact the He offered her very few grains in exchange and gave her more fruit than an ordinary child could carry, and then He not only filled her basket with valuable jewels but also filled her heart with love of God (krishna-prema).
Krishna began taking care of the cows at age three, although as the Absolute Truth, He had no real duty.
According to Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, Krishna whirled Vatsasura into a tree because that would give pleasure to his friends.
The rascal Aghasura’s plan was to kill Krishna and his friends and offer them as pinda to benefit his forefathers who were killed by Krishna.
Sometimes Srila Prabhupada would describe imitators who pretend to be Bhagavan (God, the possessor of all opulence) as being Aghavan (the possessor of all sin).
When the cowherd boys raced to touch Krishna first, Krishna accepted their enthusiasm but said philosophically stated, “It does not matter which one of you touched me first. I consider you all fortunate because you all came to see Me.”
It is said the disc on Krishna’s feet is symbolic of the destruction of the six material illusions of the aspiring devotee.
Gopastami is the other time, in addition to Radhastami, which one can see the lotus feet of Radharani.
Manu Prabhu [at the Holy Name gathering each Thursday in Alachua]: That you can be benefited so much by chanting indirectly indicates how eager Krishna is to accept whatever little we do to see us advance and come back to Him.
Caitanya-caritamrita states that faith in Krishna alone is sufficient, and in Bhagavad-gita Krishna says those who worship demigods are less intelligent.
Krishna manifested a very huge form to convince the cowherd men that He is nondifferent from Govardhan Hill.
Prabhupada reminds us that even if a demigod becomes angry, a devotee of Krishna does not need to worry because Krishna will protect him.
The residents of Vrndavana did not feel hunger or thirst for the seven days while Krishna was holding up Govardhan Hill because their minds were absorbed in Him. Similarly Krishna was enchanted by the beauty of the gopis and also was not disturbed by hunger or thirst.
“To be wrong is nothing unless you remember it.”
If I understand that I am a spiritual soul, that will make a difference in how to approach life, and how I act.
“Working in love is freedom in action.”—Tagore
Sagar: By acting in love, we less focus on ourselves.
Most people want to be more loved, but few people realize that by loving others, they will be more loved automatically.
Suzie: It is really cool when through meditation you can see that you are not your thoughts.
Walt: Being a teacher, can help you become free from your ego, because you are benefiting others.
anarpita-carīḿ cirāt karuṇayāvatīrṇaḥ kalau
samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasāḿ sva-bhakti-śriyam
sadā hṛdaya-kandare sphuratu vaḥ śacī-nandanaḥ
“May the Supreme Lord who is known as the son of Śrīmatī Śacī-devī be transcendentally situated in the innermost chambers of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has appeared in the Age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation has ever offered before: the most sublime and radiant mellow of devotional service, the mellow of conjugal love.” (Śrī Caitanya-caritamṛta, Ādi-līlā 1.4)