Diary of a Traveling Sadhaka, Vol. 7, No. 11
By Krishna-kripa das
(June 2011, part one)
(Sent from Newcastle, England, on July 3, 2011)
Where I Was and What I Did
My friend and godbrother, Caitanya-candrodaya Prabhu, became temple president of Belfast, and invited me there to do harinama. I went for the two weeks between the Birmingham 24-hour kirtana and the London Ratha-yatra. We did harinama for between two and three hours with from three to six people every day except Sunday. Janananda Goswami's attendance on the final day of my visit made it extra special as he got many young people to participate by dancing. London Ratha-yatra was very wet but very wonderful, with a great Ekadasi feast include a curd vegetable preparation and shrikhand. On harinama the next day on Oxford Street, four high school students joyfully danced with us for several blocks. In the evening, book distribution minister, Vijaya Prabhu, gave a brahmacari class to the Radha-Londonisvara's brahmacari ashram residents.
I heard great lectures by Prahladananda Swami and Janananda Goswami, and Mother Narayani gave a seminar on the prayers of Queen Kunti with lots of stories, references to Srila Prabhpada's teachings, and valuable realizations.
Newcastle: July 2–4
London: July 5-6
Scandinavian Ratha-yatras: July 8–16
Prague Ratha-yatra?: July 17
Croatian Harinama Tour: July 18–31
Poland Woodstock: August 1–7
Berlin: August 8–10
Belfast: August 11-18
Trutnov Open Air Festival (Czech Woodstock): August 18–21
Leipzig?: August 22–23 (Janmastami, Vyasa Puja)
Polish tour: August 24–28
Kirtana-mela, Leipzig: August 29–September 4
Lvov, Ukraine?: September 6
Kharkov, Ukraine: September 7–8
Ukraine Festival: September 9–15
Boston Ratha-yatra and Prabhupada festival: September 17–18
New York: September 19–23?
Philadelphia Ratha-yatra: September 24–25
Albany: September 26–30?
Arizona, Nevada, Florida: October–December
We mostly did sitting down harinamas in Belfast. I was so happy to have so many people go chanting with me each day. Bhagavata dasi loves to sing and has an nice amplifier and so she was a great asset. Gauranga Prabhu is the proprietor of a cloth business, and was able take time out to join us and play the mrdanga almost every day. Alan moved into the ashram for a week of spiritual recharging and also came out. Syama-mayi and Nitai Sacinandana Prabhu's also came out when their scheduled permitted.
One time an atheist came by and challenged the devotees in different ways, including blaspheme. After I while I decided to follow the instruction given in The Nectar of Devotion, to leave that place, and that solved the problem. A couple devotees even saw good in that atheist:
Mother Narayani: I am sure he thinks about God more than a lot of theists.
Mother Annete: He was a very heavy duty atheist, but he could not stop himself from dancing on harinama.
On the first Saturday, we did a standing up harinama in a section where some young people were hanging out. One little guy took pleasure in doing different genuine and imaginary yoga postures in the middle of our kirtana party.
On the second Saturday, Janananda Goswami came along with Prema Sankirtana Prabhu, his disciple, mrganda player, and dancing assistant. There were many groups of young people roaming the streets and hanging out hither and thither, and Janananda Goswami engaged them in chanting and dancing. One group of them ran a block to rejoin us after we had left them and gone on. One boy who smelled of alcohol, picked Janananda Goswami up off of the ground while swinging him around. The young people really loved dancing with the devotees.
We did a 24-hour kirtana in Belfast, but there were far fewer people than Birmingham, and I could not chant my japa during the early morning hours because I had to play the instruments and nor could I chant japa later in the morning when I completed my three hour nap and shower because I had to sing. Thus it disturbed my regulated live more than the Birmingham one, and I will have to make sure it does not happen like that again. On the bright side, one devotee lady got a lot more appreciation of the name and form of the Lord as a result of the twenty-four hours of chanting, and some devotees who drove two hours from Dublin to take part in it were happy they made the trip.
There was an anniversary of the opening of a Hindu Laksmi-Narayana temple and Gauranga Prabhu got us invited to chant. They promised us fifteen minutes but the priest told us to stop after seven. Still I mentioned that Krishna says in the Gita that the most confidential knowledge is to think of Him, become His devotees, worship Him, and bow down before Him. I said these temples are valuable because they give us the opportunity to do these activities that Krishna recommends. Gauranga Prabhu said because I was a white American quoting Krishna in Bhagavad-gita, the leaders were impressed and said I could come back and give a lecture.
The most amazing thing about the London Ratha-yatra was the devotees were so absorbed in chanting and dancing that although it was rainy and cold, everyone had a wonderful time anyway. You could really see how it was a transcendental affair.
The deities were protected from the rain by a plastic screen in front of them. The devotees brought the plastic each year, but this was the first year they used it the entire time.
The meditation booth at Trafalgar Sqaure was decorated attractively with giant japa beads.
As I experienced for the second year, the London Ratha-yatra feast is really great, with curd subji, halava, and shrikhand, all thanks to Parasurama Prabhu and his assistants.
Kadamba Kanana Swami gave a great talk on our little stage at the event. Devotees from Scotland did some dramas.
Insights from the Prayers of Queen Kunti:
From a Seminar by Mother Narayani
Mother Narayani did five lectures on Queen Kunti's prayers, an hour and a half each. She made lots of nice points:
Srnvan supathan vicarana paro bhaktya
Srnvan – hearing
Supathan – chanting, studying
Vicarana paro – meditating – applying to your life
Bhaktya – with devotion
Kunti was not a scholar or sage, but a mother and a wife of a great king, but she had bhakti and that is what attracted Krishna.
Kunti is the original single mother.
Gita and Bhagavatam have some common beginning. Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.1.2 is like Bhagavad-gita 18.66 in that they both kick out cheating religion. Also Krishna is driving Arjuna’s chariot in Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.7, as He does in the Gita.
Kunti is seeing Krishna as Brahman, paramatma, and Bhagavan.
Kunti sees Krishna both as the Supreme Personality of Godhead and as her nephew, unlike the residents of Vraja, who just see Him as their friend and relative.
The impersonalists may pray that the Lord is my father and mother, but if you ask them the details, they will describe He is just some force.
Is seeing Krishna as prasadam seeing Him within or without? Actually first we see Him without and then later within!
One can offer to Krishna individual activities we perform like taking a shower or climbing the stairs.
We cannot see Krishna because Krishna is transcendental, we are covered by a curtain, and we are fools.
What are the aspects of foolishness? Not seeing Krishna beyond everything, because we are trying to enjoy this world, because we are in the prison house of maya.
Dullness, distraction, indifference are the three causes of inattentive chanting according to Bhaktivinoda Thakura.
If one remembers Lord Caitanya, difficult things become easy.
Before going on a trip it is auspicious to take permission from one’s superiors, and thus Krishna came to see Kunti to take the dust from her feet before leaving for Dvaraka. That Krishna is coming to Kunti and not to the sages shows her greatness. That what she is saying is recorded in Srimad-Bhagavatam also testifies to her greatness.
Srila Prabhupada wrote me in my initiation lecture, “chant the holy name, follow the regulative principles, read and study all the books, do deity worship, go out an sankirtana, and engage in devotional service twenty-four hours a day.”
In a second letter he stressed that “sincerity, enthusiasm, cooperation for are keys to success in devotional service.”
You cannot cooperate unless you are humble.
When the roots of humility go deeper the tree of bhakti grows taller.—Bhurijana Prabhu
When I was teaching Srimad-Bhagavatam, I would read a verse and then chant a round to get inspiration to teach it.
Srila Prabhupada said that 'impossible' is a word in a fool’s dictionary, and we believed him. I have some experience of this. Once Srila Prabhupada’s servant Pradyumna, who knew I knew how to type, asked if I wanted to go to Mayapur with Srila Prabhupada. I said yes. He said you just have to learn how to transliterate Bengali. I spent two hours learning how to transliterate Bengali, and I went to Mayapur, and I transliterated from the scripture, Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila, Chapter 13-17, the Lord’s Navadvipa pastimes, as Srila Prabhupada would read them in Bengali.
Srila Prabhupada said, “If you associate with Govinda, you will enjoy your senses abundantly. And it will not be in a gross way but a spiritual way.”
Srila Prabhupada said because Kunti was His aunt she began viewing His middle, but we should view Him from the feet.
Srila Prabhupada: If you think of Krishna as having lotuslike features as described in this verse, you can meditate on Krishna’s beauty your whole life.
Srila Prabhupada: Without hearing and chanting it is impossible to become a spiritual leader.
Krishna likes to be to the hero and protect his devotees.
Govinda Dasi was suffering with a fever. Noticing her symptoms, Srila Prabhupada said, “Krishna is checking off your account.” Krishna reduces the karmic reaction of the devotees.
The Pandavas came out better after each danger. After Bhima was fed a poisoned cake and thrown in the river, he was bitten by snakes who neutralized the poison and invited him to Nagaloka, and offered him a feast and a beverage that gave him 10,000 times greater strength. How did they come out better while living in the forest? They saved Duryodhana from the Gandharvas, showing their superiority. They also got the association of Krishna and the sages.
One Buddhist lady was harassing the devotees in Sydney, and people from the city council said, “They are good people. Stop bothering them.” Forty years earlier, the city officers themselves had harassed the devotees.
Srila Prabhupada said, “As soon as you think you are comfortable in this world, you are spiritually fallen.”
As when we are attacked by a dog, we have to call for the owner of the dog to call him off, when we are attacked by maya, we have to call out to Krishna, the owner of maya.
Narada was amazed that although the Pandavas lost their kingdom, their wife was insulted, and they were banished to the forest, their devotion to Krishna only increased.
Think before you pray. One devotee who followed Kunti’s example of praying for calamities because they inspired her to take shelter of Krishna broke one bone after another. I told her of one temple where they prayed for calamities and ended up cracking up their sankirtana van, and thus had to discontinue the prayer.
Kunti’s opulence was her distress. If you are with Krishna, hell becomes heaven. If you are without Krishna, heaven become hell.
When asked by a disciple if Krishna is always testing us, Srila Prabhupada responded, “If you want a responsible post, you require a test. For the bum or vagabond, there is no test.”
Faith means you are meant for giving some service to Krishna as directed by the spiritual master, and that must be kept up despite all difficulty.
One man challenged that Arjuna was not a pure devotee because he lamented his son’s being killed on the battlefield when Krishna had advised against lamenting in Bhagavad-gita. Srila Prabhupada disagreed, explaining that because Arjuna kept on with his duty of fighting despite lamenting his son’s death, he was obedient to Krishna.
In India there is so much cell phone radiation that the coconuts are diseased.
We are attracted by the material nature and then we are devoured by it.
Both the great ascetic Gaura Kisora Dasa Babaji and Bhaktisiddhanta Saravati Thakura were akincana, or without possessions. Although Bhaktisiddhanta Saravati Thakura had many possessions they were all used in Krishna’s service.
Someone once asked Srila Prabhupada where he lived, and he said, “I live in a 747 jet.”
Visaya is visa. Sense enjoyment is a kind of “visa” (poison).
Srila Prabhupada said when I lost everything, I approached Krishna saying, “Now I am yours.”
When you preach, you realize the whole world is your family.
I was at a doctor/psychic who saw I was attacked by 28 demons, 3 ghosts, and several parasites. She also saw Srila Prabupada, and behind him a lot of demoniac energy. “Yes,” I said, “Srila Prabhupada is holding back that demoniac energy.”
Q: I find in the beginning it is difficult to completely depend on Krishna.
A: Yes, of course, you do not know Him.
Crow story: The crow saw Yamaraja, the Lord of death, and he was smiling. The crow was worried and begged Garuda to take him to a far region of the universe. He did that, but when Garuda set him down, a cat immediately pounced on him and killed him. When the crow went to Yamaraja, he said that he saw him smiling at another place. “Yes,” Yamaraja replied, “I was smiling in wonder about how you would get to the place where you were supposed to die.”
Krishna tells Arjuna, “For one who chants my name even neglectfully, I keep his name in My heart.”—Adi Purana
If you are very accepting, everything is mercy.
Srila Prabhupada said those cent percent engaged in the Lord’s service are the full recipients of the Lord’s mercy.
In Sweden, at 3:30 a.m. I looked up the time to break Ekadasi, but it was too late. That time had come already.
Krishna told Brahma that his prayers, his austerity, and firm faith in Him were the evidence of His causeless mercy. (Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.9.38)
Srila Prabhupada said, “Voluntary endeavor is the only qualification for spiritual perfection.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.9.38, purport)
We have one problem: how to accept Krishna.
The demons sent to Vrndavana were like toys for Krishna to play with. A toy duck, a toy snake, a toy donkey, etc.
Krishna likes to favor the monkeys because they helped Him when He had appeared as Lord Rama.
My Godsister Radha Kunda dd was distributing books in Jagannatha Puri, and the whole morning she did not sell even one book. One shopkeeper noticed and advised her to go to Patita-pavana Jagannatha, who is situated outside the door of the temple, and chastise Him. She could not do it, so the shop keeper himself went to Jagannatha and said, “This poor lady has spent the whole morning trying to sell Your books, and You are not helping her.” The rest of the day, she sold many books.
The love of the Vrndavana residents is so great they cannot see Krishna as God.
Q: When are you depending on Krishna, and when are you being irresponsible?
A: If you do not do your duty and expect Krishna to do everything, then you are irresponsible. You do your duty and depend on Krishna for the result.
Formerly Malaysia was famous for sandalwood, but now it is famous for rubber.
Krishna is greater than Devaki because all universes are within Krishna, but Krishna, with all the universes, is within Devaki.
Krishna glorifies His devotees above Himself. The truthfulness of Arjuna and Yudhisthira exceeds that Krishna. Hanuman could jump the ocean, but Rama used a bridge.
45% of America’s wealth is in the hands of 5% of its people.
Avidya, kama karmabhih . . . Due to ignorance we have to work hard to fulfill material desires. By hearing and by worship, we conquer this.
Even just seeing the Deity is enough.
There was a bull who came to a Bhagavat saptaha to both morning and evening classes two years in a row.
If you make a bad offense, you can come back as the pet animal of a devotee.
One devotee lady had a cat that would always wake her up for mangala arati and japa. One day the cat got her attention, and she followed the cat into the room of the deity. Then the cat lay down before the deity and left her body.
Sometimes Prabhupada appeared to us as if projected from another dimension.
In the beginning the devotees would say, “You can see Krishna face to face.” They gave the impression that state was just a few months away.
Homework: Try to do what you are doing just to please Krishna.
St. Thomas: Pray as if everything depends on God, and work as if everything depends on you.
Krishna does not only come to relieve the burden of the earth but to relieve us from our self-created burdens.
Separation is also more intense, because Krishna is experienced as everywhere.
Srila Prabhupada, commenting on Kunti’s description of the opulence of her kingdom due to Krishna’s blessings, said, “She did not say the slaughterhouses were flourishing.”
Krishna’s glance creates devotional desires, and Krishna’s smile maintains are devotional desires.
Comment by Bhagavata Dasi: You have to give the children full opportunity to engage in devotional service, but you cannot force them to become devotees.
We had to find Krishna, so our children also have find Krishna.
Srila Prabhupada said when we love Krishna our detachment will become complete.
Srila Prabhupada said, “If you like family life, then you should ask, ‘Where can I have eternal family?’”
Sumati dd was greeted at the temple the first time she came by a angelic lady who said, “Welcome home. This is your father [pointing to Srila Prabhupada’s picture]. This is your grandfather [pointing to Bhaktisiddhana Sarasvati Thakura’s picture]. Here are your brothers and sisters [pointing to the devotees]. You can stay here eternally. Just go home and get your toothbrush.” She went home and thought about that and came back with her toothbrush, telling the president she wanted to stay. He asked her if she could follow the four rules, and she said she thought so, even though she had been a chain smoker until that very moment.
At a retirement dinner, someone praised Badrinarayana Prabhu’s father for retiring at 67, and he said, “My son was more intelligent, because he retired and joined the Hare Krishna at age 17.”
Anything negative can be a learning experience for us.
Notes on a Brahmacari Class in London by Vijaya Prabhu
Iron is naturally attracted to iron but when it becomes rusty there is practically no attraction. Similarly we have a natural attraction to Krishna, but in our conditioned state it is not there. If we can remove the rust, the attraction again becomes manifest.
Srila Prabhupada says we should not look for happiness in the material world where happiness is a myth.
Once I was on japa walk in Gainesville at 3:30 a.m. one morning. One woman was returning from a party in her evening gown. She was yelling, “I hate men. Every last one of them.” Then she saw me, and said, “Who is that? Oh, it is Hare Krishna. But it is a man! I hate Hare Krishna men too!”
collects for guru
Grhastha life disadvantages:
you are dealing with another mind, at least, and one more mind for each child
to raise a child for a devotee is like $75,000 to $100,000
there is a lot of suffering, any married person will tell you
Srila Prabhupada said it is extra luggage.
The best teacher is experience, and a fool learns by no other.
The body appears attractive because of the presence of the soul. The soul is attractive because it is part of Krishna.
There was a brahmacari who wanted to get married. Srila Prabhupada told him he did not think he would be happy if he got married. He persisted, and Srila Prabhupada again told him he did not think it would make him happy. The man got married anyway, and he suffered miserably. His conversation with Srila Prabhupada had been recorded, and if any brahmacari wanted to get married, the ashram leader would play him the tape of the conversation.
Srila Prabhupada said that anyone who has a material body has sex desire, so that is not a reason to get married.
If you want to remain brahmacari tell your authorities to not even tell you if a girl wants to marry you.
In one devotee family in Canada, the mother disappeared mysteriously, and it was not understood what happened for a few years. Later an undercover policeman had a relationship with the daughter in the family, and asked the girl what happened to her mother and she said her brother killed her. He was arrested and jailed. He served 12 years in jail, came out and became the leader of the Mafia in Canada. So when you get married you do not know what kind of kids you will get.
On airplanes Radha Govinda Maharaja puts a cadar over his head so he does not see movies.
Srila Prabhupada said, “The words of Krishna are ever fresh. You can read Srimad-Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita thousands of times and never get tired of it.”
I never go to astrologers.
I read three hours a day.
If you have good association with other brahmacaris you will not feel lonely and be tempted to seek friendship with a woman.
Comments by Krishna-kripa das:
[Because I have also practiced brahmacarya for sometime, I offered some comments in the course of Vijaya Prabhu's class.]
I was engaged to a girl after being brahmacari for ten years. Before that I used to think that if it was too hard to be brahmacari, I would just get married. After that difficult experience, however, I would think that if it is too hard to be brahmacari, I will just try harder.
If you want to be brahmacari, you have to desire to be brahmacari more than any woman desires to marry you, otherwise Krishna may fulfill her desire and not yours.
If you go to the evening program of kirtana and class you will not feel lonely in the evening and become tempted to allay that feeling of emptiness in your life with the association of the opposite sex.
Insight from Lectures
Srila Prabhupada [from a purport]:
“From this verse we have good information of how the castes are qualified according to quality and work. Rsabhadeva, a king, was certainly a ksatriya. He had a hundred sons, and out of these, ten were engaged as ksatriyas and ruled the planet. Nine sons became good preachers of Srimad-Bhagavatam (maha-bhagavatas), and this indicates that they were above the position of brahmanas. The other eighty-one sons became highly qualified brahmanas. These are some practical examples of how one can become fit for a certain type of activity by qualification, not by birth. All the sons of Maharaja Rsabhadeva were ksatriyas by birth, but by quality some of them became ks?atriyas, and some became brahman?as. Nine became preachers of Srimad-Bhagavatam (bhagavata-dharma-darsanah?), which means that they were above the categories of ks?atriya and brahman?a.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.4.13, purport)
The deities are behind everything, but it is not that we blame Them for everything.
What to speak of seeing the source of the material world, we cannot even see the source of a tree, for once the tree becomes manifest, the seed is not longer visible.
On the Richter scale, 1 unit more means the earthquake is 10 times powerful.
At the Christchurch memorial service, practically everyone did not have a clue. Only the Jew said we should consider the spiritual the side of life, but none of the other religious leaders said anything enlightening. Almost all the churches were smashed.
People do not take responsibility for their situation. People blame their parents or their next door neighbors. In ISKCON we blame the GBC, the sannyasis, etc. I was a sincere soul but these people exploited me . . .
Our part of our being “the doer” is desiring.
A third of the people moved away from Christchurch.
In New Zealand cow slaughter is one of the biggest industries.
On sankirtana outside the city of Christchurch, I asked one lady about the damage there. She said they only had tremors there. When I asked what she thought about the quake. She said with all the crazy things that people do around here it is not a wonder that it happened.
Just two days before the quake, the daughter of the head pujari of the Christchurch temple had a dream with the deities encouraging the devotees to go on harinama sankirtana, and coming off the altar to lead them.
The verse the morning of the quake was in the Sixth Canto was about depending on the Lord, but the purport talked about Lord sometimes burying Himself underground.
I took it as the Lord encouraging us to go rural and do farming, which is what goes on in that part of the world. Srila Prabhupada wanted the householders to live on farms, and the preachers to live in the cities.
Lord Caitanya’s movement is to chant and dance, take prasadam, take rest, and then chant and dance again.
It is Lord Nityananda’s mercy that anyone who takes the sankirtana a little seriously can experience ecstasy. Seeds are planted in the heart that will never, never die.
The last time I was at Falls Road in Belfast was in 1976, and we chanted for five minutes and we were pelted with rocks. In those times, we did sankirtana in front of Woolworths, and once we came back the next day and found the store was no longer there; they had blown it up.
Baladeva Vidyabhusana was the incarnation of Gopinatha Acarya in the Caitanya-lila.
Gangamata Goswamini had a desire to swim in the Ganges at Ganga Sagara Mela, and the Ganges flowed into her ashram at Puri and carried her to the lotus feet of Lord Jagannatha inside His temple.
Lord Caitanya was careful in choosing the lead singer and lead dancer in his sankirtana parties.
What goes on in our mind has no more to do with us than all the conversations we hear on the street or all the items in the shops, so we can use the harassment of our mind to take shelter of Krishna.
The mind is like a mirror and our business is to fill this mirror with Krishna consciousness thoughts and memories.
Comment by Gauranga SDG: We have to burn our coal-like anarthas [unwanted desires] by the fire of our devotional service.
Everyone has friends; even ass demons have friends. Of course, they were not very high-grade friends, but they were loyal.
Krishna has warned about making comic books about Krishna's pastimes because people will tend to think of them as mythological.
When we hear Krishna and Balarama threw the ass demons into the tree one after another, we can visualize this in our minds. This is transcendental meditation, and it is recommended in The Nectar of Devotion.
Meditation on the pastimes on the Lord is more difficult, so it is recommended we loudly chant the holy name. By chanting the holy name, meditating on the sound vibration with attention and devotion, eventually we will feel Krishna's presence. Devotion is the key.
As far as the Tenth Canto is concerned we are supposed to at least appreciate these are the pastimes of the Supreme Lord. We may not be able to blindly accept the pastimes in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, but at least we should not blindly reject them. They are extraordinary, but because they are the pastimes of the all-powerful Supreme Lord, that it not surprising.
For the nondevotees, Krishna gives them the remembrance of their material desires and causes them to forget Himself. For the devotees, He gives remembrance of Himself and frees them from material desire. In this way, He is equal to everyone, giving them what they want, but he speaks Bhagavad-gita to inform the people about the best way to desire. When you offer someone a Bhagavad-gita and they reject it, they are not rejecting you, although it may seem like that. Ultimately they are rejecting Krishna.
When Krishna wants to enjoy swimming in the water, He just accepts the form of a fish, rather than getting snorkel equipment, etc.
Srila Prabhupada once said regarding the deity worship, “It is not that Krishna accepts the halava just because you put extra raisins in it.”
Srila Prabhupada said, “What is the value of what we have to Krishna? It is insignificant. All we have is our devotion. Say to Krishna, 'I am a very fallen person, but I have brought this gift. Please accept it.' Don't be puffed out. Always remember you are dealing with Krishna.”
Try at least to act as if Krishna is great, with appropriate reverence.
Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami [from Japa Transformations]:
“Only a fool neglects the attempt to break his loneliness by reaching for You, Sri-Sri Radha-Krishna, Sri-Sri Gaura Nitai, and Srila Prabhupada and all the acaryas in disciplic succession.”
Mother Narayani dd:
From a Sunday Feast lecture:
Other sacrifices are not recommended in this age, just the sacrifice of the congregational chanting of the holy name.
Lord Rama did a fire sacrifice that lasted for 13,000 years without interruption.
In Mayapur for the deity installation they did a fire sacrifice and the congregational chanting of the holy name, and the devotees felt so much ecstasy from chanting that they realized that the chanting was the real installation ceremony.
Lord Caitanya set the example of not establishing deities or temples but just teaching the congregational chanting of the holy name.
Some places we cannot have deities, such as China and some Moslem countries, and in New Zealand, due to an earthquake, we lost our deities, but the chanting goes on.
Due to the suffering of this age, people can intensely cry out the holy name, and so it is actually the best age.
Chanting Hare Krishna is the best process for spiritual realization. In Moscow there was some proof of this. One man would visit all the different spiritual groups in the city and would chant all the different mantras or songs, including visiting the Hare Krishna temple and chanting the Hare Krishna mantra. Once the temple president got a call from a hospital saying one of our members was dying. The president was confused because everyone seemed to be present, but he sent a kirtana party to the hospital just in case. There was the man who used to go to all the different spiritual groups. He had just died the moment before. All the brain and heart waves went to zero. The devotees decided to chant anyway, and the lines on the machine connected to the man’s body began to show activity. Then the man sat up in his bed, and said, “Now I understand why chanting the Hare Krishna is the best process.” Then he lay back in the bed, and left his body.
Concentration on the chanting and avoiding the offenses are the more important ways to improve our chanting.
Before you sleep make the determination to improve your chanting.
In one temple in Badarikasrama there is a grain of rice from Satya-yuga which is one and a half feet long.
From her collection of poems, Garden of Devotion: [Some excerpts of poems I typeset as prose to save space.]
“Just as a mother runs into a burning house to save her own children, not thinking of her own safety, so Srila Prabhupada ran into the blazing fire of American materialistic life, not caring for his own safety to rescue his children, to rescue us.”—from “Compassion” (p. 33)
“The opposite sex
Was my distraction.
Now Krishna’s sweet face
Is my attraction.”—from “I Will Always Follow You” (p. 38)
“Nanda told me she sometimes has to depend on Krishna just to raise her arm and put it into her bead bag, or to go to the bathroom. On her own strength, she cannot do it. So she has realized how she is helpless, how Krishna is taking complete care of her. When will I feel such utter dependence on Krishna?”—from “Depending on Krishna” (p. 37)
“My dear mind, please see how Krishna is waiting for you. Don’t be disrespectful, don’t be late. There is nothing more important than hearing the holy name. Leaving everything aside, just hear His name.”—from “To Possess Krishna” (p. 60)
“Your name is full of knowledge, I must have faith that everything is there. No need to look elsewhere. Just hear You holy name.”—from “Cleaning the Mind” (p. 64)
Gauranga Prabhu (SDG) [from a conversation]:
One guru in Punjab told his follower that if he gave him all his properties he would be able to see God in a specified amount of time, so the disciple signed over all his property to the guru. When that time had come and gone and the disciple had not seen God, he requested his guru to return the property, but the guru would not. The follower took the guru to court and the guru lost and had to return the property.
The advanced devotee is as good as the Bhagavatam and can be considered a walking Bhagavatam.
The purpose of the Krishna consciousness movement is to give people a chance to hear from the book Bhagavata and the person bhagavata.
Bhagavatam is alive in Srila Prabhupada and his devotees.
Become liberated and stay liberated.
On the Radha-Damodara traveling party the devotees that read the books in addition to distributing them remained in devotional service.
If you want a person to become a devotee you have to immerse them completely in devotional service to they get that experience.
tvayi me 'nanya-vis?aya
matir madhu-pate 'sakr?t
ratim udvahatad addha
“[Queen Kunti prayed, ]'O Lord of Madhu, as the Ganges forever flows to the sea without hindrance, let my attraction be constantly drawn unto You without being diverted to anyone else.'” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.8.42)