Saturday, November 26, 2011

Travel Journal#7.18: United Kingdom, Philadelphia, New York

Diary of a Traveling Sadhaka, Vol. 7, No. 18
By Krishna-kripa das
(September 2011, part two)
United Kingdom, Philadelphia, New York
(Sent from Gainesville, Florida, on November 25, 2011)

[Note: Manorama Prabhu (formerly Manu) invited me to come on the 12 festival Youth Bus Tour to Mexico (December 15, 2011–January 8, 2012) as he likes to have a few older devotees to accompany the youth. For me to go, I need some sponsors. If you would like to help out, click on this link,, and click on “Donate” and fill out the form. When you see “Add special instructions to the seller”, click on it and type “for Krishna-kripa das”. Thank you so much.]

Where I Went and What I Did

After leaving the Ukraine festival in mid-September, I did a nama-hatta program in Crawley, England, attended the Ratha-yatra in Cardiff, Wales, and celebrated the end of World Holy Name Week doing harinama in London. Then I went to Philadelphia for the Ratha-yatra. The next day, I went to Queens for a twelve-hour kirtana, and the following day, we went chanting at Adi Purusa Prabhu's Food for Life in the morning, at Union Square during the day, and at Occupy Wall Street in the evening, returning to Philadelphia the next day for five days of harinama there.

I have some insights from Srila Prabhupada, Maha-Vishnu Swami, Kripa Moya Prabhu, as well as others, and some great quotes from Gopiparanadhana Prabhu’s soon-to-be-printed Tattva-sandarbha.

Cardiff Ratha-yatra

I came back from Ukraine a week earlier than usual in hopes of attending the Prabhupada festival in Boston, but I could not find a cheap flight. Thus I took advantage of my unexpected stay in the UK to attend a nama-hatta in Crawley and the Cardiff Ratha-yatra. I had never heard of Crawley until this year when a devotee who liked my Bhakti Sastri class at Soho told me he was from there. Later, the week after the London Ratha-yatra, I went to the Crawley Ratha-yatra. Jai Nitai Prabhu also invited me to help out with the nama-hattas southeast of London like Crawley. Furthermore I heard Gatwick Airport, the destination of my Ukraine flight, was nearby so the devotees could pick me up. So it all worked out very well. Thirty or forty people came for the event, and there was good participation during the kirtana.

The next day was Ratha-yatra in Cardiff, as I learned from the UK Ratha-yatra web site, and I took the train there. It was a bit pricey but the Crawley devotees donations covered it. I was excited because Wales is a new country for me. Having arrived at the train station halfway through the Ratha-yatra, I was worried I would not find it, but I passed a man who had just seen it, and he directed me. I was so happy to be with my UK festival friends, like Maha-Vishnu Swami, Parasurama Prabhu and Giridhari Prabhus who I had chanted with at places like Stonehenge and at the Crawley and Scandinavian Ratha-yatras. I also saw several friends from the Polish tour. Gaura Hari, who led kirtana, and Gopal Kumar Prabhus were there from England, and Gundica Prabhu, who is now living in Wales, with his wife, Ganga Seva dd, who got a lot of people dancing at the stage show after the Ratha-yatra. Both Ratha-yatra and stage show were very lively as you can see from the video. I recall one couple I invited to the festival came and stayed till almost the end, dancing in the kirtana as well. One friend of the devotees got ready to leave twice during the kirtana, but then got back into singing and dancing again, not being able to pull herself away from the ecstasy!

World Holy Name Week

I always spend part of World Holy Name Week at the Ukraine festival, where we do three hours of kirtana each night. The challenge is to have good congregational chanting programs for the other days. World Holy Name Week is not really a week, but eleven days, this year September 10–20. The Ukraine festival covered September 10–14, and Cardiff Ratha-yatra was on September 17. That left September 18, 19, and 20. By Krishna’s grace I was in London, where I can almost always find devotees to chant with. Not only that, but Maha-Vishnu Swami, who is enthusiasm personified when it comes to harinama was visiting London. Because of such good fortune, we had eight harinamas in those three days: Sunday after breakfast and after the Sunday feast, and Monday and Tuesday after breakfast, at 3:00 p.m. in the afternoon, and 6:00 p.m. in the evening. The following video depicts some of the transcendental happiness of it all:

While in London, I got to hear some very lively Guru Puja kirtanas by Maha-Vishnu Swami at our Soho Street temple, as you can see in the following video. Among the women singing and dancing is singer songwriter Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders, who is friends with some London devotees and chants Hare Krishna and visits the temple.

Philadelphia Ratha-yatra

Hare Krishna devotees observed Ratha-yatra on September 24, 2011, in Philadelphia. This year the Panca-Tattva deities who live above Govinda's Vegetarian Restaurant on South Street rode in their own chariot. Janananda Goswami, seen dancing blissfully, visited from the UK. Philly Ratha-yatra has some uncommon features like the bag pipe band, the drummers, the devotees dressed as incarnations of the Lord, demigods, and famous devotees. Also may kids pulled small carts in the parade.

At the festival in the park in front of the art musuem after the parade, there are lots of activities. There is a stage show, a
kirtana tent, face painting, instruction in chanting Hare Krishna on beads, and hatha-yoga. I see my younger devotee friends playing different important and useful roles. Navina Shyama Prabhu was the stage show MC, and one of my gurukula science students, Purusharta Prabhu’s son, Devananda, was in charge of the sound booth. Ganga Varuni taught yoga, and Jaya Sita dd did face painting. The prasadam is always tasty and well organized, with lots of help from the mostly Indian congregation. The Philly art museums happened to give students free admission on that day, so extra students were nearby to participant in our festival. I talked to several young people happily eating prasadam and willing to hear about our vegetarian restaurant and temple programs in Philadelphia. That is my second year in a row at the Philly Ratha-yatra, and I hope I can keep coming.

Philadelphia Harinamas

Three afternoons I chanted at Rittenhouse Square with a Hare Krishna friend. On Tuesday, September 27, Steven James came out with me. One sweet young lady photographer called Gaby who has a blog called “The Square People,” talked with us and included pictures she took in her blog:

Picture of Steven James and Krishna-kripa das

She wrote of her experience, “As I entered the square from the Walnut and 18th Street entrance, I was greeted by the soothing sounds of music and chanting. After catching up with some square regulars, I returned to meet Krishna-kripa Das (right) and Steven (left). They are Hare Krishnas and follow a spiritual practice based on traditional Hindu scriptures. As I develop an understanding of my own spirituality, I have found practices of the Hare Krishna, such as meditation and yoga, extremely worthwhile. While it’s not for everyone, I think the emphasis on connectivity, recognition of personal and worldly beauty, and peace is universally important.”

On Wednesday, September 28, Bhagavatananda Prabhu, who is very friendly and outgoing, came out with me. He encouraged one man, Gabe, to try chanting the Hare Krishna mantra, reading it from the Philly temple invitation, and he encouraged Bret, who likes kirtana, to play the karatalas with us. Bret surprised us by supplying his own karatalas. Bret’s friend took this video:

Every second Friday evening, Ganga Varuni and a friend arrange a harinama at Rittenhouse Square. Gandharvika dd made a sweet for distribution, and we had temple invitations and books, about twenty books being distributed.

One Saturday, we had harinama at U. Penn. The devotees liked the experience and became eager to do more harinamas. Later on, they decided to chant at Occupy Philly. Near the beginning of the occupation devotees chanted for seven hours. In the month of October, going out twice a week, and distributing spiritual books and food, the devotees distributed about five hundred books and one thousand plates of spiritual food.

Insights from Lectures

Srila Prabhupada:

Because I was sponsored by a private individual and not an organization the officials did not want to approve my going to America. I took it to a superior, and when I entered his office, he immediately said, “Don't worry, Swamiji, I have approved you.”

When I entered America, the immigration wanted to know how long I would stay. I had a one-month sponsorship, and figured under the circumstances I could stay at most at two months. Each time I extended my visa, I paid ten dollars. After a year, they would not extend it any more, so I engaged a lawyer, who helped get me permanent residency.

In July 1967, I was feeling very bad due to heart stroke, I thought, “Let me return to Vrindavana and die there.” But I returned to America in December 1967.

Q: Why did Srila Prabhupada book his return ticket for a two-month stay?

A [by Maha-Vishnu Swami]: Srila Prabhupada did not come thinking he would definitely be successful in starting a worldwide movement. Srila Prabhupada wasn't thinking, “I am an empowered incarnation.” He was humbly thinking that by Krishna's grace something could happen.

Maha-Vishnu Swami [London]:

The Vedic conception of God is He is that from whom everything has emanated, or in other words, the cause of all causes.

We give the scientists credit. They are intelligent because that are looking for the ultimate cause, up to a point, up to the Big Bang. Sometimes there is a big bang and many people are killed. The police are not satisfied simply to say there was a big bang and to leave it at that. They investigate the cause of the bang. Who or what was behind it?

We have an asuric [demonic] mentality—to enjoy at another's expense. Because we all have come here with this mentality, there can never really be peace in the material world.

Q: Krishna as Bhagavan, He who possesses all opulence, has done things like lift Govardhan Hill, marry 16,000 wives and possess 16,000 places. How can we help people to understand how this is possible?

A: Even ordinary people can do amazing things. There is one tower in Dubai 1,200 feet high, and there is one French man who climbed up the tower by his finger nails. How is it hard to understand that the person who is maintaining all the planets in orbit can lift up an insignificant hill 13 miles across?

Kripamoya Prabhu [London at the Soho Sunday Feast]:

As a new devotee in the 1970s, periodically we would be stopped by the police for chanting and dancing on the streets of London. Sometimes we were even locked up until we promised we would never, ever chant and dance on the streets of London again. This year I was impressed that all the policemen at the Cardiff Ratha-yatra were wearing garlands of flowers and smiling as they guided us through the streets. Times are changing.

During the Ratha-yatra, a lady came up to me, and said, “I am a yoga teacher, and I saw your chariot, and everyone singing and dancing, so happily. I wanted what you had, so I started to sing your song. I felt if I did not have a care in the world. And I started to cry. And I am not a sentimental person. I never cry, but cried for ten minutes. I just thought I should tell you.”

Whenever there is a revolution for change, there is often a song that goes along with it. We would like to think our that song, the Hare Krishna mantra, will be a song for change.

The words of the Hare Krishna mantra will give you a taste of eternity. We can taste eternity because we are eternal. As a Christian I learn that if I believed in Christ, I would attain eternality, but as a Hare Krishna I learned that I was already eternal. We just have to become qualified to experience our eternality.

The word “eternal” comes from a Greek word that means forever existing in the future, and also forever existing in the past.

Spiritual life means I will make a determined effort to never push the snooze button and return to the sleeping condition of material life.

When you see a car, if you like cars you will notice the car, otherwise you notice the person. The needs of car and the driver are different. If you give the driver petrol to drink, he will not like it. Similar if you put creamy doughnuts in the gas tank, the car will not like it. Unfortunately, we do not know the food for the soul, so we simply look for food for the mind and body. The sound of kirtana, devotional chanting, is food for the soul.

Decades ago I went into a temple and they told me to experiment with chanting the mantra. I did, and I am still experimenting. If it stops working tomorrow, I am out the door. No temple president can convince me to stay. But so far I like it.

One devotee prays to the Lord, I see you dragging me back to you by a rope you have attached to my toe, but I am foolishly flapping my arms to get away. Please excuse my flapping, for I really do want to come back to you.

It is said Lord Nrsimha is looking with love from one eye at Prahlada Maharaja and looking with anger from the other eye at Hiranyakasipu. Sridhara Swami in his 13th century commentary on Srimad-Bhagavatam says that Lord Nrsimha is like a lioness who feds her cubs with affection at one moment and then fights an intruder to protect them at another, and then returns to feeding her cubs with affection.

Struggle is there to give up something for something greater, but by doing that we become peaceful.

Whenever there is seeking after God, there is song. When there are new realizations, they are expressed in song. And saints use songs to share spiritual truths with the general public.

To an extent when we give up the temporary, we can taste the eternal.

Mantra is a protective sound formula, protecting us from being materially absorbed.

We must know God as real, as friendly, as within and without, as the controller, as the ultimate destination, and as the greatest friend.

Lord Caitanya encouraged, “Come out of your places of worship and come into the streets and sing.”

Sometimes Bhaktivinoda Thakura would write songs of pure devotion to God and sign them, the anonymous Sufi, so people would sing them.

According to Bhaktivinoda Thakura, “You are standing on the threshold of bhakti if you can just do the six items of surrender.”

In all problems, we must open our umbrella and take shelter of Krishna's mercy.

Akrura Prabhu [London]:

Krishna is the supreme enjoyer but He noticed Radha was enjoying serving Him more than He was enjoying being served. Thus he descended as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to taste the feelings of Srimati Radharani.

I can see at Gitanagari, Bhakti Tirtha Swami trained his disciples to be very caring.

Attaining unconditional love for Krishna and all living entities seems to be the more difficult thing.

My mother never asked anything of me. She never asked me to finish high school, which I did not do, nor to do time in the army, which I was obliged to do, but did not, nor to get just get a job, which I did not do.

One lady was cheated by her husband in such a bad way she spent 7 years in jail. When she got out, she got cancer. Finding no hope for cure, she saw a karma diagnostic man who said, “You have cancer because you did not forgive your husband.” So she seriously forgave her husband, and she is still alive.

I have found many devotees who are stuck because they have not forgiven someone.

Instead of blaming people, if we take responsibility, we will become free.

Commenting on the tat te 'nukampam verse, Srila Prabhupada says we get much less than we deserve. How much less? Once he says if you are to be fined millions of dollars, the judge will fine you ten cents.

In one sense it is arrogant to forgive, because we should not have blamed them in the first place. It is just our karma we were getting.

One lady lamented, “My husband left me!” I explained that it could have been your karma that he killed you, but it was reduced. Then she was relieved.

Q: What about people who they are not on that level to forgive as your recommended?

A: They still have to do it. It is the truth. You have to encourage them to try. They will be feel better.

Q: How can remember to forgive?

A: Sometimes we are doing everything right, but we are not happy. It could be you have not forgiven someone. I will remind you every month to make sure you have forgiven everyone.

If you do not forgive, you will have to be born again in the material world.

Comment by Jai Nitai Prabhu: Another point is that one who harms us has done us a favor, because we had it coming due to our karma.

One of our duties as preachers is to set people free by telling the people truth about their situation, regardless of their religion because ultimately it is the same truth.

Bhutabhavana Prabhu [London]:

We may have lust, greed, and anger in our heart, but that does not have to be the motive for our devotional service. We can still execute devotional service simply to please guru and Krishna.

A trick of maya is to make us too conscious of our anarthas [impurities], and thus become discouraged by them.

The more we feel we are OK, the more we are not.

Too much money and too many followers are not the cause of falldown but too little Krishna consciousness.

Tattva-Sandarbha and commentary by Gopiparanadhana Prabhu:

[With the permission of the BBT editors, I include quotes from the yet-to-be-printed, Tattva-sandarbha.]

“And elsewhere it is said, “The name Purana comes from the word ‘completion’ [purana].”

“Vedic literature appears to consist of many separate books with numerous categories of texts, which seem to have been written at different times, for different purposes, in different styles of language, and by authors with different convictions and different levels of knowledge. But the Vedas explain themselves in another way, and if we are willing to look at the entire Vedic literature from its own point of view rather than from a foreign, critical viewpoint, then with some scrutiny we can see the true picture: The apparent diversity of the texts is due not to their being written by different authors but to their being intended for several different audiences.”

The Supreme Lord says in the Matsya Purana, “O best of brahmanas, foreseeing that in the course of time the Puranas will be neglected, I appear as Vyasa in each age to condense them. In every Dvapara-yuga I divide the Purana into eighteen books, totaling 400,000 verses, and that is how they are spread on earth. But even today on the planets of the demigods the Purana contains one billion verses. The 400,000-verse edition concisely embodies the purport of that original Purana.

The universe passes through varying cycles, “days of Brahma,” during which the lower material modes, the modes of passion (rajas) and ignorance (tamas), are at times prominent. During those periods the Supreme Lord gracefully allows such servants of His as Lord Shiva to defeat Him in competition and otherwise seem superior. Puranas that describe the events of these rajasic and tamasic kalpas thus superficially seem to elevate demigods to the position of God. It is no wonder that imperfectly informed students of the Puranas cannot discern the unity of the underlying Puranic message: that the powerful controllers and wonderful opulences of this universe are all energies of the supreme energetic, the Personality of Godhead.

Each of the collected Puranas is especially suitable for a particular class of people, so each Purana has a right to advertise its own superexcellence.

The Garuda Purana states, “This is the most complete [of the Puranas]. It is the purport of the Vedanta-sutras, it establishes the meaning of the Mahabharata, it is a commentary on Gayatri, and it completes the message of the Vedas. Spoken directly by the Personality of Godhead, it is the Sama Veda among the Puranas. With twelve cantos, hundreds of chapters, and eighteen thousand verses, this work is called Srimad-Bhagavatam.

Srila Jiva Gosvami throughout his life was famous for being completely honest. He was a lifelong celibate, and even as a child he was renounced in his habits. It is said that he never spoke anything, even in his dreams, that could not be verified to be true. (28.2, commentary)

To explain the difference between the internal and external energies of the Supreme, Srila Baladeva Vidyabhushana offers an analogy: the internal energy is like an emperor’s favorite queen, the external energy like a menial maidservant who always stays outside his quarters. (31.3, commentary)

“One female goat gives birth to many offspring like herself, with bodies colored red, white, and black. One male goat lies with her and enjoys her, while another shows no interest in enjoying her, for he feels satiated.” (Svetasvatara Upanishad 4.5) This Upanisadic text involves a play on the word aja (female, aja, with the last ‘a’ having a bar above it), which means both “goat” and “eternal being.” The eternal female (material nature) replicates her three modes—goodness (white), passion (red), and ignorance (black)—in the bodies of all life forms. One eternal male, the fallen jiva, tries to enjoy nature, while the other eternal male, the self-satisfied Supreme Lord, shows no interest in her. (34, commentary).

It is unreasonable to propose that the one pure spiritual entity, Brahman, has the power to maintain maya and is full of perfect knowledge and yet becomes an object of the influence of maya and is overcome by ignorance. Therefore we can understand that the jiva and God are different. And from the fact that the jiva and God display different identities and capabilities, we can deduce that they are in fact two separate entities. (35)

The contrary idea—that the Supreme is one without qualities and that all names and forms are unreal—has always been popular among those who want the kingdom of God without God. But one can hold to such an idea only by denying the clear dictates of logic, experience, and common sense. (35, commentary)

The delusion of the jiva only increases when He presumes himself identical with the Supreme. We can hardly expect a poor beggar in prison to free himself simply by imagining “I am the king.” (38, commentary)

As long as a single person is faithfully practicing and working to spread the sublime instructions of Srimad-Bhagavatam, hope still exists for peace and happiness. (47.2, commentary)

It is said that once, as Vyasadeva was dictating various verses to his disciple Jaimini, when Vyasadeva came to one verse from the Ninth Canto of the Bhagavatam (9.9.17) Jaimini hesitated to write it down.

matra svasra duhitra va

naviviktasano bhavet

balavan indriya-gramo

vidvamsam api karsati

“One should not allow oneself to sit on the same seat even with one’s own mother, sister, or daughter, for the senses are so strong that even though one is very advanced in knowledge he may be attracted by sex.” Jaimini apologized, but he could not agree that a self-realized sage might become agitated by the mere physical presence of a woman. Srila Vyasa simply smiled and by his mystic power suddenly turned himself into a young woman. Jaimini, attracted against his will, found himself trying to embrace the woman, who just as suddenly turned herself back into the not-very-attractive old sage Vyasadeva. (48)

“Seekers of truth disagree among one another only until they acquire a taste for hearing about and discussing the all-attractive qualities of Lord Hari. Scholars who dispute the nature of the Absolute Truth do so because they are not self-satisfied. Dissatisfied and confused, they can hardly enlighten anyone else. As long as adherents of various religions are ready to condemn and even kill one another, they have obviously not yet attained the stage of self-satisfaction.” (49, commentary)

“Vaishnava acaryas, in their commentaries to Srimad-Bhagavatam, explain that no material body is produced until some conditioned soul wants to possess it. Even the subtle aggregates of the material elements are not created by maya until particular demigods are each willing to accept one of them as his own body.” (57.3, commentary)

And scripture is commonly known as sastra because it is seen, in particular cases, to engage in overruling. Elsewhere [than in Vacaspati’s statement] we see that both inference and scriptural evidence refute the sensory perception that the sun globe or some other celestial body is very small, because from observation one has learned that far-away things appear like that and also because this understanding is established from the scriptures. (Sarva-samvadini [Jiva Goswami’s commentary on his own Tattva-sandarbha] 30)

According to Srila Kavi-karnapura, one of the great poets among the associates of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and author of the textbook Alankara-kaustubha, rasa is the soul of poetry, dhvani (vyanjana) [suggestion] its life air, words and their meaning its body, and the ornaments of sound and meaning (sabdalankaras and arthalankaras) the decorations of the body. (Sarva-samvadini 50)

Revealed scripture is always independent of the dictates of speculative reasoning. If speculation were ever allowed to overrule the sabda-pramana of scripture, the authority of scripture would be undermined. Logic must yield the right of way to sastra, not the other way around. (Sarva-samvadini 53, commentary)

Yajna Purusa Prabhu [New York City]:

Niranjana Swami said, “Bada Hari Prabhu is my bhajana guru.”

Devamrita Swami told me that I should go the Ukraine festival because it is my guru’s festival and because it is the best festival in ISKCON.

Niranjana Swami was visiting a close friend of his who had opened up many centers in Europe. The two of them were visiting a married couple and the man asked Niranjana Swami's friend to tell a Prabhupada story. The story he told goes like this: “The devotees used to bring many people to see Srila Prabhupada because he would visit the centers with the more preaching opportunities. One devotee brought one important man to see Prabhupada. Prabhupada asked if the man had any questions. The man said no. The devotee was heartbroken. Prabhupada repeated, “You have no questions?” The man again replied, “No.” So Prabhupada got the harmonium and chanted 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 minutes. The man was drawn in by the sweetness of the kirtana and was obviously moved. Prabhupada said, “This is what we do,” and asked the devotees to give the man some sweets.”

Adi Purusa Prabhu [New York City]:

In the past teachers received money by the inspiration of those who heard from them, but now they charge money.

Without dedicating our activities to the service of the Lord, we will be degraded.

There is not need to fear failure in devotional service because it is not an external thing. If we can simply please Krishna we are successful.

We see in our prasadam distribution, people passing by see what we are doing and they help, by setting up tables, giving donations, etc.

My experience is speaking to hundreds of people a day for decades is that most people are willing to give in charity.

In the course of distributing books, we would talk to everyone without discrimination. We would not consider these people are too rowdy, these people are too well dressed, these people are too much clustered together, etc.

Gadadhara Pandit Prabhu [New York City]:

Because the poison of Kaliya was so severe the birds flying over poisoned water would fall down dead. Not only that but the trees on the banks of the river had died. Because the water, air, and land were all poisoned you could say it was the greatest ecological disaster of its time.

Before jumping in the water, Krishna adjusted his clothing. This is practical as you know if you have ever gone swimming and had your swimming trunks come off in the water.

Balarama was just enjoying the Kaliya pastime because He knew Krishna was in no danger.

The residents of Vrindavan were almost on the point of death seeing Krishna entangled in the coils of Kaliya. One might ask, “Why did Krishna let it come to that point?” Krishna wanted to bring the attention of His devotees completely on Himself.

Kaliya according to Bhaktivinoda Thakura represents envy and anger.

Not only does envy mean that we want what someone else has, but we also do not want them to have it.

Kaliya is not ordinary because he was allowed to embrace Krishna for two hours in his coils.

If you encounter someone that you envy, you should thank Krishna because that brings out the envy which would not otherwise not be brought out.

Because of the prayers of his wives, Kaliya was saved by Krishna.

The body is the greatest impediment to realize we are not our body. But at the time of death, it is easier to see the futility of bodily enjoyment.

I was talking to an administrator at Columbia University who asked if I was a Hare Krishna. She said she was too, or at least she was involved in the movement years ago, during Srila Prabhupada's time. She was telling me that for the last four hours of her mother's life she read Bhagavad-gita to her. When she had to take a break from reading to use the bathroom, her mother would moan, indicating she wanted her to continue reading.

Q [by Rama Raya]: Kapila talks about not viewing death with horror. How can we practically do this?

A: We are so conditioned by considering the body the cause of our pleasure for so long it maybe not be possible not to view death with horror. But we can count on Krishna and His devotees to make it easier for us to remember the Lord at the time of death and attain perfection.

Haryasva Prabhu [Philadelphia]:

Grace is to situate yourself where you can receive the causeless mercy of the Lord.

Bhurijana Prabhu says knowing Krishna’s opulences increases our devotion because we we feel fortunate to have an intimate relationship with such an amazingly qualified person. Knowing Krishna’s opulence helps our devotional service by increasing our faith.

I think of Bhagavad-gita as illustrating, through the examples of Krishna and Arjuna, the ideal spiritual-disciple relationship.

Spiritual life looks to some like a cop out for people who are materially unsuccessful when in reality is an awakening of knowledge that there is a more important goal of life.

It is refreshing to note the change from material to spiritual life is mostly merely a change in consciousness.

Everyone talks about the kingdom of God, but nobody is ready to die to go.

Religion is to bring you to point of genuine spirituality.

The lower self goes down when we pump up the higher self.

I had a lot of spiritual aspirations in my youth, but when puberty set in, religiosity went out the back door. I was so bad I could not describe to my brother how bad I was. He took me to the temple. The kirtana was so lively I took off my coat and tie and got into the dancing. My realization was that, “This is better than the club, and I didn't take anything [any intoxication].”


punah punah piyaiya haya mahamatta

nace, kande, hase, gaya, yaiche mada-matta

Sri Panca-tattva themselves danced again and again and thus made it easier to drink nectarean love of Godhead. They danced, cried, laughed and chanted like madmen, and in this way they distributed love of Godhead” (Cc. Adi 7.22).