Diary of a Traveling Sadhaka, Vol. 8, No. 7
By Krishna-kripa das
(April 2012, part one)
By Krishna-kripa das
(April 2012, part one)
(Sent from Newcastle upon Tyne, England, on May 11, 2012)
(Sent from Newcastle upon Tyne, England, on May 11, 2012)
Where I Went and What I Did
I stayed in Mayapur doing harinama daily with the Mayapur Harinama Department. I also dressed the harinama Gaura-Nitai deities every day and increased Their standard of worship by giving them water and food once a day and daily cleaning their simhasana, which gets dusty quickly from the harinamas.
Often people would dance in front of the party, sometimes in a circle, led by the devotee ladies.
Periodically, we would ask the people to raise their hands and to chant the entire Hare Krishna maha-mantra: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. Thanks to Dvijapriya Dasi for the photos.
I continued reading Bhaktivinoda Vani Vaibhava and share more absolutely wonderful insights about bhakti philosophy and practice from Bhaktivinoda Thakura. In particular I like his ideas on universal religion. April 1 was Lord Ramacandra’s appearance day, and I share glorification of Him by Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami and Rajendranandana Prabhu. April 4 was the Vyasa Puja ceremony for Jayapataka Swami, and I share some notes on his speech and offerings by his godbrothers and his disciples. In April I went to several classes by Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami at his ashram and also heard the English classes given at our Mayapur temple, and I share notes on those. There is a lot of nectar in this issue.
May 9–June 1: The North of England
June 2–3: Birmingham Twenty-four Hour Kirtana
June 4–June 12: The North of England
June 13: Sheffield Nama-hatta
June 15–16: Brahmacari program at Bhaktivedanta Manor
June 4–16: England
June 17: London Ratha-yatra
June 17–19: London
June 20–21: Stonehenge Solstice Festival
June 22–July 24: Belfast (with visits to Inis Rath and Dublin)
July 25–27: Paris
July 28: Geneva
July 29–30: Zurich
July 31–August 5: Polish Woodstock
August 6–August 15: Croatian harinama tour or Berlin and the Polish tour
August 16–19: Czech Woodstock (Trutnov)
August 20–September 1: Croatian harinama tour or the Polish tour, Berlin, and Leipzig
September 2–September 7: Kirtan Mela near Leipzig
September 8: Leipzig Ratha-yatra
September 10–16?: Ukraine festival
September 16–October 29?: Belfast and/or The North of England
October 30–31: New York City
November 1–November 18: Upstate New York (SDG and Ma)
November 19–December 15: Gainesville and Alachua Festival of the Holy Name
December 15–January 7, 2013?: Vaishnava Youth Bus Tour
January 8–April 20, 2013: Gainesville Krishna House
Notes on Bhaktivinoda Vani Vibhava
“If one approaches a Sadhu and converses with him like a witch-haunted man saying things like ‘it is very hot in this country, I feel healthy in the other country, that man is very nice, this year we will make a profit from harvesting paddy and wheat’ then he is not gaining any thing from such a sadhu-sanga. Being absorbed in his own ecstasy a sadhu may reply to one or two questions of an inquisitive person, but this does not award the person devotion to Krishna or the benefit of sadhu-sanga. One should approach a sadhu with love and devotion and discuss with him the topics of the Supreme Lord. Then one can attain devotional service.” (Sajjana-tosani 10/4)
“After giving up ‘upaya-buddhi’ in the service to the Vaishnavas, intelligent persons should always aspire for ‘upeya-buddhi.’ The phrase ‘upaya-buddhi’ means to think that one can achieve some other fruits by serving the Vaishnavas. And the phrase ‘upeya-buddhi’ means to think that as a result of many pious activities, service to the Vaishnavas is attained.”
“A devotee should utter the names of the exalted Vaishnavas of the disciplic succession upon getting up in the morning.” (Sajjana-tosani 7/3)
“A devotee should faithfully describe the transcendental qualities of his spiritual master for one hour everyday.” (Sajjana-tosani 7/4)
“One should always serve the spiritual master and the Vaishnavas by respecting them equally. One should keep firm faith in the words of the previous acaryas.” (Sajjana-tosani 7/3)
“A practitioner of devotional service should display humility before the Supreme Lord, appear like a fool before the spiritual master, give up his independence before the Vaishnavas, and display detachment towards material existence.” (Sajjana-tosani 7/3)
“With a desire to remove from the kingdom of one’s heart, the disturbances created by those demons, whom Lord Krishna had killed, one should humbly pray to Hari. Then Lord Hari certainly removes those anarthas. And the anarthas which are created by those demons who were killed by Baladeva should be removed by the practitioner’s own endeavor. This is the mystery of worshiping the Lord in the mood of Braja.” (Caitanya-siksamrita 6/6)
On the gradual process of bhajana:
“Certain pious activities, which lead to bhakti, generate faith. One then becomes interested in associating with pure devotees. Thereafter, one is initiated by the spiritual master and executes the regulative principles of devotional service under his orders. Thus one is freed from all unwanted habits and becomes firmly fixed in devotional service. Thereafter, one develops taste and attachment. This is the way of sadhana-bhakti, the execution of devotional service according to regulative principles. Gradually emotions intensify, and finally there is an awakening of love. This is the gradual development of love of Godhead for the devotee interested in Krishna consciousness. While chanting at the stage of nistha, anarthas are destroyed and one attains taste for the holy name. Then as more anarthas are destroyed, one comes to the stage of attachment. Gradually as one attains stage of bhava, or rati, almost all anarthas are destroyed. In this development, if the desire for fame arises due to the company of nondevotees, it leads to kutinata (diplomacy), which then results in one’s fall down. Therefore, one should carefully abandon the company of nondevotees and at the same time one should always chant the Lord’s name in great ecstasy.” (Bhajana-rahasya, Chapter 1)
“If one thinks of his siddha-deha without achieving the adhikara his intellect gets bewildered. One should carefully accept the sequence as given in the Siksastakam if he wants to attain perfection. By observing the activities of sadhus one can attain pure intellect.” (Bhajana-rahasya, Chapter 1)
“There are four kinds of anarthas. They are ‘svarupa bhrama’ identifying the body as self, ‘asatrishna’ thirst for material enjoyment, ‘aparadha’ committing offenses and ‘h?daya draublya’ weakness in the heart.” (Sajjana-tosani 9/9)
“The cloudlike anarthas of the conditioned souls cover the sun-like holy names and brings about darkness. Actually the anarthas only cover the eyes of the conditioned souls. The sun-like holy name is great and can never be covered. (Harinama Cintamani)
“The thirst for material enjoyment does not get totally destroyed until pure attachment for transcendental absolute truth is awakened. (Sajjana-tosani 11/6)
‘“Let me indulge in sense gratification today, tomorrow I will give it up,’ such a weakness of heart can never bring out any auspiciousness. Whatever one’s feels to be obstacles on the path of devotional service, one should immediately give up by the strength of Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s mercy. Determination is the root of sadhana. In the absence of determination even a step in the path of spiritual life will not be advanced.”
What is the resolution of a devotee who has developed nistha?
“The devotees of Krishna are my mother and father—they are my friends and brothers. Only Krishna is my husband. Living life with Krishna, I won’t go anywhere else. (Prema-pradipa, Ray 7)
“The most desirable things in bhajana are determination and simplicity.” (Krishna-karnamrita 1/12)
“In this world there are bodily distinctions such as man and woman, and there are four varnas and four asramas divided according to the three modes of nature of goodness, passion and ignorance. In this way there are countless varieties of bodies. O Lord of my life! Whatever body I must reside in whatever condition doesn’t matter, for I now surrender myself at Your lotus feet. From now on I have nothing left that I consider mine.” (Bhajana-rahasya, Chapter 3)
“O Lord, kindly bestow mercy upon me in the form of Your side-long glance, followed by the sweet sound of Your flute. If You are pleased with me, and others are displeased, it doesn’t matter. But if You are displeased with me, and others are pleased, then what is the benefit for me? (Bhajana-rahasya, Chapter 3)
“By developing greed for Krishna’s service, the Vaishnava’s service, and chanting the holy names, there will be no greed for inferior things. One who becomes greedy by seeing the Vrajavasi’s service to Krishna is very fortunate. By the mercy of that greed, he attains the qualification for raga bhakti. One’s material greed is vanquished in proportion to one’s development of greed for ragatmika service.” (Sajjana-tosani 10/11)
“Engage in hearing and chanting Krishna’s name, form, and attributes with undivided attention, and try to destroy your anarthas. Then the creeper of devotion will quickly bear fruit.” (Bhajana-rahasya, Chapter 4)
“In one whose heart is full of anger, pride, or lamentation for the state of his wife or children, there is no possibility of Krishna being manifest.” (Bhajana-rahasya, Chapter 4)
“O Lord, if I take birth in this land of Vrindavana or in any other universe, or if I take birth as a bird or animal anywhere within Your creation, my only desire is that I may be able to serve You in various ways in the association of Your devotees.” (Bhajana-rahasya, Chapter 4)
“I want the benediction of at least one million ears, for thus I may be able to hear about the glories of Your lotus feet from the mouths of Your pure devotees.” (Bhajana-rahasya, Chapter 4)
“[The gopis speaking to the Lord:] Expert transcendentalists always direct their affection toward You because they recognize You as their true Self and their eternally beloved. (Bhajana-rahasya, Chapter 5)
“Among the three limbs of devotional service namely hearing, chanting and remembering, chanting is the best of all; because hearing and remembering are included in the chanting” (Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 19)
“The special benefit of loud kirtana [chanting] is that the processes of hearing, chanting and remembering are simultaneously carried out.” (Harinama Cintamani)
Why kirtana is beneficial to all?
“The principle of kirtana invites, as the future church of the world, all classes of men without distinction of caste or clan to the highest cultivation of the spirit. This church, it appears, will extend all over the world and take the place of all sectarian churches, which exclude outsiders from the precincts of the mosque, church or the temple.” (Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s Life & Precepts)
“Offering obeisances with one hand, offering obeisances with one’s body fully covered, offering obeisances to the Lord from the front, from the back or from the left side of the Lord as well as offering obeisances to the Lord inside the Deity room are considered to be offenses.” (Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 19)
“The pure Vaishnava dharma that is found in Srimad-Bhagavatam is the eternal constitutional dharma of the living entities. All religious principles which have been preached throughout the world can be divided into three categories. These are eternal religious principles, occasional religious principles, and temporary religious principles. Those religious principles in which there is no discussion about God and the eternity of the spirit soul is denied are called temporary religious principles. Those religious principles which accept the eternity of God and the spirit soul but preach that one can attain the favor of God only through temporary methods are called occasional religious principles. Those religious principles which teach the attainment of the service of Krishna through pure love are called eternal religious principles. Even though this eternal religious principles appear differently according to different country, caste, and language, yet it is one and the most relishable. The Vaishnava religion which is widely spread throughout India, is the ideal of eternal religious principle. Moreover great personalities and exalted devotees have accepted that the religious principles taught by our most beloved Lord Gaura Hari, the son of Saci, as the pure Vaishnava religion.” (Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 2)
“Why religious principles have become many? The answer is that in pure state the living entities have only one type of dharma. After becoming conditioned, the dharma of the living entities have become two-fold namely materially designated dharma and pure dharma. The pure religious principle can never change at any circumstances. But according to time, place, and person, and due to a difference in the nature of the materially designated living entities, the materially designated dharma has naturally become separate. This materially designated dharma gets various shapes and names in various countries. The more the living entities become purified the more their dharma becomes free from material designations. In the pure spiritual platform all living entities have one eternal dharma.” (Sri Manah Siksa, Chapter 1)
“Since the truth is never lost, it only remains hidden. The eternity of the spirit soul and the existence of Brahman cannot be established through logical arguments because reasoning and arguments have no access to the subject matter that is beyond material universe. Direct self-perception is the only establisher of such truths. By direct perception or spontaneous samadhi the saintly persons constantly realize the eternal abode of Vaikuntha, and the service to Krishna.” (Krishna-Samhita 9/5)
“We do not profess to belong to any of the sects of religion under the sun, because we believe the Absolute Faith, founded upon instinctive love of God, natural in human souls.” (The Temple of Jagannath at Puri)
“When a soul sits in the chariot of the mind and chases the sense objects through the gates of the senses, this is called parag-gati. When this current again flows towards the soul’s own abode, it is called pratyag-gati. With a desire to convert material attachment into spiritual attachment, all the spiritual emotions are mixed with material emotions for giving up parag-gati and practicing pratyag-gati. The pratyag-dharma of being greedy to eat palatable foods is to eat maha-prasada. The pratyag-dharma of the eyes is to see holy places and the beautiful form of the Lord. The pratyag-dharma of the ears is to hear devotional songs and the pastimes of Hari. The pratyag-dharma of the nose has been exemplified by the four Kumaras when they smelled the tulasi and sandalwood that was offered to the feet of the Lord. The pratyag-dharma of associating with the opposite sex through marriage for the prosperity of a Vaishnava family was exemplified
by Manu, Janaka, Jayadeva, and Pipaji. The pratyag-dharma of festivals is seen in the festivals celebrating the pastimes of Lord Hari. These human characteristics filled with emotions of pratyag-dharma are seen in the lives of pure swanlike personalities. (Krishna Samhita 10/11)
“Attachment is present whether the repository is for the Lord or for something mundane. The only difference is its repository. When attachment is turned towards Vaiku??ha, then no attachment for the material world remains; one only accepts what is required for maintenance of the body. When the objects that are thus accepted become transcendental, then all attachments become spiritualized.
(Krishna Samhita 10/2)
“Any woman who wishes to always keep her temporary relationship with husband or son will find that she cannot. When the fruit of her karma is ripe, the son will perish. Even if the son sits on her lap, she has no power to protect him. Thinking happiness and suffering come from material relationships, the soul falls far from Lord Krishna’s feet and falls into a lower life. Therefore, please stop your grief! Dive into the bliss of the holy name.”
All these words fulfill the desires of Bhaktivinoda. (Song from Gita Mala)
“I will behave equally with everyone, not try to demand respect from others. I will always try to give respect to others. In this way I will constantly remain absorbed in the thought of Krishna through the process of Krishna sankirtana.” (Kalyana Kalpataru, Song 6)
“The external distress of the Vaishnavas is not actual distress as it is foreign to them. But it is temporary and passes off blissfully in course of time.” (Sajjana-tosani 10/2)
“Surrender is of six kinds.
1. Accepting things which are favorable.
2. Rejecting things which are unfavorable.
3. Maintaining the conviction that Krishna will certainly protect me.
4. Maintaining the mentality that Krishna alone is my sustainer.
5. Offering everything to the Lord.
Each of these six types of surrender are further divided into three categories. These are bodily, mental and verbal.” (Sajjana-tosani 4/9)
“O Lord Hari! You are the father of the universe. You are the mother of the universe. You are the beloved Lord and the son. You are the well-wisher, the friend, the spiritual master, the husband and the desire tree. I am only Your eternal servant.” (Gita Mala, Song 26)
I am an eternal spirit soul, a servant of Krishna. There is no protector or maintainer for me other than Krishna. I am the most fallen and poor. If I spend my life enjoying the fruits of my previous karma but the same time hearing and chanting the holy names of Krishna, then I will certainly attain the Lord’s mercy. If I remain with this conviction then I can attain love of Krishna.” (Purport of Brihat Bhagavatamrita)
“’Either today or one hundred years, or in some lifetime, Krishna will certainly bestow His mercy on me. I will take shelter at His lotus feet with firm determination and never leave Him.’ Such attitude and patience is must for a practitioner of devotional service.” (Sajjana-tosani 11/5)
“To possess the mentality that I do not belong to myself but to Krishna is the symptom of fully surrendering to Krishna.” (Sajjana-tosani 4/9)
“O Lord! After attaining Your blissful service, I have forgotten all my previous histories. I belong to You and You belong to me. So what is the use of anything else.” (Song from Saranagati)
“All the distresses born in the course of Your service are also the source of my pleasure. Happiness and distress born from Your service are the supreme wealth, and they destroy the unhappiness of nescience.” (Song from Saranagati)
“The endeavor of sankirtana is to call out the holy names of the Lord with heartiest feelings.” (Sajjana-tosani 10/9)
“Everyday a person should give up the disturbance caused by material enjoyment, and chant with love for a while in a solitary place. Gradually he should try to increase the duration of this process. Finally a wonderful mood will be awakened in him and will remain all the time.” (Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 40)
“Except during the time of sleep, to always chant the holy names of the Lord during taking care of the bodily activities, and at all other times, is called ‘constant chanting of the holy names.’” (Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 23)
“Tulasi is very dear to Hari. Therefore by chanting in her association one feels the spiritual strength of the holy names. While chanting the holy names, one should consider that there is no difference between Lord Krishna and His holy names.” (Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 23)
“One should try hard to constantly chant the holy names of Krishna clearly and lovingly, rather than trying to increase the number of rounds.” (Harinama Cintamani)
“In their matured stage all religions of this world will end up in one religion in the form of nama-sankirtana—we feel this to be a certain fact.” (Sajjana-tosani 4/3)
“Once upon a time the leaders of Sri Gauranga Samaja decided to perform sankirtana. Being induced by such thought and with the help of the citizens of Calcutta they performed the first nama sankirtana on the appearance day of Sri Mahaprabhu at Bidon Street, Calcutta. According to the opinion of many elderly persons, such a sankirtana festival never took place in Calcutta before. Everyone including the atheists and the devotees joined in this congregational chanting of the Lord’s holy names. Such a tumultuous sankirtana should be performed in all countries on the appearance day of Sri Mahaprabhu. Due to this sankirtana festival the citizens became attached to kirtana. What to speak of this, people gave up all other engagements and formed kirtana groups in every village, and spent lavishly for this purpose. It was very pleasing that the citizens of Calcutta who hailed from different states of India joined in the nama kirtana. Particularly people from the Western part of India who have never heard Mahaprabhu’s name also became intoxicated by chanting the names of Nityananda-Gauranga in the course of their participation in harinama kirtana. (Sajjana-tosani 11/3)
We were extremely pained to hear kirtana performed by Nyadas, Bahuls and other unauthorized people in the tune of cinemas songs. But our pain was somewhat diminished by hearing the eternal names of Hari, Krishna and Rama uttered by them in the course of their singing. Those who possess love and devotion in their hearts love to hear kirtana in the old and ancient tunes. They do not like to hear or sing useless topics. They sing and hear the pure holy names of Hari in the old tunes. (Sajjana-tosani 11/3)
“Accompany us and chant the names of Radha and Krishna. This is our only appeal. Sri Bhaktivinoda says, “whenever I chant the holy names all dangers go away.” (Gitavali)
“In namabhasa or reflective chanting of the holy name of the Lord, all one’s sinful reactions are destroyed. When all one’s sinful reactions and anarthas are destroyed, then the pure holy name dances on the tongue of the devotees. Then pure holy names award such a person love of Krishna.” (Harinama Cintamani)
“It is stated in the sastras [scriptures] that in Kali-yuga [this present age of quarrel] one can attain the spiritual abodes of Vaikuntha simply by the influence of namabhasa [the shadow of the holy name].” (Harinama Cintamani)
“As the holy names of the Lord is the highest object, so namaparadha is also more serious than all other kinds of sinful activities and offenses. All kinds of sinful activities and offenses are destroyed by taking shelter of the holy names of the Lord, but namaparadha does not go away so easily.” (Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 24)
When there are small obstacles in the course of chanting the holy names, such chanting of holy name becomes namabhasa. It awards results very late. If there are big obstacles while chanting the holy names then such chanting becomes namaparadha. Without incessant chanting of the holy names, these offenses do not go away.” (Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 24)
[Bhaktivinoda Thakura gives additional insights regarding the ten offenses. I will just list the additions, which are mainly elaborations like giving examples:]
It is also an offense to neglect them [devotees], thinking that they know only the science of the holy names and do not know anything about jñana yoga etc. . . . If one thinks that the spiritual master is expert only in the science of the holy names but does not know anything about other types of sadhana then it is an offense. Actually for one who has attained the science of the holy names which is the ultimate goal of all pious activities, there is nothing left for him to be attained or known. . . . It is an offense to maintain a hostile attitude and faithlessness in the statements of the Vedas glorifying holy names. . . . It is an offense to think that the holy names like Rama, Krishna and Hari are all imaginary, and as such the Lord has no names, form, quality or activity. . . . It is a grave offense to think that, ‘by chanting all my sinful reactions will be destroyed or by chanting gradually my heart will be purified and I will no longer have any taste for committing sinful activities, therefore, for the time being let me commit some sinful activities for my own sake.’ . . . It is an offense to not pay attention while chanting the holy names, in other words to become indifferent and lazy towards chanting the holy name. To become indifferent means to think of various material enjoyments during the time of chanting, to not have a taste for chanting and to repeatedly check out the ending point of the chanting bead to make sure when will the round be finished. It is also an offense to chant the holy names under the influence of cheating propensity as well as for name and fame. . . . It is a grave offense to initiate an unqualified person for the sake of money. (Sajjana-tosani 11/7)
By accepting the devotees who are attached to chanting the holy names as the topmost, and by chanting the holy names in their association while giving up blaspheming, then one can quickly attain the mercy of the holy names.” (Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 24)
“Those who consider that the spiritual master who awards the holy names is conversant with the scriptures dealing only with the holy names and is inferior to the spiritual master who is well acquainted with Vedanta and philosophical literature, are certainly offenders at the feet of the holy names. Actually there is no superior spiritual master to the one who knows science of the holy names. To consider such a spiritual master as insignificant is an offense.” (Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 24)
The sinful activities which are committed on the strength of the holy names cannot be counteracted by the process of yama, niyama and so on, because since they are counted as one of the namaparadhas, they will only be counteracted by the prescribed process for counteracting the offenses against the holy names.” (Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 24)
“If even one gives up all offenses against the holy names, if he is inattentive while chanting he can never develop attachment for chanting.” (Sajjana-tosani 11/1)
“O Lord! All anarthas are produced from not paying attention to the chanting of the holy names. The exalted devotees have understood this inattention as indifference, laziness and restlessness. . . . Those who are afflicted with restlessness try to finish up their prescribed rounds of chanting as soon as possible. . . . O reservoir of all transcendental qualities ! If one chants the holy names of the Lord but his attention is somewhere else, how can he achieve any benefit? If even such a person chants one hundred thousand holy names of the Lord, still a drop of the mellows of ecstatic love will not be attained. O Lord! . . . The characteristic of a saintly person is that he does not waste any time. By seeing such a character one will certainly hanker after it. One will think, ‘Alas! When will I become fortunate enough to chant, sing, and remember the holy names of the Lord like this saintly person?’ Such an enthusiasm in the mind of a lazy person will destroy his laziness by the remembrance of Krishna.” (Harinama Cintamani)
“If the desires for accumulating wealth, enjoying the association of women, sensing victory and defeat, aspiring for name and fame and cheating others fill one’s heart, one will naturally become indifferent to chanting the Lord’s holy names.” (Harinama Cintamani)
“Even after being initiated majority of the materialistic persons fall down from the path of devotional service due to their mentality of ‘I and mine.’ (Harinama Cintamani)
“If one commits offenses against the Deity worship, the holy names can counteract them. The namaparadhas are counteracted only by chanting the holy names of Hari. Constant chanting of the holy names awards all perfections.” (Bhajana-rahasya)
“Exhibiting compassion towards living entities is of three kinds. Display of compassion in regard to the gross body of the living entities is counted among pious activities. Distributing free food to the hungry people, distributing free medicine to the diseased persons, distributing free water to the thirsty people and distributing clothes to persons who are afflicted with cold are all born from the compassion in regard to the body. Giving free education is borne from the compassion in regard to the mind of the living entities. But the highest kind of compassion is in regard to the soul of the living entities. From such compassionate propensity, the eagerness for delivering the fallen souls from the miseries of material existence by awarding them the devotional service to Krishna, is produced.” (Sajjana-tosani 9/9)
“The main activity of a Vaishnavas is to make living entities inclined towards serving Lord Krishna. Whenever curing of disease or satisfying hunger of the gross body becomes the main object, it is to be understood that there is a lack of Vaishnavism there; because by such activities the living entities get only temporary relief and not eternal relief. But whenever such activities are directed to help the living entities inclination towards Krishna the Vaishnavas take pleasure in them.” (Sajjana-tosani 4/8)
“Teach your saintly characteristics to others. You are engaged in good activities, that is alright but the living entities of the material world who are just like your brothers, are becoming degraded due to sinful activities. Your duty is to manifest saintly qualities and induce others to follow.” (Sajjana-tosani 5/10)
“A Vaishnava becomes particularly happy when he sees that by his preaching the topics of Krishna, even one living entity has taken to the service of Krishna.” (Sajjana-tosani 4/8)
Pious activities such as chanting Vedic mantras and offering prayers are simply support of the above mentioned principle activity of chanting the holy names; they are never complete in themselves.” (Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 3)
Glorification of Lord Rama
Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami:
Although Lord Rama comes to teach human society to follow all the rules and regulations of dharma, His pastimes are the most heart-wrenching, the most emotional of all. Thus the rules and regulations are meant to enhance rasa (relationship) not to obstruct it. In our conditioned state we consider the rules and regulations to be opposed to rasa and thus we do not like them. In reality, rules make things nice. They create an environment for relationships to function and for all relationships to remain intact, not for one relationship to thrive at the expense of the others.
Many people are very attracted to Lord Ramacandra because He followed all the rules and He did so to please all the people in relationship with Him.
Your life is your ashram and your occupation facilitates that.
Rama set an example for the general public. General public means grhasthas. Sannyasis, vanaprasthas, and brahmacaris are living in some ashram somewhere.
A husband cannot perform a sacrifice without his wife anymore than half a person could perform a sacrifice. The couple is considered one unit although two people.
There are always those who will criticize you. Depending on how you choose to act, different people will criticize you. Still your choice of action should be according to dharma.
The essential element of madhurya is kindness, karunya. Because the emotions are so intense, kindness must be there.
Lord Rama does everything perfectly so Sita’s perfect chastity to Him most appropriate.
Srila Prabhupada said that Lord Rama, when he is surrounded by Sita, Laksman, and Hanuman, is in his most merciful feature being accompanied by His devotees.
I was in a Hanuman temple in Vrindavana during Rama’s appearance day, and when the Rama bhaktas took prasadam they chanted, “Jaya Sri Rama!” “Jaya Hanuman!” etc.
Once a brahmana kicked a dog who was in his way. The dog went to Lord Rama’s court and complained that a brahmana kicked him without reason, even while he was asleep, and he requested the Lord punish him. Rama sent for the brahmama, and he confirmed the story. Lord Rama asked the dog what punishment he wanted for the brahmana. The dog replied that he wanted that the brahmana become the head of an ashram. Lord Rama asked the dog why that would be a suitable punishment, and the dog replied, “I was in charge of an ashram in my previous life and due to my offenses to the residents, I took birth as this dog.” Lord Rama then understood and said, “So be it.”
Jayapataka Swami’s Vyasa Puja Address and Offerings to Him
Because we are not so receptive to hear him as antaryami [the Lord Within], Krishna appears from without as the guru.
I am not the Supersoul, but I get information from the Supersoul. Srila Prabhupada said he was not the Supersoul, what to speak of us.
Srila Prabhupada, through his representatives, engages people in Krishna’s service.
Lord Krishna is so wonderful we cannot understand how wonderful Krishna is. Krishna knows all the languages. He can understand within as Supersoul. We sometimes cannot understand, “is it our mind or is it Krishna?” so we need the guru to confirm. We need guru, sadhu, and sastra [scripture]. Even Krishna refers to the sastra.
One disciple of Prabhupada said sometimes he felt compassion for the people. Prabhupada replied, “Why sometimes?” Prabhupada is concerned about us all the time. Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda also were thinking how to benefit others.
Krishna observes how we serve the spiritual master. If we can serve the spiritual master, then He understands that we can serve Him.
The spiritual master tries to engage himself and his disciples in the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Many great spiritual masters nicely served Srila Prabhupada throughout their lives: Tamal Krishna Swami, Bhakti Tirtha Swami, Sridhara Swami, etc.
People think that through the senses they will enjoy, but the senses are never really satisfied. One devotee prayed, “O Lord, I have served my senses, but they are never satisfied. They are not even ashamed to take so much service from me, and they give me nothing in return. Therefore, I want to give up serving them and serve You instead.”
Although in this age of Kali there are so many defects, one can easily get bhakti by chanting Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.
The Alvars in the Sri Sampradaya say the symptom of the pure devotees is that they chant the holy names of the the Lord with their hands raised. The followers of Prabhupada and the followers of Lord Caitanya do this.
Offerings in honor of Jayapataka Swami:
Sankarsana Prabhu of Svarupa Ganj, Prabhupada disciple: From when I met you in 1970 I saw you working very, very hard to serve Srila Prabhupada preaching in Calcutta and Bengal. You inspired creation of 1,000 nama-hattas since 1978. You are always cooperating with your godbrothers and helping them with their difficulties.
Pancaratna Prabhu: Thank you for engaging me in service in Mayapur in 1976. Thank you for your fruit feasts on the roof. We were foreigners and without your kind protection, it would have been difficult for us. I admire your innovative preaching. I have learned from you to be a humble servant of our spiritual master and his society. I see you have always been at the forefront keeping the society together and moving forward. I have also learned about the loud chanting of the holy name of Lord Gauranga and glory of His service.
Sri Caitanya Prabhu: I remember when Jayapataka Maharaja took sannyasa at the same age as Lord Caitanya was when he took sannyasa. Srila Prabhupada said Jayapataka Maharaja was an eternal associate of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Once he spoke to a large crowd in Bengali in Srila Prabhupada’s presence, and Srila Prabhupada was so happy to hear his disciple speak in fluent Bengali. Hearing Jayapataka Maharaja speaking at the adi vasa ceremony last night reminded me of Prabhupada speaking at his Bhagavata Dharma discourses about the position of the spiritual master, and how his guru had sent his disciples to him to assist him. My wife is Jayapataka Swami’s disciple, and I am impressed that his disciples are so nice. It reflects nicely on their guru.
One who is a good follower is an acarya and can be followed.
I was the guest house manager, engaged by Bhavananda Maharaja, and I made a mistake, and I was called to Srila Prabhupada’s office with Jayapataka Maharaja, and he chastised me like anything. Bhavananda was hiding nearby and said he had never seen such chastisement. Even though Jayapataka was not responsible for engaging me, he was tolerating all the criticism.
Bhakti Caru Swami: Jayapataka Swami is one of the most important leaders in ISKCON today. Although the leader of Mayapur, he was humble and caring. I had a disagreement with a devotee, and I had some business to do at my father’s house, so I went home. When Jayapataka heard I was home, he came to visit several times but I was out. When I returned, my father told me Jayapataka Swami came to see me. I felt so bad I went to the Calcutta temple to see him and we returned to Mayapur together. Soon he was leaving to travel around Bengal and he brought me with him and trained me to convince people of the value of Srila Prabhupada’s books. When we next saw Srila Prabhupada he spoke highly of me, and I was given the service of translating Prabhupada’s books into Bengali.
Bhakti Purusottama Swami: When you went through that health crisis, when you were not breathing, it was like the movement was not breathing, and some of your godbrothers’ were crying. We were all praying for you. I was thinking even if you could only sit in your chair and receive reports of preaching that would be glorious, but now you are traveling all over the world and preaching. One person was referring to you as sick, but you said, “What is this sick? I am disabled, but I am not sick.” You spent so many hours sitting at meetings, listening in your disabled condition. I think you are practically demonstrating you have realized you are not your body.
Gauranga Prema Swami:
Jayapataka Swami was the first one to start the development of Mayapur, and he is still here. He started with Prabhupada’s bhajana kutira.
The early nama-hatta preaching was met with so much joking about it and lack of interest in it, I went to Jayapataka Maharaja and told him, “No one cares for this nama-hatta preaching.” He responded, “No one cares for this nama-hatta preaching? I care for for this nama-hatta preaching!” Then he told me a story. “When I began development of Mayapur, there was little interest in this little town far away from Calcutta. I complained to Srila Prabhupada, ‘No one cares for Mayapur!’ Srila Prabhupada said, ‘No one cares for Mayapur? I care for Mayapur!’ And he encouraged me to continue, and now after so many years many people are beginning to care about Mayapur. In the same way, if you just keep it up you will see, this nama-hatta will really take hold.” I did continue and now we have many hundreds of nama-hatta centers.
Bhaktivinoda Swami: You told us that Prabhupada taught us that the secret is to depend on the previous acaryas [spiritual masters]. I tell one story to illustrate this. Ramanujacarya’s preaching was so strong that an opposition spiritualist was threatening his life. Wearing a disguise, he took shelter of the woods. In the woods, he asked a disciple to find shelter, and he found the house of a disciple of Ramanujacarya who had named his children after the previous acaryas. The disciple called the names of the children, and his whole family bowed done to Ramanujacarya, who was so happy to see that his disciple was so attached to remembering the previous acaryas that he named his kids after them.
Bhaktisiddhanta Swami: You display unflinching service to Srila Prabhupada despite all physical handicaps following the mood of Srila Prabhupada who spoke of working continually despite his health and even of being buried on the roof of our multistory building in NYC.
Developer of Nama-hatta preaching in Muscat and his wife, Prema Padmini:
Your Ayurvedic doctor said your recovering is happening by spiritual energy. We see you are completely engaged in Srila Prabhupada’s service. Bless me to absorb your mood of always caring for the devotees in every way. Please help me to serve without false motives.
We are fortunate to have such a spiritual master who is wonderful example of Lord Caitanya mood of giving Krishna-prema through sharing the chanting of Hare Krishna.
Advaita Hari Prabhu: [He read a poem he wrote thanking Jayapataka Swami for mercy, knowledge the soul is not the body but a servant of Krishna eternally, and asking for eternal service to him, who freed him from doubts by his mercy.]
from SB 4.24.40, purport:
However, the real essence of sabda-brahma is the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra. By vibrating this transcendental sound, the meaning of everything, both material and
spiritual, is revealed. This Hare Krishna is nondifferent from the Personality of Godhead.
We are the Brahma-Madhava-Gaudiya-ISKCON.
Lord Caitanya said the Lord Nityananda is the real guru. He went to deliver love of God to everyone. Lord Caitanya even got the animals to chant and dance. Where you find anyone as merciful as them?
There are twelve parts of a yuga, and Lord Caitanya was predicted to come in the first part of the Kali-yuga.
Krishna has a ocean of qualities. The living entities have mere drops.
Krishna is so merciful He lifted the Govardhan Hill to protect his friends.
Prabhupada has brought this mercy to us. We are eternally indebted to him.
Even a little devotional service gives so much benefit what to speak or chanting and dancing before the deities.
It would be nice if I could dance. But before I was fat and had so many health problems, and I do not want that.
It is worth whatever it takes to get a drop of Lord Caitanya’s mercy.
The previous acaryas all want you to taste the nectar.
Although Arjuna was present when Krishna instructed the sun-god millions of years ago, Arjuna could not remember although Krishna could. That is the difference between the Lord and a pure devotee.
Devotees worship Shiva as the greatest of the devotees of the Lord not as a demigod. We do not disrespect Lord Shiva in any way.
There is one temple with many demgods in it, but everything is first offered to Vishnu, the Supreme Lord, and then the others.
When we have to instruct someone, they may be worshiping Shiva or Durga, we have to explain that everything should be offered to Krishna first, and then to the others gods.
But for Krishna bhakti, we do not ask anything from the demigods. If we have some material desire, we will ask Krishna for it.
We must always remember there is one God, and everyone else is His servant. Everyone is worshiping Him by their service.
Here in Navadvipa as well as in Vrindavan, the holy dhama is protected by Lord Siva.
The gopis prayed to Katyayani (Durga) for Krishna to be their husband.
During the year when Krishna had expanded Himself into all the cow herd boys, the gopis married the boys, thus having their desire to marry Krishna fulfilled.
When Brahma tried to steal the cow herd boys He realized that his mystic power was like illuminating power of lightning bug compared to Krishna’s which was like that a sun.
When Lord Brahma got the darsana of Lord Gauranga, he wanted to take part in the Lord’s pastimes. Thus he became Haridasa Thakura, the acarya (teacher) of the chanting of the holy names.
When Banasura, a great devotee of Lord Shiva, fought Krishna, and His Sudarsana cakra was chopping of his extra hands, Lord Shiva appealed on his behalf, thus the Lord left him with four hands.
It is not the fault of the demigods that people worship them for material gain but the fault of the worshipers.
When Sankaracarya came to Navadvipa, Lord Caitanya told him that was no need to propagate Mayavadi philosophy there, so he left.
When Mukunda Datta was banished from Lord Caitanya’s association for hearing Mayavadi philosophy, His secretary informed Mukunda that he would again get the Lord’s association after ten million births. He was so overjoyed, he made such commotion the Lord asked what was going on. When He was informed, Mukunda was so happy to hear he would again see the Lord, even after ten million births, he called Mukunda back into His association, but warned him never to hear Mayavadi philosophy again.
Do not think there is any bliss in between the words of the Hare Krishna mantra.
Q: How to realize the glories of Mayapur?
A: To those who properly respect the devotees in the dhama, the dhama will reveal itself.
In Bhakti-ratnakara, a vision of a jeweled temple where the the Lord was worshiped by thousands of devotees was revealed to Srivasa and Isana Thakura.
Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami:
The Lord is the cause of the integration and disintegration of everything, and we should see Him as ultimately behind it.
In the present day people focus on getting a certain result from an activity and are often not concerned with how the result enhances our relationships, which is more important.
Because the Lord has entered everything, therefore things are attractive.
It is more difficult to act in Krishna consciousness if you think you are the enjoyer and because of that desire to enjoy, you perform an activity and get a certain result, and then at that point, you decide to offer the result to Krishna. If you are conscious of Krishna from the very beginning and then offer the result to Krishna it is easier, but the beauty of bhakti is that either way there is benefit.
Ksatriyas are not interested in discussing anything which is not practical, while brahmanas are willing to consider philosophy that does not have an immediate application.
The Vedic culture aims more at attaining a situation of satisfaction in this world than happiness in this world. Happiness is only there in the spiritual world.
Comment: We can linger in mixed devotional service as long as we like, but we will not attain the full satisfaction that we desire.
Pure devotional service is more satisfying than mixed devotional service because the Lord is more satisfied with it.
When we criticize mixed devotional service, it is not because it has no benefit, but because is as not as good as pure devotional service and thus will not fully satisfy ourselves or the Lord.
The more important thing for Lord is the purity of the intent as opposed to the purity of the form of the offering, although the purity of the form may be an expression of the purity of intent.
Everyone is conscious of God. They just do not know that what they are conscious of is God. When they learn that, they can progress spiritually.
These relationships exists with the Catur-vyuha:
Vasudeva, organization, abhidheya
Sankarsana, body, sambandha
Aniruddha, mind, prayojana
Pradyumna, words, sambandha
The scripture explains how the material world works. The scientists through their speculations and theories try to understand it, but it has already been explained perfectly.
The problem with science is the scientists only deal with the mechanics but not the purpose behind it. The scientist knows his little field very well, which requires great intelligence, but he does not apply his intelligence to that which is behind it.
Bg. 7.24: If you know about God that is big knowledge, but if you know all kinds of details about some aspect of the material world that is still small knowledge.
Appreciation and service is the common platform for all residents of the spiritual world. In Goloka Vrindavana it is taken further.
In the stage of ruci there is not the least fatigue for hearing and chanting about Krishna. At this stage, things speed up very quickly. At ruci, there is no taste for anarthas, the unwanted distractions from our spiritual life.
Nistha, the beginning of advanced devotional service, is the platform from which ruci and asakti develop.
The brahminical activities such as hearing, chanting, and worship, anyone can do who is purified. Not anyone can do the ksatriya and vaisya work because the work becomes intolerable after a while for those not naturally in that social division.
The government in South India, in the name of equality, kicked out all the brahmanas from the temple which was under government control and let anyone who wanted to to be a pujari. That only worked for a matter of days. The fishermen were used to the cool fresh air found sitting next to the hot sacrificial fire for hours a day to be intolerable.
Vaisyas do not teach because they will adjust the knowledge so more people like it and they make more money. So the venture becomes more about money and less about knowledge. The brahmana just gives the knowledge, and those who appreciate it come and hear.
A devotee in London worked in an office and saw the same beggar working on the street by his office for hours each day. Once the devotee, on his way home, saw the same beggar after he packed up at the end of the day, getting into a Mercedes and driving off. Apparently the man found begging was more lucrative than working in an office.
A devotee advises on devotional service or in an area of his expertise but not on everything.
A real vaisya knows that giving in charity is never a loss.
Asakti is the threshold of spontaneous devotional service. When Krishna, the person, becomes the object of relish, not the activities of devotional service, that stage is asakti. Sometimes the Lord appears in the mind as a result the purification of the asakti stage.
Before asakti when the mind is distracted one uses the intelligence to bring it back. Buddhi-yoga is the complete picture and it is referred to as karma-yoga or jnana-yoga if either of those is prominent. Otherwise it is called bhakti-yoga.
Founder-acaryas were not required until the age of Kali.
It does not matter if your consciousness is narrow or broad as long as whatever consciousness you have is completely fixed on Krishna.
An intelligent person has more opportunities to advance in Krishna consciousness, but unless he takes advantage of the extra opportunities there is no advantage.
Both more intelligent and less intelligent people can be distracted, just by different things.
If there is no humility, knowledge is not complete.
One who is not enthusiastic about devotional service but who does it anyway has less understanding than one who is enthusiastic about it. The enthusiastic person sees the value of the devotional service in advancing toward Krishna, and because he is eager to attain Krishna, he is enthusiastic.
It is said if you hear you absorb 30%, if you hear and see, you absorb 50%, if you hear, see, and write, you absorb 70%, and if you hear, see, write, and teach you absorb 90%.
In the practicing stage seeing Krishna at mangala-arati may be motivated by the idea that so many lives of karma are destroyed by seeing Krishna. When Mother Yasoda goes to wake Krishna in the morning, she is not concerned with the fact that lifetimes of karma is eradicated by seeing Krishna.
Within vaidhi-bhakti there is a spontaneity that arises for liking to do the right thing because it is the right thing. This is different than the spontaneity of bhava.
If we do not really understand what we are doing in devotional service, but we do it anyway, we still progress because we are rightly situated. Better is to understand what we are doing, and to do it even, if we do not like it. Better still is to understand it and to like it.
Arjuna hears the Gita once, without purports, and assimilates it and applies it. Not a bad disciple!
If one is enthusiastic to serve the spiritual master, then he will be able to follow the Lord as the Supersoul [the Lord within].
Although we tend to consider some people in our group more intelligent and other people more foolish, in Kali-yuga none of us is very intelligent. Thus Srila Prabhupada encourages us by saying the less intelligent who are sincere in serving the spiritual master with devotion will be helped by the Lord within.
The most esoteric books that the Goswamis wrote they realized would never be used, so those were buried in a grantha-samadhi (book tomb).
Just crunching numbers is not real brain work, trying to find the purpose behind everything is.
In academia they do not take everything back to the Supreme Cause. If they did, they would have to rearrange their lives, and that they do not want to do.
Previous to the Age of Enlightenment the idea of God as being the Supreme Cause was acceptable, but with the Age of Enlightenment, that was considered no longer acceptable, so although the Age of Enlightenment was about broadening one’s perspective, in reality it was more restrictive.
By supplying knowledge, remembrance, and forgetfulness, Krishna controls the entire creation.
One can follow Lord’s instructions for His pleasure and that is divine, but one can follow the same instructions for one’s own enjoyment. Depending on the mentality one gets a spiritual or material result.
What is bona fide is in the various scriptures, but in the Gita Krishna tells which of that He personally likes. There He states, “This is My opinion.”
There are rules in Vrindavan, but they are not prominent.
If we are saying that is how it was done in the Vedic age, we cannot do it that way in modern times, we are disconnecting our present activities from God.
To do it because Krishna likes it is spontaneous. To do it because it is a rule is vaidhi-bhakti, devotional service in practice.
Science is factual knowledge of how the energy functions. We do not see a problem between science and God. The scientist are simply observing how God’s material energy is working. Science is only irrelevant when it has no connection to God.
Dharma is science. The interaction of different people with different psychological characteristics is a science described in the scripture, but we do not take it in that way, so we do not take it seriously.
In Vaikuntha the devotees like the formality of the rules because it gives a structure. But because it is a spiritual situation, it never gets boring.
In Vrindavan, your emotions toward Krishna motivate you to act in a certain way, but then another person starts interacting with Him in another way, and you have to change your mood and approach in such a way that you still please Krishna. That requires greater surrender than where rules of conduct make the situation more predicable and comfortable.
Ganga Das Prabhu:
When the mind is purified, its accepting and rejecting feature will help us advance in our devotional service, otherwise in its impure state it will engage our senses in acts of sense gratification.
On a BBC documentary in which many scientists were interviewed about science and religion, some scientists reported being fired because of even suggesting there may be a higher intelligence behind the universe, although they were not even advocating some particular idea of God or religion.
When I was in Mumbai, I noticed there were a few scientists who were studying Srimad-Bhagavatam in the association of devotees.
Association with devotees means serving devotees and serving Krishna in the association of devotees.
If we do not purify our desires, although we may be dressed like devotees, we may actually become agents of Kali, this age of degradation.
Love means service. If your wife says she loves you, but she does not cook for you, she does not clean the house, she does not take care of the kids, then what kind of love is that?
When the opportunity comes to serve Krishna, we must take it. The brahmanas, busy with their sacrifice, would not offer food to Krishna and Balarama, but their wives proved themselves more advanced by eagerly gathering all kinds of foodstuffs to please the Lord.
A Vaishnava, a devotee of God, is compared to a rooster, a crane, and salt:
As a rooster always finds something to eat anywhere, the Vaishnava can find a good quality in anyone.
As the crane is always standing in the water waiting for a fish and then catching it, the Vaishnava is always chanting and meditating, waiting for the opportunity to serve. and when the opportunity comes, he catches it.
As the salt makes everything palatable when it is present and without it things are bland, the devotional mood the Vaishnava creates makes a situation palatable where otherwise there is an emptiness.
A Vaishnava is not interested in his own self, but always seeking the association of the great souls.
It is good to pray to Krishna to control our mind, for in reality we are not the controller of anything. If we pray to the Lord in this way, He will help us.
Krishna is being glorified here for giving us the freedom to make our lives perfect or to destroy ourselves.
Imagine there was a day that you could do anything and there was no reaction. That would be a dangerous day. The demons wish that was the case every day.
Svarupa Damodara was asking Srila Prabhupada how to preach to the Bengalis. Prabhupada replied kirtana and prasadam [chanting the holy name and food offered to God].
The demoniac people desire to forget God, and so Krishna helps them. Krishna is the most intelligent person, and so He can convince the demoniac that He does not exist.
People might challenge if we are so foolish we will misuse our independence then why does it Krishna give it to us. The answer is because we want it.
At the Sunday Feast, 10% come for the lecture, 30% for kirtana, and 100% prasadam. Why? We are always talking about how life in the material world is miserable, and most people are committed to enjoy the material world [so they do not want to hear it].
We are all looking at the same world, but we became devotees.
Things are so bad in the miserable world, when there is a lull, we think we are happy. We desire to enjoy so bad we accept such a state.
We desire to enjoy so much Krishna has to make this material world appear attractive although it is not.
Srila Prabhupada said there is only one reason we are suffering in this material world: we want to enjoy.
We are paying a high price for sense gratification, but we do not get it.
When we decide we have had enough, we turn toward Krishna.
How do you want Krishna to help you, to come toward Him or to go away from Him?
Helping other people to advance spiritually is the most powerful way to give up the tendency for material enjoyment.
Once Srila Prabhupada was asked, “What is your desire?” He said, “I simply want everyone to be Krishna conscious.”
We often pray to Krishna but we do not align our actions with that prayer. Therefore Krishna does not take us seriously.
Bhaktivinoda Thakura says in the entire fourteen worlds there is nothing but the holy name. That is the realization we must come to.
The devotee has the faith that whatever Krishna does is for his spiritual advancement.
Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that Krishna gives us some suffering to purify us from subtle material contamination.
Bhaktivinoda Thakura says weakness of heart and lack of intelligence cause material attachment.
Associate with those who experience bliss and who are detached from what you are attached to.
Kirtana is actual ecstasy. Prabhupada said that.
On the higher stages of bhakti you become renounced because you have a higher taste, while in the beginning you renounce because of knowledge.
This section where Lord Shiva glorifies Lord Vishnu so expertly and so directly is a significant section of the Srimad-Bhagavatam.
There are 6 billion human beings and so many millions, billions, trillions, and quadrillions of microbes, insects, etc. And there is one eternal, one conscious being, who is maintaining them all. That is the Lord.
How is He maintaining them? By supplying different knowledge, remembrance, and forgetfulness according to their desire.
We must surrender. That is our nature. If we are not surrendered to Krishna, we will be surrendered Krishna’s material energy and our consciousness will become absorbed in this material world.
We surrender to Krishna not in a forced way, but in recognition that Krishna is the enjoyer, the controller, and in fact, our best friend.
Krishna is saying, “I am your friend. I have always been your friend. That is why I am here [in your heart].”
We awaken to the Lord’s presence as the friend in the heart.
To become Brahman realized through jnana-yoga or to become Paramatma realized through as astanga-yoga is not easy, but by chanting Hare Krishna we can gradually come to perceive Krishna in all His features.
The Lord does not only instruct us from within but as guru from without.
To find the Lord’s directions in our heart, first we have to find our heart. Usually we are absorbed in our minds, and the direction from our heart is unclear.
People from the Divine Mission were in attendance when Prabhupada spoke the philosophy and asked if they were any questions. One person from that group asked why does God have to be philosophy. Prabhupada replied, “Krishna is God. God is great. Philosophy tells how great God is. What do you want me to tell you? Fairy stories?”
Our minds are like trash compactors that try to reduce the Absolute Truth to something small we can deal with, but that will not lead to understanding.
We do not realize our senses and their objects do not belong to us.
Devotional service cannot be sentimental or selfish if we want to satisfy Krishna.
Endeavor to please Krishna, guru, and Vaishnavas constitutes devotional service.
To win a gold metal requires practice, practice, practice. Do we think that attain love of God is easier than that?
Qualifications of a disciple: “The servant or disciple of the spiritual master should be free from false prestige, never considering himself to be the doer. He should be active and never lazy and should give up all sense of proprietorship over the objects of the senses, including his wife, children, home and society. He should be endowed with feelings of loving friendship toward the spiritual master and should never become deviated or bewildered. The servant or disciple should always desire advancement in spiritual understanding, should not envy anyone and should always avoid useless conversation.” (SB 11.10.6) Srila Prabhupada elaborates in Sri Caitanya-caritmamrita Madhya 24.330 purport, “The disciple must have the following qualifications. He must give up interest in the material bodily conception. He must give up material lust, anger, greed, illusion, madness and envy. He should be interested only in understanding the science of God, and he should be ready to consider all points in this matter. He should no longer think, ‘I am this body,’ or, ‘This thing belongs to me.’ One must love the spiritual master with unflinching faith, and one must be very steady and fixed. The bona fide disciple should be inquisitive to understand transcendental subject matter. He must not search out faults among good qualities, and he should no longer be interested in material topics. His only interest should be Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”
Srila Prabhupada said, “If you do not follow my instructions, what can I do?”
Q: If devotional service is our original nature, why is it so hard to attain?
A: It is not cheap. If we are holding on to other things, we do not really want it.
Kapila explains that all material elements begin from sound.
A related idea is the Christian idea that in the beginning was the word and the word was God.
Sound can be the beginning of our material life or our spiritual life, depending on whether we hear material or spiritual sound. The Hare Krishna mantra is a spiritual sound.
The Lord manifests in different ways to give us an opportunity to associate with Him.
If we think of the Bhagavatam as just another book, then it will be just another book for us, but if we think of it as the Supreme Lord, then it will reciprocate as the Lord.
We can see in our lives the purifying effects of spiritual sound:
I shared an apartment with an atheist, who was an acquaintance of mine, because neither of us had much money. He had been an atheist his whole life and was proud of it. We each furnished half the apartment, and I contributed the sound system. All the time I played a tape I got in Vrindavan of the Hare Krishna mantra, and after a month or two, my roommate who had a habit of drinking alcohol found he did not like to drink anymore. In fact, if he had one beer he would vomit. I said he must have become purified. He asked to read a copy of Bhagavad-gita, and after reading it he concluded that God exists.
One girl I knew was curious about the Hare Krishna mantra, so I taught her how to chant it on beads. She was also from Brazil, and in Brazil there is meat present at every meal. From her chanting, she came to the point of not wanting to eat meat, and if she did eat it, she would vomit. Her family, who was Catholic, was freaking out and took her to their priest, who was familiar with the devotees, and who told the family that from the point of view of the Bible it was perfectly OK to be vegetarian.
comment by Jananivasa: Once Srila Prabhupada explained, “Because the Hare Krishna mantra means ‘O Lord, O energy of the Lord. Please engage me in your service,’ and in the spiritual world, all that is going on is this devotional service, the Hare Krishna is a representation of the entire spiritual world Goloka Vrndavana.”
Gayatri is meant to be meditated upon in addition to being chanted.
Prayaih in the verse glorifying sankirtana means that sankirtana is the chief means of worshiping Lord Caitanya.
Srimad-Bhagavatam and the chanting of Hare Krishna are a good combination for by hearing the Srimad-Bhagavatam one will get the knowledge of our spiritual selves, the Lord and our relationship that will make the chanting fully effective. Similarly the chanting will purify us and help us to understand the Srimad-Bhagavatam.
Devotee 1 whose name I did not catch:
The idea that we are indebted to the demigods and the forefathers is not understandable in the modern Western context. In the Christian tradition there are not really any demigods; there is just God. And the forefathers are dead and gone. What can you do for them anyway?
The scientists are the prophets of the modern age.
We are surrounded by so many artificial chemicals that we are breathing and ingesting, and thus diseases like cancer, which were rare, are now rampant.
One company in India advertized biscuits had fiber in them. Research showed that the fiber turned out to be sawdust.
How the devotees in the community interacted in Bhaktivedanta Manor in the late 1970s was very attractive to me and one of the many reasons I joined the Hare Krishna movement.
India was one of the wealthiest countries in the Middle Ages because of following its Vedic culture. Marco Polo was amazed by the wealth of the common farmers there.
Coka-cola had an ad running on the public buses in London, “There is probably not a God, so relax and enjoy life.” The Christians responded with bus ads “There definitely is a God, so relax and enjoy life.”
Devotee 2 whose name I did not catch:
In Sri Rangam, the brahmanas live near the temple in the center. Then beyond them there are facilities for other groups so they can live with likeminded people and progress spiritually.
In the Vedic culture there are prescriptions for people in every kind of situation to progress.
The idea of love at first sight is not realistic. Love is such a deep thing how can it arise so suddenly? There can be sensual attraction at first sight, but not love.
Now often people consider their pets to be their best friends. Why is that? The animals are fixed in their nature. In the Vedic culture, relationships with people were more important than relationships with animals, but now society is so degraded and people are so whimsical, people feel more comfortable making friends with their pets.
If you investigate, often you will find a person’s atheism is a result of a negative experience which causes him to doubt God. Then the person builds a whole philosophy upon that. So the accusation of atheists that theists are emotional while atheists are rational is not accurate.
In Australia, to reduce smoking, all cigarettes boxes have to be a certain green color which studies found to be least attractive and have a picture of someone’s lungs blackened by smoking. In addition, a warning of the hazards of smoking must be printed on the package in 20 point Arial type. Still people are so conditioned they foolishly buy the cigarettes.
krishna-nama-sudha koriya pan
nama bina kichu nahiko aro
nama bina kichu nahiko aro
“Drink the pure nectar of the holy name of Krishna. There is nothing but the name to be had in the fourteen worlds. It has filled the soul of Sri Bhaktivinoda Thakura.” (“Arunodaya-kirtana” [Song to be Sung at Dawn] from Gitavali, Verse 8)