Monday, December 17, 2012

Travel Journal#8.21: London, New York, Jacksonville

Diary of a Traveling Sadhaka, Vol. 8, No. 21
By Krishna-kripa das
(November 2012, part one
London, New York, Jacksonville
(Sent from Stuyvesant Falls, New York, on December 17, 2012)

Where I Went and What I Did

I continued to do harinama and lectures in London, based at Radha-Londonisvara’s temple on Soho Street for three days, flying to New York City the afternoon of the third day, to do harinama for a week with Rama Raya and Ekalavya Prabhus and their party who chant for four hours a day, mostly at Union Square. It was amazing to see the enthusiasm of those devotees for harinama and the enthusiasm of the New Yorkers who listened, gave donations, and took books about Krishna consciousness. I took a three-day break from the harinama party to visit family members. I visited my sister and my mother for a day each, cooking several meals and helping my mother with various computer issues. I visited my diksa-guru, Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami, where I assisted his team in a successful marathon to get the first volume of his autobiography, The Story of My Life, printed by the beginning of December. On November 15, I flew to Jacksonville, where I spent a very enlivening day assisting in our outreach at the University of North Florida there.

This issue is bountiful with the insights of great souls. I begin with many quotes from the books and lecture of our founder-acarya Srila Prabhupada. Next there are some wonderful insights from the letters of his guru maharaja, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura from a collection of his letters called Patravali, soon to be published in an abridged form by Touchstone Publishing as Patramrita. After that there some useful quotes from Bhakti Charu Swami and Radhanath Swami. Then I have excerpts from the first volume of the recently published, The Story of My Life, by Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami, mostly memories about the early days of our first center at 26 Second Ave. Then there are some revolutionary quotes by Aindra Prabhu, a great lover of the holy name. And Rama Raya Prabhu, a follower of Aindra, shares his conviction about the public chanting of the holy name. And there is still more!


Dec. 17–19, 2012: serving Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami in Stuyvesant, NY
Dec. 19–23, 2012: harinama in New York City
Dec. 24–25, 2012: visiting family in Albany, NY
Dec. 26, 2012–
Jan. 7, 2013: harinama in New York City
Jan. 8–April 2013: Gainesville, FL (with visits to Tallahassee and Jacksonville)

London Harinamas

I did harinama in London the first three days of November, before flying to New York. As the month of Karttika was starting, there was increased impetus to do more chanting and that boosted attendance on our harinamas. The after-breakfast harinama in London was much more regular and attended by more devotees than usual. In addition, late Friday afternoon we did harinama to Kings Cross for their Friday evening program at their storefront called “Matchless Gifts.” The Saturday Weekend Warrior program of chanting and book distribution was located in Ealing, a London borough which is practically on the way to Heathrow Airport, so I was able to participate for three hours before flying to New York.

Harinama in Manhattan

For several months Rama Raya Prabhu, who spent many years on Aindra Prabhu’s 24-Hour team in Vrindavan, and Ekalavya Prabhu, who plays the trumpet and is an excellent musician and performer, have been doing harinama in Manhattan, usually at Union Square, for four hours each and every day from 4 to 8 p.m. I joined their party for seven days. Once during foul weather we were chanting at Roosevelt Avenue subway station. I was singing my favorite tune of Hare Krishna and Ekalavya Prabhu played trumpet and a crowd of at least fifty people were watching us. I was amazed to see so many people stopped to watch a kirtana in America, especially one I was leading. One Sunday we chanted at Union Square for six hours from 2 to 8 p.m. One time we had seventeen people chanting, mostly practicing devotees with a few new people who had become interested from the daily public chanting in their city. Another day we had fifteen people. Even the slowest days we always had six or seven people at the end, although sometimes in the beginning there were just three or four of us. Some devotees are dedicated and go out every day for at least part of the time. One of these is Rasika Gopi dd, who as Bhaktin Rose went out on harinama with me twice in the Netherlands two and a half years ago.

Several new people have developed an interest in kirtana and Krishna consciousness during the several months the daily harinama has been going on and several thousand books have been distributed to people, just from them hearing the holy name and choosing to give a donation. Both Rama Raya and Ekalavya Prabhus are very enthusiastic about the program, and after a short break from January to March to go on pilgrimage in India, they are looking forward to another successful year.

Sharing Krishna at the University of North Florida

I have been singing on the campus of the University of North Florida in Jacksonville a few times a year since back in 2003 or 2004. I find the students are less under pressure in that relatively small school, and you always find interesting and interested people. People buy books, play instruments with us, like our treats, and talk about spiritual issues.

After a two-and-a-half-hour flight and a two-hour bus ride, I arrived at the campus too tired to chant, so I took lunch and a nap. Then in the late afternoon I decided to sit on a bench on the green and play my harmonium and sing for a couple of hours before our Thursday evening program and invite some new people to come.

I was surprised to meet Regina, one girl who remembered me from our weekly programs back in January, and who told me she has been coming to them ever since. Another girl, Jessica, just came to a single program, back in January, and also remembered me from that. We had a nice conversation about some supernatural experiences she had, and she promised to come to the program. On top of that, I met a math professor, who had done her graduate studies at University of California at San Diego and developed a love for the Krishna lunch the devotees served there each week. I had met her before on the green at UNF, and on days I did not see her there, I would bring prasadam to her office. It was wonderful that she spontaneously walked by during the brief time I was chanting there. I also met one young Indian man who is a Krishna devotee, and had looked online for Krishna temples in the area but had failed to find any. I told him about our program on the campus, and about our temples in Alachua and Gainesville. As a result he became a regular attendee at our programs at UNF.

By the fall semester of 2012, Dina Bandhu and Amrita Keli Prabhus, the devotees doing programs at UNF nature pavilion since January, had created enough interest in the students that they could create a Krishna Club with meetings on the campus. I was happy to see about fifteen people at the weekly program. Sometimes they said they got twenty-five. They do some yoga, have a talk related to Bhagavad-gita, have chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra with instruments, and then Krishna prasadam, spiritual food for the soul. When I was there, after the program they discussed plans for a weekend field trip to a home program in LaCrosse and the Govardhan Puja festival in our Alachua temple. I was surprised to see the number of students interested in the devotional adventure. It was inspiring for me to see the interest in Krishna consciousness in a new place, and I bet such programs could be started on many campuses by enthusiastic young devotees who simply share in a straight forward way whatever they have learned about Krishna with others.


Srila Prabhupada:

from Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Adi-lila 1.55, purport:

The development of submissiveness is the cause of proportionate spiritual realization, by which one can ultimately meet the Supreme Lord in person, as a man meets another man face to face. Because of his development of transcendental attachment for the Supreme Lord, a surrendered soul feels the presence of his beloved everywhere, and all his senses are engaged in the loving service of the Lord. His eyes are engaged in seeing the beautiful couple Sri Radha and Krishna sitting on a decorated throne beneath a desire tree in the transcendental land of Vrindavan. His nose is engaged in smelling the spiritual aroma of the lotus feet of the Lord. Similarly, his ears are engaged in hearing messages from Vaikuntha, and his hands embrace the lotus feet of the Lord and His associates. Thus the Lord is manifested to a pure devotee from within and without. This is one of the mysteries of the devotional relationship in which a devotee and the Lord are bound by a tie of spontaneous love. To achieve this love should be the goal of life for every living being.”

from a lecture:

In this material life, you will never be able to make anyone happy by your activities. That is not possible. Neither you will be happy.

For the jnanis (those interested in cultivating knowledge) Krishna says, “After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.” (Bg. 7.19), for the karmis (those interested in enjoying their senses) Krishna says, “Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer or give away, and whatever austerities you perform — do that, O son of Kunti, as an offering to Me.” (Bg. 9.27), and for the yogis Krishna says, “A yogi is greater than the ascetic, greater than the empiricist and greater than the fruitive worker. Therefore, O Arjuna, in all circumstances, be a yogi” (Bg. 6.46).

Nirguna means Krishna is not influenced by the three qualities of material nature (gunas) not that He has no transcendental qualities.

from a lecture:

Meditation begins with the lotus feet of Lord. Meditation on Krishna’s lotus feet destroys the dirty things in our heart.

Krishna’s feet are marked with four primary symbols: ankusa (goad), vajra (thunderbolt), sauraubya (lotus), . . .

When a British reporter asked me where hell was. I told him London is hell. There is no sun. It is always rainy and cold. You to do not have to search out hell in another place, hell is already here.

There is no light so you are paying electricity bill, but in the spiritual world no additional illumination is required. Why do you not go there? Why should we pay the electric bill? Go to the spiritual world. Every planet is effulgence.

In the material world, even the richest person is full of anxiety, but the spiritual world is Vaikuntha, without anxiety, so we should aspire to go there.

No material condition can check Krishna consciousness.

from an early-morning walk in Vrindvana, India, in September 1975:

On one side they promote contraceptives, and on the other side they encourage women
to marry three times a week. This is their civilization. If you want to stop increasing the population, why are you inducing people: “Indulge in sex”? Everything is contradictory. And it is all based on sense gratification.

from a lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.6 in London on July 23, 1973:

Without following the religious principle there is not humanity. . . . It does not matter what kind of religion you follow, it doesn’t matter, but you must follow. . . . That is the duty, dharma. Human civilization begins when there is a religious conception of life.

Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura:

from the abridged Patravali, known as Patramrita, to be printed by Touchstone Publishing:

If you pray for the well-being of your subordinates then your own spiritual progress will take place.

As far as the present anarthas [unwanted tendencies] are concerned, if your hearing and chanting is very strong, they cannot display their prominence.
When I think that I am well, I become averse to Krishna, and as a result, I consider senior devotees to be junior to me. That is why, considering this, Lord Krishna keeps me in various distressful conditions, such as in ill health and other inconveniences. At such times I try to understand the meaning of the verse beginning with tat te’nukampam [My dear Lord, one who earnestly waits for You to bestow Your causeless mercy upon him, all the while patiently suffering the reactions of his past misdeeds and offering You respectful obeisances with his heart, words and body, is surely eligible for liberation, for it has become his rightful claim. (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.14.8)].

When we remain absorbed in material subjects, which are not related to Krishna, we are inclined to quarrel with the different people of the world.

I am very glad to learn that Bhaktisarvasva Giri has received an English certificate. If the sannyasis and brahmacaris keep proving their merit in this way at different places, our happiness will know no bounds.

We should have churches for devotion and love all over India (preaching centers for pure devotional service and love of Krishna). Perhaps you remember the teachings of Mahaprabhu:

prithivite ache yata nagaradi-grama
sarvatra pracara haibe mora nama

In every town and village of the world, My name [the holy name of Krishna] will be preached.”

No one has the right to drink even a drop of nectar from the ocean of the transcendental mellows of Lord Krishna’s pastimes without the mercy of the daughter of King Vrishabhanu [Radharani, Lord Krishna’s consort].

The dim reflection of madhurya-rasa is svakiya-rasa, and so it is simply another form of dasya-rasa. Many people make a mistake by accepting Lord Narayana’s pastimes with His legitimate wife as madhurya-rasa.

A Vaishnava comes to this material world according to his karma, and after spending a fixed amount of time here, he goes to where he is being sent by Baladeva, according to his qualifications. Mahalaksmi resides within Balarama, and within Mahalaksmi resides the Supreme Lord. Therefore, Tota has gone back to serve his worshipable Lord. He was a Vaishnava part and parcel of Nityananda Prabhu, the predominating Lord of the sandhini potency and so if you learn to treat Lord Vishnu as your son, you will no longer feel the absence of your son.
As the Supreme Lord lived in the heart of Tota and so you served Him, so now you should serve Lord Baladeva. The material body of Tota has been merged into the five gross material elements. The spirit soul of Tota will remain engaged in the service of the energetic Lord. Your material son has been separated from his material father. He is meant to be enjoyed by the Supreme Lord and so his real business is to serve Him. Realizing that you are not conditioned by maya, the Supreme Lord will not allow you to become overwhelmed with grief and will bestow upon you His unlimited mercy and power. This is my feeling.”

When Mahaprabhu accepted the renounced order of life, He said to His old mother, His wife Vishnupriya-devi, and the residents of Navadvipa, “I am only a human being and I am related to all of you in some kind of relationship. When I am gone, you should establish your relationship with Krishna instead of Me and thus give Me an opportunity to serve Lord Hari independently.”

They may think that sincere premika bhaktas, who are under the shelter of the transcendental parakiya-rasa, are less ethical, but love for Hari has such a wonderful power that even a greatly delightful moral standard becomes dim in front of it.”

The Supreme Lord keeps Himself hidden within this universe in order to test us. If we can perceive Him behind every object, our apparent misunderstandings will diminish.

The Supreme Lord’s testing place is this material world. In order to pass this test, one has to hear glorification of Hari from the mouths of devotees of Hari.

Only those whose time for the destruction of anarthas has arrived will hear lectures on the topics of Hari and thus become successful in their attempt to achieve the ultimate goal of life.

If you chant one hundred thousand holy names every day then the offenders will not be able to disturb your bhajana.

There cannot be any better and more favorable condition for bhajana than giving up bad association.

In the inclination for service on the path of aisvarya, the chanting of the holy name, Hare Rama, refers to Lord Rama, the son of Dasaratha. But the devotees who worship the Lord on the path of madhurya know Rama to be Gopi-ramana, or the enjoyer of the gopis. He is the son of Nanda. In that case, the word Rama refers to Radha-ramana, and the word Hara refers to the daughter of Vrsabhanu.

There is never any possibility of falling down for a person who has received even a hint, or reflection, of the mula-mantra, or the secret of unalloyed bhajana. Still, as full-fledged members, their inability to accept the authority of the matha as a result of their previous offenses committed against the Vaishnavas is ultimately due to their personal weakness. When, by the grace of the Supreme Lord, the service attitude is progressively increased within their heart, they will not fall prey to sinful propensities. Try to benefit such fallen persons by helping them. That will be an act of real friendship.

Thoughtless and ignorant people who are unable to comprehend the magnanimous pastimes of exalted personalities question, “Why did Kala Krishnadasa, who was under the shelter of Gaurasundara, become attracted to the Bhattathari women? Why did Chota Haridasa, rather than exhibiting the example of a devotee, engage in inferior activity on the pretext of serving Gaura? Why did Ramacandra Puri give up his subordination to Madhavendra Puri? Why did a few so-called sons of Advaita Acarya Prabhu, and a few so-called disciples of Virabhadra, become independent?”
Ignorant people may like the arguments that challenge the faith of those on the kanistha and madhyama platforms which are put forth by those who are out of touch with reality and cannot accept the actual truth, but when these foolish people enter the deep meaning of the transcendentally magnanimous pastimes of exalted personalities who are under the shelter of Lord Caitanya or His devotees, they will understand that in order to provide an opportunity for well-being to all unfit and fallen souls, Lord Caitanya has revealed the truth that all living entities are constitutionally servants of Lord Krishna. Even though the service of Krishna temporarily manifested in a perverted form as an aversion to Krishna when combined with material enjoyment is abominable in the eyes of unqualified gross materialists who believe in direct perception, it does not violate the principle of the api cet suduracara verse. A maha-bhagavata knows everyone as his spiritual master and therefore only a maha-bhagavata is the spiritual master of the whole world.

The goal of our service is to arrange a meeting between the object of worship and the worshiper.

Bhajana is not something to make a show of. If we chant the holy name loudly, the enjoyment of idleness cannot devour us.

Bhakti Charu Swami:

Lord Caitanya taught Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Vrindavan is His abode, and the gopis method of worship is best.

If Yasoda knew that Krishna was the Supreme Personality could she try to tie Him up?

Everyone forgets that Krishna is God in Vrindavan.

The relationships of friendship, parenthood, and conjugal love are prominent in Vrindavan.

Aghasura could not be killed by the demigods, who would tremble in fear at the sound of his name.

If one performs vaidhi-bhakti he attains Vaikuntha.

After Krishna demonstrated his pastimes, he considered that when bhakti is merely performed according to rules and regulations, no one would ever attain Goloka Vrindavan.

Raganuga means to follow a resident of Vrindavan. By serving Lord Caitanya, we are serving Radharani, and what greater resident of Vrindavan is there than Radharani?

Asvatthama had the benediction from Lord Shiva to be invisible for one night, and so he could kill the sleeping Pandavas without being stopped. Why would Krishna would allow them to be killed? They had played their role in His pastimes and so they would not be needed in this world.

At the border of Vrindavan and Mathura when Krishna and Akrura bathed, Shyamasundara Krishna returned to Vrindavan and Vasudeva Krishna continued to Mathura and Dvaraka.

To go from Vaikuntha to Goloka Vrindavan, you have to come to this world and do sankirtana in Vrindavan.

Regarding your mother, because she went back to Godhead, you should consider what is your relationship with her now. Do you want to follow her example? Do you want to assist her in her service to Krishna? Do you want to pray to her that you might also be engaged in Krishna’s service?

When you give up an old car and buy a new one, do you lament? So in the same way, we should not lament when one gets a better body for serving Krishna.

A rich man is always changing his car while a poor man holds on to it until it is a piece of junk. We are neither the rich man nor the poor man. We are the chauffeur of the richest man, and He will certainly make sure we have a first class car to drive in His service, so we do not have to worry.

Radhanath Swami:

from a BTG article:

Mother Theresa spoke to me years ago, “The greatest problem in this world is not the hunger of the stomach but the hunger of the heart. All over the world both rich and poor suffer. They are lonely, starving for love. Only God’s love can satisfy the hunger of the heart.”

Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami:

from his autobiography, The Story of My Life:

It is always good to live with the chanting and to bring it out in a time of difficulty. It may seem odd to the people who are confining you, but it will always work in your favor. They will know you are religious and serious.

And I was there among the first. I feel he [Srila Prabhupada] will always remember me as “Satsvarupa” from my typing and donations and giving him a daily mango. He picked me up as a sad lonely hippie and made me a happy and responsible son. I will never forget those days or fail to treasure them.

At the welfare office I chanted Hare Krishna mantras silently in my mind. The Swami had approved the practice. I had told him my co-workers engaged in talking nonsense. He said, “Even the greatest philosophers are talking nonsense. Go on chanting Hare Krishna in your mind.”

Going to meet the Swami was the nectar of life, and I did it every morning for Caitanya-caritamrta class and every evening for kirtana and his Bhagavad-gita class. He was so kind and inviting, accepting me as I was, and giving me typing tasks. I gave him my money and that solidified my relationship. He called me “Sat-svaroop.” I don’t have to make up the early days. I just have to remember them as they were. Gradually more intimacy developed and a sense of belonging to his group. I was learning the philosophy of Krishna and eating lunch with him daily and taking “heavenly porridge” with the boys in the morning. It was a favorable burgeoning time. I remember leaving the storefront in the morning and walking to my workplace, feeling that I was a cowherd boy with my necktie in my back pocket. I had friendly talks with Rayarama and the others and felt they were my brotherhood of friends. I had moments alone with the Swami when I asked him questions about the philosophy and commented on how I was feeling. I was no longer intimidated by the city buildings in the concrete jungle. I saw them as material energy, and now they were temporary and in a sense unreal. Real was Krishna in the spiritual world. We had pictures of Radha and Krishna in Goloka Vrindavan. Gradually we were setting the foundation for lifelong commitment starting with the summer of 1966. We kind of knew what we were getting into.

I knew the Swami as my spiritual master, the guru of my soul. He was guiding me into my relationship with Krishna through him. We needed him to be there, and we wanted him and he was there. We knew where to find him, in his apartment, in his temple. He started a Sunday Love Feast and chanting in Tompkins Square Park. He was like putting milk in a bowl, and we were like cats lapping it up. Everything was auspicious, even as the season changed. So life revolved around the activities with the Swami and the future seemed eternal. We didn’t think of it ending. This was just fine, getting up at 1 a.m. and chanting japa on the red beads, sitting on the floor. Then dressing and leaving the apartment, entering the streets and passing people on your way to the storefront. As dependable as the Big Ben clock in London, the Swami would enter the storefront and step out of his shoes and sit and lead us in the morning tune chant for twenty minutes. Then he set up his reel-to-reel tape recorder and started lecturing about Sanatana Swami’s getting out of jail and going to meet Lord Caitanya in Benares. A cliff hanger lecture every morning. I can keep going back and remembering, and it’s always there. I don’t have to make it up. It all actually happened, and it was wonderful as he took me up and molded me into a devotee of Krishna consciousness. He is my Swami, and I hope to remember him now and at the hour of my death and to somehow go to him in that same mood as when I first joined him.

Aindra Prabhu:

from a lecture on March 16, 2009, in Varsana:

Humility means you have to be humble enough to realize that you are a fallen conditioned soul and your only hope is the sankirtana which has been specifically prescribed by the scripture and by Lord Caitanya and His representatives for the fallen souls of this age. No other process can help you.

Manadena means to respect the actual position of the living entities by engaging them in devotional service.

Book distribution is meant to convince the people to take to the sankirtana movement of Lord Caitanya.

If people do not do sankirtana. they will look for a higher taste elsewhere.

Japa is like taking tablets, and sankirtana is an injection.

from a lecture in March of 2010:

There are five more important items of devotional service, but the supreme item is nama-sankirtana. The other items cannot be complete without nama-sankirtana.

One comes to Vrindavan for the service of Srimati Radharani, and the best way to please Srimati Radharani is by chanting Hare Krishna. By pleasing Radharani only can we get the original Krishna.

We used to chant 8 or 10 hours a day [in public], and on Saturday 15 hours. Srila Prabhupada wrote a letter full of approval to Damodara Prabhu, our temple president, for our program in Washington, D.C., where we were chanting 14 hours a day.

In Vrindavan, for every hour of kirtana we get credit for a thousand hours of kirtana.

All except nama-sankirtana [the congregational chanting of the holy name] and what supports it, are cheating religion.

Laksmi Nrsimha Prabhu:

Rupa Goswami read Bharata Muni’s Rasa-tattva, describing mundane relationships in detail, and used his ideas in describing the eternal relationships we can have with Krishna.

In explaining the different rasas to people, I ask them, “Isn’t the love you have for your children different from the love you have for your spouse or the love you have for your parents?”

Dasa Mula—Ten Roots given by Bhaktivinoda Thakura
    1. Pramana: Evidence comes from the scripture.
    2. Parama-tattva: Hari alone is the Truth.
    3. He is the possessor of all potency.
    4. He is the source of all relationships, rasa.
    5. We are all his amsas (parts).
    6. Souls in this world are baddha (bound by maya [illusion]).
    7. Liberated souls are free from maya.
    8. We are simultaneous one with and different from Krishna [acintya-bheda-abheda].
    9. Pure devotion the is only means for perfection.
    10. Love of Krishna is the goal.

Respect means to look again and appreciate the good qualities of the person.

Aldous Huxley says the most realistic vision is to see our ourselves the way others see us and to see others the way they see themselves.

William James says that when two person are in a room there are actually six people: the way each person sees himself, the way each person sees the other, and the way each person actually is.

There is a Sufi saying that “words that come from the heart go to the heart, and words that just come from the lips do not make it past the ears.”

If we appreciate the qualities of others, we should express it.

Dayananda Swami:

Srila Prabhupada did not think the strategy of his godbrothers to distribute the books of his guru maharaja which were written for another time and place was so wise.

As we develop bhakti, our bhakti will impel us to spread it to others.

Maya likes senior devotees. [She says:] “Come with me . . . ”

Rama Raya Prabhu:

This sankirtana movement is not meant just to make a few street vendors teasingly take a few dance steps but to bring everyone on the planet to the point of chanting Hare Krishna with faith and love.

Because of the devotee’s attraction to Krishna, what is going on in the material world, no matter how popular or well advertised it is, is not of interest to him.

Q (by me): Is is sufficient just to go on harinama, which purifies the people, knowingly or unknowingly, to bring everyone on the planet to the point of chanting with faith and love or should we be doing other things too?
A: When the disease is severe, the medicine must be stronger and more frequently given. Thus there should be thousands of sankirtana parties going out regularly all over the world to bring people up to such a level of purity.

Radha Caran Prabhu:

Krishna arranges that the material bodies of the gopis stay home to please their family members while they go in the rasa dance with Krishna.

Pride disturbs the rasa [intimate relationship] we have Krishna, even in the case of the gopis [His most advanced devotees].

Ahladini Radharani Devi Dasa from her BTG article [Vol. 47, No. 1, page 22]:

Just as red-hot cinders may smolder beneath a pile of hot ashes, love of God, though hidden, burns within the heart of every living entity. And just as blowing air on hot cinders can rekindle a flame, hearing the glories of the Lord can invoke one’s dormant love of God and revive one’s connection to Him.”

Caitanya-carana Prabhu:

Saying a resounding yes to Krsna is the most effective way of saying a decisive no to parasitic material desires.

Dr. Dina Bandhu Prabhu:

Religion regulates behavior, but so does our family or political system.

Religion is not so much different from other fields of study where there are teachers and a path.

Just as achieving an M.D. is not cheap, neither is attaining spiritual perfection.

Murali Gopal Prabhu:

Materialists love to know past, present, and future so they can maximize their sense gratification.

People are interested in the past life because they want to know why they are the way they are, but they do not ask the more important question, “What is my next life?”

Krishna’s cowherd boyfriends entered the mouth of the Aghasura demon fearlessly, although not knowing the future, because they had confidence that because Krishna was their friend, everything would be alright.

Although Krishna is omniscient, for the sake of His pastimes, He sometimes acts as if He does not know.

Although we may use astrology to understand some things about our nature, because a devotee is beyond karma, it cannot accurately predict a devotee’s life.

One devotee lady told Radhanatha Swami that before she became a devotee, by astrology she could very accurately see what was going to happen, but after she became a devotee sometimes astrology was accurate and sometimes not, and she asked him why. Radhanatha Swami explained that because she was now a devotee, Krishna was personally arranging her life.

a devotee at the Bhakti Center:

Offenses begin in the mind, progress to words and ultimately to action.


kalim sabhajayanty arya
guna jñah sara-bhaginah
yatra sankirtanenaiva
sarva-svartho bhilabhyate

Those who are actually advanced in knowledge are able to appreciate the essential value of this age of Kali. Such enlightened persons worship Kali-yuga because in this fallen age all perfection of life can easily be achieved by the performance of sankirtana [the congregational chanting of the holy name of the Lord].” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.5.36).