Sunday, March 24, 2013

Travel Journal#9.3: Gainesville and Ocala Rainbow Gathering

Diary of a Traveling Sadhaka, Vol. 9, No. 3
By Krishna-kripa das
(February 2013, part one
Gainesville and Ocala Rainbow Gathering
(Sent from Gainesville, Florida, on March 24, 2013)

Where I Went and What I Did

During the first half of February, I continued living at Krishna House, and chanted on the campus each weekday for two and a half hours. We also chanted Wednesdays at the Farmers Market for an hour and a half or two hours. I describe in more detail a couple special events we did in early February, chanting Hare Krishna at Gainesville’s Mardi Gras event and the Ocala Rainbow Gathering, where we also distributed Krishna food.

Now that my personal reading program of Srila Prabhupada’s books is becoming more well established, I am often able to read fifteen minutes each of Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, and The Nectar of Devotion. Thus I have some notes on especially striking sections from these books. I also include excerpts from the writings of Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami, whose blog I proofread. Prabhupada disciple, Amala Bhakta Prabhu, who has made recordings of all of Srila Prabhupada’s main books, gave classes in Alachua and Gainesville with lots of realizations, and I share notes on those. I also share notes on the lectures of the senior devotees from Alachua who give lectures at Krishna House. I have notes from a group past live regression seminar led by Prema Manjari dd, who has expertise in that area.

First Friday Harinama in Gainesville

Marlan (holding the sign) and Alexandra (on the far right) went out on harinama for the first time and both liked it. Marlan said that when he was with the devotees at the temple, he sometimes felt out of place because the other devotees have been around longer and knew what was going on, but on the harinama he felt more comfortable chanting with the devotees than associating with the Friday night partiers on the street.

Many devotees considered that harinama to be the high point of their week. [For me, however, because I love First Friday in Tallahassee so much, it was clearly second rate. I thought our trip to Jacksonville where we assisted the devotees there in the Thursday Krishna club meeting and Friday breakfast program of the students was more pleasing.]

Thanks to Tulasirani devi dasi for the pictures of harinama. For more pictures, see her Facebook album, Friday Night Harinam.

The Ocala Regional Rainbow Festival

As usual we brought Krishna prasadam (spiritual food) and

kirtana (chanting the holy name) to the Ocala Regional Rainbow Festival in the Ocala National Forest.

A team of about twenty devotees from Krishna House carried 12 buckets of prasadam, consisting of several flavors of halava, cookies, and spaghetti with vegan sauce to the trading circle to share with others. 

We chanted much of the two hours each way, to and from the National Forest, as well as the forty-five minutes each way it took us to walk to and from the site. Then we chanted for six hours while we were there. The devotees were in bliss from all the kirtana.

Caitanya dd talked and distributed books to many people, some who had bought books from her last year and two years ago, and who were eager for more. Hladini dd talked to someone she met at the National Rainbow Gathering in Tallahassee that she had attended with the New Vrindavan devotees.

I talked to a girl (on the right of the above picture) who said she ate Krishna Lunch when at the University of Florida but now she lived in Orlando. I explained to her about our Sunday program and its free feast in Orlando, and asked if she would like the contact information, and she did, so I copied it off the paper I had brought for that purpose.

Many people would dance with our kirtana party as they passed.

I too danced to the chanting.

Some played their African djembe drums.

Others played stringed instruments.

Some of the Rainbow people admired the tilaka worn by the devotees, and when Tulasirani dd told them it designed the body as a sacred temple, they wanted her to put tilaka on them. They appear to take it so seriously as she told them, “Now you are marking your body as a temple Lord, you can no longer use it for selfish desires, but only to benefit your soul and others.”

Even nonhumans appreciated the Krishna food.

Half of our party chanted through the woods to the kitchen where Kyra, a devotee from Alachua, who organized the outreach at the National Rainbow Gathering, cooked Krishna prasadam every other day in the vegan kitchen of a friend. She was happy to see us, and we were happy to see her and her Jagannatha Deities and pictures of Radha Krishna. The other half of our party continued chanting at the trading circle where we continued distributing food.”

Some Rainbow person brought a parrot which fascinated Hladini.

As dusk approached, we moved to the main circle and chanted until the “om” and the evening announcements. Then during the distribution of food we continued chanting softly, as a couple of us distributed the rest of the halava to the Rainbow people who were all circling a bonfire. Krystina, who we knew from Krishna Lunch, came by with a friend, to do a music video of the main circle, and included our chanting in it. She was frustrated later when her guitar disappeared in the dark without a trace.

One new devotee who was doing traveling book distribution and who came with us to the gathering, said that he had our spaghetti there last year, and that was the beginning of his Krishna experience.

On the whole, lots of people got to connect with Krishna through food and song, and all the devotees felt happy, although exhausted at the end of the long day.

Thanks to Tulasirani devi dasi for the pictures of the Ocala Rainbow GatheringFor more pictures, see the Krishna House Facebook album, Ocala Rainbow Gathering 2013.


Srila Prabhupada:

from Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.19.19, purport:

In the name of secular government, unqualified people are taking the supreme governmental posts. No one is being trained to act according to the principles of varnasrama-dharma, and thus people are becoming increasingly degraded and are heading in the direction of animal life. The real aim of life is liberation, but unfortunately the opportunity for liberation is being denied to people in general, and therefore their human lives are being spoiled. The Krishna consciousness movement, however, is being propagated all over the world to reestablish the varnasrama-dharma system and thus save human society from gliding down to hellish life.”

from Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.19.20, purport:

A living entity becomes established in spiritual, blissful life when he fully understands that his happiness depends on spiritual self-realization, which is the basic principle of ananda (bliss), and when he is eternally situated in the service of the Lord, who has no other lord above Him.”

from The Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 14:

Some scholars recommend that knowledge and renunciation are important factors for elevating oneself to devotional service. But actually that is not a fact. Actually, the cultivation of knowledge or renunciation, which are favorable for achieving a footing in Kåñëa consciousness, may be accepted in the beginning, but ultimately they may also come to be rejected, for devotional service is dependent on nothing other than the sentiment or desire for such service. It requires nothing more than sincerity. . . . Mental speculators neglect the process of devotional service, and by simply trying to defeat others in philosophical research they fail to develop the ecstasy of devotion. . . . One should not give up anything which can be utilized in the service of the Lord. That is a
secret of devotional service. Anything that can be utilized in advancing Krishna consciousness and devotional service should be accepted.

from The Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 16:

Spontaneous love of Krishna as exhibited by the Vrisis and the denizens of Vrndavana is eternally existing in them. In the stage of devotional service where regulative principles are followed, there is no necessity of discussing this love, for it must develop of itself at a more advanced stage.”

from a lecture:

In a court if the defendant pleads that he did not know the law, he will not be excused. Ignorance is no excuse. Similarly ignorance of God’s law is no excuse.

If any rascal guru comes, we can challenge him for speaking differently than Krishna.

Any rascal who claims to be God we can defeat. Look up the dictionary definition of God. God is the supreme being. Are you the supreme being? Is there no one equal to you or greater than you?

The guru is worshiped as God because he is representing God, but if he thinks that because he is being worshiped as God that he has become God, he is a rascal. God is always God, and guru is guru. Guru does not become God.

For one who is serious to understand God, a guru is required.

One who has accepted a guru will never talk any nonsense.

If we do not cultivate knowledge we are as good as an animal.

We are in darkness and require knowledge from a guru to see things are they are.

We are struggling to get a better position, but the better position we do not know. All material positions are temporary. There is no better position in this material world, and thus those are strive in that way are being defeated.

There is knowledge in the Vedic scripture how you can become immortal. The guru’s responsible position is to instruct the disciple how to attain that immortality.

from The Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 17:

It is essential, therefore, that one constantly associate with pure devotees who are engaged morning and evening in chanting the Hare Krishna mantra. In this way one will get the chance to purify his heart and develop this ecstatic pure love for Krishna.

from Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.30.8, purport:

Each and every one of the sons of King Pracīnabarhiṣat was an individual soul, but they were united in offering transcendental service to the Lord. The unity of the individual souls attempting to satisfy the Supreme Lord or rendering service to the Lord is real unity. In the material world such unity is not possible. Even though people may officially unite, they all have different interests. In the United Nations, for instance, all the nations have their particular national ambitions, and consequently they cannot be united. Disunity between individual souls is so strong within this material world that even in a society of Krishna consciousness, members sometimes appear disunited due to their having different opinions and leaning toward material things. Actually, in Krishna consciousness there cannot be two opinions. There is only one goal: to serve Krishna to one’s best ability. If there is some disagreement over service, such disagreement is to be taken as spiritual. Those who are actually engaged in the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead cannot be disunited in any circumstance.

from Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Antya 11.24:

The first regulative principle is that one must chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra loudly enough so that he can hear himself, and one must vow to chant a fixed number of rounds.

from Back to Godhead, Vol. 1, Issue 1, 1966:
It does no good to absentmindedly chant the name of Krishna while your thoughts are elsewhere. Chanting will bring our uncontrolled mind under control.”

from Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Adi 12.37, purport:

When Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu punished Kamalakanta Visvasa by no longer allowing him to come into His presence, although the punishment was actually very hard on him, Sri Advaita Prabhu, understanding the inner meaning of such punishment, was happy because He appreciated that the Lord had actually favored Kamalakanta Visvasa. Therefore He was not at all unhappy. Devotees should always be happy with all the dealings of their master, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. A devotee may be put into difficulty or opulence, but he should accept both as gifts of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and jubilantly engage in the service of the Lord in all circumstances.

from Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Adi 12.51, purport:

But association with pounds-and-shillings men, or visayis, materialists who are simply interested in sense gratification, pollutes one’s mind and hampers such continuous remembrance of Lord Krishna. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu therefore advised, asat-sanga-tyaga ei vaisnava-acara: a Vaishnava should behave in such a way as to never associate with nondevotees or materialists (Cc. Madhava 22.87). One can avoid such association simply by always remembering Krishna within his heart.

from The Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 20:

We may understand that the various feelings of happiness derived from discharging devotional service may be termed the “mellows” of devotional service. This relishing of transcendental mellow in discharging devotional service cannot be experienced by all classes of men, because this sweet loving mood is developed only from one’s previous life’s activities or by the association of unalloyed devotees.

The beginning is to hear about Lord Krishna in the association of devotees who have themselves cleansed their hearts by association. Hearing about the transcendental
activities of the Lord will result in one’s feeling transcendental bliss always.”

from a Ratha-yatra lecture:

Ratha-yatra is a very feeling festival.”

Raghunatha Dasa Goswami:

from Sri Visakhanandabhida-stotra:

Lord Madhava is famous in the three worlds because His name is connected to the name of Radha. Sri Radha is famous in the world because Her name is connected to the name of Lord Madhava.

Bhakti Marga Swami:

Q: What can’t sense gratification make us happy?
A: Would you expect automobiles to experience pleasure by rubbing their bumpers together? No. Because we are not our bodies, we should not expect any pleasure from rubbing our bodies together.

Kirtana is one piece that we are presenting to Krishna so we have to work together.

When reading Srila Prabhupada’s books we should think, “How can this can go from the page to the stage?”

Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami:

from Writing in Gratitude:

Prabhupada said one should praise the
activities of his guru. Mine saved the
whole world by giving us a movement
with centers in almost all countries. Even in the new countries
of the former Soviet Union, and many cities
in India and America—everywhere.
He was such a spiritual master,
empowered by God. Still he lives in us
by his instruction, in our hearts.

Now the black bear of separation from him
crushes my ribs and scratches my limbs.
I run away, maddened
like a
jiva who misspends his free will.
I've gotten into trouble without you.
It used to be so simple.
All glories to you and your divine words,
the books you made and your
visits. Please visit us and
call us with your latest orders.”

from Viraha Bhavan, “Poem for February 6”:

It is the perfection of youthful energy to use it in singing and dancing in congregational sankirtana. Whoever sees this group will be inclined to join them according to their capacity and share the bliss.”

I truly believe Prabhupada empowered me to write the biography in the way he wanted. It has affected the lives of many readers, bringing them to knowledge and appreciation of Prabhupada’s incomparable contributions.”

Amala Bhakta Prabhu:

Surrender means offering body, mind, and words to the Lord.

There are degrees of blessings as there are degrees of surrendering. The greatest blessing is to experience the presence of the Lord.

Srila Prabhupada spoke of “loving devotional service.” There is “service,” there is “devotional service,” and there is “loving devotional service.” The desire to please Krishna differentiates between “service” and “devotional service.”

Shouting out the word makes it easier to remember than just seeing it on the page.

When we are completely focused on our devotional service, the result is incalculably greater.

When you cook for Krishna, you are consciously thinking of Krishna as you add each ingredient of the preparation.

When we distribute a book, we think that we are incapable and we ask Krishna to help us, so that person can be truly benefited and attain love of God.

In our Seattle temple anyone can come in the temple and get a plate of prasadam for free.

After many years of taking prasadam, people conclude, “I do not know what you guys believe, but you are such good cooks, there must be something behind it.” I tell them, “There is plenty behind it. And you are missing out on a lot of goodies.” And I show them some of the books, and the artwork in the temple, etc.

When we are uncertain, the best thing to do is close your eyes and with folded palms, pray, “My dear Lord Krishna. I do not know what to do. I do not want do something is displeasing to you. Please guide me.”

No need to ask for Krishna anything back.

Sometimes in difficulty we think, “O Krishna, why aren’t you treating me nicer. I do so much service.” But what kind of devotional attitude is that?

Parents like to hear from their children. And when they hear from us they become so happy just from that simple act. In the same way, Krishna likes to hear from us.

How can you get continuous happiness without connecting with He who is continuously happy.

Try to be thankful that you got the mantra. “Krishna, you have given me this gift. Let me relish it.”

You can chant with the head or chant with the heart, and it feels different.

Not just service, not just devotion, but pure loving devotional service.

Q: If we find we are doing devotional service without feeling, what do we do?
A: We call ourselves a fool and rascal, and all those other words Srila Prabhupada would always use. Pray to Krishna to protect us from this maya with great sincerity.

Q: What if you are praying to Krishna and at the same time holding on to maya?
A: Better go through maya and suffer, and then you will realize to stay away from maya.
Try by discrimination, try by prayer, and if not that does not work, then go through the maya.

I would pray to Krishna, “If I had more money, I will do this and that, but if You do not think I need that, that is fine by me.”

Caturatama Prabhu:

Srila Prabhupada was a master of analogies.

Some people criticize Srila Prabhupada for not sharing the highest knowledge because he stressed “you are not the body” but that is higher knowledge, and unless we get then we cannot proceed any further.

Exchanges of gifts enhances our appreciation of both the other person and devotional service to Krishna.

Some thoughts that go through our mind are useless and should be forgotten while others are valuable, and sometimes we are confused about which is which.

Jayananda Prabhu was enthusiastic to distribute prasadam to the people in general and the devotees in particular. Someone he would wake up you in the middle of the night and stick a cauliflower pakora in your mouth, and say, “Look what I found! I thought they were all gone!”

Friendships with devotees help us get through crises.

After one leader described in detail his difficulties in dealing with different devotees, Srila Prabhupada told him, “As I am tolerating you, you please tolerate them.”

Srila Prabhupada’s statement that “in the material world such unity is not possible” is a slap in the face of so many welfare workers striving for unity in this world.”

All our activities are meant for bringing the conditioned souls back to Godhead.

As we do devotional service year after year, it becomes more natural because it is our natural state to be engaged in devotional service.

It pleases the Personality of Godhead to see the devotees nicely cooperating in devotional service, and He is inclined to give them some benediction.

If the Lord is going to push us to accept a benediction, let that be a benediction that helps others in devotional service.

The Lord’s blessings are advancement in devotional service.

Ways to avoid creating offenses:
Do not engage in gossip.
Render service to Vaishnavas.
Being respectful.
Avoid speech that offends.
Study together.

When I was a new devotee, our temple president would engage us in serving devotees that we had offended to rectify the situation.

Kalakantha Prabhu:

When we come to the point of being disenchanted with the external features of our life to the point that we want inquire whether there is something beyond that, that is beginning of our spiritual inquiry.

Are there moments of existential crisis in which you asked a question?

.[Some people offered questions]

Are details important?

How to solve the root cause of the suffering, such as those caused by inequity, in the world?

Is that all there is? I got everything I wanted, but I was not satisfied? Would I ever be satisfied?

Does true altruism exist?

To ask the right questions to the right people is the beginning of spiritual life.

How to do our duties without being emotionally affected by the outcome that is beyond our control. A spiritualist makes the endeavor but knows the results are beyond his control.

There is enough money in the world for everyone to have 3 million dollars.

In Sunday school I would ask, “If God is all-powerful and all-good, why is there so much suffering?” No one could satisfactorily answer that question. Bhagavad-gita does provide an answer. By acting in ignorance of God we suffer, but when we act according to His will become free from suffering.

One should act as if everything depends on us and pray like everything depends on God.

An instrument has no value until someone plays it. That is our situation with ourselves as the instruments of God.

Surrender can be viewed in a positive way as being protected by a superior person.

Our conception of wanting to be independent despite the consequences, which is like that of two- to four-year-old child, keeps us from surrendering.

Killing people for political purposes is clearly in the mode of ignorance.

People who intimidate others to surrender to God are not representing Him, for the Lord in Bhagavad-gita asks for voluntary surrender.

Hell is all around us. It is living entities transmigrating from one body to another without being able to do anything about it.

If one enters marriage with too high expectations, one is bound to be disappointed.

Men tend to regenerate by withdrawing while women tend to regenerate by social interaction, so in marriage one must be aware of this and make provision for it.

Premarital counseling to determine if the men and women have compatible values and expectations is very important to reduce the likelihood of divorce.

Sometimes the wife marries someone she feels has great potential with the idea of modifying him to completely match her needs. This is not a good idea because the man probably will not change, and she will be frustrated.

If they enter the marriage with the idea of wanting to serve each other, then the marriage has a bright future, but either partner enters the marriage wanting to enjoy, it is doomed.

Woman go through different changes throughout their lives, and the men should be aware of this.

If both the husband and wife can communicate and accept each other as they actually are, then marriage can be a fulfilling experience.

from a breakfast conversation:

Material life means having great expectations of the material energy and little expectation of the spiritual, and spiritual life is just the reverse.

If it is a genuine spiritual relationship, one should be increasing his dependence on Krishna.

As at the end of the Bible, there is the Book of Revelation, similarly in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, at the end is the “Bhumi Gita” telling the symptoms of this age of Kali.

Forgiveness is the only way of becoming free from anger.

The Bible says “a person who claims to be enlightened but who bears anger for his brother is still in darkness.”

To get free from anger it helps to understand the other person’s point of view, but if we inquire in an angry way, the person will become defensive, so we have to inquire to get information without expressing our point of view.

We can inquire within ourselves as to why we became angry.

Avoiding immediate reaction is helpful in the case of anger.

The less you know about a dispute before you mediate, the more neutral you can be.

  1. Build Your Peacemaker’s Toolbox
a. Pen and paper
b. Open-ended Questions (get the person talking)
c. Close-ended Questions (to end discussion)
d. Reflective Listening (showing you have understand)
  1. Bring the Disputing Parties Together (somehow or other bring decision)
  2. Understand the Dispute
a. Allow each side to speak without interruption.
  1. Start a Discussion (continuing until it becomes repetitive)
  2. Meet Privately with Each Party
a. keep meeting of equal length
b. ask scary open-ended questions if an agreement is not reached today to motivate
c. ask questions
  1. Create a Written Record

comment by Michel Collins: if you try to act compassionately people will less likely become angry toward you.

If anger can be displayed in a self-controlled way, it can be used in Krishna’s service.

comment by Ballava-sena Prabhu: When I see that the person who is making me angry is acting as an instrument of my karma, that solves the whole issue for me.

Sesa Prabhu:

It essential that we have association with devotees that encourage us in our Krishna consciousness.

In Ramayana, Lord Rama and His three brothers were inseparable and had friendly relationships devoid competition.

When Bharata heard that his mother banished Rama to the forest and arranged he would become king, he was so upset because of his love for Rama, he immediately disowned his mother.

Bharata went to the forest to get Rama and hoping to make Him the king. When he saw Him, he immediately fell at His feet, and said a single word, “Brother!”

Five thinks Rama taught:
Service during both adversity and prosperity.
Wealth [or whatever assets we have] for the happiness for others.
Deep affection for others.
No sense of victory over or competition with others.

Increasing brotherhood is most needed in the world at this time.

In 2011, there was a 20% increase in armed conflicts around the world.

Srila Prabhupada said regarding the United Nations, “They are simply increasing the flags.” Instead of becoming more united they are becoming more divided.

There is a saying “America is the most segregated on Sunday.” Hardly will you find a church with people from such a variety of ethnic backgrounds and financial statuses as at this temple.

Christ said, “You have not chosen me, I have chosen you.”

Krishna has directed us here today for a purpose, to experience the brotherhood of Krishna consciousness.

Srila Prabhupada said, “Our society is depending on love and respect. We are bound by love.”

If we have a humble attitude with everyone, will Krishna not protect us?

We can respect people for the choices that they make. Then dialog can take place because there is mutual respect. Still the choices that we make have different consequences, and difficulty arises when people are unwilling to accept the consequences for their choices.

We can pray to Raghunatha Dasa Goswami that we can become completely absorbed in Krishna consciousness and free from the necessities of the body.

Vishnupriya, after Lord Caitanya took sannyasa, subsisted on one grain of rice for every round of chanting Hare Krishna (108 mantras).

Srila Prabhupada said we can present ourselves as “a school of Hinduism.”

Bhakti Marga Swami preferred that the GBC members not use the word ‘preach’ because it has certain connotations not good for the ‘preaching.’

Srila Prabhupada points out that teaching spiritual knowledge:
(1) enables you to become most dear to Krishna
(2) is the best service to humanity
(3) is the best act of friendship
(4) should be done without discrimination

Both Devamrita Swami and Vaisesika Prabhu agree that we must have different styles of distributing books to engage the different types of devotees.

Preaching is individual as realizations are different, and it is best to preach according to our realization.

When you are sharing Krishna consciousness, you want to treat the people as individuals.

comment by Kalakantha Prabhu: The beginning of sharing Krishna consciousness is to understand where people are at.

Good listening skills:
pay attention
show that you are listening
provide feedback
defer judgment
respond appropriately

Preaching is best when it is not forced.

Purity is a force that you can use because people will be able perceive you are acting for their welfare.

comment by Jai Nitai Gauranga: One time on book distribution I saw people were afraid of seeing my big books, so I would immediately put them back in my bag. I would then explain what we were doing and ask for a donation. If they gave a donation, I would give them a small book as a gift, which they were happy to accept.

In the history of preaching in Italy they were encouraging whole families to get involved in Krishna consciousness. Because the attitude was inclusive they were very successful.

Once in Toronto, Prabhupada had a program at an Indian devotee’s house, but when he got there he saw all his Western disciples, eager to hear him, were sitting in the devotee’s living room. Srila Prabhupada inquired, “I came to do an Indian program, but where are the Indians?”

Good preaching is creative, an act of love, and best when it is nonjudgmental.

Prema Manjari dd:

comment by Marlon: Scientists say that in women there is more communication between the two halves of the brain.

comment by Shyamala: I studied psychology, and there are different types of intelligence, and men and women excel in different types.

When they originally invented the IQ test, the girls would score higher, so they had to revise the tests, so now the boys score a little higher.

Buddhi is intelligence given by Krishna, and we really get this intelligence when we connect with Krishna.

Actually in the Vedic scriptures it is said both that a women can steal away a man’s intelligence and that a woman can strengthen a man’s intelligence.

One study in the Netherlands showed men become less intelligent after talking with attractive women. Even after just a few minutes of talking to an attractive women, men scored considerably less than usual on tests they were given. Women, however, did not show diminished abilities after talking to handsome men.

comment by Vaishnava Prabhu: There is story from the Mahabharata regarding the Pandavas and the Dronacarya and shooting an arrow on the target. Arjuna was successful because he saw the center of the target alone and nothing besides that while the vision of the others was not as focused.

Q: What about statements in Srila Prabhupada’s books mentioning women are less intelligent?
A: One point is that women are said to be less intelligent because of a tendency to materialist, but in this age both men and women are materialistic.
A (Brahma Tirtha Prabhu): I see it as encouragement to chivalrous men not to exploit women.
comment by Bhakta John: Studies show that when choosing a mate, women are more analytical while men are more emotional, just the opposite of how they usually are.

on past life regression:

Things coming from past lives: Great attachment to period in history or a culture or part of the world, spontaneous affection or aversion to a particular person, a phobia, or a disease.

Astrologers, psychics, and hypnotherapists can tell you about your past life.

12% of mind is conscious.

Only the part of the mind that deals with past lives is there at birth.

Usually in a group hypnotherapy session about 75% of the people have a past life remembrance experience.

Many devotees mention seeing Srila Prabhupada in a previous life.

Some people hear or feel things from the past rather than seeing images.

It is like you are seeing a movie and one of the characters is you, and it takes some people quite awhile to recognize who is himself or herself in the previous life.

Some people worry that you can get stuck there [in the previous life], but that is not possible.

If you have a negative experience, you can always open your eyes
When you just see some images, you can be doubtful, but if you have emotions then it seems very real.

Rohini Kumar Prabhu:

Habits are not simply bad choices, but they are a result of lifetimes of bad choices.

People say “God is love.” Suppose if I went up to you and said, “You are love” what would you think? Of course, you have been called worse, but still, would you be pleased? Love is just a quality, but you are more than just a quality. You are a person.

We say, “My body.” But did I make my body? My mother has more claim to my body than I do.

Anger did not control Srila Prabhupada, but Srila Prabhupada could use it in Krishna’s service.

There are two words that can get you out of any argument, “You’re right.”

The illusory energy is the immigration department for the spiritual world.

I am an eternal spiritual soul stuffed in a material body subject to time.

By serving others our good qualities will increase and their good qualities increase, and we become more the spiritual beings we desire to be.

As we chant Hare Krishna, the small stuff seems less significant.

Seeing my college friends and even a few professors get increasing drunk and stoned as the night wore on, I wondered how these people were any better off than the common men in the street who spent thousands less on education but have a similar conception of enjoying life.

One of the pleasures of spiritual life is the association of devotees, and one of the austerities of spiritual life is the association of devotees.

Eating only Krishna prasadam will immunize us against the material energy.

We are the tata-stha sakti (marginal energy). We cannot get too proud. We can go either way [toward the spiritual or the material] at any moment.

This process of bhakti-yoga is joyfully performed, and so if we are not happy, then we are doing something wrong with our sadhana, and we should introspect and find out what.

It is valuable to stay in the middle of the devotees because they are on the way back to Godhead.

comment by Tulasirani dd: Sometimes it seemed that my sadhana was good and my service was good, but I was not feeling it because I had the wrong attitude.

comment by Rohini Kumar Prabhu: Well the attitude is actually an aspect of the sadhana. We have to perform the sadhana with the right attitude.

We cannot take our minds too seriously.

Madhukari Prabhu:

Vaisesika Prabhu says preaching to uninterested people is like picking unripe fruit. Unripe fruit has value but you have to let it ripen.

Hanan Prabhu:

comment by Caitanya Dasi of Krishna House: I was telling some people at the Rainbow Gathering about my trip to India, and that Vrindavan is so nice you can experience the presence of Krishna simply by being there. We talked about seeing Krishna’s presence in things and just then we looked in the perfectly clear sky, and saw a perfect rainbow over the Rainbow Gathering. We were amazed and considered it Krishna’s revelation.

Researchers say that usually falling in love lasts somewhere from the end of the honeymoon until two years afterward.

If a very sentimental newly married wife tells her husband each day that she was too busy thinking of her husband to cook dinner or do the laundry, such a relationship will not last very long because real love involves service.

At the end Bhagavad-gita Chapter 6, yoga is described as better than other paths, but bhakti-yoga is described as the best yoga. Narada also describes how bhakti surpasses other paths in his Narada-bhakti-sutras.

Bhakti is easier because you can engage more than just the mind. You can also engage your senses and your emotions.

As we develop as souls our ability to love increases beyond the conditioning of our body.

Shabari was herding goats, and learned that her parents were going to kill the goats for a marriage ceremony feast. She did not like that idea so she left home. While wandering she encountered an ashram. Watching the activities of the ashram, she became attracted. She decided to render to service to the ashram, and get them to include her. It worked and the sage in charge taught her a meditation. At one point, all the residents of the left, and the sage in charge told her to remain and continue chanting the name of Rama, and if you do so, some day Rama Himself will come, and you will meet Him. Many years later, Rama was traveling and saw how beautiful the ashram was. Rama asked her, “How are your austerities all these years?” She replied, “Everything is worth it because I am seeing You.” She collected fruits for Him. She would taste them, and if they were good enough, she would offer them to Him. He was pleased with her devotional attitude.

Tulasirani dd:

from sense gratifiers anonymous meeting:

Krishna steals butter because it is a product of the gopis love, and so He is stealing that love.

comment by Kimani: I find that if I think of the Bhagavad-gita verses at the end of Chapter Three that discuss lust, I get the strength to free myself from lusty desire in my mind and I become peaceful.

from a discussion following bhajanas:

Jananivasa Prabhu told me that Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura said that if chanting Hare Krishna does not bring us joy it is because we are willfully neglecting to pay attention to the holy names.

When I was feeling depressed because I was away from Mayapur. Caitanya Dasi from Krishna House told me I should go out and distribute the holy names every day, and that I would feel better. I was so depressed I did not feel like going out, but I did it anyway, and it actually made me felt alright.

Sruti Sagar Prabhu:

from a conversation:

There is a story about a devotee who was feeding one friend every day, until he found out his friend was an atheist, and so he did not feed him. The Lord appeared to the devotee in a dream, and asked why he stopped feeding the man, for the Lord said that He Himself feeds all the atheists.

Jai Nitai Gauranga Prabhu:

Suppose you are talking to an acquaintance and you find he is a multi-millionaire, it may change how you talk to him. Suppose you find out he is very strong, and you need protection. In this way, people are affected when they encounter the Lord’s opulence.

My guru, Jayapataka Swami, told me a sannyasi, a member of the renounced order of life, has no private life.

Bhakta Andy:

The Sri Caitanya-caritamrita is meant for the devotees to relish. If we do not relish it, who will?

B. B. Govinda Swami tells a story of an Indian government clerk who greatly facilitated the processing of his paper work because he understood B. B. Govinda Swami was a follower of Srila Prabhupada. The young man explained that he was depressed and confused about life’s meaning when someone gave him Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita, and from reading it he was grateful to find life’s meaning. He pulled out his desk drawer and showed Maharaja’s his copy of Prabhupada’s book. He asked Maharaja if he could someday meet Srila Prabhupada, and Maharaja explained that he left his body in 1977. The man’s eyes filled with tears, as if he had heard of the death of a most dear friend, and it was several minutes before he could regain his composure. This shows the power of Srila Prabhupada’s books to connect one intimately with Srila Prabhupada.

The Goswamis never said “we have seen Krishna.” They were saying, “Where is Radha? Where is Krishna?” If people say I know Krishna, I have seen Krishna, we should be suspicious because that is not the mood of the advanced souls.

comment by Tulasirani dd: Sometimes we chant nicely for a few days, and we think we are doing really well. Then the next day we do not do so well because pride has crept it. We have to remember it is by the mercy of the Lord we can chant nicely, and we must always pray for that mercy.


patrapatra-vicara nahi, nahi sthanasthana
yei yańha paya, tańha kare prema-dana

In distributing love of Godhead, Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates did not consider who was a fit candidate and who was not, nor where such distribution should or should not take place. They made no conditions. Wherever they got the opportunity, the members of the Pañca-tattva distributed love of Godhead.” (Sri Caitanya-caritmrita Adi 7.23)