Sunday, August 11, 2013

Travel Journal#9.13: The North of England

Diary of a Traveling Sadhaka, Vol. 9, No. 13
By Krishna-kripa das
(July 2013, part one
The North of England
(Sent from Bratislava, Slovakia, on August 11, 2013)

Where I Went and What I Did

I spent the first half of July at my base in Newcastle, with a day trip to York in the middle, and a journey south at the middle of the month to Manchester, Stockport, Hazel Grove, and Sheffield, enroute to London, ultimately to catch a flight to Lithuania for the summer festival. I would go on harinama everyday, either alone or with friends. The first week I chanted in Newcastle mostly, except to go to Sunderland, which Janananda Goswami calls Syamasunderland, and which is one of the largest cities nearby and which I like to go to once a week. The second week we also chanted in Chester-le-Street and Durham.

I have many great insights from Prabhupada’s books, some from lectures by Janananda Goswami, a couple from the journal of Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami, a few from recorded lectures by different swamis, and a few from Back to Godhead articles by Jayadvaita Swami and Caitanya Carana Prabhu.


August 12–14: Bratislava, Slovakia
August 15–18: Trutnov Open Air Music Festival (Czech Woodstock)
August 19: Prague
August 20: Berlin
August 21–23: Newcastle
August 24: York
August 25: Leeds
August 26–29: Newcastle
August 30: Liverpool
August 31: Bolton
September 1–2: Dublin
September 4–6: Gainesville
September 6–10: Tallahassee?
September 11–26: Gainesville
September 27–30: Columbus?
October 1–November 25: Union Square harinama, New York City
November 26–February 19, 2014: Gainesville
[except five days per month in Tallahassee and one day per month in Tampa]
February 24–April 22, 2014: Mayapur

Harinama in Newcastle

One day Bhakti Rasa and Prema Sankirtana Prabhu joined me on Northumberland Street. Some passersby joined in the dancing.

One young lady really got into playing the tambourine and dancing with pleasure.

A jovial extroverted lady who has joined us previously in Newcastle also came by, playing the tambourine and dancing.

Sometimes she induces her friends or even people she does not know to participate. Once when I was singing alone, she came by, and sang and danced for a while. At one point, she encouraged some little girls sitting on the bench to take interest. They came over and their mom took pictures of them with us, gave a donation, and ended up taking a book.

Once on harinama in Newcastle a woman gave a donation. When I offered her a book, she agreed to take one, saying, “Whenever I talk to you people, I always feel more comfortable afterward.”

Another lady gave 50 pence. She told me she really liked that fact that if people do not have any money, they can eat at our restaurants in exchange for an hour of service. I offered her a book, but she felt her donation was not sufficient. I told her that she gave enough and should take a book. She took a small book, which really did cost about 50 pence, and gave a five-pound note on top of her 50 pence, thus giving over $8 for a small book.

Once Malvika surprised me by playing the karatalas while she held Prema Sankirtana Prabhu’s child, Giya, something I had never seen before.

One day was mixed on harinama. A middle-aged man gave me £1 to go toward “my next singing lesson.” A young man spit something at the back of my sweater as I was chanting back to the temple. But on the bright side, one middle-aged lady gave a donation, and when I offered her a book, she said I gave her one last week. I asked if she read it, and she said she was reading it and liked it, and her friend visited our web page. Such are the daily dualities of outreach. The guy who spit at me almost got hit by two different vehicles in the next minute or two afterward. And I noticed it was hard for me to not wish something bad would happen to him, but perhaps not that bad! Later in the day I found the sweet rice I made for the evening kirtana program came out really good, so that minimized the previous unpalatable events!

A Day in York

Just this year devotees began a weekly program in York on Saturday evening. Govardhan Dasi, a Prabhupada disciple, and her husband, come out early, and she plays the harmonium and sings for two hours, while her husband talks to people and passes out invitations. The day I went, she was willing to increase her program by chanting for three hours. I played the drum for her when she sang, and she played the drum for me. She chants in a crowded pedestrian area, so many people heard the chanting. Next to London, devotees say that York is the biggest tourist location in England, and tour groups came by, including one from Italy. Two boys from that group, perhaps ten or twelve years old, happily danced with us for fifteen minutes on two different occasions, playing tambourines as well. Govardhan Dasi, who knows some Italian spoke to them.

I told Govardhan Dasi I like to speak on four topics: Krishna consciousness as a science, bhakti as the universal religious principle, the chanting of the holy name as the primary act of devotion, and the necessity of daily spiritual practice, and I asked her to choose one. She said they were all good topics and that I should speak on all of them, and so I did. Several people liked the lecture which I uploaded to ISKCON Desire Tree:

Indre, who met the devotees in Newcastle, but who now lives in Scunthorpe, came with another devotee from Scunthorpe, and had a good time.

Ganesh Prabhu kindly provided transportation, prasadam, and a place to stay in York to make my journey convenient.

I liked my experience at York, chanting in another city, and being a small addition to an existing chanting party, so I decided to go to York one Saturday a month when I am in the Newcastle area.

Harinama in Chester-le-Street

Last year, Prema Sankirtana and I did a memorable harinama in Chester-le-Street, a town equidistant between Newcastle and Sunderland. One devotee, Atul, lives there and was happy to have us chant there last year, so we decided to do it again. This year a new devotee, Mark, also a resident of Chester-le-Street, joined us. Although only associating with the devotees for a few months, Mark has transcended the fear of being seen as a Hare Krishna devotee in his home town. Malvika, who is between education and employment, also joined us. As Chester-le-Street is a small town where we rarely sing, we attracted a lot of attention. Some school students had a great time singing and dancing with us and taking pictures of their friends singing and dancing with us. One slightly intoxicated man and his dog followed us the length of the town and stayed with us for a while at the end. We collected a few donations and distributed a few books, and the devotees were very positive about the experience.

Harinama in Durham

Durham is a college town where Rohit from India and Malvika from Malaysia studied for several years, finally graduating this year. The last couple of years they had Krishna programs there each Friday. Now after completing their university education they decided to move into the Newcastle temple, and on the day we went to Durham to collect their belongings, we decided to do harinama there. Mark, our new devotee friend from Chester-le-Street who was also off work that day joined us. We chanted on a bridge in the middle of the town for a while.

Then we walked from one end of the town to the other, at one point engaging a construction crew in participating with us.

Later we chanted in a central square in front of the HSBC bank.

Harinama on the Beach in Sunderland

On the way to Sunderland, I encountered a sign that was humorous for me as an American. Apparently there is a town called Washington that is part of the city of Sunderland. The sign upon entering the town says, “Welcome to the Original WASHINGTON.” According to Wikipedia, the ancestors of George Washington, who Washington, D.C., is named after, lived in this town in England which bears the family name:

Aside from the beaches in Florida and Poland, I rarely do harinama on the beaches, but the weather was so excellent, a rarity in The North of England, that Lauris and Malvika suggested that we chant at the Roker Beach in Sunderland. Diya decided to join us, even though she is a little shy to chant in her hometown, and we were very happy she came.

We started by chanting to the end of one pier.

Some kids who were fishing complained that our singing was scaring the fish away. A few people were happy for the entertainment, but many did not know what to make of us. Two kids were intrigued and took video of us for about half the length of the pier. Diya sang very well for someone who had slept 45 minutes the night before and had just got off a several-hour Megabus ride from Scotland.

After the pier, we chanted on the sidewalk by the beach.

It was low tide, and we went out on the beach so far the sand was very moist. One young lady came running up to us when Malvika was singing, and began dancing.

She must have danced at least fifteen minutes. She did not know about Hare Krishna, but she was the kind of person who did not miss an opportunity to dance. Her friends left her at one point, disappearing out of sight, but she did not care and went on dancing with us anyway.

Lauris also got into a mood of performance.

We gave the dancing lady an invitation to our Wednesday and Sunday programs in Newcastle and hope she will continue her interest in dancing with the Hare Krishnas. You can see her enthusiastic dancing in this video (

Thanks to Diya who took the above video of us chanting on Roker Beach.

Later, as we were getting in the car to leave for the day, some preteenage boys earnestly asked us to play one more song before going thus showing their appreciation.

Manchester Monthly Harinama

I try to participate in the monthly Manchester harinama at least once a year.

Now they do it on the second Sunday after the kirtana and the lecture, and before the feast, for those who do not mind eating a little later. It is just short of two hours, otherwise the parking fees become ridiculous. They are planning to get a van to reduce the parking costs so they can stay out longer. There are lots of people, especially in outdoor cafes, and many people hear the chanting, and some people are attracted. Thanks to Agi Holland for the picture of me at the event.

A Day in Hazel Grove

I planned to chant with Gaura and Gaura Gopala Prabhus in Manchester one afternoon, but unexpectedly chanted for three hours in Hazel Grove by myself instead. Gaura Prabhu left in the morning to distribute books, while I proofread the Back to Godhead magazine above Matchless Gifts, the Hare Krishna charity shop and alternative therapy center run by Jagadatma Prabhu in Hazel Grove. When I left to join Gaura in Manchester, I could not get the key to lock the door behind me, and his instruction “to fiddle with it” was not sufficient for success. I tried moving the key in and out, up and down, and left and right while I turned it, and I tried chanting and offering a few prayers, but nothing seemed to work. I gave up in frustration after 40 minutes and decided Krishna wanted me to chant in Hazel Grove. The traffic was loud and smelly, and there were just a few people on the street. One vegan lady who really liked George Harrison came by, and of all the people, she was the most happy to see someone chanting Hare Krishna in Hazel Grove. She thought it was really progressive. I showed her Chant and Be Happy, and suggested that since she liked George Harrison she might like the book, but she was low on cash till payday. I gave her an invitation to our Thursday program there, but she was from a distance away. So in three hours no one gave any donations or took any books. A few drivers waiting for the stoplight, with windows rolled down, gave expressions or gestures of appreciation. Still when Jagadatma Prabhu returned and heard I chanted Hare Krishna for three hours in front of the shop, he told me that if I stayed there and chanted there every day, he would take care of my needs and find a way to send me to Mayapur each year. I am committed to Newcastle, Gainesville, and New York, so I will not do it, but the next time I go to Sheffield for their Wednesday program, I will go to the Hazel Grove area and chant for three hours and advertize and attend his program on Thursday. And when I visit Manchester for their monthly harinama, I may spend two or three days chanting around Hazel Grove.

After my chanting session, since the Hazel Grove library was closed, I sat in little park nearby to see if I could pick up an unsecured wireless signal to proofread my guru’s blog and check my email. I noticed that Huffy’s next door had a secured wireless connection, and not wanting to wander all over the town looking for a free one, I decided to ask if I could use their connection since the library was closed. The waitress said they usually like you to buy something. When I asked for the cheapest item, an older man standing at the bar overhearing our conversation offered to buy me whatever I wanted. I just took a ginger ale and found a Krishna pamphlet in my computer bag to give the man, and he shook my hand. Later, before he left, he stopped by my table. He encouraged me to “spread the word,” gave me a 5-pound note as a donation, and thinking I was following a path from the East, he made a comment that he was in Vietnam for six years and that it had more culture than the West. I smiled as I reflected on what he said, and he shook my hand again, as he left. It was a surprise to have such a pleasant encounter in Huffy’s Bar in Hazel Grove.

A Wonderful Wednesday

Gaura Prabhu and I chanted in Stockport for 45 minutes before my train to Sheffield. One young man with a beard sat on his skateboard about 13 feet (4 meters) from us, and listened while he ate his lunch. We told him that we had a regular Thursday program in Hazel Grove, and gave him an invitation, as he said that he was from there. After happily listening for fifteen minutes or so, when he left, he smiled and thanked us for coming there, saying he would see us on Thursday. Other people seemed happy to see us and gave donations. The security guard for the mall we were in front of came out a couple times, and must have heard and seen us, but by the grace of the Lord, he did not ask us to move, unlike the one two days before. It was a pleasant, though brief, chanting session, and it was very encouraging to encounter someone in Stockport who wanted to come to the program.

In Sheffield, I chanted for an hour and a half myself before the other devotees joined me for harinama. During that time, two young Indian ladies, one who was beginning her final year at the university and another who was a working lady, both asked me about Hare Krishna programs in Sheffield, and I took down their emails for our mailing list, and gave them the phone number of Kay, our local leader. I love connecting people who are attracted to Krishna with our local programs.

After the other devotees arrived, a lady perhaps in her fifties or sixties came by and asked about what we were doing, and we gave her a mantra card, and she chanted along for about 15 minutes. A friend of Geoff, a member of our harinama party came by, and he explained to her what we were doing, and she also took a mantra card and sang along with us for sometime. While those two ladies were singing, a teenaged girl and a kid then came and watched the chanting with curiosity. Later they sat on a nearby bench with an older woman, who I thought was their mother but who turned out to be the girl’s grandmother and who explained that the girl’s mother was a Hare Krishna devotee in Birmingham. It was beautiful to see all these people engaging in Lord Caitanya’s sankirtana process by coming in touch with our modest little harinama party in Sheffield.

Radha, the daughter of Kay, who has been aware of Krishna her whole life, has a nice voice and nice enthusiasm, and it was great to have her sing part of the time on both the harinama and the evening program.


Srila Prabhupada:

lecture on Sri Caitanya-caritamita, Madhya-lila 20.98–99, July 4, 1976, in Washington, D.C.:

The moving power of the body is the spirit soul. We are repeatedly trying to convince people of this simple truth.”

from Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.4.24, purport:

Madhvacarya quotes the following verse from the Skanda Purana:

yatha rajñaḥ priyatvam tu
bhritya vedena catmanah
tatha jivo na yat-sakhyam
vetti tasmai namo ’stu te
As the various servants in the different departments of big establishments cannot see the supreme managing director under whom they are working, the conditioned souls cannot see the supreme friend sitting within their bodies. Let us therefore offer our respectful obeisances unto the Supreme, who is invisible to our material eyes.’”

from Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.4.27–28:

The Supersoul is realized when one is eager for liberation from the unlimited varieties of material life. One actually attains such liberation when he engages in the transcendental loving service of the Lord and realizes the Lord because of his attitude of service. The Lord may be addressed by various spiritual names, which are inconceivable to the material senses. When will that Supreme Personality of Godhead be pleased with me?”

from Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.4.27–28, purport:

When a devotee is eager to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he prays to the Lord:

ayi nanda-tanuja kinkaram
patitaḿ mam visame bhavambudhau
kripaya tava pada-pankaja-
sthita-dhuli-sadrisaḿ vicintaya

O son of Maharaja Nanda [Krishna], I am Your eternal servitor, yet somehow or other I have fallen into the ocean of birth and death. Please pick me up from this ocean of death and place me as one of the atoms at Your lotus feet.’ Being pleased with the devotee, the Lord turns all his material impediments into spiritual service.”
from The Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 19:
There are many societies and associations of pure devotees, and if someone with just a little faith begins to associate with such societies, his advancement to pure devotional service is rapid.”

In the Narada-pancaratra Lord Shiva therefore tells Parvati, ‘My dear supreme goddess, you may know from me that any person who has developed the ecstasy of love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and who is always merged in transcendental bliss on account of this love, cannot even perceive the material distress or happiness coming from the body or mind.’”

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. . . . In other words, this transcendental bliss is not to be enjoyed by any common man unless he is so extraordinarily fortunate as to be in association with devotees or to be continuing his previous birth’s devotional activities.”

from The Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 24:

Any person who is reliable in all circumstances is called dependable. In this connection Rupa Gosvami says that even the demons were relying upon the dependability of Krishna, because they were confident that Krishna would never attack them without due
cause. Therefore, with faith and confidence, they used to live with their doors wide open. And the demigods, although afraid of the demons, were confident of the protection of Krishna. Therefore, even in the midst of danger they were engaged in sportive activities. Persons who had never undergone the reformatory ritualistic ceremonies of the Vedas were confident that Krishna would accept only faith and devotion, and so they were engaged in Krishna consciousness and were freed from all anxieties. In other words, all kinds of men, from the demigods down to the uncultured, can rely on the causeless mercy of the Supreme Lord.”

from The Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 25:

When a devotee is never tired of executing devotional service and is always engaged in Krishna conscious activities, constantly relishing the transcendental mellows in relationship with Krishna, he is called perfect.”

Anyone who becomes exhilarated by hearing of the pastimes of Lord Krishna when He was present on this earth with His associates is to be understood as nitya-siddha,
eternally perfect.”

from a lecture of Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.7 given in New Delhi on November 13, 1973:

Krishna is explaining Himself personally in Bhagavad-gita. He is accepted by all the big, big stalwart acaryas [great spiritual teachers] for hundreds of years. Everyone accepts Krishna is God. And this rascal is searching out what is God. See the rascaldom! God is here, and he is searching after God.

from a lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.6 on September 5, 1972 in New Vrindavan:

When a scientist dies, we can easily understand the body is not the scientist, the soul is the scientist.

Ayurveda is based on very simple principles, knowing the situation of the bile, mucous, and air in the body, based on feeling the pulse. The doctor understands the situation and asks patient if he is feeling like this to confirm his investigation. Then the medicine is prescribed.

Krishna talks with a bona fide person not any nonsense person. Just as a big man in human society does not talk with just anyone.

The greatest symptom of his love is that the devotee wants to see the Lord’s name, fame, etc., becomes widespread.

If Krishna gives you intelligence from within, who can excel you? Krishna can give you intelligence if you always engage in His service with love.

To select the path back to Godhead or to select the path to hell is up to us.

When I understand I am spiritual, my occupational duty changes to bhakti.

Without religion, it does not matter which religion, one is an animal for animals have no religion. One cannot be happy by imitating the animals. We should not decline to animal life. We should progress.

As if we have a good car, we have a more comfortable ride, if we have a good body we have a comfortable life. Once we have a attained a particular type of body, we get a certain level of comfort. That cannot be changed. Whatever God has given you, be satisfied with that, and use your time to endeavor for spiritual advancement.

Bhakti is not checked by an material condition. Not that “I was very sick so I could not chant.”

from a lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.7 given on April 21, 1974, in Hyderabad:

Practice bhakti-yoga and be Krishna conscious, and make your life successful. That is our mission. We are teaching. It is not a business, that ‘Give me some money; I will teach you.’ It is open. We are asking everyone, ‘Chant Hare Krsna mantra.’ What is the difficulty? There is no loss. You haven’t got to pay anything.”

And why should you go to see dancing elsewhere? Dance at home. Make family organization in that way. You will be happy. Then you will understand what is your position.”

This bhakti-yoga process is polishing the mirror of your heart, and when it is nicely polished, you will see what is your position, what you are, what is your business, how you shall be happy. Everything will come out.”

from Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Madhya 4.79, purport:

Within the [Krishna consciousness] society we must try to serve the predecessors by preaching Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s cult and spreading His name and fame all over the world. If we attempt this seriously within the society, it will be successfully done. There is no question of estimating how this will happen in the mundane sense. But without a doubt, it happens by the grace of Krishna.”

from Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.5.36, purport:

The Vedic civilization therefore enjoins that at the end of one’s fiftieth year one must give up household life [to pursue spiritual realization]. This is compulsory. However, because modern civilization is misled, householders want to remain in family life until death, and therefore they are suffering. In such cases, the disciples of Narada Muni advise all the members of the younger generation to join the Krishna consciousness movement immediately. There is nothing wrong in this.”

from Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.5.41, purport:

It is not a fact that because material enjoyment involves so many painful conditions one will automatically become detached. One needs the blessings of a devotee like Narada Muni. Then one can renounce his attachment for the material world. The young boys and girls of the Krishna consciousness movement have given up the spirit of material enjoyment not because of practice but by the mercy of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His servants.”

from lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.5.2:

Although a devotee is harassed in many ways, he never becomes angry. If he does, he falls down.

Tolerance and compassion are the principal qualifications of a sadhu (saint).

from Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.8.48, purport:

The Krishna consciousness movement has been started especially to create qualified brahmanas to broadcast spiritual knowledge all over the world, for thus people may become very happy.”

Janananda Goswami:

We are singing the glories of the mundane for no ultimate benefit. Better we use our human form to sing the glories of God and attain the ultimate benefit and the supreme security.

One can say that Durga is represented in the Panca-tattva, because as the external energy, she is an expansion of the internal energy, Gadadhara Pandit.

Srivasa Thakura and his wife were practically second parents of Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda.

After Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu took initiation from Isvara Puri he began the congregational chanting at Srivasa Thakura’s house. Lord Caitanya was very selective in allowing only pure devotees to participate in the kirtana there. Even before that, the Vaishnavas would gather and glorify the Lord at Srivasa Thakura’s house. Vaishnavas were a minority at that time, while the shaktas were in the majority, and there were threats on Srivasa Thakura’s life. Advaita Acarya was very angry at this situation, and thus he appealed for Lord Krishna to appear.

When Gopala Capala was suffering from leprosy, he approached Lord Caitanya to deliver him from his physical misery but not from his material life. Because he insulted Srivasa Thakura, Lord Caitanya did not immediately deliver him.

When Srivasa Thakura’s son died and the women were lamenting, Srivasa Thakura said to them, “If your crying disturbs Lord Caitanya, I will give up my life.”

Srivasa Thakura had so much faith in the fact the Krishna would maintain him, he told Lord Caitanya, “If three days go by and the Lord does not send us anything, I will jump in the Ganges.” Lord Caitanya was very pleased to hear of his faith in the Lord.

The sankirtana party arranged by Lord Caitanya to protest the Muslim Kazi’s prohibition of the public chanting, was said to be so large you could not count the people. Some accounts say millions of people.

One brahmana was not allowed to enter the kirtanas at Srivasa Thakura’s house, and out of anger he cursed Lord Caitanya to be bereft of all material happiness. For a shakta [one who worships Goddess Durga for material blessings] that is a curse worse than death, but Lord Caitanya was in ecstasy.

Jayadvaita Swami:

from Back to Godhead, Vol. 47, No. 5, pp. 15–16:

Vedic sages say, I am not my body. I am the spark of consciousness within the body. This way of thinking is not merely theoretical. It has consequences, social, political, economic, and personal.”

Even my body—which I certainly say is mine—is mine only for some time. And even then, I can’t fully control it. I can’t, for example, stop it from getting old, nor from dying. So finally the grave or the funeral pyre takes it and says, “It’s mine.”

Niranjana Swami:

from a recorded lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam given in Boston in June 2013:

We want to establish a relationship with Krishna, so we establish a relationship with Krishna’s holy name. There is no difference between Krishna and His holy name.

Radhanatha Swami:

The verse trnad api encapsulates the entire culture of devotional service.

Sacinandana Swami:

Bhaktivinoda Thakura gave great inspiration to Vaishnavas by discovering the birthplace of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Now we can all come to Mayapur to be spiritually uplifted.

Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami:

from his journal Viraha Bhavan, Poem for July 8”:

Syama told me not to be
worried that my poem to Radha-Govinda
is repetitious.
Pujari service is the same, but there is always
variety of dresses, ornaments,
flowers and prasadam.
Even the sameness
is a steadying influence
as we get to know
Them better every day. In
the spiritual world
Radha and Krishna play the same sports
in Their asta-kaliya
lila throughout the hours of the day and night.
But there are always newer and ever-fresh rasas as experienced by Them.
I don’t want any extraordinary change.
I just want to see Them as
They are. As I grow in devotion,
the change will take place in my heart.

Everyone should make himself
a submissive
hearer of Srimad-Bhagavatam and pass his
days in enlightened hearing.

Jagadatma Prabhu:

As it is amazing to the materialistic the wonderful descriptions of the Lord’s incarnations and features of his creation, it is amazing to the devotees that the materialists can think their pleasures which are like those of the animals are the ultimate goal of life.

Devotees must have some direct experience otherwise it would not be possible for them to continue to engage in devotional service.

Both people who are highly intelligent and people who are simple and who admit their ignorance can surrender to the Lord.

A blind person may inquire how to see the sun, but what possibility is there that he can see the sun?

The human being is equipped with the ability to come in contact with God through the process of yoga.

Materialists accuse the devotees of convincing themselves of a certain way of viewing the world, but materialists have to convince themselves that to work hard from nine to five and get money to enjoy sense gratification will give them ultimate satisfaction.

Materialists challenge, “Show me God, and I will believe in Him.” and Krishna says, “Believe in Me, and I will reveal myself to you.”

Krishna reveals Himself to the devotee in such a way that he cannot deny Him.

Srila Prabhupada said that if someone gives one penny, Krishna will never forget him. He will think, “This man has given Me one penny.”

A man sees what he wants to see. So when they want to see God they will see Him.

Once someone said to Srila Prabhupada, “You must have to give up a lot to become a Hare Krishna devotee.” Srila Prabhupada replied, “You only have to give up your misery.” The inquirer was shocked and could not ask a further question.

Sometimes I think that if I had as much faith in Krishna as the materialists do in materialism I would already have Krishna prema.

In Melbourne the devotees asked Srila Prabhupada if reading his books is enough, and he replied no, they must be personally trained by someone who had understood his books. He explained that just as there are medical books at the market place, one cannot become a doctor simply by reading them. One must be trained by a doctor.

Even in psychology they understand that the desire to control is the root cause of all other material desires.

A group of devotees from Australia visited one of Prabhupada’s godbrothers. Srila Prabhupada asked who authorized the visit. He then asked what his godbrother said. They replied, “It is good that you are chanting Hare Krishna. In your next life, as a result, you will take birth in India.” Prabhupada said that by hearing from him they were ruined. Prabhupada greatly opposed this artificial distinction made between Indian and Western devotees.

Several devotees have told me that toward the end of his life, Prabhupada said, “My only regret is that I could not personally train you. I was so busy organizing the society.”

I asked one Russian lady who read auras to read mine. She explained that the Hare Krishna devotees have special characteristics in their auras. They always have a blue-violet effulgence around the throat, and instead of being protected by one or two spiritual guides, they are all protected by hundreds.

Caitanya Carana Prabhu:

from Back to Godhead, Vol. 45, No. 5, p. 37:

Just as a blazing fire can provide far greater warmth than a tiny spark, the Supreme Lord can provide far greater warmth of love for our hearts than any worldly person.”


yac-chaktayo vadatam vadinam vai
vivada-samvada-bhuvo bhavanti
kurvanti caisaḿ muhur atma-moham
tasmai namo ’nanta-gunaya bhumne

Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto the all-pervading Supreme Personality of Godhead, who possesses unlimited transcendental qualities. Acting from within the cores of the hearts of all philosophers, who propagate various views, He causes them to forget their own souls while sometimes agreeing and sometimes disagreeing among themselves. Thus He creates within this material world a situation in which they are unable to come to a conclusion. I offer my obeisances unto Him.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.4.31)