Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Travel Journal#9.22: New York City, Tampa, Gainesville, and Alachua

Diary of a Traveling Sadhaka, Vol. 9, No. 22
By Krishna-kripa das
(November 2013, part two
New York City, Florida
(Sent from Jacksonville, Florida, on December 11, 2013)

Where I Went and What I Did

The second half of November, I continued chanting on harinama six hours a day at Union Square in New York City with Rama Raya Prabhu’s party, and living in Radha Govinda Mandir in Brooklyn, cutting vegetables for their lunch program and Sunday feast. On Saturday, November 23, I gave the lecture at 26 2nd Avenue. Then on November 25, I flew to Tampa, where I chanted with my friend Nama Kirtan Prabhu for three hours at the University of South Florida, on my way back to Gainesville and Alachua for the Festival of the Holy Name, their twenty-four hour kirtana at the end of November. Before that festival we had Thanksgiving dinners in Gainesville and Alachua, with a few words of thanks, evening kirtanas leading up to the festival. We also chanted at the Farmers Market in Gainesville before the festival and at the football stadium during the festival.

On my last day in New York City, I attended lectures by Radhanath Swami in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and I share my notes on these. I also have notes from Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami’s journal. I have notes from the classes of and a seminar on the editing of Srila Prabhupada’s books by Dravida Prabhu, with comments by senior devotees. Also I share notes on lectures by other Alachua County devotees and some interesting insights from some senior citizens from Tampa.


December 12 - Jacksonville, Florida
December 13–23 - New York City
December 24–25 - Albany, New York, area
December 26–January 5 - New York City
January 6 - Tampa
January 7–9 - Gainesville, Florida
January 10–12 - Houston
January 13–February 7 - Gainesville, Florida
February 8–11 - Tallahassee
February 12–13 - Jacksonville, Florida
February 14–February 19 - Gainesville, Florida
February 20 - Orlando and Philadelphia
February 21–24 - Dublin, Ireland
February 25 - Mumbai
February 26 - on an Indian train
February 27–April 14 - Mayapur
April 16 - Mumbai
April 17 - Dublin, Ireland
April 27 - Kings Day, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Union Square Harinamas

One day we had to change our venue because of the Union Square Christmas Market.

Some Afro American youths enjoyed dancing with us.

A girl on a skateboard played the shakers.

A young lady changed her yoga class so she could stay and chant with us.

An older lady closed her eyes, meditating on the the spiritual sound.

One day in the subway station, Michael Collins led a lively kirtana (

On Saturday at Washington Square Park one young lady sitting on a nearby bench listened for some time, and then purchased a book. Then she sat down with the kirtana party. 

She had a book in one hand and a cigarette in the other, and when I offered her the shakers, she put down the cigarette on the walkway and it burned out, as she played the shakers along with the kirtana.

The last day I was on harinama in Union Square we chanted in the subway station as it was very cold. Many uncommon things happened. One young man sat in front of us with the biggest microphone I have ever seen. 

It looked to be about a foot long (30 cm) and four inches wide (10 cm). 

He did a radio show and wanted to record some of the music in the subway stations, and we were the first group he recorded.

One guy who had never come by before, really liked the sound of the chanting and sat down with us. He started moving with the music and meditating on the sound, and ended up staying over an hour and was chanting Hare Krishna at the end.

Another guy sat down and played the saxophone with us for over an hour. Then Tarun Prabhu came by, playing his trumpet.

Then another saxophone player came by, who danced as he played. Thus for part of the time we had two saxophones and a trumpet playing with us.

At one point we engaged a family of four children in playing the shakers.

Some of them played with great delight. 

Ultimately they joyfully danced in a circle with Braja-raja Prabhu.

About 10 meters (30 feet) from the party an old man was waving a conductor’s baton, as if directing our music. He continued do that at least half an hour.

Chanting at the University of South Florida

I flew to the cheapest city within 2 hours of Gainesville, namely Tampa, and my friend Nama Kirtan Prabhu met me at the airport, and we chanted for three hours at University of South Florida.

USF was great. Uma Devi Dasi faciliated us by bring us a harmonium, some blankets to sit on and some prasadam.

Hearing us chant Hare Krishna, a couple guys in their 60s came by. Valentine had seen Prabhupada on Second Avenue in New York City. Bobby remembered a conversation with a Hare Krishna in New York City who was so committed to search for the ultimate truth and who spoke such in heartfelt way that really drew you into the conversation that he never forgot it. They gave donations three times and each took a book. Bobby came by again and gave me a set of rosary beads. Several interested students took invitations to our USF programs, and Keren, a regular attendee at our USF programs, chanted with us! I am looking forward to chanting at USF after my next flight from New York City after the winter break!

Chanting at the Gainesville Farmers Market

We had just a few devotees chanting when we started singing at the Gainesville Farmers Market. I gave one of the guys who hangs out there a tambourine to play when he came close to watch. He played it briefly, and wandered off with it in his hand. I was carefully watching him to retrieve the tambourine before the man disappeared, but our lead singer was worried and got up in the middle of the kirtana to walk over and ask the guy to give it back. The guy became a little violent, and our singer resumed his duty, and I continued to watch the man, wondering how I was going to get the tambourine back from him. After twenty minutes, two policeman came up to the guy and asked him to return the tambourine, and he tossed it on our blanket, and the policemen continued talking with him. As the policemen passed by on their way out, I thanked them, and they replied suitably. We had not called the police, but someone was watching out for us. Krishna for sure was watching, and perhaps some friends we did not know we had. Later, our fortune improved.

A person sat with us and played the tambourine.

Then another came bringing two djembes and playing one.

Then someone played the other djembe.

It was inspiring to see people spontaneously join the kirtana. The chanting of the name of Krishna is all-attractive like Krishna, and everyone is meant to take part.

Thanksgiving Appreciations from Some Krishna House Devotees

Kalakantha Prabhu:

Srila Prabhupada started his movement without the help of others, just his faith in Krishna and His holy name, and he gave us that and a lot, lot more.


When we go on field trips, we immediate notice that absence of any one of us because we are such a close family.


You are a great family for me. I felt like I was at home. My brother stayed here two years ago and said Krishna House stole his heart, and for me the same is true. Kalakantha Prabhu, even though you are the boss, you are very humble and a great example to follow.


Thank you, Krishna, for allowing me to be here.

You are so fortunate in Alachua in America to have all these nice temples and devotees. Take advantage of it. In my country of Colombia, we have few. It was great serving Krishna Lunch.


Thanks to Srila Prabhupada. Thanks to Kalakantha for carrying on what he gave. I see being at Krishna House is like a being in a airplane going 500 miles per hour. You just have to sit in the plane, and you go that fast. You cannot go like that chanting on your own.

It feels more like a family than my own family. I was amazed to find such a spiritual situation in America. I learned a lot from each and every one of you.

Comment by Kalakantha Prabhu: Prateek is so enthusiastic, he is the first student at Krishna House to make his professor Krishna consciousness.

Caitanya Dasi:

When I came Krishna House, Kalakantha Prabhu was reading Krishna book as the devotees ate popcorn, and afterward he talked to me and asked where I was from. In 2000 when I was here practically no one came to the morning program. All the development you see here is due to one person, Kalakantha Prabhu. I was doubtful about staying when Hanan invited us to be part of Krishna House. I was in my gypsy mode, but my husband said if we travel we will distribute prasadam and talk to people about Krishna, and you can do that all right here, and so we stayed.

Reflections on the Festival of the Holy Name
(Alachua Hare Krishna Temple’s Twenty-four-Hour Kirtana)

Agnideva Prabhu:

We chanted on the boardwalk in Laguna Beach for hours.

Badahari Prabhu was traded because we need sankirtana devotees. When I found Balahari Prabhu could play the harmonium, I told Ramesvara Maharaja I made him Vice President, so he could not return him to New York.

The police would always harass us and take our instruments. Once at the end of the arati we were chanting, and they took our instruments. We continued singing the Nrsimha prayers beating on the floor instead of the drum and chanting in unison, and that really agitated them. They picked up me and another devotee and handcuffed us and took us to the police station. I told Ramesvara Maharaja, and he decided we would get the best lawyer, Barry Fisher, to deal with it. He decided to sue the City of Laguna Beach for 33 million dollars. It made the newspaper headlines. The lawyer for the City realized they did not have a case and decided to settle out of court. I decided not to take their money, because then they would be really angry, and I wanted to continue preaching in Laguna Beach. Barry Fisher got them to pay for his costs as our lawyer. The police were respectful after that, guarding the procession in our temple opening ceremony. There was a huge kirtana party with five hundred devotees, coming from Los Angeles and San Diego, walking down both sides of Coast Highway. You could not even hear the traffic.

Badahari das Prabhu:

Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura had 72-hour nama yajnas [congregational chanting sessions of the holy name] to create harmony in the matha [temple].
Dhruva Maharaja:

During that last kirtana I remembered that verse by Rupa Goswami, “I do not know how much nectar the two syllables ‘Krish-na’ have produced . . .  It is amazing how much nectar there is in this simple practice.

Let us bless all the organizers for organizing this wonderful festival.

Indrayani dd:

Thank you for singing so sweetly and giving us the holy name. The scriptures say there is no difference between Krishna and His holy name. Last night I felt like I experienced that. I envision Krishna as the protector of Vrindavana by His lifting Govardhana Hill, and think He is always ready to protect us if we just chant His holy name just as the residents of Vrindavana did.

I’m so thankful to Srila Prabhupada for all he has given us.

Jessica, friend of Krishna Kishore, who came to the Alachua Festival of the Holy Name for the first time:

I have seen Vish [Visvambhar Steth] and Kish [Krishna Kishore] at many kirtana events all over America, but nothing has compared to this event in Alachua, and I think that must be because of all you people here. Thank you so much.

Gaura Shakti Prabhu (a festival organizer):

Your smiling faces give us the motivation to do it year after year.

Krishna-kripa das:

I was inspired to see the number of people attending because it demonstrated to me that they have great faith in the holy name.

I saw many smiling faces and joyful dancers.

Once Amala Kirtan and Amala Harinama Prabhus led together.

People smiled joyfully

It was especially lively, as you can see in this video (

Havi Prabhu’s kirtana was especially joyful.

Many listened happily.

People got to play their own instruments.

Dhirodatta Prabhu, the sound man, even strummed his guitar.

Gaura-Nitai enjoyed the sacrifice,

done as service to Srila Prabhupada,

with Aindra Prabhu present in the form of his picture.

On the second day, Lord Jagannatha, Lord Baladeva, and Lady Subhadra appeared, as if attracted by the devotees chanting.

The evening kirtanas with Madhava Prabhu leading up to the festival were wonderful as usual. Having Agnideva and Badahari Das Prabhus there was also very wonderful.

Lalita, who was in Laksmimoni dd’s ashram just after I moved to Alachua in 1994, led some lively Hare Krishna tunes, and many friends were there to support her. It made me feel old to consider how many years have gone by and how many changes have taken place since then!

I was happy to see the people who came with Adi Karta Prabhu from Kentucky were really appreciating it. Several devotees I knew from New York City came for the festival. I was sad that Niranjana Swami could not make it and that Mitra Dasa Prabhu did not have a singing slot despite his devotion and his talent. Except for lunch on the first day, when they ran out of prasadam, the prasadam program was great. I liked the festival so much I was eager to give a donation toward it (and get a couple cupcakes too). I look forward to attending next year, God willing. May all who organized it get the full blessings of Lord Caitanya and all His devotees!

Chanting at the Gators-Seminoles Game

I have gone to many harinamas at the football stadium in Gainesville but not one attended by over forty devotees! I recall thirty-six once on Radhastami but not more than forty. 

Fortunately the game was played in Gainesville so we did not have to miss five hours of the Festival of the Holy Name driving to Tallahassee and back. As usual, many fans danced with us, even though they were not as drunk as usual as it was a noon game.

I was amazed that a large number of enthusiastic Indian devotees visiting for the Festival of the Holy Name took time out to chant at the football stadium and many were interested in distributing devotional literature.

To see the pictures I took but did not include in this blog, click on the link below:

You will find the unused pictures after the used ones.


Radhanath Swami:

By reconnecting with Krishna, we also reconnect with all other living beings.

When asked how one could see Krishna everywhere? Srila Prabhupada responded in this way, “When you see my eyeglasses, what do you think?”
The devotee replied, “I think that these Srila Prabhupada’s eyeglasses.”
Then Prabhupada inquired, “And how do you feel when you see my glasses?”
The devotee said, “I feel affection for you.”
Srila Prabhupada explained that everything the pure devotee sees reminds him of Krishna, and he feels affection for Krishna.

To see everything connected with Krishna is natural.

In bhakti the goal and means of approaching the goal are the same.

The power of bhakti is that whatever we desire, we ultimately attain perfection.

When we associate with the all-attractive, we become attracted.

When we associate with the supreme pure, we become purified.

The thief listened to the Bhagavatam class with great attention because he had the desire to rob Krishna. Because of his intense desire, he was able to see Krishna. Krishna was not afraid of the thief, but he was afraid of what His mother would say if he returned home without His jewels. As he conversed with Krishna, he became purified and lost his desire to take Krishna’s jewels, and became a great devotee of Krishna.

Bhakti-yoga is about reconnecting with the all pure, and purification naturally takes place.

One man in Jagannatha Puri was always chanting with such relish, because the name of Krishna is not different from Krishna Himself. He did not want to chant while evacuating, but his tongue automatically chanted, and he tried to restrain it by holding his tongue. A five-year-old child named Gopal watching this told the man that there were not hard and fast rules for chanting. Lord Caitanya, seeing this, marveled at the faith of the child in the holy name. The child jumped on Lord Caitanya’s lap, Lord Caitanya cried with tears of love for Gopal, and Gopal cried with tears of love for the Lord. Lord Caitanya said to child, “Because of your faith in the holy name, from now on you will be Gopal Guru,” and he grew up to be a great spiritual teacher in the line.

Sanga means we associate with others to come together and focus on Krishna.

Service to Krishna is more fulfilling than liberation.

akamah sarva-kamo va moksha-kama udara-dhih tivrena bhakti-yogena yajeta purusham param—A person who has broader intelligence, whether he be full of all material desire, without any material desire, or desiring liberation, must by all means worship the supreme whole, the Personality of Godhead.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.3.10) This verse gives the greatest hope to the hopeless.

When Srila Prabhupada arrived in New York City, he had the conviction, “The power of bhakti will purify anyone and everyone.”

It is said that the elephants after their bath come out of the water, and spray themselves with dirt. I was curious to see that, so I would watch the elephants bathe and sure enough they would spray themselves with dirt. The males would always do it, and the females would not always do it. And sometimes the males would spray the females with dirt.

Q (by Laksmi Nrsimha Prabhu): Could you define perfection? Sometimes we have difficulty understanding how it is possible to do anything perfectly.
A: Perfection is prema, pure love for Krishna. Our natural capacity is to love Krishna and have compassion for all beings. Perfection is the awakening of that love. Pure love must be unmotivated and uninterrupted in order to completely satisfy the self. If we are enthusiastic and never lose sight of the goal, we can transcend all obstacles. Sat-sanga, association of saintly persons, is important to keep us focused. By association with persons who are satisfied with pure service, we become free from false motives like liberation.

Khatvanga Maharaja attained liberation in a moment by completely surrendering to Krishna. That possibility is open for all of us. But for most of us, it is a gradual process of redefining our priorities.

We must be enthusiastic and patient. If we are just patient we will get nowhere, and if we are just enthusiastic, we will be discouraged if we do not attain immediate success.

If it takes five or ten lifetimes, considering the greatness of the goal, that is nothing.

When our bad habits come back, when can take it as an opportunity to show our sincerity.

One Indian man said his mother always told him no matter how successful you are, only your spiritual values go with you. In the white sheet that covers the body at the crematorium, there are no pockets.

One Indian doctor failed his final exam after eighteen years of schooling. I encouraged him to study and take the test again. He did, but failed again. I encouraged him to study harder, and take it again. He ended up failing four times, and I told him to take shelter of Panca-tattva, Lord Caitanya, who appeared in five features, and he passed, and he is successful in his career and he is liked by all. Do not stop trying.

Challenging situations convince us of the need to seek the shelter of Krishna. Krishna put Arjuna in a difficult situation, and he sought wisdom and shelter in Krishna and was successful. Krishna arranged that situation just to teach us.

If we blame others, even if we are right, we lose the opportunity for spiritual progress.

When Krishna is personally present, He reciprocates so quickly, as in the washerman example. The washerman performed thousands of lifetimes of worship to have the benediction of seeing the Lord, but because of the bad association of Kamsa, he had no desire to serve Krishna.

In the old days, timingila fish could eat whales like you eat blueberries.

Serving the lotus feet of the Lord means serving without selfish motives.

One gardener who made garlands for his Vishnu deity was ordered by his deity to speak at an assembly of scholars to the king about the true meaning of liberation. He protested, saying that he was not a scholar. His deity replied that he should just go to the assembly and open his mouth, and the Lord would speak through him. The gardener had so much faith that he walked to Madurai and spoke about how pure devotion to the Lord is actually the ultimate liberation. He spoke so perfectly that all of the great scholars unanimously praised him and decided that the gardener was to be the guru of all of them. They had a great festival glorifying the gardener now guru, and he went along with it, understanding that it was all the Lord’s mercy. And on the occasion of the festival Lord Vishnu was so pleased, he descended with His associates, and the gardener could see Him. The gardener offered prayers in which he decried the ecstasy of seeing the Lord, and felt bad that the Lord had come to this miserable world on his account. One day the gardener found a baby girl beneath the tulasis he was growing. He was a renounced person and suddenly he had this girl named Andal. Andal had this habit of wearing the garlands he made for Vishnu for an hour, smiling and looking at herself in a mirror. Once her father saw her do that, and reprimanded her and refused to offer the garland to Vishnu, thinking it had been desecrated. Vishnu appeared in a dream, saying that he liked to wear the garlands that Andal wore because she has so much devotion, they become consecrated.

Andal would accept Vishnu alone as her husband. She had her father read the names of all the deities in South India. When he got to Raghunatha, she became shy and humble and entered a trance, and his father understood she wanted to marry Raghunatha. The priest of Raghunatha had a dream in which the deity asked for a procession to Andal’s home because He wanted to marry Andal, and He wanted His priest to propose to her on His behalf.

According to Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, bhakti is obstructed by profit, sensual enjoyments, fame or recognition. If we want fame, everything becomes tainted.

The joy of Srila Prabhupada’s heart was in seeing others learning to love Krishna.

I recall seeing Srila Prabhupada gazing at Radha Govinda, and Radha Govinda gazing at Srila Prabhupada.

Advanced devotees see themselves as small before the greatness of God.

Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami:

Today’s drawing shows three
bhaktas dancing and chanting
with upraised arms.
They appear blissful and
are moving with grace.
People who watch
them become mesmerized
and feel a personal
elation in their softened hearts.
One woman, who was
a clinical psychologist, stayed watching the
party at Union Square for an hour before she
left. A couple of hours
later, she returned.
When asked why she
had come back, she said,
This chanting just
makes me feel so
peaceful.” There
are many examples
of people having effects like that.
The chanting is not a
sectarian religious experience.
It has a transcendental
nature of love of God
for all people.
The soul is free and engages
in the service of Krishna
with great happiness.

from My Relationship with Lord Krishna:

Atheists not only don’t believe in God, they make it sound as if no intelligent person can believe.”

Radha throws [the dice] again with a great desire for victory. Although Radha wants to win, She has no desire to enjoy the results. Radha cannot defeat Krishna, the very victory flag over the world. And Krishna cannot defeat Radha, a second victory flag over the world. Interestingly, the only winner is Cupid.” (Krishnahnika-kaumudi)

Muktavandya told me that
the devotees in Boston went
out on harinama at Fenway
Park for the Boston Red Sox
World Series games. I
wonder how the crowd perceives the devotees.
Did they think we were sectarian
religionists proselytizing our sect?
Did they see us as a disturbance
to the baseball fever?
Or did they welcome us as
adding to the celebrative
event? The fact is
the devotees were purifying
the presiding modes
of passion and ignorance.
The chanting has nothing
to do with the material
world. Wherever the
devotees show up
chanting they cleanse
that place and make it transcendental.
Knowingly or unknowingly
the baseball fans
received the mercy of harinama
for its nature is supernatural.

All the devotees are

dancing in bliss.
They have found
the secret source of joy.
The nectar for which
we are always anxious.
It is lamentable that
only a relatively few people chant
the holy names
and that people think of it as sectarian religion
or mythology or brainwashing.
The devotees are trying their best
to chant the names,
but they are a minimum
amount of people in the world.
When, o when, will the people of the world
take to the chanting of the Names
and taste the nectar of holy love?”

We are not going to
observe Thanksgiving
in a special way. It
is mostly a mundane
holiday where
the karmis arrange a
family gathering and an obnoxious
turkey feast. We
may have some
extra preparations for Gaura-Nitai
but nothing extraordinary.
Every day is thanksgiving for us
with deep gratitude to Prabhupada and Lord Caitanya
for giving us a life free of hellish karma.”

Dravida Prabhu:

from a seminar on editing Srila Prabhupada’s books:

Prabhupada’s greatness is that he translated the message into English, and were it not for that we would not be here tonight.

Srila Prabhupada acknowledged that his original Bhagavatam had some grammar and typographical issues. It was certainly Krishna’s will that one of Srila Prabhupada’s first contacts in America was Hayagriva, an English professor. Srila Prabhupada engaged him in editing, “Put it nicely.”

Srila Prabhupada wrote, “If the books are printed with spelling mistakes and other mistakes, that will be a discredit for our publication. So please see that editorial work is done very nicely.”

Pradyumna Prabhu wrote to Jayadvaita Prabhu, “Prabhupada said that if there is one mistake in one book then you spoil the whole book, murder the whole book.”

Prabhupada to Radhavallabha Prabhu, the BBT production manager, “Concerning the editing of Jayadvaita Prabhu, whatever he does is approved my me. I have confidence in him.” That confidence in Jayadvaita Swami continued throughout Srila Prabhupada’s life.

Many things that were left out in the Macmillan Gita were restored in the 1983 edition.

Garuda Prabhu, who is a scholar, uses the 1983 edition as a text in his classes, but he said he could not use the Macmillan edition because of the faults in it.

Even in the “rascal editors conversation” of June 1977, Srila Prabhupada still expressed confidence in Jayadvaita Swami.

from a class on Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.28.16:

in the Gopal Campu the pastime of Varuna holding Nanda Maharaja was on Patala-loka. Krishna became so angry that Varuna’s men took Nanda that Krishna’s bluish color became red with anger. Nanda Maharaja had been meditating on Lord Narayana, and until Krishna came to rescue him, he did not realize what had happened or where he was.

Krishna’s pastimes can be understood on many levels. One is the ocean of loving exchanges with Krishna. Each entity is serving Krishna in an intimate way, and Krishna is reciprocating with each in a personal way.

Festivals are to come together and glorify the Lord. At the drop of a hat practically, devotees will hold a festival and get together and chant and take prasadam.

On the japa retreats you are chanting or talking about the holy name practically the entire time, and therefore everyone is very blissful afterward.

One interested in the ultimate good (sreya uttamam) must inquire from a guru who is fixed in the scripture (sabde) and in the Lord Himself (pure).

Devotional service in practice generates devotional service in spontaneous love.

Kirtana means chanting, and sankirtana means total chanting, and that includes dancing. Srila Prabhupada introduced the dancing. Lord Caitanya introduced the dancing. Before Him it was not done. Engaging our entire body in Krishna’s service helps get us free from false ego.

I highly recommend the yoga series lectures by Srila Prabhupada.

Sankirtana enhances japa. Japa also enhances sankirtana.

We have an ocean of bliss in our heart, but we are looking outside at the reflection. That is the great tragedy. The solution is the chanting of the holy name.

Approaching Krishna for us means approaching His holy name.

Our practice is simply bringing the mind back to the holy name.

When we see people blissfully chanting, that inspires us.

What we have done during the day will appear in our mind during our japa, so you cannot expect to chant nice japa if your mind has been all over the place all day.

Rising early, taking rest early, reading spiritual books regularly, all aspects of our practice help us in our chanting of the holy name.

Srila Prabhupada was asked what we should think about when we chant Hare Krishna, and he replied, “Hare Krishna.”

When a spiritual aspirant asked Gaura Kisora Dasa Babaji Maharaja how he would learn of his particular relationship with Krishna and his service in the spiritual abode, Babaji Maharaja replied, “That will all be revealed to you by the syllables of the holy name.”

Even if we have other desires, when we are chanting the holy name we should pray to be without such desires. That is the standard.

Advice about attending the holy name festival:
First thing is to attend.
Bring your pure consciousness to the festival.
Stay as long as possible.
Drink in the nectar.

Comment by Bhadra Prabhu on the Varuna pastimes:

That happened on the Ekadasi after Krishna lifted Govardhana Hill. Just previously the cowherd man had asked Nanda Maharaja about the identity of Krishna, who had performed so many amazing pastimes. He described how Gargamuni said that Krishna was like Narayana. Then when he saw Varuna worshiping Krishna, Nanda concluded that Krishna was in fact Narayana.

from a class on Srimad-Bhagavtam 2.1.11:

If we commit sins on the strength of chanting the holy name, then we will lose our taste for chanting.

Srila Prabhupada said that if you try to cheat Krishna, He will cheat you, in a bigger way.

The holy name makes it even possible to refrain from intoxication, meat-eating, gambling, and illicit sex.

Bhaktivinoda Thakura says that inattention is the worst offense. If we absorb our mind in the holy name we will not be inclined to commit the other offenses.

Srila Prabhupada even gave some sample announcements that the devotees could make on harinama to the crowd during pauses in the kirtana.

It is hard to follow all the instructions of the spiritual master, but the more we are able to do so, the more we will be able to appreciate the chanting.

Kalakantha Prabhu:

Feeling happy about our present situation and feeling hopeful about the future is the transcendental position.

If you are in someone’s will, all you have to do is stay alive to inherit. In the same way, we just have to not abandon our spiritual practice to attain the spiritual world.

Ranjit Prabhu:

We have proof that the purple Gita, the Collier Gita, is the one the Srila Prabhupada personally read and went over mostly. Hayagriva Prabhu told Prabhupada that Rayarama had ruined the Gita. Prabhupada told Hayagriva he had confidence in Ramaraya Prabhu, but if it was not too late, he would be willing to read over the galley before it was printed. Apparently that was done, and Srila Prabhupada made corrections on only twelve pages of the galley.

Srila Prabhupada told Hayagriva that the translations were not the main thing but the rather that purports are. Hayagriva looked at other Gitas and used some of the more poetic ones in preparing his. Jayadvaita Swami restored those that differed from Srila Prabhupada’s originals, and thus some devotees who memorized the more poetic ones do not appreciate the changes.

Often foreign translators found some of the mistakes in the English edition. They were told to correct them in their translations. Thus there is the problem of standardization of the books.

That devotees take the editing of his books very seriously on either side of the issue indicates they have great devotion and regard for Srila Prabhupada.

We have Srila Prabhupada’s handwritten Bengali script of Gita Gan in the archives.

The BBT is the sole publishers of Srila Prabhupada’s books. The BBT was pledged to give 30% of profits to ISKCON temple construction. The BBT is a trust with ISKCON as the beneficiary. That was all approved by Srila Prabhupada.

Advaita Acarya Prabhu:

I was born in a Vaisnava family, but it was all hodgepodge to me, until I read Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is.

Another prabhu (sorry I forgot to ask his name):

Some pictures were omitted from the newer Gitas because they were copyright by the original artists who later left ISKCON.

Prana Govinda Prabhu:

Srila Prabhupada’s Bengali Gita Gana has additional ideas not present in his English Gita translations. What about that?

[Answer by Ranjit Prabhu] That is poetic license.

Madhava Prabhu:

I was on the graveyard shift for a year, from 10 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. on the twenty-four-hour kirtana party in Vrindavan. Sometimes it was so hard, it was like the clock stopped. But when I chanted just to please Nama Prabhu, the time would fly by. It was amazing.

Let us all pray for Srila Prabhupada’s mercy, for he has given us this wonderful Hare Krishna mantra, and he is the reason we are all sitting here together tonight.

Gaura Shakti Prabhu:

It gives us so much bliss [as organizers of the Festival of the Holy Name] to see the members of our community get together and chant the holy names in great happiness.

Damodara Prasada Prabhu:

As when you are on a plane you move at the tremendous speed of the plane, Dhruva because of being fixed in meditation on the Lord moved with weight of the Supreme Lord and was able to push down the entire Earth with his toe.

Jiva Goswami advises that kirtana is the primary form of bhakti.

The result of your sadhana is dependent on your degree of faith.

Although there is no difference between the holy name of Krishna and Krishna Himself, the holy name is considered to be more merciful than Krishna Himself. Similarly although there is no difference between Lord Caitanya and Lord Krishna, Lord Caitanya is more merciful than Krishna Himself.

Although the holy name appears to be just another sound vibration, it can grant all spiritual perfection. Similarly although Srila Prabhupada just seems to be another person, he made all spiritual perfection available.

Bobby, an older Christian gentleman at University of South Florida:

Don’t go pointing your crooked finger.

Better we are looking at the things that unite us, and not the things that separate us.

Let he who stands take heed, lest he fall.

Always remember who is holding you up.

Valantine, an older gentleman at University of South Florida (who saw Srila Prabhupada in New York City at 26 2nd Ave.):

God does not make junk.


tattva-vastu—krishna, krishna-bhakti, prema-rupa
nama-sankirtana—saba ananda-svarupa

The Absolute Truth is Sri Krishna, and loving devotion to Sri Krishna exhibited in pure love is achieved through congregational chanting of the holy name, which is the essence of all bliss.” (Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Adi-lila 1.96)