Monday, February 17, 2014

Travel Journal#10.3: North Florida and Tampa

Diary of a Traveling Sadhaka, Vol. 10, No. 3
By Krishna-kripa das
(February 2014, part one
Gainesville, Alachua, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, and Tampa
(Sent from Gainesville, Florida, on February 17, 2014)

Where I Went and What I Did

In the beginning of February, I continued chanting at Krishna Lunch and giving lectures at the Gainesville Krishna House. On Valentine’s Day, I spoke on the topic of love at our Friday evening program, and some people liked the lecture which you can hear at this link, I spent a couple of days chanting at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida State University in Tallahassee, and University of South Florida in Tampa. We also chanted at the Jacksonville Art Walk and at First Friday and Lake Ella in Tallahassee. I visited our our Krishna Club meeting at University of North Florida one Thursday and our Bhakti Yoga Society meeting at University of South Florida on Tuesday. One Saturday we chanted and distributed prasadam and books at the Ocala Regional Rainbow Gathering. The friends and family of Tim Carter (Gopinatha Das) had a beautiful five-hour kirtana program to dedicate a Gopinatha, CD of music by and about him, which he planned to produce before untimely leaving his body, along with two friends, in an auto accident two years before.

I share quotes from Srila Prabhupada’s books and lectures and from Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami’s online journal, Viraha Bhavan. I also have notes on lectures by great speakers like Rtadhvaja Swami and Nagaraja Prabhu of Back to Godhead. Then there are notes on lectures by both senior and junior devotees at Krishna House.

To see the extra photos I did not include in this blog, click on the link below:

The extra pictures appear after the ones I used.


February 16–19 - Gainesville, Florida
February 20 - Orlando and Philadelphia
February 21–24 - Dublin, Ireland
February 25 - Mumbai
February 26 - on a train between Mumbai and Howrah
February 27–March 4 - Mayapur
March 6–13 - Rishikesh with Navina Nirada and Ekalavya Prabhus
March 14–20 - Delhi and Vrindavan
March 22–April 13 - Mayapur
April 15 - Mumbai
April 17–25 - Dublin, Belfast, etc.
April 27 - Kings Day, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
May–July (first two-thirds) – The North of England, Birmingham 24-hour kirtana, London Ratha-yatra, Stonehenge Solstice Festival
July (last third)–August (first two-thirds) – Baltic Summer Festival, Polish Woodstock, Czech Woodstock
August (last third)–September (first half) – The North of England
September (rest) – New York

Notes on the Dedication of Gopinatha
Tim Carter’s (Gopinatha Das’s) CD

Anthony: Tim Carter [Gopinatha Das] was in the process of putting a CD together. His friends got together and finished it for him. I only knew Tim for a year. He taught me drum. He helped us realize that chanting transcends religion, that we are spirits who are beyond space and time. Do not let what Tim has given us end now that he has left his body.

Tim’s father and mother: We just want to thank all of you so much. We have a good life. It is just that it is very emotional for us now. You keeping in touch with us, made it easier to go through this time. Vrndavana [Tim’s girlfriend] made it easier, and Tyler, and Anthony. Thank you. It [the production of Tim’s CD] is the completion of Tim’s dreams.

Tyler: The miracle of God’s love is healing. Tim’s mother and sister sang on one of the songs to be on the CD at the studio, and then Tim’s voice came in the room, and his mother said the experience was very powerful.

They played three songs from the CD. There was a lot of rap in them and some very powerful lyrics. One was a song “Carry Me Away” written by Tyler soon after Tim left. Some lines that grabbed me were:

And I can’t comprehend
Why’d you give me a brother
Just to take him back again?”

O Lord, carry me away.” [Refrain]

Can’t do this by myself, please
Teach me your transcendence.”

One song Tim started by supplying the drum beat and a verse.

Some parts of the song “Hare Krishna Orchestra” that struck me were:

So I take this holy instant
to glorify You at every chance
You were with me every step
Trying to teach me how to dance
And today there are no memories of misery
Washed clean like footprints in the sand
By the ocean of Your Holy Name
So with our whole heart we chant:

Chorus: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna”

And it just takes a spark
One choice, one life
Dedicated to truth
And the spark becomes a flame
And the flame grows higher”

Not with your eyes
With the internal gaze of bhakti
And realize the truth
That you never lost connection
To limitless eternity” 

There were five hours of kirtana at the event.

Many of Tim’s friends led the chanting.

 Narayana, the brother of Tim’s girlfriend, Vrindavan, sang especially nicely.

Srivas played the ukulele.

Many people danced during the chanting.

I was thinking during the program, “How many of us will be honored by a five-hour kirtana and feast two years after leaving our bodies?” Tim Carter (Gopinatha Das) was a special person because of his love for kirtana and his love for sharing kirtana with others.

For more information on Tim Carter (Gopinatha), visit the web site To order a copy of the CD online, visit

Here are a couple more sites to hear samples:

Chanting in Jacksonville

Chanting at the University of North Florida:

We had one of the best days ever chanting at the University of North Florida. Krishna House book distributors, Damodar Prasad and Tony, along with Amrita Keli dd, and Dorian joined me in singing together for almost four hours. Krishna Club president, Rea Jeana, also joined us for most of the time. 

Hannah, a young Quaker lady from Tallahassee, who had just started studying at UNF this semester and attended one Krishna Club meeting, chanted with us for two and a half hours, forgetting to eat lunch. She was happy to receive a Bhagavad-gita As It Is from Damodar when we finished. 

Ekendra Prabhu, brought his guitar, and played for almost two hours at the end.
One male student, walked past us, appreciated our chanting, and brought us three 20-ounce bottles of cold water and left. 

 Later he returned and sat on the grass next to us, listening for half an hour or so.

Three young musicians from Kissimmee came by a couple times. One of them was practicing astanga-yoga. I showed him the table of contents of Science of Self-Realization, saying he could see if any of the topics interested him. He and one of his friends each took copies of Science of Self-Realization, giving enough donations to cover the printing. I told them of our Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday program at the Hare Krishna center in Orlando, near the UCF campus. One girl named Akam was very happy to see us and recognized Damodar Prasad in our group. She told how she met the Gainesville devotees at First Friday in Tallahassee and talked to Caitanya for a long time. She touched fists of everyone in the party but me as she left. Halfway through our chanting session my supply of invitations to Krishna Club had dwindled down to one, and I would show people the final invitation and tell them, when they went to grab it, that it was my last one. I would encourage them to take a picture of it, and over fifteen people did. One girl had heard of Hare Krishna before, and I asked how. She said her father used to work in a restaurant in an airport back in the 1970s.

Across the green, in front of the Fine Arts Building, perhaps a hundred young people were dressed in black and white. A few of them began imitating our dancing, and adding a few moves of their own. This continued for some time, and when we stopped singing a tune, the entire group of people applauded, which does not happen every day on harinama. If you have a Facebook account, you see a video clip at Thanks to Amrita Keli Devi Dasa for the video and the picture of me and Ekendra Prabhu.

We planned to chant the following day for four hours again, but at the time we proposed to chant, it was raining. Since most of the students could not come for the beginning anyway, and I felt shy about singing by myself in front of the Student Union, where we are protected from the rain, I decided to go out two hours later when Rae Jeana and Dorian could join me. We each chanted part of time. Dorian sang a tune I knew how to play on the harmonium, and Rae Jeana sang a pretty tune which I was able to learn how to play as she sang. That is not a skill I naturally have, although I am slowly getting better at it, and I see it as Krishna’s mercy on me that I could learn her tune so quickly. Some people were happy to see us, and at least one person took a photo of my last remaining invitation. Rae Jeana sang the birthday song for Dorian’s birthday, with the Hare Krishna addition, “May you never take birth again.” For the final line, she made her own addition, “May you go back to Vrindavan.” For a student who is a Krishna Club president she is very enthusiastic, attending all the meetings, and always being willing to chant on the campus when she has time. Dorian says she also almost infallibly keeps her promises, a trait that too few people have these days.

Chanting at the Jacksonville Art Walk:

After chanting at the campus for over an hour, Dorian and I joined with Damodar and Tony, and eight devotees from Krishna House to chant, and distribute books and lollipop prasadam at the Jacksonville Art Walk which occurs the first Wednesday of each month.

Some of devotees distributed lots of books like Lacie, who did fifty, and Alex, who did twenty-eight. We chanted there for three and a half hours. 

Hannah, who came to Krishna Club the first time last Thursday, came and chanted the response for over two and a half hours as well as giving Dorian a ride there and back. While chanting at the Art Walk we also met students who were happy to get the details about our Krishna Club meetings at University of North Florida. 

One young Afro-American man in the crowd played his one-head drum with us, as he had back in December.

Some people took pleasure in dancing with us.


Ed started by distributing lollipops. 

 Later, with great delight, would ask passersby if they would like to play a tambourine, advertising it as free fun.

Sometimes he would be able to also interest them in a mantra card or a book.

All in all, it was another great event to share Krishna with others.

Chanting in Tallahassee

At Florida State University:

I chanted and distributed cookies at Florida State University for a couple days. I got emails of several students interested in meditation, Bhagavad gita classes, and vegetarian cooking classes. One young lady had just become a vegan the month before. I am always meeting new converts to vegetarian diets on that campus. Often they find out about the vegan/vegetarian Krishna Lunch from me for the first time. One grad student who is a baker said she did not like sweets. I had heard of that phenomenon before, so I was not surprised. Later in the conversation, she decided to try an oatmeal cookie anyway. She ended up liking it so much she wanted the recipe! When I showed her the recipe on my computer – a photo of the back of an oatmeal box – she realized she bought the same brand and already had the recipe!

One day while chanting I met a young lady who said she was on the way to a meeting of Naturally FSU, a student group for those interested in nudism. I asked her if she knew what the karma for nudism was, but she had never heard about it. Trying to make it sound logical, I explained that you have to take birth in a species where they do not wear clothes. She said she did not have a problem with that. I did not go deeper into it, but said I just wanted her to know. Then I asked her what her major was, and she replied retail marketing, specializing in fashion design. I smiled to myself. I never met anyone interested in both nudism and fashion design before.

Lauren and her dog, Rascal, who I met in December, came by, and Rascal was glad to see me.

At First Friday:

First Friday was not as nice as when the Gainesville devotees were there and it was warmer as in December. Still Daru Brahma Prabhu had a steady stream of people eating his Krishna food, and they all heard me, along with Damodar Prasad and Tony Prabhus, singing Hare Krishna. Toward the end Ameya and Jon joined us, and after that so did Eva and Brooklyn, who are becoming serious about Hare Krishna and who we had met at Garuda Prabhu’s place on Thursday night. While I was singing at the end, Damodar got up and danced while he played the drum, I began to dance as I played his portable harmonium, and someone else began to dance as well. Then all seven of us danced, and a couple passersby joined us and many watched. That was the highpoint of the evening.

At Lake Ella:

Krishna really blessed me with a warm and sunny weekend to sing at Lake Ella.

Saturday, after chanting for a little over an hour, Jon joined me, and soon after, Daru Brahma Prabhu. I learned an African drum teacher and his followers play drums there from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays, so I should start at 2:00 p.m. instead of 1:00 p.m. in the future. It was nice chanting with other devotees. One Indian family gave a donation of five dollars, and Jon gave four dollars himself. We also distributed a bunch of oatmeal cookies. Many, many people, walking their dogs and strolling with their kids, passed by.

Sunday I chanted by myself for 2½ hours. Then a man came by who was carrying a drum for a drum circle that was to take place in half an hour.

I encouraged him to stay and play, and he did for awhile. Then a couple, both spiritual seekers, stopped by. We talked a little philosophy, and then they chanted with me for several mantras, with me leading and them singing the response. It felt good to be teaching new people the mantra. Inspired by the donation I received the previous day, on Sunday I put out a donation box. Several people gave donations, but I was only able to give away a few On Chanting Hare Krishna pamphlets, and a single Krishna, Reservoir of Pleasure, and no books. On occasion people would comment on the beauty of the singing, which is simply the glory of the holy name. I stayed several minutes longer than my three hours because Ameya and Alexis came by near the end to chant for ten minutes or so. I recalled Alexis from her lively dancing with us at First Friday, and took her number so I could tell her about future chanting opportunities.

Chanting at University of South Florida in Tampa

I traveled with the Krishna House book distributors, Damodar Prasad and Tony Prabhus, to the University of South Florida in Tampa. There I sat on a blanket next to the library with some books and chanted for an hour. Soon a young man named Mike came by, who said he had all the books. Mike liked the chanting and sat with me on the blanket for 50 minutes, singing the whole time. After I chanted for an hour, Damodar and Tony came.

 Damodar taught Mike how to play the karatalas. 

Afterward Mike brought his girlfriend to meet us. [Later in the week, Mike talked with Damodar and Tony and had lunch with them. Apparently now he is planning to go to Alachua for Gaura Purnima.]  

Nama Kirtan Prabhu came, setting up a book table and supplying more books. 


Thanks to Raju, on the left in the above photo for taking the photos with me in them.

Damodar and Tony are such good singers and instrumentalists, I let them do the rest of the kirtana.  

That day, which was Lord Varaha’s appearance day, I distributed a Science of Self-Realization and a couple small books, which was more than usual. We also distributed many invitations. After chanting for three hours, as I walked from the library to the Marshall Center where our Tuesday evening program was held, I passed out about seven invitations. One young bearded men who received one came to the program.

At the program I talked about the yoga ladder.

The devotees said more people came to the program than usual. I enjoyed talking to some of them. 

One psychology student named Serena was interested in Dhira Govinda Prabhu’s study on the Hare Krishna mantra. 

The next day we had a book table and chanted for three hours at the Bull Market. The market is called that because their football team is the USF Bulls. 

Unfortunately there was amplified music playing almost the whole time, and although our table was one of the furthest from the speakers, it was still annoying. Just a few people stopped at our table. The nearby tables were also did not get much action. 

One young man looked at several of the books and decided to buy Bhagavad-gita. He did not have cash and the book distributors, who can take credit cards, were off breaking their fast for Lord Nityananda’s appearance day. I suggested he go to the ATM, and he did and donated $10 for the book.

Chanting in Gainesville

The Friday after Nityananda Prabhu's appearance day we had more devotees chanting at University Avenue and Northwest Thirteenth Street than usual. 

In particular, Dasarath Suta Prabhu from Pensacola played flute and conch at different times.

Chanting at the Rainbow Gathering in Ocala

Satyahit Prabhu, a Prabhupada disciple who works for Krishna Lunch, as part of a team of devotees, distributed Krishna food at the Rainbow Gathering in Ocala the Sunday I was in Tallahassee. We heard the gathering was extended for two weeks, so he was enthusiastic to go again the next Saturday. It turns out the extension just allowed twelve people to stay to clean up the site, and six police cars were there getting everyone to leave. 

Still we chanted for almost an hour and a half and distributed six buckets of chili, rice, potatoes, salad, and halava to many truly grateful people. 


We also gave away some small Bhagavad-gitas which Satyahit was given, and some Higher Taste cookbooks, and On Chanting Hare Krishna pamphlets. One lady said she was looking for Bhagavad-gita! As I usually do not do harinama on the weekends when living in Gainesville, it was an increase for me.


Srila Prabhupada:

from Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.7.2–4 given in Durban on October 14, 1975:

Formerly, big, big saintly persons, they used to live in forest ashram. Now they have to come far away from ashram to South Africa because people have forgotten. Formerly, big, big persons, they used to visit the ashram, but nowadays people are not interested. Anartha. They are captivated by the material, external energy. It is said that... Not only now, formerly also, but formerly the number of people who were not interested were very, very small. At the present moment, the number of interested people are very, very small. That is the difference. Kali-yuga. Therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu, He inaugurated this Krishna consciousness movement, that people in this age are no more interested in their value of life. They are in darkness. Therefore Vaishnava, under the instruction of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, should go door to door, country to country, town to town, and preach Krishna consciousness for their benefit.”

Krishna consciousness movement means we are teaching our disciples how to think of Krishna twenty-four hours. This is Krishna consciousness. And the simple method is to chant,

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Har

our disciples are advised to chant at least sixteen rounds. This is our daily duty. It takes about two hours, and after that we are engaging so many other businesses. Somebody is typing or printing books, somebody is going to sell books, somebody is collecting subscription, somebody is cooking for the temple Deity, Radha-Krishna. So in this way, our inmates or our members are always engaged. Kirtaniyah sada harih [Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Adi 17.31], this is recommendation of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Somehow or other, be engaged twenty-four hours in Krishna consciousness. Then your life will be successful.” 

You haven’t got to drive away darkness by some separate endeavor. You simply get the Krishna sun (to) rise up, then your darkness will go out.”

from The Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 9:

Chanting a mantra or hymn softly and slowly is called japa, and chanting the same mantra loudly is called kirtana. For example, uttering the maha-mantra (Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare) very softly, only for one’s own hearing, is called japa.” 

In the Padma Purana there is a statement of submission in feeling by devotees praying to the Lord: ‘My Lord, I know that young girls have natural affection for young boys, and that young boys have natural affection for young girls. I am praying at Your lotus feet that my mind may become attracted unto You in the same spontaneous way.’ The example is very appropriate. When a young boy or girl sees a member of the opposite sex there is a natural attraction, without the need for any introduction. Without any training there is a natural attraction due to the sex impulse. This is a material example, but the devotee is praying that he may develop a similar spontaneous attachment for the Supreme Lord, free from any desire for profit and without any other cause. This natural attraction for the Lord is the perfectional stage of self-realization.”

One should feelingly pray and become eager to render his particular type of service to the Lord. This is the teaching of all great devotees, especially Lord Caitanya. In other words, one should learn how to cry for the Lord. One should learn this small technique, and he should be very eager and actually cry to become engaged in some particular type of service. This is called laulyam, and such tears are the price for the highest perfection. If one develops this laulyam, or excessive eagerness for meeting and serving the Lord in a particular way, that is the price to enter into the kingdom of God. Otherwise, there is no material calculation for the value of the ticket by which one can enter the kingdom of God. The only price for such entrance is this laulyam lalasamayi, or desire and great eagerness.”In other words, one should learn how to cry for the Lord. One should learn this small technique, and he should be very eager and actually cry to become engaged in some particular type of service. This is called laulyam, and such tears are the price for the highest perfection. If one develops this laulyam, or excessive eagerness for meeting and serving the Lord in a particular way, that is the price to enter into the kingdom of God. Otherwise, there is no material calculation for the value of the ticket by which one can enter the kingdom of God. The only price for such entrance is this laulyam lalasamayi, or desire and great eagerness.”

from Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.6.10, purport:

“ . . great kings and emperors have given up household life. Although they were extremely opulent and were the masters of kingdoms, they could give up all their possessions because they were trained early as brahmacaris.

from The Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 10:

 “To meditate means to engage the mind in thinking of the form of the Lord, the qualities of the Lord, the activities of the Lord and the service of the Lord. Meditation does not mean anything impersonal or void. According to Vedic literature, meditation is always on the form of Vishnu.”

Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami:

“Today’s drawing shows three
devotees dancing and chanting
with upraised arms.
Two are women, and
one is a man. One of
the women wears a
plain sari, and she may
be an inmate in a temple.
The other wears a red
dress and appears independent.
The man wears colorful
sport clothes. But all
wear Vaisnava
and have gathered together
harinama. It doesn’t matter
whether one lives
in a temple
or what clothes one wears.
The important thing
is consciousness. These
three devotees are united
in Krishna consciousness by virtue of
chanting the holy names in public, and the Lord
is pleased with them for that.”

Today’s drawing shows four
dancing and chanting
with upraised arms.
They appear happy and moving freely.
Their chanting has a great effect
on the world. It may not
seem so. They are not
the power movers like the
nation’s politicians, the
corporate billionaires and the
many other money-changers
or the media stars.
But what they are
doing is pleasing to
the Supreme Lord
who is the supreme controller.
By the humble sacrifice
sankirtana yajna
auspicious results
are brought about, and
disasters are avoided.
harinama party
is doing the most
important welfare work
although it
may not be perceivable to the mundane eye.”

Today’s drawing shows four
bhaktas dancing and chanting
with upraised arms.
They appear like more
than four men; they
appear to be a large group.
Just a handful of
enthusiastic devotees
harinama can
make a great influence.
They create imperceptible
auspiciousness. That is
because they are
chanting the names
of Krishna, who
is the Supreme Controller.
If He is pleased He can
bestow His mercy
on the world. Prabhupada has written that
if the Krishna consciousness movement
can hold continual
sankirtana sacrifices
around the world
there will be an era
of peace and prosperity.”

Today’s drawing shows three
bhaktas dancing and chanting
with upraised arms.
They are smiling and showing
emotional ecstasy.
By chanting one feels
happy in body and
mind. That is because
the pleasure-potency
of the Lord enters
the devotee, and he
is no longer attached
with the material
body. Nondevotees
observing the
used to think the devotees
were on LSD. Astonished,
they sometimes appreciated
them and asked, ‘Are
you Americans?’ The observers are aware
that something unusual is going on. Sometimes
the adventurous ones join
kirtana and experience
the bliss of chanting Hare Krishna.”

Radhanath Swami:

In the activities of Lord Nityananda we see the full manifestation of Lord Caitanya’s compassionate nature.

Rtadhvaja Swami:

The material world is Krishna’s prison. Imagine – God has to create a prison! Krishna does not tolerate nonsense in the spiritual world.

You cannot come up with something like the universal form of the Lord by your imagination.

Bhagavad-gita describes the soul as inconceivable. If the soul is inconceivable, how inconceivable God is, who is the source of all souls!

Suppose you have five kids, and I as a stranger, come into your house and see four kids happily eating ice cream and the other in the corner sobbing. I may think it is unfair, but I do not know what the fifth child did prior to my arrival to be sitting in the corner. In the same way, we sometimes accuse God of being unfair without knowing a persons past.

You cannot blame Krishna for giving us free will.

Even a thief can be attracted to Krishna, as He was a butter thief and a yogurt thief. The difference between Krishna’s naughty activities and ours, is that His give everyone pleasure.

Brahmatirtha Prabhu:

There is reality, and there is our perception [and these are often two different things].

Srila Prabhupada once said, “I am not a cosmologist.” He expressed in private, and occasionally, in public, that he did not perfectly understand the Fifth Canto cosmology.

Arjuna asked for a little awe, and Krishna said, “You want to see some awe? I will show you some awe!” Then He manifested His terrifying universe form.

If you are adept at both modern science and Srimad-Bhagavatam, then you can make a convincing presentation that increases people’s faith in the Vedic literature, but if you are not, the results can be disastrous.

Kalakantha Prabhu:

Having the same purpose is the most unifying factor.

From the beginning of my Krishna consciousness, I have appreciated that because we have a common purpose of devotional service, we immediately get along with and befriend the devotees we meet in our travels all over world.

People in the mode of goodness stress unity. Why allow differences to interfere with our relationship?

If we imitate a higher platform, we will end up hurting ourselves and others.

Sometimes some devotee becomes excited about a detail and elevates it to a principle.
What are examples?
Advocating a certain diet.
Advocating a certain type of dress.
Thinking their service is better than others.

It is a privilege to have the association of devotees. If we think we can behave in any way in that society, we are mistaken.

In ISKCON, our purpose is to please Srila Prabhupada.

Indirectly the rtvik philosophers are saying, “Although Srila Prabhupada is very great, he could not produce a single disciple capable of acting as spiritual master after his death.”

It was one of Srila Prabhupada’s godbrothers who advised the GBC to institute the zonal acarya system which resulted in complete chaos.

Srila Prabhupada never said his disciples should be worshiped on the same level as himself, and he also never said that everyone in the future should be his diksa disciple.

The GBC representatives get no compensation, work long hours, have to pay their way to the meetings, etc. They have made mistakes, but they have kept ISKCON intact for so many years. As a GBC secretary for several years, I found them to be very honest, sincere, hardworking, and dedicated to Srila Prabhupada.

Srila Prabhupada told a man who was critical of his followers, “If you are looking for faults, you will find faults, but if you are looking for Krishna, you will find Krishna.”

If anyone thinks they are above being corrected, they themselves are in need of correction.

When Srila Prabhupada would correct his followers, they would feel enlivened because they had great respect for him. If people we do not have respect for try to correct us, it may not have that effect.

Regarding Narayana Maharaja, Srila Prabhupada had a couple of talks with him in Bengali just before Prabhupada left this world. Narayana Maharaja claims that Srila Prabhupada said, “My disciples are monkeys, please take care of them.” However there were Bengali speaking disciples present like Bhakti Charu Swami, and these talks were also recorded and translated. Prabhupada wanted Narayana Maharaja to guide his disciples in the steps of preparation of Srila Prabhupada’s samadhi [tomb]. That was all.

Nagaraja Prabhu:

The information of “who we are” and “where we came from” in this world is here because Krishna brings it.

Krishna has a large entourage to assist Him by playing different roles in His mission.

Arjuna addresses Krishna by fifty-five different names in Bhagavad-gita.

Previously Arjuna had put forward many doubts and arguments, but by Chapter 10, Verse 14, Arjuna comes to point of accepting everything Krishna says as truth.

When Krishna was present so many demoniac people tried to kill Krishna. Now demoniac people try to eliminate Krishna from Bhagavad-gita by their atheistic and impersonal commentaries.

Srila Prabhupada presents God as being the supreme person. He would say, as you have so many people in a America, but one supreme person, Mr. Johnson, similarly in the universe, there are so many people, there is one supreme person, Krishna.

Everything we can do, Krishna can do better.

Any of the other kinds of opulence fall under the six categories, wealth, strength, fame, beauty, knowledge, and renunciation.

Tri-yuga means that Krishna comes in three ages and also he has three pairs of opulences.

The scientists say that before the Big Bang there was no time. Thus according to them, the Big Bang created time. Krishna, however, describes that time is eternal.

How can we repay all the people we are indebted to? By serving bhutesa, the Lord of all living entities.

We have to hear from the right source or we will be bewildered by the whole array of demigods.

Whenever Lord Vishnu appears, everyone bows down.

Adhoksaja literally means beyond everything from A to Z. “A” is the first Sanskrit letter and “sa” [the “s” with the dot under it] is the last Sanskrit letter.

By hearing about Krishna, two things happen. We gain conviction through understanding the knowledge, and we become purified by hearing the transcendental sound.

When the devotees ask Krishna to do something, He cannot say no. They know nothing but Krishna, and Krishna knows nothing but them.

Premananda Gaura Prabhu:

My father was the person who first imported alcohol into Columbia, so our family was very rich. Although I was surrounded by wealth, I found having everything never gives you satisfaction inside.

Someone asked me, “When did you convert?” Prabhupada said we do not become a devotee, we gradually remember our actual position.

My brother got Science of Self-Realization in London. He was so impressed, he wrote to the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust (BBT) and asked for more Spanish books. He was playing music in his studio one day, and Havi Prabhu (a famous singer from Argentina) showed up as a brahmacari at the door, inquiring, “You were looking for more books about spiritual life?” My brother and Havi started the first temple in Columbia.

As a kid I asked the priests details about God, and they would say, “It is a mystery, son.”

We are trying in so many ways to be happy, but we will not, just like the fish out of water.

Krishna tells everything in the Gita. What is the mind, what is the universe, etc.

I was one of thirteen brothers, and only some of them were Hare Krishna devotees. Some of them would say, “Watch out for the Hare Krishnas! They will brainwash you!” Others would say, “Why do you eat meat. Don’t you think the animals suffer?” Thus I had to read the books myself to learn the truth about Hare Krishna.

I have friends with $500,000 homes and $100,000 cars and all the toys that you can buy. Yet they are taking anti-depressants, and they are getting divorced.

I was saying with a biker who rented me a room when I learned that George Harrison died. I started crying. The biker said, “I love the music of George Harrison too, but why are you crying?” I explained that George Harrison gave us the secret of happiness. The biker said he had all of George Harrison’s music, and he looked through all his albums and found one, and played the song, “My Sweet Lord.” In the middle of the song, he broke down crying, and afterward said, “Now I understand why you were crying.”

Srila Prabhupada did not say “Chant Hare Krishna and be depressed or be in anxiety.” He said, “Chant Hare Krishna and be happy.”

One Indian man, who was walking along the Ganges, saw my guru, Jayapataka Swami. He ran up to him and inquired, “Maharaja, I have been chanting the Hare Krishna mantra for twenty years and I feel nothing.” Jayapataka Swami asked if chanted the panca-tattva mantra praising Lord Caitanya and His associates before chanting Hare Krishna, but he had not. Jayapataka Swami explained that without the mercy of Lord Caitanya, he could not get the result of chanting Hare Krishna, and he advised him to chant the panca-tattva mantra first. The next time Jayapataka Swami saw that man, the man was chanting Hare Krishna with tears of ecstasy in his eyes, and he thanked Jayapataka Swami profusely for his good advice.

People say “I love God,” but they also say “I love my dog,” “I love my garden,” “I love my earrings.”

I recommend that anyone who is coming to Krishna read the Krishna book to understand what an amazing person Krishna is.

Syamasundara Prabhu once carved forms of Krishna for George Harrison’s piano.

Once in South America we had no food for the Sunday Feast. One devotee who was a taxi driver lent us his taxi, and we drove downtown. We chanted at the market. We explained about our Sunday feast program and said we liked to distribute food to everyone but we had no food. We asked them to donate whatever they had, as we chanted and walked through the market. We began chanting again. I saw a pineapple flying through the air. I caught it, put it in our bag, and said “Thank you.” We continued chanting and all kinds of produce was flying in the air toward us. We filled the taxi so full of food, we had to take the bus back to the temple.

Sundari Gopi dd:

How do deliver your dependents?
comment by Valentina: If we become pure devotees, our relatives will automatically be delivered. Also we will be able to encourage our children in devotional service if we are enthusiastic about it ourselves.

Traditionally the guru is someone who is local, and not someone who has disciples all over the world.

We are fortunate here in Alachua to have the association of so many Prabhupada disciples. We should take advantage.

Through us, the previous acaryas are carrying out their desires.

If we pray to be used as an instrument in the Lord’s service, He will use us. In the service of being spiritual master, we are acting as the Lord’s instrument.

If we are saying we are not qualified to do something, because we are too lazy to do it, that is not good.

Because we have been given such a wonderful gift, it would be a shame not to give it to others to please the original giver.

Kalakantha Prabhu’s class in Mayapur was one of the best I ever heard. He told how he was inspired by Tamal Krishna Goswami, Bhakti Tirtha Swami, and Yamuna Devi. Then he talked about Krishna House and how wonderful it was. Hearing him describe the wonderful situation we have at Krishna House there in that holy place in front of Radha Madhava was very powerful, and it made me so emotional tears were streaming from my eyes. Later one person asked if Kalakantha Prabhu was my temple president.

comments by Kalakantha Prabhu:

Being a parent means unconditionally loving your children, and similarly being spiritual master means unconditionally being there for your disciples.

Nistha, steadiness, is the platform where you can be a spiritual master, because at that stage, you can promise to be there for your disciples.

comment by Valentina: I just want to thank Kalakantha Prabhu. Thank you for putting yourself last so you can facilitate us. Thank you for taking on more service than you ever probably realized, to take care of us. Some of us are thinking of opening Krishna Houses in other cities to follow in your footsteps.

Q (by me): I have a sense I should benefit people, but besides doing classes and harinamas I am not sure what I can do. Do you have any suggestions?
A (Sundari Gopi dd): Being eager and enthusiastic is huge service in itself.

Damodar Prasad:

Nityananda Prabhu was born in a high class brahmana family and Haridas Thakura was born in a Mohammedan family, outside the Hindu caste system. The two of them were partners in doing outreach on behalf of Lord Caitanya, going door-to-door together. The idea was no one would think he was either too high class or too low class to receive them.

A Sri Vaishnava in Tampa:

In the morning after his morning worship King Kulasekhara would begin to go to Ranga-ksetra with a strong desire see Lord Raghunatha. He was so devotional that his ministers were worried that if he went, he would never return, so they would send some devotees to the palace, and the king would become absorbed in serving them and forget about going to Ranga-ksetra.


There was a cat that always caused trouble during the class on the scripture so the guru would tie him up for the duration of the class, and then let him run free. After a while the guru died, and his disciples kept up the policy of tying up the cat during class. Then the cat died. His disciples got a new cat, so they could tie him up during the class. Often we do things without thinking of the reason way.

Everyone tell one thing they hope to accomplish this year.
Hanan: Always go to sleep before 10 p.m.
Sundari Gopi dd: Become more responsible.
Mike from West Virginia: To simplify my life.
Gauranga Prasad Prabhu: To cook for this program every Sunday.
Mike: To cook, please the devotees, become attentive in chanting.
Carlos: To please Krishna and the devotees.
Ed: To engage in unalloyed devotional service.
Evan: To read Caitanya-caritamrita.
Vaishnava: To learn “Siksastakam.”
Krishna-kripa das: To completely absorb my mind in the holy name when I chant.
Cassy: To do good in school and remain balanced without stress.
Tsurit: To deepen my spiritual practice.
Jaya Sri Vrinda: To chant more attentive japa.

I got a letter from a girl I knew 25 years ago in the Israeli army. We were both looking for something special in life. She said, “I am now a successful musician in Germany.” In the past, she said, “I want to be famous.” I said I wanted to go to India and be spiritual. She did all the things she wanted, becoming rich and famous as she desired. But she was not satisfied. She asked me if I was really happy. I said I was happier than in the past. And I think I will be happier in the future. I suggested she try chanting and sent her a japa kit. She chanted, and wrote, “It’s working. After a week she doubted. Someone said it was just the breathing while you chant, and the chanting was not important. I said that is not a fact, the chanting is very important. So she would sometimes chant and sometimes not. I learned from this the power of spiritual association is essential to steady spiritual practice.

I was in Vrindavan, and a large monkey came up me, so I showed him a stick. Apparently I did not do it very convincingly, as he did not move an inch. He aggressively showed his teeth. I was worried he would attack. I thought about what to do. I was afraid if I ran, he would pounce on me, and I was also afraid to get into a fight with him because he was a big monkey and I thought he would win. I decided to close my eyes and chant Hare Krishna very loudly and attentively. I opened my eyes after about 5 minutes, and he was still there, although he looked a bit confused. I closed my eyes and chanted some more, and the next time I opened my eyes, he was gone. I could really see how because I was helpless, I chanted much more attentively.

Three pieces of advice about chanting:
1. listen
2. listen
3. listen


My parents were incredibly loving and God conscious as parents, but in their relationship they were always fighting, and they went through seventeen years of marriage counseling before divorcing.

Everyone in this society is looking for the one perfect person that will fill the void we feel in our life.

A relationship is like a coin. In the beginning all the attributes of the person we are excited about, and then it flips and those same attributes are causes of disappointment.

One girl complained to her boyfriend, “You are not who you were when I met you.”
He replied, “Of course not, because in the beginning I was just showing you my good side.”

Another marriage model is that in which both people are God-centered and desirous of going beyond their conditioning and growing to become better people.

When I had difficulties with my boss or some boyfriend, my mother would say that challenging relationships of any kind are great learning opportunities.

comment by Caitanya: If we are trained before household life, we will not see our spouse as someone to enjoy our senses with, but someone to protect and care for. As time goes on we appreciate our spouses more and more for all they have done for us. If our relationship Krishna is centered, we will find we are satisfied.

comment by Kalakantha Prabhu: I appreciated Caitanya’s comment “If our relationship Krishna is centered, we will find we are satisfied.” Having a shared common purpose of doing Krishna conscious things together is important. Having the home be like a temple is wonderful thing for marriage.

comment by Ed: From my marriage I realized that I cannot make another person happy no matter what I do.

comment by Kalakantha Prabhu: We are eternal spirit souls, and marriage is a vehicle to take us through a certain stage of this one life. It is good to take a hardheaded look at the potential relationship to see if it will actually work. Ask pragmatic questions and economic questions.

comments by me:

I appreciate how you exposed the myth of the “perfect person.” Kadamba Kanana Swami would often say, “We have this idea that somewhere on this earth there is someone of the opposite sex who is a perfect match and who will fulfill all our desires. I am here to destroy that illusion once and for all, so we can go on and make progress in our spiritual life.”

When I was around thirty and a brahmacari [unmarried monk], I went home for Thanksgiving. Then my relatives asked me about getting married. My mother and aunt were widowed, and my cousin was divorced. I noticed they were all married before and now they were single, and so I asked them which they liked better. They all said they liked being single better, so I asked them, “Then why do you want me to get married?” They had nothing to say.

You asked what it is like for guys regarding marriage, and I can only speak for myself. I never really had a desire to get married. I always wanted a girlfriend. I considered that marriage is something that you thought about after having a girlfriend who worked out.

When I became a devotee, I still had this old desire for a girlfriend from before in the back of my mind, but you cannot have girlfriends as a devotee, you have to get married. Thus Krishna expertly fulfilled my desire to have a girlfriend by giving me a fiancée who broke up with me. Now as a result, I have no real desire for a girlfriend nor do I have a desire to get married.


On Advaita Acarya’s appearance day, I spoke on the following verse, and I noticed it was incredibly easy to memorize. Thus all the devotees in the class memorized it. Each line tells an important truth or two about Advaita Acarya:
  1. He is called Advaita because He is nondifferent from Lord Hari (harinadvaitad).
  2. He is called Acarya because He teaches devotional service (bhakti-samsanat).
  3. He is the incarnation of the Lord’s devotee (bhaktavataram), and He is the Lord Himself (isham).
  4. Of Advaita Acarya, I take shelter (ashraye).
advaitam harinadvaitad
acaryam bhakti-samsanat
bhaktavataram isham tam
advaitacaryam ashraye

Because He is nondifferent from Hari, the Supreme Lord, He is called Advaita, and because He propagates the cult of devotion, He is called Acarya. He is the Lord and the incarnation of the Lord’s devotee. Therefore I take shelter of Him.” (Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Adi 1.13 and 6.5)