Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Travel Journal#10.12: London, Stonehenge, Nottingham, and The North of England

Diary of a Traveling Sadhaka, Vol. 10, No. 12
By Krishna-kripa das
(June 2014, part two)
London, Stonehenge, Nottingham, and The North of England
(Sent from Kostrzyn, Poland, on July 29, 2014)

Where I Went and What I Did

After the London Ratha-yatra, I continued to do harinama with the World Harinama Party and the local devotees in London for the next week. Then we attended the Stonehenge Solstice Festival when we did a Ratha-yatra and chanted for six hours through a crowd of around 30,000 people. Next I went to Nottingham for three days to encourage my friend Shyamananda Prabhu and do harinama, advertising the Govinda’s restaurant and nama-hatta programs there. Then I did harinama with Sutapa Prabhu and a party of twenty-five devotees, mostly Pandava Sena youth, along with the World Harinama Party, in the cities near Manchester where we have regularly have programs: Sheffield, Preston, Liverpool, Leeds, and York. The last two days of June I spent in Newcastle doing harinama and giving the Sunday feast lecture there.

I share insights from Srila Prabhupada’s lectures and letters. I include excerpts from the lectures of Bhaktisiddhanta Saravati Thakura compiled in a book called Vaktritavali. I also include excerpts from Prabhupada Meditations, Volume 3, by Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami. I include notes on a recorded lecture by Hridayananda Goswami and notes on classes I heard in London by Candramauli Swami, Vicaru Prabhu, who spoke about his guru, Tamal Krishna Goswami, Murli Manohara Prabhu, Harinamananda Prabhu, and a class I heard in York by Govardhan Devi Dasi with material I had never heard before about the life of Bhaktivinoda Thakura and a class I heard in Manchester by the Scotland-based book distributor, Adhoksaja Prabhu.


July 28–August 3: Kostrzyn (Polish Woodstock)
August 4–7: Czech Padayatra
August 8: Ancient Trance Festival (near Leipzig)
August 9: Leipzig Ratha-yatra
August 10: Ancient Trance Festival
August 11–12: Bratislava
August 13: Prague
August 14–17: Trutnov (Czech Woodstock)
August 18: Czech Farm (Vyasa Puja with Kadamba Kanana Swami)
August 19–22: Paris harinamas
August 23: Rotterdam
August 24: Amsterdam Ratha-yatra
August 25: London
August 26: Nottingham
August 27: Sheffield
August 28: Preston Sacred Sounds
August 29: Liverpool
August 30: Newcastle
August 31: Leeds
September 1: Newcastle
September 2: Newcastle (Radhastami with Bhakti Caitanya Swami)
September 3: Sheffield
September 4: Manchester and Chester
September 5: Dublin (World Holy Name Festival Begins)
September 6: Dublin Ratha-yatra
September 7–11: Irish Harinamas
September 11–mid November: New York

More London Harinamas

Having the World Harinama Party in London for another week was a great boon for harinama program. Often they would do harinama in the morning in addition to the one in the afternoon. Unfortunately because I had proofreading deadline, I could only attend the afternoon one. Jayadev Prabhu, who plays the accordion and is an accomplished singer, usually comes out once a week on Tuesday. But that week, inspired by the presence of the World Harinama Party, he came out twice. He is great at encouraging the onlookers to participate as you can see in these videos (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWqJGyoae3Q and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMGWJdM7gC4:

Even without the assistance of Jayadev Prabhu, the World Harinama Party was so enthusiastic after hearing the devotees for a while, people would suddenly start dancing, like these schoolchildren did (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UddjYvmMek):

One time the devotees, while singing on the sidewalk, induced people inside a shop to dance (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBDQWs6mUe0).

One interesting character who loved to participate in the harinamas is a waiter in the Aberdeen Steak House. Sometimes he would dance to the devotees music inside the restaurant.

Other times he would come outside on the sidewalk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gB6kOlC3hN4).

There was a golden man who danced with us (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmrHzM9HNG4).

Also a man, who was dressed in the colors of the British flag, enjoyed dancing with us on a couple occasions (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGbibX0AGO0 and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZlIuNFX_xU):

Sometimes people joined our party for a few minutes, like these girls dancing before us (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2DoKGjLq94):

Jake, on the extreme left of the above picture, who has been coming to our programs in Newcastle for a year of so, stayed an extra few days after Ratha-yatra and came on harinama.

There were many, many people who danced, chanted, and smiled, encountering our harinama party in London.


One young devotee lady, Tatiana, took some video while following our harinama party which gives you a feel for how we were received (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tS-OnTDavDE):

The Stonehenge Solstice Festival

This was without a doubt the best Stonehenge Solstice Festival of the five I have attended. One reason was the weather. 

It was the first time it was clear enough you could actually see the sun rise, and I think that put everyone in a good mood.

We also had Ratha-yatra, which we did not for two of the last five years because of rain. 

We did it from 1:00 to 3:00 a.m. in the morning! I think it is the only Ratha-yatra performed at the time of day, or rather, that time of night. 

People are attracted by the opportunity to pull the Jagannatha cart, although often they are a bit intoxicated.

Mahavishnu Swami was there, and his enthusiasm for kirtana boosts the energy level.

I was amazed to see many people, who had never met the devotees before, stay with us for half an hour or even an hour, first listening, then smiling, dancing, and finally chanting along with us. That was truly awesome.

Someone from the TV did a live interview with me. To try to create controversy, they asked about why Hare Krishnas were at a Druid festival. I explained that there is evidence that there was one world culture about five thousand years ago, and different groups separated off from that, so ultimately there is a relationship between the Vedic culture of Krishna consciousness and the Druid one. That was not the most Krishna conscious thing to say but the best I could off the top of my head with no sleep.

At Stonehenge, most people liked the devotees. One man dancing with our Ratha-yatra procession said, as if sharing a realization, “This is all good, isn’t it?”
“Yes,” I replied smiling, “it is all good.” And I recalled Rupa Goswami saying, “Pure devotional service is the beginning of all auspiciousness.” It was wonderful that an apparently ordinary guy could glimpse the truth that Krishna consciousness is all good, or as it is described in the Sanskrit literature,
suddha-sattva, pure goodness.

One young man pushing the steel railing of the Ratha cart said, “This is the best steel I have ever touched!”

Bhaktin Erzsebet handed a Solo temple mantra card to a young lady following our chanting party saying, “This is amazing!
The lady replied affirmatively, “It is amazing!”

One young lady from Bristol, on the right in the above picture, was so happy to see Vishnujana Prabhu and I, who she had seen last March in Rishikesh that she wanted to embrace us. 

I went to give her my card, saying I could tell her about all our festivals in the UK, but she said she still had my card from Rishikesh.

People expressed profound appreciation for the free food that Parasurama Prabhu and his staff prepared and distributed. It was beautiful to see.

Some people posted videos of the devotees on YouTube, and you can see how lively the chanting was (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-dy8WaXSdwhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UB7ocQeI18, and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJwRcKV1CWY):

All in all, many people were happy to encounter the Hare Krishna devotees at Stonehenge, either once again, or for the first time.

Nottingham Harinamas

Usually the Nottingham devotees do harinama on the third Sunday of the month, but on that day in June most everyone was at the London Ratha-yatra. Thus I suggested to them that they do their monthly harinama on the fourth Sunday when I would be there, and they agreed. We chanted together for about an hour and fifteen minutes, and I completed the rest of my three-hour quota on my own. While our party was going through the town chanting, one old, short, black man loudly protested. We kept chanting, and he came toward us, poking me with his cane. The devotees pacified him, and explained to me that he was drunk. We kept moving, and he did not follow us, but the experience was disconcerting and disturbed my mind the rest of the day. The previous time I came to Nottingham, I also encountered some negativity. Some people consider such negative reactions as a reason to avoid such places, while others consider that such negativity means the places are in greater need of the chanting!

I chanted alone the next two days. One young lady took a picture of me chanting near Old Market Square. I gave her my card and asked her to send the picture to me. Usually less than 20% of such people send you the picture, but she did. She is Lucia Buffa, an amateur photographer, and she has a blog with other pictures, including some ones of a cathedral in Cologne where I once chanted with some friends. She is a vegan, and I encouraged her to come to Govinda’s in Nottingham and tell me how she liked it.

Sheffield Harinama

We started chanting in shops in Sheffield, where one greeting card lady was happy to have us chanting through her shop (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1a0gvDvX26c):

Preston Harinama

The Preston harinamas included a lot of processions through shops, including this one at Mc Donalds (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TPJ_8HxwGY):

And this one at a clothing shop called Top Shop (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coizKqiSNQY):

Some ladies danced with us in the streets (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OP0tS-z8UJ0):

One street musician, a saxophonist, on his cigarette break, played excellently with us (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0PaT53Olmo):

Preston Sacred Sounds

Preston Sacred Sounds was special because Pandava Sena youth were very enthusiastic in kirtana. There were some new local singers. 

One such lady, in addition to singing nicely, loved to play the djembe.

I had never seen a mother and son dance so much in kirtana as this enthusiastic pair.

Meg, who met the devotees for the first time on harinama in Liverpool and who came to the program there last month, came all the way from Liverpool to Preston for Sacred Sounds and was really happy she did.

At the end, everyone really got into the chanting and dancing, and it was beautiful to see (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zd5Jft3-vJ0):

Liverpool Harinama

Meg took a break from work to join our harinama and came back again after her work was over. It was wonderful to see her go from meeting the devotees on harinama to becoming a harinama regular almost immediately. It shows us how important it is to go on harinama because there are always some people out there who are looking for Krishna, and are willing to accept His process of chanting. 

Not only did she chant, but she distributed invitations to the Liverpool program.

Leeds Harinama

In Leeds we chanted for almost two hours. Some of the local devotees came out. A couple of them were so inspired they decide to come to York for the evening program there. 

In Leeds we chanted in a natural cosmetics shop, and all the employees were happy we were there. 

York Harinama

The city center in York is fairly small, and we would keep running into the same people.

Dayananda Swami, who was visiting York for some North UK meetings, joined us.

Some girls took pleasure in dancing to our music two and possibly even three times. We also encountered a natural cosmetic shop in York, and all three employees loved the kirtana, and they also danced around in a circle (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WyvAONyGwuE)

We even all danced in a circle at one point. I do not recall ever getting such a nice reception in a shop! Thanks to Nikhil Padhiar for the great video! Who would guess that natural cosmetics sellers in The North of England would have a spontaneous attraction to kirtana?

In York Sutapa Prabhu’s party of brahmacaris and Pandava Sena youth distributed all the books they brought and were very happy to see the response of the people there. I think from his good experiences in The North of England, in the future he will come more regularly with the devotees under his care.

Thanks to Preitie and Aji for the photos of York.

To see photos which I have of the above events but did not include in this journal, click on the link below or copy it to your web browser:


Srila Prabhupada:

Everyone is seeking pleasure but they do not know where to find the actual pleasure which is on the platform of the soul, the platform of consciousness.

If our consciousness is pure at the time of death, we do not have to accept another material body.

As pure soul I am not American, Indian, black, white, cat or dog.

God is omnipotent and thus He can invest His potency in His names.

It is a fact that Lord Jesus Christ is present in His words.

Hearing from Bhagavad gita is the same as hearing from Krishna.

The father will never forget the son, although the son may forget the father.

Even if one does not understand, there is so much power in hearing. Because it is pure transcendental sound, the contamination we have accumulated for millions of lives is washed off. It is hard to give up these material designations, but by this hearing it becomes easy. This is because the material nature becomes slackened, and we become free from passion and ignorance and situated in goodness. Then we become free from hankering and lamentation.

Why are we interested in the Battlefield of Kurukshetra? Because the whole battlefield has become Krishnized.

The hog does not know he is in a nasty condition. He is quite jolly, but we who are situated in a higher status can see.

The real position of the living being is to be the servant of God, but in Bhagavad-gita we see Krishna is driving the chariot of Arjuna, so we should not consider being a servant of God is like being a servant in this world.

We are consciousness, and we are subordinate to the supreme consciousness, in other words, we are eternal servants of God.

The modern philosophers set aside the problems of birth, death, disease, and old age, but this is not human life. Human life is meant to make a solution to these problems.

Pious activities give one wealth, education, aristocracy, and beauty, but when we possess these advantages we still must experience birth, death, diseases, and old age. Therefore we do not care for ordinary pious activities.

from a lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.29 given on October 4, 1972 in Los Angeles:

God is everywhere, but we do not want to see God. That is the only difficulty.

If you follow the principles of devotional service, it is not very difficult to see God and to understand God.

You may not think the God eats, but in Bhagavad-gita (9.26), Krishna says, “I eat.”

from a letter written on September 18, 1972:

. . . this sankirtana or street chanting must go on, it is our most important program. Lord Caitanya’s movement means the sankirtana movement.”

Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura:

from Vaktritavali (a compilation of notes on his lectures):

[Note: In the month of June, I proofread Vaktritavali, soon to be published by Touchstone Publishing, and I took notes on my favorite parts. I am including one quarter of these notes in four issues of this journal, and this is the second quarter.]

“Everyone in this world is greedy for sense gratification because of bad association, of which they have plenty. When these people speak on religious subjects, their audiences always ask first if there is anything in their religion that will please their senses. They are eager for material enjoyment. The whole world is filled with phrases like ‘my enjoyment,’ ‘my happiness,’ ‘my peace,’ ‘give me,’ ‘give me,’ ‘give me.’ No one thinks even accidentally about Krishna’s sense gratification. The day we understand that our only duty is to serve the master of the senses, on that day we will find our fortune.” (p. 169)

“Everyone and everything in existence should serve the Supreme Personality. No matter what our condition, our only duty is to serve Lord Hari. Either in this world or the next, everyone, including the demigods, human beings, animals, birds, and so on, has no duty other than to serve the supreme eternal Lord. No other activity is natural to the soul because all other objects and tendencies continuously change.” (p. 170)

“The soul has the propensity to engage in five kinds of relationships with Sri Krishna. That is, it is the eternal propensity of the soul to serve Krishna by manifesting five kinds of rasas through five kinds of ratis [attachments]. The five rasas are santa, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya, and madhura. Santa-rasa is a neutral existence without anything unfavorable. Dasya-rasa has a little affection, so by comparison, it is superior to santa-rasa because it includes the qualities of santa-rasa. Sakhya-rasa is further advanced. In this rasa there is no thorn in the form of reverence. Instead, its main ornament is love and devotion. Vatsalya-rasa is superior to sakhya-rasa. This rasa has such thick affection that the worshipable object appears to be under one’s care. Madhura-rasa is topmost, and it includes the beauty and greatness of santa, dasya, sakhya, and vatsalya. To serve Sri Krishna with these five kinds of ratis, or types of attachment, without interruption or motivation is the soul’s eternal duty.” (p. 171)

“The phrase ceto-darpana-marjana indicates the removal of unauthorized philosophical speculation, the cheating propensity, previous anarthas, and all inauspiciousness from the heart. By properly performing krishna-kirtana all material desires and philosophical misunderstandings are vanquished. By properly performing krishna-kirtana the blazing forest fire of attachment to karma and jñana are extinguished. By properly performing krishna-kirtana the lotus of all auspiciousness blossoms in the heart and is as soothing as the cooling rays of the moon. Proper krishna-kirtana is the beloved husband of the wife of transcendental knowledge. For those who chant, it enhances the ocean of bliss at every step, and it bestows on them the ability to relish transcendental nectar. It gives love of God and bestows on the soul the freedom.” (p. 173)

“After many lifetimes a living entity comes to the human form of life, which is rare and temporary yet can bestow spiritual perfection. There is no doubt that serving the Supreme Lord is the only duty of human life. The ultimate goal of the human form of life is to gain knowledge about the Supreme Lord. In this ever-changing world, human beings will either advance toward godly life or degrade themselves and become animals. Without serving the Supreme Lord and remaining subordinate to Him, those temporarily in human bodies can never be benefited.” (p. 181)

“One becomes attracted to serving Sri Caitanya in proportion to how much one hears of His mercy. One who has heard a complete description of that supreme, cognizant personality dedicates his life completely to His service. Sri Caitanyacandra is full in sixteen attributes and qualities. Therefore, if His glorious katha enters the living beings’ hearts, it will certainly completely attract them to His lotus feet. One who has partially heard caitanya-katha will dedicate his life only partially to the Lord’s lotus feet. Until people sincerely and constantly engage in Sri Caitanyadeva’s service with body, household, children, wife, mind, speech, and everything else they may have, we can understand that they have not heard the glories of Sri Caitanya completely.” (p. 202)

Those who have been counted as Gaurasundara’s associates through intimate service are His sons. Atma vai jayate putrah: according to this statement, Sri Gaurasundara spreads the holy name and love of God by appearing in the pure hearts of His associates as their father. Those who are blessed with love of God and are completely under the shelter of the holy name are His sons; they are Sri Gauranga’s own family. The descendants who belong to this Acyuta-gotra have protected and continue to protect the flow Sri Gaurasundara released, spreading the holy name and love of God.” (p. 206)

“This Sri Krishna Caitanyadeva made the universe glorious by preaching about Krishna. He bestowed the beauty of His own devotional service, which is the topmost transcendental mellow and had never been distributed.” (p. 213)

“ . . . the living beings’ transcendental eyes, which are formed by their service-inclined hearts.” (p. 216)

“But the word Krishna is nondifferent from Krishna’s form, qualities, and activities; it is Krishna Himself. If we simply chant the name Krishna, we realize Krishna’s form and spiritually variegated characteristics. Therefore Krishna alone is the supreme truth – the Absolute Truth with an eternal form that can be perceived through spiritualized senses of taste, smell, touch, and so on. He is the object of meditation for the soul. We are meant to serve Him with our transcendental senses. It is He who is to be seen with the eyes, heard with the ears, whose fragrance we inhale with the nose, and whom we touch with the fingers. He is the object of all the senses.” (p. 216)

“We cannot understand Krishna’s most magnanimous pastimes properly when He kills Aghasura, Bakasura, and so on; but in the pastimes of Gaurasundara, who is nondifferent from the son of Nanda, we can understand His magnaminity. As Gaurasundara He is ready to bestow the supreme auspiciousness on fallen atheists like us who have been deceived by material knowledge. He is always eager to give even Krishna Himself, what to speak of others. The greatest charity He wants to award us will allow us to serve Krishna face to face. Let the most magnanimity of the most magnanimous Gaurasundara, which has never before been distributed, be spread all over the world.” (p. 217)

“Sri Gaurasundara is prepared to give that coveted object Krishna to the whole world. But the godless world is living in darkness, thinking it light, and in ignorance, thinking it knowledge.” (p. 217)

“According to Buddha’s followers, Sakyasimha left home with the selfish interest to attain nirvana. Sri Caitanya left home for a different reason. He went to the forest simply to bestow on humanity the eternal treasure of freedom from their eternal poverty. He lacked nothing. Sri Caitanya is the only husband of all women, the only son of all parents, and the only friend and master of all who are related to Him in friendship or servitorship. It is not that His great contribution will remain confined to Bengal and that only the brahmanas will benefit. The whole world – the people of all castes, creeds, and faiths, the sinful and the pious – and all living beings can give up their pride and accept this greatest of all gifts that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu offered them. This gift is neither imperfect nor narrow-minded because He Himself is the most magnanimous. He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, eternal, and full of knowledge and bliss. He is the Absolute Truth, eternal and cognizant, and He has descended to relieve humankind from their ignorance. He has incarnated to deliver all conditioned souls.” (p. 221)

“May the son of Saci appear in the core of our hearts. He is directly Lord Hari. In His previous incarnations He gave many things, but now He has come to give a wonderful gift He has never awarded before.” (p. 223)

“He [Gaurasundara] awarded the delight of His own devotional service to the living entities. He revealed the difference between the services rendered by devotees in each of the five rasas. To distribute the highest transcendental beauty of His own devotional service, which is extremely rare and has never before been awarded to the desertlike burning hearts of poverty-stricken fallen souls like us, He made His advent in this world.” (p. 224)

“Because the names, forms, qualities, and activities of this world are temporary, and because all mundane beauty is eventually covered by ugliness, the wise do not become entangled in mundane names, forms, qualities, activities, opulence, power, fame, beauty, knowledge, or renunciation. They know the flow of worldly happiness will dry up because we can experience it only with our limited, material senses. The living beings here want more than they deserve. As a result, they lose even what they do deserve.” (p. 225)

“So it is only by the mercy Sri Gaurasundara that we have a full illumination of that rasa at present. The soul can easily attain madhura-rasa because it manifests along with the soul. You cannot develop it by some artificial process of sadhana. Understanding it is beneficial to all. Such a unique thing the Lord awarded and propagated.” (p. 228)

“Sri Gaurasundara said, ‘The congregational chanting of Krishna’s holy name is a human being’s only duty.’ Krishna-sankirtana is His greatest gift because by participating in krishna-sankirtana, the living beings can attain the treasury of love of God in Vraja, something rarely attained by the best of the demigods, the greatest of sages like Narada, or even the best of devotees like Uddhava.” (p. 228)

“But the Brahman emanates from Krishna, and Krishna is its cause. The attempt to ascertain the cause of the Brahman by the ascending process may currently pass as erudition, but it is actually great foolishness. Such Brahman realization is subject matter for human knowledge, but Sri Gaurasundara said that Sri Krishna alone is the cause of all causes.” (p. 229)

“If we perform true krishna-kirtana, then even people who are fully absorbed in and bewildered by material enjoyment can attain the actual perfection of life. King Prataparudra is the prime example of this. Pure krishna-kirtana will give liberation even to the attending trees, stones, animals, birds, men, women, and anyone else. The trees, creepers, animals, and birds of Jharikhanda are the prime example of this. It’s only because people are not performing pure krishna-kirtana that the living beings are not becoming liberated. Gaurasundara came to this world to benefit all living beings, including the trees, animals, and birds as well as the human beings.” (p. 233)

“I do not know if the Bhagavatam verse, sa vai pumsam paro dharmah, is found in any other literature, but by discussing this verse, the desire to practice a narrow sectarianism and an insignificant, deceitful religious synthesis can be destroyed.” (p. 234)

“If while chanting the holy name of Hari someone develops attachment for material life – or if his propensity for material enjoyment increases – we can understand that his chanting is not hari-nama.” (p. 239)

“Sri Gauranga-sundara is the preacher of the Absolute Truth. He explains that the Absolute Truth personally reveals Himself when faced with a fortunate living being’s desire to serve Him.” (p. 240)

“Sri Caitanya’s devotees are always eager to do good for us, but we are ever ready to stop them. Our first obstacle is our gross body and the second our mind.” (p. 240)

“Hari’s holy name can be chanted even while we’re passing stool or urine. The body’s external functions are done out of habit, and they create no bar to chanting the Lord’s holy name. We can chant the holy name when we are asleep, awake, and when we go to bed. We can chant whether we are aristocrats or born in a low family. We can chant the holy name in any condition of life. Everyone, including sudras, outcastes, mlecchas, women, men, boys, youths, and the old, are eligible to chant the holy name. One can chant in a solitary place or congregationally – alone or with many people. One can chant neglectfully or with faith.” (pp. 249–250)

“When an uttama-bhagavata appears in a particular family, one hundred generations before and after him are delivered. When a madhyama-bhagavata appears in a particular family, fourteen generations before and after him are delivered. When a kanistha-bhagavata appears in a particular family, three generations before and after him are delivered.” (p. 253)

“But it is seen in the material world that the devotee who takes birth in a low-class family appears diseased or foolish by material vision. This has great purpose. If ordinary people see that devotees appear only in high families and that they are healthy and educated, they will become discouraged. So to benefit all people, Lord Gaura Krishna has His devotees appear in different classes and then display great compassion toward all fallen and unqualified beings.” (p. 254)

“Although the marginal energy is conditioned by the external energy and so the living beings appear to have material qualities, it does not mean they don’t also have spiritual qualities, or the nature of the internal energy. All the qualities of the internal, spiritual energy are present in the marginal energy, but in minute quantities.” (p. 258)

“When the living beings become fixed in pure goodness, they come to understand the insignificant, needless, imperfect, and temporary nature of performing fruitive activities, and they lose their taste for being bitten by the sharp teeth of the material energy. When the minute spirit souls then begin to cultivate service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead while trying to give up their service to the external and the temporary, they become free of material ignorance and revive their constitutional position. From this point on, the living being gradually tries to remain aloof from being in the mood of an enjoyer or the enjoyed in this world.” (p. 259)

“Only when the spirit soul falls into illusion by mistaking his gross body and subtle mind to be himself does he develop a thirst for liberation. Therefore fruitive workers and mental speculators, or impersonalists, are both situated on the ascending path and are respectively glorified in this world as bhogis and tyagis. Unless and until each of them can detect how they are misusing their independence, or true spiritual nature, they cannot understand that karma-khanda and jñana-khanda are two pots of poison. Because they misuse their spiritual intelligence, bhogis and tyagis continue to glorify fruitive activities and false renunciation. Until they become attracted by the beauty of the supremely sweet magnanimous Person, who is full of six opulences, they will either remain enjoyers of the stool of sense gratification or think that remaining aloof from that stool is the goal of life.” (p. 260)

Sri-krishna-sankirtana alone bestows all perfection on all living beings in this world. Worshiping the holy name in the form of chanting it congregationally, understanding that the holy name and Krishna are nondifferent, is real worship and the topmost form of worship.” (p. 269)

“From Sri Gaurasundara’s instruction to Sri Ramananda Vasu of Kulina-grama we can understand that staunch worship in the form of chanting is the doorway to devotional service to Lord Vishnu, or the kanistha [beginning] platform of Vaishnavism. On the madhyama [middle] platform one chants the holy name of Krishna constantly and makes progress on the path of bhajana, and on the uttama [topmost] platform one has already made sufficient advancement and chants the holy name ever in the association of exalted devotees. Simply by chanting the holy name the act of performing kirtana is accomplished. As soon as the holy name is chanted anarthas are vanquished – anartha referring to the living being’s thirst for sense gratification.” (p. 270)

“Distributing love of Krishna is the one way the most magnanimous Gaurasundara united the people of the whole world with Krishna. Performing that service is the only way to worship Sri Nitai-Gauranga.”” (p. 272)

“Although the Aghas, Bakas, and Putanas tried to kill Krishna, they couldn’t do it. Yet they indirectly spread His glories. Similarly, those envious of the dhama, even though blinded by self-interest, can never destroy the eternal, transcendental dhama because it cannot be destroyed. Rather, the attempt simply helps spread the dhama’s glories.” (p. 278)

“‘Regardless of what the truth is, I will not do something that will make some people unhappy’ – to seek this type of popularity will cheat us of our eternal good fortune and our piety. ‘I want to be popular’ – this kind of mentality is for foolish, ignorant people bewildered by maya. The Almighty Lord is the Absolute Truth. If we think we need to be popular we will disregard the Absolute Truth.” (pp. 280–281)

“It is not proper to think that everything about the Absolute Truth is also faulty just because the so-called transcendentalists behave in less than idea ways. Just because someone hasn’t seen something doesn’t mean we should deny its existence.” (p. 284)

“Many of you know the story of the cat under the basket. Cats caused a particular householder a great deal of disturbance. When one of the cats began to meow during his son’s marriage ceremony, the boy’s mother covered the cat with a wicker basket. Gradually, every marriage ceremony performed in that country included an arrangement for covering a cat with a basket. If someone didn’t have a cat, to follow the custom he would hire one cat from someone else. No intelligent person should be so greedy for popularity that he adopts the behaviors of the ignorant.” (p. 284)

“There is a story: Once, a so-called guru went to his disciple’s house and was offered a meal. After eating, the disciple brought a myrobalan and offered it to his guru. His guru asked him to peel it. The intelligent disciple, thinking the skin of the myrobalan useless, threw it away and presented his guru with the inner part, or the seed. His guru became unhappy because he had wanted to eat the myrobalan.

“The next day the over-intelligent (foolish), but repentant disciple came forward with a cardamom pod for his guru, but this time he had removed the seeds. The guru saw that his great disciple had brought only the cardamom pod but none of the aromatic seeds. This is how mental speculators think: they reject the actual object as false and accept the false as real.” (p. 285)

Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami:

from Prabhupada Meditations, Volume 3:

Prabhupada kirtanas are blessing us still. We hear them on car radios, in temple rooms, kitchens. They may not be as popular as the kirtanas performed by his followers and other singers, but we should remember it is all coming from Prabhupada.”

Prabhupada wanted us to bring the chanting into the street. He wanted people to hear the holy names. In his lectures you can hear him encouraging the harinama parties. He was pleased they went out, even though they were sometimes harassed by police.
In the beginning he himself went to Tompkins Square Park. We never would have gone out otherwise. After he went, there was regular chanting of harinama in the streets of New York, San Francisco, Boston, and everywhere.”

Candramauli Swami:

Lord Krishna’s palaces were illuminated by jewels.

They think there was no civilization five thousand years ago, but here we encounter these elaborate descriptions of Krishna’s palaces.

Krishna is the source of all illusion, so He is never illusioned, but sometimes He appears to be illusioned to make his pastimes more exciting.

Little kids are empowered by Krishna to do mischief. Krishna’s mischief is superior to theirs because in the end, everyone benefits from it.

Sometimes we think we are free from maya, but in reality, at that point we are so much in maya, we cannot see how illusioned we actually are. Those who are really free from maya are those people, who out of fear of maya, are always praying to Krishna for protection.

Krishna gave the demon Aghasura the liberation of having a form like his own. We can only imagine the benedictions He gives the devotees.

Once Srila Prabhupada said, “The perfection of life is to look in Krishna’s lunch pail and see what Mother Yasoda made for Him for lunch.”

The cow’s milk is an expression of her love for her calf.

If we could perceive a little of the beauty of Krishna, we would immediately leave this material world.

If Krishna is not served nicely, Radharani will let you know, and if Lord Jagannatha is not served served nicely, Baladeva will let you know.

Everything belongs to Krishna, and yet we give a little to Krishna and become proud of our donation.

Devotees who are really serious want to be remembering Krishna while they do their service.

Q: If the cowboys’ got married during the year they were under Brahma’s slumber, did they remember these marriages when they woke up?
A: Krishna wanted those marriages to take place, and thus He would make the arrangement for the cowboys’ to remember their marriages.

Hridayananda Goswami:

from a recorded lecture in Gainesville:

There is no difference between objectivity and subjectivity in Krishna because he is omniscient.

If one wants to approach Krishna and not turn back, he has to be willing to give up impurities because Krishna is supremely pure.

In approaching Krishna, all we are giving up is that which we are not.

If something is actually fun, Krishna is all for it. It is just those things that appear fun but are not, that Krishna wants us to give up.

The funny thing is that Krishna respects us more than we respect Him.

Why is there evil in this world? To protect us from being stupid eternally. To protect us from a greater evil.

Govardhan Devi Dasi:

from a lecture on Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s disappearance day:

Just as someone who spends a night in a hotel and wants to make improvements on the room is foolish, so one who tries makes material improvements in this life is foolish.

People who do not make an endeavor to advance spiritually are compared to dead fish floating on water.

The different ways of dealing: (1) loving with the Lord, (2) friendly with the devotees, (3) compassionate toward the innocent, and (4) not associating with the envious, are natural for the pure soul.

God will not be jealous if you worship the Deity. Satan is a figment of your imagination.

Q: Is it not better to think of God in your mind than worshiping God in a material form?
A: There is no difference. Because the mind is also a material element, therefore, thinking of God in your mind is worshiping God in a material form.

Bhaktivinoda Thakura wanted to go to Vrindavan, but Lord Caitanya appeared in a vision and told him, “I have more work for you to do in Bengal – to find My birthplace.”

Bhaktivinoda Thakura requested many times Gauraikisora Dasa Babaji Maharaja to initiate him into babaji. and finally he agreed.

Murli Manohara Prabhu:

If we read Mahabharata or the Srimad-Bhagavatam we will find opulence surpassing the present day. That was because they followed religious principles. In their free time, they would glorify God. It would only rain at night.

Krishna taught how a king should properly receive a brahmanas in his respectful receptions of both Narada and Sudama.

Salya was traveling to see Yudhisthira to join his army. When he passed through Duryodhana’s kingdom, Duryodhana offered such a nice reception to him, provided a feast and entertainment every night he was there, he felt obliged because of the reception, and offered to do whatever the person who had arranged it wanted. Duryodhana asked Salya to join his army. He agreed, but first asked to be allowed to visit his friend, Yudhisthira, and then he would return. When he saw Yudhisthira, he explained what happened, and Yudhisthira was not the least disturbed and offered him gifts, and he returned to join Duryodhana’s army. It is notable how respectfully the kings dealt with each other.

When the varnasrama social system was followed, people were not anxious to get money since by performing their occupations according to religious principles they attained life’s necessities.

A devotee is determined to understand the Absolute Truth.

By our sticking to our spiritual principles, Krishna will give us the intelligence to deal our daily affairs in a spiritual way.

Comment by me:

A modern example showing what happens if brahmanas and Vaishnavas are disrespected is the communist government of the Soviet Union which had a policy of torturing Hare Krishna devotees and other persons advocating religion. This government appeared very strong and powerful, and one did not expect it to be vanquished anytime soon, but very quickly it was dissolved as a reaction to its cruelty to religious people.

Vicaru Prabhu:

on the Vyasa Puja day of his guru, Tamal Krishna Goswami:

I never had that kind of mother or father in my life. When I first saw Tamal Krishna Goswami’s picture, I felt within that he was someone I could put my faith in and give my heart to. He did not come to Fiji for two years because of political problems. When he finally came, he stayed briefly. The next time he came, my godbrothers kept me away from him. Whenever he came to Fiji, he would always stay in one devotee’s house, and the next time, he said, “I will not stay in any one devotee’s house. In others’ houses, I will go one day. To Vicaru’s house I will go two days.”

I was serving him and his godbrothers, and he asked, “Why are you serving your guru’s godbrothers and godsisters before your guru?” Previously he had told us to serve his godbrothers and godsisters before him, so I was confused.

He wanted us to serve the preaching, serve Deities, and serve Vaishnavas.

Harinamananda Prabhu:

It is said “om” is composed of three sounds “a u m” and “a” refers Krishna, “u” refers to Radha, and “m” refers to the living entities. The Hare Krishna mantra is explained as names of Krishna and Radha, and it is chanted by the living beings. So you can say “om” and Hare Krishna are the same.

Giriraj Swami was put in charge of fund raising for a pandal program, and he asked Srila Prabhupada if we could force people to serve Krishna. Srila Prabhupada said, “No, we cannot force people to serve Krishna, but we can trick people into serving Krishna.”

The kissing and killing of the Lord are absolute.

One drug dealer, who was also a user of drugs, was so addicted he would find used syringes which still had a little drug left in them, and reuse them to get every bit of the drug. Once he let some book distributors stay at his place, and ultimately he became a devotee.

Because our body is produced from the body of our mother, our mother is so attached to us and has so much affection for us. But the soul is part of the Supreme Lord, so just imagine how much affection Krishna has for us!

Adhoksaja Prabhu:

There is one devotee, I think he was from Russia, who really wanted to distribute books, but somehow, although he went out almost every day he could only do one book, or maybe two or three on a really good day. That went on for twenty years! Then everything changed, and he would do a hundred books a day. The Lord was just testing his determination.

Radhanatha Swami said even if you keep butter in the freezer for twenty years, if you bring it in the presence of fire, it will melt. Similarly, even if you have been brahmacari for many years, if you are in the presence of an attractive women, you can become captivated.

To second guess Krishna is a way of trying to be Krishna.
I distributed books in Glasgow for many years. I could not relate to the Scottish accent of the people which always disturbed me. Once when one man did not take a book, I actually listened to the the way I was speaking to him, and it occurred to me I sounded so proud. From then on, I was more respectful and humble, and everything changed. Now I like distributing books in Glasgow.

If you are not patient, you will very soon lose your enthusiasm and confidence. And with Krishna, patience can mean waiting a long time.

comment by Vishnujana Prabhu:

I see when we do harinama and book distribution together, the book distribution goes very smoothly, and the devotees do not feel overwhelmed or burdened.

response by Adhoksaja Prabhu:

Although having done straight books for years, I experienced the truth of what you say last year on the Festival of India tour in Scotland. I would do harinama with the other devotees. Then for forty minutes I would distribute books. Then I would do a puppet show. Then forty minutes more of book distribution. Then I would do another puppet show. I always wore a dhoti as there was no time to change. I found the books just went out very smoothly.


ataeva ami ajña dilun sabakare
yahan tahan prema-phala deha’ yare tare

[Lord Caitanya continued:] Therefore I order every man within this universe to accept this Krishna consciousness movement [the fruit of love of Godhead] and distribute it everywhere.” (Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Adi-lila 9.36)