Friday, October 10, 2014

Travel Journal#10.17: England, Dublin Ratha-yatra, Upstate New York

Diary of a Traveling Sadhaka, Vol. 10, No. 17
By Krishna-kripa das
(September 2014, part one
The North of England, Dublin Ratha-yatra, Newark, Upstate New York
(Sent from Brooklyn, New York, on October 10, 2014)

Where I Went and What I Did

I stayed in Newcastle for Radhastami because Bhakti Caitanya Swami, who is familiar with Lord Krishna’s pastimes in Vrindavan, was there on a rare visit. Then I did a final harinama and evening program in both Sheffield and Chester, saying goodbye to some friends in Manchester in-between. Then I took Megabus to Dublin for just £15, staying there just two days, one to do harinama to advertise their Ratha-yatra and the next to participate in it. Next I flew to Newark, where I got to chant Hare Krishna for a retiring airline captain, and took the train to New York City, where I got to spend 20 minutes on the Union Square harinama, on my way to Stuyvesant Falls. There I spent six days proofreading Volume 3 of The Story of My Life by Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami. Next I went to Albany to celebrate my mother’s 90th birthday at the Quaker meeting in Easton, New York, to the north.

I include insights from books and a conversation by Srila Prabhupada, a powerful quote by Narottama Dasa Thakura from Prema-bhakti-candrika, and excerpts from the poems and books of Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami, including the soon-to-be-published 3rd volume of his autobiography. I have many notes from lectures Bhakti Caitanya Swami gave in Newcastle, including some from his Radhastami lecture. I also include notes on a class from Bhakti-sastri teacher, Radhika Nagara Prabhu, and several excerpts from the soon-to-be-published January / February 2015 issue of Back to Godhead magazine.

Thanks to GN Press for their donation for my proofreading work. Thanks to Ratha Yatra Ireland for the pictures from their Facebook photo album, Dublin Ratha Yatra 2014. Thanks to Karen Beetle for the picture of the chapati.

Harinama in North Shields

The day before Radhastami we did harinama in North Shields. North Shields is one of those places I only would chant in by the influence of Janananda Goswami, who likes that the small towns and villages not be neglected, although he also approves of chanting in the big cities,. After all, Lord Caitanya said His name would be chanted in every town and village.

Many children were attracted, smiling, clapping, and dancing, with their mom’s smiling. Some teenagers also smiled, clapped, and danced. A lady in a wheelchair, rolled up, looked at the books, and bought a Bhagavad gita. A very large lady bought a Sri Isopanisad. Several people gave donations, and a Perfection of Yoga and Beyond Birth and Death were given to some of them. None of the security and policemen bothered us although we chanted in the same place for over an hour and a half, and we spent two and a half hours chanting in North Shields altogether. There were five of us, including Prema Sankirtana and Radhe Shyam Prabhus, and Veera and Priyanka Devis, two college girls not yet back in school. We are sure North Shields will never be the same again.

Harinama in Chester, England

In Chester, England, I was chanting Hare Krishna in public for the second time ever, along with a devotional Indian family of four. One Quaker man came by and gave me a card with a summary of Quaker beliefs. I was happy to see all of them were compatible with Hare Krishna thought:

There is something sacred in all people.
All people are equal before God.
Religion is about the whole of life.
In stillness we find a deeper sense of God’s presence.
True religion leads to respect for the earth and all life upon it.
Each person is unique and precious, a child of God.

I explained my mother was a Quaker peace activist, and she is still doing peace work although aged 90, and I am going to celebrate her 90th birthday at a Quaker meeting in a couple weeks. I felt I should offer some explanation of my being a Hare Krishna although in a Quaker family, so I said I like the idea the Hare Krishnas have of extending nonviolence to include becoming vegetarian, and that without people becoming vegetarian we cannot have peace in this world. He surprised me by saying he was vegetarian, which is not the case with most Quakers. As he left he said with a smile, “May Lord Hare Krishna bless you!”

Two young ladies, sitting on a nearby bench, listened to my chanting for a while, and then came up to me and chatted and gave a donation. I remember they did Reiki, an alternative therapy. They continued sitting on the bench and read the books I gave them.

In Chester, people gave me more donations than usually in England. My friend, Gaura Dasa Prabhu, from South Africa, says Chester is his favorite city in the UK to distribute books in as he always does better there.

Chester Program

For the second time, I gave a lecture at Clive and Agi Holland’s home in Chester. Gaura Krishna Prabhu has also spoken there. In addition to the Hollands and the family from Chester who had joined me on harinama, people came from other places such as Radha Mohan and Vrajendralal Prabhus of the Manchester congregation and Barbara and Meg from Liverpool. Gradually they are beginning to have regular programs in Chester, and it is great to see this increase in The North of England. I look forward to participating again next year.

On the Way to Dublin

While waiting for the ferry to Dublin at Holyhead, a young lady looked at my musical instrument, and inquired, "Is that a portable harmonium?" She said she played the harmonium, and she amused me by saying that she played devotional music, although she did not know who she was devoting it to. She was happy to learn of our Tuesday kirtana night at Govindas and our Ratha-yatra on Saturday in Dublin, and I hoped she would attend them.

Dublin Harinama

I arranged a three-hour harinama to promote the Ratha-yatra. Premarnava Prabhu, who I was counting on, had many responsibilities to prepare for the Ratha-yatra and could not come out the whole time.

I was happy that one young couple, Jnana, an Indian guy, and Georgia, an English girl, was very dedicated to the harinama and participated almost the whole time.

One of Premarnava’s errands was to get a large pot from another Govinda’s restaurant, so we decided to take the harinama party there because then Premarnava Prabhu and Bhakta John could take part.

We put a Ratha-yatra poster on the drum to call attention to the event.

On the way back, Jnana Prabhu, carried the pot, as Premarnava Prabhu, played harinama and sang, while I played drum, and John, the karatalas.

After the evening program, we did harinama inside and outside Govinda’s restaurant, getting ourselves and others in the mood for Ratha-yatra. 

We were happy that Ananta Nitai Prabhu joined us to play the drum.

Dublin Ratha-yatra

Praghosh Prabhu, GBC of Ireland and the UK, who a resident of Dublin, was the hands on manager of the Ratha-yatra procession and master of ceremonies for the stage show in the park. He greeted the official guest, the assistant deputy mayor of Dublin.

The assistant deputy mayor, wearing a garland, spoke briefly, better than officials usually do, about the benefit of religious festivals to society, thanking the devotees for putting on the festival.

He swept the street following in the footsteps of Maharaja Prataparudra of Lord Caitanya’s day.

Later, others also swept the street, including this kid.

Before the Ratha-yatra procession began, I talked to a couple young ladies from South America, who often come to Govinda’s at the end of the day when they sell the remaining food for a discount price.

They stayed and pulled the cart in the procession.

After a while, they became so inspired they danced much of the time and stayed with us down the busy O’Connell Street.

Madhumangala Prabhu, in the center, and a little back in the picture above, who is famous among Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami’s disciples for being his personal servant for many years, came on the Ratha-yatra procession. Apparently he lives in West Cork, and often comes to Dublin for Ratha-yatra.

Arjuna Prabhu (right) sees him from time to time.

Manu Prabhu, who plays accordion, was one of the main kirtana leaders.

Parasurama, playing enthusiastically on his ukulele, adds a lot to any festival. Ananta Nitai Prabhu, playing the drum, is also very good on harinama sankirtana.

I danced as usual.

I also invited people to the stage show.

There was a good crowd in the park for the stage show.

Srila Prabhupada and the Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra deities stayed there on a table to be viewed and to view the festival.

Some people were blessed with garlands from the deities.

There were Indian dances, bhajanas, a magic show by Parasurama, who is originally from Ireland, and of course, prasadam. Thanks to Mayesvara, Premarnava, and all the Prabhus who helped cook. An Indian organization supplied drinks.

On the final kirtana, Praghosh Prabhu encouraged anyone to come on the stage who wanted to, and a few newcomers took part.

I enjoyed telling new people about the festival and our local programs in Dublin.

We did harinama all the way back to the temple, ending the joyous day.

Chanting in the Cockpit of a United Airlines Plane in Newark

As I boarded my United Airlines flight in Dublin, the airline captain passed by saying, “This is my last flight. I am retiring after 33 years.” He later made that announcement to all the passengers on the flight. After we landed in Newark, I came to the cockpit and congratulated him on a successful flight. I had my harmonium, and offered to sing a tune for him, saying as a Hare Krishna monk, I only played one song. He invited me in, and I played two mantras of my favorite Hare Krishna tune, and he and a lady who came to photograph him, took a video of it.

Proofreading Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami’s Autobiography in Stuyvesant Falls

I spent six days proofreading the third volume of Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami’s autobiography, The Story of My Life, in Stuyvesant Falls. In this volume he talks about zonal acarya days and some of the trials and tribulations from his point of view of that time in ISKCON history. He talks about his relationships with different senior devotees in ISKCON such as Tamal Krishna Goswami, Bhakti Tirtha Swami, and Jayadvaita Swami, and shares interesting details I had not heard before. He also describes his relationship with Narayana Maharaja. He tells about what he had in mind when he wrote different books like the “Stories of Devotion” series and the controversial book, Sanatorium. I enjoyed the reading, which I did practically twelve hours a day, but I looked forward to being back on the streets chanting with my friends.

My Mother’s 90th Birthday

My mother thought of us celebrating her 90th birthday by doing two things, attending the yearly Quaker gathering at Easton, New York, on Sunday, September 14, the actual day, and participating in the New York City Climate Change march the following week. As a Quaker peace activist that was completely in character for her. I made carrot coconut rice and coconut burfi prasadam for the luncheon after the Quaker meeting in Easton. There they have a tradition of telling a story before their meeting for worship once a year about how some armed American Indians working for the British during Revolutionary War times entered their meetinghouse as they were sitting in silent worship. The Quakers continued undisturbed, and the Indians put down their weapons. The story shows how the Lord protects those engaged in worshiping. During the meeting, I spoke briefly about how I met a Quaker while I was chanting in Chester, England, and shared with them the six very universal Quaker understandings listed on the card he gave me, and I suggested they might have a similar card for the US Quakers as they do in the UK.

That night somehow in a conversation with my sister I became inspired enough to try making chapatis to go with the spinach panir that Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami’s cook, Baladeva Vidyabhusana Prabhu, had made for my mother’s birthday. 

I had not made chapatis regularly in over a decade, and I was doubtful they would come out. I prayed to Radharani before I cooked, as usual, and the dough came out the perfect consistency the first time, and almost every chapati puffed up.

Karen, my sister, took a picture of one of them.

I showed my mother how to file her email in folders in a simpler way than before and helped her deal with her broken printer. I told her my birthday present to her was all the meals I cooked.

There is a movie on the life of the popular kirtana singer named Krishna Das. My sister saw it and thought it was pretty good, so my mother, sister, and I watched it the next day. Although Krishna Das is not in the same spiritual lineage as the Hare Krishnas and does not teach pure devotion to Krishna, there were still some valuable messages in his story. It shows how by devotion to one’s guru and following the guru’s direction, one can attain success in life far beyond one’s expectations. That afternoon I took the Chinese bus to New York City to chant with the Union Square harinama party. I told Karen that watching the video increased my eagerness to go to New York and chant Hare Krishna kirtana with my friends. I had been nine days without harinama, way too long!

To see more pictures not included in this blog, click on the link below:


Srila Prabhupada:

from Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Adi 8.28, purport:

As a result of chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, one makes such great advancement in spiritual life that simultaneously his material existence terminates and he receives love of Godhead. The holy name of Krishna is so powerful that by chanting even one name, one easily achieves these transcendental riches.”

from a conversation on May 30, 1974, during a morning walk in Rome:

The Vedic literatures advise, “My dear human being, please note: You have attained this human form of life after many, many births. You had to go through the various forms of the aquatic life, 900,000 species; and you had to go through the various forms of birds and trees and plants, two million species. Consider how much time you have spent in this slow, painstaking evolution. Now you have come to the human form of life. And although it, too, is temporary, nonetheless you can achieve the highest perfection. You can evolve from life in this temporary world of misery to life in the eternal world of bliss. So before your next death in this world, become a very adept student of spiritual perfection – and achieve it.”

from Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.14.31, purport:

If the king or government becomes demonic, it is the duty of a saintly person to upset the government and replace it with deserving persons who follow the orders and instructions of saintly persons.”

from Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Madhya 15.180, purport:

The conditioned soul is always fearful due to being controlled by the external potency; therefore the conditioned soul should always pray to the almighty Lord to conquer the external potency (maya) so that she will no longer manifest her powers, which bind all living entities, moving and inert. By praying in this way one will become eligible to remain constantly in the association of the Lord, thus fulfilling the mission of going back home, back to Godhead.”

from Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Madhya 15.237, purport:

In the Hare Krishna movement, the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, the dancing in ecstasy and the eating of the remnants of food offered to the Lord are very, very important. One may be illiterate or incapable of understanding the philosophy, but if he partakes of these three items, he will certainly be liberated without delay.”

Narottama Dasa Thakura:

from Prema-bhakti-candrika:

Chapter Nine—The Ultimate Instructions Sri-Radhikasraya: The Shelter of Srimati Radharani


O brother, simply by chanting the names of Krishna, one can receive the lotus feet of Radhika, and by chanting the names of Radhika, one can receive the lotus feet of Krishna.”

Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami:

once told me
we are responsible
for getting a good
night’s rest, rising
early and doing japa
in our sitting asana.

I observe
Prabhupada’s advice to
“just hear,” and I am able to report
I was not
disturbed by outside thoughts.
My mind used to wander all over
the universe,
but now I hold onto
the bead until all the syllables are finished.
I hear the mantras clearly in
my mind. I am grateful for the little
progress I have made,
and I encourage all inattentive
chanters that they can do it too.

from Breaking the Silence – Selected Writings 1991–1997:

O holy names, please forgive us. Please hear our plea. We are, for now, chanting sporadically in a wilderness of names and places and experiences. Many things still interest us (and bewilder us) instead of the One Supreme Interest. Please hear our call and honor our request.”

from The Story of My Life, Volume 3:

Let us all acknowledge our debt to Prabhupada and witness how fulfilling it is to work in his service and reciprocate with him.”

I once asked Prabhupada a question. I said, ‘I feel I can be many selves. Which self would Krishna want me to be?’ I was thinking how in relating to different acquaintances I would play different roles, and one didn’t know who one truly was. So which kind of a person would Krishna like me to be? I was thinking of the hip person, the boyfriend, the comrade, the writer, the reader. These were the different selves I was thinking of. The person who’s subordinate, the person who’s dominant. What do you want me to be, Krishna? What will be pleasing to you? And Prabhupada answered by saying, ‘This boy Steve is nice. He types and gives money. You all should do like that.’ So he went right to the core of the services I was rendering rather than address my question of masks before society. He told me what he perceived in me in plain language. My services. You are your services to Krishna. That’s your eternal identity, servant of Krishna. And in the spiritual world we have our svarupa siddhi, sthayi-bhava, one main function that we do for Krishna, siddha-deha, our eternal form. That will be revealed to us one day, what kind of a self we will be for Krishna, and we will offer him that service in Goloka. Now we serve as sadhakas, chanting and hearing and preaching.”

I met with Professor Sheridan Baker, the author of a book on writing. I showed him a BTG and he liked it, but he said we should be creative and not always use the same terms. For example instead of “spirit soul” one could sometimes alter it to “spark of spirit,” etc. In the introduction to one of his books Thomas Merton wrote that he might not always use the vocabulary of Catholic theology. He said something like, “I may be permitted to use my own language about my soul.” I’ve tried to keep my American (New Yorker) voice in my own writings while staying faithful to Prabhupada and the parampara. Prabhupada himself wrote differently than his spiritual master, and we may also.”

I will have to die and give up my beloved schedule. I will go to a better place by Prabhupada’s grace. Where will I go? I don’t know my siddha-deha or eligibility for transference to the spiritual world. Krishna’s kind to His devotees.”

I’m on a quest, trying to live my life and die my death so I can go back to Godhead. Prabhupada is my shelter. Krishna is my God. He appeared as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who is in the mood of Radharani in separation from Krishna. We are reading Caitanya-caritamrita and Srimad-Bhagavatam.

Bhakti Caitanya Swami:

Krishna is not different from His name, and Krishna is our best friend.

Srila Prabhupada was asked by an outside person what was the goal of chanting, and he said, “More chanting.”

While chanting japa think, “I am associating with Krishna, my best friend, in the way He most likes to be associated with.”

Srila Prabhupada said, “You can know if your chanting is of good quality if you think, why just sixteen rounds, why not sixteen thousand rounds.?”

Giriraja Swami advises, “Hear the first ‘Ha.’” Then there is a chance of hearing the whole mantra. If you do not hear the first “Ha” there is no chance of hearing the whole mantra.

At the beginning of one mantra, think, “I am going to hear this mantra.” Then at the end of that mantra, think, I am going to hear this next mantra.”

In namabhasa, the mind still proposes so many deviations from hearing the holy name, but the chanter does not give in to the mind’s proposals but remains focused on the holy name.

We are lost in the material world and in a precarious condition. Thus we are in a situation like Srila Prabhupada describes of a child crying for its mother, although we may not realize it much of the time.

It is good to focus the eyes on something spiritual, like Srila Prabhupada, the deities, or the text of the mantra, for the eyes are always engaged in looking at something.

from a class before Radhastami:

In Durban we had the usual morning class, then a class from 9 to 12, and another one from 3 to 5, and then in the evening from 7:30 to 9.

Krishna becomes affected by the bewildering features of Radharani so much so that He makes mistakes and becomes becomes embarrassed by them. Once He decided that He had enough, and was going act supremely cool in the presence of Radha. When milking a cow He tried to act very cool. Then He saw the gopis. He looked completely expressionless and kept milking. Then all the gopis laughed. Krishna was irritated, thinking He was doing OK. Then He realized He was trying to milk a bull.

We can pray to Srimati Radharani, “On Your appearance, please bless me that I may become a proper devotee by Your grace.”

Vasana means a fundamental material desire, like attraction for the opposite sex.

If you declare war on maya, if you last one second you are lucky. But if you take shelter of Krishna, you can become free from lust and anger and other manifestations of maya.

Q: Is chanting and reading books sufficient to please Krishna?
A: Krishna is certainly pleased to some extent by that. Rupa Goswami has said we must be free from karma, or materialistic religiosity. The Christians pray for bread. God has a great bakery in the sky, and we can save some money getting bread from Him. Srila Prabhupada said that the Lord’s prayer is not about love of God but love of bread. Rupa Goswami also we must be free from speculation about God. We calculate God is the oldest person, and thus He must look like the ultimate senior citizen. Actually Brahma-samhita says, adyam puranam purusam nava yauvanam ca. Although Krishna is adyam puranam purusam, the origin of all and the most ancient person, He is nava yauvanam ca, also a fresh youth.

Devotional service must be favorable. This has two aspects (1) having a favorable attitude and (2) doing things that actually please Krishna.

If you really want to please Krishna, you should do all recommended things under the direction of the spiritual master, in the association of devotees.

There is no such thing as an innocent victims. There are only people who think they are innocent victims. If someone punches you in the nose, that is because you punched that person in the nose in the past, and so in effect, you have punched yourself in the nose. And if you are devotee, Krishna reduces the reaction, so if you are punched in the nose, you should thank Krishna for giving you a greatly reduced reaction.

One devotee in Bombay had his leg swollen from mosquito bites, and he complained to Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada said, “If you were not a devotee, you would have lost your leg by now.

If we are alive in Krishna consciousness we can collect our inheritance of attaining the kingdom of God.

We can be genuinely humble if we realize our shortcomings. If you are just a great guy, and everything is cool, then you have no reason to be humble. If you are in that situation, pray to Krishna, “I am so foolish I cannot realize how foolish I am. Please show me my shortcomings, so I can be genuinely humble.” I know people who have done this, and Krishna revealed so many things they could not digest it all and prayed for Him to stop.

Rupa Goswami wrote a verse glorifying each of the five most important processes of devotional service. The one on deity worship is:

My dear friend, if you still have any desire to enjoy the company of your friends within this material world, then don’t look upon the form of Krishna, who is standing on the bank of Kesi-ghata [a bathing place in Vrindavan]. He is known as Govinda, and His eyes are very enchanting. He is playing upon His flute, and on His head there is a peacock feather. And His whole body is illuminated by the moonlight in the sky.”

We would call the people who would come at the end of the arati, when the fan is offered, just before the Sunday feast, “members of Krishna’s fan club.”

When the devotees were registering ISKCON in South Africa, the bureaucrat handling it said, “You cannot call it International Society for Krishna Consciousness, you must call it the South African Society for Krishna Consciousness.” The devotee explained that we are part of an international organization and so it must called the “International Society for Krishna Consciousness.” The bureaucrat disagreed, and it went back and forth. The devotee finally gave the man a simply wonderful sweet ball, and said, “my wife made this for you.” He ate it in one gulp, and he smiled. Then he agreed, “Alright, you can call it “International Society for Krishna Consciousness.”

Sthayi bhava means your rasa, or eternal relationship with Krishna.

One thing special about our sampradaya (spiritual lineage) is that we recognize that Lord Caitanya, who appeared in our sampradaya, is the yuga avatara, incarnation of Krishna for this age, and He taught the only dharma for the age, the chanting of the holy name.

Q: How to become more determined in Krishna consciousness?
A: Associate with devotees who are more determined and serve them, then you will pick up their qualities.

from a Radhastami lecture:

Srila Prabhupada asked the devotees in a lecture, “Who is God?”
The devotees said, “Krishna.”
Srila Prabhupada replied, “No. Radha-Krishna is God.”

If all the eight sakhis were combined, Srimati Radharani would still be superior to them.

Durvasi Muni was walking through Vraja-mandala, and it was hot and he was thirsty and hungry. He saw Radharani and the gopis, and he asked them for water and food. They said they would run home, cook a feast, and bring it to him, but it would take half an hour. He was impatient, and he wanted something now. Radharani picked up some dust from Vrindavan and put Yamuna water on it, and she formed it into a biscuit, and offered it to Durvasa Muni. He was very suspicious of it, but the gopis said, “She is very clever. At least you should try it.” So Durvasa Muni took a little nibble of it, and it was delicious, and he ate the whole thing. He asked if she had any more, and She made as many as he could eat. He was so satisfied that he blessed Srimati Radharani, “Whatever you cook will taste like nectar and whoever eats it will never get sick.” Of course, Radharani was not dependent on the blessing of Durvasa Muni. Even Her mud biscuits tasted like nectar. Thus hearing that blessing, Mother Yasoda engaged Her in cooking for Krishna twice a day.

All the gopis want to do is look at Krishna, but they did not want their fathers to see them looking at Krishna, so they perfected the art of the sidelong glance.

Paurnamasi arranged that Radha married Abhimanyu. When Radharani was questioned, “Would it not have been better if you had married Krishna?” Srimati Radharani replied, “No, I do not think so. If we were married, we just look in each others’ eyes, and say, “I love you very much,” and then “I love you very, very much,” and then “I love you very, very, very much.” And it would be boring. My relationship with Krishna is like a very good chutney, so hot you can barely take it, and yet so sweet, you cannot refuse it.

Jatila is special because of her strong desire to protect Radharani.

Abhimanyu is described by Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura to be an incarnation of Krishna’s shadow.

Other manifestations of the internal potencies of the Lord serve to facilitate Radha and Krishna in their pastimes, so Radharani is glorified before the other manifestations of Krishna’s internal potency.

She is the presiding deity of devotional service, Bhakti Devi.

Radharani has all the qualities of a pure devotee to the nth degree.

Radharani looks at the other gopis and tries to determine which would be more pleasing to Krishna, and pushes her forward to meet Him.

Krishna is pleased by the beauty of the gopis, not just because of the beauty itself, but because their beauty is a manifestation of their love.

Even if you are fool and rascal number one, if Radharani recommends you to Krishna, He will accept you.

Radhika Nagara Prabhu:

Krishna is sufficiently attractive, but our material attachments keep us from being completely focused on Krishna.

At ruci (the stage of taste) you still have to bring the mind to the holy name.

At asakti (the stage of attachment) the mind automatically runs to Krishna.

Caitanya Carana Prabhu:

from “Fulfilling Our Longing for Love” in Back to Godhead, Vol. 49, No. 1:

As the source of everyone and everything, Krishna encompasses all of existence; all living beings are His beloved children. So the love we offer Him doesn’t stay stuck with Him, but returns through Him to embrace as many living beings as our heart desires. That’s why, when we focus our love on Krishna, we become increasingly capable of loving more and more people. The Bhagavad-gita (12.13) points to this majestic expansion of our capacity to love when it states that devotees who love Krishna become the benefactors of all living beings.”

Krishna is so given to love that for its sake He conceals His godhood. To have intimate loving exchanges with His devotees, He chooses to act as if He were not God. His love for love makes Him eminently lovable.”

Isn’t it amazing that God, who is the eternal and ultimate father of all, becomes a tender child for the sake of love? Isn’t it even more amazing that God renounces what everyone in this world longs to have – the majesty of godhood – just to relish the intimacy of love? And isn’t it most amazing that God, though He has the love of billions and billions of His devotees, considers our unique love for Him so invaluable and irreplaceable and indispensable that He descends to this world to invite us with His love call?”

As Krishna is reciprocal, He is indeed partial to those who try to reciprocate love with Him – His devotees. He offers them special protection and grace. But as He is universally reciprocal, He allows everyone to love Him and thereby benefit from His partiality. In fact, He publicly declares His partiality so that everyone will become attracted to Him and come to benefit from it.”

Thus, Krishna is impartially partial: He impartially leaves the doors to partiality open for everyone.”

The Supersoul acts like Krishna’s personalized incarnation for each of us. He waits for us to voluntarily express our love for Him or at least our desire to love Him. We can express this desire by rendering devotional service according to scriptural guidelines. When He sees our sincere desire, He reciprocates by using His omnipotence to remove the roadblocks on our path to purity.”

Ravikant Jagtap:

from “Making Progress Toward Seeing the Lord” in Back to Godhead, Vol. 49, No. 1:

“A real sadhu,” I once heard him [Radhanath Swami] say, “is not one who takes a higher position to uplift fallen souls. A real sadhu takes a lower position than the most fallen soul and gently pushes him up.”

Devotee lady:

from a comment during a lecture:

The rest of the day does not flow if I have not done my chanting.”


ramante yogino ’nante
satyanande cid-atmani
iti rama-padenasau
param brahmabhidhiyate

The mystics derive unlimited transcendental pleasures from the Absolute Truth, and therefore the Supreme Absolute Truth, the Personality of Godhead, is also known as Rama.” (Padma Purana, quoted in Bhagavad-gita 5.22, purport)