Diary of a Traveling Sadhaka, Vol. 10, No. 23
By Krishna-kripa das
(December 2014, part one)
By Krishna-kripa das
(December 2014, part one)
New York City and Stuyvesant Falls
(Sent from Gainesville, Florida, on January 3, 2015)
(Sent from Gainesville, Florida, on January 3, 2015)
Where I Went and What I Did
On December 1, I took the Chinese bus from Jacksonville to New York City to save money, and it was a pretty austere 19 hours, though scheduled to be 17. I was still able to do 3 hours of harinama when I arrived the next day. Then I spent the rest of the first half of December with the New York City Harinam party, doing nearly 6 hours of harinama each day in different subway stations except for December 6. That day I went with Rama Raya and Bhagavatananda Prabhu of the party and a couple other disciples, to Stuyvesant Falls, New York, to celebrate the Vyasa Puja of our diksa guru, Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami.
One night I gave a lecture at Atmanivedana Prabhu's program at 26 Second Avenue, and I am always happy to see the enthusiasm of the devotees who come to and maintain it. I also gave a lecture at Krishna Balaram temple in Queens, where I am greatly impressed to see the enthusiasm of the devotees for the congregational chanting. On the A train back to Brooklyn, I encountered three young Afro-Americans from the Bronx who had also come to the Queens program and who were very happy to chant kirtana with me until I got off the train at Utica Avenue, greatly inspiring me.
I share a quote from a Srila Prabhupada lecture, notes on Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami's Vyasa Puja address, and some homages by his disciples, and notes on lectures by senior devotees at the Harinam Ashram, namely Abhiram Prabhu, Laksmi Nrsimha Prabhu, Rama Raya Prabhu, Janmastami Prabhu (in transit from Mayapur to Florida), and Lilananda Prabhu (visiting from Italy).
Thanks to Kaliya Krishna Prabhu, who always makes sure I have enough money to ride the New York subways. Thanks to the devotees at 26 Second Avenue for their kind donation. Thanks to Bhakta John for driving us up to Stuyvesant Falls for Vyasa Puja.
January 3 – April 8: Florida (Gainesville, Alachua, Tallahassee, Jacksonville, and Tampa)
April 9–11: Washington, D.C.
April 12: Albany
April 13–15: New York City
April 16: Toronto
April 17–24: Ireland
New York City Harinam
Because of the cold and wet weather and because the Christmas Market took over our spot at Union Square, we chanted in the subway stations during the first half of December.
The Atlantic Avenue – Barclays Center station in Brooklyn is a new one for us, and we started chanting there for the first time in November 2014. In the beginning, people did not know what to make of us, but as time went by they became more favorable. According to Wikipedia, it is the busiest subway station in Brooklyn because the B, D, N, Q, R, 2, 3, 4, and the 5 trains all stop there and also the Long Island Railroad.
A kid gave a donation and got a pamphlet.
Ishvari Jahnava dd, originally from Russia and visiting from Vancouver, developed so much love and respect for the party seeing them online, she decided to come and render service. Here she played a lively tune on the accordion, getting Madhavi dd to dance.
Another man was attracted by the presentation.
Others also danced with us there.
You can get a feel for the scene at Atlantic Avenue – Barclays Center from this video where Rama Raya Prabhu is singing (http://youtu.be/sHQgI_5WrrI):
We also chant at 42nd Street - Times Square subway station, said to be the busiest station in the whole New York City subway system. There the A, C, E, N, Q, R, 1, 2, 3, and 7 trains meet, as well as the Times Square shuttle, and there also is the Port Authority Bus Station.
Sometimes people dance with us.
Sometimes they play the shakers.
Sometimes they take photos of themselves with the Hare Krishnas.
Once at Times Square, Bhagavatananda Prabhu noticed a Christian was approaching him. Before the Christian had a chance to open his mouth, Bhagavatananda Prabhu said to him with a smile, “Hey brother, Jesus loves you!” The guy was caught off guard, was a little frustrated that Bhagavatananda had stolen his line, and complained through his little sound system that we did not understand about the love of Jesus.
Jackson Heights, which is populated by a lot of Indians, other Asians, and Hispanics, is where we get the most people to stay for some and listen to our kirtana. There we sing in the Roosevelt Avenue – Jackson Heights subway station, the warmest of all the ones where we sing.
When Rama Raya Prabhu sings with unparalleled enthusiasm, often we get a crowd listening (http://youtu.be/onuwal3PHlo):
There we chant just near the stairs leading down to the subway, and when the trains come in, lots of people pass by us as you can see in this video, in which a local guitarist also joined us (http://youtu.be/GqTks5cMtPQ):
Because we sing at Union Square in the good weather, we are generally well received also in the Union Square subway station.
Here one man who received a pamphlet read it immediately.
If Madhavi dd can find another girl, like Clarissa, to join her, then she will become inspired to dance.
Lee, although 70 years old, often will come and play the flute at Union Square.
Rama Raya Prabhu chanted Hare Krishna to the “Jingle Bells” tune and a passerby in a Christmas costume danced (http://youtu.be/zWsbKxgq4c4):
Michael Collins, who I know from chanting together in Gainesville, sometimes sings with us. Here he sings a lively tune at Union Square (http://youtu.be/znTvqEkBdTA):
Ananta Prabhu led a kirtana that got many of the devotees dancing (http://youtu.be/PQksg8XhgTs):
One kid enjoyed dancing to the Hare Krishna music so much his mom had great difficulty dragging him away (http://youtu.be/pd_z-ddSoZg):
Ishvari Jahnava dd describes a wonderful incident at Union Square which I missed, having left early to give a lecture in Queens: “On December 14 a six-year-old could not pass us by . . . she stayed with us dancing and playing a shaker. And then she started to chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, reading it from the card with her dancing sister. And when her dad came to pick her up she confidently took a card with the maha-mantra from the book table and handed it to her dad making him to chant with her. I could not believe my eyes . . . ” You can see some of this in her video if you have access to Facebook:
Vyasa Puja of Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami
Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami, one of the early disciples of Srila Prabhupada, most famous for having written his authorized biography, Srila Prabhupada-lilamrita, was born seventy-five years ago, and his disciples observed the standard Vyasa-puja celebration in his honor. There were more people there than usual.
In this picture, he wears the string of red beads that Srila Prabhupada chanted on at his initiation in 1966.
In this picture, he wears the string of red beads that Srila Prabhupada chanted on at his initiation in 1966.
He gave a talk and people read homages. The oldest disciples, beginning from those initiated in 1978 read their offerings first. There were so many disciple those initiated in 1983, like myself did not get speak. I will include my offering below, which I had written, after the others.
When I came up to get a copy of the the third and final volume of his autobiography, The Story of My Life, I told Guru Maharaja that I had put my Vyasa Puja offering in the book of offerings that the devotees had given him, but I had forgotten a couple things. In his daily journal, he often writes, “I called out to Krishna because without His blessings I cannot do japa on my own endeavor. ” I told him I liked that sentiment when I initially read it, but it took two weeks or so before I was able to consistently pray like that every day, but now I can and I think it helps. I also told him, “Because you have faith in the holy name, we are able to have faith in the holy name, and because you have faith in Srila Prabhupada, we are able to have faith in Srila Prabhupada. Thank you.” He was pleased to hear that.
I saw Satya Devi, the wife of Ramabhadra Prabhu, the temple president of Radha Govinda Mandir, at Vyasa Puja for the first time in quite a while. She came with a friend, Lalita Devi, and they were glad that they came.
Satya gave Guru Maharaja a garland from Govinda in Brooklyn.
Guru Maharaja took off his previous garland and gave it to her.
The prasadam was awesome as usual, and there was plenty of it. Baladeva Vidyabhusana Prabhu's spinach and panir was very tasty, and his sweet rice was wonderful.
There was a winter festival that night in Hudson, the largest city nearby, and we hoped chant there with our instruments afterward. It was a cold and wet night, however, and no one except me still wanted to go out chanting. I thought we should have chanted one time down the street despite the bad weather conditions because there is so much benefit in it for all concerned.
Part of my relationship with my niece, Fern, and my sister, Karen, is to go to the Doughnut Plant, the prasadam business run by Hare Krishna devotee Mark Israel, which has just opened a new location in Brooklyn, at 245 Flatbush Avenue. We always go to the one in the Chelsea Hotel, which is generally closer to where we are.
Here Fern and Karen are happy after doughnuts and hot chocolate with vegan marshmallows, a favorite.
ISKCON News had a nice story on the Doughnut Plant and its founder andhistory, which you may be interested in.
To see photos that I took but did not include in this blog, click on the link below:
“Srimad-Bhagavatam is filled with descriptions of the characteristics of various devotees, with reference to the service of the Lord. This Vedic literature is called Bhagavatam because it deals with the Supreme Personality of Godhead and His devotee. By studying Srimad-Bhagavatam under the direction of the bona fide spiritual master, one can perfectly understand the science of Krishna, the nature of the material and spiritual worlds, and the aim of life. Srimad-Bhagavatam amalam puraṇam. Srimad-Bhagavatam is the spotless Vedic literature, as we have discussed in the beginning of Srimad-Bhagavatam. Therefore, simply by understanding Srimad-Bhagavatam, one can understand the science of the activities of the devotees, the activities of the demons, the permanent abode and the temporary abode. Through Srimad-Bhagavatam, everything is perfectly known.”
Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami:
Ravindra Svarupa's book on Srila Prabhupada as founder-acarya is well researched and worth reading. I recommend it to everyone.
I am a Prabhupada cela, although I have disciples. I instruct them to read his books.
Regarding my book Readings in Vedic Literature, Srila Prabhupada told me, “You having quoted the rascals without becoming contaminated.”
When I inquired from Srila Prabhupada about writing he replied, “Persons like the Goswamis wrote so many books, and so I am writing. My disciples will also write. Unlimited books can be written without deviating from the original source.”
Srila Prabhupda advised, “We should assimilate and present in our own words.”
The goal of the devotee artist is glorify Krishna with heartfelt expression.
Prabhupada Smaranam is one of my favorite books.
The BBT in Russia has printed Prabhupada, Readings in Vedic Literature, and Narada-bhakti-sutra. They are also printing the full length Srila Prabhupada-lilamrita.
Devamrita Swami wrote me greatly appreciating Prabhupada Smaranam, how the book draws you into it and shares beautiful insights about Srila Prabhupada, and you cannot put it down.
My disciples and I are a family within in the family of ISKCON. There are no temples of my disciples, but they can unite around my books. Some disciples who teach seminars use my books.
Chanting japa is a very personal connection with the spiritual master. It is the one vow you made to me, to Prabhupada, to the Deity, to the fire. Japa is becoming increasingly the essence of my Krishna conscious bhajana.
From “Free Writing in ISKCON”:
Telling them “Not quarreling or fault finding.”
Bowing down before him, feeling surrender in your bones.
Prabhupada gave it [the danda, the staff of one in the renounced order of life] to you with the instruction, “Preach, preach, preach.”
Srila Prabhupada said Bhaktivinoda Thakura's desire was fulfilled when Bengalis and Westerners chanted Hare Krishna together.
Prabhupada was satisfied whether I was in Boston, Dallas, or traveling.
From “Vani and Vapu”:
It became different when there was only vani [Srila Prabhupada's instruction] and not vapu [Srila Prabhupada's personal presence]. I had a Prabhupada murti [worshipable statue] to keep in touch.
As you get older you do fewer varieties of service. You do japa, read, and write. You hope Srila Prabhupada is pleased with you.
I experienced sweet weeks of living like a sadhu in Vrindavan.
One is invited to do fiction by the acaryas who have written fiction [like Bhaktivinoda Thakura].
I decided to end this series called The Story of My Life because it may seem egotistical to have so many volumes with that title. I will create a new series with the working title Looking Backwards. Rupa Vilasa my proofreader suggested I abbreviate it to Looking Back, and explain in the introduction the reason. I want to review the books I have written in my life.
Disciples from 1978:
I had the honor of garlanding you when you came for the first time to 55th Street in New York. I was thrilled. You spoke on Srila Prabhupada's mood and the maya sukhaya [illusory happiness] verse. You have always talked about the chanting. You would say that Srila Prabhupada said we should use our best intelligence to chant Hare Krishna. And throughout our relationship you have always emphasized the chanting, and I am so grateful for that.
In Mayapur Suresvara Prabhu talked to all the devotees about Srila Prabhupada from Lilamrita today, your Vyasa Puja day.
You say you do not travel, but you are traveling all around the world every day by your web site.
Syama Gopa Rupa Devi:
I first heard you speak dispelling doubts arising by Srimad-Bhagavatam Canto 5, Part 2. I was impressed by your pure devotion to Srila Prabhupada and his presentation of Vedic Cosmology.
You publish your daily journal which is honest and transparent.
I am blessed to be able to assist you publishing your writings.
We are an eternal spiritual family, and yet we do not know each other so much, so we should get together more.
I was always fried about a lot of things, but when I heard you were going to be the guru for the devotees in Boston, I was happy because I had experienced you before.
You say for those who were first initiated by Prabhupada, they could take you as spiritual master or not, and I decided I would. Later disciples of Srila Prabhupada could not easily have his association, but if they were brought in my you or TKG, they could come right in. I feel if I am with you I will be with Prabhupada.
Samika Rsi Prabhu:
You said guru is like father and disciple is like son.
You lovingly taught us how to chant the gayatri mantra.
My mother wanted some material blessings for her son, and you explained the spiritual master is just for spiritual blessings.
You would write notes to Anarta, my wife, about what you wanted to eat, and that was a very personal connection.
You spoke in Dallas after Srila Prabhupada's leaving.
One cannot think of you without thinking of Srila Prabhupada, and one cannot think of Srila Prabhupada without thinking about Krishna.
Disciples from 1979:
I wanted to know and love Srila Prabhupada. And you have given me that, and are giving me that more and more.
You have given me a family of wonderful godbrothers and godsisters.
I have always felt love from you. The same as I felt from my mother except this is better.
Your books are a treasure. I understand more your enthusiasm to distribute them.
I appreciate how you stress chanting the holy names.
Once you told me, “If you cannot chant on your beads, chant in your mind, but do not forget the chanting.”
We want to emulate you by giving others so many things to benefit their spiritual lives.
I find by the chanting I forget about the pains of illness.
Your pictures and drawings of devotees dancing with upraised arms make me happy.
A person who chants japa and worships Madhusudana attains the spiritual kingdom.
Baladeva from Trinidad:
We are celebrating your almost 50 years of service to Srila Prabhupada.
Laksmi Narayana Prabhu:
Even disciples of other gurus glorify your books for inspiring them in spiritual life.
Kirtan Rasa Prabhu:
Pray to Krishna I may always go along with you. Pray to Krishna for your health and long life. Do not think it is selfish.
Vishnu Aradhanam Prabhu:
Thank you for your tapes, books, and website for telling us about Krishna and His holy name.
“YOU ARE MY INSPIRATION. You inspire me by the description of your feelings when you write about your chanting sessions.”
“So many human beings have been touched by these writings which are coming from your heart.”
“You share so much of yourself in many ways, and therefore this helps to bring us (your disciples) closer together under your shelter.”
“I just pray I can follow even in a small way your example and make this lifetime successful.”
When I see Radha-Damodara I think of you. You are together in my mind.
Disciples of 1980:
I heard Srila Prabhupada had just left and there were new spiritual masters and one was coming. I returned and heard you. Sitting way in the back, I could hardly hear. I heard you was coming again. I returned and also sat in the back and did not really hear or understand. When I left the room and hit the street, I recalled that being in your association was so peaceful, quite unlike the street scene I was entering.
You gave me the service of preaching in Jamaica, and I am not done with it.
Your disciples are very powerful.
That Jada Bharata Prabhu left us. I think he was the first of us to go. We should take note that we also will go, and we should associate while we can.
I have been with Rama Raya Prabhu his party. To be in the association of like minded people chanting Hare Krishna in New York, I am refreshed and invigorated like the old days and optimistic about the future of ISKCON. I am inspired you have produced disciples like that.
Disciples from 1981:
It was my great, great fortune that you were my zonal acarya.
When you give a class, you are giving us Krishna in a very direct way.
You wrote me once, “Janmastami [your leader on the book distribution party] is not your spiritual master.”
Rama Raya Prabhu:
That you have wonderful disciples doing things all over the world is evidence of your position as a bona fide spiritual master. You have led the way for all the devotees in ISKCON, stressing the chanting of the holy name. Many of your godbrothers are inspired in that way following your example. Srila Prabhupada said it is the first duty of a sannyasi to give a literary contribution, but you have given many, many literary contributions, and these are lasting contributions.
I am very inspired by your realization of the harinama. You are inspiring us in that.
“You teach by your glorious example to put the japa of the holy names as a top priority by rising early and doing the bulk of your japa before other things. 'Of all the instructions of the spiritual master, the order to chant sixteen rounds is essential.' You always strive to improve the quality of your chanting, especially in attentiveness, and you share your struggles with others for their benefit. You remind us that the maha-mantra is composed of Radha’s and Krishna’s names and is a prayer to be engaged in Their service. You inspire us by telling how you are now, for the most part, not disturbed by outside thoughts. And you teach us to yearn for the day when we see the form and pastimes of the Lord spontaneously appearing in our minds when we chant.
“Now I am chanting with Rama Raya Prabhu’s party in Union Square, and you inspire us all by your appreciation, replete with choice scriptural references, of the supreme importance of nagara sankirtana, and your words especially encouraging us in our venue in New York City. Through your paintings and drawings of happily dancing devotees, you also remind me of the instruction you gave me back in the 1980s to 'dance more in kirtana.' By promoting the dancing you follow Srila Prabhupada, who always appreciated the dancing of the devotees, and Lord Caitanya and Nityananda, who are always dancing, even in Their Deity forms.
“Through your daily writing and artwork you teach the importance of engaging your God-given talents in His service, as well as reminding us that Srila Prabhupada wanted us to write down our realizations every day. Your writings provide inspiration for us to apply Srila Prabhupada’s instructions in our lives and thus attain spiritual perfection.
“Your determination to make good on your promises to Srila Prabhupada for the reminder of your life inspires us to keep our promises to you.
“Thank you for inspiring us, your disciples, as well as the devotees in general, by your personal example and your literature.
“Please bless us that we might always follow your path back to Godhead, your life of devotion to guru and Krishna.”
To see all the offerings in the tributes book for 2014, click on the link below:
There is a tendency for people to create an aristocracy, a privileged class. This is so powerful it happens even in a spiritual movement.
The Goswamis of Vrindavan accepted Bhaktivinoda Thakura because he was initiated by Bipin Bihari Goswami, but they consider the line stopped there. They do not accept Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, and what to speak of Srila Prabhupada?
Comment by Laksmi Nrsimha Prabhu: On a morning walk in Central Park, Srila Prabhupada saw a branch detached from a tree and said, “Asara (useless).” Then he explained that because the branch was detached from the tree although it was green now it would soon dry up. Similarly he explained that because the different apasamprayadas [unauthorized lineages] are detached from Lord Caitanya they are worthless.
Many persons I met in India while doing business were born in brahmana families and wore brahmana threads, but their activities were indistinguishable from the others in society.
It is easy for elitism to creep in. “I have been here for two years but this person has only been here two months.”
There is no special door to Krishnaloka marked “Prabhupada disciples.”
We offer respect to a superior because no one attains a superior position without the blessing of Krishna.
It is a great credit to realize that we are dependent on God for our daily bread, but simply to worship God to attain bread is a subreligious idea.
Lord Caitanya's teachings are available, and we can execute this bhagavata dharma and attain perfection.
We have the tendency to serve someone great. This is natural and not wrong, but ultimately the Supreme Lord is meant to be the object of our complete devotion.
Laksmi Nrsimha Prabhu:
The San Diego devotees had a Govardhan festival in Balboa Park in the 1970s. Between that and a college program, four people joined. On Radha Damodar it was not unusual to have two or four join the party from a program.
My greatest realization is that God is a person.
The Mayavada philosophy has the defect that we have a quality, namely form, that is not present in the Supreme.
Bhakti is to meditate on the name, form, qualities, and pastimes of the Lord.
Golf is the materialists' sannyasa. The forest is the golf course, and the danda [the staff of the renounced order] is the golf club.
When the Radha-Damodara party became more oriented toward book distribution and the mood changed, the original members of the party dispersed, mostly to India.
Srila Prabhupada did not want divorce, and Srila Prabhupada did not want remarriage. That is clear. Yet he sometimes permitted these when he felt that otherwise the devotee would leave the society of devotees.
A pujari in the Gaudiya Matha fell down with a woman, and the temple leaders kicked him out. When Bhaktisiddhanta Saravati Thakura found out, and he was angry and said, “I will not come to your temple until you get that man back.”
The verse, Bhagavad-gita 9.30 is for us to recognize a sadhu and to respect him, not for the sadhu himself.
Recognition, remorse, rectification, and reunion are the four stages of recovering from a falldown.
There is one tribe when if you do something wrong they put you in the center of all the members and each one says something good about you. Then when the offender is inspired by the love of the others he generally rectifies himself.
Comments by Janmastami Prabhu: There was a case when a sankirtana leader had sex with two sankirtana unmarried ladies. Prabhupada called the ladies in and advised them, “Do not that do anymore because it is not good for your spiritual life.” He called the sankirtana leader and chastised him by sentencing him to not have sweets for a year.
Fault faulting has been compared to bathing in the urine of an ass. You think you are getting clean, but you are actually becoming more dirty.
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura had a retreat center where a sannyasi could go who had some falldown to gain strength. That kind of thing is what should be done.
Look how Krishna dealt with Ajamila's falldown.
Comments by Brajaraja Prabhu:
If a soldier falls on the battlefield, you do not imprison him or kill him, but you bring him to a hospital.
Comments by Abhiram Prabhu:
In crowd dynamics the consciousness of a crowd tends to descend to the level of the lowest member.
Bhavananda and Ramesvara said Yamuna and Dinatarine were cut off from ISKCON because they were living on their own and not in the temple. They asked Srila Prabhupada what temple he wanted them to live in. He said that he saw no need for them to move, that they were nicely situated with their Deities, and explained that association can be two or two hundred, but it must be favorable.
From a class on Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Adi 1.63:
The moralist tries to make a better life in the material world but not transcend it, and so he is considered by Bhaktivinoda Thakura to be a materialist.
We are protected by the Lord when we are acting according to the scriptures and saints.
A great Muslim saint said that words that come from the heart go to the heart.
Krishna's love enters the heart of the pure devotee, and from the heart of the pure devotee it comes into our heart.
In the association of a pure devotee are found the four other principle limbs of bhakti, namely the chanting of the holy name, hearing of Srimad-Bhagavatam, faithfully serving the deity, and living in a holy place.
We cannot distribute Srila Prabhupada's books without reading them and appreciating they are the panacea for all the sufferings of humanity.
The goal is to always remember and never forget Krishna, and Srila Prabhupada and the acaryas [the previous great spiritual teachers] have given us many ways to do this.
Materially tinged means having the tendency to put ourselves in the center.
Of the six Puranas in the mode of goodness, only the Srimad-Bhagavatam is known as amalam-puranam, having no material touch.
If we can find some area that Srila Prabhupada wanted developed that has been neglected and we make some significant contribution in that area, that will be a great source of spiritual strength.
After Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura departed, he had made it clear he wanted his mission to go on under the direction of a governing body. His disciples ignored this and elected someone to be their leader. That leader found out what his eternal relationship with Krishna was and engaged in raganuga-bhakti performing nirjana-bhajana, all against the desire of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. What was result? He fell down and the preaching mission of the Gaudiya Matha was curtailed.
Bhaktivinoda Thakura says that the full pastimes of the divine couple are within the form of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
Srila Prabhupada said that we have wasted many lifetimes but that if we dedicate this one life to the mission of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, even if we are not perfect, the Lord will make up for it, and we will go back to Godhead at end of life. Srila Prabhupada is so dear to Krishna that Krishna will certainly fulfill his words.
Srila Prabhupada put so much importance on writing books because he could understand by doing that he could massage the hearts of his followers for generations.
There is a verse that says there is no difference between bhakti that is performed with a taste or without a taste as long as the goal is the same.
Srila Prabhupada said that a representative for a company may negotiate a contract. Later the proprietor of the company may review the contract and disagree with it, but because his representative negotiated it, he will honor it anyway. When Giriraja Swami heard this, he found it bewildering how that the acarya could disagree with Krishna, but later he was able to appreciate that the Lord and His representatives have different personalities.
At the end of Nirguna Prabhu's life, there is no question that his eternal relationship with Krishna was revealed to him. He was a completely dedicated book distributor, distributing many thousands of books.
The first picture Nirguna had seen as a new devotee was Krishna lifting Govardhan Hill. About 10 days before he left this world, he got the intimation that he was a manjari in Krishna lila, but was not for sure. He talked as if he was waiting for an invitation to go back to the spiritual world and enter this pastime. Hari Sauri Prabhu asked him from time to time if he had received such a sign, but he said no dejectedly. When he had practically no pulse and was breathing 2 or 3 times a minute, and was unconscious, the doctor said he had just a few hours to live. They had kirtana all night. Kurma sang seven hours. Around 7:22 a.m. he became conscious and began singing along with the kirtana, although he previously could just make a whisper. Nirguna said he was told, “Get your piece and go.” A devotee asked him, “What is that?” He replied, “Giriraja.” The devotee repeated his understanding, “Giriraja said to go and take Him?” Nirguna replied, “Yes.” He was asked, “Did you get your invitation?” “Yes.” he said, very blissfully. One of the Govardhan silas was not found after he had passed away.
We do not endeavor for raganuga, but it will be revealed as our preaching matures.
Rama Raya Prabhu:
As long as we identify our self with our body and mind, we are slaves to the illusory energy of the Lord.
There is a limit to how much knowledge you can give people, but there is not a limit to how much harinama [congregational chanting of the holy name] you can give them.
You do not get realization about something you do not do.
By desire we come to this material world, by desire we stay in this material world, and by desire we go back to the spiritual world.
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura: If the sadhu speaks flattering words, he will mislead people into sense enjoyment.
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura: Tolerance and humility are meant to aid in preaching the Absolute Truth.
Bhaktivinoda Thakura blessed Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati with the ability to preach the truth despite all opposition by the people in general.
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati explains that pure presentation of the truth is so powerful that even when it is opposed, it will be accepted by all honest people who hear it.
This material world is where people come to be the big fish. They do not want to be reminded that they are not the big fish but are meant to serve the big fish.
By serving the mission of the master, we get the vision of the master.
Actions speak louder that words. Lord Caitanya delivered millions of people in South India simply by harinama-sankirtana. He only spoke philosophy to just a few people.
The holy name is all merciful. It is up to us to arrange the meeting.
All the service the disciple performs for the guru is not for the benefit of the guru but the benefit of the disciple. This is just like the mathematical problems given by the math teacher and solved by the student are meant for the student's benefit not the benefit of the math teacher.
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura: Any deception in devotional service is actually only self-deception.
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura: Only one who has candidly surrendered everything to the service of the Lord can obtain the ultimate good.
Prabhupada got into an argument with a unsubmissive hippie in India purposely to separate the audience in to those think the sadhu should always speak sweetly, who left, and those who are willing to hear the truth, even if uncomfortable, who stayed.
It is natural for people to be with their family members so for Krishna to tie someone into a family relationship with Him [as with the Pandavas] is a great favor.
Abhiram Prabhu says we cannot go back to Godhead without our Godbrothers because when we get there Srila Prabhupada will say, with displeasure, “Where is so-and-so Prabhu?”
In the rasa dance all the gopis were together, yet they were experiencing Krishna individually. It is also like that when as a group we take darsana [or view] the Deity, we are all there together, but each of us has his own experience.
In our kirtana we should pray for the pure holy name to appear and deliver everyone.
Lord Shiva appears in four places to guard Vrindavan.
People tend to glorify those who are superior but that is misused to glorify leaders in sense gratification instead of the Lord who is possessed of all divine qualities.
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati describes that just as the sun can be never seen at night by using artificial lighting, the Supreme Lord, the guru, and the Vaishnava cannot be understood by the mental speculation of materialistic persons but only when they reveal themselves.
A hippie challenged Srila Prabhupada, “How will this Hare Krishna benefit the world?”
Srila Prabhupada replied, “You are not of this world? As it has benefited you, it will benefit others.”
Although Krishna is inconceivable, He can be partially understood by the grace of the lineage of spiritual teachers.
Srila Prabhupada once said, “Anyone who gives one cent to Krishna will not have to go to hell.”
As guru dakshina [remuneration to the guru] Prabhupada and his followers, who saved us from hell, wanted us to spread these teachings.
Although Jagannath Das Babaji Maharaj did not preach, he had a strong desire that Lord Caitanya's teachings be spread.
In Italy the people are pious, and they can generally understand whether they are meeting a genuinely religious person or someone bogus.
We were taught to always give everyone something, spiritual food, literature, chanting, etc., and we try to do that.
Matysa Avatar Prabhu has cultivated academics and other leaders in society, encouraging them to chant Hare Krishna.
This is one of my favorite quotes about the holy name because gives me great conviction about its amazing value:
“The name of Krishna is purely spiritual. There is no knowledge as great as that of the name, and no practice of austerity or meditation, no result of spiritual activity, no form of renunciation, no act of sense control, no pious act, and no goal that can match it. The name is supreme liberation, the supreme destination, and the supreme peace. The name is eternal life itself. The name is supreme devotion and the supreme intelligence. The name is supreme love and the supreme remembrance. The name is the soul’s reason for existence. The name is the lord of the soul, the most worshipful object, and the supreme guru.” (Agni Purana, quoted in Nama Rahasya by Sacinandana Swami)