Thursday, October 01, 2015

Travel Journal#11.17: Newcastle, Sheffield, Ireland, New York City

Diary of a Traveling Sadhaka, Vol. 11, No. 17
By Krishna-kripa das
(September 2015, part one)
Newcastle, Sheffield, Ireland, New York City
(Sent from Brooklyn, New York, on October 1, 2015)

Where I Went and What I Did

September began with a final harinama in Newcastle, followed by the regular Sheffield nama-hatta program and a harinama and evening Janmastami program the next day, an increase for the devotees there. Then I went on to Dublin for harinama the day before Janmastami and a seven-hour harinama on Janmastami day, by the mercy of Ananta Nitai Prabhu, who pushed me past my limits. I observed the rest of Janmastami and Vyasa-puja on Govindadvipa, (Inis Rath Island) in Northern Ireland, and four of us chanted in Cavan, Ireland, on Vyasa-puja evening. My last day in Europe was in Belfast, where seven of us chanted in Victoria Square for three hours. Then I joined Rama Raya Prabhu and his New York City Harinama, helping out by leading, singing the response, dancing, distributing the Krishna: Reservoir of Pleasure, and manning the book table.

I share insights from Srila Prabhupada's lectures. I share notes on the lectures of Jayadvaita Swami, Rama Raya, and Madhavendra Puri Prabhu in New York City, and notes on the lectures of Tulasi Priya Das and Gopalacarya Prabhu in Northern Ireland. I share notes from Srila Prabhupada remembrances by Mula Prakrita dd. I also share Srila Prabhupada Vyasa-puja offerings from the devotees at Govindadvipa in Northern Ireland.

Thanks to the Newcastle temple for helping with my expenses in England. Thanks to Shelina, who picked us up at Derrylin on Janmastami, and Bhakta Tom, who drove us to Cavan for harinama on Vyasa-puja Day. I am very, very indebted to Kaliya Krishna Prabhu, a disciple of Romapada Swami, who kindly pays for my subway expenses so I can attend the New York City Harinam. All thanks to him.

Thanks to Joe Kenny for all the pictures of the harinama and Janmastami program in Sheffield. Thanks to Ravi Chambers for his video of us chanting in Dublin. Thanks to Krishna Daily Darshan for the Janmastami picture of Radha Govinda on the Irish island.


September 28–November 12: New York City Harinama
November 13: Philadelphia?
November 14–17: Washington, D.C., Harinama
November 18: Jacksonville, FL
November 19: Tampa
November 20: Orlando
November 21–December 15: Krishna House (except 5 days in Tallahassee)
December 16–January 3: New York City Harinama

Harinama in Sheffield

I was happy we had eight people on harinama in Sheffield, including a new person who played guitar.

Sometimes I sang. 
When Geoffrey sang, I distributed.

Sheffield Janmastami Program

We had a Janmastami program on Thursday, because we were going other places on the actual Janmastami day (Saturday).
 The venue was the Burngreave Ashram, where we have prasadam and kirtana every Thursday. 

The organizer of the ashram, Rev. John Vincent, came to the program, and I had a nice chat with him about religion before the program started. Both he and his wife, Grace, participated by chanting Hare Krishna and honoring prasadam. He gave me a copy of his book on discipleship.
I sang the first kirtana, and Harisuta Devi Dasi did arati.

I spoke briefly about the universality of Lord Krishna's supreme instruction to remember Him, become His devotee, to worship Him, and to bow down to Him, and the value of understanding the transcendental nature of His appearance and activities.

I also read the beautiful description of the evening that Krishna appeared, when everything was adjusted for supreme auspiciousness.

We had a second kirtana sung by a friend of Geoff who is a soprano who teaches music to children and has some interest in the spiritual. She ended up leading for almost an hour. She really got into the kirtana, and it was beautiful to see.

Thanks to Joe, Geoff, and Harisuta Devi Dasi, for their organizational work, and to the nice Indian lady, Manju, who along with help from her husband, a distinguished teacher of cardiology, and others, made a wonderful feast.

Harinama in Dublin the Day Before Janmastami

The advantage of doing harinama the day before Janmastami is that you can invite people to the festival the next day. Both the Indians and the Westerners who like Hare Krishna and Hare Krishna festivals are likely candidates.

Amazingly I met one Indian man living in Dubai who I had seen back in April when I chanted in Dublin with my friends. He had taken a book, given a donation, gone to Govinda's Restaurant, and come back to see us the next day. Now he was in Dublin with his whole family as his daughter enrolled in Trinity College. They knew it was Janmastami the next day and were planning to fast, and they were very happy to hear of our Janmastami festival at our Dublin temple, above the restaurant.

Ravi Chambers, who is originally from Ireland, was well known to Premarnava Prabhu, also from Ireland, and Ananta Nitai Prabhu and I knew him from his later life in the UK, where he is the MC of our 24-hour kirtana in Birmingham each year. We were all surprised to see him in Dublin as we were chanting on the steps of the Bank of Ireland. He took this little video of our meeting (

Harinama in Dublin on Janmastami

We planned to chant from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. on Janmastami. I thought we should do a little longer, because I always do three hours, but I wanted to go to the Janmastami celebration on the island, and it takes three hours to get there. After some time, Ananta Nitai Prabhu said he was thinking of chanting until midnight. I was already noticing I was more tired than usual after 2:00 p.m., and I knew midnight would be too much. Thus I said I could chant for five or seven hours instead of three. That way I could still catch the end of the festival on the island. In this way, we chanted for seven hours!

Ananta Nitai Prabhu and I began the harinama.
 Premarnava Prabhu, and later Manu Prabhu, joined us.

We chanted on O'Connell Street near Govinda's for a while, then we chanted through Temple Bar and down Grafton Street.

Manu Prabhu played his accordion and sang at the top of Grafton Street, a very busy area (

Later, back on O'Connell Street, when it was just myself and Ananta Nitai Prabhu, one group of young guys enjoyed chanting and dancing with us (

They liked it so much that they came back to visit us again, this time wearing Burger King crowns (

After chanting from 12:00 to 7:00 p.m., we dashed off to catch the 7:30 p.m. bus to Derrylin to see Radha Govinda on Their island. 

We got there at 10:45 p.m., and the devotees let both me and Ananta Nitai Prabhu sing a kirtana for the Lord.

Vyasa-puja of Srila Prabhupada

On the day of the Vyasa-puja of Srila Prabhupada, I decided to go to mangala-arati. There were about six of us. I had slept 3 hours and 10 minutes and was able to get that much rest only because they made the arati an hour later than usual.

During the midday kirtana, as I saw Srila Prabhupada at one end of the temple and Sri Sri Radha Govinda at the other, I recalled how Srila Prabhupada said, “By the mercy of Krishna, one gets a guru, and by the mercy of the guru, one gets Krishna.” As I chanted I felt happy to be the recipient of the mercy of both guru and Krishna.

Vyasa-puja Offerings

There were not many people around to make the offerings due to the late night, but there were a few.

Tulasi-priya Prabhu:

Even just considering all that you did in the year 1966, it is truly amazing, and then looking at 1967, you have another whole set of amazing activities.

One Indian lady asked Srila Prabhupada, “How did you do this?” He replied that he just presented the words of his spiritual master as they are.

We actually experience that by chanting 16 rounds of Hare Krishna, following the four rules prohibiting sinful activities, and studying your books, all our problems of life are solved. That is because we become free the clutches of the material energy of the Lord.

Narottama Prabhu:

Thank you for traveling over the six continents and preaching Krishna consciousness.

You saved us from going to hell.

Thank you for giving us Krishna.

Without you what are the heroes our children will grow up with?

Krishna-kripa Das:

Thank you for giving an ocean of conclusive knowledge of God.
Thank you for solving the problem of evil.
Thank you for letting us understand that every living creature is a soul as good as another.
Thank you for revealing the beauty of the Supreme Lord and His pastimes.
Thank you for revealing to us that we have an eternal relationship of love with Him.

Thank you for giving a joyful process of spiritual life. Even children are attracted by our public chanting, and sometimes when their parents forcibly drag them away, they cry.

Thank you for planting seeds of devotion all over the world and establishing centers worldwide. All over the world I encounter devotees with faith in Krishna, by your mercy, and I encounter devotees who want to share Krishna with others.

Rohini Kumara Prabhu:

Your instructions save us from our lower nature.

Inspired by you, half a billion books were distributed by your followers.

Ananda Maya dd:

I never felt a part of my family, and I went on a spiritual search.

I investigated everyone who had some spiritual idea, I had every baptism, and I became disillusioned.

I saw the devotees chanting on O'Connell Street, and they were striking, and that planted seeds in my heart.

Vaishnavi dd:

You single-handedly brought the mercy of Lord Caitanya to the West.

The more I realize my fallen nature, the more I am amazed by your great mercy, what you had to overlook to train Westerners.

I pray that my sons might have a fire of devotion ignited by you in their hearts.

Sri Rupa BCS Prabhu:

I remember I was in a distressed condition, when I first read your books. The words were glittering on the page. I rarely understood the words, but I liked the nice feeling I got while reading.

Over the last 25 years, when I look, I see it is your books and your followers saving me.

Madana Mohana Prabhu:

You have made a great impact on Western society by bringing this Vedic culture.

Beyond our reading of your books, our whole lifestyle is based on your instructions.

Acarya Prabhu:

Srila Prabhupada was living every verse of Bhagavad-gita. He embodied all the divine qualities described there, such as tolerance, mercy, etc.

Srila Prabhupada made it clear that without surrender to the guru, one cannot express spiritually.

Those preaching impersonalism do not appreciate the value of surrender to the spiritual master.

Hari Sauri Prabhu says that now we are so much concerned with creating a comfortable situation for ourselves, that we cannot understand how Krishna is taking care of us. In the early days of the movement it was not like that.

When I am on book distribution, if I think that “I will distribute 20 books,” then I do nothing, but if I think I am just an insignificant being, then Krishna will make all kinds of arrangements, sending me people who are interested in books.

Ananta Nitai Prabhu:

Thank you for giving me the association of persons who are enthusiastic to spread your message.

If you go out on the street to do books, harinama, or prasadam, you see how people are attracted, and it gives you faith.

Visiting devotee communities, I see that people really take care of each other, and I am inspired.

I like these presentations, because you do not really know who is who, but the bhakti is really coming.

Supriya dd, daughter of Prahlad and Ananda Mayi:

It is not enough to be born in this movement, you have to actually join it.

Your mercy has brought me from existing to really living.

I read your Jaladuta diary. My heart was breaking to read it. You gave everything to save us.

Realizing my debt to you, I want to give my life to your mission. I am ready to be your puppet. Make me dance.

I am working with the Sadaputa Archives, and I hope to dedicate my life to serving your Bhaktivedanta Institute.


You brought meaning to my life.

In 1988, I felt there was more than materialistic life. My parents could not help me. The Russian Orthodox Church could not answer my questions about a relationship with God. I read different esoteric books. In 1989 I got Easy Journey to Higher Planets, and I visited the temple. I lived with the devotees two years, and then on my own, but always keeping Bhagavad-gita as my guide.

Harinama in Cavan

Although I like to go on harinama every day, I think we get special mercy making harinama part of our celebration of the festival days. I feel like we are including the general populace in our honoring of the great personality whose appearance we are celebrating, and they are getting special benefit from that.

It is always difficult to get people to go on harinama on Srila Prabhupada's Vyasa-puja day. People are tired after the feast and have many rounds of Hare Krishna to chant before meeting their quota. Thus I was very happy we had a team of four devotees to chant in Cavan. Tim had led some nice bhajans as part of the festival, and Arena, daughter of a devotee mom from Latvia, was enthusiastic to play the drum. Ananta Nitai and I are always enthusiastic to go out. As it turned out we did not make it to Cavan and begin singing until 6:26 p.m., so we only chanted 1¼ hours. We were worried that there would be no one on the streets at that late hour on a Sunday, but we were pleasantly surprised. At one point, I counted fifteen people on the street at once. Cavan has a great venue for harinama, a square with a stage that is protected from rain. Across the street were two ATMs and a cafe that got regular traffic as did an Irish Post box to the side.

One young guy who was clearly inebriated and his friends, who appeared less so, danced with us for a time. He was so happy he threw a euro and some change into our donation box and took a book and invitation. One girl with him danced very nicely.

Other people listened for awhile including a man who liked the music but did not want literature, and a family eating some fast food.

While we were there, two different Indian men came by, one with his family, both of whom had recently moved to the area and did not know about our temple just half an hour away and who were happy to learn of it.

There were some rascal kids who must have thrown twenty small hard fruits at us, none doing any damage, but the amazing thing was, as we left, one was singing the mantra to the tune we last sang, which was not a simple tune.

We were glad we went out and hope Srila Prabhupada was pleased with our little attempt to share Krishna with people on his appearance day.

You can see this brief video of the event (

Belfast Harinama

I told Bhagavati dd (formerly Bhagavata dd) to bring her friends on harinama in Belfast, but I was amazed when she turned up with five people, including Belfast temple president, Prabhupada disciple Bhagavata Asraya. Thus including myself and Ananta Nitai Prabhu, we had seven all together, and we stayed out for three hours.
We also had prasadam and books for distribution to accompany the chanting.
New York City Harinama

New York City Harinama is always an increase in my devotional service, from three hours of chanting in public each day to six. It is powerful to be living with a group of people so dedicated to sharing the holy name. I will just share a few drops from the ocean of nectar here.

As usual, Rama Raya Prabhu leads a lively finale kirtana that gets both onlookers and devotees dancing (

One time Ananta Gauranga Prabhu led a kirtana in the subway station inspiring one saxphone player to play along (

Clarissa comes whenever she is not in high school and has learned some tunes on the harmonium since my last visit (

Jai Giridhari Prabhu comes from time to time and leads a high energy kirtana (

Kalyani Devi Dasi, new since my last visit, delights in giving people the mantra.

She also delights in inviting the ladies to dance.

 And they also enjoy dancing with her.

Phalguni Radhika Devi Dasi of Michigan danced with girls too. 

Harinama Ruci came and their singer, Sundar Nitai Prabhu, got the guys dancing.
Couples would sit with our party.

 Groups of friends would play the instruments.

Girls would dance.
One older lady in a wheelchair played the shakers.
Sometimes people walking by would lift up their headphones to hear the chanting.

Sometimes a good crowd would watch us.

At Grand Central, a formally dressed man with a briefcase was delighted to play the shakers for a while.
Another gentleman chanted with us there for a bit.

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


Srila Prabhupada:

From a lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.8.19 in Mayapur, India, on September 29, 1974:

Krishna is very difficult to understand because (1) we are fools and rascals, (2) the deluding energy is covering us and placing obstacles in our path, and (3) Krishna is adhoksaja, beyond that which we can describe with words. Therefore, we have to be very serious.

Without hearing about Krishna, we will simply do sense gratification. Thus hearing is very important, but we are not inclined to hear.

We who have taken a vow to become Krishna's friend, Krishna's lover, we cannot remain mudra-drsa [of foolish vision] without opening our eyes. Krishna is everywhere but for the mudra-drsa He is not visible. Thus we must increase our love for Krishna.

The most important process is sravanam, hearing. My guru was very kind upon me because I wanted to hear. That was my only qualification.

Lecture on maha-mantra, New York, September 8, 1966:

These are different, nine processes, sravanam kirtanam. Sravanam means hearing, and kirtanam means chanting, chanting. So by this process... Just like I chant and you hear, and you chant and I hear. Parasparam. Bodhayantah parasparam. This is the factual activities of devotion in devotional society. This bodhayantah parasparam: I chant, you hear, and you chant, I hear. So by this process, the transcendental name, the sound incarnation of the Supreme Lord, becomes manifest, manifest so that we can realize God simply by chanting and hearing. Simply by chanting and hearing that will be realized.”

From Srimad-Bhagvatam 8.1.15, purport:

“The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, appears in order to teach us how to work so that we will not be entangled in this material world. Our real problem is that we are entangled in materialistic activities, and because we are conditioned, our struggle continues through punishment in material existence in one body after another in different forms of life . . . We must therefore follow the instructions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and then, like Krishna who is never entangled by His material activities of creation, maintenance and annihilation, we will have nothing for which to lament (navasidanti ye 'nu tam). Krishna personally gives instructions in Bhagavad-gita, and anyone who follows these instructions is liberated.”

From Srimad-Bhagvatam 8.1.16, purport:

“Follow the instructions of Bhagavad-gita As It Is, and your life will be successful. That is the summary of the Krishna consciousness movement.”

Jayadvaita Swami:

From a festival program with Satsvarupa dasa Goswami at Stuyvesant Falls:

Srila Prabhupada advised that even his ISKCON Press workers, who were considered to be doing the most important service, go out on harinama for one hour a day. Our practical experience was that going out that hour a day did not detract from our ISKCON Press work.

Srila Prabhupada said regarding sentimentality:

First to cry, first to dry.

If you come on sentiment, you will leave on sentiment.

From classes in New York City:

Krishna has nothing to gain in the material world. Everything is already His property. Thus when Krishna acts, He does not act to get something. He does not have to do anything because His energies do everything.

This material world is like a slum. What does Krishna have to gain here?

If simply by knowing Krishna, one becomes free from entanglement, how could Krishna be entangled.

Our constitutional position is to act as servants of Krishna, and if we do not act in this way, we are entangled.

One should not eat food cooked by the nondevotees. It is a simple thing to offer food. It is not a big yajna [sacrifice] to bow down to Krishna, ring a bell, offer the food, “please take.”

Imagine taking rest in a room with your worst enemy, who has a knife under his pillow. That is the uncontrolled mind.

We cannot follow Krishna's instructions without becoming His devotee. He advises in Bhagavad-gita, “Just become my devotee.” Thus one should become an initiated devotee.

We are always bowing down so we come to understand we are servant of the Lord and of the spiritual master. The material world means master, master, master.

If one accepts that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and acts accordingly, he goes back to Godhead. Knowing implies acting.

Comment by Rama Raya Prabhu:

One reporter asked, “What do you think of Hinduism and Buddhism?”
Srila Prabhupada asked, “We have nothing to do Hinduism and Buddhism. We are speaking the truth, and if you are truthful you will accept it.”

Q: How does understanding that Krishna is not entangled translate to ourselves not be entangled.
A: We can understand Krishna is so great, acting yet being unattached, I should serve Him and thus be unattached.

What you do before you are initiated counts, but it counts when you become initiated. It is just like your advanced placement in high school counts, but it counts after you are enrolled in college. Otherwise, it has no significance.

Srila Prabhupada said initiation means “Yes, sir.”

When we gain the association of devotees and begin some acts of devotion, we become purified, and when we get initiated everything becomes solidified.

Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati said in The Harmonist, “We do not hate the sahajiyas because they are acknowledging Krishna, whereas the Mayavadis are trying to kill Krishna. But we do not associate with them.”

In Tehran there have been Hare Krishna devotees since Srila Prabhupada's time. There is a picture of a Janmastami celebration with all these ladies in head scarves wearing tilaka.

Comments by Abhirama Prabhu:
We think that when we have a good kirtana everyone gets the same benefit, but actually they benefit individually as they surrender.
When I chant just to get the chanting done, I do not even say the mantra properly, but when I chant, calling on Krishna to save me, I see the chanting has a different quality.

I saw my old friend Ambarish, the Ford heir who has millions of dollars, after many years.
Ambarish said, “I have heard about your Harinama Ashram in New York. You are so fortunate.”
I replied, “I am the richest man in the world to have this opportunity.”
People need leaders. Even if they are rebels, they follow a rebel leader.

Solzhenitsyn criticized Russia society saying that it failed not because of not following Lenin but because of following Lenin exactly. That is the result of following an imperfect leader.

It is a fact that modern society creates madness. Madness is a symptom of ignorance.

Q: People have different ideas of how distribute Krishna consciousness.
A: Srila Prabhupada said, “Chant Hare Krishna and distribute my books. Do not make it complicated. And do not bicker about this and that.

The Internet was started by the military and then academia got into it.

Netiquette: Do not post something you would not say in person. Do not post in a passion without considering it for a day.

If we had to pay money before sending an email, we would be more careful.

The society is degrading while the Vaishnavas are busy criticizing each other for what someone said years ago. It is not a good situation.

The soul is present everywhere in two ways:
1. There are souls everywhere, in all the planets.
2. The consciousness of the soul is spread throughout his body.

A Srila Prabhupada analogy: You know your apartment, but the landlord knows all the apartments. In the same way, you know your body, but Krishna knows all the bodies.

That Krishna has hands and legs everywhere can be explained in two ways:
1. Everyone's hands and legs are His.
2. He is everywhere.

Srila Prabhupada said that Indra is sense gratifier number one among the demigods.

We like to think of the good side of life in the womb. All the nutrients are supplied, it is warm and cozy, etc., but we neglect that the embryo is cramped, bitten by wombs, and suffers when the mom eats spicy food.

Bhagavad-gita says we should not gloss over the miseries of material life.

What is the pharmaceutical industry working on these days? Anti-depressants. 40% people are clinically depressed, and the rest are just depressed.

Even you discount the miseries, we cannot stay here.

A body has life. Where did the life come? From a body that has just died.

Krishna says that the cycle stops when one comes to Him. Krishna means the Supreme Lord.

In our natural state we are ever existing.

How long does a cockroach want to live? It wants to live forever.

When the parts serve the whole, they are happy, especially when it is a happy whole.

When we chant Hare Krishna we associate with Krishna and become joyful.

The worst fools are the fools who do not know they are fools. The beginning of knowledge is to understand "I am a fool."

To ask “Who am I and why are these miseries harassing me?” is the business of human life.

The other animals are busy fighting, and we are spending half our budget on defense.

We eat eat, sleep, have sex, and protect ourselves, but these are not the goal of life.

Q: Why Hare Krishna as opposed to another religion?
A: We are not concerned with the religion you were brought up with or which you choose to identify with. We are interested in understanding the eternal nature of the self and what are its activities. The activity of the soul is to connect to God. It is not that you serve God, and God is indifferent. Even though in this material world we are turning away from Him, He still tries to benefit us.

Why milk and not eggs? Milk does not turn into a cow.

Gambling agitates the mind, and in such a state, you cannot focus on God.

The alternative to sex within marriage is exploitation.

The divorce rate for the first marriage is less than that for future marriages. This shows that divorce and remarriage is not a formula for happiness.

The Vedic conception is that trial and error in sex does not bring happiness. It is almost like gambling.

If I train my mind to be satisfied with what I got, then I can actually be satisfied.

Q: Why do we exist?
A: God created us to enjoy happiness. Just like if I were alone in this room, how much happiness would I experience. Thus God expanded us to enjoy, and when we participate in that enjoyment, we enjoy.

Q: How do I know that bhakti-yoga will not make me irresponsible and escape reality?
A: Krishna advises Arjuna to be responsible and do his duty. If my idea of reality is actually an illusion, then to escape illusion is good. If I think ultimate happiness is to be found in relationships based on the body, then I am in illusion.

Come to these meetings, take up the chanting, read our books, associate with us, and you will get a higher taste. Do not worry about the past.

If I was giving a million dollars away, you would not say, “I will wait until I am forty-five to accept it.”

Q: Is it all right when asked if we are a religion if we say we are a universal nonsectarian spiritual practice?
A: Yes, if you can get all that out.

When an avatar is described, His physical characteristics and His mission are listed. Thus here Lord Caitanya is described has having a yellow color and preaching the Kali-yuga dharma, the chanting of the holy name.

The holy name is best method of spiritual realization because the holy name is not different from Krishna Himself.

The mantra must come from the sampradaya [spiritual lineage]. Otherwise it does not have potency. It is not that we can concoct some mantra from different names.

Our goal is get people to chant Hare Krishna, so we should chant Hare Krishna ourselves.

Srila Prabhupada did not introduce the chanting of jaya sri krishna caitanya nityananda sri advaita gadadhara srivasadi gaura-bhakta-vrinda before each round of japa. Perhaps because Srila Prabhupada advised the chanting of that Panca-tattva mantra before the Hare Krishna mantra in kirtana, some people may have decided to do it before japa, but he did not instruct that.

When it is said we should chant “the names that are dear to us” it means we should chant the names of the Lord that our guru has given us. It also means that the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra should become dear to us.

Srila Prabhupada said that we should chant the mantras and the songs of the previous acaryas. Not that we hear something from the greater yoga kirtana circle.

In Vrindavana Srila Prabhupada told Harikesa Maharaja the morning kirtana should be “Gurvastakam,” sri krishna caitanya, Hare Krishna, and nothing else, and the evening kirtana should be the Gaura Arati song, sri krishna caitanya, Hare Krishna, and nothing else.
In the Bhagavatam, it is described in this degraded age of Kali, the government administrators will become like thieves, mispending the citizens tax money for their own purposes. You can see this even now. In America this is generally covered up, but in some countries they do not bother covering it up.

Srila Prabhupada sometimes described the demigods as law abiding and the demons as outlaws. The demigods consult the sastra (revealed literature) to determine their duty, but demons act according to their own whims.

There is a sense of duty even now, as in the military, but when an officer is off duty, he acts according to his whims for sense gratification.

One cannot go back to Godhead by mental concoction.

Sally Agrawal, from her brief dealings with Srila Prabhupada when he first arrived from America, thought that Srila Prabhupada had just wanted to sell books and print more books, not that he wanted to start a movement.

Srila Prabhupada said that the brahmacari ashram should be so full of books that if the brahmacaris want to sleep they have to distribute the books.

Srila Prabhupada spoke of translating other books. Maybe Bhagavad-gita (another version). Katha Upanisad, some of the other Upanisads, Vishnu Purana, Padma Purana.

Mula Prakrti Devi Dasi (from a Prabhupada memories tape):

At the last lecture of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura's last parikrama he spoke about spreading Krishna consciousness all over the world: “Bhaktivinoda Thakura desired that. My mother Bhagavati told me as she was on her death-bed, 'Your father wanted very much that this Krishna consciousness spread all over the world, so you do it.' So Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura told of his attempts. “I have a prediction that the disciple of mine who goes across the sea will bring back the whole world.”

Srila Prabhupada, they have been calling for you. They have been crying for you.

Srila Prabhupada went to Delhi and told people he was looking for someone who could help him go to the West, and if they could help, he asked that they let him know.

At Devananda Gaudiya Math Srila Prabhupada spoke about his preaching in the West. He tried different things, but found that the disillusioned young people were those Lord Caitanya meant Him to pursue. “I would chant in the park. It was so awful what was going on in the park, I would close my eyes. I had to drag them with my own hand out of the gutter.”

Another time Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura was talking about going to the West with his disciples. He was encouraging them. He asked Sridhara Maharaja, but he said he was too reserved and could not understand the Western inflection. Then he asked Narottama Ananda Das Brahmacari who was very outgoing and successful preaching in India. He said, “I am just like a kid. I would die there, being away from you, and I would fail, and fall away. Do not send me.” Then Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura glanced around the room. He glanced at our Srila Prabhupada and said, “No need to worry, Abhay Babu will do it.”

A couple of weeks before Srila Prabhupada left this world, he talked to Puri Maharaja. Srila Prabhupada asked Puri Maharaja for a gift. “Yes, what is it?” said Puri Maharaja.
“I wanted to go on parikrama around Govardhan but I was unable. You wanted to sing for our Guru Maharaja at the end of his life but you were unable. Please sing 'Jaya Radha Jaya Krishna' so I can go on parikrama around Govardhan,” replied Srila Prabhupada.
After he sang, Prabhupada said, “Now I want to give you gift. And he gave him some maha-prasadam halava, and it was most ecstatic. Puri Maharaja said, “He pleased our Guru Maharaja more than anyone could ever imagine. He taught me that all jivas are qualified to accept Krishna.” Saying that, he cried many tears.

Sridhara Maharaja heard our Srila Prabhupada was coming. Srila Prabhupada dropped his suitcases and began running to Sridhara Maharaja, and Sridhara Maharaja ran toward him, and they were touching their feet.

Sridhara Maharaja and our Srila Prabhupada would talk hari-katha for hours and sometimes he would not even open his pharmaceutical business that day.

I met one couple who lived in Jhansi near Srila Prabhupada's place there. The man recalls Srila Prabhupada's incredible enthusiasm. The couple told him they were mostly Rama bhaktas and were into Sanskrit and said they would not be interested in Lord Caitanya's chanting and dancing, but Srila Prabhupada was not concerned. He was eager to try anyway. The man took Prabhupada on the back of a bicycle to look for temples. He did not want to hear about Krishna, but Prabhupada would speak anyway, and Prabhupada said, “Someday you will chant Hare Krishna.” Years later, it actually happened.

People were amazed at Srila Prabhupada's determination to print books, even in the heat of the Delhi sun. He was very blissful despite all obstacles.

Some Sanskrit scholars had a writers group, and Srila Prabhupada regularly came and showed his manuscripts. He could use their help with the Sanskrit. When he had finished his three Bhagavatams, he took them to the scholars, telling them that his guru and Bhaktivinoda Thakura wanted these books to go to the West, and begged the scholars to touch the books and give their blessings. Then he said, “Someone must take the books, and I want to be that person, can you give me your blessings too?” And so they happily did, although he knew they were not originally inclined to because of warnings in the scriptures about sadhus traveling over the seas.

On sadhu sent his disciple in November 1977 to Vrindavana to pay full dandavat respects to Srila Prabhupada himself and on his guru's behalf.
Srila Prabhupada asked him, “What are you doing?”
I am managing temples. I have paid priests,” he replied.
Srila Prabhupada told him, “But your grandfather did all the service himself. You should do it yourself. And you should take sannyasa, and travel the world and preach.”
Despite many different impediments, the man ended up doing as Srila Prabhupada desired.

Tulasi Priya Das (from Ireland):

From a Janmastami lecture:

Bhakti-rasayana are verses from the Tenth Canto which increase one's love for Krishna. Rasayana is a life-giving elixir.

Chanting is the best form of meditation on the Lord.

By hearing about chanting from those who have experiences from chanting we advance.

Although unaware of Krishna's glories, the gopis attained pure love for him.

The perfection of love is to be totally absorbed in Krishna and not even slightly attracted to anything else.

From a Vyasa-puja lecture:

The British were in control of India when Srila Prabhupada was a youth. He presented to Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati his doubt that it would possible to spread Lord Caitanya's message with India under foreign control. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati explained that it did not matter who was in control of the government.

In the world, wherever you look, you see one country trying to control another. Srila Prabhupada frequently made the point that those who are too much absorbed in bodily relationships have the same consciousness as animals. If you put animals from different countries together, they will simply fight, and so you cannot expect the United Nations to bring peace.

Srila Prabhupada wanted to purify the consciousness of the people.

Rama Raya Prabhu:

A party is a group of people as well as a function where you have a good time. Our sampradaya has both features. We are a group of people who have a good time sharing Lord Caitanya's message.

Madhavendra Puri Prabhu:

Only because of lack of enthusiasm for hearing and chanting about Krishna do our material desires remain.

Everything we do is to make arrangements for our own hearing and chanting about Krishna and to also similarly make facility for others.

Foolishly we think that the few minutes of pleasure we get every day is worth the 23 hours and so many minutes of inconveniences. By hearing, we learn of a world where people are happy at every moment. By continual hearing, we decide we should try to attain that place.

Srila Prabhupada explained the material mind is trying to keep us in material existence forever.

The challenge in chanting japa is to hear the vibration of Hare Krishna and not the nonsense mind.

Bhakti-yoga has to be intense to blast away the mountain of ignorance covering us. Krishna will reciprocate with our intensity.

When Krishna becomes Gaura (Lord Caitanya) to relish devotional ecstasies, all His devotees want to take part in His pastimes.

Haridasa Thakura, during Lord Caitanya's maha-prakasa lila, asked to be able to have the remnants of the food of the devotees life after life, although he felt he was shameless to ask for such an exalted benediction.

By hearing of the sweet loving exchanges between the Lord and His devotees, we should become greedy to achieve that position. It is possible for everyone, but it is not easy. Still it is the only thing worth achieving, and if we do not strive for it we will be degraded by maya and suffer.

If you have a vast treasure, why ignore it and get a job of McDonalds!

Maya does not let you remain a mediocre devotee. Either you advance or you fall away.

The long descriptions of the suffering of the material world are not required for one who is willing to absorb himself in hearing and chanting about Krishna and His devotees.

It is a travesty of religion to say that for a limited number of crimes there is a unlimited punishment.

We work for Lord Caitanya's mission and hear of Lord Caitanya's lila.

Get rid of the hocus pocus. Keep a simple focus.

Those who neglect hearing and chanting end up barking and panting.

Gopalacarya Prabhu:

A dream is very realistic when you are in it, but when you wake up, you realize it was just a dream. Similarly our situation in this material world seems very significant although it is not.

It is a wonderful situation to be in Krishna consciousness, despite the different issues we may be facing.

Often people who come to Krishna consciousness these days do not understand that Srila Prabhupada came with a mission and that we are meant to assist him in his mission. New people should be advised that they should learn what is Srila Prabhupada's mission, and then take part in it. The sampradaya has a mission, and we learn it from our guru, and then we execute it. The plan is already there for the spreading of Krishna consciousness. We just have to play some part in it.

I want all the people of the world to come to Krishna [God] consciousness and be happy. Without God, there is no question of happiness. Without God consciousness there are no good qualities.”

We chant, we read Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam, and we distribute prasadam. We do not need to add anything else.

So many times Srila Prabhupada requested people to simply assist him in his mission.

Srila Prabhupada advised, “Do not try to do anything beyond the jurisdiction of my instructions.”

Every day should be an offering of ourselves to Srila Prabhupada.

When we read Srila Prabhupada's books, we should considering “What is Srila Prabhupada trying to teach me?”

Srila Prabhupada said that his guru said if he could deliver one soul back to Godhead his mission would be successful. Srila Prabhupada said the same thing of himself. That should be our mission also: to deliver one soul back to Godhead.

The indirect preaching programs may be done by grhasthas outside the temple. In the temple, we should be just presenting pure Krishna consciousness.


I like to remember these Bhagavad-gita verses spoken by Krishna on Janmastami, the anniversary of His appearance. Simply by understanding them one can attain spiritual perfection.

paritranaya sadhunam
vinasaya ca duskrtam
sambhavami yuge yuge

To deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I Myself appear, millennium after millennium.” (Bg. 4.8)

janma karma ca me divyam
evam yo vetti tattvatah
tyaktva deham punar janma
naiti mam eti so ’rjuna

One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna.” (Bg. 4.9)