Sunday, October 11, 2015

Travel Journal#11.18: Boston, New York City, Albany

Diary of a Traveling Sadhaka, Vol. 11, No. 18
By Krishna-kripa das
(September 2015, part two)
Boston, New York City, Albany
(Sent from Brooklyn, New York, on October 11, 2015)

Where I Went and What I Did

I went with the Harinama Ruci world harinama sankirtana party to Boston to do harinama at the festival honoring the 50th anniversary of Srila Prabhupada's arrival in Boston. We stayed through Radhastami, the day after the festival weekend. Then I returned and chanted, danced, and distributed literature and invitations with the New York City Harinama party of Rama Raya Prabhu, taking a trip to Albany the next weekend to celebrate my mother's 91st birthday.

I share many realizations from the senior devotees attending the festival for the 50th anniversary of Srila Prabhupada's arrival in Boston. These include Bhaktimarga Swami, Candramauli Swami, Giriraja Swami, Navayogena Swami, Niranjana Swami, Romapada Swami, and Malati Devi Dasi. I share wisdom from senior devotees at the Harinama Ashram in New York City, namely Abhirama and Rama Raya Prabhus and their guest sannyasi speakers, Jayadvaita Swami and Candrasekhara Swami. In particular I have notes on Radhastami lectures by Candramauli, Giriraja, Navayogendra, and Radhanath Swamis.

Many thanks to Kaliya Krishna Prabhu for paying for my subway expenses in New York City. Thanks to Kesihanta Prabhu of Alachua for his kind donation. Thanks to the Brazilian lady living in Boston who likes Hare Krishna and gave me a donation at Penn Station. Many, many thanks to Caitanya Mangala Prabhu of Boston for arranging our accommodation and travel for the Prabhupada festival there.

Thanks to Mahavishnu Swami for posting the pictures of us doing harinama on the Boston streets. Thanks to the Hare Krishna Festival devotees for their picture of me on harinama in Boston. Thanks to Dharmatma Prabhu and Mother Dvijapriya for their pictures of our Union Square harinama.


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

Srila Prabhupada Festival in Boston

I found the festival for the 50th anniversary of Srila Prabhupada's arrival in Boston to be deeply uplifting and inspiring. The many senior devotees and their realizations contributed a lot. I think that accepting our celebration, Srila Prabhupada must have blessed us with some special mercy.

I stayed with the Harinama Ruci traveling harinama sankirtana party in Boston. We traveled from our hotel to Boston Common via bus and train, and we did harinama on both, inspiring one or two travelers to join with us (

Part of the festival was offerings to Srila Prabhupada on a boat which sailed around the Boston harbor for a couple hours.

Jayadvaita Swami:

Srila Prabhupada told Abhirama Prabhu it was very difficult for him to give up his family life. But he did that. Then he went to Vrindavan. Then he gave up Vrindavan. Why? Because he had a duty to his spiritual master.

Srila Prabhupada told one disciple, “If I did not preach, where would you be?”

There will be difficulties, but we have to think, “How can I do this duty despite the difficulties?” We must carry on the legacy given us by Srila Prabhupada and make our lives glorious.

Romapada Swami:

Complete humility, complete dependence on his guru, and complete confidence were the cause of Srila Prabhupada's success.

Seeing Srila Prabhupada completely transformed my life.

Out of gratitude for his sacrifice, make sacrifice for him.

Trivikrama Swami:

I am convinced that within 50 years from now, Srila Prabhupada will be the most prominent spiritual teacher in this world.

Jagat-purusa Prabhu:

Srila Prabhupada embodies the understanding of being an instrument in the Lord's service and shows that in that position nothing is impossible.

Bhaktimarga Swami:

Srila Prabhupada did not come to America to elevate himself financially but to elevate everyone spiritually. Srila Prabhupada was at the cutting edge of everything, animal rights, reincarnation, etc. He came to change the world.

Radhanath Swami:

As far as we know, the first American Srila Prabhupada met in his life was the immigration agent.

Srila Prabhupada boarded the boat with his son and three employees of the cargo ship company. Now 50 years later, 15,000 people gathered in Kolkata to celebrate it.

Guru Gouranga Prabhu:

I was aimless before meeting Srila Prabhupada, but now I have a direction.

Srila Prabhupada came for me. We can each say that because he come for everyone. We all know what to do to pay our debt to him. Everyday we should wake up remembering that.

Niranjana Swami:

Fortunate is the person who is blessed with responsible work, and if one is conscious of his subordinate position, he will be able to act nicely.

Markine Bhagavata Dharma” shows Srila Prabhupada's conscious dependence on Krishna. Srila Prabhupada taught that from when he appeared in the West until he left this world.

If I forget that I am Srila Prabhupada's servant, whatever I do is not done very nicely.

Anuttama Prabhu:

Srila Prabhupada explained, “Because of my enthusiasm, this movement is going on and you have had a chance take part.”

Our goal is simply to assist Srila Prabhupada in his mission.

Visakha Devi Dasi:

While researching Srila Prabhupada's statements for a documentary, Srila Prabhupada's Legacy and Life, we found that he only rarely mentioned his heart attacks on his journey, but many times he spoke of his meeting with his guru. He was not interested in telling us how much he sacrificed for us. Rather he wanted to share the divine knowledge of his guru.

He was here to give, and he gave all the time.

Malati Devi Dasi:

In his letters to India soon after he arrived in America, he explained how the Americans were getting new knowledge from him. Although their English was different from his, they were understanding.

The captain got Srila Prabhupada a hot plate so he could cook for himself. He thought that if the captain had not done that he might not have survived.

He said he spoke in a church for the first time and the people liked it.

He described the place to people in India: “You cannot imagine. Here people impregnate women and take them to a doctor and abort the child.”

He told how some of the people began to follow him and gave up intoxication and illicit sex, and that he was surprised by their great reverence for him.

He predicted, “In the future, there will be preaching all over the world by these young people.”

Shubha Vilas Prabhu:

Srila Prabhupada would say to me, “You do not know how much I went through to go to the West.”

You have brought us to the doorway to the spiritual world. We just have to walk through it.

Ashalata Devi Dasi:

Because of your austerity, humility, and determination Krishna gave you the force to spread Krishna.

I had the desire to touch the feet of the saint who had given Krishna consciousness to hundreds of Westerners. I came from Toronto to Chicago. My husband mentioned my desire in conversation to Srila Prabhupada, and he pulled up the end of his dhoti covering his feet and let me touch them.

Navayogendra Swami:

When I met Srila Prabhupada, he asked my name, and I replied, “Yogendra Kumara Sharma.” He replied, “Your name is Navayogendra Dasa.”

What is the gift of
Srila Prabhupada to the whole world? Bhakti, unmotivated and uninterrupted.

Srila Prabhupada told some Britishers, “You have taken everything from India, but you have forgotten one thing, her culture, and I have come to give you that.”

Srila Prabhupada said about the Westerners, “I did not come to follow them, I came to make them follow me.”

Cintamani Devi Dasi:

Srila Prabhupada told me, “Cintamani is the place Krishna stays. Make in your heart a place for Krishna to stay.”

I was praying to Jesus for a year to find God, to find the truth. I became vegetarian. A devotee suggested I write Srila Prabhupada. I did and he
replied, “We are followers of Jesus, just add the chanting of Hare Krishna.” I did. Within a month I got initiated.

How has my life changed? I really had no life. Without the holy name, there is no life.
My request is: “Just keep this Krishna consciousness going.”

Mahavishnu Swami:

Seeing that Piccadilly in London is just like a village compared to Times Square and seeing all of the tall buildings, I realized that New York City is center of Kali-yuga.
Everyone is suffering because they have no relationship with Krishna. Prabhupada taught this simple and joyful practice whereby we can awaken our love for Him.

Anuttama Prabhu [ISKCON Communications]:

Srila Prabhupada had a vision, and he fulfilled that mission.

His vision was that Krishna's holy name and His instructions could purify the world.

After the Vrindavan temple opening, Srila Prabhupada was thinking about what next.

The flag of India was flown over City Hall in Boston on Thursday [September 17, 2015] to commemorate Srila Prabhupada's arrival 50th years ago. The mayor declared that day His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada Day in Boston.

What about all those people who think intoxication, meat-eating, illicit sex, and gambling will really make them happy? We have more to do.

Ambarisa Prabhu [Alfred Ford]:

Fifty years ago they were grooming me for a corporate career, then there was the hippie scene. I do not think I would be alive today without Srila Prabhupada. I was without direction.

I wondered about how the Mayapur temple would happen, but I kept Srila Prabhupada's order to me in the center, and it is progressing.

I would like to thank the ISKCON management for keeping things together the almost 40 years since Srila Prabhupada left this world. After being attacked in so many ways, from so many different directions, ISKCON is still going forward with the main teachings still intact.

Gopal Swami
Prabhu [from France]:

Who does not feel alone sometimes? We can take heart seeing Srila Prabhupada's courage in the face of his lonely journey.

From him we can learn nama-ruci, taste for the holy name of Krishna.

He showed the example of Vaishnava-seva (service to the Vaishnava).

Devi Dasi: 

Krishna arranged that Srila Prabhupada do it alone.

He sailed into the Boston harbor and into so many of our hearts.

He turned hippies into happies.

I heard the chant from the musical, Hair, and sang it for two years, thinking it was just a cinema song.
In Boston we would do a radio show of the Krishna book. Satsvarupa would write the script. He played Krishna. I played Mother Yasoda. Satsvarupa played tapes of the shows for Prabhupada, and when Prabhupada heard Mother Yasoda screaming “Krishna!” in the Kaliya pastime, Prabhupada had them stop the tape. He asked who that was playing Yasoda. “Sumati,” Satsvarupa said. Prabhupada replied, “She should always cry to Krishna like that.”

Rukmini Devi Dasi:

Bhakti follows the prayers of the pure devotee, and so it did from Prabhupada's Boston prayers.

Srila Prabhupada said, “We hear 'Preach, preach, preach,' but they do not know you have to be empowered to preach.”

Devi Dasi:

I was going through difficulties. I found my father could not help me.

I prayed for the truth without any conditions, in a field of flowers. Two days later I was in the Detroit temple.

Sarva Siddhi Prabhu:

I am convinced everything in my life has been due to Srila Prabhupada since I met the devotees.

We were at the furthest table from Srila Prabhupada. He was tossing prasadam. I had my head down, and when I looked up there was one almond in front of me, and two in front of my wife, who was pregnant.

Giriraja Swami:

Fifty years ago I was in Brandeis University in Boston. I was looking for a guru. I looked in different places. Each time I was disappointed. I had given up thinking I would find one. I heard of Srila Prabhupada's lecture. I was doubtful but something within pulled me to go. I think it was Srila Prabhupada's prayers. I went, and then I would go every evening.

I felt that the disciple should go to the guru, but Prabhupada was coming to us. Actually he was always coming to us.

We were really struggling in Boston. Prabhupada met with the devotees and patiently heard everyone out and suggested we meet collectively and discuss things and make solutions. My policy was always everything for Krishna, nothing for myself, and therefore I never complained. I learned from this that we have to take care of devotees because Srila Prabhupada was so concerned for devotees.

Srila Prabhupada was like Krishna in that he was there for everyone.

I could not exist without the association of Srila Prabhupada's followers.

Harinama from Commonwealth Pier to the Boston Common

After the Boston boat ride, we did harinama from Commonwealth Pier to the Boston Common. It was wonderful to have a chanting party with so many devotees.

Many people were happy to see us.

And to dance with us.
One devotee lady swung onlookers around.
Once Malati Devi borrowed my friend's trumpet to play.

I took a little video of part of it (

At the festival site, some of the Festival of India tents were set up.
Several devotees taught chanting Hare Krishna on beads as a personal meditation and distributed meditation kits to those they taught.

After lunch prasadam, we chanted Hare Krishna from the Boston Common to Faneuil Hall, carrying a full-size murti [statue] of Srila Prabhupada. Several curious onlookers asked about Srila Prabhupada. I was thinking how in 1965 practically no one was aware of Srila Prabhupada's arrival in Boston, but now because of this festival in 2015, hundreds and perhaps thousands of people became aware of it.

A couple girls from Switzerland and a boy from Austria (above), who had lunch prasadam with Sundar Nitai Prabhu and the devotees, came on that procession and danced nicely in the kirtana. Here is some video of it (

One man I talked to even gave me $5 for a Perfection of Yoga which Gaura Karuna Prabhu gave me to distribute.

There was a program with chanting and talking about Srila Prabhupada at Faneuil Hall in the evening which was scheduled to be from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

Because my Harinama Ruci friends and I had not done our daily quota of chanting in the streets, we did not attend this but continued chanting.  

On harinama I distributed temple invitations and danced as usual.

We had many nice experiences.
Some people danced with us.

Boston Ratha-yatra

Boston Ratha-yatra was the second day of the weekend festival. I was busy dancing and distributing so I did not take pictures of it. We pulled Lord Jagannath, Lord Baladeva, and Lady Subhadra clockwise in a circular route around the perimeter of Boston Common. Several devotees distributed books, invitations, and prasadam to the people. Many people were attracted by the procession.

After the Ratha-yatra, we did harinama downtown. Some other street performers participated with us at one point (

One Russian speaking devotee had rendered a sculpture of Srila Prabhupada walking down the gangway of the Jaladuta in Boston. This was situated next to Srila Prabhupada's vyasasana in the Boston temple at the end of the festival.

Sunday evening after the festivities, I was there with Niranjana Swami and Jayadvaita Swami, both of whom I knew from 1979 when I first joined the temple in New York City on 55th Street. I mentioned how one of the speakers told how Srila Prabhupada had sailed into Boston harbor and that he had also sailed into our lives. I thanked the two of them for sailing into my life, as Srila Prabhupada's representatives.

More Boston Harinamas

The Harinama Ruci Party chanted every day for at least three hours in Boston. In fact, they found Boston so favorable for harinama and book distribution they decided to stay two more days in Boston before returning to New York City. I did not stay as I am part of the New York City Harinama party, and I did not want to disappoint Rama Raya Prabhu, our leader.

Mahavishnu Swami was a great inspiration on harinama.

He would get people dancing.

Costumed people would dance with us.

Kids would dance.

Devotees would swing the onlookers.
One performer, a lady dressed in silver, wore a garland the devotees gave her.
One Boston policeman, originally from Trinidad, was captivated by the harinama. Because there are many Indians in Trinidad, although African himself, the policeman was aware of the existence of Hare Krishna, but he did not know much about it. I told him some additional details, and he spent some time with our party the next day.

The final day we met some people doing yoga on the Boston Common, and Sundar Nitai Prabhu brought them to the point of doing some bhakti-yoga (

Here are some clips of harinamas from all three days (

New York City Harinama

Our usual spot is the southwest corner of Union Square Park, right in front of the subway station entrance.
Usually I lead the singing for 30 or 40 minutes of the six hours we sing each day.
Sometimes I sit at the book table.

 At other times, I would distribute pamphlets and invitations.

Often in the course of the day people dance to our singing.

Once time Ananta Gauranga Prabhu led a kirtana that got a bunch of people dancing (

This time each year the Jews erect a small structure for a week or so in our usual spot to chant, so we move over.

In this video, Kishor Prabhu sings, and in the background you can see some Jewish men, in front of their structure, dancing. Thus they are getting credit for participating in Lord Caitanya's sankirtana movement (

One day a young lady from Turkey, enjoying watching the devotees chanting Hare Krishna in Union Square Park, seeing their intense absorption, said to me, “By losing themselves, they are finding themselves.” What a wonderful realization!

On the cold and wet days we sing in the subway stations.

At Atlantic Ave. / Barclay's Center many people watched and some danced with us.
One little girl delighted in dancing.

While Ananta Gauranga Prabhu was signing, one guy danced with Nihal Prabhu (

It was a Jewish holiday, and the subway was teeming with Jews in their traditional dress. Some Jewish kids danced with us, until their mother objected (

Abhirama Prabhu, when he is in town, does a walking harinama for two hours or so three days of week in the late afternoon.

Once we did Times Square.
One lady delighted in dancing with us.
So did several girls who were friends.
We met a lady from Mexico who attends our Mexico City temple.

Another time we did harinama around the Union Square Park and 14th Street.

One day Harinama Ruci chanted with us on the way back to our ashram from Union Square. We took the “L” train from Union Square to Broadway Junction, and Sundar Nitai Prabhu engaged many people in singing the Hare Krishna mantra (

At Broadway Junction, one lady danced with us in the subway station (

My Mother's 91st Birthday

My sister, Karen, decided we would celebrate our mother's birthday the weekend of September 26-27 although September 14 was the actual day as it worked out better with our schedules. Karen's daughter Fern was in town, and my half-brother David's daughter, Gwen, and her baby, Vianne. Gwen got a break from babysitting with so many helpers.

I cooked Friday night and made dal, capatis, and two kinds of lassi, mango and raspberry. Some people merged the two lassis to have mango-raspberry lassi. I learned that raspberries are a bit tart and you have to add more sugar than what a mango lassi recipe calls for.

My guru's servant, Baladeva Vidyabhusana Prabhu, known as Bala, who lives 45 minutes away, kindly made and delivered his wonderful version of spinach paneer, along with all sorts of goodies, like cookies, khichri, and a whole jug of apple cider offered on Radhastami but never served out. He also gave lots of local jams that he received by trading prasadam with neighbors. My sister's boyfriend, Victor, gave Bala a nice donation for all his goods and his trouble.
Saturday Victor made a birthday cake. There was not room for 91 candles so he just used candles to spell “91” on the cake. 
Then they had two trays totaling 91 candles separately. My mother told of incidents in each decade of her life as they lit each group of 10 candles.

I gave my mother as a birthday present the six flavors of fruit snacks I got from the Czech devotees prasadam business called “Damodara”: date with coconut, plum with linseed, poppy, fig with carob, dates with beetroot, and apple with chia.

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


Candramauli Swami:

From a Radhastami lecture:

Scholars say two things can never be understood: Krishna's qualities and Radharani's love.

In order to get the mercy of Krishna one must get the mercy of Radharani. Srila Prabhupada says in one lecture that Krishna can be satisfied easily by offering a leaf, flower, fruit, and water, but to make sure Krishna accepts your offering, put it in Radharani's hand.

The great poet Jayadeva Goswami felt inspired to write “Krishna places His head at the lotus feet of Radharani” in a poem, but then he considered that could not be correct as Krishna is in a superior position. He stopped to take His midday bath before lunch. After a while, his wife saw Jayadeva had returned, and she fed him lunch. Then he sat down at his writing table, wrote briefly, and then stepped out. Then Jayadeva returned, expecting lunch. His wife said she already served him lunch. He disagreed. She explained she served him lunch, he wrote briefly, and he then stepped out. Jayadeva looked at his writing table and saw the words he had hesitated to write appeared there. Thus he concluded that Krishna had disguised Himself as Jayadeva, gave his wife the chance to personally serve Him lunch, and wrote the truth about the greatness of Radharani, “Krishna places His head at the lotus feet of Radharani.”

Radharani appears whenever Krishna appears, but she does not always appear in the same way in each incarnation and thus the scriptures tell give different accounts.

Vrsabhanu saw a gigantic effulgent lotus flower floating down the Yamuna. Lord Brahma congratulated King Vrsabhanu saying his austerities reached perfection, and he brought an incredibly beautiful girl from the lotus flower.

When Narada Muni saw Radharani he went into ecstasy and circumambulated Radharani many times, and he praised Vrsabhanu for amazing his good fortune.

Narada-bhakti-sutra was written by Narada Muni in the ecstasy of having just seen the newborn Radharani.

We can pray, “My dear Srimati Radharani, please bless me that I may satisfy my spiritual master, who is Krishna's representative.”

One reason that Sukadeva Goswami did not speak the intimate glories of Radharani is that some people in the audience were not qualified to hear them.

Every game that is played in this world originated in the spiritual world.

We will never completely understand Radha or Krishna, but bhakti is the process of trying to understand, and because bhakti is unlimited, we are always learning something new.

Radharani in Vrindavana is always dancing.

Radharani never cooks the same preparation for Krishna twice.

We can pray to Radharani, “You are very dear to Lord Krishna so we offer obeisances to you.”

In playing hide and seek, Krishna would always move and it would be difficult for Radha to catch him. Then Radha chanted the Hare Krishna mantra in a very sweet voice, and Krishna froze, and Radha was able to catch Him.

Jayadvaita Swami:

The different regions of the universe are all populated by different grades of living entities according to their past pious and impious acts.

The reason we are living in the material world is we are attracted to the nice places in the material world.

Comment to a devotee leaning against wall and falling asleep: “That wall is not good for you.”

One psychologist wrote a book in which he described conditions that could be explained by reincarnation. One was gender dysphoria [the condition of feeling one's emotional and psychological identity as male or female to be opposite to one's biological sex].

When we see a female pig, it is an not attractive sight but rather disgusting, yet a male pig is completely enchanted and excited.

For one who has the mercy of Lord Caitanya, heavenly residences are just phantasmagoria.

Srila Prabhupada included “idle sports” in the category of gambling. He referred to them as “this ball, that ball.” When the mind becomes absorbed in sports, it has less time for Krishna.

Better than touching the book is to buy the book, then you can touch it more.

We have gardens on earth but nothing in comparison to Trikuta Mountain.

It is natural that people want to get out of the city to beautiful natural settings because the spiritual world is like that.

Heavenly gardens are superior to earthly gardens, yet still, the heavenly beauty is clearly imitation. Spiritual gardens are far more attractive than even those on the heavenly planets.

Maya has got something in stock for everyone. A demigod will not be bewildered by the beautiful girls of the earth, but he will be attracted by the heavenly damsels. One may not attracted by night clubs, but he is attracted by saving the whales.

In ignorance people are attracted by intoxication, in passion they are attracted by sense enjoyment, and in goodness they are attracted by beauty, philosophy, simplicity and peace. But still they are attracted by maya.

If you take even a tenth of centimeter of skin off a beautiful woman, you will not be attracted.

So many tourist places are just hype, an attraction built up by words.

If you see a pornographic movie, what is it? Just some light on a screen. The mind provides everything else.

Imagine having a body of eternity, knowledge and joy. We would think in our conditioned consciousness, “Then I could really enjoy.” That is our disease. We think we are the enjoyer. Therefore we cannot go to the spiritual world. The spiritual world is a world of service.

Here as servants of Krishna we can enjoy living in this ashram and having so many facilities because we are engaging them in Krishna's service. And when we go to Union Square, we can enjoy enlightening the people and take pleasure in their attraction for Krishna. If they become attracted to us, we find that disgusting.

Comment by Rama Raya Prabhu: When the devotees used to distribute books in the airport, one demonic worker collected books people bought but then discarded and would rip the books apart in front of the devotees' faces and say insulting words. That man was no longer seen for a month, and the devotees asked the other airport workers what happened to him. He got into an accident and his back was broken, and he was paralyzed for life.

The purpose of any spiritual order of life is to awaken love for God but due to illusion, people think that the purpose is sense gratification. This sense gratification is made up to be stellar, to be tremendous, but it is actually insignificant.

The man gets a little sense enjoyment but has to pay so much for his home and for the education of the kids. And now, the wife can decide she had had enough, and kick the guy out and take the house, and the guy will still have to pay for kids' education, but without being able to see them.

Even in the best of circumstances, everything will be lost in the course of time.

In Kali-yuga the animals do better at family life than the humans because at least the family stays together.

We are also trying to establishing a nice situation, but for getting out of this world and helping others to get out, not for staying here.

Q: Sometimes you see a guy and girl together and they seem to be having a good time. Is it all duplicity?
A: It may be duplicity if they are both pretending. Maya has a covering and throwing potency. So they are covered in such a way that they are thinking it is very nice, just as the camel who is chewing on the thorns is thinking he is enjoying, but the taste is his own blood.

Material happiness is like a bubble that lasts for a few moments and is gone.

In the material world, love disappears when the pocket is empty.

There is a great line in Shakespeare that has a double meaning: He lies with her and she lies with him.

Q: Some people say by loving others that will help in loving God.
A: Everyone is already loving some boy, some girl, some cat, some dog. If loving someone else would help us in loving God, then we would have a very God consciousness world. Actually if we think by loving someone else it will help us love God, then we should love the spiritual master for that really will help us love God.

Why do I love myself? Because I am part of Krishna.

Give love to the souls of the people by connecting them with Krishna.

One may be a Lincoln or a Kennedy, but one is not immune to death.

Q (by me): Krishna, God, is all good, and His will is good, but sometimes when His will causes us discomfort we have doubts.
A: Yes, we expect God to be our order supplier, but that is not His position. We can desire to live to pursue self-realization (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.10), but whether we live or die is up to Krishna.

Eternity in this body is not possible.

Mahavishnu Swami:

Our modern scientists are in the grip of illusion, although they are struggling to overcome nature. We think we are conquering nature, when in reality, we are becoming more dependent on her.

We give up meat eating, illicit sex, gambling, and intoxication to help us realize that we are not our bodies.

Prabhupada brought literature telling of a civilization based on transcendental progress rather than material advancement.

The modern civilization is studying the material nature without first considering the important question, “Who am I?”

We are being held in the mode of goodness by Srila Prabhupada's mercy.

It may seem difficult to follow the four rules prohibiting illicit sex, intoxication, meat eating and gambling, but in the association of devotees it is not so hard.

All these things are Krishna's energy, but we know how to use them for Krishna, and so we are free. Srila Prabhupada has set us free.

Repression will not work. In this we agree with the psychologists. We have to get a higher taste.

Srila Prabhupada could see everyone was following America and thought if America became Krishna conscious, then the world would also. Thus he chose to come to America.

Commenting on “Krishna Taba Punya Habe Bhai”:

Srila Prabhupada as he was coming to America wrote, “O, brothers, the Supreme Lord Krishna will bestow virtue upon you—but He will do this only when Srimati Radharani first becomes pleased with you. This I surely declare to you.” What does he mean by brothers? I take it to mean his godbrothers. Bhaktisiddhanta Saravati Thakura wanted all the godbrothers to preach in the West.

In Africa there are 54 countries, but we have only 20 centers, a few centers in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa, one each in Uganda and Congo.

We need pioneers. Srila Prabhupada was a pioneer. He wants us to be pioneers. The mood of Radharani is to bring others to Krishna.

The Sanskrit Department in Varanasi is named after Jiva Goswami, he is such a famous philosopher.

Navayogendara Swami:

From a lecture on Radhastami:

This life is to attain Krishna-prema [love of Krishna].

While we are in this body, which is temporary, we must always remember our real business is to attain Krishna.

Without the mercy of Radharani, no one can have Krishna-prema.

How is the chanting of Hare Krishna spreading all over the world? By Radharani's mercy.

This is obtained through the link of spiritual teachers.

Why is Radha so great? Because Her only desire is to please Krishna.

We should pray to Radha, “O Radha, please bless me to become a devotee of your beloved Krishna.”

One man named Kapoor left home to Surabhi Kunja in Vrindavana about two hundred years ago, being inspired by Krishna in a dream. He kept thinking someday Krishna would reveal Himself, but years went by and he did not see Krishna. He did not eat. He went blind and was suffering greatly. Radha noticed this and went to Krishna presenting the situation and asking Krishna to reveal Himself to the man. He replied, “You are the queen of Vrindavana, without your permission I cannot reveal myself to him.” She replied, “Let us go together so he can see Us.” They went and Radharani applied ointment to Kapoor's eyes, and he could see both of Them in great happiness. The Deity of Krishna in this place is called Nayanananda [He who gives bliss to the eyes].

Radharani's qualities are so super Krishna likes to be controlled by Her.

Once I offered obeisances to Lord Shiva, and one devotee was upset, saying, “Prabhupada said we only show respect to Krishna.” I was confused so I asked Srila Prabhupada. He replied, “People say 'Prabhupada said this, Prabhupada said that,' but I did not say this or that. What to speak of respecting Lord Shiva, who is the lord of the demigods, we should respect even an ant.”

Srila Prabhupada said the real Ramayana is that composed by Valmiki. Another book called Rama-carita-manasa is sometimes mistakenly called Ramayana.

British Lord Macauly said he traveled throughout India and found no beggers and no thieves. He wrote that to rule the Indians they would have to destroy the educational system and cow protection and so they did.

We must give this wonderful Vedic culture to everyone without discrimination.

Srila Prabhupada said that the Lord is peaceful because he is eternal. That which is temporary causes agitation.

Radharani is Jagan-mata, mother of the universe. Without respecting mothers, we will not get Radharani's mercy.

When Srila Prabhupada was present, devotees were very careful and austere. If you find people not up to the standard, do not lower your standard. People will be attracted by the devotion and join.

Srila Prabhupada advised that grhasthas who live near the temple not to have their own Deities but to participate in the temple Deity worship.

Srila Prabhupada is the emblem of the mercy of Radharani.

On a couple occasions Srila Prabhupada asked me to cook for him. I said I could not cook. The second time Srila Prabhupada said, “One lady is cooking for me, but I cannot eat her cooking.” I said I would try. I prayed to Radharani, “You are the best cook, please bless me with the ability to cook for your devotee Srila Prabhupada.” As I cooked I thought about how Srila Prabhupada was dear to Srimati Radharani. That meal Srila Prabhupada ate three capatis which he had not done in seventeen days. Thus I became Srila Prabhupada's cook by Radharani's mercy.

Lord Caitanya is in the mood of Radharani and that is why we are getting the opportunity of chanting Hare Krishna all over the world.

Radhanath Swami:

From a lecture on the 50th anniversary of arrival of Prabhupada in America:

Srila Prabhupada had only a sponsorship of one month, and when he boarded the boat, he did not know if after than 38-day voyage whether he could stay for more than a month. When he arrived in New York City, the immigration official asked him how long he wanted to stay. He decided to stretch it, and he said, “Two months.” And so they stamped it.

Vrindavan Candra De, Prabhupada's youngest son, arranged for Prabhupada's ride from the dharmasala he stayed at [because he was a sannyasi and could not stay at home] to the Calcutta docks. His oldest son would not do it. Vrindavan Candra came to the festival in Calcutta celebrating the 50th anniversary of his departure. He said when the boat pulled out, “I cried incessantly.” “Why is my father doing this?” he thought. But at the same time he said, “But I was proud of my father.”

Srila Prabhupada said, “I had some cases of Srimad-Bhagavatam, and faith in the order of my guru and in the holy name of Krishna.”

Vrindavan Candra De also told us that when his father arrived in Boston, with the help of the ship's captain, he sent him a message in India that he made it to Boston but he had heart attacks. He told him, “Please go to this particular pharmacy and get this certain medicine, and send it to Butler, Pennsylvania.” And he did that.

From a Radhastami lecture at the Bhakti Center:

Srila Prabhupada said we could even offer cut glass jewelry to the Deities if we do it with devotion. That would be more valuable than offering a pearl because the real pearl is the devotion.

Giriraja Swami:

Srila Prabhupada told us there is a saying in India illustrating how karma follows you, “Wherever you go, your forehead goes with you.” Calcutta was seen as a place of prosperity, and so people would say, “Even if you go to Calcutta, your forehead will go with you.”

There is no use wasting time and energy trying achieve happiness or avoid distress because these things are ordained. Better to satisfy the Lord, because if the Lord is pleased, what is there left to achieve?

When I first met Srila Prabhupada in Boston, after hearing him for several days I was convinced about the value of Krishna consciousness. After one class I asked Srila Prabhupada about welfare work? Srila Prabhupada replied, “Why are you coming here? Are we not offering you service?” He explained that by engaging people in devotional service we were saving them from the material nature and all its miseries. He used the example of Dhruva Maharaja who was so satisfied by his devotional service that he wanted nothing else, and he asked, “Is it not service to bring someone to the point of being so satisfied they do not want anything? There would be no stealing, no pickpocketing.” Although I was very truthful, by bad association I developed a habit of putting things in my pocket when I went into a shop, and when he said that it made me feel guilty.

Alexander the Great came across a yogi meditating in the scorching sun. He was so impressed he wanted to give the yogi something. He approached him, and offered the yogi anything he wanted, and the yogi just asked that he move slightly as he was blocking the sun. Otherwise he was completely satisfied.

When Srila Prabhupada was in Boston, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday he gave classes at the temple and on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday he would speak elsewhere, usually at a college engagement.

Srila Prabhupada spoke at Harvard Divinity School. Many people asked questions.
Q: You say chanting the name of God will solve all problems. In Russia there have been movements of people chanting God's names, but what improvements have been there until the revolution?
A: Are the people happy after the revolution?
Q: No.
A: What is the use?

Q: Why chant Hare Krishna? Why not chant one, two, three?
A: You can try counting, and when you get tired, you can try chanting Hare Krishna.

Q: Have you seen God?
A: If I say I have seen God, will you accept my answer?
Q: No.
A: Then why are you asking the question?

The students were impressed with the brilliance of Srila Prabhupada's answers.

He made it clear you cannot make an enduring change by political activitism or another material method.

Question by Navayogena Swami: Why, although Prabhupada was a maha-bhagavata, did he have to suffer so many troubles struggling alone, traveling by cargo ship, etc.?
A: Srila Prabhupada said, “Krishna tested me in the beginning by taking everything away from me and in the end Krishna gave me everything.”

Srila Prabhupada was ready to do whatever he asked us to do and much, much more.

Srila Prabhupada shows it is never too late.

At the ardha Kumbha Mela in 1971 it was so cold that we were having difficulty getting out of our sleeping bags and taking a cold bath. When Srila Prabhupada heard that he got up himself.

Comment by Navayogendra Swami: I asked Srila Prabhupada why he was sick. He said, “Because of you. I have taken so many disciples, and because of their karma, I am sick.”

At the end of his life, Srila Prabhupada gave an amazing translation and purport to the final verse in the Brahma-vimohana-lila. His health was so bad, but his intelligence was so clear.

From a Radhastami lecture at the Bhakti Center:

Radha and Krishna are present in Their glorification, and They purify us. The result of this purification may be that we experience unwanted things we were not even aware of.

One disciple told Srila Prabhupada he felt he was more advanced before he became a devotee. Srila Prabhupada explained that it is just like when you begin to clean a room, at first you stir things up and it may seem to be more dirty than it originally was.

We do not have the power to cleanse our hearts, but the Lord will take up that work.

Hearing how love conquers God, I thought of some examples from Srila Prabhupada's life.

Srila Prabhupada was in Bombay about to start a meeting about the next step in the attempt to secure the land for Radha-Rasabihari. A muscular laborer came to the door, entered the room, came right up to Srila Prabhupada, and set a bunch of wild flowers on his desk, bowed down, and glanced at Srila Prabhupada and left. Srila Prabhupada was speechless for a few seconds. Then he exclaimed, “How did he know I was here? Where did he get the idea to get the flowers? Where did he gather them from? I am an insignificant entity and I am so moved, how much is Krishna moved by love!” Then Srila Prabhupada, quoted Bhagavad-gita 9.26, “If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit or water, I will accept it.”

All the spiritual masters in the line of Lord Caitanya have the mission of distributing the love of Godhead. Srila Prabhupada was special in that he brought it all over the world. We are all indebted to him.

Srila Prabhupada was asked about his eternal identity, and Srila Prabhupada answered indirectly, “If I were to tell you, you would faint.”

When asked who was the greatest of Radha, Krishna, and Caitanya, Srila Prabhupada paused and said, “Srimati Radharani is the greatest,” pointing to the picture on the wall of Krishna kneeling before Srimati Radharani. Then pointing to a picture of Krishna carrying Nanda Maharaja's shoes on his head, Srila Prabhupada said, “Nanda Maharaja is best. The devotee is best, because the Lord becomes subservient to the love of the devotee.”

Krishna likes to be conquered by love. That is also service to Krishna.

How can Lord Caitanya give such a great treasure to anyone without discrimination to whoever will take it? The example is that of a king who is intoxicated and goes into his treasury and gives out the contents to everyone. Lord Caitanya is intoxicated with love of Godhead and in that state he is distributing his treasure to everyone without consideration.

Romapada Swami:

At the time of Lord Caitanya, there was a tradition of Bengali devotees going to Puri every year. That is why Lord Caitanya's mother wanted Him to make His residence in Puri, because she would be able to hear of Him.

Even as a child Srila Prabhupada understood that prasadam distribution is an important part of a religious festivals, and he included it in his Ratha-yatra festival as a child.

Regarding preaching in the West, Srila Prabhupada considered, “Somehow let me try.”

Toshan Krishna Prabhu was told “no” when he first asked for Fifth Avenue for the New York Ratha-yatra procession. He went back again. The government official offered other streets in New York, like Madison Avenue, but Srila Prabhupada wanted Fifth Avenue so Toshan Krishna would not accept them. Toshan Krishna cited from Sri Caitanya-caritamrita that the most prominent street must be used for Ratha-yatra, and thus he would only accept Fifth Avenue. The man said I do not know why I am doing this, and he signed the paper, and Ratha-yatra has been on Fifth Avenue ever since.

Gaur Mohan De gave the seed of the Ratha-yatra festival to his son, Srila Prabhupada. Prabhupada explained he got the seed of devotion from his father. In our movement of Krishna consciousness, the parents' great responsibility is to give their children this seed of devotion. From the example of Srila Prabhupada we can see if the parents are qualified and the children are receptive, miraculous results can be there.

Ratha-yatra is Lord Jagannath coming to the public to give His mercy, and the devotees are assisting Him in this.

The foundation of education is character. What is the value of other education if there is no character? Actually education can be dangerous in the hands of one with no character.

It is amazing to hear all the “mission impossible” stories given by Srila Prabhupada.

Even the second generation devotees have been able to do amazing things.

Everyone who has done service for Lord Jagannath, especially on Ratha-yatra, has the realization that Lord Jagannath is very merciful.

If we care for devotees nicely, then Krishna will send more people to become devotees. It takes a lot to care for devotees. It is such an important service.

It makes it more inviting if newcomers see the devotees treating each other nicely, what to speak of pleasing Krishna which is our ultimate aim.

One Christian evangelist said, “Do not try to make the church grow. If you take care of God's children who He sends to you, then God will make the church grow.”

Of those persons who come, many will go. Initiation is for those who are serious.

When people go, part of it is our fault and part of it is their fault. We cannot bend our principles so that people will stay.

We may feel deeply connected to some people, and they may go away anyway. Generally, people do not forget those relationships, even though they may try to.

If we try to have spiritual relationships with the people who come, that is the best thing. If people see that our desire is to benefit them, they will return.

Candrasekhara Swami:

We will never know the universe as a whole. The material energy has more resources than we do.

Nineteenth-century scientists thought they could give a complete picture of the universe.

In reality, the scientists know a lot about a few things, but there are many gaps in their knowledge which they fill with speculation.

Scientists presently say 96% of the universe is invisible. How then can they say much about it?

We do not see what is going on in the heavenly dimension. We are not supposed to.

For a devotee, death is like being released from prison.

As a sannyasi, you have to make the whole world your family. Then you will not feel the need to have a family, because you have the family of people you are trying help.

Only Krishna can help us overcome the fire of sex desire.

At least 99% of the people in New York City do not see you as a sannyasi but just as a guy dressed in a weird outfit. That is good in that it keeps you humble.

If you want to be respected, if you want a position of power in ISKCON, or if you want to escape your family problems, do not take sannyasa.

If you think that getting married means finding someone who will make you happy, then you are in trouble from the beginning. Better to think of entering an ashram that will help you overcome sex desire. It will also be a facility to preach to people in a similar situation.

The physical attraction between two people never lasts. It never has and it never will. What keeps the relationship together is the sense of duty.

The heavenly damsels have a natural perfume. They do not have to go Macy's and purchase it.

We can learn from the Gajendra pastime that if we are too comfortable in our family situation, Krishna will send a crocodile to shake things up.

When the night is the darkest, Krishna's hand is the closest.

The material world is not designed to be a rosy place. We can take solace that at least everyone else here is also suffering. No one gets a break. Man or woman, old or young, godly or demonic, everyone suffers. The side effect of devotional service to the Lord is that one is less concerned with his body and thus the suffering is minimized.

Because of the Krishna consciousness movement, the Christians have changed the Bible. The Bible used to say “Thou shall not kill” but now it says “Thou shall not murder.”

The Christians, Jews, and Muslims have added elements of superior philosophies to their own in the course of time, and it is conceivable they could add some points from the Vedic literature.

Before you get married, you will always see the best side of the person and never the dark side. Then very soon after marriage, you will see the dark side. If you are both prepared for the fact you will have to deal with a side of the person that you did not originally see, then it will be easier for you.

Successive monogamous relationships waste people's lives.

In any culture successful marriage is there when there is recognition that there is a basic duty involved.

A zigzag path indicates offenses are being committed. Otherwise there is steady gradual progress.

Malati Devi:

Srila Prabhupada referred to ghee as “liquid gold.”

Srila Prabhupada entrusted us with the seva (service) of Lord Jagannatha although he had not introduced brahmana initiation. He explained everything we ate must be offered to the Deity, and we should purchase a globlet, two bowls, and a plate, that no one had previous eaten from, to be His own plates.

Abhirama Prabhu:

Prabhupada in his poem calls out to his only friend, Sri Krishna, revealing his mind.

The Jaladuta was a tramp steamer. I have been on such boats. The stench of oil is everywhere. The noise of engines resounds throughout the craft. It is not a glamorous way to travel but hellish.

Srila Prabhupada said in Miami, “All of you have joined because of prasadam.” And then seeing me, the temple president, in the back of the audience, he added, “Even you, Abhirama!”

Srila Prabhupada told me, “You cannot call it a temple unless full prasadam is available 24 hours a day.”

Rama Raya Prabhu:

As we are engaged in preaching, we do not have to worry about how we will get krishna-prema (love of Godhead). That will come gradually.

The mercy of Radharani is a very great thing. Not that we just chant “Radhe Radhe!” like the sahajiyas.

In 1977, when Abhirama Prabhu got Srila Prabhupada his green card, Srila Prabhupada said, “America has given me everything, men and money. I want to make the Americans happy, and through them, the world.”

If we could die on the streets doing harinama sankirtana, that would be the perfection of our lives.

Lord Shiva protects the dhama of Vrndavana at four directions.

Bhaktivinoda Thakura said that the faith that the holy name is nondifferent than the Lord is true faith in God.

That a New Yorker stops racing to his next appointment for sense gratification and listens to the chanting of the holy name for a while is no small thing.

This is Lord Caitanya's sankirtana movement not Lord Caitanya's yoga movement or Lord Caitanya's movement for feeding the poor. Such other things may go on but they are not the essential point.

Mahavishnu Swami told us that Srila Prabhupada said that if you simply do harinama sankirtana, management will follow you like your shadow.

We tell people to come on harinama and bring a friend because we want this movement to expand.


This is the end of the poem Srila Prabhupada wrote at Boston Harbor in 1965. It is inspiring to see his complete faith in and submission to the will of the Lord:

aniyacho jadi prabhu amare nacate
nacao nacao prabhu nacao se-mate
kasthera puttali jatha nacao se-mate

bhakti nai veda nai name khub daro
bhaktivedanta” nam ebe sarthak koro—

O Lord, I am just like a puppet in Your hands. So if You have brought me here to dance, then make me dance, make me dance, O Lord, make me dance as You like.
I have no devotion, nor do I have any knowledge, but I have strong faith in the holy name of Krishna. I have been designated as Bhaktivedanta, and now, if You like, You can fulfill the real purport of Bhaktivedanta.” (“Markine Bhagavata Dharma”, verses 14 and 15)