Diary of a Traveling Sadhaka, Vol. 11, No. 20
By Krishna-kripa das
(October 2015, part two)
By Krishna-kripa das
(October 2015, part two)
New York City Harinam
(Sent from Brooklyn, New York, on November 1, 2015)
(Sent from Brooklyn, New York, on November 1, 2015)
Where I Went and What I Did
I stayed with the New York City Harinam devotees for the rest of October. Special features of this time were our inviting passersby to offer lamps to our picture of Krishna as Damodara and also the festival of Halloween, which engaged many costumed persons in interacting with our chanting party and having some transcendental experiences.
I share insights from Srila Prabhupada's lectures and books, Prabhupada memories from Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami, notes on a lecture by Jayadvaita Swami at the Bhakti Center and a lecture by Niranjana Swami at the Russian festival. I share notes on lectures at the Harinam Ashram by Abhiram Prabhu and Rama Raya Prabhu and by visiting devotees, Bhakta Avatar and Vicaru Prabhus.
Thanks to Kaliya Krishna Prabhu for kindly paying my subway fare to attend New York City Harinam. Thanks to Atmanivedana Prabhu for his kind donation.
Thanks to Mathuraprana Krishna Dasa Prabhu for letting me use his camera to take the picture of Clarissa and Sanya, and for enhancing the photo.
September 28–November 12: New York City Harinam
November 13: Philadelphia
November 14–17: Washington, D.C., Harinama
November 18: Jacksonville, FL
November 19: Tampa
November 20: Orlando Harinama with Trivikrama Swami
November 21–December 15: Krishna House (except 5 days in Tallahassee)
December 16–January 4, 2016: New York City Harinam
Union Square Harinama
Once at the book table in Union Square, a friendly lady, perhaps in her thirties, came by, glanced at the books, and smiled at seeing the Bhagavad-gita. “I have that one,” she said. I think of the Srimad-Bhagavaam as the sequel to the Gita, so I told her that, and proceeded to open up the book and read her my favorite verse: “The supreme occupation [dharma] for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendent Lord. Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted to completely satisfy the self.” (1.2.6) “This is the essence of what religion is all about,” I said. “Practically any monotheistic tradition could accept this idea.” She seemed a little doubtful about getting it, so thinking it was too large a book, I showed her Sri Isopanisad. I quoted verses 1 and 2: “Everything animate or inanimate that is within the universe is controlled and owned by the Lord. One should therefore accept only those things necessary for himself, which are set aside as his quota, and one should not accept other things, knowing well to whom they belong. One may aspire to live for hundreds of years if he continuously goes on working in that way, for that sort of work will not bind him to the law of karma. There is no alternative to this way for man.” I told her if people acted according to this verse we would have peace in the world. She agreed but did not seem to be ready to buy the book. I thought that perhaps all the Sanskrit was intimidating for her, so I showed her the table of contents of Science of Self-Realization, and pointed out there are different categories, and in each, articles, essays, and interviews that can easily be read in one sitting. After a little consideration, she “OK, I will take all three.” She gave $20, saying to keep the change, but as we only try to get $18 for the three books, I gave her Bhakti-yoga, as well.
Several days a week Clarissa of Brooklyn, dressed in an Indian sari, comes after high school and Sanya of New Delhi, dressed in a Western suit, comes after work to share with passersby jewels of transcendental wisdom in the form of Srila Prabhupada's books during New York City Harinam.
I admire the bravery of these youthful book distributors, and also Nihal, who comes after college and sells many books. Due to fear, I usually limit myself to selling books at the table. One day, however, because there were no other book distributors, because Babhru Prabhu had criticized me for distributing free pamphlets and not books which he said were just as easy, and also because I felt bad because the two ladies, a fraction of my age, were brave enough to do it when I wasn't, I spent about 3 hours distributing books to people who were stopped, listening to the harinama party. I was able to distribute one hardbound Science of Self-Realization and one softbound one, a softbound Bhagavad-gita, and four Chant and Be Happy books, collecting $29. I had nice conversations with a few of the people. One had regularly attended the Sunday Feast in New Orleans, so I told him about the one in Brooklyn. I hope I can regularly sell books to those who stop and listen, at least when we have no other book distributors.
Janananda Goswami is my authority in England and the reason I promised to make my base in Newcastle in the summer. His disciples, Janardana and Priya Sundari Prabhus, are always ready to join me for harinama, and I have chanted with them in Leeds (their home), York, Newcastle, and other places in England. Visiting relatives and Hare Krishna temples in America, they stopped by Union Square for an hour or so before returning to England. Priya Sundari's mother, who is a devotee, also came.
They fully participated,
Priya Sundari Devi Dasi distributing invitations, literature, and a CD,
and her mom clapping and dancing,
and they all sang the response as well. It was beautiful to see their enthusiasm and have them visit our party. They were thinking they did not have enough time to come, but words of encouragement from Janananda Goswami adjusted their priorities, and they were very happy they came. Janardana Prabhu liked New York City, saying he felt it was less passionate than London.
I took videos of different devotees singing different days:
Kaliya Krishna Prabhu sings (https://youtu.be/I6S63buKHXc):
Tulasi Das Prabhu sings (https://youtu.be/_wMeRkFlAnI):
Phalguni Radhika sings (https://youtu.be/58XGqikPO7o):
Ananta Gauranga Prabhu sings and gets people dancing (https://youtu.be/5t55zxlaeZw):
Rama Raya Prabhu sings (https://youtu.be/A_q1hf5v0nY):
Offering Lamps to Damodara at Union Square
During the month of Karttika (October-November) Hare Krishna devotees offer lamps to Krishna in His childhood feature of Damodara. On New York City Harinam we took this to the streets and invited everyone to participate. The offering of lamps to Damodara is so auspicious the revealed literature states one can attain the spiritual world by that act alone. Many passersby who did this found it a joyous experience.
One man on a skate board offered a lamp.
One man with a cat on his back offered a lamp.
Offering lamps to Damodara transcended race and gender.
Three young ladies offered lamps.
Then they sat down with us for most of the rest of the “Damodarastaka.” Then two of them came by the next day and greeted us.
Commenting on our inviting of the public to offer lamps to Damodara, Tulasi-priya dasi wrote, “This is what is called 'a cultural presentation for the re-spiritualization of society.' It's a misconception to think that we have to become mainstream to reach people by becoming more like the dominant society in which we live. Rather, outreach is the natural fruit of the knowledge that what we have is so beneficial and pleasurable, so right, that our joy in the life we live exceeds our own immediate circle, and we cannot help but share it with others, just as friends share their favorite places and pastimes. A group does not become mainstream by transforming itself to fit into the larger society in which it finds itself. That's more like the group losing itself. A group becomes mainstream when the dominant society is transformed as a result of the powerful, positive, and persistent influence the minority has exerted on the majority.”
Halloween Harinama at Union Square
Halloween is a day in the United States of America when many people dress up in costumes. Many people are in a festive mood and being disguised, they are less fearful of being seen interacting with the “Hare Krishnas”!
Some costumed persons sat with us.
Some danced, like this young lady with Kalyani Devi Dasi.
Once a group of kids danced with devotee ladies.
Mostly the devotees wore their usual costumes,
except Paul, who dressed as a grasshopper,
and Lee, who colored his face, and played a giant conch shell.
Natabara Gauranga Prabhu made 150 laddus and many cookies to distribute. Sweet distribution is traditionally a part of Halloween, and it is good to take advantage of the opportunity.
Some costumed people posed with our chanting party.
Nihal Prabhu distributed books to costumed characters.
Later in the day, an attendee of Krishna Lunch in Gainesville also recalled me, seeing me at the University of Florida there. I told him about Govindas in Brooklyn and the Bhakti Cafe so he can connect with more Krishna food now that he lives in New York City.
To see the others, try the slideshow above, and if that fails, click on this link:
I took three videos on Halloween, one during the day, one at dusk, and one at night:
Clarissa chanted during the day at Union Square (https://youtu.be/T7lP2qT6UUM):
Ananta Gauranga Prabhu chanted at dusk (https://youtu.be/nSWDTKnhHmE):
Rama Raya Prabhu led an extra long and extra lively Halloween night harinama (https://youtu.be/CJ_LbZPYLRU):
Times Square Subway Station Harinama
When it is rainy or cold, we chant in the subway stations. One time in the Times Square subway station a group of friends took pleasure dancing with the devotees. I caught the end of it on video (https://youtu.be/U4DP5qQvleE):
Another day I was doing the book table and one young Afro-American man from Austin, Texas, came by. He showed me his well read Science of Self-Realization, which he said changed his life, and told me the interesting story of how he obtained that book. He signed up for time on the computer in the library and was waiting for his slot, when a voice from within told him not to go back into the library just yet but to walk down the sidewalk. While walking down the sidewalk, he found the Science of Self-Realization, wrapped nicely in a bag, sitting on the bench. Reading the book, he could understand it was meant to lead him on a spiritual path. After telling his story, he donated two dollars, and I gave him an Isopanisad. I had explained all the books were based on the Bhagavad-gita, and it was the main book. He asked the price of the Gita, and I told him five, so he returned the Isopanisad, gave three more dollars and took the Gita. He said he has moved to New York City, and we made sure he knew about the weekly Gita classes on Saturday at 26 2nd Ave.
Another man shouted “Hare Krishna” jubilantly as he passed our party. Approaching the book table, he asked the price of the books and told how he had lived in our temple in Gainesville, where I stay in the winter, for two weeks in 1996. He explained that he had been expelled from the ashram when it was found he had a hamburger and a Playboy magazine. I smiled. I will ask my friends running the temple then if they remember him.
To see pictures I took but did not include, click on this link:
To see pictures I took but did not include, click on this link:
From a lecture on Nectar of Devotion in Vrindavan on October 20, 1972:
Everyone is enjoying a particular type of rasa [taste] and nature is giving him a suitable body.
As in a dream we are covered with a subtle covering, in our waking state we are covered with a particular body.
One's aim of life should be serve the acaryas [the spiritual masters who taught by example]. In our Gaudiya sampradaya [spiritual lineage], the Six Goswamis are our acaryas. By reading Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu [The Nectar of Devotion] we are directly associating with Rupa Goswami.
People do not know the siddhanta [the conclusion] generally.
If we neglect the words of the acaryas, we will misunderstand Krishna.
Srila Rupa Goswami does not tell about Radha Krishna in the beginning but trains his readers in pure devotional service.
We must be very enthusiastic, “I shall engage in the activities of the Hare Krishna movement. . . . I shall preach the glories of the Lord to my full capacity.”
If you are on bhaki-marga [the path of devotional service] your success is assured provided you are enthusiastic and patient. . . . Rest assured success is guaranteed. If we have enthusiasm and patience, we will not fall down.
The nondevotees accounts are kept by Yamaraja, and the devotees accounts are kept personally by Krishna.
If we surrender cent per cent immediately, Krishna will reciprocate immediately.
We see many sannyasis who renounce the material world as temporary in search of Brahman but who later come back to the material plane to open hospitals.
The Goswamis were merged in the ocean of the loving affairs between Krishna and the gopis, thus they did not have to engage in illicit sex and intoxication to keep themselves fit for bhajana.
The more you preach, the more you get strength. This is because Krishna says in Bg. 18.68: “For one who explains this supreme secret to the devotees, pure devotional service is guaranteed, and at the end he will come back to Me.”
Krishna is speaking to everyone through Arjuna.
The message of the Goswamis is “Somehow or other get people to become Krishna conscious.”
You become convinced that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and you preach it.
People think the goal is liberation, but liberation is a very insignificant thing in comparison to pure devotional service.
Lord Caitanya has confirmed that prema [love of Krishna] is the supreme goal.
Every is trying to satisfy his senses to his fullest extent, but maya will not let him.
Even a seventy- or eighty-year-old man will go to the club seeking to satisfy his senses.
Sex life is so strong, if you remain in material existence, it will never be sastified. You have to come to Krishna consciousness.
If we are actually attached to seeing the beauty of Krishna then we shall never be enamored by the arrows of Cupid.
“As soon as you are engaged in the service, loving service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, immediately you feel liberation. This is practically. When you are fully engaged in Krishna consciousness, even if you walk on the street, you'll feel that 'I am separate from these persons. . . . I am walking on a different path.' This is the feeling. Bhaktih paresanubhavah. This is bhakti. Paresanubhava. . . . You will experience yourself. That is the test. If you experience yourself that 'I am different from these persons,' then where is the attachment for material things? ”
The Goswamis found something better in Krishna consciousness so they gave up lucrative service as ministers. . . . They are the best examples.
From Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.12.24, purport:
“To follow the instructions of the Lord is to associate with the Lord. The Lord is not a material object whose presence one has to feel for such association. The Lord is present everywhere and at all times. It is quite possible to have His association simply by following His instruction because the Lord and His instruction and the Lord and His name, fame, attributes and paraphernalia are all identical with Him, being absolute knowledge.”
Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami:
From Prabhupada Remembrance video#46:
Srila Prabhupada said on gurukula, “Tell them Krishna stories and engage them in acting out Krishna pastimes. That will keep them engaged so they do not cause much disturbance.”
“The teachers should never hit the children. If they do, they should be hit.”
Srila Prabhupada considered a boarding school is better because the kids would go through the temple program and that they would learn from the good example from the teachers.
It could have worked out if the teachers were properly trained and acted properly.
It was said of Ram Das' guru that he made you feel love for people, but our Srila Prabhupada made us feel love for God.
Srila Prabhupada's most meaningful quality was his love. He did not always show it because he was a general on the battlefield. He had love for the cow, and other living entities, and most of all, for his disciples.
He was an empowered agent to take people back to Godhead.
Prabhupada was asked, “What do you feel when you chant?
He replied, “I feel no fear.”
He replied, “I feel no fear.”
I need to be forgiven by his love, his charity, and his leniency. We need his empowerment to release us from this material world.
From a class on September 13, 2015 on Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Adi 2.2, at the Russian Festival:
There is some doubt that you can attain perfection by service to the Supreme Lord but there is no doubt that you can attain perfection by serving the pure devotee of the Lord.
Vakresvara Pandit enlightened Devananda Pandit by telling him, “Srimad-Bhagavatam, wherever you open it, only glorifies pure devotional service. If you understand this, then you can speak on Srimad-Bhagavatam.”
No topic but pure devotional service to the Supreme Lord can satisfy the hankering soul.
One must be very careful never to contribute to the lack of pure devotional service in human society.
Yudhisthira Maharaja was concerned that Pariksit be a great king and a great devotee like those previously in his dynasty.
It was important, especially for the brahmanas (intellectuals), ksatriyas (administrators), and vaishyas (businessman and farmers), that their children are qualified to carry on the family tradition.
It is the qualities of a person that determine a person's social position, but when the families were very pure in their behavior most often the children would be qualified, though not in every case.
Not “all power to the people.” Some power to the animals. Some power to the plants.
We have the environmentalists today. That was also formerly the responsibility of the king, to protect the environment.
Keeping one's word is valuable for the brahmanas and the ksatriyas. With leaders of the modern day, their word is good for nothing, and therefore they are good for nothing.
The ksatriyas protect the brahmanas and uphold the brahminical culture.
The brahmanas are like the eyes and the ksatriyas are like the arms. When the eyes and arms cooperate, great good can be done.
Just as now one might speak of a fighter as being like Muhammad Ali, Pariksit is compared to many high qualified persons of the past.
Q (by Ghanashyam Prabhu): Sibi was willing to give his life for the pigeon, but then he could not longer protect human society as a king. So was that really the best thing?
A: No one is indispensible. Not even me. No one should think “without me nothing will go on.” If the leader does not honor his word, then it will inspire the same in others, and society will become more and more degraded.
Better men of principle not men of convenience and creative pragmatism. If you go back on your word, your respectability is trashed.
Q: I scared a cat who had pounced on a bird so the bird could get away, but then I wondered if I did right?
A: It is a good question. Generally, we do not interfere in these things.
Comment by other devotees: In the case of cats and birds, the cats do not actually eat the birds, thus you are not depriving them of food by scaring them so they drop the bird.
These days everyone is overintelligent. Intelligence is meant to be used to execute our duty.
In rare cases one may abandon his superior, such the case where he goes against the supreme superior, Krishna. Bali did this with his guru, Prahlada did this with his father, and Arjuna did this with Bhisma, his grandfather, and Drona, his teacher.
Gajendra and the elephants on the celestial planets are more aware than we are.
No one can be defeated on the path of bhakti except by bad association. When we become uninterested in the path charted out by the great acaryas [spiritual teachers] and become interested in other things, then we can know we are bitten by the crocodile of bad association.
Sridhara Swami says that one should not read devotional books other than what one's guru has prescribed.
Srila Prabhupada has made the shortcut back to Godhead. If we try to make another shortcut, we will fall off the path.
Krishna is right before our eyes but we are not seeing because we are not surrendering.
Comment by Rama Raya Prabhu:
Yamuna Devi said that just before Srila Prabhupada left London after installing the Deities and spending three months with the devotees, he told the devotees: “If you just follow the instructions I have given, and you read the books that have already been translated, you will go back to Godhead at the end of life.”
When a devotee asked Srila Prabhupada, “What is meant spiritual technology?” even before he completed saying the word “technology” Srila Prabhupada replied by saying, “The guru-parampara [the spiritual lineage].”
Sivarama Swami wrote his book on the intimate details of Krishna's pastimes in Vrindavana only with the consultation of many godbrothers.
Narottama Dasa Thakura's life is very tragic in that several associates of Lord Caitanya, who Narottama had hoped to meet, left this world while Narottama was traveling to see them.
By the time Narottama Dasa Thakura had appeared, kirtana had greatly reduced. Jahnava Mata, the consort of Sri Nityananda Prabhu, complained that now the mrdangas have become silent. Narottama revived the kirtana.
Rama Raya Prabhu:
Srila Prabhupada says that chanting the holy name under the direction of the spiritual master is pure chanting.
Following the regulative principles drys the wood so the fire of bhakti can ignite.
Srutakirti Prabhu says that Srila Prabhupada considered the successful Ratha-yatra in London with its festival in Trafalgar Square was as significant as the opening of the Krishna-Balaram Mandir in Vrindavan or Mayapur temple because it showed that in Great Britain, which had tried to subjugate India for decades, Britishers were now appreciating and following India's Vedic culture.
Personally serving the physical form of the spiritual master one gets longevity.
Bhakti Pramod Puri Maharaja would not even eat maha-prasadam if it was cooked by someone not born in a brahmana family. Srila Prabhupada told him he wanted to give him a gift and asked if he would accept it. He said yes. Srila Prabhupada then gave him some maha-prasadam from Krishna Balaram that was cooked by his Western disciples. He accepted it because Srila Prabhupada, his godbrother, had personally given it to him. The next time the devotees saw him he had become completely transformed. He said by giving me that maha-prasadam your Srila Prabhupada taught me that all people, regardless of their birth, are eligible for Krishna consciousness, and that was a far greater gift than just the maha-prasadam.
One snappy British reporter was criticizing the devotees for not working.
Srila Prabhupada said, “We have the richest father. Why should we work? This mansion. How much did it cost? Do you think that by working your whole life you could make that much money?”
“No sir,” replied the reporter.
“No sir,” replied the reporter.
“Well this mansion was just given to us. Why then should we work?” said Srila Prabhupada.
The transformations of a devotee's emotions in ecstatic love can be understood if we contribute to the transformation of this planet from its current Kali-yuga situation to Lord Caitanya's age of prema-nama-sankirtana.
We are like Johnny Appleseed, sowing seeds of Krishna-prema, by doing harinama sankirtana.
Srila Prabhupada would make the point, “If you say you are good and we are good, we must disagree and say only we are good. That is not our arrogance or pride but the vision of the sastra [the revealed literature].”
Srila Prabhupada told Hari Vilas that true humility is to know that our money, reputation, etc., cannot protect us, and only Krishna can (Following Prabhupada, #5, DVD).
Krishna and Balarama are expert in killing many demons, so we can call the names of Krishna and Balarama, appealing to Them to throw our ass-like material desires into the trees.
We can glorify the great teachers in our line by serving them by helping to fulfill their mission of Lord Caitanya.
Srila Prabhupada said to disciples, “All of you have had previous connection with devotional service, so Krishna as arranged for you to take birth in the West, so you can help spread Lord Caitanya's mission.”
Srila Prabhupada considered the Christians, Jews, and Moslems more advanced than the Mayavadis, who twist the Vedas literatures to support their impersonal philosophy and deviate people away from worshiping the Supreme Lord in His original personal form.
Our focus on harinama is giving out the mercy of Lord Caitanya. We should experience that we are giving mercy, and in this way, we will always be enthused.
We are conscious of the pains and pleasures of this body, but the Supersoul is conscious of the pains and pleasures of all bodies.
If you live in an apartment, you have to make sure you do not anything that will upset the landlord. In the same way, we must not do anything against the will of the Lord.
In this world, the living entities have varieties of forgetfulness of Krishna.
For a devotee, living without Krishna, even in heaven, is hellish, while living with Krishna, even in hell, is heavenly. We can apply the second part to living in New York City.
There is ten million times the benefit of offering a lamp to Damodara if the lamp is lit with a tulasi twig.
The Karttika month is so glorious that even if minimally observed great benefit is achieved.
By singing and dancing before Lord Hari during the month of Karttika one attains the eternal abode.
Be all you can be – for Krishna!
Once a devotee left the milk on the stove to boil over. Srila Prabhupada discovered it and asked, “Who is going to hell?” He considered it such an offense to waste the milk.
We see on harinama there is one Indian man who reads the entire New York Times at a distance and then throws a dollar in our donation box.
Being bound by our material desires and mental speculations we are blocked from getting to Krishna, like the gopis who were locked in their houses by their relatives and kept from running to Krishna.
By offering a lamp to Damodara in Karttika one can become freed from all sins and attain the spiritual kingdom.
Krishna consciousness is not artificially produced. It is in the heart and just needs to be resurrected.
Devotional service automatically gives all knowledge and enlightenment. One stumbling block is to think one has to acquire knowledge separately.
My godbrother, Jada Bharat told me 37 years ago. “Don't think. Just do.” I still regularly recall this and am inspired by it.
Doing our harinama service increases our love of God, and whatever love of God we have attained increases our harinama service.
We are not supposed to be attracted to material things because they are manifestation of envy or hatred of God.
If we can come to the platform of prema-nama or suddha-nama-sankirtana, then people will be completely captivated. We will not have to endeavor to get people to stop and listen to the kirtana.
Narottama Dasa Thakura appeared in 1531, just three years before the disappearance of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
Ganga Narayana Cakravarti was the chief disciple of Narottama Dasa Thakura.
In Narottama Dasa Thakura's Prathana, the prayers or songs are divided into different categoies like “Longing for Direct Service to the Lord,” “Prayers for Awakening Attachment to the Lord,” “Feeling Oneself Unworthy,” “Intense Hankering,” “Repeated Intense Hankering,” “Feeling Separation from the Lord and His Associates,” etc.
Narottama Dasa Thakura glorifies Rupa and Sanatana Goswamis for having many jewels of love for the Divine Couple, Radha and Krishna, and begs for a few such jewels of ecstatic love in charity.
Points from songs of Narottama Dasa Thakura:
Bewilderment will be there when I cannot immediately attain my beautiful Lord.When lust and his friends hear the sound Govinda, they flee.This love of Radha and Krishna is the most valuable object in the three worlds.O Lord, this Narottama is very unhappy, please engage me in Your sankirtana and make me happy.Sadhana and prema bhakti are the same. Sadhana bhakti is just prema bhakti in the unripened stage.The holy name and pastimes of Radha and Krishna are both the goal and the means to attain the goal.
Madhavendra Puri Prabhu:
From a room conversation:
It is the percentage of your powers you use that Krishna is looking for not the amount of your power.
Bhakta Avatar Prabhu:
Although there are signs of degradation, like an increase in pornography, there are signs of progressive consciousness. People are more aware that animals have feelings than they used to be.
It should be the goal of every devotee do to what he can to make the world Krishna consciousness.
We are at the root of everything, so we have to set a good example by chanting and dancing and spreading the love to others.
The demonic who are killed by the Lord attain liberation, but those who serve him with devotion, attain the supreme liberation.
Imagine chanting and dancing with the whole Panca-tattva? How ecstatic that would be! That is possible when we return to the spiritual world.
Srila Prabhupada says that human life is only meant for austerity, to find out what we are, and for taxing the brain, considering how to fully engage in devotional service.
Comments by Rama Raya Prabhu:
Srila Prabhupada's books contains wisdom to benefit everyone, from the rank materialist to the topmost devotee.The best talking we can do is to chant the holy name. No one can argue with that. [If you present some philosophy, people may argue, but not if you chant.]During Srila Prabhupada's time, the focus was compassion for the people suffering due to lack of devotional service. This should not be minimized, or worse, forgotten.We are benefiting greatly from the devotees' sacrifices in the 1970s. Things are so much easier now than they used to be. Similarly in the future, the devotees will benefit from the sacrifices we make now.What Lord Caitanya is going to arrange in future decades is going to be super extraordinary.
I talked to two different people yesterday who both had been listening to our chanting party in Union Square for years. Both talked about starting to practice what we were doing.
One day Abhiram Prabhu sang Bhaktivinoda Thakura's song popularly known as “Udilo Aruna” before the morning class. This verse echoed in my mind for days afterward:
jivana anitya janaha sar,
tahe nana-vidha vipada-bhar,
namasraya kori' jatane tumi,
thakaha apana kaje
“This temporary life is full of various miseries. Take shelter of the holy name as your only business.” (“Arunodaya Kirtana Song 1,” Verse 6)