Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Travel Journal#12.10: The North UK

Diary of a Traveling Sadhaka, Vol. 12, No. 10
By Krishna-kripa das
(May 2016, part two)
Newcastle, Sheffield, Manchester, Preston, Accrington
Liverpool, Karuna Bhavan, Glasgow, Edinburgh
(Sent from Newcastle-upon-Tyne on June 8, 2016)

Where I Went and What I Did

As the second half of May began, I finished my stay in Newcastle, chanting there and in nearby North Shields. Then I spent three days in Sheffield advertising their Ratha-yatra, returning to Newcastle for half a day for their Nrsimha Caturdasi harinama and evening program. After Sheffield Ratha-yatra I stayed in Manchester for five days, chanting there for three days and in one day each in Preston and in Liverpool, and speaking at nama-hatta programs in Accrington and Liverpool. Janananda Goswami recommended I go to the North UK Retreat, this year at Karuna Bhavan in Scotland, as we had attended it in previous years, however, I like to attend the Newcastle Eight-Hour Kirtana so much, I skipped the first day of the retreat. The retreat included lots of valuable realizations from senior devotees like Kripamoya Prabhu, Sri Guru Carana Padma Devi Dasi, Dayananda Swami, and Bhakti Prabhava Swami, which I share in the “Insights” section, and included a harinama as well. After the retreat I did harinama in Glasgow and Edinburgh on the last two days of the month of May.

In addition to insights from the senior devotees on the retreat, I have notes on several Srila Prabhupada lectures, a quote from Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s Harinama Cintamani, and a poem by Satsvarupa dasa Goswami to his deities, Radha-Govinda.

I would like to thank the Newcastle and Manchester temples for their kind donations. I would also like to thank Anthony Bate of the Preston nama-hatta, Alan Miles of the Liverpool nama-hatta, and Rima of the Edinburgh nama-hatta for their kind donations. Thanks to Balesvara Raman Prabhu, of Odisha, now based in Glasgow, for letting me stay at his place and contributing to my travels. Thanks to Aayush of Sheffield for letting me stay at his place twice and giving me a donation. Thanks to Lotus of Edinburgh for letting me stay at his place twice and for his donation to my travels. Thanks to Malini Devi Dasi, her Italian friend, and an Indian man from Edinburgh, whose name I do not know, for their kind donations. Thanks to the lady who attends the Manchester temple and who gave a donation when I met her in the city center.


June 1–8: Newcastle
June 9: Sheffield
June 10: Leicester
June 11: Northampton Ratha-yatra
June 12: Chester
June 13–20: London [June 17 trip to Northampton nama-hatta]
June 20–21: Stonehenge Solstice Festival
June 21–June 30: France with Janananda Goswami [June 26 – Paris Ratha-yatra]
July 1: Newcastle
July 2: York harinama and nama-hatta
July 3: Scarborough
July 4–5: Preston, Blackpool, and more
July 6: Newcastle
July 7–9: Polish Padayatra
July 10: Prague Ratha-yatra
July 12–16: Polish Woodstock
July 17–26: Polish Summer Festival Tour
July 27–29: Berlin harinama?
July 30: Berlin Ratha-yatra
July 31–August 4: Czech Padayatra
August 5–11: Baltic Summer Festival
August 12–14: Ancient Trance Festival?
August 15–17: Bratislava?
August 17: Prague?
August 18–21: Trutnoff (Czech Woodstock)
August 22: Prague
August 23: London
August 24–29: Newcastle [August 28: Leeds?]
August 30: Edinburgh
August 31–September 1: Newcastle
September 2: Sheffield
September 3: York
September 4: Newcastle
September 5–12: Ireland
September 13–: New York City Harinam

Harinama in North Shields

I chanted in North Shields, one of those small towns around Newcastle that Janananda Goswami likes us not to forget. The people were grateful and gave double of what I spent on the metro to get there and back, but none took any books.

Harinamas in Sheffield

I chanted Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in downtown Sheffield to promote the Ratha-yatra on Sunday. The first day was the best because Harisuta Devi Dasi chanted with me for the first hour and a half and Adam chanted with me the second hour and a half. All the other days I chanted alone. Friday was Nrsimhadeva’s Appearance Day, and I chanted two hours in Sheffield, and then I went to Newcastle and chanted there for two hours more.

Before chanting on the streets of Sheffield on the special festival day, I chanted japa in Sheffield’s Winter Garden, which includes tropical plants like palm trees and which reminded me of Florida.

Newcastle Nrsimha Harinama

Bhakti Rasa Prabhu and his wife, Kirtida Devi, as well as Prema Sankirtana Prabhu, all like the idea of celebrating the festival days with harinama. Therefore, I knew I would have a good group of devotees to chant on Nrsimha Caturdasi there, and I did – eleven devotees.  Thus I took a break from advertising the Sheffield Ratha-yatra, and made the three-hour bus ride to Newcastle midday and back the next morning to celebrate with the devotees there. Often the devotees dance off to the side of the pathway, so some people can avoid the ecstasy, but in Newcastle, they danced right in the middle so people could not help but notice. One group of young people looked at our party and danced a little bit among themselves for over half an hour, but they were too shy to join us. We tried to sneak up on them, but they ran away. Finally, when they went on their way, they did a few dance steps as they passed our party (

I gave a lecture on what we can learn from the Nrsimha pastime, which turned out to be a lot of the teachings of His pure devotee, Prahlada Maharaja.

Sheffield Nrsimha Festival

As we did with Janmastami last year, we celebrated Nrsimha Caturdasi in Sheffield at the Burngreave Ashram, an interfaith ashram a short walk from the city center. We did not get as many people as we had for Janmastami, but there were a few people to hear Dayananda Swami’s lecture. It is a challenge to present the pastime to an audience including very new people, and I think he did a good job. We had a couple kirtanas, which is always a good way to celebrate a festival. Then there was a feast of khichri, pakoras, and halava.

Sheffield Ratha-yatra

Rain was predicted for the day of the Ratha-yatra, and I asked several friends, including Calib, a very individualistic Christian preacher, who attends our Sheffield kirtanas, to pray for sun. I do not know whose prayers were most effective, but it was a party sunny day, and it did not rain at all.

Lara, a law student at Sheffield University from Italy, came to the Sheffield Ratha-yatra from seeing Harisuta Devi Dasi and I doing harinama in the city center ten days before. She had encountered Hare Krishna kirtana before at an ashram near St. Francis’s place in Italy, where she had spent time on retreats. While we were waiting for the procession to start, I showed Lara the article on Villa Vrindavan from the last Back to Godhead that I had proofread on my computer. I offered to send it to her, and she was into was happy to receive it.

Lara (in white scarf) also invited a fellow student from France named Louisa (wearing glasses), who was majoring in philosophy, to come to Ratha-yatra. They took prasadam and helped push, rather than pull, the Ratha-yatra cart. Lara was so pleased with the festival she gave Parasuram Prabhu a £10 donation. They both participated in the henna, and showed me their nicely decorated hands afterwards.

A group of kids danced with us during the procession. A couple of girls were especially into it.

Later, during the final kirtana, a couple groups of kids danced with the devotees. Behnam and Erzsebet were both competent in engaging the local kids in dancing.

I took some video of it (

Harinama in Manchester

I can see Krishna was encouraging me in my decision to chant in Manchester from the very beginning because the very first day I collected enough to cover the £13.50 weekly bus pass. One Indian man and an American Airlines pilot from near Boston both donated £10. The pilot was also a yoga teacher and knew about kirtana. I told him about our programs at 72 Commonwealth Avenue and the festival we have in September, and I gave him my card and said I would tell him the details about this years’ festival if he emailed me. He took a Chant and Be Happy and Krishna Consciousness: The Topmost Yoga System. The Indian man took Beyond Birth and Death.

The second day was crazy because one wild young man started to grab five books with no intention of paying for them, saying he wanted to learn about it. I said he could have one book for free and handed him a Krishna Consciousness: The Topmost Yoga System, but he grabbed a hardbound Science of Self-Realization instead.  In one sense that was better as my friend Tara gave me money to buy the SSRs so I did not lose anything on it. In the course of the afternoon, that crazy guy came by three or four times and ripped off two books. Once when he took one more, I challenged him asking if he knew about the law of karma. He said, “You mean good karma?” I replied, “If you steal, there is only bad karma!” He returned, and threw the book at me, but at least I got it back.

One day a friendly Muslim man from Bangladesh talked to me briefly. He mentioned that the Hindus he grew up with were all good people. I said I had friend from Bangladesh where I live in Newcastle. As he left, he gave me a 1.5 liter bottle of water as a gift.

Harinama in Preston

During the week I spent in Manchester, of Manchester, Preston, and Liverpool, Preston turned out to be the place where I distributed the most books and received the most donations. One young lady took three books, and an Indian mother took at Gita for £10. As I was walking from the Travelodge toward my harinama spot, I met a young couple, and the lady was very glad to see a devotee. She said she had been to Karuna Bhavan, our farm in Scotland, a few hours north. She wondered what programs we had in Preston, but I had to inform her we just had programs in Accrington but not Preston. She was not free on Thursdays, the night of the Accrington program. I gave her a card for Manchester temple, so she could at least go to some of the special festivals there. I met an amazing, well educated gentleman in seventies or perhaps eighties, originally from American, who had taken his kids to the Ratha-yatra in San Francisco in 1970 and who had been to Krishna Lunch in Gainesville. He had a lot of knowledge about many subjects. He mentioned he had his own spiritual practice but did not volunteer it, and I did not ask.

Harinama in Liverpool

A guy dabbling in Buddhism took a Beyond Birth and Death after donating £1. Two Sikh friends donated about £2 and took two books. I asked if they were vegetarian, because the Sikhs are supposed to be. One was, and one was not. Later they came back, donating three bottles of a yogurt drink that some people were distributing for free. One friendly older man told me he has been doing street photography in Liverpool for years, and he has taken many pictures of Hare Krishnas, and he would sent them to the devotees. I said he could take a picture of me if he wanted. He did, and I gave him my card so he could send it to me.

A new lady named Joanna came to the Liverpool program. She encountered the Hare Krishna chant at the evening Ganga Puja at Parmarth, an ashram in Rishikesh. She looked up Hare Krishna Liverpool on the internet and found out about our program. I told her how I was in Rishikesh in March, and that we chanted there. I gave her my card, and said if she looked at my blog, she could see videos of us chanting in Rishikesh. She seemed to have a good time at the Liverpool program, and she helped vacuum the floor afterwards.

Newcastle Eight-Hour Kirtana

Devotees new and old, playing Eastern and Western instruments, and wearing Eastern and Western dress, sang and danced with affection for the holy name of Krishna, prasadam, and each other at the Newcastle Eight-Hour Kirtana. One young Indian-bodied man came from Carlisle. Here are some video clips of the event (

On the Train to Edinburgh

The train was so hot I took off my coat and set it on top of my pack on the rack above my seat, as there was no other free place to put it. While I was using my computer, all of a sudden, my coat fell on top of both me and my computer. I was a little surprised, and I exclaimed in relief, “At least it fell on me and not someone else.” People laughed. Then I added, “It must be my karma.” And they laughed again. I was dressed as a brahmacari as usual.

The 20th Anniversary of the Karuna Bhavan Deities’ Installation

Prabhupada Pran Prabhu [temple president of Karuna Bhavan]:

We had contracts to put “Say Gauranga and be happy!” on the buses in Scotland. The contracts were for only a year, but one company liked them so much they kept them for five or six years.

I heard some people saw Gauranga buses in Africa. I said that was impossible because we did not do it there. But then I learned that Stagecoach sold their old buses to Africa.

The idea behind the Gauranga campaign was that if people chanted Gauranga it would be easier for them to chant Hare Krishna.

After the Gauranga campaign had going on for years, the GBC was looking for a home for some Gaura Nitai Deities, and they ultimately approved giving them to Karuna Bhavan. They arrived on Rama Navami. Their boxes would not fit in the car, so They came out, sat on the seats, and on their way to the temple, they saw Scotland, the land where people had been chanting Gauranga for years.

Because it was the twentieth anniversary of the Gaura Nitai deities’ installation, we took them in a parikrama around the temple property. They are known as Mayapur Sashi (The Moon of Mayapur) and Khoda Nitai (Nitai in Person).

Also a devotee made an awesome cake!

Thanks to my friend, Raghuantha Bhatta Prabhu, who greatly assisted me in my travels in Scotland, as he had previously, in attending the nama-hattas around Manchester.

Harinama at a Scottish Park with the North UK Devotees

Devotees at the North UK Retreat took advantage of a rare, warm, sunny day in Scotland to chant Hare Krishna at a park near Karuna Bhavan. They attracted interest, with some young girls delighting in dancing with the devotee ladies (

Harinama in Glasgow

Although only sleeping 4 hours the last night, after the North UK Retreat was over, I chanted on Glasgow’s Sauchiehall St. from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. One Nepali couple and a group of three Andhra Pradeshi guys working for a year in Scotland bought Bhagavad-gitas and were happy to learn of Karuna Bhavan. Thanks to all the inspiring speakers at the North UK Retreat, especially Kripamoya Prabhu, who motivated me to share Krishna with others. Three Scottish girls also chanted the entire mantra with me and were happy doing it.

Harinama in Edinburgh

One Indian student, originally from Jaipur, came by my Edinburgh harinama. He was studying at the university for his MBA. He wondered if we had extra neck beads since his had broken the day before. I told him about our Tuesday and Sunday programs at our Gouranga Mantra Centre. He was happy to come in touch with Krishna in Edinburgh.

At the Edinburgh nama-hatta program, in addition to the dedicated regulars, I was inspired to see some new attendees, who have been coming for just a few weeks but are quite committed.

After the devotees cleaned up after the nama-hatta program, about four or five new devotees had their own kirtana for ten or fifteen minutes. It was beautiful to witness their spontaneous enthusiasm to perform an additional kirtana of their own accord.

To see the pictures I took but did not include in this blog, please click on the link below:


Srila Prabhupada:

From a class on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.8.25 in Los Angeles on April 17, 1973:

Danger is very good if such calamities remind us of Krishna.

Danger must be there because the material world is full of danger. These foolish people do not realize this.

Birth and death must be stopped, not these so-called dangers.

Do not be disturbed by the sea waves. Just try to cross to the other side of the ocean.

Tapasya means we must proceed with our Krishna consciousness business in spite of all the dangerous and calamitous conditions of this world.

The devotee thinks, “God has appeared to me as this danger.” He’s confident that the danger is another feature of God. He thinks, “So why shall I be afraid? I am surrendered to Him.”

From a class on Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.5.30 in Mauritius on October 2, 1975:

It is a defect of Kali-yuga that those who do not know the goal of life become leaders.

It is good we are self-interested, but we do not know what is our real self-interest.

If the leaders do not know the goal of life, what is the hope for the common man?

If your only aim is to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead, you can transform this material world into the spiritual world.

From a class on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.8.25 in Vrindavan on October 5, 1974:

We have to be a little intelligent. Hearing that the soul has no birth or death, we have to consider “Why I am subject to these conditions of birth and death?”

From a lecture given in Seattle on September 30, 1968:

“So study Bhagavad-gita to understand the real nature or identity of God and yourself and your relationship with God, and then, when you are a little conversant – when you are prepared to say, “Yes, Krishna is the only lovable object” – then the next book you take is Srimad-Bhagavatam. Bhagavad-gita As It Is is the entrance. Students pass their school examinations and then enter the college. So you pass your school examination – how to love God – by studying Bhagavad-gita As It Is. Then study Srimad-Bhagavatam. That is the graduate study. And when you are still further advanced, post-graduate, then study Teachings of Lord Caitanya.

Bhaktivinoda Thakura:

“The purity of a Vaishnava is judged by how much attraction or rati he has for the holy name. It has nothing whatsoever to do with his official status as a Vaishnava, or his wealth, erudition, youth, pleasing appearance, strength or following.” (Harinama Cintamani, pp. 34–35)

Satsvarupa dasa Goswami:

From One Hundred and Eight Poems to Radha-Govinda:

Radha-Govinda reciprocate with us...

You live in a timeless land,
where speech is song,
walking is dancing and
the flute is the constant
companion. There are
numberless Surabhi cows
who moisten the ground
with their nectarean milk,
and Krishna is served by
millions of gopis or
goddesses of fortune.
But there is one who is
His favorite
who captivates Him and is
superior in everything and
controls Him completely.
That is Radha.
The residents of Vrindavana take shelter of
Her and cry out
‘Jaya Radhe!’ because they know if they get the
favor of Radharani She rewards them and
Krishna is obliged
to give them His mercy. We should know the blessings
of Radharani come through Lord Caitanya
who is a combination of Radha and Krishna.
He is Krishna
in the complexion and mood of Radharani in separation.
Follow Lord Caitanya’s sankirtana and receive the blessings of Radha and Krishna.
I am grateful Radha-Govinda reside with us in Viraha Bhavan.”

Kripamoya Prabhu:

One disciple asked Srila Prabhupada, “I am right in assuming that although your first organization was called ‘League of Devotees’ that you in fact were the only member?”
Srila Prabhupada laughed, and said, “You are right. I was the only one.”

If I fainted from the heat in Delhi, if I were gored by a bull, and if no one joined the institution I created, I would have given up, but not Srila Prabhupada. If I got two heart attacks on the ship, I would have given up.

It is not that Srila Prabhupada did not suffer. The glory of Srila Prabhupada that he did what he did despite the difficulties.

No one really came to Krishna consciousness because they like institutions.

Many people like Srila Prabhupada, but fewer like Srila Prabhupada’s organization.

The village, the company, and the extended family are natural divisions. Cities are an invention by wealthy capitalists.

When I joined ISKCON there were about forty people. Yet for six years, my world was four people traveling in a van and selling books.

I was at a meeting of about eighteen people, and Prabhupada was talking about book distribution. He began by looking at everyone in the room and then said, “Thank you very much for helping me spread my mission.”

I would say that 95% of our members are nice devotees, and let us say, the multi-colored patchwork history we have had, are due to other 5%.

Prabhupada made Kirtanananda a swami and sent him to preach in London, and instead of going to London, he went to New York and preached his own brand of Krishna consciousness without sikhas and without robes.

Srila Prabhupada considered, “If ISKCON fails, I want my books always in print, so that it can be recreated by those who read my books.” Thus Bhaktivedanta Book Trust was separately incorporated.

The British aristocracy was the object of the preaching of the Gaudiya Matha whereas Srila Prabhupada preached to confused young people.

Srila Prabhupada encouraged everyone to practice bhakti – men, women, everyone.

Iggy Pop was one of the first people to buy a set of Srimad-Bhagavatams directly from Srila Prabhupada’s hands.

Srila Prabhupada was attractive to all kinds of people, although he remained unchanged. [He did not have to present himself differently to attract a variety of people.]

Many devotees say that they felt that Srila Prabhupada had all the time in the world for them. We should at least try to make people feel we have all the time in the world for them. One reason is Srila Prabhupada realized we should not lose people.

If Prabhupada was angry with someone, when he was finished dealing with that person, and he dealt with someone else, he was free from anger and dealt with that next person according to his relationship with him.

When Srila Prabhupada came to the Manor for the last time, he treated his disciples with great affection instead of being the stern founder-acarya.

In 1992 we set up a Sannyasa Ministry to analyze the chance of devotees remaining celibate for life. Since then we have had only one or two minor issues with sannyasis.

In communist times about 28 devotees were lost to the communists, who tortured and killed them.

The devotees have the land permissions and the money to build a temple in Moscow, but the Church and Mafia are in cahoots to keep them from building a temple for twenty years. Still, in Russia we have festivals with 14,000 people.

We have our first Eskimo devotee now in Yellowknife in Northern Canada from getting a book and reading it.

In the early days in Dublin, the magistrate charged the devotees with two things:
1. Making noise in public.
2. Being dressed in such a way as to frighten the public.

In Australia someone from Time-Life joined ISKCON. He said, “I can change your image overnight.” He created a magazine showing the best of Hare Krishna with happy children and kangaroos, and we printed 1.5 million and we inserted them into Sunday papers, etc. And it did change our image overnight. We ended up having a preaching center for every million people, fourteen million people and fourteen preaching centers.

In ISKCON, there has been a great influx of people but there is also an outflux of people. Why? We have not done two things that Srila Prabhupada wanted us to do:
1. Look after people.
2. Develop living situations where people can live.

Our success depends on how we can retain our members.

Be real. Keep track of the people you meet. One vicar told me that he spends most of his time looking after his members. There is one lady I looked after for twenty-two years before she took initiation.

I have left ISKCON many times. But then I would wake up the next morning and decide to carry on. The reasons I am staying now are different from those when I was seventeen.

You will be judged by how many people you looked after in your life.

Try and look after people, about twenty. Have a few friends. Do not tell them what to do. Just be their friends. Have two or three people looking after you.

From a lecture called “The Reluctant Preacher”:

If no one speaks to strangers, then the movement will not move.

I was absolutely convinced that the world would be saved by 1979. But it did not happen, so I postponed it to 1985.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses would predict the end of the world, and then, when it would not come, without any embarrassment, they would update it.

We are good at broadcasting our message through book distribution and harinama.  

A farmer has to cultivate and have scarecrows to scare away those who nibble away the seedlings. We are lacking in these.

Many a slip twixt cup and lip.

We have remote gurus and disciples, and people are lacking in systematic education.

Often we lose devotees three or four years after initiation. We are so used to people coming and going, we are not too concerned about it.

Anyone committed to this movement should take a vow to let no one drift away.

One follower of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura drifted away. Bhaktisiddhanta inquired about that devotee. The other devotees said he had disappeared. They were planning to open a temple, but Bhaktisiddhanta refused to open the temple until they found that devotee. They looked all over Madras and found him in the back of a watchmaker’s shop. They explained that Bhaktisiddhanta did not want to open the temple until he returned. The devotee was so touched by his guru’s concern that he never again left.

Preaching is to exhort someone to a higher level of spiritual and moral behavior.

The ritualization of spiritual emotion should keep pace with our actual development of real spiritual emotions, otherwise it seems artificial and people are only willing to do it for so long.

One lady wrote a book about compassion and how to develop it because it is there in all religions and this society does not teach it but just the opposite.

The sannyasa danda is an emblem of compassion and is just the opposite of the selfie stick, which increases ego.

The glue that keeps society together is compassion.

I did not join the Hare Krishna movement but began living with some ex-hippies on a Beatles estate.

Even if we are “faking it till we make it,” if we allow ourselves to used as instruments of compassion, the Lord will work through us.

We are a religion that requires a high commitment of faith. This has to be developed gradually.

Krishna consciousness is beyond all religious designations. We are coming with a transcendental message, that we are transcendental and our transcendental nature can be experienced through transcendental sound vibration.

I had a friend who had a Ph.D. in physics and a spiritual urge. He took the train from England to Japan, and spent months in three Buddhists monasteries which all left him dissatisfied. He returned to London, but despondent. He prayed to God, “You know that I do not think you exist, but if do you exist, give me a sign.” The next day, he met the devotees, and he was attracted. They said he could come stay in their temple. He had great conviction because the Lord fulfilled his prayer, and he convinced many people to become devotees.

Whether you feel it or not, you do it because it is the guru’s order.

It takes a long time to bring one to Krishna consciousness.

One person encountered Hare Krishna when she was working at “Top of the Pops” when the devotees were on the show in 1969. Just recently she became a devotee.

We must become willing to extend ourselves to at least ten people. Write their names down and never forget them.

The individual reaching out with compassion is the Krishna consciousness movement.

We have to establish connection with people so they become new members.

We have to care for the people who become new members.

Q (by Radhika Nagara Prabhu): So many of our members have left. Should we do something to help them?
A: Srila Prabhupada would always want us to make some endeavor to bring them back. There is an attrition rate because people have different needs, and we are not always expert in meeting people’s needs as they go through their stages of life. Krishna recognizes the changing needs and created varnasrama. Prabhupada found that people would come and eat in our restaurants, but not our temples. Then we had 100 temples, and he said we had enough temples, and he said we should start doing more restaurants.

About 50% of interested people actually come to meetings. Some people just do not like meetings, but they like the practice.

In 1934, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura set up a system with 18 sannyasis, then some maha-upadesikas, looking after upadesikas, and each of those looking after group of devotees.

The real question is “Who is helping you in your spiritual life?” It is not “Who is your guru?” Everyone should have someone looking after his spiritual welfare. Without guidance, there is no impetus for movement.

People join groups because they get something they need, and they leave groups because do not get what they need.

When ISKCON meets the needs of a family man, such as residence and education for children, we will retain many more people.

Srila Prabhupada said in a purport in Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, “Right now the future devotees of the Krishna consciousness movement are living in every town and village, and it is up to the present members to find them.”

Sri Guru Carana Padma Devi Dasi:

Previously there was a tendency to speak of grhastha life or sannyasa life, so I find it encouraging that people like Jayadvaita Swami are speaking about the transitional vanaprastha ashram and are advising people in that way.

It is important to go on pilgrimage to see people in other places also practicing Krishna consciousness.

Dayananda Swami:

The Lord does not think “let’s get rid of the demons because they cause such a hassle for the demigods,” but rather He creates a situation where everyone, both demons and demigods, benefits spiritually.

Although Krishna is the Lord of all planets and the enjoyer of all sacrifices, at first these may not seem so relevant to us, but the fact that Krishna is the well-wisher of all living entities may attract us to Him. When people understand that Krishna is the well-wisher of all living entities, then they can really begin to surrender to Him.

The Lord is the well-wisher of Hiranyakasipu. It does not look like that when you see the picture. Actually when I was in Manchester, the temple president took that picture off the altar for the sake of preaching.

Even though sky is cloudy, like here in Sheffield, and we cannot see the sun, we know it is present because it is light, and we know the sun has set when it becomes dark. In the same way, although we cannot see the spirit in the body, we can tell it is present by the symptoms of life and that it has left from the absence of these symptoms.

There is no difference between any of us because we are all spiritual and we all have a relationship with the supreme spirit.

The Lord has arranged everything for our purification, and if we understand that and act accordingly, then very quickly we can progress spiritually, but we if act against it, that will catch up with us, and there will be a heavy reaction.

Although in the beginning we may serve God in fear, eventually we should be doing things for God because we want to.

Selflessness becomes spiritual when it is meant for the Supreme Person.

Q (by me): How to attain devotion like Prahlada?
A: Follow the dos and don’t in the scriptures. Then your consciousness will be elevated. Glorify God, especially by chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. Then the heart will become clean, and we will make progress.

We should have courses training grhasthas how to take sannyasa.

If we change our situation whenever we feel like it, we may just be guilty of indulging the restless mind. One place is as good as another if we are in Krishna consciousness.

We often think, “I live in this community or this city, and there are so few devotees.” But actually, like Devahuti, one can attain perfection from the association of a single devotee.

In devotional service, the most important thing is to never leave the association of devotees.

We can read the books and listen to the lectures, but unless we have the association of a devotee, the equation is not complete.

What will keep us going in devotional service is the taste from sharing it with others, either directly or by helping those who are directly doing it.

Bhakti Prabhava Swami:

Jayadvaita Swami advises that grhastha couples should set aside funds when they are younger, so they can take vanaprastha (retire) later.

As a traveling preacher it is good to go to different places, but it is also good to stay for some time in one place. Thus now I spend half my time in Leicester and the rest of the time traveling.

It is inspiring to go to India on pilgrimage from time to time.

When I go from temple to temple, in each temple the temple president comes to me and tells me all his problems. One thing I can learn from this is that no situation is ideal.

The more we are focused on the goal of pleasing Krishna, the less chance there is of conflict.

The avadhuta learned from the arrow maker to be one-pointed. We must chant with attention and concentrate on the order of the spiritual master.

The avadhuta saw the snake use the holes that were created by others and learned to live simply with what is provided.

Once Srila Prabhupada was asked what he thought of an important politician, and Srila Prabhupada replied that he did not think of him.

Doug Rowlings of Blackpool:

From a car conversation:

For many years, devotees from Scotland would put large “GOURANGA” stickers on the bridges in the Scotland and The North of England. Even now, on the radio, when the announcer reports the traffic conditions on the M65 motorway to Blackburn, in The North of England, he will mention how the traffic is backed up to the “Gouranga” bridge.


Lord Caitanya is so liberal he gives people the chance to experience the topmost spiritual ecstasy, through the chanting of the holy names, regardless of their social position:

sei dvare acandale kirtana sancare
nama-prema-mala ganthi’ paraila samsara

“Thus He [Lord Caitanya] spread kirtana [the chanting of the holy names] even among the untouchables [uncivilized people who eat dogs]. He wove a wreath of the holy name and prema [love of God] with which He garlanded the entire material world.” (Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Adi-lila 4.40)