Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Travel Journal#12.21: New York City Harinama, Washington, D.C., and Gainesville, FL

Diary of a Traveling Sadhaka, Vol. 12, No. 21
By Krishna-kripa das
(November 2016, part one)
New York City Harinam, Washington, D.C., Gainesville, FL
(Sent from Manhattan, New York, on November 23, 2016)

Where I Went and What I Did

I continued chanting Hare Krishna in public six hours a day with the New York City Harinam party, except for a three-day break. The first day of the break I went on three harinamas in Washington, D.C., the second day I attended a harinama and a 12-hour kirtana in Gainesville, Florida, and the final day I attended and spoke at a Bhaktivedanta Institute conference in Alachua. I also gave a lecture at the third Govardhana Puja festival I attended this year, the one at ISKCON Queens.

In separate sections, I share notes on the Srila Prabhupada disappearance day festival at The Bhakti Center and notes on the Bhaktivedanta Institute (Gainesville) conference in Alachua. In the “Insights” section, I share an excerpt of a letter from Srila Prabhupada, and a quote from his guru, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. I share inspiring selections from Vaishnava Compassion and Begging for the Nectar of the Holy Name by Satsvarupa dasa Goswami. I share notes on lectures Prahladananda Swami gave at 26 Second Avenue and The Bhakti Center. I share notes on a lecture by Adi Purusha Prabhu, who does Food for Life in New York City, and part of a conversation with Bhaktivinode Prabhu, a Prabhupada disciple who plays drum on harinama in Washington, D.C. I share notes on an excellent lecture by Ramesvara Prabhu at The Bhakti Center in glorification of Srila Prabhupada on the occasion of his disappearance day. I share notes on the classes of younger devotees at The Bhakti Center, including Murali Gopal Prabhu, Ananda Bihari Prabhu, Mahotsaha Prabhu, and Bhakta Cesar, and notes on a Sunday feast lecture by Gopal Hari Prabhu and from a performance of Yama Niyama Das Brahmacari, both in Alachua. I also share a nice realization on hearing about Krishna from Lavanga Devi Dasi of Krishna House.

Thanks to Sivam of the ISKCON DC congregation, who donated all his 500 rupee notes to the cause of harinama sankirtana. Thanks to Gurudas Prabhu for putting me up in an excellent accommodation, driving me around Washington, D.C., buying a SIM card for me, paying for a month of calls and data, and joining me for three harinamas in one day. Thanks to Brahmatirtha Prabhu for his donation toward the cost of my trip to Florida for the Bhaktivedanta Institute (Gainesville) conference there.

Thanks to Stella for so many wonderful pictures of our New York City harinamas! Thanks to Sankarsana Prabhu for his video of us singing together. Thanks to Nick James for his photo and videos of harinama on the Washington Mall. Thanks to the Yuga Dharma Ashram for the picture from their web site. 


November 14–December 2: New York City Harinam
December 3: Vyasa-puja of Satsvarupa dasa Goswami in Stuyvesant
December 4–23: New York City Harinam
December 24: Albany, seeing the folks for Christmas Eve
December 25–January 2, 2017: New York City Harinam
January 3: Atlanta Harinama
January 4–April: Gainesville and north and central Florida campuses

New York City Harinam

This autumn a new nonprofit corporation has been set up for Rama Raya Prabhu’s New York City Harinam party, and now we are called Yuga Dharma Ashram. You can find us on the web at We are starting a monthly newsletter which you can read at It is expensive to maintain our core team of six devotees in New York City, and we are looking for regular donors at to help maintain this auspicious program of connecting thousands of people from all over the world with Krishna’s name and His transcendental knowledge each year. You can find us on Facebook at

Prahladananda Swami, who loves to chant Hare Krishna, is always willing to join the New York City Harinam party for an hour or so whenever he visits the city. On November 10, he led the chanting at the 42nd St. / Times Square subway station (

On November 3, Kaliya Krishna Prabhu, who sings with the New York City Harinam party after work for at least four hours each day, led a lively kirtana and inspired two devotees and three passersby to dance. Sally, now aged 81, has been coming almost every day for three years (

Another time Natabara Gauranga Prabhu chanted Hare Krishna and many devotees danced, including Jaya Radhe Dasi and two friends from Boston, and New York City devotees, Mahotsaha Prabhu, Bhakta Josh, and Kate. A red-headed women, who likes to meditate and who joined the party for a few minutes, also danced (

The day after the U.S. election, we on the New York City Harinam party felt the passersby to be more favorable and open than usual. Perhaps they were looking for some comfort in the face of what was for the majority a disturbing outcome. I take heart in reflecting that as Lord Caitanya successfully propagated His sankirtana movement during Muslim rule in India and Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura did the same during British rule, Krishna consciousness will continue to spread slowly but surely in the U.S.A., even if Donald Trump is president. Perhaps his victory will cause people to take more shelter of the Supreme Lord, the supreme safety and only infallible shelter, and that would be a good thing.

When I heard that Trump had won, I thought, “I cannot believe the Americans would be so stupid as to vote for Trump as their president.” It was as if I had become a world citizen and was looking at it more from a distance. Actually two people told me this year that I did not even have an American accent anymore.

Five days later we noticed the walls of the Union Square subway station covered with post-its telling why Americans do not want Trump to be their president. 

I wrote on a post-it, “Mr. Trump, God is in your heart too. If you connect with Him, you can save the world and save yourself. With love, Krishna-kripa das”

 Our book distributors Bhakta Cesar and Mahotsaha Prabhu are always offering books to passersby.

I would sometimes sing.

Sometimes I would pass out pamphlets.

Sometimes I would dance.

Sometimes I would dance and pass out pamphlets.

Other times I would watch the book table.
 This boy played a greater number and variety of shakers at once than any other I had seen!

These kids enjoyed hanging out with us for awhile.  

At Grand Central a lady tossed a dollar in our box, and I chased after her to give her a pamphlet. I asked where she was from and she replied, “Oklahoma City.”
I said, “I guess you do not see this much there.”
She replied, “No, but in Dallas.”
I said, “We have an award-winning vegetarian restaurant in Dallas.”
She said, “I know. I have eaten there.”

One young lady pointed to the Bhagavad-gita on the table and said, “I have that one.” Seeing the Science of Self-Realization next to it, she said, “I have that one, too. How much do they cost?” I replied, “They are $5 each.” She gave me a ten and said she wanted both. “For a friend?” I asked, and she replied, “Yes.” I gave her a card for the local Bhagavad-gita classes, saying we have a free vegetarian meal after the class. It is so wonderful when the people appreciate the books so much they want to buy them for their friends!

 One young lady living in Rhode Island, who is becoming interested in devotional service to Krishna, started a regular kirtana party there because she wanted to bring the mood of the New York City Harinam to her home town. She stopped by on the way to The Bhakti Center, where she is studying yoga, and she donated flowers to our harinama altar and Radha-Murlidhara at The Bhakti Center.

Anna Mostova [playing harmonium] of Kharkov, Ukraine, visiting the USA briefly with her husband [sitting on chair behind], chanted with the New York City Harinam party several times. Here she sings in Union Square Park (

Sometimes devotees from The Bhakti Center join our New York City Harinam party for a while. Here Paramananda Gopal Prabhu of The Bhakti Center leads the chanting of Hare Krishna at Union Square Park (

Bhakta Josh, a member of the New York City Harinam party, chants Hare Krishna in Union Square Park (

Stella, who has dedicated many months of her life to New York City Harinam, chants Hare Krishna in Union Square Park (

Natabara Gauranga Prabhu, Rama Raya Prabhu’s stalwart assistant in organizing our New York City Harinam party, chants Hare Krishna at Union Square Park (

Once a whole party of foreign students danced to our chanting of Hare Krishna in the Union Square subway station  (

When Kaliya Krishna Prabhu was singing Hare Krishna in the 42nd St. / Grand Central subway station, one lady passing by joined us for some time (

Ananda Bihari Prabhu, who has done a lot of service for the New York City Harinam party over the years, sings a sweet kirtana one evening at the Union Square subway station. One guy offers a lamp to Damodar (

Natabara Gauranga Prabhu sings a slow and sweet Hare Krishna tune at the 42nd St. / Grand Central subway station, Josh plays drum, and two ladies who are regulars at Saturday Bhagavad-gita class at 26 2nd Avenue sing the response with great absorption (

Govind chants a pretty Hare Krishna tune, and Bhakta Josh plays the drum as the party sings at 42nd St. / Grand Station subway station (

Natabara Gauranga Prabhu chants Hare Krishna at Union Square Park. One nice devotee family brought prasadam for our party and then joined the chanting for at least an hour (

Some of them even did a little book distribution as well.

Tota Gopinatha Prabhu chants Hare Krishna, Anatoliy plays drum,  Natabara Gauranga Prabhu plays karatalas, and Lee, who has been coming from time to time for years, also plays some small karatalas as we chant Hare Krishna one evening in Union Square Park (

Lee also sometimes plays the flute.

Srila Prabhupada’s Disappearance Day at The Bhakti Center

Arjuna Prabhu:

I was impressed to hear [in Ramesvara Prabhu’s lecture] how the grandfather is many times more merciful than the father.

I was chanting japa with Srila Prabhupada in Honolulu, and I asked him what happens to a disciple who falls away, “Is he still your disciple?”
Prabhupada replied, “If one is no longer following, he is no longer my disciple.”
“Suppose he starts following again,” I asked.
After quite some time, he replied, “Then he is my disciple,” and he nodded, and then changed the topic of conversation.

I first read Bhagavad-gita 4.34, “Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth.” It was so powerful.

Srila Prabhupada, you are spiritual monarch showering compassion on all.

I have been touched by a pure angel of God.

Sundara Prabhu:

In India we went to the temple and did rituals. Festivals meant good food and new clothes, yet the whole spiritual culture was forgotten. Srila Prabhupada realized this and wanted to do something.

Ever since he met his guru, Prabhupada was serving his guru’s mission, even in his household life.

In his household days, he read a Bhagavad-gita 2.41 commentary and realized that is what he should do, serve the guru.

He tried in his own way to get money to help serve his guru’s mission, but Krishna made his business fail several times. He concluded Krishna wanted him to serve more directly.

Gargamuni wrote Prabhupada saying they could rent an apartment for $450 a month, but they only had $250 a month, and he asked if they should take the risk. Srila Prabhupada said he took so much risk for Krishna in coming to America and encouraged him to go through with it.

Natabara Gauranga Prabhu:

It was being discussed that Pancaratna, who was managing in New York City, should go to help in Mayapur, as it was Prabhupada’s most important project. Srila Prabhupada corrected them and said, “New York City is my most important project.”

Bhakta Cesar:

I got a book. Thus I like to distribute books to give others the chance [to also get one and benefit].

Mukunda Prestha Prabhu:

Srila Prabhupada writes in Chapter 12 of The Nectar of Devotion, “A similar statement is in the Third Canto, Seventh Chapter, verse 19, of Srimad-Bhagavatam: ‘Let me become a sincere servant of the devotees, because by serving them one can achieve unalloyed devotional service unto the lotus feet of the Lord. The service of devotees diminishes all miserable material conditions and develops within one a deep devotional love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead.’”

Indian devotee:

By your saving my life, I am feeling gratitude toward you. Let me serve you and express my gratitude.

Murali Gopal Prabhu:

Srila Prabhupada gave us everything: our goals, how we eat, our dress, our thoughts. Now I have a purpose.

Krishna-kripa Das:

On Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance day, I like to read from the concluding words of his translation and commentary on Sri Caitanya-caritamrita: “Although according to material vision His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada passed away from this material world . . . I still consider His Divine Grace to be always present with me by his vani, his words. There are two ways of association – by vani and by vapuh. Vani means words, and vapuh means physical presence. Physical presence is sometimes appreciable and sometimes not, but vani continues to exist eternally. Therefore we must take advantage of the vani, not the physical presence. . . . I think that His Divine Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura is always seeing my activities and guiding me within my heart by his words. As it is said in Srimad-Bhagavatam, tene brahma hrda ya adi-kavaye [SB 1.1.1]. Spiritual inspiration comes from within the heart, wherein the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in His Paramatma feature, is always sitting with all His devotees and associates.”

Srila Prabhupada wrote in a letter to Sudama, on December 23, 1972:

“Yes, from the very beginning I went to New York because I thought that Krishna Consciousness is the most important idea in the world, so let me go to that place, New York, which is the most important city in the world, and if I am able to do anything for Krishna and my Spiritual Master, even I am at the fag-end of my life, at least let me try for it there. So my dreams have all come true, and all of you nice boys and girls are getting the credit. When I was alone in your New York, I was thinking, who will listen to me in this horrible, sinful place? All right, I shall stay little longer, at least I can distribute a few of my books, that is something. But Krishna was all along preparing something I could not see, and He brought you to me one by one, sincere American boys and girls, to be trained-up for doing the work of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Now I can see that it is a miracle. Otherwise, your city of New York, one single old man, with only a few books to sell for barely getting eatables, how he can survive, what to speak of introducing God-consciousness movement for saving the humankind? That is Krishna’s miracle. Now I can see it.”

Three Harinamas in Washington in One Day

Although my planned three-day visit to Washington, D.C., was cut short to stay in New York City and assist the daily harinama party there, Krishna kindly made the arrangement for me to attend three harinamas in Washington in one day!

I was thinking of doing harinama in New York City the day before my Florida trip, but since I had a Saturday morning flight out of Washington, I would have to leave so early Friday afternoon, I would only get to chant for 2½ hours in New York. Thus I decided to go early to Washington, so I could chant there instead as had originally planned to. Sankarsana Prabhu told me that in addition to chanting with him in front of the Air and Space Museum as usual, we could also join the weekly Friday night harinama in Georgetown. Friday morning I emailed my friend Sivam, who is an attender of our Potomac temple and who loves harinama, inviting him to come to those two harinamas. He said he had to work in the late afternoon and evening, but was planning to do harinama with a friend, Srivas Pandit, at Foggy Bottom from noon to 2:00 p.m., and he invited me to come. Thus I ended up going on three harinamas that Friday in Washington!

Sivam and Srivas Pandit had a book table, an amplifier, and two microphones set up at Foggy Bottom, near George Washington University, and there were lots of people walking by. Not having my own transportation to get there, I was only able to chant forty minutes with them.

Then I chanted Hare Krishna for two hours with my godbrothers, Sankarsana and Gurudas Prabhus, in front of the Air and Space Museum on the Mall in Washington (

Thanks to Nick James [left], a friend of Alicia of Philly’s Bhakti Garden, who took the video. 
He and the girl I was talking to in the video, Emily La Porte [right], know Alicia from working together at Omega Institute.

 In addition to meeting these friends of Alicia, I meet a friend of my mother’s named Holly [left], who remembered me from Albany Friends Meeting. 

Sankarsana Prabhu also took a video while I was singing. I had never seen anyone play the drum with one hand and take a video with the other! (

After that we had a wonderful pasta prepared by Sankarsana Prabhu’s wife.

Then we headed to Georgetown to chant with the Friday harinama party there from 6:15 p.m. till 8:00 p.m. at the intersection of Wisconsin and “M” St., also a place with lots of pedestrian traffic:

Special thanks to Palaka Prabhu, on the right, who printed the new version of “On Chanting Hare Krishna,” which includes Srila Prabhupada’s excellent explanation of the Hare Krishna mantra from the record album and Srila Prabhupada’s “The Peace Formula.” It is very powerful to hear Srila Prabhupada’s realized words.

 Harinama with the Alachua County Devotees at the Gators Stadium

I was happy to join at least thirty devotees from Alachua County chanting Hare Krishna in Gainesville for 2½ hours outside the stadium before the Gators football game. There were many senior devotees like temple president, Mukhya Devi Dasi, Back to Godhead editor, Nagaraja Prabhu, and book distributor at the colleges, Adikarta Prabhu, to name a few. Guru Vagmi and Krishna Kesava Prabhus, dedicated harinama organizers, were also there. Special mention to youthful and energetic Bhaktin Christiana, who engaged many passersby in dancing (

Twelve-Hour Kirtana at Krishna House in Gainesville

I was so happy that by Krishna’s grace the weekend I was in Gainesville was the one weekend this semester when the devotees had their twelve-hour kirtana. It was simply beautiful seeing the enthusiasm of all the young devotees for kirtana at Krishna House. I was impressed by Abhimanyu Prabhu for doing a lot of organizational work to make it happen, and Madhava Prabhu of Alachua for being the MC and sharing his inspirational words and presence. I wanted to take some videos of it, but as often at kirtana programs, they keep the lights so dim I knew my videos would not come out.

Bhaktivedanta Institute of Gainesville Conference
“Bhakti Yoga and Science: Exploring A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami’s Vision for the Bhaktivedanta Institute in the 21st Century”

Friends and followers of Sadaputa Prabhu, many in Alachua County, Florida, started a branch of the Bhaktivedanta Institute in Gainesville. They decided to do a practice conference on November 13, inviting devotee scholars to speak and present papers. What follows is some notes I took on the presentations of things that were striking to me.

Brahmatirtha Prabhu:

I was at the “Life Comes From Life” conference in Vrindavan in 1977. After each day’s meeting we would report to Srila Prabhupada. He would ask, “What was their argument? What was our argument?”

What did Prabhupada want us to present? Life does not come from matter.

Prabhupada was boot in the face of atheism not boot in the face of science.

Sthita-dhi Muni Prabhu’s thesis adviser, who I knew from another venue, privately told me afterwards that his thesis dissertation was the best she has ever seen defended.

Srila Prabhupada encouraged people to ask questions. I learned from him that the only foolish question is the one not asked.

Dhira Govinda Prabhu:

In the vibration of the sabda brahma itself is the transcendental realization.

In other ways of acquiring knowledge, the four human defects come into play.

There was a triple blind study showing there was a definite effect showing prayer to the Judeo-Christian God improves healing from heart disease, yet the study although published was not promoted. Had it been a new drug with the same effect, it would have become famous.

In research, the gold standard is the double blind study because it supposely eliminates the experimenter’s bias, yet there is a study shows that even in the double blind study the experimenter’s bias still comes through.

One speaker deprecated actually believing in the view you are advocating.

I was not planning to do the Ph.D., which I ultimately did on the maha-mantra study, but my advisers paid me to do it, and they said I could do any topic I desired.  One said, “If you are not going to do something you are really into, I will not support it. I have seen you with your cloth bag and your mumbling, why don’t you do something on that?” I took it that Krishna was speaking through him.

Sattva means goodness in the Vedas and tove means goodness in the Bible. Thus I called my organization Satvatove Institute.

By focusing on removing the weeds and just doing a little watering, we find people had major transformations, and they become inspired to inquire “What is this watering process?”

We find from our process, people had realizations. Pratyaksa.

We have published in social science journals that chanting Hare Krishna decreases stress and depression and increases life satisfaction.

I take the responsibility of providing ways of taking those who are attracted to the chanting in order to become from of stress and depression to become involved with Srila Prabhupada’s whole program.

Gopinath Prabhu:

In cases when the physician asked the patients about their spiritual practice, a study showed the physician – patient relationship was better and healing was promoted.

Integrative medicine involves the patient’s lifestyle in addition to just the mind and body, and uses all kinds of therapeutic techniques.

Medicine used to be a drag for me.

I pray even before seeing the patient.

According to Ayurveda, “The secret to sound health of body, mind and spirit is if you can let food be your medicine and work your recreation.”

60% disease is preventable. 70–90% of chronic diseases are preventable.

2.5 trillion dollars spent each year in the USA health care, and 70% is chronic disease.

In Ayurveda, God and the living entities are always separate and Vaishnava sankyha is the philosophy behind it. 

Here are the properties of the different material qualities (gunas):

Satva guna
faith in God & faith in Self(आस्तिक्यं) &
inclination for right living(शुक्ल धर्म रूचि)

Raja guna
makes one talkative (बहुभाषित्वं),

full of fear(भयं)
sleepy(निद्रा), lazy or
lethargic(आलस्यं) ,&
Always -worried(विषादिता)

Ayurveda protects and enhances the health of a healthy person and treats diseases.

The five principles in the Gita, namely the Lord, the living entities, material nature, karma, and eternal time, are there in Ayurveda.

Mantra-japa has these good effects:

1.    opposes the unseen causes of past diseases
2.    directly by invoking divine grace
3.    indirectly by increases in sattva [goodness] and preventing excesses of tamas [ignorance] and rajas [passion].

The body is a pharmacy; you just need the key to open it. There are anti-cancer drugs within the body.

The mind is sattva [goodness] by nature.

We show kirtana expands brain blood flow.

Dhira Govinda Prabhu:

Many meditative techniques have been researched showing a real effect, but the maha-mantra had never been researched so I did that. Followers of Prabhupada are behind on doing this research.

The placebo mantra had some effect but much less than the maha-mantra and not statistically significant.

Gopinath Prabhu:

Madhvacarya was a [physical] fitness fanatic.

Amish people have the obesity genes, but have you seen a fat Amish person?

We choose our diseases.

Ayurveda says aging is inevitable, but you can age without pain.

Dairy products decrease diabetics and decrease osteoporosis.

[In an email replying to questions I had about his presentation, Gopinath Prabhu wrote:]
Research that validates that the Hare Krishna mantra (or any japa of the names of Lord Narayana) improves brain health and increases the inclination for right living [an increase of the mode of goodness which Srila Prabhupada always emphasized] is absolutely important. I am currently attempting to do such studies at big academic universities with the aim to make the Hare Krishna mantra a prescription to prevent chronic diseases. Actually I am looking for more collaborators in doing these studies.

Gopal Hari Prabhu on Science-Based Arguments for God’s Existence and Modern Atheism:

Sometimes science based arguments for God’s existence lead to atheism.

When Prabhupada attacks science he is attacking scientific materialism.

Atheism has existed as long as theism.

There is a movement sometimes called evangelical atheism.

Many of the atheistic books are attacking the Judeo-Christian idea of God.

Comment by Janaki Rama Prabhu: Lots of these atheist books came out after 911 as a reaction to religious violence.

Nowadays atheists use science as the reason for their atheism.

Scientific materialists argue that only things that are measurable are real, and only science can give real knowledge.

Their claim that science is the only legitimate path to knowledge is not scientific.

By science you cannot prove there is God, but you also cannot prove God does not exist.

You can present that scientific materialism is a valid position but in reality it is a faith position that is not actually based on science. Once you establish that both you and the scientific materialist have faith positions, you can talk about which makes most sense.

Natural theology attempts to establish truths about God through human reason and science.

Newton wrote ten times as much on theology as science. Until age 17 he did theology, then for six years science, and then theology for the rest of his life.

Newton wrote, “Nothing can rejoice me more than the fact it [the Principia] should strength belief in God.”

Ramanuja argued:

The argument from design cannot prove that:
1. The world requires a cause
2. The intelligent cause is one and not many.
3. Whether an intelligence cause must be embodied or not.
4. The intelligent cause is good.
These, can, however be established by reason, experience, and scripture.

National theology can strengthen faith in God.

Unfortunately, Newton was not accepted so much by scientists because of his theology nor was he accepted by Christian theologians who did not like his acceptance of Christ as the merely son of God and his interest in alchemy.

Some scientists conceive the Big Bang as beyond space and time and the cause of space and time.

Early scientists saw their work as worship. Some had two tables, a worship table and a science table, and when they had difficulty at their science table they would go to their worship table.

Janaki Rama Prabhu:

I recommend reading Science and Religion: Some Historical Perspectives.

We should get away from the idea of warfare between science and religion. It is more complicated than that. There are scientists of all sorts of faiths.

One has to have a revisionist idea with openness to science and other knowledge disciplines.

There is a growing openness in discussion of science and religion, and you can bring your theology into the discussion if you do it in the right way.

You have to be very disciplined to be a good scientist. It is almost a yogic process.

There are people who do science for different reasons.

comment by Indian man with white shirt and vest: I come from India and there is no such word as religion. There is dharma and that is more experiential.

It surprising how many scientists believe in God.

Comment by Gopal Hari Prabhu: 70% of physicists believe in God, and 50% of biologists.

In mainstream science journals like Science and Nature if you present anything theistic it will not get published.

Evolution: a theory in crisis is the best critique of evolution.

I got an anti-Darwinism article in Biology and Philosophy.

Darwin considered animals had cognition, feelings, and appreciation of art and music, and this was against centuries of the Judeo-Christian idea that animals were nothing other than sophisticated pieces of machinery. Thus Darwin was progressive in the West in this.

Sthita-dhi Muni Prabhu, “When Boot Meets Face”:

Life Comes from Life may be described as a condensed stylized revision of the original conversations with Srila Prabhupada.

The original conversations should be studied to get a full understanding of Srila Prabhupada.

It was on those walks they began recording Srila Prabhupada’s walks.

Hamsaduta and the German devotees suggested to print the conversations in a book, and Srila Prabhupada agreed, and it was published originally in German, Leben Kommt von Leben.

Srila Prabhupada, although not a scientist, was confident in presenting the Gaudiya idea that consciousness is not a product of matter.

Regarding the scientists, Srila Prabhupada said, “If you talk of God, they immediately become arrogant. That is our protest.”

“We do not deprecate their advancement in knowledge. Their defiance of God is our protest.”

Brahmatirtha Prabhu: Radhanath Swami told me recently he was on a tour at Westminster Abbey at the part where there are tombs of the different saints and scientists. He asked where they were at the moment, and the tour guide said they were in the science section, Radhanath Swami looked down, and saw he was standing on the tomb of Charles Darwin. He joked about it, saying that this is “the boot in the face.”

Dave Butcha:

Pramana: a necessarily accurate source of knowledge.

The Bhagavata is the highest pramana, and thus it must therefore be sruti.

The Supreme Lord is the vaco, and om is the vacaka.
The Veda is another mode of being of that same Lord.
Apparently the Veda has authors but not really, according to Baladeva.

The Vedas are a compilation of the statements of the omniscient Lord.

Vyasa is just revealing the Vedas.

The authority of the sruti cannot be rejected. With smrti, you can choose to follow one and reject another.

Every reading of an infallible text by a fallible person is alway fallible.

That status of the infallibility of text implies an absolute reality.

I cannot attribute the same infallibility to an interpretation of the infallible text or my understanding of that interpretation of it.

Sometimes we say that ‘the scientists used to say this but now they say that’ and therefore we cannot take them seriously, whereas ‘the guru parampara [spiritual lineage] is always saying the same thing,’ but that is not actually true.

A saragrahi is someone who grasps [grahi] the essense [sara]. The existence of a saragrahi implies there is a mixture of essential and not essential things that one can grasp the essence from.

Murali Gopal on astronomical issues:

The problem arises when the description of earth does not match what we see.

I see people now having faith crises like when the Fifth Canto came out because of the flat earth conspiracy theories that are becoming popular.

Sadaputa Prabhu found four possible interpretations of Bhu-mandala, none of which is a flat earth, thank God.

There are actually people who consider that the six seasons listed in the Surya-siddhanta are absolute, even though in the southern hemisphere they are reversed.

[Murali Gopal made a lot more nice points, but I did not write them down as I am familiar with Sadaputa Prabhu’s book Mysteries of the Sacred Universe, and so they were old news to me.]

Krishna-kripa Das on “A Personal Appreciation of the Life and Works of Richard L. Thompson (Sadaputa Dasa)”:


A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada was known for saying that the material scientists were cheaters. As someone who received a degree in computer science from Brown University, that was hard to hear. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that what Prabhupada was aiming at, was that since there is a God, and that since numerous material scientists were allegedly attempting to explain everything without God, it was in that sense that they were cheating. Later, while I was Sadaputa’s assistant for nearly twenty years, I came to appreciate since scientists were also conditioned souls, even according to everyday definitions of cheating such things were going on in professional science as well.

Sadaputa would point out different limitations inherent to atheistic philosophies, as well as various credible tactics for utilizing empirical evidence favorably in support of Vedic perspectives.

He did not feel disturbed by superficial analyses of Puranic cosmology that suggested a mythological interpretation. Based on his frank confidence in Bhaktivedanta Swami’s faith in the scriptural tradition of Fifth Canto material, Sadaputa used his professional background as a mathematician to illustrate the relevancy of advanced astronomical insight present during ancient times.

Though Sadaputa may not have always felt fully appreciated during his lifetime, and that with additional support likely could have accomplished much more, he kept diligently at work all the same. That, I feel, was one of his greatest qualities.


[I was the last speaker, and we were two hours behind, thus I skipped a few examples I meant to include.]

Scientists are proud of having objective knowledge because they follow their scientific method whereas they see religionists as merely having blind faith in some scripture.

The scientific method involves making a hypothesis based on observation and collecting evidence, modifying the hypothesis as needed in light of the new evidence. Thus ultimately the hypothesis accounts for all the evidence, and becomes an accepted theory.

The first project I worked on with Sadaputa Prabhu was the book Forbidden Archeology and the video derived from it. I learned the first few decades after Darwin came up with his theory, scientists found artifacts and skeletal remains indicating advanced hominids in rock dated 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and even 50 million years ago. However, in 1894 when Dubois discovered Homo erectus in Java (Java Man) in strata around 700,000 years old, scientists took that as the missing link they had hoped for, and the dozens of artifacts of advanced tool making man in rock 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and even 50 million years ago were discredited or ignored, and disappeared from view. By not modifying their hypothesis to include all the evidence, the scientists were not only failing to attain objective knowledge but were demonstrating blind faith in a theory with evidence against it. If God does exist and is omniscient and the revealed literature is complied by Him, it is rational to place faith in it, and thus it is a possibility that a religionist could have real knowledge. But when scientists have blind faith in an imperfect theory, so much so that they cast away evidence against it, they have only ignorance. Thus I learned from working with Sadaputa Prabhu on that project that there is real cheating going on in science.

The scientists were so fixed in their conception that humans came from the Old World (Asia) to the New World (the Americas) at most 20,000 or 30,000 years ago, that even Louis Leakey, practically the father of archeology, could not get his many artifacts in 200,000 year old rock in Calico, California, accepted.

There are other examples of problems with atheistic ideas, which I learned from Sadaputa Prabhu.

In his video, “Models of Natural Selection” Sadaputa makes a model of a virus that eats bacteria and analyzes what it would take to mutate it so it could eat bacteria with a thicker cell wall. This part would have to be longer, and if this part were longer, then that other part would have to also be longer, etc. It turned out it would be 1 in 10 to the 54th power chance that it would evolve in that very limited way. At the end of the video, he challenges the scientists: “Without explicit models of biological systems, the theory of evolution becomes simply an exercise in imaginative story telling and not a proper scientific theory.”

Sadaputa Prabhu told how in 1967 mathematicians presented a paper to the biologists showing them how in terms of probabilities that evolution was not possible. The biologists replied, “We know evolution happened, and thus you must have made some mistake in your calculations.” The mathematicians, realizing the nature of the people they were dealing with, did not make further attempts to push the point.

Alfred Russel Wallace also came up with an evolutionary theory the same time as Darwin, but with natural selection alone, he could not account for people having advanced mathematical abilities existing in primitive cultures that did not utilize them. Thus he considered intelligent beings may guide the evolutionary process, an idea that outraged Darwin.

Other problems with atheistic theories Sadaputa Prabhu mentioned in his books:

“Darwinian evolution calls for a self-reproducing system of molecules. Indeed, one of the main tasks of origin-of-life theories is to explain how the first self-reproducing system arose. In living organisms, self-reproduction is a dauntingly complex process involving proteins, deoxyribonucleic-acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA). If Darwinian evolution can’t take place until such a complex system is operating, scientists are at a loss to explain how that complex system has come about.” (“Primordial Alphabet Soup” in God and Science)

“Today, of course, scientists explain the succession of life forms in the fossil record by the neo-Darwinian theory of evolution. In this theory, evolutionary developments are attributed to random variation sifted by natural selection. This theory can create plausible explanations of many observed features of the biological world, and it is reasonable to suppose that the Darwinian mechanism of evolution does function in nature. However, it is far from clear that this mechanism is the last word. Organs of high perfection and complexity, such as the eagle’s eye or the human speech center, are notoriously difficult to explain by mutation and natural selection. In addition, many features of the fossil record can be placed in the Darwinian framework only by an act of faith.” (Maya: The World As Virtual Reality)

“To account for one universe with life, this [multiverse] scheme requires us to posit a vast number of universes without life, as well as an underlying process that endlessly spawns universes. One could ask which theory carries more metaphysical baggage, this one, or the traditional idea of a cosmic designer.” (Maya: The World As Virtual Reality)

I also learned from Sadaputa Prabhu that using information theory you can argue that the simple laws of physics do not contain sufficient information to produce the complex biological structures that we see in nature, and thus there must be another source of that information.

While working with Sadaputa Prabhu, I came to learn about empirical evidence supportive of Vedic ideas such as out-of-body experiences and past-life memories. One scientist he mentioned, Kenneth Ring, did studies on people who were blind from birth but who had visual experiences in an out-of-body state. We learn in the Vaishnava sankhya philosophy that the body is composed of earth, water, fire, air, and ether, and the organs of the body responsible for sight would be made of these elements. Yet according to sankhya, the senses, including that of sight, are completely distinct elements from those composing the body, and that out-of-body study gives evidence consistent with that idea.

Murali Gopal Prabhu explained how the planisphere model of Bhu-mandala explains the passage of day and night and the seasons, so I will mention some of Sadaputa Prabhu’s other cosmological and astronomical achievements.

Traditionally the start of Kali-yuga is a time when the planets are all in alignment. Using a modern astronomy program and running it for each day in the last 6,000 years, Sadaputa Prabhu was able to show that one of the three best alignments occurred on the day Kali-yuga started, February 18, 3102 B.C. at midnight.

Sadaputa Prabhu showed that the size of yojana is based on a degree of latitude at the equator and that implies scholars of Vedic times knew the earth was round and how big it was.

Sadaputa Prabhu observed that the Bhagavatam distance from the center of Bhu-mandala to the sun’s orbit is within 10% of the modern earth-sun distance and is much more accurate a value than the Greek astronomers had a similar time in history.

Indupati Prabhu, who did most of the 3-D graphics for Sadaputa Prabhu’s videos, especially those on cosmology, once asked Sadaputa Prabhu, “The Vedas describe so many far out things. How can you accept them?”
Sadaputa Prabhu replied, “Because the Vedic world view can explain so many things.” When he said that I thought about all kinds of human experience throughout the millennia like consciousness, out-of-body experiences, past life memories, mystic powers, levitation, extraterrestrials, UFOs, worship of a personal God, worship of the impersonal absolute, worship of demigods, origin of species, etc., and how the Vedic world view can describe them all in a consistent system, whereas science has to reject so many things it has no explanation for.  

[This final quote in which Sadaputa Prabhu explains bhakti, in the language of a scientist, as a way of acquiring additional knowledge of reality, is very powerful, and the devotees appreciated it as just suitable for ending a conference of Bhaktivedanta Institute:]

“The theory of creation by sound vibration involves transcendental levels of reality not accessible to the mundane senses, and thus in one way it is more unverifiable than the purely physical Darwinian theory. However, if a purely physical theory turns out to be empirically unverifiable, then there is nothing further one can do to be sure about it. In contrast, a theory that posits a supreme intelligent being opens up the possibility that further knowledge may be gained by internal and external revelation brought about by the will of that being. Of course, the dynamics of obtaining such knowledge are different from those of empirical, experimental science and mathematical analysis. Instead of forcing nature to disclose its secrets, one surrenders to the Supreme Lord in a humble spirit and pursues a path of spiritual discipline and divine service.

“This approach to knowledge and to life also constitutes one of the great perennial philosophies of mankind, but it has tended to be eclipsed in this age of scientific empiricism. To obtain the fruits of this path to knowledge, one must be willing to follow it, and one will be inclined to do this only if one thinks the worldview on which it is based might possibly be true. Establishing this possibility constitutes the ultimate justification for constructing theories, such as the one considered here, linking physics and metaphysics.” (“High Technology and the Ground of Being” in God and Science)

Tulasi-Priya Dasi of Alachua made a video of the entire conference, in case these notes inspire you to learn more.

End of Karttika Celebration at Krishna-Balaram Temple in Queens

My friends Baladeva Prabhu, who I knew from Alachua, performed an abhiseka celebrating the end of Karttika, the month of Damodar at the Krishna Balaram temple in Queens, where I gave the lecture.

Bhakta Jeff, who formerly assisted our harinama ashram took pleasure in helping Baladeva.

In the lecture I reminded the devotees that from observing the month of Damodar properly, we can remember for the rest of the year that Lord Krishna is our worshipable deity and that the perfection of life is to attain spontaneous love for Him.

Meditation on a Picture

This boy, holding a sign “Let’s Dance,” is standing with Mahotsaha Prabhu, the best dancer on our Yuga Dharma New York City party.

Srila Prabhupada writes, “The aim of this Krishna consciousness movement is to enable us to approach Radha-Krishna and associate with the Supreme Lord in His sublime pleasure dance.”

How is this possible? Prabhupada continues, “Narottama dasa Thakura advises that if one actually wants to enter into the dancing party of Radha-Krishna, he must accept the shelter of the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda.” (purport to “Manah-siksa [Teachings to the Mind]” by Srila Narottama dasa Thakura)

We hope to attain the shelter of Lord Nityananda by following His example, inviting everyone we meet to chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra.

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


Srila Prabhupada:

Letter to Hamsaduta and Himavati written in Los Angeles on March 3, 1968:

“The more one feels imperfect in Krishna’s service, the more he is advancing in Krishna Consciousness. Even the topmost devotees feel they are inadequate in their service to the Lord. So it is good to feel inadequate, and to try harder to please Krishna with better service. But one should never feel, oh, I have seen Krishna, and so I am reached perfection—this is not Krishna Consciousness.”

Bhaktisiddhanta Saravati Thakura:

Quoted in Vaishnava Compassion:

“The world is in no need of any reformer. The world has a very competent person for guiding its minutest happenings. The person who finds that there is scope for reform of the world himself stands in need of reform. The world goes on in its own perfect way. No person can deflect it by the breadth of a hair from the course chalked out for it by providence. . . . What is necessary is to change our outlook to this very world. . . . The scriptures declare that it is only necessary to listen with an open mind to the name of Krishna from the lips of a bona fide devotee. As soon as Krishna enters the listening ear, He clears up the vision of the listener so that he no lon­ger has any ambition of ever-acting the part of a reformer of any other person, because he finds that nobody is left with­out the very highest guidance. It is therefore his own reform by the grace of God, whose supreme necessity and nature he is increasingly able to realize by the eternally continuing mercy of the Supreme Lord.”

Satsvarupa dasa Goswami:

From Vaishnava Compassion:

“To be truly compassionate requires faith. When we distribute the holy name, we are not just trying to help people hear krishna-nama but to awaken faith in their hearts. If we are faithless, how can we plant the seed of faith in others? The holy name itself is like fire—it will act on the heart of the hearer as He chooses—but Krishna has arranged for the holy name to be delivered through the devotees. Receiving the holy name is meant to be an exchange between devotees and anyone who will hear.”

“Someone will always ask the question, ‘Why should there be any creation in the first place? Creation only means suffering. If Krishna is compassionate, why doesn’t He simply bring everyone back to Godhead by arranging for us jivas to be in agreement with Him?’ But that is not how Krishna chooses to show His compassion. Rather, He wants the living entities to maintain their free will. This is because Krishna is interested in love. Love is voluntary; there is no question of forcing love. Therefore, His compassion is not to remove our free will but to allow us our choice while never abandoning us regardless of where we wander.”

ALL DEVOTEES WILL AGREE THAT Krishna RESPONDS with compassion when a devotee prays. What is it, then, that blocks us from being aware of His response? This question has a simple answer. We cannot hear Krishna because we have already de­cided what He should say.”

From Begging for the Nectar of the Holy Name:

“Bhaktivinode Thakura recommends chanting in a sacred place, in the association of Vaisnavas who have already developed a taste for chanting. Also, constant chanting will help us to develop a taste. He also recommends chanting in the presence of Tulasi-devi. And for those who try all other measures and don’t get success, he suggests extreme methods like sitting in a closed room alone, covering the head and face with a cloth, ‘ . . . and concentrating on the holy name. Slowly, one develops attraction for the holy name.’ When Lord Krishna sees a devotee sincerely and enthusiastically attempting to chant, He will reciprocate by removing the neophyte’s mental inertia with the power of His name, and bring him into the association of advanced devotees.”

“‘The devotee should make it a regular practice to spend a little time alone in a quiet place and concentrate deeply on the holy name.’  (Harinama-cintamani, p. 84)”

Prahladananda Swami:

We have fifty qualities of Krishna, but in conditioned life we are covered by the material modes of nature. In goodness some of these good qualities are temporarily manifest. In passion there are some good qualities, but they are misused. In ignorance, one has the opposite of the good qualities needed for liberation.

Just pick up the newspaper. There are plenty of asuras [demoniac people] mentioned.

Good desires are Krishna’s desires.

Our only problem is we do not want to be with Krishna. We desire to take Krishna’s place. Krishna is in the center, and we are trying to be in the center.

Are we going to worship our dead material body or are we going to worship Krishna?

The beginning of devotion is to understand there is a God and He is not us, and He never will be us.

By absorbing ourselves in Krishna we are absorbing ourselves in transcendence and illumination.

In reality everything is already Krishna’s, so we are cannot actually offer anything to Krishna, but we can have the right desires. By hearing from Krishna’s representatives, we can learn the right desires.

Krishna is controlling everything here except our desires.

When a man asked why she chanted Hare Krishna, Sarasvati slapped him across the face with her five-year-old hand. Srila Prabhupada said, “That is nistha [steady faith].

As the spark loses its glow when away from the fire, we lose our illumination when removed from Krishna.

Our principal relationship with others is to help them advance in Krishna consciousness. That is Lord Caitanya’s instruction. By doing that we will achieve the service of Lord Krishna’s devotees in Vrindavan.

Krishna will directly inspire us from within the heart if we act according to Bhagavad-gita 9.14: “Always chanting My glories, endeavoring with great determination, bowing down before Me, these great souls perpetually worship Me with devotion.”

The devotee sees his enemy is not his enemy. He sees, “Because my enemies are inspiring me to take shelter of Krishna, they are not my enemies. My friends, because we are doing sense gratification together, are helping me to forget Krishna, and thus they are actually my enemies.”

We can start serving Krishna by chanting a regulated number of rounds daily and doing some service to the sankirtana movement, like maybe giving some donation.

The books allow people to think of Krishna instead of so many other things. Thus Srila Prabhupada judged the success of a program by the number of books distributed.

How to be successful at distributing books? “Tell people how nice they are. People are looking to be recognized. If you love their shoes, you love them, and they become enlivened.”

Generally the conditioned soul does not know he is a conditioned soul. Sometimes a conditioned soul thinks he is a liberated soul, whereas a liberated soul thinks he is fallen.

Adau sraddha [in the beginning is faith]. We have a little tendency to hear about Krishna. This sraddha means I think, “If I do this, I will become happy.”

The attitude is that we want to absorb our mind in Krishna consciousness and withdraw it from various material conceptions.

In the stage called utsaha-mayi, we are very enthusiastic. We think we are pure devotees but others haven’t realized it. We know it within our heart, and Krishna knows.

At anartha-nivrtti one is not bewildered by attachments or aversions.

At nistha one can feel the presence of Krishna, and one can see Krishna in one’s mind.

I understand I am the eternal servant of Krishna, and my business is to engage everyone and everything in helping people become Krishna consciousness.

At ruci everything become tasteful and gives one pleasure.

At bhava we have some genuine feeling for Krishna. Bhava is one ray of the sunlight of prema.

Prema is only the beginning. There are sneha, raga, anuraga, etc.

Bhava is the beginning of uttama-adhikara, the topmost level of devotion.

This pastime is put here not for us to criticize Bharata Maharaja but to show how careful we must be not to fall down.  

In 1969, Srila Prabhupada told his servant, Purusottama, “I pray every night to Krishna to please protect me from maya.

Our spiritual advancement is indicated by our desire for Krishna’s protection.

Mother Yashoda is not peaceful, but she is in ecstasy because she is Krishna conscious.

When we think of Krishna as an employer not as object of love, the devotees as competitors not as objects of service, the association of those averse to Krishna as valuable, and preaching to the innocent as troublesome or useless, we fall down from the vision of a madhyama.

Just chanting our rounds to get them done is like if Krishna walks in and we wonder, “How long is He going to be here for?” 

When we chant with offenses we fall into material conceptions. If we have
knowledge, we can perceive this and do something about it.

By chanting Hare Krishna without offenses we can attain nistha, steadiness.

What we think about during the day, we think about during japa. So if we serve Krishna during the day, we will think of Krishna when we chant.

If Bharata took in the deer, fed it Krishna prasadam, and did not let it distract him from his spiritual life, he would have been all right.

People are suffering because they are changing their bodies. They are changing their bodies because they are forgetting Krishna. So by enlightening them about Krishna, we save them from suffering.

Q: On book distribution how do you keep people from taking too much of your time, if they do not want a book?
A: That is easy. Just say, “Thank you very much. It was nice meeting you. I do not want to waste your valuable time.” If they still want to talk, say “I’d love to talk, but they asked me to distribute these books.” Give the person a card to the temple, and invite him to come there to talk with you.

In the beginning, when I would go on book distribution, I would stand off to the side and pray for Krishna to send people. From time to time people would come over, and I would sell them a BTG. I learned from this how I was dependent on Krishna.

Once in the Philly Airport during the marathon I was doing 120 big books a day. I would do two books at a time. During the end of the marathon, I was so tired, I would just show people the two books and would not say anything, and people would open up their wallets and give me money.

Everything depends on desire, steady desire. Rely on Krishna. Enthusiasm, confidence, and patience: these qualities sell books. Our success is in developing these qualities. 

Srila Prabhupada wanted the devotees to read or hear lectures an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening.

When I was treasurer, my temple president wanted me to get a job. I found that other temples were going on harinama and distributing BTGs and collecting enough to maintain the temple, so I decided to do that. It requires organization but it works.

Adi Purusha Prabhu [New York City Food for Life]:

When the householders get a deity, they do not think, “the deity is coming into our home.” Rather they consider, “The home belongs to Krishna, and we are living in the servant’s quarters and paying the rent.”

Adam and Eve stepped out of their innocence when they ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Each year some of the people who enjoyed the association of the devotees and liked their kirtana and prasadam at the National Rainbow Gathering would come to New Vrindavan and stay for a week or so. Once some of them asked Radhanath Swami if they could be naked at New Vrindavan. Radhanath Swami replied gravely, “At New Vrindavan you have to strip all the way down to the soul.”

One rabbi told a story about a Jewish guy who followed strictly and made it to heaven. God congratulated him but saw he wasn’t completely happy, even though he was in heaven. God asked him what was wrong. The man said he had one son who was a nice Jewish boy but at the end of his life he became a Christian. God replied, “I had a son who did the same thing. It’s no big deal.”

Bhaktivinoda Prabhu:

From a car conversation:

Comment by me: Thank you for your dedication to harinama. It is inspiring when the senior devotees are enthusiastic about it to inspire us newer people.
Bhaktivinoda Prabhu: I just know it is Mahaprabhu’s program, and Srila Prabhupada wanted us to make it our life and soul. 

Ramesvara Prabhu:

From a lecture on Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance day at The Bhakti Center:

I learned from Srila Prabhupada’s books that it is actually possible to know the Personality of Godhead and His pure devotee.

When Srila Prabhupada disappeared, for the devotees it was somewhat akin to a cosmic annihilation. They felt that everything they based their life on had been ripped apart from them. That feeling went on for days, and then we remembered there is no difference spiritually in the appearance and disappearance of the spiritual master.

As ecstatic as it is to serve the pure devotee in his personal presence, it is more ecstatic to serve the pure devotee in separation. Srila Prabhupada personified this in his relationship with his guru.

Comparing Srila Prabhupada’s contributions to those of his godbrothers and other followers, the difference is so great they cannot be compared.

We are accustomed celebrating a birth and mourning a death, so celebrating a disappearance is a foreign idea to us.

Srila Prabhupada understood his guru’s mission was to make the name of Lord Caitanya known in every town and village of the world. That was why his guru had appeared in this world.

Srila Prabhupada was not only a pure devotee, nor even only a saktyavesa-avatara, but he is that person who fulfilled whatever Lord Caitanya predicted and whatever Lord Caitanya desired.

Usually authors producing a series of books put out one book every three or four years. To put out one book every year is considered amazing. Srila Prabhupada produced almost one book a month for the last seven years he was present. Even more amazing was that while he was doing this, he traveled around the world, and he organized a worldwide movement.

Srila Prabhupada came at a time when drug and sex culture were highly glorified, meat eating was widespread, and gambling was promoted, and yet he convinced thousands of students all over the world to give up these activities.

Practically every temple in this movement during Srila Prabhupada’s time got a loan from their guru for construction.

He also created a school of art. The early ISKCON artists were very primitive in their skills, but in a very short time they became expert and produced many beautiful paintings.

Comment by Adi Purusha Prabhu: All these paintings in this room were present during Srila Prabhupada’s time.

Any one of these things, the book publishing, training students, worldwide lecturing, or temple management could have been a full time job, and yet Srila Prabhupada did them all at once.

If you think of what Srila Prabhupada did in comparison to any other person in history, where is the comparison?

We cannot comprehend extent of our karmic reactions from millions of births and the meaning of our guru freeing us from our karma.

The beauty of deity worship frees us from sex desire. 

The verses of “Gurvastakam” reveal the complete program Srila Prabhupada had for a spiritual culture to save people from materialistic life.

Srila Prabhupada was sent to this world to give the highest knowledge of the Supreme Lord.

The ecstasy people experienced distributing Srila Prabhupada’s books was greater than anything they remembered from their days of intoxication.

After all the devotees returned from sankirtana, no matter how late it was, I would send the report to Srila Prabhupada. One day after reviewing it, he sent me a handwritten note:

“My dear boys and girls, you are working so hard for broadcasting the glories of Lord Krishna’s lotus feet and thus my Guru Maharaj will be so pleased upon you. Certainly my Guru Maharaj will bestow His blessings thousand times more than me and that is my satisfaction. All Glories to the assembled devotees.

“N.B. Every one should go with the Sankirtan Party as soon as possible.

“A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami”

The blessings you get from Srila Prabhupada are thousands of times more, perhaps millions times more, than from your guru.

Everyone should go with the sankirtana party as soon as possible.

I will be happy to return and give a class on book distribution. I will try my best to explain the spiritual dimension of book distribution

Gopal Hari Prabhu:

From a Sunday feast lecture in Alachua:

For new devotees, Krishna fulfills their material desires to encourage them, and for advanced devotees, Krishna takes away everything to facilitate them.

Q (by Sesa Prabhu): Is there a way to understand in the beginning if we are receiving a gift of the holy name or the result of our karma?
A: It may be difficult to understand, but if it takes one closer to Krishna you can see it is a gift of the holy name. Ultimately, in any case, the devotee is determined to accept only things that he can engage in Krishna’s service.

Comment by a devotee: When we approach Krishna even for material things we become purified and advance toward Krishna.

The state of love cannot be without happiness because in all circumstances the devotee is happy by giving pleasure to Krishna.

Murali Gopal Prabhu:

In medieval times, the king’s eldest son inherited everything, and the younger sons got nothing. The younger sons had two options, to join the monastery or to join the military. Thus often the second son would assassinate the first to get the inheritance. The disenfranchised princes in Europe would come to the West and pillage Latin America and take the goods back to Europe to live the life they wanted.

There is a place in New York City where you can get ice cream coated with gold for $1,000.

One industrialist wants to build a state in space. They are doing background checks on the people who want to live there. 

Thus we are creating artificial needs.

Greed and lust blind us to others’ needs.

All divisions of society are recommended to decrease their needs to be self-satisfied in all circumstances.

Austerities help us keep our needs low.

When there are not enough resources, it creates conflict.

Ananda Bihari Prabhu:

Sukadeva Goswami describes Bharata Maharaja as a madman for forgetting his devotional practice because of affection for a baby deer. Calling someone a madman is very strong language.

You have to analyze what you do between the different services you perform to understand where you are at.

Maya is like an intruder. The best way to deal with an intruder is to keep him out because that is easier than kicking him out once he has entered. 

I asked Adi Purusha Prabhu if he was going to vote. He replied, “I vote every day. I vote for Srila Prabhupada.”

I have attended seminars and read articles about raising a child, but none mentions that changing your own character is the best way to develop character in the child.

One strategy is to give the child a false choice. Are you washing your face with cold water or warm water? In this way, you get the child to do what you want.

The election is a false choice in a sense. Whether you vote from Clinton or Trump, so many difficulties will still be there.

If I do not chant my rounds every day, if I do not hear the class every day, then my work will become completely mundane.

You have to be steady in your service. Your happiness and distress are already determined.

Comment by Adi Purusha Prabhu: Keeping the connection with the spiritual master keeps us from drifting off course and doing mundane welfare without a spiritual objective. When you know you are doing what your guru wants, then you can be confident.

Mahotsaha Prabhu:

When we move our hand, we do not know how to move the different atoms. We have the desire, and Krishna, as the Supersoul in the heart, moves the material energy accordingly.

If just by knowing about Krishna, you do not have to take birth again, you can understand Krishna is transcendental.

The entire Srimad-Bhagavatam is a commentary on the Gayatri mantra.

Krishna did not want to accept shoes from His mother unless all of His 900,000 cows had them, because as a servant of the cows, He should not be in a superior position.

The father of Srinivasa Acarya, Ganga Narayana, longed to meet Lord Caitanya, and in 1510, he could not bear it, and he journeyed to Navadvipa. It was about the time Lord Caitanya took sannyasa. After seeing Lord Caitanya he became transformed in spiritual ecstasy, and people called him Caitanya dasa. Later both parents visited Lord Caitanya in Puri, and Lord Caitanya predicted a great devotee would take birth as their son and be named Srinivasa Acarya.

Narahari Sakara Prabhu was the only one of Lord Caitanya’s associates who Lord Caitanya let glorify Him unrestrictedly in His presence.

Srinivasa Acarya decided to go to Puri himself to see Lord Caitanya, but unfortunately during his journey he learned Lord Caitanya left this world unexpectedly.

Srinivasa Acarya is said to be a partial expansion of Lord Caitanya’s ecstasy.

When Gadadhara Pandit would give class on Srimad-Bhagavatam, Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda and the other members of the Pancatattva would come and listen.  

Srinivasa Acarya appeared to enter into a deep meditation for several days while chanting japa. His wives and the king he was the guru of were in great anxiety, but he was not in danger. In meditation he had entered into his original spiritual form and was assisting Radharani’s servants in looking for Her nose ring.

Bhakta Cesar:

Srila Prabhupada explains that only our sadhana is protecting us from falling into material life.

My Guru Maharaja [Vaisesika Prabhu] says, “Your seva [service] will save yah.”

On these appearance and disappearance days, Srila Prabhupada advised us to pray for the mercy of the personality who we are honoring.

Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaj had no interest but chanting the holy names of the Lord continuously and associating with the few devotees he recognized to be genuine.

Whatever the pure devotee uses becomes transcendental and is therefore worshipable.

In January of 1900 Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura took initiation.

Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura considered that Gaurakisora Dasa Babaji Maharaja ignored all his good qualities because he had superior qualities himself.

Bhakti Vikasa Swami said of the U.S. election, “You are either voting for Putana or Ravana.”

Comments by Adi Purusha Prabhu:

In the different 12-step programs for recovering from drugs and alcohol, the former addicts always consider themselves still addicted, even after many years. Similarly we should always consider ourselves addicted to sense gratification and carefully follow the practice our guru has given to become elevated.

There are devotees who still think and act like karmis [those who work for their own enjoyment]. As long as we are thinking in terms of “what I like” and “what I do not like,” we are like karmis, although we have a guru and dress like a devotee.

Yama Niyama Das Brahmacari:

From an after lunch performance at the Bhaktivedanta Institute (Gainesville) conference:

Srila Prabhupada did not ask to kick in the face with the flip-flop.

You say the universe began with an explosion when there was no explosive matter out there.

You think are great because you know how to procreate, but it’s simply monkey business.

Lavanga Devi Dasi from Krishna House:

Comments on a class I gave at Krishna House on hearing talks of Krishna:

I see the value of the studying in twos, which you mentioned in the class. I have been reading for twenty minutes a day from one of Srila Prabhupada’s books to my roommate, Hari Priya, and it has really enhanced our relationship. While I read she listens, and we do not even discuss, but somehow we feel much closer as a result of the experience. [Hari Priya joyfully expressed agreement.]


The gopis are famous for their advanced love of Krishna, and it is powerful to hear their appreciation of the power of narrations about Him:

tava kathamritam tapta-jivanam
kavibhir iditam kalmashapaham
sravana-mangalam srimad atatam
bhuvi grinanti ye bhuri-da janah

“[The gopis say to Krishna, in the ecstasy of separation from Him:] ‘The nectar of Your words and the descriptions of Your activities are the life and soul of those suffering in this material world. These narrations, transmitted by learned sages, eradicate one’s sinful reactions and bestow good fortune upon whoever hears them. These narrations are broadcast all over the world and are filled with spiritual power. Certainly those who spread the message of Godhead are most munificent.’” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.31.9)

When Maharaj Prataparudra recited this verse to Lord Caitanya, the Lord embraced him, and said, “You are most munificent! You are most munificent!”