Sunday, July 23, 2017

Travel Journal#13.11: Paris and Antwerp

Diary of a Traveling Sadhaka, Vol. 13, No. 11
By Krishna-kripa das
(June 2017, part one)
Paris and Antwerp
(Sent from Birmingham, England, on July 23, 2017)

Where I Went and What I Did

On June 1 I did harinama in Paris as usual, but the next day I went to Antwerp for their Ratha-yatra, and did harinama with Janmastami Prabhu, local devotees, and devotees who also came for Ratha-yatra, to advertise it. During the Ratha-yatra itself, I passed out many invitations, and afterward I talked to many people who liked the prasadam and the kirtan, in addition to myself. Then after two days in Antwerp I continued doing three hours of harinama each day in Paris through the middle of the month. Two young devotee ladies from Lithuania added a lot of enthusiasm to the harinama party, and Vanessa from Radhadesh helped out greatly by distributing books and invitations.

I share notes on a lecture by Srila Prabhupada. I share excerpts from Sri Ksetra, a glorification of Jagannatha Puri by Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura disciple Sripada Sundarananda Vidyavinoda, soon to be published by Touchstone Publishing. I share excerpts from the books and poems of Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami. I share notes on Janananda Goswami’s talk from the Antwerp Ratha-yatra stage. I share notes on classes in Paris by Janananda Goswami, Nitai Gaurasundara Prabhu, Bhavasindhu Prabhu, Raja Dharma Prabhu, Vicaru Prabhu, Aksayananda Prabhu, and Tamoha Prabhu. I share excerpts from articles in Back to Godhead, Vol. 51, No. 5 (Sept. / Oct. 2017) by Satyaraja Prabhu, Karuna Dharini Devi Dasi, and Hari Parayana Prabhu. I share an excerpt from Gitanagari Prabhu’s travel journal, and I also include one personal realization.

Thanks to Janananda Goswami for reimbursing my flight to Paris and for giving me a donation for future travel as well. Thanks to Janmastami Prabhu of Brussels for his kind donation. Thanks to Vanessa for her picture of our harinama party at the Eiffel Tower.

Itinerary

July 23: Birmingham Ratha-yatra
Four days of harinama with Govardhan & Nitaichand Prabhus:
July 24: York and Malton harinamas (afternoon)
July 25: Scarborough area harinamas
July 26: Preston harinama (11 a.m.) and Blackpool harinama (3:00 p.m.)
July 27: Preston harinama (11 a.m.) and Blackburn harinama (3:00 p.m.)
July 27: Accrington program
July 28: London harinama
July 29: Berlin Ratha-yatra
July 30–July 31: Berlin harinamas
August 1–6: Polish Woodstock
August 7: Dublin harinama (4:30 to 7:30 p.m.?)
August 8: Boston harinama (1:45 to 3:15 p.m.)
August 9–16: Ottawa Vaishnava Sanga Retreat / Janmastami and Vyasa-puja
August 17: York harinama (2:30 to 5:30 p.m.)
August 18: York Ratha-yatra
August 19: Newcastle Ratha-yatra
August 20: Glasgow Ratha-yatra
August 21: Edinburgh Ratha-yatra
August 22: Edinburgh Fringe Festival Harinama and Tuesday program
August 23–25: harinamas in Manchester and Liverpool to promote Ratha-yatra
August 26: Manchester Ratha-yatra
August 27: Liverpool Ratha-yatra
August 28–September 5: UK and Ireland [September 2: York]
September 5–November ?: New York City (except Sept. 19–23: Philadelphia)
November ?– November 30: Florida
December: New York City

Antwerp Ratha-yatra

I attended the Antwerp Ratha-yatra because my friend, Sivananda Sena Prabhu from Rotterdam, invited me, saying his guru, who is my advisor in Europe, Janananda Goswami, was going to be there. I missed the London Ratha-yatra because Janananda Goswami wanted me to help him in France, but he did allow me to take a two-day break and come to Antwerp. I encouraged my friend, Janmastami Prabhu, from Brussels, who plays accordion and loves harinama, to do a harinama in Antwerp the day before to advertise the Ratha-yatra. Unfortunately, as I did not know the city well, it took me longer to get to the temple that I hoped, and I missed much of that harinama. I was able to catch the last half hour, but we were cut short by the police since we did not have permission. Since the rise in terrorism, the police require permission for such events, so we will have to plan ahead for next year and get a permit in advance. I had chanted in Antwerp with Janmastami years ago, and it was nice to become reacquainted with the city again. There are many cafes with outside seating, and thus it is a good place for harinama.

It was wonderful to see all kinds of people attracted by the Ratha-yatra as usual. I took some video of the event and also the stage show afterward.

Antwerp Ratha-yatra Kirtan 2017 (https://youtu.be/7Acats21oFI):



One Iranian girl was very happy to be blessed with garlands from Lord Jagannatha. She ended up staying for the entire stage show and dancing to the Hare Krishna chant, as you can see in the video below.

At the Ratha-yatra festival we passed out many invitations to the temple to locals who liked the prasadam (vegetarian food offered to Krishna) and the chanting.

Antwerp Ratha-yatra Stage Show 2017 (https://youtu.be/6TJSNQ3Nmf8):


I felt very happy seeing so many people appreciating the festival.

Harinamas in Paris

While preaching in Lithuania, Vicaru Prabhu met a couple young Lithuanian devotee ladies who love harinama, and he invited them to Paris. One of them, Sringara Devi Dasi, also had brahmana initiation and could help in the deity department dressing the deities and doing other services. Sringara, a disciple of Indradyuma Swami, does harinama very much in the style of the Polish festival tour, with the ladies decked out in saris and dancing in wonderful patterns and encouraging the onlookers to dance, and thus she and her friend increased the visual appeal of the harinama.

Rohininandana Prabhu, the harinama leader in Paris, takes devotees on harinama for two or three hours every Thursday and Saturday. Here he leads the chanting of Hare Krishna at Republique the first two Thursdays in June (https://youtu.be/PRPyYL0DqMU):

Milvyde, visiting from Lithuania, chants Hare Krishna at Republique (https://youtu.be/k8_FzA9sDc4):



Valentin, a French art student and aspiring disciple of Janananda Goswami, chants Hare Krishna at Republique (https://youtu.be/jAMlXOrT7vo):



Vicaru Prabhu led the chanting of Hare Krishna for three hours at Trocadero, the Eiffel Tower and the park behind, and Sringara Devi Dasi and Milvyde of Lithuania encouraged many onlookers, both individuals and whole groups of people, to dance (https://youtu.be/ytxecDwTEYE).


On a Saturday, our biggest harinama day in Paris, many devotees chanted in Stalingrad along the canal and different groups of onlookers danced and a few also chanted (https://youtu.be/az-O5ClKEI0):


Stalingrad was so good on Saturday, we decided to go again on Sunday, although with a smaller party. Again many onlookers delighted in dancing with us (https://youtu.be/vh0m7gMCSTc):


Sringara Devi Dasi and Bhaktin Milvyde from Lithuania led the chanting at Garges Sarcelles train station before leaving for their evening flight home. That venue is just fifteen minutes from the Paris temple in Sarcelles, and we chanted there once a week. An Indian man passing by briefly played the mrdanga. This video was taken between incoming trains, so thus the station is not as crowded as it often is. Thanks to Prabhupada disciple, Pranesvara Prabhu, for playing the karatalas and paying for many of the travel expenses of our harinama party (https://youtu.be/KCEkthdYqLU):


In general, I was pleased that many days several devotees joined me on harinama in the Paris area, as you can see from this chart:

  Date    Harinama Place  People
-------- ---------------- ------
06/01/17 Republique         7
06/03/17 Stalingrad         ?
06/04/17 Gare du Nord       3
06/05/17 Republique         8
06/06/17 Garges Sarcelles   5
06/07/17 Republique        10
06/08/17 Republique        12
06/09/17 Eiffel Tower      10
06/10/17 Stalingrad        18
06/11/17 Nord/Stalingrad   10
06/12/17 Garges Sarcelles   4
06/13/17 Caumartin          4
06/14/17 Republique         7
06/15/17 Republique         7

June 2 and June 3 I was in Antwerp, and so they did not do harinama on June 2 and I do not know how many devotees came out to chant on June 3.

Insights

Srila Prabhupada:

From a lecture on Bhagavad-gita 4.7 given in Montreal on June 13, 1968:

“To become the servant of God is a great position, not an ordinary position. People try to get some government service. Why? Or people try to get some service in some established, well-reputed business firm. Why? Because that service is comfortable, and there is great profit in such service. So if people are satisfied by getting service in the government or in some good establishment, then just think of your position if you become a servant of God? God is the government of all governments.”

Sripada Sundarananda Vidyavinoda:

From Sri Ksetra: Vaikuntha on Earth:

“The famous Utkala Pandit named Sadasiva Mishra Kavyakantha has written in an article entitled ‘Sri Jagannatha Temple’ in 1318 Bengali era as follows:

‘The glories of Jagannatha’s remnants of foodstuff are mentioned in many literatures like the Padma Purana, Vishnu Purana, Bhavisya Purana, Brahmavaivarta Purana, Varaha Purana, Garuda Purana, Vishnu-yamala-tantra, Tattva-yamala, Vahvrca-parisista, Rudra-yamala, Caturvarga-yogisvara, Brahma Purana, Vayu Purana, and in the Purusottama-mahatmya section of the Skanda Purana. It is stated that by giving up the fault of casteism and untouchability, everyone from the brahmanas to the dog-eaters will honor mahaprasada together, and even if the mahaprasada is brought to a distant country, its glories will not be minimized.’

“One modern Indian historian learned in Western education has written in a periodical magazine called Vaitarani as follows: (Cuttack Vol. XI. No. 1, September 1936, page 54) ‘Odisha was Chaitanya and Chaitanya was Odisha. The king, the subjects, the high and the low – all were mad after Him.’

“Mr. Kennedy has written in his book The Chaitanya Movement, page 75, ‘Odisha became such a stronghold of the Chaitanya faith that today the name of Gauranga is more commonly reverenced and worshiped among the masses in Odisha than in Bengal itself.’”

Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami:

From Begging for the Nectar of the Holy Name:

“He [Prabhupada] kept his rasa with Krishna private. We were not qualified to understand it. It is said that if a pure devotee doesn’t give even a scent of his inner rasa, of his bhajana with Radha and Krishna, then that is a sign that his bhakti is genuine and deep. Srila Prabhupada was grave. Even in Vrindavana he didn’t tell many stories of Krishna’s pranks in the Yamuna. Here he sits silently chanting gayatri, but it is not the gayatri of an ordinary brahmana or even of a sage who worships Narayana. He is Krishna’s pure devotee, Lord Caitanya’s empowered preacher . . .”

From “Stanza to Radha Govinda”:

“Please continue to reveal Yourselves
to me as the Divine Couple,
the King and Queen
of Vraja. The rasika gurus
say that Radharani is the greater
of the Two, but Prabhupada said,
‘That is out of love.’
Krishna likes Radharani to
dominate Him. He
takes pleasure that way.
Radharani is actually the humble
maidservant who loves
Him unconditionally.”

From “Controlling the Mind” in Soul Eyes:

‘From wherever the mind wanders due to
its flickering and unsteady nature, one
must certainly withdraw it and bring
it back under control of the self.’

“Controlling the mind means controlling
the senses. It is really not so hard
to bring the mind back into Krishna
consciousness. Just engage your
senses in some Krishna conscious service
and your mind will be engaged in
the task. Think, ‘I am doing this
for Krishna’ as you work at your
job and give the results to Him.

“When the mind goes off, chant His holy
names and don’t let the mind govern
you. Don’t be
go dasa but goswami.
After all, we are not meant
to think of pleasures for the body,
which is not real, but work to
please the self, who is
Krishna dasa.

‘For one who sees Me everywhere
and sees everything in Me, I am
never lost, nor is he ever lost to Me.’
This is love.

“When he sees a tree, he sees
Krishna’s energy. Lord Krishna is
never out of his sight. Krishna is
the Lord of everything. The Lord says
the devotee is never lost to Him. The
devotee cannot bear to live a moment
without seeing Krishna in his heart.

“Now this is very advanced, and
I cannot claim I have attained
it. But it is my strong desire to have
my eyes anointed in this way
with the pulp of love, so I
will always see Shyamasundara
in my heart.”

From “Gopa Kumara’s Pastime” in Soul Eyes:

“We have only to wake up
to Krishna’s desire to have
us and chant His mantra
like Gopa Kumara, who
persisted through all the
planets, never giving up
his determination to worship
Madana-gopal. That’s
what Krishna wants to see.
Show how you care,
nothing else counts.”

Notes on a reading of his Prabhupada Nectar:

Srila Prabhupada said his guru would test the sincerity of persons who wanted to join the ashram by engaging them in washing all the pots.

When the monorail authorities in Japan requested that the devotees sit in their seats, Bhurijana, a little embarrassed, asked Srila Prabhupada remove his lotus feet from the seat a disciple had vacated for him to place his feet on, so the disciple could sit down. Srila Prabhupada replied he would be happy to remove his feet so the lotus-like devotee could sit down.

Comment by Bhavasindhu Prabhu: We can see from this that Srila Prabhupada was devoid of the desire to see himself as superior.

Comment by Rajadharma Prabhu: Radhanath Swami said in a class that in our conditional life we have a desperate tendency to be superior.

Comments by Bhavasindhu Prabhu:

Srila Prabhupada’s business first failed in 1934, the year after he took initiation.

Srila Prabhupada, although a renunciate, was very practical.

Regarding Srila Prabhupada’s instruction that the household devotees give 50% of their income for spreading Krishna consciousness, the GBC decided that after the householder pays his expenses, he should give 50% of the profit for promoting Krishna consciousness.

In the history of the Paris yatra, the devotees were short of money to pay the rent one month, and they went on their harinama as usual, and when they returned, they found in their donation box enough money to cover the rent. Another time in a similar situation during the harinama someone gave the temple president enough money to cover the rent.

90% of my clients are women in distress. They are getting older, and they want a man for financial security, and they do not have one.

Comments by Rajadharma Prabhu:

There is a pushpa samadhi of Jayananda Prabhu in Rajapura, the town near Mayapur where the Jagannatha Deity is.

In places where family life is still valued, like India, there is more impetus for economic development than in America where the institution of marriage is falling apart.

Janananda Goswami:

We demand from God as if we are thinking, “If you do not give me what I want, I will not worship you any more.”

We say, “I want to be independent. Daddy, give me a car.” We say, “I want to be independent, Daddy, give me money every week.” We deal with God similarly.

In the sixties, a conference celebrating the conquest of science over nature, which was scheduled in December, was canceled due to circumstances beyond the organizers’ control, probably a blizzard.

We do not see Krishna behind everything but want to use Krishna’s energy for our own use.

Even in the name of religion, we can become very egocentric: “We are the chosen few.”

The social, economic, educational, and medical thought nowadays is to keep us in ignorance.

The varnasrama designations are meant ultimately to bring us to a point of being beyond designations.

Krishna is the supreme conductor, as in an orchestra. People play different parts, but the result is harmonious.

What it means to be one with God is to have no other interest besides His interest.

When Dhruva realized the personal form of the Lord, he realized that his desire for a kingdom was just like a piece of broken glass in comparision to the jewel-like form of the Lord. Our situation is that we are foolishly desiring pieces of broken glass to cut ourselves with.

By Krishna’s mercy, the world does not change, but our perception changes.

External surrender is easy compared to the internal surrender.

We may desire to get peace of mind from the chanting, but that is still self-centered.

It takes some time until we are beaten enough by maya that we wake up and admit we are not the controllers.

The pure devotees do not consider themselves devotees.

We cannot imitate the natural humility of a pure devotee, but we can try to serve the pure devotee. And by doing that, we naturally feel some happiness, and we feel less bothered by inevitable material miseries.

The essential point is to purely chant the holy name. Carefully hear the sound vibration, and all anarthas [false ambitions] will be cleared away. Chant in a way that is pleasing to Krishna.

Jayananda Prabhu is an example of a person who had simple faith in the holy name. He was not a big philosopher but faithfully chanted and served. Srila Prabhupada said he went back to Godhead.

Comments by Rajadharma Prabhu:

One devotee, who would often criticize others, could not find anything bad to say about Jayananda Prabhu.

Pranesvara Prabhu accidently touched Pishima, Srila Prabhupada’s sister, when he handed her something, and she apologized for contaminating him by her touch. Sometimes you encounter Indians who feel touching the Westerners is contaminating, but she was such a naturally humble devotee, she felt just the opposite.

From Janananda Goswami’s lecture at the Antwerp Ratha-yatra stage show:

If we identify with the body and not the soul, the differences become prominent and there is friction.

Why are we attracted to music, to sports, to food? Because of the happiness we get from it.

I heard the Rolling Stones at a free concert at Hyde Park in London. They were singing, “I can’t no satisfaction.” I thought, “If they can’t any satisfaction, what hope is there for me. They have all the things we value, yet they are not satisfied.”

People read books on everything under the sun, but this is beyond the sun. It is about the source of sun.

The chanting is not to just benefit ourselves but to create an atmosphere of auspiciousness.

Satyaraja Prabhu:

From “From Osmosis to Perfection: The Importance of Sadhu-Sanga” in Back to Godhead, Vol. 51, No. 5 (Sept. / Oct. 2017):

“True sanga, the tradition teaches, is sa-anga – ‘to become a part of the other person, attached as if a limb (anga) on the body.’ The word sanga derives from the root saƱj, which means ‘adhesion, dedication, or devotion.’ In the ultimate analysis, then, sanga goes beyond just seeing or being in the presence of someone. It refers to intimate exchange, which, in the current context, takes place when the interior of the sadhu deeply interacts with the interior of the recipient. This generally occurs via the transmission of sound, which is why the chanting of the holy name and receiving spiritual instruction are at the heart of true sadhu-sanga. In the end, sadhu-sanga is when two hearts unite for a higher spiritual purpose.

“Srila Rupa Gosvami notes three ways to facilitate such transcendental harmony. One should search out devotees who are of the same mindset as oneself (sajatiya), more advanced than oneself (asaya), and affectionately predisposed to oneself (snigdha). (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.2.228: sa-jatiyasaya-snigdha sri-bhagavad-bhakta-sangah)

“. . . the mere presence of a holy person creates a revolution in consciousness, enabling one to quickly go beyond simple proximity.”

“Practically speaking, the primary purpose of sadhu-sanga is to hear how the sadhu sings the sacred names of Krishna with a loving heart, how he or she feelingly, knowledgeably, engages in nama-kirtana. This is what brings the practitioner to the stage of pure love. In fact, nama-kirtana should be considered an implicit part of engaging in sadhu-sanga. This is among the central components that make the holy person’s association so important.”

“Srila Prabhupada explains (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.32, purport): ‘As fire is kindled from wood by another fire, the divine consciousness of man can similarly be kindled by another divine grace. His Divine Grace the spiritual master can kindle the spiritual fire from the woodlike living entity by imparting proper spiritual messages injected through the receptive ear.’ Here Prabhupada draws on a traditional example: Wood, we learn from Puranic texts, includes fire in the sense that it has the potential to burn. Still, a piece of wood, even if dry and highly inflammable, will remain only wood if it doesn’t come in contact with fire. Similarly, each living soul requires contact with someone who is ‘in the fire’ of Krishna consciousness, and this contact enables the sincere at heart to realize their spiritual potential as a devotee.”

“Thus, sadhu-sanga is the forerunner and sustainer of loving devotion. As Bhaktivinoda Thakura suggests, bhakti might effectively be compared to an electric current. The devotees (sadhus) are therefore like the copper wire that carries electricity – they are a conduit for the delivery of selfless, loving devotion. Having received it themselves, the devotees desire only to give it to others.”

Gitanagari Prabhu:

From From the “Meandering Snail” on the Appalachian Trail:

At this point in life, at the age of 62, I do not really know which condition I enjoy more-----misery or bountiful comfort. But out of the two, misery makes me feel more alive , makes me feel more rooted to the self----- and comfort always unerringly deadens my spirit. After the age of sixty, there is no enjoyment in the senses anymore. There is only the enjoyment of endless TAPA [austerity]. TAPA, TAPA ,TAPA. That is all that is left to enjoy at this point in life. And the more TAPA the better as far as I am concerned. I have grown to find the attempt to relish enjoyment in the senses distasteful, and I just want to be doing endless TAPA. It is best, of course, when that TAPA is the standard TAPA given to us by Srila Prabhupada------four regulative principles, constant chanting of the Maha Mantra at least 16 rounds a day, fasting on Ekadasi, rising early, mangal arotika, cold bath in the morning, preaching to the conditioned souls. But when a TAPA comes unbidden upon you, unasked for, in the form of a hard driving rain storm while you are hiking in the deep woods chanting the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra, that is just an extra taste of ecstasy that can be only relished by the austere. In other words, as it gets more and more miserable, the more and more I love it.”

Nitai Gaurasundara Prabhu:

The devotee is able to see the Lord in all His energies.

Why do the living entities not all take birth in the same way? The sages see the variety in creation as the glory of God.

Bhavasindhu Prabhu:

Srila Prabhupada by his example teaches how to attain perfection in devotional service by following the spiritual master. Although he was pure devotee from birth, he questioned his guru on their first meeting if the Indian independence movement was not required before people would hear India’s spiritual message, but his guru replied, “The spreading of Krishna consciousness is most important at any time and is not dependent on the external situation.”

Illusion is all-prevading in this universe, and even great personalities are affected by it, as Indra was when he sent the Samvartaka clouds meant for universal destruction to wipe out the residents of Vrindavan.

It is very important for us to remain under the protection the spiritual nature so as not to be affected by the material nature.

In the fire sacrifice the Lord in the form of the fire consumes our impurities.

It is not enough just to perform our prescribed duties, but we must also think of Krishna.

Comments by Rajadharma Prabhu:

On my birthday, while the devotees were singing to me, “May you never take birth again,” my guru, Bhakti Charu Swami, whispered in my ear, “Take birth again and preach.”

Do not think that just because someone has come to ISKCON, which is like hospital, that he is cured.

Rajadharma Prabhu:

India is traditionally in the mode of goodness, but now people are trying to make it a place of passion.

India, because of its advanced spiritual knowledge, is the gateway out of this world. Like in a building, you can get out of the building from the ground floor.

Since time immemorial we are beaten by the stick of maya life after life.

This body is simply an instrument of torture.

Srila Prabhupada reminds us that in this material world at any moment we can be finished.

True saints realize the futility of seeking happiness in the material world, and thus they always advise against it.

During Lord Caitanya’s time, the Hindu society was so rigid, rejecting people who accepted water from Muslims, that they lost so many people.

There are thieves in India who inject a drug into food, sometimes even into coconut dobs, that makes people unconscious, and then they take all their property. One regional secretary found himself practically naked three days later without any of his possessions.

We are not a movement of qualification but of relationships. If we develop good relationships with the devotees, we will find they will give us good advice in a time of need.

I was offering obeisances at the pushpa samadhi of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura at the Radha Damodara temple and the phrase, “Who has ever gone back to Godhead, without the mercy of a devotee?” powerfully appeared in my mind, affecting me emotionally to the point of tears.

Vicaru Prabhu:

Goloka Vrindavan is divided into six regions, Puri, Dvaraka, Mathura, Ayodhya, Navadvipa, and Goloka Vrindavan.

Krishna exhibited His opulence of wealth in Dvaraka, His strength in killing many big demons as a mere child and in lifting Govardhan Hill, and His renunciation in leaving the gopis and leaving the battlefield in the fight with Jarasandha and Kalayavana.

Srila Prabhupada explains that the Lord as Ananta Sesa, with thousands of mouths, cannot come to the end of the glories of the Lord.

I did harinama in one place in Africa where they will steal your karatalas if you are not careful.

I traveled with Harinama Ruci for four years, and so many times people who were drinking and eating meat would begin chanting and dancing with us. Sometimes they would buy books and hold them to their chests in affection.

One Radhanath Swami disciple says, “If you are serious, sincere, and strict, you will not criticize, compare, and complain.”

Kripamoya Prabhu said you can go back to Godhead just by mopping the floor if your consciousness is right, but if you distribute books in the wrong consciousness, you will remain here.

Gopiparanadhana Prabhu said that Brhad-Bhagavatamrita is a bridge to raganuga-bhakti.

Karuna Dharini Devi Dasi:

From “Fruitive Activity” in Back to Godhead, Vol. 51, No. 5 (Sept. / Oct. 2017):

“Our human plight of working hard for fruitive results is compared to that of the ass. Only a rare person becomes embarrassed by the hard struggle for material existence and wants to find a permanent solution to the problem. The Srimad-Bhagavatam concludes that, indeed, most people are satisfied to continue to struggle very hard for sense gratification, just like the ass. For those of us dissatisfied with spending our lives in this way, Krishna gives specific instructions on how to overcome the tendency for material fruitive activity.”

Hari Parayana Prabhu:

From “Self-Realization in Bhakti” in Back to Godhead, Vol. 51, No. 5 (Sept. / Oct. 2017):

“A pre-condition for this quick promotion to bhava is the absence of offenses (Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu 1.2.238). Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, in his commentary on Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.2.9–10, explains that chanters devoid of offenses to Krishna’s names have only two stages: (1) they chant Krishna’s names, and (2) they are quickly promoted to the spiritual world.”

Aksayananda Prabhu:

It is said the endeavor to completely understand the universe is useless.

The creation is not merely mechanical but involves mystic power.

Even if there appears to be some contradiction in the description, it should not be rejected.

The idea of energy or shakti was talked about in Bhagavatam 5,000 years ago, but at that time scientists did not have such a developed understanding of energy.

We may prefer to hear about Krishna’s playful pastimes in Vrindavan, but if we refuse to hear Maitreya Muni’s descriptions of the Lord’s creation, ultimately we will take Krishna as an ordinary man.

Time is very important because without time one cannot do anything. Even to perceive an object through any of your senses requires time.

The time in the spiritual world is a manifestation of yogamaya as an eternal present.

In the creation some things take place step by step, and others happen at the same time.

Because the living entities are feminine, they have a natural attraction for the Lord, the supreme male.

Time tends to harmonize.

We consider the body ours because it appears to move according to our will.

Everything that we see is within the universal form of the Lord.

The creation by the Lord is called sarga, and the creation by Brahma and others is called visarga.

In this universe, the sense and its object appear at once.

There are three levels of sight:
1. Seeing with our eyes.
2. Seeing with our mind.
3. Seeing with the spiritual senses of the soul.

Tamoha Prabhu, disciple of Guru Prasad Swami, preaching in Guadeloupe, a French island in the Caribbean, through prasadam distribution:

I teach cooking, and I tell my students to offer the food to Krishna.

As devotees we have a liking for a particular form of Krishna.

Tulasi grows wild in Guadeloupe.

Sometimes we have some doubts, and we should clear those doubts so we can advance in surrender to Krishna.

One person who is becoming a devotee for two years was attracted to the worship of Lord Nrsimha. His daughter was attacked by a ghost which disturbed her sleeping, her eating, and her sanity. One ghostbuster was able to offer some temporary relief, but when the attacks resumed, and I chanted the Nrsimha kavaca and Hare Krishna and gave her prasadam, and the attacks completely stopped, and the girl became attached to the worship of Lord Nrsimha and developed faith that worship of Lord Krishna and His incarnations is sufficient and one need not worship so many demigods. Indeed the faith of people in the family in Krishna was increased by the incident.

Comment by Ananga Manjari Devi Dasi: Just as we have meetings to discuss propagating Krishna consciousness, Kali and his agents have meetings discussing how to promote demoniac views.

Krishna-kripa das:

I do not have great taste for sharing the holy name compared to many people. I often think that Srila Prabhupada had so much faith in the holy name he was willing to spend 38 days on a cargo ship and suffer two heart attacks in his late sixties to share the holy name with people in the West. Singing on the street for 3 hours a day is a small austerity compared to that, but it is a way I can honor his absolute faith in the universal benefit of chanting “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.”

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Sometimes we wonder why we have not made so much advancement after so many years of practice. Sometimes we may blame others, but this verse indicates we ourselves may to blame:

natah parataro loke
pumsah svartha vyatikramah
yad-adhy anyasya preyastvam
atmanah sva-vyatikramat


There is no stronger obstruction to one’s self-interest than thinking other subject matters to be more pleasing than one’s self-realization.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.22.32)