Friday, May 06, 2022

Travel Journal#18.8: Tallahassee, Orlando, Tampa, Miami

 Diary of a Traveling Sadhaka, Vol. 18, No. 8
By Krishna Kripa Das
(April 2022, part two)

Tallahassee, Orlando, Tampa, Miami
(Sent from Brooklyn, New York, on May 7, 2022)

Where I Went and What I Did

Yogamaya Yajna Prabhu and I stayed in Tallahassee, chanting Hare Krishna on the campuses of Florida State University and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, and in the parks and by the bars frequented by students in Tallahassee. We also chanted Hare Krishna at a weekend retreat at the Bhakti Pyramid Sanctuary, a newly acquired rural property twenty minutes from the city. On Monday, April 27, after chanting at FSU for three hours, we took a bus to Orlando en route to Tampa, where the semester ends a week later. Our bus was so late we missed our connection to Tampa, and so we stayed overnight with Jaya Sila Prabhu, who proved to be an ideal Vaishnava host. We stayed at the temple of Srila Prabhupada disciple, Visvasvan Prabhu, in Tampa and chanted Hare Krishna on the campus of the University of South Florida three hours a day for three days. One day we were joined by Rayn Mataji, whose enthusiastic singing and drumming added a lot to our party. On Friday morning, we took a bus to Miami, where we ended April by doing harinama in Coconut Grove for a couple of days.

I share notes on Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Chapter 2, from my personal reading, and notes on Srimad-Bhagavatam, Canto 4, which devotees were studying in Tampa, and notes on Cantos 7, 8, and 9, which Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami and his friends and followers were reading twice daily online. I include excerpts from the writings of Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami. I have a few quotes from Caitanya-Bhagavata by Vrindavan Dasa Thakura and its commentary by Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. I have notes on a class by Vivasvan Prabhu in Tampa and Bhakti Prabhava Swami in Tallahassee. I have fewer notes on classes than usual because sometimes I was giving the classes and at others I was hearing Srimad-Bhagavatam class while cooking, and it was difficult to take notes.

Many thanks to Vivasvan Prabhu for picking us up and dropping us off at the bus in Tampa, for allowing us to stay at his place, and for providing books to distribute and for a car to travel to the University of South Florida campus. Many thanks also to Jaya Sila Prabhu for picking us up and dropping us off at the Orlando bus station, for the ecstatic mangala-arati at his home, for the amazing Ekadasi breakfast, and for his kind donation on the occasion our of visiting his house unexpectedly when we missed our connecting bus to Tampa because of a delay. Thanks to Kaliya Damana Prabhu for inspiring us by his dedication to develop ISKCON Tallahassee, facility to go on harinama at several venues in that city and for taking us to the bus station. Thanks to Madhumangala Prabhu for driving us to harinama by the bars near Florida State University on a Friday night. Thanks to BVP Damadara Swami and Jayadhvaja Prabhu for facility to share Krishna consciousness in Miami. On Wednesday, April 27, I completed my course called “Sociology of Religion” at FSU getting a grade of 93.8% (A), and I share some things I learned from it.


May 8–13: Taking care of my mother near Albany, New York
May 14–17: NYC Harinam
May 18May 20: harinama with Sankarsana Prabhu by the Washington, D.C., museums
May 21–25: NYC Harinam
May 26–27: harinamas to promote Baltimore Ratha-yatra with Harinama Ruci
May 28: Baltimore Ratha-yatra
May 29: harinama with Harinama Ruci
May 30–June ?: NYC Harinam
June ?–August 16: Paris harinamas
August 22–September ?: Tallahassee, Gainesville, Tampa harinama and outreach
September 22–24: Philadelphia harinamas and Ratha-yatra
September 25–January 7, 2023: NYC Harinam

Chanting Hare Krishna in Tallahassee

Madhumangala Prabhu chants Hare Krishna at Kleman Plaza, our rainy weekend venue in Tallahassee (

I chanted Hare Krishna around a campfire at Pyramid Bhakti Sanctuary near Tallahassee (

Later Madhumangala Prabhu chanted Hare Krishna around that campfire (

Yogamaya Yajna Prabhu chants Hare Krishna at Landis Green (

Madeline, who stays at Garuda Prabhu’s place, was inspired to join us often in Tallahassee after she learned about our daily
harinama party at the Rama Navami festival.

Madhumangala Prabhu chants Hare Krishna at Landis Green (

Madhumangala Prabhu chants Hare Krishna at Landis Green the next day (

I felt that we had not chanted at the bars in Tallahassee this semester, and we should do so at least once as an offering to Lord Nityananda Prabhu, who was famous for delivering the intoxicated class of men.

Gopal, who has never gone on harinama during the several months he has cooked Krishna Lunch at FSU, was inspired by Madhumangala and Yogamaya Prabhus to join the party so there were four of us. Many people enthusiastically interacted with our party as you can see in the following several videos:

Here Yogamaya Yajna and Madhu Prabhus chant Hare Krishna by the bars south of Florida State University in Tallahassee on the last day of classes for the spring semester and many play shakers and dance, and some even chant (

There were some special moments. Here Yogamaya Yajna Prabhu chants Hare Krishna, and students dressed as construction workers dance (

A Latino girl and her friends danced to the Hare Krishna chant led by Yogamaya Yajna and Madhu Prabhus for over ten minutes altogether (

A couple of
Christian girls chanted Hare Krishna, and then the devotees sang Christian songs with them (

The last weekend we were in Tallahassee, Kaliya Damana Prabhu organized an overnight retreat at the Pyramid Bhakti Sanctuary. That evening
Yogamaya Yajna Prabhu chanted Hare Krishna around the campfire at that new rural property (

Chanting Hare Krishna in Orlando

Srila Prabhupada recommended that householders who do not live in the temple do deity worship at home. Jaya Sila Prabhu, who kindly let us stay at his house in Orlando when we missed our bus to Tampa, has beautiful deities of Lord Jagannatha, and I was happy to sing mangala-arati kirtan for them.

Chanting Hare Krishna in Tampa

We stayed three days in Tampa to chant Hare Krishna for three hours a day on the campus and collect contacts for our Bhakti Yoga Society at University of South Florida.

Tuesday Yogamaya joined me, but Wednesday I went out alone.

In the afternoons at the University of South Florida a steady stream of graduates
got to hear the holy names of the Hare Krishna mantra as they posed for photos on the bulls which are the school mascot.

One young lady getting a masters degree in media at University of Tampa was taking photos for her course, so I asked if she would take some of me for my blog.

We stayed at Vivasvan’s place where we had kirtan on Wednesday night.

The enchanting deities there are Radha Vrindavanchandra.

Here Yogamaya Yajna Prabhu chants Hare Krishna in Tampa (

Vivasvan Prabhu chants Hare Krishna in Tampa (

On Thursday
Rayn Mataji chanted Hare Krishna with us at University of South Florida (

Yogamaya Yajna Prabhu chants Hare Krishna there (

It was great to have a party of three on harinama.

More favorable people stop to interact with us at USF than at FSU, UF, or UCF. 
UNF in Jacksonville may have been even better, but I’ve not been there recently.

Chanting Hare Krishna in Miami

I went to Miami because Bhakti Vrata Prabhupada Damodara Swami and Jayadhvaja Prabhu invited me to come last year when I was there and because Yogamaya Yajna Prabhu said it was a good place to do books and I wanted to encourage him.

In the evening after our five-hour bus ride there from Tampa, I chanted Hare Krishna alone in Coconut Grove for three hours, as no one wanted to join me. Two families gave $1 each at different times because their kids liked the chanting. On the last day of April, Yogamaya and I chanted for an hour and a half by the Coconut Grove Organic Market, said to be run by devotees, and a man, who enjoyed our music as he was having lunch, gave $10 and took a Perfection of Yoga. Bhakti Vrata Prabhupada Damodara Swami, Jayadhvaja Prabhu, and Bhakta Viktor joined us for another hour and a half by the restaurants in Coconut Grove for a walking harinama and several people were attracted by our presentation and gave donations and took books.

Here Jayadhvaja Prabhu chants Hare Krishna in Coconut Grove, Miami, with BVP Damodara Swami (

What I Learned in Sociology of Religion at FSU

To maintain the privileges of being a Florida State University student, like being able to use the university library, to park on the campus, and to ride the Tallahassee buses for free, I took an online class called “Sociology of Religion” during the spring semester.

I found it interesting that Eileen Barker, who was trying to be a neutral academic, was criticized by both the Moonies and the anti-cult people for mentioning there was a high turnover at the Unification Church, showing that the Moonies were not successful in building a membership and the anti-cult people didn’t have to kidnap people who would most likely leave of their own accord!

I found it interesting that Peter Antes found that an appearance of a female goddess is interpreted by the Hindus to be Durga but by the Christians to be Mary.

It was interesting to learn of the trick of the scientologists to offer a management training service to doctors weak on managerial skills to create faith in them, and then teach them their philosophy in the course of providing psychological help which a test they had administered showed they needed.

I mentioned to a young Catholic sister on the FSU campus I just learned in my Sociology of Religion class that because of there being fewer priests that nuns and lay people were taking charge of parishes. She said that has been the trend, but in recent years more men are becoming attracted to the priesthood, and she found that to be an encouraging sign.

I always thought people attended churches of the different Protestant denominations because they agreed with the subtle differences in theology, but I learned that one’s social or economic class is a much more important factor.

I appreciate a point my professor, Elwood Carlson, made in a video lecture, that the sociologists do not claim to be able to tell which religion provides ultimate truth, considering that is beyond their ability. I found that view to be more favorable to religion than many scientists who consider that the supernatural does not exist, although in reality, their discipline cannot prove that.

It was interesting to me to learn that children with parents of different religions tended to be less religious than their parents because the difference in teachings and worship produced doubt about the veracity of either of their parents’ religions.

I learned a popular strategy of new religions to gain followers is to look for people at a turning point in their lives, to provide them support, and then to encourage them to cut ties with their former connections. I see evidence of that also in the Hare Krishna movement.

Novel Photos

What to do if the handle breaks on your ghee lamp . . .

I had never encountered these mini puris before:

You can most likely find them at an Indian shop near you.


Srila Prabhupada:

From Bhagavad-gita 2.49, purport:

One who has actually come to understand one’s constitutional position as an eternal servitor of the Lord gives up all engagements save working in Krishna consciousness.”

From Bhagavad-gita 2.50:

A man engaged in devotional service rids himself of both good and bad reactions even in this life. Therefore strive for yoga, which is the art of all work.”

From Bhagavad-gita 2.51:

By thus engaging in devotional service to the Lord, great sages or devotees free themselves from the results of work in the material world. In this way they become free from the cycle of birth and death and attain the state beyond all miseries [by going back to Godhead].”

From Bhagavad-gita 2.55, purport:

One has to give up all kinds of sense desire manufactured by mental concoction. Artificially, such sense desires cannot be stopped. But if one is engaged in Krishna consciousness, then, automatically, sense desires subside without extraneous efforts. Therefore, one has to engage himself in Krishna consciousness without hesitation, for this devotional service will instantly help one onto the platform of transcendental consciousness. The highly developed soul always remains satisfied in himself by realizing himself as the eternal servitor of the Supreme Lord. Such a transcendentally situated person has no sense desires resulting from petty materialism; rather, he remains always happy in his natural position of eternally serving the Supreme Lord.”

From Bhagavad-gita 2.57, purport:

There is always some upheaval in the material world which may be good or evil. One who is not agitated by such material upheavals, who is unaffected by good and evil, is to be understood to be fixed in Krishna consciousness. As long as one is in the material world there is always the possibility of good and evil because this world is full of duality. But one who is fixed in Krishna consciousness is not affected by good and evil, because he is simply concerned with Krishna, who is all-good absolute. Such consciousness in Krishna situates one in a perfect transcendental position called, technically, samadhi.

From Bhagavad-gita 2.58, purport:

The test of a yogi, devotee or self-realized soul is that he is able to control the senses according to his plan. Most people, however, are servants of the senses and are thus directed by the dictation of the senses.”

From Bhagavad-gita 2.59, purport:

One who has tasted the beauty of the Supreme Lord Krishna, in the course of his advancement in Krishna consciousness, no longer has a taste for dead, material things.”

From Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.28.25, purport:

The Supreme Lord is also described as suhrdam, “ever well-wisher.” The Supreme Lord is always a well-wisher, just like a father or mother. Despite all the offenses of a son, the father and mother are always the son’s well-wisher. Similarly, despite all our offenses and defiance of the desires of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Lord will give us immediate relief from all the hardships offered by material nature if we simply surrender unto Him, as confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (mam eva ye prapadyante mayam etam taranti te). Unfortunately, due to our bad association and great attachment for sense gratification, we do not remember our best friend, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”

From Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.9.41, purport:

The Lord is always ready to help the fallen souls, but because they are fools and rascals, they do not take to Krishna consciousness and abide by the instructions of Krishna. Therefore although Śri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is personally the Supreme Lord, Krishna, He comes as a devotee to preach the Krishna consciousness movement. Yare dekha, tare kaha ‘krishna’-upadesa. One must therefore become a sincere servant of Krishna. Amara ajñaya guru haña tara’ ei desa (Cc. Madhya 7.128). One should become a guru and spread Krishna consciousness all over the world, simply by preaching the teachings of Bhagavad-gita.”

From Srimad-Bhagavatam 8.3.13, purport:

For example, we may rent and occupy a house, but actually the owner of the house is the landlord. Similarly, we may be allotted a certain type of body as a facility with which to enjoy this material world, but the actual proprietor of the body is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”

From Srimad-Bhagavatam 8.5.25, purport:

We get experience by directly seeing or by hearing. If it is not possible to see someone directly, we can hear about him from authentic sources. Sometimes people ask whether we can show them God. This is ludicrous. It is not necessary for one to see God before he can accept God. Our sensory perception is always incomplete. Therefore, even if we see God, we may not be able to understand Him. When Krishna was on earth, many, many people saw Him but could not understand that He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Avajananti mam mudha manusim tanum asritam. Even though the rascals and fools saw Krishna personally, they could not understand that He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Even upon seeing God personally, one who is unfortunate cannot understand Him. Therefore we have to hear about God, Krishna, from the authentic Vedic literature and from persons who understand the Vedic version properly.”

From Srimad-Bhagavatam 8.8.8:

Then there appeared the goddess of fortune, Ramā, who is absolutely dedicated to being enjoyed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”

From Srimad-Bhagavatam 8.12.8:

The jagat [universe] should not be rejected as mithya [false]. It is truth, and the truth is realized when everything is engaged in the service of the Lord. A flower accepted for one’s sense gratification is material, but when the same flower is offered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead by a devotee, it is spiritual. Food taken and cooked for oneself is material, but food cooked for the Supreme Lord is spiritual prasada. This is a question of realization.”

From Srimad-Bhagavatam 8.12.10, purport:

In this Age of Kali, so many gurus have sprung up, and because they do not refer to the sruti-smrti-puranadi-pañcaratrika-vidhi [rules given in the various authoritative scriptures], they are creating a great disturbance in the world in regard to understanding the Absolute Truth. However, those who follow the pañcaratriki-vidhi [rules given in the pañcaratraunder the guidance of a proper spiritual master can understand the Absolute Truth. It is said, pañcaratrasya krtsnasya vakta tu bhagavan svayam: the pañcaratra system is spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, just like Bhagavad-gita.”

From Srimad-Bhagavatam 8.24.51, purport:

The Lord lives in the spiritual world in His original personality, and a devotee who follows the instructions of the Lord approaches Him (mam eti). As a spiritual person, such a devotee returns to the Personality of Godhead and plays and dances with Him. That is the ultimate goal of life.”

From Srimad-Bhagavatam 8.24.52, purport:

The real purpose of life is to go back home, back to Godhead, and live with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, play with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, dance with the Supreme Personality of Godhead and eat with the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”

From Srimad-Bhagavatam 9.1.17, purport:

When the Hare Krishna mantra is chanted by many men together, the chanting is called sankirtana, and as a result of such a yajña there will be clouds in the sky (yajñad bhavati parjanyah). In these days of drought, people can gain relief from scarcity of rain and food by the simple method of the Hare Krishna yajña. Indeed, this can relieve all of human society.”

Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami:

The following book excerpts are from Free Write Journal #192:

From A Poor Man Reads the Bhagavatam, Volume 3:

Sometimes we think satisfaction is the goal, but a devotee is never satiated by hearing Krishna’s glories. Neither is he satisfied with his own performance of devotional service. He wants always to improve, to hear more, to please Krishna more. The satisfaction of brahma-bhuta refers to the peace that comes when one becomes free of the bodily conception. It is certainly a relief to overcome one of the most major obstacles to happiness.”

Those who wish to overcome their present position in devotional service and attain a higher status, will find their purposes will best be served by honoring the advanced Vaishnavas. It takes lifetimes to become a purified Vaishnava, and it also requires the Lord’s full mercy. Srila Prabhupada condemned those who thought Vaishnavas were those who stayed home to ring bells, show the Deity, hope to receive some donation, then fall asleep in the afternoon sun while chanting their rounds.

All our despondency is therefore due to a lack of love of God, and in the earlier stages, of proper hearing and chanting. We need to save ourselves, and Narada has given the cure.”

O Krishna, O holy name, please rescue me. It is coldest winter, and we are waiting for the thaw. You are the most intelligent person. Please arrange for me to reach Your feet. Don’t reject me because of my faults. Enliven me with faith and love.”

You’re a devotee now. The nondevotees think I’m a jerk cultist, but I think they’re out to lunch—the President, his daughter, the divorced Queen—all of them. They’re all sordid, bored, boarded up, ignorant of the soul. They don’t know anything, and they won’t admit it.”

From The Story of My Life, Volume 1:

We don’t want a strict, dictatorial, militaristic rules and regulations movement. No one will follow that. It has to be a loving, compassionate body. Welcoming people, kirtana and dancing, prasadam and a modest, self-realized Krishna conscious lecture. Keep Prabhupada in the center, his books, his pictures, his bhajans, his lectures, memories of him. ISKCON has over four hundred centers and preaching outposts. Visit them and maintain them, they are beacon lights in the darkness of Kali-yuga.”

From Here Is Srila Prabhupada:

The spiritual master is supposed to train you to be expert in spiritual activities, including the details of how to fold a chadar. As soon as you resist, thinking you know how to do something or that he is too demanding, then there will be trouble.”

From Churning the Milk Ocean: Collected Writings, 1993–1994:

Prabhupada is not the source of everything, the Supreme Controller. He understands that Krishna is in everything and is controlling everything, and He understands that Krishna and His energies are simultaneously one and different. Therefore, even in the variegated elements of the world, he sees Krishna and he feels love for Krishna. Prabhupada compares it to the way a mother feels when she sees her child’s shoe. She feels love not for the shoe, but for her child, who is associated with the shoe. That shoe becomes a stimulus for loving emotion. The mahabhagavata sees everything as promoting his constant absorption in Krishna.”

From Japa Transformations:

Please enter my life,
please fill my mind
with Your names and
forms and qualities.

I’m not passing the time
in a numbers game, but
praying to Persons who
protect and rule my life. I
should think of Them and
worship as I chant.”

From The Story of My Life, Volume 2:

I’ve suffered a lot from migraines, sometimes for twenty-four or even forty-eight hours at a time. I would lie in bed in a dark room, with a piercing pain in my right eye. I can’t say there was a tenderness at the edge. But I tolerated it without complaining. I would wait for it to go and in the meantime let my mind wander where it wanted without bashing it with a broom. The physical pain was enough to deal with, so I went easy on myself. I’m grateful I’ve passed through these ordeals, and I hope they don’t come back. Whenever I had to endure this sort of torment, I felt close to Krishna and basically accepted it as a joke, as something like a token punishment for the much greater offenses I had committed.”

From My Letters from Srila Prabhupada, Volume 3: “I Am Never Displeased with Any Member”:

Prabhupada’s Godbrothers didn’t support Prabhupada, even when he asked them to send some of their disciples to help him in the preaching. They chose not to come themselves, and they even stopped their disciples from coming. Prabhupada wrote so many letters begging his Godbrothers for help—even inviting them to help him while remaining in India. He needed someone to help him find an Indian printer for his books, to buy karatalas, mrdangas, saris and dhotis. His Godbrothers wouldn’t even inquire into prices for him, what to speak of actually helping him.”

The following book excerpts are from Free Write Journal #193:

From A Poor Man Reads the Bhagavatam, Volume 3:

Krishna conscious writing should reflect Krishna’s own beauty. It should be poetic, metaphorical, concise. A devotee is meant to be the greatest poet; why should such claims go only to the nondevotee literary giants? The perfection of our literature will be when it both glorifies God and pleases the readers’ ears.”

Srila Prabhupada himself, working in obscurity, produced the first volume of the Bhagavatam in English with the hope to distribute it around the world. This was his effort to bring about world peace. Most people, even if they knew of his work, saw it as proselytizing. To promote peace they think they must work through the political sphere. Prabhupada, like the sages at Naimisaranya, understood the truth: peace comes from our giving up material designations and understanding spiritual reality.”

Our philosophy seems too high-natured for such people. Therefore, Prabhupada taught us to distribute prasadam and to hold public kirtana in order to soften their hearts and incline them toward God. We know it is not really hopeless; we ourselves are proof of that.”

The heart of the offering has to become our devotion. When Krishna says we should offer what we eat to Him first, it is not that He is hungry. He is asking us to express our devotion. . . . It is the warmth and care with which an offering is made that makes it an exchange between Krishna and the devotee.”

From The Story of My Life, Volume 1:

Once I stayed up all night typing a manuscript for Prabhupada on a manual typewriter. When I gave it to him in the morning he gave me a few grapes. My first reaction was to think, ‘This is all I get for staying up all night, a few grapes?’ But then I calmed my mind and was grateful to have been given the service, for the moment of intimacy, and was ready for more typing.”

From Meditations and Poems:

Control your lower nature. Fold
your hands and offer respects to the
all great Supreme Person.
Don’t be one He calls a mudha,
stay with the mahatma.

The following book excerpt is from Free Write Journal #194:

From Remembering Srila Prabhupada: A Free-Verse Rendition of the Life and Teachings of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness


But now you were not alone.
Your boys went out on their own
to the Love-Pageant Rally, a hippie protest meeting,
and while the crowd was milling aimlessly,
started Hare Krishna chanting.
In the same park where you
had led them personally,
now on your order, among their peers they chanted,
with your drum, karatalas, and a tambourine of soda caps.
The love pageant flared up in devotional chanting.
And the Village Voice reported,
The backbone of the meeting was the mantras,
holy chants from the Sanskrit Bhagavad-gita,
and for three hours it became like a boat
on a sea of rhythmic chanting.
Led by fifteen disciples of Bhaktivedanta Swami,
who operates from a storefront on Second Avenue,
the mantras ebbed and flowed with the rhythm of drums . . .’
They ran, ecstatic to tell you,
Swamiji, it was fantastic!’
As if to say, ‘We did what you told us
and it worked! We ourselves are amazed,
and our faith increased a hundred times
to go out and spread this everywhere.’
Do it, you said. Go everywhere
and chant, and save your people.”

Vrindavan Dasa Thakura:

From Caitanya-Bhagavat, Adi 11.109:

One who finds fault with a devotee is himself at fault, for a devotee’s descriptions are meant only for the pleasure of Krishna.”

From Caitanya-Bhagavat, Adi 11.121:

The Vedas declare that the Lord by nature always expands His devotees’ glories by making them victorious.”

From Caitanya-Bhagavat, Adi 12.61–62:

If the Lord spoke with someone just once, that person was bound by ropes of love. Even the Yavanas [those averse to the Vedic culture] felt love for the Lord, for the Lord’s characteristic is to show mercy to all living entities.”

From Caitanya-Bhagavat, Adi 12.259–62:

I cannot compare Nimai with even Brhaspati, because Brhaspati is partial to the demigods. This Lord, however, is partial to everyone, and therefore a comparison with Brhaspati is also unjustified. Nor can I compare Nimai with Cupid, because if Cupid appears in one’s heart, that heart becomes agitated. When this Lord appears in one’s heart, however, all one’s material bondage is destroyed and his heart becomes pure and happy.”

From Caitanya-Bhagavat, Adi 13.59–66:

As the Lord sat with His students, His attractive form was unmatched throughout innumerable universes. A smile decorated the Lord’s moonlike face, and His beautiful eyes showered merciful glances. His teeth defeated the luster of a string of pearls, and His reddish lips resembled the color of the rising sun. He was full of compassion, and all the limbs of His body were delicate. His head was adorned with beautiful curly black hair. His dress was divine, His neck resembled that of a lion, and His shoulders were like those of an elephant. His body was very large, and His attractive chest was adorned by Lord Ananta in the form of a brahmana thread. An enchanting mark of tilaka decorated His forehead, and His beautiful arms reached to His knees. The Lord wore His cloth like a sannyasi, and He sat with His right foot on His left thigh.”

From Caitanya-Bhagavat, Adi 13.112, 13.113, and 13.115:

The Lord’s behavior was so gentle that whoever was defeated by Him felt no distress. After defeating each of the teachers in Navadvipa, the Lord satisfied them with His sweet behavior. . . . Even after defeating someone, the Lord did not insult them, and thus everyone was pleased with Him. Such were the pastimes of the Lord.”

“[The goddess Sarasvati continued speaking in a dream to the scholar who had defeated all others but who was himself defeated by Nimai Pandit:] ‘He [Nimai Pandit] is known as the son of both Vasudeva and Nanda, and now He has appeared as the son of a brahmana to enjoy scholastic pastimes. Do the Vedas know this incarnation of the Lord? Who has the power to know unless the Lord reveals Himself? The title of Digvijayi [conqueror of all directions] is not the real fruit of your chanting mantras to worship me. The real fruit of your chanting is that you have now directly seen the Lord of innumerable universes. Therefore, O brahmana, go immediately and surrender yourself at His lotus feet. Don’t ignore my words by considering this only a dream. I am controlled by your chanting and have therefore informed you of that which is unknown to the Vedas.’ Speaking these words, Sarasvati disappeared and the most fortunate brahmana woke up.”

From Caitanya-Bhagavat, Adi 13.173–179:

[Lord Gaurasundara spoke to the scholar who after being defeated by Him surrendered unto Him:] “Conquering the world is not the proper use for knowledge, the proper use of knowledge is to worship the Supreme Lord. Try to understand, when one gives up his body, he cannot take wealth and reputation with him. That is why devotees renounce material endeavors and serve the Supreme Lord with firm determination. Therefore, O brahmana, give up all materialistic association and immediately begin to worship the lotus feet of Lord Krishna. Up to the time of your death, serve Krishna with confidence. Know without doubt that the goal of knowledge is to fix one’s mind on Krishna’s lotus feet. The best advice I can give you is that devotional service to the Supreme Lord Vishnu is the only substantial truth throughout all the worlds.”

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura:

From Caitanya-Bhagavat, Adi 11.94, commentary:

The subtle and gross designations of conditioned souls who are averse to the Lord are obstacles on the path of realizing the kingdom of Vaikuntha. By discussing topics of Hari, such obstacles are surpassed.”

From Caitanya-Bhagavat, Adi 12.66, commentary:

In order to vanquish the conceit of those who were proud of their knowledge, Visvambhara, the Lord of Vaikuntha and master of Sarasvati, drove away all materialism and anxieties by the waves of His scholastic pastimes and captured their hearts.”

Comment by BVP Damodara Swami: “Thus He demonstrated both His divinity and His sense of humor.”

From Caitanya-Bhagavat, Adi 12.196–97, commentary:

In the Sri Narada Pañcaratra it is stated: surarse vihita sastre saiva bhaktir iti prokta harim uddisya ya kriya taya bhaktih para bhavet ‘O sage amongst the demigods, Narada, those activities prescribed in the revealed scriptures for satsifying the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Hari, are called the regulative principles of bhakti, (sadhana-bhakti), by practicing which one may attain the highest bhakti (prema).’”

Actually, the purpose of renunciation is to give up attachment for matter and engage the mind in the Supreme Lord.”

From Caitanya-Bhagavat, Adi 12.200, commentary:

Great personalities who desire the welfare of other living entities give fallen souls the opportunity to earn unknown piety; it is to be understood that their apparent use of force and trickery is only for the benefit of others (in other words, for the benefit of the fallen souls).”

From Caitanya-Bhagavat, Adi 12.235–40, commentary:

“The pastimes enjoyed by the Lord are supreme in all respects. Whenever the Lord desires to fight, He becomes the topmost hero and no one can surpass His prowess with weapons. Whenever the Lord desires to enjoy conjugal pastimes, He manifests millions of beautiful women. Whenever the Lord desires to enjoy opulence, He fills His servant’s homes with millions of oceans of wealth. In this way the arrogant nature now manifest by the Lord immediately vanished when He accepted the path of renunciation. At that time not even a fragment of the renunciation and devotion that He manifest could be found throughout the three worlds. Is this possible for anyone else?”

Caitanya-Bhagavat, Adi 13, Chapter Summary:

The Lord said, ‘The fruit of cultivating knowledge is to fix the mind at the lotus feet of Krishna, and devotion to Vishnu, or spiritual knowledge, is the only truth and desirable object.’”

From Caitanya-Bhagavat, Adi 13.21, commentary:

“Rama refers to Sri-sakti, or Lakshmi, who resides on the chest of Vishnu. Sarasvati is the personification of devotional service, or Bhu-sakti. She is the consort of the holy name of the Lord.”

From Caitanya-Bhagavat, Adi 13.44, commentary:

“Activities performed with aversion to the Lord by living entities who consider themselves the doers are inferior, while activities performed as service by living entities who consider themselves servants of the Lord are superior or eternal.”

From Caitanya-Bhagavat, Adi 13.141, purport:

Persons who are attached to objects not related with the Lord are cheated of the Lord’s mercy.”

From Caitanya-Bhagavat, Adi 13.178–79, commentary:

All topics of this world will be changed and destroyed in due course of time, but the propensity for eternal service to the Supreme Lord will always remain intact.”

From Caitanya-Bhagavat, Adi 13.187, commentary:

This pastime of converting the nondevotee Kesava Bhatta [the scholar who enjoyed defeating others] into a devotee is most confidential, because up to that point Gaurasundara had not yet bestowed mercy on anyone in the world to advance in devotional service.”

From Caitanya-Bhagavat, Adi 13.194, commentary:

“Until the natural propensity of inclination towards the service of the Supreme Lord awakens in one’s heart, it is true that the need for achieving desirable objects is felt in the hearts of conditioned souls. But self-realized liberated souls know that material sense objects are useless, so they become indifferent to material advancement or prosperity. The body and mind that consider aversion to the Lord as most relishable search after material enjoyment. As soon as the conditioned soul’s eternal constitutional duty of service to the Supreme Lord is covered by forgetfulness of his constitutional position, material enjoyment becomes his only desired goal. But when the living entity awakens to his eternal duty of service to the Supreme Lord, the activities of sense enjoyment appear to him as temporary and unpalatable.”

From Brahma-samhita 5.16, purport:

The innumerable jivas as spiritual particles emanating from the oversoul in the form of pencils of rays of effulgence, have no relation with the mundane world when they come to know themselves to be the eternal servants of the Supreme Lord. They are then incorporated into the realm of Vaikuntha. But when they desire to lord it over Maya, forgetting their real identity, the egotistic principle Sambhu entering into their entities makes them identify themselves as separated enjoyers of mundane entities. Hence Sambhu is the primary principle of the egotistic mundane universe and of perverted egotism in jivas that identifies itself with their limited material bodies.”

From Brahma-samhita 5.21:

The same jiva [individual living being] is eternal and is for eternity and without a beginning joined to the Supreme Lord by the tie of an eternal kinship. He is transcendental spiritual potency.”

From Brahma-samhita 5.21, purport:

Just as the sun is eternally associated with his rays so the transcendental Supreme Lord is eternally joined with the jivas. The jivas are the infinitesimal particles of His spiritual effulgence and are, therefore, not perishable like mundane things. Jivas, being particles of Godhead’s effulgent rays, exhibit on a minute scale the qualities of the Divinity. Hence jivas are identical with the principles of knowledge, knower, egoism, enjoyer, meditator and doer. Krishna is the all-pervading, all-extending Supreme Lord; while jivas have a different nature from His, being His atomic particles.

He [the jiva or individual spiritual soul] is susceptible to the influence of the material energy owing to his small magnitude. But so long as he remains submissive to Krishna, the Lord of Maya, he is not liable to the influence of Maya.”

From Brahma-samhita 5.24–25:

Then the goddess of learning Sarasvati, the divine consort of the Supreme Lord, said thus to Brahma who saw nothing but gloom in all directions, ‘O Brahma, this mantra, viz., klim krsnaya govindaya gopi-jana-vallabhaya svaha, will assuredly fulfill your heart’s desire. O Brahma, do thou practice spiritual association by means of this mantra; then all your desires will be fulfilled.’”

From Brahma-samhita 5.24, purport:

The mantra [klim krishnaya govindaya gopi-jana-vallabhaya svaha], consisting of the eighteen divine letters prefixed by the kama-bija, is alone superexcellent. It has a twofold aspect. One aspect is that it tends to make the pure soul run after all-attractive Sri Krishna, the Lord of Gokula and the divine milkmaids. This is the acme of the spiritual tendency of jivas. When the devotee is free from all sorts of mundane desires and willing to serve the Lord he attains the fruition of his heart’s desire, viz., the love of Krishna. But in the case of the devotee who is not of unmixed aptitude this superexcellent mantra fulfills his heart’s desire also. The transcendental kama-bija is inherent in the divine logos located in Goloka; and the kama-bija pervertedly reflected in the worldly affairs satisfies all sorts of desires of this mundane world.”

From Brahma-samhita 5.24, purport:

Initiation or acquisition of transcendental birth as a result of spiritual initiation [by receiving Gayatri] is the highest of glories in as much as the jiva is thereby enabled to attain to the transcendental realm.”

From Brahma-samhita 5.32, purport:

Both jiva-soul and Krishna are transcendental. So they belong to the same category. But they differ in this that the transcendental attributes exist in the jiva-soul in infinitesimally small degrees, whereas in Krishna they are found in their fullest perfection. Those attributes manifest themselves in their proper infinitesimality only when the jiva-soul attains his unadulterated spiritual status. The jiva-soul attains the nearest approach to the absolute identity only when the spiritual force of ecstatic energy appears in him by the grace of Krishna. Still Krishna remains the object of universal homage by reason of His possession of certain unique attributes. These fourfold unrivaled attributes do not manifest themselves in Narayana, the Lord of Vaikuntha or in primeval purusa-avataras, or in the highest deities such as Shiva, not to speak of jivas.

From Brahma-samhita 5.33, purport:

In the transcendental realm there is no past and future but only the unalloyed and immutable present time.”

Goloka reveals itself to every jiva-soul when he is under the influence of the spiritual cognitive potency joined to the essence of ecstatic energy. The ecstatic function of devotion is boundless and is surcharged with unalloyed transcendental knowledge. That knowledge reveals goloka-tattva (the principle of the highest transcendental) in unison with devotion, without asserting itself separately but as a subsidiary to unalloyed devotion.”

From Brahma-samhita 5.35:

He [Govinda] is an undifferentiated entity as there is no distinction between potency and the possessor thereof. In His work of creation of millions of worlds, His potency remains inseparable. All the universes exist in Him and He is present in His fullness in every one of the atoms that are scattered throughout the universe, at one and the same time. Such is the primeval Lord whom I adore.”

From Brahma-samhita 5.38, purport:

The form Syama is not the blue color visible in the mundane world but is the transcendental variegated color affording eternal bliss, and is not visible to the mortal eye.”

When Krishna manifested Himself in Vraja, both the devotees and nondevotees saw Him with this very eye; but only the devotees cherished Him, eternally present in Vraja, as the priceless jewel of their heart. Nowadays also the devotees see Him in Vraja in their hearts, saturated with devotion although they do not see Him with their eyes. The eye of devotion is nothing but the eye of the pure unalloyed spiritual self of the jiva. The form of Krishna is visible to that eye in proportion to its purification by the practice of devotion. When the devotion of the neophyte reaches the stage of bhava-bhakti the pure eye of that devotee is tinged with the salve of love by the grace of Krishna, which enables him to see Krishna face to face. The phrase ‘in their hearts’ means Krishna is visible in proportion as their hearts are purified by the practice of devotion. The sum and substance of this sloka is that the form of Krishna, who is Syamasundara, Natavara (Best Dancer), Muralidhara (Holder of the Flute) and Tribhanga (Triple-bending), is not a mental concoction but is transcendental, and is visible with the eye of the soul of the devotee under trance.”

From Brahma-samhita 5.45, purport:

The fifty attributes of individual souls are manifest in a far vaster measure in Sambhu [Shiva] and five additional attributes not attainable by jivas are also partly found in him. So Sambhu cannot be called a jiva. He is the lord of jiva but yet partakes of the nature of a separated portion of Govinda.”

From Brahma-samhita 5.54:

I adore the primeval Lord Govinda, who burns up to their roots all fruitive activities [karma] of those who are imbued with devotion and impartially ordains for each the due enjoyment of the fruits of one’s activities, of all those who walk in the path of work, in accordance with the chain of their previously performed works, no less in the case of the tiny insect that bears the name of indragopa than in that of Indra, king of the devas.”

From Brahma-samhita 5.54, purport:

Out of His great mercy to His devotees, He purges out, by the fire of ordeal, the root of all karma, viz., nescience and evil desires.”

Those who are pure devotees always serve Krishna by gratifying His senses forsaking all attempts of karma and jñana, and being free from all desires save that of serving Krishna. Krishna has fully destroyed the karma, its desires and nescience of those devotees. It is a great wonder that Krishna, being impartial, is fully partial to His devotees.”

From Brahma-samhita 5.55:

I adore the primeval Lord Govinda, the meditators of whom, by meditating upon Him under the sway of wrath, amorous passion, natural friendly love, fear, parental affection, delusion, reverence and willing service, attain to bodily forms befitting the nature of their contemplation.”

From Brahma-samhita 5.56:

I worship that transcendental seat, known as Svetadvipa where as loving consorts the Laksmis in their unalloyed spiritual essence practice the amorous service of the Supreme Lord Krishna as their only lover; where every tree is a transcendental purpose tree; where the soil is the purpose gem, all water is nectar, every word is a song, every gait is a dance, the flute is the favorite attendant, effulgence is full of transcendental bliss and the supreme spiritual entities are all enjoyable and tasty, where numberless milk cows always emit transcendental oceans of milk; where there is eternal existence of transcendental time, who is ever present and without past or future and hence is not subject to the quality of passing away even for the space of half a moment. That realm is known as Goloka only to a very few self-realized souls in this world.”

Bhakti Prabhava Swami:

From a class on Bhagavad-gita 2.70 in Tallahassee:

In Bhagavad-gita 2.12, Krishna gives us the good news that we are eternal, but in the next verse, he explains the bad news, that we are in a changing body that will cease to exist.

Our desires can never be satisfied. In America they did a survey of billionaires who had one billion dollars. They asked them what they wanted, and the answer was two billion dollars.

Chanting is the medicine, but we must take it regularly.

It is easier to talk about controlling the mind than doing it.

Once a devotee asked Srila Prabhupada, “Do you have lust in your mind?”
Srila Prabhupada replied, “Yes.”
Later in the day, that devotee opened the door for Srila Prabhupada, and after he did so, Srila Prabhupada turned to him and said, “I have lust in my mind, but I have no time for him.”

You do not have to work for your boss. You can work for Krishna.

By engaging the mind in activities of Krishna consciousness we keep it from contemplating the objects of the senses.

Read Bhagavad-gita. If you want to love someone, it is good know what He has to say. Each verse has valuable lessons.

Q (by Ramiya Prabhu): The mind and senses are so connected. How can we break this connection?
A: Brahma said the Hamsa avatar already answered that question by saying that although the mind and senses are intimately connected, the spiritual soul has nothing to do with either the mind or senses. Don’t identify with the mind. The mind makes you identify with this body. We think this property is ours, but we cannot take it with us. Attachment to these designations makes us mad. Bhakti is the best path because we identify ourselves as a servant of Krishna, and thus we become free from these designations.

Krishna speaks of karma-yoga and bhakti-yoga because not everyone can take to bhakti-yoga in the beginning. By performing karma-yoga people become purified and begin to inquire spiritually. Then they advance to jnana-yoga and learn they are spiritual, but how can they experience it? Then they go to astanga-yoga and perform practices of yoga. When they come to understand that the paramatma seen in their hearts through their meditations is an expansion of Krishna, then they have the opportunity to go to the spiritual world.

Vivasvan Prabhu:

This is a present epidemic where everyone is considering themselves an authority.

In Alcoholics Anonymous the testimony of alcoholics who gave up drinking through their 12-step program gives the others the faith that it is possible for them.

The little bit of sense gratification people get diverts their minds from their distress, but unfortunately the people get addicted to it, and they do not endeavor for spiritual life.

Bhaktivinoda Thakura explains that Lord Caitanya realized that party feelings and sectarianism were impediments in His spreading of Krishna consciousness so He took sannyasa because a sannyasi is supposed to be above these things.

I sometimes quote Isaiah 66:3, “He who killeth an ox is as if he slew a man” to Christians to show vegetarianism is recommended in the Bible.

I ask the Christians what they are going to do when they go to heaven. They do not know. In our practice of bhakti-yoga, we practice seeing Krishna every day as we will do in the spiritual world, and we practice the etiquette for how to act in Krishna’s presence.

Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura says we are purified in the ordeal of associating with devotees.

Comments by me:

You said if people understood the suffering that the reaction to meat eating would cause them, they would all give it up. That reminds me that Narada, through his mystic power, showed the hunter the animals retaliating for his torturing and killing them, and thus he became humble and asked how he could be delivered.

Prabhupada would not discuss deeper philosophy with Christians who were not able to understand that animals have souls.

Another relevant verse from Isaiah is 1:11: “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.”

In the kingdom of heaven it is said the lion will lay down with the lamb. Thus I tell the Christians I meet on the campus, “You are not going to be eating lamb chops with Jesus in heaven!”

Giridhari Prabhu:

Actually the word “animal” comes from the Latin “anima” which means soul.


In our morning program at Hare Krishna temples we play an audio recording of Yamuna Devi singing two verses of Brahma-samhita, which we refer to as “The Govinda Prayers” (

The first of these is a meditation on the beauty of the transcendental form of Sri Krishna mentioning five features:

1. He is adept in playing on His flute.
2. He has blooming eyes like lotus petals.
3. His head is decked with peacock’s feather.
4. His figure of beauty is tinged with the hue of blue clouds.
5. His unique loveliness charms millions of Cupids.

I like to remember these features as we hear the song.

Being infatuated with material beauty we are obliged to live in the material world, with all its inevitable miseries, but if we become attracted to the transcendental beauty of the Supreme Lord, we can attain the kingdom of God.

venum kvanantam aravinda-dalayataksam-

barhavatamsam asitambuda-sundarangam
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami

I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who is adept in playing on His flute, with blooming eyes like lotus petals with head decked with peacock’s feather, with the figure of beauty tinged with the hue of blue clouds, and His unique loveliness charming millions of Cupids.” (Brahma-samhita 5.30)