"Planet ISKCON" - 41 new articles
H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Wednesday 9 March 2011--A Devotee is Kind--and--Who Can Become the Next Acharya?
A daily broadcast of the Ultimate Self Realization Course(TM) Wednesday 9 March 2011 The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna, and His eternal consort, Srimati Radharani are enjoying transcendental pastimes in the topmost planet of the spiritual world, Sri Goloka Vrindavan. They are beckoning us to rejoin them. Our Mission: To help everyone awaken their original Krishna consciousness, which is eternal, full of knowledge and full of bliss. Such a global awakening will, in one stroke, solve all the problems of the world society bringing in a new era of unprecedented peace and prosperity for all. May that day, which the world so desperately needs, come very soon. We request you to participate in this mission by reviving your dormant Krishna consciousness and assisting us in spreading this science all over the world. Dedicated with love to ISKCON Founder-Acharya: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, our beloved spiritual master, and to you, our dear readers. Today's Thought: A Devotee is Kind Uploaded from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA The first qualification for a being a devotee of Krishna is to be kind. If a person is actually Krishna conscious, his heart will bleed with compassion to see the suffering condition of the human society, and he will fully dedicate his life to saving them in spite of all the criticism that he receives for doing so. Jesus Christ did not let anything stand in the way of the execution of his mission to save the people from their suffering. He was undaunted even in the face of crucifixion. Sankarshan Das Adhikari Srila Prabhupada is Unlimitedly Kind http://www.backtohome.com/images/Prabhupada/SP-points-out.jpg Answers According to the Vedic Version: Question: Who Can Become the Next Acharya? Do you deliver your disciple personally or does Srila Prabhupada deliver him? Did Srila Prabhupada give you the order to be the next acharya? I know he said for all his disciple to be guru. Of course, that does not mean acharya. You said "I was blessed with the greatest mercy of being accepted as a disciple of such an uttama-adhikari, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. And now on his order I have fully absorbed my life in pushing forward this Krishna consciousness movement all over the world for the deliverance of all living beings. Even though he has departed from this world, it is not that he is dead and gone. He lives forever in my heart and in the hearts of all those who follow his instructions." (dated Aug 1st, 2010) I recently read the Direction of Management, which was signed by Srila Prabhupada. He never appointed any acharya. He told this to many of his top Sannyasis and disciples, but they assumed their new position after he left this world without his order. My question is "Did Srila Prabhupada directly appoint you as the next acharya as you stated above in your e-mail? Pushpendra dasa Answer: Whoever Strictly Follows His Acharya The answer to your first question is: No bona fide spiritual master considers himself to be the deliverer of his disciples. Rather he simply considers himself to be a humble messenger on behalf the previous acharyas and Lord Sri Krishna. The answer to your second question is that Srila Prabhupada did not appoint me to be the next acharya, because acharya is not by appointment; it is by qualification. But he did instruct all of his disciples that we should become qualified acaryas and initiate disciples. You are making an artificial distinction between guru and acharya. Srila Prabhupada says, A guru is called also an acarya, or a person who has personally assimilated all the essence of sastras and has helped his disciples to adopt the ways. It never ceases to amaze when people who never met Srila Prabhupada or even saw him from a distance, who were never personally instructed by him think that they understand his instructions better than those of us who were personally trained by him. This is the one of the symptoms of the present age of Kali that people become easily illusioned. Srila Prabhupada did not appoint any disciple as the one next acharya. His said that he wanted all of his disciples to be acharyas as defined in his purport to the Caitanya Caritamrita as follows: One who knows the conclusion of the sastras, follows in the footsteps of his predecessors and endeavors to preach the bhakti cult all over the world is to be considered an acharya. ---Antya 3.223 I have also read Srila Prabhupada's Direction of Management, which he wrote in 1970 for the purpose of establishing ISKCON's Governing Body Commission. This document has nothing to do with who initiates disciples after Srila Prabhupada's departure. Regarding this, he told us in Vrindavan in May of 1977 that the new devotees would become the disciples of his disciples. Srila Prabhupada instructed his disciples in Mayapura on 6 April 1975 that when they become mature they should become acharyas and initiate disciples. We do not have to guess what is that maturity qualification. Srila Prabhupada gave us this verse from Srila Rupa Goswami which clearly states the qualification for being able to initiate disciples all over the world: vco vegam manasah krodha-vegam jihv-vegam udaropastha-vegam etn vegn yo visaheta dhrah sarvm apmm prthivm sa isyt A sober person who can tolerate the urge to speak, the mind's demands, the actions of anger and the urges of the tongue, belly and genitals is qualified to make disciples all over the world. ---Nectar of Instruction, Verse 1 It's a fact that nobody can become an acharya simply by being nominated. There is only one way for a disciple of an acharya to also become an acharya. Srila Prabhupada describes that way as follows in a lecture in gave in New York City on 1 December 1966: Acharya means one who has become a rigid disciple of his acharya. You say that I said that Srila Prabhupada appointed me as the next acharya. But I have never said that. You are simply fabricating this out of the air. You quoted me as follows: And now on his order I have fully absorbed my life in pushing forward this Krishna consciousness movement all over the world for the deliverance of all living beings. Nowhere in the above quote do I state that Srila Prabhupada appointed me to become the next acharya. I clearly did not make such a statement. Srila Prabhupada repeatedly ordered his disciples to push this Krishna consciousness movement all over the world for the deliverance of the illusioned souls of this age. For example, he ordered us on 17 December 1973 in Los Angeles, California, USA at the conclusion of his lecture on the Srimad Bhagavatam: Become guru and deliver the whole world. We are sometimes criticized by naysayers for our sincere endeavor to follow the instructions of our spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. But what can we do? According to Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Authority, as Prabhupada's disciples it is our duty to serve his orders. Srila Prabhupada taught us that the disciple should take the order received from his spiritual master as his very life and soul. So we have to do that. We have no other option. Sankarshan Das Adhikari Transcendental Resources: Receive the Special Blessings of Krishna Now you too can render the greatest service to the suffering humanity and attract the all-auspicious blessings of Lord Sri Krishna upon yourself and your family by assisting our mission. Lectures and Kirtans in Audio and Video: Link to High Definition Videos Link to Over 1,000 Lecture Audios Lecture-Travel Schedule for 2011 http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/schedule Have Questions or Need Further Guidance? Check out the resources at:http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com or write Sankarshan Das Adhikari at: firstname.lastname@example.org Get your copy today of the world's greatest self-realization guide book, Bhagavad-gita As It Is available at: http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/store Know someone who could benefit from this? Forward it to them. Searchable archives of all of course material: http://www.sda-archives.com Receive Thought for the Day as an RSS feed:http://www.backtohome.com/rss.htm Unsubscribe or change your email address Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Daily_Thought Copyright 2005-2011 by Ultimate Self Realization.Com Distribution of this material is encouraged. Simply we request you to acknowledge where it is coming from with a link to our sign up page: http://www.backtohome.com Our records indicate that at requested to be enrolled to receive e-mails from the Ultimate Self Realization Course at: This request was made on: From the following IP address:
Here is a sure-fire litmus test to evaluate advancement in Bhakti-Yoga. We should mainly apply the test to ourselves. I suggest that the test must be administered over prolonged periods of time, not just once. This test is derived from the teachings of Srila Rupa Goswami (BRS 1.3.25-26).
When we hear for a moment the sound “Krsna,” we must evaluate the following:
The more positively we answer these 8, the closer we are coming to Bhava (real, live, actual love of Krsna).
The Rg Veda mentions Vishnu 93 times. I will now mention some examples and explain some.
Is Vishnu of the Veda Really The Sun God?
Some try to say that Vishnu in the Rg Veda is merely an extension of Surya, the Sun-God. This they infer because of Vishnu’s moving through the sky and the universe with his “steps.” This is not plausible, however, because the Veda describes the Sun-god as moving in a defined orbit, whereas it defines Vishnu to move in all directions.
It is not disagreeable, however, that Vishnu has an identity with the Sun – since occultists know the Sun to be a gateway to the energy of spiritual light (brahmajyoti), which itself is the effulgence of Vishnu. The popular gayatri mantra affirms this: om bhur bhuvah svah, tat savitur varenyam, bharga devasya dhimahi: “The Sun is the effulgence of God.”
Is Vishnu a Minor Deity, Inferior to Indra?
A common notion is that Indra is the supreme godhead of the Rg Veda and Vishnu is inferior to Indra.
Considering the second point carefully is very important to understanding why Vishnu is mentioned in the manner in which he is mentioned in Rg Veda. The Rg Veda (and it’s divisions into Sama, Yajur, and it’s appendix, the Atharva) is almost exclusively concerned with religious rituals meant to elevate human beings to heaven / paradise, where Indra is the supreme ruler. Therefore these books present everything from the perspective of paradise. We almost only hear about Vishnu and other deities in terms of how they relate to Indra, the lord of paradise. Therefore most of the mention of Vishnu in Rg Veda pertains to him traversing the universe in three steps.
Vishnu did this deed when he incarnated as Indra’s younger brother.
Why did he do this? Answering this question reveals that Vishnu’s junior position to Indra is an expression of Vishnu’s humility and helpfulness – not an ontological fact. Indra could not reclaim the heavens from Shukra and Bali – the demonic forces who conquered it from Indra. Vishnu, while humbly appearing as a dwarf and a younger brother, easily acomplished with three strides what Indra couldn’t do with the full force of all his armies: he reclaimed all the universe from the demons and returned it to Indra’s control.
The Veda, which focus on attaining heavenly delights in paradise and therefore adores Indra above other gods may naturally focus on the social facts that Vishnu became inferior to Indra by becoming his younger brother, and acting as a younger brother took inspiration and enthusiasm from Indra, and singing the praises of his elder brother. But it would be a grand case of “missing the forest by focusing on a tree” to not realize that this is not the greater fact, for the whole cause of becoming subordinate to Indra is to rescue Indra. He who is in need of rescue cannot really be supreme, nor can he who rescues really be subordinate.
Supremacy of Vishnu in Rg Veda
The Rg Veda itself admits Vishnu’s factual superiority to Indra and all others in several places. Here are a few:
Another very compelling Rg Veda text (1.22.20) making clear that it is Vishnu who empowers all the heavenly gods extolled and glorified in Veda:
ओं तद् विष्णोः परमम् पदम्
oṃ tad viṣṇoḥ paramam padam
Vishnu occupies the paramount position.
Krsna & Vrindavana-Lila in Rg Veda
Here is a Rg Veda text quoted by Sri Vishvanath Charavarti Thakur in his commentary on Bhagavata Purana 10.16.61. This text describes not only Vishnu who rides Garuda, but also Krsna; and not only Krsna, but Vrindavana-Krsna, who curbed the dragon-serpant Kaliya.
यमुना-ह्रदे हि सो यातो
yamunā-hrade hi so yāto
He visited the lake within the Yamuna river,
H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – SB 4.12.26-27 What Can I Do To Serve Krishna & Jivas? 3-4-2011 – Video & Transcription
Srimad Bhagavatam 4.12.26
Dear King Dhruva, neither your forefathers nor anyone else before you ever achieved such a transcendental planet. The planet known as Vishnuloka, where Lord Vishnu personally resides, is the highest of all. It is worshipable by the inhabitants of all other planets within the universe. Please come with us and live there eternally.
When Dhruva Maharaja went to perform austerities, he was very determined to achieve a post never dreamed of by his forefathers. His father was Uttanapada, his grandfather was Manu, and his great-grandfather was Lord Brahma. So Dhruva wanted a kingdom even greater than Lord Brahma could achieve, and he requested Narada Muni to give him facility for achieving it. The associates of Lord Vishnu reminded him that not only his forefathers but everyone else before him was unable to attain Vishnuloka, the planet where Lord Vishnu resides. This is because everyone within this material world is either akarmi, a jnani or a yogi, but there are hardly any pure devotees. The transcendental planet known as Vishnuloka is especially meant for devotees, not for karmis, jnanis or yogis. Great rishis or demigods can hardly approach Brahmaloka, and as stated in Bhagavad-gita, Brahmaloka is not a permanent residence. Lord Brahma‘s duration of life is so long that it is difficult to estimate even the duration of one day in his life, and yet Lord Brahma also dies, as do the residents of his planet. Bhagavad-gita (8.16) says, abrahma-bhuvanal lokah punar avartino ‘rjuna: except for those who go to Vishnuloka, everyone is subjected to the four principles of material life, namely birth, death, old age and disease. The Lord says, yad gatva na nivartante tad dhama paramam mama: “The planet from which, once going, no one returns, is My supreme abode.” (Bg. 15.6) Dhruva Maharaja was reminded, “You are going in our company to that planet from which no one returns to this material world.” Material scientists are attempting to go to the moon and other planets, but they cannot imagine going to the topmost planet, Brahmaloka, for it is beyond their imagination. By material calculation, traveling at the speed of light it would take forty thousand light-years to reach the topmost planet. By mechanical processes we are unable to reach the topmost planet of this universe, but the process called bhakti-yoga, as executed byMaharaja Dhruva, can give one the facility not only to reach other planets within this universe, but also to reach beyond this universe to the Vishnuloka planets. We have outlined this in our small booklet Easy Journey to Other Planets.
Srimad Bhagavatam 4.12.27
O immortal one, this unique airplane has been sent by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is worshiped by selected prayers and who is the chief of all living entities. You are quite worthy to board such a plane.
According to astronomical calculation, along with the polestar there is another star, which is called Sisumara, where Lord Vishnu, who is in charge of the maintenance of this material world, resides. Sisumara or Dhruvaloka can never be reached by anyone but the Vaishnavas, as will be described by the following slokas. The associates of Lord Vishnu brought the special airplane for Dhruva Maharaja and then informed him that Lord Vishnu had especially sent this airplane.
The Vaikuntha airplane does not move by mechanical arrangement. There are three processes for moving in outer space. One of the processes is known to the modern scientist. It is called ka-pota-vayu. Ka means “outer space,” and pota means “ship.” There is a second process also called kapota-vayu. Kapota means “pigeon.” One can train pigeons to carry one into outer space. The third process is very subtle. It is called akasa-patana. This akasa-patana system is also material. Just as the mind can fly anywhere one likes without mechanical arrangement, so the akasa-patana airplane can fly at the speed of mind. Beyond this akasa-patanasystem is the Vaikuntha process, which is completely spiritual. The airplane sent by Lord Vishnu to carry Dhruva Maharaja to Sisumara was a completely spiritual, transcendental airplane. Material scientists can neither see such vehicles nor imagine how they fly in the air. The material scientist has no information about the spiritual sky, although it is mentioned in the Bhagavad-gita (paras tasmat tu bhavo ‘nyah [Bg. 8.20]).
HH Prahladananda Swami: We are in the forth canto right now and already it is way beyond my realization, practically speaking. Srila Prabhupada says, “Beyond even my imagination.” One time I was in Dallas, Texas and Srila Prabhupada came there. I had the good fortune of carrying the umbrella over his head while he was walking. Lord Krishna’s arrangement.
Then Srila Prabhupada gave a press interview. The reporters were asking Srila Prabhupada, “How did you come?” He explained there are different ways of travelling. Just like it is mentioned in this verse. He mentioned by travelling by airplane and travelling by pigeon. He said that you take a number of pigeons and you harness them together then they will enable you to fly into space. Then the reporters asked Srila Prabhupada, “So how did you come?” Srila Prabhupada said, “I came by airplane just to be one with you.”
In these two verses there are many things that are inconceivable to us and if we don’t recognize that they are inconceivable to us we won’t really examine them very carefully. In the Bhagavatam there are so many things that are beyond our conception, beyond our experience, but the Bhagavatam is not meant to bewilder us into thinking or dividing our faith into that which we can experience and that which seems we may never be able to experience in this body or we may be able to experience at some future time by the mercy of guru and Krishna. But one of the amazing things about Srila Prabhupada’s purports is that he tries to focus and emphasize what is actually essential. What is actually essential is that we understand ultimately as Krishna says,
yo mam evam asammudho, janati purusottamam sa sarva-vid bhajati mam, sarva-bhavena bharata [Bg 15.19]
“Anyone who knows Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead is said to be the knower of everything and therefore engages himself in full devotional service.
iti guhyatamam sastram, idam uktam mayanagha etad buddhva buddhiman syat, krta-krtyas ca bharata [Bg 15.20]
This is the most confidential part of all the Vedic scriptures. Whoever knows this will become wise and his endeavors will know all perfection.
So whether there are vimanas flying in outer space, whether there are Vaikuntha airplanes transporting self realized souls back to Vaikuntha, these are not the most important things for us right now. What is important is that we understand theoretically and practically how to chant Hare Krishna, how to perform devotional service in such a way that we actually become conscious of Krishna.
Therefore harinam sankirtana, worshipping the deities, serving the devotees, hearing Srimad-Bhagavatam, Bhagavad-gita, living in a holy place or creating a holy place by our preaching, by our devotional service, these five very powerful activities are what’s recommended. And if we learn how to perform them in the proper mood and attitude then the result is that we will become conscious of Krishna.
So although these pastimes of Dhruva Maharaja is certainly very enlivening to hear, the essential part of it is his determination, at least the essential part of it for us is his great determination to perform the process of devotional service given to him by his spiritual master Srila Narada Muni. And because he executed the process give to him by his spiritual master with so much determination Lord Visnu appeared within his heart and ultimately appeared outside and blessed him with full knowledge and cognizance of Him and pure devotional service.
Our founder acarya His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada has also given us instructions. He has also given us a systematic process to realize those instructions. Part of that is how we will come to accept that not only Brahmaloka or in Dhruvaloka, in Jambudvip or wherever that there is a Krishna and Krishna is the owner of everything. If we somehow or another can meditate on that and as a result of that do something practical in Krishna’s service especially by trying to as Srila Prabhupada once wrote to me. He said in Buffalo while New York in just two weeks I have heard that they have distributed 3000 ‘Back To Godheads’ In Buffalo you are also distributing ‘Back to Godheads’ very nicely. So please continue in this way and you success in life is assured. As Krishna sees that if you are trying to help Lord Krishna’s other children back to the spiritual kingdom then He will bestow all His blessings upon you. Krishna is never ungrateful of our efforts to serve Him rest assured.
In other words there are so many conditioned souls starting with myself and every one of them has an eternal relation with Krishna. Now that relationship has been forgotten by the soul because the soul is in the illusion and in the misconception that he is the body. And that conception is born out of the desire to control material nature and try to enjoy it, forgetting that actually Krishna is controlling everything. All we can do is desire and if we desire in the right way we can go back to the spiritual world. We can begin the journey and eventually make progress step by step to the spiritual world.
If we are in the wrong association we will become caught up with Kali yuga and step by step we will be degraded to the lower species of life, all simply due to what we are desiring. In the association of devotees simply by hearing that there is a Krishna and hearing that if we chant His holy name, call out to Him with some devotion hoping that we can enter into the atmosphere of spiritual love and devotion, calling out to Srimati Radharani to engage us in Krishna’s service and simultaneously with that we take seriously Lord Krishna’s service in this age, to perform our saddhana, calling out to Srimati Radharani and Krishna and at the same time meditating how to use our energies beginning with our body, our minds, our words or whatever we have in our possession in the service of Krishna. In the service of meditating carefully, “Now I am in the situation. What can I do to serve Krishna? What can I do to become an instrument for Krishna that will help this jiva soul in front of me become a better servant of Krishna, awakening his relation with Krishna?
As one devotee Govinda dasi was saying Prabhupada called her over and pointed out a little slug. Everyone know what a slug is? It is a tiny insect that is very slow moving. Prabhupada pointed it out and said, “Look at this poor slug. Chant to him. Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Of course this I am not recommending or saying that Prabhupada’s mission was to chant to slugs but Prabhupada was demonstration what to speak of the slugs, we have so much opportunities twenty four hours a day practically speaking of meditating on this idea that before me is not my husband, is not my wife, is not my children, is not my god brother, god sister or god nephew. This is the eternal servant of Krishna. Of course these things we cannot forget. How to serve Krishna has to be done appropriately but we should not forget when we see the difference, when we discriminate between men and women, black, white, Russian, American or whatever.
Whatever our discrimination may be if we forget that actually these designations are simply external, temporary not completely unimportant but simply temporary and the real essence is the soul within the body and with the soul is the Supersoul directing him to understand what the Supersoul wants us to do within our present capacity, to serve the soul before us or souls before us to help them revive their relationship with Krishna, to help them awaken their consciousness of Krishna. It is not that by our hearing philosophy that we are not this body then suddenly we become not the body and the rest of the day we are the body. Or as explained about the Supersoul how He sanctions our desire just like when we understand the smell of a flower by being near it and then Krishna understanding what our desires are and what we deserve manifesting the entire universe to fulfill the desires according to the merits of the individual living entities.
How wonderfully amazing the Supersoul is, the expansion of Krishna, how He can perfectly create a universe and maintain it moment to moment with perfect justice, perfect execution of plan either directly give the living entities an opportunity to become more conscious of Krishna or help them remain forgetful of Krishna suffer in separation from Krishna. The intelligent realize their suffering is due to their separation from Krishna.
Here in these verses Prabhupada is explaining very important things. The whole universe is temporary. Not only is the universe temporary but every moment in our existence here is changing. Someone may give a wonderful class. Someone may give a horrible class. We may chant our rounds. We may not chant our rounds but the fact is moment to moment to moment to moment our lives are changing and as it is changing material energy we have to catch hold of the lotus feet of the guru who comes in parampara that can actually give us the intelligence, the instructions by which we contact the Supersoul and remember very simple things, remember that Krishna is the proprietor of everything, that everything here is meant for Krishna’s pleasure and that pleasure is the seed that other living entities are coming back to the spiritual world.
There may be progress. There may be some entities on a very elevated platform such as the devotees in our society. Some may endeavor to chant their rounds better, to rise early in the morning, serve the devotees with more sensitivity, more cognizance of their actual needs both spiritual and material. And others may be completely in the mode of ignorance all the way down to that little slug and to that we may just have to chant Hare Krishna and give them a Tulasi leaf or a little bit of prasadam to eat. In any case with that meditation then we become nimitta-matram bhava savya-sacin [Bg
After showing the whole universe, all the horrors of the universal form and not all the horrors of the universal form but most of them Arjuna was amazed. “What is this universe? You appear to be such a nice friend of mine and then suddenly Your mood has changed. Now You are displaying this universal form but it is a side of You I have never even dreamed could be. So what is Your mission/ Why have You come here? You are manifesting from Your mouth so much fire is coming. Your eyes are glowing in anger or rage, Your scents, so many different types of perfume, unlimited forms. This universe is everywhere. What is this all about?” Then Krishna says,
sri-bhagavan uvaca kalo ’smi loka-ksaya-krt pravrddho, lokan samahartum iha pravrttah rte ‘pi tvam na bhavisyanti sarve, ye ‘vasthitah pratyanikesu yodhah [Bg
“Time I am, the great destroyer of the worlds, and I have come here to engage everyone.” That means ourselves also. “Except for you, the five Pandavas everyone here is going to be slain.” Not very good news! So it wasn’t some five thousand years ago some unfortunate soldiers on the battlefield of Kuruksetra were going to be killed but we are all devotees in Mayapur therefore our bodies are going to last forever. No. We have some bad news for you and we have some good news. The bad news is we are all going to die and the good news is that although the body is going to die the soul is going to live forever. And the souls can live forever in Krishna consciousness. And what is the formula?
tasmat tvam uttistha yaso labhasva, jitva satrun bhunksva rajyam samrddham mayaivaite nihatah purvam eva, nimitta-matram bhava savya-sacin [Bg 11.33]
“Just get up, (not right now,) but just get up and prepare to fight.” You have to wait to find out what kind of fight. “Just get up and fight and as you conquer your enemies enjoy a flourishing kingdom. They have been put to death by My arrangement and you are savya-sacin, can be an instrument in the fight.” Or in Srila Prabhupada’s words as he was mebntioning when he was on the Jaladutta. “I am coming to this western world. People are very much covered by the modes of ignorance and passion. They have created a world where everyone is imagining they are going to be happy in this world forever but actually they are just suffering. So please make my words so potent that they can enter the hearts of these conditioned souls and enlighten them and enliven them in the realm of Krishna consciousness. Actually who am I? I am simply a humble beggar. I really have no devotion. I really have no qualification to do this. I am simply coming as a servant of my spiritual master. So please make me a puppet in your hands. Let me dance, let me dance, let me dance.”
So we have to watch our progress, watch our perception. Am I am instrument right now in the hands of Srila Prabhupada and his representatives? Am I actually dancing as his instrument? Are my words actually penetrating even my own heart and enlivening and enlightening me in devotional service. Am I actually working to deliver Krishna’s other children back to the spiritual kingdom. And by doing so am I realizing that I am actually Krishna’s servant and nothing else other than that? Are my false perceptions of my own identity, my false conceptions to other identities, are they going away or am I re-enforcing my false ego? Am I feeling within my heart some appreciation for the devotees? Am I feeling some devotion towards Krishna and His pure devotees? Am I appreciating my position as a servant of the servant of the servant of Krishna? Am I seeing the innocent and realizing that I must somehow or the other help them as Krishna’s representative, make some progress? Am I avoiding those situations and those personalities in whose association I forget Krishna and become entangled and bewildered by my false ego and become influenced by other conceptions other than pure devotional service?
This takes intelligence. This is what we have to keep in mind not only for a few moments during the day but,
cetasa sarva-karmani, mayi sannyasya mat-parah buddhi-yogam upasritya, mac-cittah satatam bhava [Bg 18.57]
“In all activities depend upon Me.” Lord Krishna said. “Work always under my protection. In such devotional service try to be fully conscious of Me.” So far I can’t claim that throughout the day I am twenty four hours conscious of Krishna. If I could become conscious of Krishna even for a small amount during the day then I consider that day to be so much successful.
It is not that maya is just some ordinary personality. She is as powerful as Krishna but by the mercy of Srila Prabhupada and his representatives we can understand our helpless position, how much we have to depend upon guru and Krishna, how much we have to depend upon the instructions coming from Krishna in disciplic succession then from that moment our lives become better, becomes closer to Krishna.
If somehow or the other we become a little bewildered into thinking that, “Now I am safe, now I have made a little advancement I can relax, now is the time to have a little fun.” How much difficulty we can cause in our own life and in the lives of others! Maya is not some little insignificant personality. She is empowered.
daivi hy esa guna-mayi, mama maya duratyaya mam eva ye prapadyante, mayam etam taranti te
“This divine energy of mine is very difficult to overcome but those who take shelter of Me can easily cross beyond it.” [Bg 7.14]
During the day if we do not take shelter of Lord Krishna sufficiently and if there is some mistake certainly we should lament but after properly lamenting then we have to realize that this was an opportunity to humble us so we can realize how helpless we are without Krishna, how much we have to read these books, assimilate Srila Prabhupada’s philosophy, the philosophy coming from Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu that Srila Prabhupada has given us, how much we have to take shelter of the devotees within the society, how much we have to pray to the deities, the Supersoul, how we have to take shelter of Krishna in every conceivable way possible so that whatever causes us to stray can be eliminated from our heart and will not be repeated again. It is not possible to understand the depth of our conditioning all at once but when Lord Krishna reveals something to us at least that we have to take seriously.
Pariksit Maharaj, such a great personality that Lord Krishna appeared within the womb that he was inhabiting and saved him. How great this personality is beyond my conception but still Lord Krishna arranged that somehow or the other he put a garland of a dead snake over the head of Samika Rsi. From one point of view Prabhupada said this garlanding of Samika Rsi by Pariksit Maharaj, it is not a very important thing. He was thirsty after all. He was travelling for a long distance. He was very hungry. He entered this hermitage. As he came he expected that the rsi would at least properly greet him. He became momentarily a little disturbed and put the garland of a snake over his head.
The news spread to Srngi that his father was insulted by Pariksit Maharaj and therefore he became very angry, completely out of proportion of the reality of the situation – at least from Prabhupada’s point of view in the Bhagavatam and he cursed Pariksit Maharaj to die within seven days.
Samika Rsi when he learnt about this he . he was even to embarrassed to approach Pariksit Maharaj with the news. Pariksit Maharaj thought that “I have done wrong” even after he had gone and put the snake around Samika Rsis neck. He thought, “I have done wrong. Please Lord Krishna if there is some reaction let the reaction come upon my head so that I won’t commit this mistake again and please not that my relatives will have to suffer for this mistake I have made.
News came to him that due to this offense he was to die within seven days. Prabhupada said he didn’t try to counteract the curse. He did not try to go and beg from Srngi or Samika Rsi. He accepted the curse – whatever Krishna wants there must be some plan behind this and again he took the opportunity to go to the Ganges and hear from Sukadev Goswami for seven days the Srimad-Bhagavatam and in this way benedicting the entire universe.
Therefore sometimes it is not possible to understand how Krishna works. All we can do is smile a little bit or cry a little bit sometimes but ultimately we have to appreciate that Krishna is a wonderful personality and that whatever He arranges is ultimately for our purification. Therefore,
tat te ‘nukampam su-samiksamano, bhunjana evatma-krtam vipakam [SB 10.14.8]
If we can see that and at the same time use our intelligence o enter deeper into Krishna consciousness and in this way make our life more and more perfect. We may commit mistakes. We should repent for them and at the same time we should try to learn from them so we don’t commit them again and whatever reaction Krishna wants for us, not that we don’t use our Krishna conscious intelligence to become a better servant of Krishna even at that moment but ultimately we leave things in the hands of Krishna. In that way we won’t make that mistake again. That is our main mistake. We don’t think carefully enough what Krishna wants us to do under these circumstances. We are not absorbed intensely in that desire to become a better servant as Srila Prabhupada was, as Srimati Radharani is.
One time in Boston Srila Prabhupada came. This was in 1969 and the devotees greeted him at the airport. He came to the temple. They had just recently purchased the temple on Beacon Street. His servant came, at that time it was Purushottama and he said Prabhupada when he came and was trying to take rest he sat on the edge of his bed and he very gracefully fell onto the bed and rolled over and said, “I pray to my spiritual master and Krishna every night to please protect me from maya.
So this is the platform that we have to come to just to make progress. And the more we get sincerely into that mood of taking shelter of Krishna then we gradually come from sraddha to sadhu sanga, bhajanakriya and we make progress, progress, progress. Devotional service becomes more enlivening and enlivening.
Soon as we forget that, as soon as we try to take a little credit for our own selves, as soon as we forget that it is a team effort, as soon as we forget the mercy we are receiving from Krishna and his representatives, as soon as we want to take a little independent credit then so much problems can come about for ourselves and others. And even if we sincerely try and there is some problem we have to understand that sometimes as in the case of Pariksit Maharaj who was a completely pure devotee, sometimes Krishna arranges things just for our own purification. What to speak of Pariksit Maharaj, the purification of the entire universe.
Within our individual hearts we should always feel that, “I am nothing but the insignificant servant of Krishna’s servant and if there is some mistake as Srila Prabhupada said,
duhkhesv anudvigna-manah, sukhesu vigata-sprhah vita-raga-bhaya-krodhah, sthita-dhir munir ucyate
“One who is not disturbed by the three fold miseries, who is not elated when there is happiness and is free from attachment, fear and anger is known to be a sage of steady intelligence.” [Bg 2.56]
So when we get some difficult situation we should understand that this is due to our past activities and that instead of giving us the electric chair Krishna is simply giving us a little pinprick. If everything is going very nicely in our lives we should understand that Krishna is simply giving us the opportunity To serve Him better, to spread the sankirtana movement and become a better instrument to Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His transcendental servants hands.
Thank you for you kind attention. Any questions or comments?
Prabhu: You stated quite rightly so that we know if we make some mistake or some fault in our devotional service we should be thoughtful, we should pray that Krishna will help us remove it. What if we pray and it doesn’t go away?
HH Prahladananda Swami: I think I mentioned that also but maybe not so clearly. Thank you. If it doesn’t go away we keep on praying for the intelligence and we hope. Sometimes Krishna maybe trying to tell us something or trying to tell other people something. We may even get the message. We may be just an instrument in Krishna’s hands and we have to accept that. What can we do?
We look for instance at the pastimes of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. There are many devotes, there is Krishnadasa. He fell a victim to . Caitanya Mahaprabhu took him by his hair, dragged him, saved him and then rejected him. Krishnadasa is one of the eternal associates of Lord Caitanya. So Lord Caitanya’s arrangement that this particular pastime is for our own education
So it is not so easy sometimes to understand Krishna’s plan. In any case we should pray to Krishna and make sure we are doing the right thing and if Krishna continues on in the particular reaction or whatever it is then we don’t become disappointed that Krishna hasn’t helped us. We keep on praying and praying, “Yes Krishna. This is Your will. I must accept it but please make me a better servant.” And ultimately Krishna will reveal everything.
Ekalavya Prabhu: Hare Krishna Maharaj. Maharaj I have some doubts that I am hoping that you can clear up.
HH Prahladananda Swami: Just let me add one more thing. While that pastime is going on we should be very careful not to unnecessarily criticize the Vaisnavas. If we start to see a Vaisnava in a difficult situation we should understand that he is actually getting the mercy of his guru and Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu and with should be compassionate to him and try to assist him in his service – not think that he is simply getting a reaction. He deserves it. If we start thinking like that we may find ourselves in a very similar situation very shortly.
Ekalavya Prabhu: Maharaj I have some doubts. I can accept most things about devotional service and Bhagavatam that by chanting and hearing and remembering the Supreme Personality of Godhead we can advance. I accept that. Sometimes I have some doubts. Like today we hear about the pigeons flying in outer space. If you go to the Himalayas you see there is less oxygen there. People have trouble breathing and we hear that in outer space there is no air at all so how can the pigeons breathe and how can they flap their wings. So I have some doubts. What is my status/ Am I okay or what’s going on?
HH Prahladananda Swami: You are okay. [Laughter] I know nothing about pigeons. [Laughter] but the Bhagavatam if it says this is true I accept it but I have no realization. So when I see pigeons I don’t expect them to fly into outer space. If there are pigeons that can do that, personally I have to chant my rounds. I have no interest in finding any pigeon that can fly in outer space. I just hope that I have enough money to pay for my ticket by airplane. We have to end now but these things are not very important for our devotional service. We can chant Hare Krishna happily, devotionally we will become Krishna conscious and many more important things will be revealed to us and maybe that will be revealed to us also. I can’t really say. Thank you very much! Granthraj Srimad Bhagavatam Ki! Jai. Srila Prabhupada Ki! Jai. Gaura-premanande! Hari-haribol! [Applause]
Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder.
- George Washington
The wife can be maya and at the same time a great friend. Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu remarked that the wife is the goddess of fortune somewhere and somewhere she is a witch. Anyways, you must be a very strong grihasta and, instead of being influenced by your wife, you must influence her to take very seriously to Krishna Consciousness. If you set the example, soon she will follow. That is natural. So simply be determined in your effort and Krishna will give you all the strength necessary to carry on.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Letter to: Jitendriya, 22 February, 1971
Right before my site redirected from wordpress.com to this very spot, there was a spicy comment left on a post. Unfortunately, that was after migrating the posts from the old version of the blog so it is not showing up … Continue reading
Why are you not writing anymore or barely writing? Your writings are very good and thought-provoking.
Dear Partha-sarathi, I've been thinking about this for a long while. Just now I went to Seed of Devotion, and for once I just observed my blog. I looked at the "Archives" side gadget, and I realized that since 2008 my number of posts per year have steadily decreased.
I'm not sure why.
I'll reflect on it.
Thank you for your encouragement, Prabhu.
Dear Bhakti lata, your writings show the inner sentiments that belong to a second generation devotee (I hate the word gurukuli, sorry) who is trying to find her place in Krishna Consciousness... and along the way experiencing so much mercy.
I have followed your blog since it started, and I can see how your writing has become more thought-provoking and internal.
If for nothing else, write because Srila Prabhupada says that writing about Krishna purifies our heart.
Forgive me for writing to you, considering that I don't think we've ever met, but I hate to see talented devotees not using their wonderful talents more... if that makes any sense.
This is beautiful, thank you. Actually, I feel through this conversation thread I have really stepped back and evaluated my journey with Seed of Devotion, and what direction I'm really going in.
You are right, Srila Prabhupad says we need to write our realization. It's scary to share our heart, but it's even more scary to let our talent to serve Krishna go to waste.
Thank you for your candid honesty.
Devadeva Mirel, Alachua, USA: Interview : Douglas P. Dimes / Maker of Fine Reproduction Furniture + Period Kitchens
The fun continues! New England furniture maker Douglas P. Dimes of D.R. Dimes & Company is this week’s interview in the kitchen/cabinet maker series. Mr. Dimes is at the top of his field and is responsible for turning out seriously … Continue reading
A Writer of Pieces
New format—I will begin with a poem written on the day of its printing. Then I will print random excerpts of books I have printed over the last 30 years. I hope this variety will be pleasing.
Poem for March 8
I’ve decided to take yoga lessons
But more important is sitting
The icicles shine on the branches a,nd I’ll
The Week before Gaura Purnima, Chapter 1
Dear friends, this is the opening of a short story, “Were you there when they crucified my lord?” Such strong emotions, such naked pain in the words of the spiritual song. It is a song not to be trifled with. Believers have to live in the world with nonbelievers who make fun of the most sacred things. One motivator made a slogan, “Sacred cows make good steaks.” They don’t know what they are doing, said Lord Christ to his father; please forgive them.
The devotee goes into the world to distribute books.
Nanda dasa pointed his finger to one and ordered, “You go out today.” The man obeyed like a soldier. Another man said, “I’m in a different mood, I’m in the agricultural department.” He wanted to keep his spirit up; we all do.
The sun rose and the branches wanted to relax in the sunshine when it came out. All this is arranged by God. As part of the scheme of things. The author of a story feels responsible to get a character going and a plot. Yes, those are the elements, and a conflict to get worked out. In the absence of that, at least some essay, or whatever.
The people had come home from Sunday Mass. They discovered their daughter had not gone to Mass, and had instead gone down the lane and found a quiet place to sit and read Srimad-Bhagavatam and Teachings of Lord Caitanya.
“What’s this?” they asked.
She said, “I’ve become a devotee of Krishna consciousness. It’s the same as Christianity, but we actually practice God consciousness. You should be happy I’m doing this.”
They were not happy. They were also ignorant of Krishna consciousness. It certainly wasn’t the Catholic Church or what people did in their town. Ah, but what can you do with young people? They want to go their own ways. Although the mother of the house was quite upset with the daughter, the father said, “Let it be.” The daughter he loved in any case, and she explained that she wanted religious life. She believed in God and Christ and was doing it this way. They didn’t beat her or ostracize her. In fact, as she explained things to them it seemed a little tiresome religious. They didn’t want to talk religion or be religious all day, even in the Catholic way, what to speak of these new zealous teachings of India their daughter wanted to tell them of.
“Okay, that’s enough,” said her father. “You can read it, but don’t try to convert us.” She agreed. Went to her room and prayed Hare Krishna mantra on her beads as she had seen them do at the Krishna temple.
This is one kind of story. The other I indicated by mentioning the tree that was waiting for the sunshine. Every creature wants to go on living, especially in the tri-vartika, the three activities of religion, money making and sense gratification. The immediate end of life is to eat and sleep and have sex and defend. This must be done. But great saints like the six Gosvamis of Vrndavana and San Francesco of Italy abstained or overcame these material desires. God helps one to do this.
The girl in this story is called Maria. She sighed to think, “How can I overcome the powerful drives of material nature?” She’d heard the Gosvamis, headed by Rupa and Sanatana actually overcame or made nil the drives of eating and sleeping, almost, and they did overcome entirely the sex drive. For defense they took shelter under a tree and had no house. But the devotees told Maria she could live in the world and use things. The main thing is to attain love of God, awaken it within her. You do this by chanting the holy name, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare, and by hearing topics of Krishna from Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam. The universal spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, said, “It is not difficult, not at all.” And Maria found this to be true.
It wasn’t so difficult for her to begin. On Sundays at the temple one woman displayed sweet pastries under a plastic cover. They were for sale. Books were also for sale. The devotees owned a big building surrounded by some farm land. They were like normal Italians in many ways. The women had children, and some of the women were pregnant. There saintly innocent preaching were the teachings of Krishna consciousness that impressed Maria. She was told it is the time of the waxing moon. By the end of the week, when it is full, it will be called Gaura Purnima, the day when Lord Caitanya was born over five hundred years ago.
There was so much to learn. This is the opening episode in the life of Maria. The devotees in the Vicenza temple prayed every morning that by their distribution of Srila Prabhupada’s books, people might join and help them to expand the movement. Maria was a fruit of this prayer. A demon would say she was an insect caught in the cult’s spider web, but the devotee saw her as a sincere person and wanted to encourage her. In many ways, the devotees were preoccupied with their own lives and duties in that building and in their families as devotees. But they had some time for Maria.
I have found time to begin her story. I know I shouldn’t get in the way, but just tell the story. So this is chapter one. The whole story is not finished yet.
Krishna and the gopis. Ajamila and the Vishnudutas. I told them how a poet sees images in ordinary life. I saw two men fighting on the road amidst car traffic. I didn’t think when I saw it, “I will write about this.” But when I arrived at the ISKCON hotel room, I began to write and the fighting came out strong as an image of contrast between Vrndavana and Bombay.
Just see how Raghunatha dasa Gosvami constantly uses metaphors and similes. Every verse is expressed in that way: “Oh queen, with the medicine of the red lac. From your lotus feet, please bring back to life this person now dead from the bites of the black snake of not seeing You.” (Vilapa-kusumanjali, text 9)
Crows. Cars. Juhu beach. Some cars have a recording of melodies for Christmas. When you turn on the ignition key out comes “Jingle Bells,” “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” or “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” all within fifteen seconds, synthetic, electronic.
This is external. Internal—I forget. Krishna is in the scriptures. He is in our hearts, of course, but we are distracted by the mechanical acts and bodily function we perform and the concerns of the day. As the Srimad-Bhagavatam says of the Kali-yuga, “Their lives are of short duration, they are lazy, cheated, unfortunate and always disturbed.” In this bad age there is one good quality—we chant the Hare Krishna mantra above the noisy crows.
Bombay. Boombay, Ambay. The goddess of material boons. Can’t you get beneath it’s surface? No, you want to tell about the electric light on your predawn walk on the beach and then exercising and watching them kick a soccer ball.…Walking with anxiety that someone might attack you while you’re wearing your money, passport shoulder pouch. But we chanted three rounds, and I kept against my chest in mind this song, “Oh Queen, a certain maidservant, overwhelmed with love, her heart always burning in the great fire of separation, laments in the following verses.” (Vilapa-kusumanjali, text 7)
Walking on the pressed wet sand, I couldn’t perceive…but I bowed down to the Vaisnava we met who is going for a walk with his men on the beach just as we were returning.
Three men just came in to test the air conditioner. We said we don’t use it. One of them said he had to test it anyway. So they have taken it off the wall and as they work, they glance around the room and look at us and we look at them. I also received a note from a Reiki practitioner asking if I want to reap the benefits. One lady who learned the technique says she can massage me even while we are in two different places by a kind of mental telepathy I suppose. I’m writing a note saying, “No thank you.”
Sometimes when I say Prabhupada’s lectures are difficult to listen to here I know I sound like I am complaining. But these words are actually a victory. They mean I know the goal of my life, and I have a desire to live in a way that allows me to hear attentively. It means that I am resisting the life of distraction. By saying I wish I could pray but I can’t, I actually uttered a prayer. I write “I can’t write,” but I am writing. All of this is Krishna’s grace. Krishna wants to see my effort. He can do everything easily and I can also, if He wills it.
A sevaka who feels pain when he serves and doesn’t find pleasure in it is not actually doing seva. Therefore he is not a sevaka but a vaka (duck). I have sometimes served my Gurudeva in this unwilling ducklike way but he has always picked me up and given me a new opportunity to serve him and been pleased. “How then could I ever leave him?” I wish to be his servant and give body, wealth, intelligence, words and my entire life to his service. I pray that he accepts me.
Giri Govardhan is haridasavarja, He is the best of servants, even better than Yudhisthira Maharaja and Uddhava, the other two devotees described by the Bhagavatam as haridasa. Yudhisthira is great because Krishna lived in his house and was conquered by his love. Uddhava is so intimate that Krishna sent him as His personal representative to give solace to the Vraja gopis. But Giri Govardhana gives the most. He gives His entire body as the site for Krishna’s pastimes with the gopis. Govardhana is the witness of the rasa-lila. It takes place on His chest. He is jubilant and the hairs on His body (the grasses) stand on end in His ecstasy. The gopis conclude that Govardhana is haridasavarya; we accept it as the best siddhanta.
I write of Krishna’s qualities and then maybe I can write of Radha’s, although perhaps I don’t dare. I want to keep it confidential. By speaking of Krishna, I can indirectly write of Radha. But I know that it is better to be dasi of Srimati Radharani than a krishna-dasya. “If You do not give Your mercy, then of what use to me is this life, the land of Vraja, and Sri Krishna, the enemy of Baka?” (Vilapa-kusumanjali, text 102)
Oh, what use to me is this life unless I engage it in Krishna consciousness? It is absurd to seek honor for this body which will be food for worms one day. Nobody will care for it, and I will go on to another body. I will go on to be a sevaka, not a duck. I want to have sraddha, strong faith in Hari, Harinama, Guru, Vaisnavas, Bhagavatam and Gita. Oh Lord I beg for a drop of firm faith. May the strong devotees bless me with their association. I’m already being filled up like a thirsty creature. I’m already being cleansed of dirty things. I pray that it continues.
Alligators say we (writers) can be here or sitting at our desks if we face our fears and test our deepest qualities. Accept the challenge from within. But they say you have to have an enemy and let them complete you etcetera. Who is my enemy, what is my enemy? Now I have an enemy in the form of a vigorous fanatical ex-disciple. I see the things he is saying that I can learn from. How my claim to be a spiritual master after Srila Prabhupada is a tall claim and how I may be overstepping myself. But I don’t agree with him. Rather I see what he is saying as the pull. It pops the bubble on any euphoric enjoyment of being worshiped by a group of loyal followers in unanimity. It is threat even of death, the idea that I may be punished by Krishna for my wrongdoings. My enemy holds this over my head as if he himself is the unquestionable representative of God which he is not. But he is right to say that if I am wrong I will be punished and that I have made a great and dangerous claim in accepting a position of spiritual master—and that in all cases Srila Prabhupada must be in the center. I’m not sure in what direct ways, as in writing I can use his energy. He also represents a clique in ISKCON who hold this view. Some of them have exposed my poem on gopi-bhava as too much and actually they are right about it. I can’t admit it to them in public. They get some points for being right. When they hurt me with their cruel, untruthful slur and slander, what can I do but accept that very abuse and thus learn the tolerance like a tree which Lord Caitanya recommended? And when they push me, humiliate me, even hurt me physically, or in any way they can, then what can I do but turn to Krishna for protection like a faithful child to his parents, and turn philosophically to reciting and believing that only if Krishna wants can I be hurt, and if Krishna wants to kill me then no one can save me. So my enemies are testing me to bring out the qualities in me or prove me to be shallow and a coward. Let us see, oh enemies, in this trial of arms, who will come out victorious. Let us hope we all learn the truth and come closer to Krishna as a result.
I propose a discipline of reading Srila Prabhupada’s books daily. I propose that bhakti-yoga is beyond my intellect, so I should pray. I propose bowing down physically and mentally, praying to become infused with humility and Krishna consciousness. I pray to be able to write.
Madhu says if it doesn’t work out in this asrama, we can move over to the Krishna-Balarama Mandir. We are still moving in, keeping only essentials in the room in case we get robbed. They say a caukidara with a gun patrols this area at night. No candles yet. Mosquitoes? Left over yet lag. Air France atmosphere…Navadvipa unshaven like a Vraja sadhu, me in the habit of shaving daily.
I woke up to a loud noise and thought someone might be smashing the lock. Then I heard Madhu chanting loudly. I thought he must be scaring off the intruder, but when I went into his room he said he was up because he was being bitten by mosquitoes. The noise I heard was him chasing a roach with a cup. Anyway, now we’re both up.
If I am to follow my “be here now” policy, I would have to start by describing the crickets. They make such a pleasing sound. I am writing with a Sheaffer “no-nonsense” pen. I also have indigestion and wonder what is ahead for me during this monsoon season.
I will be reading Srila Prabhupada’s books as a discipline. A theme has been introduced or has appeared—I have to come to terms with the deeper implications of inquiring into raganuga. Navadvipa told me that all the ISKCON devotees involved so far are all reaching a similar conclusion: we are insignificant. Direct service to Srimati Radharani is far away. We are aware that it is the conclusion of the Gaudiya Vaisnava acaryas, and we are intrigued by it but it is far away.
It is at this point I begin my visit to Vrndavana. I have my ways of spending time—planning out the lectures I will give here later, reading, praying and writing. The first four weeks are for writing.
As soon as we got out of the little van yesterday we made prostrated obeisances in the dust. This place where we are staying is not an official tirtha; you won’t find it in the guide books, but we have a “lakeside” property. At least I can sidestep the “lake” to get to the front gate.
From Srila Prabhupada Lilamrta, Prabhupada in Vrndavana: “They should not expect to serve him sentimentally but should work hard. Devotional service was dynamic. Prabhupada wanted his disciples to help him with his projects, to serve his Guru Maharaja—projects, which if successful could save the world from misery.” (Srila Prabhupada-lilamrta, Volume Five, p. 235)
My main purpose here is to write without pretense. Dear reader, I have faith in this so please bear with me.
Oh creatures residing in Vrndavana. This is 1992. I’m a pilgrim to your land, and I want to report some of your glories. I attempted it in odd fashion, sometimes bemused at you, sometimes disturbed, usually at a distance, a stranger, but I mean no harm.
Please tell me what is below the surface of the dhama. How are Radha-Krishna’s pastimes which I read about in Sanskrit poetry, being manifest today? I am not an archeologist trying to dig up the facts. I really want to know. I know I am unqualified, but I still desire to serve the Vrajavasis in this life.
Chapter 3, The Renewed Youth
Krishna consciousness is the way. I started to read The Nectar of Devotion this morning. It begins with an invocation to Sri Krishna and to Rupa Gosvami and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. Prabhupada personalizes what was written by Rupa Gosvami in his invocation. Prabhupada makes it an invocation from his own summary study of Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. Now let me make my invocation. I implore the Lord of the gopis, the king of all rasas, which are five main ones and seven subsidiary ones that come and go—I ask for the Lord’s pure devotee to bless this effort. He says let there be no hindrance to the execution of this Nectar of Devotion. Let it be protected from the crocodiles and speculators who make their arguments. Their arguments will be like volcanoes on the floor of the ocean, hardly noticed. Mine is only a tiny work, it also needs protection, for sure.
I will not pretend to be a baby and look cute. Don’t make like I’m an orphan. I’m a disciple of His Divine Grace.
It is cold in this room but not so bad. It will warm up. Madhu is building a coal fire in the fireplace below, and it will come up in the radiator. I keep banging away up here. Be cheerful. Our van arrives today from Italy. Nanda is driving it, and M will pick him up at the ferry terminal. That means we have our van with all Bhagavatams and can travel to places and live that life of reading and writing in various countries and hideouts. Tell the world of ISKCON when they ask you.
“What are you doing for the Centennial?” Say, “I am reading The Nectar of Devotion and then Caitanya Caritamrta and next year some other books of his. I don’t have a specific Centennial pledge like “Distribute 10,000 sweets by 1996,” but anyway…
Tolerate the pain. Tolerate the smallness. Be happy in Krishna consciousness if you can.
The fire is out,
I am tired of being away from
So my friend you can keep going with this. I told you there is a way to go, to follow the previous acaryas. We are not great preachers but the instruments of previous acaryas. You don’t have to be residing in Vrndavana to be in touch with the immortal Vraja. You touch by faithful hearing. Also that same Krishna when He was in Kuruksetra, don’t try to separate Him from His paraphernalia or pastimes. He is still Krishna on the battlefield of Kuruksetra. You say, “ But that is a Vasudeva expansion,” and I reply “the expansion of whom. He is an expansion of original Krishna. Don’t separate Krishna from the teachings of your spiritual master. Hear from him. That is good enough.
“Prepare to meet your Maker,” they say. I have to pause and think again. What did I recently read or hear? Be confident that over the years you have been hearing and experiencing and today too. In the bathroom half and hour ago you heard him say even if one comes to Krishna consciousness out of sentiment which mostly they do, not understanding the philosophy nicely but thinking “let me join,” what happens to them? He said even if they fall down there is no loss. That means no loss in the attempt at Krishna consciousness. In another sense I think it is a loss. If you go somewhere where you are expected to make money, and you come back empty handed then you failed. One who practices any Krishna consciousness does not fail. I understand. But what about failing to make it all the way back to Godhead in this life? That is also a falling short. You still don’t chant with love, writing these imperfect…
Don’t complain, I don’t. I say I will reach the Everest mountain peak sooner or later. We are but instruments to serve the previous acaryas. Preaching is the essence. They glorify Krishna in preaching. That is the introduction to The Nectar of Devotion too. Preaching is the goal, bhakti is cultivation, meaning activity of body, mind and words. When they are all used in preaching the glories of the Lord, there you have the perfection of cultivation. As for mental cultivation, you think of Krishna. But you must activate your consciousness and not just have it. Use it. It is all described in many places, and I’m glad to say so.
1969 March 8:"These boys and girls are initiated for the last two years only but still simply by their sincere effort they are preaching Krishna Consciousness movement in London so nicely, the Times of London headline reads: Krishna Chant Startles London."
1970 March 8: "It is a difficult job for the boys in this country because they have free access to intermingling with the girls. Under the circumstances, it is my open order that everyone can marry without any artificial pose."
1970 March 8: "Certainly this has come out so successful because of George's sincere effort in Krsna Consciousness. This record Govindam is so nice that I am playing it at least once in a day and it is giving me transcendental pleasure with tears in my eyes."
H.H. Sivarama Swami: Bh. Toth Sandor asks if Nrsmhadeva is the form of Krsna’s wrath, why did that form not manifest when Indra offended the Vraja-vasis or Sankacuda stole the gopis
1970 March 8: "Anyone willing to enter the Temple room who does not like to take off his shoes, may stand near the railing and see the Deity from that place. This railing should stand between the Vyasasana and the Altar."
1966 March 8:
1969 March 8: "I do not remember if he chanted very loudly in my room, neither he ever lived in my room, nor I had ever asked him not to chant loudly. I do not know how these news are spread. Only thing is that we should chant very attentively, hearing the vibration very distinctly."
1973 March 8: "When non-devotees quarrel they cannot stop and end up killing each other. But the devotees' disagreement does not last long because they patch it up for Krsna's sake, because they are all working for the same end - Krsna's service."
1975 March 8: "Sripada Sridhara Maharaja will not be able to take active part on account of his uncertain health, therefore I have entrusted the matter to a learned pandita, a great astrologer and learned brahmana. He has agreed to conduct the ceremony."
Maddy Jean-claude Durr, New Govardhana, AU: Partha's Return (Revival of Sankirtana Saturday in Radhadesh: Part1)
Thursday 21st, February 2011.
Partha Sarathi Prabhu was scheduled to come today to inaugurate another Sankirtana Saturday in Radhadesh. Normally these were going on monthly but we missed January because Partha was busy with his world preaching endeavours. Our last Sankirtana Saturday was on the Gita Jayanti weekend and it was in need of a revival.
I went to put my plate back after breakfast and I bumped into a group of guests. They were struggling to put a sheet of paper back on the easel, which must have fallen loose. I decided to be friendly and help them out but I also found that I couldn’t fit the paper back up. I decided to do something else and. rather than putting it back up, I put it on the table. Instantly they began to ask questions. The paper had remnants of the Introductory Course drawn on it, a diagram of the cycling yugas, which Maha Laksmi had drawn up in her class.
The questioning went on for some time and a few of the guests, although they were interested, had to move on. I pulled out my personal card and handed it to three individuals. The crowd dispersed and two remained. We continued to talk about various concepts and their questions deepened. I could tell that they were sincere students of spirituality and were desperate to fix themselves on a path of self-realization. Eventually I had to go to class but they were curious if there was a book where they could find all this information because our question time had expired. I had mostly been hinting at the Bhagavad-Gita as I spoke so I wrote it down, knowing that everything we discussed was squashed in there some place or another. I waved goodbye, hoping to meet them again for lunch and plotted off to our Modern Interpretations to Bhagavad-Gita course (a strange coincidence).
We met again for lunch for an extended light conversation on life and applicable spirituality. Thomas and Cindy were the names of my new friends, and they were living in Belgium and Holland. There was an express from them that their beliefs were parallel to that of Krsna consciousness (minus the hair cut they joked) and it was observable by their speech and conduct that they were deeply trying to root out spirituality in their busy lives. After our morning conversation, they had gone over to the BLS bookstore and picked up a Bhagavad-Gita. It was easy to speak spirituality because I knew whatever important things I had to say were easily available for re-reading in the Gita. In terms of Sankirtana Saturday, it seemed I had accidently gotten into the book distribution mood a couple days earlier.
Partha arrived soon after lunch and we had some prasadam waiting for him. We caught up on two months of Partha party stories. We spent the rest of the day cruising around the Desh (ie Radhadesh) sorting things out and catching up with the enthusiastic community members, keen for a revival of Sankirtana Saturday.
In the night, Partha gathered the youth for meeting to discuss a new program for spreading Krsna consciousness. We were going to make some casual dress Bhakti groups and test them out by doing house programs and hall programs. The speaker would be dressed in Vaisnava attire but we wanted to dim down the obvious numbers for a better infiltration. Partha was spilling with ideas and it was hard to keep track of them all. After the meeting we went to bed but we continued to laugh and chat throughout the night in joking conversation.
Friday 22nd, February 2011.
I had breakfast with Thomas and Cindy; Partha arrived just before they were leaving. He joined in the chat. At the end he invited them to give their details so we could contact them for some programs in their area. It seemed to make their day to find out that there were plans for programs in their area and were pleased to be invited. It was easy parting ways with such a fulfilling end to the whole encounter.
Partha Sarathi had his day set out for him. He was busy running around, organizing books and other essentials while we kicked back in our final class of Modern Interpretations of Bhagavad-Gita. Partha and I met again in the middle of the day for some more wandering around and some unspeakable mischief in the wood workshop. In the evening Partha gave an inspiring book distribution seminar, firing up the troopers for tomorrow’s street session in Maastricht. We didn’t have enough energy this night to stay awake and talk, all we could do was rest up for Sankirtana Saturday.
Read original post: [http://maddmonk.wordpress.com/2011/03/08/parthas-return]
sri-sadasiva kaviraja--bada mahasaya
The twenty-third and twenty-fourth prominent devotees of Nityananda Prabhu were Sadasiva Kaviraja and his son Purusottama dasa, who was the tenth gopala. (Text 38)
ajanma nimagna nityanandera carane
nirantara balya-lila kare krsna-sane
From birth, Purusottama dasa was merged in the service of the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda Prabhu, and he always engaged in childish play with Lord Krsna. (Text 39)
~ Sri Caitanya Caritamrta Adi-lila. Chapter 11 (The Expansions of Lord Nityananada)
Jaya Nitai! Jaya Nitai! Jaya Nitai! On another splendid and auspicious festival day for Vaishnavas marking the appearance day of Sri Purusottama Das Thakura, please glorify the most merciful Lord Nityananda.
A couple of weeks ago there was another post on Sri Purusottam Das Thakura on the blog to honour his disappearance day. It can be found at http://radhashyamasundar.com/2/post/2011/02/honouring-sri-purusottama-das-thakura.html
In the conclusion of that post it states "Sri Nityananda Prabhu always resided within the core of his heart".
So on the disappearance day we reflected on the life, historical account and teachings of Sri Purusottama Thakura who was actually the cowherd boy Stokakrsna in Krisna-lila. But to celebrate his appearance day we can reflect on his personal service at the feet of Lord Nityananda and estatically take the names of Nityananda Prabhu. Jaya Nitai! Jaya Nitai! Jaya Nitai!
Among the Lord's devotees, the greatest are those who are dedicated to Him solely as His intimate servants. [Nārada-bhakti sūtra 67]
The Holy Name is our best friend. He protects us from the influence of māyā, and gives us solace when we need it most. Sometimes He makes us soar in the sky, and tickles us from inside until we experience a fit of giggles (often to the bemusement of any onlookers). He provides inspiration in whatever we do and is always there for us, day and night.
Unfortunately we can be neglectful to our friend, trying to rush our exchanges with Him. Sometimes we ignore Him completely, thinking that other engagements are more important. “He’ll understand, right?” We don’t give Him the attention He deserves and wonder why our other engagements aren’t as tasty as they usually are. We become servants to our mind and feel an emptiness in our hearts that can only be filled by Him.
In the beginning stages, the restless mind balks at the single-minded devotion required to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa for long stretches. The holy name is actually the sweetest nectar, but until we reach the spontaneous stage of devotion, one has to outsmart the mischievous mind. The mind is called cañcala, or unfaithful, but it can become the devotee's best friend. When one chants Hare Kṛṣṇa and performs other duties with concentration and devotion, the mind clears and the devotee realizes his true interest. Then the devotee becomes attracted to serving the holy names in the ekāntina [exlusive] spirit, which Nārada Muni recommends here as the best. [Nārada-bhakti sūtra 67, Purport]
On Friday the 18th of March at 7pm Atma Yoga will be hosting the sublime kirtan of Madhava.
Tickets are $25 on the door or $20 pre-booked.
Contact Prema at email@example.com for tickets or enquiries.
“The kirtana of Madhava has an almost magnetic influence. The mind and heart get totally attracted, then drawn into the inside world where one can meet the soul of the universe. Tune in and you will have a deeply rewarding, spiritual experience.”
Inspirational speaker and spiritualist
On a recent morning my husband, Nrsimhananda Prabhu told me that we need to have a maha harinam and distribute a thousand of Srila Prabhupada's books as a pre Gaura Purnima festival offering. He then set about planning towards this goal. In addition to the books he printed color glossy pamphlets that had a brief description of the glories of chanting and the addresses of our local Iskcon temples. Then he decided to add prasadam to our distribution package. After some discussion we concluded that sugar coated peanuts would be the most practical prasad to distribute. Then he motivated some devotees to join in. Within a week mantra boards were made, sponsorships secured, handbills/pamphlets printed, 1000 books picked up from our local temple, 50 eco friendly bags secured to pack everything in for the devotees.
Between seventy to ninety devotees participated blissfully. Mothers brought children and even babies in their prams/pushchairs. The harinam lasted for three hours. Before we were half way through 1000 books were distributed. It was so ecstatic to look around and see so many devotees distributing the mercy. The kirtan was reaching higher levels of ecstasy and the book distributors were blissfully approaching anyone and everyone! By the end of the harinam in addition to 1000 of Srila Prabhupada's books in English, 3000 packets of peanut prasad, some simply wonderful sweets and laddus were distributed and 2500 handbills. All was possible by the mercy of Sri Sri Nitai Gaura-Hari, Srila Prabhupada and his sincere followers.
Above the sankirtan van is being opened. It was loaded with the fifty prepacked bags. Nrsimhananda Prabhu is seen above with the microphone in hand telling the devotees, many of whom have never been on harinam or book distribution before, how to go about with their distribution. He shared some lines they could use when approaching people.
Each bag looked like the one pictured above. Some devotees carried the bags and others helped them distribute after clearing their own bags. I must admit that the feelings of happiness in such an engagement, with such association made one feel ever more grateful to be part of Srila Prabhupada's mission.
The devotee pictured above was a great full time book distributor at one time. Now as a mother of two she brought her two young sons who together with their father ecstatically participated in the distribution.
The people were so receptive.
The weather was as is normal here, sunny with a slight breeze.
Each book is on its own journey, destined to reach some soul somewhere. Our duty is simply to vibrate the message and be an instrument in distributing it. Many homes in Africa have multiple family members so we pray that many will benefit from every single book distributed.
"So our request to the publishers and book sellers, that "Let this literature be distributed properly. People will be benefited." Because, after all, each and every human being is a spiritual being. He is not this body. That is the mistake of the present civilization." [ An excerpt from Srila Prabhupada's lectureSrimad-Bhagavatam 1.5.11 -- London, September 12, 1973]
The sankirtana movement has been introduced by Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu just to dispel the illusion of maya, by which everyone in this material world thinks himself to be a product of matter and therefore to have many duties pertaining to the body. [ NAM 2b11: By Chanting the Holy Name One Becomes Enlightened]
Above, bliss after and during this insignificant service to the mission of Guru and Gauranga. We pray to be able to double these attempts soon.
More pictures can be seen at:
By Prahlada - nanda Swami
If everything is going very nicely in our lives we should understand that Krishna is simply giving us the opportunity To serve Him better, to spread the sankirtana movement and become a better instrument to Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His transcendental servants hands
Sent By His Grace Kartik Agrawal
South African Retreat Day 1: 9th January 2009 Transcription : His Grace Ramavijaya Dasa Editing : Her Grace Hemavati Radhika Dasi Okay so then I will briefly discuss about the seventh chapter which is actually our main… These next few days we will extensively discuss the other chapters of Bhagavad-gita. Today as I mentioned, is [...]
So chanting is not like that — worry beads, something to do while you’re busy. Chanting is samadhi; it is meditation; it is complete service in itself when you chant sixteen rounds. Throughout the day we may sing and chant while doing different things, but when we chant our rounds, we have to be most attentive.
From Japa Reform Notebook
by Satsvarupa dasa Goswami
By Caru Das
The white-hot juggernaut that is the annual Holi Festival of Colors at the Krishna Temple shows no signs of slowing down. In 2007, 3,000 people attended, celebrating spring by throwing 5,000 packets of colored flour at each other. In 2008 attendance tripled to 10,000, and the crowd snatched up 20,000 color packs
Gadadhara das: Dear Devotees, Please come to the Lord Chaitanya Spring Festival in Berkeley, CA . There will be a large parade with the Gaura Nitai floats down Telegraph Avenue and culminating at People's Park with kirtan, exhibits and more!
More Recent Articles
|Your requested content delivery powered by FeedBlitz, LLC, 9 Thoreau Way, Sudbury, MA 01776, USA. +1.978.776.9498|