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Gaura Purnima 2013

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Date: 20 March 2013, Srimad Bhagavatam Canto - 5, Chapter - 24, Text 27 - 29 

Why I Want To Take Sannyasa by Ekalavya Das
Listen Lecture or http://audio.iskcondesiretree.info/index.php?q=f&f=%2F03_-_ISKCON_Prabhujis%2FISKCON_Prabhujis_-_A_to_J%2FHis_Grace_Ekalavya_Prabhu%2FSrimad_Bhagavatam%2FCanto-05

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Srila Madhavendra Puri Disappearance

Srila Madhavendra Puri appeared in the 14th century. He was a guru of the Brahma or Madhva sampradaya, one of the four (Brahma, Sri, Rudra and Sanaka) Vaishnava lineages that purify the world in the age of Kali.


Detailed Biography, Audio Lectures, Video Lectures, etc. of Sri Madhavendra Puri - www.gaudiyahistory.com

Bhajans by Sri Madhavendra Puri – www.vaishnavsongs.com

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Download streaming quality audio of Mayapur Kirtan Mela 2013, which was held between 11th to 15th March 2013. Famous Kirtaniyas from all over the world participated in this Kirtan Mela.

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Srimad Bhagavatam 4.30.17
divya-varsha-sahasranam
sahasram ahataujasah
bhauman bhokshyatha bhogan vai
divyams canugrahan mama

TRANSLATION

The Lord then blessed all the Pracetas, saying: My dear princes, by My mercy, you can enjoy all the facilities of this world as well as the heavenly world. Indeed, you can enjoy all of them without hindrance and with full strength for one million celestial years.

PURPORT

The duration of life prescribed for the Pracetas by the Supreme Personality of Godhead is calculated by the time measurements of higher planetary systems. Our six earth months are said to equal twelve hours in the higher planetary systems. Thirty days equal one month, and twelve months equal one year. In this way, for one million years according to the calculations of the higher planetary system the Pracetas were allowed to enjoy all kinds of material facilities. Although this life-span was so long, the Pracetas were given full bodily strength by the grace of the Lord. In the material world, if one wants to live for many years, he must endure the difficulties of old age, invalidity and many other miserable conditions. The Pracetas, however, were given full bodily strength to enjoy material facilities. This special facility was given to the Pracetas so that they could continue rendering full devotional service. This will be explained in the following verse. (end)

HH Kadamba Kanan Maharaj: (invocatory prayers) The Pracetas were very pious souls who were naturally inclined towards religiousness, who were full of knowledge, who were respecting their elders and who were obedient servants of their father, who had instructed them to perform austerity and to worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead so that they might get, might prepare for a suitable marriage and might then have suitable off springs. So we can see that their father was instructing them to approach the Supreme Lord for a mundane purpose, for a material purpose, a pious purpose nonetheless but not fully transcendental. The attitude of the Pracetas was such that they had all good qualification so Lord Siva being a great devotee of Supreme Lord, being always absorbed in remembering the Supreme Lord in deep meditation, he could see that these Pracetas were qualified recipients to receive the mercy of pure devotional service and therefore he instructed them accordingly and gave them

prayers based on just devotional service.

So the Pracetas stand there as an emblem of purity and punya. The Caitanya Caritamrta describes to us that there are different kinds of piety. It is said there is karma unmukhi sukrti, moksha unmukhi sukrti and bhakti unmukhi sukrti or piety that is the result from engaging in karmic activities in the mode of goodness, then pious activities which are aiming at liberation but then there is the benefit of devotional service which stands as eternal and that is truly our topic. It is there where the Pracetas became a subject matter, where the Pracetas became worthy of being mentioned in the Srimad Bhagavatam because the Srimad Bhagavatam is dedicated to that point - the worship of Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna.

So the Srimad Bhagavatam is establishing Lord Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead and devotional service sa vai pumsam paro dharmo (SB 1.2.6) as the supreme activity which can completely satisfy the self. Then as Srila Prabhupada pointed out material assets in itself have no value in devotional service. They are zero but if you put one in front then all these zeroes become meaningful. So piety in itself, mundane piety in itself no value but when engaged, but when a pious person engages in the service of Krishna then that becomes a great wealth and great opulence because that piety will be a great support in spiritual life. What to do for most of us?

kaler dosha-nidhe rajann asti hy eko mahan gunah (SB 12.3.51)

It is the age of Kali, the age where we, it’s the ocean of faults and that ocean of faults is within our hearts.

aprarabdha-phalam papam kutam bijam phalonmukham

kramenaiva praliyeta vishnu-bhakti-ratatmanam (Padma Purana)

It is stated that within the heart, the heart is filled with aprarabhda karma or karma that is now not manifesting but the seeds of many sinful activities are stored within the heart. So the heart is the storehouse of sinful reactions and the result is a sinful inclination and then the result is more sinful activities which increase the sinful stock and which increases the sinful inclination even more which leads to more sinful activities which still creates it adds on to this stock and creates the intensity of our sinfulness. Therefore one could say in this age of Kali we are thoroughly sinful. And what can we say? The sinfulness in our hearts may be buried in so many places, in so many places there are remnants of our previous sinful activities may be there or as they say in colloquial American - everyone has skeletons in the closet. Right? So that’s there! What to do? But then in the middle, in the middle of that

kirtanad eva krishnasya (SB 12.3.51) that sankirtana movement of Lord Caitanya has appeared. Oh yes Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead - the all-attractive. Generally speaking we are translating the word Krishna as all-attractive, Krishna to ‘akarshan’ meaning to attract. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura had an interesting angle on the word Krishna and he said that he used the word ‘akarshan’ also to attract as Krishna as being the one who can be attracted by devotional service. So both definitions are there. Krishna is attracting us and Krishna can be attracted by devotional service. That is our saving grace.

It is now quite some years back when the deities of Panca tattva came down this Bhaktisiddhanta road on the carts and were brought in unto the property and were installed in this temporary temple. And I remember at that time different leaders were interviewed as to what their expectance was and the expectance was obviously ‘now things are going to change’. Something is going to happen. So it is unfolding right under our eyes right here. We see that the temple is coming up, it is moving along, its really there its coming, it must be because the Lord cannot remain in this temporary structure with just some, that’s all it is. Looks like a nice hall but if you look at the top it’s just a temporary structure some trusses and some, it’s a hole. This one is a little more fancy but also temporary. So the temple must be made because when the Lord is there He must be provided with a suitable environment, worshipping the deity means that making arrangements, arrangements for the Lord where He can be situated with all the paraphernalia that are befitting, befitting to Him. So the temple must be there.

The other day I was reading some quotes of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura and they are still fresh in my mind, so they are coming out on this day. And he was describing how one of his disciples had spent his life savings to built this beautiful temple in Calcutta and then Srila Bhaktisiddhanta was continuing and was saying yes this temple made of cement and bricks is not the real temple. He said the real temple must be made, must be made in the heart. The heart must be made into the real temple and then he said, and in order to achieve that many books will have to be written. So Prabhupada did that. Many books were written and now and then of course the next thing also distributed. Many books must be written, many books must be distributed because this knowledge of the Bhagavata, this knowledge of Bhagavan that must be spread all over the world, how to serve the Supreme Lord. So I gave the definition of the word Krishna which was a little different than the usual one – Krishna is all-attractive but that devotional service attracts Krishna. We also have the word

Bhagavan which is the basic word of the Bhagavata of Srimad Bhagavatam, of the books, the Bhagavatam being the center of all the books that had to be written and have been written. So the center of the Bhagavatam is Bhagavan Krishna. Generally Bhagavan is translated as ‘Bhaga’- opulences and ‘van’- that’s He who possesses all opulences. Krishna is sad aisvarya purna, who has all opulences, the six opulences

aisvaryasya samagrasya viryasya yasasah sriyah jnana-vairagyayos caiva sannam bhaga itingana (Visnu Purana 6.5.47)

all beauty, all wealth, all knowledge etc. But Srila Jiva Goswami gives another translation of the word Bhagavan. I also want to share that with you and he says we can break up the word Bhagavan in three syllables – Ba, ga and va and he says the meaning of the word Bhagavan is bhajaniya guna vasista. And bhajaniya guna vasista is very nice because it means that Lord, that Lord who is irresistible you have to worship Him. And everything rests on that. Simply in this ocean of faults the Holy name is penetrating, abhinnatvan nama naminah says Padma Purana non different from Krishna. bhajaniya guna vasista you have to, you have to, when that Holy name penetrates people cover their ears, they don’t want to hear, they stuff their ears and we chant louder and somehow or other it penetrates.

I didn’t want to hear the Holy name. I saw the devotees and they looked like the emblem of religious fanaticism. I had never seen anything like it. Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. The brahmacaris thought they were fired up, to me it looked like total extremism. So I stayed clear, I stayed clear from the Hare Krishna’s. Then got a girl friend who had a dog named Krishna. (laughter) The Holy name penetrates and I was out at night and the dog wouldn’t come back, so calling out Krishna! Every night around the block starting Harinam! (laughter) Lord Caitanya just everywhere, everywhere entering into our lives, making arrangements for His pure devotee. Srila Prabhupada arrived, oh it wasn’t easy but the time was right, people were looking, they wanted something, ok their heads were in the clouds literally. Right? They were way out there and one two three four/ what are we fighting for/ not going to Vietnam and all that. And Prabhupada said Arjuna had to fight. So he did not compromise and gave the pure truth. In his trunk he had brought Srimad Bhagavatam that he had printed in India. That was his mission. Prabhupada once said that Srimad Bhagavatam should be placed in every home on the planet. This temple of the Vedic Planetarium it is not a

planetarium, its not a planetarium, it is the fifth canto, its the Bhagavatam, it’s the Bhagavatam. It is actually, its not about the planetarium, its about the Bhagavatam. It is the temple which makes the Bhagavatam.

So Srila Bjaktisiddhanta was saying that on that temple in Calcutta. He was saying yes not only a temple of bricks and cement but a temple in the heart and a temple of books he said. Then yes then it will be done. So the temple of books is here and also spreading everywhere in the world by book distribution and by all.

Then I was thinking yesterday evening as I was sitting there in the kirtana and it was so transcendental. I was first what can I say, I start a raga and it transforms into rock that’s due to the sixties and seventies. What to do but then Sacinandana Maharaj began in his prayerful and enthusiastic way and he is the inspiration of this Kirtan mela and I was looking at the Panca tattva, at their amazing effulgence, that very extraordinary beautiful golden darshan and I was thinking its all Gauranga! It’s all His plan! He just inspires Sacinandana Swami who is deep, who has the strength, he is into going into depth in spiritual life. He is into deep bhajan, into deep worship, he is the one who gave us japa retreats, Govardhana retreats, gave us Kirtan mela. Who says to us, “My dear devotees, I will tell you something very important.” You know. (laughter and applause as Maharaj mimics Sacinandana Swami) And basically he means to say is quality if you burn it down to one word quality, quality chanting, quality contemplation not just automatic pilot, not just be there and go along with the flow. No! work for it, work hard, try to get the mercy of the Holy name, go in, chant concentrate, fix the mind and so forth and so on. That’s what he is preaching all the time in different ways and that’s what is needed because Srila Bhaktisiddhanta continued speaking about that temple and he said “Yes not just the temple of bricks.” He said, “The temple of bricks is like a seat, it is like a asana, like a vyasa asana.” It is a great platform, a great platform for chanting Hare Krishna. It is a great platform for discussing Srimad Bhagavatam but the essence is that.

Prabhupada also said in this age of Kali, which is an ocean of faults. Then he in the purport to the verse krishna-varnam tvishakrishna sangopangastra-parshadam (CC Adi 3.52) in the purport to that verse Prabhupada is saying that in this age of Kali no one is interested in going to temple, no one is interested in going to the mosque, go to church. He said but when there is wide chanting, widely everywhere chanting of the Holy name of Krishna then people get attracted - bhajaniya guna vasista. He is irresistible, you have to.

So we also we had so many festivals but the Kirtan mela has become an element of the festival that will never leave, I guarantee it. It cannot leave anymore because we are already terribly attached to it. We already want it again. I am already thinking well! I guess I am coming next year and probably the year after that also because and that attachment will grow and it will grow bigger and it will be in that big temple. And the power will grow, the absorption will grow and we don’t know what we will see, what will happen. When we sometimes read the stories of Bhakti Ratnakar, we see how in the kirtans of Narrotama dasa Thakura suddenly the Panca tattva appear, they are there, they are dancing with the devotees and everyone is swept up in ecstasy and then they disappeared and all the devotes cried rivers of tears so much that the ground became muddy. What to say! Miracles! Miracles happened and miracles will happen. Miracles happened, miracles are happening and more miracles to come. Make sure you are around to be part of the fun. Don’t miss out.

So in this way it is a wonderful time. Oh its Kaliyuga, that’s going to be the last thing I say because time is running out. Its Kaliyuga an ocean of faults. Sometimes devotees come together and we have some Kaliyuga katha. Oh you know, its really bad out there! Oh yeah! So bad! the things that they are eating, the things that they are doing, we get into Kaliyuga. Once I was in Karoli where the deity of Madana Mohan is and I said the same thing to the pujari. I said, “You are in such a nice place. You don’t know what it’s like our there, Kaliyuga.” He said, “Yeah Kaliyuga, there are a thousand Kaliyugas in a day of Brahma. They come and go very quick.” (laughter) He wasn’t impressed by Kaliyuga but we are because we are affected by Kaliyuga, we feel the burden of Kaliyuga within our hearts. One devotee told me, I stopped chanting. Oh! I just have no taste, no taste. Yeah well that’s ok. The first reason why we are chanting is for purification. If we cannot with taste then let us chant out of fear, fear of hell. I am sorry to say but lets chant out of fear of hell and lets look for some purification. There is a hell in the fifth canto.

The telephone rang in the temple and I never pick it up because I am a visitor. It was at ten o clock at night and I just somehow or other I picked it up. This lady goes “it’s not true! It’s not true! That all my family is going to hell.” Ok! I said, “Calm down lady! Calm down! Start at the beginning not at the end” (laughter) Someone had given her the book ‘A second chance’ (laughter and applause) and she read it as you can understand. Its kind of a heavy book. So chant chant if you have not taste chant for purification. That’s the first step. It can root out, agham dhunvanti kartsnyena niharam iva bhaskarah (SB 6.1.15) it roots out the sins from the heart, from the very root for good. So that is

good. Yes we should of course then we become attracted with time and more and more attracted and finally Krishna kirtana gana nartana parau premamrtambho nidhi (Sad Goswami Astakam Verse 1) Eventually we will experience that this chanting is like an ocean of transcendental love, an ocean of transcendental love and it is said in Caitanya Caritamrta Adi lila chp 4 there the loving qualities of Srimati Radharani are described. It is said that Her love is embracing the qualities of Krishna and Krishna has unlimited qualities and each time She discovers a new quality of Krishna and Her love immediately embraces that quality also and then She finds another one and She embraces that also and another one and She embraces that also and all the devotees are also like that. We all discover more about Krishna and we embrace it also. We have already started and it will go on for ever and Krishna when He sees al that love in the heart of His devotees, His heart melts ands His love increases and in this way there is an ocean of ever increasing love of all the devotees and Krishna’s love combined and just going on and on. And this is premamrtambo the ocean of transcendental love. And through this chanting we are going to enter there and don’t stay outside and say I don’t know, I stopped chanting, I have no taste you know. (laughter) Don’t be sour. Chant! Chant! Chant! Chant! (laughter) Why, in the Laghu Bhagavatamrta it is said in Kaliyuga, in other Kaliyugas there is also harinama sankirtana, there is also an incarnation of the Lord a blackish form of Lord Visnu who preaches harinama sankirtana. Whats the difference between those Kaliyugas and this one? Those incarnations of the Lord they cannot give the same mercy as Lord Caitanya and therefore now in this age very quick result. You start off saying oh its so tough this chanting and before you know it is actually very nice and before you know its actually I cant stop chanting and so on. It is like that. Therefore Kaliyuga the ocean of faults. Srila Vishvanath Cakravarti Thakura says that when you have a jewel if you want to see the jewel you put it on a black background because then it looks even better. In this way actually that amazing mercy of Lord Caitanya, that amazing chanting of Holy name, this amazing miracle that is happening to us is on the background of the blackest of the blackest of the blackest background of Kaliyuga. In our black hearts there is this light of the Holy name and everything will change and Prabhupada has prayed that where we fall short that we will be accepted anyway. So don’t worry even if the performance is not great, Prabhupada’s prayer is there. So in this way everything will be auspicious and good. All good! Thank you very much. Srila Prabhupada ki jaya!

If there is one question or comment is welcome.

Devotee: Thank you Maharaj. What is the difference between Sacinandana Maharaj exhorting us to work hard and as the Christians say ‘ not by works’?

Maharaj: You know the Christians have to work hard. But that’s not all. That’s not all at all. If it was only hard work for the Christians where would they go? No they also have the mercy of Jesus. And that’s no joke! No joke! But look at what we have, we have the eternal process. The Christians have prayer which brings them closer to the Lord. We are already with the Lord, we are already with Him.

Devotees: applaud and Haribol!

Maharaj continues: from day one! The Adi Purana says that by chanting the Holy name one is associating with the Lord. We are already there. You know the joke of the Pope who came to Vrindavana. And you know met the devotees and had a phone, taking the call like you know, to the Vaisnavas he says who are you speaking to, oh that was God. I have a direct line with God. Oh! Can I use your phone? Yes yes yes! You can But not so long its very expensive you know long distance call. Ok ok! Sure keep it short. Then later the devotee pulls out his phone and he also makes a call. Whats that you also have a phone like that? Yes I do. Can I use it? Yes, no problem it’s a local call. (laughter) that’s the joke!

Devotee: but that’s no joke!

Maharaj: but that’s our joke with Christians. So what to say but the Christians were preparing the ground for Lord Caitanya’s movement. That what they were doing, they brought everyone closer, ready preparing. Jesus Christ he even took the name Christa, this is a name of Krishna. But preparing the ground that is all. By chanting the Holy name we are in the spiritual world. In the beginning we’re still sort of dazed and half sleeping and that’s why Sacinandana Swami will always say, “don’t sleep!” he’ll say all the time. Because we are in the spiritual world but we are sleeping but the chanting is awakening us. nitya-siddha krishna-prema 'sadhya’ kabhu nayasravanadi-suddha-citte karaye udaya (CC Madhya 22.107) by just hearing and chanting, by chanting Hare Krishna and discussing Srimad Bhagavatam then our natural love for Krishna will awaken. Its already there, we are sleeping, it will just reemerge. So therefore all good Christians also will become devotees. I was once in a university and it was a Christian university and students were all hard core Christians and I gave a lecture and they gave me a New Testament after that and the Professor was a Budhhist, so the Professor was suffering a lot, that’s what Buddhists do. (laughter) and the Professor was saying that, the students were asking a question you know what about Jesus being the only way?

I said Yes, Yes, Yes, He is the only way! That’s not the issue. That’s not what the discussion is. The only issue is that who are the Christians? As far as I can see the only real Christians in the full sense of the term are the Hare Krishnas.

Devotees: Haribol!

Maharaj: Hare Krishna! Thank you so much! Srila Prabhupada ki jaya! And the professor was cheering. And at ten o clock we can all be back for the kirtana.

For video of the lecture, please go to mayapurtvarchives.com


For Audio http://audio.iskcondesiretree.info/index.php?q=f&f=%2F06_- _More%2F01_-_ISKCO N_Mayapur%2F2013

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I Have a Bhagavad-Gita at Home


A girl sitting with her friends in a bus responded to the offer of a Gita: "I have a Bhagavad-gita at home, I don’t need another one."

I asked whether she had Bhagavad-gita As It Is.

She arrogantly asked, "What does it matter? They're all the same."

I replied, "Well, all buses are the same, but you are sitting only on this bus."

She said that this is because she had to go to the place where this bus goes and the other buses, though they look like, don’t go there.

"Precisely!" I replied. "Similarly, the Gita As It Is indeed is as it is spoken by Krsna to Arjuna, without changing the speaker's intention."

She knew she was defeated and wanted to take a copy, but because of her false ego and being in the presence of her friends, she ignored me.

But when I went away, a friend of hers came running behind me, asking me: "Wait, wait! I need one, please."

Bhakta Harish

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February 1971: Banaras, India
H.H Radha Govinda Swami recollects his meeting with Srila Prabhupad

Radha Govinda Swami:


I was in Benares at that time when Srila Prabhupada was touring, traveling India with his 40 disciples. I read in a newspaper that in America Krishna-bhakti is preached. Naturally, I was a devotee of Krishna so I liked this topic. So I went there.

Then there was a procession from Dashashvamedha Ghat to Tapan Misra's house that is now in Benares. When the procession finished, I approached Srila Prabhupada and I spoke in Hindi, "When you went to America, and how you preach?" Prabhupada said, "You see, I just chant Hare Krishna and give some lecture." He said, "They need this Vedic knowledge. So just see how they are happy and they are chanting."

Then I asked, "Where is your program after Benares?" Prabhupada said, "I will go to Gorakhpur." So I wrote down the date.

Then I went to Gorakhpur, and Prabhupada was there. He was staying in Krishna Niketan. I went there, I was waiting.

Prabhupada was at that time alone, so I did not recognize that he is Prabhupada. "Where is A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami?" I asked Prabhupada. So Prabhupada asked me, "Why you want to meet with him?" I replied, "Because he is my guru. I like him very much."

So Prabhupada asked me, "Why you accept him as your guru?"

I said, "Because he is the servant of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu."

Then Prabhupada asked me, "Who is Chaitanya Mahaprabhu?"

So I said, "He is Krishna Himself."

So I was talking and Prabhupada asked, "Why you accept Lord Chaitanya as Krishna?"

"Because I read Chaitanya-caritamrta Krishna Himself came as a devotee to preach."

Then Prabhupada said, "No, no, no, He's not Krishna, He is devotee of Krishna."

I said, "No, He is Krishna Himself."

But Prabhupada insisted, "No, He is devotee of Krishna, He is not Krishna."

Then I spoke very hard words to Srila Prabhupada. I said, "Just keep quiet, don't speak anymore."

Then Prabhupada laughed very loudly, very loudly he was laughing.

Then some bhaktas came and they were offering obeisances. So I realized that he is Guru Maharaj, he is Srila Prabhupada.

So when they offered obeisances, I also offered obeisances. So I said, "Please forgive me, I offended at your lotus feet. I did not recognize you. Please forgive me."

Then Prabhupada caught my hand like this and said, "Come to my room."

Then three disciples were sitting there and Prabhupada was laughing, laughing. His smile was not stopped, and then he told that "He knows that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is Krishna Himself."

He said, "You chastised me, I like that. I am very happy with your words."

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What’s happening at the Durban Festival of Chariots 2013

Culturally Many Spiritually One

Celebrating Social Cohesion in the playground City of Durban

On Stage…

It’s an unforgettable line up of free entertainment featuring Freshlyground (Monday, 1 April 5pm) and the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra (Sunday, 31 March, 5pm). From the soulful KwaMashu Gospel Choir (TBA) to the sumptuous and sizzling, Deena SA Masterchef (Saturday, 30 March 3-5pm), we are turning up the heat on the main stage.

Drum Café (Saturday, 30 March, 5-7pm) is our not-to-be-missed showstopper! Join our King, Premier, Mayor and other distinguished guests as we kick off our shoes and pick up some drums. Here’s to the beat of harmony; culturally many spiritually one.

You can look forward to a fusion of poetry dance, drama, and martial arts. Prepare to be dazzled.

On the lawn…


Culturally Many - Interfaith Seminars (Daily 1-8pm)

From revered religious leaders to the everyday spiritual aspirant, all are welcome! Community Stalwarts such as His Holiness V.V Shembe—the Shembe Leader, AV Mohammed—the head of the Grey Street mosque, Bishop Rubin Phillips, the Dean of the Anglican Church, Dr Ngobese—the cultural leader of the Pemier’s office, Indradyumna Swami come together for panel-discussions on topics such as:

  • Taking responsibility for actions
  • Glorifying the names of God
  • The environmental crisis – a spiritual solution
  • The role of women in Society


In the spirit of unity, this interfaith community focuses of the common theme of compassion, tolerance and concern for justice in all religions. It is a positive step in the direction of a social cohesive South Africa.

Ask, Discover and Explore (Daily 1-8pm)

Dynamic and interactive, the Ask, Discover and Explore booth is the place to be for captivating presentations that are logical and relevant. If you’re teeming with a million questions then here’s your oasis. It’s guaranteed to quench your thirst and leave you enlightened and enlivened. Here’s a sneak preview:

Dreams and reality Does the soul exist? Leaving religion to find God. Transcending your circumstances with a daily spiritual practice Science, evolution and intelligent design

Yoga Meltdown (7am, Daily 1-8pm)

Take a load off. It's information overload out there, now’s the time to clear the mind, stretch the body and awaken the soul. Leading local yoga teachers will guide you to a new high during our beach yoga sessions. Register online.

Kirtanuity (Daily from 11am till 10pm)

Connecting through sound—it says it all! Join us for 11 minutes or 11 hours and make a connection. Don’t miss out on our all star kirtan cast featuring Madhava, Bada Hari, Govinda Swami, Mahatma, and many more.

Must-Meet Personalities

We feature internationally acclaimed life coach Mahatma Das (USA) with The Art of Forgiveness. Empower and enliven your spirit and get the tools to chisel change in your life.

Vedic astrologer, Sri Radha Govinda (IND), will be exploring topics such as “Relationships” and “How to mess up your life with astrology.” Having authored of multiple books on astrology, she will be ready and available on site for individual readings.

Thinking about going natural? Pop in at our retail store and visit Ayurvedic Specialist, Vaidya Tapas…(IND). You will discover all-natural, interesting and cost-effective methods to improve and maintain your health…including Cleopatra’s beauty secret.

On the promenade…


Friday Float Parade (10.30am-1pm)


Join us as we parade down the promenade with giant chariots and a splay of cultural floats. A colorful blend of song and dance that’s sure to set your feet in motion.

Prayer Lanterns (Friday, March 30, 6pm)

In the company of the community’s religious icons, everyone can do their part in a collective prayer for peace. Watch the night sky light up as we attach our prayers to fire lanterns and let them take flight.

On the Beach…

Rainbow Splash (Sunday, 31 March, 3-5pm)

We bring the world’s bright and crazy festival of colour to Durban turf for the first time. Featuring fresh and funky D.J Deon Govender, it is going to be music and mayhem. Grab a bag of colour powder and wait for the countdown…A celebration of the rainbow nation in living colour. It is taking the world by storm and now it’s right here on your doorstep—and the best part? It is free!

And all around…

The Shop If “shop till you drop” is your mantra then our retail boutique is just where you want to be.. From the exotic eastern flavored garments for women to kiddie saris, and hand-crocheted dolls--it has something for every person and pocket. Don’t miss this range of exclusive treasures not to found anywhere else in the country.

Govinda’s Food Court

Spoil yourself at our 500-seater centre court overlooking the ocean on the one side and the theatre on the other.

The Govindas Food court comprises the following food cabins: · Ocean Cuisine - Authentic Eastern delicacies · Splash - Fast foods, American / Italian fusion · Oasis Sweets – A heaven for the addicted, sweet tooth. · Thirsty Well – Quenching thirsts of our people, in true South African style

It’s east meets west and totally affordable. Real food prepared within minutes. Be sure to check out our eating competitions.

Keep the Kids Spellbound

The entire site will come alive with a host of carnival festivities; Men on stilts, mimes, clowns, face painters, tattoo artists and much more. A variety of arts and crafts such as scrapbooking, hair braiding and kite making keep them energetically entertained.

African Tale of Wonder Treasure Hunt!

Come one, come all, there’s a tale to be told Read our larger than life comics, and let the morals unfold Ten comics there are in total, five morals you must understand Then search all around the site for our magic POCKET MAN Tell him the morals, and just wait and see In one of his pockets a treasure there will be

Dunk the Demon

Whatever our kind or creed, we all have those niggling bad habits we’d be better angels without. In the fun-filled and action packed “Dunk the demon”, life size action figures personify different vices and we get the chance dunk ‘em. Yes, really! Watch them go head first into the dunk tank. Each bad quality will be explored by the much-loved story teller Bhakti Caitanya Swami, who will give us insight how we can rid them our hearts as well. The Hare Krishna Mime

Who is he? What does he do? Find him onsite and learn the answers to those questions!

So don’t miss out—join us from Friday till Monday for an unforgettable experience.

Culturally Many Spiritually One Celebrating Social Cohesion at the Durban Festival of Chariots 2013

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A Life of Dedicated Service
Giving Thanks for the Life of
Jiva Pati Das Brahmacari

Jiva Pati Prabhu was born John Boehnen in 1944, Milwaukee, USA and became an initiated disciple of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in January, 1977. He came to Bhaktivedanta Manor from Chicago in 1979 and was immediately engaged in serving Sri Sri Radha Gokulananda. He remained Their diligent and faithful servant for the rest of his life.

For thirty-three years he lovingly served the Deities – for eleven hours a day, seven days a week. His service began early in the morning and finished late at night. At around 1.30 am, he would rise and chant his rounds, wake the Deities, and offer the milk sweets and the mangala-arati. In the evening he would put the Deities to rest, usually sleeping later than everyone else.

It was not easy to engage him in conversation because he disliked wasting precious time, and was so dedicated to his service; but when he did speak it was often to say something unusually profound, pithy, or amusing. He was an enthusiastic and accomplished student of the Bhagavad-gita.

Jiva Pati Prabhu was the very model of the quiet, dedicated priest, and one of the main reasons for the high level of altar worship which, over the decades, has so inspired thousands of pilgrims. At 68 years, he was the oldest male priest at Bhaktivedanta Manor. Both loved and respected by his fellow brahmacaris and admired by the many other devotees who knew him, his absence will be felt sorely.

We give thanks today for his inspiring example of lifelong divine service and call upon his spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, to shower his loving servant with his affectionate blessings.*

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Easter yatra to Radhadesh, Belgium


Hare Krishna prabhus,


Around 40 devotees from the South London are visiting Radhadesh, a beautiful castle in Belgium converted into a Hare Krishna temple from Easter Sunday 31 March to Wednesday 3rd April. The cost per person is £220 (include food accommodation and travel). There are a few places left and this is a great opportunity to dive into blissful spiritual life at least for a few days. Please let me know if you want further information or are interested in coming. Haribol


The schedule is roughly as follows:


1. Leave Sunday AM from South London ISKCON temple: 


- The auspicious celebration of Holi (festival of colours) will take on Sunday.


- Depending on the time we arrive, it should give us enough time to have a full visit of the Radhadesh grounds; this includes the majority (accept for the ashrams) of the castle and its tower, the small shops, the gardens, the Goshala  the Bhaktivedanta College, after which everyone would go have diner in the restaurant. Also, every evening from 20:15 to 21:15 there are plenty of kirtans led by the youth over there in the temple, which is something nice to finish the night off with.  


- Every Sunday from we have the Sunday program which is a combination of wild kirtans, a small class, as well as play specially prepared for the day. We would be very happy to have you join us and possibly participate in that. Of course it all finishes with the wonderful Sunday Feast at the temple. There is also the possibility for the young children to join our Sunday School with our local kids for one session of 2 hours


 2. Easter Monday: 


- The whole morning program in the temple, mungala arti, japa time, Guru puja, Bhagavatam class goes from 4:30 to 09:00 and everyone is welcome. Breakfast from 09:00-10:00. 


- Radhadesh is right in the middle of the very touristic and beautiful area of the Ardennes  so it will be a nice experience, for both adults and children, to spend an entire day (10:00-17:00) at the  Domain of the Caves of Han which is only 30 minutes. This domain has the most wonderful Cave facilities in whole of Belgium and is very renown with hundreds of people going every day. Not only do we visit the beautiful caves, but there is also a large natural reserve which we visit on a small train and wherein we will see bears, wolves, dears, bisons, and all kinds of other majestic mountain creatures. We can easily spend a nice and wonderful day there with everyone, and we will be able to relax nicely. A packed-lunch will be arranged, if needed. 


- We would be back by late afternoon (17:30-18:00), and dinner can be served at that time in the restaurant to everyone. 


- At 19:00 we have Gaura arti followed by class and at 20:15-21:15 the youth lead kirtan again. 


 3. Tuesday:


- Morning program from 4:30-9:00


- Breakfast 09:00-10:00


- If devotees still have energy after the feast, there is always possibilities to go visit the nearby (3 miles away) extremely famous and small medieval town of Durbuy where there is plenty of small activities to be done in addition to walking around the small city and seeing everything. Of course this should depend on the fact if there is nice weather or not. But it is a great town to visit for a couple hours if one is interested in old European towns. 


- Evening, there is the same temple program every night. 


 4. Wednesday:


- Morning program from 4:30-9:00


- Breakfast 09:00-10:00


- Relax a little with more kirtan and leave for London


 


For more details on Radhadesh please visit www.radhadesh.com/

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BRC has an immediate opening for a full time Assistant Librarian

Applicant Must be

  • Fully computer competent
  • Knowledgeable in English and Bengali (Sanskrit is a big plus) or be willing to learn at least Bengali writing and speaking.
  • Have a love of books and an enthusiasm to preach
  • Be willing to learn on the job as well as take necessary educational courses

Service includes cataloging; indexing; preservation of old books and manuscripts by scanning and other methods; interfacing with other institutions and libraries; travelling to various locations for increasing the database of works; translation and publishing etc.

This is a full-time service. Successful candidate will be provided a room and boarding at the BRC in Kolkata.

We stress that we are looking for an applicant who is a full-time practicing devotee who wishes to take this up as a service rather than a job. However a small stipend is also provided if required.

We regret that applicants must be male because we cannot accommodate females in our current facility, unless a female applicant has her own living arrangements and can easily commute from her home.

We envision this to be an ideal engagement for a young, motivated graduate from our ISKCON school system but we welcome applications from any interested party.

Applicants please contact BRC Director Hari-sauri dasa - 09830120437; harisauri@gmail.comhari.sauri.acbsp@pamho.net

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From Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir!
Date: March 15, 2013
Verse: SB 4.30.8 

atha mayy anapayinya  bhaktya pakva-gunasayah
upayasyatha mad-dhama nirvidya nirayad atah


TRANSLATION: Thereafter you will develop unadulterated devotional service unto Me and be freed from all material contamination. At that time, being completely unattached to material enjoyment in the so-called heavenly planets as well as in hellish planets, you will return home, back to Godhead.

PURPORT: By the grace of the Lord, the Pracetas were given special facilities. Although they could live millions of years to enjoy material facilities, they still would not be deviated from the transcendental loving service of the Lord. Being thus fully engaged, the Pracetas would be completely freed from all material attachment. Material attachment is very strong. During one lifetime, a materialist engages in acquiring land, money, friends, society, friendship, love and so on. He also wants to enjoy the heavenly planets after the annihilation of the body. If one is engaged in devotional service, however, he becomes unattached to all kinds of material enjoyment and suffering. In the material world, those who are elevated to the higher planetary systems are supposed to enjoy all material facilities, whereas those degraded to lower planetary systems are supposed to live in a hellish condition. A devotee, however, is transcendental to both heavenly and hellish conditions. According to Bhagavad-gita (14.26), a devotee's position is described in this way:


mam ca yo 'vyabhicarena bhakti-yogena sevate
sa gunan samatityaitan brahma-bhuyaya kalpate


"One who engages in full devotional service, who does not fall down in any circumstance, at once transcends the modes of material nature and thus comes to the level of Brahman."

A devotee is always situated on the Brahman platform. He has nothing to do with material happiness or distress. When one is strongly fixed in devotional service and free from all material attachment, uncontaminated by the material modes of nature, he becomes fit to return home, back to Godhead. Although by special blessing the Pracetas would enjoy material facilities for millions of years, they would not be attached to them. Thus at the end of their material enjoyment they would be promoted to the spiritual world and return to Godhead.

The word pakva-gunasayah has special significance, for it means that by devotional service one is able to give up the influence of the three modes of material nature. As long as one is influenced by the modes of material nature, he cannot return to Godhead. It is clearly explained that all planets in the material world -- beginning from Brahmaloka down to the hellish planets -- are unfit places for a devotee. padam padam yad vipadam na tesham. A place where there is danger at every step is certainly not a comfortable place. The Lord therefore says in Bhagavad-gita (8.16):


abrahma-bhuvanal lokah punar avartino 'rjuna
mam upetya tu kaunteya punar janma na vidyate


"From the highest planet in the material world down to the lowest, all are places of misery wherein repeated birth and death take place. But one who attains to My abode, O son of Kunti, never takes birth again." Thus there is no profit, even if one is promoted to the highest planet in the material universe, Brahmaloka. However, if one is somehow or other promoted to the abode of the Lord, he never returns to the material world. (END)

HH Sacinandana Swami: Please concentrate as I will go very fast and I will not wait for those of you who are slow.

The surprising content of this verse is that Krishna blesses the devotees to enjoy the material world, the Pracetas a special blessing not something which will happen to all of us and at the same time not forget Him.

For us this posts a question before us. How should we deal with our material desires, for material enjoyment and not become diverted by them and forget Krishna consciousness? You know these material desires, I don't know if you have found that out by now, are very, very strong. Material attachment, now you may have left the world by dressing properly, Vaisnava clothes but the world has not left you. It stays in the mind the desires which are directed towards the sense objects for enjoyment. It is very difficult to give this up even for great renunciates.

One friend told me that once near Uttarkashi he went by the banks of Ganga and past the caves of two very well known ascetics. Do you know what he saw? He saw these two old men who were worshiped by all of Himachal Pradesh, you know the Himalayan regions, as the greatest saints. He saw them fighting with each other, pulling each others hair and wrestling. So my friend ran where the bridge was over the bridge and ran to the saints to separate them. He said 'kaisa hai' (Hindi), what's the matter?

One saint said to the other I had taken out the straw from my cave which I used to sleep on in the winter to let rays of the spring sun dry them and make them, dry the straw and make them hygienic. But this rascal he went down to the Ganga and with his wet and dirty feet he walked over my straw. At this the other old man screamed. He said it's not true he is a liar he is a liar, he started to pull the beard.

They were attached to the straw in the cave. Material attachment is very strong and it hides in the heart and you may be looking, you may be able to put on a good good external appearance. Its not very easy (difficult) you just need to know what impresses others. That any one with average intelligence can find out in two and a half minutes. And then put on that face for others and they will worship you.

But what goes on in the heart may be an entirely different story and you may do what is called in Bengal, pretending to fast from water but drinking water on a fast day while taking bath under the Ganga. You know you have your renounced face and then you go down and drink sufficient amount of water while no one can see you doing it. The attachments need to be conquered in the heart. Otherwise we become pretenders.

Krishna won't be so impressed by this. He can see what is in the heart. So the question is for us as devotees how do we deal in the world surrounded by material things which leave an impression on our mind and to which we may be subtly, invisible to the eyes of others, attached. How do we deal in this world with this phenomenon? We can pretend it's not there and we can also face it and look for solutions.

Bhaktivinoda Thakura explains to us a concept which is, which I will be able to only throw to the crowd because you read our books, you read our philosophy, its yukta vairagya. You take the things which surround you, you take also your own nature and engage that in devotional service.

And that was the secret of the success of the Pracetas. They were great devotees and because they engaged their senses and their royal opulence in the service of Krishna, the poisonous teeth of material attachment was broken and removed. In other words they were not developing attachments.

Now in the Bhagavatam you find many stories for instance of Sudama Vipra, the great brahmana who was given a whole palace by Krishna but who slept on the floor in the palace and engaged everything in devotional service. This is called yukta vairagya, using the things not for sense gratification but for service.

We may experiment with this concept and use some of the things which we like to do, just you know what we like and do that for Krishna's pleasure, give the result for Krishna. There is a lot of I think you need to discuss this with your gurus, how you will need to apply yukta vairagya in your life. It is varying according to your level of advancement, you need to know from . . . that's why we need spiritual guidance from a trusted spiritual guide, how to move with this.

In order to practice yukta vairagya, that is to use things in Krishna's service, you must have a higher taste. You must have not the taste for sense gratification but the taste for Krishna consciousness. This is my favorite subject matter especially on Kirtan Mela. The taste can awaken in our hearts by sankirtana in association with many devotees we can develop, as Jiva Goswami puts it, extraordinary devotional feelings in our heart and when you have these devotional feelings you don't have so much taste any longer for sense gratification, can really work better with this yukta vairagya principle than a neophyte who doesn't have this taste.

So my question to you today in the context of the Kirtan Mela is what can all of us do to become rich with devotional taste in our spiritual life, a spontaneous liking and let me say (speaks German), (laughter) Hare Krishna! That means a very natural and almost spontaneous asakti or attachment to chanting. How can you come to this?

In my humble opinion all of you are perfect living beings because you have somehow by the mercy of a great soul, I am thinking of Prabhupada here, found your entrance into the palace of bhakti. But there is something which most of us still are missing. It's called, it's a concept - it's called aikantyam. Aikantyam means to bring the mind away from all the different attachments and thoughts and selfish concerns and just bring it to the point of Krishna.

This can be practiced, this aikantyam or one pointedness, while doing sankirtana in the association of many devotees. But you have to learn to do this. How many times do you think you have heard the Hare Krishna mantra yesterday? It's a good question, isn't it? How many times have you really stayed with each single name in the Hare Krishna mantra? Ask yourself this question.

Don't say, "Oh no, Maharaj, this is not necessary. Don't bring your concepts here." But think about it. If you are conversing with someone if you enter into a relationship with someone and you don't hear what they say! They will after sometime . . . this person is dysfunctional, I can't talk with him, I can't relate to him.

Krishna is very tolerant and very merciful but you know if you can't even hear, then you call out to Krishna, this is what you do and if you can't even hear when others do this, what is going with you?

No, I am very serious, think about this don't just think this person is too much, he doesn't praise me at this point. You just think about this. There is something that we all need to know. It's called aikantyam, to fix our mind on this or you can call it askati. Askati means abhinivesa citta. Abhinivesa means absorption and citta is your consciousness. The western people talk of sub consciousness but citta is a little more, it's your conscious field inside of you. That means to be absorbed so that we cannot, we don't deviate.

I have been severely challenged on this point. Look at Ajamila. He was not absorbed, he didn't have attachment to the Holy name. Yes, but did he go back to Godhead? When he chanted Narayana, thinking of his son, Narayana was very merciful to him and said, "I must give this person a chance."

And he sent his Visnudutas to save him from death but did they take him home back to Godhead? No! He was given a second chance and he took it, he renounced his family, he went to Haridwar and he engaged in the processes of devotional service, doing it for Krishna.

You know what is devotional service, bhaktir ucyate what we call bhakti? It means there are three things. Please listen, it will make it very clear. If you want to perform unmixed devotional service, if you want to learn this you have to do an activity. The first and foremost is the chanting of the Holy name, you have to do it for yourself. Does this sound right? No it doesn't sound right. You have to do it not for yourself. I was testing and most of you failed the test. (laughter).

Let us start again. What is bhakti? What is devotional chanting? It means you chant and you do it not for yourself you do it for Krishna. In what way? In what mood? Are there further instructions? Anukulyena, you do it with a favourable mood, you want to give pleasure to Krishna and we hear in tales that Krishna has many expansions. You can chant for Nrsimhadeva's pleasure also. And you can do it for the pleasure of the devotees. Like the kirtan leader can think I want the devotees chanting nicely and relish for Krishna.

So devotional service, my dear devotees, you must learn to absorb your consciousness in these three things to make this bhakti, bhakti yoga or devotional service of Krishna consciousness. You do an activity for Krishna not mindless, for Krishna if you do it in a mood to give Him pleasure, favorable mood that is the translation.


anyabhilashita-sunyam jnana-karmady-anavritam
anukulyena krishnanu- silanam bhaktir uttama  (CC Madhya 19.167)


That is called bhakti. That's what we do here. No jnana, it's for our liberation and it's also not for karma for our sense enjoyment. It's for Krishna, activity for Krishna in a favorable mood. That you have to learn. When you do this then your practice becomes very sweet, full of taste and you will be able to give up the material sense enjoyment even though you may be surrounded with cars and mobile phones and a Kirtan Mela T-shirt. You may have all these things.

To do nice nama sankirtana, it is upon to study the word sankirana. It can mean two things, chant with many and it can also mean samyak kirtana according to Rupa Goswami. That is proper kirtana. With visvasa - firm faith, firm faith in Krishna. If you want to make very quick advancement in your chanting you must practice with visvasa firm faith in Krishna. That He hears me, He hears my kirtana, I can please Him by doing this. And when you have faith in this then you are eligible for bhakti with taste.

Many of us are still in the area of bhakti without taste. Especially in the West, we are in the nobody's land. If you want to come out of this nobody's land and come into the land of bhakti with taste you must develop your visvasa and then chant.

Here comes a new point. With a feeling of longing for Krishna: "Oh! Krishna! For so many long years I have forgotten You in this material world. But from today on I am your sincere and serious servant. Please accept me!"

If you bring your mind and being into this mood - "My dear Krishna! I need You! I can't do it alone! My life is useless without love in the heart!" Then something will happen. Although you as a person may still be very troubled with material desires and attachments, if you bring your consciousness to Krishna like this in a prayerful mood which is the sign of favorable bhakti, then my dear devotees listen to this - You will be purified by Krishna!

The example has been given of dirty water in the Himalaya mountains, the village water which comes from the sewage, when it flows and joins Mother Ganga after only 1 meter or only 2 meter of flowing with Ganga, that dirty water is pure Ganga water.

So if you can bring your life which may be a village life even if you come from New York you come from a village huh! If your bring your material, if you bring what you have even if it is still imperfect, and you use that in the spirit of yukta vairagya, you join Krishna with your consciousness at that time you have a chance to be purified. If you don't join with Krishna in your consciousness you may be like the two yogis who have renounced the world but the world had not renounced them. The straw and attachment to straw was still with them. They could not escape that.

So this absorption of your consciousness, this joining of your consciousness, this yoga of your consciousness with Krishna can happen best when you do sankirtana, means singing together with the devotees of Krishna but not like you have maybe done yesterday. You have to learn to absorb your consciousness with all the names of the Mahamantra and you can start with the first 'Hare'.

Having said this I could start now my lecture but there is no time. We have to put the Bhagavatam to rest. Thank you so very much for your kind attention. If you forget everything from this lecture which might happen to you because you are overdosed, remember just one word - absorption. Take this with you from the lecture, simple word. Abhinivesa is the sanskrti word, aikantyam if you like philosophy and askati are words around this. But here we want to just do it simple -absorption with first 'Hare' and stay as long as you can with the Ganga water of the Holy name and you will experience how your heart will become purified and you will really become attached to Krishna. You will think Krishna, like this.

So now we will do something for those of you who would like to come along with your shoes, that's very important. Because there are nails and if you run into the nails you might get an infection and might have to amputate your leg afterwards. So please we don't want even a drop of blood spilled in the new temple. It's very inauspicious.

Go with your shoes and we will do a kirtana just to carry our intention to spread the Holy name so that ten thousand people can join us in the Kirtan Melas here in Mayapur. Just to spread our intention, to also connect with the need to build this temple either by preaching or by whatever programs, 'square foot' programs we want to just go there. It will take ten minutes or longer and we want to be back for the start of the Kirtan Mela. So some of you might like to take their breakfast but others it will be just before the Garuda place. We will start immediately right now to go there.

Srila Prabhupada ki jaya! Sri Harinama Mantra ki jaya! Gaurapremanande Hari Hari Bol!

[Maharaja leads a harinama procession into the incomplete temple room of the Temple of Vedic Planetarium]

For video of the lecture, please go to mayapurtvarchives.com

http://audio.iskcondesiretree.info/index.php?q=f&f=%2F06_-_More%2F01_-_ISKCO N_Mayapur%2F2013

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[Kindly transcribed by Sheela Mataji, Singapore]

From Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir!
Date: March 14th 2013
Verse: SB 11.5.32
Speaker: HH Radha Govinda Swami

(invocatory prayers)


krishna-varnam tvishakrishnam sangopangastra-parshadam
yajnaih sankirtana-prayair yajanti hi su-medhasah
 


TRANSLATION: In the age of Kali, intelligent persons perform congregational chanting to worship the incarnation of Godhead who constantly sings the names of Krishna. Although His complexion is not blackish, He is Krishna Himself. He is accompanied by His associates, servants, weapons and confidential companions.

PURPORT: This same verse is quoted by Krishnadasa Kaviraja in the Caitanya-caritamrita, Adi-lila, Chapter Three, verse 52. His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada has given the following commentary on this verse. "This text is from Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.5.32). Srila Jiva Gosvami has explained this verse in his commentary on the Bhagavatam known as the Krama-sandarbha, wherein he says that Lord Krishna also appears with a golden complexion. That golden Lord Krishna is Lord Caitanya, who is worshiped by intelligent men in this age. That is confirmed in Srimad-Bhagavatam by Garga Muni, who said that although the child Krishna was blackish, He also appears in three other colors -- red, white and yellow. He exhibited His white and red complexions in the Satya and Treta ages respectively. He did not exhibit the remaining color, yellow-gold, until He appeared as Lord Caitanya, who is known as Gaurahari.

"Srila Jiva Gosvami explains that krishna-varnam means Sri Krishna Caitanya. Krishna-varnam and Krishna Caitanya are equivalent. The name Krishna appears with both Lord Krishna and Lord Caitanya Krishna. Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but He always engages in describing Krishna and thus enjoying transcendental bliss by chanting and remembering His name and form. Lord Krishna Himself appears as Lord Caitanya to preach the highest gospel. Varnayati means 'utters' or 'describes.' Lord Caitanya always chants the holy name of Krishna and describes it also, and because He is Krishna Himself, whoever meets Him will automatically chant the holy name of Krishna and later describe it to others. He injects one with transcendental Krishna consciousness, which merges the chanter in transcendental bliss. In all respects, therefore, He appears before everyone as Krishna, either by personality or by sound. Simply by seeing Lord Caitanya one at once remembers Lord Krishna. One may therefore accept Him as vishnu-tattva. In other words, Lord Caitanya is Lord Krishna Himself.

"Sangopangastra-parshadam further indicates that Lord Caitanya is Lord Krishna. His body is always decorated with ornaments of sandalwood and with sandalwood paste. By His superexcellent beauty He subdues all the people of the age. In other descents the Lord sometimes used weapons to defeat the demoniac, but in this age the Lord subdues them with His all-attractive figure as Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Srila Jiva Gosvami explains that His beauty is His astra, or weapon, to subdue the demons. Because He is all-attractive, it is to be understood that all the demigods lived with Him as His companions. His acts were uncommon and His associates wonderful. When He propagated the sankirtana movement, He attracted many great scholars and acaryas, especially in Bengal and Orissa. Lord Caitanya is always accompanied by His best associates like Lord Nityananda, Advaita, Gadadhara and Srivasa.

"Srila Jiva Gosvami cites a verse from the Vedic literature that says that there is no necessity of performing sacrificial demonstrations or ceremonial functions. He comments that instead of engaging in such external, pompous exhibitions, all people, regardless of caste, color or creed, can assemble together and chant Hare Krishna to worship Lord Caitanya. Krishna-varnam tvishakrishnam [SB 11.5.32] indicates that prominence should be given to the name Krishna. Lord Caitanya taught Krishna consciousness and chanted the name of Krishna. Therefore, to worship Lord Caitanya, everyone should together chant the maha-mantra -- Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. To propagate worship in churches, temples or mosques is not possible because people have lost interest in that. But anywhere and everywhere, people can chant Hare Krishna. Thus worshiping Lord Caitanya, they can perform the highest activity and fulfill the highest religious purpose of satisfying the Supreme Lord.

"Srila Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya, a famous disciple of Lord Caitanya, said: 'The principle of transcendental devotional service having been lost, Sri Krishna Caitanya has appeared to deliver again the process of devotion. He is so kind that He is distributing love of Krishna. Everyone should be attracted more and more to His lotus feet, as humming bees are attracted to a lotus flower.' "

The incarnation of Caitanya Mahaprabhu is also described in the Sri Vishnu-sahasra-nama, which appears in Chapter 189 of the Dana-dharma-parva of Mahabharata. Srila Jiva Gosvami has quoted this reference as follows: suvarna-varno hemango varangas candanangadi. "In His early pastimes He appears as a householder with a golden complexion. His limbs are beautiful, and His body, smeared with the pulp of sandalwood, seems like molten gold." He has also quoted, sannyasa-kric chamah santo nishtha-santi-parayanah: "In His later pastimes He accepts the sannyasa order, and He is equipoised and peaceful. He is the highest abode of peace and devotion, for He silences the impersonalist nondevotees." (end)

HH Radha Govinda Maharaj : Jaya Gauranga! This sloka speaks about Caitanya Mahaprabhu. This is the occasion of appearing of Lord Gauranga. So I chose this verse to speak. I am not habituated to speak in English but your association will bless me to speak some.

Many millions years ago there was a seminar in Janakpur in India. In that seminar that was held by so many rishis and attended by 9 Yogesvara, sons of Lord Rshabhdeva. Lord Rshabhdeva begot 100 sons and eldest of them was Rajarishi Bharata and nine sons became paramahamsas. They accepted renounced order. Very famous very celebrated personalities, they travelled all over the world, universe without interruption. ? (verse) They can travel throughout universe anywhere in any planet.

So they on their own accord they reached in that seminar in Janakpur. The nine sons of Rshabhdeva were great Vaisnavas, great sages. navabhavan maha-bhaga munayo hy artha-samsinah (SB 11.2.20) They were very fortunate and they become sages, artha samsinah means they always explain the Absolute Truth. sramana vata-rasana atma-vidya-visaradah (SB11.2.20) they were sramana always endeavoring in Krishna consciousness, endeavored hard labor to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead and they are expert in Bhakti yoga, they were master of Bhakti yoga. onsYogesvara - that is why they are called Yogesvara or Yogendras or Nava Yogesvara. Once they approached the ? in Janakpura. ta ekada nimeh satram upajagmur yadricchaya (SB 11.2.24) yadricchaya - by their own ? they approached to satra seminar of Nimi Maharaj. And Nimi Maharaj respected them, all the members of yajna, the rish muni and king Nimi to respect, to welcome the nine Yogesvaras. He respected them and when they took their seat he stood in front of them and asked some questions.

Maharaj Nimi was thinking the welfare of all living entities in every ages. There are four ages - Satya yuga, Treta, Dvapara and Kali. He was thinking how to benefit everyone, spiritual benefit. So he asked some questions before them. This verse is a part of that conversation. Nimi Maharaj first appreciated their arrival and glorified them. manye bhagavatah sakshat parshadan vo madhu-dvisah (SB 11.2.28) I accept you are parshad, you are associates of Lord Madhusudana. And to purify the all the living entities in this material world you travel from one place to another. There is no personal interest. Your only interest is to purify conditioned souls.

durlabho manusho deho dehinam kshana-bhangurah
tatrapi durlabham manye vaikuntha-priya-darsanam (SB 11.2.29)


This human body is very rarely achieved. And when it is achieved (break in audio) most rare is to get association of pure devotees. By the mercy of Supreme Personality of Godhead here I get your association darsana so I want to enquiry you have arrived (audio break) I want to know something from you because you have not time to stay longer.

He is glorifying this human body, durlabho manusho deho, dehinam means the living entity who accepts so many bodies, material bodies. But amongst those bodies this human body is very rare. And kshana-bhangurah means it is prone to be destroyed. Every time every minute it deteriorates. kshana-bhangurah this body is full of so many diseases and surely it will finish any moment, kshana-bhangurah. So please explain to me ata atyantikam kshemam pricchamo bhavato 'naghah (SB 11.2.30)

He Anagha! You are completely devoid of all sins, very pure. So I ask what is the supreme goal in human life? And how to achieve it? Maharaj Nimi first asked that what is Bhagavata dharma, what is devotional service, how to conduct it, how to perform bhakti and this queston was answered by one Yogesvara name Vibhu. No, Kavi, Kavi. And second question was, what is the symptom of devotee? And that question was answered by Yogesvara Havir. There were nine Kavi, Havir, Antariksha, Prabuddha, Pippalayana, Avirhotra, Drumila, Camasa and Karabhajana. In this way King Nimi asked nine question and each question was answered by one Yogesvara in different turn. At last Maharaj Nimi asked very significant question.


kasmin kale sa bhagavan kim varnah kidriso nribhih
namna va kena vidhina pujyate tad ihocyatam (SB 11.5.19)


It is definite it is certain that Lord Kesava is worshipped in every age. There is no doubt. But I ask in what age, in what ages the Lord is worshipped in what forms. In every age, in every yuga Krishna is worshipped in different form, in different name and color. kim varnah kidriso nribhih. There are four yugas - Krita Yuga or Satya Yuga, Treta, Dvapara and Kali. So what is the color of the forms of Krishna in Satya yuga, in Treta yuga, in Dvapara yuga and in Kali yuga.

This question is connected with the yugavatara Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu. So this question is very beneficial for us. We are born in Kaliyuga so we must understand who is our worshipable deity, who is our God to be worshiped by us. And what is the process.

So this question was answered by Muni Karabhajana. He said kritam treta dvaparam cakalir ity eshu kesavah (SB 11.5.20) There are four yugas - Satya yuga, Treta yuga, Dvapara yuga and Kali yuga and eshu in these ages Kesava is worshipped. Lord Kesava who is controller of Lord Brahma and Lord Siva, He is called Kesava. Ka means Brahma and isa means Lord Siva and Va means one who controls. The Lord Krishna controls Brahma and Siva and they control all the demigods and the demigods control the human society and everyone else.

So in this way Lord Kesava is the supreme controller. He is worshiped in all ages but in every age He is worshipped with different names, different process, different complexion and form. Everything different.

Karabhajana muni said krite suklas catur-bahur (SB 11.5.21)

In Satya yuga the Lord manifests His form four handed. And He teaches yuga dharma - meditation as a brahmacari. He takes incarnation as a brahmacari and teaches how to concentrate on mind on Krishna, on the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And in Treta yuga His color is red, tretayam rakta-varno 'sau (SB 11.5.25) This Supreme Personality of Godhead appears in Treta to propagate yuga dharma in red complexion rakta varna and in Dvapara yuga He is syama varna, dvapare bhagavan syamah.

And after the description of Dvapara, Karabhajana muni said iti dvapara urv-isa stuvanti jagad-isvaram (SB 11.5.31) He Swami of this Bhumandala urvi, He King in Dvapara they worship, human beings worship Krishna in this way, stuvanti jagad isvaram nana tanra vidhanena (SB 11.5.31) according to sastra. They worship Krishna in the temples like Maharaja with so many paraphernalia as a great king accepts, in this way in Dvapara yuga they worship Krishna, very opulent puja. kalav api tatha srinu (SB 11.5.31) you listen please, listen from me in Kaliyuga how they worship Krishna. Karabhajana muni specially said to Maharaj Nimi 'srinu', means listen carefully listen. Now I am going to speak about the yugavatara of Kali. So you listen.

Maharaj Nimi was not in Kali yuga. He was in Treta yuga. Nimi Maharaj he was the father in law of Lord Sri Rama and father of Mother Sita. So he was in Treta but he also wants to benefit Kali yuga people. So Karabhajana muni said Maharaj you hear carefully how in Kaliyuga people worship Krishna srinu. kalav api tatha srinu (SB 11.5.31) Here is a very great stress on this description srinu Maharaj Janaka Nimi Maharaj was hearing already, for hearing Krishna Katha he arranged that seminar but still Karabhajana muni said 'hear carefully'. So this is great instruction for us. You are hearing here but I repeat this same message to you to - Hear! Hear carefully! Attentively!

krishna-varnam tvishakrishnam Karabhajana muni is speaking. Krishna-varnam In Kaliyuga Krishna will appear krishna- varnam always He will describe Krishna, He will chant Krishna's names but in complexion He is not Krishna, krishna-varnam tvisha 'akrishnam'. He is not Krishna, He is Gaura. He is not black, His complexion is not blackish. Everyone knows that Gaura is Krishna, syama but in Kaliyuga Krishna will appear but not in blackish form. Trit (?) means kanti, His kanti in Kaliyuga will be akrishna. Akrishna means Gaura or golden. So this verse directly describes Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Srila Jiva Goswami has said krishna varnam, varnam means description - one who describes always Krishna is krishna-varnam. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu always chanted Krishna. Anyone who met Caitanya Mahaprabhu automatically he also started chanting wherever He went, everywhere people were chanting Krishna! Krishna! Even animals in Jharikanda, elephants, deers, etc. even plants trees they were chanting and hearing Krishna nama, they were in ecstasy. Lord Caitanya was personified Krishna consciousness. He is called Krishna-varnam. He always described Krishna, Krishna's name, Krishna's glory. krishna-varnam tvishakrishnam He is Krishna but not in His own color, He is akrishna.

And always with His upanga, anga means body. It is said in Caitanya Caritamrta tanhara dvitiya deha sri-balarama (CC Adi 5.4) first expansion of Lord Krishna is Sri Balarama. And Sri Balarama in Gaur lila is Sri Nityananda Prabhu. So sa-anga, anga means Nityananda Prabhu and upanga means Advaita acarya. Anga upanga, upanga means secondary expansion. Nityananda Prabhu anga and Advaita acarya upanga.

And astra He appeared with astra weapon. What is His weapon? Astra - Holy name and Srimad Bhagavatam. These were astra of Lord Gauranga. and parshada - Srivas Pandita, Gadhadhara, etc. They were parshada. He appears in the Kaliyuga with His anga and upanga, astra and parshada. When Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared, He appeared with Harinama. At that time there was eclipse and anyone who went to take bath in Ganga he was chanting Hare Krishna and even Muslims they were chanting Hare Krishna. Actually they were chanting but criticizing Hindus.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare


They were imitating Hindus and they were chanting. So the whole world was chanting. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared with Holy name, Holy name, everywhere Hare Krishna. In this way He appeared and as long as He was on the surface of this globe He always chanted and inspired even by only seeing Him everyone was chanting. He personally instructed everyone chanting.

When Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu reached Jagannath Puri He fainted in the temple in front of Jagannath. At that time Srarvabhauma Bhattacarya came and he saw Lord Caitanya and he thought He is Maha Bhagavata, Maha Bhagavata. But he could not understand that He is svayam Bhagavan. He was a householder and Bhagavan Caitanya Mahaprabhu was a sanyasi. For a matter of etiquette he offered his obeisances to Caitanya Mahaprabhu. So Caitanya Mahaprabhu said "krsner matir astu" - Let your mind be fixed at the lotus feet of Krishna.

So Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya was surprised. He is sanyasi and looks that He is Mayavadi sanyasi, it means that He was a sanyasi in the line of Sankracarya but He is not uttering Narayana or Om or Brahmasmi but He is saying "krsner matir astu". So he asked his relative Gopinath Acarya, who is this? Who is this boy? So he was chanting, he said, only by seeing this boy, sannyasi boy my tongue is vibrating Krishna! Krishna! What is this? I do not understand myself why I am chanting. I am a big scholar in Sankara philosophy Mayavada philosophy but I am chanting. What has happened to me? Mujhko kya hua hai? (in Hindi)

Gopinath Acarya said Krishna has favored you, he has krpa, and this boy is Krishna Himself. He is acting as sanyasi but He is Krishna. But Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya did not accept. To accept anybody as Krishna is not easy thing. He did not accept. He said no I accept He is a Maha Bhagavata, He is a devotee of Krishna but I don't accept He is Krishna Himself. Gopinath acarya said, due to excessive study of monists nirvisesavada your intelligence has been polluted, you are non devotee so you cannot understand that He is Krishna Himself.

There was a big argument between them Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya and Gopinath Acarya. So he was reluctant to accept Chaitanya Mahaprabhu as God but he accepted he was attracted to humble behavior of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He said this boy His name is Krishna Caitanya, He is very humble, very young. So anytime He can be tempted, can be lured by material things. So let me teach Him Vedanta. I will teach Vedanta and then He will be steadfast in sanyasa.

So he wanted to teach Him. He said You are my relative, I know Nilambar Cakravarty so this in way he connected his relation with Caitanya Mahaprabhu and he wanted to teach Vedanta. Lord Caitanya accepted please teach Me. So seven days he taught Him Vedanta and every day Caitanya Mahaprabhu listened but He did not speak a single word. Caitanya Mahaprabu did not speak anything. He was listening only.

After eighth day Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya asked Caitanya Mahaprabhu, "I am speaking from seven days and you do not respond whether you understand or not understand. Of course this is very hard course to understand Vedanta it is very hard I know. But I want to know if you understand or not understand."

Caitanya Mahaprabhu said "Sir, I understand the text you utter, when you speak text I understand but when you begin to explain I don't understand your explanation." (laughter) Your explanation hides the real meaning of Brahmasutra just like clouds hide sunlight.

Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya was surprised He is understanding text not explanation. So he asked please speak what do you understand. Then Caitanya Mahaprabhu started explanation of Brahmasutra and Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya realized that He is super human being. At last he accepted Him, that He was Krishna Himself. And Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu showed him six armed, He showed Himself as Lord Rama, Lord Krishna and Lord Caitanya sadbhuja murti.

In this way Caitanya Mahaprabhu preached Krishna consciousness and big big scholars accepted. It is very hard for common man to understand Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Because He is covered avatara, 'channa' avatara. But by the help of this description we can understand Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Krishna Himself.

Jaya Gauranga! Jaya Srila Prabhupada!

For video of the lecture, please go to mayapurtvarchives.com

http://audio.iskcondesiretree.info/index.php?q=f&f=%2F06_-_More%2F01_-_ISKCO N_Mayapur%2F2013

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Mayapur, West Bengal, India- The Governing Body Commission (GBC) of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), during its Annual General Meeting in the society’s headquarters in Mayapur, West Bengal, on March 9, released an official statement regarding the “preeminent position” of ISKCON’s Founder-Acharya, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada.


Since Srila Prabhupada’s passing away in 1977, the GBC has sought to codify ISKCON’s ongoing relationship with its founder. The GBC wants to preserve Srila Prabhupada’s legacy and ensure that future generations do not lose sight of Prabhupada’s historical, religious, philosophical and institutional stature — as well as his importance in the personal spiritual development of every ISKCON member.


Srila Prabhupada himself took on the title of Founder-Acharya (acharya meaning one who “teaches by example”) and mandated that it be placed on all ISKCON Temples and publications, as well as all publications of his Bhaktivedanta Book Trust.


Prabhupada was concerned to ensure that ISKCON remained firmly fixed on teaching and upholding the standards of the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition, as originally presented by the 16th Century saint Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and handed down through a chain of spiritual preceptors to Srila Prabhupada, and from him to the ISKCON society.


“This GBC Statement on Prabhupada’s Preeminent Position is part of an ongoing effort to better educate ISKCON devotees about Srila Prabhupada’s unique stature and contributions,” said Anuttama Dasa, ISKCON’s Minister of Communications.


“Prabhupada taught us that his books would be the law-books for the next ten thousand years," said Anuttama. “During that time many spiritual leaders and gurus will come and go within ISKCON; however, Prabhupada will be the Founder-Acarya and preeminent instructing guru for ISKCON for all times.”


The GBC Statement words it in this way:


“Srila Prabhupada, as the Founder-Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, is the preeminent guru for all members of ISKCON. All members of ISKCON, for all generations, are encouraged to seek shelter of Srila Prabhupada. All members of ISKCON are entitled and encouraged to have a personal relationship with Srila Prabhupada through his books, teachings, service, and his ISKCON society.”


“Its not that Srila Prabhupada is meant to be a guru only for his immediate disciples,” said Anuttama. “He is the preeminent spiritual authority for all ISKCON devotees and that will never change.”


The Statement also clarifies the role of ISKCON leaders in relationship to Srila Prabhupada:


"All members accepting leadership roles within ISKCON, including diksha gurus and siksha gurus, have the duty of serving together under ISKCON’s Governing Body Commission (GBC) to fulfill Srila Prabhupada’s instructions as he has given in his books, lectures, and personal communications. Overall, the primary duty of all diksha gurus, siksha gurus and others in leadership positions is to assist Srila Prabhupada in his service to his Guru Maharaja Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur, and our Brahma Madhva Gaudiya Sampradaya."


The Statement has this to say regarding the spiritual status of gurus coming in the line of teachers after Srila Prabhupada. It stresses the need for such gurus to keep strong in their spiritual practice and to be careful in the execution of their duties:


“Those who accept the service of diksha or siksha guru within ISKCON are mandated to be strict followers of the instructions of Srila Prabhupada, and, as long as they follow, they are acting on the liberated platform. Thus they may serve, as Srila Prabhupada ordered, as bona fide representatives of the Lord and the Guru Parampara and be a via medium of Their mercy. Yet it should be clearly understood that if such diksha or siksha gurus deviate from strictly following, they may fall down from their position."


The new GBC Statement, which is just three pages in length, notes that while it is “conclusive” it is “not exhaustive” and that the GBC may release additional papers regarding Srila Prabhupada’s position, the role of gurus in ISKCON, and the duties of ISKCON members to Prabhupada and the ISKCON mission.


The GBC, which has been developing global strategic plans since 2006 to strengthen the society and its outreach efforts, has recently released other position papers on foundational principles for ISKCON.


A major GBC document released in 2012 entitled, “Lines of Authority,” confirmed that all members of ISKCON, regardless of their spiritual status or seniority, are to serve cooperatively under the ecclesiastic direction of the GBC, which Srila Prabhupada stated in his will is the “Ultimate Managing Authority” of ISKCON.


“Lines of Authority” also affirmed that those serving in the role of gurus, or spiritual teachers, must work under the direction of ISKCON authorities in their respective areas of jurisdiction, and that ISKCON managers must strive to work cooperatively with those serving as gurus within the society.


In 2013, another publication is also anticipated. Ravindra Svarupa, a senior GBC member and religion scholar, is working on a book on Srila Prabhupada to further explain his historic role and analyze the meaning of “Founder-Acharya” within the Gaudiya tradition. A draft of that book was presented to the GBC members this year for their feedback.


The just-released GBC Statement on Prabhupada’s position was felt to be of such importance that the GBC mandated its distribution and implementation:


"All GBC members must distribute this resolution to all ISKCON temples, communities and congregations via all appropriate means of communication for the education of all ISKCON members. This statement shall also be studied in ISKCON courses including introductory courses, the ISKCON Disciple Course, the Spiritual Leadership Seminar, and other relevant venues. Reading this statement, and affirming it has been read prior to initiation, shall be part of the test for all prospective initiates."


To read the complete document, please click here.

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  There are two main defects in this activity, whether they’re done regularly or even occasionally. The first is that this media always includes intoxication, graphic sex life, violence, and gambling. Therefore watching it means to break the regulative principles. What reason do we have that we would go out of our way to observe and watch these activities of Kali-yuga when already it’s difficult enough to stay away from it, when even walking down the street, going into a shop or going out on harinama or sankirtana, these things are bombarding us and challenge the consciousness of a serious practitioner. So why would I want to bring these things into my own home, to give ideas to children? Answer: because people have material desires and they give into them. I’ll come back to that in a moment.

The second defect is that anything you see makes an impression in the heart. So the rampant violence, sex, intoxication, bad language, immoral behavior, irreverence for the real values of life, and fairytale worlds like Spiderman jumping off buildings and flying through the air, these make an impression in the heart, and when they do they become a source of meditation, something to meditate on, because these impressions will come out at a later time. Not only as a reflection of the mind but something that creates seeds of material desires in the heart and which will also water existing seeds of desire in the heart.

So it is a very detrimental practice. But back to the first point, breaking principles. Initiated devotees vow to follow regulative principles. When referring to brahmacaris and sannyasis in this regard, we say that even in the mind if one contemplates these things he is breaking the principles. But while grhasthas might have license, they only have that within their own marriage situation. They don’t have a license to view sexual activities or these other things. So for them to contemplate it, to view it, to enjoy it: it’s all breaking the principles. How then can an initiated devotee do these things with a clear conscience?

And what is the effect of breaking the regulative principles? We commit sin. And by committing sin, we complicate our spiritual lives, entangle ourselves in material existence, and suffer from the results of that sin.

By committing sin there’s an effect in the mind, and that is that sinful thoughts linger in heart. They come up like bubbles from the mud and become the source of other sinful desires, which then become the result of further sinful acts. Ultimately what devotees see on TV and in movies, they’ll end up doing. If they see infidelity, they’ll end up doing it. If they see violence or other activities, they’ll do that. When they become bewildered thinking materialism, egoism, pride in the material body is the ultimate goal, they become more body conscious and egotistical.

All these things strangle the creeper of devotional service and make one’s devotional life more or less null and void. Why do they do this? Well, obviously because they’re not doing what they should be, which is chanting Hare Krishna and hearing Srimad Bhagavatam and Caitanya-caritamrita. They’re not doing those activities without offense and they’re not doing them enough. And so they don’t have enough spiritual strength to resist the social pressure from those who are doing these things, nor do they have the strength to resist the inner desires that are still there in conditioned souls.

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HH Subhag SwamiHis Holiness Subhag Swami Maharaj conducted a wonderful Preaching tour of Bangladesh from 10 December 2012 to 22 January 2013. The tour commenced by seeking blessings as well as shelter of Haridas Thakur Patbari at Benapole, just after crossing the India –Bangladesh border by road, the most sacred spot where Haridas Thakur delivered the prostitute Lakha Heera devi.

After imbibing the spirit of Mahaprabhu’s sankirtan movement for a few days at the lotus feet of Thakur Haridas, the team of devotees with Srimat Subhag Swami moved on to Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. In Maharaja’s own words, one could not begin to imagine that today Krishna Consciousness movement in Bangladesh would become so widespread. ‘Indeed this was already envisioned by Srila Prabhupada four decades ago when, despite formidable odds, he instructed few of his disciples to go and preach in Bangladesh’, said Maharaj. Devotees eagerly flocked-in at ISKCON Swamibag Ashram at Dhaka to listen to HH Subhag Maharaja’s Bhagavatam lecture and asked for more to which Maharaj happily agreed. Seeing the devotees from foreign countries in devotional attire, chanting the maha-mantra, some of them even speaking in Bengali, reminded everyone of Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s prediction “prithivite ache yata nagaradi gram, sarvatra prachar hoibe mora nama”. Expressions by the foreign devotees like, ‘amar Bangladesh bhalo lage’, ‘misti doi khub bhalo’, won the hearts of all who pampered the devotees with varieties of traditional delicacies and sweets. After delivering a seminar in a school at Mirpur, Dhaka, on scientific understanding of Krishna Consciousness, aided by Dr. Subhananda das of National Heart Foundation, Mirpur and Ramanuja das who delivered a seminar on ‘Vegetarianism’, the Sankirtan Party moved ahead with Maharaj to Narayanganj, who were given a surprising welcome by the devotees of Narayanganj, headed by His Grace Hamsa Krishna Prabhu, the temple president of ISKCON Narayanganj, who showered them with heaps of flower petals.

The students at Institute of Marine Engineering and Technology, Narayanganj, hosted two interactive sessions with Maharaj, one marking the Gita Jayanti where the students presented Srila Prabhupada’s books to the distinguished guests accompanying Maharaj and the next, a seminar by Maharaj at the Institute’s auditorium. In both the sessions, students received practical guidance on how to remain strong in Krishna Consciousness as well as fare well in studies. Maharaj delivered a lecture at the newly inaugurated ISKCON temple of Narayanganj, main feature of which was a massive book distribution, all signed by Maharaj himself. Next event, a wonderful preaching program at Netrakona, a beautiful location tucked away in northern periphery of Myemensingh district of North Bangladesh. Under the leadership of his grace Jayram das, ISKCON Netrakona, a small preaching centre of around 25 vibrant devotees, runs by the merciful glance of Lord Jagannath, Baladeva and Subhadra. In Netrakona, devotees went for village preaching at Durgapur, Madan, Trishal as well as Harinam Sankirtan and book distribution in Netrakona town. Devotees had to tolerate bitter cold and dense fog while going to all these places, but ecstasy of sankirtan, book distribution and above all, having a disciple of Srila Prabhupada with them was more than sufficient to bargain with anything. Jayram Prabhu, co-ordinating with National Committee ISKCON, Bangladesh, arranged for a three days pandal program, the 4th, 5th and 6th of January, 2013, to celebrate Srila Prabhupada Glorification Festival, also coinciding with Maharaja’s Vyasa Puja celebration on 6th of January. Main features of the festival were bhajans, lectures, interaction of foreign devotees with local visitors, slide shows, films, Maharaja’s classes and most importantly delicious, all desire fulfilling Sri Jagannath Mahaprasad. Lalita and Damodar of Sri Mayapur International School (SMIS), who came all the way from Mayapur, attracted everybody’s mind with sweet kirtans.

Every evening hundreds of visitors took Prasad, and on the last day a remarkable two thousand plus visitors honoured mahaprasad. At the pandal program in Trishal, the Mayor of Trishal, who was the chief guest, was so impressed that he requested the devotees to conduct such programs on a regular basis. On the 8th of January, a seminar on Science and Spirituality was held at Zila Parishad Hall, Netrakona, where Maharaj delivered a lecture on how a scientist as well as a common man can accept Krishna Consciousness. Ramanuja das presented a seminar on Vedanta and Science as an introductory remark to maharaja’s lecture. The program was attended by many distinguished professors and students of various colleges of Netrakona besides media persons and heads of local societies. The most important event of the tour was the Seminar on Science and Spirituality held on the 18th of January 2013 at the auditorium of Dhaka National Museum, Dhaka, one of the most prestigious venues in all of Bangladesh. The seminar was spearheaded by Dr. Subendu Talukder (Subhananda das), anaesthesist, National Heart Foundation, Mirpur, Dhaka. It started with a colourful Harinam Sankirtan by around 50 to 70 devotees along with students going around the campus of Jagannath University, Dhaka after which an impressive crowd of students attended Maharaja’s lecture at Jagannath Hall in the University. Many took books signed by Maharaj. The main Seminar began by a mangalacaran by Krishna Sudama Das (BTech. Computer graphics) of Armenia who sang the Brahma Samhita prayers invoking auspiciousness for all. Most attractive of all was Sita Devi dasi of France translating a speech by Bhaktin Dominique in French to Bengali. Sita Devi dasi, an expert in Bharat natyam dance also gave wonderful performances on ‘dasavatara stotra’.

Dr. Kadamba Kanan from Singapore delivered a short speech on being a doctor at the same time a devotee. Pitambar das (MA.Sanskrit), Anandavardhan das (MTech. Dairy tech.), Vasudev Krsna das (MTech. Computer Science), Subala das (PhD. Organic Chemistry), Sachiputra das (Bali, Indonesia), Gopal das and Tota Gopinath Das (Spain), Krishna loka das(Italy) gave enlightening speeches from Bhagavad Gita and Bhagavatam. An interactive power point presentation on Science of Happiness was made by Ramanuja Das (MSc. Botany) as an appetiser for rest of the programs. The full packed auditorium of around one thousand strong audience maintained a pin drop silence during the seminar on Science and Spirituality by Professor S. Ghosh (IIT Kharagpur), everyone present highly appreciated his views. HH Subhag Swami gave the concluding lecture where he enthused the audience saying “as individuals born in a land which graced the pastimes of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, it is our duty to take Mahaprabhu’s message to every nook and corner of the globe, be he a scientist or spiritualist, then only our lives will be successful”. Among the attendees at the seminar were Satyaranjan Baroi, Chairman, ISKCON Bangladesh, Prof. Emeritus Nirmal Mitra (BUET, Mirpur), devotees from various parts of Bangladesh, eminent scientists, doctors, lawyers, engineers and students from various institutes and Universities. Bhajans by Visakha dasi (India) and devotees of Mirpur and Netrakona as well as dance by Sita Devi Dasi (France) kept the whole event very lively. Around 500 books were distributed at the seminar most of them signed by Maharaj. An impressive 2500+ plates of Mahaprasadam was distributed after the program. Many of the participants personally came up to Maharaj after his lecture and expressed their appreciation about the seminar and submitted their requests to conduct more of such programs. Srimat Subhag Maharaj and his sankirtan team came back to India on 22nd January while local devotees continued with seminars at Swarupkathi and Barishal under the leadership of Dr. Gokulendu das (Retd. Asst. Director of Health, Bangladesh). Around 1000 books were distributed during the tour.

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His Holiness Subhag Swami Maharaj conducted a wonderful Preaching tour of Bangladesh from 10 December 2012 to 22 January 2013. The tour commenced by seeking blessings as well as shelter of Haridas Thakur Patbari at Benapole, just after crossing the India –Bangladesh border by road, the most sacred spot where Haridas Thakur delivered the prostitute Lakha Heera devi.

After imbibing the spirit of Mahaprabhu’s sankirtan movement for a few days at the lotus feet of Thakur Haridas, the team of devotees with Srimat Subhag Swami moved on to Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. In Maharaja’s own words, one could not begin to imagine that today Krishna Consciousness movement in Bangladesh would become so widespread. ‘Indeed this was already envisioned by Srila Prabhupada four decades ago when, despite formidable odds, he instructed few of his disciples to go and preach in Bangladesh’, said Maharaj. Devotees eagerly flocked-in at ISKCON Swamibag Ashram at Dhaka to listen to HH Subhag Maharaja’s Bhagavatam lecture and asked for more to which Maharaj happily agreed. Seeing the devotees from foreign countries in devotional attire, chanting the maha-mantra, some of them even speaking in Bengali, reminded everyone of Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s prediction “prithivite ache yata nagaradi gram, sarvatra prachar hoibe mora nama”. Expressions by the foreign devotees like, ‘amar Bangladesh bhalo lage’, ‘misti doi khub bhalo’, won the hearts of all who pampered the devotees with varieties of traditional delicacies and sweets. After delivering a seminar in a school at Mirpur, Dhaka, on scientific understanding of Krishna Consciousness, aided by Dr. Subhananda das of National Heart Foundation, Mirpur and Ramanuja das who delivered a seminar on ‘Vegetarianism’, the Sankirtan Party moved ahead with Maharaj to Narayanganj, who were given a surprising welcome by the devotees of Narayanganj, headed by His Grace Hamsa Krishna Prabhu, the temple president of ISKCON Narayanganj, who showered them with heaps of flower petals.

The students at Institute of Marine Engineering and Technology, Narayanganj, hosted two interactive sessions with Maharaj, one marking the Gita Jayanti where the students presented Srila Prabhupada’s books to the distinguished guests accompanying Maharaj and the next, a seminar by Maharaj at the Institute’s auditorium. In both the sessions, students received practical guidance on how to remain strong in Krishna Consciousness as well as fare well in studies. Maharaj delivered a lecture at the newly inaugurated ISKCON temple of Narayanganj, main feature of which was a massive book distribution, all signed by Maharaj himself. Next event, a wonderful preaching program at Netrakona, a beautiful location tucked away in northern periphery of Myemensingh district of North Bangladesh. Under the leadership of his grace Jayram das, ISKCON Netrakona, a small preaching centre of around 25 vibrant devotees, runs by the merciful glance of Lord Jagannath, Baladeva and Subhadra. In Netrakona, devotees went for village preaching at Durgapur, Madan, Trishal as well as Harinam Sankirtan and book distribution in Netrakona town. Devotees had to tolerate bitter cold and dense fog while going to all these places, but ecstasy of sankirtan, book distribution and above all, having a disciple of Srila Prabhupada with them was more than sufficient to bargain with anything. Jayram Prabhu, co-ordinating with National Committee ISKCON, Bangladesh, arranged for a three days pandal program, the 4th, 5th and 6th of January, 2013, to celebrate Srila Prabhupada Glorification Festival, also coinciding with Maharaja’s Vyasa Puja celebration on 6th of January. Main features of the festival were bhajans, lectures, interaction of foreign devotees with local visitors, slide shows, films, Maharaja’s classes and most importantly delicious, all desire fulfilling Sri Jagannath Mahaprasad. Lalita and Damodar of Sri Mayapur International School (SMIS), who came all the way from Mayapur, attracted everybody’s mind with sweet kirtans.

Every evening hundreds of visitors took Prasad, and on the last day a remarkable two thousand plus visitors honoured mahaprasad. At the pandal program in Trishal, the Mayor of Trishal, who was the chief guest, was so impressed that he requested the devotees to conduct such programs on a regular basis. On the 8th of January, a seminar on Science and Spirituality was held at Zila Parishad Hall, Netrakona, where Maharaj delivered a lecture on how a scientist as well as a common man can accept Krishna Consciousness. Ramanuja das presented a seminar on Vedanta and Science as an introductory remark to maharaja’s lecture. The program was attended by many distinguished professors and students of various colleges of Netrakona besides media persons and heads of local societies. The most important event of the tour was the Seminar on Science and Spirituality held on the 18th of January 2013 at the auditorium of Dhaka National Museum, Dhaka, one of the most prestigious venues in all of Bangladesh. The seminar was spearheaded by Dr. Subendu Talukder (Subhananda das), anaesthesist, National Heart Foundation, Mirpur, Dhaka. It started with a colourful Harinam Sankirtan by around 50 to 70 devotees along with students going around the campus of Jagannath University, Dhaka after which an impressive crowd of students attended Maharaja’s lecture at Jagannath Hall in the University. Many took books signed by Maharaj. The main Seminar began by a mangalacaran by Krishna Sudama Das (BTech. Computer graphics) of Armenia who sang the Brahma Samhita prayers invoking auspiciousness for all. Most attractive of all was Sita Devi dasi of France translating a speech by Bhaktin Dominique in French to Bengali. Sita Devi dasi, an expert in Bharat natyam dance also gave wonderful performances on ‘dasavatara stotra’.

Dr. Kadamba Kanan from Singapore delivered a short speech on being a doctor at the same time a devotee. Pitambar das (MA.Sanskrit), Anandavardhan das (MTech. Dairy tech.), Vasudev Krsna das (MTech. Computer Science), Subala das (PhD. Organic Chemistry), Sachiputra das (Bali, Indonesia), Gopal das and Tota Gopinath Das (Spain), Krishna loka das(Italy) gave enlightening speeches from Bhagavad Gita and Bhagavatam. An interactive power point presentation on Science of Happiness was made by Ramanuja Das (MSc. Botany) as an appetiser for rest of the programs. The full packed auditorium of around one thousand strong audience maintained a pin drop silence during the seminar on Science and Spirituality by Professor S. Ghosh (IIT Kharagpur), everyone present highly appreciated his views. HH Subhag Swami gave the concluding lecture where he enthused the audience saying “as individuals born in a land which graced the pastimes of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, it is our duty to take Mahaprabhu’s message to every nook and corner of the globe, be he a scientist or spiritualist, then only our lives will be successful”. Among the attendees at the seminar were Satyaranjan Baroi, Chairman, ISKCON Bangladesh, Prof. Emeritus Nirmal Mitra (BUET, Mirpur), devotees from various parts of Bangladesh, eminent scientists, doctors, lawyers, engineers and students from various institutes and Universities. Bhajans by Visakha dasi (India) and devotees of Mirpur and Netrakona as well as dance by Sita Devi Dasi (France) kept the whole event very lively. Around 500 books were distributed at the seminar most of them signed by Maharaj. An impressive 2500+ plates of Mahaprasadam was distributed after the program. Many of the participants personally came up to Maharaj after his lecture and expressed their appreciation about the seminar and submitted their requests to conduct more of such programs. Srimat Subhag Maharaj and his sankirtan team came back to India on 22nd January while local devotees continued with seminars at Swarupkathi and Barishal under the leadership of Dr. Gokulendu das (Retd. Asst. Director of Health, Bangladesh). Around 1000 books were distributed during the tour.

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kandoh pramlocaya labdha kanya kamala-locana
tam capaviddham jagrhur bhuruha nrpa-nandanah

Translation: O sons of King Pracinabarhisat, the heavenly society girl named Pramloca kept the lotus-eyed daughter of Kandu in the care of the forest trees. Then she went back to the heavenly planet. This daughter was born by the coupling of the Apsara named Pramloca with the sage Kandu.

Purport: Whenever a great sage undergoes severe austerities for material power, the King of heaven, Indra, becomes very envious. All the demigods have responsible posts for the management of universal affairs and are very highly qualified with pious activities. Although they are ordinary living entities, they are able to attain responsible posts, like Lord Brahma, Indra, Candra and Varuna. As is the nature of this material world, the King of heaven, Indra, is very anxious if a great sage undergoes severe austerities. The whole material world is filled with such envy that everyone becomes afraid of his neighbors. Every businessman is afraid of his associates because this material world is the field of activities for all kinds of envious people who have come here to compete with the opulence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Thus Indra was very much afraid of the severe austerities performed by the great sage Kandu, and he sent Pramloca to break his vows and austerities. A similar incident took place in the case of Visvamitra. From other incidents in the sastras, it appears that Indra has always been envious. When King Prthu was celebrating various sacrifices, outdoing Indra, Indra became very envious, and he disturbed King Prthu's sacrifice. This has already been discussed in previous chapters. King Indra became successful in breaking the vow of the great sage Kandu, who became attracted by the beauty of the heavenly society girl Pramloca and begot a female child. This child is described herein as lotus-eyed and very beautiful. Being thus successful in her mission, Pramloca returned to the heavenly planets, leaving the newborn child to the care of the trees. Fortunately, the trees accepted the child and agreed to raise her. (End of purport)

HG Badrinarayan Das: So we have a planet, a kingdom of trees, we have someone in the heavenly planets, Lord Indra, we have a heavenly society girl--- only in the pages of the Srimad Bhagavatam. We believe, we Vaishnavas, we believe amazing stories. We should not run away from it. We believe some very amazing, mind-blowing things. When I was a kid, when I was in school, (to a young boy in the front row) Yes, I was young one time. You are what I once was, I am what you will become. It's a scary thought, son.

In school I made a model of the universe, you get little sytrofoam balls, you painted them, you hung them on a string, it's a mobile. I was maybe ten years old. Now do you think that a ten year old child should understand the secrets of the universe? We have to recognize that we arei Suppose Christopher Columbus ant goes out on an expedition, sent out by the queen, carrying the flag, not Espana this time, but carrying the flag of the ant kingdom. Now he's crawling on me. I'm droning on and he's crawling, crawling, crawling. And he reports back to the queen, vast lands, hills, forest, all uninhabited. Now he's crawling on me, but he has no idea that I'm a person.

I grow fragrant flowers for the Deities, it's my therapy. They never say that I want to be a rose, or something, they just do their duty. And we offer them to Radha Giridhari in San Diego. I had been gone for some time and I had been watering this one plant, a mogra, and a colony of ants had invaded and moved into that pot. And they freaked, surely they were screaming, "Women and children first!" And I'm sure in the annals of ant history it will be reported The Flood of 2012. But they don't know that behind the flood there was a hose, behind the hose there was a faucet, behind the faucet is my hand. And there's a person.

Why, someone please explain to me the arrogance of the modern materialist, why everything is subordinate to my perception. If I can't see it, if I can't smell it, if I can't chop it into tiny pieces, if I cannot control and manipulate it, then it doesn't exist. Why? Please tell me why there can't be higher beings.

In India they have sufficient dogs, but if you blow a dog whistle, it's a frequency that we can't hear, but the dogs hear it, so if you blow it, they freak. There's a sound frequency that I can't hear, a spectrum of light, so many colors that I can't see. My band of perception is very, very limited, what to speak of the tendency to cheat, tendency of illusion, all the other faults. And yet we claim, a priori, if it's not subordinate to my perception, it doesn't exist. Only in Kali Yuga do we find this profound arrogance and ignorance. But that's not what I wanted to talk about, we'll move on.

When I was a child, we had a long driveway. I was very fond of my father, he was a good man. You know, materially, he was a good man. I would see my father's car go down the long highway, and he would beep, and I would wave. And if I was home from my sporting activities, my father would come home at 6 o'clock, and I would be at the top of the driveway and wave and he would drive up the driveway and I would wave and he'd come home. I had my little world, I'd walk to school, I had my best friend. My whole world extended eight to ten blocks, that was my reality. One day it was Take Your Child to Work day, and my father took me to his office. We went down the driveway, passed the school, we got on the freeway and suddenly the whole world opened up. We went to Los Angeles, to the top of a skyscraper, blew my mind. I had no idea that that such a whole world existed. So the idea that everything is subordinate to my experience is patently bogus.

This serves as a cautionary tale. The Srimad Bhagavatam is full of many success stories, and dos and do nots. Cautionary tale; Indra is always in anxiety. Prabhupad was in Japan. Srila Prabhupad set up Tamal Krishna Maharaj as the middle man. As pre Srila Prabhupada's plan, Tamal argued with them, offered them a super low price. The Japanese actually had to step out of the room, get some oxygen, come back. Prabhupad set himself up as the middleman, "Oh obviously, that price is too low," which Prabhupad had told Tamal to offer. "And your price is too high, let's settle somewhere in the middle." They settled for something super low, but it was higher than what he had told Tamal to give. So the Japanese were out of the room adjusting their life airs. So there was one minor, junior executive left in the room. He didn't speak English very well, but Prabhupad asked him what his goal in life was. And all the businessmen of Dinnippon executives had put their cards on the table. The junior executive didn't speak much English. So he gathered all the cards of everyone and put them in a stack and out of his pocket he took his own card and put it on top. That was his goal in life.

So the materialists, they're always trying to get more in life. But they can't even conceive of the opulence of Lord Indra who gets such a post, what to speak of Varuna, and yet they're always in anxiety, who's going to take my place, why would we want such a thing? Everyone is chasing after happiness. Do they have this saying in India, like a dog chasing his tail?or So we're chasing like that.

The farmer is working out in the hot sun. He takes his grains to the mill, and he goes in, and the mill-owner's sitting in a nice seat, he has an abacus saying buy sell, buy sell, and the farmer is thinking, if only I could become a mill owner, I'd be so happy, it's so easy sitting there in the AC. Then the tax-collector comes and takes a big chunk of the mill-owner's income. The mill-owner's thinking, Oh, I work so hard, I can't sleep at night, buy sell, buy sell, and this king comes and takes a big bite out of everything I sell. If only I could become the king. The king is sitting in a nice palace, people sitting on this side and that side, people feeding him peeled grapes. But he's there thinking about running the kingdom, who's trying to usurp his throne, the citizens.. He's completely in anxiety, he's looking out his window and he sees the farmer and thinks, "oh what a simple life, just farming in the field, if only I could be a farmer."

So this is our factual situation, the Srimad Bhagavatam gives a nice example, it describes a crane, he's sitting in the stream, looking for something to eat, the rocks are causing pain to his feet, it's cold, and he's waiting, but he's thinking Oh maybe I'll find a fish. We're like that. Prabhupad was in Boston, and it was wintertime, and a bird hadn't gotten the memo, he hadn't migrated. The bird is there in the snow. Prabhupad saw this bird out of the window and he said that this bird is so miserable, he would kill himself, but he finds a little grain, a little bug, the sun comes out for a few moments, so he thinks, "not so bad."

A man falls into a well, and as he's falling, he grabs for some shelter, and he's holding onto something, he hasn't fallen down. And as his eyes adjust to the light and he sees a big king cobra coiled at the bottom of the well. The man says, oh, can't go down. He looks up and he sees a tiger, saying come on up. And he sees that what he's holding on to are two roots coming out of the two sides. And there is black and white rat and they're eating away at the the roots. Then something drops on his head. He looks up and sees a beehive dropping a little bit of honey. So he opens his mouth catching the drops and thinks, "not so bad".

The cobra at the bottom is our life airs, time and tide wait for no one. Above is the tiger, the three modes of nature, adibhautic, adidevic, and adiatmic, ready to devour us at any moment. The black and white rats are daytime and night time, eating way at the roots. With the rising and setting of the sun a day passes and is lost. Then we have a little honey of sense gratification and we think "not so bad". This is the Srimad Bhagavatam's honest analysis of our position.

Do you know Prince Philip of England? Do you know that he has his shoelaces ironed? That he has someone tie his shoes. Did you know that Queen Elizabeth, she has her newspaper ironed every day, Times of London, so that the ink sets in, and then someone puts on a white glove to test so that the queen doesn't have any ink on her hand when reads the paper. So you can imagine the attempt to erase all the miseries in life. She has hundreds of people. And she has 100s of people, and guaranteed she's in anxiety. She has her dimwit son who may go new age on her, so she has to stay on the throne. Whatever arrangement you make, the material natural will outdo us.

The materialists spend their whole time fixing petty problems. We should appreciate the scope, the depth, the value of Vedic wisdom. It goes to the heart of the matter. What is the first thing that's essential for a good doctor? What is the first thing to get cured? Medical, good insurance? No. You have to have a good diagnosis, you have to know the cause of the disease is, and otherwise you might as well be taking colored water for medicine.

Or air conditioning it's too hot, now it's cold, oh, very nice. When they were bombing, in 1971, in the Bangladesh war, there was a blackout in Delhi, and Prabhupad's talking with a newspaper reporter. And she says "Swamiji, Swamiji, can you give us some words of wisdom in this time of distress?" Prabhupad says that, when the bombing stops you're not in distress? You're in distress at every moment. It's too hot, get AC. It's too cold, get a heater. All that you've done is address the symptoms but not the real issues of birth, death, disease, old age.

Sadaputa's joke. A man comes home at night. He sees his neighbor on all fours, searching the ground, under the streetlight, so picture this he's up by the street, on all fours, searching the ground searching for something. The neighbor is naturally curious, so he goes up, and the man is drunk as a skunk. And he says, "What are you doing?" The man says that "I'm looking for my house keys," I was trying to open the door and I dropped my keys. The neighbor says "But the door is over there, why are you over here by the street?" The drunk man says, "Oh, this is where the light is". Here's the purport.

Because they assume that these questions cannot be answered, how to solve permanently birth, death, disease, and old age, let's look at this little world that we can deal with, the AC, but all they're doing is dressing the wound, they're not solving anything of real substance.

Here is the point I wanted to get to. Prabhupad was riding on a train in the evening. And he was in his compartment and there were some Indian businessmen in the neighboring compartment. So they were pious enough to understand, Here's a sadhu, let's get blessings.

Sometimes Prabhupad didn't want to be disturbed, he has important work to do. So these disciples, they were like linebackers blocking the door. But a moment's inattention, and they slipped in. So Swamiji, Swamiji, give us your blessings. Like a swami is an ATM machine. Prabhupad said, "So what are those blessings?" They were caught by surprise. So this man said, "I have this arthritis in my knee, and when it gets cold..." And Prabhupad said, no, wrong thing to ask for. So his friend came back, so he said, let my family be happy. Like a concentric circle, their area of concern was expanding. Again, Prabhkupada sais "No, wrong answer". The third man said, Let there be peace and happiness in the world. Prabhupad again, wrong answer. Prabhupad then pointed at Satsvarupa Maharaj, skinny, austere. He said, "This saffron cloth, this is my blessing, will you take it?" And whoosh-- they were out the door. Thus, Srila Prabhpada dealt with them expertly. They would nowo leave him in peace and quiet. But also he taught them a point, the blessing to become detached from this world.

When we understand, there's a story, Guru Nanak story, why not? So this man, his friend says that there's a very nice sadhu in our village, he's giving katha please come. This rich man said, "Oh, I know these sadhus, he's going to go on and on, gets me unattached, then when I'm unattached he takes everything I've got." He's going to at least ask for some shoes, an umbrella, some land. But the friend prevailed, he's nice, please come. So he came. Sure enough, after the katha, the sadhu says I'd like to speak with you. So the rich man came over. The sadhu says, "I want to ask you for something." Oh there it is, here we go. The sadhu said I have this needle for sewing up my clothing; I'm losing it all the time. He said, can you just take this needle, here's the needle, please give it to me in my next life.

Does anyone know what is the price of a needle? In India you can probably buy a single needle. But in America you can't even by a singe needle, you have to buy a pack. So the rich man could understand, "I can't even keep track of this needle in my next life. I can't take a needle in my next life." So everything I have, what is the use? Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, he could understand what the sadhu was saying. We understand that I'm taking body after body and I should not be disturbed by this. And if I'm not disturbed, I learn to tolerate. Does anyone know what Prabhupad says is the measure of a man's strength? If you go to Ripley's Believe It or Not, you'll find a man pulls a train with his teeth, there are so many things, it's true. So who knows, Prabhupad gives us from the Srimad Bhagavatam, the measure of a person's strength? Devotee: Ability to tolerate provoking situations. Badrinarayan Prabhu: Yes, a man's ability to tolerate.

Dhiras tatra na muhyate
Tams titiksava bharata

I was at the Los Angeles Rathayatra, I serve in the free prasadam booth, thousands of people come. Full, nice opulent Krishna prasadam. We even have Christians who have signs, "turn or burn" this and that. But the point is, I've seen that they go the whole festival, they get to the end, they're hungry, they put down the signs, and they come and take prasadam. P So I was in the free prasadam booth. I like to slip out and hear the question and answer booth. We had one of the best, Jayadwaita Swami, as far as succinct, powerful sutras, he's just the best. Now the thing is, I was behind two very large ladies. They were big, I'm not picking on ladies but these were land whales. So I was trying to see Maharaj behind these large moving objects. He says, "The essence of spiritual understanding, the beginning point of all true spiritual teachings is that that we are not this body." And one of these large ladies turns to her friend and said, "Boy is that a relief.She said it with such feeling, she was just carrying this thing around. So to understand that we are not this body, it's actually an incredible relief, it actually begins there. In Miami, they have some skyscrapers, Prabhupad said about these skyscrapers we were in a walk in Chicago, if you look down Lake Michigan, a beautiful scene, it's designed to be a beautiful scene, beautiful park, lakei There is Chicago in the distance, this huge stack of skyscrapers, bustling with energy, bravado. Prabhupad looked down the lake and said, they are simply stacking stones and maya will come with her boots and kick it all down.

There is American history, and I apologize, I was born in America, and I'm steeped in it. There's Manhattan Island, it was originally obtained by the Dutch in the 1600s, and they traded the local Indians, some shiny beads and some trinkets. Anyone know how big? I don't know how big Manhattan Island is? They liked it, it had the river, harbor; they liked it for the trade and commerce. They gave the dimwit American Indians, we have trinkets and beads, and they gave us an entire island, ha ha ha. And the American Indians were thinking, this is a swamp with mosquitoes, and we've got a whole continent to the west of us, ha, we're getting these things we've never seen before, shiny, nice beautiful things. Let these dimwit Dutch have this swamp.

My point is, same thing, same event, but according to one's value system, they saw differently. Each thought that the other was foolish. And in their experience, they were completely correct. We see this world, simply stacking stones, what is this body.

You think the body is troublesome, what about the mind?

Prabhupad tells this story, about the mind. Green coconut kachoris. Evidently it's a particular Bengali prep, very tasty, hard to make, rarely too many you get indigestion

coconut he thought "what a treat"an was , you get indigestion. But the man what thinking, how often do you get these, so whoof. And the mind says, "How often do you see a green coconut kachori," he took a second, "So then what's two, might as well, take another one, and another, another," Andi so then he stops, goes home, sleeping. Middle of the night he wakes up with a horrible stomachache. Horrible indigestion. The very same mind with whom he tried to serve, the same mind he took instruction from, that very same mind says, you idiot, you fool, why did you eat so many kachoris.

I was on traveling sankirtan. The devotee I was with got up for Mangala Arati, he was beat. And I asked, "What happened? Why so tired?" And he replied, "I couldn't sleep all night." I asked why. He said, "Oh, the window in the van was open all night and it was so cold I couldn't sleep." And I asked, "Why did you get up and shut it," And he said, "I was too tired."

This is our daily experience. This is our moment to moment experience, to see these things. We're not the false ego. In Miami, they have many skyscrapers. This one man, the faster the elevator goes, it costs you more money, so he set it as a low setting. People are like, they're knitting sweaters. Come on man, let's go. The homeowners association, they complained, let's speed up the elevator. But the man was cheap, he didn't speed up the elevators, so he put full length mirrors in all the elevators. Nobody complained. They all thought he had fixed the elevators. They were completely happy looking in the mirrors, time flew by.

Prabhupad was speaking in a darshan. And an Indian Christian came, the man became agitated, "Your Krishna is so lusty, he is immoral," Prabhupad countered, "No sir, you are immoral. Krishna is purusha, everything else is prakriti, what are you doing with one of Krishna's gopis?" The man was married, blew his mind, he had never heard that before. It became quite a shouting match. Brahmananda said, I think you better leave, man. The devotees afterwards were asking Srila Prabhupad, what will happen to his man, he has become before a saintly maha bhagavat, made offenses, He'll be born in Calcutta with no arms and no legs, rolling in the gutter, playing the harmonica, what will happen to this guy? And they all offered, oh, a lifetime of a worm in stool, all the devotees were offering both his future, and his condition, how to remedy it. After they had finished, Prabhupad said, he looked up from his desk. "Well, we could forgive him." No one had thought of that. Try to understand Prabhupad's heart; if we don't take offense, if we forgive him, then the man doesn't have to suffer the reaction.

The materialists see those who are weaker than them, how to exploit them. Any city you go to, there's always some people living in the ghetto, and there are people living on the hill, laughing. They see someone weaker, let me exploit. See someone the same, let me compete, let me push them down. They see someone higher, they become envious. That's their mindset. A Vaishnava, if he sees someone suffering, let me give them some mercy. This is the essence of the Vaishnava. In Los Angeles, we used to go on sankirtan all day long, and then we would break, take some prasadam, we would all get an individual lunch bag, eat in a park. People would always come. We would always end up giving away our lunch prasad. We'll go back to the temple, and then these people will never get prasad. The leader of our party actually asked Prabhupad, what should we do, and Prabhupad said "charity begins at home". Take your prasadam. He had us make some extra bread balls. So we could distribute prasadam still. The essence of the Vaishnava is that he gives mercy. He see someone on the same level he makes friendship. He sees someone superior, he offers service and takes instructions.

A man dies and he goes to heaven, and in this case, when he comes to consciousness, he sees the pearly gates, everything is sweet and blissful, he hears some music, he goes to the palatial building, and he sees all the people, a fantastic spread, vegetarian, but the people are miserable because they're chained and they can't reach their mouth. He thinks, "Oh, I'm in hell." Then he goes to heaven, it's the same layout, beautiful streets, celestial flowers and fragrance. He hears music, goes into a building. Fantastic spread, and everyone there is also chained, but they're completely happy because they're feeding each other. Same exact situation, different mentality.

Prabhupad says, we go to heaven or hell, as long as we have Vaishnava sanga, we're fine. We don't mind. The point I wanted to make is that we should tolerate. Why chase after the things of this world, and in that tolerance, that will come Vaishnava vision, we will begin to develop compassion for fallen conditional souls. We should appreciate the fantastic gift of Krishna consciousness. I was driving out to Las Vegas; we have a sweet little temple there and I'm the GBC. As a note, I was on a walk with Srila Prabhupad, Ann Arbor Michigan; I asked Prabhupad what does it mean to be in charge of one of your temples? I thought he would say, you're one of my generals on the front line. You're empowered by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He stopped, put his cane down, looked me up and down and said, "if anything goes wrong, it's your fault". And I said, Oh managing it's such a headache, the devotees. And Prabhupad said, "Actually, just remember that you're blessed, because you get to regularly serve the Vaishnavas." Again, same situation, different vision. Yeah it's 2am in the morning, the toilet just broke, and no one is there to clean it up, oh, nice chance to serve the Vaishnavas.

So I was driving up to Las Vegas, and I stopped. And if you've ever been way out in the middle of nowhere where there's no light, if you've seen the desert sky, and the mountainsi it's really a mystical experience. I highly recommend it. And it's both - you feel very insignificant, and you feel very intimate. You feel very close to creation. You feel that I am just a spot in the middle of nowhere. It reminded me of the first step in God realization, that that I'm not the controller and that there is a Controller. First comes awe and reverence, then there's gratitude, a sense of dependence. From dependence comes gratitude. A natural response from gratitude comes service. Let me serve. In the same fashion, the freedom from the bodily concept of the false ego, the ravages of the mind, the fear of death, comes relief and gratitude.

Both my mother and father left this world in a fantastic way. We had a devotee, he had been away for some time, he had AIDs, came back, realized he had no shelter but the Vaishnavas. He came back, at the end of his life, he had been in a coma, all of a sudden, he's lying flat, he put his hands up and he put his hands up and said, "Prabhupad, you came," and he left this world. What a gift we've been given.

Even my mother. Last words, she opened her eyes, and she said, "Do you think I'll be born in a devotee family?" She liked the devotees. I said, "Definitely, 100 guaranteed, mom," And she laid back on her pillow and said, "Very good, that would be very good." That was the last thing she said. Half an hour later she left her body. So we're not even afraid of death.

My father worked all of his life, at his retirement dinner, everyone is there in tuxedoes, I'm there in a dhoti. And everyone is congratulating him. So when he gave his speech, he said, "I began work at 8 years old, I had a paper route, I worked my way all my life, and now I'm retiring.

"But my younger son is more intelligent than me. He retired at 17 and a half." They were stunned. "He joined the Hare Krishna movement." They were appreciating.

People asked Prabhupad, "What do you do for recreation?" Prabhupad was genuinely puzzled. He said, "Our whole movement is recreation." It's cyclical, chanting, dancing, feasting, chanting, dancing feasting. I mean, we work hard for Krishna, but Radhanath Swami mentioned that survey how people feel about things, what makes people happy. After people get the basics, they have food and shelter for themselves and their children, what makes people happy is feeling that their life has purpose, that they're part of something greater than themselves. This is what people are hungry for.

I was in Los Angeles, a young bhakta. We were sitting in Prabhupad's room, and it was as cold as it gets in the west coast, about 50 degrees F, bundled up, suffering from the cold. If you go to his quarters, you see his desk, the big window. The clouds parted for a moment, the sun shone through the window. A ray of golden light came down, he was sitting at his desk. And he alone was bathed in this pool of golden light. We were all in darkness figuratively and literally, And Prabhupad, who did not miss a thing, he looked up, could understand the mood, and he said, "yes, one day you will feel this sun, just like your lover's embrace." Krishna says I'm the pure light of the sun and the moon.

Prabhupad also once said, "You think you're sitting on the floor, but I am sitting on the hand of Krishna." That confidence, that shelter, that feeling of a loving embrace of Krishna, that fearlessness, that great gift has been given to us. Madhudvisa prabhu narrates that he was speaking with Srila Prabhupada. it says in the Bhagavad Gita, one who has performed lifetimes of pious activitiesi He can take to spiritual life. But Madhudvisa said, that "I have been performing sinful deeds since the day I met you." So I don't have a stockpile of pious deeds. Srila Prabhupada said I have created your good fortune. All I ask ismthat you go and create good fortune for others.

Vaisheshika Prabhu said the other day, again that survey, feeling part of something valuable, something bigger than ourselves, the joy that we've received, the relief of Krishna consciousness. Bhaktivinode Thakur writes in song, the materialists, they're actually sitting in their houses, looking out the window and down the road, they're thinking, "when will Lord Chaitanya's sankirtan party come down the road and save me?" They're just drinking, whiling away their time, they don't know anything else to do until the sankirtan part comes and saves them.

There was this devotee, very shy, very young devotee. When he moved in to our temple, and I said, "Prabhu, you gotta go on book distribution, it's so nice, so blissful, so enlivening." He was super shy, but after some time he agreed to go out with me. The devotees would go door to door. First door we knocked on, he was standing there with me behind him. You hear all the locks open. The door opens; it's a little old lady. So I said, put the book in her hand. He gave her a copy of the Sri Ishopanishad. She didn't say a word. She looked at the book, looked at him, nice Vaishnava tilak, looked at the book, looked at him, looked at the book, then she fell over dead. We had to call the neighbors, called 911, she was gone. Our new bhakta was understandably shaken.

I told him, Prabhu, look, she left her body looking at a picture of Krishna, looking at a Vaishnava. She was dragging on in that apartment. That was the only reason she was alive. She was simply waiting for you. "He asked me does that happen every day?" I said, "No, no,"

We should know for a fact that they're out there waiting for us. If we don't go out who will pick them up? If we're not strong and pure in Krishna consciousness, who will have the ability to deliver them? Srila Prabhupada said "There are Brahmins on every corner. You just need to go and pick them up."

We should tolerate the miseries of this world, it's all temporary. We should understand our great good fortune. We need to remember that people are waiting for us to knock on their door and deliver them. All glories to Lord Chaitanya's sankirtan party.

Listen Srimad Bhagavatam Audio Lecture of Badrinarayan Dasa
- Transcribed by Bhaktilata Mataji

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