ISKCON Derire Tree's Posts (14458)

I often have to encourage devotees, especially those not living in the temples, to rise early in the morning and come to the temple for the morning program, or to have one at home. Devotees should generally rise by 4 am, which means that their lives must be organized in such a way that they get sufficient rest, meaning taking rest early.

Certainly there are many considerations for individual cases; however, we will see from the collection of quotes from Srila Prabhupada below (not referenced) that His Divine Grace made few exceptions to his rule of “early rising”. Rising early is difficult, but that is the meaning of austerityi

“Sometimes it is very troublesome to rise early in the morning, but whatever voluntary trouble one may suffer in this way is called penance.”

Srila Prabhupada envisaged that everyone rise early and participate in the morning programi

“In this Krishna consciousness movement we require everyone to rise early in the morning, by four A.M., and attend mangala-arati, or morning worship, then read Srimad Bhagavatam, perform kirtana, and so forth.”

This is especially so for devotees living in the templesi

“For instance, in the Krishna consciousness temples the devotees rise early in the morning, at 4:00 A.M., and they immediately bathe. Then they go to mangala-arati at 4:30, and after mangala-arati they study the Vedic literatures.”

And even children can be trained to do so

“We say the child must rise early in the morning, worship the Deity in the temple, and chant Hare Krishna. In the beginning, force may be necessary. Otherwise the child will not become habituated. But the idea is to divert his attention to Krishna conscious activities. Then, when he realizes he is not his body, all difficulties will disappear.”

What to speak of preachersi.

“Preachers living in ISKCON temples follow this advice daily. They rise early and gather for mangala-arati before the temple Deities.”

And making this effort is part of learning how to love Krishnai

“So, you must practice how to love Krishna. First you have to rise early in the morning. You don’t like to, but you think, ‘I will rise early to satisfy Krishna.’ This is the beginning.”

If we do not think we need to do it, or think we are advanced, then we will fall downi

“We must rise early in the morning, bathe, attend mangala-arati, worship the Deities, chant the Hare Krishna mantra, study the Vedic literatures and follow all the rules prescribed by the acaryas and the spiritual master. If we deviate from this process, we may fall down, even though we may be very highly advanced.i Even if one is in the renounced order, he should never give up the regulative principles.”

Early rising is one of the nine limbs of devotional servicei

“Pada-sevanam means to rise early in the morning.” This is the culture of India even todayi

“So the Indian public still, even they are not very educated, because the culture is there in, especially, in the villages, they rise early in the morning and take bath.”

For it was also the example set by Krishna Himselfi

“He was lying with His beautiful queens, and as soon as there is cock crow, immediately He would rise, early in the morning, three o’clock.”

And if we cannot rise early, then we should understand what that meansi

“If we cannot rise early in the morning, that means we are under the clutches of maya. This is the test.”

And for those serious about advancing in Krishna consciousness, they know what to do

“ibut at least everyone who is interested in advancing in Krishna consciousness must rise early in the morning, before four.”

These are a few of Srila Prabhupada’s comments on early rising. Thus children, adults, preachers, sannyasis, villagers, men and ladies, everyone should be up by 4 am, if not earlier, ready to attend mangala-arati by 4:30.

Taken from

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Srila Prabhupada, Tomkin Square Park - Hare Krishna TreeSrila Prabhupada's Hare krishna Tree :

In 1966, Srila Prabhupada began chanting the Hare Krsna mahamantra under a tree in New York's Tompkins Square Park, thereby inaugurating the western advance of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu's glorious Sankirtana movement.

Inscription on Plaque: "One of Tompkins Square Park's most prominent features is its collection of venerable American elm (Ulmus americana) trees. One elm in particular, located next to the semi-circular arrangement of benches in the park's center, is important to adherents of the Hare Krishna religion. After coming to the United States in September, 1965, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (1896-1977), the Indian spiritual leader, founded the International Society for Krishna Consciousness in New York. He worked from a storefront on nearby Second Avenue that he used as the Society's American headquarters. Prabhupada and his disciples gathered in Tompkins Square Park in the fall of 1966 to introduce the East Village to the group's distinctive 16-word mantra:

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

On October 9, 1966, Prabhupada and his followers sat beneath this tree and held the first outdoor chanting session outside of India. Participants chanted for two hours as they danced and played cymbals, tambourines, and other percussive instruments; the event is recognized as the founding of the Hare Krishna religion in the United States. Prabhupada's diverse group that day included Beat poet Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997). Krishna adherents continue to return to the tree to acknowledge its significance.

American elm trees are known for their towering canopies, which provide abundant shade through spring, summer, and fall. It is rare today to find such a collection of American elms, since many of the mature elms planted across the country have been killed by Dutch Elm Disease. This incurable disease, a fungus carried by bark beetles ( Coleoptera Scolytidae) which colonize on the branches of the elm tree, swept across the United States in the 1930s and remains a threat to the park's collection of elms. Despite having lost at least 34 of the trees, Tompkins Square Park still hosts a large assemblage of elms, which continue to this day to enchant park patrons. The East Village Parks Conservancy, a volunteer group, raises significant private funds for the ongoing care and maintenance of the American elms and other historic trees in Tompkins Square Park.

Tomkin Square Park - Hare Krishna Tree

Tomkin Square Park - Hare Krishna Tree

Matchless Gifts

Matchless Gifts

Matchless Gifts

Tomkin Square Park - Hare Krishna Tree

- By Lakshman Poddar

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HH Bhanu Swami: (invocation prayers)

bhavita visrutah putro
‘navamo brahmano gunaih
ya etam atma-viryena
tri-lokim purayisyati

Translation: You will have a nice son, who will be in no way inferior to Lord Brahma. Consequently, he will be very famous all over the universe, and the sons and grandsons generated by him will fill the three worlds.

Srila Prabhupadas Purport: As explained in the next verse, the Pracetas will marry the daughter of the great sage Kandu. It is suggested that the son’s name will be Visruta and that he will glorify both his father and mother because of his good character. In fact, he would be greater than Lord Brahma. The great politician Canakya said that if there is a good tree within a garden or forest, its flowers will fill the forest with their fragrance. Similarly, a good son within a family makes the whole family famous all over the world. Krsna took birth in the family of the Yadus, and consequently the Yadu dynasty is famous all over the world.

HH Bhanu Swami: So this whole section of the fourth canto is concerning the population of the universe. How the fallen living entities get there. Here of course we see that the Pracetas will get a nice son and generations will follow which will be of very good character. So of course this is ok for grhastas, not so nice for brahmacaries and sannyasis. So why we have all these discussions about population and increase in progeny and such things, when we also know that the whole purpose of the Bhagavatam is complete renunciation of the world and complete attraction to Krsna? So what has this got to do with Lord Krsna? Populating the earth with sons and grandsons etc? Genealogy etc? So our acaryas of course have said that though the 10th canto is actually the essence of the Bhagavatam, it’s about Krsna directly, and His pastimes and His qualities and therefore it’s ultimately the most attractive thing, still we cannot reject the subject matter of the other cantos. Canto one, canto two, canto three etc. Now of course some people will do that, they will think, let us just concentrate on the 10th canto and we’ll neglect all these other cantos and some will argue, well look the 1 st canto is not even spoken by Sukadev, so how can we consider this the Bhagavatam? Or the last part of the 12 th canto again is not by Sukadev, so how can this be the Bhagavatam? However, our acaryas have said the whole thing is Bhagavatam. It is all Krsna. Bhagavatam is non different from Krsna, and therefore everything here is actually representing Krsna, whether it’s 4th canto or 3rd canto or 8th canto or 9th canto or 11th canto or 12th canto, whatever, it’s all Krsna, it’s absolute.

So we’ll have many subject matters here and sometimes we may wonder what has this got to do with Krsna and Svayam Bhagavan and attraction to Him? So, we have to examine very carefully what IS Bhagavatam. Of course we go further back then that, then we say what is scripture? That subject matter comes up in the 10 th canto where there is the, very philosophical, one of the most philosophical sections of the Bhagavatam, there is the ‘Prayers of the Personified Vedas’.

The question is asked, how is it possible to describe the Supreme Lord, whether it is Krsna or even Brahman, impersonal Brahman? Because what is spiritual is beyond words, words are material sounds with certain conceptions like we get with context in the material world, like a tree, we understand a material tree or whatever. How is it possible to express God or even impersonal Brahman by words? Which is a good question actually. Even the scripture itself says the Supreme is beyond words and beyond mind, can’t even think of the Supreme or any conception of material mind. So of course if we say well it’s not possible, then Bhagavatam is useless, all scripture is useless, Veda are useless, everything is useless and we can never approach the Supreme Lord, if that’s so, then we can’t speak about the Lord or describe Him in anyway. But the answer given throughout these verses, although it maybe difficult to understand the whole purport of the Prayers of the Personified Vedas, the ultimate answer is that the Supreme Lord is describable, by words even though we may think they are material words. The reason is that the Lord is not impersonal. He has qualities, He has shaktis, He has compassion for the living entities in the material world and therefore by His will power and by His shakti, words that to us may look material actually can describe the Lord because they are spiritual. Because the Lord wants them to be spiritual, they become spiritual. For the Lord there is no distinction between material and spiritual and by His will we have expressions and descriptions of the Supreme Lord which are authorised. So this we call scripture. These are the authorised descriptions of the Supreme Lord and they are capable of conveying who that Supreme Lord is to us. So therefore we accept scripture. So that’s the first step. At least we can describe the Supreme Lord in some way or another.

So of course the next question is, what is scripture? What do we accept? Do we accept the Bible, the Koran, or the Vedas, or the Puranas. What is scripture? Ultimately it is a matter of faith, we accept one scripture and follow it. The other is we use our intelligence and find out what is most complete. What gives us the most consistent description of what is Supreme. That Supreme Lord, That Supreme entity. So some people they prefer other scriptures but we have chosen Vedic scriptures. So of course Vedic scriptures also has a limitation. It’s not that anything in India is a Vedic scripture. There’s some which are called scripture and some are rejected even though they come from India and they maybe ancient also. So the scriptures themselves, starting with the Vedas begin to enumerate what is authorised scripture, that we can read these and we can understand who is the Supreme Lord, communicate properly.

We have the Vedas, of course the Vedas means Sruti, which is a special category, eternal, never created, though it appears from the mouth of Hayagriva or it appears from Brahma’s mouth, actually it has no creation. It’s not even created by the Lord because it’s eternal, but is non different from the Lord. That is one definition of Sruti, that is the Vedas. Unfortunately if you look at the Vedas you’ll get a little confused, because it’s supposed to describe the Absolute Truth, the Highest Entity, Supreme Lord, Bhagavan etc, but we find a whole section is dedicated to doing sacrifices to go to svargaloka which is not the Supreme, it’s in the material world. That’s the Karma Kanda section of the Vedas, Purva Mimamsa.

Then we’ll find another section dedicated to worshipping devatas, Indra etc, Upasana Kanda. The verses praising the different devatas, get a little confused how’s that Supreme? Because the devatas are also material. Then we come to Jnana Kanda. Of course Jnana Kanda is the same(?) because it talks about Brahman. But what is Brahman? No qualities, no form, no activities. Well we are worshipping Krsna, He has a form, He has qualities, activities. Upanishads, the Jnana Kanda is speaking about Brahman with no qualities, that is impersonal aspect of the Lord.

So we got the Vedas which is supposed to be so wonderful, they’re talking about all the wrong things. They’re talking about going to svargaloka, worshipping devatas, worshipping impersonal Brahman at best. But if we look very closely at the Jnana Kanda it is not so that Jnana Kanda, the Upanishads only speak of an impersonal Brahman, they also speak of the Lord with a form, Lord with qualities, Lord with activities. We’ll find it even in the major Upanishads where Shankara Acarya takes to interpret impersonalism, so in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, Chandogya Upanishad and Svetasvatara Upanishad you’ll find descriptions of the Supreme Lord with form, qualities and activities. So not true that Jnana Kanda only represents impersonal Brahman, it also represents Bhagavan. So He is there.

However, as I said when we look through all the Vedas we get a little puzzled. Why have we got all these different things there, we got material things there. Even in our daily sadhana we recite what are the offenses to the Vedas, one offense is Sruti ninda, don’t criticise the Vedas despite of the fact they’re talking about going to svargaloka, living for thousands of years and drinking soma rasa etc, so what is all of this? Why we worship the Vedas when they are talking about material things? So there is some confusion there about the Vedas which are absolute, and they’re talking about all these things. That is why we cannot take the Vedas by themselves, we need explanations. Which very nicely have been arranged for us. One of the great explainers or commentators is Veda Vyasa Himself, who compiled the Vedas and divided then up for the people of Kali Yuga so they can understand them to some degree. So it is through Him that we get the 4 different Vedas with all their different sections and sub-sections etc.

But Veda Vyasa Himself knew that all of this is a little confusing for people, especially the Jnana Kanda, so He made a special effort to explain the Upanishads, these are not impersonal, they are actually talking about Bhagavan, Krsna. Therefore He wrote the Brahama Sutras. Which talk about the Supreme Lord, our relationship with Him, which is Bhakti and the ultimate goal which is Prema. Unfortunately it’s in sutra form. Sutra means a very concise expression, so concise that it’s only a few words in most cases, for each sutra. Each sutra is difficult to understand. Also difficult to understand the reference of the sutra. What is it referring to? Which Upanishad? Which statement in which Upanishad is it referring to? What is the relationship between this sutra and the next sutra and the next sutra? So it becomes a big controversy. Therefore we have many different commentators giving many different opinions on what these sutras mean. So although Veda Vyasa’s intension was to clarify the meaning of the Vedas, the people of Kali Yuga get more confused, and come up with all sorts of different conclusions. So Brahma Sutra is not so satisfying.

So, as well as that, Veda Vyasa then wrote Mahabharat for the people of Kali Yuga. Lets not get into all the Vedic language and all these weird contradictions about personal and impersonal etc, let us tell everyone some stories and give them very simple teachings. So if we look at Bhagavad Gita, which is in the Mahabharata, then we will find that actually it’s referring to the Vedas all the time. You find the very famous verses which are there about the eternal nature of the soul etc, they have there origins in the Upanishads actually. We can trace them all back there. So Bhagavad Gita is not some isolated literature spoken by Krsna, no it is referring to the Upanishads, which are the essence of the Sruti, the Vedas. So there in Bhagavad Gita we’ll find a summary of the Vedas, a very convenient summary. Of course even then we’ll find various interpretations of that. We’ll have impersonal interpretation of the

Bhagavad Gita and personal interpretations. Of course, all the Vaisnavas agree that finally the meaning is that we should worship the Supreme Lord Krsna, which is stated in the final section of the Bhagavad Gita. So not so difficult to understand.

Still Veda Vyasa, not satisfied with the Mahabharat, because it’s such a big work and there are stories in there which would look a little bit strange to us, there is worship of devatas, Durga and Lord Siva etc and also glorification of devatas etc. So people can get confused by that also. He wrote the Puranas, in fact 18 Puranas He wrote, for the people of Kali Yuga. Unfortunately His strategy was not very correct. He wrote Puranas for people in Tama guna and therefore he advised them to worship Siva and He glorified Siva as Bhagavan in these Puranas. He wrote Puranas for people in Raja guna, glorification of Lord Brahma and then He wrote Puranas for people in Sattva guna that is worship of Vishnu. So we got three types of glorification, three types of worship for different types of people. Which is permissible. Just as we have Karma Kanda for people worshipping devatas, Jnana Kanda for people who are above that and are going for liberation from the material world. So according to qualification of people we can have different types of scripture.

After He had written all these things, 18 Puranas, Mahabharat, Brahma Sutras, compiled the Vedas, gave the Vedas to His disciples to disseminate and start some Parampara systems, after all this, the 1 st canto of Bhagavatam, its very purpose is to show that all of this was not sufficient, even though Veda Vyasa is the Supreme Lord, He is avatar of the Lord, what He had done was not sufficient yet.

Vyasadev also understood this so therefore near the end of the 1st canto we have the story of how Narada Muni came, and he approached Veda Vyasa, He was feeling dissatisfied in His heart, something is not here, complete. Then Narada chastised Him, he said all of this that you have written is not going to be effective in Kali yuga. People are unintelligent; they can’t read everything and come to the final conclusion using their intelligence. They will read one little section, worship Siva, Siva is Bhagavan, they’ll do that, finished. They are lazy. Or they’ll do one thing and don’t want to learn another thing. So they get stuck in one type of worship, the lower worship, in Tama guna or Raja guna, they’ll not get to Sattva guna even, what to speak of getting out of the material world and come to the conclusion that Krsna is Svayam Bhagavan, they’ll never understand this. Because you’ve written so many different words for so many different paths for different people. Kali Yuga you can not do that, people are unintelligent, short lived, lazy, confused. You write one work, one object of worship, one method only. So who is the object of worship? Krsna. He is the one you should glorify. Tell everybody in Kali Yuga worship only Krsna. Of course we’ll find that it’s not just a fanatical statement because in the Bhagavatam itself, from 1st canto onwards we’ll find a justification for worshipping Krsna because He is different from all the other forms of Godhead. Of course we have to distinguish Supreme Lord from Siva and from devatas. Then we have to distinguish Supreme Lord in all of His different forms, avatar forms etc from Krsna. So that is accomplished in the 1st canto itself where it is said;

krsnas tu bhagavan svayam
(SB 1.3.28)

Krsna is different from every other form of Bhagavan even though there are many forms of Bhagavan like Rama, Nrsimha and Hayagriva, Matsya, Kurma and Varaha, Vamana etc, many forms because the Lord is full of all shaktis, so He can expand His form into many different forms.

Still, best form, most attractive form is Krsna. He is that form which manifests all qualities into the fullest extent. Because of that He is most attractive. That’s why we call Him Krsna, most attractive. That is suitable for the people of Kali Yuga because they are most attracted to Maya, so we’ve got to get them attracted to the Supreme Lord, so we get the most attractive form of the Lord, that is Krsna. So Krsna is the suitable object of worship, no one else, not even the other forms of Bhagavan, the Vishnu forms, the other avatar forms, only Krsna. So this is the advice that Narada Muni gave to Veda Vyasa.

Now the good fortune, of course is that Krsna had just appeared. So His pastimes were in every ones mind at that time. So that is the good fortune of the people of this particular Kali Yuga. They get Veda Vyasa who has recorded the pastimes, the Lila, the qualities, the form of Krsna, in the form of Bhagavatam. So Veda Vyasa took the words of Narada Muni and he revised one of the Puranas and becomes what we know as the Bhagavatam today, which Krsna is the object of worship.

Now of course what I’m talking about here is that, why do we get all these other things in here? Now we got a whole genealogy study here of producing offspring and populating the earth with progeny, what does this got to do with Krsna? So the idea is that the Bhagavatam follows a format of a Purana and this is described in the 2 nd canto and the last part of the Bhagavatam also. There are different topics that a Purana should discuss so we have Sarga and Visarga and (??? Stuti) etc, we have different topic so a Purana should cover these things. At the same time Bhagavatam also has to fulfill the order of Narada Muni to Veda Vyasa, and that is to show Krsna as the only object of worship. So Veda Vyasa very intelligently did this. He’s done both things. So we’ll see in the different cantos of Bhagavatam, he goes through all the Puranic subjects.

So we have Sarga, that is primary creation, that is Maha Vishnu glazes and prakriti becomes active and transforms into mahat tattva, ahankara and all the elements and mind etc they combine into universes, infinite number of universes and then the Lord enters. Maha Vishnu expands into Garbhodaksyi Vishnu enters there and then He sprouts a lotus from His navel and we get Brahma appearing and what does Brahma do? He begins the creation within the universe, that is the next topic, Visarga.

So what is that Visarga? That’s described here in the 4th canto. 3rd canto or 4th canto actually. 3rd canto describes the Sarga with Maha Vishnu glancing. 4th canto describes this Visarga how Brahma began to create the different living entities in all these different forms and then began to populate, of course he created the different lokas, 14 lokas and the Bhur mandala and the lower planetary systems for different living entities in different gunas. Then he began to populate the whole universe, so this whole section is describing how the universe got populated, of course he concentrates on the human forms not the animals and planets, they’re also there, but he concentrates on the human forms. So the 4th canto basically expands from Lord Brahma onwards, starting at the beginning of his day and Svayambhuva-manvantara.

We also of course have the other topics that have to be discussed so we’ll find sthiti, which means basically where the living entities get to live. The living entities with material bodies they got to support those bodies so they got to eat and breathe and whatever and do their activities and try to enjoy material objects, and they got to do it somewhere. So according to qualification the living entities are stuck in different places within the universe, that is sthiti. So that is described in the 5th canto where we have the description of the universe, all the different lokas, upper and lower and middle and all the living entities according to their karmas and desires etc get stuck in different bodies in these places and they try to enjoy. So that’s the geography of the universe. So the Supreme Lord, ultimately all this traces back to the Supreme Lord, and Brahma as the secondary creator of all of this. But the Lord even though He creates all of this for the enjoyment of the living entities because that is their desire to enjoy material objects, therefore He does this, the Lord doesn’t forget the living entities here and He tries to elevate them in different ways.

So of course we know that there are avatars coming into the material world and They help to protect the devotees, maintain the system, kill the demons who obstruct Dharma etc and He has His process which is Bhakti, embedded within the material world in the form of His name etc. So for instance in the 6 th canto we’ll find one of the topics of the story of Ajamil, how he was saved by the accidental chanting of the name of Narayan, which is astonishing because he wasn’t even a devotee but he destroyed all of his karma simply by accidentally chanting the name of Narayan. Of course he was a very sinful person and he should have got the greatest punishment from Yamaraj but because he chanted the name accidentally all karma has disappeared. That’s the mercy of the Supreme Lord, so that’s posana, the protection, how the Lord nourishes and protects the living entities. Not just the devotees, even people like Ajamil who wasn’t a devotee, he was a materialist trying to enjoy. But He tries to nourish everyone and elevate them to the process of Bhakti. That’s Posana.

The 7th canto there is the famous story there is that of Hiranyakasipu and Prahlad. Conflict between the devotees and the demons, there’s a big conflict, that is the two opposing elements within the universe that fight all the time, the demons and the devotee, which has been going on since the beginning of the day of Brahma when he created the demons and the rakshasas and he also created the devas, so there’s this continual conflict going on within the universe, they battle on all sorts of levels, upper planets, middle planets, lower planets, they’re always having these conflicts. So one of these conflicts is graphically described in the 7th canto where we have Hiranyakasipu, big demon and we have Prahlad there and Nrsimhadev coming to intervene and help His devotee. So that’s what we call uti two tendencies in the universe who are good and bad, the Lord verses the demons.

Then we have of course the continuation after Lord Brahma creates the universe and goes on like that and populates the universe, throughout the whole day he has to maintain the system of population and population control, in the sense of Dharma, maintaining the system of Dharma within the universe, he does that through Kings, lines of Kings, so we have the Manvantaras from the begin of the day of Brahma, you’ll find in the 4th canto how Svayambhuva-manu was there and he produced progeny, a whole line of Kings starts. So this is basically what is happening here, description of this line from Svayambhuva-manu coming out and after 71 Yugas cycles that’s finished, another Manu comes. So we get 71 Yuga cycles, 71 Yuga cycles throughout the day of Brahma we have 14 Manus appearing and starting lines of Kings to protect the devotees, to establish Dharma, the rules, conduct for people and even if people are in tama guna or whatever, stick them in the system and gradually elevate them upwards. So this is one of the Lords plans to accommodate all the human species and try to elevate them in the universe. So the Manvantaras, this is one discussion how throughout the day of Brahma the Manus & their decedents try to raise people from tama guna upwards until they come to sattva and then practice Bhakti.

We have of course isanukatha another, that means the stories of the Lord and His devotees within the material world, 9th canto. Then finally we have things to get out of the material world, mukti, is another topic of the Bhagavatam 11 th canto, largely discusses this, of course even impersonal mukti, some chapters are dedicated to merging in Brahmana, that’s 11th canto. Of course we have not only merging in Brahman we also have Bhagavan there also worshiping the Lord of Bhakti.

Then the 9th topic is Nirodha, destruction. The Lord creates the universe, Brahma starts the whole thing and then throughout the day of Brahma has the Manus working and they are establishing Dharma etc the people are supposed to gradually elevate themselves, then gradually take to the process of Jnana and Yoga and then Bhakti and get out of the universe and go to the spiritual world. Through out the day of Brahma and this happens everyday of Brahma for a 100 years and then finally everything disappears. That’s called nirodha, the big nirodha, the big Pralaya. Of course this is temporary the ones at the end of the day of Brahma then other things also, the final one is the big destruction at the end. So that is the 9th topic which is described in the 12th canto, four types of destruction.

Then the 10th topic is Ashraya, shelter. That which gives shelter to everything, that which is the cause of everything. So in general we can say that is the Supreme Lord, Bhagavan etc. In Bhagavatam it is not just the Supreme Lord it is Krsna. Svayam Bhagavan Krsna, He is the Supreme Ashraya. Now the problem comes how do you relate, that Krsna who is described in the 10th canto, with all these other topics here? Here we have the producing progeny etc, populating the universes, whatever which is all kind of material, whatever. We have descriptions of universes and there are planetary systems and all the creation through Maha Vishnu, how does this all relate to Krsna? Krsna is the source of everything. He has all powers, of course we talk about the sweetness of Krsna, that’s His prime quality. We see in the Nectar of Devotion there are 64 qualities of Krsna, Vishnu has 60, Krsna has 64 qualities. The 4 qualities that are special are all sweet qualities. Sweet pastime, sweet devotee, sweet form, Madhurya Rupa, sweet flute, it’s all sweetness. But when we can say that, well how can Krsna be complete because He’s sweet and all that but Vishnu’s got power, Vishnu creates universes, all this. So Vishnu is powerful, Krsna’s sweet so Krsna’s not so complete after all, Vishnu’s got all the powers.

So we may think like that but the purpose of the Bhagavatam is to show that, no, Krsna has the sweetness which nobody has, He also has power that no form of God has, not even the greatest form of Vishnu or anyone else, Krsna has the greater power. Of course it is said in the Bhagavatam itself and in other places also that when Krsna appears, because He is Svayam Bhagavan, all the other forms of the Lord merge into to Him at that time when He appears in the material world, They partake of His pastimes because He is the Supreme. So He brings everybody with Him. They are inside Him when He is performing His pastimes.

So Krsna in other words is very special. He has sweetness definitely which no other form has, sweeter form, sweeter pastimes, sweeter rasas etc but He has more power also. So we should understand that when we have the descriptions of the universe, Sarga and Visarga, and all of this ultimately we are not pointing up to Vishnu etc we are pointing up to Krsna as the ultimately powerful person within the universe, He is the one.

That is displayed very nicely in the 10th canto. For instance we have stories of Krsna in all of His sweetness especially in Vrndavan that’s where it’s most sweet. When He’s in Mathura & Dwarka then maybe He gets to show His powers. Vasudev and Devaki and the Yadavas they understand that this is the Supreme Lord, yes He is very sweet but He is also the Supreme Lord so it’s a little bit diluted there because they see He’s also got powers evidently displayed. But in Vrndavan even though He does display the powers the remarkable thing is that the sweetness covers it all up. But the powers He shows there are also highest powers.

So for instance when He was a child with Mother Yasoda, the boys, cow herd boys and Balaram and Krsna were playing but they liked to get Krsna into trouble, so they complained to Mother Yasoda that Krsna is eating dirt so now you got to chastise him, punish Him. So Mother Yasoda of course understood that yes Krsna is very uncontrolled and undisciplined and does all sorts of strange things, He gets into trouble all the time, she more or less believed the cowherd boys and Balaram, that Yes He probably is eating dirt after all. Krsna of course was in a little bit of quandary at this time, what should I do? She sees dirt in my mouth she’s going to punish me. What to do? Open my mouth, she’s going to see dirt. But because Krsna is who He is He didn’t have to do anything. Mother Yasoda said, ‘open your mouth’ and so Krsna opened His mouth. What did she see? She didn’t see dirt, she saw the whole universe, not just a little bit of dirt. Just the whole universe inside Krsna, which is completely bewildering. She was holding Krsna within her arms, one foot, two foot like this. But then she looked inside His mouth and there she saw the whole universe which is billions of miles across. She became completely bewildered, what she was seeing there. She saw the planetary system, she saw Lord Brahma there sitting on the lotus, she saw Vishnu there, everything there, all the devatas, all the rakshasas, all the planetary systems, she even saw Vrndavan there and she saw herself, looking in Krsnas mouth even. Most bewildering!

She was looking inside His mouth there and inside there she could see the universe again etc. It was completely bewildering to her. So by the inconceivable power of Krsna, without effort, He didn’t have to think, well I have to show Universal form to Mother Yasoda, He just opened His mouth and His isvarya shakti which is His servant automatically began to do things along with the lila shakti to bewilder Mother Yasoda. The idea is that within Vrndavan, within that baby Krsna we have the highest manifestation of all His powers. That He can manifest within Himself the whole universe without any effort, including Vishnu and Brahma, Siva and everybody else. The greater thing then that was that Mother Yasoda saw this, she looked at Krsna and couldn’t quite figure out what’s happening.

We know that Arjuna also saw the Universal form. When he saw the Universal form then he began to apologies to Krsna. ‘Oh please forgive me because I’ve been too friendly with You, I’ve been joking with You, eating with You, sitting on the same seat, but I understand You’re the Supreme Lord.’ Mother Yasoda didn’t do anything like that. She forgot everything, she thought this must be some sort of illusion, maybe the demons are causing some trick or something like that but definitely it’s got nothing to do with Krsna because Krsna’s my son. So the power of her love eclipsed that vision completely, made her forget it, that it had anything to do with Krsnas powers. But Krsna was able to display all of His powers. Simultaneously Mother Yasoda and everyone never believed it. So in this way the sweetness is maintained at the same time Krsna showed His power.

Even more fantastically in the Brahma-vimohana lila, there Krsna expanded Himself as all the cowherd boys because Brahma was thinking, ‘Oh this Krsna’. He understood yes Krsna’s the Supreme Lord because originally the devatas came they prayed, Kamsa was causing problems and stopping sacrifices, so you have to appear in the material world and Lord said yes I’ll appear and Krsna appeared in the prison house of Kamsa etc. So they knew, Krsna is the Supreme Lord and He has come to help the devatas etc and Brahma knew this. But when he came after Krsna had killed Agasura and Agasura got liberation and everyone was praising Him including the devatas, Brahma got a little curious, all of a sudden all this commotion, all the devatas and sages are praising Krsna. So he came down and He found Krsna out in the forest with all the cowherd boys and what were they doing? They were simply sitting down in the grass, eating. Eating lunch. Krsna had food in His right hand, food in His left hand, food in His mouth, food all over His body. He was throwing food here to the cowherd boys etc and Brahma thought how could this be the Supreme Lord? He’s not even clean. He’s just a little boy running around with food all over His body and food all over His hands, how can this be the Supreme Lord? So he wanted to test Krsna and stole all the cowherd boys and calves, apparently stuck them in a cave, he actually didn’t do that but he thought he did.

After one year he came back and then he saw Krsna was still with the cowherd boys, still playing with them and the calves are all there and he thought how can this be? He went to the cave and saw the cowherd boys and calves were all there sleeping in the cave and he looked up and saw they are playing with Krsna and he thought well who are the real ones? He got bewildered. Then Krsna showed him each calf and cowherd boy which numbered in the millions or billions. It is said that when Krsna goes out with the calves, like billions of calves and billions of cowherd boys, how to accommodate them all in Vrndavan is Krsnas power, anyway billions of them were there and Brahma looked at them and suddenly they all became Vishnu forms and each Vishnu form was in charge of a universe and in that universe all the devatas were there, planetary systems were there etc. All the rakshashas and the trees, the planets and the rivers everything, and there were million and millions of these forms of Vishnu who were creators of universe and suddenly they all disappeared and only Krsna was there. Krsna with food in His hand. So in this way Brahma understood this little boy who is so innocent and doesn’t look like He’s the Supreme Lord actually is the source of billions of Vishnu forms who create billions of universes.

So Krsna’s all powerful. He is more powerful then all the Vishnu forms and all the avatar forms etc and at the same time He is simply walking in the fields of Vrndavan, eating His curd rice and joking with the cowherd boys etc. The rasa with the cowherd boys and others go on as if He’s not God and at the same time to Lord Brahma He can display how He is the source of everything Svayam Bhagavan.

So therefore Krsna has all powers, all the powers of all the other forms of the Lord are within Krsna and instantaneously without any effort He can show these forms if He wants to, as He did to Brahma and He can make them disappear immediately.

But of course greater than all this power is that sweetness, so therefore the 4 qualities are the outstanding feature of Krsna so those are mentioned in the Nectar of Devotion. These sweet things are the highest attraction. So therefore in Vrndavan though He can show and does show His great powers, greater than any of the other forms, the people of Vrndavan are not interested in these things at all, they are completely attached to Krsna because Mother Yasoda, Nanda say Krsna is my son, cowherd boys say Krsna’s my friend, and the Gopis of course say Krsna is my lover. So they are completely attached to Krsna in all of its sweetness therefore all of this greatness become eclipsed. But never the less we should never forget that Krsna also has all greatness, all isvarya, all powers within Him at the same time. So He is more complete in manifestation of powers then any other form but more attractive to the people of Vrndavan is His great sweetness and the other forms of the Supreme Lord don’t manifest that sweetness to a high degree at all. So for that reason Krsna is Svayam Bhagavan. That of course is very concisely described in the 10 th canto of Bhagavatam where we have Krsnas qualities, powers, sweetness manifest through the expert descriptions of Veda Vyasa as recited by Sukadev Goswami and the sweetness of his recitation, through his poetry etc, describing His lilas.

Therefore Krsna is the ultimate form of the Supreme Lord and that’s represented in the 10 th canto which is the Ashraya. All these other topics, the other 9 topics of the Bhagavatam, all the other cantos out of the 12 cantos, those other 11 cantos are actually pointing towards Svayam Bhagavan ultimately. So that’s how we should understand all these different stories and things in the Bhagavatam as all ultimately connected directly or indirectly back to glorification of Krsna as the sweetest, the most powerful form of the Lord and the one that the people of Kali Yuga should worship, through the process of Bhakti.

So that is the message that Veda Vyasa was commanded to put into the Bhagavatam by Narada Muni.

The only other point I want to mention here is that, yes we have the Bhagavatam and it points to Krsna, unfortunately, maybe fortunately or unfortunately, scripture is such that everything is not stated directly and even if you read the Bhagavatam you can get bewildered. In fact Visvanath Cakravarti says that Bhagavatam is like Mohini avatar. Mohini of course means bewildering, so She is a special avatar who bewildered the demons. How did She bewilder them? She came and She stole the nectar from them. They were so enamored by Her beauty that they thought we will give Her the nectar and She will give it back to us. Mohini said give me the nectar and they said yes, yes, yes She is so wonderful, She likes us so much, we’ll please Her and give Her the nectar and they got bewildered, Mohini took the nectar and gave it to the devatas to their great disappointment. So Bhagavatam is like Mohini. It hides the nectar from the demons and the materialists and it gives it to the devotees.

So what this means is that the Bhagavatam sometimes will have stories which may look materialistic or whatever, in glorification of Karma Kanda, Dharma or Jnana or Yoga etc.

For instance in the story of when Uddhava comes back with a message to the Gopis, they were feeling such separation Krsna thought I’ll send Uddhava back as he’s non different from Me, so He sent Him back with a message and the Gopis heard the message, if you look closely at the message what is Krsnas message? Mediate on Paramatma like a yogi. So yogis can feel very good, look higher then Bhakti is Yoga.

When later on the Gopis and Krsna met at Kuruksetra, Krsna met them and He gave them personal instruction and what does He say there? ‘We have to separate again because I have to kill some demons so you go to Vrndavan, don’t be worried because actually I’m everywhere as Brahman, just like ether is spread everywhere so I’m spread everywhere throughout the whole universe, so meditate like that and you’ll be satisfied’. The brahmavadis, the mayavadis say, see Jnana is higher than Bhakti, the Gopis are advised by Krsna to do Jnana and merge into Brahmana.

So yes it looks like that, but it’s not true because it contradicts the whole thesis of the Bhagavatam, that you can only understand Krsna by Bhakti, not by Jnana or Yoga. So why is it like this? Why is it said like this? Mohini! Bhagavatam hides itself from the demons and they can think anything they want. It’s for the devotees. The devotee will understand, that this is contradictory, Krsna cannot mean this become a yogi or a brahmavadi to the Gopis. Sure enough our acaryas will explain this is not true, and therefore there is another meaning behind this, so they explain in terms of prakat, aprakat pastimes the visible pastimes and invisible pastimes. Ultimately the Gopis are eternally united with Krsna in the spiritual world in the aprakat pastimes and therefore they shouldn’t worry that they are temporarily separated from Him.

In other words there are places where one can become confused and therefore to help us the acaryas have explained very nicely, this is a contradiction it cannot be so. How they do that? Because they go through the Bhagavatam and they see what is the may purpose of the Bhagavatam. What is the main statement at the beginning of Bhagavatam. What is the ending statement of the Bhagavatam. What is the principle and then there is contradictions solve them somehow or other, so that’s what they do. So therefore we take the Bhagavatam but we also have to take the meaning according to the acaryas. We can’t just take Bhagavatam because we’ll become completely bewildered also even though it’s the highest literature and meant for the people of Kali yuga. Still we go through our Parampara. We take the commentaries, the explanations of our acaryas so we don’t become bewildered like the other people. So therefore we have that mercy of the acaryas to explain to us the proper meaning of Bhagavatam so there is no contradiction, contradiction is not contradiction. That is one point.

The other point is that, even with that we also understand that it is said that if we take Hari katha which is amrita from the mouth of an avaisnava it’s no longer amrita, it’s poison. So even Bhagavatam become poison when it comes out of the wrong mouth. Has to come from the devotees. So we have the Bhagavatam, we have the commentaries, let it come from the mouth of devotees, those who really understand the purport of the Bhagavatam, what Vyasa, Suka and the acaryas are saying. Those people who have conviction that Krsna is Svayam Bhagavan and the process is Bhakti and the goal is Prema. Those persons should recite the Bhagavatam, then it become nectar. When a person without that faith does it, it becomes poison, same scripture.

So therefore we have the Parampara, we have the scripture and then we have the devotees to communicate the message intact, so this is how the Parampara goes on, it is not an abstract system it’s made of people, devotees, one after the other who pass it on throughout history, up to the present and into the future. So it is the responsibility of the devotees to get the proper understanding according to our commentaries of the acaryas and also communicate that to the people with great devotion, that’s the responsibility. Then we have the successful communication of the message of scripture.

So in this way the Supreme Lord is capable of being described by words but ultimately not the Vedas, not the Puranas other works but Bhagavatam becomes the main source of Tattva for us, for the Gaudiya. Because it indicates Krsna as that Supreme Entity of worship, it indicates the process of Bhakti, it indicates the goal for us that’s Krsna Prema.

That’s why we study Bhagavatam everyday, not Vedas, or Upanishads or any other work. So everyday we have to study Bhagavatam to get that understanding of who is Krsna. So though these stories may look a little indirect ultimately that’s kind of the point to relate everything in the material world to Krsna. In the 10 th chapter of Bhagavad Gita we have the vibhutis of the Lord, a description of how you can see the Lord in the material world, the Himalayas or the Ganga or the makara or the lion are all representing Krsna in this material world. So for people who are less advanced they start with the material world and gradually work there way up to understand who is Krsna. Therefore we have for people a whole creation and all the descriptions of all these different things but through that we are trying to understand the will of Krsna and how Krsna is that Supreme, sweet, most attractive form of the Supreme Lord.

It’s over time.
Hare Krsna.

Helpful reference:

(1) Sarga: the first creation by Visnu, the bringing forth of the five gross material elements, the five objects of sense perception, the ten senses, the mind, the intelligence, the false ego and the total material energy, or universal form.

(2) Visarga: the secondary creation, or the work of Brahma in producing the moving and unmoving bodies in the universe (brahmanda).

(3) Sthana: the maintenance of the universe by the Personality of Godhead, Visnu. Visnu's function is more important and His glory greater than Brahma's and Lord Siva's, for although Brahma is the creator and Lord Siva the destroyer, Visnu is the maintainer.

(4) Posana: special care and protection for devotees by the Lord. As a king maintains his kingdom and subjects but nevertheless gives special attention to the members of his family, so the Personality of Godhead gives special care to His devotees who are souls completely surrendered to Him.

(5) Uti: the urge for creation, or initiative power, that is the cause of all inventions, according to the necessities of time, space and objects.

(6) Manv-antara: The periods controlled by the Manus, who teach regulative principles for living beings who desire to achieve perfection in human life. The rules of Manu, as described in the Manu-samhita, guide the way to such perfection.

(7) Isanukatha: scriptural information regarding the Personality of Godhead, His incarnations on earth and the activities of His devotees. Scriptures dealing with these subjects are essential for progressive human life.

(8) Nirodha: the winding up of all energies employed in creation. Such potencies are emanations from the Personality of Godhead who eternally lies in the Karana Ocean. The cosmic creations, manifested with His breath, are again dissolved in due course.

(9) Mukti: liberation of the conditioned souls encaged by the gross and subtle coverings of body and mind. When freed from all material affection, the soul, giving up the gross and subtle material bodies, can attain the spiritual sky in his original spiritual body and engage in transcendental loving service to the Lord in Vaikunthaloka or Krsnaloka. When the soul is situated in his original constitutional position of existence, he is said to be liberated. It is possible to engage in transcendental loving service to the Lord and become jivan-mukta, a liberated soul, even while in the material body.

(10) Asraya: The Transcendence, the summum bonum, from whom everything emanates, upon whom everything rests, and in whom everything merges after annihilation. He is the source and support of all. The asraya is also called the Supreme Brahman, as in the Vedanta-sutra (athato brahma jijnasa, janmady asya yatah [SB 1.1.1]). Srimad-Bhagavatam especially describes this Supreme Brahman as the asraya. Sri Krsna is this asraya, and therefore the greatest necessity of life is to study the science of Krsna.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Adi 2.91–92
Listen Srimad Bhagavatam Audio Lecture of Bhanu Swami
- Transcribed by Varsana Mataji, UK

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Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances! All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev!

The following is a transcription of the glorification and remembrance of HH Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj, by HG Devakinandan prabhuji on the occasion of disappearance day on 25th January, 2013 (English calendar date) in ISKCON Sri Radha-Gopinath Mandir, Chowpatty.

"The disappearance day of a Vaishnava is considered to be more glorious than his appearance. We may not know how great a Vaishnava is when he is born, because very often we do not understand who he is until he manifests his greatness later. But by the time a great Vaishnava winds up his pastimes, everyone can come to understand his glories. That is why for Vaishnavas, whether it is tithi or calendar day, disappearance day is considered to be very important. The other thing which is also very important for us to remember is that, for the Vaishnavas, frankly speaking, Vaishnavas have no beginning and no end because Vaishnavas are non-different from the sound incarnation that they manifest on the platform of Srimad Bhagavatam. Because a Vaishnava is always connected to Srimad Bhagavatam, he continues to eternally live with Srimad Bhagavatam. Srimad Bhagavatam verse 2.3.12 affirms

aayur harati vai pumsaam
udyann astam ca yann asau
tasyarte yat-kshano nita

"Both by rising and by setting, the sun decreases the duration of life of everyone, except one who utilizes the time by discussing topics of the all-good Personality of Godhead."

The sun may set on the body of a Vaishnava, but it never sets on his teachings and instructions. So in that way, Maharaj taught to us as disciples, that as long as we are in the platform of Srimad Bhagavatam, we will never lose the connection to the acharyas and spiritual masters.

Maharaj spent a large part of his final days in Nasik. Nasik was very dear to Maharaj because most of his childhood was spent in Nasik. There was a peaceful house and there he was spending time daily studying Srimad Bhagavatam. Towards the end, it became very difficult for him to speak and he would not speak. For long hours he would lie down on the bed, but he gave us instructions to keep chanting the verse of Srimad Bhagavatam. Sometimes, late in the night, I would think that Maharaj was taking rest and I would start a verse and finish it and would look at Maharaj. Maharaj looked like he was sleeping. I remember coming to the verse SB 2.3.17 and when I chanted that verse and when I was going to finish, I started coughing and just at the point when I started coughing, when I stopped the verse, Maharaj opened his eyes out of nowhere and he completed the verse for me and at that point, I realized that all this time when I was chanting, Maharaj had actually been hearing and all this time I was under the false impression that I was chanting and my spiritual master was taking solace in my wonderful chanting. He finished the verse for me and he said, "Devaki, you should look at the last few lines of this purport" and then he became silent again. For a while I thought, did I dream all this? Because it was very late in the night and Maharaj had spoken when he had not spoken for days. All of a sudden he was bright and alive and he was sharp on the point with Srimad Bhagavatam and I realized that he had not missed a single word that we were chanting and that is when I read the last line of the purport, "A devotee of the Lord is guaranteed eternal life. A devotee's old age or disease in the present life is but an impetus to such guaranteed eternal life."

The word "impetus", Maharaj taught us has another synonym to it. Maharaj instructed us that in order to get impetus from Krishna, we must become inspired by Krishna. Maharaj taught us there is only one verse in the entire Srimad Bhagavatam that speaks about the inspiration Krishna gives us. Maharaj lived that verse. In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 3.29.39, Kapila deva says to Devahuti mata,

na caasya kascid dayito
na dveshyo na ca baandhavah
aavishaty apramatto 'sau
pramattam janam anta-krt

"No one is dear to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, nor is anyone His enemy or friend. But He gives inspiration to those who have not forgotten Him and destroys those who have."

When Maharaj was speaking to us in the Bhakti Vedanta hospital, many times he quoted this verse and said that as long as we are trying to remember Krishna, we will always have the inspiration to remember Krishna. Maharaj said, "Do not search for inspiration in the sky, when it is very much on the ground. Inspiration is not something when your hair stands on end and for a moment you feel like jumping high in kirtan. Inspiration is actually coming on the platform of serious study of Srimad Bhagavatam. If you bury your head in Bhagavatam, then naturally Krishna gives you the impetus to become inspired on the basis of Bhagavatam. By remembrance of Krishna we are inspired. By forgetfulness of Krishna we will have to die." The Vaishnavas never die because they continue living on the basis of instructions and Srimad Bhagavatam.

When Maharaj had a stroke in 2000, doctors told us that the chances of his pulling through is very slim and at that point I asked Maharaj, "Maharaj, what happens if you leave? How will I be able to contact and speak to you?" Maharaj made a very interesting point. He said, "Devaki, just remember one thing. This material body has no value. It only has value as long as it is dragged to the pages of Srimad Bhagavatam. In fact, once the material body is cast away, the spiritual master's connection to the disciple is even stronger than before. Where previously we had to pick up the phone and dial Rajkot/Dwaraka, now you do not even have to pick up the phone. You just have to study Srimad Bhagavatam and be sincere in your sadhana and then our connection would become instant because now there is no more body between us." This gave me a glimpse and understanding that disappearance is actually an impetus for us to continue to be inspired by the instructions of spiritual master."

Thank you very much
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev
Vaijayanti Mala Devi Dasi,
Abu dhabi

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Morning walk with Srila PrabhupadaIn Chapultepec Park Srila Prabhupada liked to walk on the narrow Road of the Philosophers. The early mornings were cold, and he wore his long saffron coat with hood. The simple canvas shoes he wore would become wet from the dew on the grass. His rapid pace made his younger disciples hustle to keep up. Often Prabhupada's words would go untranslated, and the Mexican boys could catch only a phrase or two. But they were happy to be with their spiritual master. He was interested in the many varieties of trees and sometimes asked about them. Once, stopping before a large dead tree, he examined it carefully.

"What is the difference between this dead tree and the others?" he asked. One disciple replied, "This tree is dead because its time is over."

"No," Prabhupada said and tapped his cane on the ground.

Another devotee ventured, "This tree has a certain karma different from the others."

"No," Prabhupada again tapped his cane on the ground. "The difference is that there is not a soul in this tree."

While walking among the trees in Chapultepec Park, Prabhupada spotted a certain eucalyptus twig above his head. He stopped. From as early as 1967 in San Francisco, he had used the twigs of eucalyptus trees as toothbrushes, a Western substitute for the antiseptic neem twigs of India.

Ksiti-mohana: Prabhupada pointed to the tree and told Hrdayananda Maharaja, "I want that stick." It was a very small one. Hrdayananda Maharaja heard Prabhupada. He said, "Prabhupada wants that. Come on, bring it down, bring it down." He wanted to give it to Prabhupada. So we made a pyramid of men, with three men on the bottom then two men on top of them, and one skinny devotee climbed on top. When the devotee stood and reached up, he was still about fifty centimeters short. But when he made an effort to reach it, the whole pyramid fell to the ground. Prabhupada was watching them, smiling and laughing. Again they made the pyramid bigger, and the devotee tried to reach it again, but again they fell down. Then more devotees tried. They became wet because of the grass, and Hrdayananda Maharaja was very excited, saying, "Come on, Prabhupada wants that. Prabhupada wants that. Keep moving." Prabhupada was smiling at the fun, sometimes watching the twig and sometimes watching the devotees. A third time they tried the pyramid, and it fell down. But the fourth time it worked, and the devotee stood up and broke the twig from the tree, He gave it to Hrdayananda Maharaja, who gave it to Prabhupada, Prabhupada held it in his hand, inspected it for a minute, and then threw it away.

- From "Prabhupada-lila" by HH Satsvarupa dasa Goswami

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Course on Cow Protection

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yad yuyam pitur adesam
agrahishta mudanvitah
atho va usati kirtir
lokan anu bhavishyati

Because you have with pleasure accepted within your hearts the orders of your father and have executed those orders very faithfully, your attractive qualities will be celebrated all over the world.

Purport: Since every living entity is part and parcel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he has small independence. Sometimes unintelligent men ask why one is put into a miserable condition, even though everyone is under the control of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Because of his minute independence, the living entity can obey or disobey the orders of the Supreme Lord. If he obeys the Supreme Lord's orders, he becomes happy. If he does not, he becomes unhappy. Therefore the living entity creates his own happiness or unhappiness. The Supreme Lord does not enforce these on anyone. The Supreme Lord praised the Pracetas because they all faithfully obeyed the orders of their father. The Lord therefore blessed the sons of King Pracinabarhisat because they obeyed their father's orders. (end)

HH Prahladananda Swami: I am very happy to be here and have the opportunity to say something as an aspiring servant of Srila Prabhupada so that perhaps I myself and others may more deeply appreciate Srila Prabhupada, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu's mission, and the goal of life to become fully Krishna conscious.

We hear such things such as orders of the father. Lord Rshabhdeva has also talked about orders of the father and many other orders. He has said,

gurur na sa syat sva-jano na sa syat
pita na sa syaj janani na sa syat
daivam na tat syan na patis ca sa syan
na mocayed yah samupeta-mrityum
(SB 5.5.18)

That one should not become a father, one should not become a mother, one should not become a guru, one should not become a husband, one should not become a worshipable demigod and one should not become a father and mother unless one is prepared to deliver one's disciples or followers from the path of repeated birth and death.

The whole goal of everything we are doing or the whole goal of whatever responsibilities we have is to help our dependents understand that they are dasa dasa anudasa, that all of us should be the servants of the servants of the servants of the servant of Krishna. That mood has been fully manifested in this world in this dark age of Kali by His Divine Grace A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada. And for that reason he has tried to inspire by his example by his instructions that same desire within all of us to simply convince people that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Those who have not followed that path although they may be mother, for instance Bharat Maharaj his mother tried to dissuade him or tried to encourage him to take over the position of Lord Ramachandra. But he rejected his mother because of that. Sukracarya he was acting as the spiritual master but he was not encouraging Bali Maharaj to surrender to Krishna to Lord Vamanadeva and therefore Lord Vamanadeva did not obey him. Similarly we have those who have been fathers, mothers, demigods, worshipable spiritual masters, husbands, but unless they try to instruct their followers, their disciples, their dependents, on how to surrender to Krishna then it is not very fruitful to follow their instructions. And what are those instructions ultimately meant for?

tesam satata-yuktanam bhajatam priti-purvakam
dadami buddhi-yogam tam yena mam upayanti te
(BG 10.10)

As it says here this very verse priti purvakam not only to follow the instructions but to follow them with great pleasure and enthusiasm. What is the definition of enthusiasm? Endeavors executed with intelligence in Krishna consciousness is called enthusiasm. And what is that endeavor? That actually everything in this material world is meant for the service of Krishna, everything is meant for Krishna's pleasure. That is actually the sankirtana movement. And what is that pleasure? Krishna says

aham sarvasya prabhavo mattah sarvam pravartate
iti matva bhajante mam budha bhava-samanvitah
(BG 10.8)

How can you possibly conceive of who is actually Krishna? How can you imagine someone with unlimited beauty, unlimited strength, unlimited fame, unlimited wealth, unlimited renunciation? But we can hear about Him. We can hear about the pastimes of Caitanya Mahaprabhu and understand something about the Supreme Lord's unlimited renunciation. You can hear Krishna's pastimes in Vrindavana how the lakes, the trees, the cows the deer the Gopis everyone and everything was attracted to Krishna. We can hear Bhagavad-gita and learn about Krishna's unlimited knowledge.

mac-citta mad-gata-prana bodhayantah parasparam
kathayantas ca mam nityam tushyanti ca ramanti ca
(BG 10.9)

So from the very beginning to the very perfectional level it is the same process. What is that process? Simply try understand about Krishna. Try to accept that He actually is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the goal of life is to hear from Krishna and from His representatives.

Srila Prabhupada has given us a big, big mission, that's called the sankirtana movement. Krishna is not present here but He came five hundred years ago as Caitanya Mahaprabhu. So five hundred years ago Caitanya Mahaprabhu showed us how to manifest the rasa dance in this world, how to manifest, practically speaking, Krishna's pastimes in this world of Kaliyuga.

There is absolutely no difference between the rasa dance and the sankirtana movement. When the devotees who are chanting and dancing in ecstasy they are actually engaged in the rasa dance with Krishna. When they are distributing books to the conditioned souls they are actually acting in the same mood as the Gopis trying to bring other Krishna's servants to please Krishna. When the devotees are taking prasadam it is equally good as if we were in Vrindavana, as if our consciousness it there with Caitanya Mahaprabhu in Vrindavana.

It is equally as good depending upon our consciousness so therefore in the beginning although we may be engaged in these activities still there is tusyanti there is satisfaction, we are doing the right thing. We are actually engaged in Krishna's pastimes we are actually with Krishna and His devotees and then as we actually gradually accept this process, as we gradually accept that we are not only Krishna's servant but we are actually the servant of the servant of the servant of the servant of Krishna.

yare dekha, tare kaha 'krishna-upadesa
amara ajnaya guru hana tara'ei desa
(CC Madhya 7.128)

That Krishna He wants every one of us to go back to the spiritual world to be with Him. And He wants each one of us to become an instrument in that service in that mission. We may have a book distributor who goes out not very much sure exactly what they are doing, people are telling them to get a job, go home. Like Narada Muni told Dhruva Maharaj 'Go home.' Dhruva Maharaj did not listen. If the book distributor goes out stays there with determination, suffers

tat te 'nukampam su-samiksamano
bhunjana evatma-krtam vipakam
(BG 10.14.8)

Why do we suffer? We are only suffering because we don't know understand that everyone is Krishna's eternal servant. Not a blade of grass is moving in this world without Krishna's desire. So here is a question. We are there on book distribution, we are there preaching, we are there doing service; why do we find ourselves in so much difficulties at times? What is the ultimate difficulty?

Prahlada Maharaja says that there is no actually enemy in this world except for the uncontrolled mind. "For those who can see Me everywhere and can see everything in Me I am never lost to him nor is he ever lost to Me." So why don't we see Krishna everywhere? Why do we not see everything in Krishna? Why are we forgetful? So Krishna says is it My fault? Many people blame Krishna.

One devotee approached Prabhupada and said "Prabhupada, everyone is criticizing me." Prabhupada said, "Well they criticized Caitanya Mahaprabhu also." The devotee said, "You don't understand they are criticizing me." Prabhupada said, "No they also criticized Caitanya Mahaprabu." He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and still they are criticizing Him. God comes and many people all they do is criticize Him calling Him a thief, calling Him a debauchee, calling Him a killer, murderer.

As I said last year He was born in a jail, His parents were criminals, He fled, He grew up and because of that criminal tendency His nurse (Putana) came and He killed her. (laughter) A long list of the problems He caused to the other living entities. He became a thief at an early age and collected a mafia in Vrindavana. (laughter) Finally the king called Him trying to bring justice to the kingdom but He continued His line of killing. An elephant was sent to greet Him, killing wrestlers and then killing the king himself and then whole list of things. One can criticize Krsna book if you have that attitude. But Krishna says

nadatte kasyacit papam na caiva sukrtam vibhuh
(BG 5.15)

I am actually not responsible. I am simply fulfilling whatever desires the conditioned soul has. I am sitting there, yes, I am watching it but I am sitting there in the heart watching everything that's going on but I am sitting as a neutral.

Now what is actually our problem. Due to the fact that since time immemorial we have tried to imitate Krishna therefore so many desires have been accumulated and they are passing through our minds and along with those desires as they cover our consciousness, they cover our intelligence also. Therefore we don't see things properly, we don't understand things properly, we don't feel things properly and therefore we don't do things properly.

And on top of that we think we are perfect, powerful, happy. "I have so many assets, I have so many things going for me and anyone who criticizes me that's because they are envious. And I never reveal my glories to the envious. (laughter) They are covered by my enviousness (?) or Krishna covers them because it is a partnership between me and Him."

No, in the beginning we have to understand what are the desires. What are the desires in Krishna consciousness and what are the other desires, spiritual desires, the desires coming from Krishna, the desires coming from Krishna through His line of disciplic succession. If we can understand those desires and if we can understand the other desires then we can actually orient ourselves properly.

And what is the symptoms of proper orientation? That automatically causes knowledge, and detachment will develop. And what is that knowledge? In the beginning it is the realization "why do I have to force my will on this world? Yes I see things in a certain way, yes I have a certain conviction, yes I have certain feelings but am I really the Absolute who actually knows everything perfectly? Should I actually take the Supersoul's place because He is asleep? I see exactly what should go on, I know within my heart I am good person and I really have the best interest of everyone but the problem is they don't listen to me. They don't recognize me, if they'd only follow my instructions everything would be perfect."

Are we really on that platform that our will should become supreme, that we should impose our will on other people or even other devotees? Or are we also subjected to the modes of material nature and although we may understand something about Krishna consciousness, although we may have some realizations that we want to share with others, although we may have some desire to help the the conditioned souls can come back to the spiritual world, but can we do that independently? Can we do that with full conviction, that I am better than everyone else? Or do we have to work cooperatively in the sankirtana movement?

So therefore Krishna came, He displayed His pastimes in this world, He wants His pastimes to be all over the world not only in Vrindavana. He wants Vrindavana everywhere. And therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu came five hundred years ago to show how to bring Vrindavana everywhere. Although He did not travel outside of India but Sri Advaita Acarya said, "My dear Caitanya Mahaprabhu wherever You are that's Vrindavana." So our business is to bring Caitanya Mahaprabhu everywhere.

But who actually brought Caitanya Mahabrabhu everwhere? That's Srila Prabhupada! Our Srila Prabhupada! He went all over the world and he brought Caitanya Mahaprabhu everywhere. So if we want to follow Krishna's orders and if we want to follow Caitanya Mahaprabhu's orders, then we have to follow Prabhupada's example through Prabhupada's orders how to spread Krishna consciousness everywhere.

And what is that method he gave us and what is he trying to achieve? He is trying to simply convince people that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, that Krishna is the owner of everything. Krishna, whether you say Krishna or God or Jehovah or Allah, Krishna is the owner of everything in this world and everything is meant for His pleasure. And He is actually the well-wisher and friend of everyone.

So what are the weapons that Prabhupada gave us? First of all Prabhupada formed a society- The International Society of Krishna Consciousness. And he promised that he will be in the society for at least as long as there are as followers. Prabhupada said 'I will live in my books and my followers will live with me.'

He will live in his instructions and those who follow his instructions will live with Prabhupada. But Prabhupada is not alone just like a king is not alone. He is with all his confidential servants and associates. So Prabhupada is not living alone, he is also living with his confidential servants ands associates. If we want to serve Srila Prabhupada then we will also have to please them. Even we may think they are not elevated, as elevated as Srila Prabhupada, but Prabhupada used to say "you love me you love my dog". Not that his servants arei anyhow we'd love to become Prabhupada's dog. Even Krishna has a dog in Goloka Vrindavana.

So we have to become servant and what is the mission? How to convince people that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. What did Prabhupada stress above everything else? Not only chanting Hare Krishna as part of our sadhana. That he wanted us to do as a basic principle and then become qualified to participate in the mission of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. And what is that mission? Prabhupada said it is a cultural revolution. It's a cultural revolution, a crusade. What kind of crusade? Of dioramas, drama or music or concerts, everything and everyone utilizing their talents in the service of Krishna. See every opportunity to utilize all his energy to dovetail it in the sankirtana movement, in the chanting the Holy names.

So when we are chanting Hare Krishna it is not an ordinary chanting of Hare Krishna. We are not only eventually going to remember Krishna and Srimati Radharani when we are chanting Hare Krishna, but we are also going to remember Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His pastimes. And not only are we going to remember Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His pastimes but eventually we are also going to remember Srila Prabhupada and his pastimes.

We are calling out to Lord Krishna to engage us in His loving service, we are calling out to Srimati Radharani to engage us in Her loving service, but that loving service is the sankirtana movement as brought to us by Srila Prabhupada. That is the ISKCON movement, that we are calling out to Krishna and Srimati Radharani to not only engage in the society but engage in a loving way, in a loving reciprocation with our Godbrothers, Godsisters, Godnephews, with everyone in this movement, to engage in our loving service to Srila Prabhupada and engage in a loving way with all the devotees who are in different levels of spiritual attainment.

To learn that knowledge as to how to follow Srila Prabhupada's instructions so that we learn how to cooperate in a unified way, appreciate the qualities of the devotees. Develop love for them and appreciation, cooperation so we get the strength, the determination, the conviction, and the vision how to convince the others who are innocent that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Utilize everyone's talent whoever they may be to join people together within the society first with love and devotion and then the innocent.

In that way not only unite our society with love and affection all the members, to learn the art of loving exchanges within our society but then to extend it to all the Gaudiyas to unite them together all with this focus that Krishna is God. We can put aside our differences but we must conquer the world for Krishna. That's the vision that Srila Prabhuapda had. Forget about all these other things but conquer the world for Krishna then you can fight afterwards if you want to.

Now why just unite the Gaudiyas, unite all the Hindus together, unite anyone who believes in Krishna. Let them join the revolution, the cultural conquest. And why just the Hindus, anyone who isi let them be convinced that there is a God and we should utilize our energies to please Him to glorify Him. So we can unite together in that principle then it is much easier to put aside our differences. Then Srila Prabhupada will be pleased. He will reveal to us all our great acaryas and their mission. Our great acaryas will introduce us to the six Goswamis. The six Goswamis will introduce us to the Panca tattva. The Panca tattva will introduce us specifically to Caitanya Mahaprabhu who is feeling separation from Radha and Krishna in Vrindavana.

And if we fully engage our energies with as it says here with great pleasure and with great faith, with great determination, with great steadiness, the more we do that then the more we can enter Vrindavana with the ecstatic feelings of separation as given to us by Caitanya Mahaprabhu His exalted followers such as Srila Prabhupada and His faithful followers too.

Thank you very much! Srila Prabhupada ki jai! Are there any questions?

Devotee: Good qualities of the Practeas how exalted they were, gentle and they followed the order of their father. But coming out of the water the first thing they did was they destroyed all the trees growing out there. They seemed to be very angry, their frustration, their mystic power of some kind. So much so that.. stop. So I am always confused about the praising of their good qualities and this destruction of the trees. Is that a manifestation of some kind of good quality, I don't understand why the anger and burning of trees.

HH Prahladananda Swami: As far as I can remember the trees were interfering with the ability of the residents to get proper nourishment. So it became a question of priority - to protect the citizens or to protect the trees. The Pracetas as far as I remember they decided to protect the citizens. So sometimes someone has to make priority. It's not that the Pracetas came out of the water and thought well now we have got we wanted after so many years. .. it was there duty. And they performed it. We don't know, it is not explained their consciousness but we understand they are pure devotees and therefore their consciousness was not out of envy or . . . but was their duty if not out of service.

Devotee: You mentioned the example of Dhruva Maharaja who rejected the order of the spiritual master to go home? Yet even he did and even though his motivation was wrong to be bigger than Brahma he attained ultimate spiritual perfection. Can you comment please?

HH Prahladananda Swami: I didn't mention Dhruva Maharaj. I mentioned only Bharat Maharaj and Bali Maharaj. Dhruva Maharaj is a little different. Narada Muni appeared there and Dhruva Maharaj said you know I want a kingdom greater than my great grandfather.

And Narada Muni to test him said why don't you go home? You are too young. When you get older you can come back and then you can actually take up self realization, but Dhruva Maharaj said no I am going to stay here, if anyone wants to go home you go home, I'll stay here. But that was just testing his disciple.

Devotee: Hare Krishna Maharaj: if you can reconcile. I just came from Kenya from interfaith conferences and lead marches for chanting Hare Krishnaiwe were telling people they should get along and we asked them to forgive each other. Why do we sometimes have a hard time forgiving factions of devoteesinothing even close to that.

HH Prahladananda Swami: Devotional service is a gradual process. I remember when I first joined we had two brothers in the movement they used to fight quite a bit. And I used to go, at that time they were living in 61 Second Avenue. I was wondering about that till Prabhupada said one day that they are just like two pups in the same litter fighting with each other. So our fighting is a little different. Even in fourth canto, I think Bhaktivaibhava Maharaj read that verse in his class, it says that our fighting is not ordinary fighting sometimes if the basis is to please Krishna. There may be disagreements at times. We may disagree how to please Krishna but because Krishna is the basis, the center, therefore it is not ordinary fighting, it is actually spiritual. If we are fighting out of envy then Krishna will help us or maya will help us. But these are not ordinary, devotees activities.

Devotee: Hare Krishna Maharaj: what should be our attitude when we are the object of criticism?

HH Prahladananda Swami: Who are 'we'? Well if you know who you are and the person is so elevated that he can actually criticize you, who you really are, then it will be quite blissful. Now if you take off your shirt and everyone who walks by says Bad shirt! Bad shirt! Will you fell offended?

So when people criticize us who are they actually criticizing? Do they actually know who we are? Do we know who we are? So then if they actually, they are criticizing our shirt or our dress whatever we have on why should we take it seriously? And if we take it seriously that's what is serious, that's the problem. Otherwise there is no problem, so then we should understand we have a problem. ?? And they are very kind to us because they are pointing out so if we can tolerate that, we can understand that properly, then they are helping us overcome birth and death. Because at the time of death when maya comes and drags this body, drag us out of the body, we are going to have to have a lot of tolerance to remember Krishna at that time.

So these people are being merciful to me they are showing me what I have to work on and if I work on that sincerely they become my guru. They have taught me how to overcome birth and death. Who is going to say oh! Such a good body I have, look at my blood and skin and whatever else I have, how can I possibly not love it? If I peel the skin that one inch then you will appreciate it.

What we are disturbed about is not that they are attacking our body not that they are attacking our appearance, not that they are attacking our feelings, but they are attacking our false ego, they are attacking my idea that I am something special that everyone should love me.

Once we feel that then it becomes intolerable. We want to be loved and appreciated Maybe we should learn from them, maybe because after all we dasa dasa anudasa. Especially if it is a devotee maybe it is something we can correct so that they will actually develop some love and appreciation from us. And we will be able to serve them better.

So it's an opportunity to hear from them to learn from them how we can act in a way that we can serve them better. And if we can serve them better and they love and appreciate us more then we'll actually be doing our duty to them. Not us, Nimitta matra bhava sabhysachin, that we can act as instruments, surrender more that they will love and appreciate Krishna more. Because if we become an instrument of Krishna what they will actually see, what they will actually love, what they will actually appreciate, is not ourselves, its actually Krishna.

Thank you very much! Grantharaj Srimad Bhagavatam ki jai! Srila Prabhupada ki jai! Gaura Premanande Hari Hari Bol!

Listen Srimad Bhagavatam Audio Lecture of Prahladananda Swami
- Transcribed by Sheela Ravishankar Mataji, Singapore.

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Ambika Kalna is an historic town for Gaudiya Vaisnavas. Situated 70 kilometers from Sri Mayapura Dhama it is the place where Lord Nityananda married Jahnava mata and her sister Vasudha.

Just down the street is the home of Gauri das Pandit where Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda once visited to take prasadam. Gauri das Pandit's famous Gaura Nitai deities are still being worshipped there. Local tradition says that in the temple is a copy Bhagavad Gita written by the hand of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. The first photo in this album shows that hamdwriting.

For more Photos click here

- By Indradyumna Swami

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Talking to The Hindu on Wednesday at Hare Krishna Land, a seven-acre stretch acquired by ISKCON in Poigai Mottur village in Vellore taluk, 10 km from Vellore city and about five km off the Chennai-Bangalore National Highway, Mr. Das said that ISKCON has planned to build a traditional stone temple for Lord Krishna that would last for more than 1,000 years. “We want to do some serious research on the type of materials to be used to build the temple before starting the work. It would take another 10 years for the temple to be ready”, he said.

At present, the Hare Krishna Land has a couple of buildings which houses a temporary temple, kitchen, Prasadam hall and a Brahmacharis’ (celibates) rest house. A new four-storeyed guest house would be built at the spot to accommodate the devotees who visit the temple. The proposed guest house would have about 60 rooms, said Mr. Das.

A group of 10 ISKCON devotees from the U.S. visited the ISKCON centre here on Wednesday, as part of their pilgrimage to India. The devotees had already visited Tirupathi, Ahobilam, Srirangam and Udipi. From here, they left for Salem, after which they would be visiting other pilgrim centres in the country.

The Bhagawad Gita philosophy, he said, was not sectarian knowledge belonging to any particular caste, creed or entity, but meant for all living entities.

ISKCON founder A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada who went to the U.S. in 1965 and founded ISKCON in 1966 preached the message in the U.S. In 12 years, he travelled all over the world 14 times. He gave an institutional structure to preach the message of Bhagawad Gita in an organised way. He built 108 temples and wrote more than 80 volumes of books. “We have more than 500 ISKCON temples in more than 160 countries”, he said.

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Alfred Ford, great great grandson of American industrialist Henry Ford, would partly fund upcoming Rs 400 crore Iskcon temple at Mayapur in West Bengal. "I have given some seed capital for the huge dream project of Srila Prabhupada, founder of the Iskcon movement, for construction of a temple at the birthplace of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu," Ford told reporters here today.

He said the project would be ready by 2016 after which there would be an exponential growth in the number of pilgrims and tourists visiting Mayapur. Presently, number of visitors to the existing temple at Mayapur is four million, Ford, a disciple of Prabhupada, said. Once through, the temple would be taller than the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul and the temple's dome diameter and floor space would be bigger than St Paul's Cathedral in London, he added.

Sharmila Bhattacharya Ford, his Bengali wife, said it would be a spectacular sight once the structure, covering an area of 4.25 lakh square feet on 1.5 acres, comes up. Another disciple, Anand Poddar, said the Queen of England and President of India would be invited to inaugurate the temple, which would be built with pure stainless steel.

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ye tu mam rudra-gitena
sayam pratah samahitah
stuvanty aham kama-varan
dasye prajnam ca sobhanam
(SB 4:30:9-10)

Translation: The Lord continued: Those who remember you every evening of every day will become friendly with their brothers and with all other living entities.
Those who will offer Me the prayers composed by Lord Siva, both in the morning and in the evening, will be given benedictions by Me. In this way they can both fulfill their desires and attain good intelligence.

Purport: Good intelligence means going back home, back to Godhead. This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (10.10):

tesham satata-yuktanam
bhajatam priti-purvakam
dadami buddhi-yogam tam
yena mam upayanti te

"To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me."

One who offers prayers to the Lord to fulfill his different desires must know that the highest perfectional fulfillment of desire is to go back home, back to Godhead. In this verse it is indicated that those who remember the activities of the Pracetas, the sons of King Pracinabarhishat, will be delivered and blessed. So what to speak of the sons of King Pracinabarhishat, who are directly connected with the Supreme Personality of Godhead? This is the way of the parampara system. If we follow the acaryas, we attain the same benefit as our predecessors. If one follows the decisions of Arjuna, he should be considered to be directly hearing Bhagavad-gita from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There is no difference between hearing Bhagavad-gita directly from the Supreme Lord and following a personality like Arjuna, who formerly heard Bhagavad-gita directly from the Lord. Sometimes foolish people argue that since Krishna is not present at the moment, one cannot take direct instructions from Him. Such foolish people do not know that there is no difference between directly hearing Bhagavad-gita and reading it, as long as one accepts Bhagavad-gita as it is, spoken by the Lord. However, if one wants to understand Bhagavad-gita by his imperfect interpretations, one cannot possibly understand the mysteries of Bhagavad-gita, even though one may be a great scholar according to mundane estimation. (end)

HH Radhanath Swami: (invocation prayers) Hare Krishna!

It is my great honor and fortune for this opportunity to serve you today in Sri Mayapur Dhama by speaking from this verse of Srimad Bhagavatam.

In this verse Lord Visnu is giving a benediction to all humanity for all time to come through his very dear devotees the Pracetas. He is referring to the prayers of Lord Siva. One who sincerely chants these prayers, following in the footsteps of the Pracetas each day, Lord Visnu promises He will give Himself and all perfections.

In a previous chapter the prayers of Lord Siva are spoken. In those prayers Lord Siva begins by humbling himself as the eternal servant of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krishna or Vishnu. He explains from his incomprehensible divine perception, the greatness of the Lord. How He is the source of everything that exists, everything emanates from Him. He is the creator maintainer, destroyer of all the cosmic manifestation and the Lord of the spiritual world. He goes into great details about the power and majesty of the Lord.

He then explains the form of the Lord in great detail, what he is seeing in his mediation and then he concludes his prayers by telling how the Lord loves His devotees. How the Supreme Personality of Godhead simply by expanding a single one of His eyebrows He invokes invincible time to destroy an entire universe. The time will never approach a devotee who has taken shelter of the Lord. Lord Siva says even by chance if one gains a moments association with a devotee who has taken shelter of the Lord then that person can be for ever free from any inclination towards karma fruitive activities, towards jnana, even liberation and cares nothing for any of the benedictions even of the devas or the demigods. And then Lord Siva with great humility he says, "I am begging, I am begging for the association of those devotees who have taken shelter of the Lord Visnu" He tells the real benediction of all benedictions that the Lord gives is the association of His dear devotees. Therefore Siva tells the Pracetas, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is in everyone's heart and He is in your heart. You should always chant His glories and meditate upon Him constantly. This is the ultimate perfection and the way to achieve it.

This is the summary and substance of the prayers of Lord Siva that is being glorified by the Lord Himself.

But Srila Prabhupada is explaining that there is no difference between hearing Bhagavad-gita directly from Krishna or hearing Lord Siva's prayers directly from Siva. Its hearing them or reading them in Srimad Bhagavatam or Bhagavad-gita as it is. If the source is pure coming down from paramapara and if we follow in the footsteps of Arjuna, follow in the footsteps of the Pracetas.

Mahajano yena gatah sa panthah
- (Mahabharata, Vana-parva (313.117).

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu told that one cannot understand the truth or the essence of the religious principles by all sorts of argumentations and discussions, even by extensive study of the Vedas or any other means, except to follow in the footsteps on the progressive path of the great souls. Because Lord Caitanya explained that Krishna is hidden in the hearts of those who have taken shelter of Him and only through them does Krishna reveal Himself.

It is interesting the time place and circumstance in which Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu cited this illustrious verse from Mahabharata. It was when He went to Mathura. After taking His bath in the Yamuna river at Visrama ghat, he went to the Adi-Kesava temple, Krishna's original birthplace in Mathura and when He saw the deity He began to chant and dance. At that time a very simple brahmana a sanodiya brahmana, he came and fell at Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's lotus feet and Lord Caitanya was so pleased with him. He blessed him and the brahmana danced. The brahmana and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu were dancing and dancing and dancing together for a long time and finally Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu He took this very old brahmana aside and started asking him questions. Where did you get this love for Krishna? The brahmana said long ago Sripada Madhavendra Puri when he was doing his pilgrimage around the holy places he came to Mathura, and I met him. I invited him to my home, he initiated me and he even accepted prasada from me. And then the brahmana said to Lord Caitanya, by seeing your ecstatic love I believe you must have some connection with Madhavendra Puri. Lord Caitanya said My Gurudeva Isvara Puri is your Godbrother, a disciple of Madhavendra Puri. Upon hearing that the old brahmana danced.

Then he said to Balabhadra Bhattacarya I will supply the ingredients you please cook for the Lord. And Lord Caitanya said No! No! I will take what you prepare! Now this was a very very bold breakthrough in the conventions of that time. Because the sanodiya brahmana community were considered a very low class and traditionally, officially sannyasis were forbidden to take any food cooked by a sanodiya brahmana. So the brahmana explained this to the Lord. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu quoted Bhagavad-gita;

yad yad acarati sreshthas
tat tad evetaro janah
(BG 3.21)

That what great people do that is the standard for all others. Madhavendra Puri he took prasada at your house, therefore I will take prasada at your house. Not only that because you have pleased Madhavendra Puri by cooking for him, I accept you as My spiritual master. Then Caitanya Mahaprabhu quoted this verse;

Mahajano yena gatah sa panthah
(Mahabharata, Vana-parva (313.117)

That the true essence of the truth is hidden in the hearts of the devotees who have genuinely taken shelter of the Lord and only by following in their footsteps can we understand.

In regard to prayers of Lord Siva we are advised to take inspiration and direction from the Pracetas. In this verse that we spoke today Vishnu is explaining how he is very pleased by them and by their friendly relationships with one another. What does it mean to be a friend? Krishna tells in the Gita;

samo 'ham sarva-bhuteshu
(BG 9.29)

I am not envious of anyone, I am the well-wisher of everyone and I am the friend of everyone.

So from the Vaisnava acarya's perspective Krishna's direction these are the qualities of a friend. There is no envy, and there is a genuine spirit of being a well-wisher. This is very prominent in Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's lila with his devotes. The greatest pleasure of all Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's devotees was to see another devotee or anyone being blessed, being purified, being empowered, that is their greatest joy. It is said that simply by appreciating someone getting Krishna's grace, we get the grace. In fact we may even get more of the grace of Krishna by appreciating somebody who is getting Krishna's grace than the person who is getting it. Why? because we get Krishna's grace by pleasing Krishna. This is the quality that is being emphasised here.

In our Vaisnava literatures there is a great emphasis in warning us against finding faults with others.

When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was here at Navadwipa area at Kulia one brahmana approached Him and he said that I have, with this mouth I have blasphemed your devotees many times. I was thinking who can actually be a real devotee, Vaisnava? What are they chanting? All superficial, artificial! Now I understand how wrong I was and I repent it. What can I do to counteract these offenses? Lord Caitanya spoke something that we all have to take extremely seriously. He said finding fault with a devotee with your mouth is like drinking the most deadly poison. What does that poison do? It kills our true propensity for the loving service of Sri Sri Radha Madhava. And like Ramachandra Puri that becomes our satisfaction - finding faults with others. And the mind can justify every reason why we are right. But Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu gives a reason that eclipses all of our reasons. He says, because it is drinking poison. The way to counter act that poison is two-fold - one is stop drinking it and two is drink nectar. And what is the nectar? The glorification, the appreciation of the devotees and the chanting of the Holy name;

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

When our beloved Srila Prabhupada came to the West, travelled around the world, even came back to India, so many faults he was seeing in all of us - countless. But he was focusing his attention on that little spark of the potential within us. If someone just liked prasada, if someone just came to the kirtan, if someone just gave him a flower, whatever else they were doing he just appreciated and fanned that spark. And ultimately by fanning that spark it created the blazing fires that actually burned away all the anarthas and faults in so many people's hearts.

Last year I was at a very unusual conference. It cost $5000 to get in, but they asked me to speak there so I got in for free. There were over 5000 people there and it was about a three day conference, four day conference. Biggest leaders of business, of education, politics, entertainment from the entire world were there in the seminars. So I went to one, besides the talks I was giving, on leadership. There were thousands of people there and assembled on the dais were some of the most powerful wealthy people on planet. It was interesting. They were explaining leadership from the perspective of service. Real leadership is to serve the people you are leading. They had this graph, it was a graph that years and years of study at universities and organizations and they found that if you don't pay, this is not devotee society, this is the secular world society, but you may find a connection. If you don't pay a person enough so that they feel secure in life you will get a small percentage of their creative abilities, because they are always worried about what the future is going to bring, they are always looking for other alternatives.

If you give them enough, whatever that is, so that they actually feel stable, secure and more or less satisfied, it doesn't matter how much more you give them, their productive creativity will not go up. If you give them a million dollars more, if you give them ten million dollars more, you don't get anything more than what they actually need. But the graph explained the study, if they feel valued, if they feel appreciated for what they do then beyond that point their creative enthusiasm and producitivity soars up up up according to the appreciation that they are given. Its human nature. Even in the world out there, it's not just about money. The heart needs to feel loved and appreciated. And according to this conference the biggest leaders in the world, they were saying this is real leadership. To empower the people who are working with you by giving value and appreciation to their sincerity and their efforts, as HG Vaisesika Prabhu was explaining in his beautiful class.

But this is Kaliyuga. The tendency in the climate is quarrel and hypocrisy. Just like here in Mayapur, during the monsoon season its not that people go around saying why is it raining? People are just trying to deal with the rain. Because they know it's going to come, you fix your roof and you do whatever else you do to prepare. It's not just a mental thing - why is it raining? Why is Krishna making it rain? Why are the clouds so rascal? We know it's going to rain so we prepare ourselves. So quarrel, hypocrisy, lack of religion, weakness of heart of people for real religious principles, this is the season for all that. We have to prepare ourselves and sankirtana means together, our hearts, our voices, our lives are united in the glorification of Krishna through chanting of His Holy names. The higher principle of what pleases the Lord is what we have to focus on. That alone can protect us from the influence of kali.

Srila Prabhupada often writes that commentary of Viswanatha Chakravarti Thakura for a particular verse from the Gita;

vyavasayatmika buddhirekeha kuru-nandana
(BG 2.41)

That those who are on this path are resolute in purpose and their aim is one. And in the commentary it says that this means one should make the order of the guru ones life and soul. In fact in a purport Srila Prabhupada explains a serious disciple should not concern himself or herself with going back to Godhead, but our first business is to execute the order of the spiritual master and bear in mind that cooperation, that developing friendly relationships.

trinad api sunicena
taror api sahishnuna
amanina manadena
kirtaniyah sada harih
(Sikshashtaka 3)

To be humble like a blade of grass, tolerant like a tree, eager to offer all respect to others and not expect for oneself. That beautiful verse is the key to actual developing real friendships, on the basis of the higher principle of pleasing Prabhupada and pleasing Krishna. And that's where our strength will come from.

I was recently with Vaisesika Prabhu when we walked through redwood forest and we learnt a beautiful lesson from a forest ranger. In this forest in Northern California are the largest tallest trees on planet earth. They are growing so high and so wide but their roots do not go deep. How do they keep growing even in the face of massive earthquakes? Some of them are a 1000 or 2000 years old. There have been earthquakes, massive storms, the soil is loose, it is mountainous. Because the roots go outward, the roots reach out to connect with the roots of other trees and when they do they entwine with each other. So all the roots make permanent locks between them by winding around each other. The little trees have the strength of all the big trees and all the big trees have, every tree in the forest is directly or indirectly connected with each other at the roots that gives them the strength to withstand any type of earthquake or storm. And for the devotees what is our root. The root of our life is the affection of our heart. When we actually care about each other, when we are actually there for each other then it gives us tremendous strength and this is type of association that Lord Siva is talking about when he saying I am begging for the association of those people who become purified by worshiping the Lord and who are merciful and compassionate to all the conditioned souls, with all their faults.

The Pracetas, they left their homes on the order of their father, they went underwater after Lord Siva's instruction and ten of them lived together for 10,000 years. Can you imagine? To live with people for 10,000 years! You really have to a higher principle to not be fighting, not say I am out of here, I am going to another lake, you stay here I have my own lake. They did it!

Mahajano yena gatah sa panthah
(Mahabharata, Vana-parva (313.117)

That's the example in which these truths are revealed to us because that's what pleases the Lord.

Lord Caitanya explained this verse in context with Madhavendra Puri. Very briefly when he was in his last days, Ishvara Puri pleased him by his humble menial service. Ishvara Puri was a great scholar, he was a very high born brahmana, he was an incredible renunciate but actually there's many of those kinds of people in those days but he wanted to please his guru so much that he was at his bedside for months at a time massaging him, cleaning his urine and cleaning his stool with his own bare hands and to please his guru constantly singing Krishna's names and glories. Madhavendra Puri was so pleased with that humility, with that desire to please him, that he said. "My child may Krishna give you ecstatic love," and on the basis of that benediction Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu became the disciple of Ishvara Puri.

His first meeting with Isvara Puri was in Navadvipa and Lord Caitanya set the standard. This is our parampara. The same standard Ishvara Puri's relationship with Madhavendra Puri. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he was the greatest scholar of the world, and He would listen to Ishvara Puri speak from Krishna Lilamrta a book he was writing. Ishvara Puri said will You edit this book for me. Lord Caitanya said no, how can I edit this book? This is a book written by a pure devotee about Krishna. Even if there is a technical fault it's the greatest offence even to see it as a fault. But Ishvara Puri again and again said no! it should be corrected, so please edit. So one day Lord Caitanya found that a particular word should be replaced with another world. Ishvara Puri was silent. The next day Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came back and Ishvara Puri said actually I thought about it and the word I used was correct and you are wrong. This is Nimai Pandit, He was totally undefeatable, He defeated the digvijaya pandit Kesava Kashmiri but it is interesting. He did it in such a way that he did not insult Keshava Kashmiri. He defeated him while restoring his sense of dignity. Keshava Kashmiri actually was pleased to be defeated by Lord Caitanya and he said the next day, I can understand that You must be the Supreme Personality of Godhead as Goddess Saraswati showed me because You completely defeated me without insulting me.

Lord Caitanya used this technique Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya. He was the most powerful mayavadi scholar in the planet. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, you are my guru, you are like my father, please instruct me, protect me from maya, teach me Vedanta. And Sarvabhauma just opened his heart totally, spoke to Him. Then Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu philosophically defeated him but by the time He did that Sarvabhauma's heart was completely in love with Him. Prakashananda Sarasvati, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu sat where all the other sannyasis were washing their feet. Prakashananda saw Him and His beautiful effulgence and he said, is there something wrong? Are you sad? Why are you sitting there? Please sit with us. Took His hand and brought Him. Prakashananda Sarasvati Thakura, he actually developed deep affection for the Lord. He said, why are you with all these sentimental people? Why don't you study Vedanta with us? Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, because I am a fool. My guru Ishvara Puri told Me I am a fool, there is no use in Me studying Vedanta, I will never understand Vedanta, I should just chant the names of Krishna. Then he gave me this instruction to take the names of Krishna all over the world. Then He spoke philosophy and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu completely philosophically defeated every point of Prakashananda Sarasvati and his mayavad conceptions, but He won their hearts with respect and affection. Incredible! So when Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was defeated by Isvara Puri, then He took initiation in Gaya and that's where He was giving the order to spread the Holy name of Krishna and the sankirtan movement all over.

tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya
(BG 4.34)

To submit ourselves then to inquire submissively and then to render service. That is not only something that we are supposed to do, but if we really want to help Prabhupada to deliver others it is something we have to inspire other people to do. Somehow or other how do we get these people to actually submit themselves and inquire submissively and render service.

Srila Prabhupada in his own life in Calcutta, Ultaganga Junction road, when he first met his guru maharaja Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur Prabhupada. As he was bowing down, we know the story. He was told to spread the name of Krishna all over the world according to Lord Caitanya's teachings and Srila Prabhupada at that time was connected with Gandhi he gave arguments and even forty years later Srila Prabhupada would tell us "and I am very happy to tell you I was defeated by my Guru Maharaj." He was happily defeated and then he received that instruction and executed it with his life and soul. To actually receive the instruction within our heart, not just on a mental level we have to feel defeated. Arjuna was defeated before Krishna, he was emotionally defeated karpanya-doshopahata-svabhava (BG 2.7) before Krishna actually gave him the instructions of the Gita. Tad vidhi pranipatena and when we have that spirit, Srila Prabhupada explains in this purport then reading his books is directly, personally, associating with Srila Prabhupada. If we have this spirit, then Srila Prabhupada is personally speaking to all of us. Rupa Goswami is personally through Prabhupada's words is speaking to us. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is speaking to us.

I'll end with one little story. One of the original devotees of ISKCON was Hayagriva Prabhu. In 1966 he helped Srila Prabhupada begin 26 Second Avenue. He came just after it opened and he helped to actually assist Prabhupada in every possible way he could. This Dr Mishra, who himself did not have the same philosophy as Prabhupada. They would argue, but they loved each other. Dr Mishra was helping Prabhupada anyway he could and when he was sick Prabhupada was cooking for him and praying for him. So even though they had very opposing philosophies which neither of them compromised, on a human Vaisnava level Prabhupada still loved him. Dr Mishra in that beautiful movie by Yadubara prabhu about Prabhupada's life, he was crying practically. He said "Swamiji saved my life by cooking for me and praying for me." So they used to go to the Ananda Ashram in upstate New York where Prabhupada would do kirtans with Dr Mishra and one time Hayagriva explains he was sleeping because it is very beautiful place out in the country in New York state. He was laying in the grass looking up at the moon and the stars and he went to sleep. He had a dream. In this dream he saw Krishna speaking Bhagavad-gita to Arjuna. And suddenly the dream changed and he saw Srila Prabhupada speaking Bhagavad-gita to him, Hayagriva Prabhu. And he woke up and he ran to Srila Prabhupada's little room and said to Prabhupada, "I had this dream and my realization was that Krishna speaking to Arjuna and you speaking to me were non-different. They were identical. I was just as fortunate as Arjuna to be hearing from you as he was from Krishna." Would you like to hear Srila Prabhupada's response?

Haribol!! (audience response)

Srila Prabhupada said, "You have understood correctly. It is absolutely non-different. If I speak Bhagavad-gita to you it is non-different than Krishna speaking Bhagavad-gita to Arjuna. You are hearing from Krishna." That is parampara. But the paramapara is not just the knowledge of this subject. The parampara is in the character, in how we listen. If we have that same humility, if we have that same urgency, to please Srila Prabhupada as Arjuna did for Krishna, as the Pracetas did for Lord Siva. If by our behavior, by our eagerness, if we have that desire to please Srila Prabhupada and Krishna then yes when we read Prabhupada's books, when we hear these classes we are hearing directly from Srila Prabhupada. That is the blessing that is forever our most sacred property.

Thank you very much! Srila Prabhupada ki jai!


Listen Srimad Bhagavatam Audio Lecture of Radhanath Swami

- Transcribed by Sheela Ravishankar Mataji, Singapore.

Read more…

sri-bhagavan uvaca
varam vrinidhvam bhadram vo yuyam me nripa-nandanah
sauhardenaprithag-dharmas tushto 'ham sauhridena vah

Translation: The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: My dear sons of the King, I am very much pleased by the friendly relationships among you. All of you are engaged in one occupation -- devotional service. I am so pleased with your mutual friendship that I wish you all good fortune. Now you may ask a benediction of Me.

Purport: Since the sons of King Pracinabarhishat were all united in Krishna consciousness, the Lord was very pleased with them. Each and every one of the sons of King Pracinabarhishat was an individual soul, but they were united in offering transcendental service to the Lord. The unity of the individual souls attempting to satisfy the Supreme Lord or rendering service to the Lord is real unity. In the material world such unity is not possible. Even though people may officially unite, they all have different interests. In the United Nations, for instance, all the nations have their particular national ambitions, and consequently they cannot be united. Disunity between individual souls is so strong within this material world that even in a society of Krishna consciousness, members sometimes appear disunited due to their having different opinions and leaning toward material things. Actually, in Krishna consciousness there cannot be two opinions. There is only one goal: to serve Krishna to one's best ability. If there is some disagreement over service, such disagreement is to be taken as spiritual. Those who are actually engaged in the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead cannot be disunited in any circumstance. This makes the Supreme Personality of Godhead very happy and willing to award all kinds of benediction to His devotees, as indicated in this verse. We can see that the Lord is immediately prepared to award all benedictions to the sons of King Pracinabarhishat. (end)

Bhakti Vaibhava Swami: I have to apologize little bit the voice is not so good. But I hope that we'll make it. So in this particular verse the 'yuyam' means all of you plural and aprthak means non-different, non-different or united. And of course the opposite prthak, means disunited, far apart, differently, singly and sauhridena means by friendship and by love. So this was the specific quality of the sons of the king. They were aprthak non-different, although of course individual souls personalities, they were united in devotional service. And this as mentioned in this verse is very pleasing to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And if Krishna is pleased then He is willing to give all sorts of benediction as mentioned in this verse.

But my theme is, for today's class today is cooperation, I would like to talk little bit about cooperation. Cooperation means working or acting together for a common purpose for common goal, a joint action. Srila Prabhupada once told a story of a family man who returned home from work. After a whole day of hard work he felt very exhausted and asked the sons to give him a nice massage. But unfortunately his sons were not very united. They had a tendency to quarrel, fight with each other. So while giving massage to the various limbs of the body of father they began to quarrel. Fighting with each other, calling each other bad names and even slapping each other and while fighting with in this way one of his sons was pulling the leg this way, the other one the other leg in a different direction, the arm this way, sometimes slapping the father also while quarrelling and fighting.

At one point the father was screaming, "Stop this! Stop this! You are killing me. You are killing me." Because they were not united they were not successful in giving a soothing massage, a pleasing massage to father. Instead father was very disturbed.

So Srila Prabhupada himself told this story and commented by making the point that if disciples of guru quarrel among each other to the point of displeasing him, then that is not good, that is not wanted.

Sometimes you look a little bit into the past while Srila Prabhupada was present amongst us. Sometimes we hear about the good old days, of course related to Srila Prabhupada it cannot be more true, but not everything was good. Unfortunately even his leading disciples they had this tendency to quarrel. I remember all the way back 1975-76-77 the GBC meetings I still remember because I was a little bit curious what was going on in these meetings. Chanting japa a little bit away from the entrance door and I remember on a regular basis the door just burst open and one of the GBC members came out shouting, screaming, slamming the door, so much.

So I thought wow! Heavy leaders! I believe at that time we thought to be heavy is equivalent to being a strong leader, to be heavy, to shout, to scream. But actually that was not very pleasing and in various letters and even purports in classes Srila Prabhupada pointed to his satisfaction, he was not pleased, he was not satisfied when his leading disciples were quarreling with each other, this is not pleasing. This is why he told that story.

And in a letter to Madhumangala Srila Prabhupada wrote, "We must exist on cooperation. Otherwise the whole thing is doomed if we simply go on fighting over some small things." Of course we thought these are not small things. But actually if you consider Srila Prabhupada's vision, the projects he initiated for us, the future of ISKCON, these were very very insignificant small things, the kindergarten stuff. So Prabhupada wrote in his letter if we continue fighting over these small ridiculous things, in this way everything will be doomed.

So such an important point, cooperation. There are many reasons, just recently I checked little bit, researched on the internet why organizations, religious organizations or any ordinary organizations projects, why they fail! I took little bit interest in that. And I give you the main reasons for it. Of course the reasons can be infinite but they analyzed eight of the most important reasons.

They are undefined objectives and goals, poorly defined roles and responsibilities, poor management, team weaknesses, lack of management commitment, poor communication, insufficient resources that relates to funding and personnel and ignoring project warning signs.

These are the eight main reasons why any project or societies or organizations fail to function. And out of these eight the five reasons are related to interaction, collaboration, cooperation. The five of eight are related to that.

Srila Prabhupada gave us objectives and goals which are contained in the seven purposes of ISKCON. Srila Prabhupada gave them, the entire outline, he gave us everything. Of course we have to further unfold these projects, objectives. Very important to maintain them and to further develop them, to expand them. This is our task. And he gave us roles and responsibilities. Of course they increase more and more. And he gave us management principles. It's not that we have to start from scratch. Prabhupada gave us everything and our task, specific task is in cooperation to develop what Prabhupada gave us, more and more, expand it more and more.

But one thing we have to work on, this is our individual task. In Srila Prabhupada's teachings, just like in this verse and specifically Srila Prabhupada's purport again the importance is being emphasized 'to cooperate' but we have to do it! We have to learn how to do it. And it is so exciting that I think it is for the first time in history of ISKCON that leading senior members of this movement, GBC members, gurus, sannyasis, senior devotees they all came together. They sat together, they talked about issues, they talked about perhaps even differences of opinion but they sorted these differences out in some way. There was a general agreement and so inspiring to be actually able to sit down and associate with each other without jumping on each other's throat and neck. That willingness, that ability to sit down, associate, listen to each other, the hairs is standing on end.

If you compare with the past, this is such a tremendous progress our movement made. Sometimes I feel we should really apologize to Srila Prabhupada about the past, how we behaved. Gave so much pain to Prabhupada! But nonetheless it is never too late. And now it has been possible and hopefully in 2014 again we have the ILS meeting and hopefully more and more of our leaders will come to share their visions, their understanding of how Srila Prabhupada wanted, the work he wanted from us, the future of this movement, we can share our visions and opinions, realizations and of course inspire each other about all various services. It's such a wonderful event.

So we have to work on this sauhrida. Sauhrida - affection, friendship and love. We have to sincerely work on that. And one verse of the Bhagavad gita the different kinds of friends have been described beginning with this 'suhrd'. Suhrd that's the most intimate and close friend that anyone can have. That such a friend he only thinks about the welfare and good of the other friend. He doesn't have any other issues. Only concern, are you happy? Is everything all right with you? How can I serve you? How can I assist you? That's a suhrd.

Surhrdam sarva bhutanam Lord Krishna uses that root suhrdam suhrd, He is the benefactor and the well wisher of all the living entities. So that particular word we find in this today's verse. This is what is being expected from us. That all the members of this Krishna consciousness movement become suhrd, only concerned about the welfare of others. Of course not only ISKCON members, entire world! Because that is Lord Krishna's position and that is Lord Krishna's desire - to benefit everybody. Then an ordinary friend is described as 'mitra'. And 'udasina' is neutral. And then the mediator is 'madhyastha'. Maybe you cannot cooperate with someone, you are at loggerheads with someone, then the mediators come in- what's the problem, lets try to mediate. That is 'madhyastha'.

So these are different types of friends and that is the challenge. We have been challenged to come up to develop our relationship to that level of only thinking about the benefit and welfare of the others, of the other devotees, of our peers and of course the entire world.

So this will be the basis, this kind of relationship that's the basis for good management, for teamwork, good communication, sufficient personnel because such a society will attract so many people. When we came to Krishna consciousness this is what we noticed. There is a very very tight relationship because we were all doing the same thing, we have the same goal, we are going through the ups and downs in our spiritual life. The bondage was very very strong. But even that we have to develop further and further and further. And begin to feel and manifest in practical terms this kind of close relations, friendly relationship.

So in order to serve these seven purposes Srila Prabhupada has given us successfully we need to cooperate. Otherwise it will not be possible. And the first purpose of these seven purposes is related to spreading Krishna consciousness, preaching. Preaching for Srila Prabhupada meant to educate people in spiritual knowledge and spiritual life all over the world. In order to fulfill that first purpose of the seven purposes we need to cooperate.

I am always thinking, over the time I am thinking more and more how little we factually spread Krishna consciousness. I mean, I don't want to, from that angle, perspective. Once I was riding on an airplane flying to New York from Europe. And there were two people sitting next to me, left side right side, one business woman and one business man. So naturally they asked, what are you doing? Are you a monk? I said, yeah I am from the Hare Krishna movement. You don't know? (they replied) No! They are from New York! Never heard about Krishna consciousness movement. So I thought wow!

I explained little bit, did some preaching and they took interest. Fortunately I had a couple of books. I told them I mean they are second hand and I am reading. They said, no it doesn't matter!! So I could give them some books but I was amazed. They were from New York, living in New York, never heard about us.

It's not that just because we meet a few people here and there on the street, we do a public program here and there, that doesn't mean that everybody knows about Krishna consciousness. In the early days I remember we did, we tended to do much more preaching. And so many articles about Krishna consciousness in newspapers, magazines, tv, on a regular basis. Some news, some report about us. That tends to deteriorate, not so much any longer.

So that's a tall task to educate everyone in this world the entire population, spiritually educate, inform them about Krishna consciousness, train them. It is impossible to do it in an isolated way. I might think I know about what Srila Prabhupada wants, I know his teachings, you don't have to tell me anything. But what about all these objectives and projects Srila Prabhupada gave us, what a vision! What about that? Can you put this and move this into the world of action? Can you do that?

I am giving a practical example. How to practice Krishna consciousness, just look at my sadhana, I chant my rounds very nicely every day, I know the philosophy, I am preaching, that's of course necessary for everyone - to give a good example. But what about the other things? What about all the projects Srila Prabhupada wanted. Just like the Vedic Planetarium, the temple or TOVP. What about that? It was just unmanifest in front of our eyes. What a project! Can anybody do this single handedly? I will do it! I will take careiNo! No way! Such a amazing project, 360 feet high, its about a 110mtrs right? So much funds are being required, fund raising all over the world.

In our meetings we talked about "Square Foot Campaign". This is one of the possibilities to realize the completion of that project. Otherwise it will not be possible. Funds of course have been generated, everybody knows HG Ambarisa Prabhu, he is just amazing. But still so much more is required. That is only possible by cooperation, world wide, every single devotee has to participate. Doesn't matter to what extent but everybody must participate. And there are so many other international projects we have. This is only one example in front of our eyes which requires the cooperation of each and every devotee. We have so many other important projects. They are crying for support for help. We must cooperate.

Like Ambarisa Prabhu mentioned when he made a few days ago the presentation about the temple project, he mentioned now it is too late we cannot return, at this point we cannot just tell that its ok it doesn't work out forget about it, we don't even have the funds to dismantle the whole thing, there is no return, we have to go on, we have to continue. And Krishna will help, but we have to endeavor, we have to try, we have to sincerely endeavor, we have to go on, move to the front. We have to cooperate and that requires humility. Its always easy to do your own thing. So many conflicts, so many problems, I will just do my own thing. You don't require any special skills for that. But to sit down, listen to perhaps critics of us, different opinions. Leaders they always tend to be very strong headed, that's why they are leaders. They have a strong voice but then again to sit together associate in practical terms.

Now we have heard so many times the importance of cooperation. But I talk about the practical application of it. That we sit, whether I like your nose or you don't like my nose, it doesn't matter we have to sit together, associate face to face and talk and listen. Not just talk at a devotee, talk to a devotee and then listen what he has to say. Respond to that, not again push down the throat your opinion. No! You can make your point but the association, some relationship must be there. That's cooperation and that's what we did this year. It's such an important event in our movement that all the leaders were factually sitting and listening and associating. So inspiring. Hare Krishna! Srila Prabhupada ki jai! Gaur Premanande Hari Hari Bol!

We have a couple of minutes for questions or comments. Do we have any comments?

Devotee: Thank you Maharaj. Would you be so kind as to list the eight reasons why the religious organizations fail - a little slowly so that I can write it down please.

Bhakti Vaibhava Swami Maharaj: I am at your service. See practical example, first something else went on in my mind but we have to learn to associate, to respect each other. See yourself as a servant. Okay, I give you, not just religious organization, any organization, any project, these are the main reasons why they fail. Are you ready? First one - undefined objectives goals, second - poorly defined roles and responsibilities, poor management, team weaknesses, lack of management commitment, poor communication, insufficient resources funding and personnel and ignoring project warning signs.

So that's from the mundane world, we can definitely learn from that. Of course our main reason why any project in Krishna consciousness fails is related to many things. Foremost of course spiritually we don't follow sadhana properly, don't chant our rounds, if we don't keep Srila Prabhupada in the center. There are so many reasons why, but that's from the mundane side and we can definitely learn from that because it is so much related to relationship.

Devotee: Maharaj, thank you very much for a wonderful class. I was just wondering when we are cooperating there are so many different view points as to which way we should go. What is the proper spiritual way to figure out which way we go? And go there without alienating people who have different opinions of where we should go

Bhakti Vaibhava Swami Maharaj: See when everything is based on affection, friendship and affection, then Krishna will help. But if we place ourselves, our ego too much in the center then very difficult. But when the relationship is proper then Krishna will help, Krishna will empower such a relationship and he will give direction if needed. Krishna will definitely help but provided that relationship is very very Krishna conscious.

Vedavyasapriya Swami Maharaj: (comment) It is very nice to hear that the GBC and the leaders are imbibing the mood of Srila Prabhupada as "your ever well-wisher." He would always make himself in front of. So his mood and mission is the topmost priority to recapture the vitality of the movement and it will go a long way.

Bhakti Vaibhava Swami Maharaj: That's your comment. Thank you Maharaj. Yes it will go a long way!

Jagannath Dasa: When devotees are living together how can they balance strong commitment to personal sadhana and making time for relationships with those devotees with whom they are living?

Bhakti Vaibhava Swami Maharaj: That relationship begins of course with the practicing together, that's also relationship that we chant our japa together. Unless there might be some health reasons or whatever but as much as possible we must practice together, that's a relationship chanting together, taking prasadam together of course. Outside these programs we should always endeavor to work on these relationships. So that can be done in so many different ways, doing service together, managing together, preaching together, or just sitting together talking, revealing one's mind.

Also depends on different categories of Vaisnavas, someone might be more advanced than you so that's a different relationship, some are more or less on your level so it's a different relationship, some are less advanced different relationship. In one purport Srila Prabhupada writes if we figure out how to behave in our Krishna Consciousness according to the relationships, categories of devotees, then we will become happy in Krishna consciousness.

So thank you very much for your attention and patience. Hare Krishna!

Listen Srimad Bhagavatam Audio Lecture of Bhakti Vaibhava Swami

- Transcribed by Sheela Ravishankar Mataji, Singapore.

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punas ca bhuyad bhagavaty anante
ratih prasangas ca tad-asrayesu
mahatsu yam yam upayami srstim
maitry astu sarvatra namo dvijebhyah

Bhurijana Dasa: This is Maharaja Pariksit speaking after being cursed to die. You know of course that he went to the Ganga and he prepared himself for leaving this world and decided to fast till death so he had no distractions so he could focus his mind on the greatest good. So when great sages heard that this great king, one who had been protected by the Lord Himself had decided to fast until death so many powerful, famous, exalted sages came from all over the world and Maharaja Pariksit welcomed them all in such a way that they would be satisfied and he would get the benefit of their association and their blessings. So this is one of the prayers, one of the slokas of the words he spoke to welcome these great sages.

So in this verse he's, let me just go back a little bit more then the stress will become clearer. The first words that he said to the sages was that, I am a king and kings are contaminated in a sense that they touch power and wealth to such an extent that sages want to be far from them. Why? Because there is always a tendency when one is being touched with wealth and power and great opulence to become attracted to that, so the sages by virtue of their nistha, by their fixness in their determination to reach the Absolute Truth would not associate with these kings because they were contaminated by all their dealings with the material world and they wanted to be free from that.

Maharaja Pariksit thought that it was special mercy that although he was a king these great sages had surrounded him at the most important time of his life, at the time he was going to end his life, he was going to die. So he stressed his thanks to them for coming to him at this most difficult time and then he looked at his situation and being a great devotee he saw that he was cursed to die, but he was a great devotee and this unfortunate occurrence had happened. The common devotee, when something bad happens, their consciousness wavers, shakes, maybe Krsna is not there, how could He have done this, I'm a devotee. Something like that. Of course that is pratikul, against our advancement. But this happens.

But here Maharaja Pariksit, after welcoming the sages he says: This has happened to me that I've been cursed, by Krsna's mercy, because He saw that I was too attached to family life and He wanted to cut that. So that he saw what happened to him, everything that had happened as Krsna's mercy, Krsna carrying him towards Him, pulling him towards Himself. So that's the second verse. Then he said, in order to save me, such deep nistha this Mahabhagavat King, Maharaja Pariksit had. That in order to save me from all this material attachment, that means future rebirths, He came in the form, Krsna Himself came in the form of this snake bird. He will come, so it is a snake bird externally but it is Krsna actually, it is Krsna's mercy, Krsna being kind to me that He's come in this form. So let the externals of my fate being given to me by Krsna, whatever it is, let it happen, let it come, let it come to me.

api tulyartha-darsinah
(SB 6:17:28)

I don't care about the externals, but he said to them, "I only desire that you all continue singing the deeds of Lord Visnu let my consciousness be absorbed in Krsna, and if you will do that, if you will pour the nectar of Krsna katha in my ears the externals of what is going on, whether it be a snake bird or whatever, I don't care. This is what I care about. Please, he begged the sages, now that you have come. Please give me this benediction. And then in this verse he speaks his heart about what his actual desire is. So we'll start again i

punah - again
ca - and
bhuyat - let it be

So punah, if I'm again to take birth again let it be, I don't even care about that. Janmani janmanisvare, bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki tvayi, same mood. So I don't care about liberation punas ca bhuyad. And then he continues,

bhagavati - unto Lord Sri Krsna
anante - who has unlimited potency
ratih - attracting

So this is what I want. Let my consciousness, even if I take birth again, let my consciousness, let me, be attracted to the Supreme Lord, unto Him who is unlimited. What a meditation on the unlimited Supreme Lord who is unlimited everywhere. His beauty, He is unlimited beautiful, unlimitedly kind, unlimitedly compassionate, strong, intelligent, renounced. What a meditation on Krsna! What is unlimited beauty mean. So ratih, this is what I want and this is going to come through this Krsna katha, that I'm asking you to pour into my ears. But that's not all that he is desiring i next word:

prasangas - association
ca - also
tad - His

Referring back to bhagavaty anante, I want association with His asrayesu. Asrayesu, means those who are His devotees. Those who have taken shelter of Him. That is what I want, I want their association. Those who have taken shelter of Krsna.

mahatsu - within the material creation
yam yam - wherever
upayami - I may take
srstim - my birth

So wherever I take my birth in the material world. He's not even demanding or expecting to be freed from material existence, wherever I want this. And there are three things he wants wherever he is and we've heard two of them. Wherever I am, yam yam upayami srstim, wherever I am in the material world i.

maitry - friendly relations
astu - let it be
sarvatra - everywhere

So amongst sarvatra, all living entities, let me have no enmity, let me have on the other hand, positive friendly relationships with them and be well-wishers with them.

namah - my obeisances
dvijebhyah - unto the brahmanas

Translation: Again, offering obeisances unto all you brahmanas, I pray that if I should again take my birth in the material world I will have complete attachment to the unlimited Lord Krsna, association with His devotees and friendly relations with all living beings.

Srila Prabhupadas purport. Now it's not a long purport so I'm sure you'll easily be able to focus. I have this habit that I was planning on, not evoking but I think I will, I'm going to ask you what you remember. That most difficult of questions, what do you remember from what you just heard and what Prabhupada has said. Because after all if Srila Prabhupada would walk in here now, we'd all jump up and we'd have kirtan and be so happy and then we would offer him a place to sit and what would we want? We would want him to speak to us. Want to hear the words from his lotus mouth which were, are, coming from the spiritual world. So here is an opportunity to hear what Prabhupada wishes to tell us about this verse. So I'm going to ask you what you remember.

Purport: That a devotee of the Lord is the only perfect living being is explained herein by Maharaja Pariksit. A devotee of the Lord is no one's enemy, although there may be many enemies of a devotee. A devotee of the Lord does not like to associate with nondevotees, although he has no enmity with them. He desires association with the devotees of the Lord. That is perfectly natural because birds of the same feather mix together. And the most important function of a devotee is to have complete attachment to Lord Sri Krsna, the father of all living beings.

Bhurijana Dasa: I really would like to read that sentence again but I won't. . .OK thank you, I was waiting for someone to object. 'The most important function of a devotee is to have complete attachment to Lord Sri Krsna, the father of all living beings.'

Purport: As a good son of the father behaves in a friendly way with all his other brothers, so also the devotee of the Lord, being a good son of the supreme father, Lord Krsna, sees all other living beings in relation with the supreme father. He tries to bring back the upstart sons of the father to a saner stage and to get them to accept the supreme fatherhood of God. Maharaja Pariksit was certainly going back to Godhead, but even if he were not to go back, he prayed for a pattern of life which is the most perfect way in the material world. A pure devotee does not desire the company of a personality as great as Brahma, but he prefers the association of a petty living being, provided he is a devotee of the Lord.

Bhurijana Dasa: Raise your hand if you remember something and would like to say. Each of these can be a class in itself. He doesn't think of them as an enemy. What consciousness this is? The material world doesn't react with them no matter where its coming from it seems Krsna, they've taken shelter of Krsna, they are so attached to Krsna. Most important function, interesting that Prabhupada uses the word function, what does function mean? Activity, purpose, duty, this is it's dharma practically speaking, like sugar's function is to provide sweetness. A devotee's function or dharma is to be attached to Krsna. Even if a nondevotee is as great as Lord Brahma, he prefers the association of petty little insignificant living entity, provided he is a devotee of the Lord.

The upstart brothers, who have turned their back to Krsna, he works to bring them back and that's part of the function of his relationship as a devotee with an attachment to Krsna the Supreme Father.

There was something I wanted to say about this. (om ajnana, etc.)

I just wanted to speak on that one sentence, of the devotees function as being attached to Krsna. But there is something even more I wanted to say, how universal these principles or prayers of Maharaja Pariksit are and that's actually even more what I wanted to say. Does anyone remember the first one that he wanted? Complete attachment to the Lord. The second one? Association of the devotees. And the third one? Friendly relationships, with everyone.

Now in the 10th Canto of the Bhagavatam, there is one pastime that will end in something, when I read it I was quite amazed. But where to begin this pastime is the question with the little amount of time. The pastime is when Akrura took Krsna from Vrindavan and he arrived in Mathura. Akrura brought Krsna because he wanted to see Kamsa killed and he wanted to be with Krsna, he wanted to see Krsna. Now imagine how difficult the situation in Mathura was. Kamsa was such a tyrant that no one from Mathura could practically could go and see Krsna even though they were always hearing about Krsna's deeds. Kamsa was powerful and he was oppressive and he was so bold that he even told Akrura his plans to have Krsna killed, when he gave Akrura, who was a Yadu after all, a relative of Krsna, he told Akrura his plans to have Krsna killed by the wrestlers and Kuvalayapida, when he brought him to Mathura.

When Akrura, who exhibited the perfect way to come to a holy place, so different from the way that we arrive at holy places nowadays. Akrura was meditating on Krsna the whole time. Krsna is going to be like this, and when I see Him He'll recognise me as His uncle. He won't see me as an enemy even though I'm acting on behalf of His enemy and He is going to be put His hand on my head.

He was thinking about Krsna, to such an extent that as when he saw the footprints of Krsna then he immediately became ecstatic. When he saw the foot prints of Krsna in the dust of Vraja he became ecstatic and rolled in the dust of Vrndavan. Because his mind had arrived in Vrndavan, even before he arrived in Vrndavan. When we come by airplane, our body arrives in Vrndavan, then a few days later, if we're lucky our mind arrives in Vrndavan. The way of walking to a place of pilgrimage, it is scientific because it allows one to meditate on a place before we arrive. Then when we arrive we actually arrive, we can get the benefit of being in that holy place.

So Akrura and Lord Krsna, one devotee asked me a question, I didn't know the answer to it, he told me one answer that I researched it a little bit, is why did Akrura leave so early in the morning? Why did it take so long for him to arrive in Mathura, he didn't arrive in Mathura until basically late afternoon, almost the setting of the sun? So what took so long? So one things our acaryas say that took so long was that when Akrura saw in Akrura Ghat , he saw the form of Krsna and Balaram as Garbhodaksayi Vishnu and Ananta Sesa he was observing Their opulence's and that started at dopahara, started at noon but he didn't leave until a long time after that. Then when he came out of the water, his face as he had just seen the form of Ananta Sesa and he had seen Garbhodaksayi Vishnu, and when he came out of the water and he has left Krsna and Balaram on the chariot, and when he came out of the water he was astounded, he was full of wonder, and Krsna of course knowing what was astounding him, He said to him 'O Uncle you look like you have seen something wonderful in the water. Is that why you're looking like that?'

And Akrura said to Him, 'now that I'm seeing You, who is the source of everything wonderful in existence including Lord Ananta Sesa, I'm seeing You and Balarama, I'm seeing right now the most wonderful thing. He became so attached to Krsna by seeing the wonder of His form than getting a glimpse of His potencies.

So that took a while and then also all the residents of Vrndavan heard that was Krsna was leaving, and they were all on the road, Krsna went very slowly and He looked at everyone, He gave them, this is right in the Bhagavatam, He gave them His merciful glance. They were looking at Him because everyone seeing Krsna they cannot take their eyes off Him, His effulgence sapphire like, His smile, madhuram, madhuram, madhuram, madhuram, it is unlimitedly sweet and captivating. His lotus eyes reached His ears and are reddish tinged. So all the residents of Vrndavan were on the roads of Vrndavan, and Krsna would glance at each and every one of them and that made the moving of the chariot slow.

And not only that, the third reason was that Akrura on his mission to bring Krsna and Balaram back for Kamsa to kill, he didn't go a direct way, he took more of the back roads, because he didn't want the residents of Vrndavan to follow him because the residents of Vrndavan were so heartbroken because they could tolerate anything but they could not tolerate even a moment's separation from Krsna.

There is one comment by I believe by Srila Jiva Goswami in Gopal Champu, that Mother Yasoda, when Akrura was taking Krsna on the chariot she was so devastated, she was so devastated that Krsna felt so much sorrow in his heart, that he sent back a messenger, He sent back many messengers to assure the residents of Vrndavan He is coming back. To Mother Yasoda he sent a special message, that 'O my own mother I'm going to be so hungry on the way, please send me some food immediately so I can eat during this travel.' That will really engage Mother Yasoda and therefore she could continue living.

So anyway the residents of Vrndavan, the cowherd men, Nanda Maharaja and the other cowherd men had arrived so much earlier because they took a direct path to Mathura and they were waiting outside, they wouldn't enter the city till Krsna came. Then they, Nanda Maharaja sent, they went to higher ground in Mathura just to look and wait for Krsna, just to see when his chariot was coming. Then of c ourse Krsna came and Akrura of course said please, what else could he say, come to my house. And Krsna said, there are some wonderful prayers, Akrura was great at offering wonderful prayers to Krsna; he achieved perfection by offering prayers to Krsna. In the last of his prayers he called Krsna Yadu-uttama and Uttamasloka, punya sravana kirtana, but he called Him Yadu-uttama, which means the best of the Yadus.

So Krsna hearing that told him first I have to go and do my duty of killing Kamsa, and then I will i He directly said that. Everyone was so fearful of Kamsa but as we shall hear Krsna wasn't fearful at all in the slightest bit but rather Kamsa became completely full of anxiety, when he began to hear of the deeds Krsna performed in Mathura.

Then Krsna, after sending Akrura away who told Kamsa that Krsna had arrived, then Krsna and all the cowherd boys they went wandering in Mathura, because they were village boys and this was their first visit to the city. I heard this from HH Radha Govinda Maharaja, he explained this one very sweetly, and then they began to walk in the city and they saw the opulence of Mathura, with its big gates and golden, brass and the filigree and every house was decorated in such an opulent way, there were granary and there was this and there was that. Then all the residents of Mathura heard that Krsna had entered their city, and everyone actually knew, word got around that this was the son of Vasudeva. Although everyone was afraid of Kamsa when Krsna walked through the city everyone lost their fear. The brahmanas came they offered prayers, sang Purusha Sukta, different prayers to Krsna, they made offerings to Him of auspicious items, fresh water(?) barley, flower garlands and hundreds and hundreds and thousands of people, as Krsna was walking through the city, were following him.

And the ladies of Mathura they heard about Krsna and they went onto the roofs and how they reacted to Krsna's appearance was so much like the Vraja Gopikas. They couldn't dress themselves properly, even it's described that ladies who were feeding their new born babies, Bhagavatam describes, would just put them down and just ran to see Krsna. Their attraction to Krsna was so complete. There's no imitation allowed by the way! No imitation in Krsna Consciousness.

It's so interesting that when Krsna was leaving, the gopis were praying how fortunate, the residents of Mathura, especially the ladies of Mathura going to be because soon they will be able to glance at the beautiful face of Krsna. And now their words were coming true and what do the ladies of Mathura say, 'How fortunate are the Vraja Gopis because they were seeing Him day after day after day.'

And then Krsna, because he was dressed, he is an expert dresser, this is one of the qualities of Krsna, so he was going to walk into the wrestling arena, now He wasn't in the village, He was going to kill Kamsa. By His arrangement, by divine arrangement He wanted to be dressed exactly right for the occasion, because He wanted to attract everyone because Krsna is all attractive, His presence, His personality is all attractive, everything He does is attractive.

So one of the first people he saw was a servant of Kamsa, who is a washer man and a dyer of clothes. Krsna very sweetly, in the most polite language, said give me, very sweetly he spoke, a very endearing way of addressing said, please give me some of your clothes. So I can dress myself with Balarama, even though all the cowherd boys were there too. Just give me some clothes, very sweetly.

And then the washer man responded in such a harsh, heavy way, 'you are just village boys and you're used to wandering in the fields and wandering in the mountains and you are asking for the king's clothes? And then he made a great mistake, in the second verse of his chastisement of Krsna he said balisah, he said you fools, in plural. Because I've always wondered, ok he didn't give Them the clothes but that's quite an extreme reaction to cut off his head, Jiva Goswami says he said balisah, fools, in plural, and Krsna was there with Balarama and became very angry and cut off his head.

But also Srila Jiva Goswami explains that Krsna spoke so sweetly to him because he was a demon and He wanted him to exhibit his demonic nature before, he was a servant was of Kamsa and Kamsa had His parents imprisoned at that very moment and this washer man he knew this and yet he said 'I am the servant of Kamsa and you dare to take something from the king? Are you a thief?' Look what Kamsa has done, he had stolen the whole kingdom and he had placed Krsna's own parents in prison. His demonic nature because of his service to a demon, well birds of a feather flock together as Prabhupada said, he was a demon, that's why Krsna killed him.

Then Krsna went on further, then he saw a weaver, and the weaver was a devotee. He had not gone from Mathura to Vrndavan to see Krsna because of fear from Kamsa but he was always thinking of Krsna and being a well-wisher of Krsna and Krsna was happy to ask him to do some service and the weaver made some beautiful clothes for Krsna out of the cloth, he did it just right for Krsna and Balaram out of the cloth that Krsna had just taken from the washer man. Krsna benedicted him in such a wonderful way and gave him the spiritual world, a place in the spiritual world.

So Krsna now was entering in Mathura, thousands of people were following Him, He was beautifully dressed and of course what did He need next, beautiful garlands, Krsna loves to wear beautiful garlands. Madhava loves to wear beautiful garlands, Madhava is always wearing beautiful garlands. Srila Jiva Goswami explains something so sweetly, that this florist, this mali, named Sudama, immediately evoked affection from Krsna, but one day when he was going to the Vrndavan forest to get some special flowers, he saw Krsna herding the cows and he was so attracted that every day he would go there, just to watch Krsna's pastimes, His gocaran pastimes of cow herding, they were so exciting, Krsna would call the cows.

So every day he would come and he developed a friendly relationship with Krsna and when Krsna was walking through Mathura, He knowing everything and forgetting nothing, thought here is the place where Sudama lives, I want to see him. So Krsna and Balaram walked into the mali's house and Sudama was ecstatic, of course. Then Krsna just looked, glanced, because in Vrndavan everything is a little subtle and indirect, this is the culture actually, Vedic culture and the Indian culture little indirect. So Krsna just glanced at a flower garland that was still half made, and Sudama knew it and Srila Jiva Goswami himself composes this beautiful verse that how fortunate Sudama was, because Krsna came to his house just to get some service from him, to offer service being the greatest fortune, to offer service to Krsna.

Sudama of course ecstatically made the garland and he gave Krsna and Balaram garlands but he gave that special garland to Krsna and then Krsna benedicted him. But before that He asked Sudama what he wanted and this is what I wanted to say. Amazingly enough confronted directly, Krsna was right before him, Pariksit Maharaja was leaving the world, but Krsna was right before Sudama and when asked what do you want, I'll give you whatever you want. This is what he said:

so 'pi vavre 'calam bhaktim

I want acalam bhakti, I want devotional service that is completely fixed, not moving, shaking, like my tends to be, but completely fixed in attraction and attachment for this all attractive, all merciful, all strong Supreme Personality of Godhead who is standing right before me. Then tasminn evakhilatmani, to that complete acalam Bhakti, to that Supreme Lord, the Supreme Self of everything who is standing right in front of him. Then next he asks for tad-bhaktesu, and to His devotees, I want the association and attachment to the devotees, friendship with the devotees, the same two points. Guess what the third point is going to be that he is going to ask for, sauhardam bhutesu ca dayam param. I want to have transcendental compassion for all living beings.

So whether Krsna is in front of us or Krsna while we are leaving this world, what wonderful prayers these great great personalities are offering to us to think about, to meditate upon and to follow in their lotus footsteps.

Well I did it, thank you very much. Srimad Bhagavatam ki jai. Srila Prabhupada ki jai.


Actually I am completely empty, but so many devotees seeing that I was empty actually gave me so many blessings before class so if anything good came that was really by their mercy. [END]

Listen Srimad Bhagavatam Audio Lecture of Bhurijana Prabhu

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Kalakantha Prabhu: We were asked to speak on the subject of leadership and unity. So I have chosen this verse which I know is familiar to many of you. First let's chant responsively.

gurur na sa syat sva-jano na sa syat
pita na sa syaj janani na sa syat
daivam na tat syan na patis ca sa syan
na mocayed yah samupeta-mrityum

One who cannot deliver his dependents from the path of repeated birth and death should never become a spiritual master, a father, a husband, a mother or a worshipable demigod.

Purport: There are many spiritual masters, but Rishabhadeva advises that one should not become a spiritual master if he is unable to save his disciple from the path of birth and death. Unless one is a pure devotee of Krishna, he cannot save himself from the path of repeated birth and death. Tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti so'rjuna [Bg. 4.9]. One can stop birth and death only by returning home, back to Godhead. However, who can go back to Godhead unless he understands the Supreme Lord in truth? Janma karma ca me divyam evam yo vetti tattvatah [Bg. 4.9].

We have many instances in history illustrating Rishabhadeva's instructions. Sukracarya was rejected by Bali Maharaja due to his inability to save Bali Maharaja from the path of repeated birth and death. Sukracarya was not a pure devotee, he was more or less inclined to fruitive activity, and he objected when Bali Maharaja promised to give everything to Lord Vishnu. Actually one is supposed to give everything to the Lord because everything belongs to the Lord. Consequently, the Supreme Lord advises in Bhagavad-gita (9.27):

yat karosi yad asnasi
yaj juhosi dadasi yat
yat tapasyasi kaunteya
tat kurusva mad-arpanam

"O son of Kunti, all that you do, all that you eat, all that you offer and give away, as well as all austerities that you may perform, should be done as an offering unto Me." This is bhakti. Unless one is devoted, he cannot give everything to the Supreme Lord. Unless one can do so, he cannot become a spiritual master, husband, father or mother. Similarly, the wives of the brahmanas who were performing sacrifices gave up their relatives just to satisfy Krishna. This is an example of a wife rejecting a husband who cannot deliver her from the impending dangers of birth and death. Similarly, Prahlada Maharaja rejected his father, and Bharata Maharaja rejected his mother (janani na sa syat). The word daivam indicates a demigod or one who accepts worship from a dependent. Ordinarily, the spiritual master, husband, father, mother or superior relative accepts worship from an inferior relative, but here Rishabhadeva forbids this. First the father, spiritual master or husband must be able to release the dependent from repeated birth and death. If he cannot do this, he plunges himself into the ocean of reproachment for his unlawful activities. Everyone should be very responsible and take charge of his dependents just as a spiritual master takes charge of his disciple or a father takes charge of his son. All these responsibilities cannot be discharged honestly unless one can save the dependent from repeated birth and death. (End)

Kalakantha Prabhu: This verse has many interesting facets. For one thing, it puts the position of father, mother, husband and guru on the same level. Nobody should take any of these responsible positions unless they are capable of giving real shelter to their dependents. No one would think I cannot be a perfect mother or father, therefore I should not become one.

Similarly, no one should think I cannot be perfect as a spiritual master, therefore I should not become one. Caitanya Mahaprabhu encouraged everybody, yare dekha, tare kaha 'krishna'-upadesa amara ajnaya guru hana tara' ei desa. (CC Madhya 7.128) Everybody, wherever you go, whomever you meet, tell them about Krsna and that way become a spiritual master and try to liberate your mind.

So there are two things to consider in becoming responsible and capable and avoiding the ocean of reproachment. Have you ever heard those two words together? Except from Srila Prabhupada. So poetic. The ocean of reproachment, we can see if somebody takes responsible position and then fails how condemned and how much criticism they will get. This is a warning verse. But I didn't mean to speak in a negative way because there is something very wonderful about the commonality between gurus, husbands, and parents and the responsible people. And that is they have the wonderful ability to give unconditional love to their dependents, love that is given so freely regardless of how the dependent responds, that is the unifying quality of these various positions.

Sanatana Goswami spoke to Haridas Thakur about two things a leader must have, acara and pracara. The ability to teach the real knowledge ever and the ability to behave very nicely.

We have been hearing very wonderful classes this week by Vaisesika Prabhu,Bhurijan Prabhu, Bhakti Caitanya Maharaj on this theme of leadership. And everytime the same thing comes up: the quality of the devotee, the behavior of the devotee. Krishnadas Kaviraj says in the Caitanya-caritamrta that religious principles are not established by logic or debate or even by internet arguments.

They are established how? By the behavior of the devotee. That is what touches people's hearts. If all the devotees of the Krsna consciousness movement, if all of Srila Prabhupada's followers become very saintly, then the whole world will come to our temples, they will buy our books, they will want to become like us. Everything depends upon our behavior. So this is the wonderful opportunity, Krsna consciousness.

Ravindra Swarup Prabhu wrote a very beautiful and eloquent praise of Srila Prabhupada. In which he described how he went, this elderly swami went to the lower east side of New York City Manhattan very degraded place, and presented sainthood as a viable career option.

So what does it mean to become a saint? For one thing, a saint, as we have been hearing, from the classes this week is friendly to everyone. Titksava karunika suridhama sarvabhutana. Friendly to everyone, giving love to everyone.

Sometimes we have a heart that feels like a very ripe, luscious plum, full of juice ready to give its delicious nectar at the slightest touch to everyone. And sometimes our hearts feel like a dried up prune, you can't squeeze one drop out. Either way, it is our duty to give love to others and that is the behaviour of saintly persons.

I know this sounds a little sentimental, while some people say manava seva, the impersonalists say this that if you serve mankind, you serve God. Or in the faith that I was brought up in, they say that loving man is the highest expression of God consciousness. We are not talking about the same thing in Krsna consciousness for the simple reason that Krsna is included, there is no knowledge in others that we have to offer by the grace of Srila Prabhupada. We have real knowledge but how do we deliver it that is the deciding factor, whether or not people will hear form us.

So my dear Godbrother Caru Prabhu in the Western United States has developed a wonderful project, beautiful temple, hundreds and thousands of people attending these festivals. I visited him last summer and and he told me an interesting story from his days as temple president in Australia, I visited him last summer. He told me an interesting story from his days as a temple president in Australia. When Srila Prabhupada came to Australia in the early 70's, Caru Prabhu was alone in the room with him and thought it was a great opportunity to ask a question that was very much on his mind.

He asked,"Srila Prabhupada, after you start chanting Hare Krsna, how long does it take to become purified?"

Srila Prabhupada thought for a moment and he said "about forty years."

I was very happy to hear this answer. I looked at the calendar. Just four months away would be my fortieth anniversary. So four months came and went and nothing much changed. Laughter

So I was thinking about what has kept me in Krsna consciousness for forty years. In every case, it was the loving reciprocation, the loving presentation of the devotees. Starting from 1975 when Vaisesika Prabhu and myself and many devotees came here for the big Mayapur festival here and Keshav Bharati Maharaja and others came here. Remember the temple room was down here in the lotus building and there were 200 of us and it seemed like a big crowd and the lotus building was the only building for a kilometer in any direction.

Srila Prabhupada was there each morning giving class, taking us around, circumambulating the Deities and ringing the bell, making everyone dance in ecstasy. Speaking from the 7th canto telling us how the same hand that ripped apart Hiranyakashipu was patting the head of Prahlad Maharaja.

In this way so many wonderful memories were there. I was twenty years old, very inexperienced, I felt like I was living the Caitanya-caritamrta and those memories of Srila Prabhupada and his kindness have kept me in Krsna consciousness.

And there are three wonderful devotees. May I tell you about them?

One is H.H.Bhakti Tirtha Maharaja. He and I lived in the back of a van together for years. We have very different backgrounds. He was very experienced, college educated, and he was very strong in his spiritual life. Every morning he would get up at midnight every day and he would chant many rounds and write a letter to Srila Prabhupada every day and read and then he would wake me up.

He never ever made me feel anything but very much appreciated and respected and loved. Never did I feel like he is laying some kind of guilt trip on me or feeling better than me. I never thought I felt anything from him but this unconditional love. That sustained me for many, many years.

Later, H.H. Tamal Krishna Maharaja. When I was a brahmacari, I would avoid him very carefully. He was so heavy. Then later, when I was a grhastha, I went to work with him in Texas and he had changed so much. He was so kind to all of the families in the community and very accommodating to everybody and very respectful and appreciative and so unconditional in his love. So I was appreciating him. One day we were walking in the Dallas community. He said not everybody can oversee a community. He said the six goswamis could do this, dhir dhira jana priyo. He quoted this same verse, they were dear to every body, both devotees and non devotees. And they would come to them for advice, and he said not everybody could do this.

I always remember these very potent instructions he gave. You have to give love to everybody the devotees and the non-devotees if you want to be a leader. That was what I imbibed from him not only through that conversation but through all of his wonderful years with us.

And finally one very special devotee, Yamuna Devi Prabhu, Prabhvi. I dont dare call her mother Yamuna. I tried that one time and she said, yes, father Kalakantha. In the last few years of her life, I had this wonderful opportunity, my wife and I to spend much time with her in her Saranagati Ashram in Canada. We would go to her ashram for Srimad Bhagavatam class. It was so sweet. She and Dina Tarini were so learned and also loving in their approach to Krsna consciousness

They would tell such nice stories. Can I share one with you? When she was at the first temple in London at Bury Place, they were having a festival. She had worked up a menu for the feast and called George Harrison to invite him. She told him the event and the menu and said should I save a sweet for you? He said, you should probably save two. He was so inspired by her cooking.

She told about the time that they were recording the Radha Krsna temple album. All of the devotees were at the studio in Apple records. George was in the control room mixing. They were recording for several hours. As devotees are expert at doing, they were crashed out everywhere around the studio. She was awake by herself, so she sat down at the harmonium began singing a bhajan. They had no song books with them. They were alone there in London, no song books, all they had were tapes of Srila Prabhupada which she would listen to incessantly. She listened to this bhajan over and over again, never seeing it in print. Just to pass the time, she started singing as best as she could remember bhaja hu re mana. Of course she sang bhaja mana hu re. And she was just singing and when she finished George came out of the studio and said I was recording that and I want to put it on the album. You know this bhajan right? With this voice, you can't really tell if its male or female So devotional, so sweet. She had no idea it was being recorded. She did not want to put it on the album but George insisted, "have to put it on" There were many mistakes in the language and the words.

Later Srila Prabhupada heard the bhajana and said, "You have made a mistake". She was so embarrassed and said "I'm sorry". He said, "no no, that's alright, you can fix it later".

These are some of the devotees in my life who have given me unconditional love and shown me how to teach Krsna consciousness like that so that people will take it.

In the last few years I was asked to run a small temple in Gainesville Florida. Like many temples in the west it was very, it was depleted, there were actually only four devotees each day for the morning program and we were all like in their forties and fifties. So this temple is right next to the big university, University of Florida and there are fifty thousand students and for the last forty years devotees have been distributing prasadam there every day and it is a very popular program. So that was basically all that was going on in the temple.

It was a little depressing. I was talking to Yamuna and others about this and we decided to open a student hostel, as Bhaktisiddhanta called it, or BACE as it is known here in India. A place where students could live attend college while practicing Krsna consciousness. It had never been done before in the west, at least for many, many years. By this principle of unconditional love, we crafted a program, that would allow the devotees to come in a very flexible way. If they had the slightest interest in Krsna consciousness, we would accommodate them say for example not wearing devotional clothes. But they had to come to the morning program every day and they had to atleast chant eight rounds. That was the deal.

Then they could pay a little lakshmi or do some service and we got three students the first semester. Then something very amazing happened. More students came and saw the other students and said it looks like fun. And we said it is fun, we just have our parties in the morning instead of at night. (Laughter)

Since then, over a 100 students have come through. Right now there are 30 students there and the biggest problem we have is where to put everybody, so many people want to come.

This is what Srila Prabhupada called applied knowledge. We tried to apply the principles according to the time place and circumstances. And things which work very nicely and easily here in India, may not work there without some adjustments.

So I would like to share with you few, I think this is why they asked me to give class, because the truth is I have no knowledge and realization. Somehow our program is thriving. I had boiled it down to three things that we found helpful in bringing people to Krsna consciousness. Would you like to hear that? First thing is amanina mana dena (Shiksashtakam). Whatever you can find in somebody that is better than you, look at that thing. This was the assignment given to Duryodhana by Dronacarya, and he could not do it. Glorifying somebody who is superior to you in some way. He came back empty handed to which Dronacarya said, "therefore he is fit to be eaten by jackals".

While Yudhistira on the other hand was told find somebody who is inferior to you. He also came back empty handed. Drona said "you are fit to rule the world".

So when talking to new people, look for some way in which they are better than you. Maybe they are older than you, maybe younger, more educated, better looking more experienced, something in them that is superior to you and then talk about that thing.

Prabhodananda Sarasvati gave the same advice. You are very wise and so very learned. Now please forget everything you know and consider the mercy of Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

I am talking about the same thing but in very slow motion. Where you can give sustained respect to someone and make them feel respectful. Amaanina maan dena, Catch them doing something right, as Vaisesika Prabhu was pointing out. Encourage the heck out of them. That's right.

The second thing yena tena prakarena, manah krsna nivesayat (NOD) first of all, think about Krsna, the rules and regulations can come later. This one is a little more difficult because we are kind of a conservative movement. But we decided this is what it is going to take. We have been doing this for so many years, no one was joining us, try something different.

There is a story of Thomas Edison who invented the light bulb. He was just trying to find some kind of element that electricity could go through and throw off light for a sustained period of time. He failed over a thousand times. So a co-worker came and said "how do you feel after failing a thousand times?"

He said "I haven't failed a thousand times, I've just found a thousand things that don't work."

If we are afraid to try some new things, then we have to be satisfied with what we have, because the definition of insanity is to do the same thing and expect different result.

We took some radical steps and said you know don't worry about the clothing. The cultural part that can come later, the external part.

Another thing that was very radical I noticed whenever students came to the temple room, they would see the murti of Srila Prabhupada in our small temple room and they would become very disturbed, just very strange. We had a full size murti of Srila Prabhupada in a small temple and it just dominated everything. So we opened a Bhaktivedanta Library in another room and we moved the murti there. Then the students seemed to feel more comfortable. It was less strange because they did not know who Prabhupada was. So when they came we started teaching them about Prabhupada, reading Lilamrta over lunch everyday, talking about his life, teaching the words of the songs he taught us and explained the meaning and then more and more of them started joining and then they said, "why is the murti of Srila Prabhupada not in the temple room?"

When they asked for it, then we brought it back. And now it's cool because they tell the other students, oh yeah, that's Prabhupada, he's so cool.

We let them come in on the basis of an experiment. We say just enroll for a semester, you have to get up early and chant eight rounds, but there is no commitment. You don't have to be a member of ISKCON, you don't have to join ISKCON, you don't even have to like ISKCON. Just learn bhakti and then decide. You do this for one semester and you attend your classes and then after a semester, you decide if you want more. If you don't like what you got then you go right back to where you were, karma back guaranteed (Laughter).

This has done more than anything to take away the stigma of a cult. People are told by other don't join, I am not joining anything, I am just studying in the ashram for one semester. This is yena tena prakarena, manah krsna nivesayat (NOD) let the rules and regulations, the cultural thing let them come later.

And one more important point in this, conversely to catch them doing something right, we have learned not to catch them doing something wrong. Somebody is eating with their left hand. What do we do? "Oh, Stop that." they are going to feel very uncomfortable like they are on trial. Any moment they can be punched. So we just started noting down, I and the other senior devotees, in our little notebook that they are doing something wrong. Once a week, we sit down together and say here are some of the rules of etiquette we would like you to learn. And without pointing any fingers, we say, eat with the right hand and so many other details.

So flexible. This is titiksava. You have to tolerate that people are doing things wrong in the beginning. Just think of Srila Prabhupada. All of these people Robert Nelson teaching him how to roll chapatis, David Allen is taking LSD, people who were high on LSD were living on the storefront for months, Prabhupada tolerated until people came who were willing to go to a higher standard. This is also the saintly quality to teach them. Be flexible. yena tena prakarena, manah krsna nivesayat (NOD) Let the rules come later. Don't get hung up on the externals. Let them live the way they are.

The third thing that worked out is anandamayo abhyasat this understanding that every living entity, all of us run on pleasure. If we feel loved, then we feel pleasure. That is the beginning part and then as we advance, we learn that if we give love we feel even more pleasure.

How can people stay in Krsna consciousness for forty years? This means they have to be in the right position. They should not be told that if you do this its maya. And if you do this its Krsna consciousness. They have to be told, you have learned about Krsna, now you make your decisions. You are ready to get initiated that's another issue but for the most part, people need to be given respect and freedom and the chance to make their own mistakes. This is anandamayo abhyasat

Its' hard. This analogy of guru and parent is very similar. Nothing in my life has prepared me more for taking disciples than having children. You give them love and love and love and that is very natural, but then they do what they are going to do. You learn the meaning of unconditional love when you have children. But with disciples, it is so much nicer. No diapers. And in most cases, they do what you suggest.

In between, there are people who are just experimenting with Krsna consciousness and they have to make their own decisions and we have to let them.

You know Srila Prabhupada was coming back to the west in 1977 and he said I have established 50% of my mission, book distribution, and now I want to establish the other 50%, varnashrama. But he did not make it for that much so that was left on us to understand that instruction and then there is so much debate about it so many views on what that means.

To me it means just one thing, how someone can stay in Krsna consciousness for forty years. That means we have to look at their life in a very broad way and let the new devotees feel free and voluntary in their devotional service. Individual spontaneous and voluntary.

So these are the three things that have worked. Maybe you will find them helpful in your part of the world. It is my great pleasure to be in your association. Because this love amongst devotees is even on a higher level than this unconditional love we are talking about. The love amongst the devotees is the very key to spiritual life.

satam prasangan mama virya-samvido
bhavanti hrit-karna-rasayanah kathah
taj-joshanad asv apavarga-vartmani
sraddha ratir bhaktir anukramishyati

Shraddha, our faith comes from it, rati our taste comes from it and ultimately our bhakti comes from it. If to know Krsna is the perfection of devotee's life then we must have that association of devotees.

Being at events like this is like being at a feast where there are just too many preparations to eat. There are so many sweet devotees you want to spend all day with them but you only get a minute here and a minute there. Wish we had thousands of arms to hug all the Vaishnavas and live in the hours but we don't.

But this love for the conditioned souls, that is a quality of the saintly person. Suhrdam sarva bhutanam. To see people equally is only possible by loving everybody. There is not a clinical verse in Bhagavad Gita Vidya vinyaa sampanne, the Mayavadis might see it like that oh I see everyone as a spirit soul, they might say, to help them all, I see them equally, I don't care for anybody. But what it really means is to love everybody. That means we in our own lives and have to soften our hearts. We have to learn to forgive people and not carry grudges around with us as if that is going to hurt them. It is just hurting us. To behave to give unconditional love, like these great devotees. We have seen it. Srila Prabhupada was not a failure (?) guru, his disciples got these great qualities like Tamala Krsna Maharaj, Bhakti Tirtha Maharaj and Yamuna Prabhu. They have imbibed those qualities. We can also imbibe. Then the whole world will come to us. Because everybody is looking for that unconditional love.

In the 10th canto, there is this wonderful pastime. After the Aghasura pastime, I am sorry, Brahma vimohan lila pastime, Sukadeva Goswami is explaining how Lord Krsna replaces all the boys and the calves and how the mothers were so affectionate.Then Pariksit Maharaja asked this question, how is this possible since the mother loves the child so much, how could the mothers love the Krsna-replacemnet children even more? Sukadeva explains love between family members is based on an extension of one's own self-love. Because I love myself so I love you because you are related to me. When Krsna took the place of these extended loved ones, then the mothers were encountering the person who is the basis of their own ability to love themselves. Because Krsna is the source of the soul and He loves every soul unconditionally. When the mothers encountered this Person, they loved even more than their children even more than their own extended self. So this is the explanation

It is not possible to love Krsna without loving everyone else. That is the fruit of staying in Krsna consciousness whether it is forty or fifty or sixty years. We should know that's the indication we are advancing, when we don't feel enmity towards anyone else when we feel love towards when we can see ourselves honestly, if I would have been in that person's position then I would probably be doing the same thing. We could see how we are common. Not distinguishing by gender or age or race or country and we can give that affection unconditionally. That is a signpost that we are actually coming closer to loving Krsna. That will be the success of our movement and that will be the glory of Srila Prabhupada. When all the followers of ISKCON show unconditional love, then the whole world will become Krsna conscious.

Thank you very much.
Comments or questions?

Kesava Bharati Maharaja: First of all, thank you very much for that lovely and relevant class. May I have your permission to document what you just said with an example from Sanatana Goswami's Brhat Bhagavatamrita?

When Narada Muni was sent to the Yadus by the Pandavas because the Pandavas thought that the Yadus were better devotees than they, he approached the Sudharma Assembly hall. It was a big hall and he saw the senior to junior Yadus sitting in a horseshoe shape. There was a throne in the middle, it was Krsna's. They were waiting for Krsna to come and conduct the affairs of the state. He was overwhelmed by the effulgence that was coming from their bodies. So much so that their decorations were decorated by the body or the body was decorated by the decorations.

Then Sanatana Goswami explains in the commentary what that effulgence is. May I?

The love that they had for Krsna and the love they had for one another. That is the spiritual world. That gives that effulgence which will attract the whole world.

Kalakantha Prabhu: Thank you very much. Haribol. We have time for one question.

Mataji: My mind is always around here and there. Why?

Kalakantha Prabhu: It is because we are not happy in our hearts the mind is trying to find happiness somewhere else but it doesn't exist. It is only in you.

Mataji: Please bless me all of devotees.

Kalakantha Prabhu: Haribol. Srila Prabhupada ki jaya!

Listen Srimad Bhagavatam Audio Lecture of Kalakantha Prabhu

- Transcribed by Sheela Ravishankar Mataji, Singapore.

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vettha tvam saumya tat sarvam tattvatas tad-anugrahat
bruyuh snigdhasya Sisyasya guravo guhyam apy uta
Srimad Bhagavatam 1.1.8

Translation: And because you are submissive, your spiritual masters have endowed you with all the favors bestowed upon a gentle disciple. Therefore you can tell us all that you have scientifically learned from them.

Purport: The secret of success in spiritual life is in satisfying the spiritual master and thereby getting his sincere blessings. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has sung in his famous eight stanzas on the spiritual master as follows: "I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of my spiritual master. Only by his satisfaction can one please the Personality of Godhead, and when he is dissatisfied there is only havoc on the path of spiritual realization." It is essential, therefore, that a disciple be very much obedient and submissive to the bona fide spiritual master. Srila Suta Gosvami fulfilled all these qualifications as a disciple, and therefore he was endowed with all favors by his learned and self-realized spiritual masters such as Srila Vyasadeva and others. The sages of Naimisaranya were confident that Srila Suta Gosvami was bona fide. Therefore they were anxious to hear from him. [END]

Vaisesika Das: (mangalacarana, etc.) I was asked to speak about qualities of a leader and I found in this verse a formula. Always good to work from a formula because formula means you can use it over and over again and pass it on to others. Principles and formulas are very handy that way and in this verse we find the secrets to leadership. And here the sages at Naimisaranya are exalting Suta Gosvami for his qualities and they are saying that snigdhasya you have achieved these qualities because you have been affectionate towards your spiritual masters and they have been affectionate towards you. And this is very sweet because now guhyam they gave their secrets. Bhurijana Prabhu had said one time that if you approach a great personality who holds Krishna in his or her heart and you render service,

tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya
upadeksyani te jñanam jñaninas tattva-darsinah

What happens is the heart melts and the contents of the heart come flowing out to you. Already the Sastra says the hearts of pure devotees are melted because of their constant contact with Krishna.

evam-vratah sva-priya-nama-kirtya
jatanurago druta-citta uccaih
Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.2.40)

druta-citta means their hearts are soft and acarya Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says they are liquefied like a river of rose apple juice. And you can get that juice if your render service and Tukaram Prabhu just before class was telling me at the Gurukula he found out that this secret is also know there. That if the students serve their teachers without motivation, the teachers become so obligated, they feel so grateful that they don’t have anything else do except teach them everything they know.

And we can all experience this, when someone approaches us with unmotivated love and gives us some service with no expectation of return, what can you do? You toss and turn all night Bhagavad-gita (4.34)

thinking how can I repay this person? Even if it’s the simplest thing, just a gesture, a conscious gesture that the person has given you their heart out of love, you have no choice, you have to give them your heart. guhyam akhyati prcchati, and this is how Suta Gosvami became a leader he became self-effulgent because he had served his spiritual masters in this way. tad viddhi pranipata pranipata means in humility he had bowed his head. The best place to keep your head is on the ground.

One time I just did a little bit of dandavat parikrama in Vrndavana, after the first half hour I felt this is a befitting place to be flat on the ground. I can’t get any lower than this and I felt open to all the gifts of the universe when I was that low. tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena and then the relevant questions and seva service. These are the three that unlock the hearts of great souls and Sastra says

Susrusoh Sraddadhanasya vasudeva-katha-rucih
syan mahat-sevaya viprah punya-tirtha-nisevanat

When we serve the great devotees, unmotivated devotees, great service is done and by such service one gains affinity for hearing the messages of Vasudeva. They infuse the humble and submissive disciples, snigdhasya out of affection, there is shared affection between the teachers. So here we see Suta Gosvami taking a leading role because of his qualities and in the Nectar of Devotion, in the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, there is a description of how qualities emerge from one who is chanting Hare Krishna in the association of devotees. Millions of verses but Caitanya Mahaprabhu says ceto-darpana-marjanam, the heart is cleansed and Srimad-Bhagavatam says,

Yasyasti bhaktir bhagavaty akiñcana
sarvair gunais tatra samasate surah

That when one practices unmotivated devotional service one develops the good qualities of the demigods or the demigods want to live with such a person or the Supreme Personality of Godhead becomes obligated to such a person. All these three things- the meaning of surah. And when those good qualities emerge, there is a list of the auspicious qualities beginning with the eradication of all distress, the awakening of auspiciousness, pure devotional service immediately puts one into transcendental pleasure, it is rarely achieved, those in pure devotional service deride even the conception of liberation, want nothing to do with it and it is the only way to please Krishna. And regarding the quality of auspiciousness it relates to leaders and it relates to our movement. And how we lead in the world and how we lead in our families, and how we lead anywhere that we go. Auspiciousness is defined by the fact that the person who is developing this quality of auspiciousness has affection for all living entities. This is the defining quality of someone advancing in devotional service through serving their spiritual masters, through chanting the holy names of the Lord, through hearing Srimad-Bhagavatam in advanced association, auspiciousness awakens within the heart. Sreyah-kairava-candrika-vitaranam, white lotus of golden fortune, who wouldn’t want that?

And that auspiciousness means that the devotee has affection for all living entities.

yas tu sarvani bhutany atmany evanupasyati
sarva-bhutesu catmanamtato na vijugupsate
yasmin sarvani bhutany atmaivabhud vijanatah
tatra ko mohah kah Soka ekatvam anupaSyatah

One who always sees all living entities as spiritual sparks and quality one with the Lord becomes the true knower of things. What then can be illusion or anxiety for him, one who always sees everything in relation to the Supreme Lord and sees the Supreme Lord within everything, never hates anything or any being. In other words he has affection for all living entities and everyone has affection for him. dhiradhira-jana-priyau priya-karau, the Goswamis are defined as in not Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.16), Srimad-Bhagavatam (5.18.12), Sri iSopanisad 6, Sri iSopanisad 7 having any enemies and they were appreciated by the ruffians and by the advanced gentle people. And so auspiciousness means that one has the capacity to reach out and assist others. To give others what is in within one’s heart, guhyam akhyati prcchati, and one becomes free from the propensity to envy others,

nindadi-Sunya-hrdam ipsita-sańga-labdhya,

mentioned by Rupa Goswami in the fifth verse of the Nectar of Instruction that this is the hallmark of the pure devotee, nindadi-Sunya no more propensity in the heart to criticize others. In other words no more envy. Envy matsarya is the all-pervading dread disease of the material world. It gets on you and it contaminates the heart and the consciousness, and when one becomes purified of matsarya which is defined by Jiva Goswami as the inability to tolerate the eminence of another. Ouch, that hurts. Whereas, nindadi-Sunya-hrdam ipsita-sańga-labdhya, one who has become advanced in devotional service, the awakening of auspiciousness Sreyah- kairava-candrika-vitaranam, the white lotus of good fortune is opening, auspiciousness is opening, has the appreciating capacity to take in all living entities. In fact Prabhupada mentions this, this is another sutra. We just read this the other night from the Caitanya-caritamrta adi- lila 4.34 in the purport Prabhupada says,that “one’s advancement can be measured by one’s appreciating capacity.” How much can you appreciate?

And Queen Kunti says Srnvanti gayanti grnanti sadhavah Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.5.11) that devotional service is marked by appreciating the service of others. If one can do that then, one can advance in devotional service simply by appreciating capacity because as we appreciate others we assume their qualities. Voltaire said when you appreciate others you are able to imbibe their qualities. It actually opens your heart and you can take them in. Otherwise if you envy them you are completely blocked, you can’t have anything. You don’t get anything, nothing for you. And so an advancing devotee in Krishna consciousness is able to appreciate all living entities and give affection for all living entities, appropriate affection for all living entities, appropriate affection for all living entities. And is able to distinguish who are the innocents. How can I pour in as much mercy as possible? They have an appreciating capacity and they have something to give. They have received the gifts and they know exactly what to give. So leaders have this affectionate capacity and appreciation and also there is an attraction. A leader becomes attractive, according to Rupa Goswami when auspiciousness is born then a person becomes naturally attractive, we call this self-effulgent. And therefore real leadership means that someone is controlling their senses, and because of controlling their senses, no drinking water under water on a fast day, dry fasting for the benefit of my audience, and then when I take a dip in the Ganga I drink hardly underneath the water and I pop my head back up thinking now I have satisfied myself but the effulgence wears off. Effulgence is gone rather Krishna says,

raga-dvesa-vimuktais tu visayan indriyais caran
atma-vaSyair vidheyatma prasadam adhigacchati

If one is able to strictly observe the process of devotional service, control one’s senses, then he gets the complete mercy of the Lord.

prasade sarva-duhkhanam hanir asyopajayate
prasanna-cetaso hy asu buddhih paryavatisthate
Bhagavad-gita (2.65)

Then the misery goes away. The mind becomes joyful and the intelligence becomes fixed. And this spiritual intelligence because we are to guide as leaders, by intelligence and organization. And intelligence means one has controlled one’s sense and therefore has a clear idea of what to do and what not to do. And how to lead others spiritually. Nectar of Instruction 5

nasti buddhir ayuktasya na cayuktasya bhavana
na cabhavayatah Santir asantasya kutah sukham
Bhagavad-gita (2.64)

And if you don’t have spiritual intelligence by controlling your senses, then what can you do? You are simply lost in the whirlpool of the material life, and in this world, the leaders of this world are the senses. They are the masters of this world. Everyone is controlled. Mucukunda told, he was a great king. But when he came home he was ruled by his wives, and his senses, he had to follow them the bad masters, the senses.

kamadinam kati na katidha palita durnidesas
tesam jata mayi na karuna na trapa nopasantih
utsrjyaitan atha yadu-pate sampratam labdha-buddhis
tvam ayatah Saranam abhayam mam niyunksvatma-dasye

Rupa Goswami says the advancing devotee regains his spiritual intelligence, it’s the greatest victory anywhere in the world otherwise any other victory is business as usual.

prakrteh kriyamanani gunaih karmani sarvasah
ahankara-vimudhatma kartaham iti manyate
Bhagavad-gita (3.27)

Business as usual, no different than anybody else but somebody who conquers the senses and gains the spiritual intelligence by sincere endeavor to please Krishna, then the devotees says, for how long and how many ways have I obeyed the bad masters of my senses? They never gave me time off, I never questioned them and they never gave me mercy. But I continue to follow them in all cases, in all circumstances but no more, utsrjyaitan atha yadu-pate sampratam labdha-buddhis Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila (22.16). I have gained my intelligence by the mercy of my spiritual master and now I want personal service, now I want to serve the Lord.

And it is from this intelligence that one must lead that one knows that every living being must be engaged in Krishna’s service and therefore we live by the “fan the spark” principle that wherever we see a spark of Krishna consciousness, wherever we see the tiniest desire to serve Krishna we must fan it until it becomes a flame and then a conflagration and that is the business of International Society of Krishna Consciousness to fan the spark everywhere we see it. In fact there is a mantra that, “One must encourage the heck out of everyone.” That’s the way to live because if ‘heck’ gets in one, then it’s not good. In fact ‘encourage’ comes from the word ‘cour’ which means heart, and the heart becomes impaired by the weakness, hrdaya-daurbalyam, weakness of heart means I cant move, I can’t make it in this process of devotional service, therefore we have to encourage the heck out of everyone. That’s the way to live, that’s the way to lead, in fact!

In fact even in the secular world, the way to encourage people catch them doing something right! There was a great book called “One minute manager”, came out in the early 80’s. “One minute manger” tiny little book, tells you about how to manage, how to lead. It says, “Leaders should go around trying to catch somebody doing something right.” And when you do encourage them! Encourage the heck out of them!! and then the leaders also are prone to empowerment, they give empowerment to everyone. Empowerment means that I am willing to give power to others. Harry S Truman, one of the great Presidents of United States said that “It is remarkable how much you can get done when you don’t care who gets the credit.” That is a mantra to meditate on. For leadership, the quality of a leader, “I am willing to give away my credit to others. I don’t care who sees it because I know Krsna sees it.” He is there within the heart, He knows everything and therefore devotees are willing to give away at every second credit to others. That is what ‘moves’ a movement, empowering others. Movement means Bhagavad-gita (2.66)

Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila someone has to move it. It moves on the basis of this empowerment because the heart is pure. One doesn’t have to get the credit. I don’t need the stamp, I want to see it done, one way or the other.

So Suta Gosvami had imbibed these qualities from his spiritual masters. He had become self- effulgent and now he is leading from his heart with true spiritual quality and that’s what we must do also. I am going to make a couple of more comments and then take some questions and reflections.

Prabhupada gave a very succinct, usable powerful direction for ‘how to lead’ to one of our greatest leaders, Karandhara Prabhu back in 1971 or 72. He wrote him a letter and he said, “You must create an environment in which devotees will do service that is individual, spontaneous and voluntary. And you must also continually create a fresh challenge so that devotees will want to rise up and meet it.” Individual, spontaneous and voluntary!

There was a book written some years ago, it became very popular in the business world called “From good to great”. It was all about the corporate model, what made some companies great, and the others, there are many good companies in the world but what are the qualities of the great companies? Without going into all those qualities, I’ll just say that the author, who is very learned in the science of business and management and so forth, had to write a different book for the social sector. That is his model and his ideas from good to great and what motivates the great corporates doesn’t work in our kind of organization. He said there is a different kind of motivation a different model that moves us in our social sector, that is voluntary movements. We are all volunteers. There has to be a different kind of motivation that has to come from spiritual values, it has to come from encouragement. It has to come from creating an environment that the devotees feel that they can be empowered, that they can now take up the service. Why not? There is so much service to do. When we do sankirtana there is unlimited service to do because it’s a huge world and we haven’t even touched it yet with the sankirtana movement!! So everyone should be empowered. Caitanya Mahaprabhu said

yare dekho tare kaho krsna-upadesa
amara ajnaya guru haya tara ei desa
Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila (7.128).

You are all deputized, everyone! You are in! Go!! Go, Go Go! He said that. He sent His followers out. Go, Go Go! Go out there, do it, be empowered, take it up, make it happen and this is the mood of the sankirtana movment. There is unlimited service to do, and if there’s not a category that someone fits into, create a new category, give him service, that is mercy, give people service. We are only dying for service.

Srila Prabhupada says in the Second Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam in the purport of the catur sloki Bhagavatam that “The direct order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is a manifestation of his internal potency and it is by that manifestation that one comes to see the Lord face to face.”

It means that working in the sankirtana movement, to serve the lotus feet of Caitanya Mahaprabhu with all one’s heart and one’s soul, and one’s hands. We have, what is immemorialized on the walls of the restaurant in St. Louis, when Sura dasa the great Sura dasa Prabhu who now resides in LA, the irreplaceable great soul Sura dasa, he wrote “You can have a free meal here, if you just engage in sravanam kirtanam ‘scrub’anam, ‘mop’anam… and that’s what we do ‘scrub’anam, ‘mop’anam!

And one more thing because Navina reminded me to say this, that we must take a risk, we must risk we are gamblers spiritual gamblers, that’s what we do. We gave up other kinds of gambling so have to do something. We eat prasadam to make up for meat eating and all kinds of other things. But we have to gamble and Mahatma Prabhu, tells how when the first devotees went out, sold their first big book, they took a risk. Took them out, they said it couldn’t be done but they went out and tried and after they sold their first big book he said, “we felt like gamblers who had won money, big money for the first time and we couldn’t be stopped we were on a roll.” So we gamble. The biggest gamble is surrender to Krsna. I give up my personal vested interest in this world and what will happen if I do that? I don’t know but I am going to gamble it away and I risk my peace of mind to preach Krsna consciousness. And when I do that life is exiting, everything else is predictable and therefore boring.

Hare Krishna!


Suresvara Das: Thank you for the very empowering class. I want to encourage everyone to read a certain letter. Srila Prabhupada said it better than Harry Truman, When Harry Truman said “It’s amazing how much you can get done when on one cares who gets the credit.” Srila Prabhupada said this in a very wonderful way. In 8 Nov 1965, there is Srila Prabhupada all alone in New Your city and he is writing this long letter to a sanyasi Godbrother of his and he is saying so many things and he is saying what’s done is done, we have wasted so much time, there is so much fighting that happened but here I am in New York city, and I know you have access to resources, just consider me a worker in your mission, and…. just tell the devotees to read this letter to Bhakti Vilas Tirtha Maharaj, and you will read this amazing mood of Srila Prabhupada and that’s why we were moved by Prabhupada to work. Because it comes from him. That is all I had to say. Hare Krishna!

Vaisesika Prabhu: Thank you very much!

Bhakti Caru Swami: I was just wondering about this statement “bruyuh snigdhasya Sisyasya” and you Vaisesika Prabhu have been such a wonderful example of that. You have taken Srila Prabhupada’s instruction to your heart and throughout your life, you have demonstrated an absolute dedication to your spiritual master Srila Prabhupada. When no one noticed and you were working still you went out and distributed Srila Prabhupada’s books, this is such a wonderful demonstration of your loyalty to your spiritual master. And in this way you have demonstrated how to become a true leader and I think you are in the most wonderful position to speak on the topic of leadership and the qualities of a leader. And I thank you very very much for your dedication to Srila Prabhupada. HH Vaisesika Prabhu ki jaya!


Vaisesika Prabhu: I will graciously accept your words as a benediction and place them on my head, something to aspire to. Hare Krishna!

Jagannath Das: how can a leader remain detached from wanting followers?

Vaisesika Prabhu: By chanting really good japa and by chanting one chapter of Bhagavad-gita a day. At least one chapter of Gita. The power to be detached comes from the holy name.

vasudeve bhagavati bhakti-yogah prayojitah
janayaty asu vairagyam jñanam ca yad ahaitukam
Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.7)

Concomitant with full concentration on the service of the Lord in the form of His name come knowledge and detachment. Knowledge means that I am not this body and therefore why would I want followers, I am a follower, I am not seeking followers. One has detachment means you get fortified.

tac chraddadhana munayo jñana-vairagya-yuktaya
paSyanty atmani catmanam bhaktya Sruta-grhitaya

The person who is fortified with the qualities of jñana and vairagya can move forward steadily in his or her service without being hampered by the false ego, which is the allurement for thinking that I am the enjoyer, I am the center. One enjoys being outside the center and making Krsna the center, when one realizes ones position through chanting Hare Krishna and experiencing that real relationship. And chanting one chapter of Bhagavad-gita a day. Prabhupada gives many benedictions that if someone simply chants one chapter of Bhagavad-gita a day, Prabhupada did it all the time. You can hear the recordings of him chanting chapters in succession. The Gita has so much potency. The Gita-mahatmya is full of stories about the power of reading one chapter of Gita. Just those who heard it, birds who were siting in a tree and heard the chapter and then became liberated and exalted and so forth, what to speak of someone who deliberately does it everyday. Many people have the Gita, I know because we have asked a lot of people in India. Yes Yes I have the Gita but not many people read the Gita what to speak of do a chapter of the Bhagavad-gita a day. You will be fortified, your intelligence becomes fixed, everything becomes clear. Hare Krishna!

Rasikananda Das: I was meditating about what you mentioned about appreciation and how when we are judgmental or critical then we are blocked but when we appreciate then we become open. So I was wanting to know how to handle when you observe yourself being critical of another. What’s the adjustment to be made?

Vaisesika Prabhu: If you find yourself being critical of someone else that, then remember that first of all you can’t do anything about it. What’s the use of being critical when you can’t change other people, it is a useless engagement! We only have a small circle of influence and that is ourselves. We can only affect ourselves, so when I use my energy in being critical of other people it doesn’t change them, so why engage in it? Why waste energy in that way. And also it contaminates the mind and the consciousness. Even when we hear criticism of other devotees, then it shrinks our appreciating capacity. You hear something even some damnation by faint praise, and then it becomes more difficult to appreciate that person. So you have to control the tongue which is the beginning of yoga

atah Sri-krsna-namadi na bhaved grahyam indriyaih
sevonmukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuraty adah

Don’t let it come out and when it comes into the mind you can step back from it and analyze it, and see why am I maintaining this in my mind. Caitanya Mahaprabhu admonished devotees, “Why do you keep in your heart which is the altar for Krishna these kinds of criticisms of others, it simple pollutes the heart.”

Kesava Bharati Maharaja: There is a wonderful quote from Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura about this question. He says, “When the faults of others disturb you, look within, find your own faults and always remember no one can hurt you. You can only hurt yourself.”
Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.2,12) Padma Purana

Listen Srimad Bhagavatam Audio Lecture of Vaisesika Prabhu

- Transcribed by Sheela Ravishankar Mataji, Singapore.

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