Insights from lectures of Iskcon devotees

By Krishna-kripa das - 20.2 2018

This is an excerpt from the Diary of a Traveling Sadhaka, Vol. 14, No. 3 

Julia Zimmerman, director of University Libraries for over ten years, stopped by my book table at Landis Green at Florida State University.

She was familiar with Bhagavad-gita, and she had eaten Krishna Lunch years ago. Yoga was part of her life, and she been involved in different yoga groups in her youth.

She was happy to see me on the campus as example of diversity and to receive an invitation reminding her of Krishna Lunch, so she can make that part of her busy life again.


Dennis Smith, Planner-in-Residence, in the Florida State University planning department, stopped by my book table twice.

The first time he got a flyer for Krishna Lunch, and the next time he came with a friend to say how much they liked it and to inquire about the menu.



Srila Prabhupada:

From a class on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.15.32 in Los Angeles on December 10, 1973:

“I am absorbed in thought of this mortal consciousness, ‘This is my country, this is my body, this is my family, this is my community, this is my nation . . . ’ They are all mortal. But immortal consciousness is that ‘I am Krishna’s.’ That is immortal consciousness. ‘Krishna is mine, and I am Krishna’s.’ This is immortal consciousness. When you come to this consciousness – that is called Krishna consciousness – then you are saved.”

“However rich you may be, however prosperous you may be, at your home or in your nation or in any way, . . . you have to think that ‘Actually these things are temporary. I am eternal. So what is my eternal function?’ That is meditation. ‘What is my eternal function? What is my eternal duty? Where is my eternal home?’ That is Krishna consciousness.”

“As soon as there is discrepancies in the understanding of eternal life, He appears. He teaches. So Krishna is teaching somewhere.”

“So at the time of death, when that thought is prominent, then I get the next moment a body like that. So if you simply think of Krishna only, then you get a body where by which you can go to Krishna. You can go to Krishna. Tyaktva deham punar janma [Bhagavad-gita 4.9]. It is very scientific and very practical. So by going to Krishna, you can talk with Krishna personally. You can play with Krishna personally. You can dance with Krishna. That is Krishna-loka. Just like we have got a picture, rasa dancing. Here is picture, Krishna’s. Everyone can get this opportunity. Therefore Krishna comes to show practically how enjoyable life with Krishna in Vrindavan. Krishna is simply jolly, anandamayo ’bhyasat. In Vrindavan life you will see, everyone is jolly. The birds, trees and the water, the land, the cows, the calves, the inhabitants, the cowherd boys – everyone is happy simply by loving Krishna. Simply by loving Krishna. So Krishna therefore manifests His lila that ‘Why you are rotting in this material world? Come to Me and enjoy life eternally.’”

“Maithuna means sex intercourse. That is their life and soul. They do not know, they have no information, there is better pleasure, eternal pleasure. That they do not know.”

From Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.2.20, purport:

“The movement will go on increasing more and more, provided the leaders of the movement remain firmly Krishna conscious by following the regulative principles and the primary activities of chanting the Hare Krishna mantra regularly.”

From Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.2.24, purport:

“Krishna consciousness, favorably cultivated, makes one completely happy, so much so that a Krishna conscious person does not consider kaivalya-sukham, or merging into the existence of Krishna, to be a great gain. Kaivalyam narakayate. For a Krishna conscious person, even merging into the existence of Krishna, or Brahman, as impersonalists aspire to do, is uncomfortable. Kaivalyam narakayate tridasha-pur akasha-pushpayate. Karmis hanker to be promoted to the heavenly planets, but a Krishna conscious person considers such promotion a will-o’-the-wisp, good for nothing. Durdantendriya-kala-sarpa-patali protkhata-damstrayate. Yogis try to control their senses and thus become happy, but a Krishna conscious person neglects the methods of yoga. He is unconcerned with the greatest of enemies, the senses, which are compared to snakes. For a Krishna conscious person who is cultivating Krishna consciousness favorably, the happiness conceived by the karmis, jñanis and yogis is treated as less than a fig.”

“Although Kamsa was always absorbed in thoughts of Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he was not happy. A devotee, however, whether sitting on a throne or beneath a tree, is always happy. Srila Rupa Gosvami resigned from office as a government minister to sit beneath a tree, yet he was happy. Tyaktva turnam ashesha-mandalapati-shrenim sada tucchavat (Sad-gosvamy-astaka 4). He did not care for his comfortable position as minister; he was happy even beneath a tree in Vrindavan, favorably serving the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is the difference between a devotee and a nondevotee. For a nondevotee, the world is full of problems, whereas for a devotee the entire world is full of happiness.”

From Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.2.26, purport:

“sakrid eva prapanno yas
tavasmiti ca yacate
abhayam sarvada tasmai
dadamy etad vratam mama

‘If one surrenders unto Me sincerely, saying, “My Lord, from this day I am fully surrendered unto You,” I always give him protection. That is My vow.’ (Ramayana, Yuddha-kanda 18.33)”

From The Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 9:

“In other words, one should learn how to cry for the Lord. One should learn this small technique, and he should be very eager and actually cry to become engaged in some particular type of service. This is called laulyam, and such tears are the price for the highest perfection. If one develops this laulyam, or excessive eagerness for meeting and serving the Lord in a particular way, that is the price to enter into the kingdom of God. Otherwise, there is no material calculation for the value of the ticket by which one can enter the kingdom of God. The only price for such entrance is this laulyam lalasa-mayi, or desire and great eagerness.”

“In the temple it is the custom that the caranamrita be kept in a big pot. The devotees who come to visit and offer respects to the Deity take three drops of caranamrita very submissively and feel themselves happy in transcendental bliss.”

From The Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 10:

“A devotee who is not perfectly freed from the resultant actions should therefore continue to act in Krishna consciousness seriously, even though there may be so many impediments. When such impediments arise he should simply think of Krishna and expect His mercy. That is the only solace. If the devotee passes his days in that spirit, it is certain that he is going to be promoted to the abode of the Lord.”

From a class on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.1.1 in Caracas on February 20, 1975:

“A cat and dog cannot enquire about the origin of a thing. But a human mind is developed in such a way that he enquires, he makes research to find out the original cause. Just like nowadays the scientists are enquiring about the origin of life.”

“The child enquires, ‘What is this, father?’ Similarly, we should also enquire, ‘What is the origin of this universe?’ Not only universe, but any item within our experience, naturally we are inclined . . . Just like here is a microphone. So an intelligent person is inquisitive to enquire, ‘Who is the manufacturer of this microphone?’ Just like we enquire about a child, ‘Whose son he is? Who is his father?’ Similarly, this is human mind, to enquire about the origin. That is the only business of human being. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam it is said, jivasya tattva-jijnasa . . . Jiva means all living being, but above all living beings, the human being is the most awakened consciousness. Therefore his business is to enquire about the Absolute Truth.”

“Now you are also animal because you don’t enquire about the Absolute Truth. But you are developed, so now your business is to enquire about the origin of everything.”

“One should be satisfied like the animals. They are satisfied with their position. They are not agitated. Similarly, we should be satisfied whatever is available automatically by the gift of nature or by God.”

“This is a fact, that Krishna is the origin of everything, but the intelligent man can understand it very easily. Therefore he takes to Krishna consciousness. And those who are not intelligent, he tries to understand whether Krishna is the origin of everything, therefore it takes some time. Therefore persons who are making research what is the origin of everything, they are also learned scholars, but because they are doing in their own way, therefore it takes many, many births to understand that Krishna is the origin of everything. So in this way of material research, one will come to the conclusion, if he is really a research scholar that vasudevah sarvam iti [Bhagavad-gita 7.19]. But those who are more purified, instead of making research, he immediately accepts that Krishna is the origin of everything.”

“The guru means he gives light to the persons who are living in darkness. So that is the motto in our Back to Godhead paper, that ‘Godhead is light, and nescience is darkness. Where there is God, there is no nescience.’ So Krishna or God or light, the same thing. If you take to Krishna consciousness, there will be no more ignorance. Just like here there is light, electric light. There is no darkness. The darkness is there, but when there is light, darkness automatically goes away. Similarly, if you take to Krishna consciousness, then darkness of life immediately goes away. And that is required in human life. The animal life means full of darkness, and the human life, although full of darkness, it can be dissipated. So our request is – we are pushing this Krishna consciousness movement everywhere all over the world – just to drive away the darkness of ignorance and come to the light of knowledge. So this center is open for this purpose. I request you, all of you, to take advantage of this Krishna consciousness movement and be enlightened and be happy in your life.”

“Q: There are many religions that speak of the light. How can we know we are actually facing the real light?
A: Light is to be realized personally. . . . Just like this room is dark. When there is light, it doesn’t require to be enquired, ‘Is it light?‘ You personally perceive it is light. Just like you are hungry and foodstuff is given to you and when your hunger is satisfied, appetite is appeased, then you naturally you feel, ‘Yes, I am satisfied.’ You don’t require to enquire [from] anyone. Therefore it is called self-realization. Automatically you realize.”

From a class on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.1.1 on February 21, 1975 in Caracas:

“Krishna, or God, says that ‘I am expanded in My impersonal form everywhere. Everything is existing on account of Me. But still, I am not everything.’ Just like God has expanded in this microphone. The microphone is also expansion of God’s energy, but that does not mean we have to worship the microphone. So God has got that power, that although He has expanded Himself in His impersonal form everywhere, still, He has got His original existence. A small example can be given in this connection. Just like a father. He has given birth to hundreds of children. That does not mean the father is finished. These children is expansion of the father, but father keeps himself as father. So in this way He is Vasudeva, means He is present everywhere. He says in the Bhagavad-gita, sarvatah pani-padam tat: ‘He has got His hands and legs and eyes everywhere.’ Because the part and parcel expansion of God, either vishnu-tattva or jiva-tattva, they are everywhere.”

“Bhagavata says, sa vai pumsam paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhoksaje: [Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.6] ‘That is first-class religion which helps one to love God.’ So we are propagating teaching people how to love God. That is our mission. We don’t say that you become Christian or Hindu or Muslim or . . . , no. You become a lover of God. So comparatively, the process which we are recommending, that is the easiest process. That is admitted by one priest in Boston. He said that ‘These boys and girls are our countrymen or our boys. Before this movement, they did not come to the church, and now how they are mad after God?’ So therefore this is the easiest process, to become pure and go back to home, back to Godhead.”

From Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.2.28, purport:

“Not being disturbed by the Lord’s various features, one should concentrate upon and worship the Supreme Lord (mam ekam saranam vraja). This should be the guiding principle of one’s life.”

From Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Antya 8.93 and 8.95:

“Because of His full independence, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu sometimes behaved like a common man and sometimes manifested His godly opulence.”

“Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu behaved exactly like the Supreme Personality of Godhead, beyond the restriction of anyone’s intelligence. He did whatever He liked, but all His activities were very beautiful.”

From The Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 11:

“In the Mahabharata, Draupadi says, ‘My dear Govinda, Your promise is that Your devotee can never be vanquished. I believe in that statement, and therefore in all kinds of tribulations I simply remember Your promise, and thus I live.’ The purport is that Draupadi and her five husbands, the Pandavas, were put into severe tribulations by their cousin-brother Duryodhana, as well as by others. The tribulations were so severe that even Bhismadeva, who was both a lifelong brahmacari and a great warrior, would sometimes shed tears thinking of them. He was always surprised that although the Pandavas were so righteous and Draupadi was practically the goddess of fortune, and although Krishna was their friend, still they had to undergo such severe tribulations. Though their tribulations were not ordinary, Draupadi was not discouraged. She knew that because Krishna was their friend, ultimately they would be saved.”

“In the Skanda Purana there is another statement about tulasi, as follows: ‘Tulasi is auspicious in all respects. Simply by seeing, simply by touching, simply by remembering, simply by praying to, simply by bowing before, simply by hearing about or simply by sowing this tree, there is always auspiciousness. Anyone who comes in touch with the tulasi tree in the above-mentioned ways lives eternally in the Vaikuntha world.’”

From a class on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.15.33 in Los Angeles on December 11, 1973:

“Why not experimental knowledge now? If you say that life is generated from matter . . . You are writing so many books and getting Nobel Prize. Why not by experimental knowledge prove that ‘Here are some matters and chemicals and here is life’? That they say, ‘We are trying.’ This is their escape. But actually, science means two things: observation and experiment. If you do not experiment practically in the laboratory, simply observation is not sufficient. That is not science. That is theory.”

“Ekanta-bhakti means unalloyed devotion. This is the secret of devotional life. Even God is not physically present, a devotee can be very much exalted by devotional service. That is the teaching of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu.”

“Just like Gosvamis. They were living at Vrndavana. And what sort of living? Simply in separation and search. Caitanya Mahaprabhu also taught us like that. He was searching, ‘Where is Krishna? Where is Krishna?’ and feeling separation. Just like you feel sometimes with your lover separation and you search, this is our process. Always feel separation from Krishna and try to search out. This is ekanta.”

“So it is the question of advancement. So Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His followers taught us that if you feel separation . . . . How you will feel separation unless you love? And you simply worship the Supreme in a feeling of separation, then that is perfection.”
“They [The Six Goswamis] were ministers. Their associates were very big, big men. . . . Because they were minister, everyone used to come to see, and they were associated with. But they gave up. . . . How it was given up? . . . ‘Oh, it insignificant. What is this?’ . . . Why? Why they gave it up? . . . Under the instruction of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, they understood that ‘So many mass of people are suffering without Krishna consciousness. So we have to do something for them.’ Therefore they gave up.”

“If you become so much dependent on the bodily necessities of life, then you cannot become fully and wholly for the benefit of the mass of people.”

“We claim, ‘This is my hand.’ Actually this is not my hand. It is Krishna’s hand. Krishna has given me to use it. . . . Just like my hand is utilized for my benefit. I am not using this hand for your benefit. This is natural. My hands, my legs, my eyes, are used for my purpose. So if it is actually Krishna’s hand, how it can be used for your purpose? So when you learn this science, that ‘This hand, I am claiming, it is not my hand; it is Krishna’s hand. It should be utilized for Krishna,’ that is Krishna consciousness. That is Krishna consciousness.”

From Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.7.19:

“Let me become a sincere servant of the devotees, because by serving them one can achieve unalloyed devotional service unto the lotus feet of the Lord. The service of devotees diminishes all miserable material conditions and develops within one a deep devotional love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”

From The Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 12:

“The importance of chanting Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare is very strongly stressed in the Second Canto, First Chapter, verse 11, of Srimad-Bhagavatam in the following way. Sukadeva Gosvami tells Maharaja Pariksit, ‘My dear King, if one is spontaneously attached to the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, it is to be understood that he has attained the highest perfectional stage.’”

“The same thing is confirmed in the Adi Purana by Krishna. While addressing Arjuna He says, ‘Anyone who is engaged in chanting My transcendental name must be considered to be always associating with Me. And I may tell you frankly that for such a devotee I become easily purchased.’”

“One should, therefore, be encouraged to develop his service attitude toward the Lord, because this will help him to chant without any offense. And so, under the guidance of a spiritual master, the disciple is trained to render service and at the same time chant the Hare Krishna mantra. As soon as one develops his spontaneous service attitude, he can immediately understand the transcendental nature of the holy names of the maha-mantra.”

From a class on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.15.34 in Los Angeles on December 12, 1973:

“Devotee means who accepts the Supreme Lord as the supreme controller and accepts himself as subordinate. This is devotee. . . . Actually, we are subordinate to the laws of nature, and the nature is being manipulated by the Lord, therefore, ultimately we are subordinate to the Supreme Lord. God is great; everyone knows it. But I am not great; I am subordinate. Acceptance of this philosophy means . . . godly conscious or Krishna conscious.”

“Why we have opened this society? I could have initiated, and let him remain at his home. No. The society required. So by association we become good or bad. If you associate with goodness, then you acquire goodness quality, and if you associate with bad, passionate, ignorant, then you get that quality.”

“What is the difference between a demon and devotee? A demon is puffed up. That’s all. Falsely. That is demon. And a devotee is submissive, meek and mild. This is the difference. . . . We go, ‘My dear sir, we have got these books to understand Krishna, the Supreme Lord. So you kindly read this book. You will be benefited.’ ‘Ah, what is God? Who is God? I am God.’ This is demonism. And demigod or a devotee means ‘Oh, here is a book, something about God, Krishna. All right, let me read it.’ That is the difference.”

From Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.2.35, purport:

“The appearance of Krishna is the answer to all imaginative iconography of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Everyone imagines the form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead according to his mode of material nature. In the Brahma-samhita it is said that the Lord is the oldest person. Therefore a section of religionists imagine that God must be very old, and therefore they depict a form of the Lord like a very old man. But in the same Brahma-samhita, that is contradicted; although He is the oldest of all living entities, He has His eternal form as a fresh youth.”

“When Krishna came, He was actually present on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra, and everyone saw Him. But not everyone could understand that He was the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Still, everyone who died in His presence attained complete liberation from material bondage and was transferred to the spiritual world.”

“One should have the common sense to ask why, if Krishna or Rama were fictitious, stalwart scholars like Sridhara Svami, Rupa Gosvami, Sanatana Gosvami, Viraraghava, Vijayadhvaja, Vallabhacarya and many other recognized acaryas would have spent so much time to write about Krishna in notes and commentaries on Srimad-Bhagavatam.”

From Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.2.36, purport:

“In the material world there is a difference between form and name. The mango fruit is different from the name of the mango. One cannot taste the mango fruit simply by chanting, ‘Mango, mango, mango.’ But the devotee who knows that there is no difference between the name and the form of the Lord chants Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, and realizes that he is always in Krishna’s company.”

From The Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 13:

“Rupa Gosvami has stated that five kinds of devotional activities—namely residing in Mathura, worshiping the Deity of the Lord, reciting Srimad-Bhagavatam, serving a devotee and chanting the Hare Krishna mantra—are so potent that a small attachment for any one of these five items can arouse devotional ecstasy even in a neophyte.”

“In the Eleventh Canto, Twentieth Chapter, verse 9, of Srimad-Bhagavatam, the Lord Himself says, ‘One should execute the prescribed duties of varna and asrama as long as he has not developed spontaneous attachment for hearing about My pastimes and activities.’”

From The Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 14:

“Devotional service is dependent on nothing other than the sentiment or desire for such service. It requires nothing more than sincerity. . . . Actually, Krishna consciousness—devotional service itself—is the only way of advancing in devotional life. Devotional service is absolute; it is both the cause and the effect. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the cause and effect of all that be, and to approach Him, the Absolute, the process of devotional service—which is also absolute—has to be adopted.”

“Mental speculators neglect the process of devotional service, and by simply trying to defeat others in philosophical research they fail to develop the ecstasy of devotion.”

“If we are unable to execute all the different items of devotional service, we must try to execute at least one of them, as exemplified by previous acaryas. . . . With the first complete engagement, one becomes automatically detached from material contamination, and liberation becomes the maidservant of the devotee.”

From a class on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.1.2 on February 23, 1975, in Caracas:

“So we have scattered our love for so many things in the material world. We have to collect everything and transfer everything for loving God. That is successful life. So if we think of God, then how we become purified, and next we become transferred to the kingdom of God. And if we think of material things, then again we shall be transferred to another material body.”

“This Krishna consciousness movement is for educating people how to think of God constantly. And if we practice like that, then, after giving up this body, we are going to get a body which is exactly like God. This body is called sac-cid-ananda. Sat means eternal, cit means full of knowledge, and ananda means full of bliss. This body, this material body, is just the opposite number. It is neither eternal, neither full of knowledge, neither full of bliss.”

From Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.1.2, purport:

“In the material world there is keen competition between animal and animal, man and man, community and community, nation and nation. But the devotees of the Lord rise above such competitions. They do not compete with the materialist because they are on the path back to Godhead where life is eternal and blissful. Such transcendentalists are nonenvious and pure in heart. In the material world, everyone is envious of everyone else, and therefore there is competition. But the transcendental devotees of the Lord are not only free from material envy, but are well-wishers to everyone, and they strive to establish a competitionless society with God in the center.”

Varsana Swami:

Satsvarupa Maharaja wrote to Srila Prabhupada about his plans for preaching, and Srila Prabhupada wrote him back that there is no point in preaching if we cannot properly maintain the devotees we already have. He used the analogy of boiling milk.

Srila Prabhupada was so grateful for any assistance. He would said, “You are representatives of my Guru Maharaja.”

The sweetness of the loving relationships in Gaudiya Vaishnavism comes from the mood in Vrindavan.

Krishna is irrestibly attracted to stealing butter, which comes from cream, the essence of milk.

Why does Krishna steal the neighbor’s butter? They want him to.

Why does Krishna feed butter to the monkeys? To reciprocate with the monkeys who assisted Him in Rama-lila.

Krishna, stealing Radharani’s heart and halo, came as Lord Caitanya.

Lord Caitanya came to relish loving relationships. It was all Ramananda Raya could do to keep Lord Caitanya in this world.

The Six Goswamis developed a sadhana [practice] by which anyone can enter into these sweet pastimes of Krishna.

Mercy is superior to justice, and grace is even superior to mercy, because it compensates for deficiencies.

We are all seeking eternal bliss [nityananda] because we are part of Krishna.

Narottama began writing his songs before he and the other devotees knew that the lost books of the Goswamis would be recovered thus the songs contain the essence of those books.

“Be bold, be fearless, we are all with you,” the Pancatattva and their associates told Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura when he began his preaching work.

Rtadhvaja Swami:

The chanting of the holy names is the way to awaken our love of God.

The holy name is like an antibiotic against karma.

The Lord’s prayer mentions the name of God is holy and concludes “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

God loves us. He never abandons us.

The simple understanding ‘I am not my body’ breaks down boundaries caused by racism, sectarian religion, etc.

In the 1960s, we were not going to serve anyone, but we still had to service our bodies.

Adikarta Prabhu:

This chanting is the most powerful way of freeing ourselves from anxiety.

In this age, people are so disturbed by a variety of anxieties, they need a simple way of self-realization.

This society is very shallow as it teaches us to make plans simply for our physical existence.

Everyone is living an artificial life, and therefore, it makes sense that sensitive people would be in anxiety.

If you are in prison and you do not consider what put you there and how you can avoid imprisonment again, you are not very intelligent. Similarly, it is not intelligent to fail to consider how we came into this material world.

I have been chanting 45 years. I used to listen to all this pop music, but it was truly meaningless.

The average person spends five years on the cell phone.

India has the highest percentage of vegetarians: 40%.

I think Krishna allowed man to create technology because it can be used to spread Krishna consciousness widely throughout the world.

The material world is a miserable place, and the best way to escape it is to hear the beautiful Vedic literature.

From a conversation on the campus of University of North Florida:

Q (by me): How is it that you are so successful on book distribution?
A: I never take “no” for an answer.

Akhandadhi Prabhu:

From a meeting of Bhaktivedanta Institute of Gainesville:

Padasevanam was by training a graphic artist, and his design for the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium was striking. All the GBC members were very impressed with it.

Alan Baxter, an expert on the St. Peter Cathedral’s dome, was called in for input.

We had experts in acoustics called in for the TOVP to make sure the kirtans would sound OK.

Gregorian chants were developed to work with the architecture of the cathedrals.

“What are the different messages the different models of the universe are meant to give us?” is more important than all the details of the models.

The four dhamas convey the total universal experience.

Inconceivability is one of our messages, but we have to be careful that it is not our only message.

Comment by Murali Gopal Prabhu: Sadaputa Prabhu included inconceivability in one of the four models of the Bhu-mandala system, but the other three, the planisphere model, the map of the solar system, and the map of Central Asia, are all conceivable.

Our plan for Mayapur was that we start by building faith by presenting what is conceivable, and we let the inconceivable come later.

The Vedic approach is very contextual.

The satellite map works on a geocentric model.

I think every devotee has felt the pull of Western materialistic science on our minds which has made us feel uneasy, and just to know that there existed someone who was not disturbed by this, namely Sadaputa Prabhu, was reassuring.

We wish to organize a conference that asks these questions: What if consciousness is an ireducible feature of reality? And what if consciousness is primary?

We may not be able to win over the die-hard materialists, but we may win the masses. Most people are schizophrenic, speaking the words of science, but feeling within that something is missing in that outlook.

We cannot convince people of our philosophy using science, but we can show that it is science consistent.

What would a nonmechanistic science look like? What can you do to build this science?

Brahmatirtha Prabhu:

From a meeting of Bhaktivedanta Institute of Gainesville:

Mao Zedong said, “Never attend a meeting you do not know the results of.”

It is Sadaputa Prabhu’s fidelity to Srila Prabhupada that brought us Mysteries of the Sacred Universe.

Madana Mohan Prabhu:

Everything in the Bhagavatam is not whimisical but is supported by examples in the whole culture. Here it is said a brahmana cannot act as a sudra by accepting wages and working for a master. Canakya Pandit refused to accept remuneration from the king he was minister for because felt it would compromise his truthfulness.

Although we are eternal and blissful, we find ourselves in a material body and overcome by desire and hate (Bg. 7.27). We are forced to act helplessly according to our nature (Bg. 3.5), but Krishna has created the varnasrama system (Bg. 4.13), and by worshiping Him, who is the source of all beings and is all-pervading, one can attain perfection by working according to his nature (Bg. 18.46).

Our success in performing our varnasrama duty lies in pleasing Krishna (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.13).

A military man kills so many men and gets a medal, but if he comes home and kills one man, he is punished. Similarly if we act according to Krishna’s direction we will attain perfection, otherwise we will be bound up heavily by our actions.

Everything is under Krishna’s control. We have a choice to work under the internal energy of Krishna or under His external energy. In other words, we can do it the easy way or the hard way.

After giving all this knowledge in Bhagavad-gita, Krishna asks Arjuna to think about it. Do not rush into anything. Carefully consider the options.

Yudhisthira says it is the first duty of the leader to consider how his dependents can be benefited. If one adopts this mentality, Krishna will give guidance how to do it.

People work so hard to acquire things, and yet the brahmanas are just giving things away. That is a head scratcher for the materialist.

Greed is one of those things that completely disturbs one.

Those who really know about God are not interested in accumulating many things here.

Prahlada Maharaja advises discussing “the disadvantages of accumulating wealth.” How many conversations on the internet do you see about “the disadvantages of accumulating wealth”?

Once there was a conversation during Srimad-Bhagavatam class about the disadvantages of going to heaven. Where do you ever hear the disadvantages of going to heaven discussed?

The psychologists explain three crisis periods in life, at twenty years old, when one is just out of school and begins working, at forty years old, when he is dissatisfied, and he decides he chose the wrong occupation, and he moves in another direction, and then at sixty because he decides that was also a wrong direction and worries he has wasted his life.

Krishna advises, “Always think of Me. And if you cannot do that, I will give you something else to do, some regulations, whereby you will develop the desire.” (Bg. 12.8–9)

The expert liers are so good they can pass a polygraph test because they actually believe what they are saying.

Can we trust Krishna? If I always think of You, will You protect me? That trust we are developing.

In the history of ISKCON, not every leader represented Krishna by properly maintaining those under him, but we should remember that Krishna is still there.

In absolute mathematics, whether a number is +5 or -5 is not considered, just the 5 is considered. In our relationship with Krishna, there may be happiness or distress, but both can intensify our relationship with Him.

My wife went through a lot of endeavor to prepare something to satisfy our eight-year-old daughter who was a very picky eater. When the food was placed before her, she did not seem particularly happy about it. I said to her, “Do you know how much love your mother put into preparing something just to meet your requirements?” She replied, “That is her job.” We tend to take Krishna for granted in the same way instead of feeling gratitude for all He has done for us.

What is japa? Krishna is saying, “Let us spend some quality time together. I know you are very busy, but . . .”

Comment by Guru Prasada Devi Dasi: A lady who was always busy but just barely had a enough money, went to consult her priest. The priest suggested she use half her money in the service of God. She said, “I have so little money. That is what I came to see you about. How can I give half to God?” The priest said, “That was just a suggestion. Think about it, and see what you can do.” She put half aside for God whenever she got some money, and in a year, she had more money than she knew what to do with. She wrote a book about it.

Nagaraja Prabhu:

Dictionaries both describe and proscribe language, that is, they tell how language is used and how it should be used.

Devotion sometimes means to love something and sometimes means to be dedicated to something for a long time.

Taking shelter of Krishna sounds more positive than surrendering to Krishna, but both are the same.

In Krishna consciousness, at the stage of realization, one cannot be moved.

Srila Prabhupada indicates that formerly brahmanas would go door to door and offer astrological and medical advice and receive donations.

You can find on the internet the layout of Nanda Maharaja’s [Krishna’s father’s] house. It has many rooms.

Srila Prabhupada said so many times that the devotees do not need to worry because Krishna will provide for their needs.

Comment by Madana Mohan Prabhu: Generally vaisyas are envious, and by giving to the brahmanas, they are in effect giving away their envy, and because they are becoming from free from envy they become free from the threefold miseries.

Srila Prabhupada detected that some of his disciples who were doing life membership were critical of the wealthy people they met. Srila Prabhupada did not like that. He saw it as the hippie mentality. These people have legitimately obtained their wealth and were willing to offer it in Krishna’s service, and therefore, they should be respected.

Comments by me:

Srila Prabhupada sometimes would explain the difference between Vaishnavas and brahmanas by saying that Brahman has three features, the Brahman effulgence, Paramatma, and Bhagavan, and a brahmana may know the first one or two, but a Vaishnava knows all three.

We think of brahmanas as poor, but Advaita Acarya was a wealthy brahmana.

It is not that brahmanas just receive charity. They also have the duty to give charity.

The Protestants made bankers out of those who could not be preachers, so they could support the preachers financially.

Comment by Mother Madhumati: There was one brahmana in Vrindavan who would rise at 4:00 a.m. and rinse his mouth, and chant till 5:00 p.m. Then he would take a shower, and cook a green papaya, and offer it to Krishna, and eat it. Then he would chant to 1:00 a.m. People knew that and would supply green papayas to him.

Krishna makes sure people have what He feels they need at a particular time, sometimes giving and sometimes taking away.

Prishni Devi Dasi:

From a conversation:

If hearing one phrase messes up your game, then your game has issues with it.

Murali Gopal Prabhu:

From a class on Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura’s Appearance Day and Gaura Govinda Maharaja’s Disappearance Day:

Recently I learned that Bhaktivinoda Thakura was well enough to go to the brahmana versus vaishnava discussion, but because his guru was there, he thought it better that he not go, so he sent Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura instead.

Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura was given a car by his disciples. Cars were so rare at that time it would be today like if your guru descended in a helicopter or had his own private jet.

If we feel any gratitude, we can pray today to be able to serve Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura according to our capacity.

Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura told his Western preachers that the Western people are very proud, and that in order to preach to them, you must become humble.

Comment by Kaliya Damana Prabhu: That diksa (spiritual initiation) is important is shown in that Bhaktivinoda Thakura took initiation even from a caste goswami.

From an early age Gaura Govinda Swami would go with his uncle to different towns and do preaching.

When he learned how to read, Gaura Govinda Swami would read the Bhagavatam incessantly. It was his life and soul.

Gaura Govinda Swami was looking for a guru for many years but was not inspired by anyone. When he got an ISKCON pamphlet, he noticed it mentioned the holy name and Lord Caitanya, two things he was looking for in a guru.

When Gaura Govinda Swami met Srila Prabhupada he offered prostrated obeisances at his feet. Srila Prabhupada asked if he had taken sannyasa, and when he replied no, Srila Prabhupada said, “I will give you sannyasa.”

Very quickly Srila Prabhupada engaged him in translating his books into the Orissan language.

Srila Prabhupada gave him first initiation, second initiation, and sannyasa within months of each other.

Outside India he preached in Spain first. There was a drought there. He said you have to do yajna [sacrifice]. So they did the chanting of the holy name, and it rained like anything. People were glorifying him for that, but he wanted to leave that place because he did not want glorification.

He would make the most advanced topics of bhakti assessible to neophytes.

Comments by Kaliya Damana Prabhu:

People would sit as far away as possible from him because he would hammer on a particular devotee.

He saved my life. I was on padayatra with him. I was the only one not his disciple. We were in places where they had never seen a white person. Even the British did not go there. Our water filter broke. I got diarrhea. I was so sick I told them to go on without me. I stayed there in a school a couple of days. I was so sick I thought I would leave my body right there. He heard I was sick and so he sent his disciples with his personal limosine to take me back to Bhubhanesvar.

Garuda Prabhu of Tallahassee:

We need more beads here in the temple because chanting on them is such important part of Krishna consciousness. I am going to donate $20 right now [he pulls out a $20 bill and holds it up], and I am asking, would anyone would like to match my donation? [Five people raised their hands and thus $120 was collected for tulasi japa beads within two minutes.]

At a certain point we come to realize that we have to chant just to be happy inside.

In Bhagavad-gita 2.44, Krishna is trying to inspire us to come to a higher level.

In the spiritual world, that is where the big party is going on. That is where all the joy and bliss are.

Bhaktivinoda Thakura speaks of another kind of pure devotee, one with pure intentions.

Pure intentioned souls have these four qualities beginning with “H”: Humble, happy, helpful and honest.

The Sudharma assembly hall in Dvaraka was so exalted that people who were crippled found their limbs functioned properly while they were there.

They say that if you pray for patience, God makes you wait.

The monkey assistants of Lord Rama were advised to observe Vijaya Ekadasi to be victorious and so they did and they were.

The king, his minister, and the beautiful princess came to visit a dying man, and although the king and his minister were the most important people in the kingdom, the dying man could not take his eyes off the princess.

The more we take the instruction of those ahead of us on the path, the more we become connected with the Supersoul within.

To advance it is important to understand which of the nine stages of bhakti we are at.

In the association of devotees we get caught in the crossfire of pure bhakti.

Anartha-nivrtti is automatic. When you become attached to Krishna, these unwanted things go away.

If we get opulence we can use it in Krishna’s service, but if we struggle working so many hours overtime to acquire and maintain opulence, that is not favorable for devotional service.

When Krishna gives us opulence, He is looking to see how trustworthy we are.

Comments by me:

Prasakta means too attached. Some attachment is natural because we have body composed of senses which require some satisfaction. But when the attachment gets in the way of our devotional service, that is too much attachment.

Visvanatha Cakravati Thakura says at nistha the pull of the spiritual and material energies on us is equal.

Here is some nectar about Isvara Puri as his disappearance day is today:

CC Adi 7.92 — [Lord Caitanya said:] “[Isvara Puri said:] ‘My dear child, continue dancing, chanting and performing sankirtana in association with devotees. Furthermore, go out and preach the value of chanting krishna-nama, for by this process You will be able to deliver all fallen souls.’
CC Adi 7.93 — “Saying this, My spiritual master taught Me a verse from Srimad-Bhagavatam. It is the essence of all the Bhagavatam’s instructions; therefore he recited this verse again and again.
CC Adi 7.94 — “ ‘When a person is actually advanced and takes pleasure in chanting the holy name of the Lord, who is very dear to him, he is agitated and loudly chants the holy name. He also laughs, cries, becomes agitated and chants just like a madman, not caring for outsiders.’
CC Adi 7.95-96 — “I firmly believe in these words of My spiritual master, and therefore I always chant the holy name of the Lord, alone and in the association of devotees. That holy name of Lord Krishna sometimes causes Me to chant and dance, and therefore I chant and dance. Please do not think that I intentionally do it. I do it automatically.”

Jagannatha Misra Prabhu:

From The Book III:

“After all, one’s faith defines his fate. Faith is either in Krishna and His spiritual energy, or dictated by the 3 modes of nature. It is that simple.”

Nama Kirtan Prabhu:

From a conversation with an employee:

We should not ask God for an easy life but for the strength to handle difficulties.

Hanan Prabhu:

During Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura’s time, one brahmacari associated too much with a woman, and the other devotees were so hard on him, he left the ashram. When Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura returned for the opening ceremony for the new temple and found out the brahmacari had left, he was upset and delayed the opening until he returned. His feeling was, “I do not care for big temples or big programs. I am concerned that a person who has come to the shelter of the devotees has now left.” The brahmacari who had left later said to the devotees who ultimately found him, “I was praying to Krishna that I wanted come back to the temple, but I was ashamed.”


Here Lord Krishna reminds us not to become attached to things that distract us from Him. We are so materially attached such reminders are frequently necessary. The more we are absorbed in Krishna, the more we taste the transcendental bliss of His association, which Krishna knows is more relishable for us than the material things we are foolishly attached to and are reluctant to give up, and so He reminds us of this truth, and so I am also reminding you!

vyavasayatmika buddhih
samadhau na vidhiyate

“In the minds of those who are too attached to sense enjoyment and material opulence, and who are bewildered by such things, the resolute determination for devotional service to the Supreme Lord does not take place.” (Bhagavad-gita 2.44)