Sanga

Srila Prabhupada is ISKCON

Prabhupada: If I say that "I am ISKCON," what is the wrong there? Because I have created this; therefore I say, "ISKCON means I. I am ISKCON." Morning Walk — Nellore, January 3, 1976… Expand>

Prabhupada: If I say that "I am ISKCON," what is the wrong there? Because I have created this; therefore I say, "ISKCON means I. I am ISKCON."

Morning Walk — Nellore, January 3, 1976

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Varnasrama is essential

It is essential that society be divided into four groups of men — brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas and sudras. Here we see that although Prahlada was perfect in every respect, he nonetheless followed the instructions of the brahmanas who performed the Vedic rituals. Therefore in society there must be a very intelligent class of leaders who are well versed in the Vedic… Expand>

It is essential that society be divided into four groups of men — brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas and sudras. Here we see that although Prahlada was perfect in every respect, he nonetheless followed the instructions of the brahmanas who performed the Vedic rituals. Therefore in society there must be a very intelligent class of leaders who are well versed in the Vedic knowledge so that they can guide the entire populace to follow the Vedic principles and thus gradually become most perfect and eligible to return home, back to Godhead.

Srila Prabhupada — SB 7.10.24 Purport

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No nonsense followers, just one moon

I thank you very much for your appreciation of my disciples in New York and you will be glad to know that all my disciples in different centers are being so trained. The four principles of restriction, namely no illicit sex relations, no animal food, no intoxication, and no gambling, are acting on their character. Character building is the groundwork for seating Krsna… Expand>

I thank you very much for your appreciation of my disciples in New York and you will be glad to know that all my disciples in different centers are being so trained. The four principles of restriction, namely no illicit sex relations, no animal food, no intoxication, and no gambling, are acting on their character. Character building is the groundwork for seating Krsna consciousness and the Vedic injunction is that one can advance in spiritual life by following the rules of austerity and celibacy. We do not bluff our students that he has liberty to do all sorts of nonsense and at the same time advance in spiritual understanding. And because we are a little bit strict in this matter, we have not a very large number of followers, neither do we want any large number of nonsense followers. We want only one moon at night, and we do not care for millions of stars.

From Srila Prabhupada's letter to Jai Mazo, 18th January, 1968

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Earholes always filled with Krsna-katha

Pradyumna: "If the ear is not engaged in the service of the Lord by hearing about Him in the Bhagavad-gita or in the Srimad Bhagavatam, certainly the holes of the ear will be filled up with some rubbish." Prabhupada: Yes. This is the secret. We have got the ears, and we have got the sound also. Just like we are reading this book. So if we don't fill up our ears with… Expand>

Pradyumna: If the ear is not engaged in the service of the Lord by hearing about Him in the Bhagavad-gita or in the Srimad Bhagavatam, certainly the holes of the ear will be filled up with some rubbish.

Prabhupada: Yes. This is the secret. We have got the ears, and we have got the sound also. Just like we are reading this book. So if we don't fill up our ears with this transcendental sound, then it will be filled up with some rubbish things. It cannot remain empty. Either you fill up with transcendental message, or you fill up with rubbish nonsense. Two ways. So if you take care that your earholes are always filled up with the transcendental message of Krsna, so there is no scope for rubbish things to enter into it. So therefore our attempt should be twenty-four hours hearing. Kirtaniyah sada harih [Cc. Adi 17.31]. Twenty-four hours. As soon as you get time, read books, discuss amongst yourself, [indistinct]. Don't fill up the ears with rubbish things. Then advance will be choked up.

June 17, 1972, Los Angeles

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Stick to Krsna and accept His words as it is

What we are requesting you? "You think of Krsna. Chant Hare Krsna." That's all. Where is the difficulty? We don't say, "You think of that, this of that, to this demigod, that demigod." No. We don't say. What is the use of other demigod? We show all respect to everyone, even to the ant, but that does not mean that any demigod, any damn, any rascal, should be worshiped… Expand>

What we are requesting you? "You think of Krsna. Chant Hare Krsna." That's all. Where is the difficulty? We don't say, "You think of that, this of that, to this demigod, that demigod." No. We don't say. What is the use of other demigod? We show all respect to everyone, even to the ant, but that does not mean that any demigod, any damn, any rascal, should be worshiped as God? No. That is not possible. We can show respect even to the insignificant ant. Trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna [Cc. Adi 17.31, Siksastaka 3]. That may be another thing. But we cannot accept anyone as God. That is not possible. That is knowledge. That is knowledge. Be convinced firmly, krsnas tu bhagavan svayam [SB 1.3.28]: "Bhagavan means Krsna, nobody else." Kamais tais tair hrta-jnanah yajante anya-devatah [Bg. 7.20]. Anya-devatah, accept as God, they are accepted by the rascals, hrta-jnanah, those who have lost their knowledge.

So don't be lost of your knowledge. Stick to Krsna and accept His words as it is.

From Srila Prabhupada's lecture on Bhagavad-gita 16.1-3 — January 29, 1975, Honolulu

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Kali-yuga: bribes, showbottle leaders

Bhagavata says, anadhena nyaya ratim[?]: "If you have no money, then don't expect justice. Don't expect justice." Even high-court judges, they take bribe to give you favorable judgment. In India we have seen so many bribe. Police, you give bribe; high-court judge, you can give bribe. This is the position of Kali-yuga, horrible position. The king or the so-called… Expand>

Bhagavata says, anadhena nyaya ratim[?]: "If you have no money, then don't expect justice. Don't expect justice." Even high-court judges, they take bribe to give you favorable judgment. In India we have seen so many bribe. Police, you give bribe; high-court judge, you can give bribe. This is the position of Kali-yuga, horrible position. The king or the so-called president is simply showbottle.

From Srila Prabhupada's lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.9.1–12 — April 29, 1972, Tokyo

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What is your character?

Woman devotee: If we have a desire to keep these promises, but we have a hard time to do it... Prabhupada: As soon as you fail to keep your promise, then you're fallen. You have to rectify yourself. Immediately you're fallen. Yah sastra-vidhim utsrjya vartate kama-karatah, na sa siddhim [Bg. 16.23]. That means you'll never get perfection. You'll fall down. You can… Expand>

Woman devotee: If we have a desire to keep these promises, but we have a hard time to do it...

Prabhupada: As soon as you fail to keep your promise, then you're fallen. You have to rectify yourself. Immediately you're fallen. Yah sastra-vidhim utsrjya vartate kama-karatah, na sa siddhim [Bg. 16.23]. That means you'll never get perfection. You'll fall down. You can cheat others that "I am in dress of a devotee, so I am..." What is your character? What is your actual value? That has to be judged.

Questions and Answers — January 17, 1974, Hawaii

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Take advantage

Take advantage of these books, this knowledge, this prasadam, and this chanting. Be happy, and go to Krsna. It is such a nice thing. From Srila Prabhupada's Purport to Jaya Radha-Madhava… Expand>

Take advantage of these books, this knowledge, this prasadam, and this chanting. Be happy, and go to Krsna. It is such a nice thing.

From Srila Prabhupada's Purport to Jaya Radha-Madhava

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Judge by action, not by promises

“One cannot understand the value of touchstone until it turns iron into gold.” One should judge by action, not by promises. A maha-bhagavata can turn a living entity from abominable material life to the Lord's service. This is the test of a maha-bhagavata. From Srila Prabhupada's purport to Cc Madhya… Expand>

“One cannot understand the value of touchstone until it turns iron into gold.” One should judge by action, not by promises. A maha-bhagavata can turn a living entity from abominable material life to the Lord's service. This is the test of a maha-bhagavata.

From Srila Prabhupada's purport to Cc Madhya 16.74

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Why are there slaughterhouses?

It is said here that the cows used to moisten the pasturing land with milk because their milk bags were fatty and the animals were joyful. Do they not require, therefore, proper protection for a joyful life by being fed with a sufficient quantity of grass in the field? Why should men kill cows for their selfish purposes? Why should man not be satisfied with grains… Expand>

It is said here that the cows used to moisten the pasturing land with milk because their milk bags were fatty and the animals were joyful. Do they not require, therefore, proper protection for a joyful life by being fed with a sufficient quantity of grass in the field? Why should men kill cows for their selfish purposes? Why should man not be satisfied with grains, fruits and milk, which, combined together, can produce hundreds and thousands of palatable dishes? Why are there slaughterhouses all over the world to kill innocent animals? Maharaja Pariksit, grandson of Maharaja Yudhisthira, while touring his vast kingdom, saw a black man attempting to kill a cow. The King at once arrested the butcher and chastised him sufficiently. Should not a king or executive head protect the lives of the poor animals who are unable to defend themselves? Is this humanity? Are not the animals of a country citizens also? Then why are they allowed to be butchered in organized slaughterhouses? Are these the signs of equality, fraternity and nonviolence?

From Srila Prabhupada's purport to SB 1.10.4

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Antidote to the stool-seeking civilization

Searching out some means of food, exactly like the hog, he is loitering here and there, "Where is stool? Where is stool? Where is stool?" And this is going on in the polished way as civilization. There is so much risk, as running these cars so many people are dying. There is record, it is very dangerous. At least I feel as soon as I go to the street, it is dangerous… Expand>

Searching out some means of food, exactly like the hog, he is loitering here and there, "Where is stool? Where is stool? Where is stool?" And this is going on in the polished way as civilization. There is so much risk, as running these cars so many people are dying. There is record, it is very dangerous. At least I feel as soon as I go to the street, it is dangerous. The motorcar are running so speedy, and what is the business? The business is where to find out food. So therefore it is condemned that this kind of civilization is hoggish civilization. This hog is running after, "Where is stool? Where is stool? Where is stool?" And you are running in a car. The same. Purpose is the same: "Where is stool?" Purpose is the same.

Therefore this is not advancement of civilization. Advancement of civilization is, as Krsna advises, that you require food, so produce food grain. Remain wherever you are. You can produce food grain anywhere, a little labor. And keep cows, go-raksya, krsi-go-raksya vanijyam vaisya-karma svabhava-jam [Bg. 18.44]. Solve your problem like... Produce your food wherever you are there. Till little, little labor, and you will get your whole year's food. And distribute the food to the animal, cow, and eat yourself. The cow will eat the refuse. You take the rice, and the skin you give to the cow. From dahl you take the grain, and the skin you give to the... And fruit, you take the fruit, and the skin you give to the cow, and he will give you milk. So why should you kill him?

Milk is the miraculous food; therefore Krsna says krsi-go-raksya vanijyam vaisya [Bg. 18.44]. Give protection to the cow, take milk from it, and eat food grains — your food problem is solved. Where is food problem? Why should you invent such civilization always full of anxieties, running the car here and there, and fight with other nation, and economic development? What is this civilization?

Therefore we require to take to Krsna consciousness to become happy every way — economically, philosophically, religiously, culturally, everything. That is Krsna consciousness.

From Srila Prabhupada's discussion of Socrates

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Material Formulas

In a memo, Prabhupada said to one devotee: "Your material formulas will not help you. Krsna consciousness means to become mad after Krsna and to follow the order of the spiritual master. Why have you missed this important point?" Quoted in BTG #29-05, 1995… Expand>

In a memo, Prabhupada said to one devotee: "Your material formulas will not help you. Krsna consciousness means to become mad after Krsna and to follow the order of the spiritual master. Why have you missed this important point?"

Quoted in BTG #29-05, 1995

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Real mercy

bhaktih krsne daya jivesv akuntha-jnanam atmani yadi syad atmano bhuyad apavargas tu samsrteh TRANSLATION If a living entity is developed in Krsna consciousness and is merciful to others, and if his spiritual knowledge of self-realization is perfect, he will immediately attain liberation from the bondage of material existence. PURPORT In this verse the words daya… Expand>

bhaktih krsne daya jivesv
akuntha-jnanam atmani
yadi syad atmano bhuyad
apavargas tu samsrteh

TRANSLATION
If a living entity is developed in Krsna consciousness and is merciful to others, and if his spiritual knowledge of self-realization is perfect, he will immediately attain liberation from the bondage of material existence.

PURPORT
In this verse the words daya jivesu, meaning "mercy to other living entities," indicate that a living entity must be merciful to other living entities if he wishes to make progress in self-realization. This means he must preach this knowledge after perfecting himself and understanding his own position as an eternal servant of Krsna. Preaching this is showing real mercy to living entities. Other types of humanitarian work may be temporarily beneficial for the body, but because a living entity is spirit soul, ultimately one can show him real mercy only by revealing knowledge of his spiritual existence. As Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, jivera 'svarupa' haya-krsnera 'nitya-dasa': [Cc. Madhya 20.108] "Every living entity is constitutionally a servant of Krsna." One should know this fact perfectly and should preach it to the mass of people. If one realizes that he is an eternal servant of Krsna but does not preach it, his realization is imperfect.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 4.29.1b

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Don't write nonsense

You cannot write nonsense. You have to write something which corroborates with the Vedic injunction. /Srila Prabhupada, Lecture, January 7, 1967 You must write just as you have heard from your Guru and nothing else. Otherwise, your writing is useless. /Srila Prabhupada, Letter, 8 April 1975… Expand>

You cannot write nonsense. You have to write something which corroborates with the Vedic injunction.

Srila Prabhupada, Lecture, January 7, 1967

You must write just as you have heard from your Guru and nothing else. Otherwise, your writing is useless.

Srila Prabhupada, Letter, 8 April 1975

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"Gurus" who speak without reference to sastra

This is guru. Guru means he'll always enlighten the disciples with the light of sastra. Not that he will say, "There is no need of sastra. I am incarnation. I, whatever I speak, you take it." No. This is rascal. You should immediately, who has no reference to the sastra, immediately take him as a rascal number one. This is the conclusion. From… Expand>

This is guru. Guru means he'll always enlighten the disciples with the light of sastra. Not that he will say, "There is no need of sastra. I am incarnation. I, whatever I speak, you take it." No. This is rascal. You should immediately, who has no reference to the sastra, immediately take him as a rascal number one. This is the conclusion.

From Srila Prabhupada's lecture on Bhagavad-gita 1.24–25 — July 20, 1973

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Glories of Srimad-Bhagavatam and its distribution

Srimad-Bhagavatam is the easiest way of directly approaching Krsna. Isvarah sadyo hrdy avarudhyate 'tra krtibhih susrusubhis tat-ksanat (SB 1.1.2). Diverting even a little of one's attention toward Krsna and activities in Krsna consciousness immediately enables one to achieve the highest perfection of life. This is the purpose of the Krsna consciousness movement.… Expand>

Srimad-Bhagavatam is the easiest way of directly approaching Krsna. Isvarah sadyo hrdy avarudhyate 'tra krtibhih susrusubhis tat-ksanat (SB 1.1.2). Diverting even a little of one's attention toward Krsna and activities in Krsna consciousness immediately enables one to achieve the highest perfection of life. This is the purpose of the Krsna consciousness movement. Lokasyajanato vidvams cakre satvata-samhitam (SB 1.7.6). The secret of success is unknown to people in general, and therefore Srila Vyasadeva, being compassionate toward the poor souls in this material world, especially in this age of Kali, has given us the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Srimad-bhagavatam puranam amalam yad vaisnavanam priyam (SB 12.13.18). For Vaisnavas who are somewhat advanced, or who are fully aware of the glories and potencies of the Lord, Srimad-Bhagavatam is a beloved Vedic literature. After all, we have to change this body (tatha dehantara-praptih [Bg. 2.13]). If we do not care about Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam, we do not know what the next body will be. But if one adheres to these two books — Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam — one is sure to obtain the association of Krsna in the next life (tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti so 'rjuna [Bg. 4.9]). Therefore, distribution of Srimad-Bhagavatam all over the world is a great welfare activity for theologians, philosophers, transcendentalists and yogis (yoginam api sarvesam [Bg. 6.47]), as well as for people in general.

From Srila Prabhupada's purport to SB 10.12.7-11

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Chant Hare Krsna, take the opportunity now

The whole point is that one should begin Krsna consciousness immediately. Suppose one thinks, "After finishing my sporting life, when I am old and there is nothing else to do, then I shall go to the Krsna consciousness Society and hear something." Certainly at that time one can take up spiritual life, but what is the assurance that one will live to an old age? One may… Expand>

The whole point is that one should begin Krsna consciousness immediately. Suppose one thinks, "After finishing my sporting life, when I am old and there is nothing else to do, then I shall go to the Krsna consciousness Society and hear something." Certainly at that time one can take up spiritual life, but what is the assurance that one will live to an old age? One may die at any time; so postponing one's spiritual life is very risky. Therefore one should take the opportunity now to advance in Krsna consciousness. That is the purpose of this Society: to give everyone a chance to begin Krsna consciousness at any stage of life. And by the process of chanting Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, advancement is very quick. There is an immediate result.

From: The Transcendental Teachings of Prahlada Maharaja by Srila Prabhupada

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Time for a New Year resolution

Vyavasayatmika buddhih, fixed-up resolution. Fixed-up resolution. If we become fixed up in this resolution, that "Whatever we have heard from my guru, the representative of Krsna, I must execute it. I do not care for my personal convenience or inconvenience. This is my life and soul," then your life is perfect.… Expand>

Vyavasayatmika buddhih, fixed-up resolution. Fixed-up resolution. If we become fixed up in this resolution, that "Whatever we have heard from my guru, the representative of Krsna, I must execute it. I do not care for my personal convenience or inconvenience. This is my life and soul," then your life is perfect.

From Srila Prabhupada's lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.8.48 — October 28, 1974, Mayapur

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Srila Prabhupada's solutions for terrorism and divorce

During several morning walks Srila Prabhupada had described how various problems of the world could be solved by the application of Krsna consciousness. He said that Bhagavan should write a book about it. Devotees like Yogesvara and Hari-vilasa had entered into the spirit of Prabhupada's talk and introduced different world problems for Prabhupada to comment upon. On… Expand>

During several morning walks Srila Prabhupada had described how various problems of the world could be solved by the application of Krsna consciousness. He said that Bhagavan should write a book about it. Devotees like Yogesvara and Hari-vilasa had entered into the spirit of Prabhupada's talk and introduced different world problems for Prabhupada to comment upon. On the topic of international terrorism, Prabhupada said that people should not expect to do away with terrorism as long as the vast majority of human beings were behaving as animals. If one ferocious beast fights with another in the jungle, he said, we should not be surprised. Similarly, as long as humanity lived as animals, without knowledge of selfrealization, then we could not expect an end to terroristic violence. On the subject of divorce, Srila Prabhupada humorously remarked, "Don't get married. Remain brahmacari. That is the solution."

From "Living with the Scrptures" by SDG

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Together husband and wife go back home – Back to Godhead

In Vedic society no girl was allowed to remain independent and unmarried. Independence for women means they become like prostitutes, struggling to capture some man who will take care of her. In this way the so called independent woman has to work very hard to make herself attractive by artificially wearing cosmetics — mini skirts and so many other things. Formerly the… Expand>

In Vedic society no girl was allowed to remain independent and unmarried. Independence for women means they become like prostitutes, struggling to capture some man who will take care of her. In this way the so called independent woman has to work very hard to make herself attractive by artificially wearing cosmetics — mini skirts and so many other things. Formerly the girl would be married to a suitable boy at a very early age, say six years old. But although a girl was married early she did not stay with her husband immediately, but was gradually trained in so many ways how to cook, clean and serve her husband in so many ways — up until the time of her puberty. So all the time there was no anxiety because a girl would know — I have got a husband, and the boy would know I have got this girl as my wife. Therefore when the boy and girl would come of age there was no chance of illicit sex-life. And the pychology is the first boy that a girl accepts in marriage, that girl will completely give her heart to, and this attachment on the girls side for her husband becomes more and more strong, thus if a girls gets a good husband — one who has accepted a bona fide spiritual master and is firmly fixed up in his service, automatically the wife of such a good husband inherits all the benefits of his spiritual advancement. So you are fortunate. Go on in this present attitude, serve you husband always and in this way your life will be perfect, and together husband and wife go back home — Back to Godhead.

From Srila Prabhupada's letter to Naiskarmi — Bhaktivedanta Manor 28 July, 1973

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Two important questions, two important answers

Bhargava: I said, "Prabhupada, sometimes I fight with my God-brothers. Is that bad?" He said, "No, not necessarily." I asked, "Prabhupada, sometimes I have problems, and the spiritual master isn't there, and it's too detailed for the scriptures. What should I do?" And he said, "If you chant Hare Krishna very nicely, all the answers will come from within." (From "Srila… Expand>

Bhargava: I said, "Prabhupada, sometimes I fight with my God-brothers. Is that bad?" He said, "No, not necessarily." I asked, "Prabhupada, sometimes I have problems, and the spiritual master isn't there, and it's too detailed for the scriptures. What should I do?" And he said, "If you chant Hare Krishna very nicely, all the answers will come from within."

(From "Srila Prabhupada Remembrances" by Siddhanta Dasa, ITV, part 19)

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Taking money for keeping cows is not cow protection

"We have to keep some cows; never mind we have to take payment from others." That is not cow protection. Cow protection means just like Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He is tending the cows. He is going, taking the cows personally from His royal palace, going to the forest whole day, working there. Is it not, cowherds boy? And taken some little fruit… Expand>

"We have to keep some cows; never mind we have to take payment from others." That is not cow protection. Cow protection means just like Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He is tending the cows. He is going, taking the cows personally from His royal palace, going to the forest whole day, working there. Is it not, cowherds boy? And taken some little fruit, mother, whatever mother has given. They are playing that.

So this is cow protection. Not that "Somebody will give money and we shall keep some third-class cows and feed there, and become cow protector." We must tend the cows very nicely so that they will give us sufficient milk. And with that milk we shall live. "No, because we are giving protection to cow, you send money for the cows and the cow protector, and earn money there and give us money. We shall eat nicely and sleep." As soon as this practice is going on, then next will be, "Give me some LSD. Give me something else." This will go on. We don't want that.

From Srila Prabhupada's lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.9.2–3 — May 1, 1972, Tokyo

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Sour cream

One long letter came from Puru dasa in Los Angeles. Puru was concerned about the temple purchasing sour cream that was known to have rennet, an extract from the stomach lining of a calf, in it and another batch, that had gelatin in it. The rationale used was that almost everything in Kali-yuga is contaminated. And Srila Prabhupada had previously allowed the use of… Expand>

One long letter came from Puru dasa in Los Angeles.

Puru was concerned about the temple purchasing sour cream that was known to have rennet, an extract from the stomach lining of a calf, in it and another batch, that had gelatin in it. The rationale used was that almost everything in Kali-yuga is contaminated. And Srila Prabhupada had previously allowed the use of white sugar, which is bleached over animal bones. He had also allowed the purchase of milk that had fish-liver oil added.

A further motivation was the very cheap purchase price of five cents per pound. Therefore the GBC, Jayatirtha, had consented to the purchase of the sour cream because the amount of rennet was very small — about 1 cc per 150 gallons or 1/50,000 of an ounce per pint.

Still, despite the seemingly insignificant quantity, some devotees were disturbed by its use, and thus Puru requested a direct statement from Prabhupada to settle the matter. "It seems to me, though I am a fallen, fault-finding rascal, that only Srila Prabhupada can say whether or not this sour cream is offerable to the Deity, and can be used. I certainly do not know. There are valid arguments on both sides, but the only real point is whether or not Krsna is pleased with such offerings, and only His pure devotee can tell us that."

He added as a postscript that the temple has over 400 pounds of it in the refrigerator, and some had reasoned that Prabhupada would not want to see the sour cream wasted. Puru wanted to know if they should use it up, never buy it again, dump it, or continue to use it and not be agitated over its contents.

Prabhupada's reply was short and clear. "Concerning the use of sour cream in the temple, it should be stopped immediately. Nothing should be offered to the Deities which is purchased in the stores. Things produced by the karmis should not be offered to Radha-Krsna. Ice-cream, if you can prepare it, is OK, but not otherwise. Now, you have such a big stock of this sour cream, so sell the stock at any cost. Who is the rascal who has purchased without permission?"

From "Transcendental Diary" by Hari Sauri Prabhu

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Srila Bhaktivinoda on Christianity

Thinking about the virtues and faults of this world, some moralist monotheists concluded that this material world is not a place of unalloyed pleasures. Indeed, the sufferings outweigh the pleasures. They decided that the material world is a prison to punish the living entities. If there is punishment, then there must be a crime. If there were no crime, then why would… Expand>

Thinking about the virtues and faults of this world, some moralist monotheists concluded that this material world is not a place of unalloyed pleasures. Indeed, the sufferings outweigh the pleasures. They decided that the material world is a prison to punish the living entities. If there is punishment, then there must be a crime. If there were no crime, then why would there be any punishment? What crime did the living entities commit? Unable to properly answer this question, some men of small intelligence gave birth to a very wild idea. God created the first man and placed him in a pleasant garden with his wife. Then God forbade the man to taste the fruit of the tree of knowledge. Following the evil counsel of a wicked being, the first man and woman tasted the fruit of the tree of knowledge, thus disobeying God's command. In this way they fell from that garden into the material world filled with sufferings. Because of their offense, all other living entities are offenders from the moment of their birth. Not seeing any other way to remove this offense, God Himself took birth in a humanlike form, took on His own shoulders the sins of His followers, and then died. All who follow Him easily attain liberation, and all who do not follow Him fall into an eternal hell. In this way God assumes a humanlike form, punishes Himself, and thus liberates the living entities. An intelligent person cannot make sense of any of this.

(Tattva-viveka 1.25)

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Jesus preached to murderers

Prabhupada: Now if they say that the killing means murdering, that means the people amongst whom Christ was preaching, they were accustomed to kill men. So what class of men they are? What was the society? A society of murderers. So what they will understand about religion, a murderer? Jayatirtha: If you're preaching honesty to a thief, he may steal your watch. So… Expand>

Prabhupada: Now if they say that the killing means murdering, that means the people amongst whom Christ was preaching, they were accustomed to kill men. So what class of men they are? What was the society? A society of murderers. So what they will understand about religion, a murderer?

Jayatirtha: If you're preaching honesty to a thief, he may steal your watch. So Jesus was trying to teach religion to murderers, so they murdered him.

Prabhupada: [laughs] Yes.

Morning Walk — July 9, 1974, Los Angeles

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Christianity summarized

Two thousand years passed, the Christian religion has got only one book, Bible. And their only pastime of Christ is crucifixion. That's it. There is the cross. Therefore it has become hackneyed. People are no more interested, neither they can explain very nicely. Neither they follow strictly whatever little information they have. Srila Prabhupada… Expand>

Two thousand years passed, the Christian religion has got only one book, Bible. And their only pastime of Christ is crucifixion. That's it. There is the cross. Therefore it has become hackneyed. People are no more interested, neither they can explain very nicely. Neither they follow strictly whatever little information they have.

Srila Prabhupada — May 6, 1975, Perth

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Christian, Muslim Blasphemers

Pusta Krsna: Srila Prabhupada, sometimes in our preaching activities we meet people who claim to be very devout Christians or Muslims but at the same time blaspheme Krsna. Is it possible that such persons can actually be associates of God? Srila Prabhupada: No. If one is serious about understanding what God is, then he will accept Krsna as the Supreme Lord. Once he… Expand>

Pusta Krsna: Srila Prabhupada, sometimes in our preaching activities we meet people who claim to be very devout Christians or Muslims but at the same time blaspheme Krsna. Is it possible that such persons can actually be associates of God?

Srila Prabhupada: No. If one is serious about understanding what God is, then he will accept Krsna as the Supreme Lord. Once he knows what God is, he'll understand, "Here is God—Krsna." If he remains in darkness and does not learn what God is, then how will he understand Krsna? He'll understand Krsna as one of us. That's all. But if he knows what God is, then he'll understand about Krsna: "Yes, here is God."

(From "Civilization and Transcendence")

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Cheating of Christians and Kali worshipers

Prabhupada: This is cheating system. Once Christ advised that you..., you should not act sinfully, and then he takes contract for all your sinful life. How cheating it is. Directly cheating. Pancadravida: Who was cheating? Prabhupada: These so-called Christians. They say that "We are very weak. We can not restrain ourself from sinful activities, so we believe in… Expand>

Prabhupada: This is cheating system. Once Christ advised that you..., you should not act sinfully, and then he takes contract for all your sinful life. How cheating it is. Directly cheating.

Pancadravida: Who was cheating?

Prabhupada: These so-called Christians. They say that "We are very weak. We can not restrain ourself from sinful activities, so we believe in Christ, and he has taken contract for suffering. That's all."

Trivikrama: "So let us go on sinning."

Prabhupada: Yes.

Pancadravida: Kill him again.

Prabhupada: Yes. This is their philosophy. And as they pass laws in the Parliament, similarly, these churches approve: "Yes, homosex is all right." Then it is all right. This cheating system is going on. Similar cheating system is the Hindus also. You'll find in Calcutta, in College Street, so many butcher house. And they have kept one goddess Kali that "We are eating Mother Kali's prasada." That's it. This is going on.

Brahmananda: Kali eats meat?

Prabhupada: Kali does not eat meat, but it is the sastra's injunction that those who are unable to give up meat-eating, they may sacrifice one goat — not cow — one small animal before the goddess Kali, on amavasya [new moon] day — night, not day — and they can eat it.

Pancadravida: If it's offered, though, who accepts it? Whose prasadam is it? Who takes it?

Prabhupada: The prasadam is not... That meat is not taken by Kali, but it is taken by the witches and others, associates of Kali.

Brahmananda: In Srimad-Bhagavatam, you write that goddess Kali takes the prasadam of her husband, Lord Siva.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Brahmananda: So therefore she is vegetarian.

Morning Walk — April 2, 1975, Mayapur

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The best gift for loved ones

Love of God is not an ordinary commodity. Caitanya Mahaprabhu was worshiped by Rupa Gosvami because He distributed love of God, krsna-prema, to everyone. Rupa Gosvami praised Him as maha-vadanya, a greatly munificent personality, because He was freely distributing to everyone love of Godhead, which is achieved by wise men only after many, many births. Krsna-prema… Expand>

Love of God is not an ordinary commodity. Caitanya Mahaprabhu was worshiped by Rupa Gosvami because He distributed love of God, krsna-prema, to everyone. Rupa Gosvami praised Him as maha-vadanya, a greatly munificent personality, because He was freely distributing to everyone love of Godhead, which is achieved by wise men only after many, many births. Krsna-prema, Krsna consciousness, is the highest gift which can be bestowed on anyone whom we presume to love.

From Srila Prabhupada's purport to SB 3.23.8

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How governments should stop sinful acts

It is the duty of the government or the king to see that the citizens are properly raised to the spiritual platform, Krsna consciousness. That is the duty of the government. Therefore the social division is brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra. Catur-varnyam maya srstam guna-karma-vibhagasah [Bg. 4.13]. The brahmanas should be ideal teachers of Vedic understanding. The… Expand>

It is the duty of the government or the king to see that the citizens are properly raised to the spiritual platform, Krsna consciousness. That is the duty of the government. Therefore the social division is brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra. Catur-varnyam maya srstam guna-karma-vibhagasah [Bg. 4.13]. The brahmanas should be ideal teachers of Vedic understanding. The ksatriyas should follow, even by force. Just like Pariksit Maharaja. As soon as he heard that Kali, these four principles of Kali, has already entered, he immediately took his bows and arrows and... "Who is that rascal, he is drinking? Kill him." That was kingdom. "Kill him, that rascal." So if one man is killed because he was drinking, then others will be very careful. That was king's duty. "Anyone who has got illicit sex, kill him. Anyone who is drunkard, kill him. Anyone who is eating meat, kill him." No other consideration. "Directly kill him." Then you see within a few years all these things will stop.

From Srila Prabhupada's lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.16.10 — January 7, 1974, Los Angeles

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Pure sankirtana will be appreciated by everyone

When there is krsna-kirtana, people, all classes of people, become very much pleased, and they join. As soon as your kirtana will be pure sankirtana, not artificial, not professional... There are many professional dancer. That will not attract. But even if you do not know the art of dancing, if you simply dance in ecstasy for Krsna's love, that will be appreciated by… Expand>

When there is krsna-kirtana, people, all classes of people, become very much pleased, and they join. As soon as your kirtana will be pure sankirtana, not artificial, not professional... There are many professional dancer. That will not attract. But even if you do not know the art of dancing, if you simply dance in ecstasy for Krsna's love, that will be appreciated by everyone. That will be appreciated by everyone.

Krsnot-kirtana-gana-nartana-parau. These are the art.

From Srila Prabhupada's lecture on The Nectar of Devotion — January 8, 1973, Bombay

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Saved by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta

We were saved by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Road. We shall always expect to be saved by His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Maharaja Prabhupada. Always pray to His Lotus Feet. Whatever success we have had in preaching Lord Caitanya's mission all over the world it is only due to his mercy. From Srila Prabhupada's letter to… Expand>

We were saved by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Road. We shall always expect to be saved by His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Maharaja Prabhupada. Always pray to His Lotus Feet. Whatever success we have had in preaching Lord Caitanya's mission all over the world it is only due to his mercy.

From Srila Prabhupada's letter to Acyutananda — London 14 August, 1971

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Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada: fearlessly tell everyone the truth

We will fearlessly tell everyone the truth, without deceiving anyone. We have to speak the kind of truth that is truly beneficial for the living being, even if it is unpleasant. This is not the same as creating anxiety for others. We have to search for reality. We have to think about the good of all people in the world. W with great determination, we have to do what… Expand>

We will fearlessly tell everyone the truth, without deceiving anyone. We have to speak the kind of truth that is truly beneficial for the living being, even if it is unpleasant. This is not the same as creating anxiety for others. We have to search for reality. We have to think about the good of all people in the world. W with great determination, we have to do what is beneficial for ourselves and others.

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura; from Srila Prabhupader Upadesamrta

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Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada on ringing the temple bell

His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura once made this comment in a lecture: The neophyte Vaisnava devotees' ringing the bell even once during worship of the Deity of the Supreme Lord is a million times more valuable, spiritually and otherwise, than the charitable fruitive workers building many hospitals, feeding thousands of the poor, or building… Expand>

His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura once made this comment in a lecture:

The neophyte Vaisnava devotees' ringing the bell even once during worship of the Deity of the Supreme Lord is a million times more valuable, spiritually and otherwise, than the charitable fruitive workers building many hospitals, feeding thousands of the poor, or building homes, or even the empirical philosophers' Vedic studies, meditation, austerities, and penances.

(From "Renunciation Through Wisdom" by Srila Prabhupada)

 

This quote is given as follows in "Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Vaibhava":

The thousands of karmis who have opened innumerable hospitals, old age homes, centers for the poor, and schools, and the thousands of jnanis who have undergone meditation and severe austerities, are insignificant compared to a single kanistha-adhikari Vaisnava once ringing the bell before the Lord's deity. This is not sectarianism, but plain truth. Atheists are wholly incapable of realizing this; thus they become either direct or indirect blasphemers of devotional service, or adherents to the doctrine of harmonistic all-inclusiveness.

(Source: Amrta Vani 102 - 3; Sri Srila Prabhupadera Upadesamrta 174).

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Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada on such mundane principles as ahimsa

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura has warned us that if one becomes attracted to nontheistic ethical philosophies, such as those of the Buddhists and Jains, which glorify such mundane principles as ahimsa, or nonviolence, one's mundane faith in godless ethics is spiritually suicidal. To restrict the senses by artificial austerities and to undertake huge social… Expand>

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura has warned us that if one becomes attracted to nontheistic ethical philosophies, such as those of the Buddhists and Jains, which glorify such mundane principles as ahimsa, or nonviolence, one's mundane faith in godless ethics is spiritually suicidal. To restrict the senses by artificial austerities and to undertake huge social arrangements to facilitate mass sense gratification are both godless attempts to regulate human society in an artificial way that hides the eternal relationship of every living being with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the natural leader of society. When so-called moral philosophers spoil the opportunity of human life, the opportunity to revive our eternal relationship with Krsna, in the name of ethics such foolish persons commit the greatest violence against human society.

From SB 11.3.26, commentary

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Krsna Steals the Garments of the Unmarried Gopi Girls

By practicing meditation, the yogi can study the psychic movement of other men, and certainly Krsna could understand the desire of the gopis. Appearing on the scene, Krsna immediately collected all the garments of the gopis, climbed up into a nearby tree, and with a smiling face began to speak to them. “My dear girls,” He said, “please come here one after another and… Expand>

By practicing meditation, the yogi can study the psychic movement of other men, and certainly Krsna could understand the desire of the gopis. Appearing on the scene, Krsna immediately collected all the garments of the gopis, climbed up into a nearby tree, and with a smiling face began to speak to them.

“My dear girls,” He said, “please come here one after another and pray for your garments and then take them away. I’m not joking with you. I’m just telling the truth. I have no desire to play any joke with you, for you are tired from observing the regulative principles for one month by worshiping goddess Katyayani. Please do not come here all at once. Come alone; I want to see each of you in your complete beauty, for you all have thin waists. I have requested you to come alone. Now please comply.”

When the girls in the water heard such joking words from Krsna, they began to look at one another and smile. They were very joyous to hear such a request from Krsna because they were already in love with Him. Out of shyness, they looked at one another, but they could not come out of the water because they were naked. Due to remaining in the water for a long time, they felt cold and were shivering, yet upon hearing the pleasing, joking words of Govinda, their minds were perturbed with great joy.

They told Krsna, “Dear son of Nanda Maharaja, please do not joke with us in that way. It is completely unjust to us. You are a very respectable boy because You are the son of Nanda Maharaja, and You are very dear to us, but You should not play this joke on us because now we are all shivering from the cold water. Kindly deliver our garments immediately; otherwise we shall suffer.” They then began to appeal to Krsna with great submission. “Dear Syamasundara,” they said, “we are all Your eternal servitors. Whatever You order us to do, we are obliged to perform without hesitation because we consider it our religious duty. But if You insist on putting this proposal to us, which is impossible to perform, then certainly we will have to go to Nanda Maharaja and lodge a complaint against You. If Nanda Maharaja does not take action, then we shall tell King Kamsa about Your misbehavior.”

Upon hearing this appeal by the unmarried gopis, Krsna answered, “My dear girls, if you think that you are My eternal servitors and you are always ready to execute My order, then My request is that, with your smiling faces, you please come here alone, one after another, and take away your garments. If you do not come here, however, and if you lodge complaints to My father, I shall not care anyway, for I know My father is old and cannot take any action against Me.”

When the gopis saw that Krsna was strong and determined, they had no alternative but to abide by His order. One after another they came out of the water, but because they were completely naked, they tried to cover their nakedness by placing their left hand over their pubic area. In that posture they were all shivering. Their simple presentation was so pure that Lord Krsna immediately became pleased with them. All the unmarried gopis who prayed to Katyayani to have Krsna as their husband were thus satisfied.

From Krsna Book ch. 22.

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Dog's life is good

Dog's life is good, provided he gets a good master. So therefore we have decided to become dog of Krsna, (laughter) the best master. And the master says, aham tvam sarva-papebhyo moksayisyami ma sucah: [Bg. 18.66] "I will give you protection." So why not become dog of Krsna? Srila Prabhupada — December 31, 1973, Los Angeles… Expand>

Dog's life is good, provided he gets a good master. So therefore we have decided to become dog of Krsna, (laughter) the best master. And the master says, aham tvam sarva-papebhyo moksayisyami ma sucah: [Bg. 18.66] "I will give you protection." So why not become dog of Krsna?

Srila Prabhupada — December 31, 1973, Los Angeles

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Kirtanas with Srila Prabhupada

(From "Prabhupada Meditations" by SDG) Religious teachers may talk about God or meditation, but Prabhupada chants, he actually sings — a guru who sings the Lord's holy names. Within the first moments of my meeting him, I saw and heard him chant. He walked into the storefront where we were waiting, sat down on the same level as us, and spoke a few words. He handed out… Expand>

(From "Prabhupada Meditations" by SDG)

Religious teachers may talk about God or meditation, but Prabhupada chants, he actually sings — a guru who sings the Lord's holy names. Within the first moments of my meeting him, I saw and heard him chant. He walked into the storefront where we were waiting, sat down on the same level as us, and spoke a few words. He handed out the karatalas and told us the rhythm, "One, two, three; one, two, three." Then he began to sing, "Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna ... "

So, as soon as you came into his presence, you were hearing a singing Swami. Of course, Srila Prabhupada also talked of Krsna, but he gave equal attention to singing the Lord's holy names. It is not that he was mainly a philosopher who sang on a rare occasion. He was a minstrel on behalf of Krsna, always singing Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare ...

You would ask him, "Swamiji, is there some system of meditation you teach?" He would reply, "Chanting. We chant the holy names."

"But aside from the chanting?"

"Just the chanting," he said, "that's all. You cannot do any other meditation. You are not capable of yoga or anything like Vedanta. Just chant."

He even said that studying philosophy was not necessary. One could make full advancement in love of God simply by chanting the transcendental vibration.

Prabhupada said that our kirtanas with him were special, even in comparison to others' kirtanas. One time he invited us to accompany him to a yogi's asrama in upstate New York. He told us that they also chanted Hare Krsna sometimes, "But ours is heart and soul."

Prabhupada gave his disciples credit for chanting kirtanas with heart and soul as he did. One evening we had a small, informal kirtana in Prabhupada's hotel room in Hawaii. Since there was no official program at the temple, Prabhupada was spending a quiet evening working, and his servants were also busy with their tasks. However, Prabhupada called us together and asked us to chant. I came from my editorial desk, Pradyumna came from his Sanskrit work, and Bali Mardana and Sudama also came. Prabhupada asked Sudama to lead the singing. As Sudama began to sing a particular tune, he became self-conscious and stopped. He said, "That's not the right tune." He meant that it was not the tune that Prabhupada usually sang. Prabhupada encouraged him, "That is all right. That is your ecstasy." It enlivened us to think that Prabhupada said we had ecstasy within us, and that even a neophyte devotee's choosing of a particular tune could be called "his ecstasy."

Prabhupada's followers always liked to perform kirtana, especially in his presence. Prabhupada was in weak health when he met with guests during his visit to Hrsikesa in 1977. He spoke for almost an hour and then said, "So now we can have kirtana." There were a few Indian men present and they began to discuss Prabhupada's invitation to hold kirtana.

One of the men said, "Prabhupada, tomorrow if you will be willing to come just a hundred feet away from here, there is big hall nearby that can hold many more people who want to hear you."

"Yes," Prabhupada said. "I can do that tomorrow night. And now we can have kirtana. If you like, you can go to that hall and do kirtana."

Two of the Indian men began speaking to each other about Prabhupada's proposal. One said, "Prabhupada is saying that tomorrow night we can have kirtana in the hall."

The other man said, "No, right now we should have it."

Tamala Krishna Maharaja began to laugh at this conversation, because the men were like little children trying to work up their courage to go on harinama. One of them wanted to put off the kirtana until tomorrow night, but the other was trying to be brave and convince his friend that "Prabhupada says we should do it right now."

The talk went on about whether to do kirtana or not. Suddenly, Trivikrama Swami began clapping his hands in a loud rhythm and singing, "nama om visnu-padaya ... " Trivikrama Swami's voice cut through the speculation and he seemed to say, "I may not be the world's best singer, but here goes, right now."

One time, during the annual Gaura-Purnima festival in Mayapura, Prabhupada called his GBC men to his room to tell them that he was hearing and take pleasure in the kirtana. With his leaders gathered before him in the room, Prabhupada stated that all the devotees in the world should come to Mayapura and constantly have kirtana. He was very blissful as he told them of Bhaktivinoda Thakura's statement that he had searched the fourteen worlds but found nothing of value except the chanting of the holy names. Prabhupada said that this was Mayapura's purpose, to come and chant. We may have problems in different parts of the world, but they will go away if we simply come together and chant. Lord Caitanya always chanted and we could do it also. We now had a big building in Mayapura, so everyone could come and live there and simply chant.

On one level, we all enjoyed this blissful talk by Prabhupada, but since the GBC men had so much managerial responsibility, they were also bewildered as to how this could be carried out. Finally Ramesvara spoke, "Prabhupada, if we were actually to do what you said, it would very much reduce the ... I mean, how could the programs go on in the different temples around the world?"

"Oh yes," Prabhupada agreed. Then the talk became managerial. Suggestions were made how we could increase the practice of kirtana in the various ISKCON temples. Prabhupada agreed that some temples were too small to hold constant kirtana, but a few of the bigger temples could attempt to hold twenty-four-hour kirtana, as long as it was not done to the detriment of other work. Prabhupada didn't mean it literally, he said. All the devotees could not come and live always in Mayapura. So it became a relative discussion about the possibilities of increasing the chanting, although Prabhupada had originally called us together to share his own bliss and to ask that we should all stay in Mayapura to chant.

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Unnecessary talking and other nonsensical things

Another impediment is prajalpa, unnecessary talking. When we mix with a few friends, we immediately begin unnecessary talking, sounding just like croaking toads. If we must talk, we should talk about the Krsna consciousness movement. Those outside of the Krsna consciousness movement are interested in reading heaps of newspapers, magazines and novels, solving crossword… Expand>

Another impediment is prajalpa, unnecessary talking. When we mix with a few friends, we immediately begin unnecessary talking, sounding just like croaking toads. If we must talk, we should talk about the Krsna consciousness movement. Those outside of the Krsna consciousness movement are interested in reading heaps of newspapers, magazines and novels, solving crossword puzzles and doing many other nonsensical things. In this fashion people simply waste their valuable time and energy. In the Western countries old men, retired from active life, play cards, fish, watch television and debate about useless socio-political schemes. All these and other frivolous activities are included in the prajalpa category. Intelligent persons interested in Krsna consciousness should never take part in such activities.

(From Srila Prabhupada's purport to Nectar of Instruction, verse 2)

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Bhagavad-gita for the benefit of all

Bhagavad-gita is not a book on bhakti-yoga for a person only, individual. No. It is meant for the whole mass of people, the whole human society, the leader of the human society or the leader of the family. Everyone should understand Bhagavad-gita very nicely and distribute the knowledge to his subordinates. The father should know the purport of Bhagavad-gita and… Expand>

Bhagavad-gita is not a book on bhakti-yoga for a person only, individual. No. It is meant for the whole mass of people, the whole human society, the leader of the human society or the leader of the family. Everyone should understand Bhagavad-gita very nicely and distribute the knowledge to his subordinates. The father should know the purport of Bhagavad-gita and distribute the knowledge to his sons, daughters, family members. Similarly, the king or the president, he must also know Bhagavad-gita. Just like vivasvan manave praha manur iksvakave 'bravit [Bg. 4.1]. It is not a subject matter that I read it privately and keep it private. It is meant for distribution to the human society. This Krsna consciousness movement is seriously meaning this: that the knowledge of Bhagavad-gita must be spread all over the world — as it is, not with malinterpretation. So that is being done in the Krsna consciousness movement for the benefit of all citizens.

From Srila Prabhupada's lecture on Bhagavad-gita 4.1 — February 7, 1974, Vrndavana

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