November 2, 2017
The gopis of Vrndavana were so attached to Krsna that they were not satisfied simply with the rasa dance at night. They wanted to associate with Him and enjoy His company during the daytime also. When Krsna went to the forest with His cowherd boyfriends and cows, the gopis did not physically take part, but their hearts went with Him. And because their hearts went, they were able to enjoy His company through strong feelings of separation. To acquire this strong feeling of separation is the teaching of Lord Caitanya and His direct disciples, the Six Gosvamis. When we are not in physical contact with Krsna, we can associate with Him like the gopis, through feelings of separation. Krsna's transcendental form, qualities, pastimes and entourage are all identical with Him. There are nine different kinds of devotional service. Devotional service to Krsna in feelings of separation elevates the devotee to the highest perfectional level, to the level of the gopis.
From Srila Prabhupada's Krsna Book ch. 35: The Gopis' Feelings of Separation^ Show less
November 1, 2017
As far as possible, people should be encouraged to chant Hare Krsna maha-mantra, and try to bring the ecstasy and dance. Even there is no ecstasy, dance; it will bring ecstasy. Dancing is so nice. Chanting, dancing and take prasadam, take rest. That's all.
Srila Prabhupada — July 16, 1973, London^ Show less
October 31, 2017
Whatever is attractive within the cosmic manifestation is due to Krsna. Krsna is therefore the reservoir of all pleasure. The active principle of everything is Krsna, and highly elevated transcendentalists see everything in connection with Him. In the Caitanya-caritamrta it is stated that a maha-bhagavata, or highly advanced devotee, sees Krsna as the active principle in all moving and nonmoving living entities. Therefore he sees everything within this cosmic manifestation in relation to Krsna. For the fortunate person who has taken shelter of Krsna as everything, liberation is already there. He is no longer in the material world. This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita: Whoever is engaged in the devotional service of Krsna is already on the brahma-bhuta, [SB 4.30.20] or spiritual, platform. The very name Krsna suggests piety and liberation. Anyone who takes shelter of the lotus feet of Krsna enters the boat for crossing over the ocean of nescience. For him, this vast expanse of the material manifestation becomes as insignificant as the water in a calf's hoofprint. Krsna is the shelter of all great souls, and He is also the shelter of the material worlds. For one who is on the platform of Krsna consciousness, Vaikuntha, or the spiritual world, is not far away. He does not live within the material world, where there is danger at every step.
From Srila Prabhupada's Krsna book ch. 14: Prayers Offered by Lord Brahma to Lord Krsna^ Show less
October 30, 2017
Every one of us should become a spiritual master because the world is in blazing fire. So to understand the spiritual master... Spiritual master is not a new invention. It is simply following the orders of the spiritual master. So all my students present here who are feeling so much obliged... I am also obliged to them because they are helping me in this missionary work. At the same time, I shall request them all to become spiritual master. Every one of you should be spiritual master next. And what is their duty? Whatever you are hearing from me, whatever you are learning from me, you have to distribute the same in toto without any addition or alteration. Then all of you become the spiritual master. That is the science of becoming spiritual master. Spiritual master is not any... To become a spiritual master is not very wonderful thing. Simply one has to become sincere soul. That's all.
From Srila Prabhupada's lecture on Sri Vyasa-puja — September 5, 1969, Hamburg^ Show less
October 29, 2017
This Krsna consciousness movement is trying to revive the original, constitutional position. So one of them, in Krsna consciousness movement, is village organization, as you are trying here. Krsna, in His natural life, is a village boy in Vrndavana. Vrndavana is a village. There is no factory, there is no motorcar, there is no big, big skyscraper buildings; it is village. That Krsna likes. In the sastra it is said, vrndavanam parityajya padam ekam na gacchati [Laghu-bhagavatamrta 1.5.461]. Krsna is so fond of that Vrndavana village life, with His cowherd boys and cowherd girls, gopis, mother Yasoda, father Nanda, and Upananda, uncles, and big family, the cows and the calves, the trees, the Yamuna River. He is satisfied in that life. So at least those who are Krsna conscious, they should be satisfied with simple life in the village. That is part of Krsna consciousness.
But it does not mean that we shall avoid city life or town life. No. Everything, every place is Krsna's place. Everywhere there should be Krsna consciousness. But if we keep ourself within the village and properly organize, as Krsna personally showed us the example... He was personally taking care of the cows, calves. When He was a child, He was taking care of the calves. When He was grown up, He was taking care of the cows, although He was a very rich man's son; Nanda Maharaja was the village king. But still, He was working hard whole day, going in the morning to the pasturing ground and coming back in the evening. Then He used to take His bathing, change dress and immediately go to sleep. This was Krsna's pastime.
From an evening lecture by Srila Prabhupada at Gita-Nagari Farm – July 16, 1976^ Show less
October 28, 2017
Yudhisthira Maharaja was advised by Krsna that "You go to Dronacarya and tell him the lies." "What is that?" "Now, tell him that 'Your son Asvatthama is dead.' " Because Dronacarya had some benediction that unless he is shocked by the death of his son, he will never die. So Krsna had to take this diplomatic, because it is politics. Because Dronacarya will not believe anyone. He knew that Maharaja Yudhisthira is a most pious man; he never tells lies. So if Maharaja Yudhisthira goes and says that "Your son is dead," then he will believe. Otherwise, Krsna could have gone personally, but He knew that people do not believe Him. [laughter] He is very tricky. [laughter]
So therefore no tricky man can excel Him. A man may be very tricky, very intelligent, but he will not be able to excel Krsna. He is more tricky. Just like in His childhood, Krsna was naughty, so mother wanted to bind Him. So Krsna also became tricky. Mother first of all brought some rope and bound, and when it was to be knotted, it was short. And then again she joined another rope. In this way, whatever rope store she had, she brought one after another, and at last, when knotting, it is too short. Krsna thought, "Mother, nobody can bind Me, and because I have accepted to become your child, you are trying to bind Me? All right, you bring your all ropes. You will never be able to bind Me." This is Krsna. But Mother Yasoda is the greatest devotee. So when Krsna saw that "My mother is now exhausted, perspiring. All right, you can bind Me."
From Srila Prabhupada's lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.1.28-29 — July 13, 1975, Philadelphia^ Show less
October 27, 2017
Innocent enquirers are known as jijnasu, "those who are inquisitive." These innocent enquirers are society's hope for the future. Most intelligent and innocent young children are inquisitive: they question their parents about many things and remember the answers. When these bright young boys and girls receive proper guidance from parents and teachers who can lucidly answer their queries, they easily understand each point and gradually develop fine brains. From among these intelligent souls, those who are especially pious begin to keenly enquire about God and other spiritual topics. Others, who pursue ignoble material knowledge, cannot become successful in life and end up beating the chaff.
From "Renunciation Through Wisdom" by Srila Prabhupada^ Show less
October 26, 2017
First business is sravanam. You can hear. Whom? Visnu, not nonsense talks. Visnu, Krsna, you hear. So you can hear anywhere. There is no specific mention that it can be heard in such and such place. You can anywhere. But a holy place like Vrndavana, the hearing has got a special effect. So here we are establishing this mandira. And you foreigners, you have taken some interest. I am very much pleased. So constantly come here and hear about Krsna. This is the pastimious place of Krsna, Vrndavana.
From Srila Prabhupada's lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.7.6 — Vrndavana, April 18, 1975^ Show less
October 25, 2017
Prabhupada: Because they are less intelligent, therefore they don't care for death even, neither they have got any idea what is going to happen after death. Formerly, people were afraid of committing sin. They knew that "After death, I will have to suffer." Now, at the present moment, the rascals are so daring, they do not care what is sin, what is going to happen next life. They do not care. That means less intelligent.
Dr. Copeland: What's going to happen to you in the next life?
Prabhupada: My life? According to sastra, if we have actually developed Krsna consciousness, we are going to Krsna.
Dr. Copeland: And you are.
Prabhupada: I may not, [laughs] but they will go. [laughter] And even it is a failure, then the next life he is guaranteed human life and very nice life.
Room Conversation with Dr. Copeland, Professor of Modern Indian History — May 20, 1975, Melbourne^ Show less
October 24, 2017
Brahmananda: In Mayapur there is one astrologer, and he likes our movement very much, and he told one of our devotees that you were the most powerful personality in the world. And he has given very accurate astrology readings to some of our devotees.
Prabhupada: If I am representative of Krsna, then I must be the most powerful.
> Morning Walk — June 30, 1975, Denver^ Show less
October 23, 2017
Satsvarupa: They say God should be exemplary.
Prabhupada: No. God is not bound to prove His example character to you. You are a rascal.
Satsvarupa: Then how will I know what to follow?
Prabhupada: You learn! You come to me. I'll teach you and beat you with shoes and teach you. [laughter] Come to me. Why I am here? You come. I shall beat you with shoes and teach you. Then you'll learn. You require some beating with shoes. You are a bad student. So I'll do that. "Come on."
Conversation — January 25, 1977^ Show less
October 23, 2017
Srila Prabhupada said:
I was very persistent. All my friends, children, would help me. I was never lazy from my birth, neither dull. Neither to be defeated by anyone. Whatever I would order to my parents or friends must be obeyed. Krsna has always given me leadership. I am surprised how I, a poor Indian, have leadership of the Europeans and Americans. Only my wife did not obey my order, and I left her. I said, 'You must obey me.' She was very afraid of me. Amongst the authors in the world, I am the leader.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => TKG: September 5^ Show less
October 21, 2017
Atreya Rsi: When you first came, Srila Prabhupada, a lot of people probably presented you arguments such as "If you call the movement 'God consciousness' you'll be more successful. If you not wear tilaka and do not shave your head and do not wear robes and do not go on sankirtana, you will be more successful."
And people still tell us things like this, that "You tell us the philosophy. We like the philosophy. But why do you go on sankirtana?" So what were some of the arguments you presented to these type of people?
Prabhupada: This is the same argument, ardha-kukkuti-nyaya [Cc. Adi 5.176]. You cut the mouth of the chicken because it eats, it is expensive, and keep the back side because it lays down egg. You see? Intelligent man said, "I am getting every day one egg. So that side, the back side, is very good. But this side is expensive, eats. Cut it."
So he does not know, he is such a foolish, that if I cut the head, then the egg-giving business will also stop. Similarly, if you accept this philosophy, then you must accept this also.
Atreya Rsi: Yes, that is difference...
Prabhupada: If you don't accept this kirtana, then it will prove that you don't accept the philosophy.
Atreya Rsi: Yes. That's the difference between Your Divine Grace and all these other bhogis. They make it according to the taste of the people. They change. That's why this movement is so solid: no compromise.
Prabhupada: No. Why compromise? My Guru Maharaja never made any compromise.
Atreya Rsi: Compromise means you have some material attachment.
Prabhupada: Yes. Compromise means you don't want real business, but you want some money by cheating and by bluffing.
> Room Conversation — June 29, 1972, San Diego^ Show less
October 20, 2017
The sacrifice known as Govardhana-puja is observed in the Krsna consciousness movement. Lord Caitanya has recommended that since Krsna is worshipable, so His land — Vrndavana and Govardhana Hill — is also worshipable. To confirm this statement, Lord Krsna said that Govardhana-puja is as good as worship of Him. From that day, Govardhana-puja has been going on and is known as Annakuta. In all the temples of Vrndavana or outside of Vrndavana, huge quantities of food are prepared in this ceremony and are very sumptuously distributed to the general population. Sometimes the food is thrown to the crowds, and they enjoy collecting it off the ground. From this we can understand that prasadam offered to Krsna never becomes polluted or contaminated, even if it is thrown on the ground. The people therefore collect and eat it with great satisfaction.
From Srila Prabhupada's Krsna Book, ch 24: Worshiping Govardhana Hill^ Show less
October 19, 2017
Who is talking there? He must stop.
That portion is simply talking-camp. Just like these frogs or toads, they're talking whole day and night, ka-kara ka, ka-kara ka. Actually we have got tongues, and these frogs, they have got also tongue. So they are using their tongue, ka-kara ka, inviting snakes: "Please come here and eat me." That is their business. Nature's way. So if we simply talk like the frogs, without any krsna-katha, then we are inviting death very soon. So don't waste your time, ka-kara ka. That is my request. It is our habit because we are no better than frogs also. We are also living entity, but we have got the chance to stop this ka-kara ka and chant Hare Krsna. This chance we have got. The frogs, they haven't got that chance. They cannot chant Hare Krsna. That is the difference between the frog and myself. So similarly, if we waste our time in that ka-kara ka, then we are no better than the frogs. We are no better than the frogs.
From Srila Prabhupada's lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.9.48 — June 14, 1973, Mayapur^ Show less
October 18, 2017
Srila Prabhupada's translation of and purport to SB 5.26.25
A person who in this life is proud of his eminent position and who heedlessly sacrifices animals simply for material prestige is put into the hell called Visasana after death. There the assistants of Yamaraja kill him after giving him unlimited pain.
In Bhagavad-gita (6.41) Krsna says, sucinam srimatam gehe yoga-bhrasto 'bhijayate: "Because of his previous connection with bhakti-yoga, a man is born into a prestigious family of brahmanas or aristocrats." Having taken such a birth, one should utilize it to perfect bhakti-yoga. However, due to bad association one often forgets that his prestigious position has been given to him by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and he misuses it by performing various kinds of so-called yajnas like kali-puja or durga-puja in which poor animals are sacrificed. How such a person is punished is described herein. The word dambha-yajnesu in this verse is significant. If one violates the Vedic instructions while performing yajna and simply makes a show of sacrifice for the purpose of killing animals, he is punishable after death. In Calcutta there are many slaughterhouses where animal flesh is sold that has supposedly been offered in sacrifice before the goddess Kali. The sastras enjoin that one can sacrifice a small goat before the goddess Kali once a month. Nowhere is it said that one can maintain a slaughterhouse in the name of temple worship and daily kill animals unnecessarily. Those who do so receive the punishments described herein.
October 18, 2017
All the pure devotees are as bright as sunshine, and their bodily luster is very effulgent. In addition, their performance of sankirtana is unparalleled. There are many professional chanters who can perform congregational chanting with various musical instruments in an artistic and musical way, but their chanting cannot be as attractive as the congregational chanting of pure devotees. If a devotee sticks strictly to the principles governing Vaisnava behavior, his bodily luster will naturally be attractive, and his singing and chanting of the holy names of the Lord will be effective. People will appreciate such kirtana without hesitation. Even dramas about the pastimes of Lord Caitanya or Sri Krsna should be played by devotees. Such dramas will immediately interest an audience and be full of potency. The students of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness should note these two points and try to apply these principles in their spreading of the Lord's glories.
From Srila Prabhupada's purport to Cc Madhya 11.95^ Show less
October 17, 2017
Srila Prabhupada said, "In Vrindavan there are five thousand caste goswamis, five thousand shopkeepers, and five thousand widows, and we have to keep good relations with all of them; otherwise we will end up in court like the Gaudiya Matha."
Told by Yamuna D.D. to Giriraja Maharaja^ Show less
October 16, 2017
Krsna and His friends and calves began to return to their Vrajabhumi homes. When Krsna returned home to Vrajabhumi, He was seen by all the inhabitants of Vrndavana. He was wearing a peacock feather in His helmet, which was also decorated with forest flowers. Krsna was also garlanded with flowers and painted with different colored minerals collected from the caves of Govardhana Hill. Govardhana Hill is always famous for supplying natural red oxides, and Krsna and His friends painted their bodies with them. Each of them had a bugle made of buffalo horn and a stick and a flute, and each called his respective calves by their particular names. The cowherd boys were so proud of Krsna's wonderful activities that, while entering the village, they all sang His glories. All the gopis in Vrndavana saw beautiful Krsna entering the village.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => KB 14: Prayers Offered by Lord Brahma to Lord Krsna^ Show less
October 15, 2017
In the Padma Purana it is said, "The Lord may offer liberation or material happiness to a devotee, but after some devotional service has been executed, particularly in Mathura during the month of Karttika, the devotees want only to attain pure devotional service unto the Lord." The purport is that the Lord does not award devotional service to ordinary persons who are not serious about it. But even such unserious persons who execute devotional service according to the regulative principles during the month of Karttika, and within the jurisdiction of Mathura in India, are very easily awarded the Lord's personal service.
From NoD ch. 12^ Show less
October 14, 2017
The execution of devotional service during Urja-vrata in the month of Karttika is especially recommended to be performed at Mathura. This system is still followed by many devotees. They go to Mathura or Vrndavana and stay there during the month of Karttika specifically to perform devotional services during this period.
From NoD ch. 12^ Show less
October 13, 2017
Srila Prabhupada: So-called equal rights for women means that the men cheat the women. Suppose a woman and a man meet, they become lovers, they have sex, the woman becomes pregnant, and the man goes away. The woman has to take charge of the child and beg alms from the government, or else she kills the child by having an abortion. This is the woman's independence. In India, although a woman may be poverty-stricken, she stays under the care of her husband, and he takes responsibility for her. When she becomes pregnant, she is not forced to kill the child or maintain him by begging. So, which is real independence — to remain under the care of the husband or to be enjoyed by everyone?
From The Science Self Realization, Chapter 1, section "What is Krsna consciousness?"^ Show less
October 12, 2017
(Christopher Columbus's arrival in the Americas was on October 12, 1492)
Hrdayananda: How many different ways are there for self-realization?
Prabhupada: Only one path. God is one, and to realize Him, the path is one. There cannot be two paths. Just like suppose in India. So India is from here to the eastern side? Yes. This is an example. But you cannot find in the western side. Just like Columbus. He wanted to discover India. He did not go to the eastern side; he went to the western side. So he found America, that's all. [laughter] So if you want to find out God, then you have to take the right path. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gita: bhaktya mam abhijanati yavan yas casmi tattvatah [Bg. 18.55]. He never says, "By jnana, karma, yoga one can achieve God." That is not possible. Only by bhakti. So if you want to have God, then you have to take these devotional activities, but if you want to have maya, you can take different paths.
Hrdayananda: [translating] ...there's only one path straight. He was saying how Columbus also, if he would have kept going, he could have...
Prabhupada: Yes, you are right. If Columbus would have gone still farther, farther, western side, and he could have gained India. That means if you take other path, then you will achieve God after many, many lifes, not immediately. So if you want to waste your time [indistinct] God, you can take different paths. But if you want immediately, take to bhakti path.
Srila Prabhupada — February 21, 1975, Caracas^ Show less
October 11, 2017
I asked Prabhupada, "What does this verse mean?" The verse was, Ya nisa sarva-bhutanam, what is night for all beings is the time of awakening for the self-controlled; and the time of awakening for all beings is night for the introspective sage" (Bhagavad-gita 2.69).
Prabhupada started smiling and said, "Yes. This means that when we see the karmis, we laugh. And when the karmis see us, they laugh. But our laugh is better. We know that they are wrong. They see us, and they think that we are wasting our time chanting Hare Krishna. We see them, and we know that they are wasting their time in material life. Our laugh is best."
Hari-vilasa Prabhu; Srila Prabhupada Remembrances ch. 6^ Show less
October 10, 2017
Srila Narottama dasa Thakura has sung, "My dear Lord, let me be engaged in Your transcendental loving service, as indicated by the previous acaryas, and let me live in the association of pure devotees. That is my desire, life after life." In other words, a devotee does not much care whether or not he is liberated; he is eager only for devotional service.
From Srila Prabhupada's Krsna Book, ch.87: Prayers by the Personified Vedas^ Show less
October 9, 2017
The glaring attraction of city, that is maya. In the modern age people are more attracted by the city life, but we should know city life... Not for the devotee; generally, people in general, they like city life, but that is maya. Maya means "which is not fact." We are thinking that this way we shall be happy, but that is not fact. This is called maya. Ma-ya — "it is not." You are thinking that in this way you will be happy, but it is not. This is called maya. One English poet also said, Cowper, that city is made by man but village is made by God.
So if you can stick to this village life and be satisfied whatever you produce... You can produce your necessities; there is no difficulty. If we keep cows and grow food grains, fruits, vegetables, then we can live very peacefully like that. There is no need of going to the city. That is the plan of God, Krsna. Krsna personally exhibited. Vrndavana is village; it is not city. We are trying to go to the village of Krsna — Vrndavana.
So I am very glad that you are living here. So kindly stick to this place and make an ideal island so that others may see also: plain living, high thinking. Produce your own food; keep cows, milk. If there is food grain and milk there is no necessities. And you can produce your cloth also if you produce cotton. And we are trying in Mayapura to produce our own cloth. So we require our own cloth, own food, and time saved for advancing in Krsna consciousness. That is required. That is actual civilization. This is not civilization; this is demonic civilization. So although you are all European and American, these things are practically..., you are not accustomed. But if you develop this kind of civilization — plain living and high thinking — save time for advancing Krsna consciousness, that is real profit of life. It is real profit.
We should not be attracted by the so-called material bodily comfortable life. This is also comfortable. Simply we imagine that city life, having many cars and many skyscraper buildings, big, big roads, that is comfortable. Comfortable means without anxiety.
Create Vrndavana. Keep Krsna here, cows here, calves here; produce your own food. It will become Vrndavana. This is Vrndavana. Where there is Krsna, where there are cows, where there is agriculture, that is Vrndavana. See the life of Krsna. He advised His father to worship Govardhana Hill. He said, "My dear father, Govardhana Hill is giving grass to our cows. Why you are arranging for the demigod worship, Indra? There is Govardhana-puja." So you should produce enough food grains, enough fodder for the cows, and live peacefully, chant Hare Krsna, make this life. At least one life we should do like that. It is very happy life.
So you have got this land; develop it. Don't go away. Develop it. That is my instruction. Keep cows, as many cows as possible. You don't require practice. Produce your own food, own milk — save time; chant Hare Krsna. This is perfect. You don't require technical education and this education, that education, wine, meat. This is raksasa civilization. This is not human civilization. Human civilization: peacefully living, saving time for Krsna consciousness, and then at the time of death you remember Krsna. You are immediately delivered within a second, back to home, back to Godhead.
So be satisfied with this humble life in the village and be advanced in Krsna consciousness. That is the real profit of life. Don't be misled by the glaring, dazzling situation of the city. That is not worth it.
Don’t be restless. Simple living and high thinking, that is wanted.
From Srila Prabhupada's Arrival Lecture on Farm — May 25, 1975, Honolulu^ Show less
October 8, 2017
Everything can be used in the service of Krsna. If one remains intoxicated and does not use one's material assets for the service of Krsna, they are not very valuable. But if one can use them for the service of Krsna, they become extremely valuable. To give an example, zero has no value, but as soon as the digit one is placed before the zero, the zero immediately becomes ten. If there are two zeros, they become one hundred, and three zeros become one thousand. Similarly, we are intoxicated by material assets that are actually no better than zero, but as soon as we add Krsna, these tens and hundreds and thousands and millions of zeros become extremely valuable. The Krsna consciousness movement therefore offers a great opportunity to the people of the West. They have an overabundance of the zeros of materialistic life, and if they simply add Krsna their life will become sublimely valuable.
Srila Prabhupada, TQK 9: Decreasing the Fever of Illusion^ Show less
October 7, 2017
One of the most important of these ceremonial functions is called Urja-vrata. Urja-vrata is observed in the month of Karttika (October-November); especially in Vrndavana, there is a specific program for temple worship of the Lord in His Damodara form. "Damodara" refers to Krsna's being bound with rope by His mother, Yasoda. It is said that just as Lord Damodara is very dear to His devotees, so the month known as Damodara or Karttika is also very dear to them.
From NoD ch. 12^ Show less
October 6, 2017
As soon as there will be contamination of illicit sex life, he will be bereft of all good character, this basic principle. And the whole world is now encouraged in that way. So how we can expect good character from the modern man?
If you indulge in illicit sex life and naturally other things, intoxication, gambling, then there will be no limit of expenditure. And to meet all those expenditure one has to adopt cheating or stealing.
Srila Prabhupada; Lecture on SB 6.1.22 — December 13, 1970^ Show less
October 5, 2017
Lately I have been doing some research about the days in America when Srila Prabhupada had begun his preaching and was now trying to publish his books. It was 1966, and some young men had come to him and begun to take to Krsna consciousness. They had only the barest ideas of the philosophy. But the Swami was wonderful, prasadam was great, and chanting got you higher than LSD. And by hearing the transcendental sound of the Bhagavatam and the holy name, delivered in the line of pure devotees, these new American followers were becoming purified. Srila Prabhupada, as he had prayed to Krsna on the ship, was acting as Krsna's servant — and now, through Srila Prabhupada, Krsna was unfolding a strange and wonderful drama.
In a little storefront on the Lower East Side, in the midst of hippy dropout acidheads, in the East Coast venue for America's 1960's freak show — a psychedelic zoo — Srila Prabhupada was preaching Krsna's message of pure devotional service, and — Jharikhanda revisited! — creatures who'd been living like animals were dancing and chanting Hare Krsna.
There was kirtana, there were lectures, there was prasadam — but where were the books? He had three — the three volumes, reddish brown, of his original Bhagavatam. He had Easy Journey to Other Planets — a small booklet with a pale-green cover, brought over with the Bhagavatams from India. And with his usual persistence, determination, and faith in the words of his Guru Maharaja, Srila Prabhupada was working on more.
As his new followers "turned on" with the maha-mantra and "tuned in" to Krsna consciousness, Srila Prabhupada — authentically more "dropped out" than everyone — was writing Bhagavad-gita As It Is. On a vintage typewriter placed atop a yellow tin suitcase that served as a desk, Srila Prabhupada, in his apartment one flight up in the back, typed with two fingers — at night, during the day, whenever he wasn't leading kirtana, or giving class, or cooking and serving prasadam with his own hands to his new recruits, or preaching to them, or meeting new people, or writing letters, or taking his daily walk or honoring prasadam or accepting his astonishingly few hours of rest, or dealing with yet another crisis in the one little storefront that constituted his "International Society."
And if anyone were to ask, in his closet lay a bundle of manuscripts wrapped in saffron cloth — the next canto of the Bhagavatam.
Those were the days when $100 was nearly all ISKCON had. And Srila Prabhupada went up to Long Island with Gargamuni and for $150 bought two old mimeograph machines. (Asking price: $150 apiece.) Back to Godhead!
Gargamuni became the first printer, a professor-turned-seeker and a freelance writer for comic books became the first editors, and a hundred copies of BTG, cranked out on the greasy old machines, joined The East Village Other and the acid-is-the-answer underground papers in the East Village "head shops."
Meanwhile, Srila Prabhupada kept typing, and one day Gargamuni, looking in a shop window, saw a dictaphone. He didn't know what it was, but it looked like something maybe the Swami could use. Gargamuni bought it on the spot. He brought it back and presented it to Srila Prabhupada and started to explain how to use it (the man in the shop had taken an hour or so to explain all those buttons), but somehow — a dictaphone? — Srila Prabhupada already knew. And now Srila Prabhupada began writing his books by dictating.
But who could transcribe? No one. Brahmananda tried. Hayagriva tried. Others tried. But the work was tedious, Prabhupada's accent was hard to follow, everyone had other things to do. And the work started piling up.
And then Neal showed up, a college student from Antioch on a work-study program, ready to live with a religious group for some time and study it while doing some service.
"Can you type?" a devotee asked him.
"We have all this dictation..."
"Oh, I do that sort of thing at college."
Getting the book edited was another saga. Srila Prabhupada wrote to Rayarama, "Howard wants to do it but he has no time to finish it or to type it. You are also engaged in various ways and I do not know how to make it ready. Both you and Howard want to edit it but nobody takes charge to finish the job quickly say within a month."
But meanwhile he had Brahmananda looking for a publisher.
Allen Ginsberg's publishers weren't interested. Brahmananda wrote to others, and, publisher after publisher, they all turned him down.
And then one day a letter came from someone at the Macmillan Company, asking to buy some books. Srila Prabhupada told Brahmananda, "Deliver them personally. And tell him we have a Bhagavad-gita to publish." Which is how Brahmananda wound up in an office at Macmillan, face to face with — nobody, a mere clerk in the accounting department, a clerk who had sent that letter only to buy books for himself.
And while Brahmananda sat there, utterly frustrated, suddenly the chief editor walked in. The chief editor? "Mr. Wade," Brahmananda said, "we have a Bhagavad-gita to publish."
"A Bhagavad-gita? We need a Bhagavad-gita. Can you bring it tomorrow? We'll publish it." Sight unseen!
Shortly thereafter, Srila Prabhupada had a stroke, and went back to India. But "Although I am practically on the path of death, still I cannot forget about my publications."
Soon Srila Prabhupada was back in America, and then Bhagavad-gita As It Is was in print, then Teachings of Lord Caitanya. And the story goes on from there, the story of Srila Prabhupada's determination and persistence, his vision, his steadfast faith in the words of his spiritual master: "Print books." It becomes the story of thousands of books sitting on Second Avenue, no one able to sell them, and then the story of a few copies miraculously sold, and then hundreds and thousands and millions. The story becomes a wealth of stories, stories of Srila Prabhupada's followers, books in hand, getting books out to people, tens of thousands of people, millions of people, all over the world, the books working their wonder, bringing people to the lotus feet of Krsna and His devotees.
In 1972 Srila Prabhupada wrote to me personally, "These books and magazines are our most important propaganda weapons to defeat the ignorance of maya's army, and the more we produce such literature and sell them profusely all over the world, the more we shall deliver the world from the suicide course."
May remembering such instructions from Srila Prabhupada, and remembering his personal example, inspire us always.
Hare Krsna.^ Show less
October 4, 2017
The process of Krsna consciousness should be very vigorously propagated all over the world. Simply by seeing the Deity or simply by joining in chanting of the Hare Krsna mantra, people will derive tremendous benefit. If one performs kirtana, chanting, one will be able to think of Krsna. One may think, "I danced for two hours and chanted Hare Krsna. What is the meaning of this?" This is smarana, thinking of Krsna. One may even think, "I foolishly chanted 'Krsna, Krsna' for two hours." But that also is smarana.
Because the Krsna consciousness movement is spreading, people are purchasing our books about Krsna. Because they are curious they say, "What is this Krsna? Let us see the book." Then they immediately see a picture of Radha and Krsna, and if they open the book they will see more. In the book there are many prayers glorifying Krsna. So some will hear about Krsna, and others will read, and if they are fortunate enough they will become Krsna conscious and engage in the worship of the Deity.
These methods of devotional service — hearing, chanting, remembering Krsna, and so on — are so perfect that as soon as one takes to them (either all of them, some of them, or even one of them) one becomes purified.
Srila Prabhupada; TQK 18, Liberation from Ignorance and Suffering^ Show less
October 3, 2017
None of the scientific knowledge of the human being has solved the death problem. The advancement of material knowledge can simply accelerate the problem of dying; nobody can save a person from the cruel hands of death. The discovery of the atom bomb and similar other great inventions of the fertile brain of the scientist has simply increased the death problem. The foolish scientists do not know that the atom bomb is actually the scheme of Mother Nature, who is sure to kill the demoniac population when it increases disproportionately.
Modern economists also believe in the laws of nature and confirm that unrestricted birth increases in the human population will certainly result in famine, pestilence, epidemics, and war. So, the so-called civilized states' plan of killing human beings by atomic and hydrogen bombs is actually the plan of Mother Nature to punish the foolish miscreants.
Everything is automatically executed by Mother Nature as soon as the human being is in violation of her laws. However, foolish people, out of their undue vanity, think that the plan is made by them. To execute her stringent punishment, Mother Nature dictates to the human brain the ability to invent the atomic bomb. Foolishly, the human being wants to take the credit for such inventions, which are meant only for punishment. We learn this fact from the Bhagavad-gita (3.27), wherein it is said that everything is done by prakrti or Mother Nature. But the foolish living entity, puffed up by the vanity of learning, falsely considers himself the Creator.
From "In Search of the Ultimate Goal of Life" by Srila Prabhupada^ Show less
October 2, 2017
In my books the philosophy of Krsna consciousness is explained fully so if there is anything which you do not understand, then you simply have to read again and again. By reading daily the knowledge will be revealed to you and by this process your spiritual life will develop. Krsna consciousness is not a hackneyed thing but it is something which is our natural and original consciousness. Presently our consciousness is clouded just like a mirror becomes covered with dust So the cleansing process is this chanting and hearing and doing some service and trying to please the Spiritual Master. By this process our consciousness becomes clear and we are able to understand everything.
Srila Prabhupada, letter, 22 November, 1974^ Show less
October 1, 2017
Prabhupada: Now, if you analyze the present human society, you will find there is not a single human being. All animals. All animals. Not a single human being. People do not know what is the aim of life. That is the difficulty.
Visnujana: Yes. From childhood they are taught sense gratification.
Prabhupada: That's all. They do not know that for sense gratification, enough facility is there in the animal kingdom. So if you want to give facility for sense gratification, does it mean that you want to become more than or less than animal? Not more than.
Visnujana: They want dog's life. They think dog's life is good life. They have to work hard and the dog stays at home all day and enjoys in their nice big house. So they think, "I would be better to be the dog."
Prabhupada: So they have become. But when he becomes street dog? That means he has to depend on good master. Big apartment for dog means he belongs to the master. So he has to find out a good master. But if he fails to find out a good master, then he's street dog.
Morning Walk — December 31, 1973, Los Angeles^ Show less
September 30, 2017
Mahamsa: Also another party of five devotees, they have started on the bullock cart sankirtana, going village to village. And one person came to the temple in Hyderabad and met me. He said that "After your devotees had a program in our village, the farmers in the evening they were coming and doing kirtana instead of just..." Previously they were not doing anything, but now they are coming after farming. In the evening they are collecting and they are doing kirtana together.
Prabhupada: Just see how quickly there will be response. Therefore I was insisting, "Go village to village, town to town." Caitanya Mahaprabhu's prediction, prthivite ache yata nagaradi.
Mahamsa: Grama, yes.
Prabhupada: So it will never be foiled. Let us now begin village to village.
Mahamsa: People in the villages, they are innocent, but they have been infected with so many vices. They are all drinking toddy every day.
Prabhupada: If they chant, they will forget it.
Morning Walk — November 21, 1975, Bombay^ Show less
September 29, 2017
Persons who are always planning to do harm to other living entities are not eligible to understand Krsna consciousness and cannot enter into the realm of transcendental loving service to the Lord. Also, there are so-called disciples who become submissive to a spiritual master most artificially, with an ulterior motive. They also cannot understand what Krsna consciousness or devotional service is. Persons who, due to being initiated by another sect of religious faith, do not find devotional service as the common platform for approaching the Supreme Personality of Godhead, also cannot understand Krsna consciousness. We have experience that some students come to join us, but because of being biased in some particular type of faith, they leave our camp and become lost in the wilderness. Actually, Krsna consciousness is not a sectarian religious faith; it is a teaching process for understanding the Supreme Lord and our relationship with Him. Anyone can join this movement without prejudice, but unfortunately there are persons who feel differently. It is better, therefore, not to instruct the science of Krsna consciousness to such persons.
Generally, materialistic persons are after some name, fame and material gain, so if someone takes to Krsna consciousness for these reasons, he will never be able to understand this philosophy. Such persons take to religious principles as a social decoration. They admit themselves into some cultural institution for the sake of name only, especially in this age. Such persons also cannot understand the philosophy of Krsna consciousness. Even if one is not greedy for material possessions but is too attached to family life, he also cannot understand Krsna consciousness. Superficially, such persons are not very greedy for material possessions, but they are too attached to wife, children and family improvement. When a person is not contaminated by the above-mentioned faults yet at the ultimate issue is not interested in the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, or if he is a nondevotee, he also cannot understand the philosophy of Krsna consciousness.
Srila Prabhupada's purport to SB 3.32.40^ Show less
September 28, 2017
Actually, this world is like a hospital. We are all like sons of rich men running mad in the streets. Our Father, Krishna or God, is the wealthiest father, and we are all His sons gone mad. Someone is thinking, Oh, give him food, that will help, or give him house, or clothes, this or that — but the madness is still there. Actually, they have got sufficient of everything from their Father, but they have run off mad. So this kind of bodily welfare work will not help. The world is supposed to be a place for curing men of their varieties of diseases of madness and sending them back home, like a hospital. But men have now got the mistaken idea to make a permanent settlement in this madhouse! Just like the hog is eating stool and he is thinking, Oh, I am enjoying like anything, and when I am finished, then sex with any she-hog — wife, daughter, sister, it doesn't matter — and for so many children I shall have to have big house, and on and on like this, all because of his madness that he thinks "I am enjoying." So preach like this, and I think many people will appreciate our philosophy and gain respect for this Krishna Consciousness movement. Do everything very cleanly and nicely.
Srila Prabhupada, letter — 18 February, 1972^ Show less
September 27, 2017
Chanting japa should be done early in the morning with full concentration preferably during the Brahma Muhurta time. Concentrate fully on the sound vibration of the mantra, pronouncing each name distinctly and gradually your speed in chanting will increase naturally. Do not worry so much about chanting fast, most important is the hearing.
Srila Prabhupada, letter, Jan 6th 1972^ Show less
September 27, 2017
I have invited Krsna and He may not be insulted by disrespectful behavior. I have introduced this system of Deity worship amongst the non-believers, the atheists, the mlecchas, the yavanas and I pray to Krsna that I am inviting You to come, so please, because You are seated in their hearts, please give them the intelligence how to serve you so that You may not be inconvenienced.
From Srila Prabhupada's letter to Jayatirtha, Manjuali — Bombay 10 November, 1975^ Show less
September 26, 2017
Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, ei rupe brahmanda bhramite kona bhagyavan jiva [Cc. Madhya 19.151]. Unless one is bhagyavan, very fortunate, he'll not go back to home, back to Godhead. He will rot here. So this Krsna consciousness movement means we are trying to make people bhagyavan. If he wants, he can become bhagyavan. That is our attempt.
We are creating so many centers. We are teaching how to become bhagyavan, fortunate, how to go back to home, how he can be happy. Now, if one is fortunate, they will take this instruction and turn his life. Therefore this is mission. But without becoming bhagyavan, nobody can go. Fortunate.
So we are giving them chance to become fortunate. This is our mission. The most unfortunate is getting the chance of becoming fortunate. Any one of us can consider this, how from unfortunate life they are coming to fortunate. This is Krsna consciousness movement, that we are giving chance to the unfortunate.
Everyone is unfortunate. Everyone is a rascal. We are giving chance how to become intelligent and fortunate. This is Krsna consciousness. If the people are not so unfortunate and rascal, then what is the meaning of preaching? Preaching means that you have to turn the rascals and unfortunate to become intelligent and fortunate. That is preaching.
But unless you are fortunate and intelligent, you cannot take to Krsna consciousness. That is a fact.
Srila Prabhupada — October 18, 1975, Johannesburg^ Show less