August 9, 2013
There are two verses in the Canakya-sloka how a family or an institution can be glorified or burned into ashes by one person. The Canakya Pandit says that if there is one tree in the forest producing nice aromatic flower, that one tree can glorify the whole forest by the flavor of its flower. Similarly if there is one tree in whose cavity there is a little fire, that one tree can burn into ashes the whole forest.
So this simile is applicable anywhere. In a family if there is one good boy, he can glorify the whole family and similarly if there is bad boy he can turn the whole family into ashes. Similarly in this institution if there is a bad disciple he can burn the whole institution into ashes. The Governing Body Commission's duty is therefore to see that every member is following the rules and regulations and chanting sixteen rounds regularly on the beads. I hope the GBC in cooperation with the sannyasis in their touring program will be able to keep vigilance systematically in order to keep the Society as pure as possible.
Srila Prabhupada, letter to Bali Mardan, 25th August, 1970^ Show less
August 8, 2013
...we also must know what actual mercy is. To give a sick man something forbidden for him to eat is not mercy. Rather, it is cruelty. Unless we know what mercy really is, we may create an undesirable situation. If we wish to show real mercy, we will preach Krsna consciousness in order to revive the lost consciousness of human beings, the living entity's original consciousness.
Ref. VedaBase => Madhya 9.49^ Show less
August 7, 2013
I create this cosmos by such penance, I maintain it by the same energy, and I withdraw it all by the same energy. Therefore the potential power is penance only.
In executing penance, one must be determined to return home, back to Godhead, and must decide to undergo all types of tribulations for that end. Even for material prosperity, name and fame, one has to undergo severe types of penance, otherwise no one can become an important figure in this material world. Why, then, are there severe types of penance for the perfection of devotional service? An easygoing life and attainment of perfection in transcendental realization cannot go together. The Lord is more clever than any living entity; therefore He wants to see how painstaking the devotee is in devotional service. The order is received from the Lord, either directly or through the bona fide spiritual master, and to execute that order, however painstaking, is the severe type of penance. One who follows the principle rigidly is sure to achieve success in attaining the Lord's mercy.
SB 2.9.24^ Show less
August 6, 2013
Brahma Samhita is the gist of the Srimad-Bhagavatam. In the Bhagavad gita as well as in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, Krishna is accepted as Supreme Lord & everything about him is nicely described there, similarly in the Brahma-Samhita everything about Krishna is perfectly described. In the very beginning of the book, Krishna is accepted as the Supreme Lord existing eternally in his transcendental form and is the cause of all causes. One who reads Brahma Samhita very carefully & scrutinizingly can understand everything of Krishna without any fault. I recommend, therefore that all my students read Brahma Samhita very carefully -- especially because it was translated personally by my spiritual master Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Maharaja.
Ref. VedaBase => Letter to: Pradyumna -- Calcutta 17 October, 1967^ Show less
August 5, 2013
Manager must also be a preacher otherwise who will want to follow him?
Ref. VedaBase => Letter to: Tamala Krsna -- Vrindaban 13 August, 1974^ Show less
August 5, 2013
Real religion means to know God, our relation with Him and our duties in relation with Him and to know ultimately our destination after leaving this material body. The conditioned souls, who are entrapped by the material energy, hardly know all these principles of life. Most of them are like animals engaged in eating, sleeping, fearing and mating. They are mostly engaged in sense enjoyment under the pretension of religiosity, knowledge or salvation. They are still more blind in the present age of quarrel, or Kali-yuga. In the Kali-yuga the population is just a royal edition of the animals. They have nothing to do with spiritual knowledge or godly religious life. They are so blind that they cannot see anything beyond the needs of the body. They have no information of the spirit soul beyond the jurisdiction of the subtle mind, intelligence or ego, but they are very much proud of their advancement in knowledge, science and material prosperity. They can risk their lives to become a dog or hog just after leaving the present body, for they have completely lost sight of the ultimate aim of life.
Ref. VedaBase => SB 1.3.43^ Show less
August 4, 2013
Prabhupada: ...that this village we are maintaining, this Gaura-Nityananda temple, that was the mission of Caitanya Mahaprabhu: prthivite ache yata nagaradi-grama [Caitanya-bhagavata, Antya 4.126]. Sarvatra pracara haibe. So you are very humbly maintaining this temple. It is a great achievement for you. You will get blessings of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
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 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. And He was Himself, although He was the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He was taking care of the calves and cows when He was child, although Nanda Maharaja was king, village king. King means he had many cows -- nine hundred thousand cows.
Formerly one was considered to be rich man if he possessed many cows: dhanyena dhanavan gavaya dhanavan. Now, artificially, they have made such a plan that if you can possess some papers written only -- hundred dollars, five hundred dollars, fifty dollars -- then you are rich.
But actually that is not wealth. When there is no food, you cannot eat this paper -- it may be hundred dollars, five hundred dollars. But if you possess grains and cows, then you will never starve. The city people, they are getting supplies from remote villages, and they have got money...
Money means paper. They are cheating. The whole process is cheating. There is no money, but they have made economic condition in such a clever way that we are accepting these papers as money. Real riches is actually the grains and milk. That is real riches. According to Vedic civilization it is said, dhanyena dhanavan gavaya dhanavan.
Formerly, and still in Indian villages, suppose one man is going to give his daughter to a boy. So he will go and see how much grains he has got in store, how many cows he has got. Then yes, he is going to agree, like that. Nowadays they don't go to see how much book balance he has got. That is not actual wealth.
So our Krsna consciousness movement is basically that we should not be attracted by the false thing. We should not be attracted by the false thing. The reality -- vedyam vastavam atra vastu [SB 1.1.2]. Real reality not false reality.
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 grains and milk there is no necessity. And you can produce your cloth also if you produce cotton. 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 demoniac 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. That is life. Real life is without anxiety. That is comfortable living. And if you are living, sleeping in a very high skyscraper building and full of anxieties, is that comfortable life? That is not comfortable life. Comfortable life means... Canakya Pandita has said that a comfortable, happy man is he who does not go out of his home and who is not a debtor. He is happy. But just see: in the city everybody is a debtor, and one has to go fifty miles, hundred miles for earning his livelihood. Is that comfortable? The bank is ready to give you money -- "Purchase motorcar. Purchase this. Purchase this." And at the end of month after working hard when you get salary, the whole money is taken by the bank. Again you have to work. So you are debtor and full of anxiety -- is that comfortable life? No, that is not comfortable life. Comfortable life means no anxiety.
So 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.
Read thoroughly, produce your own food, live peacefully. What is the use of going to the city? Bhaktivinoda Thakura said, jada vidya saba mayara vaibhava tomara bhajane badha. This material way of life, material advancement of material civilization, means giving advantage to maya to increase her influence over us.
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. There is no difficulty. If you cooperate, everything will be all right. Don't be anxious.
Extracts from Arrival Lecture
Hawaii, May 25, 1975
August 3, 2013
Srila Prabhupada said:
...democracy is the ruination of civilization.
Ref. VedaBase => Morning Walk -- Perth, May 12, 1975^ Show less
August 2, 2013
At that time in Los Angeles Prabhupada also established the idea that the women raising their own children does not constitute being fully engaged in devotional service. He said again that every women is training and watching their own children. This is completely redundant. We should organize a nursery system in our temples and one woman should watch everyone else's children, freeing all the other mothers for practical devotional service in our temples. These were important instructions Prabhupada gave in 1973 about the development of householder communities.
Told by Ramesvara Dasa^ Show less
August 1, 2013
Family life within the kingdom of illusory energy, maya, is just like a prison for the eternal living entity. In prison a prisoner is shackled by iron chains and iron bars. Similarly, a conditioned soul is shackled by the charming beauty of a woman, by her solitary embraces and talks of so-called love, and by the sweet words of his small children. Thus he forgets his real identity.
In this verse the words strinam asatinam indicate that womanly love is just to agitate the mind of man. Actually, in the material world there is no love. Both the woman and the man are interested in their sense gratification. For sense gratification a woman creates an illusory love, and the man becomes enchanted by such false love and forgets his real duty. When there are children as the result of such a combination, the next attraction is to the sweet words of the children. The love of the woman at home and the talk of the children make one a secure prisoner, and thus he cannot leave his home. Such a person is termed, in Vedic language, a grhamedhi, which means "one whose center of attraction is home." Grhastha refers to one who lives with family, wife and children, but whose real purpose of living is to develop Krsna consciousness. One is therefore advised to become a grhastha and not a grhamedhi. The grhastha's concern is to get out of the family life created by illusion and enter into real family life with Krsna, whereas the grhamedhi s business is to repeatedly chain himself to so-called family life, in one life after another, and perpetually remain in the darkness of maya.
Ref. VedaBase => SB 3.30.8^ Show less
July 31, 2013
One should try to understand the distress of accepting birth, death, old age and disease. There are descriptions in various Vedic literatures of birth. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam the world of the unborn, the child's stay in the womb of the mother, its suffering, etc., are all very graphically described. It should be thoroughly understood that birth is distressful. Because we forget how much distress we have suffered within the womb of the mother, we do not make any solution to the repetition of birth and death. Similarly at the time of death there are all kinds of sufferings, and they are also mentioned in the authoritative scriptures. These should be discussed. And as far as disease and old age are concerned, everyone gets practical experience. No one wants to be diseased, and no one wants to become old, but there is no avoiding these. Unless we have a pessimistic view of this material life, considering the distresses of birth, death, old age and disease, there is no impetus for our making advancement in spiritual life.
From Srila Prabhupada's purport to Bg 13.8-12^ Show less
July 30, 2013
Over the past ten years I have given the framework and now we have become more than the British Empire. Even the British Empire was not as expansive as we. They had only a portion of the world, and we have not completed expanding. We must expand more and more unlimitedly.
From Srila Prabhupada's Letter to: All Governing Board Commissioners -- Honolulu 19 May, 1976^ Show less
July 29, 2013
We were telling Prabhupada about some crazy news stunt that had been pulled off by some demented, popular pop artist named Andy Warhol. He and his people had just captured the news in America by eating dead fetuses that had come from aborted babies. And it was the most gross thing. It got newspaper coverage because they had eaten them. We mentioned that to Prabhupada. Prabhupada said, "Yes. They have not yet learned that human flesh is the most tasty of all."
Told by Ramesvara Dasa^ Show less
July 28, 2013
Wherever there is electric light, there is electricity. It is naturally understood. Similarly, wherever there is Krsna consciousness, it is Vrndavana. We can create Vrndavana by the mercy of Krsna, if we chant Hare Krsna. Perfect this Krsna consciousness; try to understand the philosophy behind it. It is a science, not a bluff.
Ref. VedaBase => TYS 4: The Goal of Yoga^ Show less
July 27, 2013
There are many karmis in the dress of devotees, but the Supreme Personality of Godhead can detect their purpose. The karmis want to use the property of the Lord for their selfish sense gratification, but a devotee endeavors to use the Lord's property for God's service. Therefore a devotee is always distinct from the karmis, although the karmis may dress like devotees.
Ref. VedaBase => SB 8.9.28^ Show less
July 26, 2013
If you fight amongst yourselves what can I do? This fighting will spoil everything.
Regarding the preaching against ISKCON by Tusta Krishna Swami and Siddaswarupa as reported by you, it is another disturbance. This matter and the matter of New Zealand president considering himself the self-appointed GBC of New Zealand, will be referred to the GBC meeting. If they criticize ISKCON still, we shall not cooperate with them.
Ref. VedaBase => Letter to: Bali Mardan, 8 Frebruary, 1977^ Show less
July 25, 2013
Thank you very much for so carefully studying my books. If you can actually understand the verses and purports of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is then your spiritual understanding is complete, without any other literature.
Ref. VedaBase => Letter to: Bhadravardhana, February 22, 1977^ Show less
July 24, 2013
Regarding the persons who are opposing you in Minneapolis, we have to go on with our duty. This so called Christian says we are not a true religion and is opposing us because we have a different belief than his - but actually God is one. There cannot be two Gods, or a God of the Hindus, God of the Muslim, God of the Christian. Don't remain silent, but answer back in this way. Positively present our philosophy.
They are misrepresenting us. We do not say one cannot be a Christian. We say be faithful to God. What is wrong in that? If one is a devotee of God, someone cannot argue against that. Just as gold is gold in anyone's hand. If a Hindu holds gold it is not Hindu gold, or Muslim gold. Gold is gold. We are preaching God consciousness. Love for God is equally applicable for all sects. Why should there be opposition?
And because we are scientifically presenting love of God, we have 84 books published - this is unique in the world. No one can speak so scientifically in so many books. We have thorough, perfect knowledge while others have only a vague idea or only sentiment. Therefore others should not oppose us but should cooperate and learn about God from us. In this way make a positive presentation in the media and go on with your regular preaching program, chanting, distributing prasadam and distributing books.
Ref. VedaBase => Letter to: Sivaram, 13 February, 1977^ Show less
July 23, 2013
Prabhupada: There are many animals, vegetarian. So there is no perfection of life unless we come to the point of Krsna consciousness. Simply by becoming vegetarian, simply by becoming nonviolent, simply by... These are all theories only. It has no value.
Pusta Krsna: The argument is sometimes put forward that not everyone will be able to embrace Krsna consciousness fully. Therefore it may be better for them to accept some portion, like, for example, taking up vegetarianism or even doing hatha-yoga, or something like this is better than nothing.
Prabhupada: No, that is not very essential. Essential is how to think of Krsna. Krsna says, man-mana bhava mad-bhaktah. He doesn't say that you become vegetarian.
Dr. Patel: That said, tad-artham karma kaunteya mukta-sangah samacara: "You must do everything for Him, even eating."
Dr. Patel: That is vegetarianism.
Prabhupada: Then, then you are... Then automatically he'll become vegetarian. Automatically he'll become vegetarian. If he takes Krsna prasadam, then he is vegetarian automatically.
Pusta Krsna: So it may seem like these other things are stepping-stones to Krsna, but is it necessarily so?
Prabhupada: No stepping-stone. This is the ultimate, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65], these four things. Unless you come to this point, there is no question of perfection.
Ref. VedaBase => Morning Walk -- Bombay, April 15, 1976^ Show less
July 22, 2013
We are not concerned with the stories of Srimad Bhagwatam. The book which you have sent is quite nice in abridging the stories of Bhagwatam, but there is no profit simply by knowing these stories. We must know the philosophy of Srimad Bhagwatam, and if one can understand the first verse of the Srimad Bhagwatam janmadyasa he becomes a great learned man in Vedic knowledge. All the great Acharyas have tried to elucidate Bhagwatam very elaborately; they never tried to abridge it; so we are trying to explain Srimad Bhagwatam elaborately, and students interested in Bhagwatam may purchase our books and try to understand it without any attempt to try and know the stories.
Ref. VedaBase => Letter to: Hayagriva, 25 June, 1967^ Show less
July 21, 2013
For spiritual achievement the easiest path is to take shelter of a bona fide spiritual master and to serve him with heart and soul. That is the secret of success.
Ref. VedaBase => SB 3.23.7^ Show less
July 20, 2013
As for your idea that your preaching will be more appreciated in the west if you are a professional or professor, we are already being appreciated by the professors. We don't want more. That is not our achievement. Real achievement is how we are advanced in Krsna Consciousness. That does not depend on degrees. As stated in the Bhagavatam, ahaituki apratihata, devotional service has to be executed without any condition, and there is no impediment. One doesn't become a great devotee on account of university degrees.
Letter to: Pusta Krsna,
19 February, 1977
March 13, 2013
Prabhupada: Dogs, hogs, camels and asses; the majority are like these animals, and if their vote is many, then you are a big dog, samstutah purusah pasuh [SB 2.3.19]. Therefore their election is another big animal, president. Election by these cats, dogs, hogs, camels means another big animal. So what we can expect from the animal? [chants japa] Vivekananda was telling, in religion everyone has his own opinion: yato mat tato patha. Was it not?
Svarupa Damodara: Swami Vivekananda?
Devotee: "As many paths, as many ways."
Prabhupada: Yes. As many paths [indistinct]. But Krsna does not say that. Krsna says, mam ekam: "Only surrender unto Me." He never says. But he became more than Krsna, this rascal Vivekananda. That is the difficulty. India is spoiled with this Vivekananda especially. This man spoiled the whole Indian culture.
September 16, 1972, Los Angeles^ Show less