Sanga

Varnasrama society or animal society

According to Vedic principles, there must be divisions of human society (catur-varnyam maya srstam [Bg. 4.13]). There should be brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas and sudras, and everyone should learn to worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead (tam abhyarcya). This is real human society, and without this system we are left with animal society… Expand>

According to Vedic principles, there must be divisions of human society (catur-varnyam maya srstam [Bg. 4.13]). There should be brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas and sudras, and everyone should learn to worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead (tam abhyarcya). This is real human society, and without this system we are left with animal society.

Srila Prabhupada — SB 10.2.34 Purport

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Srila Prabhupada's life and soul

This book distribution is the most important task in our Society. Therefore I am giving so much stress and I am working so hard on this. Because this is my life and soul according to the order of my Guru Maharaja. And by his grace it is to some extent successful. And I took it seriously. I take it seriously still now. That is my life and soul… Expand>

This book distribution is the most important task in our Society. Therefore I am giving so much stress and I am working so hard on this. Because this is my life and soul according to the order of my Guru Maharaja. And by his grace it is to some extent successful. And I took it seriously. I take it seriously still now. That is my life and soul.

Srila Prabhupada, 31 Dec 1976.

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Grhastha life is a concession for sex life

Grhastha life is a concession for sex life. Otherwise, there is no need of grhastha life. But everything can be used to make the best use of a bad bargain. That is another thing. Actually, to become free from all responsibility and anxieties, if one remains a brahmacari, that is very good. That is the recommendation of sastra. But if you cannot... Because the material… Expand>

Grhastha life is a concession for sex life. Otherwise, there is no need of grhastha life. But everything can be used to make the best use of a bad bargain. That is another thing. Actually, to become free from all responsibility and anxieties, if one remains a brahmacari, that is very good. That is the recommendation of sastra. But if you cannot... Because the material world is going on under sex impulse. By nature the sex impulse is there. He will agitate you. But if you can control by becoming a rigid brahmacari, that is better. But it is difficult. Therefore this concession is given. But what is this concession? The concession is sex life. That's all. Yan maithunadi-grhamedhi sukham hi tuccham kanduyanena karayor iva duhkha-duhkham. It is an itching sensation. And after satisfying the itching sensation, there are so many responsibilities and troubles. But trpyanti neha krpanah. Those who are krpanah, does not know how to utilize this life.

Srila Prabhupada — March 30, 1975, Mayapur

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Detachment: seeing things as they are

Detachment from matter and attachment to Krsna are one and the same. One who can see this sees things as they are. From Srila Prabhupada's purport to Bg 5.5… Expand>

Detachment from matter and attachment to Krsna are one and the same. One who can see this sees things as they are.

From Srila Prabhupada's purport to Bg 5.5

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Kirtana: satisfying the Lord, not artistry, should be the concern

Krishna Kirtana is not for earning livelihood. Krishna Kirtana is not meant for entertaining the public for demonstration of arts. It is dynamic service to the Lord. We do not therefore mind so much about the artistic presentation of Krishna Kirtana but we want to see how much a devotee is satisfying the Supreme Will… Expand>

Krishna Kirtana is not for earning livelihood. Krishna Kirtana is not meant for entertaining the public for demonstration of arts. It is dynamic service to the Lord. We do not therefore mind so much about the artistic presentation of Krishna Kirtana but we want to see how much a devotee is satisfying the Supreme Will.

(Srila Prabhupada, letter to Jadurani, December 12, 1967)

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The value of sadhu-darshan

sadhunam sama-cittanam sutaram mat-krtatmanam darsanan no bhaved bandhah pumso 'ksnoh savitur yatha When one is face to face with the sun, there is no longer darkness for one's eyes. Similarly, when one is face to face with a sadhu, a devotee, who is fully determined and surrendered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one will no longer be subject to material… Expand>

sadhunam sama-cittanam
sutaram mat-krtatmanam
darsanan no bhaved bandhah
pumso 'ksnoh savitur yatha

When one is face to face with the sun, there is no longer darkness for one's eyes. Similarly, when one is face to face with a sadhu, a devotee, who is fully determined and surrendered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one will no longer be subject to material bondage.

(Srila Prabhupada's rendering of SB 10.10.41)

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Understand one line, advance hundred years

Prescribed course of study, these two, three books, that's all. Anyone can read Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam or Caitanya-caritamrta — you'll learn everything. You haven't got to learn so many huge volumes of books. Because Bhagavad-gita is such nice book, if you can understand one line, you advance hundred years. So meaningful and so solid. Therefore we have… Expand>

Prescribed course of study, these two, three books, that's all. Anyone can read Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam or Caitanya-caritamrta — you'll learn everything. You haven't got to learn so many huge volumes of books. Because Bhagavad-gita is such nice book, if you can understand one line, you advance hundred years. So meaningful and so solid. Therefore we have published this Bhagavad-gita As It Is. Let your people read it, let them question, and try to understand what is this movement.

Srila Prabhupada — December 30, 1968, Los Angeles

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Why there is so much chaos in the world today

In the sastra it is said, kalau sudra-sambhavah. In the Kali-yuga almost every person is a sudra. Therefore there is so much chaos. The government is managed by the sudras or less than sudras, mleccha. Mleccha-rajendra-rupinah. Mlecchas have taken the post of government. From Srila Prabhupada's lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.6 — Calcutta… Expand>

In the sastra it is said, kalau sudra-sambhavah. In the Kali-yuga almost every person is a sudra. Therefore there is so much chaos. The government is managed by the sudras or less than sudras, mleccha.

Mleccha-rajendra-rupinah. Mlecchas have taken the post of government.

From Srila Prabhupada's lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.6 — Calcutta, February 26, 1974

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Prabhupada tells a brahmin by birth that he is godless and a demon

Prabhupada: Now our, our preaching is, "Here is the controller." Now, you may take it or not take it. That is different thing. But we say, "Here is the controller." Krishna Tiwari: Only difference of opinion is this, that, uh, one... Oh, you say or I say, it doesn't matter. It's not reflected to you. Anybody who says that they know about God, they have actually no… Expand>

Prabhupada: Now our, our preaching is, "Here is the controller." Now, you may take it or not take it. That is different thing. But we say, "Here is the controller."

Krishna Tiwari: Only difference of opinion is this, that, uh, one... Oh, you say or I say, it doesn't matter. It's not reflected to you. Anybody who says that they know about God, they have actually no, no, no, no way to prove any way, one way or the other.

Prabhupada: No. We don't know by your process.

Krishna Tiwari: By any process.

Prabhupada: That is your process. Your process is, you are trying to ascend. But we are taking knowledge from directly God. That is the difference.

Krishna Tiwari: That's where my trouble is, and I...

Prabhupada: No, no, your trouble must be there.

Krishna Tiwari: Yes.

Prabhupada: Because you're godless.

Krishna Tiwari: Oh, no. Not true.

Prabhupada: Yes. That is your problem.

Krishna Tiwari: Not true. Not true.

Prabhupada: That is your trouble.

Krishna Tiwari: No, no... Okay, go on saying like that. Fine. [laughs]

Prabhupada: Yes, because you are godless in this sense: because you are born in India, born in a brahmana family, and you do not believe Krsna the Supreme Lord.

Krishna Tiwari: Oh. I do not believe, but uh, I do believe that God is, but I do not understand whether the... [indistinct] God or not. I don't know.

Prabhupada: You do not understand, that is your godlessness. That is your godlessness, because...

Krishna Tiwari: No, that's not my godlessness at all. [laughs]

Prabhupada: Yes...

Syamasundara: Please listen while he explains the process of how to know God.

Prabhupada: Brahmana means one who knows the Brahman. Brahma janati iti brahmana. So at least you are not a brahmana, because you do not know the Brahman.

Krishna Tiwari: I do not believe in classes anyway.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Krishna Tiwari: It's all right.

Prabhupada: Yes. So there, that is your defect. One has to become a brahmana. One has to. But you're deviated from brahmanism.

Krishna Tiwari: I'm glad I did. [laughs] I'm really happy I did. I can assure you, Swami.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Krishna Tiwari: If I meet God, I'll tell Him I'm glad I did. [laughs]

Prabhupada: That's all right. The demons always say like that. [devotees laugh]. The demons say always like that. That is the fashion of the demons.

Krishna Tiwari: No, it's not true. [laughing] You know, Swamiji, what I am telling you, it's not true, because I know I'm a brahmana's son.

Prabhupada: You are.

Krishna Tiwari: I know a lot about...

Prabhupada: You are.

Krishna Tiwari: A lot about reading Gita myself...

Prabhupada: You have become a demon.

Krishna Tiwari: Huh?

Prabhupada: From brahmana you have become a demon.

Krishna Tiwari: I have not become demon, and God knows it. I am much more better man, right now...

Prabhupada: Demons always know better than God.

Krishna Tiwari: Is that right? I don't know better than God. Oh, I never said that. What I'm saying is God knows I'm not a bad man. I'm not a demon. [laughs]

Prabhupada: Demon's position is always to challenge God, that "I know better than You."

(May 16, 1973, Los Angeles)

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Shameless women

In India, woman drinking or taking meat is a horrible crime. And what to speak of smoking? That is most shameless. Srila Prabhupada, in conversation with Yogi Amrit Desai of Kripalu Ashram, Pennsylvania, USA — January 2, 1977, Bombay… Expand>

In India, woman drinking or taking meat is a horrible crime. And what to speak of smoking? That is most shameless.

Srila Prabhupada, in conversation with Yogi Amrit Desai of Kripalu Ashram, Pennsylvania, USA — January 2, 1977, Bombay

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We are going to Krsna

We are confident what is God, what is His father's name, what is His name, what is His address — everything. No samsaya, no doubt! Everything complete. Asamsayam. We are confident that we are going to Krsna, back to home, back to Godhead. There is no doubt… Expand>

We are confident what is God, what is His father's name, what is His name, what is His address — everything. No samsaya, no doubt! Everything complete. Asamsayam. We are confident that we are going to Krsna, back to home, back to Godhead. There is no doubt.

From Srila Prabhupada's lecture on Bhagavad-gita 7.1 — March 9, 1975, London

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Big-time Indologists

This Bhagavad-gita is the science of Krsna consciousness. No one can become Krsna conscious simply by mundane scholarship. One must be fortunate enough to associate with a person who is in pure consciousness. A Krsna conscious person has realized knowledge, by the grace of Krsna, because he is satisfied with pure devotional service. By realized knowledge, one becomes… Expand>

This Bhagavad-gita is the science of Krsna consciousness. No one can become Krsna conscious simply by mundane scholarship. One must be fortunate enough to associate with a person who is in pure consciousness. A Krsna conscious person has realized knowledge, by the grace of Krsna, because he is satisfied with pure devotional service. By realized knowledge, one becomes perfect. By transcendental knowledge one can remain steady in his convictions, but by mere academic knowledge one can be easily deluded and confused by apparent contradictions. It is the realized soul who is actually self-controlled, because he is surrendered to Krsna. He is transcendental because he has nothing to do with mundane scholarship. For him mundane scholarship and mental speculation, which may be as good as gold to others, are of no greater value than pebbles or stones.

(From Srila Prabhupada's purport to Bg 6.8)

 

The following is from ISKCON in the 1970s, by SDG

The friendly scholars of Hinduism also invited me for an informal gathering at their hotel room one night. I brought pots of sabji, capatis and nectar drink from the St. Louis temple and acted as a humble servant of the scholars to give them krsna-prasadam. They sat around in a bedroom, speaking either academically about Hinduism, or talking in a most frivolous mood of prajalpa. They were, of course, drinking liquor and smoking cigarettes. One of the professors told a long story about how he and his friend, who were high on marijuana in India, imagined a small puddle to be a big river. Everyone listened and laughed hilariously. One eminent professor held forth his opinion that Ramanuja was actually an impersonalist and that Vaisnavism had, in a high, sophisticated sense, the same conclusions as Sankara. I had to wince upon hearing this, but I just did not feel it was my place to strongly preach at this gathering when they were all sitting around in such a relaxed, casual mood.

One of the professors, Thomas Hopkins, was the friendliest toward me, and he was certainly the biggest eater of prasadam, taking seconds and thirds. Another young professor, a Harvard graduate, asked the group whether they thought that any yoga or spiritual discipline was necessary in order to be learned in Hinduism. His remark was mostly replied to with jokes of various sorts. On the one hand, it was a thrilling occasion for me to be in the same room with many of the big-time Indologists in America, but by Krsna's mercy, their frivolousness made a deep impression on me. Since then it has been very hard to take them seriously.

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We are the Mayavadis

When Srila Prabhupada first began lecturing in New York in 1966, he would often attack the Mayavadi impersonalists in his talks, and not understanding this I joked with friend: "Mayavadi? When was the last time you saw a Mayavadi?" None of us could understand who Srila Prabhupada was talking about; we all thought that the Mayavadis were a little group of philosophers… Expand>

When Srila Prabhupada first began lecturing in New York in 1966, he would often attack the Mayavadi impersonalists in his talks, and not understanding this I joked with friend: "Mayavadi? When was the last time you saw a Mayavadi?" None of us could understand who Srila Prabhupada was talking about; we all thought that the Mayavadis were a little group of philosophers in India against whom Srila Prabhupada was waging theologic battle. But actually we were all Mayavadis.

(Hayagriva Dasa, in BTG #38, 1970)

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Vedic system of instruction

Especially instruction are given to men. All literatures, all Vedic literatures, they are especially meant for instruction to the men. Woman is to follow the husband, that's all. The husband will give instruction to the wife. There is no such thing as the girl should go to school to take brahmacari-asrama or go to spiritual master to take instruction. That is not… Expand>

Especially instruction are given to men. All literatures, all Vedic literatures, they are especially meant for instruction to the men. Woman is to follow the husband, that's all. The husband will give instruction to the wife. There is no such thing as the girl should go to school to take brahmacari-asrama or go to spiritual master to take instruction. That is not Vedic system.

Vedic system is a man is fully instructed, and woman, girl, must be married to a man. Even the man may have many wives, polygamy, still, every woman should be married. And she would get instruction from the husband. This is Vedic system. Woman is not allowed to go to school, college or to the spiritual master. But husband and wife, they can be initiated. That is Vedic system.

From Srila Prabhupada's lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.13 — September 18, 1972, Los Angeles

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Motorcars means slaughterhouses

You have seen the picture, Krsna, Vrndavana picture, Krsna's father transferring Krsna — they were going on bullock carts, no motorcar. You have seen the picture. So formerly, transport was bullock carts. The cows and the bulls, the bulls were employed for agricultural purpose, for drawing the carts. So there was no necessity of motorcar. Now you have got motorcar… Expand>

You have seen the picture, Krsna, Vrndavana picture, Krsna's father transferring Krsna — they were going on bullock carts, no motorcar. You have seen the picture. So formerly, transport was bullock carts. The cows and the bulls, the bulls were employed for agricultural purpose, for drawing the carts. So there was no necessity of motorcar. Now you have got motorcar, motor-tractor, you don't want the bullocks; therefore kill them. How you can utilize them? Therefore you must have slaughterhouse to kill them. And as soon as you kill them, then you have to eat them.

From Srila Prabhupada's lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.5.22–32 — May 27, 1972, Los Angeles

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If you are serious about increasing your attachment for Krsna...

Those who are actually engaged in Krsna consciousness, in devotional service, associate with them. Don't think that at home you will be perfect. That is not possible. At home there is no such facilities. Here you will get the facilities. Here the devotees, they are actually following the instruction of mad-asrayah, one who has taken the shelter. They are rising early… Expand>

Those who are actually engaged in Krsna consciousness, in devotional service, associate with them. Don't think that at home you will be perfect. That is not possible. At home there is no such facilities. Here you will get the facilities. Here the devotees, they are actually following the instruction of mad-asrayah, one who has taken the shelter. They are rising early in the morning. And at home you will think, "Oh, what is early in the morning?" [laughter] "Let me enjoy sleep."

So there is no such facilities at home. Therefore this institution is started. If you are serious about Krsna consciousness, if you are serious about increasing your attachment for Krsna, then you should come and live with the devotees.

From Srila Prabhupada's lecture on Bhagavad-gita 7.1 — March 9, 1975, London

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Chanting Hare Krsna, distributing free food, and so on

In the list of the ten kinds of offenses in chanting the holy name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hare Krsna, the eighth offense is dharma-vrata-tyaga-hutadi-sarva-subha-kriya-samyam api pramadah. One should never consider the chanting of the holy name of Godhead equal to pious activities like giving charity to brahmanas or saintly persons, opening charitable… Expand>

In the list of the ten kinds of offenses in chanting the holy name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hare Krsna, the eighth offense is dharma-vrata-tyaga-hutadi-sarva-subha-kriya-samyam api pramadah. One should never consider the chanting of the holy name of Godhead equal to pious activities like giving charity to brahmanas or saintly persons, opening charitable educational institutions, distributing free food and so on. The results of pious activities do not equal the results of chanting the holy name of Krsna.

From Srila Prabhupada's purport to Cc Adi 3.79

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Brave Prabhupada

Brahmananda: ...Calcutta, on the Maidan, there's that big building, that big memorial. Is that... Prabhupada: Oh, Victoria Memorial. Brahmananda: That was built for the king when he was coming? Prabhupada: No, that was built in memory of Victoria. It was done imitating the Taj Mahal. It took twenty years. Sir Rajendra Nath Mukherjee of Martin Company, he took the… Expand>

Brahmananda: ...Calcutta, on the Maidan, there's that big building, that big memorial. Is that...

Prabhupada: Oh, Victoria Memorial.

Brahmananda: That was built for the king when he was coming?

Prabhupada: No, that was built in memory of Victoria. It was done imitating the Taj Mahal. It took twenty years. Sir Rajendra Nath Mukherjee of Martin Company, he took the contract. And after finishing, he got this title "Sir." And when it was being constructed, I went to the top by crossing the scaffolding.

Brahmananda: So you must have been very brave.

Prabhupada: Yes, I am still brave. [laughter] Otherwise how could I come alone to preach Krsna consciousness? I am still brave.

Devotees: Jaya, Srila Prabhupada!

Prabhupada: Some astrologer told that "This boy, for executing his purpose, he will enter into the fire." Yes. [break] ...recently, in our Bombay affair, it was fight with the fire. Is it not?

Brahmananda: Yes. Oh, yes.

Prabhupada: And we have come out victorious.

Brahmananda: Yes. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Morning Walk — March 11, 1975, London

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Give up sin means fifty percent purified

The four pillars of sinful life are these: illicit sex, meat-eating and intoxication and gambling. If we stop these voluntarily, this is called austerity, austerity, tapasya. Austerity means voluntarily accept some painful condition. So those who are habituated to all these things, namely illicit sex, meat-eating, intoxication and gambling, to give up these habits, it… Expand>

The four pillars of sinful life are these: illicit sex, meat-eating and intoxication and gambling. If we stop these voluntarily, this is called austerity, austerity, tapasya. Austerity means voluntarily accept some painful condition.

So those who are habituated to all these things, namely illicit sex, meat-eating, intoxication and gambling, to give up these habits, it may become little painful at the... in the beginning. But if you practice and pray to Krsna that He will help, it is not difficult to give up these habits. And as soon as you give up this waiting process, the sinful life, then immediately you become fifty percent purified to approach God. Then, by chanting Hare Krsna mantra, you make further, further, more and more progress. And when you are completely free of all sinful reaction, then you understand God and you love him. In the contaminated stage you are trying to love so many things, but you are frustrated. So if you can love God, then you will never be frustrated, and your loving desires will be fulfilled. That is Krsna consciousness movement. We are teaching all our students how to love God.

From Srila Prabhupada's lecture on initiation — February 22, 1975, Caracas

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India's leaders are killing the original culture

The time is very bad at the present moment everywhere, especially in India. Of course, India's original culture is all right. But unfortunately, our modern leaders, they are killing the original culture. They want to introduce Western culture. Now it is openly there are beef shop, wine shop. So what can be done? It is Kali-yuga. Everything is possible. But those who… Expand>

The time is very bad at the present moment everywhere, especially in India. Of course, India's original culture is all right. But unfortunately, our modern leaders, they are killing the original culture. They want to introduce Western culture. Now it is openly there are beef shop, wine shop. So what can be done? It is Kali-yuga. Everything is possible. But those who are intelligent — krsna yei bhaje sei bada-catura — they should take to this Krsna consciousness movement and be successful of this human form of life.

Srila Prabhupada, Lecture — March 20, 1975, Calcutta

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Dr. Radhakrishnan, first president of India, died 17 April 1975

Prabhupada: What is that great rascal says that Krsna... Devotee: "Krsna is the chief of the tribe that lived in Central India." Prabhupada: Just see, and he's passing on as a great scholar, such a rascal. Devotee: He had 10,000, ah, subjects. [laughter] Prabhupada: All the acaryas — Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya, Visnu Svami, Lord Caitanya — all of them become… Expand>

Prabhupada: What is that great rascal says that Krsna...

Devotee: "Krsna is the chief of the tribe that lived in Central India."

Prabhupada: Just see, and he's passing on as a great scholar, such a rascal.

Devotee: He had 10,000, ah, subjects. [laughter]

Prabhupada: All the acaryas — Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya, Visnu Svami, Lord Caitanya — all of them become nullified, and this rascal comes forward to defy all the acaryas and push some new theory. Just see. This is going on. [Sanskrit] In the Varaha Purana it is stated that some of the raksasas, they will take advantage of Kali-yuga and take birth in brahmana families, so he is one of them, this raksasa. And now he is suffering for that. Greatest calamity, you see? And according to Vedic injunction, the king, if he levies tax from the subjects who are sinful, then he has to partake of the sinful action and he'll have to suffer.

So, this rascal became the president of India. It is the position of king, and on the [indistinct] of him he supported the slaughterhouses and levied taxes, and he took high salary, enjoyed it. Now he is suffering the effect, sinful effect. Now in his living condition he has lost his brain. He, practically dead, but living condition, it is very precarious condition. One is living actually, but his brain is not acting. Worse than a madman. So this is the result of the raksasa statement.

Conversation — June 21, 1972, Los Angeles

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Varnasrama-dharma is essential for human civilization

In a perfect human civilization there must be a class of men fully trained as perfect brahmanas. Similarly, there must be ksatriyas to rule the country very nicely according to the injunctions of the sastras, and there must be vaisyas who can protect the cows. The word gavah indicates that cows should be given protection. Because the Vedic civilization is lost, cows… Expand>

In a perfect human civilization there must be a class of men fully trained as perfect brahmanas. Similarly, there must be ksatriyas to rule the country very nicely according to the injunctions of the sastras, and there must be vaisyas who can protect the cows. The word gavah indicates that cows should be given protection. Because the Vedic civilization is lost, cows are not protected, but instead indiscriminately killed in slaughterhouses. Such are the acts of demons. Therefore this is a demoniac civilization. The varnasrama-dharma mentioned here is essential for human civilization. Unless there is a brahmana to guide, a ksatriya to rule perfectly, and a perfect vaisya to produce food and protect the cows, how will people live peacefully? It is impossible.

From Srila Prabhupada's purport to SB 7.2.12

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Chastise the sons and disciples just like tiger

When child is sixteen years old he can do as he likes, not before that. lalayet panca varsani dasa varsani tadayet prapte tu sodase varse putram mitravad acaret This is the moral instruction of Canakya Pandita. Up to five years, don't chastise, don't take any action. Let him be free. Whatever he likes, he can do. Then after fifth year, for ten years you must be very… Expand>

When child is sixteen years old he can do as he likes, not before that.

lalayet panca varsani
dasa varsani tadayet
prapte tu sodase varse
putram mitravad acaret

This is the moral instruction of Canakya Pandita. Up to five years, don't chastise, don't take any action. Let him be free. Whatever he likes, he can do. Then after fifth year, for ten years you must be very strict. Then five years and ten years, fifteen. And when he is sixteen years, treat him like a friend. Prapte tu sodase varse putram mitravad acaret. At that time, no stricture that he will break. "My dear boy, if you do this..." This is necessary. And from fifth year to fifteenth year you should chastise the sons and disciples just like tiger. After five years.

Srila Prabhupada, April 5, 1977, Bombay

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Dissatisfied parents and businessmen

The Krsna consciousness movement is teaching this higher knowledge of retiring from materialistic life to return to Godhead, but unfortunately many parents are not very satisfied with this movement. Aside from the parents of our students, many businessmen are also dissatisfied because we teach our students to abandon intoxication, meat-eating, illicit sex and… Expand>

The Krsna consciousness movement is teaching this higher knowledge of retiring from materialistic life to return to Godhead, but unfortunately many parents are not very satisfied with this movement. Aside from the parents of our students, many businessmen are also dissatisfied because we teach our students to abandon intoxication, meat-eating, illicit sex and gambling. If the Krsna consciousness movement spreads, the so-called businessmen will have to close their slaughterhouses, breweries and cigarette factories. Therefore they are also very much afraid. However, we have no alternative than to teach our disciples to free themselves from materialistic life. We must instruct them in the opposite of material life to save them from the repetition of birth and death.

From Srila Prabhupada's purport to SB 6.5.20

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Not preaching in Srila Prabhupada's style

Gurukrpa: That is what I think this disease is with the Siddha's group. They are looking for followers, and they do not preach in your style because they would not attract people. They are after followers, and they do not speak strongly, for then people would go away. That is their idea. They have created their own way to spread Krsna consciousness… Expand>

Gurukrpa: That is what I think this disease is with the Siddha's group. They are looking for followers, and they do not preach in your style because they would not attract people. They are after followers, and they do not speak strongly, for then people would go away. That is their idea. They have created their own way to spread Krsna consciousness.

Prabhupada: Yes, that idea is there. They are thinking of their own way. That is bad. We have got so much..., so many literatures. They are printing their own literature and... That is disturbing, yes. What he'll prepare? He's not a liberated person. He's thinking, somebody said, that "I'll give my interpretation on Bhagavata." If these things are going, they are... It is against our principles.

Gurukrpa: You know how to spread Krsna consciousness; therefore I follow. I don't even know what Krsna is. I'm just trying to follow. Therefore that will be successful.

Prabhupada: That is my preaching. What Krsna said, you say as it is. Don't change. How you can give interpretation? And if he thinks that he can give another interpretation, what is this nonsense? Then he's not following guru or Krsna, both. Guru-krsna-krpaya [Cc. Madhya 19.151]. One has to receive the mercy of guru and Krsna. Through guru, Krsna's mercy.

Morning Walk — April 21, 1976, Melbourne

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Srila Prabhupada wanted kirtana as an act of devotion

Laksmi Nrsimha: Gurupuja was about to begin and I had positioned myself half way between the singer and Srila Prabhupada. Prabhupada’s vyasasana was to my left and the microphone was twenty feet in front of Srila Prabhupada’s direct sight. I won’t say the name of the devotee, who was leading the kirtan for posterity sake, but they had a reputation for having a kind of… Expand>

Laksmi Nrsimha: Gurupuja was about to begin and I had positioned myself half way between the singer and Srila Prabhupada. Prabhupada’s vyasasana was to my left and the microphone was twenty feet in front of Srila Prabhupada’s direct sight. I won’t say the name of the devotee, who was leading the kirtan for posterity sake, but they had a reputation for having a kind of orchestrated kirtan approach and they were proud of their kirtan. The singer, who did have a good voice and was a good performer from that perspective, stepped up to the microphone as Srila Prabhupada sat on the vyasasana in a very meditative mood. The devotee began to sing very melodically, “Sri guru carana padma.” (sings melodically)

He was totally into it and all the kartal players and mridanga players were also totally into it. Srila Prabhupada was sitting there and his eyes opened up and he said, “Stop the kirtan.” Everybody froze. The kartal players froze. The singer froze. Literally his mouth was open. I was at such a great vantage point as I was not far from him and not far from Prabhupada. It was just like, “Stop the film right there on that frame”. Just for a moment it seemed like an eternity and I’m sure that was the case in the mind of the singer. Prabhupada then said to Nitai Chand Goswami who was standing right in front of me, “Nitai Chand, you lead kirtan.” Nitai Chand said, “Okay, Srila Prabhupada”. Someone handed him the mridanga and he started to lead the kirtan.

What I took away from that experience, as that visual is permanently in my heart, because I like to lead kirtan, was that Srila Prabhupada first of all was very particular about our mood in leading kirtan. I could see that Prabhupada did not like any trace of pride or any kind of orchestration or seeing it as a musical performance. He wanted it as an act of devotion.

From Srila Prabhupada Remembrances ch. 51

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Srila Prabhupada approvingly witnessed a widow commit sati

It is the long-standing tradition of the Vedic system that a faithful wife dies along with her husband. This is called saha-marana. In India this system was prevalent even to the date of British occupation. At that time, however, a wife who did not wish to die with her husband was sometimes forced to do so by her relatives. Formerly that was not the case. The wife… Expand>

It is the long-standing tradition of the Vedic system that a faithful wife dies along with her husband. This is called saha-marana. In India this system was prevalent even to the date of British occupation. At that time, however, a wife who did not wish to die with her husband was sometimes forced to do so by her relatives. Formerly that was not the case. The wife used to enter the fire voluntarily. The British government stopped this practice, considering it inhuman. However, from the early history of India we find that when Maharaja Pandu died, he was survived by two wives — Madri and Kunti. The question was whether both should die or one should die. After the death of Maharaja Pandu, his wives settled that one should remain and the other should go. Madri would perish with her husband in the fire, and Kunti would remain to take charge of the five Pandava children. Even as late as 1936 we saw a devoted wife voluntarily enter the fire of her husband.

Srila Prabhupada's purport to SB 4.28.50

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Cow protection is revolutionary to the modern age

"Cows should be protected." That is Krsna's order. They have decided to kill the cow. They have decided, "No brain. Eat." And our prayer is go-brahmana-hitaya ca, "to do good to the brahmanas and the cows." Actually it is revolutionary to the modern age… Expand>

"Cows should be protected." That is Krsna's order. They have decided to kill the cow. They have decided, "No brain. Eat." And our prayer is go-brahmana-hitaya ca, "to do good to the brahmanas and the cows." Actually it is revolutionary to the modern age.

Srila Prabhupada, Morning Walk – April 21, 1976, Melbourne

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Srila Prabhupada's awareness of the importance of agrarian culture

Varsana Swami: Prabhupada went for a morning walk in Talavan [New Vrindavana]. Prabhupada came out in this open field, and as soon as he stepped out of the woods and onto the field he stopped and looked at the devotees. He had a serious concern in his countenance and he asked, “Why are these fields fallow and why aren’t there any men working these fields and where is… Expand>

Varsana Swami: Prabhupada went for a morning walk in Talavan [New Vrindavana]. Prabhupada came out in this open field, and as soon as he stepped out of the woods and onto the field he stopped and looked at the devotees. He had a serious concern in his countenance and he asked, “Why are these fields fallow and why aren’t there any men working these fields and where is the oxen?” And that really impressed me. I was the only one farming at that time. I didn’t say anything, but it really touched me that Prabhupada was attentive to what was being done in the agricultural realm.

He had an awareness of the importance of an agrarian culture, not just for the sake of having your own food if and when the economy fails and all that, but for the sake of, as he explains, living off nature’s gifts as a matter of relationships where everything and everyone is assisting everyone and everything else in serving Krishna. And that kind of spirit fosters an appreciation for everyone and everything, which also fosters more appreciation of the designer of this whole perfect arrangement. And also seeing food as more than food and water as more than water, but sacraments.

I had been doing farm work and conservation work all my life, and I had seen the plight of the American farmer from 1950 on. I saw the introduction of tractors and how they displaced the draft animals, from which came overproduction of food, from which came government paying the farmers more for not growing than they get for the crops, from the farms all going under, being bought up by the big exploitive farmers. I saw this whole syndrome.

And then I saw by this concern, and it wasn’t just a question, you could see on his face a serious concern that this would befall the devotees in New Vrindavan because he was aware of this whole tendency and syndrome. His terminology, like defining the tractor as the killer of the bull. If you’re not seeing yourself as dependent on the land and dependent on the oxen, then you’re not going to have the proper appreciation, you’re not going to have cow protection on the level of what he defined as the cows are jolly. They’re not jolly unless they’re contributing to society. So seeing these things that Prabhupada would pick up on gave me such an appreciation of the depth of his wisdom and the integrity of his understanding of all aspects of spiritual life.

From Following Srila Prabhupada DVD #07

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Come and live with the devotees

Those who are actually engaged in Krsna consciousness, in devotional service, associate with them. Don't think that at home you will be perfect. That is not possible. At home there is no such facilities. Here you will get the facilities. Here the devotees, they are actually following the instruction of mad-asrayah, one who has taken the shelter. They are rising early… Expand>

Those who are actually engaged in Krsna consciousness, in devotional service, associate with them. Don't think that at home you will be perfect. That is not possible. At home there is no such facilities. Here you will get the facilities. Here the devotees, they are actually following the instruction of mad-asrayah, one who has taken the shelter. They are rising early in the morning. And at home you will think, "Oh, what is early in the morning?" [laughter] "Let me enjoy sleep."

So there is no such facilities at home. Therefore this institution is started. If you are serious about Krsna consciousness, if you are serious about increasing your attachment for Krsna, then you should come and live with the devotees.

From Srila Prabhupada's lecture on Bhagavad-gita 7.1 — March 9, 1975, London

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Social acts of the Hare Krsna movement

Indian man: Is there are social act which this Hare Krsna movement has taken? Prabhupada: So what is the best social activity? Our is the best social... Mr. Reddy: Serving the poor and the needy. Prabhupada: Everyone is poor. Who is rich? First of all find out: who is rich? Mr. Reddy: Rich in the sense, luxurious living. Prabhupada: He is not living very luxuriously… Expand>

Indian man: Is there are social act which this Hare Krsna movement has taken?

Prabhupada: So what is the best social activity? Our is the best social...

Mr. Reddy: Serving the poor and the needy.

Prabhupada: Everyone is poor. Who is rich? First of all find out: who is rich?

Mr. Reddy: Rich in the sense, luxurious living.

Prabhupada: He is not living very luxuriously, that he has no disease, he does not become old. Does not become?

Mr. Reddy: No.

Prabhupada: Then? Then where is richness?

Mr. Reddy: Somebody questioned me yesterday. "There are so many things. Doing any social activities?"

Prabhupada: No, these things are being done by so many others, people; we are doing something which is ultimate. There the hospital gives some medicine when there is some disease, but that does not mean there will be no disease. Can they guarantee that "I give you this medicine — no more disease"? We are giving that medicine, that no more disease. That is the best social work. Tyaktva deham punar janma naiti [Bg. 4.9]. We are giving this medicine, that after leaving this body... So far this body is concerned, somehow or other you pass on. And as soon as you give up this body — tyaktva deham punar janma naiti — you'll have no more birth. And if you have no more birth, there will be no more death. And if you have no more birth, then there will be no more disease. This is our prescription. Tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti [Bg. 4.9]. Not that he is finished. He goes back to home, back to Godhead. This is our program.

January 6, 1976, Nellore

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For Ramanavami

Due to His causeless mercy upon all living entities within the universe, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, along with His plenary extensions, appeared in the family of Maharaja Iksvaku as the Lord of His internal potency, Sita. Under the order of His father, Maharaja Dasaratha, He entered the forest and lived there for considerable years with His wife and younger… Expand>

Due to His causeless mercy upon all living entities within the universe, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, along with His plenary extensions, appeared in the family of Maharaja Iksvaku as the Lord of His internal potency, Sita. Under the order of His father, Maharaja Dasaratha, He entered the forest and lived there for considerable years with His wife and younger brother. Ravana, who was very materially powerful, with ten heads on his shoulders, committed a great offense against Him and was thus ultimately vanquished.

SB 2.7.23 text

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Ramayana and Rama-carita-manasa

Ramayana... This Tulasi, actually it is not Ramayana. It is called Rama-carita-manasa. Ramayana means Valmiki Ramayana, but people have taken it as Ramayana. Actually, Tulasi dasa has expressed his own feelings about his devotion to Lord Rama, and therefore he has named it Rama-carita-manasa, his mind full with service attitude for Lord Rama. That is the real meaning… Expand>

Ramayana... This Tulasi, actually it is not Ramayana. It is called Rama-carita-manasa. Ramayana means Valmiki Ramayana, but people have taken it as Ramayana. Actually, Tulasi dasa has expressed his own feelings about his devotion to Lord Rama, and therefore he has named it Rama-carita-manasa, his mind full with service attitude for Lord Rama. That is the real meaning of this book. But people have misinterpreted; they are going on just it is Ramayana. And Ramayana, of course, anywhere where Rama's activities are described, that is called Ramayana. That is another sense. But real Ramayana means the Ramayana composed by Valmiki Ramayana. Ramayana composed by Maharsi Valmiki. And this is... It is a popular notion that this is Ramayana, but actually this book is called Rama-carita-manasa. So some of the description of Rama are there, but not all the description. Rather there are many differences from the original Valmiki Ramayana. Anyway this is song of a devotee for his Lord Rama. In that sense, you can call it Ramayana, but this book is actually Rama-carita-manasa.

Srila Prabhupada; August 30, 1968

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Why highly qualified Ravana was nevertheless a raksasa

Ravana was very learned scholar, son of a brahmana, very good scholar, and economically developed, but only fault was avaisnava: he did not care for Rama. So he is designated as raksasa. From Srila Prabhupada's lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.26.27 — January 4, 1975, Bombay… Expand>

Ravana was very learned scholar, son of a brahmana, very good scholar, and economically developed, but only fault was avaisnava: he did not care for Rama. So he is designated as raksasa.

From Srila Prabhupada's lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.26.27 — January 4, 1975, Bombay

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Training for girls

You ask about marriage, yes, actually I want that every woman in the Society should be married. But what is this training to become wives and mothers? No school is required for that, simply association. And it is not necessary to say that women only can instruct the girls and men only can instruct the boys, not when they are so young. At 12 years, they may be… Expand>

You ask about marriage, yes, actually I want that every woman in the Society should be married. But what is this training to become wives and mothers? No school is required for that, simply association. And it is not necessary to say that women only can instruct the girls and men only can instruct the boys, not when they are so young. At 12 years, they may be initiated.

A woman's real business is to look after household affairs, keep everything neat and clean, and if there is sufficient milk supply available, she should always be engaged in churning butter, making yogurt, curd, so many nice varieties, simply from milk. The woman should be cleaning, sewing, like that. So if you simply practice these things yourselves and show examples, they will learn automatically, one doesn't have to give formal instruction in these matters.

From Srila Prabhupada's letter to Chaya — Calcutta 16 February, 1972

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Krsna maintains

The Supreme Lord, Krsna, He's maintaining everyone: yoga-ksemam vahamy aham [Bg. 9.22]. And He'll not maintain a person who has fully surrendered to Him? No. How it can be? Suppose a gentleman is maintaining so many others' children. And he does not maintain his own children? Surely he does. Therefore our principle should be we should not think about our personal… Expand>

The Supreme Lord, Krsna, He's maintaining everyone: yoga-ksemam vahamy aham [Bg. 9.22]. And He'll not maintain a person who has fully surrendered to Him? No. How it can be? Suppose a gentleman is maintaining so many others' children. And he does not maintain his own children? Surely he does. Therefore our principle should be we should not think about our personal maintenance. We should dedicate our life for Krsna, and Krsna will take care of it. That should be the principle. Don't be harassed, thinking always, "How I shall be maintained?" That is not the problem. Maintenance is not problem. Real problem is, "How we shall be fully surrendered to Krsna?" That is wanted. Upasannan. Upasannan means those who have surrendered. So if we are fully surrendered souls then there is no problem for our economic advancement. That is automatically it will be done. Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita,

yoga-ksemam vahamy aham...
tesam nityabhiyuktanam
yoga-ksemam vahamy aham
[Bg. 9.22]

He personally takes care, he's taking care of others also. Nobody is dying for want of food this is a misconception. Everyone is getting food according to his capacity. There are 8,400,000 species of life, out of that 8 million are lower grade life, fishes, plants, insects, trees. Jalaja nava-laksani sthavara laksa-vimsati (Padma Purana). Eight million, they have no business, they have no means of other income, by nature they are getting their all supplies. So why not the human being? Even the uncivilised human being they are living in the jungle. They have no business, they have no source of income but still they are getting food. Similarly, why the civilised man should be so much anxious for their maintenance? It is due to lack of Krsna consciousness therefore they are thinking how I shall remain. The maintenance is already there, simply you have to work it. You just till the ground, or the field and sow some seeds and naturally in due course of time one seed will give you thousands. So if you little work there is no question of scarcity of foodstuffs Krsna has given everything. So our main business should be, how to develop our dormant Krsna consciousness. That is our first business, tasyaiva hetoh prayateta kovido [SB 1.5.18]. Everyone should endeavour, we have lost our Krsna consciousness. Therefore we have got so many problems in life. If you revive your Krsna consciousness all problems will be solved.

From Srila Prabhupada's lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.2.5 — March 5, 1975, New York

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Put the quantity printed on the book

Radha-vallabha: That... We have one big framed stat showing the English. You have five or six books that have over one million copies in print. Tamala Krsna: This is very good, putting the quantity on the cover. It's very impressive. [devotees exclaiming among themselves about books] It's like McDonald's. They advertise... Prabhupada: This is the combination of… Expand>

Radha-vallabha: That... We have one big framed stat showing the English. You have five or six books that have over one million copies in print.

Tamala Krsna: This is very good, putting the quantity on the cover. It's very impressive. [devotees exclaiming among themselves about books] It's like McDonald's. They advertise...

Prabhupada: This is the combination of American money and Indian culture. This is the result. In every field of our activities, this will prove wonderful: American money and Indian culture. Andha-pangu-nyaya. Therefore Krsna sent me to America: "Go America." Generally people come to Western country means London. But I never thought of that. I thought, "I shall go to New York," from the very beginning.

Radha-vallabha: Isopanisad also. "Over one million copies in print" at the top.

February 24, 1977, Mayapur

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Prabhupada was not equal to women

From a talk by Tamal Krishna Goswami 8-24-2000, Hungary I will give you some instances to show you that Prabhupada was not equal to women. I was sitting with Prabhupada at 7 Bury Place, our first temple in London. He told me that if Jamuna Devi who was the wife of the temple president, had been a man, it would have been she that would have been the temple president.… Expand>

From a talk by Tamal Krishna Goswami 8-24-2000, Hungary

I will give you some instances to show you that Prabhupada was not equal to women. I was sitting with Prabhupada at 7 Bury Place, our first temple in London. He told me that if Jamuna Devi who was the wife of the temple president, had been a man, it would have been she that would have been the temple president. In other words, she was more qualified than her husband. But because she was a woman, he could not make her the temple president.

Later on, I was handed three slips of paper in which the names of different persons were listed when Prabhupada was preparing to form his first GBC. They finally found these three pieces of papers in the archives. They are in Prabhupada's own handwriting on backs of envelopes and on the first two he lists, on one of them he lists three women, on one he lists two women and in the third list that I got, he lists only eleven men. And when he formed the GBC, there were no women. Now he wouldn't allow women to be temple president, so how could he allow women to be GBC? I am just showing you how he was not equal.

Another way he was not equal is after a while, very rarely did women accompany him on a walk. Now the women claim that this is because of the sannyasis. I don't know which sannyasis they are talking about, but some of the sannyasis, they say, were really pushing the women away and not letting them have an equal right. There may be some truth to that but Prabhupada allowed it. Prabhupada was not so unaware of the fact that there were no women on the walk. He could have said, "Where is so and so, where is so and so?" and he did used to say, "Where is so and so, where is so and so?" but that so and so was always a sannyasi or a senior man. So I don't think that Prabhupada was equal to all.

Now I will show you how he was equal to all. Because when the movement was just beginning, he showed far more equality to the women, when there were no sannyasis in the movement. He had a woman secretary, Govinda Dasi. It is very interesting, how he got rid of her. Very interesting, because he did not want Govinda Dasi to realize that he wanted to change the secretary. So he dictated a letter to me and had me write the letter and post it separately to get a male secretary in but his first secretary was a woman secretary. He had ladies cooking for him. And the women used to come walking with him just as much as the men. Jamuna used to lead the kirtans. Jamuna and Himavati used to speak at public lectures.

But gradually as the movement became more established, he tried to establish what you may call Vedic culture and that is where he started to make these distinctions. In his mind he made no distinction. One time in 1977, Prabhupada asked me, "Where is," I think it was Upendra, perhaps. I said, "He is cooking in the kitchen." So Prabhupada said, "Who else is in the kitchen?" and I said, "Srutirupa, the wife of Abhirama." Prabhupada said, "Oh that is not very good, that they are in the same room together." He said, "I am above all of these things now. I am an old man but you are all young sannyasis, you must be very careful." So he did these things to protect the sannyasa asrama, and in general uphold Vedic etiquette.

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Every paisa for books

One time in winter Keshava Maharaja and Narayana Maharaja came to visit Srila Prabhupada at Radha Damodara. He had a severe cold but he would sleep on the cold floor on a thin grass mat. "Why dont you buy a bed?" they asked him. He replied, "I want to spend every paisa on books." Recalled during speeches, Srila Prabhupada disappearance festival, Vrndavan, 1983; noted… Expand>

One time in winter Keshava Maharaja and Narayana Maharaja came to visit Srila Prabhupada at Radha Damodara. He had a severe cold but he would sleep on the cold floor on a thin grass mat. "Why dont you buy a bed?" they asked him. He replied, "I want to spend every paisa on books."

Recalled during speeches, Srila Prabhupada disappearance festival, Vrndavan, 1983; noted at that time by Bhakti Vikasa Swami.

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Chanting "Mr. John"

Golokera prema-dhana, this hari-nama-sankirtana, chanting of Hare Krsna mantra, this sound vibration, it is not material. Suppose if I would have advised my disciples that "You chant 'Mr. John, Mr. John, Mr. John,' " this movement would not have spread. [laughter] How long one can chant this "Mr. John, Mr. John"? Therefore it is the proof, that all over the world we… Expand>

Golokera prema-dhana, this hari-nama-sankirtana, chanting of Hare Krsna mantra, this sound vibration, it is not material. Suppose if I would have advised my disciples that "You chant 'Mr. John, Mr. John, Mr. John,' " this movement would not have spread. [laughter] How long one can chant this "Mr. John, Mr. John"? Therefore it is the proof, that all over the world we have got about hundred centers. Everywhere, hundred, two hundred, three hundred disciples are there. They're chanting, dancing, with Hare Krsna mantra. Why? Because it is not material sound vibration. This is the proof. Don't think that Hare Krsna chanting and chanting the name of Mr. John is the same. No. This is the proof. You can go on chanting twenty-four hours, still you will not feel tired. This is the golokera... This is the proof, that this hari-nama-sankirtana, golokera prema-dhana, it is the property for loving. It is the thing which will lead you how to love God, prema-dhana. You will gradually develop your propensity to love Krsna.

From Srila Prabhupada's lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.15.27 — March 6, 1975, New York

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