Thursday, 29 September 2011

Higher Taste

This is a story about how Srila Pabhupad instructed his disciple about cocoa contained in chocolates and inspired that disciple to get higher taste.

Prabhupad took under his care a small orphan boy. Among other services, this boy was given one service of buying vegetables from the market for Srila Prabhupad’s kitchen.

One day (specifically in the summer of year 1973) the boy bought some chocolates (cadbury and 5 star) using the left over money, instead of returning the unused money. He put these chocolates in his bead bag to hide them and came back to the temple.

Upon seeing Prabhupad seated in the visitor room (this was around 4 in the afternoon), he quickly offered dandavat pranam, and a few chocolates slipped out of his bead bag and fell onto the floor.

Prabhupad waited for the boy to explain himself. Ashamed at being caught stealing money to buy chocolates, the boy quickly unwrapped one chocolate and offered it as a bribe to Prabhupad, expecting less scolding from him. Prabhupad took one bite and frowned. He said “What is this you have given me? Let us read the wrapper to see what it contains.”

Prabhupad loudly read out the ingredients at the back of the wrapper and remarked “This contains Cocoa!”; then he looked at the boy and said , “We don’t eat Cocoa. It has caffeine.” (we meaning Vaishnava)

Then seeing that the boy was feeling deprived Prabhupad asked “Why you feel like eating this chocolate? What do you like about it?”

“It is sweet, that is why I like it,” said the boy. Prabhupad asked the boy to accompany him to the kitchen. The boy washed the vegetables he had bought. Meanwhile, Prabhupad personally made suji halwa, and without even offering it to Krishna, he gave the boy a serving of the halwa. And what is the taste of a spoonful of pure love for Krishna? Probably none of us knows.

This boy is a Prabhupad disciple called Haridas. He is one of the oldest Prabhupad disciples at Radha-Rasabihari temple in Juhu. When he was telling me this story tears welled up in his eyes. He said, “That suji halwa was simply magical, how do I explain? Even though it was just made from milk, roasted suji in ghee, and sugar and little water, no one can make anything like that. I have never tasted anything like that in my whole life after that day. Prabhupad not only ignored my stealing the temple money, he corrected me by telling me that Vaishnavas don’t eat cocoa. Prabhupad is so perfect. He did not even chastise me. He simply gave me higher taste.”

This higher taste is actually what we all need. Given this we can give up all attraction for the different sense gratifying objects available in this material world.

Aim of Life

(Kadamba Kanana Swami, New Ekacakra, Slovakia, 2011)

We must look for purification, and try to bring more Krishna in our life! Still it is described that when Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur was chanting, that he was not doing it in a fanatic mood. He was not pushing himself, and he was chanting so many rounds. But it said that he was chanting quite slow. And that he was chanting in a almost musical way.

So in this way we see that when the ācāryas are chanting they are not thinking:
"When will I finish my rounds….when will this chanting be finished! I have to get seriously into it and then my chanting will be finished….just a little more and then my chanting will be finished".
This is the nature of the conditioned soul. What we see in great devotees like Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur, is that they were very happy to be chanting! So there was no rush!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Lively Q's and A's by Srila Prabhupada

Prabhupada spoke at length on the basis of Vedic authority.
After the lecture, the audience showed its
appreciation by enthusiastic applause. A lively question-and-answer period

A young, slightly-built Catholic priest in black vest and white collar stood
up. "The first question that I would like to ask Your Grace is: 'Are you
enjoying your stay in Melbourne?'"

"Yes," Prabhupada answered with a grin, "I enjoy everywhere."

There was more applause and laughter from the audience who seemed to be
hanging on every word. The priest attempted to begin a second question, but
Prabhupada had not finished answering the first one.

"I must explain why I enjoy everywhere. Because I think that every country
belongs to Krsna, and I am servant of Krsna, therefore every country is my

The priest continued. "I have two more questions, Your Grace, and then I'll
shoot through. Your Divine Grace, Dr. Radhakrishnan, in his writings, says
-- in his interpretation of the Brahma-sutra -- that 'God cannot be reduced
to a thought concept by a process of mantra'. This is my first question, and
my second question is"

Prabhupada cut him off. "Yes, but Radhakrishnan is a mundane scholar. He is
not a realised person. He does not know anything." The audience laughed and
applauded Prabhupada's boldness. "So this person is not authorised because
he is one of us, he has imperfect senses, cheating propensity, so how he can
give the right knowledge? He does not know anything about Krsna, but he is
writing his commentary on Bhagavad-gita. This is cheating. I am telling you
how it is. In the ninth chapter of his commentary, when Krsna says: 'man
mana bhava mad-bhakta,' he says that it is not to Krsna, but to the inner
soul which is within Krsna that we should surrender. So what can I say? He
is such a fool. He does not know Krsna, and he is trying to explain Krsna.
That is his defect. He does not know that Krsna is Absolute. There is no
difference between Krsna's body and Krsna's inside. But he's thinking Krsna
is an ordinary man. Avajananti mam mudha manusim tanum asritam.

"Because Krsna is coming as a human being, he's accepting Krsna as a human
being, but if Krsna was an ordinary human being, such uncommon things he
could not perform. There are so many wonderful things, it is not possible to
be performed by an ordinary man, so why you should quote Radhakrishnan?
There are so many acaryas, those who are stalwart, like Ramanuja,
Sankaracarya, they know such things. What does Radhakrishnan know? He does
not know."
The audience responded with more enthusiastic laughter.

The priest was not done. "Last question, Your Divine Grace. Are you going to
say anything while you are in Australia regarding the muffles that are being
put on your movement here and your activities around the city with the
council? I think this is a marvellous opportunity to say something while you
are here. Or have you already communicated with the authorities of the city
regarding the arrests, the bashings, the publicity in the city regarding
your followers?"

Prabhupada gave a wry smile. "Well, it is very good that they are not
crucifying us." The audience broke into full extended applause and laughter.
"These classes of men are always trying to defame the God-conscious men. You
know this, you know very well. Lord Jesus Christ, he was simply distributing
knowledge of God and he was crucified. But we do not care for these things, we do not
care. We can go on with our business."

- From "The Great Transcendental Adventure" by HG Kurma Prabhu

Even if there may be Problems

"...even if there may be some problems, always try to remain in Krsna consciousness. Do not give up chanting the Hare Krsna mantra simply due to some external difficulties. Under all circumstances you should always chant Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. This will protect you from all danger of being influenced by maya or the material energy."

Srila Prabhupada Letter to Sudhindra Kisora Raya
10th June, 1975

How could God allow tragedies to take place?

Wtc-Attack -- September-11

Question: If there is a God who is all loving and compassionate, how could he allow the attacks on the World Trade Centre to take place?

Answer: A brief about how people are taking it: Today the world is drastically shaken by recent events that have taken place in the United States of America. I just came from that land. I have never seen America in such a condition. It is shaken to its very core. Remember that it is the most powerful nation in the world setting the trends and the pace in economy and politics for the entire world. The People are shocked and are in great fear. Many people are rejecting the conception of God because of what has happened. I spoke to several pious people who believed in God their whole lives. They asked me, If there is a God who is all loving and compassionate, how could he allow this tragedy to take place? If God is the Supreme Controller of everything that exists, why didn’t he turn that plane just a few feet one way or the other? Why over 5000 people—men, women and children—who were just going about their work had to suffer such an incredibly miserable violent death?”
A lesson of GratitudeWTC attack - Gratitude towards God
Did you just stop to think of how those people died? When these planes hit the building and they exploded, those thousands of people were in a blazing fire and they couldn’t get out of it. One of my friends works right next-door to the World Trade Centre. He happens to be the financial director of American  Express Company, International. He was on his way to work and he saw a plane hit the World Trade Centre. He was about a hundred feet away from the building. And he couldn’t understand what was happening. He thought, “Maybe I shouldn’t go to work today.” So he just stood there, trying to figure out what was happening…. and he saw another plane hit the other tower and it exploded and fell to the ground. Up there, people were burning in the flames with no way out. Dozens of people jumped from the hundredth floor, ninetieth floor, and eightieth floor.Rather die in fresh air than suffocate and be burnt to death. Serious suffering.
I was at a community and a couple came to see me and they were telling me some problems that they had, some problems at their house. This was just a few days after the catastrophe. I told them, “If you were on the ninety sixth floor of the World Trade Centre when it was on fire, and you were given the opportunity to come back and be in the exact situation that you are in now– would you think it as a nice opportunity? We would do anything to be back in this situation. Is it not? So why are you complaining now? Why are you thinking it is the end of the world?”
Whenever you think that life is against you, put yourself in the shoes of those people on the WTC on September 11th 2001. Isn’t your situation better than theirs? So be grateful for what you have.
World is a jailWhat really is God’s mercy
So are we to blame God? If God is an all loving, all compassionate person, why would he allow such innocent people to die? It is a fact that God is all merciful and all loving. In all the scriptures throughout the world, God, His sons, His prophets, and His representatives, they all give us the same message that the material world is a place of suffering. It is not our home. “Get out, and go back to the Kingdom of God. Back home back to Godhead.” This is the basis of every religion. In 1970, when I was living here in India, I met some very devout Christians and they gave me a rare version of the Bible: The St. Thomas version written by one of the personal associates of lord Jesus Christ. And I remember one statement of Lord Jesus in it that affected me a lot. He said, “This world is a bridge. Cross over it, but build no house upon it.” But people are going to the churches begging God to give them a better house!
Lord Krishna tells us in Bhagavad Gita

“After attaining Me, the great souls, who are yogis in devotion, never return to this temporary world, which is full of miseries, because they have attained the highest perfection.”

The soul is eternal. It can find no real satisfaction in the temporary enjoyments of this world. Whether you die of a catastrophe or whether you get old and die, it’s suffering in either case. Have you even studied what happens in old age? It is really miserable.
Krishna tells in Bhagvad Gita

From the highest planet in the material world down to the lowest, all are places of misery wherein repeated birth and death take place. But one who attains to My abode, O son of Kunti, never takes birth again.

The Srimad Bhagavat says,

“For one who has accepted the boat of the lotus feet of the Lord, who is the shelter of the cosmic manifestation, the ocean of the material world is like the water contained in a calf’s hoofprint. His goal is the spiritual world, the place where there are no material miseries, not the place where there is danger at every step (this material world.)”

So God, out of His causeless mercy, comes to this material world again and again to tell us that this is a miserable place. He tells us where our real home is. Even though the people of this world have rejected Him, offended Him, He still keeps coming, “You are misusing your free will. Come to Vaikunta, the spiritual world, the doors are open. Come in.” He sends his representatives, His scriptures, to provide everybody this opportunity. But we reject!
What should be the approach of spiritualistsSpiritual Help
When there are catastrophes like this, I sometimes hear religious people say “It is just their Karma” or “They are reaping what they themselves have sown.”   That is true, but as spiritualists our business is to save them. We should feel for them and give them relief, whatever their Karma may be. Karma is between them and God.
When Srila Prabhupad came to New York City in 1965 and saw people suffering in forgetfulness of God, he didn’t just tell them, “It is yourkarma.” He wept, he cried, his heart was broken and he was willing to risk and sacrifice his life to save them. That is a truly advanced spiritualist, a Vaishnav. Wherever we see or hear of suffering, we should cry to think of people’s physical, mental, and spiritual suffering. And that should be more of an impetus for us to do something to help them.

Fireman at WTC AttackThe firemen
Do you know that when those people were burning in the towers of the World Trade Centre, hundres of firemen ran into the blazing fire risking their lives to save them? They knew they could never come out alive. Please listen very carefully. These firemen had wives, children, parents, bothers and sisters. Practically all of them were family people like most of you. But yet they were willing to run into a building that was about to fall down–suffering pains and death to save others.
Do you know what is Halloween? It’s one of the most famous festivals of United States of America. Young children get costumes, dress up and go out at night. They go door-to-door and people give them candy etc. The most popular costumes on every Halloween, from the beginning of Halloween, are hobgoblins and skeletons for boys, and witches for girls. And sometimes they dress up like a basketball star or football star. Do you know what the most popular costume is for all the children all over America this year?  Firemen. Their heroes are these men who were willing to risk their lives for the welfare of others.
What can we spiritualists learn from the firemen? Kaliyuga World WTC Attack - God
From the spiritual point of view, the entire material world is like that World Trade Centre after being hit by those planes. It’s on fire. The fire is burning in every living entity’s heart – within and without. People are suffering. And the transcendentalists bring the rain cloud of God’s mercy to extinguish that blazing fire of material existence. Due to ignorance people are burning from the sufferings of material life. Srila Prabhupada, our Guru, came to every continent of the world as the supreme fireman to extinguish the blazing fire of material existence. He was willing to sacrifice and risk his life to save our souls.
Like these firemen, who were willing to risk their lives to save the body, we as bhakti yogis should be willing to risk our lives to save people’s souls from the blazing fire of material existence. If you save the soul, that soul finds ultimate peace and happiness for eternity. The International Society for Krishna Consciousness, in these terms, is Srila Prabhupada’s fire department and he has recruited us to be his firemen and fire ladies.
Another lesson
We have to be united. Amongst those firemen there were black people, white people and people of so many colors. They were all of different religions and ethnic backgrounds. They may have had some disagreements and they may not have liked each other. But when they were in there fighting against fire, they were one. They were in total harmony. They didn’t have time to be disunited over petty, ridiculous issues.
We are in the blazing fire of material existence. The world is on fire. To help people, we have to be united and we have to put aside all separatism. That is compassion. That is love. That is devotion.

- HH Radhanath Swami

Monday, 26 September 2011

A Devotee does not desire Liberation

A pure devotee does not accept any kind of liberation — salokya, sarsti, samipya, sarupya, ekatva — even though they are offered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead.


Lord Chaitany teaches us how to execute pure devotional service out of spontaneous love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In the Siksastaka, He prays to the Lord: "O Lord, I do not wish to gain from You any wealth, nor do I wish to have a beautiful wife, nor do I wish to have many followers. All I want from You is that in life after life I may remain a pure devotee at Your lotus feet."

There is a similarity between the prayers of Lord Caitanya and the statements of Srimad Bhagavatam. Lord Caitanya prays, "in life after life," indicating that a devotee does not even desire the cessation of birth and death. The yogīs and empiric philosophers desire cessation of the process of birth and death, but a devotee is satisfied to remain even in this material world and execute devotional service.

It is clearly stated herein that a pure devotee does not desire ekatva, oneness with the Supreme Lord, as desired by the impersonalists, the mental speculators and the meditators. To become one with the Supreme Lord is beyond the dream of a pure devotee. Sometimes he may accept promotion to the Vaikuntha planets to serve the Lord there, but he will never accept merging into the Brahman effulgence, which he considers worse than hellish. Such or merging into the effulgence of the Supreme Lord, is called kaivalya, but the happiness derived from kaivalya is considered by the pure devotee to be hellish. The devotee is so fond of rendering service to the Supreme Lord that the five kinds of liberation are not important to him. If one is engaged in pure transcendental loving service to the Lord, it is understood that he has already achieved the five kinds of liberation.

When a devotee is promoted to the spiritual world, Vaikuntha he receives four kinds of facilities. One of these is salokya, living on the same planet as the Supreme Personality. The Supreme Person, in His different plenary expansions, lives on innumerable Vaikuntha planets, and the chief planet is Kṛṣṇaloka. Just as within the material universe the chief planet is the sun, in the spiritual world the chief planet is Kṛṣṇaloka. From Kṛṣṇaloka, the bodily effulgence of Lord Krsna is distributed not only to the spiritual world but to the material world as well; it is covered by matter, however, in the material world. In the spiritual world there are innumerable Vaikuntha planets, and on each one the Lord is the predominating Deity. A devotee can be promoted to one such Vaikuntha planet to live with the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

In sarsti liberation the opulence of the devotee is equal to the opulence of the Supreme Lord. Samipya means to be a personal associate of the Supreme Lord. In sarupya liberation the bodily features of the devotee are exactly like those of the Supreme Person but for two or three symptoms found exclusively on the transcendental body of the Lord. Srivatsa, for example, the hair on the chest of the Lord, particularly distinguishes Him from His devotees.

A pure devotee does not accept these five kinds of spiritual existence, even if they are offered, and he certainly does not hanker after material benefits, which are all insignificant in comparison with spiritual benefits. When Prahalad Maharaj was offered some material benefit, he stated: "My Lord, I have seen that my father achieved all kinds of material benefits, and even the demigods were afraid of his opulence, but still, in a second, You have finished his life and all his material prosperity." For a devotee there is no question of desiring any material or spiritual prosperity. He simply aspires to serve the Lord. That is his highest happiness.

Srimad Bhagavatam 3.29.13


Sunday, 25 September 2011

Material Existence

My dear Lord, You are just like the sun, for You illuminate the darkness of the conditional life of the living entities. Because their eyes of knowledge are not open, they are sleeping eternally in that darkness without Your shelter, and therefore they are falsely engaged by the actions and reactions of their material activities, and they appear to be very fatigued.


It appears that Srimati Devahuti the glorious mother of Lord Kapiladeva, is very compassionate for the regrettable condition of people in general, who, not knowing the goal of life, are sleeping in the darkness of illusion. It is the general feeling of the Vaisnava, or devotee of the Lord, that he should awaken them. Similarly, Devahuti is requesting her glorious son to illuminate the lives of the conditioned souls so that their most regrettable conditional life may be ended.

Bhakti-yoga is the sunlike illumination for delivering the conditioned souls, whose general condition is described here. They have no eyes to see their own interests. They do not know that the goal of life is not to increase the material necessities of existence, because the body will not exist more than a few years. The living beings are eternal, and they have their eternal need. If one engages only in caring for the necessities of the body, not caring for the eternal necessities of life, then he is part of a civilization whose advancement puts the living entities in the darkest region of ignorance. Sleeping in that darkest region, one does not get any refreshment, but, rather, gradually becomes fatigued. He invents many processes to adjust this fatigued condition, but he fails and thus remains confused. The only path for mitigating his fatigue in the struggle for existence is the path of devotional service, or the path of Krsna consciousness.

(Srimad Bhagavatam 3.29.5 Verse and Purport)

Deep Compassion of the Lord

The Lord descends to the material world out of His deep compassion for His devotees. There are two reasons for the Lord's appearance or incarnation in the material world. Whenever there is a discrepancy in the discharge of religious principles and there is prominence of irreligion, the Lord descends for the protection of the devotees and the destruction of the nondevotees. When He appears, His main purpose is to give solace to His devotees. He does not have to come Himself to destroy the demons, for He has many agents; even the external energy, maya, has sufficient strength to kill them. But when He comes to show compassion to His devotees, He kills the nondevotees as a matter of course.

- Srila Prabhupada (SB 3.28.29 Purport)

Finding He who is difficult to find in the Vedas!

One may search for Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, through the pages of the Vedas and Upanisads, but it is difficult to find Him there.
However, one who is fortunate enough to associate with a devotee can see the Supreme Personality of Godhead face to face.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => KB 12: The Killing of the Aghasura Demon

Thursday, 22 September 2011

A Devotee lives always in the company of the Lord!

"If one simply follows the instructions of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, under the guidance of His representative, and chants the Hare Krsna mantra, teaching everyone as far as possible the same principle, the contamination of the materialistic way of life will not even touch him. It does not matter whether one lives in a holy place like Vrindavana, Navadvipa or Jagannatha Puri or in the midst of European cities where the materialistic way of life is very prominent. If a devotee follows the instructions of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he lives in the company of the Lord. Wherever he lives, he converts that place into Vrindavana and Navadvipa. This means that materialism cannot touch him. This is the secret of success for one advancing in Krsna consciousness."

(Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 7.129 Purport)


Offering Respectful Obesiances to the Lord

"In the Naradiya Purana there is a statement about bowing down and offering respect to the Deity. It is said there: 'A person who has performed a great ritualistic sacrifice and a person who has simply offered his respectful obeisances by bowing down before the Lord cannot be held as equals.' The person who has executed many great sacrifices will attain the result of his pious activities, but when such results are finished, he has to take birth again on the earthly planet; whereas the person who has once offered respects, bowing down before the Deity, will not again come back to this world, because he will go directly to the abode of Krsna."

(Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 9)


Chant Hare Krishna - be happy & make others happy

"Locana dasa Thakura says, 'My dear brother, you just try and examine this. Within the three worlds there is no one like Lord Caitanya or Lord Nityananda, because Their merciful qualities are so great that They make even birds and beasts cry, what to speak of human beings.' Actually, when Lord Caitanya passed through the forest known as Jarikhanda, the tigers, elephants, snakes, deer, and all other animals joined Him in chanting Hare Krsna. It is so nice that anyone can join. Even the animals can join, what to speak of human beings. Of course, it is not possible for ordinary men to induce animals to chant, but if Caitanya Mahaprabhu could inspire animals to chant, at least we can encourage human beings to adopt this path of Hare Krsna mantra chanting. It is so nice that even the most stonehearted man will be melted. Pasano means stone. It is so nice that even stone will melt."

(From Sri Sri Gaura-Nityanander Daya by Locana Dasa Thakura, Purport by Srila Prabhupada)


Successful Human Life

"During his lifetime, a pure devotee is always speaking of Krsna and engaging in His service, and as soon as he gives up his body, he immediately returns to Goloka Vrindavana, where Krsna is personally present. He then meets Krsna directly. This is successful human life."

(Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 13.155, Purport)


Krishna - The Supreme Hero

"Lord Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead who appeared as the son of Nanda Maharaj, is the supreme hero in all dealings. Similarly, Srimati Radharani is the topmost heroine in all dealings.
"Krsna is the Supreme Personality Himself, And He is the crown jewel of all heroes. In Krsna, all transcendental good qualities are permanently situated.
"The transcendental goddess Srimati Radharani is the direct counterpart of Lord Sri Krsna. She is the central figure for all goddesses of fortune. She possesses all the attraction to attract the all-attractive Personality of Godhead. She is the primeval internal potency of the Lord."

(Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 23.66-68)


Everyone is searching for Krishna!

"Everyone is searching for Krsna in the different aspects of His manifestations. Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is partially realized in His impersonal brahmajyoti effulgence and as the all-pervading Supersoul dwelling within everything, including the particles of atoms. But Krsna is only fully realized by His pure devotees. Consequently, Krsna is the object of everyone's realization, and thus anyone and everyone is satisfied according to one's desire to have Him. In the transcendental world also, Krsna reciprocates with His pure devotees in the transcendental attitude, just as the devotee wants Him. One devotee may want Krsna as supreme master, another as his personal friend, another as his son, and still another as his lover. Krsna rewards all the devotees equally, according to their different intensities of love for Him."
(Bhagavad-gita 4.11, Purport)


Wednesday, 21 September 2011

The Purpose of this Movement

This reciting of the Bhagavatam, or the message of the Bhagavatam, can bring about the revolution in the impious life of a misdirected civilization. So weather we are speaking about a revolution of the world at large, or we are speaking about a revolution in our own life, it is the same revolution.
Through this Bhagavatam one can make a major change, and the aim is to become saintly persons. It is not sufficient to just be a member of the Hare Krishna movement, to even be initiated from the Hare Krishna movement, to wear tilak and neckbeads and to do those things… It’s not only about what we do, but it is also about who we are.
We have to be saintly persons. That is truly the aim of connecting to this  movement.

(Kadamaba Kanana Swami, lecture from 17.07.2011. at Fruska Goranga Summer Camp, Serbia)

Dhotis and Saris are the best - Spiritual Culture!

Each set of clothes brings with it a certain mood and a certain mentality. I was in Bengal on a train, and I was wearing these clothes. There was a young Bengali boy who was wearing Bermuda shorts with some designs….colourful…….and he laughs at me.
He says:
“Look at that! “
I asked:
“What’s your problem?”
“Look at those clothes!”
So I said:
“Well, you know look at those clothes…look at those clothes!”
And what he was wearing.
So I asked him:
“Do you like those shorts?”
“I like them very much”.
“Ok. So do you wear them everyday?”
“No, of course not. Not everyday. Only sometimes”.
I said:
”Well I wear these clothes everyday because they are spiritual and therefore, they are fully satisfying. I do not need to change. But you have your shorts today, and then you wearing something else, only because you are not completely satisfied”.
So if you look at the pictures of Krishna and Lord Ramachandra,They wear these clothes.
Some people they say:
“Why do we have to wear these Indian clothes in the West?”
There is a certain group of devotees who are feeling like that…and are speaking out like that. Even some senior leaders have spoken up like that.
Srila Prabhupada has explained this:
“India is a very special Country. It is very special, because in India they speak Sanskrit…traditionally it is Sanskrit. Sanskrit is ‘deva nagari’ – is the language spoken in the heavenly planets! It is even spoken in Vaikuntha!”
So the Indian culture is parallel to the culture of the heavenly planet, and that means that whatever is in the heavenly planets, is predominating by goodness. Whatever is going on in our regions is predominating by passion. The earthly regions are predominating by passion. So therefore, this dress, this culture has a value because it is related to the culture of the spiritual world, and that is coming through India.
So India is an amazing place. Not only is the Ganges coming from the spiritual world onto material world, but there is a whole culture within it. Both Krishna and Lord Ramachandra wears dhoti…..Sita wears a sari and therefore dhotis and saris are the best!

So it’s not Indian culture, but a spiritual culture!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

What is the Difficulty?

Don't loose the opportunity of huam life. Practice bhakti-yoga, be Krishna Conscious and make your life succesful. Our mission is to teach this science. It is not a business - "Give me some money, I will teach you." The knowledge is free. We are simply encouraing everyone, "Chant teh Hare Krishna Mantra." What is the difficulty?

Simply Chant Hare Krishna and Dance. Why go to some club to dance? The whole family can chant and dance at home. You will be happy. Then you will understand your constitutional position as servants of Krishna. This is the mission of human life: to understand our position as servants of the Lord. This understanding naturally results in vairagya, detachment.

One is actually poor who is poor in transcendental knowledge. Material poverty is no consideration. That may come or go and one has to tolerate. And even if we have money, we will be unhappy if we are poor in transcendental knowldege. Therefore transcedental knowledge is real wealth. We ahve been entangled in material life, repeated birth and death due to attachment.  Therefore we must attain detachment for materialistic way of life so that we can end this changing from one body to another.

- Srila Prabhupada

Contrast between Lust and Love

atmendriya priti vancha - tare bali kama
krsnendriya priti iccha dhare preme nama

"Wanting to satisgy the desires of one's own senses is called kama, lust, and wanting to satisfy Krishna's senses is called prema, pure loving devotion."

(CC Adi 4.165)

We see the contrast between kama and prema in the behaviour of Arjuna. At first he wanted to satisy his own senses: "My dear Krsma, I cannot possibly kill my cousin-brothers, my grand father, or my teacher Dronacarya." But after Krsna had imparted the intstructions of Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna and then asked him "What is your decision?" Arjuna replied:

nasto mohah smrtir labdha tvat prasadan mayacyuta
sthiti 'smi gata-sandehah karisye vacanam tava

"My dear Krishna, by Your grace all my illusion is now gone and I have regained my original Krishna Consciousness." And what is his conclusion? "My duty is to satisy You, not my senses." In this way Arjuna again came to his position as Krishna's devotee.

- Srila Prabhupada

Monday, 19 September 2011

Verse of the Week

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau
tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ

"Only unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed."

(Śvetāśvatara Up. 6.23)

Vedic Knowledge is manifested in heart of a Devotee

When all the students thus resolved, criticizing Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, their intelligence was spoiled. Thus although they were learned scholars, because of this offense the essence of knowledge was not manifested in them.

In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, māyayāpahṛta-jñānā āsuraṁ bhāvam āśritāḥ: when one becomes inimical to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, adopting an atheistic attitude (āsuraṁ bhāvam), even if one is a learned scholar the essence of knowledge does not become manifested in him; in other words, the essence of his knowledge is stolen by the illusory energy of the Lord. In this connection Śrī Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura quotes a mantra from the Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad (6.23):
yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau
tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ
(ŚU 6.23)
The purport of this verse is that one who is unflinchingly devoted to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu, and similarly devoted to the spiritual master, with no ulterior motive, becomes a master of all knowledge. In the heart of such a devotee, the real essence of the Vedic knowledge becomes manifested. This essence is nothing but surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead (vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ ((BG 15.15)). Only unto one who fully surrenders to the spiritual master and the Supreme Lord does the essence of Vedic knowledge become manifested, not to anyone else.

Caitanya Caritamrta Adi 17.257

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Spiritual Life means Anxiety-Less

Pradyumna: Translation: " Arjuna's constant remembrance of the lotus feet of Lord Sri Krsna rapidly increased his devotion, and as a result all the trash in his thoughts subsided. "

Prabhupada: So material existence means full of anxieties. This is the sum and substance of material existence. Everyone is full of anxieties. Not only humans. Just like Karandhara was speaking, there are so many bad news. What is that? Where is Karandhara?

Karandhara: Energy crisis, food shortage.
Prabhupada: Yes, energy crisis, food shortage, and what else?
Karandhara: Economic turmoil.
Prabhupada: Hm. And even Mr. Nixon is in such exalted post, he's also full of anxiety, when he'll be kicked out. You see. So find out any man who is not in anxiety. Not only human being but also animals, birds, beasts -- everyone. That is the symptom of material existence, anxieties.

So spiritual life means anxiety-less. This is the difference between material life and spiritual life. Brahma-bhutah prasannatma [Bg. 18.54], in the Bhagavad-gita it is described what is spiritual life. As soon as you are identified with the Absolute Truth, Brahman, then symptoms will be prasannatma, jubilation: " Oh, I do not belong to this material world. I belong to the spiritual world. I am part and parcel of Krsna. Why should I suffer so many things? " That is jubilation. Brahma-bhutah prasannatma [Bg. 18.54]. The prasannatma means na socati na kanksati. He has no lamentation, no hankering. Here people are always full of anxieties because they have got hankering, " I want this. I want that. " And there is lamentation. What they possess, if it is lost, they cry, " Oh, my things are lost. " And what they do not possess, they hanker. So their anxiety is there, either he possesses or not possesses. This is material anxiety. If you have no money, then you will hanker after money, " How to get money, how to get money, how to get money? " And when you get money, then how to utilize it, how to, where to keep it, in the bank, or in the house, or who will take away? Somebody will take away. So where is anxiety-less? You possess or not possess, the real disease is anxiety. So when one becomes brahma-bhuta, self-realized, identified with the Absolute Truth, then he has no more anxiety. This is the best education, when you become anxiety-less. That is perfection of education.We, if we want to be anxiety-less, no anxiety, then we have to refuse to accept this material body. Otherwise there is no possibility. All anxieties are due to this material body.
So here, if you simply think of Krsna -- Krsna recommends also that, man-mana bhava mad-bhaktah. This Krsna consciousness movement is nothing, just to train people how to think of Krsna and how to become devotee of Krsna. That's all. So you may become devotee... But you will become devotee. If you think of Krsna, naturally you will become devotee. So... But think of Krsna, is it very difficult task? Very simple, very easy, even a child can do it. Here is Krsna. You can think of. So you go on thinking, thinking, thinking, thinking, you will be attached. You will be attached. You will be attached. Adau sraddha tatah sadhu-sangah. And thinking of Krsna in association of the devotees. Alone will not do. Association is so strong that anyone who is coming to our association, we..., not that we are everyone teaching, but by association, he wants to become devotee. By association, automatically. So the association is so powerful. Therefore Narottama dasa Thakura says,

tandera carana-sevi-bhakta-sane vasajaname janame haya ei abhilasa

He is praying, " My dear Lord, this is my ambition, birth after birth. " What is that? " That to be engaged in the service of the acarya guru, and in the association of devotees. This is perfection. " Janame janame haya ei: " This is my desire. I don't want to stop my birth, but simply I want that I may take birth -- it doesn't matter -- but bhakta-sane vasa, let me live with the devotees. "
Srila Prabhupada:: Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.15.29Los Angeles, December 7, 1973


Powerful Mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu!

Bhagavad-gita (2.40). Svalpam apy asya dharmasya trayate mahato bhayat: 'In this endeavor there is no loss or diminution, and a little advancement on this path can protect one from the most dangerous type of fear.'

"Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's mercy is so powerful that it acts automatically. If a person renders loving service to Krsna, it never goes in vain. It is recorded in a spiritual account, and in due time it will fructify. This is confirmed by
"Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has particularly bestowed upon all fallen souls in this age the most potent method of devotional service, and whoever takes to it through the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is immediately elevated to the transcendental position. Srimad-Bhagavatam recommends: Yajnaih sankirtana-prayair yajanti hi su-medhasah." *
(Caitanya Caritamrta - Madhya 14.16 Purport)

"My dear Lord, I have simply wasted my time"

Bhaktivinoda Thakura says, kita-janma hau yatha tuwa dasabahir-mukha brahma-janme nahi asa

He says that " If I forget You and take by birth as Lord Brahma, I don't want it. I don't want it. " What is the use of taking a birth like Brahma? " But I shall like to take my birth as even a small insignificant insect, where a devotee is there. " This is the ambition of devotee. " I shall prefer to become an insect. " Because there are different varieties of living entities, beginning from Brahma down to the insect, insignificant. In the middle, there are so many varieties -- aquatics, trees, plants, demigods, and men, human being. So many thing. So this is the end and one end to another. Abrahma-bhuvanal... Kita-janma, insignificant ant, nobody cares for, and Brahma is very important, supreme person within the... So Bhaktivinoda Thakura says that " I will not prefer a birth like Brahma if I forget You. But I will prefer to become an insect if I remain with Your devotee. " Because if one remains with a devotee, he will not forget Krsna. That is the advantage. Just like when you go, people address you, " Hare Krsna. " Oh, it is very great benefit. Automatically they chant Hare Krsna. We have seen it all over the world. And when I was going from London to Nairobi, we stopped at Athens, the dead of night. We are in the..., what is called? That transit room.

Devotee: Transit lounge.
Prabhupada: Yes, lounge. So as soon as they saw us, " Hare Krsna! " You see. So this is advantage. Aho bata sva-paco 'to gariyan yaj-jihvagre vartate nama tubhyam. Even a dog-eater chants Hare Krsna, he becomes glorified.

So this chance should be given. Let them chant Hare Krsna, either willfully, or jokingly, or any way, let him chant Hare Krsna. This is the movement. Let him chant once, let his tongue utter this transcendental vibration, Hare Krsna, his life will be successful. It is such nice movement. You haven't got to do anything. Simply you come here and see Radha-Krsna, you will be benefited. It is very easy. Su-sukham kartum avyayam. And once you get the impression of Radha-Krsna for meditation, and if you increase, then life, you are success. Life is successful. Because as soon as you become little inclined to see Radha-Krsna, Krsna within your heart, that means you have developed His love. Just like if you love somebody, you want to close your eyes and see his face, his..., your child, or your lover. Similarly, as soon as you practice this, how to see, meditate upon Krsna, that means you develop. Premanjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santah sadaiva hrdayesu vilokayanti [Bs. 5.38]. Then gradually it will increase, and you will be perfect. It is very easy. This process, Krsna consciousness is so easy, and so pleasant, anyone can take. There is no difficulty. And if you become Krsna consciousness, completely, always thinking of Krsna, bahu anudhyanam, always, anudhyanam, thinking of Krsna, thinking of Krsna -- anyone can do it -- then you become perfect. Tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti kaunteya [Bg. 4.9]. That is the problem. Our, what is that problem? Problem is that we are full of anxiety. Why you are full of anxiety? Because you have accepted this material body. So if you stop accepting material body, there is no anxiety. That can be done by vasudeva-anudhyanam, constantly thinking of Krsna.

So you haven't got to pay any price. You are not losing anything. But you are becoming a great, perfect man. Why do you, don't you accept this process, Krsna consciousness? Why you are after something, false thing? Just see how unfortunate people are in this Kali-yuga. They will not accept the real thing without any payment, without any loss. Everything is gain. They will accept something nonsense and go to hell. Just see. This is Kali-yuga. The Kali-yuga is so powerful that it will not allow you to accept the real thing. You will be after non-real thing and waste your time and valuable life. This life is meant for Krsna realization. It is not meant for anything, any other business. Therefore Narottama dasa Thakura sings, hari hari biphale janama gonainu: " My dear Lord, I have simply wasted my time. " Why?
Manusya-janama paiya radha-krsna na bhajiya. " I got this valuable human form of life but I did not worship Radha-Krsna. This is my fault. " Janiya suniya visa khainu, " It is just like knowingly, I have taken poison. "

- Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.15.29Los Angeles, December 7, 1973


Monday, 12 September 2011

Darshan From Sri Vrindavan Dhaam - September 12, 2011

Sri Sri Radha Shyamsunder, Lalita Devi and Vishakha Devi

Sri Sri Krishna Balarama

Sri Sri Gaura Nitai

The Only Auspicious Path

Bhakti-yoga is the sunlike illumination for delivering the conditioned souls, whose general condition is described here. They have no eyes to see their own interests. They do not know that the goal of life is not to increase the material necessities of existence, because the body will not exist more than a few years. The living beings are eternal, and they have their eternal need. If one engages only in caring for the necessities of the body, not caring for the eternal necessities of life, then he is part of a civilization whose advancement puts the living entities in the darkest region of ignorance. Sleeping in that darkest region, one does not get any refreshment, but, rather, gradually becomes fatigued. He invents many processes to adjust this fatigued condition, but he fails and thus remains confused. The only path for mitigating his fatigue in the struggle for existence is the path of devotional service, or the path of Krishna consciousness.

(Srimad Bhagavatam - 3.29.5)

Going Back to Godhead!

(Kadamba Kanana Swami, Finland, 2011)

Vibhu Caitanya, became the cook in the Krishna Balarama Mandir, shortly after the opening. He was Bengali and would just cook everything. He would cook all of the offerings, and it was a big temple! He cooked all the offerings… ….mangal aarti sweets and everything….and that’s a lot of cooking – seven offerings. He did that for eighteen years, and then he became old and ill. His feet were swelling up and he couldn’t do it anymore.
He was really upset because he couldn’t do that service. When he became ill, I was the temple president. So at that time I said:
“Well right now may be you should sit down and just distribute carnamrta”.
He didn’t want to do it. He said:
“No I want to cook”.
But he couldn’t so after a few days he surrendered to it, and then he got into it…… into distributing the carnamrta. He was sitting there and made sure that everyone got a tulsi leaf. He had special tulsi leaves here and special cups for the V.I.P. He made a huge arrangement of giving out carnamrta. Everyone got the maximum mercy, and in this way he served.
In his last days he couldn’t even do that, since he was just in his room, but then he had a loud speaker from the temple to his room, so that he could still hear the kirtan and the aartis – so that he felt that he was still with the deities. He had pictures of the deities in his room.
Vibhu Caitanya never went outside of the walls….never once. He never went out. He always stayed in the walls of the Krishna Balarama Mandir. He would walk from him room to the kitchen…and from the kitchen back to him room – and that was all. He had no other interest. He didn’t want to enjoy Vrindavan since he only wanted to serve. That’s how we go back to Godhead!

- HH Kadamba Kanana Swami

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Real Knowledge

The status of real knowledge is explained in this verse. There are many children, but we accept some children as our sons and daughters because of our affection for them, although we know very well that these children are different from us. Similarly, because of great affection for money, we accept some amount of wealth in the bank as ours. In the same way, we claim that the body is ours because of affection for it. I say that it is "my" body. I then extend that possessive concept and say, "It is my hand, my leg," and further, "It is my bank balance, my son, my daughter." But actually I know that the son and the money are separate from me. It is the same with the body; I am separate from my body. It is a question of understanding, and the proper understanding is called pratibuddha. By obtaining knowledge in devotional service, or Krishna consciousness, one can become a liberated soul.

(Srimad Bhagavatam 3.28.39 Purport)

Smiling Face of Lord Krishna

As long as one is in conditional life, in the material body, it is natural that he will suffer from anxieties and agonies. One cannot avoid the influence of material energy, even when one is on the transcendental plane. Sometimes disturbances come, but the agonies and anxieties of the devotees are at once mitigated when they think of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His beautiful form or the smiling face of the Lord. The Lord bestows innumerable favors upon His devotee, and the greatest manifestation of His grace is His smiling face, which is full of compassion for His pure devotees.

The entire universe is full of miseries, and therefore the inhabitants of this material universe are always shedding tears out of intense grief. There is a great ocean of water made from such tears, but for one who surrenders unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the ocean of tears is at once dried up. One need only see the charming smile of the Supreme Lord. In other words, the bereavement of material existence immediately subsides when one sees the charming smile of the Lord.

(Srimad Bhagavatam - 3.28.27-28 Purport)

Friday, 9 September 2011

Grace of the Lord and His Devotees

Srimad Bhagavatam 1.5.28

Thus during two seasons-the rainy season and autumn-I had the opportunity to hear these great-souled sages constantly chant the unadulterated glories of the Lord Hari. As the flow of my devotional service began, the coverings of the modes of passion and ignorance vanished.
Transcendental loving service for the Supreme Lord is the natural inclination of every living being. The instinct is dormant in everyone, but due to the association of material nature the modes of passion and ignorance cover this from time immemorial. If, by the grace of the Lord and the great-souled devotees of the Lord, a living being becomes fortunate enough to associate with the unadulterated devotees of the Lord and gets a chance to hear the unadulterated glories of the Lord, certainly the flow of devotional service takes place like the flow of a river. As the river flows on till she reaches the sea, similarly pure devotional service flows by the association of pure devotees till it reaches the ultimate goal, namely, transcendental love of God. Such a flow of devotional service cannot stop. On the contrary, it increases more and more without limitation. The flow of devotional service is so potent that any onlooker also becomes liberated from the influence of the modes of passion and ignorance. These two qualities of nature are thus removed, and the living being is liberated, being situated in his original position.

Progressing in Spiritual Life by Attachment to Saintly Persons

At the lotus feet of the Lord we will find all of the Lord's devotees. We will also find complete instructions as to how to best approach these lotus feet in pure consciousness. By incorporating these instructions within our lives, we will attain the Lord's shelter, His eternal service, and His eternal abode.

Early on in the 1st Canto Narada narrates his own story, how he personally became transformed from 'rags to riches', or from worldly insignificance to a superlative exalted state of spiritual perfection. The details of his transformation are of great pertinence to our own efforts on the bhakti path. One of the Argentinean sankirtan devotees visiting here in NY just asked me, in a very sincerely expressed inquiry, if it would be possible for them to actually go back to Godhead at the end of this life. YES! This is the gift that the Bhagavatam offers, and Srila Prabhupada expressed his explicit desire to train us to achieve this goal within our lifetime. The highlighted traits and qualifications marking Narada's sojourn are most important for us to note very carefully.
The preliminary character traits of Narada certainly helped his progress; as for ourselves, we should value and attempt to gradually manifest such qualities for the purpose of attracting the mercy of elevated souls and Krishna Himself to shower their descending mercy upon us.

Key in all of this narration is the statement found in 1.5.25 purport, where Srila Prabhupada declares: There are many things which hinder one from entering devotional service. But by the association of pure devotees all these obstacles are removed. The neophyte devotee becomes practically enriched with the transcendental qualities of the pure devotee, which means attraction for the Personality of Godhead's name, fame, quality, pastimes, etc. Infection of the qualities of the pure devotee means to imbibe the taste of pure devotion always in the transcendental activities of the Personality of Godhead.

The #1 gift which a student/dependant can receive from their superior is to attain attachment for Krishna, Krishna-katha, and the sublime taste of pure devotion. And then- This transcendental taste at once makes all material things distasteful. Therefore a pure devotee is not at all attracted by material activities.
- His Holiness Romapada Swami

Devotee and Karma

haridas thakur.JPG

Teachings of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupada

Question: When a devotee is born in a family, does that family benefit from his or her birth?
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta: When a great saint, a pure devotee, appears in a family, then his ancestors and descendants for a hundred generations each are elevated. When a devotee of the middle stature (madhyama bhagavata) appears in a family, then his ancestors and descendants for fourteen generations each are elevated. When a neophyte devotee appears in a family, then his ancestors and descendants for three generations each are elevated.

Question: Why are devotees sometimes born in low class families? If devotees are not subject to the results of their actions (karma), then why are they sometimes illiterate or disease ridden?
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta: Devotees are never subject to the result of their karma. It is by the will of the Lord that they take birth and perform other pastimes. But when it is seen that they are born in low class families, are illiterate, or are disease ridden, we should know that there is a great or noble purpose behind it. If people saw that devotees were always born in high class families or were always strong or educated, then they would become discouraged. So the merciful Lord, in order to benefit people of all classes, sends his devotees to different classes of society to give his mercy to other living entities. This is something like catching a wild male elephant by sending a trained female elephant. Srila Vrindavan Das Thakur has said in the Caitanya Bhagavata that a vaisnava delivers everyone just by taking birth. In a land and in a family where a vaisnava descends, many hundreds of miles around that place become purified by his influence.
Even if you see some external misery in a vaisnava's life, you should know that he is in great ecstasy. Those who are blinded by pride in their material possessions do not know any of these things. Intoxicated with pride in their education, money, and family, they do not recognize a vaisnava.
If a devotee appears in a low-class family, then we should not think that it is a result of his sin that he was subject to the result of his action. Rather, we should know that he has purified a low-class family. If a good person becomes successful only in the devotional process, then we should consider him a great soul.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Meditating on the Lotus Feet of the Lord

Sri Sri Radha Shyamsunder (Sri Vrindavan Dhaam)

The mind of the conditioned soul, on account of its association with the material energy from time immemorial, contains heaps of dirt in the form of desires to lord it over material nature. This dirt is like a mountain, but a mountain can be shattered when hit by a thunderbolt. Meditating on the lotus feet of the Lord acts like a thunderbolt on the mountain of dirt in the mind of the yogi. If a yogi wants to shatter the mountain of dirt in his mind, he should concentrate on the lotus feet of the Lord and not imagine something void or impersonal. Because the dirt has accumulated like a solid mountain, one must meditate on the lotus feet of the Lord for quite a long time. For one who is accustomed to thinking of the lotus feet of the Lord constantly, however, it is a different matter. The devotees are so fixed on the lotus feet of the Lord that they do not think of anything else. Those who practice the yoga system must meditate on the lotus feet of the Lord for a long time after following the regulative principles and thereby controlling the senses.

- Srila Prabhupada (SB 3.28.22 Purport)

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

No Krishna = Misery


Any relationship where we forget that Krsna is also a part of it, then it leads to misery… Krsna is always there and every situation has to be offered to Him and no exceptions. It’s not that some things are to be offered to Krsna and some things not- ‘some thing’s are my private affairs’ no, no there is no private affair, everything is Krsna’s affair. He governs every aspect of our life.

If we become depressed then we can understand that we have really made a wrong choice. And you can of course start soul searching- ‘which choice was it? I don’t know! I can’t think of anything! And now I feel even worse!’ You can do that exercise but that’s not required. Just from now on start making the right choices because the opportunity will come again and again to choose for Krsna. So it means that we didn’t choose for Krsna, that’s why we are depressed. Start choosing for Krsna now and the depression will go. People in the world suffer from depression but devotees should not have that problem. But if they do have that problem it means that they are not choosing for Krsna. It’s not part of our life…you just have to choose for Krsna.

Mother Yasoda Dresses Krishna

(Kadamba Kanana Maharaja, August 2010, Sweden)

Getting Inspired to stay Krishna Conscious

(Kadamba Kanana Swami, Finland, 2011)

Contaminated thoughts come up in the mind. The mind is strong, but we must perform austerities of the mind! The austerity of the mind is…… one is when sinful thoughts come up, then we cut, and we do not allow what we would call, ‘the train of thought’. One thought…next thought….next thought…..No! Cut…and if it goes in the wrong direction than stop immediately.
So in this way we do have a duty to control the mind, since we cannot just let the mind go in whatever direction it wants to go. We have to steer it back to Krishna. Soon as the mind is going in the wrong direction….back to Krishna!

(Kadamba Kanana Swami, Finland, 2011)

Srila Prabhupada said:
“For fifty books, its $250!”
A set of books in those days….a set was not big then, because they didn’t have much books. So a set of books in America was maybe fifty books and they were available for $250.
And Prabhupada said:
“For fifty books, it’s $250. Somehow or other we should take, $250 off everyone and we should put a set of Srila Prabhupada’s books in every house on the planet!”
This morning I was remembering and just imagining how a devotee would appear in front of the window here, with books in a remote house like this. This mediation – to give Krishna to others! To do good for others….that is required.
It may not necessarily be like that for everyone. But everyone goes on the street with books, and when we do it than we should know that there are very great blessings there, because there’s no doubt that that was so pleasing to Srila Prabhupada! That was the one thing that would give him enthusiasm, in life when his health was not very good.

(Kadamba Kanana Swami, Finland, 2011)

If we are not absorbed in glorifying Krishna, then we will look to be glorifying ourselves. So also in chanting we have this tendency. We are the first one up and already chanting and everyone can hear, and the mind goes:
“I’m the first one up…I’ll chant a little louder so everyone can hear!”
I saw someone who had not sixteen counting beads but sixty four. So then we can see immediately what kind of chanting that is. That is not being absorbed in just glorifying Krishna. That is being absorbed in being glorified ourselves. So how much devotional service are we actually doing to be glorified?
“I’m leading the kirtan….. I’m playing the kartals ………I’m playing the mrdanga!”
So how much is done for show? And how much are we doing it for show? Because we are addicted. Addicted to this glorification. We are always looking for this glorification. It comes out of a type of insecurity maybe. Some fear of rejection and we are just constantly looking for recognition. So one has to become very sober in chanting of the Holy Names!

How Far is One Advancing in Krsna Consciousness

So by the result, one has to see.

Just like there is examination. One student says, "Oh, I have studie so much." But when the examination was taken, he failed. So what does it mean that he studied? That means he did not study, that's all. The test is that spiritual advancement means minimizing material activities. Bhaktih paresanubhavo viraktir anyatra syat [SB 11.2.42]. Automatically they will be detestful for material engagement. Spiritual advancement means that.

Just like a hungry man, if you give him to eat, as soon as he begins to eat, immediately he'll feel satisfaction, and when he is fully fed, he'll say, "No, I don't want any more." So similarly, spiritual advancement means proportionately one should be detestful to material engagement. That is the test.

So if anyone is advancing by meditation or bhakti-yoga or Krsna consciousness, one has to give evidence that he is now being proportionately detached from this material engagement. That is the test. This is not for only the meditators. It is for you also. How far you are advancing in Krsna consciousness you test yourself -- how far you have become detached from material consciousness. That's all. The proportionately you have advanced in Krsna consciousness, the proportionately you'll not like material engagement. If you have advanced cent percent, then cent percent you become detached. That is the way.

So everyone has to test himself, "how far I have advanced." That means "How far I have become detached with material contamination." That'sall. The test is in your hand. And if you are sincere, then you should
test yourself. And if you want to make show, that is a different thing. That is explained in the Second Chapter, sthita-prajna. The behavior of a person who has advanced in spiritual consciousness, that
is explained. You have studied. He talks like that, he walks like that, he behaves like that. So many things, they have been explained. These are the tests. So we may not be able to achieve all the success immediately, but everyone should try to follow.

The meditation process is also one process. That is also one of the processes. That is good. But we simply say that this process is not, I mean to say, very fruitful in this age. In this age, this chanting of
Hare Krsna is the most beneficial process.

That is our program. We don't deprecate the meditational process. That is a process, standard process. But we don't say... We have not manufactured. It is the sastra says. Krte yad dhyayato visnum. Meditation of Visnu was possible in the Satya-yuga when people used to live for one hundred thousands of years. Just like Valmiki Muni, he meditated for sixty thousands of years. He got perfection. Here it is very difficult even to meditate for sixty minutes at a time. You see? Krte yad dhyayato visnum. That process was recommended in the Satya-yuga.

And the next process is tretayam yajato makhaih. The next stage, by performing great sacrifices. That is very costly affair. Nobody has money. Suppose if I prescribe performance of some sacrifice, and if I order that "You have to secure one hundred tons of butter or ghee," can you secure? Oh... You see? So therefore that is not possible. Krte yad dhyayato visnum tretayam yajato makhaih dvapare paricaryayam.Temple worship is also not possible. So kalau tad-hari kirtanat - Chanting hare krishna is the only way, the sastras recommend.

So, Just like Arjuna.

He sacrificed all sentiments, all connection, everything for Krsna. That is called sannyasa, real sannyasa. Although he was a warrior, a fighter, a householder having more than dozen
wives, but he was sannyasa. Because he sacrificed everything for Krsna. That is wanted. That is Krsna conscious.So everyone can test how far he has advanced simply by this, "How far I have become prepared to sacrifice everything for Krsna?" He doesn't require to take certificate from others. He can test himself, "How far I am prepared?" Then it is all right. This is the standard.

Srila Prabhupada Lecture :: Ref. VedaBase => Bhagavad-gita 3.1-5 -- Los Angeles, December 20, 1968