"Planet ISKCON" - 37 new articles
H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Friday 4 February 2011--Don't Be Carried Away by Phantasmagoria--and--Krishna Conscious Twenty-Four Hours
A daily broadcast of the Ultimate Self Realization Course(tm) Friday 4 February 2011 The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna, and His eternal consort, Srimati Radharani are enjoying transcendental pastimes in the topmost planet of the spiritual world, Sri Goloka Vrindavan. They are beckoning us to rejoin them. Our Mission: To help everyone awaken their original Krishna consciousness, which is eternal, full of knowledge and full of bliss. Such a global awakening will, in one stroke, solve all the problems of the world society bringing in a new era of unprecedented peace and prosperity for all. May that day, which the world so desperately needs, come very soon. We request you to participate in this mission by reviving your dormant Krishna consciousness and assisting us in spreading this science all over the world. Dedicated with love to ISKCON Founder-Acharya: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, our beloved spiritual master, and to you, our dear readers. Today's Thought: Don't Be Carried Away by Phantasmagoria Uploaded from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA The pure devotees, those who are fully enlightened with transcendental knowledge, are not carried away by the phantasmagoria, the illusory attractive nature, of this material existence. Rather they stay constantly absorbed in their original existential nature of devotion to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the original energetic source of all manifestations. In this way they are already liberated from all material conceptions of pleasure and distress and they are factually liberated even in the material world. This means that the pure devotees of the Lord are engaged in a transcendental existence, namely in the loving service of the Lord, both in the material world and in the spiritual world. Sankarshan Das Adhikari Answers According to the Vedic Version: Question: Krishna Conscious Twenty-Four Hours Most of my life goes into thinking about my body, even if I try to avoid it. I work for ten hours every day. I take time to sleep. And I do a daily Krishna conscious program every morning. Out of my 24 hours I do only four hours of Krishna consciousness. And even that is distracted by material desires. So in this situation how can I be engaged 24 hours daily in the Lord's service? Offering the result of my work to the Lord is difficult due to my present circumstances. Vikram Answer: Offer the Results of Your Job to Krishna. I understand that you are having some difficulty offering the fruit of your work to Krishna. So you must beg Krishna to help you. Chanting at least 16 rounds of Hare Krishna japa mala everyday, avoiding sinful activities, and offering the result of your work to Krishna are the most important principles for your spiritual progress. It is not that difficult to be fully engaged in the Lord's service 24 hours daily, even while working a job 10 hours daily. Job means income. What you need to do is to fully engage whatever money you earn in the service of the Lord. In this way your 24 hours will be fully absorbed in Krishna consciousness. You should no longer think that your duty is to maintain your wife, family, and household. From now on you should think that you are working to maintain Krishna's household. In other words, you should solidly establish your home as an ashram, a place of spiritual cultivation, where all of the household paraphernalia is being directly engaged in Krishna's service. You should nicely maintain a Krishna altar in your home, and no food should be eaten by any family member unless it has first been offered to Krishna on the altar. It may take time to implement this atmosphere in your home. But even now the sincere endeavor to make this transformation of your home will give you the 24 hours absorption in Krishna consciousness that you require to be fully happy and satisfied on the transcendental platform. Sankarshan Das Adhikari Transcendental Resources: Receive the Special Blessings of Krishna Now you too can render the greatest service to the suffering humanity and attract the all-auspicious blessings of Lord Sri Krishna upon yourself and your family by assisting our mission. Lectures and Kirtans in Audio and Video: Link to High Definition Videos Link to Over 1,000 Lecture Audios Lecture-Travel Schedule for 2011 http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/schedule Have Questions or Need Further Guidance? Check out the resources at: http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com or write Sankarshan Das Adhikari at: email@example.com Get your copy today of the world's greatest self-realization guide book, Bhagavad-gita As It Is available at: http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/store Know someone who could benefit from this? Forward it to them. Searchable archives of all of course material: http://www.sda-archives.com Receive Thought for the Day as an RSS feed: http://www.backtohome.com/rss.htm Unsubscribe or change your email address Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Daily_Thought Copyright 2005-2011 by Ultimate Self Realization.Com Distribution of this material is encouraged. Simply we request you to acknowledge where it is coming from with a link to our sign up page: http://www.backtohome.com Our records indicate that at requested to be enrolled to receive e-mails from the Ultimate Self Realization Course at: This request was made on: From the following IP address:
Here is some nectar about traveling book distribution in New Zealand, from the 2010 Prabhupada marathon.
I was in Hastings-in-Taranaki, around 6 or 7 in the evening. There were only a few people walking on the street, and one of them was an elderly lady. I approached her. When I said I was a monk, to my surprise she became very delighted and took in her hand the soft Gita I was presenting. After less than a minute of my telling her about the Gita, she said "Can I buy this book?" I said yes, and she gave $10 and sincerely said, "You have just made a young boy very happy."
I asked her, "Who is he?" and the lady replied, "He's my grandson. It is his eleventh birthday and he wants to be a monk."
I thought, "Wow, an eleven-year-old boy who wants to be a monk gets a 'Bhagavad-gita As It Is' from his grandmother for a birthday present. Nice."
Another day, I and two other devotees (Hriman Krishna Prabhu and Bhakta Chi, a practicing medical doctor) visited two small towns called Hawera- and Stratford-in-Taranaki. Two went to one place, and one to the other.
On the second day I was in Stratford and stopped a lady. She was very favorable. The day before she had gotten an "Easy Journey to Other Planets" from Bhakta Chi and read the whole book that night. So she happily gave $20 and took a Bhagavad-gita. That is what I call teamwork. I took her details and plan to get in touch.
The same day in Stratford I approached a lady with children and told her I was a monk. She asked, "Are you from Cambridge?" (Cambridge is a small town outside Hamilton.) I told her I wasn't, but after speaking to her for awhile I learned that six years ago in Cambridge she'd met Mahavana Prabhu, a devotee who now runs a brahmacari ashram in Wellington, and had had such a positive impression of him and the prasadam he gave her that she now happily gave me $20 and took a Bhagavad-gita.
My realization is that book distribution is really a team effort, especially in a small place like New Zealand. Each devotee is responsible for leaving every person they meet with a good impression. A person may not get a book from the first devotee they meet, but because they are left with a good impression, the next devotee they meet can distribute a book to them.
Ys Damodara Krsna dasa
Srimad Bhagavatam 11.29.45-49 - Krsna establishes Himself as the goal of Vedic knowledge.
Why that title? The horizontal boards reminded me of height markers at a Police line-up. But I digress...
These are recent photos of my grandsons, taken on Toby's (he's on the left) very first day of school. They're a handsome couple of lads, even as Toby presents a 'dag' face and brother Sebastian makes like a young Jim Carrey.
I daresay they've been sweating it out at school this week since Sydney's Western suburbs have recorded Sydney's hottest five days in a row on living record - over 35 degrees C every day. That's 95 degrees for all my US readers - (35 x 9/5) +32 = 95.
These are my all-time favourite shots so far of the lads.
H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – SB 11.29.39 It Is Natural To Criticize In The Material Nature 02-02-2011
Lecture – Srimad Bhagavatam 11.29.39 It Is Natural To Criticize In The Material Nature 02-02-2011 Melbourne
Lecture on Bhagavad-gita Chapter 14, Text 4 titled “Everything Perfectly Made by Nothing.” (evolution)
It should be understood that all species of life, O son of Kunti, are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I am the seed-giving father.
In this verse it is clearly explained that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, is the original father of all living entities. The living entities are combinations of the material nature and the spiritual nature. Such living entities are seen not only on this planet but on every planet, even on the highest, whereBrahma is situated. Everywhere there are living entities; within the earth there are living entities, even within water and within fire. All these appearances are due to the mother, material nature, and Krishna‘s seed-giving process. The purport is that the material world is impregnated with living entities, who come out in various forms at the time of creation according to their past deeds.
Lecture – Srimad Bhagavatam 11.29.38 Its Not Easy To Hear 02-01-2011 Melbourne
H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – SB 11.29.36-37 Develop Feeling Of Separation From Krsna 01-31-2011
Lecture – Srimad Bhagavatam 11.29.36-37 Develop Feeling Of Separation From Krsna 01-31-2011 Melbourne
Those in the disciplic succession of Madhva Gaudiya sampradaya should develop feeling of separation from Krsna.
Kirtan Australia Manifesto 1.0
"Musical ability is nothing, devotion is everything."
Vision: 2014 - three Australian kirtaniyas are doing multiple-country tours in support of their albums, reaching increasingly popular audiences.
Mission: To increase the quantity and depth of performance and the quantity and breadth of participation in kirtan, and specifically harinam sankirtan, in Australia and worldwide
1. Develop relationships with yoga schools, ashrams, and other venues for kirtan across Australia
For 2011, we will narrow the focus of international kirtaniyas mentioned in objective 4 to Gaura Vani (for his expansive outreach), Madhava (for his inward journey), and the Mayapuris (as powerful role models for Australian youth). Kirtan Australia will organise three national tours involving these kirtaniyas. The tours will be organised with sufficient (ideally 3-4 months) lead time to allow for publicity.
Kirtan Australia will also organise an unspecified number of national tours involving local kirtaniyas.
Expectations for Sponsored Kirtaniyas
"Sponsored Kirtaniyas" are persons who are sponsored to come to Australia by Kirtan Australia, or have a national tour organised by Kirtan Australia.
1. Sponsored Kirtaniyas must provide promotional material in advance, including graphics and recordings
Lecture – Book Distribution Talk – Value Awareness 2010-12-11 Dallas
Financial Management, Indian-style
A beggar in India found 100 Rupees. He went to an expensive hotel and ate to his heart’s content. When the bill for 3000 Rupees came, he said that he had no money. The manager called the police and the policeman took him away. The beggar gave the 100 Rupees to the policeman and was set free.
In our first meeting for the Spring Semester (with plenty of fresh snow and ice still on the ground :-)), we returned back to the first essential teaching of the Bhagavad-Gita: that we are more than just this temporary body, and that to go deeper, we must understand that we are the soul within. How do we understand this beyond the theoretical or the seemingly mystical or mythological? The realm of experience is where we can understand spiritual knowledge beyond the doubting and misunderstanding nature of our mind, and we framed our first discussion of the semester around one such extraordinary experience: the near-death experience (NDE).
Rupa Madhurya das, TX, USA: Lecture - Prahladananda Swami - Bhagavad-gita 5.29 - Inconvenient Jail (Evolution)
Prahladananda Swami speaking on Bhagavad-gita, Chapter 5, Text 29 titled "Inconvenient Jail (Evolution)."
Bhagavad-gita As It Is 5.29
A person in full consciousness of Me, knowing Me to be the ultimate beneficiary of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods, and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attains peace from the pangs of material miseries.
The conditioned souls within the clutches of illusory energy are all anxious to attain peace in the material world. But they do not know the formula for peace, which is explained in this part of the Bhagavad-gita. The greatest peace formula is simply this: Lord Krishna is the beneficiary in all human activities. Men should offer everything to the transcendental service of the Lord because He is the proprietor of all planets and the demigods thereon. No one is greater than He. He is greater than the greatest of the demigods, Lord Siva and Lord Brahma. In the Vedas (Svetasvatara Upanishad 6.7) the Supreme Lord is described as tam isvaranam paramam mahesvaram. Under the spell of illusion, living entities are trying to be lords of all they survey, but actually they are dominated by the material energy of the Lord. The Lord is the master of material nature, and the conditioned souls are under the stringent rules of material nature. Unless one understands these bare facts, it is not possible to achieve peace in the world either individually or collectively. This is the sense of Krishna consciousness: Lord Krishna is the supreme predominator, and all living entities, including the great demigods, are His subordinates. One can attain perfect peace only in complete Krishna consciousness.
This Fifth Chapter is a practical explanation of Krishna consciousness, generally known as karma-yoga. The question of mental speculation as to how karma-yoga can give liberation is answered herewith. To work in Krishna consciousness is to work with the complete knowledge of the Lord as the predominator. Such work is not different from transcendental knowledge. Direct Krishna consciousness is bhakti-yoga, and jnana-yoga is a path leading to bhakti-yoga. Krishna consciousness means to work in full knowledge of one's relationship with the Supreme Absolute, and the perfection of this consciousness is full knowledge of Krishna, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead. A pure soul is the eternal servant of God as His fragmental part and parcel. He comes into contact with maya (illusion) due to the desire to lord it over maya, and that is the cause of his many sufferings. As long as he is in contact with matter, he has to execute work in terms of material necessities. Krishna consciousness, however, brings one into spiritual life even while one is within the jurisdiction of matter, for it is an arousing of spiritual existence by practice in the material world. The more one is advanced, the more he is freed from the clutches of matter. The Lord is not partial toward anyone. Everything depends on one's practical performance of duties in Krishna consciousness, which helps one control the senses in every respect and conquer the influence of desire and anger. And one who stands fast in Krishna consciousness, controlling the abovementioned passions, remains factually in the transcendental stage, or brahma-nirvana. The eightfold yoga mysticism is automatically practiced in Krishna consciousness because the ultimate purpose is served. There is a gradual process of elevation in the practice of yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi. But these only preface perfection by devotional service, which alone can award peace to the human being. It is the highest perfection of life.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta Purports to the Fifth Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita in the matter of Karma-yoga, or Action in Krishna Consciousness.
Download: 2010-12-12b - Prahladananda Swami - BG 5.29 - Inconvenient Jail (evolution).mp3
Prabhupada: Now England is finished. There are aristocrat type statues now rolling on the ground. Who takes care? Their, their Lennon? Lennon, John Lennon and George Harrison, they are purchasing big, big palaces. (japa)
Hari-sauri: All the aristocracy, they just go out to work like anyone else.
Prabhupada: The lords are roaming on the street. I have seen many lords. They're ordinary.... Even they haven't got car. The Queen also, just like ordinary, common man. Royal family.
Ramesvara: One day America will be poor like that also.
Prabhupada: Yes. Luxury leads to poverty. When the American becomes too much luxurious, they'll not be able to defend their country. Then it will be finished.
Ramesvara: That is the fear even now, that America has lost their fighting spirit against the Communists.
Prabhupada: Oh, yes, yes. Yes. Vietnam. It is proof. When the Vietnam is attacked, American soldiers, they began to fly, flee away, became afraid. Naturally. They were not soldiers. They have no fighting spirit. By force they have been made soldiers. Let them take to Krsna consciousness. America will be saved.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Morning Walk -- June 11, 1976, Los Angeles
My Education professor gave the class homework one evening, which was to answer the following question.
Why do you want to be a teacher?
In my culture and religion, the word "dharma" means "duty." But dharma also connotes a more subtle concept. If one has a certain nature, it is also one's duty to act within that nature.
My dharma is to teach. When I teach, I lose track of time. When I teach, nothing else matters but sharing knowledge. When I teach, I am the best I can be. No other profession compares to how I feel when I teach.
Actually, it's to an extreme - if I try to do any other kind of work, I struggle to wake up in the morning. Life drags. I look for excuses to escape.
But I have wanted to be a high school English teacher since I was twelve, in 7th grade. Sometimes I wish I had more flexibility for a possible profession, and I have even been berated before on my stubbornness to stick with teaching. After all, teachers don't get paid much. So one perspective is that I'm inflexible in career choice.
The other perspective is that I have discovered my irrefutable dharma, and I shall hold to that dharma through beauty and through pain.
I guess teachers get all poetic when we're asked this question - Why do you want to be a teacher? - because I think that teaching is one of the most natural dharmas of the soul. It is timeless. Regardless of whether one is a teacher by profession, I have come to this conclusion: learning is the nature of the soul, teaching is the duty of the soul, education is the dharma of every soul.
This is my life's devotion.
And that is why I want to be a teacher.
“The report by WVU’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research, done for the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association, said more than 2,800 state permits have been issued for Marcellus wells and that drilling is under way in 45 of the 55 counties.”
Again, you can help, see:
and join the lobbying campaign for better regulations for Marcellus gas drilling in West Virginia, of which New Vrindaban is a part.
CHARLESTON (AP) – The Legislature on Thursday began this session’s discussion of how to handle West Virginia’s share of the Marcellus shale natural gas field.
House Judiciary counsel Joe Altizer told a joint meeting of the body’s Judiciary and Finance committees that the reserves represent the state’s biggest natural resource development since the discovery of mineable coal.
The vast, mile-deep shale underlying several Eastern states promises to become the nation’s richest developable natural gas field “in our lifetime,” Altizer told his House chamber audience.
“I call it the gas gold rush,” Altizer said.
Analysts estimate that the field holds trillions of cubic feet of gas – enough to provide for U.S. needs for 20 years, according to Altizer.
An industry-funded West Virginia University study, released this week, says economic activity linked to Marcellus drilling created 7,600 jobs and almost $298 million in wages and benefits in the state in 2009.
The report by WVU’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research, done for the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association, said more than 2,800 state permits have been issued for Marcellus wells and that drilling is under way in 45 of the 55 counties.
But with enormous potential profits come considerable costs. Companies spend $3 million on each well they drill and can have multiple wells at a given site, Altizer said, citing industry figures.
The high-tech, horizontal drilling also involves hydraulic fracturing. Also known as fracking, this process involves pumping large volumes of water mixed with chemicals into wells at high pressure to crack open rock and release gas.
These operations carry other potential costs, Altizer noted.
Area landowners complain of damage to well sites they lease to drillers, and to area roads traveled by heavy industry trucks. Other concerns include the chemicals used in fracking, the large pond-like impoundments that store water from the process, and whether the fracking water contaminates area drinking supplies.
One pending bill proposes rules meant to address these various concerns. Crafted by a House-Senate interim committee that studied the issue over the past year, it also proposes hefty hikes for drillers.
Permits now cost $400 or $650, depending on the type of well. The interim study bill would pay drillers $15,000 to apply for a permit, $10,000 to modify it and $5,000 to renew it annually.
The Division of Environmental Protection has also drafted a bill for this session also expected to propose an array of regulations and fee increases for Marcellus operations. House and Senate lawmakers each expect to draw from both bills to develop a final measure.
Senate President Pro Tempore Brooks McCabe said his chamber is also discussing separate legislation meant to embrace the economic benefits from developing the state’s share of the shale field.
“This would be a bill focusing on some of the economic development aspects, the opportunities that the Marcellus shale development presents to us,” said McCabe, D-Kanawha. “We are looking at how to help solidify that industry, to improve West Virginia’s competitive posture with the states around us in the near term.”
Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: New Energy Debuts Largest SolarWindow™ Of-its-Kind Capable of Generating Electricity
Columbia, MD – February 1, 2011 – – New Energy Technologies, Inc. (OTCBB: NENE), today announced that researchers have successfully developed a first-generation 12”x12” working prototype of the Company’s SolarWindow™ technology, capable of generating electricity on see-thru glass. Compared with its 4”x4” predecessor, unveiled in September 2010, today’s debut marks a significant achievement for the Company as it continues to work towards producing a commercially marketable product.
Today’s prototype achievement marks a 300% increase in size over its predecessor, and is the first-ever working SolarWindow™ of its dimension. Researchers fabricated this prototype using New Energy’s patent-pending process for ‘spraying’ the Company’s electricity-generating coatings directly onto glass, eliminating expensive and often cumbersome high-temperature or high-vacuum production methods typically used by current solar manufacturers.
“This important milestone event brings our SolarWindow™ technology yet another step closer to the residential and commercial end-user,” stated Mr. John Conklin, President and CEO of New Energy Technologies, Inc. “We continue to pursue an aggressive product development program, working to improve, among other things, solar cell efficiency, power output, durability, manufacturability, and further scale-up.”
The Company’s latest ‘scale-up’ accomplishment follows on the heels of several important business and scientific achievements, including:
There are nearly 5 million commercial buildings in America, according to the Energy Information Administration, and more than 80 million single detached homes. New Energy’s SolarWindow™ technology is under development for commercial application in such buildings.
Filed under: Cows and Environment
Wednesday 9th of Feb, the “Sustainability Space” welcomes Devamrita Swami traveling author and international speaker.
Everyone is welcome to attend.
More information on this event will be posted soon.
Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam, Canto 10, Chapter 1, Texts 18-19 – “Demons and Devotees”.
Srimad Bhagavatam 10.1.18
Mother earth assumed the form of a cow. Very much distressed, with tears in her eyes, she appeared before Lord Brahma and told him about her misfortune.
Srimad Bhagavatam 10.1.19
After Lord Brahma understood the precarious condition of the earth, he first visited the demigods headed by Lord Indra, who are in charge of the various affairs of this universe, and Lord Siva, who is responsible for annihilation. Both maintenance and annihilation go on perpetually, under the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As stated in Bhagavad-gita (4.8), paritranaya sadhunam vinasaya ca dushkritam. Those who are obedient to the laws of God are protected by different servants and demigods, whereas those who are undesirable are vanquished by Lord Siva. Lord Brahma first met all the demigods, including Lord Siva. Then, along with mother earth, they went to the shore of the ocean of milk, where Lord Vishnu lies on a white island, Svetadvipa.
Lecture – Srimad Bhagavatam 11.29.32 Everyone Is Our Guru 1-28-2011 Melbourne
Everyone is our guru. From those who are following Krsna’s instructions we learn how to do bhakti & from those who are not following Krsna’s instructions, we learn what happens when you disobey Krsna.
By hearing this transcendental sound through the ear our heart becomes spiritually purified, and we can realize at that stage the transcendental Name, transcendental Qualities, transcendental Form, transcendental Pastimes etc. That is the way of descending process.
Letter to Hamsaduta
January 23, 1970
ISKCON Vaishnava Research Forum: In recent times, due to the degenerative state of the earth, there is noticeable resurgence of understanding and appreciation for the natural world. The ancient Vedic culture of India has since time immemorial emphasized reverence to nature by personifying various elements of the natural world, especially Mother Earth
From Every Day, Just Write, Volume I: Welcome Home to the One Big Book of Your Life
“Get underway. Write your message to the world, right here.
“(Fantasy that Alan Ginsberg had late awakening in his 70s that he should give up Buddhism and come to KC theism. Devotees direct him to me. I show him poem by Ann Waldman. Then we get down to business, and I see how willing he is, or how possible it is for him to receive the blessings of KC. To do so you must be like a child to hear the authority of brahma-sabda.)
“Common prayer. Don’t wait for inspiration or special beauty occurrence. Do night notes, evensong.
“My unconscious often floats into my conscious. Of course, that happens when I get sleepy sitting in a chair and trying a few more rounds. I wonder if I have “abused” transference of states from unconscious to conscious by free writing. Does that account for my inability to control the mind in japa when awake? Usually I say don’t blame it on free writing. It’s already going on. F.W. looks into what is going on already and then tries wholeheartedly to bring us to KC states. I hope for KC states flowing from the uncontrolled to the controlled. S.B. says we are all innately KC. Most of us come from the West, where Jesus is the lord, but then why do we take up KC? Krishna Himself says He is for all living beings, not just for the Indians. Never says He’s the God of the Hindus.
“I did a little physical exercise, not a half-hour we used to do. Getting older, don’t know whether you need more exercise or less. Not too much but not none at all, or else prematurely you’ll grow stiff. Can’t sit here all the time, need to move the dear old body around some. But when you sit here, then can you pour from the unconscious to the conscious. Is your KC no more than the reciting of what you recently read or some talk on how you feel of life in and out of ISKCON? Should be more. Don’t make light of what you get from readings. It is primary, called sravanam kirtanam.
“Now I am on the verge of starting again to ask M. to read to me Vidagdha-madhava. Okay, and what else? I will tell you. We want to get out the work before it’s too late, before headache starts and that sort of thing. Looking forward to the sunrise and after breakfast a little propped-up rest (not the one hour flat sleep I used to take.) I’ll go out walking and head for the shed and write there. Get some fresh air.
Lolly of the Funny Face
“I said mine for the morning or did I?
“So I got the thread on the thumb.
“So I was saying,
“Fortunately I do this in writing
A week ago today a few young devotees from our community dropped by to take darshan of Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundar. A couple of them were brother and sister Munish and Neha who are from the Bhakri clan, a Punjabi family that renders much service to the community via cooking delicious prasadam. Munish and some young devotees are also arranging the 24 hour kirtan that is coming up in just over 2 weeks from now.
Munish was curious about Srila Prabhupada's Punjabi conection. "Was Prabhupada ever in Punjab?" Thus this post with nectar from one of a few recorded conversations with Srila Prabhupada in Chandigarh.
Our families share Punjabi origin so the development of Krishna Consciousness and ISKCON in that region has always been more than a passing curiosity. As some of you many know Punjab was one of the last frontiers in India to develop ISKCON centres and penetration within the state's interior. This is somewhat due to rampant demigod worship in the region alongside heavy consumption of intoxicants.
The temple in Chandigarh (the official capital of Punjab) has been there for some time and more recently ISKCON has now penetrated the interior regions of Punjab including Ludhiana where fortunately Kishori (Subhavilasa's daughter-in-law) got her first exposure to ISKCON and Srila Prabhupada's books.
Below is a lecture which Srila Prabhupada delivered in October 1976 at the Rotary Club in Chandigarh. Srila Prabhupada never compromised, so in this demigod worship laden region, Srila Prabhupada is hammering again and again that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
All Glories to His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada!
Prabhupāda: Ladies and Gentlemen, the President, I am very much thankful to you that you are eager to hear about what Kṛṣṇa wants to speak.
Kṛṣṇa is accepted as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. All ācāryas—Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, Viṣṇu, Nimbārka, and latest, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and before that, other ācāryas like Vyāsadeva, Nārada, Asita, Devala, and before that, the original ācārya, Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva—everyone accepted Kṛṣṇa the Supreme Personality of Godhead. We are searching after whether there is God or there is no God. If there is God, what is the nature? What is the form? Whether He is person or imperson? There are so many questions. And to solve all these questions, the God Himself descends and speaks about Himself, and that speaking is this Bhagavad-gītā. God is speaking about Himself personally, personally present. So you can know Him, you can see Him, what He is, what is His function. Just to mitigate all our doubts, God is present here. And Kṛṣṇa says in the beginning of the Seventh Chapter of the Bhagavad-gītā how you can understand God without any doubt and in complete. That is spoken by God Himself.
mayy āsakta-manāḥ pārtha yogaṁ yuñjan mad-āśrayaḥ asaṁśayaṁ samagraṁ māṁ yathā jñāsyasi tac chṛṇu [Bg. 7.1]
“My dear Pārtha, Arjuna, in order to know Me, God, asaṁśayam, without any doubt, and samagram,” means in completeness, “as you can know Me, I am personally speaking to you.” That means if you want to know God, you can know Him when He explains Himself. Otherwise, you cannot speculate. God is unlimited, and your speculative power is limited. So you cannot understand God without the mercy of God. That is the verdict of the Vedic literature. It is very easy to understand. Suppose here is a big man, rich man, learned man. You want to know about him. So you cannot understand him by speculation: “He may be of this standard. He may be like this. He may have so much money.” You suggest; another friend suggests. In this way the study of that particular man is not complete. But if the same person kindly speaks and explains about himself that “Sir, I am like this.” (aside:) Water. “My position is like this. I have got so much bank balance,” that is the way. This is the way of understanding. It is called descending process. And there is another process, which is called ascending process. In Sanskrit it is called āroha-panthā, avaroha-panthā. Āroha-panthā… You want to go, to know about the sun planet or any other. Just like they are trying. They are trying to go there, Mars planet, Moon planet, by rising on the sky by their aeroplanes, sputniks. But they have not been able to understand what is the position of these planets. This is called āroha-panthā. But if somebody comes from the planet and explains everything, then you know it very easily. Similarly, God has come to explain Himself. You’ll find in the Bhagavad-gītā.
This Bhagavad-gītā is recorded in the greater Indian history, Mahābhārata. Mahābhārata means greater India or greater Bhārata. Greater Bhārata means the whole planet was formerly Bhāratavarṣa. Now it is cut into pieces. Recently we have got experience that Pakistan was also India. Now it is cut out. Similarly, this Bhārata… Bhārata means… Bhāratavarṣa means the sapta-samudra, sapta-dvīpa. This sapta-dvīpa still accepted—the North America, South America, Asia, Africa, Australia. In this way there are sapta-dvīpa, islands. So that is Bhārata. Now it is cut off under different circumstances. And the capital was this New Delhi or Hastināpura, and the kings, emperors, were the Pāṇḍavas family. So this is the history of greater India. That is called Mahābhārata. So Mahābhārata… In the Mahābhārata this Bhagavad-gītā is set up, and the writer of Mahābhārata is Vyāsadeva himself, and therefore the recorder of the speech, what Kṛṣṇa said in the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra, is also Vyāsadeva. So Vyāsadeva, you’ll find in the Bhagavad-gītā, he says everywhere, bhagavān uvāca. He never says that “I am writing.” He says, bhagavān uvāca. That you’ll mark, those who have read Bhagavad-gītā. [break] …tac chṛṇu. Then you’ll understand Bhagavān without any doubt and in completeness. Asaṁśayam samagraṁ māṁ yathā jñāsyasi tac chṛṇu [Bg. 7.1] It is very easy. If you simply concentrate your mind on Kṛṣṇa, sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayoḥ, as Mahārāja Ambarīṣa did, and many other great personalities did it… Arjuna did. Now we are concerned with Arjuna and Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is speaking, and Arjuna is hearing. So what is the situation? The situation is that the Kurus and the Pāṇḍavas assembled together on the great battlefield. It is not battlefield, Kurukṣetra; it is dharmakṣetra.
dharma-kṣetre kuru-kṣetre samavetā yuyutsavaḥ māmakāḥ pāṇḍavāś caiva kim akurvata sañjaya [Bg. 1.1]
This is the question by Dhṛtarāṣṭra. Dhṛtarāṣṭra was the father of the Kurus, and the Pāṇḍavas were the five brothers, the sons of the younger brother of Dhṛtarāṣṭra, Mahārāja Pāṇḍu. So Dhṛtarāṣṭra was blind, born blind. Actually he was to inherit—the eldest son of the family. But on account of his blindness the throne was given to his younger brother, Pāṇḍu. So the sons of Pāṇḍu is known as Pāṇḍavas, and the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra are known as Kurus or Dhṛtarāṣṭra. So after all, politics, it is always very intriguing in all times. So Dhṛtarāṣṭra was very sorry that he could not become the emperor. At least his son should be. Because he was blind, that’s all, but his sons were not blind. So naturally father wants… So this is the whole history of Mahābhārata, intriguing, politics, and ultimately there was fight between the two parties, Kurus and the Pāṇḍavas, to decide. By logic, by morality and other things, everything failed. Then there was declaration of war. The Bhagavad-gītā is spoken in that warfield.
Kṛṣṇa was engaged as the chariot driver of the chariot of Arjuna. And while the chariot was brought in the battlefield between the two groups of soldiers… Senayor ubhayor madhye rathaṁ sthāpaya me ’cyuta. Arjuna requested, “My dear Kṛṣṇa…” Kṛṣṇa was his friend and Kṛṣṇa was familywise related both with the Kurus and Pāṇḍavas. Kṛṣṇa’s father and the Pāṇḍavas’ mother, they were real brother and sister. In this way there were family relationship, and Kṛṣṇa therefore denied to take part in the actual fighting. The whole world was divided. Some of them joined this party; some of them joined that party. Just like it actually happens when there is big war. Even nowadays, all the nations, they make a group. Some of them forming were forming one group; another some of them, they formed another group. Exactly the same thing was done. Now Kṛṣṇa was the charioteer, but when the chariot was brought in front of the two soldiers’ party, Arjuna became little bit disturbed that “I have to fight. On the other side they are my brothers, they are my nephews, they are my gurus, Dronācārya, and they are my grandfather, Bhīṣmadeva. So what kind of fight this is that I have to fight with my friends and relatives and family members?” So he hesitated, that “Kṛṣṇa, what kind of fight this is? They are not my enemies; they are all family members. So I am not interested in this fight.” So he practically decided not to fight. And Kṛṣṇa said that “What is this nonsense? You are a military man, and you have come to fight here, and you are My friend and My relative also, and if you decide not to fight, what people will say?” This is the beginning. Then, after some arguments, Arjuna thought it wise that “Actually, I am a military man and I have come to fight a decision that we shall fight. Now what I am trying to do, to avoid this fighting? Actually it is not my business. I am deviating from my duty.” Therefore… (aside:) Find out this, kārpaṇya-doṣa. Find out.
Pradyumna: kārpaṇya-doṣopahata-svabhāvaḥ pṛcchāmi tvāṁ dharma-sammūḍha-cetāḥ yac chreyaḥ syān niścitaṁ brūhi tan me śiṣyas te ’haṁ śādhi māṁ tvāṁ prapannam
Pradyumna: “Now I am confused about my duty and have lost all composure because of weakness. In this condition I am asking You to tell me clearly what is best for me. Now I am Your disciple, and a soul surrendered unto You. Please instruct me.”
Prabhupāda: Yes. So Arjuna understood his weakness, his weak point. Therefore he said to Kṛṣṇa that kārpaṇya-doṣopahata-svabhāvaḥ. Kārpaṇya, this word, comes from kṛpaṇa. Kṛpaṇa… Kṛpaṇa, this word, is known practically everyone. Kṛpaṇata means miserly. A person who has got enough resources but if he does not use it properly, it is called, he is called a kṛpaṇa, miser. And the opposite word of kṛpaṇa is udhara, or liberal. So there are two words, kṛpaṇa. So Arjuna said, kārpaṇya-doṣa: “I know I can fight. I am quite competent military person, but I am not using my resources; therefore it is kārpaṇya-doṣopahata-svabhāvaḥ.” Svabhāvaḥ means naturally a military man, a kṣatriya, is very bold enough to fight. That is one of the qualification of a military man. Yuddhe cāpalāyanam. The śaurya, vīrya, tejaḥ, yuddhe cāpalāyanam, these are the symptoms of kṣatriya. He would never go away from fighting. When there is challenge, fighting, a kṣatriya will never deny. Yuddhe cāpalāyanam. So when kṣatriya, is especially a kṣatriya like Arjuna… He is the best military man of that age, and he was denying to fight. So he could understand his weakness. He said, kārpaṇya-doṣopahata-svabhāvaḥ: “Naturally I should fight, but on account of my crippled decision or miserly decision, I am perplexed.” So Kṛṣṇa… He knew Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. “Therefore I am surrendering unto You.” What is that? Two, last lines?
Pradyumna: Śiṣyas te ’haṁ śādhi māṁ tvāṁ prapannam.
Prabhupāda: Śiṣyas te ’ham. Ahaṁ te śiṣya: “I just become Your disciple, and You just educate me. Please enlighten me.” This is the position. Before that, Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna, they were talking like friends. Friends means argument. We can go on arguing for days together, but there is no decision. That is friendly talk. But when there is talk between a master and disciple, there is no question of arguing. The disciple has to accept what is ordered by the master.
So Kṛṣṇa is accepted guru or the spiritual master, and Arjuna says, śiṣyas te ’haṁ śādhi māṁ prapannam. Prapannam means that “I am surrendered to You. I don’t think myself on the equal level with You.” The spiritual master and the disciple, they cannot be on the equal level. Therefore a spiritual master is called guru. Guru means heavy. Just like in the scale we put something this side, something that side. The thing which is weighty, that goes down. Similarly, guru is supposed to be weighty than the śiṣya. So Kṛṣṇa begins to speak when He is accepted as guru; otherwise He does not speak. Now, our subject matter is “Let Kṛṣṇa speak for Himself.” So we have to accept Kṛṣṇa as the supreme authority. Then His speaking will be useful for us. Otherwise, if we think that Kṛṣṇa is on the equal level—“He is also a historical personality and His education and my education equal and so on, so on”—so long we think like that, then we cannot hear or understand Kṛṣṇa. But if we take the position of Arjuna—śiṣyas te ’haṁ śādhi māṁ prapannam—then Kṛṣṇa will speak to the disciple like Arjuna, and everything will be clear.
So the point is Bhagavad-gītā is well known all over the world. Not now… Because we are preaching Bhagavad-gītā through this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, and millions of people are interested… We have got so many books, and the calculation is already submitted. They are accepting this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement through literature, and big, big scholars, professors, librarian, they are purchasing our books very nicely. The total collection daily is five to six lakhs of rupees. So now this Kṛṣṇa movement is being appreciated all over the world. Unfortunately, although Bhagavad-gītā is spoken in this land of Bhāratavarṣa, Chandigarh, the Kurukṣetra, we do not allow Kṛṣṇa to speak. This is our misfortune. Kṛṣṇa spoke these words of Bhagavad-gītā. Many scholars, many so-called saintly persons, they have misinterpreted the words of Bhagavad-gītā. They did not allow to speak Kṛṣṇa. They wanted to speak on behalf of Kṛṣṇa… Not on behalf of Kṛṣṇa. I am sorry. They wanted to speak about themself. If one speaks on behalf of Kṛṣṇa, he is guru. But if one manufactures some idea from the words of Kṛṣṇa by misinterpretation and does not allow Kṛṣṇa to speak, it is a great dangerous position. That has become actually the fact in India. Otherwise such a big culture, complete culture… From the Bhagavad-gītā, any question you can raise, the answer is there. Political, social, religious, philosophical, cultural—any way you study Bhagavad-gītā, the complete answer is there.
Therefore our request is that let Kṛṣṇa speak for Himself. Don’t try to misinterpret the words of Kṛṣṇa or the words in the Bhagavad-gītā. That will spoil it. Just like in the beginning it is said,
dharma-kṣetre kuru-kṣetre samavetā yuyutsavaḥ māmakāḥ pāṇḍavāś caiva kim akurvata sañjaya [Bg. 1.1]
Now this Kurukṣetra… Everyone knows there is a place Kurukṣetra. From time immemorial in the Vedic literature it is mentioned about Kurukṣetra. Kurukṣetre dharmam ācaret: “Go to Kurukṣetra and perform ritualistic ceremonies there.” So it is dharmakṣetra. So how you can interpret Kurukṣetra as the body? Where is that dictionary, and where is the necessity of interpreting like that? There is no necessity. Interpretation is required when the meaning is not clear. But if the meaning is clear, why should you interpret it unnecessarily? That is malinterpretation, and that is going on. Kṛṣṇa is accepted as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but somebody says, “He is fictitious. There was no fight like Kurukṣetra. There was no such person as Kṛṣṇa,” and “Kṛṣṇa is a person from the black aborigines,” so on, so on, so many interpretation. What is the benefit? The benefit is that we have lost our Vedic culture. This is the benefit.
Therefore our request is… This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is specially meant for this purpose, that do not try to be overlord of Kṛṣṇa. Don’t speak anything manufactured by you on the plea of Kṛṣṇa speaking. If you want to speak something, good or nonsense, you can speak. Everyone has got the freedom to speak about his philosophy, about his thesis. But why through Kṛṣṇa? Why through Bhagavad-gītā? This is our protest. Let Kṛṣṇa speak Himself as He is and as He wants. Why should you speak by malinterpretation? That is the practice now, that everyone can interpret Bhagavad-gītā as he likes. Then where is the authority of Bhagavad-gītā? Can you interpret the law given by the government in your own way? That is not possible. Similarly, if Kṛṣṇa is accepted, He’s accepted actually. (aside:) Find out this verse, paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān [Bg. 10.12] Tenth Chapter.
paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān puruṣaṁ śāśvataṁ divyam ādi-devam ajaṁ vibhum [Bg. 10.12]
āhus tvām ṛṣayaḥ sarve devarṣir nāradas tathā asito devalo vyāsaḥ svayaṁ caiva bravīṣi me
Prabhupāda: So… Yes. Read it.
Pradyumna: “Arjuna said: You are the Supreme Brahman, the ultimate, the supreme abode and purifier, the Absolute Truth and the eternal divine person. You are the primal God, transcendental and original, and You are the unborn and all-pervading beauty. All the great sages such as Nārada, Asita, Devala, and Vyāsa proclaim this of You, and now You Yourself are declaring it to me.”
Prabhupāda: So the student of Bhagavad-gītā, as Arjuna says, śiṣyas te ’haṁ śādhi māṁ prapannam. After hearing Bhagavad-gītā in detail, he accepted Kṛṣṇa as paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān puruṣaṁ śāśvatam ādyam [Bg. 10.12] So one may say that “This is a friendly talk. So Arjuna accepted Kṛṣṇa as it is described in the Bhagavad-gītā, that He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So as a friend he accepted.” Because Kṛṣṇa says, aham ādir hi devānām.
ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate iti matvā bhajante māṁ budhā bhāva-samanvitāḥ [Bg. 10.8]
So Arjuna accepted Him, “Yes, you are paraṁ brahma.” Brahman and Parabrahman. We, all living entities, we are also Brahman, but we are not Parabrahman. Parabrahman is Kṛṣṇa.
īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ anādir ādir govindaḥ sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam [Bs. 5.1]
Ete cāṁśa kala-puṁsāṁ kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam. These are the verdict of the Vedic literature. Here it is also repeated by Arjuna, that “Not that after hearing You I accept You as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Parambrahman, but formerly Asita, Nārada, Vyāsa, they also accepted it.” The next verse?
sarvam etad ṛtaṁ manye yan māṁ vadasi keśava na hi te bhagavān vyaktiṁ vidur devā na dānavāḥ [Bg. 10.14]
Prabhupāda: So “I accept all Your instruction.” What is again? Read it.
Pradyumna: Sarvam etad ṛtaṁ manye [Bg. 10.14]
Prabhupāda: Sarvam etad ṛtaṁ manye. This is actually student of Bhagavad-gītā, not that “The portion which I like, I accept, and the portion I do not like, I reject.” This is nonsense. If you want to become the student of Bhagavad-gītā, if you want to derive some benefit out of it, then you should be like Arjuna, like this. He said, sarvam etad ṛtaṁ manye: [Bg. 10.14] “Whatever You say, I accept it.” Ṛtam means truth. “Not that I am accepting, but previous to me…” What is the next line?
Pradyumna: Yan māṁ vadasi keśava.
Pradyumna: Na hi te bhagavan vyaktiṁ vidur devā na dānavāḥ.
Prabhupāda: “Because Your personality cannot be understood even by the demigods, what to speak of ordinary human being.” And Kṛṣṇa has said that avajānanti māṁ mūḍhā mānuṣīṁ tanum āśritāḥ paraṁ bhāvam ajānanto [Bg. 9.11]. The mūḍha, those who deride at Kṛṣṇa, that “He’s an ordinary human being,” such person is condemned herewith as mūḍha. Mūḍha means ass. Avajānanti māṁ mūḍhā mānuṣīṁ tanum āśritāḥ [Bg. 9.11]. Because he does not know paraṁ bhāvam, what is the background of Kṛṣṇa. So similarly, there are many passages. Anyone who does not understand Kṛṣṇa and at the same time he declares himself as the student of Bhagavad-gītā, as a scholar of Bhagavad-gītā, he is misleading himself and misleading his followers. That is the verdict of Bhagavad-gītā and everyone. Bhagavad-gītā has to be understood. In the Fourth Chapter you find out that,
imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham avyayam vivasvān manave prāhur manur ikṣvākave ’bravīt [Bg. 4.1]
evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ [Bg. 4.2]
This is paramparā. The truth of Bhagavad-gītā was first spoken to the sun-god, and he spoke to his son, to Manu, Vaivasvata Manu. And Vaivasvata Manu spoke to his son, Ikṣvāku. And Kṛṣṇa said, evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ [Bg. 4.2]. Rājarṣaya. This philosophy of Bhagavad-gītā, it is meant for the rājarṣi, not for the loafer class. Rājarṣi: king, at the same time, saintly person. Imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ. Kṛṣṇa does not say that ordinary scholar or so-called philosopher can understand. Only the rājarṣayo viduḥ. So Arjuna is one of the rājarṣis. So he understood Kṛṣṇa. He says, paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma [Bg. 10.12] So we have to accept this paramparā system. If we take Bhagavad-gītā seriously then we should follow the footprints of Arjuna as he understood. He accepted Kṛṣṇa as the Paraṁbrahman. So what is spoken by Paraṁbrahman, the Supreme Lord, the Supreme Person, how we can interpret His words and squeeze out some meaning and mislead myself and mislead others? This is not good.
So our this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is trying to rectify this mistake. Bhagavad-gītā is the most authorized scripture in the Vedic literature. Vedic literature means it is not spoken by any ordinary human being. Apaureṣaya means this literature, Vedic literature, is spoken directly by the Supreme Person or Lord. So it was instructed through Brahmā, Lord Brahmā. Tene brahma hṛda ādi-kavaye. Janmādy asya yataḥ [Bhāg. 1.1.1]. Oṁ namo bhāgavate vāsudevāya. These are the Vedānta philosophy’s beginning. The Vedānta philosophy begins with the word athāto brahma jijñāsā. This human form of life is meant for inquiring about Brahman. The human life is not meant for any other purpose. That is the distinction between a dog’s life and a human being’s life. A dog cannot inquire about Brahman. That is not possible. But a human being can inquire about Brahman. Therefore this life is meant for brahma-jijñāsā about Brahman. So if we accept these aphorisms of the Vedānta-sūtra… Vedānta-sūtra is supposed to be the most authorized summary, cream of all the Vedas. So Kṛṣṇa has said in the Bhagavad-gītā, vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaṁ vedānta-vid vedānta-kṛd ca aham [Bg. 15.15]. So if we accept these words of Kṛṣṇa, then we become actually Vedānti. Without understanding these things as spoken in the… Bhagavad-gītā is the summarized Vedānta or Vedic philosophy. Because in this age, Kali-yuga, we are not very advanced. About us, it is described in the śāstra, mandāḥ sumanda-matayo manda-bhāgyā upadrutāḥ, prāyeṇālpayuṣaḥ kalāv asmin yuge janāḥ [SB 1.1.10]. In this age, Kali-yuga, we are living not very long time. In Kali-yuga, the duration of life will be reduced so much, gradually, that if a person lives for twenty to thirty years, he’ll be considered a grand old man. That day is coming. Now we have got practical experience. Our grandfather or father lived for so many years, but we are not living for so many years. Our sons will not live so many years. In this way the duration of life, the memory, the mercifulness, the bodily strength—everything will be reduced. This is already foretold in the śāstras. So therefore in this age we are all short-living, mandāḥ, very slow or bad, and sumanda-matayo. Everyone has got a obnoxious opinion about philosophy, about the goal of life. Mandāḥ sumanda-matayo, and manda-bhāgyā, unfortunate also. The description, if we try to describe, it will take long time. The short-cut description is there: mandāḥ sumanda-matayo manda-bhāgyā hy upadrutāḥ. At the same time, disturbed always. This material world means always disturbed condition, but in this age, Kali-yuga, the disturbance is more and more.
So under the circumstances, it is out of Kṛṣṇa’s kindness that making Arjuna as a target of His instruction, Bhagavad-gītā, He has given us this valuable instruction. We should accept it as it is. Therefore we are presenting Bhagavad-gītā As It Is, without any malinterpretation. Take Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. You’ll be benefited. And so far as brahma-jijñāsā, the Kṛṣṇa begins with this aphorism of brahma-jijñāsā. When Arjuna submitted to Kṛṣṇa that “I am Your now disciple. There is no need of friendly talks. You can give me instruction seriously because I am surrendered to You, and You give me the real instruction,” so the first instruction was, as soon as Arjuna submitted… Because unless you submit, it is useless to talk because you’ll not hear. Therefore to accept an authority is submission. First thing is, tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā [Bg. 4.34]. Unless you submit, if you think yourself that you are a very big scholar, very learned scholar and very good philosopher—you don’t require any instruction from guru—then there is no possibility. The first thing is Kṛṣṇa instructs in the Bhagavad-gītā, tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā. If you want to know the substance, then the first thing is that you must be submissive, praṇipāta. Prakṛṣṭa-rūpeṇa nipāta. You fall down. Therefore the system is: the disciple falls flat before the spiritual master. That is the etiquette, praṇipātena. And if you think that you know better than Kṛṣṇa or Kṛṣṇa’s representative, the guru, there is no necessity of accepting guru. Do not keep a guru as a pet dog. No. You must be submissive. Tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā [Bg. 4.34]. This is wanted. That Kṛṣṇa… That is the example given by Arjuna. Śiṣyas te ’haṁ śādhi māṁ prapannam. This prapannam is required.
So when Arjuna submitted, then Kṛṣṇa spoke. The first speaking was that,
aśocyān anvaśocas tvaṁ prajñā-vādāṁś ca bhāṣase gatāsūn agatāsūṁś ca nānuśocanti
paṇḍitāḥ [Bg. 2.11]
“Arjuna, you are talking with Me—of course, you are My friend—on equal level. You are talking just like a very learned man.” You have read in the Bhagavad-gītā. He submitted his proposition, that “How can I kill my…, the other side? They are my brothers, and if the brothers are dead, my sister-in-laws will be widow and they will be polluted, and there will be varṇa-saṅkara. And so…” These things are facts, but Kṛṣṇa says that “You are simply taking calculation of the body. Body. You have no spiritual calculation. The life is meant for spiritual understanding, athāto brahma jijñāsā. But you have no such understanding. You have no such knowledge, and still you are speaking.” Aśocyān anvaśocas tvaṁ prajñā-vādāṁś ca bhāṣase: [Bg. 2.11] “You are talking like a very learned man, but My dear friend, you are not learned.” He said in a different way. Agatāsūn. Gatāsūn agatāsūṁś ca nānuśocanti paṇḍitāḥ. “Because this body… You are thinking in terms of bodily relationship, but a paṇḍita, a learned scholar… Actually he is learned scholar when he does not lament for this body, either alive or dead.” This is the first instruction. This body is already dead. It is matter, dead matter. But you should try to understand the living spirit within this body. The next verse He said that,
dehino ’smin yathā dehe kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā tathā dehāntara-prāptir dhīras tatra na muhyati [Bg. 2.13]
This is knowledge, beginning of knowledge. Try to understand about the soul, the part of Parabrahman, the spark of Parabrahman, the spirit soul. That is within this body. So “You are lamenting on this body, but you have no information of the active principle within the body.” So nānuśocanti paṇḍitāḥ: “So this is not the statement of a paṇḍita.” In other way He… He is friend. Or as śiṣya…, that “This kind of things never happens in the case of a paṇḍita.” That means, “My dear friend, you are apaṇḍita. You are not paṇḍita.” One who does not know about the spirit soul, he is not a paṇḍita. Dhīras tatra na muhyati. This transmigration of the soul… Just like you condole d one Rotarian who has died. But Kṛṣṇa says, dhīras tatra na muhyati. “Yes, he’s not dead. He has transmigrated to another body. He’s not dead.” That is the… Na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre [Bg. 2.20] This is the instruction of Kṛṣṇa, that “Don’t think that because the body is annihilated, therefore the person is annihilated. No.” Na jāyate na mriyate vā kadācit: “That soul never takes birth, never dies.” Nityaḥ śāśvato ’yam, na hanyate hanyamāne [Bg. 2.20]. This is the first instruction of Bhagavad-gītā. There are so many students of Bhagavad-gītā, but because they are not actually paṇḍita, they do not take account of the simple thing, how the soul transmigrates from one body to another. This is the position. And therefore we should not continue to remain apaṇḍitāḥ, nānuśocanti paṇḍitāḥ, and lament. So long we are not paṇḍitāḥ, our business is to lament and to hanker. We lament what is lost, and we hanker what is not in our possession. This is material disease. So when we understand that ahaṁ brahmāsmi… That hint is given by Kṛṣṇa, that asmin dehe dehinaḥ: “The proprietor of the body is there, asmin dehe. On account of presence of the proprietor of the body, the body is changing.” Dehino ’smin yathā dehe kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā [Bg. 2.13]. The kaumāra, the childhood, the boyhood, the youthhood— these changes of body is taking place on account of presence of the dehina. So where is this education all over the world? There is no such education. But there is knowledge. This is Bhagavad-gītā. We don’t take advantage of Bhagavad-gītā; therefore there is no such education, athāto brahma jijñāsā, or to understand Brahman.
So everything is very nicely explained in the Bhagavad-gītā, and you have got a nice club. So I request you to discuss on the Bhagavad-gītā as it is, without any malinterpretation. Then it will be beneficial for your club. Because Cāṇakya Paṇḍita… You have heard the name of Cāṇakya Paṇḍita. In New Delhi there is a Cāṇakya Purī. He was a great politician, very learned scholar, brāhmaṇa and great moralist also. So he has instructed about this Brahman knowledge in various ways. So our point is that we should not spoil this life. We should utilize every moment of our life very properly. This Cāṇakya Pandit I am referring because he has given very good instruction how to utilize our life. He says,
āyuṣaḥ kṣaṇa eko ’pi na labhyaḥ svarṇa-koṭibhiḥ na cen nirarthakaṁ nītiḥ kā ca hānis tato ’dhikā
We are calculating of loss and gain. Cāṇakya Paṇḍita says that “Even one moment of our life, if it is lost, then you cannot get it back even by paying hundreds and thousands of dollars.” One moment of this day, if it is lost, you cannot get it back by paying hundreds and thousands of dollars. So if the moments of your life is spent uselessly, then how much loss you are suffering, you just imagine. Therefore our request is that we have got this valuable life, human form of life, bahu-sambhavānte, after many, many births in the evolutionary process. Now we should try to understand what is Brahman. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. Don’t spoil it otherwise. And that brahma-jijñāsā and answer is there in the Bhagavad-gītā. Brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā [Bg. 18.54]. Bhagavad-gītā instruction is given just to bring you back to Brahman consciousness or Kṛṣṇa consciousness, not this bodily consciousness. Bodily consciousness is there in the dog and the cat. So that is not very glorification. We should come to the Brahman consciousness, then brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā. Then you’ll be jubilant. Brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocati na kāṅkṣati-samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu [Bg. 18.54]. And when you come to that platform of understanding Brahman, then there is question of sama, samatā. Samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu. And on that stage you can attain the parā-bhakti, or devotional life to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
So that is our propaganda, and we are trying to bring people to that stage of parā-bhakti. That parā-bhakti is achievable by the simple method, as Kṛṣṇa said,
mayy āsakta-manāḥ pārtha yogaṁ yuñjan mad-āśrayaḥ asaṁśayaṁ samagraṁ māṁ yathā… [Bg. 7.1]
Unless you understand Kṛṣṇa, why should you surrender unto Him? Parā-bhakti begins when you surrender. So that takes place [break] …the darkness of bodily conception of life. That is condemned in the Vedic literature. Sa eva go-kharaḥ [SB 10.84.13]
yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke sva-dhīḥ kalatrādiṣu bhauma ijyadhīḥ yat-tīrtha-buddhiḥ salile na karhicij sa eva go-kharaḥ [SB 10.84.13]
If we keep ourself on the bodily concept of life, and then we are defeated. This is the verdict of the śāstra. Parābhavas tāvad abodha-jāto yāvan na jijñāsata ātma-tattvam. So long you are not inquisitive about your Brahman identification, ahaṁ brahmāsmi, then whatever you are doing, that is defeat. That is not advancement. So with these words I shall request you that in your club you cultivate this knowledge of Bhagavad-gītā and utilize your time fully and just try to make your life successful.
Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa.
I was reading this article and what struck me are the comments from the common man. I did not read all comments but majority seems to be either sarcastic or angry that a cow missed slaughter. Normally I read comments of an article to assess common man's thought process. Clearly, slaughtering an animal simply does not evoke any compassion rather it enrages people that they missed an opportunity. How sad?
We don't waste a breath to glorify human achievements. There are so many institutions propagating organized religion which supposedly should be spreading peace and harmony. There are so many philanthropists studying socio-economic inequities and are finding ways to solve them. Yet on a day to day basis...the very same human beings involved in what seems to be apparent "humanism" engage in barbaric acts of bloodshed and terror within the animal kingdom. Not sure where "humanism" goes when someone is devouring flesh down his belly?
Personally, I am not able to comprehend such conflicting and contrasting ideologies. On the one side we have over whelming support to "save" the planet & people and yet on the other we engage in animal torture. This is hypocrisy at its best.
If a cow can jump a fence, cross the river and save itself...the majority of the commentators of the article (and I am estimating most of the general population as well) are so blind, dumb and deaf they cannot comprehend that an animal feels pain and pleasure and can think intelligently just as any human being? If this was done by a soldier of war...he/she would be honored for bravery and perhaps made into a Hollywood movie. Because it is a cow with no ability to talk "human" language, it is deemed to abuse, horror and ultimately death. If people of such a community are so blind, dumb and deaf to such a cause, then that people and community is condemned. Killing whimsically and wasting blood is not a sign of civilized humanity but rather barbarism. Indeed, we are living in such extreme conditions despite access to such information. In my opinion, there is no excuse!
I wish King Parikshith actually killed the personification of "Kali" 5000 years ago!
H.H. Sivarama Swami: Bn Rita cites my own statement that we should rise to the stage of nista to be truthful in taking vows of initiation
And asks whether one can actually take diksa vows before nistha and the difference in the benefits of chanting before/after initiation.
Skype conference with Russian disciples (English/Russian)
By giving respect to the Hare Krsna mantra....respect that comes from pronouncing and hearing with attention....then Krsna accepts that devotion and reciprocates. He reciprocates by giving us drops of spiritual energy and purification by His association through the Holy Names.
Whilst asleep my e-mail sent out what could only be called spam at 3am to all the contact’s in my contact list. This appears to be following the automated push from my smart phone from an e-mail with attachments. To say I am some what embarrassed but also concerned as although I have tried to [...]
Sacinandana Swami & Yadunadana Swami kirtan in New Vajamandala
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