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The Audio Srila Prabhupada Lilamrita
Please find enclosed details a being launched on Gaura Purnima day 2008.
It is a simple audio rendition of sections from "Prabhupada, your ever well-wisher" by Satsvarupa dasa Goswami.
It was recorded here in the UK back in the mid '90's by Bhagavat-Asraya prabhu (ACBSP) at my studio and I edited it into 8 short instalments for inclusion on my weekly radio programme "Nectar of Devotion".
We had such a good response from listeners that it was decided to add "The Audio Srila Prabhupada Lilamrita" to the Nectar of Devotion website archive page.
In doing so I felt it might be nice to create a very simple,
seperate website for the Lilamrita.
The result is http://www.lilamrita.page.tl
It will be officially launched on Gaura Purnima day 2008 for the pleasure of Srila Prabhupada and all the Vaishnava's.
I hope this humble attempt will add to the growing appreciation
of Srila Prabhupada's remarkable achievements.
If other Krishna conscious radio stations would like to broadcast this Lilamrita series they can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can send them mp3 copies.
Srila Prabhupada Vyasa-puja book 2007
Vyasa-puja is an annual celebration by the devotees of Lord Krishna to offer homage to their guru, or spiritual teacher.
There are two versions of the Vyasa Puja Book based on the speed of your internet connection.
If you are unable to open the file, download Acrobat Reader.
High speed connections, with pictures.
Vyasa-puja Book 2007 [PDF/ZIP, 2.11MB]
Low speed connections, no pictures.
Vyasa-puja Book 2007 (no pictures) [PDF/ZIP, 2.11MB]
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The compressed "self extracting" file mentioned is now currently
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Srimad Bhagavad Gita AS IT IS
Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 7 - Knowledge of the Absolute
kascid yatati siddhaye
yatatam api siddhanam
kascin mam vetti tattvatah
WORD FOR WORD
manusyanam--of men; sahasresu--out of many thousands; kascit--someone; yatati--endeavors; siddhaye--for perfection; yatatam--of those so endeavoring; api--indeed; siddhanam--of those who have achieved perfection; kascit--someone; mam--Me; vetti--does know; tattvatah--in fact.
Out of many thousands among men, one may endeavor for perfection, and of those who have achieved perfection, hardly one knows Me in truth.
PURPORT by HDG Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad:
There are various grades of men, and out of many thousands, one may be sufficiently interested in transcendental realization to try to know what is the self, what is the body, and what is the Absolute Truth. Generally mankind is simply engaged in the animal propensities, namely eating, sleeping, defending and mating, and hardly anyone is interested in transcendental knowledge. The first six chapters of the Gita are meant for those who are interested in transcendental knowledge, in understanding the self, the Superself and the process of realization by jnana-yoga, dhyana-yoga and discrimination of the self from matter. However, Krsna can be known only by persons who are in Krsna consciousness. Other transcendentalists may achieve impersonal Brahman realization, for this is easier than understanding Krsna. Krsna is the Supreme Person, but at the same time He is beyond the knowledge of Brahman and Paramatma. The yogis and jnanis are confused in their attempts to understand Krsna. Although the greatest of the impersonalists, Sripada Sankaracarya, has admitted in his Gita commentary that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, his followers do not accept Krsna as such, for it is very difficult to know Krsna, even though one has transcendental realization of impersonal Brahman.
Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the cause of all causes, the primeval Lord Govinda. Isvarah paramah krsnah sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah/ anadir adir govindah sarva-karana-karanam. It is very difficult for the nondevotees to know Him. Although nondevotees declare that the path of bhakti, or devotional service, is very easy, they cannot practice it. If the path of bhakti is so easy, as the nondevotee class of men proclaim, then why do they take up the difficult path? Actually the path of bhakti is not easy. The so-called path of bhakti practiced by unauthorized persons without knowledge of bhakti may be easy, but when it is practiced factually according to the rules and regulations, the speculative scholars and philosophers fall away from the path. Srila Rupa Gosvami writes in his Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.2.101):
aikantiki harer bhaktir
"Devotional service of the Lord that ignores the authorized Vedic literatures like the Upanisads, puranas and Narada-pancaratra is simply an unnecessary disturbance in society."
It is not possible for the Brahman-realized impersonalist or the Paramatma-realized yogi to understand Krsna the Supreme Personality of Godhead as the son of mother Yasoda or the charioteer of Arjuna. Even the great demigods are sometimes confused about Krsna (muhyanti yat surayah). Mam tu veda na kascana: "No one knows Me as I am," the Lord says. And if one does know Him, then sa mahatma su-durlabhah. "Such a great soul is very rare." Therefore unless one practices devotional service to the Lord, one cannot know Krsna as He is (tattvatah), even though one is a great scholar or philosopher. Only the pure devotees can know something of the inconceivable transcendental qualities in Krsna, in the cause of all causes, in His omnipotence and opulence, and in His wealth, fame, strength, beauty, knowledge and renunciation, because Krsna is benevolently inclined to His devotees. He is the last word in Brahman realization, and the devotees alone can realize Him as He is. Therefore it is said:
na bhaved grahyam indriyaih
sevonmukhe hi jihvadau
svayam eva sphuraty adah
"No one can understand Krsna as He is by the blunt material senses. But He reveals Himself to the devotees, being pleased with them for their transcendental loving service unto Him." (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.2.234)
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Copyright 1983 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International. Used with permission.
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(here's some nectar, sometimes it comes in the form of Srutakirti prabhu's diary, other times from Govinda dasi's diary, Hari Sauri prabhu's Transcendental Diary, Bhurijan prabhu's book, or sometimes from a letter, or other related source, but still nectar...)
chant Hare Krishna
Despite being in Swamiji's presence and daily witnessing his inspiring transcendental activities, I find some difficulty following all the basic rules. When I confess this to Swamiji, he jumps to his feet. "Then chant Hare Krishna!" he says, the force of his gesture sweeping me upward with him, so that I stand up automatically. "Chant Hare Krishna! Krishna! Krishna! Krishna help me! Krishna save me!"
I begin chanting, impelled by his sheer, spiritual force cleansing the dust from the mind's mirror, purifying, lifting me up.
"There are so many inconveniences because of this body," he says. "The senses want so many things. Bad habits force us to act, habits from this lifetime and other lifetimes as well. But Krishna says that even if a person seems to act immorally due to some past association or bad habits, he is to be considered a sadhu, a saint, if he is determined to become Krishna conscious. Some way or other, we must continue our duties. Then gradually, with advancement, purification will come. Of course, a devotee is never immoral, but maybe due to past association, he may appear immoral, or fall down due to bad habits. Sometimes habits become second nature.
"Just like with the thief who went on pilgrimage. At night, when the other pilgrims were sleeping, this thief started stealing baggage and picking pockets, but he thought, 'Oh, I have come to this holy place, but still, due to habit, I am stealing. No! At least during my stay here, let me not steal.' In the morning, when the other pilgrims got up, they started looking for their bags, but saw that they were all in different places, all mixed up. 'What is the matter? What has happened?' they asked. Then the thief stood up and told them, 'Gentlemen, I am a thief by occupation. Because I am in the habit of stealing at night, I was going to steal something from your bags, but since I've come to this holy place, I decided not to do it. So instead I have simply put one man's bag here, another's bag there.' This is the nature of bad habit. Even though one does not want to do it, he has the habit. Therefore Krishna says that if one decides to stop his bad habits and cultivate Krishna consciousness, he is to be considered saintly. Even if by chance he falls down and does something socially immoral, that should not be taken into account. Because he has taken refuge of Krishna, he will very soon become saintly. Very soon."
"My Guru Maharaj Srila Bhaktisiddhanta used to say, 'This world is no place for a gentleman.' And it is true. Maya is so strong. I was in the dark well of householder life, and he... pulled me up!"
This memory brings tears to his eyes. For us, Swamiji is the unblemished swan floating transcendentally, yet he says that his spiritual master rescued him from the ocean of material suffering.
"The role of the spiritual master cannot be overestimated," he says. "Guru is as good as God. Not that he is God. Mayavadis say like that. No. Only Krishna is God. That's a fact. But for the devotee, guru is as good as God."
- From the "The Hare Krishna Explosion" by HG Hayagriva dasa
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Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
"Make Krishna Your Beloved"
Los Angeles, June 27, 1972
Listen to the entire lecture on-line:
Pradyumna: (leads chanting, etc.)
papraccha cemam evartham
yan mam prcchatha sattamah
samstham vijnaya sannyasya
karma trai-vargikam ca yat
atma-bhavam drdham gatah
Translation: "O great sages, the great soul Maharaja Pariksit, constantly rapt in the thought of Lord Krsna, knowing well of his imminent death, renounced all sorts of fruitive activities, namely acts of religion, economic development, and sense gratification, and thus fixed himself firmly in his natural love for Krsna and asked exactly all these questions, as you are asking me."
Prabhupada: So, krsnanubhava-sravane sraddadhano maha-manah. Vasudeve bhagavati atma-bhavam drdham gatah. Krsnanubhava-sravane. When we hear from right source, the natural result will be Krsna consciousness, krsnanubhava, krsna-bhavanamrta. Sraddadhano maha-manah. One who hears with attention, with faith, maha-manah. Just like the great sages in Naimisaranya, they did. Real purpose is vasudeve bhagavati atma-bhavam drdham gatah, to increase our affection or love for Krsna. Vasudeve bhagavati. Vasudeve bhagavati bhakti-yogah prayojitah, janayaty asu vairagyam [SB 1.2.7]. Purpose, sannyasya, renounced... People cannot renounce. They are very much attached to this material body and anything in relationship with this body. But the real purpose of human life is to become renounced, no more material body. That is required. Vairagyam. This is called vairagyam, or renounced. Because we want this material body, therefore we get it, life after life. This will continue so long we'll be overpowered by material thought.
Material thought means these fruitive activities. "I shall work very hard, and I shall get so much wealth, and for this purpose I can go to church and temple. If God gives me millions of dollars, then I am ready to go there." So real purpose is sense gratification. "If I take to religious principles, then I'll get more money without any hard work, and if I get more money, then I'll be able to satisfy my senses." This is called dharmartha-kama. And there is another stage, which is called moksa, liberation. So people are not interested for liberation. They want to become religious for material benefits. But that is not the real purpose of life. Material benefit, you cannot get more than what you are destined to have; that is already fixed up. According to your body... You get the body. We get different types of body, and according to the body, our material sufferings and enjoyment are fixed up, already. You cannot have more or less. Otherwise... you'll see, one man is working so hard, day and night, and he could hardly maintain himself or his family. And another man, he's going to the market, sits down for one hour, and earns 100,000 dollars, immediately. You can see. Simply by touching the phone, he simply asks, "What is the rate of this? What is the rate of that?" and he makes one transaction, and immediately he gets one thousand dollars. And this man is working hard, day and night, he could not get even two sufficient meals.
So that means the, according to the body, the material happiness and... Just like you are. You have got this American body. So automatically your country's facilities... You are more comfortable than other countries because you have no scarcity, enough production. Everything is enough. So according to the body, you are getting comforts of life. And in another country, deserted country, very hard living, cannot get nice foodstuffs, only living on animals. That is also very rarely. So these are different. Just like in Greenland. It is filled up with ice. They cannot get any nice food. Still they live there. This is maya. They will not think, "Oh, here the life is very difficult. Let me go away from here. Let me go to some other, better place." No. He'll not go. Janani janma-bhumis ca svargad api gariyasi. Our birthplace, even it is hell, it is better than heaven. That is maya. Just like hog. Hog is living most abominable condition of life, with stools and filthy water, but still, he is thinking he's living in heaven. Janani janma-bhumis ca svargad api gariyasi. So therefore, the conclusion is that so far material comforts are concerned, you cannot get more. Or less. You will get. It is already fixed up. Deha-yogena dehinam. Sukham aindriyakam daitya deha-yogena dehinam, sarvatra labhyate... eh? Yatha duhkham ayatnatah. Prahlada Maharaja says. Sarvatra labhyate. So far material comfort is concerned, what you are destined to get, you'll get it, in wherever you may live. It doesn't matter. Your allotment is already there. That is your body.
And our sense pleasure means this material bodily pleasure. That is all. Sukham aindriyakam. We have got these senses: hands, legs, eyes, ears, and five working senses, and knowledge-gathering senses. They are all constitute the whole body. So bodily comfort means this sense gratification. Dharma, artha, kama. But here it is said trai-vargikam. Samstham vijnaya sannyasya karma trai-vargikam ca yat. When you are ready for death, there is no more this trai-vargikam. Trai-vargikam means religion and economic development and sense gratification. This is human civilization. This is not human civilization, in one sense, because there is question of dharma. Dharma means religion. Religion... not exactly in the same way as we understand in English language: "a kind of faith." Dharma. Generally, people understand that "I have got my own dharma." "I am Hindu; I am Christian; I am Muslim; I am this; I am that." But in Sanskrit language, dharma does not mean like that, "a kind of faith." No. Faith is blind. Today you are Hindu, tomorrow you are Christian, today you are Christian. So this faith-changing is not dharma. Dharma means "which you cannot change." That is dharma. Not that whimsically I change. That dharma is service. Every one of us rendering some service to others. That is dharma. Every one of us. Jivera svarupa haya krsnera nitya dasa. Caitanya Mahaprabhu gives us immediate information what is a living entity. He immediately gives the definition that a living entity means who is rendering service to the Lord. So we are rendering service. Somebody's rendering service to the countries, society, family, and at least, to dog, to cat. That is our general inclination, because we want to give service to the Supreme. But because we have forgotten the Supreme, our service attitude is now distributed in so many ways. But I am serving. That's a fact. Either you serve dog or either you serve God; the service is there. That you cannot avoid.
You cannot say, nobody can say that "I am not serving anyone." Even becoming God, so-called God... As there are so many rascals, say, they say that "We are God" or "I am God, everyone God." God is never servant. God is enjoyer; God is master. God does not serve anyone. Just like you see, we have God here, Krsna. He's not serving, He's enjoying. That is God. You'll always find God enjoying. God is not servant. Master. Krsna says bhokta. Bhokta means enjoyer. Everyone should be engaged for His service, and He's the only enjoyer. Ekale isvara krsna [Cc. Adi 5.142]. The only enjoyer, only master, is Krsna, and all others, they are servants. Now, there may be gradation of servant, just like in your country, President Nixon is also a servant. And ordinary constable, he is also a servant. Everyone is servant; nobody is master. So there is gradation of service. That's all. Somebody is serving as President, somebody is serving as constable, somebody is serving as dog, somebody is serving as cat. And similarly, somebody is loving reciprocally.
In this way, the whole situation is there. But the central point is, master is Krsna, or God, and our love should be reposed unto Him. This is the point. This is Krsna consciousness. Sraddadhano maha-manah. So one who has fixed up his goal of life in this way, that "I am rendering service. That's a fact. But I am not satisfied. Why? I am rendering so much service."... Just like in our country, Mahatma Gandhi rendered so much service to his country that at the end he was killed by his countrymen. Just see. This is the return. Your country also. President Kennedy, he was a nice president, but he was killed. So here in this material world, or maya, if you render service to maya, illusion, you'll never be satisfied. Neither the person to whom you are giving service, he'll be satisfied. There is no satisfaction, either to the so-called master or to the servant. Because Krsna is missing. That's all. One should understand this.
This is the actually fact. Here the service is going on, but the master and the servant, both are not satisfied. But there is another platform, spiritual world, where service rendered, both the master and the servant become satisfied, immediately. Tasmin tuste jagat tustah. The same example. Just like if (you) put your eatables into the stomach, so the stomach is satisfied and all the servants, the hands, legs, and others who acquire their foodstuff and put into the mouth, they are also satisfied, automatically. The hands, legs, fingers, eyes -- every part of my body, immediately satisfied. Yatha pranopaharac ca yathendriyanam. We are, at the present moment in the material existence, we are trying to be satisfied. That is also... The example is there. Just like a child is crying. You give him something eatable, he puts it in the mouth, and he's satisfied, no more crying. Similarly, actually if we want to be satisfied, then, as it is said here, samstham vijnaya sannyasya karma trai-vargikam, give up this, samstham, samstham vijnaya ...
Samstham means death. Death is sure. Death is the best surety as... "As sure as death." Nobody can say that "I can avoid death." That's a fact. So one who actually understands that "I'll have to die,"... People do not understand. Everyone thinks that he will not die. He'll not die. That is called maya. He's seeing that everyone is dying; still, he's thinking that "I shall not die" or "I shall live for millions of years. There is no question of death." But it is a fact. You may be advanced in science, but he, this death is sure. That's a fact. Therefore it is advised here that samstham vijnaya, one who is actually intelligent, he should know that he will die. But the karmis, the rascals, he knows also that he will die -- at least, theoretically accept -- but he wants to enjoy, since the death does not come, to the fullest extent. That is the present condition of the society. He knows that will he die. "So, so long my senses are there, let me gratify." Now, yesterday, when I went to the bank, there was a cinema signboard, what is that?
Karandhara: "Is there sex after death?"
Prabhupada: Yes. (laughter) You see? Because this material life means sex. So, they are seeking sex after death, also. (Laughter) This is, I mean to say, plain acceptance of the materialistic... He'll, "Is there sex after death?" they're inquiring. If there is sex after death, then they are not fearful of death. (laughter) There is a story that one man was drinking. So, drinking in India is a great sin. So his friend advised that "You are drinking. You'll go to hell." So he said, "Oh, my father also drinks." So he said, "Your father also will go to hell." "Oh, my brother also drinks." "Oh, he also will go to hell." In this way, he continued to say, "My father, my brother, my sister, my this, my that..." So... And he was replying, "Yes, he will also go to hell." "Oh, hell is heaven. Because we're all drinking here and drinking there. So what is the hell? That is heaven." Similarly, this is, this signboard is like that. "If sex is there after death then that is not death. That is life." (laughter) You see? So actually, you have got sex after death. Because you'll get into another body. Now you are having sex as human being in very nice apartment or on the street, on the beach, as you like. In the next life also, as cats and dogs, you will have sex life. The sex life is not denied, because the life is there. Ahara-nidra-bhaya-maithunam ca. This maithuna, maithuna means sex life. Eating, sleeping, and sex life, and defending. Ahara-nidra-bhaya-maithunam ca samanyam etat pasubhir naranam. So this is now inquiry. Now, if this inquiry is taken scientifically, "Is there sex after death?" it is not joking, if it is taken seriously, so people should be informed that "Yes, there is sex after death. Why there is no sex? Because there is life after death. You get another body. Maybe a god's body, demigod's body, or dog's body, you'll get another body, according to your own work. And as soon as you get body, these four things are there: eating, sleeping, sex, and defending."
So there is, actually. So the higher inquiry should be that "Then what is the position of this sex life?" The position of this sex life is eternal. The sex life is from Radha and Krsna. Cin-mithuna, cin-mithuna, spiritual. But there the sex life is not like this abominable sex life. There is sex impulse in the original. Otherwise how we have got this sex impulse? In the Vedanta-sutra it is said, janmady asya yatah [SB 1.1.1]. "Supreme Brahman, Absolute Truth, is there, is that from whom everything comes." So if there is sex life there in the Absolute Truth ... There must be sex life. Otherwise where you have got it? Wherefrom we get it? Everything is there, but the difference is that here, everything is contaminated, abominable, and there, everything is without inebrieties; it is happy, healthy, and eternal blissful. That is the difference. The things are there.
Just like Krsna's mother. Motherly affection of mother Yasoda upon Krsna. And Krsna is playing as child, pleasing mother Yasoda. So that thing is also in this material world. Here also, the mother likes to raise his beloved child, the child also plays to give pleasure to the mother. The rasa... Rasa means the humor or mellow. Exchange between the mother and child is there and here also. Similarly friendship, similarly conjugal love. Everything, all the five rasas, mellows, are there. The impersonalists cannot understand. They're afraid of... As soon as they hear "love," "Oh, love? Here is love, frustrated. Then it is maya. Then Krsna's love is also maya." Therefore they are called Mayavadi. They are carrying this material idea to the spiritual idea. And when they cannot accommodate, they make it zero or impersonal. Sunyavadi. That is their position. They cannot understand that these very things are existing in the spiritual world in a blissful way. So there is sex, but there is blissful sex. Not that... Here, we want to enjoy sex life, but at the same time want to get out of the result of sex life; therefore we use contraceptive tablets.
Because result of sex life is very, I mean to say, miserable. So we want to avoid the miserable condition of sex life, but there is another life, where there is no miserable condition of sex life. That is spiritual life. But the ordinary poor fund of knowledge, they cannot understand it. They think that "Here, the sex life is miserable, conditional sex life. So if in the spiritual world there is also sex life, then it is also miserable." So this conception of sex impulse, just like Radha Krsna and gopis' dealing with Krsna, they think it is maya. Therefore they are called Mayavadis. They have no knowledge. Their brain cannot accommodate this idea that all these activities can be very blissful, supreme. Without any difficulty, without any miserable condition. They cannot understand it. But ... Therefore it requires higher intelligence to understand Krsna consciousness. Krsna consciousness is trying to give the people the happiness to which is simply blissful, without any inebrieties.
That is Krsna consciousness. So here, vasudeve bhagavati atma-bhavam drdham gatah. Vasudeve bhagavati. Vasudeva, the son of Vasudeva, Krsna, bhagavati, He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Here... Just like if I give one's father's name, then you know the man particularly. So here, bhagavati. There are many expansions of God. Advaitam acyutam anadim ananta-rupam [Bs. 5.33]. But He is particularly mentioned here: vasudeva, Krsna. Krsna's name is Vasudeva. Vasudeve bhagavati atma-bhavam drdham gatah. We are trying to enjoy life by making friends, atma-bhavam. Atma-bhavam means very intimate. Intimate, near relative, or beloved. So we have to change our consciousness. Instead of trying to make this material world as beloved, you have to make Krsna as beloved. That is Krsna consciousness. The everything is there. You get everything in return, as here, you are trying to enjoy, but without any inebriety. That is called Krsna consciousness. So Pariksit Maharaja attained this stage. Therefore he could give up all his kingdom, all his family, all his animals and everything, and he simply became Krsna conscious. Read the purport?
Pradyumna: "The three activities of religion, economic development, and sense gratification ..."
Prabhupada: Oh, there is no time. All right, have kirtana.
Hare Krsna. (end)
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.4.3-4 -- Los Angeles, June 27, 1972
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© 2001 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International. Used with permission.
SRILA PRABHUPADA'S QUOTE OF THE DAY
My Dear Bhagavan das,
Actually, in every town and city there are many, many devotees of Krishna; now it is our business to go around the world wherever people are congregating and pick up these sincere souls. The world is suffering for want of this knowledge of Krishna Consciousness, and we experience practically that many people will take to this spiritual line simply if we make this information available to them.
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PAvitropAna - PutradA EkAdasii
Shri Yudhisthira Maharaja said, “Oh Madhusudana, Oh killer of the Madhu demon, please be merciful to me and describe to me the EkAdasii that occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Shravana (July-August).” The Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna, replied, “Yes, Oh king, I shall happily narrate its glories to you, for just by hearing about this sacred EkAdasii one attains the merit of performing a horse sacrifice.
“At the dawn of DvArpara-yuga there lived a king by the name of Mahijita, who ruled the kingdom of Mahismati-puri. Because he had no son, his entire kingdom seemed utterly cheerless to him. A married man who has no son gains no happiness in this life or the next.
The Sanskrit word for ‘son’ is putra. Pu is the name of a particular hell, and tra means ‘to deliver.’ Thus the word putra means ‘a person who delivers one from the hell named Pu.’ Therefore every married man should produce at least one son and train him properly; then the father will be delivered from a hellish condition of life. But this injunction does not apply to the serious devotees of Lord Vishnu or Krishna, for the Lord becomes their son, father, and mother.
Furthermore, ChANakya Pandita says,
“The truth is my mother, knowledge is my father, my occupational duty is my brother, kindness is my friend, tranquillity is my wife, and forgiveness is my son. These six are my family members.” Among the twenty-six leading qualities of a devotee of the Lord, forgiveness is the topmost. Therefore devotees should make an extra endeavour to develop this quality. Here ChANakya says “forgiveness is my son,” and thus a devotee of the Lord, even though he may be on the path of renunciation, may observe PutradA EkAdasii and pray to attain this kind of “son.”satyam mata pita jnanam
dharmo bhrata daya sakha
santih patni ksama putrah
sadete mama vandhavah
For a long time this king tried very hard to obtain an heir, but to no avail. Seeing his years advancing ever onwards, King Mahijita became increasingly anxious. One day he told an assembly of his advisers: ‘I have committed no sin in this life, and there is no ill-gotten wealth in my treasury. I have never usurped the offerings to the demigods or brahmanas. When I waged war and conquered kingdoms, I followed the rules and regulations of the military art, and I have protected my subjects as if they were my own children. I punished even my own relatives if they broke the law, and if my enemy was gentle and religious I welcomed him. Oh twice-born souls, although I am a religious and faithful follower of the Vedik standards, still my home is without a son. Kindly tell me the reason for this.’
“Hearing this, the king’s brahmana advisers discussed the subject among themselves, and with the aim of benefiting the king they visited the various ashrams of the great sages. At last they came upon a sage who was austere, pure, and self-satisfied, and who was strictly observing a vow of fasting. His senses were completely under control, he had conquered his anger, and he was expert at performing his occupational duty. Indeed, this great sage was expert in all the conclusions of the Vedas, and he had extended his life span to that of Lord Brahma himself. His name was Lomasa Rishi, and he knew part, present, and future. After each kalpa passed, one hair would fall out of his body ( One kalpa, or twelve hours of Lord Brahma, equals 4,320,000,000 years.) All the king’s brahmana advisers very happily approached him one by one to offer their humble respects.
“Captivated by this great soul, King Mahijita’s advisers
offered obeisances to him and said very respectfully, ‘Only because of
our great good fortune, Oh sage, have we been allowed to see you.’
“Lomasa Rishi saw them bowing down to him and replied, ‘Kindly let me know why you have come here. Why are you praising me? I must do all I can to solve your problems, for sages like me have only one interest: to help others. Do not doubt this.’
Lomasa Rishi had all good qualities because he was a devotee of the Lord. As stated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam (5:18:12),
“In one who has unflinching devotional service to Krishna, all the good qualities of Krishna and the demigods are consistently manifest. However, he who has no devotion to the Supreme Personality of Godhead has no good qualifications because he is engaged by mental concoction in material existence, which is the external feature of the Lord.”yasyasti bhaktir bhagavaty akinchana
sarvair gunais tatra samasate surah
harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-guna
manorathenasati dhavato bahih
“The king’s representatives said, ‘We have come to you, Oh exalted sage, to ask for your help in solving a very serious problem. Oh sage, you are like Lord Brahma. Indeed, there is no better sage in the entire world. Our king, Mahijita, is without a son, though he has sustained and protected us as if we were his sons. Seeing him so unhappy on account of being sonless, we have become very sad, Oh sage, and therefore we have entered the forest to perform severe austerities. By our good fortune we happened upon you. Everyone’s desires and activities become successful just by your darshana. Thus we humble ask that you tell us how our kind king can obtain a son.’
“Hearing their sincere plea, Lomasa Rishi absorbed himself in deep meditation for a moment and at once understood the king’s previous life. Then he said, ‘Your ruler was a merchant in his past life, and feeling his wealth insufficient, he committed sinful deeds. He traveled to many villages to trade his goods. Once, at noon on the day after the EkAdasii that comes during the light fortnight of the month of Jyeshtha (Trivikrama – May-June), he became thirsty while traveling from place to place. He came upon a beautiful pond on the outskirts of a village, but just as he was about to drink at the pond a cow arrived there with her new-born calf. These two creatures were also very thirsty because of the heat, but when the cow and calf started to drink, the merchant rudely shoved them aside and selfishly slaked his own thirst. This offense against a cow and her calf has resulted in your king’s being without a son now. But the good deeds he performed in his previous life have given him rulership over an undisturbed kingdom.’
“Hearing this, the king’s advisers replied, ‘Oh renowned rishi, we have heard that the Vedas say one can nullify the effects of one’s past sins by acquiring merit. Be so kind as to give us some instruction by which our king’s sins can be destroyed; please give him your mercy so that a prince will take birth in his family.’
“Lomasa Rishi said, ‘There is an EkAdasii called PutradA, which comes during the light fortnight of the month of Shravana. On this day all of you, including your king, should fast and stay awake all night, strictly following the rules and regulations. Then you should give the king whatever merit you gain by this fast. If you follow these instructions of mine, he will surely be blessed with a fine son.’
“All the king’s advisers became very pleased to hear these words from Lomasa Rishi, and they all offered him their grateful obeisances. Then, their eyes bright with happiness, they returned home.
“When the month of Shravana arrived, the king’s advisers remembered the advice of Lomasa Rishi, and under their direction all the citizens of Mahismati-puri, as well as the king, fasted on EkAdasii. And on the next day, DvAdasi, the citizens dutifully offered their accrued merit to him. By the strength of all this merit, the queen became pregnant and eventually gave birth to a most beautiful son.
“O Yudhisthira,” Lord Krishna concluded, “the EkAdasii that comes during the light fortnight of the month of Shravana has thus rightfully become famous as PutradA [“bestower of a son”]. Whoever desires happiness in this world and the next should certainly fast from all grains and legumes on this holy day. Indeed, whoever simply hears the glories of PutradA EkAdasii becomes completely free of all sins, is blessed with a good son, and surely ascends to heaven after death.”
Thus ends the narration of the glories of Shravana-sukla EkAdasii, or PutradA EkAdasii, from the Bhavishya Purana.
These stories have been summarised and slightly changed or abbreviated from how they are found in the celebrated book, "Ekadasi: The Day of Lord Hari" 1986. HH Krishna Balaram Swami. Bhaktivedanta Institute Press, Pages 109-112.
Pavitropanam the ritual
AjA - AnnadA EkAdasii, from the Brahma-vaivarta PurANa.
Yajur Veda Upakarmas are done on Balaram Jayanti Purnima
AnnadA - AjA EkAdasii
Sri Yudhisthira Maharaja said, “Oh JanArdana, protector of all living entities, please tell me the name of the EkAdasii that occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of BhAdrapada (August-September).”
The Supreme Lord, Shri Krishna, then replied, “Oh King, hear me attentively. The name of this sin-removing, sacred EkAdasii is AjA. Any person who fasts completely on this day and worships Hrishikesha, the master of the senses, becomes free of all reactions to his sins. Even one who simply hears about this EkAdasii is freed from his past sins. Oh King, there is no better day than this in all the earthly and heavenly worlds. This is true without a doubt.
“There once lived a famous king named Harishchandra, who was the emperor of the world and a person of great truth and integrity. His wife’s name was Chandramati, and he had a son named LohitAshva. By the force of destiny, however, Harishchandra lost his great kingdom and sold his wife and son. The pious king himself became a menial servant of a dog-eater, who made him guard a crematorium. Yet even while doing such menial service, he did not forsake his truthfulness and good character, just as soma-rasa, even when mixed with some other liquid, does not lose its ability to bestow immortality.
“The king passed many years in this condition. Then one day he sadly thought, ‘What shall I do? Where shall I go? How can I be delivered from this plight?’ In this way he drowned in an ocean of anxiety and sorrow.
“One day a great sage happened by, and when the king saw him he happily thought, ‘Ah, Lord BrahmA has created brahmins just to help others.’ Harishchandra paid his respectful obeisances to the sage, whose name was Gautama Muni. With joined palms the king stood before Gautama Muni and narrated his pitiful story. Gautama Muni was astonished to hear the king’s tale of woe. He thought, ‘How has this mighty king been reduced to collecting clothes from the dead?’ Gautama Muni became very much compassionate toward Harishchandra and instructed him on the process of fasting for purification.
“Gautama Muni said, ‘Oh king, during the dark fortnight of the month of BhAdrapada there occurs an especially meritorious EkAdasii named AjA (AnnadA), which removes all sins. Indeed, this EkAdasii is so auspicious that if you simply fast on that day and perform no other austerity, all your sins will be nullified. By your good fortune it is coming in just seven days. So I urge you to fast on this day and remain awake through the night. If you do so, all the reactions of your past sins will come to an end. Oh Harishchandra, I have come here because of your past pious deeds. Now, all good fortune to you in the future!’ So saying, the great sage Sri Gautama Muni immediately disappeared for their vision.
“King Harishchandra followed Gautama Muni’s instructions concerning fasting on the sacred day of AjA EkAdasii. Oh Maharaja Yudhisthira, because the king fasted on that day, the reactions to his previous sins were completely destroyed at once. Oh lion among kings, just see the influence of this EkAdasii fast! It immediately vanquishes whatever miseries one may be suffering as a result of past karmik sinful activities.
Thus all Harishchandra’s miseries were relieved. Just by the power of this wonderful EkAdasii, he was reunited with his wife and son, who had died but were now revived. In the heavenly regions the devas (demigods) began beating on their celestial kettledrums and showering down flowers upon Harishchandra, his queen, and their son. By the blessings of the EkAdasii fast, he regained his kingdom without difficulty. Moreover, when King Harishchandra left the planet, his relatives and all his subjects too, went with him to the spiritual world.
“Oh PANDava, whoever fasts on AjA EkAdasii is surely freed from all his sins and ascends to the spiritual world. And whosoever hears and studies the glories of this EkAdasii achieves the merit gained by performing a horse sacrifice.”
Thus ends the narration of the glories of BhAdrapada-krishna EkAdasii, or AjA EkAdasii, from the Brahma-vaivarta PurANa.
These stories have been summarised and slightly changed or abbreviated from how they are found in the celebrated book, "Ekadasi: The Day of Lord Hari" 1986. HH Krishna Balaram Swami. Bhaktivedanta Institute Press, Pages 113-115.
|No.||Name of Ekadasis||Vedik - Hindu Months Fortnights
|Vaishnava Month||Western Months|
|19||Utpanna Ekadasi||Margashira - K||Keshava Mase||Nov-Dec|
|20||Mokshada Ekadasi (Vaikuntha ekadasi Sri Rangam)||Margashira - S||Keshava Mase||Nov-Dec|
|21||Saphala Ekadasi||Pausha - K||Naaraayana Mase||Dec-Jan|
|22||Putrada Ekadasi||Pausha - S||Naaraayana Mase||Dec-Jan|
|23||Trisprisha Ekadasi||Maagha - K||Maadhava Mase||Jan-Feb|
|24||Bhaimi Ekadasi||Maagha - S||Maadhava Mase||Jan-Feb|
|25||Vijaya - Jaya||Phaalguna - K||Govinda Mase||Feb-Mar|
|26||Amalaki Ekadasi||Phaalguna - S||Govinda Mase||Feb-Mar|
|1||Paapavimochani Ekadasi||Chaitra - K||Vishnu Mase||Mar-Apr|
|2||Kamaada - Damanakaaropani Ekadasi||Chaitra - S||Vishnu Mase||Mar-Apr|
|3||Varuthini Ekadasi||Vaisaakha - K||Madhusudana Mase||Apr-May|
|4||Mohini Ekadasi||Vaisaakha - S||Madhusudana Mase||Apr-May|
|5||Aparaa Ekadasi||Jyeshtha - K||Trivikrama Mase||May-June|
|6||Pandava Nirjal Ekadasi||Jyeshtha - S||Trivikrama Mase||May-June|
|7||Yogini Ekadasi||Aashaadha - K||Vaamana Mase||June-July|
|8||Padma - Devasayani Ekadasi||Aashaadha - S||Vaamana Mase||June-July|
|9||Kaamaika Ekadasi||Shravana - K||Sridhar Mase||July-Aug|
|10||Putrada - Pavitraropani Ekadasi||Shravana - S||Sridhar Mase||July-Aug|
|11||Ajaa - Annadaa Ekadasi||Bhaadrapada - K||Hrisikesha Mase||Aug-Sept|
|12||Parivartini - Parshva Ekadasi||Bhaadrapada - S||Hrisikesha Mase||Aug-Sept|
|13||Indiraa Ekadasi||Aaswina - K||Padmanabha Mase||Sept-Oct|
|14||Paashaankusha Ekadasi||Aaswina - S||Padmanabha Mase||Sept-Oct|
|15||Ramaa Ekadasi||Kaarttika - K||Damodara Mase||Oct-Nov|
|16||Haribodhini (Probodhini) Devotthaani (Uttana) Ekadasi||Kaarttika - S||Damodara Mase||Oct-Nov|
|17||Padmini - Vishuddha Ekadasi||Adikamase||Adikamase|
|18||Paramaa - Shuddha Ekadasi||Adikamase||Adikamase|
Chaturmasya in Hari Bhakti Vilas
ITY ASASYA PRABHOR AGRE GRAHANIYAN NIYAMAM VRATI
CATURMASESU KARTAVYAM KRSNA BHAKTI VIVRDDHAYE
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 15/113 from NAVA-PRASNA PANCARATRA)
After properly praying to the Supreme Lord near Him, one should properly take a vow to follow the proper rules and regulations and process of Caturmasya to increase one's devotion to Lord Sri Krsna.
EKA DASYANTU GRAHANIYAT SANKRANTAU KARKATASYA TU
ASADHYAM VA NARO BHAKTYA CATUR-MASYO DITAM VRATAM
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 15/114, Sanat Kumara speaks)
In the month of Asadha, either on the Ekadasi when the Lord sleeps or in Cancer Sankranti day or a full moon day, it is the duty of a fasting person to take a vow to fast in Caturmasya with devotion, in front of the Lord.
YO VINA NIYAMAM MARTYO VRATAM VA JAPYAM EVA VA
CATURMASYAM NAYEN MURKHO JIVANN API MRTO HI SAH
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 15/116 from BHAVISYA PURANA)
Any person in this material world who performs Caturmasya without following any rules and regulations, or fasts, or without chanting any japa, such a foolish person is considered to be dead, even though alive.
SRAVANE VARJAYET SAKAM DADHI BHADRA PADE TATHA
DUGDHAM ASVAYUJE MASI KARTIKE CA AMISAM TYAJET
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 15/117 from SKANDA PURANA, NAGARA KHANDA)
(While following Caturmasya) one should give up eating leafy vegetables
in the month of Sravana (July-August). In the month of Bhadrapada (August-September),
one should give up yogurt. In the month of Asvina (September-October) one
should give up milk and in the month of Karttika (October-November), one
should give up eating white dahl.
The Chaturmasya Vrata from Haribhakti Vilasa
Bhavisya Purana- "One who passes the Chaturmasya
season without observing religious vows, austerities and chanting of japa,
such a fool although living should be considered to be a dead man."
Kanda Purana, Nagava Khunda- "In the month of shravana (July, August) one should refrain from eating spinach. In the month of Bhadra (August, September) of yogert in Ashvina (September, October) milk. In Kartik (October, November) meat and urd dall.
Various vows and austerities during Chaturmasya and Their respective results.
"O King, one who is My devotee and is fixed in vow, whether man or woman, for the purpose of Dharma, should accept these various austerities and observances. I shall now describe to you all of them along with their respective results.
1) No salt—One's voice becomes sweet.
2) No oil—One's life is prolonged and gets progeny.
3) No oil massages—One's body becomes beautiful.
4) No cooking with oil—One's enemies are vanished.
5) No licorice and oil—One becomes wealthy.
6) Give up wearing unoffered flowers—One becomes a Vidyadhara in Devapura.
7) Give up six kinds of tastes (spice, sour, bitter, sweet, salty and harsh)—One never becomes ugly, smelly, or obtains a bad birth.
8) Practice of yoga—One goes to Brahmaloka.
9) No betal nuts—One becomes happy.
10) No cooked food (raw fruits & Vegetables)—One obtains purity.
11) No honey—One becomes lustrous.
12) No yogert or milk—One attains Goloka.
13) No cooking with earthen pots—One gets ... (?)
14) No hot food—One gets offspring with a long life.
15) Take rest on the ground or on stone—One becomes an associate of Vishnu.
16) One who gives up meat & honey is a yogi and muni.
17) No intoxicating liquors—One becomes powerful and free from disease.
18) Fast for one day—One is honored in Brahmaloka.
19) No cutting of hair and nails—One gets the benefit of taking bath daily in Ganges.
20) No speaking of grama katha (nonsense)—One's order will never be disobeyed.
21) Eat food on the ground without dish or plate—One obtains a kingdom on Earth.
22) Chant the mantra Namo Narayana—One obtains the result of giving in charity 100 times.
23) Offer prayers to the Lord—One gets the result of giving cows in charity.
24) Touch the lotus feet of the Deity—One becomes a successful person.
25) Clean the temple of the Lord—If one is king he remains so for a Kalpa.
26) Circumambulating the temple three times offering prayers—At the time of death one will mount a swan airplane and go to Vaikuntha.
27) Singing or playing musical instruments in the temple of the Lord—One goes to Gardharvaloka.
28) Take pleasure in studying the sastras—One goes to Vishnuloka.
29) Sprinkle water in the temple—One goes to apsaraloka.
30) Take bath in a holy place—One's body becomes pure.
31) Worship Lord Vishnu with flowers—One goes to Vaikuntha.
32) Eat panchagavya—One gets the result of observing candrayana fasting.
33) Eat one meal a day—One gets the results of performing an Agnihotra.
34) Eat at night only—One gets the result of going to all the places of pilgrimage.
35) Eat at noon only—One attains Devaloka.
36) Take food not obtained by begging or any extraneous endeavor—One gets the results of opening water stands and digging wells.
37) Take bath daily—One will never see hell.
38) No eating on a plate—One gets the result of bathing at Pushkara
39) Eat on a leaf—One obtains the result of living at Kurukshetra.
40) Eat on a stone—One obtains the result of bathing at Prayog.
41) Giving up drinking to six hours—One will not be attacked by diseases.
42) During the Chaturmasya, garlands, caranamrta, candana and water from the conshell of the Lord, mahaprasädam, Deity garlands must be accepted.
In this way one who performs this vrata for the satisfaction of Lord Kesava becomes satisfied himself. O best of the Pandavas, among My devotees, he who accepts these vows and austerities during the Chaturmasya goes to my abode at the time of death, of this there is no doubt.
Vishnu Rahasya- Lord Brahma to Narada Muni.
Read more about vrata, sankalpa and Chaturmasya in general
Sri Krsna's Various Rasayatras:
Krsna Phula Dola, Salila Vihara:
Lord Balaram's Appearance day: (Jhulan purnima)
Yajur Veda upakarma is done today
for yajur ved sakas
One of the most popular events in the holy town of Vrindavan, India - where Lord Krishna appeared 5,000 years ago - is the celebration of Jhulan Yatra, the Radha-Krishna swing festival. In Vrindavan among the local villagers and inhabitants this festival lasts for 13 days. In Vrindavan this is one of the biggest festivals of the year and Vrindavana is very crowded at this time, literally hundreds of thousands of people from surrounding towns and villages visit Vrindavan over this period in the auspicious sacred month of Shravana (July-Aug). Opulence or simplicity, but often the swings are made of gold or silver.
In Sri Vrindavan for five days, in many of the 5000 temples there, the small Utsav-vighraha functional Deities (Vijay-utsav bera) are taken from the altar and placed on an elaborately decorated swing in the temple room. After receiving the traditional arati worship, the Deities are pushed on Their swing. Members of the congregation are invited to participate. Each person offers flower petals and personal prayers, and then pushes the swing several times as the other members chant Hare Krishna, Jaya Radhe Jaya Krishna jaya Vrindavan, or Jaya Radhe, Jaya Jaya Madhava dayite in kirtan. The atmosphere of this festival is especially sweet as everyone has the chance to intimately serve Radha and Krishna.
The same festival is observed in other parts of India too in this sacred month of Shravana. For example in Jagannath Puri, for the pleasure of Lord Jagannath's utsav vighraha (Madan-mohan ji, this festival is celebrated from Shravana Shukla Dashami (10th Tithi/phase of the Moon of the light fortnight) until Pratipada (1st tithi of the dark), a period of seven days. Sri Madanmohan, Jagannath's representative deity (vijay utsav), as well as Laxmi and Vishwadhatri are placed on a decorative wooden swing on Muktimandap (Jhulanmandap). There, worshippers have a chance to swing the Lord, thus entering into His pastimes. On the day of the full moon (Gamha Purnima or Jhulan Purnima), Lord Balabhadra's appearance day is celebrated.
In Vrindavan it starts on the Tritya (third day) of the bright fortnight of Shravana and lasts until the full moon night of the month. During this festival the Radha-Krishna Deities in the temples are swung on a swing. Some of the main temples that this festival is celebrated at are the Banke Bihari Temple and the Radha-Raman Temple in Vrindavana, the Dwarkadish temple in Mathura, and the Larily Lal Temple in Varsana.
In our Iskcon temples we observe for five days in accordance with Srila Prabhupada's instructions (HERE). So whether one observes for the four days or for the seven, or thirteen days, the same festival is put on for the pleasure of the Lord and His loving associates.
This is a wonderful ceremonial function of Lord Krishna's pastimes that reflects practically how we are to render service to the Lord for His pleasure.
At the time of the Jhulan Yatra festival it is Monsoon in India and the air is thick, heavy and humid with the heat and the rains. In the midst of the rainy season, when fields and jungle have turned shades of lush green and flowers are blossoming all around, the festival of Hariyali Teej is celebrated.
These festivals are not in any way mere rituals, as they all have practical service functionality to invoke loving servitude of the devotees for the Lord. Lord Sri Krishna is the Supreme enjoyer and doesn't have to work hard like us in this world. Everything He does is pleasurable, and He organises many situation in which He can incorporate us, His separated parts and parcels into His loving service which is our natural condition in the spiritual realm.
When Sri Krishna had his pastimes in rural Vrindavan with His cowherd friends together they lovingly tended the cows, and wandered in the pastures playing, frolicking, and feasting. Throughout the various seasons they all continuously enjoyed being part of Sri Krishna's pastimes, and rendering loving service to Him as best they could.
Over the past few months as the climate had changed from Vasant Panchami (Spring festival) where everyone dresses in yellow and goes to the fields, performs fertility rites, and plants new crops, etc.) to Dola Purnima where scented powders and flowers are thrown on the body of the Lord playfully, and singing and dancing goes on for His pleasure. Similarly all the other different festivals were observed where the friends of Lord Krishna would look after His express comforts or pleasure, go to the forest with Him, serve Him and have fun.
As the temperature rises toward Summer the Chandan Yatra is performed where from the Akshaya Tritiya for a period of 21 days the body of the Lord is anointed with scented sandalwood mixed with camphor, musk, saffron. As the sandalwood is applied to the body it immediately cools, but then there is a natural cycle that also follows with the heat naturally there is some perspiration, and as the perspiration again mixes with the sandalwood it is dried and cooled by even the slightest breeze creating a pleasant feeling like being covered with Talcum powder.
However, as the temperature increases just to be anointed with something cooling is not enough therefore on (or from for some sampradayas or temples) the Snan Purnima in the month of Jyestha (Trivikram Vaishnava mase) there is the ceremonial bathing of the Lord called Snan Yatra. Although it has become especially festive in Jagannath Puri the actual event originates in Vrindavana with the devotees bathing Krishna, and Balaram for their pleasure and then taking bath themselves too. Actually at this time there is no other solace than to bathe in some kind of pleasing water. All the temples of Vrindavan follow this festival, and many devotees follow a trail of pilgrimage from one temple to the next from early morning to late evening when the temperature lowers to about 35-40 degrees centigrade absorbed in the Snan rasa.
The next major interactive event is Rathyatra where the devotees symbolically bring Lord Krishna (Jagannath) His brother Balaram and Subhadra maharani on high chariots, with beautiful flapping canopies, back to rural Vrindavan after their spell in Kurukshetra.
After this comes the Jhulan Yatra festival. Starting on the ekadasi of waxing moon of Sridhara month, many temples in Vrndavana celebrate Krsna's swing festival, some for one day, others for more days. Traditionally many of the Deities of the Lord wears various clothing with green in it over this period until the Balaram Purnima. Again it is a practical festive service that the devotees provide for the Lord. Monsoon is so humid, and the temperature is still so hot despite the cooling rains. With so much water coming from the sky, on the ground, and just about everywhere the last thing that anyone wants is more water to cool off. The opulence at this time is to find a breeze, as the air is heavy with the humidity of the rains. So the devotees arrange for the pleasure and satisfaction of Krishna, Balaram, and Srimati Radhika by placing them on a swing (Jhulan) and creating their own breeze from the motion.
It is a most pleasing and satisfying festival, with the swings often highly decorated with forest creepers, Jasmine (Malati) that has newly blossomed in the season, and streamers of garlands. Sometimes they use a fine spray of rose water and direct it toward the Divine couple of Radha and Krishna on Their swing.
Today in Iskcon temples all over the world by the mercy of his Divine Grace Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad all the devotees and the congregational members get the opportunity to come forward after purifying their hands and remember these loving interactions of Sri Krishna with His devotees, and also assist in the direct personal service of the Lord by applying themselves to pushing the swing.
On the last day of the Jhulan, on the Purnima (full moon) this comes Lord Balaram's appearance day festival.
Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundara from Varshana, Vraj mandal
"Regarding Jhulanayatra Ceremony, during these five days the Deities' clothing should be changed everyday, and there should be nice Prasadam distribution and Sankirtana as far as possible. If you are able to do it, a nice throne may be constructed on which the Deities can be placed. This throne may be swung gently during Kirtana. That will be very good, and surely the Deities will enjoy the function." (A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.1st August. 1969. Letter to Jayapataka Swami. Letters book pg. 977.)
"So we have to practice this Krsna consciousness. Here, in this material world, we have to work. Without work, you cannot maintain even your family, your body. That is not possible. Sarira-yatrapi te na prasiddhyed akarmana-. Krsna says (to) Arjuna that without karma you cannot maintain even your body. So you have to work. Sarira-yatrapi te na prasiddhyed akarmana-. And this material world means you have to maintain by working. And spiritual world means na tasya karyam karanam ca vidyate. There is nothing to work, as Krsna has nothing to work. He is simply enjoying What is called? Swing. So Krsna is enjoying, and Krsna's associates are enjoying. They have nothing to work. That is spiritual world. Cintamani prakara sadmasu kalpa vrksa: that is a different world. There is no material body. Therefore there is no need of the material body. That is a different world. But in this material world we have to work. Trt'ya-karma-samj<anya avidya-karma-samjanya trtiya aktir isyate. This material world means you have to work and adjust things for your maintenance. That you cannot escape. But still, we have to become Krsna conscious" (A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. 10th August 1976. Srimad Bhagavatam 3:22:21. Tehran, Iran.)
"Radha and Krsna may be swung in
this way, but you may avoid swinging Lord Jagannatha like that."(A.C. Bhaktivedanta
Swami Prabhupada. 5th Jan. 1973. Letter to Jagdish. Letters book p.2220.)
Some special nectar from the Chronicals of Srila Bhaktivindoa Thakur, he tells of some of his experience of feasting during Jhulan yatra.
A pastime of Srimati Radharani
and Sri Krishna's:
As stated Jhulan-yatra is very dear to Krsna, He likes it very much, now from another perspective you will see why !!!. From a cultural perspective in India during this period, all daughters go to their father's house to stay there for some days and enjoy the swing festival - a custom celebrated even up to this day.
Every year Srimati Radharani used to go to Varshana to her parents' house and have a very nice time there with her Gopi friends and Krsna, whom She could freely meet (because Jotila and Kotila were not around).
'One time Radharani was waiting for her brother Sridam to come and take her to her fathers' house. She was waiting, waiting, and waiting, but there was no sign of Sridam and She became so sad. One day a person from Varsana was there. She asked the man to ask her father, "Why have they have forgotten Me?" She then started to cry bitterly. The person went to Varshana and told Vrsabhanu Maharaja about the condition of his daughter. Hearing this news, Vrishabhanu Maharaja immediately sent Sridam to Varshana to get Radharani.
Srimati Radharani's Mother Kirtida packed many presents for Jotila to send with Sridam, knowing that if she did not do this, Jotila, being harsh of character sometimes would not send Srimati Radharani to Varshana.
Meanwhile, day and night Srimati Radharani was staring at the road coming from Varshana. One day, She saw Sridam and when he finally arrived at the front gate they embraced each other. She was weeping, "Oh brother you had forgotten Me?; My father and mother too?; Everyone forgot Me?"
At first Jotila refused to let Srimati Radharani go. "No no, She cannot go. She has so much work to do here, and there is so much danger there because of that black boy. She cannot go."
Then Sridam gave Jotila all the presents given by Kirtida ma. Seeing this, she said, "Alright, she can go, but only for a few days."
"Then Srimati Radharani and Sridam went on a cart pulled by four bullocks to Varshana. Seeing the palace of her parents on the hilltop, feeling great happiness Radharani started weeping and even more weeping when She saw Her father and mother face to face.
Once, Srimati Radharani was seated on the Jhulan and Krsna was pushing the swing very gently. Suddenly Krsna put so much force in pushing the swing that Srimati Radharani became fearful and started crying out, "O Krsna, save Me, save Me!" That transcendental trickster Sri Krsna climbed on the swing and She firmly embraced Him, giving Him so much pleasure. Why so much pleasure? Because normally He has to do so many tricks so that Radharani will embrace Him, but in this instance She embraced Him out of Her own will, without much effort on His part. Therefore He is so fond of these swing pastimes.
Some meditations on Sri Jhulan Yatra in Sri Vrindavan Dham.
The Jhulan time is very intense. In general the Shravana masha have an exceptional mood, it is raining all the time, Yamuna Mayi became very wide, flooded and there is a fresh atmosphere for devotees who move daily to whorship and take the lila-darshan which is performed in diverse temples in Vrindavan. As an example, in Jai Sing Geera, the lilas are performed during the whole week: every morning Gauranga-lila and at the evening Krishna-lila's theatre is played.
Devotees tell that some time ago a king, who was a great devotee of Sri Radha-Raman used to came to Vrindavan in the Shravana month to assist that performances which started out of his own desire. The rasa-lilas and theatre performance of Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu and Sri Krishna lilas was very dear to him and surely to Sri Radha Krishna also because since that time it now takes place as a yearly event.
In each of Vrindavans' temples a wonderful swing-kunja is to be found, each with singular features along with the swinging mood and the always happy "Jay Sri Radhe! Jay Sri Radhe!". There took place also the golden swing darshan of Sri Banka Bihari ji, which occurs once yearly. It happen the first day of Jhulan in which streets are completely crowded, any vehicles, like cars, even Auto-rickshaws transit is very much restricted and Rikshaws can move only in the main roads. Some devotees wait until the midnight special aratis to get darshan because during the day it's just ridiculous to try and get in with the hundreds of thousands of villages who descend on Vrindavan township to be absorbed in this wonderful festival.
There's a good business made by devotees
engaged in making the huge amounts of garlands that are used in all the
temples, by all the devotees wanting to offer garlands, and to decorate
the temples and Jhulan(s) during the whole week. It's a perfect example
how everyone benefits, both economically - financially, socially, spiritually
etc., simply by rendering some simple service for the pleasure of the Lord.
Vast amounts of prasadam is cooked and offered to the Deities, and sold
for a small donation; the hotles, dharmshallas, guest-houses etc, Rickshaws,
taxis, everyone, all are happy and satisfied knowing that simply by serving
the Lord, the root of everything all their needs will be taken care of.
Varshana a top the hill left and Radharani's home palace right
Varshana a top the hill overlooking surrounding Gokul - Vraj bhumi
Walkways between Varshana palace and Radharani's home
Walkways between Varshana palace and Radharani's home
Walkways between Varshana palace and Radharani's home
Srimati Radharani's home
Gardens at Radharani's palace at Varshana
:: Monday, May 13, 2002 ::
Svalikhita-jivani: Part Seven, 1852-57
"third year in Calcutta"
At that time I took mother and Hemalata to Calcutta. Having brought them there we stayed at the house of Kaliprasanna Datta [my mother's paternal uncle] in Simla, north central Calcutta. Grandmother remained in Ula. By winter my sister was married and they returned to Ula. During the rainy season I again got blood dysentery. I had it in my mind to go to the fakirs in Ula for the purpose of getting cured, but I had been at fault breaking the rules a little and so was not able to go to them.
I had been eating fish, meat and
demigod prasada and so the power of the mantra was defeated. I was like
elephant which takes a bath and then throws dust upon its body, so what was the use of another mantra? This time I took the medicine given by a doctor named Isvara. Within a month my illness was gone. Isvara was very expert in determining illness through reading the pulse, but he had a bad name because he did not have any medicine. In curing me to a large extent his bad name was removed.
By the third year in Calcutta I had
made a lot of progress. I wrote in English a little for the newspaper Hindu
Intelligencer of Kashi Babu. He edited all that I wrote. An association was started and I gave some lectures in English. At that time Krsnadas Pal and Shambhu Mukhopadhyaya came and made friends with Kasi Babu and afterwards began to write for the Intelligencer. Shambhu was a satirist. He employed many sharp words and after sometime his writing was no longer pleasing. From the beginning Krsnadas wrote essays. Gradually, as I improved, I joined them in writing.
"no one has knowledge"
In 1855 there was the Sanotal uprising and the newspapermen wrote a good deal on the subject. I read the papers.
I had never seen the Sanotal district but I thought that they were becoming prominent and forming a new jati [caste] like the Hans and Bhantal.
On Sundays some of us from our place
used to go and see monuments and Barobazar and the Seven Pond
Gardens in Calcutta. I was unable to get to know all the multitude of alleys and side streets in Calcutta. Even so, we would wander about and go to different societies like the Free Debating Club etc. On the strength of my little learning I did I thought that no one but me had any knowledge.
In that year Mahesh Dada and Mej
Mami went and stayed in Ula. Having opened the interior door which had
bolted by grandfather, Mahesh Dada set up residence in the parlour. Sital Teoyari and Hanuman Simha became guards at the main door once more. All in the house were happy because there was going to be a legal settlement with the opposing party. When I returned home for the puja holiday I was very happy. I stayed in the parlour of Baro Dada. All of my former friends would come and talk, and I went to see my old school for half a day.
"all the books in the library"
I would go and wander about my old house and my friends' houses. It seemed that all of Ula was faring well. After
the wife of Baro Dada came to Ula, mother brought my wife. My wife was very small in those days and we would play together like children.
At the end of the school break I
returned to Calcutta. While I was staying in Ula with my former friends
many topics regarding the Supreme Controller [Isvara]. Uncle Parasurama had no faith in the Lord at all. At the time I came back to Calcutta I studied all manner of English books on philosophy. One by one I read all the books in the library of Kashi Babu. My teacher Isvara Babu helped me a lot with my reading.
I first enrolled in Hindu School
in the year 1856. The Headmaster was Babu Mahesh Candra Bandyopadhaya and
Isvara Chandra was my history teacher. Mahendra Soma taught mathematics to me. That year the University was started. College classes were held in Presidency College. The senior classes of Hindu School were held in the west wing, Sanskrit College was in the middle section and junior classes were held in the eastern wing.
"the British India Society"
In our class were Satyendra Nath Thakur, Ganendra Nath Thakur and Nabagopal Mitra and many others. For a long
time I was inexpert at mathematics though in other subjects I did very well. At that time entrance examinations were first begun. I had so much competence in literature that I was respected by the teachers and the whole class. I began to write poetry which came to attention of the teachers and gradually came to the attention of the principal.
At that time Keshava Candra Sen was
a Hindu boy and he studied in the class above me. He was also not very
at maths and there was no chance of his passing in that class. Therefore, being strong in knowledge of literature, he established a sabha called the British India Society. English professors and Reverend Dal used to attend the sabha. Because I had a little literary knowledge Keshava requested me to become a member of the sabha.
At this time gas lighting was introduced
in Calcutta. One evening Kashi Babu and I went to Narikel Place to see
gas company offices. Many dignitaries were invited to see the first use of gas lighting. Prasanna Kumar, Thakur Ramanath Thakur and many others came. Everyone was thrilled to see the gas lights.
"phuti, chatu and a pana of mangoes"
Sarasvati Puja and Jhulan Yatra were celebrated at the house of Kashi Babu and I went there to see and hear the
dramas on several occasions. A lot of luchi, kachori, ksheera, and mohan bhoga was eaten. Madan Mastar and Dugo Ghadel were among the musical dramas that I went and heard. I had very little knowledge of music, but I liked to hear a song sung with emotion very much.
In those days I was able to eat a
lot. When I went to the garden to Kashi Babu to his house I would do a
eating. Some days I would eat a lot of phuti [a variety of green melon] and gur [jaggery]. Some days I would eat a lot of chatu [a chickpea dish], on other days I would eat a pana [20 gandas] of mangoes. Everybody would be amazed.
My body was very thin even though
I ate so much and everybody was very puzzled. O Lalu [Lalita], that
rajavallabha medicine I took increased my appetite for a long time. At that time in the hot season Kashi Babu and his family lived in the gardens. I often walked from Pak Para [a district in Calcutta] as far the college at Patal Danga.
"Padre Dall and Thompson Saheb"
There was then a great commotion over cholera, but even so I was not averse to coming and going. From 1854
onwards I made acquaintance with my blood relations by studying genealogy. Kali Prasanna Dada helped me by giving me an old book on the subject. Kaka Bhola Natha Babu began to make money at that time and he helped by giving money to me for my tuition. I went boldly from the Hindu School to take the entrance examinations to university, the examinations being held in the town hall. On the first day my fever came on me in the town hall. Therefore, I was not able to take the examination.
Seeing that school did not provide
a proper opportunity to study I began to acquire knowledge in another fashion.
Everyday I would go to Metcalf Hall and read books. At that time Sriyukta Abhaya Kada was the secretary there and Pyari Charan Mitra Takhakar was the librarian. I gave lectures at many sabhas. I had learned discussions with Padre Dal and George Thompson. Thompson Saheb instructed me on how to become a good speaker.
He said that while he was going from
the village he resided in to the parliament he would stand in the open
and imagining the plants to be the members of parliament he would freely speak to them. Because of practicing in this fashion he became such a sweet speaker that everyone would be pleased upon hearing him. On the day that he told us that story Nabagopal Mitra and Keshava Sen were present. Keshava said that by talking to simple little children as had Thompson, I would begin to speak in that fashion.
"Reverend Duff and Mr. ABC"
By the end of 1856 I had written the first part of Poriyade. Gangacharan Sen Mahasaya read it and liked it very
much. On his advice, I subsequently published the book in two parts. After reading the work, the Reverend Duff said that I had done very well. He said, "Write in the same fashion in English about the cruelty of the Zamindars." I realized that this was not a good idea.
At that time I read all of Milton
with the help of Reverend Duff. Near the Krsna Bandor Street Church lived
missionary named Grub Saheb. In the evenings Raju Basu of Ula used to come to his house and read Edison. I also went with him and read Edison. Day and night I would read the books of Carlisle, Haslett, Jeffrey, Macaulay and others. I composed short poems and they were printed in the Library Gazette. I was known as "Mr. ABC."
One day, having invited me through
Dal Saheb, Mrs. Locke looked over my poetry and read it. After chatting
me for some time she praised my poetry and accepted my book of poetry, which I dedicated in her name.
Before the entrance examinations
I went to Ula with Raju Basu. After spending the night eating in the Mitras'
we set off in a boat during a great storm. There was much fear on the Ganges in the dark night. The next day, by the mercy of God, we reached the ghat at Ula without mishap. In the late evening in the month of Asvin the light of the moon was very splendid there. Prior to that evening I had received no news of Ula.
"The village was empty"
From the time of Ashat in that year in the village of Ula there was a fearful epidemic. In the month of Bhadra the
family of Mahesh Dada being ill had come to Calcutta, but had not said anything to me. In the month of Bhadra in a terrible fever my sister Hemalata gave up her life, but I had received no news of her. My wife was ill so she was sent to Ranaghat. What could I do in the night but think I should go to the house? Raju said, "Go, I will give you a man to accompany you to your house."
Upon disembarking I saw some people
who were laughing and joking being mad with the happiness which comes
from hopelessness. The village was empty. As they were under the influence of ganja they perceived no suffering. I questioned them but they gave no answers. Raju and I were amazed by the sight of them.
Departing from the boat, we went
to the house of Madhusudan. When we looked through the door we saw
Madhusudan Basu sitting on a low wooden seat. I paid respects to him and he addressed me, saying, "O Kedar, stay here for the day; in the morning you go to your house."
What was I to make of this? I said
to myself, "I will go to the house this very day." I heard directly from
an epidemic had killed many people in the village and some people of our house had died. I went there quickly, taking a man skilled in stick fighting.
"unable to stand up"
While on the way this man described the horrible state of the village. He said, "Mahesh Babu became ill and went to
Calcutta", but he did not say what had happened. The main door of the family residence was open. I called and called many times, when from the deity house Sital Teoyari spoke, saying, "Babu, go inside the house." I felt very sick. I was unable to stand up.
I went to the puja house and calling
repeatedly, until Sej Didi came. She opened the door and brought me into
room. She was crying and crying and said that Hemalata was no more. Your mother was very sick. Upon entering my mother's room I discovered that mother had been delirious with fever for the past ten to twelve days, but on this day she was a little better.
Seeing me, mother and grandmother
began to cry. In sorrow I said, "Today we will leave Ula." During the night
not eat or drink and I slept only a little.
"the cries of pain"
When I rose in the morning, I considered what to do. I heard that all the maids had died. Only one servant
remained to bring water. In the morning I went to see Sayaram Mama and Dasu Mama and others at their house. Dasu Mama said, "Go to Calcutta. I will give you a man and a boat etc." Sayaram Mama was taking quinine. I brought two or three packets of medicine and from that day I began to take it.
I came to the old house calling to
Haru Mama and Parasurama Mama. Because they wanted to come with me they
began to sell some of their things. Jagat Bhattacarya Mahasaya brought a boat and set out with us on the journey on the third day. The day before we set out I went to many places in Ulagram.
In a great number of homes there
were no people left alive. At some homes there was heard the cry of pain
those who were sick. At some homes there were bodies lying around. At other homes there was little life. Others were making preparations to leave Ula. Many had already left. It was the time of Durga puja but there was no happiness anywhere.
"the simple, crazy people of Ula"
Where thousands of people would sit together and take prasada, nobody could be seen. Though there were eighty
to a hundred places of the image of Durga there was only five or six pujas being performed. Everybody said that at the house of the Brahmacari, Kailas Brahmacari had caused the disease. He then released a goat for the purpose of removing the cause of the disease. As far as that goat ran, that far the cholera subsided. The simple and crazy people of Ula concocted this story and they all began to believe it.
It was also reported that two people
came to Ula to practice medicine, but after two or three days they also
fallen in the grip of death. The fever was fearful. Whoever got the fever died within four or five hours. I heard that during the months of Asat and Sravan the fever was not very bad, but in the month of Bhadra it was fearful.
Taking the boat and arriving at last
at the ghat at Ranaghat I received news of my wife. I heard that my wife's
disease had changed for the better. Merely getting this news we continued to Calcutta. Upon arriving in Calcutta mother stayed at the house of Kalikrishna Kaka with my paternal grandmother. My mother was taken to the house of my aunt, who would care for her. She made a lot of effort and took medicine, and she mother gradually became well there.
"darkness in all directions"
Grandmother became sick while on the boat. Through the efforts and love of Kali Kaka she gradually became well
but later a stomach ailment and fever returned. At that time I was seventeen years old. I suffered terrible hardships. There was no money. There was no one to converse with. Everybody thought that my mother had almost a lakh of Rupees.
I said that we had only very little
but no one believed us. At this time I studied on my own for the entrance
examinations. Grandmother lived in one place, and mother in another place; there was no money and all the time I was overwhelmed.
Seeing sickness all around I was
not able to study. I thought, "A man can not study amidst such difficulties".
time, thrice in succession, I had fevers. The last time Kaliprasanna Dada brought me quinine which I took and became well.
I went to take the examination but
the fever again prevented me. I saw no hope. My mind became apathetic.
house was empty, there was no money, and I had no strength. Where were my family, where my illness, the impossibility of study, darkness in all directions.
"in the family mansion of the Tagore's"
Grandfather and grandmother were both from famous families; knowing this fact I suffered. Solely to console my
suffering I would sit and talk with friends my own age. Everybody thought that I was the son of a very rich person and that I had no financial needs. I was dying of pain in the heart. I did not speak much to anyone. I would attend meetings: I listened and spoke freely from my heart as a diversion.
Nobody could understand the feelings
in my heart. I ate at the house of Kasi Babu but had discussions on books
the houses of friends. Frequently in the evenings I visited the home of Sriyukta Debendranath Thakur, which was called Jora Shanko the Tagore's family mansion . The honourable Dvijendranath Thakur was the older brother of my friend Sriyukta Satyendranath Thakura and my older brother as well.
If ever among men there was a close
friend then baro dada was that close friend. He was charitable, of good
character, had a pure love, and was honest, and my heart was enlivened by him. Upon seeing him all my troubles would go away.
I would sit by him and discuss many
Sanskrit books. I had much affection for Satyendranath Tagore, but I was
always overwhelmed by the great qualities of Dvijendranath Babu. He was without attachment for worldly things, and when I was with him I was happy and gave up thoughts of material things. Therefore, staying with him was all good for me, but staying with others was not so good.
"O brother Kedar, your thinking is very deep."
At that time I read many books on the science of God, which was the particular science that effected the removal of
anxiety from my heart. When I discussed things with Dvijendranath there was help of Kant, Goethe, Hegel, Swedenborg, Schopenhauer, Hume, Voltaire, and Cousin.
Having discussed the books of many
writers I concluded in my mind that dravya [substance] has no real existence.
Guna [quality] alone exists. Dravya is but the sum total of the gunas. The gunas actually exist but there is no proof for the necessity of there being a gunadhara [upholder of gunas]. Dvijendranath heard my conclusions in the matter of philosophy and considered them and said, "O brother Kedar, your thinking is very deep. I am not able to defeat you."
"the twenty five stories of the Vetala"
Dvijendranath was a person who was a reservoir of intellect. In knowledge of the padarthas he was one without a
second. Hearing his words my mental strength doubled. I was a guest speaker on philosophy at some learned societies.
Tarkanath Palit was a classmate and
good friend of mine and at that time he had not yet gone to England. He
very much my presentation and proposed to me that I speak to the British Indian Society. In that assembly the Englishmen said that my presentation was deep. Dal Saheb asked, "What will be the benefit to mankind from acquiring knowledge of this sort?"
At one other meeting of this sabha,
having written in the form of a play in English "The twenty five stories
Vetala" [Vetala panch vimsati] I recited it. On that day there was a great debate. And from that day my friends of my own age considered me a logician and began to tell everybody.
:: uddharana das 1:14 PM [+] ::
One may perform worship with abhiseka as for Sri Krsna
Lord Balaram's pastimes reflected on:
Lord Balaram's pastimes reflected on in brief good for classes:
- Indian Heritage site:
Lord Balaram Deity on the beach at Malpe - originally carved by Vishvakarma from a Shaligram.
Sri Gopal Tapani Upanishad on why Lord Balaram appeared:
Lord Balaram's pilgrimage in brief:
See Lord Balaram's incarnation as Sri Nityananda Rama (Nitai):
Nityananda Rama - Balaram:
Sri Chaitanya as Krishna and Nityananda as Balarama from Sri Chaitanya Bhagavat Adi-lila ch 1:
Lord Nityananda Balarama Appearance Day BY BHAKTIRATNA SADHU SWAMI
1000 names of Lord Balaram here:
Varuni juice bevarage for Lord Balaram - one possible recipe that is very much liked:
Link to Krsna Book on-line:
Srimad Bhagavatam on-line:
Dasavatara page - 10 primary incarnations of the Supreme Lord:
Send a friend an e-postcard:
The following section is from "The Life and Legacy of Sripad Ananda Tirtha - Madhwacarya" © JTCd 1995-2001 All rights reserved.
The following incident happend when Sripad Madhwacharya was embraced by Srila Vyasadev. First of all he began to remember all of the wonderful pastimes of the Lord, Who in His literary incarnation now stood before him, beginning with Matsya, Hayagreeva, Narasimha, Varahadev, and so on.
Remembering Sri Sri Krsna - Balaram.
Sripad Madhwacarya, being in the mixed 'rasa' or mellows of devotional friendship and service, then meditated on his worshipful Friends and Lords, Krsna and Balarama.
As Hanuman, the 'avatar' of Mukhyaprana, perfectly performed
devotional service in the 'dasya rasa' or devotional service in servitude
and in the incarnation as Bhima, his mood was that of fraternal love. This
group is usually divided into four. (1) well wishers, (2) friends, (3)
confidential friends, (4) intimate friends, and the group is called 'vayasyas'
The fraternal 'rasa' has some light shed upon it, by the following statements: "When there is full knowledge of Krsna's superiority and yet in dealings with Him on friendly terms respectfulness in completely absent, that stage is called affection. There is one brilliant example of this affection. When the demigods, headed by Lord Shiva, were offering prayers to Krsna describing the glorious opulences of the Lord, Krsna's friend in Vrindavan stood before Him with his hand of His shoulders and brushed the dust from His peacock feather.
When the Pandavas were banished by Duryodhana and forced to live incognito in the forest, no-one could trace out where they were staying. At that time, the great sage Narada Muni met Lord Krsna and said, "My dear Mukunda, although You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the all powerful person, by making friendship with You the Pandavas have become bereft of their legitimate right to the kingdom of the world - and moreover, they are now living in the forest incognito. Sometimes they must work as ordinary laborers in someone else's house. These symptoms appear to be very inauspicious materially, but the beauty is that, the Pandavas have not lost their faith and love for You, in spite of all these tribulations. In fact, they are always thinking of You and chanting Your name in ecstatic friendship."
Another example of freidnship may be given again described by Narada Muni, who reminded Krsna thus: "When Arjuna was learning the art of shooting arrows, he could not see You for so many days. But when You arrived there, he stopped all his activities and immediately embrassed You."(Bhaktirasamrta Sindhu, Nectar of Devotion).
Mostly the 'rasa' or mood of Sripad Madhwacarya follows the 'dasya rasa'. The devotees of the Lord in servitude are divided into four classes: (1) appointed servants - (This is how the third incarnation of Vayu came to take up these wonderful pastimes.) Others such as Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva, who are appointed to control over the material modes of passion and ignorance. (2) Devotees in servitude who are protected by the Lord. (3) Devotees who are always associates. (4) Devotees who are simply following in the footsteps of the Lord. To more or lesser degrees all these four apply to Madhwa but 'adhikrta-devata' - appointed servants specifically covers the pastimes of our hero.
In these moods of servitude and friendship Sripad Madhwacarya stood before his Friend and Lord and remembered the unlimited pastimes of Lord Sri Krsna. When He, the Original Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, appeared in Sri Vrndavan Dhama in His original form and expansion, Sri Sri Krsna and Balarama, the divine cowherd boys, Mukhyaprana was preparing to make his second incarnation into the Yadu dynasty as Bhima.
Once Bhumidevi (the goddess of the earth) assumed the form of a cow and took shelter of Lord Brahma. She humbly begged for relief, the whole earth is in a mixed up condition. Everyone is distressed due to the presence of so many demoniac kings. Hearing the distressful condition, Lord Brahma, Mother Bhumi and many other demigods, approached Lord Visnu on His island Swetadvipa. Standing on the shore of the milk ocean they told their woeful tale. Lord Visnu instructed those devas there to go and take their births on earth in the Yadu dynasty. He said at that time I will come in My original two-armed form along with My transcendental brother and sister and will be knows as Krsna, Balarama and Yogamaya. In these forms We will kill the demons, protect the devotees, and have unlimited pastimes for the pleasure of the devotees.
In the Yadu dynasty at that time was the king named Surasena
who had a son named Vasudeva. Another Yadu king by the name Ugrasena had
a beautiful daughter called Devaki. After some time Vasudeva and Devaki
were married. Devaki had an evil brother by the name Kamsa, and that Kamsa,
after the wedding, drove Vasudeva's and Devaki's wedding chariot to their
home. However, in mid journey, suddenly from the sky came a prophetic voice
saying, "Kamsa you are a fool. The eighth son of your sister Devaki, whose
chariot you now drive, will kill you." Without a second thought Kamsa grabbed
Devaki by the hair and raised his sword to kill her. Vasudeva promising
that he personally would present any children they may have, first to Kamsa,
and so there is no need to worry for now, as we don't have any children,
and when we do we will give them to you. So don't kill your sister Devaki
on her wedding day.
Kamsa imprisoned his father, sister and brother-in-law to be sure of Vasudeva's promise being kept. The transcendental devotee Narada Muni then appeared before Kamsa at the arrival of the first child and told Kamsa that now Krsna's friends, the demigods, are lying in wait, taking births in the families of Nanda Maharaja, his wives, and the cowherd men of Vraja. In this was Narada escalated the advent of Krsna. As each child was born, the was presented to Kamsa who, with rage, smashed them one by one to the ground and killed them.
Formerly an 'asura' named Kalanemi had six sons, named Hamsa, Suikrama, Kratha, Damana, Ripurmardana and Krodhahanta. They were known as 'sad-garbhas', or six 'garbhas', and they were all equally powerful and expert in military affairs. These 'sad-garbhas' gave up the association of Hiranyakasipu, their grandfather, and underwent great austerities to satisfy Lord Brahma, who, upon being satisfied, agreed to give them whatever benediction they might desire. When asked by Lord Brahma to state what they wanted, the sad-garbhas replied, "Dear Brahma, if you want to give us a benediction, give us the blessing that we will not be killed by any demigod, 'maha-roga', 'yaksa', 'gandharva-pati', 'siddha', 'carana' or human being, nor by great sages who are perfect in their penances and austerities." Brahma understood their purpose and fulfilled their desire. But when Hiranyakasipu came to know of these events, he was very angry at his grandsons. "You have given up my association and have gone to worship Brahma," he said, "....And therefore I no longer have any affection for you. You tried to save yourselves from the hands of demigods, but I curse you in this way; Your father will take birth as Kamsa and kill all of you because you will take birth as the sons of Devaki."(Sripad Vijayadhwaj Tirtha. Srimad Bhagavatam 10:1:69.).
The arrogant Kamsa then had himself installed as King.
Soon came the time of Devaki's seventh baby. This child was non other than
Lord Balarama, but as the child was born, Yogamaya took the child and placed
him safely with Rohini in the house of Nanda and Yasodamayi, and news spread
that Devaki has miscarried.
When news reached Kamsa's ears that Devaki was pregnant for the eighth time, Kamsa changed extraordinarily. He became completely paranoid for the child that would kill him was now in the womb. In an adverse way Kamsa performed devotional service, always being absorbed in thoughts of Krsna. When he slept he dreamt of Krsna, whilst eating, working, walking, talking, sitting, he couldn't spend a moment without thoughts of Krsna, but those thoughts were not at all favourable. Kamsa feared for his life, knowing his arch enemy was there, the child that would kill him.
Narada Muni reassured Devaki that Kamsa would not kill this child, and that Krsna is coming just to kill the demons so that the devotees may live in the world peacefully.
All kinds of auspicious omens were seen all around prior
to Krsna's appearance, and in the heavens the all-auspicious 'nakshatra'
of Rohini welcomed the Lord to begin His pastimes. Rivers ran clear and
full with pure water, lakes were full with full blown pink, blue and white
lotuses, all the birds and animals of the forests were singing in great
delight., and the soft breezes carried the fragrances of aromatic flowers
in all directions. 'Gandharvas' and 'Kinnaras' began to sing, and the 'Siddhas'
and 'Caranas' offered prayers in beautiful unison. The 'Apsaras' began
their heavenly dances and the great sages, 'Rshis' and all the demigods
showered flowers from the skies.
Them just after midnight as the constellation ('nakshatra') Rohini moved into position a great storm came. The four-armed form of Lord Visnu then appeared before the beautiful Devaki. Devaki, who for some time was covered by Krsna' internal potency, thought that this was like a normal birth, and thought that only due to the trauma of the birth she didn't remember the actual birth. But the Lord appeared fully adorned with jewels and looking very beautiful. Vasudeva saw his son first with four arms carrying conch, club, disc and lotus, surrounded by a glistening effulgence within the prison cell, with the Srivatsa mark of Laxmi devi on His chest and Kaustubha mani around His neck, and dressed in yellow silken cloth.
Krsna then told Vasudeva to take Him out of the prison and go to Gokul and exchange Krsna with the girl child just born to Mother Yashoda. Turning Himself into what seemed to be an ordinary baby, Vasudeva carried his newborn son out of the prison. The prison guards were unusually all sleeping and all the doors miraculously opened to allow baby Krsna, carried by Vasudeva, to go out.
The night was dark as it was the eighth day of the fortnight
of the waning moon (Krsna paksa) and the sky was full of rain clouds. Thunder
and rain of monsoon time made the Yamuna River fill it's banks with turbulent
water and the wind whipped up the waves. Thus due to the rainy season the
Yamuna was impossible to cross. But now effulgent baby Krsna suddenly manifested
his divine umbrella, Ananta Sesa, which, with His many snake like hoods,
gave shelter to Krsna and His devotee Vasudeva. As they approached the
Yamuna River again, suddenly miracles started to happen, and despite the
rough and deep waters, Vasudeva, carrying baby Krsna, walked across the
Yamuna and over to the house of Nanda Maharaja. Picking up her girl
child, he again crossed the Yamuna and back to the prison.
In the morning the guards told Kamsa about the sounds of a baby crying in the prison, and Kamsa came down to investigate. Devaki begged Kamsa not to kill her child, as it was a girl and the prediction was that her eighth son would kill him. The cruel demon Kamsa was just about the dash the child to the ground when the baby flew up into the air and manifested herself as Durga. In her eight arms she carried all kinds of weapons - a bow, spear, sword, club, shield, arrows, conch and disc. Dressed in fine ornaments and exquisite garments and surrounded by devas, Durga addressed Kamsa, "So you think you can kill me. You cannot. The child who will kill you however has already been born before me somewhere else. Now don't be cruel to your sister, Devaki," and disappeared. Kamsa was now petrified, and begged Vasudeva and Devaki for forgiveness for killing their six children, but by the next day his normal demoniac nature was back. Kamsa then ordered his men to kill every child born in the last ten days.
In the meantime in Nanda Maharaja's house, the 'Nandotsava'
(birthday ceremony) of Lord Krsna was performed. Nanda Maharaja and the
local cowherds people, the elderly 'gopis', and the young 'gopis', all
assembled there along with pure hearted 'brahmins' including Gargamuni.
After the 'abhisheka' bathing ceremony of baby Krsna, and after all the
well wishers had came and presented so many nice present for Krsna, Gargamuni
cast an astrological chart to see the nature of the child. Gargamuni was
astounded. This is no ordinary child. This is the Personality of Godhead,
Lord Visnu. But in their parental love, Nanda and Yasoda overlooked this
face and gave abundances of well decorated cows, grains and golden ornaments
to all who came to invoke their blessing upon the child.
Afterwards there was a sumptuous feast, for any 'samskara' is not complete without 'daksina' given to the 'Vaisnava brahmins', and distribution of 'prasadams'. The Nanda and Yasodamayi performed 'nyasa', touching Krsna's transcendental body and praying to the Supreme Personality of Godhead to protect each of His limbs and thus protect completely "their child".
At this time Lord Balarama was also growing up in the house of Nanda Maharaja but as the son of Mother Rohini. Nanda Maharaja then asked Garga muni to perform a secret 'nama karana' (name giving ceremony.) Garga muni told that Rohini's son, who has a whitish complexion will be called Rama because he is so pleasing, and he will be called Balarama because of his strength. The other boy who is actual the son of Devaki, will be known as Syama for His blackish complexion and Krsna for His all attractiveness, and by some he will be known as Vasudeva, the son of Vasudeva. This child will grow in power, beauty and opulence, being the Personality of Godhead.
Kamsa sent all kinds of demons in many varieties of disguises
to try to kill Krsna, one in particular was the evil witch Putana. She
would take babies and smearing her motherly nipples with poison, would
push them into her victim's mouth and kill them. Assuming a very beautiful
form, Putana approached the house of Nanda Maharaja. Seeing baby Krsna,
she placed Him upon her lap and pushed her poisoned nipple into Krsna's
mouth. Krsna accepted this motherly service that she rendered, but as well
as sucking the witches breast milk, Krsna sucked out her very life air.
As Putana screaming gave up her life, she returned to her ugly and
huge form, but Krsna just played of her dead body. Because of her contact
with Krsna, when all the inhabitants of Vraja burned up her body, there
was a very pleasant smell.
Krsna and Balarama used to crawl and play with the cows, holding onto their tails until eventually the cows would run off with the boys holding the cow's tails. In this way they would enjoy a ride as they ran off through the cow dung. This used to amuse everyone watching the transcendental brothers playing just like cheeky, funny boys.
Kamsa would periodically send his friends who were all demons to try and cause harm to baby Krsna and Balarama. But Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, even though appearing as a small baby, finished the demons easily.
Once a whirl wind demon Trnavarta came and tried to take
Krsna away by force, but little Krsna suddenly became heavier and heavier
until Trnavarta felt Krsna to be like a mountain. Krsna grabbed the demob
by the neck and choked him, and Trnavarta's eyes popped out of their sockets
as he screamed in agony his last breath.
When Krsna and Balarama had started walking around, they would go to the houses of the 'gopis' every morning before the cows had been milked and would release all the calves. Each calf would immediately run to their respective mother and drink all the milk. When the 'gopis' would come to milk the cows there was no milk, and so they would go to complain to Mother Yashoda. On other occasions Krsna and Balaram and some of their cowherd friends would go to the cool store room where the gopis would have their yogurt hanging ready to prepare into butter. Krsna and Balarama would take that yogurt and butter and sit and eat it directly from the pots. Other times they would feed their remnants to the monkeys and then break the pots. When the 'gopis' would catch them, They would just smile charmingly. These boys are so transcendentally cheeky.
Another time some of Krsna's friends headed by Balarama told Mother Yashoda that Krsna had eaten earth. Krsna complained that they were just trying to get him into trouble, but Mother Yashoda insisted on looking in Krsna's mouth. Opening his lotus mouth, Mother Yashoda saw the entire universe, planets, mountains, oceans, everything and even herself sitting with Krsna on her lap looking into his mouth. Stunned, by her parental love, she gave Krsna a big hug and a kiss.
Once the two sons of the demigod Kuvera, Nalakuvera and
Manigriva, were enjoying in Lord Shiva's garden next to the Mandakini River,
otherwise known as the Ganges. They were naked and intoxicated and playing
like elephants they splashed and frolicked in the waters accompanied by
naked women. Suddenly the great staunch devotee Narada Muni came by. The
intoxicated sons of Kuvera didn't even bother to try to cover themselves,
or pay any respect to Narada. To teach them a lesson Narada cursed them
to stand naked as trees in the garden of Nanda Maharaja for 36,000 years
until Krsna would free them.
It so happened that one day when Mother Yashoda was making butter in the kitchen, baby Krsna being hungry, climbed upon her lap to drink her breast milk. Remembering she had left the milk on the stove which by now was ready to boil, over, Mother Yashoda put Krsna down and ran off to the kitchen.
Krsna, who hadn't finished drinking, was so angry. He broke a pot of butter and started to eat the contents. When Mother Yashoda returned to find the broken pot, she took a stick and went to find her rascal son Krsna.
Here Mother Yashoda is going to bind Krsna. It is not that Krsna is unhappy, He is feeling happy. It is a pleasure for Krsna to be bound by the ropes of love by his pure devotee. It is not that anyone can chastize the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna but He is taking pleasure in being chastized by Mother Yashoda.
When she finally caught Krsna, she tried to bind him with rope, but every tope she tried to bind him with was two inches too short. Even all joined together it was two inches too short. Krsna, withholding His mercy, not allowing himself to be bound, was one inch and the other inch was the love and endeavour of His devotee, mother Yashoda. Finally when Mother Yashoda was at her wits end, in desperation she prayed to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana, then that same Supreme Person in the form of her child bestowed His mercy upon Mother Yashoda and allowed Himself to be bound by her ropes of love.
When Mother Yashoda left that place leaving Krsna tied to the grinding mortar, Krsna, to fulfil the curse of Narada, dragged the mortar into the garden and between the twin Arjuna trees. As Krsna crawled between the two trees the mortar became stuck. Krsna pulled harder and the trees came smashing down to the ground. As the trees broke, the two devas came out. Yes, it was the now repentant sons of Kuvera, Nalakuvera and Manigriva, and they offered prayers to Krsna.
Sometimes at the house of Nanda Maharaja different sales people would come by selling their wares as is the nature of village life. On one such occasion a fruit selling lady came by with a big basket of fruits. When Krsna saw her and the fruits, He took a handful of rice and approached the lady to purchase fruits. The fruit lady was so taken back by this beautifully decorated and charming boy that she gave him his required fruits. As she piled Krsna up with fruits, and watched the little boy waddle away dropping an occasional fruit here and there, she laughed. Looking back to her basket, she saw that the remaining fruits that she had turned into priceless jewels. Krsna had rewarded the fruit lady for her unmotivated, unexpectant service to Him.
On another day Krsna and Balarama were playing on the banks of the Yamuna when Mother Rohini (Balarama's mother) called them for their lunch. Nanda Maharaja was waiting to take, and wouldn't start without the whole family there. Mother Yashoda stayed, and Rohini went back to the house. Mother Yashoda scolded the and told them to get home immediately. Yashoda Mayi finally got the boys home. They were both covered in dust and dirt, so she gave them both a good bath, redressed them nicely with ornaments and jewels. Then the 'brahmins' came to receive charity for the occasion of Janmasthami (Krsna's birthday). As is Vedic culture, one should give in charity on one's birthday and not expect returns.
Sometimes Krsna and Balarama and their friends would play
near Govardhana Hill. They would go there on carts with all the residents
of Vrndavan in a very festive mood, blowing conches and horns. Krsna and
Balarama themselves would take care of small calves, and with their friends
and calves they would all play in the fields. Sometimes they played on
their flutes and other times they played ball with bitter tasting 'amalaki'
fruits, or covered themselves with the calves blankets and pretended to
be bulls. Whilst they were playing like this, one day a demon by the name
of Vatsasura came and turned himself into a calf and mingled with the other
calves, waiting to attack Krsna and Balarama, but the divine brothers had
their own plan. Instead they sneaked up on Vatsasura and Krsna caught the
calf-demon by it's back legs and threw him high into a tree, and the demon
fell down dead.
When once Krsna and Balarama and their friends were at the Yamuna River with the calves, they saw what looked like a huge duck. Yes, this was another demon sent by the evil Kamsa to kill Krsna. The demon attacked and even swallowed Krsna. Krsna became so hot like the sun in the throat of the demon that the demon released Him. Krsna then grabbed the demon's beak and as one would split a piece of grass, Krsna tore the demon Bakasura's beaks wide open and killed him.
One day the younger brother of Putana witch and the duck demon Baka came by with a plan to eat Krsna, Balarama and their friends. Assuming the form of a gigantic snake, he opened his mouth like a huge cave. At first the boys thought it was a statue, but they could see it moving and smell the fishy smell of it's liver on the demon's breath. This demon's name was Aghasura. Suddenly all the cowherd boys began to climb up over his big lips past his teeth and into the cave-like mouth to explore the inside. Krsna and Balaram also climbed in much to the dismay of the demigods who had gathered there to see the boys play. Then Krsna began to grow bigger and bigger until finally he choked the demon to death. After the death of Aghasura the boys used to play on the gigantic body without fear, knowing that Krsna had killed him.
One time Krsna and Balarama and their friends, being desirous
of enjoying the succulent fruits of the Talavana Forest, made plans to
go there. However, some of the boys tried to warn Krsna and Balarama that
there was a herd of donkey demons who stayed in that forest headed by Dhenukasura,
and so it is not safe to go there. Krsna and Balarama who had dealt with
so many demons, were not perturbed. The fruits in Talavana Forest were
all ripe and juicy but were all high up in the trees. When Dhenukasura
and his ass-like friends came, Krsna and Balarama caught hold of the demons
and began throwing them up into the trees, thus killing the demons, and
knocking down all the nice fruits.
In the summertime the boys and the cows would go down to the Yamuna River and take a break from the heat of the day. But for some time now another demon of the name Kaliya had taken his residence just down stream from the area known as Raman Reti or shimmering sands. He was a big black snake with many many heads and hoods. Due to his presence, the waters of the Yamuna in that area had become dirty, black and poisonous. On these hot days the cow herd boys normally would go to the Yamuna and drink also, but upon drinking this time, they became sick and then died. Only Krsna could bring them back to life by His glance. Krsna didn't like his friends to be caused suffering in this way, so He climbed up a big Kadamba tree and in a fighting mood, jumped into the murky waters. After attracting the Kaliya serpent, Krsna sported with Him for some time. Finally Krsna made his transcendental body bigger and bigger, until finally He took hold of the demon's hoods and began to dance, pushing down with Supreme pleasure. Kaliya began to vomit all kinds of bad things and even his own blood. As Krsna danced, he kicked the demon with His lotus feet. Kaliya was now almost dead because of associating unfavourably with Krsna, the Nagapatnis (wives of Kaliya) appealed for the life of their husband. Krsna then sent the demon away from that place in the Yamuna to where he now resides, in the south Pacific Ocean near Fiji. Krsna said that Garuda will not bother you if you go there immediately.
The daily pastimes of Krsna and Balarama are too numerous to even comprehend, what to speak of tell. Even Sesa Naga (Ananta Deva), Who has unlimited heads, possessing ears and mouths, is still in a transcendentally frustrated condition, for even though with His unlimited eyes and mouths he is neither capable of hearing nor reciting the oh, too numerous, wonderful pastimes of the Lord.
Krsna and Balarama and the cowherd boys love to wrestle together. Sometimes they would pick sides, and on some days some of the boys were on Krsna's side and on some days they were on Balarama's side. One day while they played like this, the demon Pralambasura joined in. He took the disguise of a cowherd boy. Krsna, the knower of all activities and the performers thereof in the past, present and future, knew this cowherd boy was a demon in disguise. On this particular day Balarama's team were the winners and so Krsna's team had to carry them on their shoulders. As they walked in this way through the forest, Pralambasura who was carrying Lord Balarama, carried Balarama far away. Suddenly the ferocious demon assumed his normal horrific size and shape. Lord Balaram, who is known for his superhuman strength, with a couple of good punches from his fists which are soft like lotuses and powerful like thunder bolts, killed the demon, blood pouring from Pralamba's mouth.
Krsna, the transcendental cupid, always attracts the gopis
and teases them, in fact, he gets them in such a state that they can never
forget him for even a second. Their surrender to Krsna is completely selfless
as one can see by the incident of when Krsna said He had a headache. He
approached the 'brahmanas' and asked for the dust from their feet, for
Krsna told them by taking their foot dust his headache would be cured.
The 'brahmins' flatly refused, saying that they would go to hell never
to return for such an offence of allowing their foot dust to be placed
upon Krsna's head. However when the 'gopis' headed by Srimati Radharani
were asked for their foot dust without a second thought they gave, for
they didn't care even if they went to hell eternally, as long as Krsna
The 'brahmanas' over attachment to rules and regulation in this incident proved their reservation to be a limitation in actual service to the Lord. This is in the same way that other brahmanas who were worshipping the Lord within the sacrificial fire could not see the Lord directly before them asking for alms. But when Krsna and His cowherd friends approached the wives of the 'brahmanas', who were pure devotees they gave so much foodstuffs for the boys.
Too much attachment to rules and regulations becomes an
obstacle to approaching Lord Krsna, and neglectfulness to follow guidelines
for acknowledging who is the personality of Godhead, and what He looks
like are also a problem. One cannot whimsically speculate what Krsna wants
or how to please Him. Appearing as a small boy with His brother, cowherd
friends and girl friends, the 'gopis', many persons did not recognise Krsna
for who He is due to one reason or another. Those pure Vaisnavas who know
what He and His friends look like, how to recognise them are constantly
engaged in hearing, chanting, remembering Him, offering prayers, etc, and
serving him with their every action.
As we can see by Sripad Madhwacarya's life he is one of those pure unalloyed devotees of the Lord, for if he were not the, the incarnations and wonderful pastimes of Lord Krsna would not be manifesting themselves before his eyes. Nor would he be there before Srila Vyasadeva in the presence of Nara-Narayana Rshis.
Note: Sri Narayana Panditacarya in his Madhwa Vijaya (9:41-43.)
when Udupi Krsna came refers to Him as 'Gopikapranayinah Sripateh' and
'Nanadanandamatindrayakriam'. Madhwa's God is the Boy-Krishna and object
of all-affection. The lover conception of God as the lover of the 'Gopis'
although not held as their main object of devotion, seems to have been
present nonetheless, unlike today.
"This Darling conception of God has found its best expression in Gaudiya Vaishnavism. Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraj states, 'All 'Gopis' help to enhance the pleasure of Lord Krishna's Sports with Sri Radha being the instruments of their (Radha and Krishna's) mutual enjoyment, Radha being the darling of Lord Krishna and His life's treasure, no maiden or Gopi conduces to His Pleasure with Radha'."(Caitanya Caritamrta. Adi lila. 4:217-218.; Sambidananda dasa. 1991. The History & Literature of the Gaudiya Vaishnavas and their relation to other medieval Vaishnava Schools.page 107-108.)
If one shows that, Krsna can put his faith in a person, knowing that the person will not exploit the situation for mundane sensual pleasures, either mental, bodily, or extended through family or national, humanitarian, etc, the Lord will give that pure devotee the three worlds for he will only use it for the Lord's pleasure.
Nanda Maharaja and the cowherds men were preparing to worship Indra the demigod in charge of distribution of rainfall. Being of the mercantile community for the growth of their crops, and grass for their cows, rain is very important. Krsna, however, was not impressed by the worship separately of demigods. He told Nanda Maharaja to instead worship the local brahmanas and Govardhana Hill and forget worshipping Indra. Agreeing to this, the cowherd men arranged for all kinds of fabulous foodstuffs to be cooked and offered to Govardhana Hill. There were many nice vegetable preparations, juicy, fried and dry cooked with spices, all kinds of rice, 'dahls', 'pakora', 'puris', 'chapattis' and other breads. There was 'sujika halavah', sweet balls, 'sandesh', 'barfi', sweets in syrups like 'gulab jamens', 'rasagulla', dry sweets like 'laddhus', 'methipak' etc., all kinds of nice preparations from scriptural recipes and local traditions.
The 'brahmins' chanted the glories of the Lord through
choice hymns from the scriptures. The cows were nicely decorated
with embroidered blankets, painted hoofs and horns, gold, silver, brass
and copper ornaments adorned their bodies, and they were fed with unlimited
juicy green grasses and other favourites of theirs.
'Daksina' was given to the 'brahmanas' comprising of gold coins, grains, cows and cloth, and every man, woman, child and animal was fed with nice 'prasadam'. The 'gopis' were all dressed nicely and decorated with nice ornaments, their long hair nicely plaited and bound at the end with flowers, so they looked very chaste and pure, sitting upon bullock carts chanting the glories of Lord Sri Krsna.
During all this Lord Krsna, who was about seven years
old, suddenly turned himself into a gigantic form of Govardhana Hill and
He firmly stated that he is non-different from that Govardhana Hill. The
Lord in His transcendental form, began to eat all of the foodstuffs offered
at that place. Who can understand the wonderful pastimes and forms of the
unlimited omnipotent Lord, Who has assumed the form of a small boy, though.
He is the origin of everything that be.
When Lord Indra found out what had happened, in foolish anger he ordered his 'samvartaka' clouds to rain over Vrndavan and flood everything and in this way punish the residents of Vrndavan for not supplying the regular yearly offering. Krsna out of compassion for his dear devotees, lifted the whole Govardhana Hill, which is very high and many miles around, just as though this huge hill was a mere frogs' umbrella (toadstool). Krsna held Govardhana Hill for seven days on the little (pinkie) finger of his left hand.
Indra could now understand that he had gotten carried away by the modes of passion and ignorance, and so he came before Krsna to beg forgiveness. After this King Indra, the demigods, and the Surabhi cows worshipped Krsna, bathing him with Ganges (Yamuna) water and fresh milk from the wish fulfilling Surabhi cows. Now Krsna is remembered as Giri Govardhana, and is worshipped in the form of Govardhana Hill.
Once, midway through the period of dusk, Krsna was about to engage in a 'rasa' dance with the cowherd girls when suddenly the Aristasura demon (bull demon) madly entered the village of Gokula, terrifying everyone. His roar was so frightening and tumultuous that pregnant mothers, cows and humans had miscarriages immediately. Krsna verbally chastised this bull demon, which made him more angry. Krsna stated that He was here just to punish wicked rascals like Aristasura. He provoked the demon into a charge, pointing the sharp tips of his horns straight ahead and gearing with anger from his bloodshot eyes, Aristasura tried to pierce Krsna. Krsna however grabbed the demon by the horns and threw him back eighteen paces. Enraged, the bull charged again, breathing heard and sweating. He was determined to finish the eternal Lord. As Aristasura attacked Krsna grabbed the demon by the horns and smashed Arista to the ground with His foot. The He thrashed him as a washerman thrashes the dirt out of a wet cloth. Finally Krsna broke off the demon's horns and pulverised Aristasura with them. Vomiting blood and passing stool and urine, kicking his legs in agony and rolling his eyes, Aristasura painfully gave up his life. Meanwhile the demigods showered flowers upon Lord Krsna.
After Krsna killed Aristasura, Narada Muni went to speak
to Kamsa, Krsna's evil demon uncle. Narada told Kamsa the real course of
events, how Krsna is really the son of Devaki, and that Yashoda Mayi really
had a girl and was swapped over by Vasudeva. Also that Balarama is the
son of Rohini, and that out of fear of Kamsa's vengeance Vasudeva entrusting
the transcendental boys to Nanda Maharaja. Thus accelerating the coming
pastimes of the Lord. Narada Muni emphasised that these are the same boys
who have killed all the demons that you Kamsa have sent.
Kamsa then sent the Keshi demon to try to kill both Krsna and Balarama. Arranging with the innocent devotee Akrura, Krsna sent Akrura to Vrndavan to fetch Krsna and Balaram to Mathura. Kamsa's plan was simply to arrange for his asuric friends to try to kill Krsna and Balaram, and then to rule the world. When the Keshi demon arrived in the form of a gigantic horse, his loud neighing terrified all the inhabitants of Vrindavana, who all took shelter of Krsna. The bold Keshi demon came and approached Krsna and tried to attack with his front legs, but in a fatal swoop, Krsna grabbed the demon's legs and whirled the demon around and around several times, and threw the horse demon three hundred metres or so. The demons lay half unconscious for some time, the Krsna, noticing the demon regaining consciousness, jumped on him, and thrust his left arm into the demons' mouth. The demon tried to bit it, but Krsna simply expanded it more and more, finally choking Keshi into an agonising death. Krsna then calmly removed His arm from the dead demon's mouth.
Soon after this Narada Muni, the sage among the demigods,
came and offered respects to Krsna, glorifying the Lord's future pastimes.
One day not long after, while Krsna and Balarama were tending the cows, a game of hide and seek came about in which all the boys were so absorbed. Some were playing sheep, some shepherds, and some as thieves who steal sheep. A demon called Vyomasura assumed the form of a boy and taking advantage of the game, stole away five of Krsna's friends. The demon then secured them in a mountain cave and blocked the entrance with a big rock. Lord Krsna saw what Vyomasura was doing, and just as a lion grabs a wolf, Krsna forcefully grabbed the demon as he tried to steal away more boys. The Vyomasura demon then changed into his normal terrifying ugly form, as big as a mountain. Krsna, being the strength of the strong, withdrew the strength of the demon as he held Vyomasura in a death grip. He then smashed him to the ground and strangled the foolish servant of Kamsa.
Krsna and Balarama then nicely received their uncle Akrura, and prepared to go to Mathura to take up the 'invitation' of Kamsa. All the young 'gopis' were extremely upset to hear that their life and soul, Sri Sri Krsna and Balaram, were going to leave Vrndavan. The 'gopis' condemned Lord Brahma for making eyes that blinked for during that blinking action the were without Krsna for a second. But now Akrura, which literally means 'not cruel' was the cause of Krsna and Balarama going away, and repeatedly they said Akrura was not worthy of such a name. As the 'gopis' wept pitifully, Krsna assured them that He would be back soon. With their minds fixed in thought of Krsna and Balarama, the 'gopis' stood and watched as the chariot given by Kamsa, the flag on top and the dust of the chariot's wheels on the road disappeared out of sight. Then in despondency they wandered back to their individual homes.
Krsna, Balarama and Akrura reached Mathura late in the afternoon. After Krsna and Balarama met with Nanda Maharaja. Akrura went home with Krsna's blessings. He then informed Kamsa of Krsna and Balarama's arrival in Mathura. The boys, wanting to see the opulent city of Mathura, then entered further into the city on the King's road. Festoons, full water pots, banana trees, gems of all sizes decorated the city. Grains were scattered here and there, flower garlands were hanging here and there, all kinds of natural opulence's auspiciously adorned the city. As the boys and their friends entered the city many women climbed to the roof tops to see Krsna and Balarama. The ladies were is such haste to see their Lordships that forgetting themselves, some of them put their clothes and ornaments on backwards, others forgot one of their earrings or ankle bells, while others applied make up to one eye forgetting the other one. Abandoning family gatherings, their meals and those breast feeding mothers even abandoned their suckling babes to see Krsna.
The Lord, smiling, walked like a bold bill elephant, dressed nicely. He was a festival for the eyes of the ladies of Mathura, who had gathered there with melting hearts to see Him. The women rained flowers upon the boys who, without a doubt, are the Supreme Lords of the three worlds.
Seeing a washerman approaching who had been dyeing clothes, Krsna asked the washerman to give some of these nice clothes in charity by which Krsna would bless the washerman with His mercy. But this washerman was the arrogant servant of King Kamsa, and was carrying the King's cloth. The washerman foolishly started to insult Krsna and Balarama, suggesting that they were being impudent for asking for the King's cloth. Krsna, with the greatest of ease, lopped off the sinful rascal washerman's head with the touch of his finger. Seeing this, the washerman's associates dropped their bundles and ran for their lives. Krsna and Balarama then dressed themselves nicely in the opulent clothes and then distributed the rest to all their friends, the cowherd from Vrindavan. Those that they had no need for, they simply left scattered on the ground.
As Krsna and Balarama and Their friends walked the streets, various person brought many auspicious items for their Lordships, such as garlands, perfumes, pan, etc, and thus received Krsna's benedictions.
Krsna enquired from the local people as to the whereabouts of the sacrificial arena where the bow sacrifice would take place. When Krsna walked into the arena and saw the most opulent bow given to Kamsa by Lord Shiva, even though it was huge and guarded by a large company of men, Krsna pushed His way forward and effortlessly picked it up, strung it, and broke it in a fraction of a second. Kamsa was struck with terror and instructed his men to grab Krsna and Balarama and kill them. Krsna and Balarama picked up the two halves of the mighty bow and started killing hundreds of the soldiers who tried to attack them. As the sun began to set on that day, Krsna and Balarama returned to the cowherd's wagons on the edge of town.
Kamsa couldn't sleep that night as all kinds of inauspicious omen were seen by him. Kamsa was terrified by the prospect of his own death which he knew was imminent.
The next day was the day of the wrestling match. Worshipping
the arena and giving special seats to himself and other provincial rulers,
Kamsa took his seat though his weakened heart trembled. Then the lavishly
dressed and extremely proud wrestlers entered the arena to the sound of
loud horns and drums, announcing their presence. The King's powerful wrestlers
Canura, Mustika, Kuta, Sala and Tosala sat down on the wrestling mats.
Kamsa called forward the leaders of the community of Vraja (Vrindavan)
to present their offerings before him now. Kamsa then spoke with Nanda
Maharaja and pointed out how Kamsa had arranged this whole wrestling match
because he had heard that the boys of Nanda Maharaja were supposed to be
powerful. But where are they now? Out of disrespect for Kamsa, Krsna and
Balarama had decided to neglect Kamsa's arrangements and go and do something
The next morning Krsna killed the elephant demon Kuvalayapida. That elephant, on the orders of the mahoot (keeper), grabbed Krsna in his trunk, but Krsna then disappeared from the demoniac elephant's sight and stood behind the animal's back legs. The elephant again tried to capture Krsna in playful torment, but Krsna escaped. Then Krsna seized the elephant, ripped out one of his tusks, and began to beat both the keeper and the elephant until they were dead. Then, sprinkled with the blood of the elephant and holding one tusk in His hand, Krsna appeared decorated in this unique way at the wrestling arena.
In different relationships, the different persons assembled there saw Krsna in different ways. The wrestlers in fury saw Krsna as a lightning bolt. The men of Mathura saw Krsna in wonder as the best of all males, the women folk saw Krsna as Cupid personified, and the cowherd men as their funny friend and relative. The Kings assembled there saw Krsna as the chivalrous chastiser, and His parents as their merciful child. Kamsa, the king of the Bhoja dynasty, saw Krsna as death personified. The unintelligent there saw in ghastliness, the Lord of His universal form, and the 'yogis', out of peaceful neutrality saw the Lord as the absolute truth. The Vrsnis, in love and devotion, saw Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, their Supreme worshipful Deity.
Out of envy and fury Canura challenged Krsna to a wrestling
match, not being able to bear the praises of the public upon the two transcendental
brothers. Canura revealed his envy for Krsna and Balarama when the boys
said that they are just young boys and should play with boys of their own
age. Many of the public also felt like this, that it was an uneven match,
but Canura revealed his hate for Krsna, saying, "You aren't really a child
or even a young man and neither is Balarama, the strongest of the strong.
After all, playfully You have killed so many of our men, including the
elephant who had the strength of a thousand elephants. Therefore
I, Canura, will fight with You and Balaram with Mustika."
Krsna fought with Canura, seizing each other's hands, locking legs, Canura struggled for victory. Fist against fist, knee to knee, the fight went on, running, dragging in circles, shoving, throwing this way and that, until finally Krsna had played enough. He then grabbed Canura's arms and whirled the demon around several times before smashing him to the ground dead. Mustika found himself in a similar situation. After bring stuck repeatedly by the supreme powerful palm of Lord Balarama, Mustika vomited blood, and fell down dead. The remaining wrestlers fled for their lives.
To congratulate the victorious Krsna and Balarama, all their friends came and joined them. Everyone was chanting and dancing, and their ankle bells made a wonderful musical accompaniment. Everyone except Kamsa that is rejoiced at the killing of the wrestlers. Kamsa told his remaining men to, "Drive the two wicked sons of Vasudeva out of Mathura, confiscate the cowherd's property and arrest Nanda Maharaja. Kill Vasudeva and his father and their followers, our enemies." Hearing this nonsense, Krsna approached Kamsa as death personified. Kamsa took up a shield and sword but was disarmed by Krsna, Who was unarmed Himself, in seconds. Then, as Garuda might capture an insignificant snake, Krsna grabbed Kamsa by the hair, knocked off his crown, and dragged him by the hair into the arena. Straddling Kamsa's chest as one straddles a horse. Krsna then repeatedly pounded Kamsa again and again until Kamsa finally gave up his miserable life.
Witnessing Kamsa's death, his eight younger brothers then attacked Krsna, but Balarama killed them one after another with Kuvalayapida's broken elephant tusk. Kettle drums resounded and the 'devas' rained flower petals upon the Lord.
As part of the celebrations Vasudeva arranged for his boys to be given Their sacred threads in the 'Upanayana' ceremony which was conducted by the saintly 'brahmana' Gargamuni. Soon after this Krsna and Balarama went to Avantipur to the place of Their spiritual master, Sandipani Mani.
Krsna and Balarama themselves are the origins of all branches of knowledge, yet they concealed their perfect knowledge by performing their wonderful pastimes with Their human-like forms and activities. They resided with Sandipani Muni, Their spiritual master, in the 'Guru-Kula', and under the care of Their 'guru', Krsna and Balarama studied just like ordinary boys the Vedas and Upanishad's. In fact, sixty four arts in as many days all were perfected and understood by the boys, and after this They gave 'guru daksina' to Sandipani Muni.
Traditionally when one's education is complete, one gives charity in the form of 'daksina', remuneration for all that was taught. Sandipani Muni's son had died earlier, so Sandipani Muni asked as his 'daksina' that his son be returned to him. Bringing him from the place of Yamaraja, the 'gurus' son was returned by Krsna, fulfilling the 'guru daksina' as requested. Thus receiving the permission of Sandipani Muni, the 'boys' Krsna and Balarama, graduated and returned to Mathura.
Around this time and after the disappearance of Maharaja Pandu, Dhrtarastra assumed the royal throne. Krsna and Balarama sent messages to Dhrtarastra asking him to remain fair to the sons of Pandu or face hell as the consequences.
Shortly after this Krsna and Balarama went to see Jarasandha
and they defeated the demoniac brother-in-law of Kamsa seventeen times.
After all, it was not that Krsna and Balarama had done any wrong to this
demon, but Jarasandha had attacked Mathura repeatedly with the intent of
killing every last man there. One night Lord Sri Krsna suddenly removed,
unnoticed, all the citizens of Mathura in their sleep. When they awoke
in the morning they were surprised to find that they were sitting with
their wives and families in golden palaces in the city of Dwaraka. Krsna
then returned to Mathura to find the city under siege by another demon.
Krsna killed the army and made off back to Dwaraka with all of the booty
the army had collected in the form of gold and jewels. Then Jarasandha
arrived. Krsna and Balarama left the booty and acting as if afraid,
ran to the big Pravarsana mountain and climbed to the top. Jarasandha,
thinking they had hidden in a cave, set fire to the whole mountain, but
with ease Krsna and Balarama jumped ninety miles from the top of the mountain
to the ground unharmed. Then they returned to Dwaraka, and Jarasandha though
he had burned the boys to death. So thinking, he happily returned to his
Dwaraka, before the advent of Krsna and Balarama, was known as Kusasthali, and was ruled over by one great king of the name Revata. Maharaja Revata had one hundred sons and a beautiful daughter named Revati. When this beautiful girl came of age, Revata, being anxious to find a good husband for her, approached Lord Brahma, who presides over sacred vivahas (marriage ceremonies), for advice, along with Revati. Lord Brahma told Revata that there was only one person befitting his daughter and that was the son of Vasudeva, the Personality of Godhead, Lord Balarama. The king, on the good advice of Lord Brahma, returned to Dwaraka and married his daughter to Balarama. Also at this time Krsna married Maharaja Bhismaka's daughter Rukmini. Maharaj Bhismaka had five sons and one daughter of lovely countenance. One of these sons felt envy towards Krsna. This was Rukmi. He was opposed to the marriage of Rukmini and Krsna as he preferred her to marry the envious demon Sisupala.
Rukmini devi also wanted to marry Krsna. Sometimes she would send letters to Krsna saying how he and only He (Krsna) was the one for her. Rukmini planned how she would get her Lord, and in her letters she told Krsna how and when to kidnap her, as was the tradition in many a royal wedding.
All of those kings who envied Krsna were to be there for the wedding of Sisupala and Rukmini, as arranged by Rukmi. Sisupala, Dantavakra, Jarasandha, Salva and other demons were all present. Much politics there ensued. Sisupala wanted Rukmini and so had brought his friends to guarantee getting his bride. Lord Balarama, hearing of this, had his whole army move into position at Kundinapur.
The night before the wedding, Rukmini felt auspicious twitching in her left side, giving her solace not to be in anxiety. The next day, as she approached the Durga temple surrounded by guards and her suitors, Rukmini paid respects to Durga devi, turned, and there she noticed Krsna. Krsna then took her away from that place as a lion takes his rightful share from a pack of jackals. All the low class demoniac kings had no chance of coming within so much as a hope of stopping Krsna. Thus physically and morally defeated, they all condemned themselves. Rukmi alone attacked Krsna, but was defeated. Instead of killing Rukmi, Krsna cut off half of Rukmi's moustache and a bit here and there from his hair. He looked a sight. This was worse than death. Lord Balarama then allowed Rukmi to be set free. Krsna and Rukmini returned to his capital of Dwaraka, and married with great pomp. Everyone is Dwaraka was very happy to see Krsna with his new Queen, Rukmini.
There too, was a king of the name Satrajit, who had received
the 'Syamantaka' gem from the sun god. He used to wear that gem in a locket
around his neck. By the worship of that gem daily, the 'Syamantaka' gem
produced one hundred and seventy pounds of gold every day. being so opulent
with gold, and engulfed with the shining effulgence from the gem, the local
inhabitants of Dwaraka mistook Satrajit for the sun god himself.
On one occasion Krsna requested Satrajit to give the gem to King Ugrasena, but Satrajit refused, obsessed with greed. Not long after, Prasena, Satrajit's brother, went out hunting on horse back wearing the jewel around his neck. Unfortunately for him he was killed by a lion who took the effulgent jewel up into a mountain cave where Jambavan, the devotee of Lord Rama, was living with his family. Jambavan killed the lion and gave the precious gem to his son to play with.
When Satrajit's brother didn't come back from the hunt, Satrajit presumed that Krsna had killed him for the jewel. Krsna heard this rumour that was going around and decided to clear it up. Going with some of the citizens of Dwaraka, they went in search of Prasena in the forest. After a short time they found his half eaten body and his dead horse lying nearby. It was obvious he was killed by a lion. Next they found the body of the lion killed by Jambavan. Krsna decided to go into the cave while all the others waited outside. He very soon saw the 'Syamantaka' jewel in the hands of Jambavan's son, but when He tried to take the jewel, the child's nurse gave out a scream that brought Jambavan running. Jambavan and Krsna fought for twenty eight days continuously until Jambavan, knowing that no ordinary man could fight with him like that, realised that this must be the same Lord Rama who is his worshipful Lord.
With intense devotion Jambavan gave Lord Krsna not only the 'Syamantaka' jewel but also his beautiful unmarried daughter Jambavati. Along with his new bride, Krsna returned to Dwaraka. Rumours had gone around due to the townsfolk leaving that cave entrance after twelve days, and returning to Dwaraka despondent, they were thinking Krsna too had been killed. But now, Krsna entered the city of Dwaraka with Jambavati and the 'Symantaka' jewel. Calling for Satrajit, Krsna told the whole story and gave the jewel to him, who accepted it back with great shame.
Later Satrajit on reflection, came back to Krsna and not only presented the 'Syamantaka' jewel, but also his daughter Satyabhama, who was endowed with all wonderfully divine qualities.
Acarya Madhwa remembered that it was around this time
also, in Hastinpura, the Kauravas were harassing the Pandavas and tried
to burn them all to death in the house of lac, and he in the form of Bhimasena
carried them to a safe place.
Meanwhile, back in Dwaraka, Satyabhama's father, Satrajit, was killed and she felt her very life taken. Putting her departed father's body in a vat of oil, Satyabhama went to Hastinapura to meet with her husband, Krsna, Who had just gone there to be with the Pandavas. Krsna then returned to Dwaraka and killed the killer of his father-in-law (Satadhanva) and take back the 'syamantaka' jewel. When the greedy rascal Satadhanva's horse collapsed, terrified by the speed at which Krsna and Balarama approached him, Krsna took off Satadhanva's head with His Sudarshana disc.
Although technically Satyabhama's son to be was the heir to the jewel, Lord Krsna gave it to Akrura, who was performing religious sacrifices with the jewel. Krsna then went to stay for some time with the Pandavas, during which time he married five more princesses who were Kalindi, the daughter of the sun-god who lived in the Yamuna River, the king of Avanti's sister Mitravinda, and from the kingdom of Ayodhya from King Nagnajit, Krsna accepted his extraordinarily beautiful daughter Satya (Nagnajiti). Subsequently Krsna married Bhadra, kidnapping her from her own 'swayamvara' ceremony, and also the royal daughter of the King of Madra known as Laksmana, again it was from her 'syawamvara' just as Garuda once stole the nectar of the demigods.
Bhumi, the goddess of the earth, had a son of the name
Narak. He was born from the contact of Hiranyaksa (the demon killed by
Lord Varaha), and Bhumidevi, who had to bear this son. After Narakasura
stole Lord Varaha's umbrella, Mother Aditi's earrings, and the playground
of the demigods called Mani-Parvata, Lord Indra went to Dwaraka and described
the demon's activities to Lord Krsna. Together with His queen, Satyabhama,
Krsna mounted Garuda His carrier and went to Narakasura's capital, Pragjyotisa.
At that place Lord Sri Krsna killed the Mura demon and Mura's seven sons.
Then the audacious demon Narakasura challenged Krsna and threw his lance
at Him. The 'shakti' weapon (lance) of Naraksura proved totally ineffective
on Krsna, who destroyed it and then went on to kill all of Narakasura's
armies, finally killing Narakasura with that best of weapons, the Sudarsana
Then mother Earth, Bhumi devi, returned all the items that her son Narakasura had stolen. Bhumi also presented Narakasura's son to the Lord, and the Lord pacified him for he was so frightened.
On entering the demon's palace Krsna found in the maiden's quarters 16,100 princesses which were the unmarried daughters of the demigods, kings and demons. As soon as they saw Lord Krsna they all without hesitation accepted the Lord as their husband. Narakasura had imprisoned them in his palace after kidnapping them. Krsna had all the princesses dressed nicely and sent on palanquins to Dwaraka along with all kinds of wealth.
Krsna and Satyabhama then went to Indra's palace and returned Aditi's earrings, and Indra and his wife worshipped nicely Krsna and Satyabhama. On Satyabhama's request Krsna uprooted the beautifully fragrant Parijata tree and brought it to Dwaraka after a bit of a tussle with Indra and the 'devas'. Once planted in the grounds of Queen Satyabhama's palace, intoxicated bumble bees followed the fragrance of the Parijata from the heavenly planets, hungry and greedy for the taste of Parijata's sweet fragrance and sap.
Now in Dwaraka, the Lord lived happily with all of his 16,100 wives in as many palaces, simultaneously at once, and yet receiving service from them all individually in each of the 16,100 palaces, where he manifested Himself in full to each wife. After some time, each of Krsna's wives had ten sons who in turn had many sons, so including Rukmini, Satyabhama, Jambavati, Nagnajit, Kalindi, Laxmana, Mitravinda and Bhadra, who are Krsna's principle queens in Dwaraka, He had a total of 16,108 queens with as many palaces.
Around this time Lord Balarama took permission to go back
to Vraja (Vrindavana). Remembering the deep friendship he once enjoyed
with the cowherd folk of Vrindavan, Lord Balarama went alone to Vraja.
In Vrindavan the 'gopis' quizzed Balarama to see if Krsna still remembered
them. Lord Balarama stayed for two months in Vrindavan during which he
enjoyed his own pastimes with his own 'gopis' on the banks of the Yamuna
known as Sri Rama Ghat. Intoxicated with joy, Balarama wore beautiful flower
garlands and a single earring. Beads of perspiration decorated his pure
white smiling face, which was gentle like snow flakes. Wanting to play
in the waters of the Yamuna River, He summoned Yamuna near, but she disregarded
His command, thinking He was drunk from drinking honey. So angered, Lord
Balarama began to drag the river to him with the tip of His plough. Threatening
to split the river into one hundred rivulets and in that way bring her
close, Lord Balarama chastised Yamuna for not coming when He had told her
to. Trembling in fear, the river Goddess approached Lord Balarama. With
her hair loose and forward in a seductive way, covering her breasts,
she tried to pacify the Lord, though her thoughts were conjugally based.
After releasing Yamuna Mayi from His plough, Lord Balarama along with His 'gopis' entered the Yamuna River to play in those waters. Coming out, the goddess Kani (Laxmidevi) presented Him with blue garments, ornaments and a brilliant necklace.
Narakasura, the demon that Krsna killed, had a friend
who was an ape, Dvivida. After Krsna killed Narakasura, Dvivida, seeking
vengeance, caused all kinds of disturbances, flooding the coastal lands
by splashing water with his mighty arms. He would also tear down trees
in the ashrams of the sages who lived in seclusion, and would even pass
stool and urine on the sacrificial fires and arena. This devious rascal
would even kidnap innocent men and women and imprison them in mountain
caves, and he would try to pollute the chaste and modest women of respectable
families with his own materialistic ways.
Previously Dvivida was an associate of Lord Ramacandra, but due to his disrespect to Rama and Laxman, he was sent away. Due to his pride and offensive mentality, even though he was an attendant of Lord Rama for some time and fought against Ravana's army, he was sent away. Lord Rama sometimes chants hymns addressed to His devotees Mainda and Dvivida.
One day this delinquent Dvivida came to Vrajabhumi where he found Lord Balarama dancing in the forest with his 'gopis'. Balarama was rather intoxicated from drinking varuni liquor and enjoying the gopis' company. At that time Dvivida came into the clearing and in an uncouth way, displayed his anus to the 'gopis' right in front of the Lord. Then, as if that wasn't bad enough, began to make all kinds of crude gestures, and moved his eyebrows this way and that. Then he passed stool and urine in front of everyone. Dvivida's outrageous behaviour angered Lord Balarama, and to get rid of the ape he threw a stone at him. To add further insult, the demoniac ape started to tug at the clothes of the 'gopis'. Lord Balarama decided that He didn't have to put up with this. Taking his plough and club in hand, he neared Dvivida, who in turn took up a tree. When Balarama smashed the tree to tiny pieces, Dvivida picked up another. Balarama repeated the action. Dvivida picked up another and another, until the forest was bare. Balarama smashed them all to splinters. Dvivida then foolishly tried his luck with rocks, but Balarama turned them to powder. In desperation Dvivida charged Balaram and pounded on Balarama's chest with his fists. Lord Balarama had decided the playing had come to an end. Infuriated, Lord Balaram put down His plough and club and approached the ape and smashed his collar bone and neck instantly with one swipe. Vomiting blood, Dvivida fell down dead.
Lord Balarama then returned to Dwaraka as the demigods and sages showered flowers, and glorified him with prayers and obeisances.
During the great Mahabharata war, Krsna helped Arjuna
and spoke (sung) the Gita-Upanisad for the benefit of all humanity. Madhwa
remembered how in these wonderful arrangements of Krsna's pastimes, Vayu
(Mukhyapran) incarnates as Bhima, Sugriva as Karna, and Vali as Arjuna.(Mahabharat
Lord Balarama, to avoid conflict, went on a pilgrimage to all the holy places and returned after the war was over. During this time Madhwa remembered his own pastimes with the Lord as this expansion of Lord Vayu, Mukhyaprana, played out his part of Bhima in the Lord's association.
By the grace of Lord Sri Krsna, the Kauravas were completely
destroyed and Arjuna and his brothers were victorious.
Madhwa, of course, relished the meeting of Bhima and Hanuman, where Bhimasena tried to lift the outstretched tail of Hanuman that was blocking the path. Simultaneously they are one and yet different expansions of Vayu Deva, Mukhyaprana.
Sri Krsna and Balarama's transcendental 'lila' was about the wind up. After one hundred and twenty five years, the eternal youths had decided to return with all Their paraphernalia to Their eternal abode. Greatly fearing separation from the Lord, Uddhava, Krsna's dear devotee, was distraught for he could not give up the Lord's company. Finally, feeling great pain and offering obeisances again and again, and placing the Lord's slippers on his head, Uddhava departed for Badrikasrama. On route to that place he heard of the Lord going to Prabhasaksetra. Uddhava then returned to the Dwaraka in the spiritual sky via Badrikashrama.
Lord Krsna took note of many bad omens that announced
that soon the Kali Yuga would appear. There was a halo around the sun,
and on earth there were small earthquakes. In outer space there was an
unnatural redness on the horizon. All this announced like flags of death
in Dwaraka, the end of the Dwapara Yuga. Krsna advised the Yadavas to abandon
Dwaraka and go to Prabhasaksetra on the bank of the Saraswati. At that
place the heroes of the Yadu dynasty, covered by the Lord's internal potency,
became intoxicated from their extravagant drinking and began to feel arrogant.
When they were thus bewildered by the Lord's personal potency, Krsna Maya,
a terrible quarrel arose among them. Infuriated, they seized their bows
and arrows, swords, lances, clubs and spears, and attacked one another
on the shore of the ocean. Riding on elephants and chariots, with their
battle flags flying, some rode on donkeys, camels, bulls, buffaloes, mules
and even human beings, the extremely enraged warriors came together and
violently attacked on another with arrows, just as elephants in the forest
attack one another with their tusks.
Thus bewildered, sons fought with fathers, brothers with brothers, nephews with paternal and maternal uncles, grandsons with grandfather. Friends fought with friends and other well-wishers fought with well wishers. In this way, the intimate friends and relatives killed one another. When all their bows were broken and their arrows, lances and missiles spent, they fought with stalks of cane with their bare hands. These stalks in their powerful fists were like iron rods. With these weapons the warriors attacked each other again and again, and when Lord Krsna tried to stop them they attacked Him also. Mistaking Lord Balarama for an enemy they attacked Him also.
Now the Supreme Lords were angry, and taking up cane stalks, they began to kill everyone with these mighty cane clubs. When every last member of the Yadu dynasty were killed, Krsna thought to Himself that now the burden of the earth had been removed. 560 million warriors died in this fratricidal battle of the Yadu dynasty.
Lord Balarama then sat down on the shore of the ocean
and fixed Himself in mediation upon the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Merging Himself within Himself, He gave up this world in a rather unique
way. Lord Balarama manifested a pure white snake from His own mouth, climbed
upon it's back, and rode off back to His eternal abode.
Lord Krsna, the son of Devaki, having watched the disappearance pastime of Lord Balarama, seated Himself under a nearby pippala tree. then by the Lord's arrangement a hunter named Jara approached that place. Mistaking the Lord's lotus foot for the soft pinkness of a deer's face and thinking he had found his prey, Jara touched the foot with his arrow thinking he had pierced it.
In Madhwacarya's Mahabharata-Tatparya-Nirnaya, he states that all this has taken place to bewilder the demoniac class of men. The four armed form of the Lord was never harmed by the arrows of Jara, who is actually the devotee Bhrgu Muni, who previously placed his foot on the chest of Lord Visnu to find out who was the Supreme Person, after first approaching Lord Brahma and then Lord Shiva. Anyway, Brghu Muni, in the guise of a hunter, concluded the Lord's pastimes as previously arranged.
Covered by the Lord's internal potency into thinking that he had shot the arrow into Krsna, humbly and ashamed in this way, Jara begged forgiveness saying, "I am the most sinful person. I have committed this act out of ignorance. O purest Lord, please forgive this sinner!" Krsna then explained that everything was actually going according to His plan and that the hunter Jara was only playing his part. "Now hunter, go to the spiritual world upon this aeroplane and reside there with Me." Circumambulating the Lord three times and offering obeisances, bowing before the Lord the hunter ascended onto the aeroplane. Then while Daruka (Krsna's chariot driver) was looking for his Lord, he suddenly found an unusually strong aroma of Tulasi. Following that aroma he found Krsna resting at the foot of a banyan tree. Right before Daruka's tearful eyes, and as Daruka was still speaking to the Lord, Krsna and His chariot suddenly rose in the sky along with it's horses and flag marked with Garuda. All the weapons of the Lord, personified, rose up and followed the chariot. Krsna then spoke to the astonished Daruka, and instructed him to go to Dwaraka and tell all His family how all their family members had destroyed one another. Tell them of the disappearance of My Sankarsana (Balarama) and of My present condition. Both you and your relatives should not stay in Dwaraka any longer. Myself (Krsna), having abandoned that place, it will soon become unmanifest by becoming inundated by the great ocean. Go and seek Arjuna's shelter and protection at Indraprastha.
Then after circumambulating Krsna and taking Krsna's lotus feet on his head, Daruka returned with the Lord's message to Dwaraka. Upon hearing from Daruka the news that Krsna had wound up His pastimes and had returned to His abode, Vasudeva and all of Krsna's family and associates remaining in Dwaraka became disturbed by lamentation and left Dwaraka in search of the Lord. Though Devaki, Rohini and many others actually remained in Dwaraka as they do today, invisible to material eyes, their partial expansions went to Prabhasaksetra to see their dead relatives. They then entered into fire.
"A few months passed, and then, bewildered by Krsnamaya, all the descendants of Vrsni, Bhoja, Andhaka who were incarnations of various demigods went to Prabhasa, while those who were eternal devotees of the Lord did not leave but remained in Dwaraka."(Srimad Bhagavatam 3:3:25.)tatah katipayair masair
yayuh prabhasam samhrsta
Even though the Pandavas were also demigods, they, as eternal associates of the Lord, also went to Dwaraka. The 'niskarma bhaktas' or 'nitya-suri' devotees without any material desires are always the Lord's intimate associates, whereas the 'sakarma bhaktas', though still devotees ('nitya-samsarins'), have the tendency to try to fulfil their own desires. Thus it was the 'sakarma devas' who went to the Prabhasksetra and not the unalloyed devotees. Madhwa confirms this in his Sutra Bhasya (3:3:27.), that they Lord is best served by those who are "released souls'. Released from what? The desires of the material world. Therefore he is talking about the 'nitya suris' who are cent percent only dedicated to fulfilling the desires of the Lord.
Arjuna kept a cool head by remembering the many instructions
Krsna had personally given to him. Arjuna deposited Rukmini Devi's own
personal deities of Krsna and Balarama as small boys in the Rukmini Vana
of Dwaraka, and then carried out the 'antyesthi', funeral rites and offerings
of 'pinda' for all his dead relatives. Then the ocean engulfed and swallowed
up Dwaraka Puri, all except for the Lord's own residence.
Although Dwaraka had been created by the empowered devotee of the Lord, Vishvakarma, the architect of the demigods, and even parts of Dwaraka were brought direct from the heavenly planets like the Sudharma assembly hall, that Dwaraka Puri had now become unmanifest, though it is eternally there for those who are not covered by Krsna's deluding potency, 'maya'.
Remembering these pastimes of the Supreme Lord brings about devotional service and the same destination of being able to return to the Lord's abode to eternally reside with Him.
including 1000 names of Lord Balaram
Prabhupada Brings the Hare Krishna Mantra to the West
Srila Prabhupada's Mission To America (Drama of events - play)
Prabhupada's arrival in the USA September 17, 1965.
2002 festival in Boston by devotees to commemorate the day (Iskcon Boston)
See Iskcon Boston's celebrations of this event 2004 picture Gallery
With the manuscript for Volume Three
complete and with the money to print it, Bhaktivedanta Swami once again
entered the printing world, purchasing paper, correcting proofs, and keeping
the printer on schedule so that the book would be finished by January 1965.
Thus, by his persistence, he who had almost no money of his own managed
to publish his third large hardbound volume within a little more than two
At this rate, with his respect in the scholarly world increasing, he might soon become a recognized figure amongst his countrymen. But he had his vision set on the West. And with the third volume now printed, he felt he was at last prepared. He was sixty-nine and would have to go soon. It had been more than forty years since Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté had first asked a young householder in Calcutta to preach Kåñëa consciousness in the West. At first it had seemed impossible to Abhay Charan, who had so recently entered family responsibilities. That obstacle, however, had long ago been removed, and for more than ten years he had been free to travel. But he had been penniless (and still was). And he had wanted first to publish some volumes of Çrémad-Bhägavatam to take with him; it had seemed necessary if he were to do something solid. Now, by Kåñëa's grace, three volumes were on hand.
I planned that I must go to America. Generally they go to London, but I
did not want to go to London. I was simply thinking how to go to New York.
I was scheming, “Whether I shall go this way, through Tokyo, Japan, or
that way? Which way is cheaper?" That was my proposal. And I was targeting
to New York always. Sometimes I was dreaming that I have come to New York.
Then Bhaktivedanta Swami met Mr. Agarwal, a Mathurä businessman, and mentioned to him in passing, as he did to almost everyone he met, that he wanted to go to the West. Although Mr. Agarwal had known Bhaktivedanta Swami for only a few minutes, he volunteered to try to get him a sponsor in America. It was something Mr. Agarwal had done a number of times; when he met a sädhu who mentioned something about going abroad to teach Hindu culture, he would ask his son Gopal, an engineer in Pennsylvania, to send back a sponsorship form. When Mr. Agarwal volunteered to help in this way, Bhaktivedanta Swami urged him please to do so.
Çréla Prabhupäda: I did not say anything seriously to Mr. Agarwal, but perhaps he took it very seriously. I asked him, “Well, why don't you ask your son Gopal to sponsor so that I can go there? I want to preach there."
But Bhaktivedanta Swami knew he could not simply dream of going to the West; he needed money. In March 1965 he made another visit to Bombay, attempting to sell his books. Again he stayed at the free dharmaçälä, Premkutir. But finding customers was difficult. He met Paramananda Bhagwani, a librarian at Jai Hind College, who purchased books for the college library and then escorted Bhaktivedanta Swami to a few likely outlets.
Mr. Bhagwani: I took him to the Popular Book Depot at Grant Road to help him in selling books, but they told us they couldn't stock the books because they don't have much sales on religion. Then we went to another shop nearby, and the owner also regretted his inability to sell the books. Then he went to Sadhuvela, near Mahalakshmi temple, and we met the head of the temple there. He, of course, welcomed us. They have a library of their own, and they stock religious books, so we approached them to please keep a set there in their library. They are a wealthy äçrama, and yet he also expressed his inability.
Bhaktivedanta Swami returned to Delhi, pursuing the usual avenues of bookselling and looking for whatever opportunity might arise. And to his surprise, he was contacted by the Ministry of External Affairs and informed that his No Objection certificate for going to the U.S. was ready. Since he had not instigated any proceedings for leaving the country, Bhaktivedanta Swami had to inquire from the ministry about what had happened. They showed him the Statutory Declaration Form signed by Mr. Gopal Agarwal of Butler, Pennsylvania; Mr. Agarwal solemnly declared that he would bear the expenses of Bhaktivedanta Swami during his stay in the U.S.
Çréla Prabhupäda: Whatever the correspondence was there between the father and son, I did not know. I simply asked him, “Why don't you ask your son Gopal to sponsor?" And now, after three or four months, the No Objection certificate was sent from the Indian Consulate in New York to me. He had already sponsored my arrival there for one month, and all of a sudden I got the paper.
At his father's request, Gopal Agarwal had done as he had done for several other sädhus, none of whom had ever gone to America. It was just a formality, something to satisfy his father. Gopal had requested a form from the Indian Consulate in New York, obtained a statement from his employer certifying his monthly salary, gotten a letter from his bank showing his balance as of April 1965, and had the form notarized. It had been stamped and approved in New York and sent to Delhi. Now Bhaktivedanta Swami had a sponsor. But he still needed a passport, visa, P-form, and travel fare.
The passport was not very difficult to obtain. Krishna Pandit helped, and by June 10 he had his passport. Carefully, he penned in his address at the Rädhä-Kåñëa temple in Chippiwada and wrote his father's name, Gour Mohan De. He asked Krishna Pandit also to pay for his going abroad, but Krishna Pandit refused, thinking it against Hindu principles for a sädhu to go abroad—and also very expensive.
With his passport and sponsorship papers, Bhaktivedanta Swami went to Bombay, not to sell books or raise funds for printing; he wanted a ticket for America. Again he tried approaching Sumati Morarji. He showed his sponsorship papers to her secretary, Mr. Choksi, who was impressed and who went to Mrs. Morarji on his behalf. “The Swami from Våndävana is back," he told her. “He has published his book on your donation. He has a sponsor, and he wants to go to America. He wants you to send him on a Scindia ship." Mrs. Morarji said no, the Swamiji was too old to go to the United States and expect to accomplish anything. As Mr. Choksi conveyed to him Mrs. Morarji's words, Bhaktivedanta Swami listened disapprovingly. She wanted him to stay in India and complete the Çrémad-Bhägavatam. Why go to the States? Finish the job here.
But Bhaktivedanta Swami was fixed on going. He told Mr. Choksi that he should convince Mrs. Morarji. He coached Mr. Choksi on what he should say: “I find this gentleman very inspired to go to the States and preach something to the people there…" But when he told Mrs. Morarji, she again said no. The Swami was not healthy. It would be too cold there. He might not be able to come back, and she doubted whether he would be able to accomplish much there. People in America were not so cooperative, and they would probably not listen to him.
Exasperated with Mr. Choksi's ineffectiveness, Bhaktivedanta Swami demanded a personal interview. It was granted, and a gray-haired, determined Bhaktivedanta Swami presented his emphatic request: “Please give me one ticket."
Sumati Morarji was concerned. “Swamiji, you are so old—you are taking this responsibility. Do you think it is all right?"
“No," he reassured her, lifting his hand as if to reassure a doubting daughter, “it is all right."
“But do you know what my secretaries think? They say, “Swamiji is going to die there.'"
Bhaktivedanta made a face as if to dismiss a foolish rumor. Again he insisted that she give him a ticket. “All right," she said. “Get your P-form, and I will make an arrangement to send you by our ship." Bhaktivedanta Swami smiled brilliantly and happily left her offices, past her amazed and skeptical clerks.
A “P-form"—another necessity for an Indian national who wants to leave the country—is a certificate given by the State Bank of India, certifying that the person has no excessive debts in India and is cleared by the banks. That would take a while to obtain. And he also did not yet have a U.S. visa. He needed to pursue these government permissions in Bombay, but he had no place to stay. So Mrs. Morarji agreed to let him reside at the Scindia Colony, a compound of apartments for employees of the Scindia Company.
He stayed in a small, unfurnished apartment with only his trunk and typewriter. The resident Scindia employees all knew that Mrs. Morarji was sending him to the West, and some of them became interested in his cause. They were impressed, for although he was so old, he was going abroad to preach. He was a special sädhu, a scholar. They heard from him how he was taking hundreds of copies of his books with him, but no money. He became a celebrity at the Scindia Colony. Various families brought him rice, sabjé, and fruit. They brought so much that he could not eat it all, and he mentioned this to Mr. Choksi. Just accept it and distribute it, Mr. Choksi advised. Bhaktivedanta Swami then began giving remnants of his food to the children. Some of the older residents gathered to hear him as he read and spoke from Çrémad-Bhägavatam. Mr. Vasavada, the chief cashier of Scindia, was particularly impressed and came regularly to learn from the sädhu. Mr. Vasavada obtained copies of Bhaktivedanta Swami's books and read them in his home.
Bhaktivedanta Swami's apartment shared a roofed-in veranda with Mr. Nagarajan, a Scindia office worker, and his wife.
Mrs. Nagarajan: Every time when I passed that way, he used to be writing or chanting. I would ask him, “Swamiji, what are you writing?" He used to sit near the window and one after another was translating the Sanskrit. He gave me two books and said, “Child, if you read this book, you will understand." We would have discourses in the house, and four or five Gujarati ladies used to come. At one of these discourses he told one lady that those who wear their hair parted on the side—that is not a good idea. Every Indian lady should have her hair parted in the center. They were very fond of listening and very keen to hear his discourse.
Every day he would go out trying to get his visa and P-form as quickly as possible, selling his books, and seeking contacts and supporters for his future Çrémad-Bhägavatam publishing. Mr. Nagarajan tried to help. Using the telephone directory, he made a list of wealthy business and professional men who were Vaiñëavas and might be inclined to assist. Bhaktivedanta Swami's neighbors at Scindia Colony observed him coming home dead tired in the evening. He would sit quietly, perhaps feeling morose, some neighbors thought, but after a while he would sit up, rejuvenated, and start writing.
Mrs. Nagarajan: When he came home we used to give him courage, and we used to tell him, “Swamiji, one day you will achieve your target." He would say, “Time is still not right. Time is still not right. They are all ajïänés. They don't understand. But still I must carry on."
Sometimes I would go by, and his cädar would be on the chair, but he would be sitting on the windowsill. I would ask him, “Swamiji, did you have any good contacts?" He would say, “Not much today. I didn't get much, and it is depressing. Tomorrow Kåñëa will give me more details." And he would sit there quietly.
After ten minutes, he would sit in his chair and start writing. I would wonder how Swamiji was so tired in one minute and in another minuteï Even if he was tired, he was not defeated. He would never speak discouragement. And we would always encourage him and say, “If today you don't get it, tomorrow you will definitely meet some people, and they will encourage you." And my friends used to come in the morning and in the evening for discourse, and they would give namaskära and fruits.
Mr. Nagarajan: His temperament was very adjustable and homely. Our friends would offer a few rupees. He would say, “All right. It will help." He used to walk from our colony to Andheri station. It is two kilometers, and he used to go there without taking a bus, because he had no money.
Bhaktivedanta Swami had a page printed entitled “My Mission," and he would show it to influential men in his attempts to get further financing for Çrémad-Bhägavatam. The printed statement proposed that God consciousness was the only remedy for the evils of modern materialistic society. Despite scientific advancement and material comforts, there was no peace in the world; therefore, Bhagavad-gétä and Çrémad-Bhägavatam, the glory of India, must be spread all over the world.
Mrs. Morarji asked Bhaktivedanta Swami if he would read Çrémad-Bhägavatam to her in the evening. He agreed. She began sending her car for him at six o'clock each evening, and they would sit in her garden, where he would recite and comment on the Bhägavatam.
Mrs. Morarji: He used to come in the evening and sing the verses in rhythmic tunes, as is usually done with the Bhägavatam. And certain points—when you sit and discuss, you raise so many points—he was commenting on certain points, but it was all from the Bhägavatam. So he used to sit and explain to me and then go. He could give time, and I could hear him. That was for about ten or fifteen days.
His backing by Scindia and his sponsorship in the U.S. were a strong presentation, and with the help of the people at Scindia he obtained his visa on July 28, 1965. But the P-form proceedings went slowly and even threatened to be a last, insurmountable obstacle.
Çréla Prabhupäda: Formerly there was no restriction for going outside. But for a sannyäsé like me, I had so much difficulty obtaining the government permission to go out. I had applied for the P-form sanction, but no sanction was coming. Then I went to the State Bank of India. The officer was Mr. Martarchari. He told me, “Swamiji, you are sponsored by a private man. So we cannot accept. If you were invited by some institution, then we could consider. But you are invited by a private man for one month. And after one month, if you are in difficulty, there will be so many obstacles." But I had already prepared everything to go. So I said, “What have you done?" He said, “I have decided not to sanction your P-form." I said, “No, no, don't do this. You better send me to your superior. It should not be like that."
So he took my request, and he sent the file to the chief official of foreign exchange—something like that. So he was the supreme man in the State Bank of India. I went to see him. I asked his secretary, “Do you have such-and-such a file. You kindly put it to Mr. Rao. I want to see him." So the secretary agreed, and he put the file, and he put my name down to see him. I was waiting. So Mr. Rao came personally. He said, “Swamiji, I passed your case. Don't worry."
Following Mrs. Morarji's instruction, her secretary, Mr. Choksi, made final arrangements for Bhaktivedanta Swami. Since he had no warm clothes, Mr. Choksi took him to buy a wool jacket and other woolen clothes. Mr. Choksi spent about 250 rupees on new clothes, including some new dhotés. At Bhaktivedanta Swami's request, Mr. Choksi printed five hundred copies of a small pamphlet containing the eight verses written by Lord Caitanya and an advertisement for Çrémad-Bhägavatam, in the context of an advertisement for the Scindia Steamship Company.
Mr. Choksi: I asked him, “Why couldn't you go earlier? Why do you want to go now to the States, at this age?" He replied that, “I will be able to do something good, I am sure." His idea was that someone should be there who would be able to go near people who were lost in life and teach them and tell them what the correct thing is. I asked him so many times, “Why do you want to go to the States? Why don't you start something in Bombay or Delhi or Våndävana?" I was teasing him also: “You are interested in seeing the States. Therefore, you want to go. All Swamijis want to go to the States, and you want to enjoy there." He said, “What I have got to see? I have finished my life."
But sometimes he was hot-tempered. He used to get angry at me for the delays. “What is this nonsense?" he would say. Then I would understand: he is getting angry now. Sometimes he would say, “Oh, Mrs. Morarji has still not signed this paper? She says come back tomorrow, we will talk tomorrow! What is this? Why this daily going back?" He would get angry. Then I would say, “You can sit here." But he would say, “How long do I have to sit?" He would become impatient.
Finally Mrs. Morarji scheduled a place for him on one of her ships, the Jaladuta, which was sailing from Calcutta on August 13. She had made certain that he would travel on a ship whose captain understood the needs of a vegetarian and a brähmaëa. Mrs. Morarji told the Jaladuta's captain, Arun Pandia, to carry extra vegetables and fruits for the Swami. Mr. Choksi spent the last two days with Bhaktivedanta Swami in Bombay, picking up the pamphlets at the press, purchasing clothes, and driving him to the station to catch the train for Calcutta.
He arrived in Calcutta about two weeks before the Jaladuta's departure. Although he had lived much of his life in the city, he now had nowhere to stay. It was as he had written in his “Våndävana-bhajana": “I have my wife, sons, daughters, grandsons, everything, / But I have no money, so they are a fruitless glory." Although in this city he had been so carefully nurtured as a child, those early days were also gone forever: “Where have my loving father and mother gone to now? / And where are all my elders, who were my own folk? / Who will give me news of them, tell me who? / All that is left of this family life is a list of names."
Out of the hundreds of people in Calcutta whom Bhaktivedanta Swami knew, he chose to call on Mr. Sisir Bhattacarya, the flamboyant kértana singer he had met a year before at the governor's house in Lucknow. Mr. Bhattacarya was not a relative, not a disciple, nor even a close friend; but he was willing to help. Bhaktivedanta Swami called at his place and informed him that he would be leaving on a cargo ship in a few days; he needed a place to stay, and he would like to give some lectures. Mr. Bhattacarya immediately began to arrange a few private meetings at friends' homes, where he would sing and Bhaktivedanta Swami would then speak.
Mr. Bhattacarya thought the sädhu's leaving for America should make an important news story. He accompanied Bhaktivedanta Swami to all the newspapers in Calcutta—the Hindustan Standard, the Amrita Bazar Patrika, the Jugantas, the Statesman, and others. Bhaktivedanta Swami had only one photograph, a passport photo, and they made a few copies for the newspapers. Mr. Bhattacarya would try to explain what the Swami was going to do, and the news writers would listen. But none of them wrote anything. Finally they visited the Dainik Basumati, a local Bengali daily, which agreed to print a small article with Bhaktivedanta Swami's picture.
A week before his departure, on August 6, Bhaktivedanta Swami traveled to nearby Mäyäpur to visit the samädhi of Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté. Then he returned to Calcutta, where Mr. Bhattacarya continued to assist him with his final business and speaking engagements.
Mr. Bhattacarya: We just took a hired taxi to this place and that place. And he would go for preaching. I never talked to him during the preaching, but once when I was coming back from the preaching, I said, “You said this thing about this. But I tell you it is not this. It is this." I crossed him in something or argued. And he was furious. Whenever we argued and I said, “No, I think this is this," then he was shouting. He was very furious. He said, “You are always saying, “I think, I think, I think.' What is the importance of what you think? Everything is what you think. But it doesn't matter. It matters what çästra says. You must follow." I said, “I must do what I think, what I feel—that is important." He said, “No, you should forget this. You should forget your desire. You should change your habit. Better you depend on çästras. You follow what çästra wants you to do, and do it. I am not telling you what I think, but I am repeating what the çästra says."
As the day of his departure approached, Bhaktivedanta Swami took stock of his meager possessions. He had only a suitcase, an umbrella, and a supply of dry cereal. He did not know what he would find to eat in America; perhaps there would be only meat. If so, he was prepared to live on boiled potatoes and the cereal. His main baggage, several trunks of his books, was being handled separately by Scindia Cargo. Two hundred three-volume sets—the very thought of the books gave him confidence.
When the day came for him to leave, he needed that confidence. He was making a momentous break with his previous life, and he was dangerously old and not in strong health. And he was going to an unknown and probably unwelcoming country. To be poor and unknown in India was one thing. Even in these Kali-yuga days, when India's leaders were rejecting Vedic culture and imitating the West, it was still India; it was still the remains of Vedic civilization. He had been able to see millionaires, governors, the prime minister, simply by showing up at their doors and waiting. A sannyäsé was respected; the Çrémad-Bhägavatam was respected. But in America it would be different. He would be no one, a foreigner. And there was no tradition of sädhus, no temples, no free äçramas. But when he thought of the books he was bringing—transcendental knowledge in English—he became confident. When he met someone in America he would give him a flyer: ““Çrémad Bhagwatam,' India's Message of Peace and Goodwill."
It was August 13, just a few days before Janmäñöamé, the appearance day anniversary of Lord Kåñëa—the next day would be his own sixty-ninth birthday. During these last years, he had been in Våndävana for Janmäñöamé. Many Våndävana residents would never leave there; they were old and at peace in Våndävana. Bhaktivedanta Swami was also concerned that he might die away from Våndävana. That was why all the Vaiñëava sädhus and widows had taken vows not to leave, even for Mathurä—because to die in Våndävana was the perfection of life. And the Hindu tradition was that a sannyäsé should not cross the ocean and go to the land of the mlecchas. But beyond all that was the desire of Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté, and his desire was nondifferent from that of Lord Kåñëa. And Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu had predicted that the chanting of Hare Kåñëa would be known in every town and village of the world.
Bhaktivedanta Swami took a taxi down to the Calcutta port. A few friends and admirers, along with his son Vrindavan, accompanied him. He writes in his diary: “Today at 9 a.m. embarked on M.V. Jaladuta. Came with me Bhagwati, the Dwarwan of Scindia Sansir, Mr. Sen Gupta, Mr. Ali and Vrindaban." He was carrying a Bengali copy of Caitanya-caritämåta, which he intended to read during the crossing. Somehow he would be able to cook on board. Or if not, he could starve— whatever Kåñëa desired. He checked his essentials: passenger ticket, passport, visa, P-form, sponsor's address. Finally it was happening.
Çréla Prabhupäda: With what great difficulty I got out of the country! Some way or other, by Kåñëa's grace, I got out so I could spread the Kåñëa consciousness movement all over the world. Otherwise, to remain in India—it was not possible. I wanted to start a movement in India, but I was not at all encouraged.
The black cargo ship, small and weathered, was moored at dockside, a gangway leading from the dock to the ship's deck. Indian merchant sailors curiously eyed the elderly saffron-dressed sädhu as he spoke last words to his companions and then left them and walked determinedly toward the boat.
For thousands of years, kåñëa-bhakti had been known only in India, not outside, except in twisted, faithless reports by foreigners. And the only swamis to have reached America had been nondevotees, Mäyävädé impersonalists. But now Kåñëa was sending Bhaktivedanta Swami as His emissary.
Today the ship is plying very smoothly. I feel today better. But I am feeling separation from Sri Vrindaban and my Lords Sri Govinda, Gopinath, Radha Damodar. My only solace is Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita in which I am tasting the nectarine of Lord Chaitanya's lila. I have left Baharatabhumi just to execute the order of Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati, in pursuance of Lord Chaitanya's order. I have no qualification, but have taken up the risk just to carry out the order of His Divine Grace. I depend fully on Their mercy, so far away from Vrindaban.SPL 12: The Journey to America
The Journey to America
The Power of Mantra Meditation
based on the teachings of
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
Srila Prabhupada Brings the Hare Krishna Mantra to the West
When His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada first arrived in America in the midst of the cultural turmoil of the sixties, he quickly captured the hearts and minds of the New York hippies and the San Francisco flower children with the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra.
Within three years, he journeyed to London, and by 1971, Hare Krishna had been recorded on hit records by former Beatles John Lennon and George Harrison. By then the mantra had been heard by hundreds of millions of people, and the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, formed in New York in 1966, had spread to six continents. How could an elderly Indian swami in a strange, foreign land, with no money, no support, no friends, and no followers, achieve such phenomenal success? The story that follows includes eyewitness accounts and excerpts from Srila Prabhupada-lilamrita, the authorized biography of this extraordinary saint, written by one of his intimate disciples, His Holiness Satsvarupa dasa Goswami.
The arduous sea voyage from Calcutta to Boston was finally over. The lone passenger aboard the cargo ship Jaladuta, a seventy-year-old Indian holy man, had been given free passage by the owner of the Scindia Steamship Company. His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada arrived at Commonwealth Pier on September 17, 1965.
For thousands of years krishna-bhakti, love of Krishna, had been known only in India, but now, on the order of his spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada had come to awaken the natural, dormant Krishna consciousness of the American people.
On his arrival day onboard the Jaladuta, he wrote in his diary the following words:
Absorbed in material life, they [Americans] think themselves very happy and satisfied, and therefore they have no taste for the transcendental message of Vasudeva [Krishna]... But I know that Your causeless mercy can make everything possible, because You are the most expert mystic ... How will I make them understand this message of Krishna consciousness? ... O Lord, I am simply praying for Your mercy so that I will be able to convince them about Your message ... I am seeking Your benediction ... I have no devotion, nor do I have any knowledge, but I have strong faith in the holy name of Krishna ...
In 1922, Sri1a Prabhupada's spiritual master, His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, had requested him to spread the teachings of Lord Krishna, including the Hare Krishna mantra, to the West, and now, after a lifetime in preparation, Srila Prabhupada was ready to begin.
After landing in America with the Indian rupee equivalent of eight dollars, he spent his first year in the United States with a family in Butler, Pennsylvania; an Indian yoga teacher in Manhattan; and later, with the help of friends, rented a small room in upper Manhattan.
By the summer of 1966, he had found a larger location more suited to propagating the Hare Krishna maha-mantra and the ancient science of Krishna consciousness. That summer Prabhupada had met a young man named Harvey Cohen, who offered him an old artist-in-residence loft in lower Manhattan's Bowery.
Here, a small group of young Bohemian types would join Srila Prabhupada every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evening for chanting Hare Krishna and classes on the Bhagavad-gita. Although not yet incorporated or known by its present name, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness had been born.
Few of Srila Prabhupada's guests, whose interests included music, drugs, macrobiotics, pacifism, and spiritual meditation, knew very much about what they were chanting or exactly why they were chanting it. They just enjoyed it and liked being in the presence of the man they affectionately called "Swamiji." These musicians, artists, poets, and intellectuals, most of whom had chosen to live outside of mainstream society, felt that by chanting Hare Krishna they were taking part in something mystical and unique.
Srila Prabhupada led the solo chanting: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. The melody was always the same -- a simple four-note phrase, the first four notes of the major scale. Prabhupada led the kirtana with small three-inch-diameter hand cymbals he had brought with him from India. He would ring them in a one-two-three, one-two-three fashion Some of his followers clapped along with him, and some joined in with small fingercymbals of their own. Others sat in yoga postures, hands outstretched, chanting and meditating on this novel transcendental vibration. Guests would sometimes bring other instruments, including guitars, tambouras, flutes, tambourines, and a wide variety of drums.
After a few months some of Srila Prabhupada's followers secured for him a better place to live and spread the chanting of the holy name. The new Second Avenue location on the hippie-filled Lower East Side included an apartment for Srila Prabhupada one floor up and a ground- floor storefront, which he would use as a temple. Within a few weeks, the small sixty-by-twenty-five-foot storefront was packed with young people three nights a week. Gradually the storefront took on the appearance of a temple as visitors began to bring tapestries and paintings for the walls, carpets for the floors, and amplification equipment for Srila Prabhupada's lectures and kirtanas (congregational chanting).
Prabhupada's kirtanas were lively and captivating, with numerous guests spontaneously rising to their feet, clapping and dancing. Srila Prabhupada, always conducting the kirtana in call-and-response fashion and playing a small African bongolike drum, would accelerate the chant faster and faster, until after about half an hour it would reach a climax and suddenly end. Chanting along with Srila Prabhupada in this small room on Second Avenue, guests found themselves transported into another dimension, a spiritual dimension, in which the anxieties and pressures of everyday life in New York City simply did not exist. Many soon caught on that chanting Hare Krishna was an intense and effective form of meditation, a direct means of communion with something greater than themselves, no matter what their conception of the Absolute.
Srila Prabhupada initiated his first disciples in September of ‘66, at which time about a dozen students vowed to chant a minimum of sixteen rounds a day on their beads. This meant reciting the sixteen- word mantra 1,728 times a day, a meditation that would take them between one and a half to two hours to complete.
Prabhupada's flock soon began to print and distribute invitations and leaflets such as this one:
Practice the transcendental sound vibration,
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
This chanting will cleanse the dust from the
mirror of the mind.
Another invited America's youth to
STAY HIGH FOREVER!
No More Coming Down
Practice Krishna Consciousness
Expand your consciousness by practicing the
*TRANSCENDENTAL SOUND VIBRATION*
HARE KRISHNA, HARE KRISHNA
KRISHNA KRISHNA, HARE HARE
HARE RAMA, HARE RAMA
RAMA RAMA, HARE HARE
In the mornings Srila Prabhupada would lead the devotees in one round of japa (chanting on beads). After chanting with Prabhupada, the devotees would chant their remaining sixteen rounds on their own.
The celebrated American poet Allen Ginsberg, accompanying the kirtana on his harmonium, had by now become a regular at the evening chanting sessions at the temple and in nearby Tompkins Square Park. In a 1980 interview published in Srila Prabhupada's biography, he recalled his experiences.
Allen Ginsberg: I liked immediately the idea that Swami Bhaktivedanta had chosen the Lower East Side of New York for his practice...S I was astounded that he'd come with the chanting, because it seemed like a reinforcement from India. I had been running around singing Hare Krishna but had never understood exactly why or what it meant...s I thought it was great now that he was here to expound on the Hare Krishna mantra -- that would sort of justify my singing. I knew what I was doing but I didn't have any theological background to satisfy further inquiry, and here was someone who did. So I thought that was absolutely great... If anyone wanted to know the technical intricacies and the ultimate history, I could send them to him.... he had a personal, selfless sweetness like total devotion. And that was what always conquered me ..e a kind of personal charm, coming from dedication ..o I always liked to be with him.
The chanting of Hare Krishna seemed to spread in an almost magical way, and as time went on, the number of people attracted to it increased geometrically. Even in this unlikely New York setting, the mantra seemed to have a life of its own. Whether it was the melody, the beat, the sound of the words, the look of the devotees, or Prabhupada's humility or serenity, nearly everyone who then came in touch with the chanting of Hare Krishna responded favorably.
In December 1966, Srila Prabhupada would explain on his first record album, the LP that introduced two of the Beatles, John Lennon and George Harrison, to Hare Krishna, that "the chanting Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare is not a material sound vibration, but comes directly from the spiritual world."
Prabhupada's Tompkins Square Park kirtanas were spiritual happenings that are now legendary. Hundreds of people from all walks of life took part; some as observers and some as eager participants, chanting, clapping their hands, dancing, and playing musical instruments. Irving Halpern, one of many local musicians who regularly participated, remembers the scene.
Irving: The park resounded. The musicians were very careful in listening to the mantras...t I have talked to a couple of musicians about it, and we agreed that in his head this Swami must have had hundreds and hundreds of melodies that had been brought back from the real learning from the other side of the world. So many people came there just to tune in to the musical gift, the transmission of the dharma. "Hey," they would say, "listen to this holy monk." People were really sure there were going to be unusual feats, grandstanding, flashy levitations, or whatever people expected was going to happen. But when the simplicity of what the Swami was really saying, when you began to sense it -- whether you were motivated to actually make a lifetime commitment and go this way of life, or whether you merely wanted to place it in a place and give certain due respect to it -- it turned you around.
And that was interesting, too, the different ways in which people regarded the kirtana. Some people thought it was a prelude. Some people thought it was a main event. Some people liked the music. Some people liked the poetic sound of it.
After the kirtanas Srila Prabhupada usually spoke for a few minutes about Krishna consciousness, inviting everyone back to the temple for a Sunday afternoon "love festival" of chanting and feasting, a weekly event that soon became a tradition that continues today. The October 9 edition of the New York Times described the Tompkins Square Park kirtana with the following headline: "SWAMI'S FLOCK CHANTS IN PARK TO FIND ECSTASY."
Sitting under a tree in a Lower East Side park and occasionally dancing, fifty followers of a Hindu swami repeated a sixteen- word chant for two hours yesterday afternoon to the accompaniment of cymbals, tambourines, sticks, drums, bells, and a small reed organ...i Repetition of the chant, Swami A. C. Bhaktivedanta says, is the best way to achieve self-realization in this age of destruction.
... many in the crowd of about a hundred persons standing around the chanters found themselves swaying to or clapping hands in time to the hypnotic rhythmic music. "It brings a state of ecstasy," said Allen Ginsberg the poet...u The ecstasy of the chant or mantra Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare has replaced LSD and other drugs for many of the Swami's followers."
At the same time, New York's avant-garde newspaper The East Village Other ran a front page story with a full-page photograph of Srila Prabhupada standing and speaking to a large group of people in the park. The banner headline read "SAVE EARTH NOW!!" and in large type just below the picture, the maha-mantra was printed: "HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE HARE RAMA HARE RAMA RAMA RAMA HARE HARE." The article admired the chanting and described how Srila Prabhupada "had succeeded in convincing the world's toughest audience -- Bohemians, acidheads, potheads, and hippies -- that he knew the way to God."
Turn Off, Sing Out, and Fall In. This new brand of holy man, with all due deference to Dr. Leary, has come forth with a brand of "Consciousness Expansion" that's sweeter than acid, cheaper than pot, and nonbustible by fuzz.
The newspaper story described how a visit to the temple at 26 Second Avenue would bring "living, visible, tangible proof" that God is alive and well. The story quoted one of Srila Prabhupada's new disciples:
I started chanting to myself, like the Swami said, when I was walking down the street -- Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare -- over and over, and suddenly everything started looking so beautiful, the kids, the old men and women ..n even the creeps looked beautiful ..s to say nothing of the trees and flowers.
Finding it superior to the euphoria from any kind of drug, he said,
There's no coming down from this. I can always do this any time, anywhere.
It is always with you.
The Hare Krishna Mantra: "There's Nothing Higher..."
Chanting for Liberation
Srila Prabhupada Brings the Hare Krishna Mantra to the West
^^ You are here
Srila Prabhupada in San Francisco and Beyond
Chanting for Higher Consciousness: A Cultural History
The Life of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu
Haridasa Thakura and the Prostitute
The Science of Mantra Meditation
The Benefits of Chanting
Techniques for Chanting
Original @ http://www.cedarpost.com/krsnaconsciousplays/SPrabhupadaMission.htm
* * * * * * * * *
CAST: Abhay Charan / Srila Prabhupada, Narendranath, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, Captain and Mrs. Pandia, Devotees.
Srila Prabhupada Meets His Spiritual Master
(Scene opens with Srila Bhaktisiddhanta and disciples in the background.
Enter Narendranath, pulling Srila Prabhupada as a young man named Abhay
Abhay: Narendranath! I'm not going!
Narendranath: Oh please, Abhay, I'm sure you will like him... he is a wonderful sadhu!
Abhay: Oh yes, I know all these sadhus! Most of them are simply beggars and ganja smokers in the dress of mendicants!
Narendranath: But this one is different, Abhay. He is a pure and powerful Vaishnava.
Abhay: Narendranath! I wish you wouldn't behave like this! I told you I'm not going...
Narendranath: Look, Abhay, I tell you he is extraordinary. He is such a learned scholar, and a great devotee of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. You must meet him! Please!
Abhay: Oh, I...
Narendranath: At least you should see him and judge for yourself.
Abhay: You're so persistent! All right!
Narendranath: You won't regret this Abhay, I promise you.
Abhay: Well, we shall see.
Bhaktisiddhanta: There has not been, there will not be, such benefactors of the highest merit as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and His devotees have been. The offer of other benefits is only a deception; it is rather a great harm, whereas the benefit done by Him and His followers is the truest and greatest eternal benefit... It is not for the benefit of one particular country, causing mischief to another; but it benefits the whole universe... The kindness that Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has shown to jivas absolves them eternally from all wants, from all inconveniences and from all distresses... (Abhay and Narendranath enter, they pay their obeisances and are still rising)
Bhaktisiddhanta: You are educated young men. Why don't you preach Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's message throughout the whole world?
Abhay: (taken back) How can we spread Indian culture if we are under British rule? First India must become independent, otherwise who will hear your Chaitanya's message?
Bhaktisiddhanta: Krishna consciousness does not have to wait for a change in Indian politics, nor is it dependent on who rules. It is so important, so exclusively important, that it cannot wait!
Abhay: How can you dismiss the cause of independence, as if it were of no importance, when so many of our spiritually minded leaders and saints — even Gandhi himself — are stressing national pride?
Bhaktisiddhanta: Whether one power or another rules is a temporary situation; the eternal reality is Krishna or God consciousness, and the real self is the spiritual soul. Therefore no man- made political system can actually help humanity. This is the verdict of the Vedas. Everyone is an eternal servant of God, but if one takes himself to be the temporary body, and if one regards the nation of his birth as worshipable, then he is in the greatest illusion. The leaders and followers of the world's political movements, including the independence movement, are simply cultivating this illusion, and therefore they are no better then cows and asses. Real welfare work, whether individual, social or political, should help prepare a person for his next life and help him to re- establish his eternal relationship with Krishna.
Abhay: Yes, that is true, but oppression of the people is a reality... and the British slaughter of innocent citizens is a reality. Surely, at the present time, the people's cause is the only relevant movement, and spiritual life is a luxury which can be afforded only after independence.
Bhaktisiddhanta: Lord Sri Krishna is the highest Vedic authority, and in the Bhagavad-Gita he declares: sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja, aham tvam sarva-papebhyo moksayisyami ma sucah — that one should give up all so-called dharmas and religious duties and surrender unto Him, the Personality of Godhead. The Srimad-Bhagavatam confirms this: dharmah projjhita kaitavo 'tra paramo nirmatsaranam satam — all other forms of religion are impure and should be thrown out; only Bhagavata-dharma — performing one's duties to please the Supreme Lord — should remain. The problem is that the people have become faithless. They no longer believe that devotional service to God can remove all anomalies, even on the political scene. How can someone claim to be a leader of the people if he is ignorant of the soul and identifies with this dead body as the self? He is simply a fool, and yet they are all following... blind men led by another blind man into the ditch. There is no scarcity in this world... the only scarcity is of Krishna consciousness. But all these men — Subhash Chandra Bose, Bannerjee, Lajpat Rai, Gandhi — they have all failed to solve the real problem of society; rather, they simply added to the chaos and confusion. This whole world is simply a society of cheaters and cheated. It is not a fit place for a gentleman. Therefore one should simply aspire to leave this material world and go back to home, back to Godhead. The urgent need is to render the highest good to humanity by educating people about the eternal soul and its intimate loving relationship with Krishna. This is Lord Chaitanya's instruction to everyone born in India: bharata-bhumite haila manusya-janma yara, janma sarthaka kari kara para-upakara. So, do not hesitate... take up this important preaching mission and become an instrument in fulfilling Lord Chaitanya's prediction. And what is that prediction? Prthivite ache yata nagaradi grama, sarvatra pracara haibe mora nama — that one day the Holy Name of the Lord will be known in every town and every village of the world. Hare Krishna!
(Abhay pays his respectful obeisances, rises and leaves with Narendranath... they appear again, front stage)
Narendranath: So, Abhay, what was your impression? What do you think of him?
Abhay: He is wonderful! The message of Lord Chaitanya is in the hands of a very expert person!
Narendranath: I knew you would like him, Abhay.
Abhay: Yes, he is a very nice saintly person. Narendranath, I think,
were it not for my wife and
family commitments, I would immediately join him. (pause... then thoughtfully) Still, in my heart, I have accepted him. Yes, I have accepted him!
Srila Prabhupada's Journey To America
(Scene opens with Srila Prabhupada sitting behind a makeshift desk — his trunk — on board the steamship Jaladuta during the long journey from Calcutta to Boston, U.S.A... A few large volumes of Srimad-Bhagavatam are visible. He is sitting in the light of a lantern, wearing glasses, and he looks weak in health. As he is writing, he pauses occasionally to think. He seems to be very thoughtful and grave, and at same time there is an unmistakable mood of determination, victory, ultimate happiness and peace about him. As he writes, his thoughts are heard)
Prabhupada: Today the ship is plying very smoothly. I feel today better. But I am feeling
separation from Sri Vrindavan and my Lords Sri Govinda, Gopinath, Radha-Damodara. I depend fully on Their mercy, so far away from Vrindavan. I have left Bharata-bhumi, just to execute the order of Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, in pursuance of Lord Chaitanya's order. I have no qualification, but have taken up the risk, just to carry out the order of His Divine Grace. By his strong desire, the Holy Name of the Lord Gauranga will spread throughout all the countries of the western world. In all the cities, town and villages on the earth, from all the oceans, seas, rivers and streams, everyone will chant the Holy Name of Krishna.
Although my Guru Maharaja ordered me to accomplish this mission, I am not worthy or fit to do it. Therefore, O Lord, now I am begging for your mercy so that I may become worthy, for you are the wisest and more experienced of all. Today that remembrance of You came to me in a very nice way. Because I have a great longing, I called to You. I am Your eternal servant and therefore I desire Your association so much. O Lord Krishna, except for You, there is no other means for success...
(there is a knock on the door. Captain and Mrs. Pandia enter)
Prabhupada: Captain Pandia... Mrs. Pandia! Hare Krishna!
Cpt. Pandia: Maharaja, how do you feel now? Has your health improved?
Prabhupada: Oh yes, yes. Do not worry! The chest pains have gone now, and but for a slight headache, I am feeling much better.
Mrs. Pandia: Oh, this is good news. We were really worried about you, you know, Swamiji!
Prabhupada: If the Atlantic had shown its usual face, perhaps I would have died. But Lord Krishna has taken charge of the ship.
Cpt. Pandia: Yes, I believe you are right. I have sailed these waters a hundred times, but never in my entire career have I seen such a calm Atlantic crossing!
Prabhupada: It is Krishna's mercy.
Cpt. Pandia: Yes!
Mrs. Pandia: Swamiji, perhaps you will come back with us, so that we may have another crossing such as this one! (they all laugh)
Prabhupada: Yes, yes, surely I would return with you. But I have my mission to fulfill!
Cpt. Pandia: Yes. I would like to help you, Maharaja. Is there anything we can do before you go?
Prabhupada: Mmmm? Yes... you take these copies of Srimad-Bhagavatam — this is the First Canto in three volumes — simply try to understand it, chant Hare Krishna, and you will be happy, that's all. This is the best thing you can do for me.
Cpt. Pandia: This is... most kind...
Mrs. Pandia: Oh Swamiji, we cannot possibly thank you enough...
Cpt. Pandia: Maharaja, here's twenty dollars. Please accept it as a donation for the books. It's not much, but it may help you.
Prabhupada: (touching the money to his head) Thank you very much!
Mrs. Pandia: Your future looks very bright, Swamiji, I can tell these things. That you have passed beyond this crisis shows that you have the blessings of Lord Krishna.
Prabhupada: Hare Krishna!
Cpt. & Mrs. Pandia: Hare Krishna! (they leave. Srila Prabhupada rises, and with the help of his stick he walks to the front. Leaning on the ship's rail, he peers out across the ocean to Boston's bleak and dirty skyline)
Prabhupada: My dear Lord Krishna, You are so merciful upon this useless soul, but I do not know why You have brought me here. Now You can do whatever You like with me. But I guess You have some business here, otherwise why would You bring me to this terrible place? Most of the population here is covered by the material modes of passion and ignorance. Absorbed in material life, they think themselves very happy and satisfied, and therefore they have no taste for the transcendental message of Vasudeva. I do not know how they will be able to understand it. But I know Your causeless mercy can make everything possible, because You are the most expert mystic. Somehow or other, O Lord, You have brought me here to speak about You. Now it is up to You to make me a success or failure as You like.
Srila Prabhupada's Preaching In America
(A slide show should accompany the Narrator's praise of Srila Prabhupada's
Narrator: Srila Prabhupada arrived in America, practically penniless
and hardly knowing in
which direction he should go. For a while he wandered here and there... to Butler, Pennsylvania, then to New York, where he stayed with Dr. Mishra (a Mayavadi yogi), and then to the Bowery — Skid Row, full of bums and drunkards. There he shared a loft with a drug-crazed hippie, till one day the boy finally went mad and Prabhupada was on the street with nowhere else to go. In this way, alone, for one year he was preaching — through the bitter New York winter — impoverished and a stranger in a city so degraded...Then, at last, on the Lower East Side, one by one, bedraggled refugees of Kali-yuga — hippies, fed up with materialism, and disillusioned with the so-called "flower power movement" — came to him for answers and for shelter from the rain of confusion. So he simply gave them kirtan and, out of curiosity or looking for some kind of mystical experience, they chanted Hare Krishna — although unknowingly, they began their path home to the spiritual sky. With great patience and compassion, Srila Prabhupada gave the message he had brought, and though the first students were so crazy, he spelled the truth out to them all, just like a kindly father: "You are not these bodies, you are spirit souls," he said. "We are all God's servants, so just chant Hare Krishna and be happy!" Many were just too far gone to hear him, but a few were sincere seekers of the truth, and they stayed, listened, learned and followed. Soon the Swamiji (as he was then affectionately known among his followers) had gathered around himself a faithful band of boys and girls, who gradually began to take to Krishna consciousness. Won over by kirtan, prasadam and Prabhupada's devotion to Lord Krishna, they gave up illicit sex, drugs, meat and gambling, and he, in turn, accepted them as his own disciples. But as soon as a few of them were strong enough to carry on in New York, immediately he left and went on to San Francisco, where with chanting, dancing, prasadam and philosophy, so many hopeless souls were attracted and saved from the web of material life.
In just a few years, the seed had been planted in New York, San Francisco, Montreal, Los Angeles... and across the sea to England, France, Australia and Russia. And Srila Prabhupada went traveling on relentlessly — preaching and taking the world by storm. And wherever Srila Prabhupada went with his disciples, people were astonished, journalists were excited, religionists dumbfounded and scientists were smashed! But above all, the peoples' hearts were changed. In just twelve short years — from Srila Prabhupada's arrival in the West until his triumphant return to Goloka Vrindavan, the Supreme abode — this world was benefited with so many of his gifts: more than one hundred beautiful temples, farms, castles, restaurants and palaces, full of thousands of ecstatic Vaishnava sons, daughters, grand-disciples... Sri Mayapura-Chandrodaya Mandir, Vrindavan's Krishna-Balarama temple, West Virginia's New Vrindavan, and the Bhaktivedanta Manor in London, England, to name but a few. He gave us worship of Their Lordships Sri-Sri Radha-Krishna, Sri-Sri Gaura-Nitai and Jagannath-Subhadra-Balarama. And festivals like Gaura-Purnima, Janmashtami and Ratha-yatra flooding this world with nectar. He gave us transcendental dramas, art, music, dioramas, schools to teach our children, farms for developing cow-protection — but above all else, he gave us his books! "They are the basis," he would say, and he gave every single breath for writing them — seventy volumes, in fifty languages, printed in the hundreds of thousands and millions, distributed world-wide. He gave us the foundation for a golden age, a blue-print for the future; but more than that, he left his own example — a lifetime of surrender and devotional endeavor, for us to take our strength and inspiration from.
Srila Prabhupada's Arrival
Narrator: It is a few minutes before Srila Prabhupada's arrival. The
occasion is the celebration of
Vyasa-Puja held at the Bhaktivedanta Manor in England in 1973. Devotees are running around panic-stricken and ecstatic, trying to get everything ready. The Temple Commander appears in overalls, blurts out a few instructions to the devotees around him, who run off in different directions, and then proceeds to bang some nails in the wall. Just then, the telephone rings and the Temple Commander answers it. Srila Prabhupada is on his way and will be at the temple at any moment! The devotee's anxiety reaches a climax. Then suddenly the arrival kirtan is heard and Srila Prabhupada has arrived!
Srila Prabhupada's small but commanding figure walks regally into the
temple amidst bowing disciples and uncontrolled chanting of "Jai Prabhupada!"
The Deity curtains are opened and Srila Prabhupada bows down before Their
Lordships Sri-Sri Radha-Krishna and then rises, standing reverentially
before Them, his first fingers tapping together lightly, in time with the
"Govindam" prayers. After a few minutes, Srila Prabhupada turns and walks
majestically to his vyasasana where he sits and begins to chant "Jaya Radha-Madhava."
With his karatals ringing sweetly, and the mridanga following, Srila Prabhupada
takes the devotees out into a deep sea of chanting... After only a few
minutes, the kirtan ends and his Divine Grace begins to speak...
Prabhupada: Sons and daughters — I am so much obliged to you that you have become so enthusiastic for offering Vyasa-puja. When Krishna sees that a living entity is very anxious to understand Him or to revive his Krishna consciousness, then Krishna gives him all opportunity, especially by manifesting himself as the spiritual master... antar bahih... the spiritual master is therefore Krishna's manifestation, Krishna's mercy manifestation to help a person to develop his Krishna consciousness... Therefore, to advance in Krishna consciousness, we require two kinds of help — one from Krishna and another from spiritual master. It is stated in the Chaitanya- Charitamrita... You'll be glad to know that the 17-volume book, Chaitanya-Charitmrita, is now published!
Prabhupada: Kiba vipra kiba nyasi sudra kene naya, yei Krishna tattva vettha sei guru haya. I am sometimes criticized by my godbrothers, that I have become a "marriage-maker," but they do not know why I take this risk. I have got many disciples, they are married couples, but all of them, husband and wife, they are helping this movement. I am very much hopeful that my disciples who are now participating will continue to advance, so, even if I die, my movement will not stop. I am very much hopeful. All these nice boys and girls... Bhaktivinoda Thakura wanted that European and American people may understand the philosophy of Chaitanya cult, and take part in it. That was his desire...
My guru maharaja, His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Prabhupada, he also attempted to send his disciples to preach Chaitanya cult in the western world. First meeting, perhaps you know, he asked me to preach. So at that time I was young man, only twenty-five years old, and I was also householder. So I should have joined and executed his desire immediately, but due to my ill luck, I could not immediately execute his order. But it was in my heart, that it is to be done. So it is better late than never, I executed his order at the age of seventy years, not at the age of twenty-five year. So actually I wasted so much time, I can understand that. From twenty-five... The message was there when I was twenty-five years old, but I begun at the age of seventy years. But I did not forget the message, otherwise how could I do? That is a fact. I was simply finding out the opportunity to do it. So anyway, although I began very late at the age of seventy years, so by the help of my disciples this movement is gaining ground and is spreading all over the world. So therefore I have to thank you. It is all due to you. It is not my credit, but it is your credit, that you are helping me in executing the order of my Guru Maharaja...
So this movement, Krishna consciousness movement — that you already know, that it is the most essential, most important movement in the human society — so this movement will go on... Nobody can stop... You, all my disciples, everyone should become spiritual master. It is not difficult. It is difficult when you manufacture something. But if you simply present what you have heard from your spiritual master, it is very easy... One may be rascal number one from material estimation, but if he simply strictly follows whatever is said by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu or representative spiritual master, then he becomes a guru. So, it is not very difficult... Amara ajnaya guru haya... And what is the difficulty? Chaitanya Mahaprabhu says don't feel any difficulty, because as spiritual master, what you have to do? Yare dekha tare kaha Krishna upadesa... Whomever you meet, you simply speak to him the instruction which Krishna gives. What Krishna... The instruction He gives? That is also very easy. What is that? Krishna says: Man- mana bhava mad-bhaktah mad-yaji mam namaskuru. Krishna says, "Just become My devotee, always think of Me, offer Me obeisances and worship Me..." And at last Krishna says: Sarva- dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja.
So if you simply preach this cult... "My dear friend, my dear brother, you surrender to Krishna," you'll become spiritual master. Become spiritual master! You go door to door. No other talks, simply say: "My dear friend, you are great sadhu!" Although he may be rascal number one, still you call him: "He sadhava." "Yes, I am sadhu, yes. What is your proposal?" Then you say to him, "Kindly forget all nonsense that you have learned! That's all. I am flattering you because I want that you forget everything... All this yogis and this and that, meditation... Please, kick out all this!" "Then what, after this?" "Chaitanya candra carane kurutanuraga... Just adhere yourself to the lotus feet of Lord Chaitanya!" Then you become spiritual master. That's all. So, if you want to become recognized by Krishna very quickly, you take up this process of becoming spiritual master and present the Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, your life is perfect. Thank you very much!
Devotees: All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
Srila Prabhupada: Chant Hare Krishna!
(Devotees begin chanting and Srila Prabhupada stays for a few minutes
before rising and leaving the temple room. Kirtan continues and becomes
Text courtesy of http://www.vedabase.com Used with permission.
Srila Rupa Goswami's
Sri Janmastami Tithi:
Sripad Madhwacarya's Janmastami Tirthii: - Coming soon
Janmashtami abhisheka - Puranik version:
Advent of Lord Krishna
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Krsna Book:
Sweetest Description of Janmastami-lila from Ananda Vrindavan Champu by Srila Kavi Karnapura
THE APPEARANCE OF SRI KRISHNAFrom Kavi Karnapura's Ananda Vrindavana Campu, Second Chapter
Sri Gopala Campu Trtiyam Puranam
Krishna's Birthday Festival - Ananda Vrindavan Champu ch 8
The correct time of Lord Krishna's advent:
of Lord Krishna and His brother Balaram:
The Full pastimes as presented in Krsna-book:
Sri Krishnachandrastakam by Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Goswami
Sri Krishna Janmastami
Ekadasi Style Prasadam for Janmastami:
Nectar from Dik Darshini Tika of Hari Bhakti Vilas - Vaishnava Tantra on Janmastami:
Janmastami - Gokulastami (South India):
108 names of Sri Krishna for reciting in archana - mangal arati (depending where you come from):
Capturing some of the mood of Janmastami:
Nandotsav - the Jatakarma ceremony of Sri Krishna:
Concept of "Back to Godhead" magazine founded:
Visit Your Local Hare Krishna Temple
How to perform Personal Archana before the Deity for such events as Janmastami:
So we can understand from this there there are two separate instructions (i) for ekadasi (ii) for Gaura Purnima and Janmastami.
"So far the Advent Day of Lord Caitanya is concerned, I have written a full suggestion to Montreal, in which the main points are that we should all observe strict fasting up till moonrise, and at that time, an offering is made to Lord Caitanya of Ekadasi foods, fruits, peanuts, milk, and so forth. Then, on the next day, Friday the 15th, a full-scale feast is held to celebrate His Advent Day. On the 14th, chanting, reading of Srila Bhaktivinode's book, Life and Precepts and Caitanya Caritamrta, Introduction to Bhagavatam, may be held all the day in the Temple." (San Francisco, written 12th March 1968 letter to Balai)
"The injunction to fast on Ekädasi is especially meant for devotees; on Ekädasi there are no restrictions regarding food that may be offered to the Lord. Lord Sri Caitanya Mahäprabhu took the food of Lord Vishnu in His ecstasy as vishnu-tattva".(CC Adi-lila 10:71 purport.)
"Lord Caitanya's Appearance day falls on March 22 (1970), that is on a Sunday. The devotees should fast until evening, when there is a ceremony and offering of a small amount of Ekadasi preparations. The next day, the devotees should celebrate amongst themselves with a small scale feast. You may hold the celebration open to the public on the following Sunday. The preparation to be offered specially on this occasion is bhuni kichri: Fry equal parts dal and rice in ghee and massala. Add two times water as dal and rice, and add vegetables (if you use more ghee, use less water). Cook it until it is dried and the rice is soft."(Letter to Krishna dasa. 18th February 1970. Los Angeles.)
"P.S. No feasting in the evening of Caitanya's birthday. Fasting all day till evening moon rise. Then take Prasadam like Ekadasi. Next day you can have full swing feasting. On the birthday if can take a procession of Kirtana on the street it is very nice." (Post Script to Letter to Rayarama dasa. September. Unknown place unknown date Ref:91-05-14.)
"The Caitanya-bhägavata, Ädi-lilä, Chapter Six, fully describes the Lord’s accepting vishnu-prasäda on the Ekädasi day at the house of Jagadisha and Hiranya. Regular prasäda is offered to Lord Vishnu on Ekädasi because, while fasting is recommended for devotees on Ekädasi, it is not recommended for Lord Vishnu. Once on Ekädasi in the house of Jagadisha and Hiranya Pandita there were arrangements for preparing special prasäda for Lord Vishnu, and Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu asked His father to go there to ask for the vishnu-prasäda because He was feeling sick. The house of Jagadisha and Hiranya Pandita was situated about two miles from the house of Jagannätha Mishra. Therefore when Jagannätha Mishra, on the request of Shri Caitanya Mahäprabhu, came to ask Jagadisha and Hiranya for the prasäda, they were a little astonished. How could the boy understand that special prasäda was being prepared for Lord Vishnu? They immediately concluded that the boy Nimäi must have supernatural mystic power. Otherwise how could He understand that they were preparing special prasäda? Therefore they immediately sent the food to Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu through His father, Jagannätha Mishra. Nimäi was feeling sick, but immediately after eating the vishnu-prasäda He was cured, and He also distributed the prasäda among His playmates." (CC Adi-lila 14:39. purport)
The special Lila-vichitra pastimes of the Lord which are EXTRAORDINARY and not to be imitated.
If I may pose a question "If the Supreme Personality of Godhead came to you on ekadasi and gave you grains to eat what would you do???"
I for one would eat them right there on the spot, directly from the Lord's hand. Despite everything else, knowing who we are to take shelter of, just like His playmates did. (unfortunately it appears I will have to wait some time to test this case)
Adjusting the program for preaching
"You can take quotations from the above mentioned books, and have discussions.
Fasting should be continued up to evening, then you may have food like on Ekadasi, fruits, milk, etc. On the next day you may observe festival. Janardana consulted me and said he thinks Sunday feasting would be best, so you may do that if you like. Or you may do both days, as you feel best."(Letter to Mahapurush. 7th March 1968. Regarding Gaura Purnima)
"We performed Lord Caitanya's Birthday ceremony, not very gorgeously, but amongst ourselves, and Govinda dasi cooked very nice Ekadasi foodstuffs. The next day I expected some big ceremony but it couldn't be performed. (Letter to Purusottam. 6th March 1969. Hawaii)
"From the very beginning of His childhood life Shri Caitanya Mahäprabhu introduced the system of observing a fast on the Ekädasi day. In the Bhakti-sandarbha, by Shrila Jiva Gosvämi, there is a quotation from the Skanda Puräna admonishing that a person who eats grains on Ekädasi becomes a murderer of his mother, father, brother and spiritual master, and even if he is elevated to a Vaikuntha planet, he falls down. On Ekädasi, everything is cooked for Vishnu, including regular grains and dahi, but it is enjoined that a Vaishnava should not even take vishnu-prasäda on Ekädasi. It is said that a Vaishnava does not accept anything eatable that is not offered to Lord Vishnu, but on Ekädasi a Vaishnava should not touch even mahä-prasäda offered to Vishnu, although such prasäda may be kept for being eaten the next day. It is strictly forbidden for one to accept any kind of grain on Ekädasi, even if it is offered to Lord Vishnu." ( CC Adi-lia 15:19. purport.)
"Mother Saci said, “You have spoken
very nicely. I shall not eat grains on Ekädasi.” From that day, she
began to observe fasting on Ekädasi."(CC Adi-lila 15:10 text.)
"It is a prejudice amongst smärta-brähmanas that a widow must observe fasting on Ekädasi but a woman who has her husband should not. It appears that before the request of Lord Caitanya Sacimätä was not observing Ekädasi because of her being sa-dhava, which means that her husband was living. Shri Caitanya Mahäprabhu, however, introduced the system that a woman, even if not a widow, must observe the Ekädasi day and must not touch any kind of grains, even those offered to the Deity of Vishnu".(CC Adi-lia 15:10 purport.)
"Shri Caitanya Mahäprabhu’s pastime of fainting after eating betel nuts is a solid instruction to all of us that one should not touch betel nuts, even those offered to Vishnu, just as one should not touch grains on the Ekädasi day. Of course, Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu’s fainting had a particular purpose. As the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He can do whatever He likes and eat whatever He wants, but we should not imitate His pastimes." (CC Adi-lia 15:16 purport.)
"Devotee: On ekädasi,
we can offer the Deity grains?
Prabhupäda: Oh yes. But not guru. Ekädasi observed by jiva-tattva, not by Vishnu-tattva. We are fasting for clearing our material disease, but Rädhä-Krishna, Caitanya Mahäprabhu... Caitanya Mahäprabhu also may not be offered grains because He is playing the part of a devotee. Only Rädhä-Krishna, Jagannätha can be offered grains. Otherwise, Guru-Gauränga, no. And the prasädam should not be taken by anyone. It should be kept for next day." (Room Conversation. 22nd April 1972. Japan)
Prabhupäda: They are
strictly following Vaishnava principles. They... Whenever one comes to
become my disciple, the first condition is that no illicit sex; no meat-eating,
eggs, fish, nothing of the sort; no intoxication up to smoking cigarette,
drinking tea and coffee; and no gambling. So they strictly follow these
things. In our society, there is no tea-drinking even. We don’t drink tea.
So... Intoxication, päna, chäi päna, päna... Päna
Prabhupäda: Tämbüla. Yatra päpas catur-vidhä.
Guest: (Sanskrit or Hindi: Krshna is offered tämbüla in the temple.)
Prabhupäda: No, Krishna can take.
Guest: Yes. And that prasäda of Bhagavän Shri Krishna...
Guest: ...the devotees can take also...
Prabhupäda: No, prasädam, according to our principle... Just like on Ekädasi day, we do not accept even prasädam. Anna. We keep it. So prasädam... Just like on Ekädasi anna is prohibited, but not the Deity. Deity’s offered anna, but we cannot take the prasädam even. So following strictly the principle, even tämbüla is offered to Krishna, it is not for us. Yes. Strictly following the principle. The same example... Just like on Ekädasi day, anna is offered to Krishna, but we don’t take.
Guest: The devotees are not allowed.
Prabhupäda: Not allowed, yes.
Guest: I’m very grateful to have your darshana. Om namo näräyanäya.
Prabhupäda: Jaya. Hare Krishna. (end) (Room Conversation. 11th July 1973. London).
HIS DIVINE, EVER REVEALING, EVER LOVING GRACE SRILA PRABHUPAD KI JAYA!!!
Nectar from Hari
Bhakti Vilas Tika Dikdarshini Tika
of Sanatan Goswami and Gopal Bhatta Goswami on Janmastami:
BHADRE BHAGAVATO JANMA DINE KARYO MAHOTSAVAH
VISESENA MAHA PUJAM VRATA PURNENA VAISNAVAIH
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 15/246 from KALIKA PURANA Vyasadeva speaks)
One should perform a festival on the birthday of Lord Hari, which falls in Bhadrapada (August - September) month. It is the duty of all Vaisnavas to fast on these days and to do specific great worship of the Supreme Lord.
PRAHLADA ADAIS CA BHUPALAIH KRTA JANMASTAMI SUBHA
SRADDHAYA PARAYA VISNOH PRITAYE KRSNA VALLABHA
PRAJAPATY ARKSA SAMYUKTA SRAVANASYA ASITA ASTAMI
VARSE VARSE TU KARTAVYA TUSTY ARTHAM CAKRA-PANINAH
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 15/267,268 from SKANDA PURANA)
Great kings such as Prahlada had fasted on the most dear of day of Lord Sri Krsna named Janmastami, the birthday of Lord Krsna, to develop intense love for Krsna. One should certainly fast on such an auspicious day of Lord Krsna's birth named Krsnastami every year to please Lord Sri Krsna Who holds a disk in His hand.
YE NA KURVANTI JANANTAH KRSNA JANMA ASTAMI VRATAM
TE BHAVANTI MAHA PRAJNA VYALA MAHATI KANANE
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 15/275 from SKANDA PURANA)
Oh greatly intelligent, any person, even with knowledge of Krsna's birthday (Janmastami), who does not fast, he takes his next birth as a snake in a thick forest.
SAMPARKEN API YAH KURYAT KASCIT JANMASTAMI VRATAM
VISNU LOKAM AVAPNOTI SO'PI PARTHA NA SAMSAYAH
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 15/295 from SKANDA PURANA)
If someone fasts on Janmastami day, with devotion, he attains the abode of Lord Sri Visnu.
TASYAM VISNU TITHAU KECID DHANYAH KALIYUGE JANAH
YE'BHYARCAYANTI DEVESAM JAGRATAH SAMUPOSITAH
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 15/307 from BRAHMA PURANA Suta Gosvami speaks)
This day (Janmastami day) removes all kinds of sins. Specifically in Kali-yuga, if someone fasts on this day, remains awake overnight and worships Lord Sri Hari properly, those people are worshipable.
IDAM EVA PARAM SREYA IDAM EVA PARANTAPAH
IDAM EVA PARO DHARMO YAD VISNU VRATA DHARANAM
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 15/312 from BRAHMA PURANA)
Fasting on the day of Lord Hari is the most auspicious thing, the topmost austerity and the topmost meritorious action.
SAMPURNA CA ARDHARATRE TU ROHINI YADI LABHYATE
KARTAVYA SA PRAYATNENA PURVA VIDDHAM VIVARJAYET
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 15/370 from YAJNAVALKYA SMRTI)
If on the eighth day of the dark fortnight at midnight there is Rohini constellation, on that day one should fast, but if it is combined with the seventh day, it should be given up in all circumstances.
DVAU BHUTA SARGAU LOKE'SMIN DAIVA ASURA EVA CA
VISNU-BHAKTI PARO DAIVA ASURAS TAD VIPARYAYAH
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 15/396 from AGNI PURANA and VISNU DHARMA)
There are two kinds of living entities created. One is divine and the other is demonic. The devotees of the Supreme Lord Visnu are said to be divine personalities. Those who are not His devotees are addressed as demonic.
"Brahmananda: Oh, Bhavananda Maharaja, he knows. The astrologer
Bhavananda: Oh, Mr... In Svarup Ganj there's one big astrologer. So he saw your photograph, and he said, 'This is the face of the most powerful spiritual personality on the planet.'
Prabhupada: (laughs) Hare Krsna.
Brahmananda: Then what else?
Bhavananda: Then he said that, 'I can tell from his face that he can make a house in which the whole world can live peacefully.'
Devotees: Jaya Prabhupada!
Prabhupada: At least I desire so. (break) Where your preaching was going on?
Tamala Krsna: We were preaching in Berkeley, California. Our other parties are spread out all over the country. One party is in .....................!"(Morning Walk Conversation, A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. 1st. July 1975. Denver.)
Srila Prabhupada was born Abhay Charan De on September
1st 1896 in Calcutta, India. His father was Gour Mohan De, a cloth merchant,
and his mother was Rajani. His parents in accordance with Bengali tradition,
employed an astrologer to calculate the child's horoscope, and they were
made jubilant by the auspicious reading. The astrologer made a specific
prediction: When this child reaches the age of seventy, he would cross
the ocean, become a great exponent of religion, and open 108 temples.(Satswarupa
das Goswami. 1987. "Your Ever Well-wisher". page x.) It is noteworthy that
in that very same year, 1896, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura's book was accepted
into McGill University in Canada, a pilot light for preaching in the West.
When young Abhay had been unwilling to go to school, his father saw the humour in it, and always treated him kindly, and was lenient. His mother however, hired a man to escort young Abhay daily to school.
Gour Mohan De was also a pure hearted Vaisnava. He often
used to take young Abhay to the local Sri Radha-Govinda temple. Where young
Abhay was seen to be stood for many long hours offering prayers before
the Deity. "The Deity was so beautiful, with His slanted eyes".(A.C.Bhaktivedanta
Swami Prabhupada; Satswarupa das Goswami. 1987. "Your Ever Well-wisher".
As Abhay grew up he became more and more devoted to the Deity form of the Lord. He was especially enamoured with the Jagannatha Rathyatra festival that was held in Calcutta each year. Hearing and understanding the significance of the festival Abhay would sometimes check railway timetables to go to Jagannath Puri where Lord Caitanya personally attended some 500 years before. Every year a conservative estimated 5 million people attended the festival, this absorbed Abhay more in the mood of Rathyatra.
1901 (circa) Young Abhay conducts his very own first Rathayatra. His father making a small cart, three feet high with a canopy resembling closely the huge carts in Puri. all the local children and many adults would come. Abhay stood out as a leader even then, as he organised and engaged everyone, even many of the mothers were engaged by him in cooking, (especially his sister Bhavatarini), who all cooked special preparations to be offered and distributed as 'prasadam' at this Rathyatra festival.
At age 6, his father purchased upon his request, his own Radha-Govinda Deities. Seeing the family engaged from his birth, watching his father performing the 'puja' at home, and going regularly to see Radha-Govindaji, it was only natural. From this day on whatever foodstuffs were brought before him by his parents, he would first offer to Sri Radha-Govindaji, and then eat Their 'prasadam'. He also used to daily offer them a ghee lamp, and properly put Them to rest at night. Little is know of his adolescence.
During his college years his father arranged a marriage, selecting Radharani Datta as Abhay's bride. In 1918 they were married, but for several years Abhay lived with his family and Radharani with hers. This was to facilitate his finishing his college education. As it was recognised that the added responsibility of supporting a family is a challenge.
In his fourth year of college Abhay felt reluctant to accept his degree, a degree that was given by the British. He had become a sympathiser to the Nationalist case, which advocated 'National schools', Freedom from British Rule, and Self Government (Self Rule).
At the same school (Scottish Colleges) in the class one year ahead of Abhay was the highly spirited Nationalist Subhas Chandra Bose, who later became the leader of the Indian National Army formed to overthrow British Rule of India.
Abhay was attracted to the pure and simple teaching of Mohandas K. Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi). Who stood by the ancient pure principles of moral India, and regarded Bhagavad Gita above all other books. His personal habits too, and life-style were pure, as he lived a life as a saint, 'sadhu'. Abhay had seen many 'sadhus' and was not overly impressed. However, Gandhi had more integrity than most.
Gandhi called on all Indian students to rebel and give up British mundane, manipulative educations, that would ultimately bind one in slavery to the British Raj and would deny the Indian people of their freedom, religion, culture, and inevitably their country. The schools shaped the students, 'brainwashing' them to British Imperialism, teaching them the corrupted philosophies taught by the Christian Church funded Western Indologists shaping them for the control of generations to come.
Abhay weighed up the 'pros' and 'cons'. Abhay then rejected his diploma even after completing his fourth year and passing his examination. So doing he made his principled stand of protest in response to Gandhi's call.
When Gandhi called for a boycott of everything British and 'non-co-operation' after the British soldiers had gunned down hundreds of innocent, unarmed Indians who gathered at a peaceful rally at Jallainwalla Bagh, Abhay moved closer towards Gandhi's independence movement.
Abhay's father was somewhat disturbed for Abhay's future, but didn't resent his decision. More concerned for Abhay's future than Indian politics Gour Mohan De arranged employment for Abhay through a prominent friend, distinguished surgeon, and chemical industrialist, a Dr Kartick Chandra Bose. Dr Bose gladly accepted Abhay as his department manager in his firm.
1921 His wife gave birth to the first son and child, while she was just 14 years old (A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. June 8th 1974. Morning walk conversation. Geneva, Switzerland.).
1922 marked the first meeting of Abhay with his spiritual master. Some of Abhay Charan's friends were going to see a 'sadhu' who was preaching in Calcutta, a descendant in the Brahma Madhwa Gaudiya line coming through Bhaktivinoda Thakur, his father none less. The 'Scottish School' educated, and prestigious leader of his group of friends, was asked to come along too. At his family home Abhay Charan De had seen so many 'sadhus' come, his father a pure devotee of the Lord, would daily invite 'sadhus' to his house for 'prasadam', and as a general feeling Abhay was not overly impressed with what he saw. His friends knowing his devotion, learning and expectations, valued his opinion, and so insisted that he come and see Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami. Abhay was reluctant, but his friends wanted his approval. So Abhay conceded to go.
"No sooner did Abhay and his friends respectfully bow before the saintly person and prepare to sit than he said to them, 'You are educated young men. Why don't you preach Lord Caitanya's message throughout the whole world?' "(Satswarupa das Goswami. 1987. Your Ever Well Wisher. page xvi.)
Abhay was surprised that the 'sadhu' had asked immediately for them to become preachers on his behalf. Impressed by Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakura he wanted to test him with intelligent inquiries"(Satswarupa das Goswami. 1987. You Ever Well-wisher. page xvi.)
Khadi clad, Abhay asked, "Who will hear your Caitanya's message? We are a dependent country. First India must become independent. How can we spread India's culture if we are under British rule?"
Note that he never objected to the concept of spreading Lord Caitanya's mission, his concern was with the apparent obstacles that stood in the way.
Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati dispelled any thought of potential obstacles saying that Krsna consciousness didn't have to wait for a change in Indian Politics, nor was it dependent on who ruled. Krsna consciousness could not be impaired by anyone or anything, it is so important that it could not wait. Therefore you must do it.
Abhay was struck by his boldness. He brushed all temporal material miseries and condions aside, leaving the only worthwhile and factual conclusion and solution to all material difficulties, Krsna consciousness.
In a very short time Abhay was convinced, "He's wonderful!" Abhay said to his friend, "The message of Lord Caitanya is in the hands of a very expert person"(Satswarupa das Goswami. 1987. "Your Ever Well-wisher", page xvii.) It was that very night that in his heart young Abhay accepted Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupada as his spiritual master(Satswarupa das Goswami. 1987. "Your Ever Well-wisher", page xvii-xviii.).
In 1925 Abhay Charan De first visits Sri Vrindavan, the Holy place of Lord Sri Krsna's pastimes.
For business purposes, Abhay and his wife and family moved
to Allahabad. As a pharmaceutical salesman, Abhay did a lot of travelling
by rail, especially in North India.
By now Abhay Charan had developed a strong relationship with Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupad, to the point where he requested formal spiritual initiation. On November 21st 1932., in the Gaudiya Math in Allahabad Abhay Charan De receives 'diksha' initiation.
Abhay tried to organise to visit his spiritual master but whenever he visited Calcutta Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati was not there. Unlike many of his other disciples Abhay was thus unable to travel and spend time with his spiritual master. Consequently over the next four years they only met about a dozen times.
When finally they did meet Abhay Charanaravinda das took every opportunity to hear from Srila Bhaktisiddhanta. "Although Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati was so strong in argument against other philosophies that even his own disciples were cautious about approaching him if he were sitting alone, and although Abhay's contact with him was quite limited, still Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati would always treat him very kindly. Srila Prabhupada would later recall, "....sometimes my Godbrothers would criticise because I would talk a little freely with him, and they would quote this English saying, 'Fools rush in, where angels fear to tread'. But I would think, 'Fool? Well, maybe. But that is the way I am'. My Guru Maharaj was always very, very affectionate to me"(Satswarupa das Goswami. 1987. "Your Ever Well-wisher", page xx.)
1935 on the occasion of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati's 62nd birthday Abhay submitted a poem and an essay at as meeting of his Godbrothers in Bombay. The articles were well received and duly published in the 'Harmonist' for which Abhay was informally daubed 'kavi' (learned poet) by his Godbrothers. Abhay's real pleasure in his offering was when it reached Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati, who in particular liked one stanza and showed it to all his guests:
Absolute is sentient
Thou hast proved,
though has removed.
Later Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati said to the editor of the 'Harmonist', "Whatever he writes, publish it!"
That year (1935) held one of the most significant meetings with his spiritual master in Vrindavan. Once when Abhay Charanaravinda das was walking with Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati and several other disciples, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati began talking confidentially to Abhay Charan das. the conversation was in regard to some senior disciples quarrelling over who would use various rooms and facilities at the Gaudiya Math headquarters in Calcutta (Bagh Bazaar). Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati said to Abhay Charan' if they are quarrelling now what will they do after their spiritual master passes away? Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati was distressed. He said to Abhay Charan' "There will be fire.......!" One day there would be fire in the Calcutta Gaudiya Math, and that fire of party interest would spread and destroy. Abhay Charan' heard, but didn't know what to make of it. "It would be better, to take the marble from the walls of the temple to secure money. If I could do this and print books, that would be better," said Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati.
Then Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati said directly to Abhay Charan, "I have a desire to print some books. If you ever get money print books".(Satswarupa das Goswami. 1987. "Your Ever Well-wisher", page xxi.)
"Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupad departed from this mortal world in December 1936. One month before his departure Abhay Charan wrote him a letter. He was thinking that as householder, 'grhastha' he couldn't fully serve his spiritual master, and he wanted to know what to do. Thus he inquired, "Is there any particular service I can do?"
Two weeks later Abhay Charan received a reply: "I am fully confident that you can explain in English our thoughts and arguments to the people who are not conversant with the languages Bengali & Hindi.....this will do much good to yourself as well as your audience. I have every hope that you can turn yourself into a very good English preacher."(Satswarupa das Goswami. 1987. "Your Ever Well-wisher", page xxi.) Accepting this as his confirmation of his mission Abhay Charan began to further mould his life.
"The fire in the math", mentioned by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati broke out almost immediately after his disappearance. Legal disputes followed and the mission as propounded by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati, was spoiled.
Srila A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad lets his feelings be felt in the following purports:
"In the beginning, during the presence of Om Visnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajakacarya Astottara-sata Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada, all the disciples worked in agreement; but just after his disappearance, they disagreed. One party strictly followed the instructions of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, but another group created their own concoction about executing his desires. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, at the time of his departure, requested all his disciples to form a governing body and conduct missionary activities cooperatively. He did not instruct a particular man to become the next 'acarya'. But just after his passing away, his leading secretaries made plans, without authority, to occupy the post of 'acarya', and they split in two factions over who the next acarya would be. Consequently, both factions were 'asara', or useless, because they had no authority, having disobeyed the order of the spiritual master. Despite the spiritual master's order to form a governing body and execute the missionary activities of the Gaudiya Matha, the two unauthorised factions began litigation that is still going on after forty years with no decision.
"Therefore, we do not belong to any faction. But because the two parties, busy dividing the material assets of the Gaudiya Matha institution, stopped the preaching work, we took up the mission of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura and Bhaktivinoda Thakura to preach the cult of Caitanya Mahaprabhu all over the world, under the protection of all the predecessor 'acaryas', and we find that our humble attempt has been successful. We followed the principles especially explained by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura in his commentary on the Bhagavad Gita verse 'vyavasayatmika buddhir ekeha kuru-nandana'. According to this instruction of Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, it is the duty of a disciple to follow strictly the orders of his spiritual master. The secret of success in advancement in spiritual life is the firm faith of the disciple in the orders of his spiritual master. The Vedas confirm this:
'To one who has staunch faith in the words of the spiritual master and the words of the Supreme Personality of Godhead the secret of success in Vedic knowledge is revealed'. The Krsna consciousness movement is being propagated according to this principle, and therefore our preaching work is going on successfully, in spite of the many impediments offered by antagonistic demons, because we are getting positive help from our previous 'acaryas'. One must judge every action by its result. The members of the self-appointed 'acaryas' party who occupied the property of the Gaudiya Matha are satisfied, but they could make no progress in preaching. Therefore by the result of their actions one should know that they are 'asara', or useless, whereas the success of the ISKCON party, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, which strictly follows 'guru' and Gauranga, is increasing daily all over the world. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura wanted to print as many books as possible and distribute them all over the world. We have tried our best in this connection, and we are getting results beyond our expectations."(A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada; Sri Caitanya Caritamrta Adi lila 12:8. purport.)yasya deve para bhaktir
yatha deve tatha gurau
tasyaite kathita hy arthah
asarera name ihan nahi prayoiana
bheda janibare kari ekatra ganana
"There is no need to name those who are useless. I have mentioned them only to distinguish them from the useful devotees."(Sri Caitanya Caritamrta Adi lila 12:11. text.)
dhanya-rasi mape yaiche patna sahite
pascate patna udana samskara karite
"Paddy is mixed with straw at first, and one must fan
it to separate the paddy from the straw."(Sri Caitanya Caritamrta Adi Lila
"This example given by Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami is very appropriate. In the case of the Gaudiya Matha members, one can apply a similar process. There are many disciples of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, but to judge who is actually his disciple, to divide the useful from the useless, one must measure the activities of such disciples in executing the will of the spiritual master. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura tried his best to spread the cult of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to countries outside India. When he was present he patronised the disciples to go outside India to preach the cult of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, but they were unsuccessful because within their minds they were not actually serious about preaching His cult in foreign countries; they simply wanted to take credit for having gone to foreign lands and utilise this recognition in India by advertising themselves as repatriated preachers. Many 'swamis' have adopted this hypocritical means of preaching for the last eighty years or more, but no one could preach the real cult of Krsna consciousness all over the world. They merely came back to India falsely advertising that they had converted all the foreigners to the ideas of Vedanta or Krsna consciousness, and then they collected funds in India and lived satisfied lives of material comfort. As one fans paddy to separate the real paddy from useless straw, by accepting the criterion recommended by Krsnadasa Kaviraja Goswami one can very easily understand who is a genuine world-preacher and who is useless."(A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada; Sri Caitanya Caritamrta Adi Lila 12:12. purport.).
1939 Abhay Charan prabhu in recognition for his devotional scholarship receives the honorary title 'Bhaktivedanta' from the Gaudiya Matha.
February 1944 A.C. Bhaktivedanta begins the 'Back to Godhead
magazine', an English fortnightly magazine, single handedly. Srila Prabhupada
edited it, typed the manuscripts, checked the galley proofs, and even distributed
the individual copies.
Indian independence in 1947 was followed by the horrors of 'Indo-Pak' fighting. Hundreds of thousands died in the fighting that followed 'partition' of the land into India and Pakistan. Abhay Charan' always remained in spiritual prospectus, reflecting Srila Prabhupada recalls, "We have seen in 1947, Hindu-Muslim fighting. One party was Hindu, the other party was Muslim. They fought, and so many died. And after death there was no distinction who was Hindu or who was Muslim - the municipal men gathered the bodies together in piles to throw them somewhere".(Satswarupa das Goswami. 1987. "Your Ever Well-Wisher", page xxiii.)
In regard to the problem Abhay Charan das presented a solution in BTG (Back to Godhead Magazine), in his article "Gandhi-Jinnah Talks", he wrote, "Fighting will go on between Hindu and Mohammedan, between Christian and Christian, between Buddhist and Buddhist 'till the day of annihilation".(Satswarupa das Goswami. 1987. "Your Ever Well-Wisher", page xxii.) As long as people forget their purpose in life and relationship with God and each other out of selfish material interests and desires for sense gratification, they will continue fighting. "Real unity was possible only on the platform of spiritual understanding and service to the Supreme".(Satswarupa das Goswami. 1987. "Your Ever Well-Wisher", page xxii.)
On December 7th 1947 Abhay Charan' wrote a long letter to Gandhi in New Delhi. Having doubts that Gandhi would ever receive it Abhay Charan addressing himself as Gandhi's "Unknown Friend", he wrote, "I tell you as a sincere friend that you must immediately retire from active politics if you do not desire to die an inglorious death". Abhay Charan never received a reply, and on 30th January 1948 Gandhi was shot to death, his letter appearing as a prophecy.
For the next few years Abhay Charan put less and less
energy into business and more and more into writing and preaching.
Abhay Charan was invited to speak at the Gita Mandir in Jhansi by a colleague he had met as a customer at the Jhansi hospital. The audience was mostly students and professionals, who were mostly interested in social and cultural mental titillation. Many speakers came and went. But Abhay Charan was visionary and ambitious, and leaving his Allahabad business affairs in the hands of his son, he tried to start a spiritual movement there in Jhansi. This was "The League of Devotees".
1950 he retired from family life, adopting the 'ashrama' of 'vanaprastha' (retired). He was far from retirement in actuality. Now he dedicated his energy into study and writing.
In 1953 initiates his first disciple in that centre in
Jhansi, Acarya dasa.
Starts his own centre in Jhansi, to which the Grand Opening for 'The League of devotees' was on May 16th.
The 1950's were a difficult time for Abhay Charan. He had to leave his "League if Devotees" building because the governor's wife insisted it be used for a "Ladies Club". With no place to stay and no real support, he left Jhansi - but not his plan for a world wide association of devotees. He moved around from an 'ashram' in Delhi, stayed with different Godbrothers, now he knew he was on his own. He lived like a mendicant, staying here and there for a week at a time in various temples or in the homes of the wealthy pious people who would receive him. These difficult times of no money, simple clothing, little proper food, etc., made him more resourceful. He took these difficulties as assets(Satswarupa das Goswami. 1987. "Your Ever Well-Wisher", page xxix.) Not so much in material terms, but in term of what it did for his faith. He had no-one, he was alone. Rejected by family and friends as a material failure his only solace was the mission of his spiritual master.
To fulfil this mission he approached many prominent personalities including Dr Rajendra Prasad, the President of India a that time, but received no reply.
In September of 1956., Abhay Charan moves to Sri Vrindavan
Dham eighty miles south of Delhi to begin an intensive preparation and
study to embark on his life's mission. His plan was to draw enough energy
from the well of spiritual purity and energy of Sri Vrindavan Dham, write
in the tranquil atmosphere and then commute to Delhi to distribute his
literature and seek donations from respected persons.
Having full faith in guru and Krsna, always expecting their mercy, daily Abhay Charan pushed on even in the 60 degree Centigrade heat of the Vrndavana and Delhi summers. Living simply, in an inexpensive room in the Vamsi-Gopalji Temple, located on the bank of the sacred Yamuna River, he entered into a special mood, and quality of Vrindavan life.
It was very difficult, commuting to Delhi on the early morning train, but having nowhere to stay, returning to Vrindavan the same night. It didn't leave but a few hours in Delhi, and everything was so expensive, for one on a budget of next to nothing. Yet he continued, travelling, printing and mailing. After producing 12 consecutive fortnightly editions of "Back To Godhead" Abhay Charan ran out of money. The printer told him that he couldn't print simply out of friendship, and so there was no more publication. Abhay Charan continued writing, building up a stock-pile of preaching materials, but the plan for publication was distant.
After many years of struggle to support and maintain his family, finally in 1954., A.C. Bhaktivedanta prabhu leaves his family to dedicate his life to the mission of fulfilling the order of his spiritual master.
He ventured again to preach in Delhi. Resolute in his definite major purpose A.C.Bhaktivedanta prabhu sat in his Chippiwada temple (Delhi) typing by day and night in order to present Srimad Bhagavatam faithful to the Vedanta Sutra of Vyasa, and with purports to affect the stone like hearts of the misdirected civilisation presently inhabiting the Earth. Srila A.C.Bhaktivedanta prabhu carefully and thoughtfully with exacting care and concentration worked quickly to this end.
After some time moved to the Radha-Damodar Temple in town.
There he would eat, sleep and write in his humble rooms overlooking the
courtyard at the Sri Sri Radha-Damodara Temple, where the six Goswamis,
four hundred years previously, would sit and take 'prasadam' and discuss
Vaisnava philosophy and the loving pastimes of Sri Radha Krsna in the presence
of Lord Caitanya. At this sacred place, the home of Gaudiya Vaisnavism,
Srila Prabhupada, by the mercy of the 'parampara', became surcharged. His
conviction, and mission to write and preach becomes more apparent, with
much deep reflection upon his role, and the method by which he would fulfil
Living at the historic Sri Radha-Damodar temple in Vrindavana he began his monumental 'life's masterpiece' the multi volume commentated translation of the eighteen thousand verse Srimad Bhagavatam (Maha-Bhagavat Purana)
Reflective, and in a renounced and solitary mood, Abhay Charan Bhaktivedanta prabhu composed a Bengali poem, entitled, "Vrindavan Bhajan". Its opening stanzas were especially self-reflective and personal:
Verse 1. "I am sitting alone in Vrindavana Dham. In this
mood I am getting many realisations. I have wife, sons, daughters, grandsons,
everything. But I have no money, so they are a fruitless glory. Krsna has
sown me the naked form of material nature; By His strength it has all become
tasteless to me today, 'yasyaham anugrhnami harishye tad-dhanam shanaih'
"I gradually take away all the wealth of those upon whom I am merciful".
How was I able to understand this mercy of the All Merciful?
Verse 2. "Everyone has abandoned me, seeing me penniless wife, relatives, friends, brothers, everyone. this is misery, but it gives me a good laugh. I sit alone and laugh!
In this 'Maya samsara', whom do I really love?
Where have my loving father and mother gone now?
And where are all my elders, who were my own folk?
Who will give me news of them, tell me who?
all that is left of this family life is a list of names.(Satswarupa das Goswami. 1987. "Your Ever Well-Wisher", page xxxi.).
Soon after this realisation Abhay Charan Bhaktivedanta
prabhu had a striking repetitive dream, one that he had as a householder.
In the dream his spiritual master appeared, just as he knew him, a tall,
scholarly 'sannyasi', 'Vaikuntha man', the pure representative of the Lord.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur indicated to Abhay Charan that it
is time now to take 'sannyasa'. Repeatedly he called and motioned to the
cloth. He was definitely asking Abhay Charan to take to the 'sannyasa'
When Abhay Charan awoke he pondered carefully the dream. "Abhay Charan dasa reasoned that his spiritual master was saying 'now take sannyasa and you will actually be able to accomplish this mission. Formerly the time was not right'."(Satswarupa dasa Goswami. 1987. "Your Ever Well-Wisher", page xxxiv.)
Humbly Abhay Charan (Bhaktivedanta prabhu) although apprehensive, approached his senior godbrother, Srila Bhakti Prajna Keshava Maharaj in Mathura, who stressed that Abhay Charan take 'sannyasam' immediately.
In the Autumn of 1959, "Srila Prabhupada was living in
Sri Vrindavan Dham and would sometimes practice 'madhukari'. 'Madhukari'
means to collect a little food door-to-door for one's maintenance just
as a bee collects a little pollen flower-to-flower. Sri Prabhupada, however,
often requested the householders whom he called upon to give pen and paper
for his writing rather than the rice, dahl, and chapattis traditionally
sought by holy men practicing 'madhukari'.
On those papers that he received as alms, Srila Prabhupada wrote page after page, preparing his messages of Godhead for the world. Some of his manuscripts he published in his 'Back to Godhead Magazine', and others, like 'Easy Journey to Other Planets', he printed as small booklets. Although unable to publish everything he wrote, Srila Prabhupada nevertheless continued to write and stockpile his manuscripts. Unfortunately, some of the early writings of His Divine Grace were lost after Srila Prabhupada left Sri Vrindavan Dham to conduct his worldwide campaign of spreading Krsna consciousness."(J.G. Bhaktigaurava Narasingha Swami. 1993. Introduction to 'In Search of the Ultimate Goal of Life'. page xv.)
Following the mood of the day, acknowledging the world struggle and control between the 'post war super powers' for the 'uncharted, unknown realm of space', and understanding the mentality of the people of the day A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami publishes his first book 'Easy journey to other planets' in Delhi in the autumn of 1960.
As a culmination of many years of study, reflection, meditation,
discussion, and thought A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami publishes Canto One, Volume
One of Srimad Bhagavatam a commentary with super condensed, compacted purports
which were the crystallised product of a life times study and realisation.
From his small room at the Radha-Damodar temple, where he would prepare his meals, and rest he could see the 'samadhi' of Srila Rupa Goswami and the Deities that he installed there. Bhaktivedanta Swami prayed there, at the feet of Rupa Goswami, his predecessor for guidance. what he received in return, the inspiration, intimate direction, was like the scribe Ganesh who wrote on Srila Vyasadeva's behalf as Vyasa dictated to him.
In 1962, with his Srimad Bhagavatam now published he personally travelled, preached its glories, and sold copies. Using favourable reviews from prominent persons like; Hanuman Prasad Poddar (Gita Press - Gorakpur), Hindu philosopher Dr Radhakrishnan, the prestigious 'Adyar Library Bulletin', Scholarly Godrothers, Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, Dr Zakir Hussain - the Vice President of India, Sri Biswanatha Das - governor of Uttar Pradesh, as his advertisements. Bhaktivedanta Swami visited prospective donors as he tried to raise funds for further volumes. To publish the first canto in three volumes it had thus taken a little more than two years.
Now he turned his attention to preaching in the West.
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami was 69 years of age. He had treasured, nurtured and developed the instruction from his spiritual master some forty years. It seemed a long cultivation and preparation. As Satswarupa das Goswami so nicely calls his biography on Srila Prabhupada's first volume "A life-time in preparation", preparing to plant the seeds.
"In Vrindavan Bhaktivedanta Swami met Mr Agarwal, a Mathura
businessman, and mentioned to him on passing, as he did to almost everyone
he met, that he wanted to go to the West. although Mr Agarwal had known
Bhaktivedanta Swami for only a few minutes, he volunteered to try to get
him a sponsor in America by asking his son Gopal, an engineer in Pennsylvania,
to send back a sponsorship form. When Mr Agarwal volunteered to help in
this way, Bhaktivedanta Swami urged him to please do so"(Satswarupa das
Goswami. 1987. "Your Ever Well-Wisher", page xxxviii.)
Meanwhile A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami went about his daily affairs following his usual avenues of book selling, looking for whatever opportunity might arise.
Then one day to his pleasure and surprise, he was contacted by the Ministry of External Affairs and informed that a certificate of 'No Objection' for travelling to the U.S was ready. Mr Gopal Agarwal of Butler Pennsylvania had solemnly declared that he would bear any and all expenses of Bhaktivedanta Swami during his stay in the United States.
With newly acquired passport, visa, 'P-form', sponsor,
and travel fare A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami travelled to Bombay to seek assistance
in getting to America. He approached Srimati Sumati Morarji, head of the
Scindia Steamship Line, who had previously helped him with a large donation
for printing volume two of Srimad Bhagavatam.
Concerned to his health and welfare Sumati Morarji said, "no" to his request for assistance.
Bhaktivedanta Swami coaxed her secretary Mr Choksi, advising
him in exactly what to say; "I find this gentleman very inspired to go
to the States and preach Lord Krishna's message to the people there....."
again she said, "no". He demanded a personal interview, which he got, and
then presented his single minded emphatic request; "Please give me one
Finally she conceded and gave him a scheduled place on the ship Jaladuta, which was sailing from Calcutta on 13th August 1965. She made all the arrangements, making sure that he would travel on a ship whose captain understood the needs of a vegetarian and a 'brahmana'. She organised that the captain, Arun Pandia carry extra vegetables and fruits for Bhaktivedanta Swami.
A couple of days before the ship was to sail Bhaktivedanta
Swami arrived in Calcutta. Although he had spent so much of his early life
growing up there and had known so many persons as in his poem, now he knew
Staying with a slight acquaintance, and on the day before his departure, travelling north to Mayapur to visit the 'samadhi' tomb of his spiritual master Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura Prabhupada to ask for his blessings. Now he was ready.
His main baggage was several trunks, two hundred three volume sets of first canto Srimad Bhagavatam, his personal baggage a small suit-case, an umbrella, and a supply of dry cereal in case he couldn't find food in the land of the meat eaters. If that be the case, he was prepared to live on boiled potatoes and the cereal he brought with him.
On Friday August 13th 1965., at 9:00 am., he sets sail
for America aboard the steamship 'Jaladuta'. By Saturday 14th., Bhaktivedanta
Swami experienced seasickness, dizziness, vomiting as they moved slowly
in heavy rains through the Bay of Bengal.
Reaching Colombo, Sri Lanka on 19th., Bhaktivedanta Swami was able to go ashore and get some relief from his seasickness. A diary is recorded of the exact route in Satswarupa das Goswami's books in the chapter "Struggling Alone"(Satswarupa das Goswami. 1987. "Your Ever Well-Wisher", pages 1-3.)
After experiencing sea-sickness from the Atlantic crossing,
in rough seas, and in mid-Atlantic, and at the advanced age of 63 years
of age A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami suffers two heart attacks. "If a third
comes I will not survive!"
That night in a dream the Lord appeared to him in a boat full of many incarnations, and assured the dedicated mendicant that He will protect him.
Sri Krsna was very kind to Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, and he appreciated that. In his diary he wrote, "If the Atlantic would have shown its usual face, perhaps I would have died. But Lord Krishna has taken charge of the ship".
After a 35 day journey from Calcutta the Jaladuta docked
at Commonwealth pier at 5:30 am., September 17th 1965., the ship docks
in Boston, United States of America, stopping briefly before pushing on
to New York City Harbour, for A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami a new journey had
The Captain made comments to the effect that, this had been the calmest of all the Atlantic crossings that he had ever been on, and light heartedly, yet with regard for his health, asked Bhaktivedanta Swami if he would return with him to ensure another safe trip.
With only forty Rupees, and an Indian steel trunk full of Srimad Bhagavatams, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami set his sights for creating a movement that would have the effect of changing the world that we live in so many ways.
Unlike many Indians who had gone before him and come to
the West, he had not come to receive from the West, but had come to give
to the West!
He was staunch. In an uncompromised manner, with shaven head, 'Vaishnava tilak', Tulasi neck beads, saffron 'dhoti', 'kurta', 'uttara' and an old 'chaddar' - shawl; and rubber pointed slippers, all not uncommon for 'sadhus' in India. But who in America had ever dreamed of seeing anyone dressed in the traditional Vaisnava way? "He was possibly the first 'Vaisnava sannyasi' to arrive in New York with uncompromising appearance"(Satswarupa dasa Goswami. 1987. "Your Ever Well-Wisher", page 5.)
Srila Prabhupada recalls, "I did not know whether to turn
left or right"(Satswarupa das Goswami. 1987. "Your Ever Well-Wisher", page
5.) After passing through the dockyard formalities he was met by a representative
from travellers aid, sent by the Agarwals' in Butler Pennsylvania.
He stayed there for a while, always meditating on how best to preach. With a burning desire to start his preaching movement he got Gopal Agarwal to take him to Pittsburg where he got a bus for New York City.
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami knew no-one in New york, he only had a contact: Dr Ramamurthi Mishra. Dr Mishra was a flamboyant, dramatic personality. Bhaktivedanta Swami was given a room at his apartment, but when it became inconvenient he shifted Bhaktivedanta Swami down to his Hatha Yoga studio near Central Park. Bhaktivedanta Swami stayed there for a short time, but found himself constantly at odds with Mishra who turned out to be a 'mayavadi'.
In Butler he had been confined by the Agarwals' middle class sensibilities; now due to having to be temporarily dependent on the good will of a 'mayavadi' - treated with kindness, yet viewed as a threat. Dr Mishra tried desperately hard to keep his 'yoga' students away from the personalistic philosophy emanating from Bhaktivedanta Swami's mouth.
November 8th., 1965., Bhaktivedanta Swami wrote to his
godbrother Tirtha Maharaj, who had become president of the Gaudiya Math.
He tried to urge his godbrothers to come and help him, or at least send
a couple of men he could work with, preach with and open a centre with.
Three weeks later a reply came from Tirtha Maharaj, unfortunately today, I think for him, Tirtha Maharaj's letter was a very polite yet to the point, ".....that the Gaudiya Math's funds could not be used to open a centre in New York".
That didn't deter him in the least, his faith in the mission of his guru maharaj was firm, he knew what he wanted and knew that all he had to do was be willing to follow the design of the Lord. the practical example of Arjuna was there in the forefront of his mind, trusting that the battle was in fact already won, the humble follower of this ageless tradition now stood up proudly amidst numerous potential foes and declared the battle won. Proof of the foresight of his faith, like one who puts faith in the darkness of the early morning, knowing that light of day will appear, he revealed his mind to those he met, who he found worthy.
"In his solitary wanderings in Manhattan, Bhaktivedanta
Swami made acquaintances with a number of local people. there was Mr Ruben,
a Turkish Jew, who worked as a subway conductor. Mr Ruben met Bhaktivedanta
Swami on a park bench and, being a sociable fellow and a world traveller,
sat and talked with the Indian holy Man.
Mr Ruben: He seemed to know that he would have temples filled with devotees. He would look out and say, 'I am not a poor man, I am rich. There are temples and books, they are existing, they are there, but time is separating us from them'. He always mentioned 'we' and spoke about the one who sent him, his spiritual master. He didn't know people at that time, but he said, 'I am never alone'. He always looked like a lonely man to me. That's what made me think of him like a holy man, Elijah, who always went out alone. I don't believe he had any followers."(Satswarupa dasa Goswami. 1987. "Your Ever Well-Wisher", page 14.)
Even in the severest conditions of blizzards and snow
Bhaktivedanta Swami worked on his "Krsna Book", Srimad Bhagavatam, preached
from Bhagavad Gita and offered his food to the Lord.
15th February 1965., Bhaktivedanta Swami moved from Dr Mishra's 'yoga' studio to an place of his own, a small narrow office without furniture or telephone. Sleeping on the floor on blankets, and a makeshift desk for writing made by covering a trunk with a cloth. There were no bathing or cooking facility so he travelled up two flights to use Dr Mishra's 'Yoga Ashram'. Now Bhaktivedanta Swami maintained himself simply by selling his books to who ever he met that was interested.
Even in this bare room Bhaktivedanta Swami began to preach. On a donated reel to reel tape recorder he recorded some of his solitary 'bhajans', accompanying himself on 'karatals' (hand cymbals). He even recorded a long philosophical essay, "Introduction to Gitopanishad (Bhagavad Gita)". Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati had told him, "...and even if no one attends, you can go on chanting to the four walls". Now uninhibited by those around him, and free to speak, Bhaktivedanta Swami began lectures Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays to whoever would come. His first audience were Dr Mishra's students that he had preached to at their 'ashram'. But news soon spread like fire in the Lower East Side of New York, the time was right and so were the people.
After having his typewriter and tape recorder stolen,
disappointed, Bhaktivedanta Swami moved to the Bowery to be where the people
were, and where he was offered accommodation in a loft.
The classes continued, and the musicians of the area came to chant along with Bhaktivedanta Swami, as long as they chanted 'Hare Krishna' he didn't mind.
But alas the nature of the Bowery's drug using population convinced Bhaktivedanta Swami that as he was warned, the Bowery was unsafe for a gentleman such as he.
Gaining assistance from some of his students Bhaktivedanta Swami stayed with Carl Yeargens and his wife Eva, until Michael Grant and Carl helped him to find a store front, a former gift shop on 26 - 2nd Avenue, called "Matchless Gifts". The rent was $71 a month and including bond, electricity etc., it came to $196 to move in. Carl, Mike and some of the others pitched in and Bhaktivedanta Swami was able to move in.
The apartment was painted, electricity connected, water turned on, and a phone installed - everything paid for by his friends.
The musicians and people of the Bowery considered Bhaktivedanta
Swami "Highly Evolved", and felt inspired when it was time to move him
into his new place. He was pleased to be there too, and seeing things slowly
but surely coming together encouraged the mission of his spiritual master
to keep going on.
The time was right, things were radically changing in the west. The youth were looking for the positive alternative, something to give lasting peace after decades of war.
Now finding himself strategically placed by the Lord ready to receive the influx of potential spiritual seekers, who had come from all over the U.S. to descend on the Lower East Side, "Which in the parlance of the renting agents became known as the 'East Village'."(Satswarupa dasa Goswami. 1987. "Your Ever Well-Wisher", page 34.) Their search was unlike other immigrants to the area, their's was a search not for work or acceptance by material society. Their's was a search to find real love, real peace, real existence, integrity, and ultimately real spiritual consciousness. They had rebelled against the war in Vietnam, political manipulation, T.V. propaganda, the trivia, and mundane advertising, and influence of the media - in fact they rebelled against everything that the ephemeral goals of 'middle class America' whence they came stood for. "They were disillusioned by parents, teachers, clergy, public leaders, and the media -- they were just right for spiritual life."(Satswarup das Goswami. 1987. "Your Ever Well-Wisher", page 34.) Sometimes, with his usual visionary and humble outlook, he would declare that they had been placed there by his 'guru maharaj' to assist with his preaching.
With complete disregard for his own safety he went to
a place that Vaisnavas normally find distasteful, the most materially successful
place, but a land of passion and ignorance, beset with crazy misguided
youth and demoniac scientists, and where intoxication, illicit sex, and
cow killing were a way of life. Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, at an age
when most elderly gentlemen would be thinking of rest and retirement, started
a revolution that has, without any doubt, changed the face of the earth.
"Following in the lotus footsteps of the great 'rshis' [we shall cross], he has crossed over the impassable ocean of the material existence by means of devotion to the Supreme Lord and by the transcendental service of Lord Mukunda, the Lord of liberation."aitam sa asthaya paratmanistha madhyasitam purvatamairmaharsibhih
aham tarisyami durantaparam tamo mukundanghri nisevayaiva
The pure unalloyed Vaisnavas like Srila Prabhupada always
act in a way that is pleasing to the Lord and in no other way, as in the
case of Lord Caitanya's servant, who, after Lord Caitanya fell asleep across
the doorway of the room, stepped over His body to perform devotional service
for the Lord. Upon Lord Caitanya's waking he saw that His dear servant
was still in the room and had not taken his meal. Lord Caitanya enquired
why he had not gone for his meal, and the devotee replied that he couldn't
as You, the Lord were sleeping, blocking the door. The Lord further enquired
saying, "How then did you enter the room?" The devotee replied that,
"I had stepped over You so I could do some service for You, but for my
service, service of my tongue and belly, I could not cross over You as
this would be an offence." There are many stories like this in the Srimad
Bhagavatam. One story relates how, at one time, Lord Sri Krsna played the
part of having a headache. He stated that the only medicine was to take
the dust from the lotus feet of the 'brahmanas', and so approached the
'brahmanas' in that way. Thinking for their own welfare and not for Krsna's,
they all said that if they were to allow the Supreme Lord to take their
feet on His head, they would all go to hell, never to return. However,
when Krsna approached the 'gopis', the simple cowherd girls of Vrndavana
with the same request, without hesitation gave Krsna their feet and He
placed them on His head. Their thoughts are recorded as, "We don't care
if we go to hell. Let us satisfy our Krsna. If Krsna is suffering we will
do anything we can to relieve Him."
Another time in Jagannatha Puri temple, which gets very full, an old lady climbed onto the body of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to see the forms of Lord Jagannatha, Baladeva and Lady Subhadra. Many devotees were perplexed, but Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu could see her deep love for the Lord, and thus allowed her to do so. Another is in the case of Lord Krsna Himself, who broke His promise to save His devotee Arjuna. When grandfather Bhisma attacked Arjuna, Krsna ran at Bhisma to crush him with a chariot wheel, even though He had said He would not intervene in the battle. Yet for His devotee He gave up His reputation.
So in the same way, as a spotless 'paramahamsa Vaisnava sannyasi' of the Lord "our Srila Prabhupada", for the service of the Lord and for the service of mankind and all living entities, took up the preaching mission as laid down by the Personality of Godhead, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, at the risk of his own personal safety and comfort.
Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami was never concerned for the petty criticisms of the caste conscious 'smartas' and 'gosais', or others who never preached to try to lessen the suffering of the living entities in this world, for his turning those born outside of the 'Hindu' caste of 'brahmin' into sincere 'Vaisnava brahmins'. Rather he strictly followed the higher principal of compassion to all the conditioned souls, as spoken by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu;
"One who has taken his birth as a human being in Bharata Bhumi (India) should make his life successful and work for the benefit of all peoples outside India as well as in India."bharata-bhumite haila manusya janma yara
janma sarthaka kari kara para upakara
"Distribute this Krsna consciousness movement all over the world. Let people eat these fruits of love of Godhead and ultimately become free from old age and death."(Caitanya Caritamrta Adi Lila 9:39.).ateva saba phala deha 'yare tare
khaiya ha-uk loka ajara amare
"Therefore I (the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu) order every man within this universe to accept this Krsna consciousness movement and distribute it everywhere."(Caitanya Caritamrta Adi 9:35-36.)atheva ami ajnadilvn sabakare
yahan tahan prema-phala deha 'yare tare
The 'shastric' injunctions that the many rigid 'smartas'
quote are it's true there for our guidance and safeguard. The context however
needs to be examined, and then applied to practical application as in the
way of it's intent. In reality the sum and substance of these injunctions
restricts the movements of purified or pure devotees outside of 'karmabhumi'
(India) to safeguard them from the undesirable lifestyles of the non-devotees,
and barbarian carnivores who pervade such places, least not only their
Vaishnava principles be threatened but also their lives. Specifically the
west is referred to as 'bhogabhumi' meaning a place of unrestricted sensual
exploitation and enjoyment.
We can see though, that such a strong willed, pure hearted and dedicated person as Srila Prabhupad never ever became affected by the lesser influences of the material energy. Rather 'Mayadevi' stands hands folded as the assistant of her Lord and master (Sri Krishna) to help and guide such a pure devotee.
"We shall call our society I.S.K.C.O.N. Bhaktivedanta
Swami had laughed playfully when he had first coined the acronym". He had
initiated the legal work of incorporation that spring, while still living
on the Bowery, but even before its legal beginning, he had been talking
about his "International Society for Krishna Consciousness", and so it
had appeared in letters to India and in "The Village Voice" (newspaper).
A friend had suggested a title that would sound more familiar to Westerners
"International society for God Consciousness". But 'God' was a vague term,
whereas 'Krishna' was exact and scientific; 'God Consciousness' was spiritually
weaker, less personal. And if Westerners didn't know or understand that
Krishna was God, then the 'International Society for Krishna Consciousness'
would tell them, by spreading His glories 'in every town and village'.
'Krishna Consciousness' was Bhaktivedanta Swami's own rendering of a phrase from Srila Rupa Goswami's Padyavali, written in the 16th century. 'krsna-bhakti-rasa-bhavita': "To be absorbed in the mellow taste of executing devotional service to Krsna'.
The purposes stated within Iskcon's articles of incorporation reveal Bhaktivedanta Swami's thinking. There were seven points, similar to those given in the prospectus for The League of Devotees, he formed in Jhansi, India 1954. That attempt had been unsuccessful, yet his purposes remained unchanged.
Seven Purposes of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.
(a) To systematically propagate spiritual knowledge to society at large and to educate all peoples in the techniques of spiritual life in order to check the imbalance of the values in life and to achieve real unity and peace in the world.
(b) To propagate a consciousness of Krishna, as it is revealed in the Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam.
(c) To bring the members of the society together with each other and nearer to Krishna, the prime entity, thus to develop the idea within the members, and humanity at large, that each soul is part and parcel of the Quality of Godhead (Sri Krishna).
(d) To teach and encourage the 'sankirtan' movement, congregational chanting of the Holy Names of God as revealed in the teachings of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
(e) To erect for the members and for society at large, a Holy place of transcendental pastimes, dedicated to the personality of Krishna.
(f) To bring the members closer together for the purpose of teaching a simpler and more natural way of life.
(g) With a view towards achieving the aforementioned purposes, to publish and distribute periodicals, magazines, books and other writings.
Regardless of what Iskcon's charted members thought of the society's purposes, Bhaktivedanta Swami saw them as immanent realities."(Satswarup dasa Goswami. 1987. "Your Ever Well-wisher", page 45-47.) In 1966 (July 20th), he incorporates ISKCON. Autumn of 1966., he establishes the ISKCON Press.
In January 1967 A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami experiences his first airplane flight to San Francisco to be greeted by his newly established temple inmates there.
September 1967., he finds himself suffering from a third heart attack since leaving his beloved Vrindavan.
July 9th 1967., he inspires his disciple to perform the first Rathayatra outside of India, it was to be performed in San Francisco.
In July (24th) 1967., Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami leaves for India because of ill-health. But found a warm welcome to meet him.
In May of 1968., Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami visits the new fledgling community of 'New Vrindavan', West Virginia.
This opens a new chapter by installing the first Radha-Krsna Deities outside of India, in the Los Angeles Iskcon temple (June 23rd 1969). Being sensitive to the predictions that Los Angles may become like Dwaraka and return to the sea, (Los Angles, due to its being in an earthquake zone, being on a fault line etc.) the Deities are called Sri Sri Rukmini-Dwarakadisha.
Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami pays his first visit to London (September 1st 1969) to see his disciples there, and resides at 'Beatle' John Lennon's country estate at Tittenhurst, near Reading.
In December (14th) 1969., he conduct the Grand Opening and 'Avahan' Installation of Sri Sri Radha-Londoniswara at the Radha-Krishna Temple., 7., Bury Place, Holborne, London, just around the corner from the British Museum.
On 28th July 1970., Srila Prabhupada forms the Governing
Body Commission (G.B.C.) as originally requested by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta
Saraswati Thakur for his disciples to do.
The very next day (29th July) he establishes the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust (BBT). A book trust specifically for publishing the works of His divine Grace. Highly respected by scholars for their authority, depth, and clarity, the books are now used as standard text books in numerous college, and University courses.
As a publishing enterprise it has to date published, and distributed world-wide more books in number, unequalled by anyone book publishing house. (In some Iskcon literature 1972 is the date given as the foundation of the BBT.).
August 29th 1970., marks the instituting of the 'Life Membership Program' in Calcutta. Later that fall, he performs a series of preaching tours with his American and European disciples.
May 1971., Srila Prabhupada signs a contract with MacMillan Book Publishing Company to print the unabridged edition of 'Bhagavad Gita As It Is'.
1971 (May) marks the acquiring of five acres of land in Sridham Mayapura, near the birthplace of Lord Caitanya, Nadia, West Bengal. This will further one of the purposes of the society.
Sometimes some of Srila Prabhupada's godbrothers would try to criticise him saying that they had noticed that when he came to Mayapura that he didn't stop his vehicle at the Gaudiya Math get down and pay obeisances as the others did at the 'samadhi' tomb of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura. Srila Prabhupada stated that it was not that he saw his spiritual master only in that place, he said that never was there a second of any day that he felt the absence of his spiritual master. He always felt the presence of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta because actually he was always in his association.
We can truly see that Srila Prabhupada followed in the
mood of the great predecessor acaryas like Sripad
Madhwacarya, Sripad Vyasa Tirtha and
the Goswamis of Vrindavana (Rupa, Sanatan
et al), for he was never simply attached to the worldly system of 'varna'
and 'ashrama', or materialistic etiquette and its' dogma. But rather knew
how to please Lord Krsna, and subsequently all others, by adapting whatever
situation occurred into a favourable one for serving Him.
Anyone could see, he was a great 'Vaisnava brahmin' of the highest character, but when necessity called for it he did not hesitate to involve himself in day to day management to ensure that his preaching mission, his life's mission to fulfil the order of his 'Guru Maharaja', went on, which ordinarily someone who was thinking himself to be a 'sannyasi' or a big big 'guru' doesn't seem to do. In fact on numerous occasions he said that he would do anything to assist in the preaching mission of his 'guru maharaj'. One such instant that come to mind was with a 'sankirtan' - book distributor who required something on a shelf, and asked Srila Prabhupad if he could stand on his bed to reach it. The devotee was immediately told that for preaching you can stand on my head.
On an arrival address Srila Prabhupada spoke about the caste system in India. He defined the four social castes, and then especially glorified the 'brahmins'. Thinking they had found a loop-hole in his spotless character, a reporter poised a subtle challenging question. "So what caste are you?" The humble reply, "I'm a fifth class, servant of the other four!", startled everyone there.
From time to time fundamental, fanatical and other poorly informed groups; deprogrammers etc., published books in which they found fault with Srila Prabhupada's fledgling and 'newly converted' disciples, yet none to my knowledge were so brave, or so foolish as to find fault with him, the pure surrendered devotee of the Lord.
Now we are seeing the fruits of Srila Prabhupada's selfless surrender, but according to some, one in the renounced order of life should not cross a small ocean. And if one is thinking himself as a material designation such as a 'sannyasi', then as Sripad Rajendra Tirtha inferred to Jayadharma Tirtha (Vijayadhvaj Tirtha), surely it is better that one doesn't go anywhere least he become contaminated, but for pure Vaisnavas there is a higher principle. H.H. Sri Bannajee Govindacharya of the Madhwa line gives his support to such selfless preaching to further the 'dharma'.
However, June 1971., saw Srila Prabhupad visiting Moscow the seat of communistic atheism, and plants the seed of Krsna consciousness there, by which we see today, the fruits of many temples, and tens of thousands of devotees have emerged.
In 1972 Srila Prabhupada began the Vedic system of primary and secondary education in the West by founding the ' Bhaktivedanta Swami gurukula' school in Dallas, Texas. Since then many more have been developed around the world.
In March 1972 he performs the consecration, and cornerstone
laying ceremony ('Deva Grharambha') at Hare Krishna Land his newly established
and threatened project in Juhu, Bombay.
Just after this still in March 1972., he aquires land in Raman Reti, Sri Vrindavan Dham, and conducts the cornerstone laying ceremony there also.
Following a vigorous 12 year preaching tour which took him fourteen times around the world, and to six continents. Yet his 'sadhana' of taking rest early, and rising at midnight to write through the night afforded his prolific quality literary output.
At the Rathyatra in London July 1973., even at a very
advanced age of 77-78 he dances ecstatically the full length of the procession
course from Hyde Park Corner to Trafalgar Square, for at least an hour
and a distance of about 3-4 kilometres (around 2 miles).
Srila Prabhupada was so ecstatic that even the devotees who were seated on Lord Jagannath's cart, Revatinandan Maharaj leading wonderful kirtans, they were told to come down off the cart and join the fun. They did, and by the time the Rathyatra reached Picadilly Circus Srila Prabhupada we saw that he was dancing and jumping, clean off the ground.
On November 10th 1974., Srila Prabhupada completes his mammoth commentary on Sri Caitanya Caritamrta with elaborate translations and purports.
April 20th 1975., he organises to bring local 'brahmin' priests to accompany his ecstatically jubilant disciples as functionary priests under his instruction to perform the 'Avahan' and Grand Opening of the newly completed Sri Sri Krishna-Balaram Mandir, in Vrindavan.
On April 20th 1975 Srila Prabhupad meets with Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi.
1975, also marks a great scientific achievement for Srila Prabhupad. He founds the 'Bhaktivedanta Institute', the scientific branch of Iskcon headed by a group of his disciples from the scientific community, now dedicated to Srila Prabhupada's mission of proving that 'Life Comes From Life'. Thus smashing former atheistic, rationalistic, Darwinistic theories of 'Material Evolution'.
"One time in Mayapura, we had just completed that four-storey
building, and Srila Prabhupada was very happy to be there. Of course he
had a place to sit, so now we could lay down.
He was taking 'prasad'. There was a big feast that day for the opening of the temple, and [after] he was taking, and he heard all this noise in the back. He got up and looked out of the [window in the] back. He called all the G.B.C.'s immediately come, .....call Bhavananda, Jayapataka........everyone (everyone laughs). Also......, he used to call......., all of a sudden. 'Call everyone!' so everyone was called, they all run.....! .......and there he was looking, ........and there in the back, there was a ditch about 50 feet from the wall of the temple where all the leaf plates from the feast had been thrown. ......And there, there was about 15 local children, who were fighting off the dogs and taking the plates. You know, how devotees, .....they get a little piece of uncooked 'puri', and throw it back on the plate, or there's a little bit of chutney juice.......! anyway the children were taking the plates and licking them, and taking the little half 'puris', and whatever they could get and eating that. And Srila Prabhupada was looking, 'Just look at how they are eating this, they must be so hungry. They must be so hungry! We must feed them!'
"Then Srila Prabhupada started crying and said, 'This is Krishna's house, Krishna is the father of everyone, if you want to make 'real temple' then you must make arrangement.......anyone within a 10 kilometre circumference, that they near go hungry. Then this is Krishna's house - in the presence of the father the child will never go hungry. Immediately make arrangements to distribute 'prasadam'.' And that's the beginning of Iskcon Food Relief (the fore-runner of 'Food For Life')."(Jayapataka dasa Goswami. 29th August 1979. Bhaktivedanta Manor, London.)
Srila Prabhupada's mission was so necessary. I, for one,
would not be here writing this book if it were not for his compassion for
the fallen conditioned souls, such as myself, who somehow, or another had
fallen into this material pool, and were suffering like anything there.
This is not some esoteric poetry or exaggerated 'arthavadic' statement
on my part, I mean suffering LIKE ANYTHING.
Srila Prabhupada, by his mercy and on the order of his spiritual master Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura, came to smash the philosophies of impersonalism and voidism. Not only are pure Vaisnavas crossing a small watery ocean like a calf's hoof-print, but are successfully crossing the ocean of birth and death, and enabling many thousands of souls in this world to do the same. On the order of 'guru' and Krsna, "..therefore, the Madhwa Sampradaya is successfully spreading all over the universe"(A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in his purport to the verse Srimad Bhagavatam 1:9:7. page 75.).
Like all of the predecessor 'Acaryas' we need to remember,
relish and give thanks to such a devoted and pure soul as Srila Prabhupada.
To enable this mission to be established Prabhupada nearly sacrificed his very life on the journey across the treacherous Atlantic Ocean that remitted two heart attacks, but this humble pure devotee's love for the Lord changed everything. The Lord even appeared in a dream to Srila Prabhupada, in a boat full with many incarnations, saying they would protect their lonely ambassador. The captain of the Jaladuta (the ship on which Prabhupada left India) said that it was the smoothest voyage he had ever had, and asked Prabhupada to come with him on the return to guarantee another smooth Atlantic voyage.
To capture the mood of Srila Prabhupada we have included the English translation of the Bengali prayer that he wrote on his arrival at Commonwealth Pier on September 17th 1965, Boston, U.S.A.
One should try to picture the scene, looking at the seat of western materialism where he had come to fulfil the order of his spiritual master. The intensity of standing on the battle field overlooking the armies assembled, or ready to embark upon one's allotted "sankirtan spot" ('prabhu datta desha') prepared with intent, meditative, observant, dependant, and where to start? Srila Prabhupada, on board the ship Jaladuta, carrying within his heart the order of his spiritual master to spread the teachings of Sri Caitanya, the wisdom of the 'Acaryas', beyond the borders of India throughout the entire world, oversaw his purpose. As he looked out upon Bostons' bleak and dirty skyline he could understand the difficulty of this sacred mission for these Godless people. Thus, with perfect humility, he composed this historic prayer, praying for the deliverance of all the fallen souls.
1. " My dear Lord Krsna, You are so kind upon this useless soul, but I do not know why You have brought me here. Now you can do whatever you like with me.
2. But I guess You have some business here, otherwise why would You bring me to this terrible place?
3. Most of the population here is covered by the material modes of ignorance and passion. Absorbed in material life, they think themselves very happy and satisfied and therefore they have no taste for the transcendental message of Vasudeva. I do not know how they will be able to understand it.
4. But I know Your causeless mercy can make everything possible because You are the most expert mystic.
5. How will they understand the mellows of devotional service? O Lord, I am simply praying for Your mercy so that I will be able to convince them about Your message.
6. All living entities have come under the control of the illusory energy by Your will, and therefore, if you like, by Your will they can also be released from the clutches of illusion.
7. I wish that You may deliver them. Therefore, if You so desire their deliverance, then only will they be able to understand Your message.
8. The words of the Srimad Bhagavatam are Your incarnation, and if a sober person repeatedly receives it with submissive aural reception, then he will be able to understand Your message.
9. It is said in the Srimad Bhagavatam (1:2:17-21.): "Sri Krsna, the Personality of Godhead, who is the Paramatma (Supersoul) in everyone's heart and the benefactor of the truthful devotee, cleanses desire for material enjoyment from the heart of the devotee who relishes His messages, which are in themselves virtuous when properly heard and chanted. By regularly hearing the Bhagavatam and rendering service unto the pure devotee, all that is troublesome to the heart is practically destroyed to nil and loving service unto the glorious Lord, Who is praised with transcendental songs, is established in the heart, the modes of passion ('raja') and ignorance ('tamas') and lust and desire ('kama') disappear from the heart. Then the devotee is established in goodness and he becomes happy. Thus established in the mode of goodness, the man rejuvenated by loving service to the Lord gains liberation from material association ('mukti') and comes to know scientifically of the Personality of Godhead. Thus the knots of the heart and all misgivings are cut to pieces. The chain of fruitive actions ('karma') is terminated when one sees the Self as master."
10. He will become liberated from the influence of the modes of ignorance and passion and thus all inauspicious things accumulated in the core of the heart will disappear.
11. How will I make them understand this message of Krsna consciousness? I am very unfortunate, unqualified, and the most fallen. Therefore I am seeking Your benediction so that I can convince them, for I am powerless to do so on my own.
12. Somehow of other, O Lord, You have brought me here to speak about You. Now, My Lord, it is up to You to make me a success or failure as You like.
13. O spiritual master of all the world! I can simply repeat Your message, so if you like You can make my power of speaking suitable for their understanding.
14. Only by Your causeless mercy will my words become pure. I am sure that when this transcendental message penetrates their hearts they will certainly feel gladdened and thus become liberated from all unhappy conditions of life.
15. O Lord, I am just like a puppet in Your hands. So if You have brought me here to dance, then make me dance, make me dance, O Lord make me dance as You like.
16. I have no devotion, nor do I have any knowledge,
but I have strong faith in the Holy Name of Krsna. I have been designated
as Bhaktivedanta, and now if You like You can fulfil the real purport of
(Signed - the most unfortunate, insignificant beggar A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, on board the ship Jaladuta, Commonwealth Pier, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A., 18 September 1965.)
Arriving with only forty rupees in his pocket and a trunk full of Canto One of the Srimad Bhagavatam in three parts, Srila Prabhupada, the ambassador for the priceless truth of ancient India, the panacea, that makes lame men walk and blind men see, was about to embark on his mission that we have seen, has changed the face of the whole earth. Srila Prabhupada relied completely on Krsna, sitting down beneath a tree in Tomkins Square Park. The 'Yuga Dharma' was put to the test - "Just chant 'Hare Krsna' and your life will be sublime." Srila Prabhupada's faith in 'guru' and Krsna gave everyone who came in contact with his message the living purport to devotional life.
On the Jaladuta ship in mid-Atlantic, suffering heart attacks, Srila Prabhupada composed the following prayers knowing how, by the order and desire of Lord Sri Caitanya and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati, everything would go on.
sri siddhanta saraswati saci-suta priya ati
krsna-sevaya jara tula nai
sei se mohanta-guru jagater madhe uru
krsna bhakti dey thai thai
tara iccha balavan pascatyete than than
yoy jate gauranger nam
prthivite nagaradi asamudra nada nadi
sakalei loy krsna nam
"Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura, who is very dear to Lord Gauranga, the son of mother Saci, is unparalleled in his service to the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna. He is that great saintly spiritual master who bestows intense devotion to Krsna at different places throughout the world. By his intense desire, the Holy Name of Gauranga will spread throughout all the countries of the western world. In all the cities, towns and villages on the earth, from all the oceans, seas, rivers and streams, everyone will chant the Holy Name of Krsna."
Sitting on a park bench in New York City, Prabhupada,
in conversation with an acquaintance said, "We have so many temples, so
many devotees, so many books..... There is just some time separating us."
And it became a fact. By Srila Prabhupada's humility, fathomless faith
and determination to satisfy guru, the parampara and Krsna, to save all
the fallen souls suffering due to ignorance in this materialistic age of
Kali, his years of intense study and writing had given Krsna a perfect
instrument to work with.
When success came, with so many devotees, so many books and so many temples, Srila Prabhupada remained meek and humble.
In a letter of 1968 Srila Prabhupada wrote: "Personally, I am a nonentity; I have come here on the order of my Spiritual Master, and He has kindly sent all you boys (and girls) to assist me. So whatever is being done, there is no credit for me, but all the credit goes to my spiritual master, because He has arranged everything, and I am simply to abide by His order."(A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad. Letter, 68:10:34 Book Ref No.).
Srila 'Prabhupada': The master at who's feet other masters
sit, never ever utilised any facility for sense gratification. His purity
and true renunciation was, and is, admired by all. Even sometimes persons
would criticise Srila Prabhupada's followers due to our deep conditioning,
not coming to the standard Srila Prabhupada had set, but still no honest
man could criticise Srila Prabhupada. He is still cherished in the memories
of millions for his perfect Vaisnava qualities, more tolerant than a tree,
humbler than a blade of grass, and always offering respect to others. Even
he would glorify his disciples for their helping him, though the disciples
knew it was by Srila Prabhupada's mercy that they were even there. Kindling
the smallest flames of devotion, the perfect 'hotri' set the entire world
ablaze with Krsna Consciousness.
If any think they can do as, or better than he, I challenge you to do it. Talk is cheap, achievements take surrender, and if by the Lord's mercy you too are successful, then wonderful, we all benefit the more! Please only speak to glorify who is worthy.
All the great 'acaryas' made commentaries on the Vedanta Sutra, and our Srila Prabhupada also mentioned that he had this planned. Actually if one studies Srila Prabhupada's life and instructions on how to take up spiritual life, one will realise how the person "Bhagavata" and the scripture "Bhagavata" are non-different 'saksad dharitvena samasta sastraih'........!
Every word that Srila Prabhupada spoke came as a translation of a verse with crystallised realisations in the form of the Bhaktivedanta purports. If one reads the purports of the previous 'acaryas' which the faithful surrendered soul Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami echoed, one can see that he embellished the words of all the pure 'Vaisnava acaryas' in our line. What he actually did was virtually gave up his own ideas, and even speech patterns, to assimilate and simply deliver the word of the previous authorities, in a pure and presentable manner. He used his intelligence properly to present it. That to my understanding is real self surrender. This is why Krsna empowers such devotees, for Srila Prabhupada had no other interest but to spread the pure teachings of the Brahma Madhwa Gaudiya Sampradaya to all who could take it. Every action that he made, every 'mudra', gesture told of the ageless culture coming down from the Lord. If you doubt this, study his life. Srila Prabhupada may not have formally written Vedanta Sutra, but his life was the living Bhakti-Vedanta-Sutra, and therefore must be accepted along with all the great 'Vaisnava acaryas' like Narada, Srila Vyasadeva, Acarya Madhwa, Sri Caitanya, the Goswamis, Baladeva Vidyabhusana, Srila Bhaktivinoda and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura. Earnestly studying the commentaries of the great 'acaryas', Srila Prabhupada preached their glories constantly.
Srila Prabhupada states in his purport to Caitanya Caritamrta, Adi Lila (7:21.) that "All the codes of the Vedanta Sutra need not be examined here however, since we intend to present the Vedanta Sutra in a separate volume." I suggest, that He was that volume personified. Actually if one takes the time to read the purports of these verses of the 7th chapter of Adi Lila of Sri Caitanya Caritamrta, one will easily understand the purport to the stanza the person "Bhagavata" and the book "Bhagavata" are one and the same. Srila Prabhupada is a living example of the Vedanta Sutras. Sacrificing everything for the mission of the Lord, barely sleeping at night, he would stay up translating and writing his purports, then daily giving lectures, going on walks and having room discussions with his disciples and guests. Whatever way one looks at this, the conclusion must be that Srila Prabhupada is definitely the bona-fide representative of the Brahma-Madhwa-Gaudiya Sampradaya. As all the acaryas have left their commentary on Vedanta Sutra, all complimenting the original author, and the supporting commentaries by great acaryas like Madhwa, so Srila Prabhupada left his for us in the modern age, in the form of his life, the Bhakti-Vedanta Sutra.
On his last journey around the world stopping at London's
Bhaktivedanta Manor, I, for a very short time, had the great good fortune
of being able to see His Divine Grace and have but a few "exchanges". At
this time I accepted His Divine Grace as the Lord of my life, my spiritual
master, not officially, but within my heart. This, no one can deny me.
Thus Srila Prabhupada has changed my life, and feeling so indebted, I humbly
dedicate this book to His Divine Grace, in his centennial year (1896-1996),
and who is an epitaph of the "Legacy of Sripad Ananda Tirtha, Madhwacarya,
Bhagavatpad", - Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, for if it had
not been for him, I have no idea of where I would be now, or my future.
Nor would you be reading this book!
At this time his physical health had been poor for a while now, and virtually his body had ceased to work. In London when he came in August, we were all so excited to see him. And after delays at the airport, which gave way to prolonged ecstatic 'kirtan' by devotees from all over Europe (England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Holland, etc.) up to the point when his car came through the "Manor Gates" and up to the reception room door. But we were shocked at his emaciated appearance, it was heart rending. Yet, his eyes, sparkling behind tinted glasses told of a different situation. They were penetrating, warm and smiling, reaching out and touching the very core of each of us.
Watching his devotion to Sri Sri Radha Gokulananda was touchingly memorable, and his 'traditional' visit to Radha Londoniswara via Radha-Bankabihari's (an old friend from Vrindavan's Deity, who lives in London) even in such a condition. .......and Janmastami and Vyasa-puja there at the Manor.
A few months after his visit to London, after giving up
eating, sleeping etc., only subsisting on the Deity's 'caranamrta', home,
he now returned to his beloved Vrindavana.
The concerned devotees consulted astrologers on Srila Prabhupada's request with a view to gaining insight as to when this condition would pass. Everything indicated that this could be the time of Srila Prabhupada's disappearance. Although some said that if he were to survive this difficult time for his body, he would carry it on for a few more years. One astrologer suggested, 'maha-mrtyum jaya-japa' and 'havan', to which Srila Prabhupada responded, "So this 'japa', 'maha-mantra japa' and 'bhagavat-path', that I am doing". 'Srimad Bhagavatam-patha'. So either read 'bhagavat' or chant 'Hare Krishna', and let me lie down like this, that's all, as it is going on. Huh?(A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. October 14th 1977. Room Conversation.)
As a complete philosophy, a full and rich culture, a way of life, and a way to death, and beyond, the 'acaryas' like Srila Prabhupad have left a wealth of guidance that we can take advantage of to help us advance.
Some things as eternal truths, some to be applied according to 'time, place and circumstance'. Nothing was left untouched, no mysteries, or controversies. The chaste 'Prabhupadanuga' followers recognise this, look for what he has left, and resolve, and push on his movement, as he did himself.
Srila Prabhupad residing in the holy Dham of Sri Vrindavan,
on Monday November 14th, 1977, at 7:30 pm., which fell upon the Caturthi
tithi of the Gaura (Sukla) Paksa, Mula nakshatra, gave up this mortal frame
surrounded by loving disciples engaged in 'Harinam-sankirtan', the congregational
chanting of the Holy Name.
Translating Srimad Bhagavatam up until the very last breath, in a peaceful condition, and with the Holy Name on his tongue, Srila Prabhupada passed from this world in Sri Vrndavana Dhama to rejoin his worshipful Lords Sri Sri Nitai Gaura, Sri Sri Krsna Balarama, and Sri Sri Radhe Syamasundara in Their eternal abode.
"He reason ill who tells that Vaisnavas die
When thou art living still in sound!
The Vaisnavas die to live, and living try
To spread the Holy Name around !"
(Poem by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura)
More pages about Srila Prabhupada