You can submit your article, report, announcement, ad etc. by mailing to editor@dandavats.com. Before subbmitting please read our posting guidelines here: http://www.dandavats.com/?page_id=39 and here: http://www.dandavats.com/?page_id=38

Dandavats! All Glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga!

Chocolate – the nectar for which we are always anxious?

Thursday, 01 February 2007 / Published in General, Sita Pati Das / 11,438 views

By Sita-pati das

A Prabhupada Nectar Story

“For me, personally, the definitive Prabhupada take on chocolate comes from an anecdote reported by Vyoma:” One devotee had recently joined the temple in India. He recalls that he was addicted to eating chocolate, even though he knew that devotees did not take it. One day he had just bought a chocolate bar and was walking down a corridor in the temple with it in his hand. Suddenly, to his horror, he saw Srila Prabhupada coming down the corridor in the opposite direction. Looking around desperately for an escape he realized that there was nowhere to go. Thinking on his feet he quickly stuffed the chocolate bar into his bead bag. As Srila Prabhupada approached, the devotee offered his obeisances. Srila Prabhupada glanced benevolently at him. As the devotee rose he saw that Srila Prabhupada’s gaze did not rise: he continued to look at the floor. Looking down, the devotee was aghast to see that the chocolate bar had fallen from his bead bag as he had bowed down.

“Hmmm? What is this?” asked Srila Prabhupada, reaching down and picking up the chocolate bar. He examined it slowly, turning it to and fro. Finally he arched his eyebrows at the devotee: “Oh, we do not eat these things!” He put his hand on the devotee’s shoulder in a fatherly way and said, “We have so many nice sweets that we offer to Krishna. You do not know how to make them? Come with me.” Taking the devotee with him he went downstairs to the temple kitchen, where he proceeded to personally cook and instruct him how to make halava. When Srila Prabhupada had finished preparing it he offered it and personally gave it to the devotee to take.

Chocolate and Caffeine – two great tastes that taste great together

Generally, it seems, devotees consider that “we should not eat chocolate because it contains caffeine”. Since I always knew it didn’t contain caffeine, I never thought this. My understanding of why we don’t eat chocolate is based on a number of other considerations.

First of all, although chocolate does not contain caffeine, it contains other chemicals, such as theobromine, which *are* stimulants. At my work they provide chocolate, coffee, and Coca-cola to the employees to help them to work. These three things stimulate the body and mind and help the mode of passion to flow. Some of my co-workers are caught in such a dependency cycle that they cannot function without caffeine in the morning. While chocolate does not contain caffeine, it is part of this group of foodstuffs, taken for their stimulating effect rather than their nutritional one. Chocolate is well known as an aphrodisiac, and advertising for chocolate accurately reflects and plays on this.

Krishna baro doya moy…sva prasada anna dilo bhai

Devotees are about developing Krishna Consciousness, not simply enjoying “pleasurable” sensations. It is said that the tongue is the most difficult of the senses to control, and therefore Krishna has mercifully given us His prasadam to control it. Devotees therefore take the remnants of foodstuffs offered to Krishna as their sustenance. Except in unusual circumstances where they need to maintain their body for service and have no other recourse, devotees who are advanced in Krishna Consciousness and those who are serious aspirants to attaining that experience and realization do not offer foodstuffs that have been prepared by non-devotees, whether karmis, jnanis, yogis, or machines
(operated by non-devotees). Instead, devotees prepare something according to their means and offer it with love and devotion.

Buying a chocolate bar prepared by non-devotees and offering it in order to make it “bonafide” does not fit within this. Cadbury, Nestle, and Lindt will never be bonafide! (hammers fist on lectern, Adolf Hitler-style). It may be that a devotee has trouble controlling the tongue and does indulge the senses by taking chocolate, but this is a devotee having trouble and indulging the senses. We can acknowledge it with understanding and compassion without altering our standard, or condemning the person.

Another Prabhupada anecdote

Srila Prabhupada was neither liberal nor conservative. He was concerned about creating a favourable environment for the progressive cultivation of Krishna Consciousness. While discussing the Krishna Balarama mandir guesthouse Srila Prabhupada told devotees to provide a room for people who were addicted to smoking. Whenever they saw someone smoking, they were to tell them: “Dear sir, please go to the smoking room.” In this way Srila Prabhupada acknowledged people’s conditioning and created a concessionary position which did not change the core values of the organisation.

In this way, while we may not be about Taliban-style fanaticism, neither are we about losing clarity about our ideals, and our institutional standards. Ok, so people do eat chocolate. It’s not going to kill anyone or necessarily send them to hell. At the same time it’s probably good to retain the understanding that we should be working towards giving it up by developing a taste for things associated with Krishna. Our ideal is the bhava of Madhavendra Puri, who ate a clay pot because of its association with Krishna, and Raghunatha das Goswami, who would eat the blackened rice remnants of Lord Jagannatha. Or for me, personally, the devotee lady in the early days who ate the discarded remnants of the Sunday feast while crying.

Dangerous logic…

Cooking the raw cocoa beans that are used to make chocolate and making chocolate from scratch to offer to the Deities, either at the temple or at home, is another avenue.

This was not done in the time of Srila Prabhupada, and now it is reportedly being said that “since Srila Prabhupada was incorrectly told that chocolate contained caffeine, now that we know that it doesn’t, we can cook it”. I’m a little concerned with the underlying subtext: “Srila Prabhupada was misinformed about X, therefore let us now change Y.” That’s a dangerous path to start down whatever the case, but especially if it’s combined with: “Actually, we rather like the idea of doing Y”.

I Confess!

As mentioned previously, however, while there is no “caffeine”, there is no doubt that chocolate does contains stimulants that modify our neurochemistry and that it creates dependency. It’s not sattvic. I know this for a fact. I sometimes use the chocolate at work to stay awake. It does function to keep me awake to keep up with my mode-of-passion-infused, caffeine-fired, late-rising co-workers, but I don’t think it is so good for my Krishna Consciousness, or my figure. It’s not as strong as the coffee or Coca-cola that they take, but there is no doubt in my mind that it is a stimulant, and a reliever of anxiety; in fact it’s precisely because of this that I take it in this situation. For the first year at this job I just gritted my teeth and fell asleep at my desk. I got by without it. Once you give in to it the first time, however, it starts to call out to you: “Take me, I’m yours”. You find that you start to justify giving more concessions to it just a little more with each passing week.

Cultural Conquest

That’s what goes on in my workplace. I don’t take it outside work or when I am not nodding off at my workstation after a late night and an early morning. Outside the workplace I have greater access to prasadam, and can take a nap if I need it. It’s just a fact of life that working a full-time job amongst non-devotees exposes you to all types of situations that are not the ideal, and I’m not in ecstasy about it, or clamouring to have it rubber stamped as “bonafide” Vaisnava-acara. However, when I go to one of our temples I expect to get some relief from that. My hope is to be exposed to the highest ideals of Krishna Consciousness, to see my highest aspiration manifest. How many people rave about our halava? We even have a term: “Halava Bhakta”, for someone who became a devotee because of halava. Ours is a “cultural conquest”. We have so many nice sweets that can be prepared and offered to Krishna, and that can help people to appreciate a more sattvic alternative to their present culture and lifestyle. Distinctive flavours and exotic ingredients.

I would become despondent to come to a temple and see chocolate bars for sale, or Coke or soft drinks in the fridge, or have to tell my four year old son that he can’t have any of the “karmi icrecream” when it’s served out during prasadam. It will be a sad day when we have to avoid the temple in order to maintain our personal standards. We need to be able to go there to get relief and be uplifted. Please, we are already being heavily attacked on one side.

To me it seems unnecessary to prepare chocolate. Why “accept something from them”, when we should be “offering them the positive alternative”? Where is the need to do this? For so many years during Srila Prabhupada’s manifest presence and afterwards, we have not admitted chocolate in the organisation. Has there been some great loss to our missionary effectiveness because of this? Or just to our need to feel that we are ok in our desire for sense experiences disconnected from Krishna?

Purity is the Force

I think that all chocolate should be offered to Krishna, outside the temple environment. This will be favourable to making advancement. And that advancement should lead us to giving chocolate up. Srila Prabhupada told one alcoholic to think that “Krishna is the taste of the wine”. He didn’t endorse drinking it, however. Austerity is the wealth of the brahmanas. People want to see that we are different, that we are offering something different. Not that we are the same as everyone else, addicted to a program dictated by our senses, controlled by the sense objects. As Srila Prabhupada said when he saw Syamasundara Prabhu’s packet of cigarettes sitting on top of the deity of Lord Jagannatha that he was carving: “Such a small thing that keeps us from Krishna”.

Perhaps I should have started this article by saying: “Hi, I’m Sita-pati, and I eat chocolate.” Having made my confession that I eat chocolate, I now intend to figure out some other strategy to stay awake at work, one that doesn’t have the attendant consequences that eating chocolate has. I’m not a Vaisnava, but I understand to some degree what one is, and I’d like to work toward that gradually and realistically. We may not be there yet, but let’s keep working toward getting there, and not try to move the goal posts back to where we are to make ourselves feel like we’re getting closer, or in fact, have nowhere to go. Let people eat chocolate as they wish, but please don’t endorse it in the organisation. I don’t believe that Srila Prabhupada wanted that, whether he was misinformed about its caffeine content or not.

Sita-pati “irregularly eats chocolate but feels guilty, and votes to keep it banned” das

Hari Hari !
His Magic Hand

17 Responses to “Chocolate – the nectar for which we are always anxious?”

  1. ekendra das says :

    Once you give in to it the first time, however, it starts to call out to you: “Take me, I’m yours”. You find that you start to justify giving more concessions to it just a little more with each passing week.

    Fact! It’s insidiously addictive. We know this from experience. It makes ya feel chemically happy but its only illusory mental pleasure. Wasn’t so hard to give up though. Just don’t try weening yourself and drag it out over weeks/months.

    For staying awake at work why not try getting some proper sleep? I sleep irregularly at night so i take a nap sometime during the day if i can for 15 min – 30 min. its amazing how much energy you get from a quick nap.

    … trying to help …

    ys, ekendra das

  2. sita-pati says :

    Thanks for the tip Ekendra prabhu.

    For more information on the nectar story at the beginning of this article see this comment on another thread. It gives more details and corroborates the essence of the pastime. I did not have time to re-reference the original written version and instead gave the bhava-anuvada that I carry around in my heart.

  3. Dasadasanudasa says :

    I dinstinctly remember reading an article about apples being more efficient than coffee in waking a person up in the morning, so just to help you in your atempt to give up eating chocolate I suggest to try nibbling on an apple whenever you need a “push” at work. Definitely a healthier and more sattvic alternative to chocolate!

    Your servant,
    Dasadasanudasa.

  4. Madhava Ghosh dasa says :

    Strom Thurmond served inthe US Senate until he was eleventy eleven years old. When asked the secret of his longevity, he answered “I only eat fruit for breakfast”.

  5. anwar says :

    Cold shower isn’t bad idea either.Here’s the link with abot 50 testemonies about benefits of cold shower;
    http://www.earthclinic.com/Remedies/showers.html

  6. Mithila das says :

    Sita-pati das wrote:
    > For me, personally, the definitive Prabhupada take on chocolate comes from
    > an anecdote recorded in one of H.H. Satsvarupa Maharaja’s Prabhupada
    > Nectar books:

    What about this quote directly from Srila Prabhupada?
    Cocoa and chocolate are not to be taken as they are intoxicants.
    Letter to: Surasrestha — Los Angeles 14 June, 1972

    > Generally, it seems, devotees consider that “we should not eat chocolate
    > because it contains caffeine”. Since I always knew it didn’t contain
    > caffeine,…

    > First of all, although chocolate does not contain caffeine,…

    > While chocolate does not contain caffeine,…

    > …and now it is reportedly being said that “since Srila Prabhupada was
    > incorrectly told that chocolate contained caffeine…

    > As mentioned previously, however, while there is no “caffeine”,..

    > I don’t believe that Srila Prabhupada wanted that, whether he was
    > misinformed about its caffeine content or not.

    Several times you state chocolate does not contain caffeine but a quick Google search proves otherwise:
    Central nervous stimulants such as caffeine are also present in small amounts, and this has a mild effect on alertness as we know from drinking coffee.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/hottopics/chocolate/addictive.shtml
    Chocolate contains a variety of substances, some of which are addictive (such as caffeine).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chocolate#_note-chocoxanthine

    If Srila Prabhupada wanted devotees to offer chocolate to Krsna then eat he would have said so.

    Your servant, Mithila das.

  7. asprng_vaishnav says :

    Sadhu, Sadhu… Mithila Prabhu
    I checked the websites mentioned in your comments and anybody with common sense can see that chocolate is addictive and a psychoactive food if not drug. This definitely changes one’s consciousness and impedes spiritual progress.
    Anybody out there who has access to GBC? Praghosa Prabhu, are you listening? I think you are a GBC and if you are, can you bring this topic in next GBC meeting?
    I hope GBC takes a clear and firm stand and ban chocolate from iskcon.
    Hari Bol

  8. Karuna Purna dasi says :

    So, what do we eat then?

    By Karuna Purna dasi

    ‘I think that all chocolate should be offered to Krishna, outside the temple environment. This will be favourable to making advancement. And that advancement should lead us to giving chocolate up’ (Sita Pati das, Chocolate, the nectar for which we are always anxious, Dandavats, 1/02/07).

    Dear Sita Pati,

    I read your article which I found rather inspiring up to the point where you write the quote above. I am sorry prabhu, I really cannot relate to what you say. In my humble opinion, devotees are supposed to eat what Srila Prabhupada told us to eat: Krsna Prasadam. Hence, we should eat whatever has been accepted by Srila Prabhupada and Krsna.

    However, if a devotee eats any food prepared by non devotees, as you said made by karmis, yogis , jnanis or machines, that is her/his choice. If Srila Prabhupada hence Krsna would not eat certain food, why bother offering it? I would even be pushed to say that it is, arguably, offensive (at least for me). How can you force Srila Prabhupada to eat something that he doesn’t want to eat? In other words, how can you offer chocolate, karmi yogurts made with ‘we don’t want to know’, crisps or any other food sold in shops?

    In my opinion, if any devotee chooses to eat foodstuff that Srila Prabhupada or Krsna don’t eat, that is the devotee’s prerogative. However, trying to clean your consciousness by offering it, that is something else. In fact, in my opinion, chocolate or any of the food mentioned above would never be prasadam simply because Srila Prabhupada and Krsna do not eat it. How can we offer it then? and furthermore how can we pretend that it is prasadam? Therefore, how can we eat it as bonafide adding that by eating it we will make advancement and eventually give up that particular food?

    I personally find your statement going a bit wild in the field of the imagination. I have also worked, for the past twenty years, and I still do, full-time with karmis. I admit that lunch time can be rather tricky, having to explain every day of the year to the same people why we are vegetarian. That is one of the reasons why five years ago I decided to start working from home. Believe me, it is a solution, and you may even treat yourself, if you have the time being self-employed, to the luxury of having a ‘siesta’ if/when you need it. :)

    Your servant

    Karuna Purna dasi

  9. Praghosa says :

    Regarding comment #7

    While the GBC has discussed this issue, from memory, the conclusion more or less was that this is really not something there should be a resolution about. One simple reason for this is that to be consistent, we would then have to produce an unlimited amount of resolutions to cover all these kinds of issues. Should there be a resolution for drinking Coca-cola, a resolution for eating processed food, a resolution for watching movies, a resolution for listening to non devotional music, a resolution for not washing your hands after taking prasadam etc., etc., etc., etc.

    The GBC cannot micro manage the Hare Krishna movement (even if they wanted to :-) and their time would be better used for developing preaching initiatives, further establishing Srila Prabhupada’s pre-eminent position in ISKCON, succession issues, care of the devotees, establishing varnasrama, co-operation and teamwork etc.

    Meanwhile the devotees can read Srila Prabhupada’s books and draw their own conclusions. My personal opinion is that I am not sure how detrimental eating chocolate is to ones spiritual life but for sure it ain’t going to get you back to Goloka Vrindavana any quicker :-)

    Your servant, Praghosa dasa.

  10. sita-pati says :

    Dear Praghosa Prabhu,

    I understand your point about micromanagement, and about the overriding priorities of the Governing Body Commission of ISKCON.

    At the same time, it seems to me that the logic: “Srila Prabhupada was misinformed. We have new scientific evidence, and so now we’re changing the policy” does not establish Srila Prabhupada’s pre-eminent position.

    Eating chocolate is not such a big deal. Creating a precedent for realigning our organizational policies with “new evidence just to hand” over Srila Prabhupada’s stated desires is a little more significant. That’s what concerns me about this. I can live with people eating chocolate. I don’t know if I can live with people unquestioningly accepting: “Prabhupada was misinformed. Now we know better. Let’s make a change to policy.”

    I’m sorry to cause disturbance, but that’s disturbing to me, especially when it’s just casually mentioned with no in-depth discussion or analysis of the implications, visible. Even though I’d like to remain inconspicuous on this, I feel an obligation to speak out. A statement like that should be accompanied by a lot of carefully worded and documented thinking, otherwise it sets a dangerous precedent. Alone, it is more of a warning signal than it is sufficient evidence for justifying making a change.

    The fact is that someone on the GBC has made very public comments about this, with specific reference to “GBC discussions in Mayapura”, and introducing this logic. If the GBC does not make resolutions on this, does this mean that this ad-hoc revocation of the ban on chocolate only applies to the zone where this GBC member preaches, or to those who hear them say this? Does an individual GBC member have the authority to say something like this?

    It is undermining to your efforts in the area of cooperation and team-work.

    At the moment we have individual GBC members speaking on this issue, apparently according to their own personal take. The difficulty arises when they frame it as a GBC-level directive. I am sure that this is all simply a misunderstanding, but cannot the GBC, *as a body*, not as “your local GBC who supposedly represents the whole GBC”, clear this up? They don’t have to make a resolution, but can they not discuss the issue and decide collectively on the public stance and message that they will individually communicate on this matter?

    It’s undermining to public confidence in the GBC’s collective authority to have various individuals invoking the corporate body in support of what they say, and saying contradictory things.

    The two issues – the logic of relativizing Srila Prabhupada’s desires and standards in place during his manifest presence with respect to “new information”, and confidence in the GBC as ISKCON’s collective overriding authority, seem to me to be the real substance of this. The chocolate is really a detail.

    your servant,
    Sita-pati das

  11. sita-pati says :

    I can understand that the GBC has to deal with many different issues at many different levels. However, perhaps the principle of delegation or empowerment could be employed here, rather than a complete abdication of leadership?

    Could the GBC consider forming a brahminical group to look into these issues (chocolate, coke, movies, processed foods etc.) and write about the different factors involved and make recommendations? This way people can make informed choices and have dialog on the matter with reference to authorized ISKCON “smrti-sastra”.

    While Srila Prabhupada was present we see that he did speak to “micro-issues” such as these (such as the quote that Mithila prabhu provided) and set definite standards. In his physical absence the GBC provides the leadership of ISKCON. If they do not speak into these issues then there will not be clarity or consensus, and as a result there will be confusion and the members will quarrel over trifles.

    The leadership vacuum in this area causes instability and people actually want someone to step into that vacuum and provide clarity. I would say that that particular role should belong to brahmanas in conjunction with the GBC.

    They don’t have to give a Taliban (or should that be Tele-ban) book of edicts, but it would be nice to see that these issues are discussed and explored between a number of ISKCON brahmanas, from the perspective of the modes of material nature, our Gaudiya Vaisnava tradition, modern scientific knowledge, and Srila Prabhupada’s instructions, to bring some more clarity and to empower people to make informed choices.

  12. Praghosa says :

    Dear Sita-pati prabhu,

    I am really pushed for time right now but in relation to your comments 10 and 11 – while individual GBC’s should not speak in a casual way about GBC policy (particularly if it is against official GBC policy) I cannot really comment as I was not present. However if you want I can speak with the GBC’s concerned to hear their views on what you have raised.

    Secondly there is a brahmincal body that was formed by the GBC but is independent of it. The chairman of that body is Purnacandra prabhu. Please also see some of their papers to date in the archive section of Dandavats.

    Apologies for the short reply but as ever finding enough time to deal with everything (particularly at this time) is a bit of a struggle.

    Your servant, Praghosa dasa.

  13. Mithila das says :

    Praghosa Prabhu wrote:
    > Regarding comment #7
    > While the GBC has discussed this issue, from memory, the conclusion more
    > or less was that this is really not something there should be a resolution
    > about.

    There was a resolution passed in 1993 and is now part of ISKCON Law:
    8.5.1 Prohibition of Chocolate
    As it contains various stimulants like caffeine (contained in coffee), theine (contained in black tea) and theobromine (contained in cocoa), chocolate should not be eaten by ISKCON devotees.(1993)

    > One simple reason for this is that to be consistent, we would then have to
    > produce an unlimited amount of resolutions to cover all these kinds of
    > issues. Should there be a resolution for drinking Coca-cola, a resolution
    > for eating processed food, a resolution for watching movies, a resolution
    > for listening to non devotional music, a resolution for not washing your
    > hands after taking prasadam etc., etc., etc., etc.

    No need for a GBC resolution on every issue as we have Srila Prabhupada’a clear instructions:

    > Coca-cola….
    Our men never touch this Coca-Cola….
    Morning Walk – Mauritius, October 2, 1975

    So what is the necessity of this Coca-cola? You don’t find all these things in our society. We don’t drink Coca-cola. We don’t drink Pepsi-cola.
    Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.5.30 — Mauritius, October 2, 1975

    ….coca cola, pepsi cola – all unnecessary.
    Letter to: Rupanuga: — Ahmedabad 29 September, 1975

    > processed food….
    Foods in the mode of ignorance or darkness are essentially those that are not fresh. Any food cooked more than three hours before it is eaten (except prasadam, food offered to the Lord) is considered to be in the mode of darkness.
    Bg 17.10

    Whatever we offer should be as fresh and pure as is possible.
    Letter to: Karunamayi — Los Angeles 25 February, 1968

    An excellent article on this subject, with quotes from Srila Prabhupada, can be can be found in the Folio and is taken from the following book:
    Pancaratra-Pradipa – ISKCON GBC Press, Gathering Items for Worship, Ingredients for Worship, Food Offerings (naivedya). Or online at:
    http://deityworship.com/home_worship/home_ready.htm > Offering Food

    > watching movies….
    Naturally a devotee has no taste for unnecessary sporting or cinema….
    Bg 13.8-12

    Go to the cinema; hear the cinema song, see nice girls, and so on, so on. But these devotees, they are not interested at all. The cinema is here, a few steps away, but you will never see a student or a disciple of Krsna consciousness will go to that nonsense place.
    Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.25.26 — Bombay, November 26, 1974

    Don’t take Krsna consciousness so cheap that they will go to cinema and become Krsna conscious.
    Morning Walk — August 27, 1975, Vrndavana

    Prabhupada: So many things — they do not smoke, they do not drink, they do not go to cinema.
    Morning Walk — August 12, 1976, Tehran

    We do not go to the movies or to the restaurant.
    Morning Walk — August 12, 1976, Tehran

    Prabhupada: While sometimes the movies that are demonstrated in the plane, I close my eyes. I do not like to see them because that impression carries. It is a very disturbing fact to me.
    Room Conversation — January 21, 1977, Bhuvanesvara

    We can use everything — television, radio, movies, or whatever there may be — to tell about Krishna and outside of devotional service all these modern paraphernalia are just so much rubbish.
    Letter to: Bhagavan — Bombay 24 November, 1970

    > non devotional music
    Music and dancing employed in sense gratification are to be accepted as demoniac, but the same music and dancing, when employed in glorifying the Supreme Lord as kirtana, are transcendental, and they bring about a life completely fit for spiritual enjoyment.
    SB 3.20.38

    We cannot allow cinema songs to be sung in the temple. Krsna consciousness movement we do not allow any song that has not been approved or sung by bona fide devotees.
    SB 8.5.25

    Of course the music should be in relation with the Supreme Lord, in glorification of Him.
    RV 2: Knowledge Beyond Samsara

    Of course, it must be in relationship with the Supreme Lord. Not ordinary music.
    Bhagavad-gita 9.2-5 — New York, November 23, 1966

    Guest (1): What about pleasures like listening to music?
    Prabhupada: Yes, we chant the glories of God.
    Guest (1): Could you listen to other peoples’ music?
    Prabhupada: Huh? No. If he’s chanting the glories of God, we are very eager to hear him. That is our process. Or somebody’s chanting, somebody’s hearing. Sravanam kirtanam visnu. Chanting and hearing about God, that is music.
    Guest (1): Well, a Beethoven symphony, for example, could you listen to that?
    Prabhupada: Which one?
    Revatinandana: Beethoven’s symphony. He means classical Western music. They make some music.
    Prabhupada: But if it is glorification of God, we can hear. There is no objection.
    Revatinandana: But there may be no reference to God in it.
    Prabhupada: No, then we don’t hear. We reject.
    Room Conversation — August 14, 1971, London

    As far as music is concerned, we have got our standard of music, the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra. We do not require to introduce anything new.
    Letter to: Bhakta Wayne — Bombay 3 January, 1977

    > not washing your hands after taking prasadam….
    After feeding them, he offered them water to wash their hands, feet and mouths.
    Madhya 6.46

    All the devotees took prasadam, filling themselves to the brim. Thereafter, chanting the holy name of Hari, they stood up and washed their hands and mouths.
    Antya 6.119

    After all the devotees finished accepting prasadam and had washed their hands and mouths,…
    Antya 11.89

    (4) One should not enter the temple to worship the Lord without having washed one’s hands and feet after eating….
    NoD 8: Offenses to Be Avoided

    These are just a few qoutes found on the Folio (every devotee must get a copy), very quickly and easily. After reading them who could be confused or in any doubt about Srila Prabhupada’s desire?

    > Meanwhile the devotees can read Srila Prabhupada’s books and draw their
    > own conclusions.

    ?????????????????????? (my comment)

    In the Bhagavad-gita (Chapter 4), Lord Krsna speaks about the importance of receiving the transcendental knowledge of the Gita in the proper disciplic succession. In this way one can avoid making the mistakes described above, which even powerful sages are prone to make. Yet there are those who still try to study the Gita on their own and draw their own concocted conclusions, rejecting the authority and conclusions of the spiritual disciplic succession. We certainly commiserate with them, but at the same time it is hard not to laugh at them.
    RTW 4.5: Captivated by Maya, the Jiva Has Forgotten Lord Krsna.

    There is no room for interpretation of the sastras. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam it is said that Krsna lifted Govardhana Hill just as a child lifts a mushroom. He did it so easily, but people do not believe it. Those who do not believe in the Bhagavatam interpret an indirect meaning. The meaning is clear, and there is nothing to be misunderstood, but these rascals draw their own conclusions nonetheless.
    A Second Chance 1: Separating the Men From the Animals

    So we have to accept it as it is. We cannot interpret Bhagavad-gita in my own way. That is not Bhagavad-gita. That is something else. They take advantage of the Bhagavad-gita and put their own conclusion. That is not Bhagavad-gita. If you want to study Bhagavad-gita, then you have to study as it is.
    Bhagavad-gita 2.13 — Hyderabad, November 19, 1972

    We make our own conclusion, supposing on the authority of Bhagavad-gita. That will not help us, by malinterpretation. You take the conclusion of Bhagavad-gita as it is, then you will be benefited.
    Evening Darsana — July 7, 1976, Washington, D.C.

    They are so proud that if they hear the teachings of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, they say, “Everyone can make their own conclusion. What is the need fortaking the conclusion of Caitanya-caritamrta?” These people never come in touch with sad-dharma because they have no desire to know it. The result of performing their own concocted new process of devotional service is they can never relish pure devotion.
    Sri Bhaktyaloka – The Six Faults and Qualities of Bhakti
    by Srila Saccidananda Bhaktivinoda Thakura
    Six Qualities that Enhance Bhakti: Tat-tat-karma-pravartana

    Your servant, Mithila das.

  14. sita-pati says :

    Dear Praghosa Prabhu,

    Thank you for responding to my comments and for the further information. I will contact Purnacandra Prabhu to make my suggestion.

    your servant,
    Sita-pati das

  15. Praghosa says :

    Dear Mithila prabhu,

    Thank you for your comment. This is exactly the point – we can learn from Srila Prabhupada’s books as to what we should and should not do, everything does not require a resolution.

    Once we know what we should and should not do it is then up to us to apply accordingly, as devotees we would hope to always use our free will appropriately.

    Your servant, Praghosa dasa.

  16. asprng_vaishnav says :

    Hare Krsna
    PAMHO. AGTSP.
    Regarding comment #15:
    I think this whole discussion started because apparently some GBC members are saying that chocolate is allowed in iskcon. One Maharaj has some statement like that in his podcast.
    We are told in iskcon classes that when in doubt consult Guru, Sadhu and Shastra.
    If this is an official GBC site then can we keep GBC resolution pages online, so anybody can search and read if an issue like this comes up again.
    Hari Bol

  17. Praghosa says :

    Regarding comment #16

    This is not an official GBC site, rather it is an ISKCON/GBC friendly site.

    Please go to the archive section of this site where you will find the minutes of many GBC meetings. This feature will be updated on a regular basis.

    Your servant, Praghosa dasa.

TOP