Notes from a class by Krishna-kripa das.
Manidhara Prabhu: It is the blessing of the 1960s and 1970s that people were doubting everything.
Srila Prabhupada challenged and debated with his disciples. He did not like them to accept things blindly.
When asked about to what say to Christians, Srila Prabhupada would make the point that they are not following the Bible. The Bible says ‘thou shall not kill’ but the Christians are killing so many animals.
We have answers for all questions in Krishna consciousness.
In Sweden, schools would visit the temple because they have a conception that people should be informed about everything. So we would sometimes have three schools a day. I would always ask them for questions. It was a challenge for them because they are not taught to inquire.
When people understand that we are not escapists but are providing a viable alternative, they will take it seriously.
I was talking to a lady who was suffering very much. I said to her, “Suppose you are not your body?” She was happy just to consider that. We cannot eliminate suffering but we can understand the reason for suffering, and we can elevate our consciousness so we can tolerate the suffering.
Srila Prabhupada told a paralyzed person that his condition was a blessing as another person may be in illusion thinking he can enjoy, but being paralyzed he could very soon understand this is an illusion.
Every second must be used in Krishna consciousness.
People say that I have to do this and that, and I have no time to hear about Krishna. But whatever our situation, we can try to always increase our hearing.
Srila Prabhupada said we do not need temples. We must simply create a situation for people to hear and chant of Krishna.
Taking care of cows is hard work, but it also provides facility to remember Krishna.
We have hard work in Krishna consciousness, but it is work that benefits. We are not working to produce useless products.
In Germany the philosophy is that you have to work. Why? To eat. And why to eat? So you can work.
They took people from the villages to work in the city so they could make money to go to the villages for vacation.
We go from village to village and chant Hare Krishna on padayatra. What do we do for vacation? This is our vacation.
In Slovenia devotees would use motorbikes to go to remote regions of the country. People would buy whole sets of books because they were so impressed people came to visit them. That developed into padayatra. On the padayatra, people would use bicycles to visit remotely located people, and they were so happy to encounter the devotees again.
Padayatra gets devotees together. That is an important part of it.
One devotee said I did 15 years of book distribution and 25 years of management. What can I do now? You could do padayatra. Even on wheelchairs, you could do padayatra.
The spirit of this movement is: “I got something. I should give it to others.”
We know people are not interested in philosophy. On padayatra, they see the oxen and chanting and the dancing. We give people a visual presentation, and they wonder, “What is this?”
We should not be old devotees who are sour. This means something is wrong. We are identifying with our body. Srila Prabhupada was the most old and the most poor, but he was the most ecstatic.
We have to accept Krishna consciousness as it is and share it with others.
As the Bhagavad-gita says this process is “su-sukham” (very joyful). If it is not that way for us, then we are doing something wrong.
One devotee told me that after being Srila Prabhupada’s servant for three months, he slept for three weeks.
Srila Prabhupada once said, “Don’t ask if I am sick. I am always sick.”
Srila Prabhupada was so transcendental, he extracted his own tooth once in a airplane.
A body is like a time bomb. It is just a matter of time before it will explode.
We have a padayatra calendar with photos of people enjoying our festivals. We should not lose this spirit.
We may not consider ourselves preachers, but our lifestyle is itself preaching.
My former artist friends were so shocked that I became a devotee that they began chanting Hare Krishna.
In German our opponents would have different mantras, “Get a job.” And we would come up with responses, “But I am working.”
We can practice Krishna consciousness in different situations. Our only obstacle is ourselves.
As devotees we have to be introspective and be situated properly. If we are not situated properly, if other things are there, we still will not be satisfied.
Sometimes we are so absorbed in this body, we are not aware of how to best operate this body.
As a youth I was so conscious of death that I had very few friends because no one wanted to talk about it. When I met the devotees, they would talk about death, which I appreciated. Although they talked of death, they were happy. Thus I was very curious.
Vedic culture means to be satisfied with what you have. Village life in the West was closer to Vedic culture. People had problems, but they were local problems. Previously people in general did not travel. Only the sannyasis and the brahmacaris traveled. Now we have global problems. In my own life, I experienced as I moved from the city to the village, my mind became more peaceful.
Sometimes people challenge the widespread distribution of Bhagavad-gita because Krishna says it is not for nondevotees, but we should not question Srila Prabhupada’s order.
Srila Prabhupada was proud that people could not longer identify his disciples as Americans.
Things seem to be miracles to us but they are not miracles to Krishna.
There are three types of people. Innocent people have nothing against Krishna consciousness. They simply have not heard. Then there are others who are spontaneously inimical. We tried to hide by wearing wigs, but people could identify us anyway. The German police advised people to capture Hare Krishnas. They could be identified by their bright countenance.
Krishna promises to preserve what we have and supply what we lack. What insurance company can promise that?
We have to engage our body, mind, and words in Krishna’s service.
Srila Prabhupada did not want us to tell new people about Krishna’s pastimes. We should simply explain how the soul is different than the body and about reincarnation.
It is Krishna’s mercy we do not remember all our frustration in previous lives. We would commit suicide as children otherwise. We take birth as optimistic babies.
We should give Bhagavad-gita only as far they can understand.
Once Srila Prabhupada said to a reporter, “We will not discuss God [a surprise for the reporter]. We will only talk about how we are not the body.”
Krishna spoke Bhagavad-gita on the battlefield to Arjuna, a professional soldier, while he spoke Uddhava-gita to Uddhava, a brahmana in the forest.
Sometimes people ask who forbade us to engage in intoxication, but no one forbade us. I can go into a pub and drink anytime I want, but I do not want to.
If we explain the combination of man and women is simply meant for insemination, the women understand it but the men don’t.
They are many problems caused by illicit sex, like AIDS, fear, lamentation, but how many problems are caused by celibacy? Still because people are lusty they cannot give up the habit.
After the revolution, there was propaganda against vegetarianism but not now.
When discussing vegetarianism, I offer to a meat-eater, “Here is a knife. Chase after an animal. Kill it. Take out the intestines.” But they would never do it.
In my town, there was riot, but the people would not have rioted unless they were intoxicated.
People worry how they will live without meat, but I never saw devotees dying of starvation. More likely there is the opposite problem.
We should never stop giving Krishna consciousness to others, in any circumstances, following Srila Prabhupada’s example.
We do not have to worry about renunciation. By nature’s way, as we age, we naturally become more renounced. We just have to be determined not to become more foolish.
The worries of old age and death are minimized for the devotee who has given up trying to enjoy the material world.
For the materialists to do the equivalent of padayatra would be very difficult. The people are not fully trained, they come and go, they have primitive facilities, etc.
If someone asks how do you organize ISKCON, the actual answer is no one knows. Krishna is in the heart of everyone, and He is the main manager. Krishna inspires people in the heart. If we were completely in Krishna consciousness, our activities would be completely harmonized.
I was too sick to distribute books and Bhakti Bhusana Swami invited me to travel with him. We would go door-to-door, open the door, and say, “We are here,” and we would come in and present Bhagavad-gita. People were shocked. Our tour ended in Berlin, where we had a hundred and twenty guests at the Sunday feast. There was just Maharaja, me, and two brahmacaris. We would alternate between lecture and prasadam till 4 a.m. During the year we were they there, thirteen new people became devotees due to Bhakti Bhusana Swami’s expert preaching.
Krishna consciousness is never static. If we do not endeavor, we will go backward. It starts by preaching to yourself to get up in the morning.
I lived in a temple where the temple president removed the hot water tap. This is external. We have to understand the meaning of our austerities. If we have warm feet and we can distribute more books, then it is better.
Even if people are crazy we do not hold that against them, because if they remain engaged in the practice seriously, they will ultimately attain perfection.
I was given the craziest people on my book distribution party. They would get in fights in the van, and I would alternate speeding and breaking to get them to stop.
One devotee was so crazy they told me to take him and not bring him back. He could not even chant the Hare Krishna properly. He had the good quality of being willing to hear. By distributing the books, he came to the point of being almost normal on the streets, and he could eventually chant the mantra properly.
Srila Prabhupada stressed that purity and simplicity were our qualifications.
The devotee has nothing to lose. He has lost everything already. We just have Krishna to give. Simple people can understand.
If someone begins the practice of Krishna consciousness, that is really quite high. We prepare the people for that point. That is also preaching.
People see we are not acting in the standard way, and they begin to ask questions of their own accord.
It is good we were not blackmailed in the media in Czech as we experienced in Germany.
We give people a practical alternative way to live.
Srila Prabhupada was happy seeing the next generation coming because with each succeeding generation, Krishna consciousness is more natural.
In Moravia, the devotees bought a pub and turned it into a temple. This is happening and will happen more and more.
When the switch is turned off on our technology, we will still have the cart and cows.
We have good cooks here in Czech. Srila Prabhupada liked to encourage local talent.
At the last visit to Bhaktivedanta Manor, it was guru puja, and Srila Prabhupada raised his hands indicating to speed up the kirtana, and in seconds it became most ecstatic.
Srila Prabhupada did not criticize the conditioning of his students but engaged them for their purification.
Our German book distribution party was number one, and we were told Srila Prabhupada wanted to see us. We had two groups the Nrsimha group, who were very heavy, and the Govinda group who were more peaceful.
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Notes from a class by Krishna-kripa das. Manidhara Prabhu: It is…
Notes from a class by Krishna-kripa das.