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Throwing Coloured Dyes on Holi

Saturday, 22 March 2008 / Published in Articles / 62,884 views

By Mother Gandhari dasi

We are seeing that now more Iskcon centers are celebrating Holi with burning of Holika and throwing the colored dye festival. So there are some points to be mentioned about these celebrations. I was requested by a senior mataji to share this information.

So if there is anything incorrect please excuse me and add your comments. I will share something about Holi from Vedic point as much as I have learnt.

The coloured dyes are supposed to be thrown with love signifying blessing to the person “may auspicious, wealth, prosperity accompany you” It is not a wild jombory done in an indiscrimanetory way. It is a sign of jubilation that Holika is killed and Prahalad is saved. So it is signifying victory of good over evil. So in that sense it is spiritual.

Another significance is that it is also the beginning of spring. So as there is so much colour in nature inspiring the pro-creative spirit of in all beings including the plants, trees, animals and humans. After the Holi season all the other appearances of other incarnations of the Supreme Lord Krsna comes forth in the new Year besides the Varaha Avatar who places the earth back into its axis before holi. Holi in that way signifies the end of the winter, dark, gloomy season.

Even the Vedic weddings are normally supposed to be planned after the Holi season. Before the holi, it is considered not so auspicious. Therefore many weddings, celebrations and festivals take place after the Holi season, therefore the colours and celebrations are also for bringing in the new years festive seasons.

Although in India it is out of hand presently like many other things. Normally the coloured dye is only thrown to one’s close relatives and friends not to others wives. One will notice that mature Indian ladies will gently smear the red dye on the chicks of younger married ladies with so much love and affection. Single unmarried girls are usually spared because they do not have a husband yet. (But, since it is the celebrations of killing of holika, sometimes there is everyone participates in the game of coloured dye is played with immediate friends and relatives . But it is still good to point out these etiquette otherwise no one will know.

So one is careful about not throwing coloured dyes to the widows, because they do not have husbands and they are wearing white and do not wear bindis and coloured bangles, so in Vedic culture, out of respect for her ashram no one throws coloured dye at her. Colour means a living husband. Even the sanyasis and brahmacharis are spared from this sport which is meant for householders. Brahma – chari means one who is searching for the absolute truth.

So he is not so much interested in worlding enjoyment which are mainly there for grahasthas to increase loving bonds between family relations. Sanyasis do not take part in that either because he is considered socially dead so he does NOT take part in social activities of varnashram dharma which increase the attachment to body, mind and senses. We know that Lord Caitanya was playing holi pastime, but he was in the mood of gopis, enacting the pastimes of Lord Krsna with the gopis and Srimati Radharani. (Anyone want to add anything here)? The colour is mainly meant for married women teased by her younger brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law to give the blessings to increase longevity of her husband.

The women with a husband is always given the blessing of increased life of her husband (the blessing is called “Akhanda Saubhagyavati” may you always have all auspiciousness beginning with husband who is the provider of all other auspiciousness namely wealth, children and happiness. We also see that Srimati Radhika and Lord Krsna were also playing with coloured dyes. So it is more like a love sport in the water pastime as well.

Sometimes they are celebrating the Holifestival. Dwarkadhish and the queens were playing with colored dyes and water sports. In this pastime there is one very significant duty of a householder mentioned by Srila Prabhupada. The old clothes and the jewellery of the queens was donated to the sudras and servants where their needs are taken care. So Charity on auspicious days is very beneficial. One will also see Indian ladies bringing arti and puja trays from home to offer to the Holika fire. The would normally bring popcorn, dates and dried roasted chick peas called (dariya in gujarati) and a puja coconut with the husk some water, kum kum, flowers, and an oil lamp.

They offer arti, coconut and all the other ingredients and circumbulate the fire four times. They are praying to Holika to spare their sons. Asking her not to harm their sons. They will offer her coconut instead (which is offered in the place of a human). Since she is a demoness, other lowly items are offered because she came to kill the boy prahalad. It was not a great thing Holika was doing. Iskcon temples can make available these puja trays for guests at various festivals for some laxmi, it can bring some revenue. Every mother with a boy child usually offers this puja to Holika to save her child from the fire of Holika. So this is one of the vedic rituals which I learnt growing up in Gujarati culture.

This is part of karma kanda ritual similar to Lord Dwarkadish’s playing water sports with his queens signifying taking care of all household duties and festivals. Some pandits or yajnic brahmans can shed some more light.

12 comments

  1. 0
    Madhavananda Das (Orissa) ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Vaisnavas and the Observance of Holi

    I want to thank Mother Gandhari, for such a nice and informative article! Someone was recently asking us if there is any prescription from our acaryas for following the festival of Holi. I’m not aware of any description from them in Gopal Bhatta Goswami’s “Hari-bhakti-vilasa”, nor in Dhyanachandra’s puja paddhati, nor in any of our Goswami literature. Neither was it included by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta in the Gaudiya Calender of events that he compiled.

    The festival as performed in Radha-Krishna lila is mentioned in many literatures, however I’m not aware of any description of how devotees should observe it, or even prescriptions as to whether or not they follow it at all.

    As Mother Gandhari mentioned Holi is very popular in India. I have observed that here in Orissa, as well in Bengal, and in UP, the festival has sadly degraded into a drunken sport of flirting with ladies and sportive mock combat. It’s largely become something like an Indian version of todays American Halloween

    While some of the Vaishnavas (outside of ISKCON) in these states observe the festival I haven’t seen an organized or philosophic explanation by any of them of the event (other than it being performed in radha-krishna lila).

    As Mother Gandhari indicated, the Vaishnavas and cultured people in India observe Holi in a much different way than the rough way it’s often become degraded to. In such circles it’s offered out of respect to seniors and as a blessing to juniors by gently putting a small amount on their head. Many temples on this day also offer colors to the deities. Some by putting a small amount on the deities heads, others by offering Radha and Krishna, containers of colored powders, buckets of dyed water and syringes to spray each other with.

    Thank you again Mother Gandhari.

    Vaishnava kripa prarthi,
    Madhavananda Das

  2. 0
    Madhavananda Das (Orissa) ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Many Festivals on the Day of Holi

    As Mother Gandharva pointed out, Holi is considered to be the beginning of spring, and the day on which Holika, the demoniac sister of Hiranyakasipu tried to kill the child devotee Prahlad. According to various Puranas and by local traditions there are many auspicious events observed on this day:

    * This is the day of Dola-yatra, a festival for the pleasure of Sri Sri Radha Krishna. In Bengali and Oriya languages, “dola” means, “swaying”. One of the main aspects of the dola-yatra festival is that the deities are carried swaying back and forth in a palanquin.

    * Of course this is the day of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s appearance, and according to the local tradition this is also the day on which Mahaprabhu first entered Orissa.

    * The Bhavisya Purana (some versions at least, this Purana is notorious for being interpolated), says that there was a demon named Dhundha, who was killing young children. To keep her away, on this day they burned fires and chanted various names of the Lord.

    * Many Hindus consider this to be the appearance day of Manu, the author of Manu-samhita.

    * Some say that this is the day in which the Vrajabasis burned the dead body of Putana.

  3. 0
    Madhavananda Das (Orissa) ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Holi and Shankhachuda

    Aside from the above, what many don’t know about this day is that it is considered by Gaudiya Vaishnavas to be the occasion on which Krishna killed the demon Shankhachuda.

    In his purport to Bhag. 2.7.33, Srila Prabhupada writes:

    The killing of Śaṅkhacūḍa by the Lord is a more recent incident, after the rāsa-līlā, and not exactly a simultaneous affair. In the previous verses we have seen also that the Lord’s engagement in the affairs of the forest fire was described along with His pastimes of punishing the Kāliya snake, and similarly the pastimes of the rāsa dance and the killing of Śaṅkhacūḍa are also described herein. The adjustment is that all these incidents would take place in the future, after the time when it was being foretold by Brahmājī to Nārada. The demon Śaṅkhacūḍa was killed by the Lord during His pastimes at Horikā in the month of Phālguna, and the same ceremony is still observed in India by the burning of the effigy of Śaṅkhacūḍa one day prior to the Lord’s pastimes at Horikā, generally known as Holi.

    Similarly in their purports to Bhag. 10.65.17, both Jiva Goswami and Vishwanath state that it was during the Holi festival that Shankhachuda was killed.

    Anyone interested in the fascinating story of Shankhachuda may like to read a couple of articles that we compiled for our Krishna Kathamrita Bindu magazine. Therein are cited Bhaktivinode’s comments about Shankhachuda as well as little known aspects of the story as related by Rupa Goswami, and Garga Samhita. They are contained in issues 34, 35 and 36 and can be downloaded in PDF format from the following links:

    http://gopaljiu.org/Bindu/Back_issues/Bindu034.pdf

    http://gopaljiu.org/Bindu/Back_issues/Bindu035.pdf

    http://gopaljiu.org/Bindu/Back_issues/Bindu036.pdf

  4. 0
    Akruranatha ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Fascinating article, and also nice comments by Madhavananda.

    I have long wondered about Holi and how (whether) to observe it in ISKCON, because I have no training in it and we never used to do anything about in in the U.S. and Canada in the past.

    I seem to recall that Dhruva Maharaja and Samapriya translated some book (by Kavi Karnapura?) in which there was some discussion of how Holi was observed by Lord Caitanya and associates. But I forget. :-(

    The comparison to American Haloween is interesting. Considering the Spring season it reminds me of other Western/European traditions.

    The Christian tradition of Easter commemorates the resurrection of Jesus and thus corresponds to the “resurrection” of life after winter. Pagan symbols of fertility like eggs and rabbits and lillies have long been part of the Christianized holiday.

    Also, for the Christians, Easter is preceeded by a month of austerity called Lent (starting Ash Wednesday), and before Lent there are colorful rites involving drunkenness and lack of inhibition, celebrated in various countries as Mardi Gras, Carnivale, or Fasching. These traditions contain a lot of Pagan elements and are traditionally celebrated with people wearing masks and colorful costumes, throwing confetti or glitter at each other, and sometimes lewd behavior. (And in Brazil, of course, Samba. In the southern hemisphere they inherited the northern timetable.)

    Other Pagan rites of spring include May Day (not the international worker’s celebration based on the U.S. Haymarket riots, but a traditional celebration of natural fertility involving May Poles and crowning a Queen of the May and sometimes special drinking and dancing associated with the coming of spring).

    It is interesting to read that traditionally in India the brahmacaris, sannyasis, and widows do not play with Holi colors. That might explain why most of my experiences in ISKCON have been that devotees are not very enthusiastic about it. When I have been in India during Holi mostly people warn me to stay indoors or at least to avoid wearing expensive clothes out on the street.

    But it always seemed like such a joyous holiday, and connected as it is to Prahlad Maharaja and also Krishna’s pastimes, I wondered why we were always so cool about it, not spreading dyes on each other. It may be that we are more renunciation-oriented and as Mother Gandhari points out, it is more of a householder, sense-enjoyment affirming festival.

  5. 0
    Cintamani Dasi ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Hare Krishna,

    Does anyone know what Srila Prabhupada said about the Holi festival?

    Also, where is the pastime of Prahlad and Holika mentioned? I don’t recall reading about in Srimad Bhagavatam. Is it actually bonafide?

    Thank you.

  6. 0
    Mother Gandharidasi ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Dear Akruranatha, at this point I would like to explain further on some of the concerns you brought up in your feedback.
    On Dandavats we have noticed that Iskcon UK is celebrating Holi with using coloured dyes and Utah Krishan attracted 10,000 people for the festival of colours but of cause they all got the mercy of Lord Caitanya by listening to the Holy Names, Maha Prasad, Associations of devotees, seeing the deities & performing service by dancing. Coloured dyes was offered to many Iskcon dieties in India as well. And I must remind you that all the devotees from Vedic Background would have also smeared coloured dyes on their family and friends. This is an on going tradition and they do NOT give it up even though they join ISKCON and get initiated. So as you have asked why can’t the devotees from Western background join in the fun and you have also answered your own query.
    “I have long wondered about Holi and how (whether) to observe it in ISKCON, because I have no training in it and we never used to do anything about in in the U.S. and Canada in the past”.
    But it always seemed like such a joyous holiday, and connected as it is to Prahlad Maharaja and also Krishna’s pastimes, I wondered why we were always so cool about it, not spreading dyes on each other.” And the Utah Krsna’s are having so much fun!
    Besides that let me also point out that all over the world, Hindus, devotee or not, will be celebrating Holi. Almost all Hindu Societies, Gujarati and other societies around the world would put up cultural shows depicting Lord Krsna’s pastimes of throwing coloured dyes with the gopies. These shows will display amazing musical songs relating to these pastimes of Lord Krsna which touch the hearts of the attendantees in the rememberance of the Supreme Lord’s Lila.These songs were either written by great devotees, Vaisnavas or even ordinary people describing Lord Krsna’s holi – pastime. So these dramas, shows and songs somehow remind the audience of Lord Krsna, which they have celebrating all their lives no matter what country they migrate to..
    So what does this say about Hindus, that they carry some aspects of the culture with them especially the major festivals like Holi, Navaratri (festival of Dhurgha who was requested by Lord Visnu to kill the demon Mahisasura), Diwali (Return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya), Annakuta , Janmastami and the Vedic New Years celebrations are observed by all Hindus around the world with at least cultural shows and distribution

  7. 0
    Mother Gandharidasi ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    of sweets.
    Even if we are devotees we have that enjoying spirit of celebrations unless one is a sanyasi. Among Devotee grahasthas, there are different mentalities, natures and levels of advancements also. A grahastha who is more brahminical, studious and very serious, may not be interested in joining in the fun of celebrations of this pastime and may think that it is frivolous as you have also noted
    “It may be that we are more renunciation-oriented and as Mother Gandhari points out, it is more of a householder, sense-enjoyment affirming festival. That might explain why most of my experiences in ISKCON have been that devotees are not very enthusiastic about it.
    But there are grahasthas from other varnas who like to take every opportunity to have fun in Krsna Conciousness. Not everyone is a serious brahman. So as you say why not celebrate Prahalad’s Maharaj’s victory as Lord Krsna Himself did when he came to earth. Therefore in order to address this point we need to seriously discuss Daivi Varnshram Dharma which includes. Vedic calender and Vedic Festivals as I mentioned on my list of Vedic Festivals. That is why I had also written that article on Diwali at that time because Hindus all over the world were having one month long celebrations (similar to xmas) including devotees who are from vedic background whereas Iskcon temples in North America and Canada were unlit on those days except on Govardhan Puja. Dandavats Nov 17 2007 Meaning and Reasons for Diwali Celebrations (my original title was going to be ‘Diwali anyone or xmas it will be’). Same thing again in this festival the whole world celebrates Xmas in a similar way to Diwali and the Hindus and devotees from Vedic Background are also celebrating Diwali in their homes. So what about devotees from other (western) background. Are all Iskcon devotees all serious brahmans in the mood of renunciation? Just as you point out.
    “That might explain why most of my experiences in ISKCON have been that devotees are not very enthusiastic about it.”
    So by saying this are you implying that everyone in Iskcon is supposed to come to the standard of being a brahman? We need to look at Varnshram Dharma seriously for the sake of our children. Or one may even say we are not Hindus. That is a very easy way out. Please check out Prabhupada folio on ” Hinduism” Srila Prabhupada affirms that what the Hindus are following is remnants of Varnshram.
    One may say Hindus may be celebrating those festivals just for the sake

  8. 0
    Mother Gandharidasi ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    away men with sticks.’
    (Not that we want to introduce the stick festival in Iskcon). But Hindus have Rass and Garba during this time using the stick (called Ras dance singing the beautiful pastimes of Lord Krsna). This stick dance is celebrated in many major festivals by Hindus on Vedic Calender. 1) Sarad Purnima, Navaratri, & Holi etc. I am including on of the songs that is sung in Braja. from this website.
    http://www.twilightbridge.com/festivals/holi/hori.htm
    Holi in Braj Bhumi –
    Braj mein hori khelat Nandlal.

    Kesar rang ki keech bhai hai,
    Chahun or udat gulal,
    Nachat gopal.

    Braj mein hori khelat Nandlal.

    Baajat jhanjhar, dhol, majari aur khartal,
    Braj ki nari sangh hori khelat,
    Nachat dede taal, sakhi.

    Braj mein hori khelat Nandlal.

    (This song sung by women describes Nandlal, as young Krishna is called, playing hori with the women of Brajbhoomi – the area comprising Mathura, Vrindavan, Gokul and Barsana that are associated with Krishna and Radha. ‘Red colour is flying in all directions and the mud has turned slushy with saffron coloured water. Friend, dance to the beat as Nandlal is playing hori’ – so the song goes.)
    More Holi songs about pancha tattva
    http://home.planet.nl/~dijk7364/4_holi.pdf
    I remember a class given by Sridhar Maharaj during his very last days in Vancouver before going to Mayapur, where he mentioned that actually 80% of Hindus in India are Vaisnavas. It means that we need to obeserve with a different perspective than what we are used to.

    There are couple other observances. That it is recommended in CC Adi – lila part 2 that a devotee should NOT stay at a neophyte level. He MUST come to spontaneous devotional service.
    What does this have to do with holi? Holi is celebrated with knowledge of relationships & etiquette towards each other and Krsna. Therefore following suggestions.
    1) We need to get training of various ettiquette, duties, and relationship towards each other in family, society and community according to Dharma Sastras.
    2) Form Brahman Councils to decide which festivals to include uniformly in ISKCON according to Daivi Varnashram Dharma
    3) How does Vedic Calender effect devotees in Daivi Varnshram Dharma
    4) What part of Dharma Sastras should we take note of e.g. Ayurveda, Sthapatya, Parasar, Manu samhita etc.
    5) What steps should be take in order to implement Daivi Varnshram Dharma.
    I missed out the part that the Holi Colours were originally natural dye

  9. 0
    Mother Gandharidasi ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    which are used in pujas like Abil, Gulal, kum kum, tumeric, rice and mung flour and saffron and evoke devotional mood. They have wonderful healing properties for body, mind, senses, and the soul that is why they are used in puja. So when the change of season occurs these dyes were smeared on people for prevention of viruses and warding off negative energy. These coloured dyes are used in all auspicious ceremonies e.g. Diwali for Rangolis, Weddings, Holi and at all samskaras. You will see in the movie RamaVanvas (Ramayan) how Lord Rama was first smeared with all the auspicious substances by His mothers and then bathed with panchamrita. In the aame way during the vedic wedding one day is set aside for this ceremony by all the elder ladies to smear the young couple in their respective homes with tumeric, kumkum & mung flour paste mixed with auspicous scented oils for enhancing their beauty, warding off negativity from evil eyes and other spirits and creating general balance in the chakras of the body. The coloured dyes have positive effect on various chakras of the body and have wonderful healing properties e.g. tumeric has anti-fungal and anti-biotic properties and it invokes the love of divine mother. The saffron gives joy, has uplifting properties and creates laughter (it is reported that some people die of laughter in Iran from overuse of saffron). Kumkum attracts good UV rays from the atmosphere and invokes divine love. Similar to various flower dyes. So some states in India are already promoting natural coloured dyes.
    Hope this helps to enthuse devotees to seriously discuss Daivi Varnashram Dharma. I beg your pardon for the length of this article. Some devotees have appreciated the contents as informative. Your servant Mother Gandhari dasi

  10. 0
    Akruranatha ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Thank you Mother Gandharidasi for you informative discussion.

    I agree. We have to learn the Vaishnava culture, Krishna culture, and incorporate it more and more into our society.

    At the same time, I believe some devotees may be cautious because we want to make sure to learn everything correctly through parampara. Srila Prabhupada warned us (and we have seen for ourselves) that many things in modern Hindu culture are not really pure Vaisnavism, or at least not in our pure line coming from Lord Caitanya.

    For instance there are so many Mayavadi elements, so many speculations and misconceptions, and with respect to the social system also Srila Prabhupada talked about corruption (from hundreds and thousands of years) of people claiming caste privilege based only on birthright without having the actual qualifications to do the work required of their caste. (Kalau sudra sambhava) Even in King Parikshit’s time this started.

    So we will especially look to our pure devotees who come from Vedic backgrounds and understand this culture better, what parts of it are bona fide and what parts are not recommended for us to be folowed by Srila Prabhupada. It sounds like you yourself are doing good work in this direction.

    Learning the proper etiquette and social relations are so important, and many senior devotees like Bhakti Caru Swami and Radhanatha Swami and others have emphasised these points, especially how to respect Vaisnavas. Isn’t that really the hallmark of kanistha adhikaris, that they see Krishna only in the temple but do not know how to deal properly with devotees and other living beings who all have Krishna in their hearts?

    All these cultural issues can be a major challenge for us going forward, especially because ISKCON is really meant for training pure devotees who have no interest other than pleasing Krishna. But such pure devotees, although they need not be externally very austere like rshis of old, are very, very high, very very rare, very very dear to Krishna, and Prabhupada is training us to come to that standard. Some things (like praying to demigods for material boons) are not compatible with Vaisnava culture.

    Anyway one thing we can be sure of: if we are constantly devoted and worship Krishna with love, He will give the understanding from within that we need. Also, Prabhupada has many great disciples and grand-disciples who can give us good direction, and we have Prabhupada’s own direction in his books.

  11. 0
    Akruranatha ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Nowadays so many nice devotees are coming to ISKCON from Indian Hindu families. Here in San Jose we have so many, and I think this is so now all over ISKCON. Of course, the book sales and other reports from India are inspiring, too.

    This is natural and to be expected, since this is really India’s wonderful Vaisnava culture. It was not always so, though, and Srila Prabhupada’s preaching in India was not very successful until he first made many disciples outside India.

    Of course he tried to train his non-Indian disciples up to behave like perfect ladies and gentlemen. Coming from non-Indian homes we may have had many strange ways (for example, we do not separate boys and girls in the West as they have traditionally done in India), and he tried to teach us to observe cultural etiquette properly (I have to admit I am a slow learner).

    Then again, he emphasized the most important thing is to learn to discharge pure devotional service. All those great qualities like pridelessness and self-control and compassion and equanimity and tolerance and being the dearmost intimate friend of all living entities become the natural ornaments of those who chant the Holy Names without offense, even if they come from uncultured families. We should aspire to see those qualities developing in ourselves.

    I heard one story (I think it is genuine) that Acyutananda was told by some smarta-types in India that because of his pious deeds he would be able to be born in a good Hindu family in his next life. So when he told Prabhupada what they said, Srila Prabhupada responded something like, “You should tell them that if they are fortunate they may be born in America and join ISKCON.”

    One danger is that some Indian devotees may think they know things from their families or traditions that are not exactly according to our line of acaryas. Last year at San Francisco Ratha Yatra one older South Indian man was complaining in the question booth that we “westerners” fail to understand that Krishna is an expansion of Vishnu and not the other way around. I kept explaining that in was not only “westerners”, that Prabhupada has said this, Rupa and Jiva Goswami have elaborately explained it, I gave evidence from Srimad Bhagavatam and Bhagavad Gita, from Jayadeva Goswami and so many things, but it was very hard for him to accept that I was not just bewildered because I am non-Indian.

    So we have to learn from each other, taking care to stay exactly faithful to parampara.

  12. 0
    Akruranatha ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Another problem when preaching in non-Indian countries is, we have to make sure that we are actually getting the message out in an appealing, accessible way to the local population.

    Krishna appears in different forms in every society, even in every species of life. He wants to reclaim all His fallen parts and parcels. He sent Srila Prabhupada out to preach among non-Hindus and make them devotees, first and foremost, rather than make them Hindus. Devotees have (or soon will develop) all good qualities of the demigods.

    Naturally people tend to gravitate to others with similar interests and qualities. Straight-edge youth gravitates toward other straight-edge youth, hippies gravitate to hippies and scholars gravitate to scholars, new-age astrology-types may seek like-minded friends, and business people may be more comfortable with other business people, but we have to remember that what brings us all together is our eternal relationship with Krishna. We should beware we do not become complacent and fail to reach out to diverse populations and train them in participating and running our ISKCON centers.

    If a center outside India becomes overwhelmingly Indian in its congregational demographic, the devotees should be racking their brains to figure out how to attract and engage members of the local community. Otherwise there is danger that people may take it, “This is just for Indians, not for us.” We cannot let that happen.

    Our nice Indian devotees have to also be concerned to follow in Srila Prabhupada’s footsteps, uncompromisingly preaching the pure message of Lord Caitanya in a way that changes the hearts of people from all nations, languages, cultures, backgrounds. Of course we cannot imitate Prabhupada, but we have to try to follow his example .

    And our nice non-Indian devotees should gradually learn whatever is useful in Indian culture for pleasing Krishna and preaching Krishna consciousness on Prabhupada’s order. I feel myself very clumsy and uncouth, not having fine manners of high-class Aryan civilization.

    First-class Indian devotees will have a leg-up preaching anywhere, because they automatically have the mantle of knowing the culture, the language, the history. If they are very sincere and dedicated, broad-minded Vaisnava devotees, we can expect them to be influential preachers, and they can help usher in a new Krishna culture all over the world.

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