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Comments Posted By Nama Prabhu das

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Starting 24 Hour Kirtan in Mayapur

Here’s a suggestion for a new ISKCON motto:

“Get off your seat and get on to the STREET!” :-)

Jaya Prabhupada! Jaya Gauranga!

» Posted By Nama Prabhu das On Dec 31, 2013 @ 8:56 pm


So far the painting department is concerned, they have telephoned me also, so their work is very important, and four or five painters may be allowed to paint full-time, after chanting two hours their rounds, and they may spend one or two hours on sankirtana party as it is convenient. Jadurani is the best book seller of all, so she may go out for distributing books as much as possible if it is convenient and does not tax her too much away from painting art work.
Hoping this meets you both in good health,
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

January 3, 1975
Los Angeles
Dear Jadurani devi,
Please accept my obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. I am in due receipt of your letter dated Dec. 27th, and have noted the contents.
Concerning the Letter to: Chicago, Prabhupada’s answer was “because I instruct one person one way, does that mean it is for everybody?” Painting for the books to make them nice and attractive is just as important as distributing them. Both things must go on along with all of our other activities. Because one thing is stressed that does not mean other important things should decrease. Everything must continue. As you Know, printing and distributing his books is always given stress, so continue doing nice work and train any others who also have capacity in that way.
I hope this meets you in good health.
your servant,
Paramahamsa Svami

» Posted By Nama Prabhu das On Dec 31, 2013 @ 7:26 pm

Therefore as we are representative of God, we are canvassing door to door, “Please become Krsna conscious and make your life successful.” That’s all. Now it is up to you to take it or reject it. That is your business. Our business is to canvass. The representative goes to secure business door to door. Somebody purchases; somebody does not. So that is not representative’s concern. Similarly, our concern is that we shall dedicate our life to preach this Krsna consciousness movement all over the world.
(Auckland – April 14, 1972)

18 September, 1972
New York

My dear Bali Mardan, Pusta Krishna
Please accept my blessings. I have been informed by Sriman Syamasundara. of your question via telephone from New York Temple, and my reply is that this sankirtana or street chanting must go on, it is our most important program. Lord Caitanya’s movement means the sankirtana movement. You may simply take two hours for chanting sixteen rounds daily, two hours for reading congregationally, and balance of time go out for sankirtana. We must do both, reading books and distributing books, but distributing books is the main propaganda. Reading in class for two hours is sufficient and other reading can be done in spare time if one has got it, it is not that one has to be always reading. One hour a morning for Bhagavata class and one hour evening, either Bhagavad-gita or Nectar of Devotion, that is sufficient.
Now you are my elder disciples and both of your are sannyasis and also advanced in Krsna Consciousness, so these questions should not arise amongst you again and again. That means everyone is not conscientious. These things are not new to you, why do you continually ask these questions? The GBC authority must be accepted under all circumstances, not that there will be fighting amongst you. This fighting spirit will destroy everything, but what can I do, you American and European boys are trained up in this fighting attitude. Now put it aside and simply work cooperatively for spreading this movement all over the world. The standards I have already given you, now try to maintain them at all times under standard procedure. Do not try to innovate or create anything or manufacture anything, that will ruin everything. Simply do as I am doing and be always serious and sincere to serve Krsna, and He will give you intelligence how to do everything.

» Posted By Nama Prabhu das On Dec 31, 2013 @ 7:26 pm

Yes. What you have written is very nice. Thank you.

Dr. Copeland: And you’ve been rather successful in institutionalizing your religion, getting a large number of temples constructed or built or taken over, and a large number of followers.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Dr. Copeland: Why do you think you are so successful?
Prabhupada: I don’t think I am successful, but people say.
Dr. Copeland: [laughs] Very good.
Prabhupada: I will be successful when everyone will chant Hare Krsna.
Melbourne – May 20, 1975

However, we should not over look other things Srila Prabhupada said. When Aindra was in Washington D.C. these letters came to the temple:

Washington, D.C.
My dear Srutadeva das;
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated August 15th, along with the sankirtana news letter #19, and I thank you very much for it. You can continue sending me these news letters as you publish them weekly. It is this sankirtana which is the life and soul of our movement. Sankirtana and book distribution should go on together side by side. I am always glad when these activities are increasing and my pleasure is always increasing.
Your ever well wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

from Mayapur:
24 October, 1974
Washington, D.C.
My Dear Srutadeva das:
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your Sankirtana newsletters No. 23 & 24. These statistics are very nice. I like very much to receive the report of my book sales. I think it also gives encouragement to the devotees who distribute the books. Here at Mayapur my guru maharaj was printing one paper. It was selling for only a few paise. Sometimes whenever one brahmacari would go to Navadvipa and sell even a few copies, I would see my guru maharaj become very much pleased. Even if the brahmacari was not a very important member, my guru maharaj would become very, very pleased with him. He personally instructed me that books are more important than big temples. At Radha Kunda he told me that since constructing the big marble temple at Bhag Bazar, there have been so many difficulties. Our men our envious over who will live in which room. I think it would be better to take off all the marbles and sell them and print books. He told me this personally. So I am always emphasizing book distribution. It is the better kirtana. It is better than chanting. Of course chanting should not stop, but book distribution is the best kirtana.
Your ever well wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

» Posted By Nama Prabhu das On Dec 28, 2013 @ 7:26 pm

The Great Need to Understand Mental Illness in ISKCON

The mahatmas are always ready to render such service to the Lord with great determination. In this regard His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura once made this comment in a lecture:
‘The neophyte Vaisnava devotees’ ringing the bell even once during worship of the Deity of the Supreme Lord is a million times more valuable, spiritually and otherwise, than the charitable fruitive workers building many hospitals, feeding thousands of the poor, or building homes, or even the empirical philosophers’ Vedic studies, meditation, austerities, and penances.’

The mahatmas have shown the perfect path of charity: devotional service to the Lord. If anyone ignores this path and instead builds hospitals, his effort to help humanity is a mere pretense. Humanity can never reap any permanent advantage from such activities. Indeed, the number of patients only increases along with the number of hospitals. And as for feeding the poor, this will never eradicate poverty, but encourage it. Frankly speaking, we are not against opening hospitals or feeding the poor, or any other such humanitarian service. But what we have learned from our beloved spiritual master is that when devotional service to the Lord is neglected, every other activity is illusory and futile. Without genuine devotional service, even opening hospitals and feeding the poor in the name of Lord Krsna is futile. Spiritual groups that do not strictly follow in Lord Caitanya’s line cannot comprehend this because they do not wish to abide by the instructions of the mahatmas. They do not follow Lord Caitanya’s injunction to be “more humble than a blade of grass.” If they were that humble, they would give up their pride in being the doer of good deeds, the wisest person, the most devoted, and so on.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => RTW 2.10: The Supreme Lord: Lover of His Devotees

Srimad Bhagavatam, 1.2.8:
“The occupational activities a man performs according to his own position are only so much useless labor if they do not provoke attraction for the message of the Personality of Godhead.”

Second Canto, 2.1.11-12:
“O King, constant chanting of the holy name of the Lord after the ways of the great authorities is the doubtless and fearless way of success for all…”

“What is the value of a prolonged life which is wasted, inexperienced by years in this world? Better a moment of full consciousness, because that gives one a start in searching after his supreme interest.”

» Posted By Nama Prabhu das On Nov 3, 2013 @ 8:31 pm

Still we have to take seriously Srila Prabhupada’s concerns as he pointed out in this conversation:

Prabhupada: But that creating problem. The psychiatrists came to see me, where? Caracas. So I said — he admitted, both the psychiatrists — that “You are not treating the real person who is diseased.” I gave him the example, that “You have got good car, but the driver is a madman, and he is creating disaster, and you psychiatrists are going to cure it. You never say that ‘The driver is bad. Change him or just educate him. Then there will be no disaster.’ But you are taking your fees and giving some repairing in the car. But you do not know what is the original cause of disaster. It is not chance. Due to the bad driver.” So our propaganda is to give the bad driver nice knowledge so that he can drive the car to Vaikuntha. That is our position. And these rascals, the materialists, they are simply painting the body of the car. And the driver? “Let him starve.”
Rupanuga: They are like the cheating mechanics.
Prabhupada: That’s all. All these medical men, psychiatrists, they are simply painting the body of the car. That’s all.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Room Conversation with Svarupa Damodara — Atlanta, February 28, 1975

So in conclusion, let us listen carefully to these words of our beloved Srila Prabhupada:

“The great endeavor the mahatma undertakes to execute devotional service is more intense than the ordinary man’s voluntary acceptance of excessive pains and troubles to maintain his family and home. The struggle for maintaining family and relatives is illusion, or maya. Hence it is truly distressing. By contrast, the difficulties one accepts in serving the Supreme Lord are transcendental, and therefore they are a source of sublime bliss. Moreover, a person who serves the Supreme Lord automatically serves his family. But the opposite is not true: serving the family is not equivalent to serving the Lord. All mahatmas agree on this point. Not only does the person who serves the Supreme Lord serve his relatives, but he also serves the entire world of moving and nonmoving living beings. Thus service to Lord Krsna is the prime cause of world peace and harmony.

» Posted By Nama Prabhu das On Nov 3, 2013 @ 8:29 pm

My apologies to Gaura Gopala das and Pusta Krsna das for not being more clear in my reply. Yes. You are both right. We should not foolishly neglect the proper care of our body and mind. And I also want to applaud Karuna Dharini dasi for her very nice article. It was not may intent to give the impression that Srila Prabhupada did not want us to use common sense and not go to a doctor if we needed medical treatment. Of course, it is much more rare that a devotee will need psychiatric medication but if that is absolutely necessary then we may have to take that course of action. We can only pray to Krishna for proper guidance. I am sorry that I did not get my point across properly. That was my fault.

Of course, the real solution is for the devotee community to develop such a loving, compassionate and caring atmosphere that that along with our chanting of Hare Krishna and reading Srila Prabhupada’s books that will heal all our emotional ills. In most cases, mental illness and depression is caused by loneliness and a feeling of not being loved (of course that is a generalization). Only rarely is medication necessary. That is why Srila Prabhupada was so effective in treating so many young boys and girls who were crazy in so many ways and bringing them back to sanity just by the power of his love for Krishna and the chanting of the Maha-mantra. We should never underestimate the power of the holy names when heard from the lips of a pure devotee.

Yet, we have to be careful when approaching any secular treatment. Even my doctor when checking my prostate told me I needed more sex life. And many therapists will not encourage devotional activities looking on them as cultish or religious fanatacism and actually encourage a neophyte devotee to give up his strict devotional practices for a more moderate practice. However Gaura Gopala is right when he says that the psychiatric community has changed considerably over the last forty years. So it is very encouraging that Gaura Gopal has pointed out that now there are devotee therapists and that Pusta Krsna is there to help devotees with their medical ills.

» Posted By Nama Prabhu das On Nov 3, 2013 @ 8:28 pm

I am shocked that someone would make such an offensive statement on saying that Srila Prabhupada’s instructions are not relevant today. It shows a great lack of understanding regarding how Srila Prabhupada preached and how to apply that preaching in a practical way. In a multitude of places Srila Prabhupada also condemns technology and industry, and calls hospitals and modern medicine “a place for the demons.” But with our common sense we can understand that technology, industry and medicine are also humbug but often we use them in Krishna’s service or in a specific case to help a devotee. There are many instances when Srila Prabhupada personally told a disciple to go to a doctor and get medicine. A blind uncle is better than no uncle at all. Sometimes the spiritual master gives what may appear as contradictory instructions but they must be understood with intelligence.

So yes. Srila Prabhupada is absolutely correct when he says that psychiatrists are humbug. Most of them are. Unfortunately, you have tried to use an example that by following Srila Prabhupada’s instructions you took a devotee out of a mental asylum and it actually hurt her because she only chanted for a few hours and then left never to be seen again. It would take more time and space than are allowed here to find out what really happened and then discuss at length as to whether they were actually following Srila Prabhupada’s instructions intelligently and whether the devotee’s ultimate benefit far outweighed any temporary relief. There are so many things that could be discussed. But just the mood of trying to prove Srila Prabhupada’s instructions as inappropriate is an offense and you should apologize immediately.

Generally when Srila Prabhupada spoke of psychiatry he was referring to Freudian. But the point is still valid. Ultimately Krishna is the only doctor and any kind of treatment whether it be for a broken leg or broken heart is worthless without Krishna consciousness.
THAT is the point Srila Prabhupada is trying to teach us time and time again. This entire material world is just so many zeros and without the one Krishna in front they are all worthless. Hare Krishna. Jaya Srila Prabhupada!

» Posted By Nama Prabhu das On Nov 1, 2013 @ 8:24 pm

Who Is This Ramo?

Dear Pusta Krsna prabhu,

In all due respect, whenever Srila Prabhupada (it is ironic that you spelled it Prabhupad – without the “a” at the end :-) would chant japa or speak of Lord Ram or Lord Balaram, he would always drop the “a” at the end. It is quite clear on all the japa tapes that Srila Prabhupada said quite loudly “Hare RAM”. So perhaps, just perhaps since I cannot speculate on Srila Prabhupada’s intentions, perhaps you were chanting something else a little bit incorrectly or not audibly enough and Srila Prabhupada was encouraging you in that way. Obviously I don’t know, and it is quite wonderful that you had such close association with Srila Prabhupada. But what we do know is how Srila Prabhupada sounds on japa tapes and on hundreds of occasions when he spoke of Lord Ram and Krishna Balaram. So as for me, I think after over 40 years, I will continue chanting my japa in that way. I don’t think there is any harm in saying “Hare Ram, Hare Ram, Ram Ram, Hare Hare” as Srila Prabhupada did. Jaya Prabhupad! Hare Krishna.

daso ‘smi,
nama prabhu das

» Posted By Nama Prabhu das On Oct 16, 2013 @ 5:45 am

Are We Really Following Srila Prabhupada?

I am sure Yadavendra prabhu is a sincere devotee serving in Srila Prabhupada’s sankirtana army and doing the wonderful work of distributing Srila Prabhupada’s books. However, when he says that we should stop writing “All glories to Srila Prabhupada!” on our letters because it reminds him of “Heil Hitler!” – I’m sorry – that is just plain crazy and to me it feels very offensive. Just the fact that it reminds him of “Heil Hitler” betrays some sort of offensive mentality. In over 40 years devotees have been glorifying Srila Prabhupada in letters, kirtans, prema dhvani prayers etc. by saying “All glories to Srila Prabhupada!” and all of sudden it reminds Yadavendra of Hitler!?!?! Hare Krishna!!

Hey, I’m not saying Yadavendra is a demon or something like that. We all have our unarthas and aparadhas and we are all here to learn. Believe me, I have done many offensive and sinful things. I am sure Yadavendra prabhu is a much better devotee than I am. But I just feel that someone should stand up and say something because it just doesn’t seem right.

It is wonderful that he is distributing books. And everyone knows that that was the closest thing to Srila Prabhupada’s heart. But even though he has quoted a few letters where Prabhupada uses words like “everyone” and “every devotee”, those of us who were around back then know that Srila Prabhupada encouraged many different services and was happy with them all. It was just because book distribution was so important that he stressed it so much and pushed us so hard. We needed it because it wasn’t easy. But he also wanted a glorious Krsna Balarama Mandir and he wanted Gurukulas and he wanted farm communities and he wanted beautiful Deity worship. He wanted so many things to happen for spreading Krishna consciousness all over the world.

As Paramahamsa Swami wrote to Jadurani on behalf of Srila Prabhupada:
“‘Prabhupada’s answer was “because I instruct one person one way, does that mean it is for everybody?” Painting for the books to make them nice and attractive is just as important as distributing them. Both things must go on along with all of our other activities. Because one thing is stressed that does not mean other important things should decrease. Everything must continue.'”

So everyone should be encouraged in their respective services as Srila Prabhupada always made us feel so appreciated and loved. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

» Posted By Nama Prabhu das On Jul 13, 2012 @ 5:42 am

“Exploring the Bhagavad-gita” Wins Prestigious Choice Award

I am a little bit confused here. I didn’t see Lord Sri Krishna or Srila Prabhupada mentioned once in this article. What is the actual point of his book with his own translations and commentary? Perhaps you could give a sample from the book that shows how he has stayed faithful to Srila Prabhupada while attempting to make the Bhagavad-gita “more accessible and understandable to a wide variety of modern readers.” Thank you. Hare Krishna.

» Posted By Nama Prabhu das On Jan 23, 2012 @ 5:46 pm

Chanting Hare Krishna….It Really Works

There is a wonderful new book just released by Torchlight Publishing and the BBT, “Chanting Hare Krishna” which is a compilation of quotes from Srila Prabhupada’s books, lectures, conversations and letters. Here is a quote from chapter 2:

What is the Test?

These are some of the practical examples. There are persons who criticize the chanting of Hare Krsna mantra. Because the glories of the holy name are described here, sometimes those who are not in the line, they think, “It is too much. It is too much.” So it is advised, no it is not too much. You can test it. Test it. What is that test? When you fall down from a high place. Suppose from the roof you may fall down, you may slip and fall down. By falling down you may break your bones. Or you may be bitten by some animal—cats, dogs, a snake. There are so many, domestic. Or you may be burned or you may be injured by others. Then during this time you can test, practical. What is that test? Try to chant Hare Krsna. If anyone does so, you’ll immediately feel that from the injuries you are not feeling pain. This is practical. Even a snake bite you may be saved. The author never says that you may be saved from death, but the suggestion is that you may not feel much pain. This is practical.
(Srîmad-Bhagavatam 6.2.15 / Vrndavana, September 18, 1975)

This book is available from Torchight Publishing if your temple store doesn’t already have it. Hare Krishna.

» Posted By Nama Prabhu das On Jan 13, 2012 @ 6:09 pm

An Unexpected Guest

Thank you for the wonderful passages from Caitanya-caritamrta. Again, you are talking about a personal associate of Lord Caitanya, a pure devotee of the Lord. The poem is written for those of us who are struggling and aspiring to become pure devotees. Hare Krishna.

» Posted By Nama Prabhu das On Dec 12, 2011 @ 1:40 am

And when discussing the “externals” of Vaishnava appearance Srila Prabhupada had this to say;

Prabhupada: Why your dress is not as a sannyas?
Tusta Krsna: The robes make people uncomfortable, Prabhupada. They see you as different and can’t relate. They won’t relax enough to listen when I wear robes.
Prabhupada: But sannyasis must dress in saffron with robes and shaved head.
Tusta Krsna: I am following all the principles, but the dress is external and superficial. Why should we let it hamper the preaching?
Prabhupada: If the dress is superficial, why should you change your dress to please people who are so serious about the superficial? [Pause.] You understand my point? Superficial people become controlled by superficial and external things. Why do you dress to please superficial people? You should dress to please Krsna.
Tusta Krsna: So you would like me wear saffron and shave up?
Prabhupada: Yes, I want you to promise this. Only wear saffron and keep your head shaved. This is sannyäsé dress. You should promise.
Tusta Krsna: Yes, Prabhupada. I promise.

So this poem is not written for the liberated souls like you:-) It is written for us struggling devotees who do not always follow so strictly yet we want to please Srila Prabhupada. It is meant to encourage us to improve and not be complacent. It is very nice. Hare Krishna.

daso ‘smi,
nama prabhu das

» Posted By Nama Prabhu das On Dec 5, 2011 @ 7:40 pm

Dear Puskaraksa prabhu,

“What if” we never left the spiritual world in the first place? Then we wouldn’t be having this discussion. But we have fallen and we are not pure devotees. So strictly following the instructions of the spiritual master is how me can make advancement in our devotional life. Perhaps for you this poem is not relavent because you are already beyond the “external signs” of a devotee. But as far as I understand, becoming sincere MEANS following the guidelines Srila Prabhupada gave us. Do you consider wearing tilak, and chanting japa external? Do you think it is all right to eat garlic and watch mundane movies and tv? Do you think reading non-devotional magazines is better than reading Bhagavad-gita? So just what is your point when you say:

What if we became resolute to be sincere and not just restrict our devotional life to the manifestation of some external signs, socially acceptable within a given community…?

This poem is a very nice reality check and wake-up call for those devotees who consider themselves followers of Srila Prabhupada but perhaps need a little encouragement to be more strict in their devotional practices.

Srila Prabhupada was asked this question in Australia:

Devotee: Srila Prabhupada, if Krsna is everywhere, why do we stress the importance of living a very strict life in the temple atmosphere?
Prabhupada: But have you got the eyes to see Krsna everywhere?
Devotee: No, Srila Prabhupada.
Prabhupada: Then you must attention give to temple. When you have got the eyes to see Krsna everywhere, you may not require temple worship. But why do you try to imitate that? You have no eyes to see that. Yes.

And when Yamuna asked Srila Prabhupada about being strict he replied:

Prabhupada: What can be done? Let others do whatever they like. We can preach that “Do not do it,” but you cannot force, because the whole world has gone in these four principles of life, this eating, meat-eating, drinking, gambling. And so our regulation is very strict. You see? If we say that “You do whatever you like,” then many people may come and join. (laughter) But we are not going to say that.


» Posted By Nama Prabhu das On Dec 5, 2011 @ 7:36 pm

Dear Prabhus,

Obeisances. Jaya Prabhupada!

Who actually wrote this poem? Laxmimoni dasi or Indradyumna Maharaja? It is a very powerful tool for self-reflection and honesty. It has affected me very deeply. Srila Prabhupada states in a purport in the Fourth Canto:

“Anyone can become successful in devotional service provided he displays no duplicity. It is explained here that one must be very frank and open-minded. To be situated in a lower status of life is not a disqualification for success in devotional service. The only qualification is that whether one is a brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya or sudra, he must be open, frank and free from reservations. Then, by performing his particular occupational duty under the guidance of a proper spiritual master, he can achieve the highest success in life.”

I think this poem helps us in this respect. Thank you very much. Hare Krishna.

daso ‘smi,
nama prabhu das

» Posted By Nama Prabhu das On Dec 3, 2011 @ 5:07 pm

Japa & Kirtan Retreat at Varsana days 1-6

Dear Adi-purusha prabhu,

Thank you so much for taking the time to share with us the wonderful realizations and instructions from the Japa Retreat. We would love to hear the answer to this questions as it has been on the minds of many devotees for a long time:

“Why Srila Prabhupada did not make such Japa Retreats; are not his (simple) instructions enough for us?”

Looking forward to your reply. Hare Krishna.

daso ‘smi,

nama prabhu das

» Posted By Nama Prabhu das On Nov 19, 2011 @ 5:32 pm

OPEN LETTER TO Bhakti Vikasa Swami

Hare Krishna Sarvopama prabhu,

Obeisances. Jaya Prabhupada!

There is a new book out (co-published from Torchlight and the BBT) called “Chanting Hare Krishna.” It is a compilation of quotes from Srila Prabhupada about chanting. There is one chapter especially about Hari Nama sankirtana. It is so inspiring. I think this book will encourage everyone to “get off of their seats and out on the streets!” Hare Krishna!

daso ‘smi,

nama prabhu das

» Posted By Nama Prabhu das On Nov 8, 2011 @ 2:11 am

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