“Actually, our position in this material existence is not very good. Everyone sees it practically. Still, they want to adjust,”-SP

September 29, 2019 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

June 2 1974 Geneva lecture….
We are now entangled. Actually, our position in this material existence is not very good. Everyone sees it practically. Still, they want to adjust, “Let us make it good. Let us make it good.” That is called punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām [SB 7.5.30], again and again chewing the chewed. Just like generally a father, especially here in India, he wants that his son may be well-situated. Therefore we don’t get Indian youth very much, because the father and mother settles them. What is that? Get them married and give them some earning capacity, either by service or business. So he becomes satisfied, “This is the end of life.” Gṛhamedhi. Just “Now I am married. It is my duty to stick to the gṛha and enjoy senses, that’s all.” Gṛhamedhi. Sacrifice for Kṛṣṇa, brahmacārī, sannyāsī… Sannyāsīs have become rogues. And there is no brahmacārī nor vānaprastha. Therefore it is very difficult to get Indian workers. They have no… Your qualification is—I told in the beginning—that you have got a renouncing spirit. That is a great qualification. Tyāga. Renunciation is opulence also. Kṛṣṇa, six opulences. One of the opulence is renunciation. Aiśvaryasya samagrasya vīryasya yaśasaḥ śriyaḥ (Viṣṇu Purāṇa 6.5.47), jñāna-vairāgya. Vairāgya means renunciation. You have enough of this material enjoyment. You have enjoyed. Or you have seen that there is no actually profit. Therefore you are in a spirit… That is natural. That is natural. If one has enjoyed very much, the next stage will be renunciation. This is natural. So because you have got a renouncing spirit, you are understanding or taking Kṛṣṇa consciousness very nicely, at least, very eagerly. Jñāna-vairāgya. That is required. This vairāgya then… I therefore sometimes like these hippies because they have a spirit of renunciation. That is very good position.Simply they require jñāna, or knowledge. Then their life will be successful. To bring one to the platform of renunciation, that is a very difficult job. Especially when one has got nice wife, nice home, nice bank balance, it is very, very difficult.
So there is a version by Kṛṣṇa that one who is anxious to take Kṛṣṇa consciousness, but he is entrapped by this binding-nice wife, nice children, nice home, nice bank balance—so Kṛṣṇa, in order to give them, give such devotee, facility, He takes away. Hariṣye tad-dhanaṁ śanaiḥ. Yasyāham anugṛhṇāmi hariṣye tad-dhanaṁ śanaiḥ [SB 10.88.8]. Just like he did with the Pāṇḍavas.
The Pāṇḍavas were devotees, but at the same time, they were king. There was attachment. So therefore Kṛṣṇa took away their everything—their kingdom, their wife, their position, their honor—test him, and still, they did not give up Kṛṣṇa. Therefore they came out victorious. So Kṛṣṇa sometimes tests His…, that how much one devotee is. He forcibly makes him renounced in order. That is Kṛṣṇa’s special favor.
So this vairāgya-jñāna, it is required. We were discussing last night also, vīta-rāga-bhaya-krodha [Bg. 4.10], these things are required. Unless one becomes completely, what is called? Averse?
Yogeśvara: Detached.
Prabhupāda: Detached: “So what is this nonsense material life?” That’s a very good qualification. If one understands this perfectly—”This is all rubbish, this material enjoyment”—it is a great qualification. Akiñcana. Akiñcana. Akiñcana means do not possess anything material. Akiñcana-gocara. Kuntī, Kuntī, Queen Kuntī, when she was receiving Kṛṣṇa, she said, “My dear Kṛṣṇa, You are akiñcana-gocara. You are realized by a person who has no material possession. And You have given us now so much material possession. How we can understand You?” That was… Kuntī was regretting that “When we are in distress, You are always with us. Now You have given us kingdom and everything. Now You are going away to Dvārakā. What is this, Kṛṣṇa? Better let us go again to that distressed condition so that You remain with us.” Akiñcana-gocara. Kṛṣṇa is akiñcana-gocara. Anyone who wants to enjoy material life, it is not possible to become fully Kṛṣṇa conscious. This is very secret.
Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, niṣkiñcanasya bhagavad-bhajanonmukhasya. Bhagavad-bhajana, to become devotee, Kṛṣṇa conscious, is meant for niṣkiñcanasya, one who does not possess anything in the material world. That does not mean he should be poverty-stricken. No. He should know it fully that “Nothing belongs to me; everything belongs to Kṛṣṇa. I am simply His servant, that’s all.” This is called akiñcana. If I think that “Keeping Kṛṣṇa in front, let me possess some material things,” that is another cheating. That is not… Akiñcana. You should be fully conscious, that “Everything belongs to Kṛṣṇa and nothing to us.” Then Kṛṣṇa becomes your suhṛt. He takes charge, how your benefit will be there, ultimate

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Prabhupada preaching strongly against the pig like present civilization

September 28, 2019 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

Jan 22-23 1976 Mayapur.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Then in Tretā-yuga one-fourth diminished. And then Dvāpara-yuga, half diminished. And in Kali-yuga, three-fourth diminished. Seventy-five per cent are all rogues, and twenty-five per cent… That is expected, but that is now diminishing. They are all rogues with the advancement of Kali-yuga. Mandāḥ sumanda-matayo manda-bhāgyā hy upadrutāḥ [SB 1.1.10]. Therefore there is no other method to save them. Harer nāmaiva kevalam. This is Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s gift. Incorrigible. Everyone will be incorrigible. Only hope is Hare Kṛṣṇa. The whole Vedic system is to make human being correct. Being incorrect, they are suffering in this material world repetition of birth, death. Sometimes man, sometimes dog. So to correct him so that he comes to his original position, Kṛṣṇa conscious, and go back to home. This is the whole Vedic civilization, to correct him. Therefore it is called saṁskāra. Saṁskāra means correction. Saṁskārād bhaved dvijaḥ. Veda-pāṭhād bhaved vipro brahma jānātīti brāhmaṇaḥ.(?)To correct him and bring him to the brahminical stage. From pig stage to brahminical stage. This is Vedic civilization. Everyone is like pig in this material world. Therefore Ṛṣabhadeva says, “Now don’t live like pig.” Nāyaṁ deho deha-bhājāṁ nṛloke kaṣṭān kāmān arhate viḍ-bhujāṁ ye: [SB 5.5.1] “Now, you, My children… ” He was advising, instructing His son that “Now this life is not to live like pig.” This is the first instruction, because everyone is more or less pig, living like pig. Pig means he has no discrimination of eating and he has no discrimination of sex. That is pig. And everyone is like that. No discrimination of eating, especially in the Western. And no discrimination of sex. Pigs. Big pig or small pig, that’s all. So Ṛṣabhadeva says, “Now My dear sons, don’t spoil your life living like pigs.” Nāyaṁ deho deha-bhājāṁ nṛloke. Nṛloke means “In the human society you should not live like pig and very hard labor.” So the whole civilization at the present moment they want to live like pig, and to live like pig they are working like an ass. And that is civilization, working like ass to become a pig. You tell them!
Harikeśa: They will get very angry.
Prabhupāda: Angry… With shoes. We beat them with shoes that You have created a civilization to work like ass, and ideal is to become a pig. What is this civilization? Śva-viḍ-varāhoṣṭra-kharaiḥ saṁstutaḥ puru… [SB 2.3.19]. And for their votes you become a president. What you are better than a pig? A pig votes for another pig, big pig. That’s all. How people will be happy?”
Harikeśa: You told them that in South Africa.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Did I say?
Harikeśa: Yes.
Prabhupāda: But they clapped.
Harikeśa: Yes. (laughter)
Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes. They appreciated. Although they do not take Indians very seriously…
Harikeśa: “Third-class citizens.”
Prabhupāda: Third class. But they attended my lecture, they purchased my books and they clapped.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Oh. South Africa…
Prabhupāda: Yes, South Africa. That I… Very much I was astonished that how these…
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Many of them?
Prabhupāda: Oh, many of them.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Oh. I thought only Indians attended.
Harikeśa: Oh, no.
Prabhupāda: No, no. White men. Yes. And in Melbourne the priests also appreciated. So any sane man will appreciate our, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. These are very strong words, that “You have created a civilization of pig, and for making perfect that civilization you are working like ass.” So what is the advancement? A ass is trying to become a pig. What is that civilization? The ideal is to become a pig, and for that, fulfillment of that idea, they are working like ass. Is it not? Just see. Think over.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: If we speak like that in the classrooms, whew!

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Want to go back to Godhead? here is a test

September 25, 2019 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

March 6 1974 Mayapur
Prabhupada:There is that story that one old woman, she was suffering. And she had to collect woods from the forest and sell in the market. So one day, how do you say, she was praying to Kṛṣṇa, or God, that “Kindly help me. I am in very poverty-stricken.” So one day, she was carrying that load of fuel. It fell down. So nobody was there to help him. So she began to cry, “Who will help me?” So she began to pray to God “Kindly help me.” And God came: “What do you want?” “Who are you, Sir?” “I am God.” “Kindly help me to take this burden on my head.” Yes. “All right.” From God, she’s asking, “Please help me to get this burden on my head.” That’s all. So everyone is going on, “Let family be very happy, my son be married. He may… Let him pass MA examination.” But it is the same thing, “Give me the burden on my head.” This is the prayer. Mūḍhāḥ. Na māṁ prapadyante mūḍhāḥ [Bg. 7.15]. The life was meant for understanding Kṛṣṇa and worship Him, and he’s asking, “Give me the burden on my head.” Therefore mūḍha, rascal, fool. He’s asking something which will never make him happy, even by merging into the effulgence, Brahman effulgence. It will never make him happy. But he does not know. Therefore he’s mūḍha, rascal.
Siddha-svarūpānanda: That’s a very clear example.
Prabhupāda: Yes.
Siddha-svarūpānanda: Very clear.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Everyone is asking, “Please help me to get this burden on my head.” Everyone is asking. [break] Kṛṣṇa mantra means asking nothing from Kṛṣṇa, but only praying, “Please engage me in Your service.” This is Hare Kṛṣṇa. Now let him engage, whatever service He likes. I don’t dictate that “Give me this service.” That is also sense gratification. As soon as I’ll say that “Engage me in this type of service,” that is also sense gratification. When one surrenders fully that “Engage me in Your service in whatever way You like,” that is pure devotion. You cannot dictate Kṛṣṇa. Because He wants, sarva-dharmān… “First of all surrender, then I will give you. I will allot what kind of service you can do.” Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇam, ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva… [Bg. 18.66]. But if I dictate, then Kṛṣṇa will be…, “All right, you take this.” Then you again become unhappy. Don’t dictate Kṛṣṇa. Be dictated. That is happiness. But everyone is dictating, “Please give me this. Give me this. Give me that. Give me that. Give me this.” Why should you dictate Kṛṣṇa? As soon as I dictate, that is my sense gratification. That is not pure devotion. Anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam. Anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam [Brs. 1.1.11]. Make zero all your (material) desires. It doesn’t matter, this desire or that desire. Any kind of desire. Whatever you desire, that is material. Anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam [Cc. Madhya 19.167]. That is pure devotee.
Devotee: That takes practice.
Prabhupāda: Eh?
Devotee: That takes practice, to stop desiring for oneself.
Prabhupāda: Yes. And therefore…
Devotee: You have to practice…
Prabhupāda: …the practice is that you should simply desire what your spiritual master says. Don’t desire yourself. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ **. If you fulfill the desires of your spiritual master, then Kṛṣṇa will be pleased.” Because he’s the representative, the immediate representative, boss, if you satisfy him, the master, supreme master, is also satisfied. If he gives report, “This clerk is doing nice,” that is sufficient. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ **. This is the injunction.

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The Story behind the “dancing white elephants”–and more

September 25, 2019 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

Gargamuni Das

In india in the early 70’s Srila Prabhupada performed ”kirtan pandals” all over india. He publicly referred to the foreign devotees as ”dancing white elephants”–Brahmananda prabhu gives a nice analasyis of this statement–

-Brahmananda: I’m thinking what Srila Prabhupada, when we came here, what he called us. You may know. What did Prabhupada call us? Dancing white elephants. Now, I did some research about white elephants, what that means, and I found out the term comes actually from Thailand where they have many elephants there and every once in a while there is an albino is born, a white elephant. So when a white elephant is born, it’s considered very special and the white elephant is treated very special, not like the other elephants. He’s pampered, he’s kept very nicely. The thing is, of course, elephants are used to work. In the logging industry, the elephants pull the logs and push them and they work very hard. But the white elephant, they don’t work, they don’t put him to work. They just keep him. So the thing is that it’s very expensive to maintain the white elephant.
He has to be given special treatment and all kinds of facilities and so on, whereas the other elephants don’t have this. The other elephants, all they do is work. But the thing is, the white elephant doesn’t produce anything. The white elephant is actually useless, he cannot work, he’s just maintained. So what they do with the white elephant, they teach him some tricks, to perform something, they make some show and they’re entertained. They find it very entertaining to see the white elephant dancing. The black elephant, nobody cares to see the black elephant dance; but the white elephant, oh, that’s very good. But the problem is that the white elephant can’t do anything else. So it’s a very apt description, I think, when we came to India. We could not do anything. Sometimes we thought we were maybe doing something, then Prabhupada had to remind us actually he was doing everything. Actually Prabhupada had to manage everything, every last detail, to how to distribute prasadam. Just like Kausalya was saying, Prabhupada had to teach us how to peel a banana, how to eat the proper way and wash and so many things. So Prabhupada had to micro-manage everything. And why? Just so the white elephants could attract the brown elephants now. But this was Prabhupada’s mission.
When he came to India…Prabhupada went to America in 1965-66, then he came to India in 1970. When Prabhupada came to India in 1970, then he made India his base, he stayed in India. From India, then he would go out and visit the West. But he stayed from 1971 all the way through in India was his base. So the mission was to have the Indian people become devotees. When Prabhupada was here, he used to tell everyone, “I am the only Indian who is practicing Krishna consciousness,” and it was a fact. He said, “Look what I have done, I am the only Indian.” He used to tell the other Indians, “If you join, how much we can do.”

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Important instructions (vani) for us from the great Jada Bharata

September 23, 2019 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

These texts below show why the Srimad Bhagavatam is the ripened fruit of all Vedic knowledge These few verses were spoke by the great Jada Bharata to King Rahugana
SB 5.12.10-Since this universe has no real ultimate existence, the things within it—shortness, differences, grossness, skinniness, smallness, bigness, result, cause, living symptoms, and materials—are all imagined. They are all pots made of the same substance, earth, but they are named differently. The differences are characterized by the substance, nature, predisposition, time and activity. You should know that all these are simply mechanical manifestations created by material nature.
SB 5.12.11-What, then, is the ultimate truth? The answer is that nondual knowledge is the ultimate truth. It is devoid of the contamination of material qualities. It gives us liberation. It is the one without a second, all-pervading and beyond imagination. The first realization of that knowledge is Brahman. Then Paramātmā, the Supersoul, is realized by the yogīs who try to see Him without grievance. This is the second stage of realization. Finally, full realization of the same supreme knowledge is realized in the Supreme Person. All learned scholars describe the Supreme Person as Vāsudeva, the cause of Brahman, Paramātmā and others.
PURPORT-In Caitanya-caritāmṛta it is said: yad advaitaṁ brahmopaniṣadi tad apy asya tanu-bhā. The impersonal Brahman effulgence of the Absolute Truth consists of the bodily rays of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Ya ātmāntaryāmī puruṣa iti so ’syāṁśa-vibhavaḥ. What is known as ātmā and antaryāmī, the Supersoul, is but an expansion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Sad-aiśvaryaiḥ pūrṇo ya iha bhagavān sa svayam ayam [Cc. Ādi 1.3]. What is described as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, complete with all six opulences, is Vāsudeva, and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is nondifferent from Him. Great learned scholars and philosophers accept this after many, many births. Vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ (Bg. 7.19). The wise man can understand that ultimately Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa, is the cause of Brahman, and Paramātmā, the Supersoul. Thus Vāsudeva is sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam [Bs. 5.1], the cause of all causes. This is confirmed in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. The real tattva, Absolute Truth, is Bhagavān, but due to incomplete realization of the Absolute Truth, people sometimes describe the same Viṣṇu as impersonal Brahman or localized Paramātmā.
vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvaṁ yaj jñānam advayam brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate (Bhāg. 1.2.11)
From the very beginning, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam says, satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi: we meditate on the supreme truth. The supreme truth is explained here as jñānaṁ viśuddhaṁ satyam. The Absolute Truth is devoid of material contamination and is transcendental to the material qualities. It gives all spiritual success and liberation from this material world. That Supreme Absolute Truth is Kṛṣṇa, Vāsudeva. There is no difference between Kṛṣṇa’s inner self and outward body. Kṛṣṇa is pūrṇa, the complete whole. There is no distinction between His body and soul as there is between ours. Sometimes so-called scholars, not knowing the constitutional position of Kṛṣṇa, mislead people by saying that the Kṛṣṇa within is different from the Kṛṣṇa without. When Kṛṣṇa says, man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru, so-called scholars advise the reader that it is not the person Kṛṣṇa to whom we must surrender but the Kṛṣṇa within. So-called scholars, Māyāvādīs, cannot understand Kṛṣṇa with their poor fund of knowledge. One should therefore approach an authorized person to understand Kṛṣṇa. The spiritual master has actually seen Kṛṣṇa; therefore he can explain Him properly.
tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā upadekṣyanti te jñānaṁ jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ (Bg. 4.34) Without approaching an authorized person, one cannot understand Kṛṣṇa.

SB 5.12.12-My dear King Rahūgaṇa, unless one has the opportunity to smear his entire body with the dust of the lotus feet of great devotees, one cannot realize the Absolute Truth. One cannot realize the Absolute Truth simply by observing celibacy [brahmacarya], strictly following the rules and regulations of householder life, leaving home as a vānaprastha, accepting sannyāsa, or undergoing severe penances in winter by keeping oneself submerged in water or surrounding oneself in summer by fire and the scorching heat of the sun. There are many other processes to understand the Absolute Truth, but the Absolute Truth is only revealed to one who has attained the mercy of a great devotee.
PURPORT-Actual knowledge of transcendental bliss can be bestowed upon anyone by a pure devotee. Vedeṣu durlabham adurlabham ātma-bhaktau [Bs. 5.33]. One cannot attain the perfection of spiritual life simply by following the directions of the Vedas. One has to approach a pure devotee: anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam [Madhya 19.167]. By the grace of such a devotee, one can understand the Absolute Truth, Kṛṣṇa, and one’s relationship with Him. A materialistic person sometimes thinks that simply by executing pious activities and remaining at home one can understand the Absolute Truth. That is denied in this verse. Nor can one understand the Absolute Truth simply by observing the rules and regulations of brahmacarya (celibacy). One only has to serve the pure devotee. That will help one understand the Absolute Truth without fail
The Three phases of Spiritual Realization

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mental speculation-the formidable enemy to pure bhakti–SP

September 17, 2019 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

Chapter Eleven-Jada Bharata instructs Kind Rahugana
In this chapter the brāhmaṇa Jaḍa Bharata instructs Mahārāja Rahūgaṇa in detail. He tells the King: “You are not very experienced, yet you pose yourself as a learned person because you are very proud of your knowledge. Actually a person who is on the transcendental platform does not care for social behavior that sacrifices spiritual advancement. Social behavior comes within the jurisdiction of karma-kāṇḍa, material benefit. No one can spiritually advance by such activities. The conditioned soul is always overpowered by the modes of material nature. and consequently he is simply concerned with material benefits and auspicious and inauspicious material things. In other words, the mind, which is the leader of the senses, is absorbed in material activities life after life. Thus he continuously gets different types of bodies and suffers miserable material conditions. On the basis of mental concoction, social behavior has been formulated. If one’s mind is absorbed in these activities, he certainly remains conditioned within the material world. According to different opinions, there are eleven or twelve mental activities, which can be transformed into hundreds and thousands. A person who is not Kṛṣṇa conscious is subjected to all these mental concoctions and is thus governed by the material energy. The living entity who is free from mental concoctions attains the platform of pure spirit soul, devoid of material contamination. There are two types of living entities—jīvātmā and Paramātmā, the individual soul and the Supreme Soul. That Supreme Soul in His ultimate realization is Lord Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa. He enters into everyone’s heart and controls the living entity in his different activities. He is therefore the supreme shelter of all living entities. One can understand the Supreme Soul and one’s position in relationship with Him when one is completely freed from the unwanted association of ordinary men. In this way one can become fit to cross the ocean of nescience. The cause of conditional Life is attachment to the external energy. One has to conquer these mental concoctions: unless one does so, he will never be freed from material anxieties. Although mental concoctions have no value, their influence is still very formidable. No one should neglect to control the mind. If one does, the mind becomes so powerful that one immediately forgets his real position. Forgetting that he is an eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa and that service to Kṛṣṇa is his only business, one is doomed by material nature to serve the objects of the senses. One should kill mental concoctions by the sword of service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead and His devotee [guru-kṛṣṇa-prasāde pāya bhakti-latā-bīja]”
SB 5.11.1-The brāhmaṇa Jaḍa Bharata said: My dear King, although you are not at all experienced, you are trying to speak like a very experienced man. Consequently you cannot be considered an experienced person. An experienced person does not speak the way you are speaking about the relationship between a master and a servant or about material pains and pleasures. These are simply external activities. Any advanced, experienced man, considering the Absolute Truth, does not talk in this way.
PURPORT-Kṛṣṇa similarly chastised Arjuna. Aśocyān anvaśocas tvaṁ prajñā-vādāṁś ca bhāṣase: “While speaking learned words, you are lamenting for what is not worthy of grief.” (Bg. 2.11) Similarly, among people in general, 99.9 percent try to talk like experienced advisers, but they are actually devoid of spiritual knowledge and are therefore like inexperienced children speaking nonsensically. Consequently their words cannot be given any importance. One has to learn from Kṛṣṇa or His devotee. If one speaks on the basis of this experience—that is, on the basis of spiritual knowledge—one’s words are valuable. At the present moment, the entire world is full of foolish people. Bhagavad-gītā describes these people as mūḍhas. They are trying to rule human society, but because they are devoid of spiritual knowledge, the entire world is in a chaotic condition. To be released from these miserable conditions, one has to become Kṛṣṇa conscious and take lessons from an exalted personality like Jaḍa Bharata, Lord Kṛṣṇa and Kapiladeva. That is the only way to solve the problems of material life.

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This is the real mantra-Love

September 13, 2019 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

KB 2-3-The Lord can be pleased only by a humble attitude in the service spirit. The more we render service unto the Lord under the direction of the spiritual master, the more we make advancement on the path of approaching the Lord. We cannot demand any grace or mercy from the Lord because of our service rendered to Him. He may accept or not accept our service, but the only means to satisfy the Lord is through the service attitude, and nothing else.

Dec 13 1973 LA lecture...This patraṁ puṣpam is not important thing. The important thing is bhakti, devotion. That is wanted. Without bhakti, if you offer Kṛṣṇa very big plate, Kṛṣṇa is not hungry to take your food. He’ll not accept it. He’ll not accept anything if you do not offer with your love, bhaktyā, love and serving spirit: \”My dear Kṛṣṇa, You are so opulent. I have nothing to offer You because You have got everything. But I have tried to collect the things to my best power, so I am offering You. Kindly take it.\” This is mantra. This is mantra. Don’t require much mantra. That meekness, that humbleness,

May 6 1973 LA lecture...He is self-satisfied, pūrṇa. But if His devotee offers Him something with love and affection, then He accepts. So do not think that \”We have made such nice, sumptuous plate for Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa must eat.\” No. There is no such thing, \”must.\” You cannot make Kṛṣṇa must. That is not possible. So Kṛṣṇa will see how much you have love for Him. Then He will accept. Otherwise He’ll reject. Therefore, it is forbidden, those who are nondevotee, those who are not initiated, those who are not chanting regularly, their offering to Kṛṣṇa will not be accepted. We must be very careful. We must know our position, whether I am sincerely following the principles of devotional service. Then Kṛṣṇa will accept. Yo me bhaktyā prayacchati. The real thing is bhakti. So either you offer Kṛṣṇa prayers or you offer foodstuff, everything must be along with bhakti, devotion, love. Then Kṛṣṇa will accept.

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What is the business of the disciple?

September 11, 2019 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

This is the business of the disciple, how to glorify the spiritual master, paramparā. I glorify my spiritual master, you glorify your spiritual master. If we simply do that, glorify, then Kṛṣṇa is glorified.”
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Vrindavan, August 4, 1974)
Prabhupada airport reception-all doing dandavats.jpg

The story of Bharata Maharaja and the deer

September 10, 2019 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

Hare Krsna-right now I am reading during morning prasadam the SB 5th Canto and have come to this story of Bharata Maharaja and his little deer friend. This is very instructive for us all for many different reasons.
SB 5.8.8-Gradually Mahārāja Bharata became very affectionate toward the deer. He began to raise it and maintain it by giving it grass. He was always careful to protect it from the attacks of tigers and other animals. When it itched, he petted it, and in this way he always tried to keep it in a comfortable condition. He sometimes kissed it out of love. Being attached to raising the deer, Mahārāja Bharata forgot the rules and regulations for the advancement of spiritual life, and he gradually forgot to worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead. After a few days, he forgot everything about his spiritual advancement.
SB 5.8.9 purport.. Naturally such an advanced person thinks of the suffering of the people in general. However, if one does not know of the material sufferings of fallen souls and becomes sympathetic because of bodily comforts, as in the case of Bharata Mahārāja, such sympathy or compassion is the cause of one’s downfall. If one is actually sympathetic to fallen, suffering humanity, he should try to elevate people from material consciousness to spiritual consciousness. As far as the deer was concerned, Bharata Mahārāja became very sympathetic, but he forgot that it was impossible for him to elevate a deer to spiritual consciousness, because, after all, a deer is but an animal. It was very dangerous for Bharata Mahārāja to sacrifice all his regulative principles simply to take care of an animal. The principles enunciated in Bhagavad-gītā should be followed. Yaṁ hi na vyathayanty ete puruṣaṁ puruṣarṣabha. As far as the material body is concerned, we cannot do anything for anyone. However, by the grace of Kṛṣṇa, we may raise a person to spiritual consciousness if we ourselves follow the rules and regulations. If we give up our own spiritual activities and simply become concerned with the bodily comforts of others, we will fall into a dangerous position.
NoteWe should also note that many devotees raise cats and dogs and think they can elevate their pet to spiritual consciousness, which Prabhupada tells us here is “impossible”. They think their dog is chanting Hare Krsna when it– woof woofs or similar other such nonsense things. What they dont realize is they are taking a huge risk of becoming a dog or cat in their next life by misplacing affection -not for God -Krsna but for an animal.
SB 5.8.10 purport…Material conditions are already established by the superior administration according to one’s karma. They cannot be changed. The only benefit we can render to suffering beings is to try to raise them to spiritual consciousness. Material comforts cannot be increased or decreased. It is therefore said in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.5.18), tal labhyate duḥkhavad anyataḥ sukham: “As far as material happiness is concerned, that comes without effort, just as tribulations come without effort.” Material happiness and pain can be attained without endeavor. One should not bother for material activities. If one is at all sympathetic or able to do good to others, he should endeavor to raise people to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. In this way everyone advances spiritually by the grace of the Lord. For our instruction, Bharata Mahārāja acted in such a way. We should be very careful not to be misled by so-called welfare activities conducted in bodily, terms. One should not give up his interest in attaining the favor of Lord Viṣṇu at any cost. Generally people do not know this, or they forget it. Consequently they sacrifice their original interest, the attainment of Viṣṇu’s favor, and engage in philanthropic activities for bodily comfort.
Note-When one changes to spiritual consciousness, then the material atmosphere will change. Otherwise, one is stuck with his or her previous consciousness for that body. Srila Prabhupada is also severely warning us to be wary of doing philanthropic activities in the name of Vishnu Seva while forgetting our original intent-to please Lord Vishnu thru His bona fide representative, the spiritual master. If one serves Krsna prasadam but includes eggs in that meal, how is that pleasing to Lord Vishnu?
SB 5.8.12 purport-.How Mahārāja Bharata increased his affection for the deer is described herein. Even such an exalted personality as Bharata Mahārāja, who had attained loving affection for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, fell down from his position due to his affection for some animal. Consequently, as will be seen. he had to accept the body of a deer in his next life. Since this was the case with Bharata Mahārāja, what can we say of those who are not advanced in spiritual life but who become attached to cats and dogs? Due to their affection for their cats and dogs, they have to take the same bodily forms in the next life unless they clearly increase their affection and love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Unless we increase our faith in the Supreme Lord, we shall be attracted to many other things. That is the cause of our material bondage.
NoteHere another clear warning by Srila Prabhupada for devotees who keep cats or dogs and think nothing of its effects. He makes the significant point that if even Bharata Maharaja, who was emperor of this planet and had developed feelings of ecstasy for God, Krsna,then what to speak of present day people who are no where near his level of achievement, and they want to keep cats or dogs and think—nothing will happen to me !!

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What is spiritual life and who is the bona fide guru??

September 3, 2019 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

Srila Prabhupada regarding what is “spiritual advancement”-and finding a “bona fide guru”
Every devotee knows or should know the definition of pure devotional service.
BG 7.16 purport…”One should render transcendental loving service to the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa favorably and without desire for material profit or gain through fruitive activities or philosophical speculation. That is called pure devotional service.
Unless one is under the shelter of a realized spiritual master, his understanding of the Supreme is simply foolishness” quote from TLC
LA July 13 1971—Prabhupāda: Unless one is prepared that “I am accepting somebody as my spiritual master. I must acceptwhatever he says,” if there is any doubt, that I cannot accept his words verbatim,” then one should not accept him as spiritual master. That is hypocrisy
Note-I placed these two very important quotes at the very beginning of this article because over time I have seen many devotee who just do not accept “verbatim” the words of their own guru-Srila Prabhupada. They speculate about this or that and then come to the wrong conclusions, and thereby fall eventually from the path of pure Bhakti yoga. Unless we fully understand these core concepts, we will gradually lose the bhakti lata bija, but “think” we are OK. Everything must be based and judged upon sastra sadhu and guru, otherwise the proper conclusions will evade us. The books are there so that we can know them and quote them. They are our road map thru Maya.
SB 3.27.20 : PURPORT :..The Bhāgavatam (10.14.4) says that if one gives up the auspicious path of devotional service and simply tries to know things by speculation, one wastes his valuable time (kliśyanti ye kevala-bodha-labdhaye). The result of such a labor of love is simply labor; there is no other result. The labor of speculation is ended only by exhaustion.
SB 3.32.32 : PURPORT :.. the processes of philosophical speculation and mystic yoga practice, have much trouble. After many, many years of much trouble, a yogī or wise philosopher may come to Him, but his path is very troublesome, whereas the path of devotional service is easy for everyone.
Adi 8.15 : PURPORT :,, Unfortunately, when such logicians take to this path without the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, they remain on the platform of logic and argument and do not advance in spiritual life. However, if one is intelligent enough to apply his arguments and logic to the subtle understanding of the fundamental spiritual substance, he will be able to know that a poor fund of knowledge established on the basis of material logic cannot help one understand the Absolute Truth, which is beyond the reach of imperfect senses. The Mahābhārata therefore says: acintyāḥ khalu ye bhāvā na tāṁs tarkeṇa yojayet. (Mahābhārata, Bhīṣma-parva 5.22) How can that which is beyond the imagination or sensory speculation of mundane creatures be approached simply by logic? Logic and argument are very poor in spiritual strength and always imperfect when applied to spiritual understanding. By putting forward mundane logic one frequently comes to the wrong conclusion regarding the Absolute Truth, and as a result of such a conclusion one may fall down to accept a body like that of a jackal.
September 25, 1968 : 680925LE.SEA :Tad viddhi praṇipātena. If you want to understand the spiritual science, then you have to approach to a person where you can completely surrender yourself. Because everyone is proud: “Oh, who can teach me? Why shall I go to a spiritual master? I know everything.” That is the general mentality. Therefore Bhagavad-gītā gives us direction that you should go to a person where you can fully surrender. So you have to find out a bona fide spiritual master where you can surrender your pride.
Now let us take a look at some valuable quotes which will establish what is actual spiritual advancement and what is proper initiation. Even if one has proper or bona fide initiation that is not the end of it. One must obey the guru, or spiritual master.
Vrndavana, India August 1967 Letter to: Devotee & Hamsaduta:
“One who
understands and appreciates the disciplic succession is certainly advanced, and we should always be very careful to give full respect to those who have so carefully handled this Divine Fruit of transcendental knowledge before us. Even a slight change will spoil it. That is why I have always been so careful to give you only those things which I have heard from my Guru Maharaja .”
Letter to Dhruvananda 73 01 04
Now you are asking if Lord Jagannatha carries flute? Why this nonsense question? You are asking me so many concoctions and manufactured nonsense. Don’t bother my head in this way any more. From now on unless I order you do something change or in addition, go on with the usual standard way. You manufacture ideas and then I have to waste my time. I have given you everything already, there is no need for you to add anything or change anything. Why you are asking these things? Who has given you such freedom? Pujari should operate entirely under the supervision of temple president and GBC, not independently.
The greatest danger to our movement will come when we manufacture and create our own process for worshiping the deities. So don’t ask any more new questions, whatever is going on, follow it just to the exact standard as I have given you, that’s all.
Adi 7.95-96-purport
A person who cannot keep his faith in the words of his spiritual master but acts independently never receives the authority to chant the holy name of the Lord. It is said in the Vedas (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.23): yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ
Only unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed.” This Vedic injunction is very important, and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu supported it by His personal behavior.
Lectures : SB 1.8: Lectures : Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.8.44 — Los Angeles, May 6, 1973 :
So do not think that “We have made such nice, sumptuous plate for Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa must eat.” No. There is no such thing, “must.” You cannot make Kṛṣṇa must. That is not possible. So Kṛṣṇa will see how much you have love for Him. Then He will accept. Otherwise He’ll reject. Therefore, it is forbidden, those who are nondevotee, those who are not initiated, those who are not chanting regularly, their offering to Kṛṣṇa will not be accepted. We must be very careful. We must know our position, whether I am sincerely following the principles of devotional service. Then Kṛṣṇa will accept. Yo me bhaktyā prayacchati. The real thing is bhakti. So either you offer Kṛṣṇa prayers or you offer foodstuff, everything must be along with bhakti, devotion, love. Then Kṛṣṇa will accept.
Note-we should be very careful here in regard to eating what others may consider “Krsna Prasadam”. If all or even one of the conditions Prabhupada mentions above are there, then Krsna will NOT accept that offering.
BG 3.13-The devotees of the Lord are released from all kinds of sins because they eat food which is offered first for sacrifice. Others, who prepare food for personal sense enjoyment, verily eat only sin.

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If you can’t deliver your dependents- then don’t become mother father or guru-SP

September 1, 2019 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

SB 5.5.15-If one is serious about going back home, back to Godhead, he must consider the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead the summum bonum and chief aim of life. If he is a father instructing his sons, a spiritual master instructing his disciples, or a king instructing his citizens, he must instruct them as I have advised. Without being angry, he should continue giving instructions, even if his disciple, son or citizen is sometimes unable to follow his order. Ignorant people who engage in pious and impious activities should be engaged in devotional service by all means. They should always avoid fruitive activity. If one puts into the bondage of karmic activity his disciple, son or citizen who is bereft of transcendental vision, how will one profit? It is like leading a blind man to a dark well and causing him to fall in.
SB 5.5.17-If someone is ignorant and addicted to the path of saṁsāra, how can one who is actually learned, merciful and advanced in spiritual knowledge engage him in fruitive activity and thus further entangle him in material existence? If a blind man is walking down the wrong path, how can a gentleman allow him to continue on his way to danger? How can he approve this method? No wise or kind man can allow this.
SB 5.5.18-“One who cannot deliver his dependents from the path of repeated birth and death should never become a spiritual master, a father, a husband, a mother or a worshipable demigod.
There are many spiritual masters, but Ṛṣabhadeva advises that one should not become a spiritual master if he is unable to save his disciple from the path of birth and death. Unless one is a pure devotee of Kṛṣṇa, he cannot save himself from the path of repeated birth and death. Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti so’rjuna [Bg. 4.9]. One can stop birth and death only by returning home, back to Godhead. However, who can go back to Godhead unless he understands the Supreme Lord in truth? Janma karma ca me divyam evaṁ yo vetti tattvataḥ [Bg. 4.9].
We have many instances in history illustrating Ṛṣabhadeva’s instructions. Śukrācārya was rejected by Bali Mahārāja due to his inability to save Bali Mahārāja from the path of repeated birth and death. Śukrācārya was not a pure devotee, he was more or less inclined to fruitive activity, and he objected when Bali Mahārāja promised to give everything to Lord Viṣṇu. Actually one is supposed to give everything to the Lord because everything belongs to the Lord. Consequently, the Supreme Lord advises in Bhagavad-gītā (9.27): yat karoṣi yad aśnāsi yaj juhoṣi dadāsi yat yat tapasyasi kaunteya tat kuruṣva mad-arpaṇam
O son of Kuntī, all that you do, all that you eat, all that you offer and give away, as well as all austerities that you may perform, should be done as an offering unto Me.” This is bhakti. Unless one is devoted, he cannot give everything to the Supreme Lord. Unless one can do so, he cannot become a spiritual master, husband, father or mother. Similarly, the wives of the brāhmaṇas who were performing sacrifices gave up their relatives just to satisfy Kṛṣṇa. This is an example of a wife rejecting a husband who cannot deliver her from the impending dangers of birth and death. Similarly, Prahlāda Mahārāja rejected his father, and Bharata Mahārāja rejected his mother (jananī na sā syāt). The word daivam indicates a demigod or one who accepts worship from a dependent. Ordinarily, the spiritual master, husband, father, mother or superior relative accepts worship from an inferior relative, but here Ṛṣabhadeva forbids this. First the father, spiritual master or husband must be able to release the dependent from repeated birth and death. If he cannot do this, he plunges himself into the ocean of reproachment for his unlawful activities. Everyone should be very responsible and take charge of his dependents just as a spiritual master takes charge of his disciple or a father takes charge of his son. All these responsibilities cannot be discharged honestly unless one can save the dependent from repeated birth and death.

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