Srila Prabhupada explains the mode of goodness

June 11, 2022 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

July 2 1975 Denver
 
Devotee (1): Śrīla Prabhupāda, is it true that our advancement in devotional services… Is it influenced a lot by our past karma, how many sinful activities we have committed?
Prabhupāda: No, no, no. Bhakti is not under karma. Bhakti is under your good will. If you accept to surrender to Kṛṣṇa, you can do that without being checked by anything else. Simply you have to will, “Yes, Kṛṣṇa. You are asking me. So long I did not do. From this day I do.” That will depend upon you.
Devotee (2): Not that if I was more sinful, I would make less advancement than somebody who is more pious.
Prabhupāda: Whatever you may be, simply surrender and everything is finished. Ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣ… [Bg. 18.66]. Even if you are sinful, Kṛṣṇa will give you release, “All right. You have surrendered. That’s all right.” That is wanted. If you reserve something and cheat Kṛṣṇa, “Now I am surrendering,” Kṛṣṇa is very intelligent. “You have still reservation. No.” [break]
Devotee (1): …it’s easier to surrender to Kṛṣṇa.
Prabhupāda: Yes, in sattva-guṇa one can see, one can understand his position. [break]
Devotee (2): Does he experience the miseries of the gross body when he’s in sattva-guṇa, in the mode of goodness? Does he experience hunger and thirst, those things like that?
Prabhupāda: Gross body means no hunger?
Devotee (2): When a person’s in sattva-guṇa, he’s not so much feeling the pain…
Prabhupāda: He is not disturbed by the rajo-guṇa, tamo-guṇa. That is sattva-guṇa. Naṣṭa-prayeṣv abhadreṣu [SB 1.2.18]. He can be disturbed by rajo-guṇa, tamo-guṇa, but when he is in sattva-guṇa, he is not so much disturbed. And if he increase and go to the pure sattva-guṇa, suddha-sattva, then he is no more disturbed. At that time he can understand what is God. [break] …you are strongly situated in sattva-guṇa, the other base qualities cannot disturb you. Tadā rajas-tamo-bhāvāḥ kāma-lobhādayaś ca ye [SB 1.2.19]. Other guṇa means lusty desires and greediness. This thing will be finished when you are strongly situated in sattva-guṇa. Then you go advance more and more. [break] …hear about Kṛṣṇa, to chant about Kṛṣṇa, means cleansing, cleansing the dirty things of rajo-guṇa and tamo-guṇa. [break] …world is going on on rajo-guṇa and tamo-guṇa. Very minute quantity of population are by sattva-guṇa.
Brahmānanda: Perhaps only in India will you find people in…
Prabhupāda: Yes, some. That is also deteriorating. [break] The sattva-guṇa… the Māyāvādī, they are also supposed to be in sattva-guṇa, but mixed with rajo-guṇa, tamo-guṇa. Therefore not pure.
Devotee (2): You were saying that when one is in the mode of goodness, that he is on the mental platform?
Prabhupāda: Hmm?
Devotee (2): Does that mean that he’s not… He’s experiencing the subtle body inside of the gross body, or what does that mean exactly?
Prabhupāda: Mental platform is mixed sattva-guṇa, rajo-guṇa, not pure. But if you keep always Kṛṣṇa in your mind, then you are purified. The mind has no other opportunity to keep anything else. Kṛṣṇa is sitting there, then guarantee. [break] …they keep always seeing Viṣṇu form within the heart. Therefore they keep in sattva-guṇa. Similarly, if you keep Kṛṣṇa, then you are in sattva-guṇa. And when that concentration on Kṛṣṇa is not disturbed, then it is śuddha-sattva. That is spiritual platform. [break] .
 

Read the rest of this entry →

The shocking history of early iskcon with Kirtanananda-in SP letters

June 11, 2022 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

Hare Krsna-
he is undoubtedly a good soul, but lately he has been attacked by maya.”..SP writing about Kirtanananda
The following letters to various devotees describes the effect Maya had upon Kirtnananda in the earliest days. We are not trying to pick a quarrel with one devotee, but simply using his unique history to point out what should and should not be done if one wants to advance spiritually.
If we do not learn from history then we will repeat the same mistakes, as has done Iskcon for the past 40 years.
 
damaghosa das
———————————
 
Oct 16 1967 letter to Brahmananda
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter (dated Oct. 10) & I’ve also received Kirtanananda’s letter. From different centers of our society the news of the activities of Kirtanananda is giving me too much pain. From Rayarama’s letter it is clear that Kirtanananda has not rightly understood Krishna Consciousness philosophy & it appears that he does not know the difference between impersonal & personal features of Krishna. The best thing will be to prohibit him to speak in any of our functions or meetings. It is clear that he has become crazy & he should once more be sent to Bellevue. He was in Bellevue before & with great difficulty & with the help of Mr. Ginsberg we got him out. But it appears that he has developed his madness again, therefore if he is not sent to Bellevue then at least he should be stopped from speaking such nonsense. It is clear from his activities that he has been attacked by maya; he is a victim. We shall pray to Krishna for his recovery but we cannot allow him to speak on my behalf. I am trying to return as soon as possible & when I return everything will be all right. Hope you are well.
 
Oct 17 1967 letter Pradyumna
Regarding Kirtanananda, he is undoubtedly a good soul, but lately he has been attacked by maya; he thinks too much of himself—even at the risk of disobeying his spiritual master & talking nonsense about Krishna. As a man haunted by a ghost talks so much nonsense, so also when a man is overpowered by the illusory energy—maya, also talks all sorts of nonsense. The last attack of maya upon the conditioned souls is impersonalism. There are 4 stages of attack of maya; viz.: 1) stage is that a man wants to be a protagonist of religion, 2) is that man neglects religiosity and tries to improve his economic development, 3) is to be protagonist of sense enjoyment & when a man is frustrated in all the above mentioned stages he comes to, 4) which is impersonalism, and thinks himself one with the Supreme. This last attack is very serious and fatal. Kirtanananda has very recently developed the 4th stage malady on account of his negligence & disobedience to his spiritual master. Sometimes a foolish patient when he is out of feverish attack by the grace of the physician, thinks that he is cured and does not take precaution against relapse. Kirtanananda’s position is like that. Because he helped the society in starting the Montreal center I thought he is now able to start other branches & when he asked me to give him sannyasa I agreed taking the opportunity of his presence in Vrndavana. Simply by his Sannyas dress he thought himself as cured of all material diseases & all mistakes but under the influence of maya, he thought himself a liberated patient, just as the foolish patient thinks himself cured from the disease. Under the spell of maya, he deliberately disobeyed me by not going to London & consequently his disease has relapsed. Now in N.Y. he has began to dictate nonsense in my name—such as giving up robes, flags etc. Instead of opening new centers he has began to deliver his nonsense sermons amongst his God-brothers which are all against our principles. For the present he should simply chant Hare Krishna & cease to deliver lectures because he has not understood the whole philosophy very nicely.
Regarding the hippy religion; we must distinguish ourselves from the hippies. The hippies generally maintain long hair & beard & in order to distinguish ourselves from them we should be clean shaved. When our devotees go outside I have no objection if he dresses as nice American or Canadian gentleman. Up to date gentlemen are all clean shaved so if we do not keep long hair & dress ourselves nicely with tilaka, flag & beads on the neck, apart from our devotional service, then certainly we shall be distinct from the Hippies. I think we should follow this principle rigidly & there is no question of giving up robes in the temple.
 
Oct 19 1967 letter Brahmananda
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter of Oct. 11. It was a great pleasure to note the contents, now you have nicely expressed your real mind, In your previous Letter in which I saw a little tendency of being turned by foolish Kirtanananda. but I was confident that Kirtanananda was not so strong as he would be able to defeat you. I was completely confident of your sincerity of service & my choice of your being president of the society is right. I may disclose herewith that I never took Kirtanananda into complete confidence but I was trying to improve his position because he has also rendered much personal service to me. I am very much obliged to him for the service as I am to my other disciples & I am very sorry that Maya has taken advantage of his disobedience & he has fallen to Maya’s illusion—but he should not continue for a very long time as I will always pray to Krishna for his recovery. For the time being he should simply chant Hare Krishna without any attempt at lecturing. The impersonalist cannot render any service to Krishna because he is a great offender. Under the circumstances, Krishna will not accept food prepared by Kirtanananda in his present diseased condition. If he at all wants to render service to Krishna he may be engaged at washing dishes & this will improve his condition.
 
Oct 26 1967 letter Jadurani
Regarding Kirtanananda, there is nothing to be said about but one should be very careful not to fall sick like him. In the material world there is constant fight between maya & the living entity. Maya is very strong & we can fall a victim at her hand at any moment. The only means of protecting us from the attack of maya is to be fully Krishna Conscious. The proportion in which we fall back in Krishna Consciousness is filled up by the influence of maya. It is exactly like the proportion of negligence of our health is subsequently resulted in our falling ill. The person who is very careful about his health does not generally fall ill. Similarly a person who is always fixed up in Krishna Consciousness cannot be defeated by mayaSometimes in spite of our full Krishna Consciousness we fall a victim to maya but that is temporary just as seasonal changes such calamities do come & pass away & we have to endure them. If Kirtanananda has ever sincerely served Krishna, & his spiritual master, he will not fall down. The temporary systems will fall down without delay. We should all pray to Krishna for his steady recovery. My grief for Kirtanananda isn’t anything personal but I am sorry that he has become like a mayavadi in spite of my best efforts to help him. Hope you are well.
 
Oct 27 1967 letter Rayarama
Our circulation manager, Sriman Gargamuni, is surely taking great interest in seeling the copies. Regarding Kirtanananda’s article, I do not know what he has written but I can guess that it must be polluted with impersonal poison, so for the time being you can keep this article aside
 
Dec 30 1967 letter Madhusudana
It is better service to Krishna and Spiritual Master in a feeling of separation; sometimes there is risk in the matter of direct service. For example, Kirtanananda was giving me direct service by massaging, cooking for me, and so many other things; but later on by dictation of Maya, he became puffed up, so much so that he thought his Spiritual Master a common man, and was existing only on account of his service. This mentality at once pushed him down. Of course, those who are sincere devotee, they take direct service as an opportunity, but the illusory energy is so strong that it acts on this doctrine of familiarity breeds contempt. Kirtanananda was thinking I was existing on his service, instead of realizing I was giving him opportunity to do me some service.

Read the rest of this entry →