Biogenesis and the Birth of Modern Science

January 30, 2023 in Articles by Narasimha das

By Narasimha das

Life Comes from Dirt Superstitions:

The ancient Greeks, specifically the renowned philosopher Aristotle (384 B.C – 322 B.C.), believed that living things were spontaneously generated from non-living matter.

Aristotle was a naturalist who loved to observe animals and nature while taking long walks through the country.  He noticed that ponds were full of various species, such as fish, frogs, and tiny swimming insects. Later, in the summer months, many of these ponds would dry up and appear to become lifeless mud sinks or totally dry beds. But when the rains came, the same dry beds would fill up again with aquatic life. He wondered how all this life became regenerated. After pondering this puzzle for a long while, he finally concluded that earth itself had the power to generate life spontaneously under certain conditions. Observing the life cycles of insects on land, he came to similar conclusions: that rotting meat, animal fur and other nonliving matter had the potency to generate various forms of life under specific conditions.

Aristotle was considered one the greatest thinkers of his era, so naturally his published findings circulated to nearby Arab countries, and gradually such misleading ideas spread west to European nations. Such misinformation gradually evolved into a system of superstitions and beliefs that were taught in school texts on biology and medicine.

Due, perhaps, to the liberating influence of the advent of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu on Earth (1486-1534), Europe started to emerge from the Dark Ages. During the Dark Ages people had no idea how or why deadly diseases like the black plague were spread. City people would pass stool and urine in buckets and then throw it out their townhouse windows, yelling a warning to pedestrians, “Loo!” (This is how the term “loo” came to mean toilet or latrine.) Some streets were, at times, ankle deep in human excrement. Surgeons had no idea of any need for cleanliness. In fact, doctors would often wear their most filthy clothes to perform surgeries with unwashed scalpels, just as field workers and street cleaners would wear filthy clothes for their work, saving their clean clothing for social affairs. Thus, many patients would “mysteriously” die shortly after even routine surgeries.

Observation and Experimentation:

William Harvey (1578-1657) became famous for his discovery that blood circulates through the body in veins and blood vessels. In one of his writings, he mentioned that it was possible that insects may lay eggs that were too small to be seen with the naked eye. The glimmer of light from this suggestion inspired and motivated another early scientist, Francisco Redi (1626-1697), to investigate further. Soon he became convinced that the prevailing theories of his day were ill-conceived. He demonstrated through experiments that life was not generated spontaneously from non-living matter and that such conjectures had no basis. His controlled experiments involved sterilization through heating and various means of sealing containers and then comparing these with non-sterilized open containers of the same organic substances. He boldly propounded his views that life was generated not spontaneously from dead matter but from living organisms, some that were too small to be seen with the naked eye or laid eggs too small to be seen.

People of his day were stunned by this fantastic new theory. Aristotle had been highly regarded in the West for many centuries as one of the greatest thinkers and naturalists of all time. People wondered, “How could Aristotle have been so wrong?”

To prove his theory, Redi devised several interesting experiments to demonstrate that life comes from life. These experiments were literally the birth of modern sciences, specifically biology and medicine, which relies on controlled observations and experiments to demonstrate the truth or fallacy of theories like Redi’s and Aristotle’s. Redi’s experiments gave rise to modern-day knowledge regarding food preservation through sterilization, and sanitation through disinfecting. He had demonstrated variously that life is generated only from other living things and that non-living matter had no power to generate life on its own. Scientists then began forming groups for the sake of exchanging their findings derived through various means of experimentation and observation. Redi and his followers strongly propounded their new understanding known as biogenesis, which establishes that life arises only from previously existing life–not from non-living matter.

Improved Methods of Observation: 

A breakthrough came when a humble lens grinder, Antonio Van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723), refined his art with the help of a renowned spectacle maker. He learned how to grind a precision magnifying lens and how to achieve further magnification by stacking lens in a tube. In this way he created the first known microscope. With his microscope he was able to observe microbes for the first time, and this led to many new discoveries. At first other scientists were doubtful about the existence of microbes because they were unable to match the precision and power of Leeuwenhoek’s microscopes.

With new microscopes, Leeuwenhoek’s discoveries of microbes were soon verified by other scientists. Yet many scientists clung to their belief that microbes themselves were spontaneously generated from non-living substances. Aristotle had taught that non-living substances can create life under certain conditions, and this widely accepted belief had been around for centuries. Long held beliefs die hard.

Diehard Atheists Oppose Biogenesis:

Despite clear evidence supporting biogenesis, many scientists challenged the idea for another 150 years. In the latter part of the nineteenth century, a member of the French Academy of Sciences, Dr. Pouchet, published a compelling book that attempted to reaffirm the idea that microorganisms were spontaneously generated from non-living matter. His book was highly lauded by scientists worldwide.

Dr. Pouchet’s findings did not go unchallenged for long. Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) read Pouchet’s book and wrote to him explaining several discrepancies in his methods, findings, and conclusions.  Pasteur was considered one of the top scientists of his times, especially in France, and he is still considered one the most important scientists of the modern age. Pasteur strongly refuted Pouchet’s ideas through a series of experiments and debates. The scientific community and public were divided in their opinion on this issue. Many challenges and counter challenges went back and forth and gave rise to varieties of experiments under careful controls.

Modern Science Begins:

Both Pouchet and Louis Pasteur were experts in conducting experiments, and their efforts created the modern era of controlled experimentation and observation. They both refined and adjusted their experiments to demonstrate their theories, and this went on for several months or even years under the scrutiny of a special commission appointed by the French Academy of Sciences. At first the Commission was divided in its opinion, but finally they unanimously accepted Pasteur’s conclusions and bestowed upon him the Academy Award for Science (circa 1865). This was a high honor like the Nobel Prize, and people worldwide recognized Pasteur as the one of greatest scientists in the world. Louis Pasteur became widely popular, and Dr. Pouchet faded from the limelight.

Pasteur’s controlled experiments and observations proving biogenesis and disproving spontaneous generation led to many new breakthroughs in medicine (such as surgeon using sterilized tools and masks), food preservation, disease control, general sanitation, and other fields. He had proven that life comes from life and not from non-living matter. Without his discoveries through controlled experiments, Europe might have remained much longer in the dark ages of superstition, myth, and foolish conjectures.

Pseudo-Science and Superstition Rise Again:

But the new age of enlightened science in the realm of biology did not last long. Biological sciences suddenly embraced the darkness of superstition yet again after the publication of The Origin of Species by the infamous Charles Darwin (1809-1882). Darwin was clever pseudo naturalist propped up by atheistic institutions and financiers to challenge the idea of God and religion. He was an expert only in the creation of wild speculations under the guise of scientific observation.  Darwin himself doubted his own hypothesis, which was more outlandish than many prior superstitions. Darwin’s ideas have led to the now popular belief among scientists and academia that microbes were originally generated from non-living matter and gradually evolved to higher life forms spontaneously due to accidental genetic mutations and the process of “natural selection”. Thus, modern biology embraced a dark superstition that is as foolish as any myth that came before.

Although biological sciences have continued to improve in research methods and technology, with applied knowledge leading to advancements in medicine, ecology, and genetic research, including the creation GMOs and bioweapons, thus far no one has been able to create even one living microbe from non-living matter. In fact, no great scientist or laboratory can even repair and make grow one broken grain of rice. Discoveries regarding the mind-boggling designs and complexities of living organisms and their interrelationships with other super-complex living organisms should have caused unbiased scientists and thinkers to reject Darwin’s ideas as preposterous. Instead, these foolish ideas are still vigorously defended and promoted by cultish Darwinians in academia and by atheistic social and political activists.

Life Comes from the Supreme Living Force:

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (1896-1977) has often pointed out, in his many books on Vedic scriptures, that Darwin’s flimsy hypothesis regarding the origin of species and evolution has no basis in real science and cannot be demonstrated by experimentation or observation. It is unfounded and flies in the face of common sense and basic laws of physics. Yet due to a deviously calculated system of indoctrination in academia and media, school kids today, like those from the dark ages, are taught this foolish fantasy in the name of science.

The Vedas, a vast compendium of scriptures from ancient India, offer a more reasonable and consistent explanation regarding evolution and the origin of species. According to Vedic scriptures, such as Srimad-Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita, God, the supreme living being, creates powerful living beings known as prajapatis, and empowers them to populate various planets with various grades of species. It is logical to accept that superior living beings can create progeny of equal or inferior nature through sex or other powers. It is absurd to believe that superior beings evolve from inferior beings or that simple matter can spontaneously evolve into the complex organizations required for sustaining life and all its complex interactions with matter and other life.

It is an obvious scientific fact that living beings create other living beings. Srimad-Bhagavatam and other Vedic scriptures teach that God, the original and supreme person, has endowed each species with amazing abilities to reproduce, survive, and adapt in varieties of changing conditions on Earth. Vedic evidence never suggests that species evolve from chemicals and morph into new and better species through a perfect series of magical comic-book-like mutations. Great sages from every culture and every age have concluded that God is the designer and creator of all that exists. He is known as the cause of all causes and the basis of all reality.

It is reasonable to accept the consensus of scriptural conclusions that the wonders of life and the cosmos were created by the omnipotent, omniscient, and wonderful Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is reasonable to accept that living organisms, composed of gross and subtle matter, are animated by the consciousness of a spiritual soul, the living force. It is quite illogical, however, to believe that chemicals and chemical reactions produce life and consciousness when all practical evidence points to the opposite: chemicals and complex chemical reactions and all forms of life are created by living beings. 

In the Kali Yuga, there is no science for the liberation of consciousness as effective as Krishna consciousness and careful chanting of the Holy Names of God. Modern science, by its very nature, is full of ignorance, illusion, and doubt.  Lord Krishna’s material energy is difficult to understand and overcome. God’s power of illusion forever overwhelms everyone who fails to hear from Vedic authority and chant the Holy Names of God.

“O son of Pritha, know that I am the original seed of all existences, the intelligence of the intelligent, and the prowess of all powerful men.” (Bhagavad-gita As it Is, 7.10)

“This material nature is working under My direction, O son of Kunti, and it is producing all moving and non-moving beings. By its rule this manifestation is created and annihilated again and again.” (Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 9.10)

“Those who are thus bewildered are attracted by demoniac and atheistic views. In that deluded condition, their hopes for liberation, their fruitive activities, and their culture of knowledge are all defeated.” (Bhagavad-gita As it Is, 9.12)

“Those miscreants who are grossly foolish, lowest of mankind, whose knowledge is stolen by illusion, and who partake of the atheistic nature of demons, do not surrender unto Me.”(Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 7.15)

“This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it.” (Bhagavad-gita As it Is, 7.14)

[Related article: Sankhya: The Yoga of Analysis]

Sri Madhvacarya’s disappearance day (tirobhava tithi) – January 30, 2023 Mayapura time

January 30, 2023 in Articles by Yasoda nandana dasa

Srila Prabhupada re Madhvacarya

The specific mention of Draviḍa-deśa refers to the five Draviḍa-deśas in South India. All are very strong in rendering the preliminary devotional processes (śravaṇaṁ kīrtanam). Some great ācāryas, like Rāmānujācārya and Madhvācārya, also came from Draviḍa-deśa and became great preachers. They were all situated on the platform of sakhyam ātma-nivedanam. [Srimad Bhagavatam 4.28.30 Purport]

madhvācārya-sthāne āilā yāṅhā ‘tattvavādī’
uḍupīte ‘kṛṣṇa’ dekhi, tāhāṅ haila premonmādī


madhva-ācārya-sthāne—at the place of Madhvācārya; āilā—arrived; yāṅhā—where; tattva-vādī—philosophers known as Tattvavādīs; uḍupīte—at the place known as Uḍupī; kṛṣṇa—the Deity of Lord Kṛṣṇa; dekhi—seeing; tāhāṅ—there; haila—became; prema-unmādī—mad in ecstasy.


Caitanya Mahāprabhu next arrived at Uḍupī, the place of Madhvācārya, where the philosophers known as Tattvavādīs resided. There He saw the Deity of Lord Kṛṣṇa and became mad with ecstasy.


Śrīpāda Madhvācārya took his birth at Uḍupī, which is situated in the South Kanaraḍā district of South India, just west of Sahyādri. This is the chief city of the South Kanaraḍā province and is near the city of Mangalore, which is situated to the south of Uḍupī. In the city of Uḍupī is a place called Pājakā-kṣetra, where Madhvācārya took his birth in a Śivāllī-brāhmaṇa dynasty as the son of Madhyageha Bhaṭṭa, in the year 1040 Śakābda (A.D. 1119). According to some, he was born in the year 1160 Śakābda (A.D. 1239).

In his childhood Madhvācārya was known as Vāsudeva, and there are some wonderful stories surrounding him. It is said that once when his father had piled up many debts, Madhvācārya converted tamarind seeds into actual coins to pay them off. When he was five years old, he was offered the sacred thread. A demon named Maṇimān lived near his abode in the form of a snake, and at the age of five Madhvācārya killed that snake with the toe of his left foot. When his mother was very much disturbed, he would appear before her in one jump. He was a great scholar even in childhood, and although his father did not agree, he accepted sannyāsa at the age of twelve. Upon receiving sannyāsa from Acyuta Prekṣa, he received the name Pūrṇaprajña Tīrtha. After traveling all over India, he finally discussed scriptures with Vidyāśaṅkara, the exalted leader of Sṛṅgeri-maṭha. Vidyāśaṅkara was actually diminished in the presence of Madhvācārya. Accompanied by Satya Tīrtha, Madhvācārya went to Badarikāśrama. It was there that he met Vyāsadeva and explained his commentary on the Bhagavad-gītā before him. Thus, he became a great scholar by studying before Vyāsadeva.

By the time he came to the Ānanda-maṭha from Badarikāśrama, Madhvācārya had finished his commentary on the Bhagavad-gītā. His companion Satya Tīrtha wrote down the entire commentary. When Madhvācārya returned from Badarikāśrama, he went to Gañjāma, which is on the bank of the river Godāvarī. There he met with two learned scholars named Śobhana Bhaṭṭa and Svāmī Śāstrī. Later these scholars became known in the disciplic succession of Madhvācārya as Padmanābha Tīrtha and Narahari Tīrtha. When he returned to Uḍupī, he would sometimes bathe in the ocean. On such an occasion he composed a prayer in five chapters. Once, while sitting beside the sea engrossed in meditation upon Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, he saw that a large boat containing goods for Dvārakā was in danger. He gave some signs by which the boat could approach the shore, and it was saved. The owners of the boat wanted to give him a present, and at the time Madhvācārya agreed to take some gopī-candana. He received a big lump of gopī-candana, and as it was being brought to him, it broke apart and revealed a large Deity of Lord Kṛṣṇa. The Deity had a stick in one hand and a lump of food in the other. As soon as Madhvācārya received the Deity of Kṛṣṇa in this way, he composed a prayer. The Deity was so heavy that not even thirty people could lift it. Madhvācārya personally brought this Deity to Uḍupī. Madhvācārya had eight disciples, all of whom took sannyāsa from him and became directors of his eight monasteries. Worship of the Lord Kṛṣṇa Deity is still going on at Uḍupī according to the plans Madhvācārya established.

Madhvācārya then for the second time visited Badarikāśrama. While he was passing through Maharashtra, the local king was digging a big lake for the public benefit. As Madhvācārya passed through that area with his disciples, he was also obliged to help in the excavation. After some time, when Madhvācārya visited the king, he engaged the king in that work and departed with his disciples.

Often in the province of Gāṅga-pradeśa there were fights between Hindus and Muslims. The Hindus were on one bank of the river, and the Muslims on the other. Due to the community tension, no boat was available for crossing the river. The Muslim soldiers were always stopping passengers on the other side, but Madhvācārya did not care for these soldiers. He crossed the river anyway, and when he met the soldiers on the other side, he was brought before the king. The Muslim king was so pleased with him that he wanted to give him a kingdom and some money, but Madhvācārya refused. While walking on the road, he was attacked by some dacoits, but by his bodily strength he killed them all. When his companion Satya Tīrtha was attacked by a tiger, Madhvācārya separated them by virtue of his great strength. When he met Vyāsadeva, he received from him the śālagrāma-śilā known as Aṣṭamūrti. After this, he summarized the Mahābhārata.

Madhvācārya’s devotion to the Lord and his erudite scholarship became known throughout India. 

Consequently, the owners of the Śṛṅgeri-maṭha, established by Śaṅkarācārya, became a little perturbed. At that time the followers of Śaṅkarācārya were afraid of Madhvācārya’s rising power, and they began to tease Madhvācārya’s disciples in many ways. There was even an attempt to prove that the disciplic succession of Madhvācārya was not in line with Vedic principles. A person named Puṇḍarīka Purī, a follower of the Māyāvāda philosophy of Śaṅkarācārya, came before Madhvācārya to discuss the śāstras. It is said that all of Madhvācārya’s books were taken away, but later they were found with the help of King Jayasiṁha, ruler of Kumla. In discussion, Puṇḍarīka Purī was defeated by Madhvācārya. A great personality named Trivikramācārya, who was a resident of Viṣṇumaṅgala, became Madhvācārya’s disciple, and his son later became Nārāyaṇācārya, the composer of Śrī Madhva-vijaya. After the death of Trivikramācārya, the younger brother of Nārāyaṇācārya took sannyāsa and later became known as Viṣṇu Tīrtha.

It was reputed that there was no limit to the bodily strength of Pūrṇaprajña, Madhvācārya. There was a person named Kaḍañjari who was famed for possessing the strength of thirty men. Madhvācārya placed the big toe of his foot upon the ground and asked the man to separate it from the ground, but the great strong man could not do so even after great effort. Śrīla Madhvācārya passed from this material world at the age of eighty while writing a commentary on the Aitareya Upaniṣad. For further information about Madhvācārya, one should read Madhva-vijaya, by Nārāyaṇācārya.

The ācāryas of the Madhva-sampradāya established Uḍupī as the chief center, and the monastery there was known as Uttararāḍhī-maṭha. A list of the different centers of the Madhvācārya-sampradāya can be found at Uḍupī, and their maṭha commanders are (1) Viṣṇu Tīrtha (Śoda-maṭha), (2) Janārdana Tīrtha (Kṛṣṇapura-maṭha), (3) Vāmana Tīrtha (Kanura-maṭha), (4) NarasiṁhaTīrtha (Adamara-maṭha), (5) Upendra Tīrtha (Puttugī-maṭha), (6) Rāma Tīrtha (Śirura-maṭha), (7) Hṛṣīkeśa Tīrtha (Palimara-maṭha), and (8) Akṣobhya Tīrtha (Pejāvara-maṭha). The disciplic succession of the Madhvācārya-sampradāya is as follows (the dates are those of birth): (1) Haṁsa Paramātmā; (2) Caturmukha Brahmā; (3) Sanakādi; (4) Durvāsā; (5) Jñānanidhi; (6) Garuḍa-vāhana; (7) Kaivalya Tīrtha; (8) Jñāneśa Tīrtha; (9) Para Tīrtha; (10) Satyaprajña Tīrtha; (11) Prājña Tīrtha; (12) Acyuta Prekṣācārya Tīrtha; (13) Śrī Madhvācārya, 1040 Śaka; (14) Padmanābha, 1120; Narahari, 1127; Mādhava, 1136; and Akṣobhya 1159; (15) Jaya Tīrtha, 1167; (16) Vidyādhirāja, 1190; (17) Kavīndra, 1255; (18) Vāgīśa, 1261; (19) Rāmacandra, 1269; (20) Vidyānidhi, 1298; (21) Śrī Raghunātha, 1366; (22) Rayuvarya (who spoke with Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu), 1424; (23) Raghūttama, 1471; (24) Vedavyāsa, 1517; (25) Vidyādhīśa, 1541; (26) Vedanidhi, 1553; (27) Satyavrata, 1557; (28) Satyanidhi, 1560; (29) Satyanātha, 1582; (30) Satyābhinava, 1595; (31) Satyapūrṇa, 1628; (32) Satyavijaya, 1648; (33) Satyapriya, 1659; (34) Satyabodha, 1666; (35) Satyasandha, 1705; (36) Satyavara, 1716; (37) Satyadharma, 1719; (38) Satyasaṅkalpa, 1752; (39) Satyasantuṣṭa, 1763; (40) Satyaparāyaṇa, 1763; (41) Satyakāma, 1785; (42) Satyeṣṭa, 1793; (43) Satyaparākrama, 1794; (44) Satyadhīra, 1801; (45) Satyadhīra Tīrtha, 1808. (For approximate Christian era dates, add seventy-nine years.)

After the sixteenth ācārya (Vidyādhirāja Tīrtha), there was another disciplic succession, including Rājendra Tīrtha, 1254; Vijayadhvaja; Puruṣottama; Subrahmaṇya; and Vyāsa Rāya, 1470-1520. 

The nineteenth ācārya, Rāmacandra Tīrtha, had another disciplic succession, including Vibudhendra, 1218; Jitāmitra, 1348; Raghunandana; Surendra; Vijendra; Sudhīndra; and Rāghavendra Tīrtha, 1545.

To date, in the Uḍupī monastery there are another fourteen Madhva-tīrtha sannyāsīs. As stated, Uḍupī is situated beside the sea in South Kanaraḍā, about thirty-six miles north of Mangalore.

Most of the information in this purport is available from the South Kānāḍā Manual and the Bombay Gazette. [Sri Caitanya-Caritamrta Madhya -Lila 9.245]

We should not make any particular distinction between the poor and the rich like the foolish worshipers of daridra-nārāyaṇa. Nārāyaṇa is present in the rich as well as the poor. One should not simply think Nārāyaṇa is situated among the poor. He is everywhere. An advanced devotee will offer respects to everyone—even to cats and dogs.

brāhmaṇe gavi hastini
śuni caiva śva-pāke ca
paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ

“The humble sage, by virtue of true knowledge, sees with equal vision a learned and gentle brāhmaṇa, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater [outcaste].” (Bg. 5.18) This sama-darśinaḥ, equal vision, should not be mistaken to mean that the individual is the same as the Supreme Lord. They are always distinct. Every individual person is different from the Supreme Lord. It is a mistake to equate the individual living entity with the Supreme Lord on the plea of vivikta-dṛk, sama-dṛk. The Lord is always in an exalted position, even though He agrees to live everywhere. Śrīla Madhvācārya, quoting Padma Purāṇa, states: vivikta-dṛṣṭi jīvānāṁ dhiṣṇyatayā parameśvarasya bheda-dṛṣṭiḥ. “One who has clear vision and who is devoid of envy can see that the Supreme Lord is separate from all living entities, although He is situated in every living entity.” Madhvācārya further quotes from Padma Purāṇa:

upapādayet parātmānaṁ
jīvebhyo yaḥ pade pade
bhedenaiva na caitasmāt
priyo viṣṇos tu kaścana

“One who sees the living entity and the Supreme Lord as always distinct is very dear to the Lord.” Padma Purāṇa also states, yo hareś caiva jīvānāṁ bheda-vaktā hareḥ priyaḥ: “One who preaches that the living entities are separate from the Supreme Lord is very dear to Lord Viṣṇu.”Srimad-Bhgavatam 5.5.26

asyānuguṇān ślokān gāyanti——
aho bhuvaḥ sapta-samudravatyā
dvīpeṣu varṣeṣv adhipuṇyam etat
gāyanti yatratya-janā murāreḥ
karmāṇi bhadrāṇy avatāravanti


tasya—of Him (Lord Ṛṣabhadeva); anuguṇān—conforming to the instructions for liberation; ślokān—verses; gāyanti—chant; aho—oh; bhuvaḥ—of this earthly planet; sapta-samudra-vatyāḥ—possessing seven seas; dvīpeṣu—among the islands; varṣeṣu—among the lands; adhipuṇyam—more pious than any other island; etat—this (Bhārata-varṣa); gāyanti—sing about; yatratya-janāḥ—the people of this tract of land; murāreḥ—of Murāri, the Supreme Personality of Godhead; karmāṇi—the activities; bhadrāṇi—all-auspicious; avatāravanti—in many incarnations such as Lord Ṛṣabhadeva.


Learned scholars chant about the transcendental qualities of Lord Ṛṣabhadeva in this way: “Oh, this earthly planet contains seven seas and many islands and lands, of which Bhārata-varṣa is considered the most pious. People of Bhārata-varṣa are accustomed to glorifying the activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His incarnations as Lord Ṛṣabhadeva and others. All these activities are very auspicious for the welfare of humanity.


Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said:

bhārata-bhūmite haila manuṣya-janma yāra
janma sārthaka kari’ kara para-upakāra
[Cc. Ādi 9.41]

As stated in this verse, Bhārata-varṣa is a most pious land. The followers of Vedic literature understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His different incarnations, and they are privileged to glorify the Lord by following the directions of Vedic literature. After realizing the glories of human life. such people should take up the mission to spread the importance of human life throughout the whole world. This is the mission of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. The word adhipuṇyam indicates that there are certainly many other pious men throughout the world, but the people of Bhārata-varṣa are even more pious. Therefore, they are fit to spread Kṛṣṇa Consciousness throughout the world for the benefit of all human society. Śrīla Madhvācārya also recognizes the land of Bhārata-varṣa: viśeṣād bhārate puṇyam. Throughout the world, there is no question of bhagavad-bhakti or devotional service, but the people of Bhārata-varṣa can easily understand the devotional service of the Lord. Thus every inhabitant of Bhārata-varṣa can perfect his life by discharging bhagavad-bhakti and then preaching this cult throughout the world for the benefit of everyone. Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.6.13

Lord Brahmā is the guru of Nārada Muni, who is the guru of Vyāsadeva, and Vyāsadeva is the guru of Madhvācārya. Thus the Gauḍīya-Mādhva-sampradāya is in the disciplic succession from Nārada Muni. The members of this disciplic succession—in other words, the members of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement—should follow in the footsteps of Nārada Muni by chanting the transcendental vibration Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. They should go everywhere to deliver the fallen souls by vibrating the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and the instructions of Bhagavad-gītā, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and Caitanya-caritāmṛta. That will please the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One can spiritually advance if one actually follows the instructions of Nārada Muni. If one pleases Nārada Muni, then the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hṛṣīkeśa, is also pleased (yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ ). The immediate spiritual master is the representative of Nārada Muni; there is no difference between the instructions of Nārada Muni and those of the present spiritual master. Both Nārada Muni and the present spiritual master speak the same teachings of Kṛṣṇa, who says in Bhagavad-gītā (18.65–66):

man-manā bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru
mām evaiṣyasi satyaṁ te
pratijāne priyo ’si me

sarva-dharmān parityajya
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ

“Always think of Me and become My devotee. Worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus, you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend. Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.”  Srimad-Bhagavata, 6.5.22

This verse indicates that oṁkāra, or praṇava, is a direct representation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore, if at the time of death one simply remembers oṁkāra, he remembers the Supreme Personality of Godhead and is therefore immediately transferred to the spiritual world. Oṁkāra is the basic principle of all Vedic mantras, for it is a representation of Lord Kṛṣṇa, understanding of whom is the ultimate goal of the Vedas, as stated in the Bhagavad-gītā (vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ). Māyāvādī philosophers cannot understand these simple facts explained in the Bhagavad-gītā, and yet they are very proud of being Vedāntīs. Sometimes, therefore, we refer to the Vedāntī philosophers as Vidantīs, those who have no teeth (vi means “without,” and dantī means “possessing teeth”). The statements of the Śaṅkara philosophy, which are the teeth of the Māyāvādī philosopher, are always broken by the strong arguments of Vaiṣṇava philosophers such as the great ācāryas, especially Rāmānujācārya. Śrīpāda Rāmānujācārya and Madhvācārya break the teeth of the Māyāvādī philosophers, who can therefore be called Vidantīs, “toothless.”

Sri Caitanya Caritamrta  Adi-Lila 7.128

Śrī Mādhavendra Purī is one of the ācāryas in the disciplic succession from Madhvācārya. Mādhavendra Purī had two principal disciples, Īśvara Purī and Śrī Advaita Prabhu. Therefore the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava-sampradāya is a disciplic succession from Madhvācārya. This fact has been accepted in the authorized books known as Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā and Prameya-ratnāvalī, as well as by Gopāla Guru Gosvāmī. The Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā clearly states the disciplic succession of the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas as follows: “Lord Brahmā is the direct disciple of Viṣṇu, the Lord of the spiritual sky. His disciple is Nārada, Nārada’s disciple is Vyāsa, and Vyāsa’s disciples are Śukadeva Gosvāmī and Madhvācārya. Padmanābha Ācārya is the disciple of Madhvācārya, and Narahari is the disciple of Padmanābha Ācārya. Mādhava is the disciple of Narahari, Akṣobhya is the direct disciple of Mādhava, and Jayatīrtha is the disciple of Akṣobhya. Jayatīrtha’s disciple is Jñānasindhu, and his disciple is Mahānidhi. Vidyānidhi is the disciple of Mahānidhi, and Rājendra is the disciple of Vidyānidhi. Jayadharma is the disciple of Rājendra. Puruṣottama is the disciple of Jayadharma. Śrīmān Lakṣmīpati is the disciple of Vyāsatīrtha, who is the disciple of Puruṣottama. And Mādhavendra Purī is the disciple of Lakṣmīpati.”   Sri Caitanya Caritamrta  Adi-Lila 6.40

The amazing story of Mula-Rama

The Madhvācārya-sampradāya and Rāmānuja-sampradāya are mainly worshipers of Lord Rāmacandra, although the Śrī Vaiṣṇavas are supposed to be worshipers of Lord Nārāyaṇa and Lakṣmī and the Tattvavādīs are supposed to be worshipers of Lord Kṛṣṇa. At present, in most of the monasteries belonging to the Madhva-sampradāya, Lord Rāmacandra is worshiped.

In the book known as Adhyātma-rāmāyaṇa, there are statements in Chapters Twelve to Fifteen about the worship of the Deities Śrī Rāmacandra and Sītā. There it is stated that during Lord Rāmacandra’s time there was a brāhmaṇa who took a vow to fast until he saw Lord Rāmacandra. Sometimes, due to business, Lord Rāmacandra was absent from His capital for a full week and could not be seen by citizens during that time. Because of his vow, the brāhmaṇa could not take even a drop of water during that week. Later, after eight or nine days, when the brāhmaṇa could see Lord Rāmacandra personally, he would break his fast. Upon observing the brāhmaṇa’s rigid vow, Lord Śrī Rāmacandra ordered His younger brother Lakṣmaṇa to deliver a pair of Sītā-Rāma Deities to the brāhmaṇa. The brāhmaṇa received the Deities from Śrī Lakṣmaṇajī and worshiped Them faithfully as long as he lived. At the time of his death, he delivered the Deities to Śrī Hanumānjī, who, for many years, hung Them around his neck and served Them with all devotion. After many years, when Hanumānjī departed on the hill known as Gandha-mādana, he delivered the Deities to Bhīmasena, one of the Pāṇḍavas, and Bhīmasena brought Them to his palace, where he kept Them very carefully. The last king of the Pāṇḍavas, Kṣemakānta, worshiped the Deities in that palace. Later, the same Deities were kept in the custody of the kings of Orissa known as Gajapatis. One of the ācāryas, known as Narahari Tīrtha, who was in the disciplic succession of Madhvācārya, received these Deities from the King of Orissa.

It may be noted that these particular Deities of Rāma and Sītā have been worshiped from the time of King Ikṣvāku. Indeed, they were worshiped by the royal princes even before the appearance of Lord Rāmacandra. Later, during Lord Rāmacandra’s presence, the Deities were worshiped by Lakṣmaṇa. It is said that just three months before his disappearance, Śrī Madhvācārya received these Deities and installed them in the Uḍupī temple. Since then the Deities have been worshiped by the Madhvācārya-sampradāya at that monastery. As far as the Śrī Vaiṣṇavas are concerned, beginning with Rāmānujācārya, they also worshiped Deities of Sītā-Rāma. Sītā-Rāma Deities are also being worshiped in Tirupati and other places. From the Śrī Rāmānuja-sampradāya there is another branch known as Rāmānandī or Rāmāt, and the followers of that branch also worship Deities of Sītā-Rāma very rigidly. The Rāmānuja-sampradāya Vaiṣṇavas prefer the worship of Lord Rāmacandra to that of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. Sri Caitanya-Caritamrta Madhya-Lila 9.11

Kool-Aid vs. Nectar

January 25, 2023 in Articles by Narasimha das

The Vedic scriptures teach us (as cited in Bhagavad-gita As It Is and throughout Srila Prabhupada’s other transcendental books) that there are 3 primary modes of nature, or gunas. From these three gunas – goodness, passion, and ignorance (sattva, rajas, and tamas) – all varieties of creations in this world are manifest.

Similarly, there are 3 fundamental colors: red, blue, and yellow. From these 3 primary colors, along with various degrees of black and white, all varieties of colors are manifest. We also find many varieties of taste based on sensual perceptions of sour, sweet, bitter, and astringent. Expert chefs know how to combine such flavors wonderfully, with a touch of salt, to create immense varieties of palatable dishes.

For Kool-Aid drinkers of the modern era of internet and social media, there are also choices: blue Kool-Aid, red Kool-Aid, yellow Kool-Aid, and Kool-Aid of various other hues. But it all tastes pretty much the same. No matter the color, all Kool-Aid tastes like a cheap sugary drink with no nutritional value.

Cyanide, on the other hand, has no taste at all. Therefore, it is a prized possession of assassins, mass murderers, and those who want to easily commit suicide. Add one drop to the Kool-Aid and you are ready to go – to kill or commit suicide.

Those who like hearing from persons deluded by the modes of material nature, particularly persons under the spell of passion and ignorance, are Kool-Aid drinkers. The cyanide is their aversion to hearing from self-realized souls or those who faithfully repeat Their words or conclusions. The Vedas, such as Sri Isopanisad, implore us all to hear from the dhira, the undisturbed authority who has seen the truth. Iti susruma dhiranam, ye nas tad vicacaksire. This is the path to eternal bliss. For Kool-Aid drinkers, it makes no difference the color they prefer – their death and rebirth in miserable material existence is assured.

First of all, anartha-nivṛtti. You are accustomed to so many bad habits–SP.

January 24, 2023 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

June 23 1976 New Vrndavana conversations

Devotee (1): Śrīla Prabhupāda, when one returns to his svarūpa, his natural form, how does…
Prabhupāda: First of all, anarthanivṛtti. You are accustomed to so many bad habits. First of all try to rectify it, then talk of svarūpa. Where is your svarūpa? Simply wasting time. A man is diseased, he’s thinking, “When I shall be cured I shall eat, go to this hotel, I shall eat like this.” First of all cure, then talk of eating this and that. Svarūpa, when you are cured, that is svarūpa. So long you are not cured, what is the use of talking svarūpa? First business is cure yourself. Anarthanivṛtti, that is anarthanivṛtti. Then svarūpa will come. That is the bābājīs. In Vṛndāvanayou have seen? Siddha-praṇālī.
Pradyumna: Ah, siddha-praṇālī, siddhadeha?
Prabhupāda: They are smoking and having illicit sex with one dozen women-svarūpa. Rascal. This is called sahajiyā, a rascal. Condemned. Where is your svarūpa? Don’t talk unnecessarily. First of all come to svarūpa, then talk of svarūpa.
Devotee: So our motivation should be to get free from birth, disease, old age and death.
Prabhupāda: That is already explained. But you must be determined how to execute devotional service. Without determined devotional service, how we can attain that position? So what is the use of talking utopian? First business is anarthanivṛttiḥ syāt. Ādau śraddhā tathaḥ sādhu-saṅgo ‘tha bhajanakriyā tato anarthanivṛttiḥ syāt. You adopt this means that you have got full faith that “Kṛṣṇa consciousness will save me.” Then you live with devotees who are similarly determined. Then you execute devotional service. Then anarthanivṛttiḥ syāt, you‘ll be free from all these…. These are the stages. There is…. Up to anarthanivṛtti, you have to struggle very hard with determination, and then automatically everything will come. Tato niṣṭhā tato rucis tataḥ, athāsaktis tato bhāvaḥ. So before svarūpaanarthanivṛtti, don’t expect all these
Some Conclusions-We can see over time who wants Krsna Prema but does not want to do  any actual “work”  There are so many as Prabhupada mentions here about the Radha Kunda  bogus babajis as well as among his disciples.
Work now…….. samadhi later or, as Sriman Jayananda once said when asked how does one make spiritual advancement? 
He said I dont know I am too busy working for Srila Prabhupada!!!  The process is real and bona fide because it is given by our acaryas, we just have to stick with it being patient and continue to beg for Krsnas mercy as an ongoing activity.
Hare Krsna
damaghosa das

Reciprocal love right now-not later–SP

January 24, 2023 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

Hare Krsna-It seems there is a mood these days by some, of understanding that this bhakti yoga is somewhat mechanical, and that we dont have any present day love for Prabhupada or Krsna.  They think this love will come sometime in the “future” if we just follow enough rules and regulations..  
This is a wrong conception as one can see below in the numerous letters sent by Srila Prabhupada to his numerous loving disciples. These exchanges of love between Srila Prabhupada and us are in the present day, right now, if we want them. We dont have to wait for further “realizations” until we have some” love” within us. This love is always within us, it just has to be uncovered by the process of sadhana bhakti, beginning and ending with chanting Hare Krsna. It may not be full blown Krsna Prema, but it is still some vestiges of real love. Otherwise to say we have no love at all is to say we dont exist since love is the basis of our being. It is called cid-vilasa, means to give spiritual pleasure or love to others.
damaghosa das
July 14 1975 letter
Yes everybody says like that, that I am incarnation of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Actually Krsna and Krsnas’s representative are not different. Anything that is Krsnas’s is not different from Krsna. Therefore it is said saksad-dharitvena samast sastrair: the spiritual master is accepted by all advanced devotees as Hari.
July 27 1971

So whatever is offered in devotion and love is all right. It is our duty to offer the very best to Krsna and the spiritual master. That is reciprocal love. 

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Don’t just give brahmin initiation to anybody-SP

January 20, 2023 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

Jan 5 1972 letter to Niranjana

Please accept my blessings. I thank you for your letter dated 1st January, 1972 and am glad that you have received my letter. The four sinful activities which one must avoid if there is to be any hope for spiritual advancement are the eating of meat, fish and eggs, the use of intoxicants, illicit connection with women, and gambling. So these are the first four sins which I ask all of my students to strictly avoid committing. Practically the entire population of the world is entrapped by these four sinful activities. In our Krishna Consciousness Society we are training our students up to the standard of brahminical culture. So the great respect we are getting here in India and throughout the rest of the world is due to these restrictions. Actually our students have surpassed the category of brahmana because they are Vaisnavas which means they are transcendental to any material position, and brahmana is a material order of life, part of the Varna Ashrama system. Many times I have been told by other so-called holy men that I should not expect that foreigners will be able to avoid these sinful activities. But I have never compromised in any way and as a result of our sticking strictly to our principles our position is unique.
Jan 23 1974
Regarding second initiations, I have become very concerned lately, that some of our older students who have been given the second initiation, have not been strictly following the rules and regulations. So from now on I want our presidents to be very sure about the devotees they are recommending to me for second initiation. I think sometimes in the past devotees have been recommended chiefly because some more helpers were required in maintaining the deity work. Of course, necessity is there. It is just like in government, the government has need for a number of men to fill important posts, but first the persons must be qualified before they can award the post. Even though there may be a pressing demand, first the man must be qualified. Our system is that after one year from the first initiation, if the devotee is strictly following our principles without deviation, and if he will sign a statement in seriousness, that he will not deviate from the chanting and regulative principles, then, on your mature consideration you can recommend him to me. It is not that we are stopping second initiation, but I want to be sure it does not become a farce and names be sent to me without proper qualification. We are criticizing the caste brahmanas for saying that the Americans and Europeans cannot be awarded brahmanainitiation, because according to Vedic sastra, anyone who is properly trained up under a bona fide spiritual master, can become twice born. But if our brahmanas do not take their second initiation seriously, then we will be deserving of criticism. So on this basis, if your think the men you have recommended are still eligible, you can resubmit their names to me and I will accept them.
April 28 1974
Initiation should be given as a future hopebut we should be careful about the second initiationAs recommended by the president or GBC they should only do so when they are quite confident of a man. Otherwise, he should not be recommended. If you follow this principle it will be successful. Every day I am getting request for second initiation, but I do not know. The responsibility goes to the presidents who pick them. Unless they are thoroughly convinced second initiation should not be given. In the beginning we may be a little lenient. But if someone falls down after being initiated he should not be credited with second initiation.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
May 27 1974
I am also accepting Jogindra vandana for second initiation who has been initiated for two years. I want to stress to you to be very cautious about giving me recommendation for second initiation. There are four orders of life, it is not that everyone has to be a brahmana just because he has been initiated 1 or 2 or any number of years. Especially if one cannot even rise early for mangalaarati he should never be given brahminical initiation. All your programs are encouraging to me and keep sending me information.

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Love for God is preceded by knowledge-SP says Yes!

January 18, 2023 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

June 28 ,1976 New Vrndavana
Prabhupāda: So these people, these mahājanas, they know what is the principles of religion. Religion means bhagavata-dharma, to understand God and our relationship with God. That is religion. You may call it Hindu religion or Muslim religion or Christian religion, but real religion is that which teaches how to love God.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: This is off the record, but one may ask if someone like Christ or Moses was not mentioned amongst the mahājanas, present some sort of religion…
Prabhupāda:No, mahājana there is in Christian messiahs. There is mahājana. And later on, after Christ, there was so many other. Saint Matthew, Saint Thomas, like that. Mahājana is mentioned there. How can you say there is no mahājana?Mahājana means who is strictly following the original religion. That is called mahājana.Or who know the things as they are. They are called mahājana. And that means paramparā system. Just like Arjuna. Arjuna is learning Bhagavad-gītā directly from Kṛṣṇa. He’s mahājana. So you learn from Arjuna. And after hearing Bhagavad-gītā, as Arjuna acted, as Arjuna understood Kṛṣṇa, you follow that. Then mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ [Cc. Madhya 17.186]. Then you are following the mahājana. You are on the real path. Just like we are. Here it is said, mahājana, Svāyambhu. Svāyambhu means Brahmā, Lord Brahmā. So our, this sampradāya, Gauḍīya sampradāya, is Brahma-sampradāya. And Svāyambhu, Nārada. Nārada is also in the brahma-sampradāya. And Śambhu, Lord Śiva, he is also mahājana. He has got his sampradāya, Rudra-sampradāya. And similarly, Śrī-sampradāya. So all these sampradāya we must follow. Sampradāya vihina ye mantras te niṣphala mataḥ.If you do not belong to sampradāya, mahājana, then you are useless. You cannot concoct any religious system. So either you be Christian or Hindu it doesn’t matter. You have to follow the mahājana.If a Christian says, “I don’t believe in St. Thomas,” what kind of Christian he is?Similarly, it doesn’t matter who is a mahā… But real mahājana is he who is strictly following the principle as enunciated by God. That is religious system. Otherwise there is no religion. There is no question of religion. It is simply concoction. Mano-dharmi, mental speculator. Mental speculation is not religion. Religion is the order of Kṛṣṇa and one who follows that order, he is religious. That’s all.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Yes. So far I can understand, you’re saying that there’s no need to label that there’s one religion in the world. Rather, everyone can…
Prabhupāda:One religion is there already, that how to love God. This is one religion. Will the Christian say, “No. We don’t want to love God”? Will the Christians say? Will the Mohammedans say, “No, no. We don’t want to love God”? So religion means how to love God, and any religion which teaches how to love God, that is perfect.It doesn’t matter whether he’s Christian or Muslim or Hindu. It doesn’t matter. You have to be educated to take your degree. It doesn’t matter from which college you take degree.Similarly, religion means you have to learn how to love God. If you have no love for God, it is all useless. That is not religion.
.Becauseyou do not understand God. You have no love for God.That is going on, all over the world. They’re stamping under some sect, but there is no real religion. So in order to bring them all in one platform, they have to accept the principles of Bhagavad-gītā, Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If you do not accept in the beginning Kṛṣṇa, that He is the supreme, then you try to understand that He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is education. There is somebody supreme. So if I say, because I am Hindu, I am Indian, that “Kṛṣṇa is the supreme,” you may say, “Then why Kṛṣṇa? Kṛṣṇa is Indian.” “No. He is God. Just like the sun rises first in India, then comes to Europe. But that does not mean the sun is different. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa, although appeared in India, now He has come to Western countries, Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.You try to understand whether Kṛṣṇa is not God or God. But He is God. There is no doubt about it. If you have got intelligence to understand what is God, then try to understand. But He is God undoubtedly. So take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness and abide by the order of Kṛṣṇa. Then everyone comes on the same platform, the religious platform, one religion, Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Question 19, this is…
Prabhupāda: Now, this is clear or not?
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Oh yes.
Prabhupāda: Anyone? We are part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, our business is to surrender to Him. And Kṛṣṇa personally advises that “You surrender unto Me. I shall give you all protection.” This is religion.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Sometimes we meet people in our preaching activities. They may, of course, claim to be very devout Christian or Muslim, but at the same time they will blaspheme Kṛṣṇa. Is it possible that such persons can actually be associates of God?
Prabhupāda:No, no. It is just like in our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement there are so many Christians, so many Jews, so many Mohammedan, and Hindus. Everyone is there. It is a question of understanding.So in the beginning if… But if he’s serious to understand what is God, then he will accept Kṛṣṇa the Supreme Lord. If he knows what is God, then he’ll understand, “Here is God.”If he remains in darkness, he does not know what is God, then how he’ll understand Kṛṣṇa? He’ll understand Kṛṣṇa as one of us. That’s all. But if he knows what is God then he’ll understand. Yes, here is God, Just like if a person knows what is gold, then anywhere gold, he’ll understand, “Here is gold.” It does not mean only gold, in certain shop only gold is available. But if he knows what is God, what is meaning of God, that he will find in Kṛṣṇa in fullness. Kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam [SB 1.3.28]. The śāstra says how He is Bhagavān, what is Bhagavān. You should understand and see from the activities of Kṛṣṇa whether He is not Bhagavān. It requires brain to understand. I say, “Here is God.” Now it is up to you. If you know what is God, then test it, and then you’ll accept God. If you do not know how to test it, then you may refuse. That is another thing. You’ll accept iron as gold. That is your ignorance. You do not know what is gold.But if you actually know what is gold, you will accept Kṛṣṇa as God, there is no doubt about it. So this is the only platform, Bhagavad-gītā. Everyone come and take to Kṛṣṇa and understand God and learn how to love Him and your life is perfect.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: But if the Christians are saying that “This is the only platform, the Bible,” and the Muslims are saying, “This is the only platform, Koran,” and the community of followers of Bhagavad…
Prabhupāda:But we have to see by the result. The result is... Only platform, that only platform, that is decided… Sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmaḥ. That is actually religion. How? Yato bhaktir adhokṣaje. If one has learned how to love God. If there is no love of God, then what is the use of claiming that this is the only platform? Where is the sign of love of Godhead? That is to be seen. Simply if you say… Everyone will say, “This, my, this property is the best, or my understanding is…”But there must be practical proof. The practical proof-say how to love God, what is the process of loving God? If you do not know your relationship with God and other’s relationship with God, then how you know God? That is lacking. Nobody can give clear conception of God. Can the Christians give? Then where is love of God? If you have no understanding of what is God, where is the question of love? Love is not fictitious. You cannot love air. You love a person, a beautiful person, a beautiful woman. If you say, “I love air. I love the sky…” Where there is question of love?There must be a person. So who is that person we want to love? But they have no personal conception of God, neither they can describe the personal beauty, capacity, strength, ṣaḍ-aiśvarya-pūrṇaḥ. There is no such description.So they have got the conception of God, but actually they do not know what is God. But religion means you must know God and love Him. That is religion. That is first class religion. Is that clear or not?

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Castor oil or Big Oil companies??

January 18, 2023 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

June 24 1976 New Vrndavana

Prabhupāda:Thisisnastycivilization, unnecessarily increasing necessities of life.Anartha.
Kīrtanānanda: We would not have understood you if you had said that eight, ten years ago.
Prabhupāda: Hmm?
Kīrtanānanda: Ten years ago I know I could not have understood you if you had said that. Now I understand a little bit.
Prabhupāda: Now suppose these electric lights. So, crude form of light, we grow some castor seed, everything from the earth. This also you are getting from earth, petroleum, and running on machine, and electricity is generated. But really you are getting the impetus from the earth.As soon as the petroleum supply is stopped, everything stopped. But for this purpose you have to search out petroleum from the middle of ocean, boring.Therefore it is ugrakarma. The purpose is that you grow some castor seed, press it, get oil, put in any pot, and one wick, the light is there. So even understanding that you have improved the lighting system, but that is not the only necessity of my life.But to improve from the castor seed lamp, castor oil lamp, to this electricity, you have to work so hard. You have to go to the middle of ocean and drill it and get out petroleum and… In this way your real business of life is finished. The energy and the intelligence you got for your self-realization or your, this precarious position, constantly dying and taking birth in various species of life, this is your problem, and this was to be solved in human life, you have got advanced intelligence, but that intelligence is utilized from castor seed lamp to the electric lamp. That’s all. Just try to understand. What is that improvement? And for this improving from castor seed oil lamp to electricity lamp, you forget your real business. You lost yourself. This civilization is going on. This is called māyā. For some fictitious happiness you lose your whole purpose of life.It is difficult to understand, but the fact is there. But you are under the control of nature, you have to give up this body. All right, you make very nice arrangement to live here, nature will not allow you to live. You must die. And after death you are going to get another body. So in this body, working for high grade electricity lamp, you work so hard, have got your own business, and next life by the laws of nature, if you get the body of a dog, then what is the benefit? That you cannot check. What is the answer? Hmm?
Kulādri: Simple living, high thinking.
Kulādri: Simple living.
Prabhupāda: No, here is the charge. Now what is your answer? In this life you are living very comfortably, next life if I’m going to be a dog, then this is the charge. Now how this class of men will answer it?Can he deny that he’s not going to be a dog?
Kīrtanānanda: He says he doesn’t believe it.
Prabhupāda: You believe or not believe. Just like this child, it is boy, he does not know anything.But I know, his mother knows, his father knows that he’s going to be young man. If he says, “No, I am not going to be young man,” that is childish.That is childish. But the father, mother, friends know that the boy is going to grow a young man, so he should be educated and he should be properly situated.That is the guardian’s business. He doesn’t know. He doesn’t know.So that he doesn’t know, that does not mean it is fact. So similarly, if rascals say, “I don’t believe it,” that’s not a fact. He is a rascal, mad, he may say so, but that is not the fact. Karaṇaṁguṇasaṅgasya. Real fact is that he’ll have to accept a body according to the quality of development.
Kīrtanānanda: But what if they say that “Actually this life of growing the castor seed is very difficult, farming is very difficult. It is easier to go to the factory for eight hours, and then I come home with my money and I enjoy.”
Prabhupāda: No, you enjoy, but by enjoying, if you forget your real business, is that intelligent?Your real business is that you have got this human form of body to improve your next life. You are going to have a next life. Suppose you are going to be a dog. Is that success? So you must know the science that instead of becoming dog, how shall you become God. That is intelligence.
Kīrtanānanda: Why is it any better to grow castor seed than to dig oil?
Kīrtanānanda: Why is it any better to grow castor seed than to…
Prabhupāda: No, you require lamp. So you finish that lamping business as simply as possible. In the balance time you save you improve your self-realization. That is the life.Just like this child, he wants to play. He does not go to school, does not take an education, and he improves type of toys, toys, he’s engaged in improved type of football playing, and… Then is that very good intelligence?
Kīrtanānanda: But nobody works longer hours than the farmer.
Kīrtanānanda: No one works harder than the farmer. The farmer has to work very hard.

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Jan 20 1952 letter to Nehru, President of India(and they knew each other earlier)

January 16, 2023 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

Jan 20 1952 letter to Nehru, President of India(and they knew each other earlier)
In the old days life was not so much conditional and encumbered. The simple problems were then the problems of bread, clothing and shelter which were solved by the simplest process. By agriculture they used to solve the bread, clothing and shelter problems and industrialization was unknown to them. Thus they had no idea of living in big palatial buildings at the cost of sacrificing the boon of humanity. They were satisfied to live in the cottages and yet they were perfectly intelligent. Even the famous Canakya Pandit who was the Prime Minister of India during the reign of Candragupta, used to live in a cottage and draw no salary from the State. Such simple habits did not deteriorate his high intelligence and dignity and as such he had compiled many useful literatures which are still read by millions for social and political guidance. Thus the simplicity of Brahmanical culture was an ideal to the subordinate others of the society and in the Deductive way the subordinate orders, namely the the Ksatriyas, the Vaisyas and the Sudras would follow the instruction of the cultured Brahmin. Such ways of approaching the Truth is always simple, plain and perhaps the most perfect.
The cultured Brahmin-order of the society would declare that there is God or Brahman and the Ksatriyas, Vaisyas and the Sudras who were less cultured than the Brahmins—would follow the later faithfully call it blindly or otherwise. By such faithfully following the subordinate classes would be able to save much time in the matter of arguing or reasoning for the existence of God at all, and still they would not be faithless.
In the old days even a politician Brahmin like Canakya would say that
Vidwatamcha Nrpatamcha
Naiva Tulaya Kadacana
Swadesa Pujyate Raja
Vidvar Sarbatra Pujyato.
A really cultured learned fellow is far above a politician. Because a politician is honoured by the votes of his countrymen while a cultured and learned fellow is honoured everywhere all over the world. So we say that Ravindra Natha and Gandhi were never dependant for the votes of their countrymen but they were honoured all over the world for their cultural contribution. The same Canakya Pandit defined the standard of learning. The standard of learning had had to be testified by its result and not by the manner of University degrees. He said that one, who looks upon all women, except one’s married wife as mothers—all other’s wealth as the pebbles on the street and all living being as one’s own self,—is really learned fellow. He never stressed on the point of standard of how many grammars, rhetorics or other books of knowledge one might have gone through, or how many Doctorates of different Universities one might have been decorated with.

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To assimilate Transcendental knowledge is much more than a formality–SP

January 14, 2023 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

Article by Ishan das



The great sage Nārada also inquired in detail from his father Brahmā, the great-grandfather of all the universe, after seeing him well satisfied.



“The process of understanding spiritual or transcendental knowledge from the realized person is not exactly like asking an ordinary question from the schoolmaster. The schoolmasters in the modern days are paid agents for giving some information, but the spiritual master is not a paid agent. Nor can he impart instruction without being authorized. In the Bhagavad-gītā, the process of understanding transcendental knowledge is directed as follows:

tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā upadekṣyanti te jñānaṁ jñāninas tattvadarśinaḥ

Arjuna was advised to receive transcendental knowledge from the realized person by surrender, questions and service. Receiving transcendental knowledge is not like exchanging dollars; such knowledge has to be received by service to the spiritual master. As Brahmājī received the knowledge directly from the Lord by satisfying Him fully, similarly one has to receive the transcendental knowledge from the spiritual master by satisfying him. The spiritual master’s satisfaction is the means of assimilating transcendental knowledge. One cannot understand transcendental knowledge simply by becoming a grammarian. The Vedas declared: 

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau

tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ

“Only unto one who has unflinching devotion to the Lord and to the spiritual master does transcendental knowledge become automatically revealed.” Such a relationship between the disciple and the spiritual master is eternal. One who is now the disciple is the next spiritual master. And one cannot be a bona fide and authorized spiritual master unless one has been strictly obedient to his spiritual master. Brahmājī, as disciple of the Supreme Lord, received the real knowledge and imparted it to his dear disciple Nārada, and similarly Nārada, as spiritual master, handed over this knowledge to Vyāsa and so on. Therefore the so-called formal spiritual master and disciple are not facsimiles of Brahmā and Nārada or Nārada or Vyāsa. The relationship between Brahmā and Nārada is reality, while the so-called formality is the relation between the cheater and cheated. It is clearly mentioned herewith that Nārada is not only well behaved, meek and obedient, but is also self-controlled. One who is not self-controlled, specifically in sex life, can neither become a disciple nor a spiritual master. One must have disciplinary training in controlling speaking, anger, tongue, mind, belly and the genitals. One who has controlled the particular senses mentioned above is called a gosvāmī. Without becoming a gosvāmī one can neither become a disciple nor a spiritual master. The so-called spiritual master without sense control is certainly the cheater, and the disciple of such a so-called spiritual master is the cheated.

One should not think of Brahmājī as a dead great-grandfather, as we have experience in this planet. He is the oldest great-grandfather, and he is still living, and Nārada is also living.The age of the inhabitants of the Brahmaloka planet is mentioned in the Bhagavad-gītā. The inhabitants of this small planet earth can hardly calculate even the duration of one day of Brahmā.





Now, let us once again read Srila Prabhupada’s purport and contemplate his instructional guidelines:  


“The process of understanding spiritual or transcendental knowledge from the realized person is not exactly like asking an ordinary question from the schoolmaster. The schoolmasters in the modern days are paid agents for giving some information, but the spiritual master is not a paid agent.”

The first point Srila Prabhupada makes is that transcendental knowledge must be received from the realized person and not from someone who can repeat book knowledge.  Unless the spiritual master is realized, he cannot actually impart a realized understanding to his student.  


The specific process of transmission of knowledge, from the realized spiritual master to his student, is further explained by Srila Prabhupada; but first Srila Prabhupada clarifies the distinction between a paid teacher and a spiritual master. 


A paid agent is a person who is hired to give information.  In this sense, such a teacher is the paid servant of the student, and is giving information regardless of the qualifications of the student.  The spiritual master is not obliged to impart transcendental knowledge.  

“……. but the spiritual master is not a paid agent. Nor can he impart instruction without being authorized…. “

The bonafide spiritual master is the unalloyed devotional servant of Krishna and therefore he will not be hired by or obliged to anyone.  And because he is Krishna’s unalloyed confidential servant, he is authorized by Krishna to impart transcendental knowledge.  Unless he is authorized by Krishna, he is not empowered to impart transcendental knowledge to his student.  


After making these opening points, Srila Prabhupada proceeds to elucidate the relationship between the bonafide spiritual master and his student that qualifies the student for receiving transcendental knowledge from the bonafide spiritual master:  


“In the Bhagavad-gītā, the process of understanding transcendental knowledge is directed as follows:

tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā upadekṣyanti te jñānaṁ jñāninas tattvadarśinaḥ

Arjuna was advised to receive transcendental knowledge from the realized person by surrender, questions and service.”



Surrender, questions and service.  In Bhagavad-gita, 2.7, Arjuna asks questions of Krishna in a mood of surrender:  


“Now I am confused about my duty and have lost all composure because of weakness.  In this condition I am asking you to tell me clearly what is best for me.  Now I am your disciple, and a soul surrendered unto you.  Please instruct me.” 


Srila Prabhupada continues to bring the nature of the relationship between the bonafide spiritual master and his student more precisely into focus as follows:  


“Receiving transcendental knowledge is not like exchanging dollars; such knowledge has to be received by service to the spiritual master. As Brahmājī received the knowledge directly from the Lord by satisfying Him fully, similarly one has to receive the transcendental knowledge from the spiritual master by satisfying him. The spiritual master’s satisfaction is the means of assimilating transcendental knowledge. One cannot understand transcendental knowledge simply by becoming a grammarian.”

A bonafide spiritual master is not in need of anything material.  He is atmarama, completely self-satisfied in his reciprocal loving relationship with Krishna.  However, he is very merciful and kind.  And when he sees the sincere endeavor of his student to satisfy him, he is moved to bless his disciple with spiritual understanding.  As Srila Prabhupada states above:


“The spiritual master’s satisfaction is the means of assimilating transcendental knowledge.”

“Assimilation” is not a process of intellectual or logical understanding.  Rather, spiritual assimilation is a process of transformation in which the spontaneous devotional demeanor becomes alive within the heart of the bonafide student. And the means of assimilating transcendental knowledge” is to satisfy the spiritual master.  In the last sentences of his purport to BG 4.34, Srila Prabhupada Speaks of his inclination for having a very compassionate personal response to the sincerity of a bonafide disciple:  


“A bonafide spiritual master is by nature very kind toward the disciple.   Therefore when the disciple is submissive and always ready to render service, the reciprocation of knowledge and inquiries becomes perfect.”  


In other words, when the bonafide spiritual master is pleased with the genuine service attitude of his disciple, he is moved to bless the disciple with the ability of “assimilating transcendental knowledge.”

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