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KC Nectar Pages - September 22

Hari Nama - Downtown Atlanta
Submitted by Manoj

Hare Krishna all …

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. 

This is an excerpt from HH Satsvarupa dasa Goswami's diary 'Lessons from the Road'. I first read this when I was in Penn State … getting ready to leave to Atlanta. I was kind of hesitant to leave the association of awesome devotees at Gita Nagari. Moreover I'd just started to know a little bit about Krishna Consciousness. But ofcourse didn't have much of a choice. 

This article gave me much solace … To know that Atlanta has an awesome temple (the diary also had pictures of our beautiful Sri Sri Radha Madana Mohan) … Iam not sure of the year or the date … It's not mentioned. It might've been 1987, since the book is copyrighted in 1987.

Anyway, just thought I'd share it with you … 

Lessons from the Road - Volume 2
Satsvarupa dasa Goswami

We parked the van on the eighth floor of Macy's parking garage. A sign read, "This elevator is under electronic surveillance." Then onto the street, where smoke was puffing out of holes in the skyscrapers and emanating from the truck exhausts. Balabhadra said, "It's like you said in your class this morning; wherever human beings gather they pollute the place."

"Yes," I said, "they will blow up the whole planet. Are we a walking party?"

"Strolling sankirtana," he said, and he led us off at a slow?paced stroll, double file, a dozen men and half a dozen women.

A few devotees went out to distribute magazines and cards.

The best thing was the way Balabhadra sang and waved to people as we passed them. Somehow, both we and "they" were frozen in two different roles?and so Balabhadra's friendly wave broke the ice, and drew many of them in. A young woman sitting on a park bench smiled shyly, and an old black woman waved back grimly. There were greetings in jest, cool greetings, and greetings ignored, but Balabhadra just kept playing mrdahga, strolling and waving to whoever caught his eyes. 

We knew everyone who heard received the mercy of Gaura?Nitai.

As?we approached a row of fruit stands, one vendor began shouting at us. I heard, "Bald heads!" and "No Hare!" but mostly he was drowned out by harinama.

"He's a regular," said Balabhadra, "just a harasser." When I looked back I saw the vendor, who was a black man, say to Haryasva, "Hey nigger, how come you got that stuff on your face?" Then a black policeman stepped in and said to the vendor, "Don't harass them." 

"I know my rights!" said the vendor.

"Don't harass them!"

"It's all right, officer," said Haryasva, "I will answer his question."

Another black vendor said to Haryasva, "Don't pay him no attention." (Haryasva later referred to all this as "loving exchanges." At least I was sure that Haryasva was titiksava karunika: "tolerant and merciful.")

I tried to guess what everyone else was thinking. I saw headlines in the newspapers: "37 American Sailors Die in Missile Attack." In a theoretical way, I thought it would be appropriate to die here, while chanting.

When I took turns leading the chanting, I kept planning to vary the tunes, but every time I began, all I could sing was the main Hare Krishna tune that Prabhupada used to sing. For me that's the safest.

I thought, "We're far away from Vmdavana." In contrast to India, the people were dressed in stylish American business clothes, and most of the buildings looked new. But they received us with the same mixture of enjoyment and attempts to ignore us that we meet with everywhere. Harinama and book distribution are America's last chances.

In the park we all posed in front of skyscrapers, while Durdarsana took photos. Then we danced just as in the temple, only with hundreds watching and hearing us. I tried again to figure out what everyone was thinking and how we looked to them, until I realized it was a useless speculation. So I joined the chanting and dancing.

An article about our harinama appeared in the Atlantic Journal in a column by Francis Cawthon. Her human interest sketch, "Cultures Clash on Downtown Street at Midday," told of an old woman's incredulous responses to the devotees' chanting. 

Some excerpts:

"The Hare Krishnas were bouncing around energetically in front of the downtown C&S Bank, their faces covered with joy and strategic makeup, the partially shaved heads of the men, gleaming with oily perspiration in the midday sun. Lunch time office workers wove their way past, eyes averted....

A woman with graying hair and a straining double knit polyestar dress of psychedelic black and white flowers that had managed to survive the 1960's, stood aside and stared at them.

"Who are them people?" she asked.

I told her they were Hare Krishnas.

"Hairy Christians?" she repeated in disbelief. "Why them men have hardly no hair at all. How can they be called Hairy Christians?"

'They aren't Christians," I explained, "they belong to an Eastem religion."

She looked at me expectantly, and I was embarrassed that despite the many articles I had read about the group, I couldn't really tell her much.

'They are involved in the teachings of the Bhagavad?gita," I said importantly ? after sneaking a look at the card one of the men had given me earlier.

I ain't never heard of him," she said. . . . "Why are they all twirlin' around like that? I ain't heard so much noise and carryin' on since I went to a Holy?Roller revival in Alabama back in the 1940's."
"Maybe it's similar," I said. "You know, expressing exultation with your faith."

She didn't comment on that.

"Well, I wish I knew what it was that was makin' them so happy," she said. 

I looked at the card again. "It says, 'Chant the maha?mantra and your life will be sublime.' "

She peeked over my shoulder at the words: "Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare."

She guffawed, causing the black and white flowers to writhe over a protruding stomach.

I knew it. Just like them Holy Rollers in Alabama, talking in tongues that don't make a bit of sense. I guess my life ain't goin' to be sublime then, 'cause I couldn't remember much less pronounce all that stuff."

She walked off, a stolid black and white floral pattern, shaking her head, while the Hare Krishnas, still smiling beatifically and pounding the daylights out of their instruments, twirled happily in their gossamer silks.

The Day the Kirtan Changed
Submitted bt Manoj

From Radha - Damodara Vilasa, by Vaiyasaki dasa Adhikari

March 2, 1969

The appearance of Lord Chaitanya falls on March 4, a Tuesday. Therefore, a grand festival and initiation ceremony is being held on Sunday for the public. The temple is crowded with guests, many of whom have returned with the devotees from Griffith Park. An Italian film crew is shooting the event. No one in the temple has any idea that the whole style of performing kirtan in ISKCON will change today.

As Prabhupada is about to light the sacrificial fire, a Gujarati lady, Shyama Ma, who had met the devotees in London, comes into the temple clad in a saffron sari. Accompanied by her followers, older Hindu and gentlemen, she offers respect to Prabhupada as if he was her spiritual master, touching his feet several times. She carries small Radha?Krishna Deities with her, and Prabhupada agrees to have her place Them on the altar.

She is a guru herself, and her disciples roll out a rug for her at the back of the temple. She takes her seat, surrounded by her small group, and listens attentively as Prabhupada continues with the yajna. After the ceremony, Prabhupada goes up on the stage to sit on his vyasasana to the side of the altar. Picking up his kartals, he begins a kirtan and the devotees rise to dance.

In the early days there was usually only one mrdanga per temple only certain devotees were allowed to play it, usually the top players, like Vishnujana. Kirtans were always ecstatic, but not uproarious. This was due to the "Swami step," a choreographed step that Prabhupada taught the devotees and everyone did in coordination with one another, one foot in front of the other, with arms upraised. Everyone chanted and danced in this way.

As Prabhupada leads a lively kirtan from the vyasasana, he suddenly motions to Vishnujana to take over the chanting. As Vishnujana takes over the lead, Prabhupada stands up and starts dancing the Swami step with the devotees. Men and women dance on either side of the temple room, facing one another. They form a long aisle up the center of the temple room as they dance from side?to?side in the kirtan.

Shyama Ma and her followers also get up to dance. One of her disciples opens a bag and hands her a small dholak drum. The devotees surprised to see Shyama Ma expertly playing along on her drum. Although Vishnujana is leading the kirtan, he tries to pick up her beat.

Prabhupada begins dancing to the beat of Shyama Ma, but instead of sedately doing the side?to?side Swami step that everyone is familiar with, he actively begins moving back and forth. Seeing Prabhupada dance with great gusto in this unusual way, everyone becomes excited.

Shyama Ma is also dancing in the kirtan along with her followers, and the devotees step aside to make way for her to move towards the front. She is playing the dholak and floating around like a butterfly, taking small little steps. Although she is an older lady, she enthusiastically dances around with her sari draped over her head, playing away on her drum.

All the female devotees beam in pleasure. She is a Vaishnavi, and she can play the drum more expertly than Vishnujana! She is dancing and playing and Srila Prabhupada is obviously approving it, because he is up there on the stage dancing along.

Just then Srila Prabhupada does something no one has ever seen before.

Tamal Krishna: To everyone's total amazement, Prabhupada began jumping up and down! This was the first time anyone had ever seen him do this. Up and down, up and down, he jumped, and all the time moving forward, until he came in front of the Deity of Lord Jagannath. And as soon as he jumped, everybody started to jump. It was as if we were all tied by strings like puppets, moving to Prabhupada's direction. No one in the entire temple remained sitting. As soon as they saw Prabhupada begin to dance, they had followed suit. And when Prabhupada began jumping, everyone had done so also.

Madhudvisa: We had never done this jumping up and down. No one even knew about jumping in this way. We just knew the Swami step, and we were all happy doing the Swami step. But now Srila Prabhupada was jumping up and down. It was the most amazing thing. It seemed like the whole universe was rocking. So we all looked at each other, "Wow, Srila Prabhupada is jumping up and down. I guess we can jump up and down too!" It was fantastic.

All of a sudden, Srila Prabhupada leaps from the stage! He is in amongst the devotees jumping up and down and chanting Hare Krishna. Shyama Ma picks up the beat on her dholak, and Vishnujana follows along on his mrdanga. She also dances along as Prabhupada continues jumping and dancing.

Now Prabhupada starts jumping all around the temple room. In his ecstasy he introduces the practice of circurnambulating inside the temple room during kirtan.

Tarnal Krishna: Everyone was jumping with him, jumping and jumping. As he jumped, Prabhupada turned around and looked at all of the devotees with a great smile on his face chanting; Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare. The whole temple became filled with the pandemonium of ecstasy that Prabhupada had released.

When the kirtan ends, Prabhupada turns to Shyama Ma and says, "Now you lead." So she begins the next kirtan. Now the ladies are really ecstatic. Everyone is euphoric as she leads the most melodious kirtan that goes on and on, building up, as she and Srila Prabhupada dance all over the temple. It is the most exciting Lord Chaitanya festival ever. 

During the kirtan one devotee is on the phone to New York. 

"Prabhupada is jumping." 
"What do you mean 'jumping'?" 
"Jumping up and down in ecstasy while dancing in kirtan." 

Well, how do you do it?" The devotee tells the story of the fabulous kirtan.

Saradiya dd: When prabhupada first started dancing in LA, we heard about it in Boston. Boy, were we envious that we weren't there. There weren't many temples in those days, and we would hear all the news. It was a pretty tight?knit society, like a family, so we were all up on the latest developments.

The news of Prabhupada's exhilarated dancing, along with the drumming of Shyama Ma, quickly spreads from temple to temple through the ISKCON grapevine. By the next day, devotees are jumping up and down all over the movement. Kirtan has never been the same since that day.

Chanting the Mahamantra - Romapada Maharaj
Submitted by Hardik

Q. One of my close friends has stopped chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra saying that since the mantra destroys all material desires, as a grhastha (householder), he needs the material motivation to support his family, and also that chanting the maha-mantra while maintaining material desires is offensive. He has taken to the chanting of Sri Lakshmi Suktam, which awards material prosperity and also indirectly reminds him of Lord Vishnu. How do I explain things properly to him?

Answer by HH Romapada Maharaja.

The grhastha ashrama is an important part of the social structure and has been created by Krishna Himself. If by chanting Hare Krishna everyone will abandon their household life or the prescribed duties connected to it, that would be a great social disturbance and the scriptures would have prescribed that householders should not chant Hare Krishna! But that is not the case; rather, our vaishnava acaryas have sung: grihe thako vane thako sada hari bole dako - "whether you are a grhastha managing the responsibilities of household life, or a sannyasi, always chant Hare Krishna." 

Many of our vaishnava acaryas, including Bhaktivinode Thakur and even Srila Prabhupada had their families and were very responsible householders. Thus chanting Hare Krishna is not endangering to one's worldly duties. 

Rather, by chanting the holy names, one gets spiritual motivation and strength, which is far greater than even the impetus of material motivation. By chanting the maha-mantra, one acknowledges the fact that it is ultimately the Supreme Lord who is maintaining us and providing for us. He is the source of all opulences, and the master of Lakshmiji. Then one sees oneself as the instrument through whom the Lord is protecting the other family members, and in that consciousness one can work very hard to serve one's family members and see them and all one's possessions as the Lord's property and mercy, which is the actual fact. 

Only by working in that consciousness, can one be free from facing the reactions to one's work. And Lakshmiji will automatically bless that person who has accepted Her Lord as his master also, just as when Sudama offered Krishna whatever he had, Rukmini was so much obliged that she made him prosperous without any endeavor. 

In other words, the mahamantra purifies the heart of all material desires, but that does not necessarily mean that one has to abandon his family or duties connected to family life.

Regarding the consideration of offense in having material desires, Srimad Bhagavatam also mentions that whether one is full of material desires, desirous of liberation or has no desires, one who is broad-minded should worship the Supreme Lord, because He is ultimately the Supreme Master of all. (Cf. SB 2.3.2-10) That is the duty of all, and by worshiping the Supreme Lord, gradually the heart will be cleansed of all misconceptions.

Letter from HH Hridayananda Maharaja
Submitted by Hardik

Here is a recent letter from HH Hridayananda Maharaja, who is one of the original spiritual masters (Gurus) after Srila Prabhupada, a great scholar (Ph.D. from Harvard! Fastest graduate in the 125 year old Sanskrit department), and a close friend of the Atlanta Hare Krishna Temple.

Dear Disciples, 

Please accept my blessings. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. 

I am writing to comment on the recent terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, which you must have heard of by now. I am aware that some devotees take a casual or dismissive attitude toward these events, declaring that "It's just a fight among the karmis." Or, "People are just suffering their karma." etc. 

If this is the full extent of our response to these events, I think that we are somehow deficient as devotees. My logic is as follows: 

Lord Krishna states in the Bhagavad-gita 6.32, that a devotee should possess universal empathy. A literal translation of this verse would read: "O Arjuna, I consider the supreme yogi to be one who, by comparison to the self, sees everywhere the same, whether happiness or distress." 

This verse, among other meanings, recommends a kind of universal empathy. In his own translation of this verse, Srila Prabhupada stresses this universal empathy: "He is a perfect yogi who, by comparison to his own self, sees the true equality of all beings, in both their happiness and their distress, O Arjuna!" 

In his purport, Srila Prabhupada continues to stress the point of empathy: "One who is Krishna conscious is a perfect yogi; he is aware of everyone's happiness and distress by dint of his own personal experience. In other words, a devotee of the Lord always looks to the welfare of all living entities, and in this way he is factually the friend of everyone." 

This is how we can apply such empathy in the case of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington: First, we can imagine what it would have felt like for us to have been on one of the four planes that were hijacked and destroyed, or in one of the three attacked buildings. There is ample information available so that we can be quite specific and explicit in imagining the experience. 

Second, we will probably have to honestly admit that we would feel significant discomfort, pain, or anxiety in such a situation. If we are capable of deep empathy, if we are able, as Srila Prabhupada states, to understand the experiences of others by comparing them to our own experiences, and we are "factually the friend of everyone," then we experience true Vaishnava compassion. 

In other words, we should not be more detached toward the suffering of others than we are toward our own suffering. We should not arrogantly dismiss the anguish of others, as if we are beyond anguish. A devotee who is truly transcendental to material suffering, and who would not have suffered at all in one of those four airplanes, or in one of those three buildings, would be a most exalted pure devotee and as such would feel great compassion for the fallen conditioned souls. Those who are not compassionate, and who dismiss as trivial or unimportant such great suffering, are not actually demonstrating advanced detachment in Krishna consciousness, but rather they are demonstrating a disturbing lack of common empathy, and are in fact embarrassing our movement by their neophyte response. 

ISKCON devotees oppose animal slaughter. How can we not oppose human slaughter? If one says, "it's their karma," then we reply that the same is true for cows and other animals who are slaughtered. 

If one says, "this is just a political fight among materialists," I would reply that in the Bhagavad-gita, Lord Krishna clearly distinguishes between acts in the different modes of nature, and He specifically describes certain acts as not only materialistic, but as evil and demonic. It is surely evil and demonic to murder thousands of innocent persons. Let us remember that in Vedic culture, we are required to treat people according to their innocence and guilt in this life. God will take care of their past karma. We are not allowed in Vedic culture to abuse people, harm or kill them, and then say, "It must have been your karma." Vedic culture is not moral anarchy in the name of karma. We should be above mundane morality, not below it. 

During the Bangladesh War in the early 1970's, Srila Prabhupada strongly condemned the Muslim atrocities against the Hindus, and indeed against other Muslims, in Bangladesh. Of course in every country on earth there are tragedies, and the devotees will benefit themselves personally, and greatly enhance their preaching, if they are able to achieve a real state of deep empathy, not in the cause of materialism or the bodily concept of life, but as a symptom of a budding self-realization that leads one to feel liberated compassion for all suffering beings. 

With best wishes, 
Your ever wellwisher, 
Hridayananda das Goswami 

Reply to the letter by Hrdayananda Maharaja
Submitted by Hardik

Dear Hrdayananda Maharaja, 

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. 

I don't know how or why, but I received a letter that you wrote to your disciples regarding empathy, inspired by the recent tragic events in the United States. I very much appreciated the contents and mood of your letter and I'm glad that it came to my email address. 

I've been teaching communication skills to devotees for several years, and the most important amongst those skills is empathy. In practically every profession, from police officers to medical doctors, from insurance agents to factory workers, research has shown that empathy, more than any other skill, attribute or quality, distinguishes top performers from others. 

In my courses I frequently use the same quotes from Srila Prabhupada's books, e.g. 6:32, that you included in your letter. There are of course many other wonderful quotes from Srila Prabhupada's books that relate to the topic of empathy (e.g., para dukha dukhi). At the end of this posting I've included some relevant quotes from the pastime of Dadhici Muni. 

Thank you for your attention in this matter. Hare Krsna. 

Your servant, 

Dhira Govinda dasa 

If one is unhappy to see the distress of other living beings and happy to see their happiness, his religious principles are appreciated as imperishable by exalted persons who are considered pious and benevolent. 

One generally follows different types of religious principles or performs various occupational duties according to the body given to him by the modes of material nature. In this verse, however, real religious principles are explained. Everyone should be unhappy to see others in distress and happy to see others happy. Ätmavat sarva-bhüteñu: one should feel the happiness and distress of others as his own. It is on this basis that the Buddhist religious principle of nonviolence-ahiàsaù parama-dharmaù-is established. We feel pain when someone disturbs us, and therefore we should not inflict pain upon other living beings. Lord Buddha's mission was to stop unnecessary animal killing, and therefore he preached that the greatest religious principle is nonviolence. 

One cannot continue killing animals and at the same time be a religious man. That is the greatest hypocrisy. Jesus Christ said, "Do not kill," but hypocrites nevertheless maintain thousands of slaughterhouses while posing as Christians. Such hypocrisy is condemned in this verse. One should be happy to see others happy, and one should be unhappy to see others unhappy. This is the principle to be followed. Unfortunately, at the present moment so-called philanthropists and humanitarians advocate the happiness of humanity at the cost of the lives of poor animals. That is not recommended herein. 

This verse clearly says that one should be compassionate to all living entities. Regardless of whether human. animal, tree or plant, all living entities are sons of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Lord Krishna says in Bhagavad-gita (14.4): 

sarva-yonisu kaunteya 
murtayah sambhavanti yah 
tasam brahma mahad yonir 
aham bija-pradah pita 

"It should be understood that all species of life, O son of Kunti, are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I am the seed-giving father." The different forms of these living entities are only their external dresses. Every living being is actually a spirit soul, a part and parcel of 
God. Therefore one should not favor only one kind of living being. A Vaisnava sees all living entities as part and parcel of God. As the Lord says in Bhagavad-gita (5.18 and 18.54): 

brahmane gavi hastini 
suni caiva sva-pake ca 
panditah sama-darsinah 

"The humble sage, by virtue of true knowledge, sees with equal vision a learned and gentle brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater [outcaste]." 

brahma-bhutah prasannatma 
na socati na kanksati 
samah sarvesu bhutesu 
mad-bhaktim labhate param 

"One who is transcendentally situated at once realizes the Supreme Brahman and becomes fully joyful. He never laments nor desires to have anything; he is equally disposed to every living entity. In that state he attains pure devotional service unto Me." A Vaisnava, therefore, is truly a perfect person because he laments to see others unhappy and feels joy at seeing others happy. A Vaisnava is para-dukha-dukhi; he is always unhappy to see the conditioned souls in an unhappy state of materialism. Therefore a Vaisnava is always busy preaching Krishna consciousness throughout the world. 

Sadhu Sanga ! Sadhu Sanga ! Sadhu Sanga !
Submitted by Ram Mahtani

Hare Krsna !!

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada !!

In all the three discourses I was fortunate to attend, HH Bhakti Purushottam Maharaj emphasised on association with devotees/Vaishnavas. I had printed the following episode in our Annual souvenir a few years back - so thought of sharing it with all you kind devotees !!!

HIS aspiring servant
- ram -


Once, the great sage Narada Muni went to Vaikuntha and asked Lord Vishnu, "Please tell me Bhagwan, what are the results of being in the association of devotees?" The Lord smiled & said, "My dear Narada, go to a certain forest on earth. There you will find a banyan tree, on the left branch of which is the nest of a parrot. In the nest will be a newly-born baby parrot. Ask the baby bird this same question and it will give you the answer."

Narada muni went to the tree. As he reached the nest, an egg hatched and a tiny parrot came out. Narada approached the bird and asked "Baby bird, please tell me what is the effect of Sadhu sanga ?" 

The moment the sentence was uttered, the baby bird fell down dead. 

Narada muni was shocked. He went back to Lord Vishnu and told him that before answering him, the bird had died. 

Lord Vishnu, once again smiling told him to go to a certain village where a calf was just born to a Brahmin. "Question the calf and get your answer." 

Narada muni came to the village and found the house of the Brahmin. The new-born calf was just getting up on its legs when Narada asked, "Dear calf, please tell me what is the result of associating with devotees?" No sooner had he completed his question that the calf fell down dead. 

Narada was very sad. "What a sinful person am I," he thought, "I appear to be responsible for two deaths."

Grieving, he went to Vaikuntha and told Lord Visnu what had happened. The Lord consoled him and said, "Don't worry, its not your fault. In the stable of the king of Kasi a foal has been born. Go and ask the baby horse for the answer."

Narada went to the stable as directed and very hesitantly put forward the same question to the baby horse. Here too, the baby horse fell dead as soon as the question was completed. 

The great sage Narada muni was now in despair. Three deaths on his conscience !! What mistake hade he made in approaching these new-born babies ? The Lord had directed him in each case, then how could such tragedies occur?

Puzzled and confused Narada muni went to Lord Visnu and reported the death of the foal. 

Looking at Narada's harrased faced the Lord smiled and said "Despite all your trouble, you didn't get the answer. Now do one thing. A son has just been born to the king of Kasi. Go and ask the baby your question." Narada's face grew pale with fear. 

"No more, Lord," he cried out. "I don't want any more deaths on my account. Let my question remain un-answered. I am already weighed with guilt. I don't want the death of a prince also on my conscience." The Lord smilingly assured Narad muni, "This time you will get the answer to your question".

Very reluctantly Narada went to the palace of the the king of Kasi. There was great rejoicing in the palace because of the birth of a prince. When the king saw Narada muni, he considered himself doubly blessed. He immediately brought his son for the sage's blessings. 

Narada gathered the baby in his arms and very softly asked: "Baby, kindly tell me what is the result of associating with devotees?"

Hardly had he completed his question that the baby gurgled and said, "O greatest of the sages, have you not understood so far? I was the baby bird whom you questioned on the banyan tree. Because of the brief contact with a saint like you, I got released from the tiny body immediately and was born as the calf. There again you came and questioned me, and by that short contact i got rid of my insignificant birth and was born as a horse. In that birth too, you asked me the same question. As a result of that brief contact with you I have been blessed with the most precious human form as the prince of the Kasi kingdom. This is the result of a "BRIEF ASSOCIATION WITH DEVOTEES (SADHU SANGA)" I am grateful to you, O Sage, for elevating me to this stage.

On hearing this, Narada muni's doubts were cleared. He was not sad any more for the deaths of the baby animals. He blessed the prince and singing the glories of the Lord went away.

Live as Krsna Lives - A lecture by Srila Prabhupada
Submitted by Manoj

The following is an evening lecture given by Srila Prabhupada at the Gita-nagari farm community in Pennsylvania on July 15, 1976. 

So Krsna consciousness means to follow the instruction of Krsna. Our life has a certain aim in this material world, sometimes we forget. Material world means forgetting our aim of life; that is natural. The basic principle of material life is forgetting Krsna:

krsna- bahirmukha jiva bhoga-vancha kare
nikata-stha maya tare japatiya dhare

[From Jagadananda Pandita, Prema-vivarta: "Turning his face away from Krsna, the jiva develops the desire to enjoy. Standing nearby, Maya slaps him and seizes hold of him." {Translation by Gopiparanadhana dasa.}]

Forgetfulness is our nature, we are not as perfect as God, therefore, there are so many inefficiencies. So forgetfulness is also another material quality. So material life means forgetting Krsna. Maya means when one has forgotten his relationship with Krsna, that is called maya. So Krsna is very kind. When we forget too much, this material world is forgetfulness, but still, according to the Vedic system, Krsna consciousness is maintained to some extent if you follow the Vedic principles, then we revive our consciousness, our relationship.

That is explained by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu when he was talking with Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya, that the Vedic principle is to revive or to remind our relationship with Krsna. In the Bhagavad-gita also Krsna says, vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyah [Bg. 15.15], the real purpose of Vedic knowledge is to come to the understanding of Krsna consciousness. So this Krsna consciousness movement is trying to revive the original, constitutional position. So one of them, in Krsna consciousness movement, is village organization, as you are trying here.

Krsna, in His natural life, is a village boy in Vrndavana. Vrndavana is a village. There is no factory, there is no motor-car, there are no big, big sky-scraper buildings; it is village. That Krsna likes. In the sastra it is said, vrndavanam parityajya, sa kvacin naiva gacchati [From Srila Rupa Gosvami, Laghu-bhagavatamrta 1.5.461: "...Krsna manifests His pastimes in the cities of Mathura and Dvaraka, but Krsna the son of Nanda Maharaja never at any time leaves Vrndavana."]

Krsna is so fond of that Vrndavana village life, with His cowherd boys and cowherd girls, His gopis, Mother Yasoda, Father Nanda, and Upananda, uncles, and big family, the cows and the calves, the trees, the Yamuna River. He is satisfied in that life. So at least those who are Krsna conscious, they should be satisfied with simple life in the village. That is part of Krsna consciousness.

But it does not mean that we shall avoid city life or town life, not. Everything, every place is Krsna's place. Everywhere there should be Krsna consciousness.

But if we keep ourself within the village and properly organize as Krsna personally showed us the example, He was personally taking care of cows, calves. When He was a child, He was taking care of the calves. When He was grown up, He was taking care of the cows, although He was a very rich man's son; Nanda Maharaj was the village king. But still, He was working hard the whole day, going in the morning to the pasturing ground and coming back in the evening. Then He used to take His bath, change dress, and immediately go to sleep. This was Krsna's pastime. So we should follow His footprints. What is that verse?

asraddadhanah purusa
dharmasyasya parantapa
aprapya mam nivartante

[Bg. 9.3: "Those who are not faithful in this devotional service cannot attain Me, O conqueror of enemies. Therefore they return to the path of birth and death in this material world."]

So whatever Krsna has taught by His personal life, by His teaching, to follow that is Krsna consciousness.

Everything is there in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. His personal life is there, and Bhagavad-gita, His teaching are there, and He comes for this purpose:

paritranaya sadhunam
vinasaya ca duskrtam
sambhavami yuge yuge

[Bg. 4.8: "To deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I Myself appear, millennium after millennium."]

Those who are naturally God-conscious, to deliver them, to make their life perfect, in this life. This life should be the last material life and next life they should go directly to Krsna.

janma karma ca me divyam
evam yo vetti tattvatah
tyaktva deham punar janma
naiti mam eti so 'rjuna

[Bg. 4.9: "One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna."]

If we become fully Krsna conscious, simply try to under stand what is Krsna, there is no difficulty: Krsna is the Supreme Controller, that's all. There is a supreme controller -- that we have to accept, as we were discussing in the bus this morning. There is no way out, there is not way out that you will deny the Supreme Controller, that is not possible.

So there is a Supreme Controller. If you are a sane man you'll understand very easily, and that Supreme Controller is Krsna. He comes personally and says:
mattah parataram nanyat
kincid asti dhananjaya
mayi sarvam idam protam
sutre mani-gana iva

[Bg. 7.7: "O conqueror of wealth, there is no truth superior to Me. Everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a thread."]

There is no other controller above Krsna, therefore, He is the Supreme Controller: isvarah paramah krsnah [Bs. 5.1], the Supreme Controller. The Supreme Controller, He is giving us instruction. If we follow His instruction, very simple, and remain in this village, satisfied with simple life, agricultural produce, milk, how many nice things you have produced, where is the difficulty? There is no economic problem. You are getting so much milk that it is becoming a problem how to utilize it.

In India we are in scarcity of milk. So, krsi-go-raksya-vanijyam. [Bg. 18.44]: "Farming, cow protection and trade are the natural work for the vaisyas..."] If you have got enough milk you can make trade. Vanijyam, that is Krsna's instruction. It is not that we hate the modern system. No, we do not hate anything. Nirbandhah krsna-sambandhe. [From Bhakti -rasamrta- sindhu 2.255: "When one is not attached to anything, but at the same time accepts everything in relation to Krsna, one is rightly situated above possessiveness. On the other hand, one who rejects everything without knowledge of its relationship to Krsna is not as complete in his renunciation."] we want to try to engage everything in Krsna's service. If modern machine is there, we don't hate it. We must find out the means how this machine can be utilized for Krsna's service. So if you have got excess milk, you can make it powdered milk and you can send to India in any amount. It will be consumed. At least we can use it in out different centers, we can distribute. So there is no question.

Besides that, you can prepare ghee from milk. From milk first of all drink as much as you like. then convert it into yogurt, next day, next day, next day. And then, when that is also enough, then churn it, take out butter...buttermilk and butter...and drink butter milk with capati. It is very palatable, very nutritious. Then butter...if you have got excess butter, then turn into ghee, and ghee can be preserved for years. There's no question of preservation. You send it to cities and towns. And we are now encouraging to open prasad distribution restaurant. They can utilize the ghee. Then where is the problem? There is no problem. Each drop of milk you can utilize to the perfect utility point.

And if there are excess cows, you have got some woods, so you cut out the trees and make an encirclement and keep them there. They will live there. So there is no problem. Krsna was maintaining 900,000 cows. There is no problem. But give protection to the cows. That is the order of Krsna. We cannot be so ungrateful that we kill our mother. Milk is so important. We are drinking the milk of the cow, and in exchange, if we cut the throat of our mother, that is not civilization. That is barbarism, less than animal. Animals also, they have respect for mother. So try to give protection to the cow, that is a pious activity, and you'll not be in scarcity.
Live village life, simple life, and be satisfied with the bare necessities. There is no need of luxury. And save time and chant Hare Krsna. This is ideal life. So I am very pleased that you are doing that, and do it more nicely so that others may be attracted.

This town life, industrial life, factory life, is asuric life. It is killing human ambition. It is killing civilization. So there are many other businesses for a Krsna conscious person, because in the Bhagavad-gita, Krsna speaks all around: sociology, politics, philosophy, religion, culture, economics, everything is there. If you simply follow Krsna's instructions, then you get cultural life all around.

So this is an ideal village. Develop it more and more. Our Paramananda is there. He is very experienced, and others are there. Do it very nicely. I am very happy to see that things are going nicely. Thank you very much.