I Ain’t Going Unless I Wear My Wrangler Shirt


Told by His Grace Ugrasrava das

I had friends in the advertising industry, and one day they came to the temple and said, “The Wrangler Jeans Company wants us to advertise their product and we have the idea to use the Hare Krishnas in a sankirtana party—playing mridangas and wearing dhoti and full tilak, coming down Burk Street. One of the devotees will wear a Wrangler denim shirt along with his dhoti, and the caption on top of the photo will read, ‘I ain’t going unless I wear my Wrangler shirt.’”

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Dec 1970: Prabhupada’s visit to Gita Jayanti Mahotsava in Indore, India


By His Holiness Satsvarupa dāsa Gosvāmi

Prabhupāda and his disciples were enroute to Indore, a city of 475,000 in the central Indian province of Madhya Pradesh, thirteen hours northeast of Bombay. The directors of the Gītā Jayanti Mahotsava, a festival to celebrate the teachings of Bhagavad-gītā, had invited Prabhupāda and his disciples to attend their convention and public meeting.

In Indore Srila Prabhupāda and his disciples settled into their quarters near the Gītā Bhavan, the site of the Gītā Jayanti Mahotsava. The directors of the convention had assigned Prabhupāda a bungalow with a lawn and garden and had provided nearby facilities for his disciples.

The devotees toured the grounds of the Gītā Bhavan, noting the many swamis and sādhus who had arrived from various parts of India for the Mahotsava. They saw the large paṇḍāl and stage, the eye hospital run by the Gītā Bhavan, and the diorama exhibit. The diorama exhibit they regarded as the kind of eclectic mixing of spiritual paths that Prabhupāda often referred to as “hodgepodge.” Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, Vivekananda, Ramakrishna, and demigods and animals were all on display. While admiring the energy and imagination that had produced such an exhibit, the devotees questioned the benefit of such a conglomeration.

On the first night of the festival Prabhupāda was scheduled as the last speaker. His disciples, who sat with him onstage, grew bored and restless from the ordeal of so many hours of Hindi speeches. And knowing that these speakers were presenting Māyāvāda misconceptions made the evening especially painful. Srila Prabhupāda sat sternly and waited, his hand in his bead bag, his head held high, his lips murmuring the Hare Krishna mantra.

When Prabhupāda finally spoke, he began by explaining that in the West he was spreading the teachings of the Gītā as it is. Bhagavad-gītā, he said, could be properly understood only in disciplic succession, just as Arjuna, the original student of the Bhagavad-gītā, had understood it. The Gītā was for the devotee of Krishna and should not be misinterpreted by nondevotees. To misinterpret the Gītā, he said, was to cheat in the name of religion. He also spoke strongly against pseudo-incarnations.

Prabhupāda concluded his talk and asked his disciples to begin kīrtana. It was an ecstatic, spontaneous event, and Prabhupāda began dancing onstage along with his disciples. The crowd came to life and began clapping rhythmically. Haṁsadūta jumped down from the stage, still playing mr̥daṇga, and began inducing members of the audience to join in chanting and dancing. Several other devotees also jumped down, and soon hundreds of people had risen to their feet, swaying, clapping, and singing: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. This was the real Gītā Jayanti Mahotsava. The holy name of Krishna was being sung, and everyone was happily united in the kīrtana.

Greatly pleased by the performance of Prabhupāda and his disciples, the paṇḍāl directors visited Prabhupāda the next day in his bungalow. Prabhupāda complained at having to wait so long before he could speak; his disciples shouldn’t be required to sit through hours of speeches in a language they couldn’t understand. When Prabhupāda intimated that the speeches seriously deviated from the teachings of the Gītā, the director of the Gītā Bhavan replied, “We do not favor any particular way. Followers of the Śankara school and others also come to our institution. We do not subscribe wholly that Śrī Krishna is the sole God or anything of the sort. There is a power behind Him…”
This remark drew fire from Srila Prabhupāda . What kind of glorification of the Gītā was this if the speakers did not accept Krishna as He is explained in the Gītā? The Gītā declares Krishna to be the highest truth: mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat. Prabhupāda advised the directors of the Gītā Bhavan to try to understand the meaning of Bhagavad-gītā. The directors did not change their opinion, but they were intelligent enough to see that Prabhupāda was a great paṇḍita and saint, and they listened respectfully. Nodding, they said they accepted his point of view.

After the men left, Prabhupāda continued, “They are thinking that there is something beyond Krishna or that it is the spirit within Krishna that we have to surrender to. But they do not know that the within and the without of Krishna are all absolute, eternal, and full of bliss.”

Prabhupāda said he could see that the organizers of the Gītā Jayanti Mahotsava had invited him to draw larger crowds. But they would not make him sit again through all the Māyāvādī nonsense, he said. From now on, he would go with his disciples, speak, chant, and then leave.

The next night, however, despite promises by the paṇḍāl directors, Srila Prabhupāda again had to wait until the end of the program before he could speak and hold kīrtana. This night, the crowd was larger than before, and they were clearly waiting for Srila Prabhupāda and the foreign sādhus. When Prabhupāda’s turn came at last, he spoke and then asked his disciples to begin kīrtana.

During the kīrtana one of the members of the Gītā Bhavan gestured to the devotees to jump down into the crowd as they had done on the preceding night. But what had been a spontaneous event the night before could not be artificially staged simply as a crowd pleaser. The man, however, was insistent. He came forward to the edge of the stage, reached up, and began grabbing at the feet of the dancing devotees, trying to pull them into the audience. The devotees became annoyed. Grabbing indiscriminately, the man pulled at one of the women’s sārīs. Srila Prabhupāda was also dancing, but when he saw this he rushed to the edge of the stage, swinging his karatālas toward the man’s face and shouting, “Stop this!” The man retreated, and Prabhupāda and his disciples continued their kīrtana. Although little-noticed by the crowd, Prabhupāda burst of lion-like ferocity had amazed his disciples. Continue reading

It is wrong to Interpret Kuruksetra as the Body


In conversation with His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Prabhupāda: So therefore Arjuna said, sarvam etam ṛtaṁ manye yad vadasi mām (BG 10.14). This is devotee, that “I accept everything, whatever You say.” Not that “I make some amendment and then I accept.” And this is nonsense. You cannot… This is called ardha-kukkuṭī-nyāya. (Cc. Ādi-līlā 5.176)

Ardha-kukkuṭī-nyāya means one man was keeping a hen, and it was delivering every day a golden egg. So the man thought, “It is very profitable, but it is expensive to feed this hen. Better cut the head so I shall save the expenditure of feeding her, and I’ll get the eggs without any charge.”

So these rascals, they take…, accept śāstras like that: “Oh, this is not… This is very expensive. Cut this portion.” And when Kṛṣṇa says that “Anyone who sees Me in everyone,” “Oh, that is very palatable. That is very palatable.” And when Kṛṣṇa says, “You give up everything. You surrender…,” ‘Oh, that is not palatable.’

And this is ardha-kukkuṭī-nyāya: I accept things which are very favorable to my understanding, and other things I reject. This is called ardha-kukkuṭī-nyāya. So people accept śāstras in that way, the Māyāvādīs.

Guest (3): But one who is self-realized, he interprets them out, the ślokas or…

Prabhupāda: There is no interpretation. Kṛṣṇa says. In the Bhāgavata it is said that He lifted the mountain just like a child snatches one flower or the…, what is called?

Devotee: Mushroom.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Mushroom. Yes. So easily. They do not believe.

Guest (3): (indistinct) No, but in the language of Bhāgavata there are many ślokas interpreted by many teachers and…, those who believe in Bhāgavata…

Prabhupāda: Those who believe in Bhāgavata, they do not interpret. Those who do not believe in Bhāgavata, they interpret.

Guest (3): But its meaning has to be understood.

Prabhupāda: Meaning is clear. There is nothing to be understood. But the rascals, they draw their own meaning. Just like Bhagavad-gītā. What is the difficulty to understand this:

dharma-kṣetre kuru-kṣetre
samavetā yuyutsava
māmakāḥ pāṇḍavāś caiva
kim akurvata sañjaya
(BG 1.1)

What is the difficulty to understand? Kurukṣetra is a religious place, acknowledged by the Vedas, and it is going on still. Why do they interpret, “Kurukṣetra means this body”? Is he not a rascal? Why there is interpretation when you understand a thing very clearly? Eh?

Guest (3): Because Kurukṣetra is to be taken as a particular place.

Prabhupāda: Not taken; it is still there. Why do you interpret that it is body? Is it not rascaldom? No devotee, no ācārya has done this, but these modern so-called scholars and leaders, they have done it. Are they not rascals? What do you think? Eh? Continue reading

LAWFUL AND UNLAWFUL MEAT-EATERS


By His Divine Grace A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

So even the śūdras, who are meat-eaters, they’re lawful meat-eaters. What is that lawful meat-eating? Lawful meat-eating is… In any religion, formerly, even the Muhammadans or Hindus or the Jews, they used to kill one animal as sacrifice. They used to kill. Not in the slaughterhouse. Even up to date, those who are strictly religious followers…

Suppose the Muhammadans. There in the Koran, the injunction is that “You should sacrifice one animal in the mosque.” The Jews also, they sacrifice animal in the synagogue.

I have read one book, Lord Jesus Christ, when he was a young boy he was very much shocked when he saw that animal-killing is going on in the synagogue. Therefore he differentiated from the Jews and he started his own religion, Christian religion. Is it not a fact? Am I right? Why… He was also a Jew. Why he deviated? Why he deviated from the Jews? Continue reading

Mayavada Philosophy erroneously believes that Krishna assumes a Material Body


By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda

Vyāsadeva, under the instruction of his spiritual master, Nārada, he meditated in bhakti-yoga, and he saw the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Apaśyat puruṣaṁ pūrṇam. Pūrṇam means complete… Pūrṇaṁ puruṣaṁ māyāṁ ca tad-apāśrayam. And he saw māyā also, but māyā is not conquering over him. Because Kṛṣṇa is pūrṇam, māyā cannot conquer. In full light there cannot be darkness. Any amount of darkness you put before the sunshine, there is no possibility… It cannot stand. Within the sun globe, within the orbit of the sun, any amount of… Because the sun globe is so big and the orbit is so big that the whole universal darkness you bring there, there will be no darkness. Just imagine. It is not imagine; it is fact. The universal darkness, all the darkness of the universe, you bring before the sun, it will not effect. It cannot effect. Because the sun is full light. It is not that imitation light. Here we have got this imitation light. The big amount of cloud is there. Immediately it will be dark. But sunlight is full light. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa is pūrṇa-puruṣam.

The Māyāvādī philosophers, they think that when Kṛṣṇa comes, He reduces His energy; therefore He also becomes covered by māyā. This is called Māyāvāda. Māyāvāda means the māyā has covered everything, so māyā has covered Kṛṣṇa also. This is Māyāvāda philosophy. “Because māyā has covered me, you and everyone, therefore māyā has covered Kṛṣṇa. Unless Kṛṣṇa, or the Absolute Truth, Brahman, becomes covered by māyā, He cannot take a form.” This is Māyāvādī philosophy. As we have taken form, because the prakṛti, material nature, has helped us to take this form, similarly, their philosophy is, even the Absolute Truth, Brahman, He incarnates, He accepts a body of this material nature.

But that is not the fact. Kṛṣṇa said, sambhavāmy ātma-māyayā (BG 4.6): “I am not external energy. I come in My own energy.” And the Māyāvādī philosophers, they do not understand. Avajānanti māṁ mūḍhāḥ. Therefore they have been described as mūḍhāḥ, asses, fools, rascal. Avajānanti māṁ mūḍhā mānuṣīṁ tanum āśritam (BG 9.11): “Because I have come here in the form of a human being, they take it for acceptance that ‘Kṛṣṇa is another human being.’ ” But that is not fact. Here, if one sees Kṛṣṇa through bhakti-yoga as Vyāsadeva saw, bhakti-yogena manasi… (SB 1.7.4). Mind must be saturated with bhakti-yoga. Then you can see the Supreme Person pūrṇam, not affected by māyā. Apaśyat puruṣaṁ pūrṇam. And so far māyā is concerned, although māyā is very influential, that’s all right… Apāśrayam: standing at the background, cannot come in front. Just like the same example: the darkness cannot come in front of… You stand before, facing your mouth towards the sun, the darkness will be the background, not in front. Similarly, the darkness, māyā, cannot stand before Kṛṣṇa. She is always behind. Māyāṁ ca tad-apāśrayam.

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Jesus, Mohammed and Buddha were Saktyavesa Avataras – Empowered Incarnations


In Conversation With His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Revatīnandana: I have a question. One of my prabhus told me that you once said that your Guru Mahārāja said that Jesus Christ was a śaktyāveśa avatāra. Is that correct?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Because he said it, it must be correct. Muhammad also, śaktyāveśa avatāra. Śaktyāveśa avatāra means a living entity is especially empowered to preach the glories of the Lord. Lord Buddha is also śaktyāveśa avatāra. They are not ordinary human being. They are especially empowered personalities.

Devotee (1): Lord Buddha is not an incarnation?

Prabhupāda: Incarnation. Avatāra means incarnation.

Devotee (1): So that means incarnation also?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Śaktyāveśa avatāra means incarnation with special power.

Revatīnandana: It’s stated in the Bhāgavatam that there are two kinds of incarnations. One is a plenary portion, and the other is an empowered living entity. They’re both incarnations. Continue reading

LORD BUDDHA CHEATED THE ATHEISTS BY STATING THAT THERE IS NO GOD


By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

About Lord Buddha is also mentioned in the śāstra that Lord Buddha will appear in Gayā Pradesh, in the province of Gayā, and his business will be to cheat the atheists. That is described. Now, how he is cheating? He is the incarnation of God, but he is preaching amongst people who don’t believe in God. So he is cheating in this way, that “Yes, there is no God. You hear me.” But he is God.

The people amongst whom he is preaching, they don’t believe in God, but they accept Lord Buddha. But he is God. So by cheating, he is making others to worship God. God is there. But superficially they think, “We don’t believe in God. We believe in Lord Buddha.” And Lord Buddha is God. Therefore, in the Bhāgavata, it is said that his business will be to cheat the atheist class of men. Sura-dviṣām. Sammohita-sura-dviṣām. Sammohita means bewilder. But his philosophy is that to make the people sinless. Ahiṁsā. “Don’t kill.” That is the greatest sin. So he is propagating that “Let these people be saved from the greatest sinful activities.”

Lord Buddha appeared in India. Why? He was also Hindu. He was kṣatriya, king. He promulgated this philosophy, ahiṁsā, when there was unnecessary killing of animals. According to Vedas, animals can be killed in sacrifice. That also to give a new life. But people misinterpreted and they began to kill animals like anything with the evidence of…, “In the Vedas animal killing is sanctioned.” So Lord Buddha appeared, just being compassionate to the poor animals. Sadaya-hrdaya-darśita-paśu-ghātam. Sadaya. He became very compassionate, that “All these poor animals are being killed unnecessarily.” Continue reading

Sins, Sufferings and the Power of the Holy Name


By Niraj Bidawatka

Prabhupada has given a very simple definition of religion. Srila Prabhupada, in one of his lectures. defines Religion as “Law of God.”

When we violate the laws of God, it is called sin.

As the proportion of sins increases, suffering increases.

Our inherent nature is to remain happy. No one wants unhappiness.

But due to the stock of our past and present sins, we are forced to suffer.

This suffering can be stopped by chanting Hare Krishna because the holy name of God has the power to destroy our sins. Continue reading

Bhagavad Gita Tutorial: Chapter 8 Verse 16 – One has to Die right up to the Planet of Brahmā


By Niraj Bidawatka
Right up to the Satya-loka one has to die. Satya-loka is the highest planetary system within this material universe, where the four-headed Lord Brahmā, the creator of this universe, stays.  This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita (8.16):
Translation:
From the highest planet in the material world down to the lowest, all are places of misery wherein repeated birth and death take place. But one who attains to My abode, O son of Kuntī, never takes birth again. (Bhagavad Gita 8.16)
Even Brahmā has to die at the end of his 100 years. Even though his 100 years run into trillions of our earth years, but still he has to die. Lord Brahmā’s 12 hours are equal to our 4.32 billion years.

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Sensualists are Never Prepared for Death – They simply want to live on and on


By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

The word yoṣit means “woman,” and priya means “dear” or “pleasing.” Death is not very much welcome for those who are too much attached to material enjoyment, which culminates in sex. There is an instructive story in this connection.

Once when a saintly person was passing on his way, he met a prince, the son of a king, and he blessed him, saying, “My dear prince, may you live forever.” The sage next met a saintly person and said to him, “You may either live or die.” Eventually the sage met a brahmacārī devotee, and he blessed him, saying, “My dear devotee, you may die immediately.” Finally the sage met a hunter, and he blessed him, saying, “Neither live nor die.”

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