By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Karma-granthi. Granthi means knot. So just like a man, if he is tied very strongly with ropes, hand and legs, he cannot move independently, similarly, we are tied up by the laws of material nature. Material nature. Just like we, when we become criminal, we become… We are always bound up by the laws of the state; either criminal or civil, it doesn’t matter. But criminal is more strong. When we are under criminal laws, then it becomes very painful. We cannot violate the state laws, either criminal or civil; it doesn’t matter. But if we violate the civil law, there is no such strong punishment, but if we violate the criminal laws, then it is very strong.

Similarly, we living entities, those who are conditioned by this body… This body itself is a punishment. That, these rascal people, they do not know. They are trying to enjoy this body. The body, there are senses. So they are satisfied. The same thing: Just like hog. He has forgotten that he has got a body of hog so that he is bound to eat stool and live in a filthy place, but because he has got the facility of sense gratification with other female hogs—never mind whether sister, mother or daughter—he is happy. Continue reading



By Niraj Bidawatka

In the Purport to Caitanya Caritamrta (Madhya 22.141), Prabhupada states as under:

“By offering oblations with ghee, one satisfies the demigods. By studying the Vedas, one performs brahma-yajña, which satisfies the great sages. Offering libations of water before one’s forefathers is called pitṛ-yajña. By offering tribute, one performs bhūta-yajña. By properly receiving guests, one performs nṛ-yajña.” These are the five yajñas that liquidate the five kinds of indebtedness—indebtedness to the demigods, great sages, forefathers, living entities and common men. Therefore one has to perform these five kinds of yajñas. But when one takes to the saṅkīrtana-yajña (the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra), one does not have to perform any other yajña.”

Thus, from Srila Prabhupada’s Purport, we can understand that these five types of yagñā are mandatory for karmīs. But, for devotees, they are not necessary. Saṅkīrtana yagña, i.e. the chanting of the holy name of Kṛṣṇa is enough.

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By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

This is a very instructive struggle between the atheist and the theist. This story of Prahlāda Mahārāja is eternally true. There is always a struggle between the atheist and the theist. If a person becomes God conscious, Kṛṣṇa conscious, so he will find many enemies, because the world is full of demons. What to speak of the devotee of Kṛṣṇa, even Kṛṣṇa, when He personally came, He had to kill so many demons. There was His maternal uncle, His mother’s brother, very keenly related. Still, he wanted to kill Kṛṣṇa. As soon as any son was born to Devakī, immediately he killed, because he did not know who will be Kṛṣṇa. The prediction was that the eighth child of his sister will kill Kaṁsa. So he began to kill all the children. At last, Kṛṣṇa came. But he could not kill Kṛṣṇa. He was killed by Kṛṣṇa.


So nobody can kill God. The demons, godless society, they simply want to kill God. But actually, God is never killed, but the demon is killed by God. That is the law of nature. This is the instruction from Prahlāda Mahārāja’s life. We can understand that, as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, mṛtyuḥ sarva-haraś cāham (BG 10.34). In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said that “I am also death in the shape of taking away everything, whatever you possess.” We are very much proud of possessing material things, material acquisitions, but when Kṛṣṇa comes… Just like Prahlāda Mahārāja saw, Hiraṇyakaśipu, his father, also saw Nṛsiṁha-deva. This Hiraṇyakaśipu was very clever as the materialists, scientists, are very clever. Cleverly they are inventing so many things. What is the idea? The idea is, “We shall live forever and enjoy sense gratification more and more.” This is called atheistic advancement of civilization. So Hiraṇyakaśipu was typical materialist. Hiraṇya means gold, and kaśipu means soft bed, cushion. So materialist persons, they are very much fond of gold and enjoying sex. That is their business. So Hiraṇyakaśipu is the typical example of this materialistic person. And Prahlāda Mahārāja, prakṛṣṭa-rūpeṇa āhlāda: Āhlāda means transcendental bliss. Continue reading


By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Śrimad Bhāgavatam

Canto 5  | Chapter 14


yo dustyajān dāra-sutān
suhṛd rājyaṁ hṛdi-spṛśaḥ
jahau yuvaiva malavad


While in the prime of life, the great Mahārāja Bharata gave up everything because he was fond of serving the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Uttamaśloka. He gave up his beautiful wife, nice children, great friends and an enormous empire. Although these things were very difficult to give up, Mahārāja Bharata was so exalted that he gave them up just as one gives up stool after evacuating. Such was the greatness of His Majesty.

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

The Supreme Lord personally picks the devotee from the insurmountable ocean of repeated birth and death

Ms. Nixon: Do all paths lead to the same end?

Śrīla Prabhupāda: No. There are four classes of men — the karmīs, the jñānīs, the yogīs, and the bhaktas — and each achieves a different goal. The karmīs work for some material profit. For example, in the city, many people work hard day and night, and their purpose is to get some money. Thus, they are fruitive workers, or karmīs. A jñānī is a person who thinks, “Why am I working so hard? The birds, bees, elephants, and other creatures have no profession, yet they are also eating. So why should I unnecessarily work so hard? Rather, let me try to solve the problems of life—birth, death, old age, and disease.” Jñānīs try to become immortal. They think that if they merge into God’s existence, then they will become immune to birth, death, old age, and disease. And yogīs try to acquire some mystic power to exhibit a wonderful show. For instance, a yogī can become very small: if you put him into a locked room, he can come out through any little space. By showing this kind of magic, the yogī is immediately accepted as a very wonderful man. Of course, modern yogīs simply show some gymnastics—they have no real power. But a real yogī has some power, which is not spiritual but material. So the yogī wants mystic power, the jñānī wants salvation from the miseries of life, and the karmī wants material profit. But the bhakta — the devotee — doesn’t want anything for himself. He simply wants to serve God out of love, just as a mother serves her child. There is no question of profit in a mother’s service to her child. Out of pure affection and love, she cares for him. Continue reading


By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Just like in your office you want to satisfy your boss. In your school or college you want to satisfy your teacher or principal. Similarly, the supreme teacher, the supreme boss, is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So saṁsiddhir hari-toṣaṇam (SB 1.2.13). This is the sum and substance of bhāgavata-dharma, that one has to test the success of his activities. It doesn’t matter what it is.

Now at the present moment in a godless civilization, if some great scientist proves… Just like Professor Einstein, he also said that as we are making advance in science we find that there is a big brain behind this cosmic manifestation. That is acceptance of God. What is that big brain? That big brain is God. The Vedānta-sūtra says, janmady asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1). Just like when you see a wonderful bridge or wonderful engineering work, you must think that there is a brain behind it. This nice construction, there is a brain behind it. Continue reading


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

Mike Robinson: Can you tell me what you believe—what the philosophy of the Hare Krishna movement is?

Srila Prabhupada: Yes. Krishna consciousness is not a question of belief; it is a science. The first step is to know the difference between a living body and a dead body. What is the difference? The difference is that when someone dies, the spirit soul, or the living force, leaves the body. And therefore the body is called “dead.” So, there are two things: one, this body; and the other, the living force within the body. We speak of the living force within the body. That is the difference between the science of Krishna consciousness, which is spiritual, and ordinary material science. As such, in the beginning it is very, very difficult for an ordinary man to appreciate our movement. One must first understand that he is a soul, or something other than his body.

Mike Robinson: And when will we understand that? Continue reading

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