By  His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda

Devotees generally do not fall down, but if circumstantially they do, the Lord, because of their strong attachment to Him, gives them protection in all circumstances. Thus even if devotees fall down, they are still strong enough to traverse the heads of their enemies. We have actually seen that our Krishna consciousness movement has many opponents, such as the “deprogrammers,” who instituted a strong legal case against the devotees. We thought that this case would Continue reading

How to Obtain Krishna’s Power of Attorney?

By  His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda

So Sanātana Gosvāmī is guru. Caitanya Mahāprabhu is authorizing him to become guru. This is paramparā system. Nobody can become guru all of a sudden. Self-made guru is not a guru. Here Sanātana Gosvāmī is presented as the ideal disciple. He is asking, ke āmi kene āmāya jāre tāpa-traya: There is a process of how to approach guru, how to ask him question.

Sanatana Goswami

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu embraces Sanatana Gosvami, who approached the Lord after giving up his position as Prime Minister of the Nawab (King) of Bengal (circa 1500 AD)

But Caitanya Mahāprabhu is authorizing him. Therefore He says, krishna-śakti dhara tumi [Cc. Madhya 20.105]. Here Caitanya Mahāprabhu is authorizing Sanātana Gosvāmī. Unless he has got the power to receive the instruction, Caitanya Mahāprabhu is not going to waste His time. He has the power. He is empowered. Krishna Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s mission is to preach Krishna consciousness all over the world. So He is empowering Sanātana Gosvāmī to take this task and spread Krishna consciousness. That is Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s mission.

You’ll find in the Caitanya-caritāmrita the verse, krishna-śakti vinā nahe nāma pracārana. Without being empowered by Krishna, nobody can preach the holy name of the Lord. So without getting the power of attorney… Just like even one is qualified lawyer, he must get the power of attorney from his client, and then he can speak. That is the law. Similarly, without being endowed with the power of attorney from Krishna, it is not possible to preach.


Because we are preparing ourselves to preach Krishna consciousness, we must be qualified to get the power of attorney. Sometimes we say, “I’ll preach.” ‘What you will preach? First of all get the power of attorney; then preach.’ Preaching is not so easy that anyone and everyone can preach. So to get that power of attorney one has to Continue reading


By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

Jnāna: Srīla Prabhupāda, how may we best approach the rulers and the leaders and the politicians to interest them in this?

Prabhupāda: You simply go and chant Hare Krishna.

Jnāna: Just the same.

Prabhupada Foldings Hands

Prabhupāda: That’s all. You flatter them. That other day I you told that our preaching process is this: dante nidhāya trnakam padayor nipatya. According to Vedic civilization, if one approaches before you with a straw in his mouth, that means he is fully surrendered. That is the sign. Therefore Prabodhānanda Sarasvati is speaking that “With a straw in my mouth,” dante nidhāya trnakam. Dante – teeth, “padayor nipatya“: I am just falling down at your lotus feet, and I have come before you with this straw very humbly.” And, “I am flattering you a hundred times.” Then naturally any rogue, any rascal will be pleased: “All right, you can speak something.” If you become so humble and meek, there is no man in the world who will say, “No, no, I am not going to hear you.” Of course, there are many rascals. They will say so, that “I have no time.” So anyway, generally people will hear. So when he says, “All right, what do you want to say?” “he sādhavah”, again flattering: “O the great sādhu, you are…,” although you know he is a great rascal. (laughter) Still, I will have to speak to him. This is the process of preaching. Is that all right? You tell him, “Oh, you are a Continue reading

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu advises how to worship the Govardhana-śilā

By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

The govardhana sila at Juhu ISKCON Temple, Bombay, India

The govardhana sila at Juhu ISKCON Temple, Bombay, India

Previously, when Śankarānanda Sarasvatī had returned from Vrindāvana, he had brought the stone from Govardhana Hill and also the garland of conchshells. He presented Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu with these two items—the garland of conchshells and the stone from Govardhana Hill. Upon receiving these two uncommon items, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was extremely happy. While chanting, He would put the garland around His neck. The Lord would put the stone to His heart or sometimes to His eyes. Sometimes He would smell it with His nose and sometimes place it on His head. The stone from Govardhana was always moist with tears from His eyes. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu would say, “This stone is directly the body of Lord Krishna.” For three years He kept the stone and garland. Then, greatly satisfied by the behavior of Raghunātha dāsa, the Lord delivered both of them to him. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu instructed Raghunātha dāsa, “This stone is the transcendental form of Lord Krishna. Worship the stone with great eagerness.” [Bhaktivedanta Translation to CC Antya 6.288 – 294]

Govardhana silas

Govardhana silas – holy stones of the Govardhana Hill at Vrindavana. They are reverently worshiped by devotees as they are non-different from Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead

Who is a Candidate for Hellish Life?


Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Thākura writes in his Anubhāsya that in the opinion of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the govardhana-śilā, the stone from Govardhana Hill, was directly the form of Krishna, the son of Mahārāja Nanda. The Lord used the stone for three years, and then in the heart of Raghunātha dāsa the Lord awakened devotional service to the stone. The Lord then gave the stone to Continue reading

Placing Lord Vishnu in the category of Demigods is Ignorance

By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

Lord Vishnu

Lord Vishnu

Lord Vishnu cannot be placed within the category of the demigods. Those who are actually bewildered by the Māyāvāda philosophy and are still in the darkness of ignorance consider Lord Vishnu to be a demigod, in defiance of the Rig-vedic mantra om tad visnoh paramam padam (“Vishnu is always in a superior position”). This mantra is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gitā: mattah parataram nānyat [Bg. 7.7]—there is no truth superior to Lord Krishna, or Vishnu. Thus only those whose knowledge has been bewildered consider Lord Vishnu to be a demigod and therefore suggest that one may Continue reading


In conversation with His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda


Indian man: Srīla Prabhupāda, regarding karma. One does his job every day, and if he spends some time in the evening chanting Lord Krishna, do you approve this? Continue reading

I had a nice business – one of the best in India – and Krishna took it all away, and now I am very much thankful

Letters of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda





20 February, 1972




My dear Mangalamaya dasa and Madhupuri dasi,

Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter of January 30, 1972, along with the very nice poem entitled “Birth of Lord Krsna.” I am very pleased to hear that you are feeling yourselves very much satisfied in Krsna Consciousness. One thing, in Nairobi, I went there with Madhudvisa Swami who is not my normal secretary, and because of that by mistake he has recommended to initiate Tom and Carol Woolfe from Philadelphia Temple, but he did not know that I had already initiated them from India a few weeks before, but because some of my disciples are sending two or three copies of the same letter to various places where I might be, he found their request-letter in Nairobi and the mistake was made. So you can disregard the second initiation and the beads may be kept by you, because I have chanted on them, and at the appropriate time I will inform you where to send them to some new initiates.

I am glad to hear that along with your incense business you are also finding opportunity to preach. Without preaching, and if we only do business, there is certain fall-down.

New Raman Reti Alachua

Krishna of New Raman Reti, Alachua

Regarding your question whether grhastha couples can live together in Continue reading


Letters of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda



Los Angeles

15 May, 1970




My Dear Tamala,

Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 11th May, 1970, and noted the contents.

Rath Yatra Puri

The three rathas (cars) of Lord Jagannath, Balarama and Subhadra at Puri, India

When you go to London making plans for World Sankirtana, you may take into consideration of the proposal made by Mr. Parikh. He said that from Kenya there is invitation for our group to perform Kirtana there. So if we go, a group of at least 25 heads, they have already agreed to pay for return journey and accommodation there. So on your way to India you can perform Kirtana in some important cities of Europe, and then go to Africa, Kenya.

From Kenya you may go to South Africa. In this way you collect funds there from Indians and proceed to Bombay. In Bombay some of my friends will receive you very nicely, and from Bombay you gradually travel all over through other provinces namely Gujarat, Rajasthan, Central India, Northern India, then Behar, and then reach to Bengal. In Bengal we then start our own Temple at Mayapur, and some of the devotees may live there in batches. Some batches go, some batches come.

I am so pleased to learn that there are so many interested French persons joining our Movement in Paris. Regarding the two new couples who are Continue reading


By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

Krishna Driving Arjuna's Chariot on the Battlefield

So renouncement – simply giving up something – is not a very good idea. You must have something better. Param drstvā nivartate [Bg. 9.59]. If you get something better, then you give up something inferior. In our Vaishnava philosophy, renouncement means renouncement of sense gratification. The Māyāvāda sannyāsa means karma-tyāga, simply reading Vedānta philosophy, sānkhya philosophy, and everything (else is) given up. But our Vaishnava philosophy is giving up the wrong thing and accepting the right thing. Side by side. Simply if I give up, it will not stay very long time. If I simply, by sentiment, give up… brahma satyam jagan mithyā: “This world is false and Brahman is the reality.” So there are so many sannyāsīs, we see that they give up the so-called mithyā (false) world and come to the Brahman realization by meditation. Then meditation means hospital and school. Because there is no Brahman, there is no reality. So after much meditation, (he) comes to the conclusion that “Now I am a sannyāsī. I must open schools, college and daridra-nārāyana sevā and goat-nārāyana killing.” This kind of sannyāsa (renunciation) has no meaning. Daridra-nārāyana sevā. By killing goat nārāyana. Is the goat not Nārāyana? Simply daridras are Nārāyana? If you accept one as Nārāyana, why should you not accept the other as Nārāyana?

Anyone, who has sacrificed his life for Krishna, is a sannyāsi

So this kind of false sannyāsa is not accepted by the Vaishnavas. Vaishnavas accept sannyāsa for better activities. “For better activities” means dedicated life for satisfying the Supreme Lord. Mām ekam śaranam vraja. Anyone who has sacrificed his life for Krishna, he’s a sannyāsi. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā: anāśritah karma-phalam kāryam karma karoti yah, sa sannyāsī [Bg. 6.1]. Tyāgī (renunciation) means karma-phala tyāga. This is tyāga, real tyāga. Suppose you are working. You are doing some business and getting lakhs of rupees’ profit. If you can give up that profit for Krishna, that is sannyāsa. Otherwise, “I shall enjoy fully the profit and I have become a great devotee”? No. Sannyāsa means, as it is stated, anāśritah karma-phalam. There must be some karma-phala -whatever you do – there must be some result, bad or good. So anāśritah, without taking shelter of the result of activities, kāryam karma karoti… “It is my duty.” Just like Arjuna did. Arjuna understood that Krishna wanted the fight. He took it that “I must do this. This I must do! Krishna wants it. Because my business is to satisfy Krishna! I cannot become nonviolent as I wanted to falsely become. “Krishna, I don’t want to fight with my cousin-brothers, my nephews, my grandfather.” That was my sense gratification.” Krishna immediately said, “What kind of nonsense are you talking – that you won’t fight? This is not good. You have come to fight in the battlefield, and now you are talking that nonviolence. So don’t talk all this nonsense because you are My friend, My cousin-brother. It does not look well.” Anārya-jushtam asvargyam akīrti-karam. [Bg. 2.2] “These things are done by the anāryas, not by a gentleman. This shall be infamous for you. Don’t do like that.” Then He explained him the Bhagavad-gītā. And when he understood, then he took sannyāsa. What is that sannyāsa? karishye vacanam tava [Bg. 18.73] “Yes, I’ll fight.” That’s all.

“Hell or heaven, I don’t care for it,” said Arjuna

So this is sannyāsa. Anāśritah karma-phalam [Bg. 6.1]. He was first of all judging, “If I kill my cousin-brothers, my grandfather, there will be bad result. I’ll go to hell.” Now, later on decided, “Hell or heaven, I don’t care for it.” That is called anāśritah. “I don’t take shelter of hell or heaven. I take shelter of Krishna.” A devotee does not discriminate what is hell or what is heaven. Nārāyana-parāh sarve na kutaścana na bibhyati [SB 6.17.28]. One who is Nārāyana parāh, devotee, he doesn’t care for what is hell or heaven. Svargāpavarga-narakeshu api tulyārtha-darśinah. A devotee… Just like Nārada: he goes to hell, he goes to heaven. He has got freedom to go everywhere. Tulyārtha-darśinah. For him, there is no hell, there is no heaven. He’s preaching Krishna consciousness wherever he goes. That’s all. He has nothing to do. Just like we went to that Sabarmati jail in Ahmedabad, where Gandhi was put into jail. We were received by the jail authorities. There, they made very good arrangement. The prisoners, they received us, they chanted Hare Krishna mantra. So it was a good function. So we went to jail. But what have we got to do with the jail? We have no business with the jail. Similarly sometimes we are invited in a very rich man’s house, governor’s house. We go there. That is heaven. So we have nothing to take, either from this heaven or from that hell. We have to chant Hare Krishna mantra anywhere. That is our business.

[An excerpt from a sannyasa initiation lecture delivered in Calcutta on January 26, 1973]

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We shall entertain Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Jains, Sikhs, Buddhists, or whoever may come: We shall have no restriction

Letters of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda



Los Angeles

3 March, 1968





Sri Harikrishnadas Aggarwal

Gupta Hills Estate






My Dear Seth Harikrishnadasji,

I am so glad to receive your letter No. 02481, dated Feb. 20, 1968, posted late, as on Feb. 27, 1968. I thank you once more for your appreciating my mission of one God, Sri Krishna; one scripture, Bhagavad-gita; and one mantra, Hare Krishna. This idea is not manufactured by me, but it is authoritative statement in the Gita Mahatmya, Skanda Purana. You have asked me to let you know about the concrete plan for Bombay and I beg to submit as follows.

Back to Godhead - Volume 01, Number 62 - 1974

The Hare Krishna Community in Los Angeles

Some years before, when I was staying in your Prem Kutir you expressed your desire to organize a SANKIRTAN party, and I wish that it may be done now to help me in my mission. If you have got opportunity to purchase one copy of Life Magazine, published Feb. 9, 1968, you will find there on page 56, how nicely the American boys and girls are dancing and chanting the Holy Name of the Lord. A Sankirtana party as they can be organized in India is not possible here. Here the boys and girls, they are very serious about chanting, but they are not trained singers, or singers in the tune we chant in India. Therefore, I wish that if you organize a Sankirtana party there, completely trained in spiritual ways, and the American students combine with them, I think a very nice Sankirtana party can be organized to travel all over the world. I have tested it definitely that melodious vibration of Sankirtana, if they are performed by serious devotees, can attract people from the very spiritual platform, and it at once makes the spiritual background very smooth, when a spiritual instruction from the Bhagavad-gita can be implemented very nicely. So my first concrete program is that if you agree to organize such a Sankirtana party, a batch of American students may join, and I can combine these American and Indian devotees together under discipline. The American boys are being trained up strictly on spiritual line, which I have already explained to you in my last letter. Similarly, the Indian boys or girls must be spiritually trained; it is only by spiritually trained vibration can implement spiritual seeds in the heart of the audience, not otherwise. So, if you agree to cooperate with me in this direction, then I wish to go with a batch of American students to your care and stay in Bombay for some time, and try to open a branch in Bombay of our society. Here we have got six temples already, and they are nicely being managed by the American Vaisnavas under strict discipline, without their being born in any Hindu family. Similarly, in Bombay, we are inviting all classes of men to join us; we have no distinction of caste, creed, color or religiousity. Anyone can join us, never mind whatever he is. (We shall entertain Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Jains, Sikhs, Buddhists, or whoever may come. We shall have no restriction. In that Temple, everyone will be welcome. In other words, in our secular state and international feelings of God-consciousness will be introduced, where no one will be restricted.) And I am glad to inform you that this principle is accepted by everyone working under me. So, the sum and substance of the concrete program is to organize a nice Sankirtana party in combination of Indian and American students. I want your cooperation in this adventure.

Regarding Vedanta and Bhagavad-gita. There is no doubt about it that Bhagavad-gita is real Vedanta philosophy. Lord Krishna says in the 15th chapter that He is Continue reading