The Psychologist – helpless before a Hare Krishna


Girirāja  dasa had been serving Srila Prabhupada in Bombay for quite a few years when he finally returned for a visit to the United States to recover his health and to see his parents in Chicago. When he returned again to Bombay, Prabhupada inquired about his health and his visit to his parents’ home.

Giriraja with Srila Prabhupada

Giriraja with Srila Prabhupada

Girirāja  described how during the two-day visit with his family, his father had invited a friend, who was a psychologist, to have a talk with Girirāja . The psychologist, a woman, had begun asking Girirāja  whether he felt Continue reading

ISKCON News: New Book “Swamiji” Fills in ISKCON’s Early History


Brahmananda holding a danda (rod), is on the left of Srila Prabhupada

Brahmananda prabhu holding a danda (rod), is on the left of Srila Prabhupada

Brahmananda Das, one of the early disciples of Srila Prabhupada recollects his intimate association with Srila Prabhupada in the newly launched book “Swamiji” Visit the following link to know more.

ISKCON News: New Book “Swamiji” Fills in ISKCON’s Early History.

WHAT IS SRILA PRABHUPĀDA’S DAY LIKE?


By His Holiness Satsvarupa Goswami

morning walk with disciples

People ask, What is Srila Prabhupāda’s day like? Srila Prabhupāda rises about 1:30 a.m. Sometimes around 2 or 3 a.m. I awaken and hear him dictating. Once one man in Bombay said to Srila Prabhupāda, “Today I rose at 2:30!”—to which Srila Prabhupāda replied, “I rose at 1:30!” In Hyderabad Gargamuni Svāmī said to me, “What other sādhu in India gets up at 1:30 to write books?” It is great proof of his authenticity. In Bombay we set up a small house of mosquito netting for him to work in. He opens the big volume of Bengali Caitanya-caritāmrta, and with a small desk lamp lit, he begins translating the synonyms one by one, clicking the dictaphone button as he pauses briefly for his thoughts.

The translation work usually goes on for two or three hours, sometimes less. From around 3 to 5 he sits and chants Hare Krishna on his beads. Srila Prabhupāda chants beads almost silently, although the motion of the beads can sometimes be heard in the next room, and sometimes “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna.”

His regular morning walk begins just before Continue reading

ONE DOESN’T HAVE TO BE A SCHOLAR TO UNDERSTAND KRISHNA


Hare Krishna Explosion

 

“Isn’t academic education almost an impediment?” I ask. “A whole way of thinking has to be changed.”

“Yes,” Prabhupada says. “Material qualifications become disqualifications when they’re used to help us forget Krishna. But those same qualifications can be dovetailed to Krishna’s service. For instance, you learned to read and write in school. Now, you can use these abilities to earn money for sense gratification, or to Continue reading

Prabhupada says, “Eating Onion and Garlic is as bad as Eating Cow’s Flesh”


By  Hari Sauri dāsa

December 22 1976 – Pune

Hari Sauri dasa

Hari Sauri dasa

The Malhotras are the owners of Weikfield Products food company, which was established twenty years ago. They have a very large modern house, Malhotra Bhavan, situated on several acres of well-kept land at 116 Koregaon Park, which, unusual for India, even has a moderately sized swimming pool. At the house Srila Prabhupāda was introduced to the wives of all three brothers, and some of their children.

As I busied myself retrieving Srila Prabhupāda’s silver plate and bowls for breakfast from our bags in the car, Haridāsa escorted His Divine Grace into the house. A few minutes later he came out grinning and told me of an unusual story Srila Prabhupāda had narrated to our hosts. The ladies had naturally inquired from Srila Prabhupāda what would he like to eat, and his initial response was to say “anything.” He declared he would be satisfied with whatever they wanted to offer. But then he added, as a precaution, that there should be no onions or garlic. They knew this to be one of our standards, but still they were inquisitive to know why.

Prabhupada taking-prasadam

Prabhupāda said with a smile that eating onion and garlic is as bad as eating cow’s flesh. And he told them a story about a Muslim king, a cow and a brāhmana.

For the Muslims, cow slaughter is a regular affair. This particular king however, before having the cow slaughtered would call a brāhmana and the brāhmana would offer Continue reading

SRILA PRABHUPADA COMMENTS ON HOMOSEXUALITY


By  Govinda dasi

Govinda dasi

Govinda dasi

One day in Montreal, during afternoon guest hours a young devotee from the temple asked me for an appointment to see Srila Prabhupada. I agreed and told her to come in the late afternoon, as it was his custom to visit with guests and devotees after his afternoon nap. This girl was an artist, her name was Madhavi Lata and she had come from New York. She was now living at the Montreal temple and I assumed she wanted to discuss her paintings with Srila Prabhupada and ask questions about them, as did Jadurani and the other artists from time to time. However, her intention was different. When she came, she began to explain her problem to Srila Prabhupada, and Srila Prabhupada having difficulty understanding her, called me into the room.

I was working in the kitchen nearby and heard his call: “Govind Dasi!” He always pronounced my name with 4 syllables: Govind Dasi, other than Govinda Dasi. I rushed in and made obeisances and he told me to bring prasadam. Then he motioned for me to sit down and listen to the discussion.

hawaii-govinda-dasi

Srila Prabhupada with Govinda dasi and others in Hawaii

Madhavi Lata was explaining to Srila Prabhupada that as a brahmacarini at the temple she was having difficulty being around all the other girls as they were often dressing and sometimes wearing only slips and cholis while putting on their saris. She tried to explain to Srila Prabhupada that this was a great agitation for her and she needed a different living situation. She was very upset and didn’t know what to do.

Srila Prabhupada was having difficulty understanding her problem. Srila Prabhupada was encouraging her to chant Hare Krsna, read his books and do her wonderful art work. He inspired her and preached to her and talked to her about Krsna and the temporary existence in the material world. I sat quietly listening to the conversation nearby and observing that he was giving her the highest instruction that was applicable in every case. However, there was clearly a lapse in communication.

Eventually, the girl graciously respected prasadam and left. Then I sat down in front of Srila Prabhupada’s desk and he asked me: “What is her problem?” I groped for words, trying to find a way to express it and finally said: “Srila Prabhupada, in this country there are some women who are attracted to other women sexually, not to men. So she is having this problem living with the other girls and doesn’t know what to do about it”.

Srila Prabhupada’s eyes grew large and round and he said: “Oh”. He saw the whole thing immediately. Then he said in a very surprised tone: “In India there are some such Continue reading

WHEN THE YOUNG WIFE OF A DISCIPLE WANTED TO ASK A QUESTION IN PRIVATE


Anecdotes of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur Prabhupada, the exalted Spritiual Master of Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur Prabhupada, the exalted Spritiual Master of Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

In Māyāpur, especially at the time of the international festivals, different disciples would take the service to guard Śrīla Prabhupāda’s door. Their function was mostly to screen potential visitors so that Śrīla Prabhupāda was not constantly interrupted. The guard would also go and fetch anything that Śrīla Prabhupāda wanted.

One time, while Mahābuddhi dāsa was guarding Prabhupāda’s door, Śrīla Prabhupāda called him in and asked for the juice of a fresh dob (coconut), but even while Prabhupāda was talking, his sister, Bhavatarinī, suddenly entered his room. Prabhupāda’s sister, known as Piśimā (or “aunt”) to Prabhupāda’s disciples, had free entrance to see Prabhupāda whenever she wanted. Besides, no one could really restrain her if she wanted to see Prabhupāda, to talk with him, or to cook for him.

As Piśimā sat down in the room, Mahābuddhi got up to carry out Prabhupāda’s desire for the fresh dob, but Prabhupāda spoke sternly, “Sit down.” Mahābuddhi sat down again.

Śrīla Prabhupāda spoke with his sister in Bengali, for about twenty minutes while Mahābuddhi waited, chanting silently on his beads. The talk between Prabhupāda and his sister was enthusiastic until towards the end when Prabhupāda became somewhat reprimanding. Finally Bhavatarinī offered her respects to her exalted brother and left the room. Prabhupāda stood up, and Mahābuddhi started to leave to carry out his interrupted errand.

As if to explain his action, Prabhupāda quoted a verse:

mātrā svasrā duhitrā vā nāviviktāsano bhavet
balavān indriya-grāmo vidvāmsam api karsati

“Never stay alone with a woman,” said Prabhupāda.

Prabhupāda also described that his spiritual master was very strict in following the rule of not being alone with a woman. One time, one of Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī’s disciples, a Dr. Kapoor, accompanied by his very young wife, was seeing Continue reading

Los Angeles Times Article – “Krishna Chant”


On January 11, 1970, an article in the Los Angeles Times reported that faculty members at the University of California at Berkeley, including Dr. J. F. Staal, professor of philosophy and South Asian languages, had turned down a request to grant credit for an experimental course in Krishna consciousness to have been taught by Hans Kary, president of the Hare Krishna movement’s Berkeley center. In rejecting the proposed course, Dr. Staal suggested that the devotees “spend too much time chanting to develop a philosophy.” When the article came to the attention of Srila Prabhupāda, the founder and spiritual master of the Hare Krishna movement, he initiated an unusual correspondence with the renowned professor.

Excerpt from the article:

“Dr. J. F. Staal, Professor of Philosophy and Near Eastern [sic] Languages at UC Berkeley and an instructor in Indian philosophy, believes that the Krishna sect is an authentic Indian religion and that its adherents are sincere. He attributes the Society’s rapid increase in members to the tendency of today’s younger generation to reject organized churchgoing while at the same time Continue reading

WHOM DOES A DOCTOR SERVE – MANKIND OR GOD?


Conversations with His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Guest: Service to mankind is service to God. Remember.

Revatinandana: Is that true, Srila Prabhupada?

Prabhupada: What is that?

Revatinandana: That service to mankind is service God?

Prabhupada: That is nonsense.

Guest: Doctor. For doctor, I mean.

Prabhupada: Well, that is another thing. When doctor gives service to man, he does not give service to the man; he gives service to the money. Continue reading

“YOU ARE THE PARENT OF YOUR PARENTS”


By Madhusūdana dāsa

In the early days of our movement—in the little storefront temple at 26 Second Avenue in the East Village—Śrīla Prabhupāda would lecture in the evening and then retire to his upstairs apartment, All of us would be very eager to accompany him, in hopes of getting some personal advice or just hearing him talk more informally. As an excuse to go upstairs, each of us would carry up one of the things Śrīla Prabhupāda had used during the lecture—the watch he’d kept before him on the dais, the Sanskrit Bhāgavatam volume he’d read from, or the mridanga drum he’d played during the chanting of Hare Krishna.

I would bring the mridanga drum upstairs to the outer room of Śrīla Prabhupāda’s apartment and wait before his door, hoping he would see me and call me in. Sometimes he could call my name: “Madhusūdana….” Then, my desire fulfilled, I would enter his room. He was always concerned in a very personal way about me, and he would ask me how my parents were. (At that time I was rather young, just eighteen, and although I was already his disciple, I was still living at Continue reading