Mridanga, Kartala, that is Enough Akincana Staff

So far your road-show is concerned, we are not meant for giving performances, we are simple kirtana men. There must always be kirtana going on wherever we travel, and nothing else. In this connection refer to the GBC letter which will be sent to you shortly by Karandhara and Syamasundara. (Letter to Kirtanananda — Los Angeles 25 June, 1972)

One night there was a darsana with one musician. I never got the understanding whether this was a person coming to Krsna consciousness or whether this was already a devotee. I always thought it was someone coming to Krsna consciousness that wanted to use their western rock and roll guitar style in service to Lord Caitanya, and Prabhupada was very adamant, and the guy kept bringing the point up two or three times and finally Prabhupada said “No!” and he pointed, there was this beautiful picture of Panca-tattva on the wall of his room. He said “You see Mahaprabhu; kartalas and mrdanga, that is all. (Caturatma das: Memories of Srila Prabhupada, DVD 51)

My opinion is that it is not necessary for us to utilize these different musical talents for spreading Krsna Consciousness. I would rather see people follow strictly the path of Lord Caitanya and His Sankirtana devotees. We are using mrdanga, karatala, that is enough. We are not musicians. We are Krsna bhaktas. Therefore we do not stress so much importance on these different musical talents. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is God Himself. Had He thought it would have been better to spread Krsna Consciousness by another way He would have done so. But no, simply with mrdanga and karatala, traveling and chanting Hare Krsna, asking everyone to chant Hare Krsna, preaching simply Srimad-Bhagavatam philosophy, this is the process. There is no need for us to try and add anything to this simple method. It will only be a distraction. Therefore I request you to follow the simple path of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu and help me spread this wonderful mission all over the world. Keep yourself pure and fixed up in Krsna Consciousness by following the basic principles that I have given; chanting 16 rounds daily, following the four regulative principles, rising early, attending mangala arati and classes etc. This is of the utmost importance. (Letter to Jagadisa Pandita — Bombay 28 December, 1974)

It is to be understood that when Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu chanted and danced, He did so by the influence of the pleasure potency of the spiritual world. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu never considered the holy name of the Lord to be a material vibration, nor does any pure devotee mistake the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra to be a material musical manifestation. Lord Caitanya never tried to be the master of the holy name; rather He taught us how to be servants of the holy name. If one chants the holy name of the Lord just to make a show, not knowing the secret of success, he may increase his bile secretion, but he will never attain perfection in chanting the holy name.( CC Adi 7.95-96 p)

“When disciples do not stick to the principle of accepting the order of their spiritual master, immediately there are two opinions. Any opinion different from the opinion of the spiritual master is useless. One cannot infiltrate materially concocted ideas into spiritual advancement. That is deviation. There is no scope for adjusting spiritual advancement to material ideas.” (Caitanya-caritamrta Adi 12.9 purport)

Krishna Kirtana is not for earning livelihood. Krishna Kirtana is not meant for entertaining the public for demonstration of arts. It is dynamic service to the Lord. We do not therefore mind so much about the artistic presentation of Krishna Kirtana but we want to see how much a devotee is satisfying the Supreme Will. (67-12-12 – Letter to Jadurani written from Calcutta)

“Practicing is already done by kirtana. It is not required for us to become artists. Our main point is service to Krishna, not to please an audience. We shall not divert our attention too much to adjustment of musical sounds. People should not misunderstood that we are a band of musical artists. They must know that we are devotees of Krishna. Our devotional practice and purity shall be so strong that wherever we chant there will be immediately an impression in the audience for devotion to Krishna.” (Prabhupada Letter to Tamala Krishna 69-10-30)

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