The Truth is Always Coming Down to us from Krishna Mahananda dasa ACBSP

As aspiring seekers of the truth, we must look for what is actually real by taking shelter of disciplic succession. “Taking shelter” means always following closely in the footsteps of our spiritual predecessors and whatever we say concerning this Krsna consciousness philosophy is identical with what we have submissively heard from our pure devotee guru, though spoken is our own words.

A serious disciple has given up speculating, accepting that upon taking shelter of Krsna, all previous conceptions of life and God are invalid due to our four defects. We have become determined to let the truth come down from the transcendental platform through every word that comes from the mouth of the pure, unalloyed devotee of Krsna.

That is why we abandon speculation and seek the truth through submissive hearing. And what we have heard and only what we have heard, we repeat that same idea without any adding or deleting what we don’t like, or what we think others will not like. We do not change it to suit the world. Rather, we present it as it is and let the world come up to the higher standard. read more

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) read more

Don’t Make a Joint Mess of our ISKCON Temples! Akincana Staff

If you make a joint mess, if you go and collect something and then eat and sleep, then everything will be… Therefore I do not want to keep separate. The temple worship means there will be regulative principles, that you will have to rise early in the morning, you have to attend class, kīrtana… These things, as soon as you give up all these things—zero. Then it will be like karmīs, as they are, hard labor, collecting money and enjoying senses. That’s all.

So that is the pitfall everywhere. In the church, temple, as soon as they get some nice income, then in the name of “priest,” “sādhu,” “sannyāsī,” they do the same thing. Therefore Gosvāmīs, they left everything. That is the danger of viṣaya, viṣaya touch. Viṣaya chāḍiyā se rase majiyā (Śrī Śrī Gaura-Nityānander Dayā 2). As soon as we give up this śravaṇam-kīrtanam, then it becomes viṣaya. Viṣaya means materialism. There is no spiritualism. Kṣurasya dhārā. Kṣurasya dhārā. Kṣura means sharpened razor. If you are careful, you cleanse very nicely. If you are not careful, immediately blood. Immediately.

So the spiritual life is like that. As soon as you become little inattentive, immediately māyā captures, “Yes, come on.” Then everything failure. We have got the tendency to enjoy sense. So senses are strong. As soon as there is opportunity, the senses will take advantage immediately. Then your whole business finished, Choṭa Haridāsa, and rejected by Mahāprabhu, “Get out.” Even associate of Caitanya Mahāprabhu failed, personal associate. So there is chance of falling down even from the personal association of God. Jaya-Vijaya, they had to become demons. read more

Abandon Speculating and Hear the Truth Through Submission Hearing Mahananda dasa ACBSP

How to Find the Eternal Truth

Everything is always changing in the material world. Values and morals are always changing according to the fickle nature of those captured by the three modes of nature. In the dual nature of this relative atmosphere, there are no conclusive realities but always there are two sides.

So as aspiring seekers of the truth, we must look elsewhere for what is actually real. For that we must take shelter of disciplic succession. “Taking shelter” of parampara means always following closely in the footsteps of our predecessors and whatever we say concerning this philosophy is identical with what we have submissively heard from our guru, though spoken is our own words. read more

THERE IS DANGER EVERYWHERE Mahananda dasa ACBSP

Our beloved Srila Prabhupada warns us that the material world is a very dangerous place. Krsna promises His devotee in the Bhagavad-gita that if he takes complete shelter of Him and fully depends on Krsna for protection, then He will certainly protect His devotee without a doubt. One should be convinced of this.

The body is not free and independent, but is under the strict laws of material nature and is in the tight grip of the three different modes of nature. The body is in the midst of this vast ocean of material energy and is part of it. It is constantly being tossed about by these three modes. Everything is completely out of the control of the teeny spirit soul. We only think that we have control, but in reality we have no control. We are helplessly being dragged about through dangerous situations, which are ever changing due to the constant interaction of goodness, passion, and ignorance.

Following our endless desires, Krsna, through the agency of His material nature, creates situations that satisfy those desires to falsely lord it over material nature. Not knowing what desires will actually satisfy us, we receive both good and bad results and suffer perpetually. But when we surrender to Krsna, He protects us from all those reactions that have accumulated for millions of lifetimes. Part of that surrendering process is becoming convinced about Krsna’s firm promise to protect us under any circumstance. read more

Words From Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura Akincana Staff

  1. We are put to test and trial in this world. Only those who attend the Kīrtana of the devotees can succeed. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 16, 1933 to 1936)
  2. Every spot on earth where discourses on God are held is a place of pilgrimage. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 16, 1933 to 1936)
  3. Possession of objects not related to Kṛṣṇa is our mail malady. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 16, 1933 to 1936)
  4. Let me not desire anything but the highest good for my worst enemies. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 16, 1933 to 1936)
  5. As dalliance with the body in luxury increases, so wanes the spirit of service of the Lord. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 16, 1933 to 1936)
  6. Those favored by God find their paths set by thorns. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 16, 1933 to 1936)
  7. There is no peace or happiness in our worldly life. Circumstances create turmoil and annoyance. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 16, 1933 to 1936)
  8. Chant the mahāmantra loudly and with the attachment. This will drive away inertia, worldly evils and pests. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 16, 1933 to 1936)
  9. Be indifferent to bazaar gossips, stick firmly to your cherished goals, no lack or impediments of the world will ever stand in your way. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 16, 1933 to 1936)
  10. Pay due respects to the extroverts of the world, but do not be appreciative of their manners and conduct. They are to be shaken off from your mind. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 16, 1933 to 1936)
  11. A devotee feels the presence of God everywhere, but one averse to the Lord denies his existence anywhere. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 16, 1933 to 1936)
  12. You cannot appreciate transcendental matters with reasoning of the world. It is sheer nonsense to decry them with the measuring stick of your intellect. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 16, 1933 to 1936)
  13. To recite the name of Sri Kṛṣṇa is Bhakti. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 16, 1933 to 1936)
  14. Life is for the glorification of topics on Hari. If that is stopped, then what need is there to carry on life. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 16, 1933 to 1936)
  15. Physical illness with Hari-bhajana is preferred to physical fitness without Hari-bhajana. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 16, 1933 to 1936)
  16. Our span of life on earth is short. Our life will be crowned with success if the body wears out with constant discourses on Hari. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 16, 1933 to 1936)
  17. We are here on earth not to work as artisans for making big buildings with wood and stone but only as messengers for the teachings of Sri Chaintanya Deva. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 16, 1933 to 1936)
  18. A sycophant is neither a guru nor a preacher. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 16, 1933 to 1936)
  19. To transform the adverse desires of Jīvas is the supreme duty of the most merciful. To rescue one person from the stronghold of Mahāmāyā is an act of superb benevolence, far superior to opening innumerable hospitals. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 16, 1933 to 1936)
  20. Unless we are devoted to God, secularism shall not leave us. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 16, 1933 to 1936)
  21. Look within. Amend yourself, rather than pry into the fragilities of others. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 17, The Final Days)
  22. In this world of Maya, averse to the Lord, full of trials and tribulations, only patience, humility and respect for the others are our friends for Hari-bhajana. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 17, The Final Days)
  23. The Lord, Gaurasundra, puts his devotees in various difficulties and associations to test their patience and strength of mind. Success depends on their good fortune. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 17, The Final Days)
  24. When faults in others misguide and delude you – have patience, introspect, and find faults in yourself. Know that others cannot harm you unless you harm yourself. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 17, The Final Days)

What is the importance of the principle “Always remember Krishna and never forget Him.” Answer based on NOD

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The principle of always remembering Krishna and never forgetting Him is the essence of all other instructions given in the shastras.

Shastras describe many rules and regulations governing all the different areas of human life. The idea of all these rules is to gradually bring everyone to the point of pure and constant rememberance of Krishna, which is the original and natural position of every living entity. Until we come to the stage of such pure Krishna consciousness, we have not actually fully realized the potential of our human life. read more

Sex—the Cause of Unlimited Suffering

“Of all kinds of suffering and bondage arising from various attachments, none is greater than the suffering and bondage arising from attachment to women and intimate contact with those attached to women.” (SB 11.14.30)

Because the experience and urges of sex are so intense, and the syndrome of man/woman relationships surrounding it is so complex, it diverts the conditioned soul’s attention away from Krsna and deludes him more than any other trick of maya. Sometimes the foolish conditioned soul experiences great delight in enjoying sex; at other times he is frustrated and burns in the fire of lust. Or, when spurned by a lover, he suffers mental agony, sometimes so severe that he is driven to kill the loved one, or himself, or both.

The loss of a partner to whom one is intimately emotionally attached, by death or other means, leaves the remaining partner with a broken heart. And especially in our most abominably degraded modern society, thousands of people’s lives become shattered by having their bodies exploited, either forcefully or tactfully, by others. read more

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur on Christianity

Thinking about the virtues and faults of this world, some moralistic monotheists concluded that this material world is not a place of unalloyed pleasures. Indeed, the sufferings outweigh the pleasures. They decided that the material world is a prison to punish the living entities. If there is punishment, then there must be a crime. If there were no crime, then why would there be any punishment? What crime did the living entities commit? Unable to properly answer this question, some men of small intelligence gave birth to a very wild idea. God created the first man and placed him in a pleasant garden with his wife. Then God forbade the man to taste the fruit of the tree of knowledge. Following the evil counsel of a wicked being, the first man and woman tasted the fruit of the tree of knowledge, thus disobeying God’s command. In this way they fell from that garden into the material world filled with sufferings. Because of their offense, all other living entities are offenders from the moment of their birth.

Not seeing any other way to remove this offense, God Himself took birth in a humanlike form, took on His own shoulders the sins of His followers, and then died.  All who follow Him easily attain liberation, and all who do not follow Him fall into an eternal hell. In this way God assumes a humanlike form, punishes Himself, and thus liberates the living entities. An intelligent person cannot make sense of any of this.

To accept this mixed-up religion one must first believe these rather implausible things: “The living entity’s life begins at birth and ends at death. Before birth the living entity did not exist, and after death the living entity will no longer stay in the world of material activities. Only human beings have souls. Other creatures do not have souls.” Only extremely unintelligent persons believe this religion. read more

FALL DOWN – Where have we fallen from? Suhotra Swami

This essay was originally an answer of Suhotra Swami to a question about the “fairness” of our fall down to the material world.

First of all we strongly suggest those who have a specific interest in the falldown of the spirit soul from the spiritual world to acquire the book entitled “Our Original Position”, which is available from the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. It is a very elaborate treatment with much quotation from sastra. read more