Holy Jail is a touching compilation of the activities of ISKCON Prison Ministries (IPM) by His Holiness Candramauli Maharaja. In over thirty years of operation, the lives of hundreds of inmates have changed due to the practice of Krishna consciousness and the support received by devotees.
This wicked mind, which is never to be trusted, should be broomsticked every morning with such warnings as, “Be not anxious to find fault with others, or to declare thyself a true sincere, bonafide bhakta, which certainly thou art not!” there is an adage to the effect that “para-carccakera gati nahi kona kale – a man who is habituated to criticize others conduct will never prosper!” Let others do whatever they like, I have no concern for them. I should rather find fault with my own damned mind and think like the Vaishnava mahajana [His father Thakur Bhaktivinode from Saranagati] who sings:
amara jibana, sada pape rata
nahiko punyera lesa
para-sukhe duhkhi, sada mithya-bhasi
“Ever engaged in vicious activity… and without the slightest trace of virtue in me. A liar as I am, always sorry at others pleasures and merry at other’s sorrows, troubles and cares.”
There are two things in accounting; one thing is I am receiving some amount, and the other thing is I am paying some amount. The paying or receiving will come under certain account. Whatever I receive is put under debtor column. Debtor means receiver, and the particular begins with the word “to.” Whatever I am paying is entered into the creditor column. Creditor means payer. In this way, after the whole day’s transactions, you make a total of the debtor column and creditor column, and if there is any balance, it is adjusted by the words “balance carried forward.” This balance is entered in the creditor column. So we have to see that the amount in the debtor column and the amount in the creditor column is equal. This is called a correct account. Next day you begin with “To Balance B.F.” That means whatever balance you had the day before you put in the debtor column with particulars To Balance B.F.. Then begin your transactions as in the previous day. This is the system of keeping an account in general. For the time being, keep your account in that way, and later on, as you inquire, I will let you know more about how to keep books.
From the letter to Krsna dasa (Columbus, Ohio 8 May, 1969)
We like to be in company of good, nice and friendly people where we feel comfortable and pleasant, but we have no choice, we have to associate with bad people which we do not like. Krsna is supremely independent and has no obligations – He associates with His devotees only and reveals Himself to them only.
An oft asked question by devotees and non-devotees alike is; why isn’t God directly present before us here in the material world in person. Any answer to this question can only be given after an in-depth analysis of the fundamental reasons for the existence of the material manifestation, as well as the reasons for the descent of the jiva into this material realm. One also has to consider the distinct nature of the intimate relationship between the pure devotee who are present in material world and the lord.
To fulfill the purpose of the material creation
The whole purpose of the creation of the material manifestation is to give the jivas a chance to try and enjoy by themselves without putting Krsna at the centre. Thus if Krsna were to be present here, it would defeat the whole purpose of the reason for the existence of a material world. The jiva can only act to satisfy his desires if he is made to forget who he really is (a servant of Krsna) and that there is a supreme person who is the source of everything and the lord of all. The material world is characterized by the absence of Krsna and His entourage. The constituents of dull matter are separated energies of Krsna, bhinnä prakåtir añöadhä (Bg 7.4) as opposed to the internal energy of Krsna which is directly under Him. Therefore Krsna’s absence from the material world can be taken as a form of mercy to preserve the free will of the Jiva and allow him to follow his own personal program of enjoyment without Krsna, as he desires. This would include the fulfillment of the desire of the atheist to prove that ‘there is no god’ and to live his life accordingly and of the impersonalist to peacefully achieve his desire to deny the personal form of god and to merge into Brahman which to him is the highest aspect of the absolute truth.
Pradyumna: (reading) “The basic principle of the living condition is that we have a general propensity to love someone. No one can live without loving someone else. This propensity is present in every living being. Even an animal like a tiger has this loving propensity, at least in a dormant stage, and it is certainly present in the human beings. The missing point, however, is where to repose our love so that everyone can become happy. At the present moment, the human society teaches one to love his country or family or his personal self, but there is no information where to repose the loving propensity so that everyone can become happy. That missing point is Krsna, and the Nectar of Devotion teaches us how to stimulate our original love for Krsna and how to be situated in that position where we can enjoy our blissful life. In the primary stage, a child loves his parents, then his brothers and sisters, and as he daily grows up, he begins to love his family, society, community, country, nation, or even the whole human society. But the loving propensity is not satisfied, even by loving all human society. That loving propensity remains imperfectly fulfilled until we know who is the Supreme Beloved. Our love can be fully satisfied only when it is reposed in Krsna. This…”
Prabhupada: There is a nice example in this connection. In the pond, reservoir of water, if you drop one stone, it becomes a circle. The circle increases, increasing, increasing… Unless it comes to the shore, the circle increases. Similarly, our loving propensity increases. In the primary stage, a child whatever he gets, he puts into his mouth. Anna-brahman. Then gradually, as the child grows, sometimes he distributes to his other brother or parents, the love increases. In this way, self-centered, then family-centered, then community-centered, society-centered, nation-centered, international centered… So this increase of our loving propensity will not be satisfied unless it reaches the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is the Krsna consciousness movement. We love. The loving propensity is there. Even we have no family… Sometimes we keep pets, cats and dogs, to love. So we are, by nature we used to love somebody else. So that somebody else is Krsna. Actually, we want to love Krsna, but without information of Krsna, without Krsna consciousness, our loving propensity is limited. Within certain circle. Therefore we are not satisfied. Nitya-siddha krsna-bhakti. That love affair, loving propensity, is eternally existing, to love Krsna. Just like Dhruva Maharaja, when he met the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he became fully satisfied. Svamin krtartho ‘smi varam na yace [Cc. Madhya 22.42].
In the material world field, we love somebody for getting something in return. That is not love, pure love. Pure love is different. Pure love, as it is described by Lord Caitanya, in the, in His mood of Radharani unto Krsna aslisya va pada-ratam pinastu mam marma-hatam karotu va. This is love, Radharani’s, that “You either embrace Me or trample Me down under your feet, neglect Me, or make Me broken-hearted, not being present at any time throughout My life, life after life, it does not matter. Still I love you unconditionally.” Mat-prana-nathas tu sa eva naparah. That is real love. And that love is existing in everyone’s heart. Nitya-siddha krsna-bhakti. That is not awakened. So by this devotional process, adau sraddha tatah sadhu-sangah, that love… Sadhakanam ayam premnah pradurbhave bhavet kramah [Cc. Madhya 23.14-15].
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The purpose of this humble endeavor is encapsulated in the words of our the Founder Acarya of ISKCON – AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada in his lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.7.10 given on September 9, 1976 in Vrndavana, India:
“So as far as possible, try to understand. As advised by Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, siddhanta baliya citte na kara alasa, don’t be lazy. Always try to understand Krsna, siddhanta, by siddhanta, by Vedic conclusion — not by manufacturing ideas. Siddhanta. Don’t be lazy. That is the instruction of Kaviraja Gosvami:
Prabhupada: My dear devotees, ladies and gentlemen, I am very glad to see you again, I think, after four years? Three years. I was trying to come here again -- I like this place -- but due to various engagements and due to my old age also, I could not come earlier.
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