Lord Shiva

1. In what way do devotees of Lord Kṛṣṇa offer respect to Lord Śiva?
 
It is said, vaiṣṇavānāṁ yathā śambhuḥ: Lord Śiva is the best of all devotees. Therefore all devotees of Lord Kṛṣṇa are also devotees of Lord Śiva. In Vṛndāvana there is Lord Śiva's temple called Gopīśvara. The gopīs used to worship not only Lord Śiva but Kātyāyanī, or Durgā, as well, but their aim was to attain the favor of Lord Kṛṣṇa. A devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa does not disrespect Lord Śiva, but worships Lord Śiva as the most exalted devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Consequently whenever a devotee worships Lord Śiva, he prays to Lord Śiva to achieve the favor of Kṛṣṇa, and he does not request material profit. In Bhagavad-gītā (7.20) it is said that generally people worship demigods for some material profit. Kāmais tais tair hṛta jṣānāḥ. Driven by material lust, they worship demigods, but a devotee never does so, for he is never driven by material lust. That is the difference between a devotee's respect for Lord Śiva and an asura's respect for him. The asura worships Lord Śiva, takes some benediction from him, misuses the benediction and ultimately is killed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who awards him liberation.
-Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 4.24.30 Purport
 
 
2. What is the relationship between Lord Śiva and the ghosts?
 
Lord Śiva, or Rudra, is the king of the ghosts. Ghostly characters worship Lord Śiva to be gradually guided toward a path of self-realization. Māyāvādī philosophers are mostly worshipers of Lord Śiva, and Śrīpāda Śaṅkarācārya is considered to be the incarnation of Lord Śiva for preaching godlessness to the Māyāvādī philosophers. Ghosts are bereft of a physical body because of their grievously sinful acts, such as suicide. The last resort of the ghostly characters in human society is to take shelter of suicide, either material or spiritual. Material suicide causes loss of the physical body, and spiritual suicide causes loss of the individual identity. Māyāvādī philosophers desire to lose their individuality and merge into the impersonal spiritual brahmajyoti existence. Lord Śiva, being very kind to the ghosts, sees that although they are condemned, they get physical bodies. He places them into the wombs of women who indulge in sexual intercourse regardless of the restrictions on time and circumstance.
-Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.14.24 Purport
 

3. Why do so many ladies worship Lord Śiva?

Today in Hindu society, unmarried girls are still taught to worship Lord Śiva with the idea that they may get husbands like him. Lord Śiva is the ideal husband, not in the sense of riches or sense gratification, but because he is the greatest of all devotees. Vaiṣṇavānāṁ yathā śambhuḥ: Śambhu, or Lord Śiva, is the ideal Vaiṣṇava. He constantly meditates upon Lord Rāma and chants Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. Lord Śiva has a Vaiṣṇava sampradāya, which is called the Viṣṇu Svāmī-sampradāya. Unmarried girls worship Lord Śiva so that they can expect a husband who is as good a Vaiṣṇava as he. The girls are not taught to select a husband who is very rich or very opulent for material sense gratification; rather, if a girl is fortunate enough to get a husband as good as Lord Śiva in devotional service, then her life becomes perfect. The wife is dependent on the husband, and if the husband is a Vaiṣṇava, then naturally she shares the devotional service of the husband because she renders him service.

-Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.23.1 Purport
 
4. Why does Lord Śiva have snakes all over his body?
 
In order to get release from the false ego, one has to worship Saṅkarṣaṇa. Saṅkarṣaṇa is also worshiped through Lord Śiva; the snakes which cover the body of Lord Śiva are representations of Saṅkarṣaṇa, and Lord Śiva is always absorbed in meditation upon Saṅkarṣaṇa.
-Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.26.21
 
5. What is the position of Lord Śiva ?
 
In the Vāmana Purāṇa it is said that the same Viṣṇu expands Himself as Brahmā and Śiva to direct the different qualities.
 
Maheśvara, or Lord Śiva, is not an ordinary living being, nor is he equal to Lord Viṣṇu. Effectively comparing Lord Viṣṇu and Lord Śiva, the Brahma-saṁhitā says that Viṣṇu is like milk, whereas Śiva is like curd. Curd is nothing like milk, but nevertheless it is milk also.
-Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta Ādi 5.104-105 Purport

What does devotee mean?

Following are the excerpts from Śrīla Prabhupāda's teachings:

 
 "Vaiṣṇava devotee means give me simply a place to lay down, little prasādam, whatever little service you have got please give me, that's all."
-Śrīla Prabhupāda's Letter to: Gurudāsa, Yamunā — Bombay 19 December, 1972
 
 
"Devotee means he is able to tolerate all kinds of discomfort and whims of the material nature, and because he is so much absorbed in serving Kṛṣṇa, he takes no time to become angry or take offense with others or find out some fault."
-Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Letter to: Haṁsadūta — Ahmedabad 10 December, 1972
 
 
"Devotee means very liberal and kind to everyone, always gentleman under all kinds of conditions of life."
-Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Letter to: Haṁsadūta — Ahmedabad 10 December, 1972
 
 
"Devotee means one should be firmly convinced of his being the eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa."
-Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Letter to: Mr. Kair — Los Angeles 8 July, 1969
 
 
"So to become devotee means to do the best service to the family."
-Śrīla Prabhupāda, Discussion on Deprogrammers -- January 9, 1977, Bombay
 
 
"A devotee means he knows everything."
-Śrīla Prabhupāda’s room Conversation with Professor Francois Chenique -- August 5, 1976, New Mayapur (French farm)
 
 
"Devotee means the first sign will be happy, brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā [Bg. 18.54]. If he's not prasannātmā, he's a rascal. He has not entered even devotional life. He's outside.That is the test."
-Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Morning Walk -- April 24, 1976, Melbourne
 
 
"Devotee means tattva-darśī. He has seen the real truth."
Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Morning Walk -- March 25, 1976, Delhi
 
 
"Devotee means who follows Kṛṣṇa."
-Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Morning Walk -- March 25, 1976, Delhi
 
 
"Devotee means sa guṇān samatītyaitān brahma-bhūyāya kalpate [Bg. 14.26]. He is above these material laws. That is devotee."
-Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Morning Walk -- March 25, 1976, Delhi
 
 
"Devotee means brahmacārī. Pure devotee means brahmacārī. Anyabhilasita-sunyam [Brs. 1.1.11]. He has no other desire. That is brahmacārī."
-Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Morning Walk -- November 3, 1975, Bombay
 
 
"Devotee means serious devotee."
-Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Conversation with Professor Hopkins -- July 13, 1975, Philadelphia
 
 
"Devotee means he has no sense gratification."
-Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Room Conversation with Tripurāri -- March 2, 1975, Atlanta
 
 
"Devotee means one who has taken shelter of Kṛṣṇa."
-Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Morning Walk -- June 13, 1974, Paris
 
 
"Devotee means he does not know anything better than Kṛṣṇa, that's all."
-Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Room Conversation -- November 4, 1973, Delhi
 
 
"The devotee means who is always pleasing Kṛṣṇa. He has no other business. That is devotee."
-Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Talk with Bob Cohen -- February 27-29, 1972, Māyāpura
 
 
"Devotee means to hear about Kṛṣṇa, to chant the glories of Kṛṣṇa, to think of Kṛṣṇa, to offer fruits and flowers to Kṛṣṇa."
-Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Departure Address -- Los Angeles, July 15, 1974
 
 
"Devotee means to become fully qualified with all the noble qualities."
-Śrīla Prabhupāda, Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 20.119-121 -- New York, November 24, 1966
 
 
"Devotee means he must be sinless."
-Śrīla Prabhupāda, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 7.6.1 -- Madras, January 2, 1976
 
 
"Devotee, means he is prepared to do anything for God. That is pure devotee."
-Śrīla Prabhupāda, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 7.5.22-30 -- London, September 8, 1971
 
 
"Devotee means not with four hands or four legs, no. The hands, legs are the same. But his mode of thinking different. That's all. That is devotee. Devotee does not depend on the country, color or religion or circumstance. Devotee means the mind. Anyone who is always thinking of Kṛṣṇa, he is devotee."
-Śrīla Prabhupāda, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 6.1.50 -- Detroit, June 16, 1976
 
 
"Devotee means he's not blind."
-Śrīla Prabhupāda, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam1.7.40 --  Vṛndāvana, October 1, 1976
 
 
"Devotee means he does not ask anything from God."
-Śrīla Prabhupāda, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam1.3.7 -- Los Angeles, September 13, 1972
 
 
"A devotee means who is abiding by the laws given by God."
-Śrīla Prabhupāda, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam1.1.2 -- London, August 17, 1971
 
 
"Devotee means complete spiritual."
-Śrīla Prabhupāda, Bhagavad-gītā 4.2, Bombay, March 22, 1974
 
 
"Devotee means he is firmly convinced about his relationship with God."
-Śrīla Prabhupāda, Bhagavad-gītā 4.1-6 -- Los Angeles, January 3, 1969
 
 
"Devotee means servant—not paid servant—but servant by affection."
-Śrīla Prabhupāda, Bhagavad-gītā 4.1 -- Delhi, November 10, 1971
 
 
"Devotee means he can act anything and everything for the Lord."
-Śrīla Prabhupāda, Bhagavad-gītā 4.1 -- Montreal, August 24, 1968
 
 
"Devotee means one who has engaged his senses cent percent for the service of the Lord, he is devotee, pure devotee."
-Śrīla Prabhupāda, Bhagavad-gītā 3.6-10 -- Los Angeles, December 23, 1968
 
 
"Devotee means although he is very, very powerful, he never thinks that "I am powerful." He thinks that "I am acting simply by the order of the powerful."
-Śrīla Prabhupāda, Bhagavad-gītā 2.15 -- London, August 21, 1973
 
 
"Devotee means to finish all miserable conditions of materialistic life."
-Śrīla Prabhupāda, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 4.12.46

"What does it mean to be fully Krsna conscious?"

Visala: I remember over five years ago you telling me about, "If you read the first nine cantos of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, you become fully Kṛṣṇa conscious." Would you kindly tell me what does it mean to be fully Kṛṣṇa conscious?

Prabhupāda: What do you understand, fully Kṛṣṇa conscious?

 

Visala: What does it mean to be fully Kṛṣṇa conscious?

 

Prabhupāda: No, what you mean, first of all let me know.

 

Harikeśa: What do you think fully Kṛṣṇa concious means? You tell Prabhupāda.

Visala: It's to see Kṛṣṇa face to face?

Prabhupāda: That means Kṛṣṇa conscious? Everyone is seeing Kṛṣṇa face to face. When you go to the temple Kṛṣṇa is there, and you are seeing. Does it mean everyone is Kṛṣṇa conscious?

Visala:*No.

Prabhupāda: Then what is the meaning of Kṛṣṇa conscious?

Indian man: Brahma-bhutah prasannatma na socati na kanksati [Bg. 18.54].

Prabhupāda: Hm, that is part of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, brahma bhutah. Real Kṛṣṇa consciousness is: "Kṛṣṇa    is master, I am servant." This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Visala: To understand that you're the servant and Kṛṣṇa is the master. I see.

Prabhupāda: When you fully understand, that is your Kṛṣṇa... That is Kṛṣṇa conscious. [break] So long you think that "I can also become like Kṛṣṇa," then you are not Kṛṣṇa conscious.

Visala: In other words, if you still have material desires you can't be fully Kṛṣṇa conscious.

Prabhupāda: Yes. That is the beginning of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, anyabhilasita-sunyam [Brs. 1.1.11]. Make all your material desires zero.

Visala: Thank you very much.

Prabhupāda: That is Kṛṣṇa conscious. You should only desire to serve Kṛṣṇa. [break] ...clear or not?

Visala: Very clear. Thank you very much.

Harikeśa: What if a person doesn't desire material enjoyment, but still, there is so much dirt?

Prabhupāda: Hm? Who is that person who has no material desires?

Harikeśa: A person really wants to be Kṛṣṇa conscious, but somehow or another, so much dirts gets in the way.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Dirt means it is not yet zero. I said that all material desires should be made zero.

Anyabhilasita-sunyam [Brs. 1.1.11].

Harikeśa: As soon as the desires completely change, then everything else is purified.

Prabhupāda: Yes. As Arjuna said, karisye vacana tava, nasto mohah: "Now my illusion is over. I agree to act as you say." This is Kṛṣṇa conscious. Nasto moha smrtir labdh tvat prasadan madhusudana. [break] The moha is there. Moha means these desires are illusion, like dreaming. In dream we see so many things. They are all false. In dreaming I am seeing that somebody is coming to kill me but there is nobody, but still, I am dreaming. This is called moha. So when one is free from moha, then he's Kṛṣṇa conscious. The whole material world is going on under such illusion. Therefore it is called maya. Hare Kṛṣṇa. Thank you. (end)

(Morning Walk -- December 10, 1975, Vrndavana)

Where do you get money?

Prabhupāda: So if you simply push on our literature, then our movement is going, you must know. It is really going forward. And there will be no scarcity. You'll get everything. [break] Our neighbors they inquire, is it not? That, "You are living so happily, where do you get money?"
 

Devotee: Yes.
 

Prabhupāda: The storekeepers, they inquire. They're envious, that "How these people enjoying life without earning, without working hard?" Now whole Bombay is surprised when you purchased this land.
 

Bali Mardana: Yeah.

 

 Morning Walk -- January 5, 1974, Los Angeles

 

How can iron become gold?

Reporter: But the bad gurus...

Śrīla Prabhupāda: And what is a "bad" guru?
Reporter: A bad guru just wants some money or some fame.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Well, if he is bad, how can he become a guru? [Laughter.] How can iron become gold? Actually, a guru cannot be bad, for if someone is bad, he cannot be a guru. You cannot say "bad guru." That is a contradiction. What you have to do is simply try to understand what a genuine guru is. The definition of a genuine guru is that he is simply talking about God—that's all. If he's talking about some other nonsense, then he is not a guru. A guru cannot be bad. There is no question of a bad guru, any more than a red guru or a white guru. Guru means "genuine guru." All we have to know is that the genuine guru is simply talking about God and trying to get people to become God's devotees. If he does this, he is genuine.
 
Science of Self Realization: What Is a Guru?
 

If you are going to die, then you can take

Haṁsadūta: George Bernard Shaw.

Prabhupāda: Yes. So they are becoming animals, animals eating animal flesh. Bernard Shaw was vegetarian.

Devotee (6): Except he would take liver for his health.

Prabhupāda: Liver?

Devotee (6): Yes. He used to take some liver periodically for his health.

Prabhupāda: Medicine. There are many liver extract preparations.

Devotee (6): No, not liver extract. Maybe. I don't know exactly. But I know he used to take liver. Not cod liver oil or anything.

Prabhupāda: No, liver extract preparations there are many medicines. For anemic patient liver extract is recommended. Devotee (6): That's all right for us to take?

Prabhupāda: No, but if you are going to die, then you can take.

Yamunā: Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhupāda: When required for such trouble, if you are going to die, then, to save yourself, you can.

Devotee (6): If that liver can be eaten raw...

Prabhupāda: If you are going to die. Not ordinary. If it is clear that without liver extract you shall die, you can take.

Devotee (4): You cannot tell. You can't tell until you actually (indistinct)

Prabhupāda: Because when there is question of death it is recommended you may take anything to save your life.

Yamunā: Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhupāda: But those who are rigid, they are prepared to die even.

Yamunā: Vaiṣṇavas, wouldn't they just chant?

Prabhupāda: Their proposal is "Death is sure today or tomorrow, so why shall I change my principles? Death will take place even if I live for ten years more, and what is the benefit? Why shall I change my principles? It is not that by taking that medicine or liver extract I shall be amara, immortal." That is not possible. If somebody gives some medicine that one can make himself immortal, that is another thing. Nobody is going to be immortal. Why he should be afraid of death? Death will take place. "As sure as death." So today, or tomorrow, or hundred years after.

Room Conversation -- December 13, 1970, Indore

Devotees of Lord Krishna are dear to Lord Shiva

Lord Śiva is rarely seen by common men, and similarly a person who is fully surrendered unto Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa, is also very rarely seen because a person who is fully surrendered unto the Supreme Lord is very rare (sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ). Consequently Lord Śiva came especially to see the Pracetās because they were fully surrendered unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vāsudeva. Vāsudeva is also mentioned in the beginning of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam in the mantra, oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Since Vāsudeva is the ultimate truth, Lord Śiva openly proclaims that one who is a devotee of Lord Vāsudeva, who is surrendered to Lord Kṛṣṇa, is actually very dear to him. Lord Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa, is worshipable not only by ordinary living entities but by demigods like Lord Śiva, Lord Brahmā and others. Yaṁ brahmā-varuṇendra-rudra-marutaḥ stuvanti divyaiḥ stavaiḥ (SB 12.13.1). Kṛṣṇa is worshiped by Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva, Varuṇa, Indra, Candra and all other demigods. 

  Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 4.24.28

 
 

"Devotees do not suffer"

Devotee: But the devotees, they seem to be suffering too,from...

 

Prabhupāda: Yes, you cannot expect, if you are suffering from some disease, you cannot expect to be cured immediately. But one who is taking the medicine, he is intelligent. His sufferings will be gone. But these rascals, they will not take medicine even. They will continue to suffer. This is the position. Devotees actually do not suffer, but you see that he is suffering. Because you are suffering. Devotees do not suffer.

 

Madhudvisa: What happens to them?

 

Prabhupāda: They enjoy. They enjoy. Hare Kṛṣṇa! How you are dancing always, Hare Kṛṣṇa, unless you are enjoying?

 

Madhudvisa: Sometimes I get sick stomach too.

 

Prabhupāda: That's all right, because you have got this body. And after giving up this body, completely, blissful life. Tyaktva dehampunar janma naiti [Bg. 4.9]. You are not going to get another body of suffering, that is your advantage. And these rascals, they are going to continue one body after another simply suffering. And for the devotees, although they do not suffer, it is just like, the fan is moving, you make the switch off. It is actually not moving, it is by the last force it is moving, but the switch is off. And it will stop, suffering. 

But you have no such chance, you will simply go on suffering, moving, moving, moving, bhutva bhutva praliyate [Bg. 8.19]. You shall have to accept one body, suffer, and again giveup this body. Another body suffer, because so long as you accept material body, this body or that body, you will have to suffer. Material body means suffering. So those who are not Kṛṣṇa conscious, they will change bodies one after another, and continue to suffer threefold miseries. And devotees, actually they are not suffering, but even if you say they are suffering, so after giving up this body, they are no more accepting material body. They will remain inspiritual body.

 

Morning Walk -- April 7,1975, Māyāpur

 

What is the use of keeping big, big paraphernalia?

Prabhupāda: What is the use of keeping big, big paraphernalia? Bahvārambhe laghu kriyā. Ārambha, arrangement is very big, but work is no, no work. What is the use of keeping useless machine? So that is going on. In the material world, everything is bahvārambhe laghu kriyā. That has been spoken by Cāṇakya Paṇḍita. Ajā yuddhe muni śrāddhe. Ajā yuddhe. Ajāḥ means goats. 

 

You have seen goat fighting? As if, though, two big, big heroes are fighting. But as soon as somebody comes: "Hut!" they'll go away. Have you seen, experienced? Goats and lambs, they'll fight: (makes sound:) "Onh, onnh." Like this. But, but as soon somebody comes: "Hut!" So this is one of the example of bahvārambhe laghu kriyā.

 

 Ārambha, as if something very serious going to happen. But actually it is nonsignificant. Ajā yuddhe muni śrāddhe. Muni, in the jungle, in the forest, there are munis. So they are arranging for some festivals to offer oblations to the forefathers, śrāddha. So what they have got? They have got some fruits and leaves. That's all. So the arrangement may be that "Tomorrow, we are going to have this festival." But the festival means some leaves and some water. That's all. No utensils, no gold, no jewels, nothing of the sort.

 

 So this is another bahvārambhe laghu kriyā. Arrangement is very big, but fact is nothing. And dāmpatya kalahe caiva. And fight between or quarrel between husband and wife. In India, there is no question of divorce. So nobody takes very serious care when there is fight between husband and wife. So there also: "I'm going to immediately leave you, going to kill you..." and so many things. But after an hour, everything is finished. No more quarrel. 

 

Dāmpatya kalahe caiva prabhāte megha-garjane. And in the morning, if you see big cloud assembly and thundering sound, but you rest assured. There will be no rain in the morning. So these things are bahvārambhe laghu kriyā. Ārambha, beginning is very gorgeous. But end is nothing. So that is not good, bahvārambhe laghu kriyā.

 

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 5.5.3 -- Stockholm, September 9, 1973

 

 

"Otherwise it is impossible to advance"

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: So is it correct to say that if we're not Kṛṣṇa conscious, then if it's not the gṛhastha problem, it would be some other problem?
 
Prabhupāda: Yes.
 
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: We'll find something or another to absorb our time with besides Kṛṣṇa.
 
Prabhupāda: No, you should always remember that either gṛhastha or brahmacārī or sannyāsī, nobody can strictly follow all the rules and regulations of them. In the Kali-yuga it is not possible. So if I find simply fault with you, and if you find fault with me, then it will be factional, and our real business will be hampered. Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu has recommended that hari-nāma, chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, should be very rigidly performed, which is common for everyone: gṛhastha, vānaprastha or sannyāsī. They should always chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. Then everything will be adjusted. Otherwise it is impossible to advance. We shall be complicated with the details only.
 
Morning Walk -- March 10, 1976, Māyāpur
 
 

Renunciation and Surrender

Guest (5):Sir, what is the difference between renunciation and surrender?
 
Prabhupāda: Yes. Renunciation is the beginning of this material world. You cannot take, you cannot surrender to Kṛṣṇa, unless you renounce this ma.... If you have got material necessities... Sarva-dharmān parityajva. Kṛṣṇa says, "Absolute surrender." And if you want material necessities, then you have got so many dharmas—this dharma, that dharma, social dharma, family dharma, national dharma, community dharma, and so on, so on. But Kṛṣṇa demands, sarva-dharmān parityajya [Bg. 18.66]. So it is not very easy thing. Therefore renunciation and surrender. Surrender means full renunciation, no reservation. And renunciation means you renounce something and keep something. That is difference.
 
Guest (5): Supposing any person, he renounces everything, his material property, and if he just came to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Can he live?
 
Prabhupāda: We are living. You can see practically. We have got more than one hundred centers, and we are maintaining at least ten thousand men, just like these Europeans. And you have seen our opulence. We are advertised as fabulously rich. You can see here also. 
 
Śrīla Prabhupāda's evening Lecture -- Bhuvaneśvara, January 23, 1977
 

one should execute Kṛṣṇa consciousness in right path

So, parāvare brahmaṇi dharmato vrataiḥ. So one should execute Kṛṣṇa consciousness, dharmataḥ, in right path, and vrataiḥ. Bhajante māṁ dṛḍha-vratāḥ. Just like today, ekādaśī-vrata. Vrataiḥ. This ekādaśī-vrata is required. Just see. Here it is that "You have performed all the vratas." The purpose of ekādaśī-vrata is that today we should not eat much usual food, grains. The actual prescription is fasting. Nirjala-ekādaśī. Nirjala means there are many devotees who does not take even water. Water, drinking water, according to śāstra, it is taking food... It is drinking of food or no food. We can take both ways. So sometimes drinking of water is excused as upavāsa also. But there are many devotees who even..., drink even a drop of water. Whole day and night they fast and observe ekādaśī-vrata. And the night is called harivāsara. Harivāsara means the whole night they would chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma... This is called vrata. Dṛḍha-vrata. Dṛḍha-vrata.
 

 Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.5.1-8 --  New Vrindaban, May 23, 1969

 

There must be Christ-loka

Rukmiṇī: Is there a Christ-loka?
 
Prabhupāda: Yes. Why not? There are innumerable lokas. Why not Christ-loka? [break]
...jagad-aṇḍa-koṭi-
koṭiṣv aśeṣa-vasudhādi-vibhūti-bhinnam
tad brahma niśkalam anantam aśeṣa-bhūtaṁ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
In the effulgence, bodily effulgence of Govinda, just like the sunshine is effulgence of the sun planet, similarly, Govinda's planet, the original planet, which is called Goloka Vṛndāvana, that is the original effulgence, light. And when that light is distributed there are innumerable universes created. Just like within the sunlight there are innumerable planets. So in each and every planet there are different kinds of living entities, so why not a planet belonging to Christ? There is no doubt about it. There must be.
 
 Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 7.9.12-13 -- Montreal, August 20, 1968

WHAT IS THE NATURE OF AN INTELLIGENT DEVOTEE ?

"A person who is actually a devotee of Kṛṣṇa does not care about so-called public opinion and Vedic or philosophical literatures. Prahlāda Mahārāja, who is such a devotee, always defied the false instructions of his father and the so-called teachers who were appointed to teach him. Instead, he simply followed the instructions of Nārada Muni, his guru, and thus he always remained a stalwart devotee. This is the nature of an intelligent devotee."

Śrīla Prabhupāda, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 7.13.45 Purport

In Krishna consciousness fasting and feasting are the same.

Rāmeśvara: (in car) ...that in Kṛṣṇa consciousness fasting and feasting are the same.
Prabhupāda: Yes.
Rāmeśvara: Could you explain that?
Prabhupāda: Fasting and feasting is the same?
Rāmeśvara: That what I, they told me.
Prabhupāda: Yes, it is in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, for Kṛṣṇa. For Kṛṣṇa, you fast or feast, the same thing. Better fast. (laughter)
Rāmeśvara: [break] ...by the devotees, is that in the spiritual world every day is feasting.
Prabhupāda: And there is no fasting. Fasting is recommended when a man is diseased. When he's in health, there is feasting. So spiritual world means health. Why there should be fasting?
 
Morning Walk, June 7, 1976, Los Angeles

 

What is that successful life?

Our this human form of life is meant for going back to Kṛṣṇa, back to home, back to Godhead. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is giving information to the people in general how to make life successful. What is that successful life? To go back to home, back to Godhead. This is not our home. This material world, this is foreign country. We are... Just like I am travelling all over the world. My home is in India, but I am going to so many countries, Europe, America, Canada, Australia, Africa... But my home is in India. This is a crude example. Similarly, we are all part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. Mamaivāṁśo jīva-bhūtaḥ [Bg. 15.7]. Kṛṣṇa says. "All these living entities, they are My part and parcel."

Bhagavad-gītā 4.10 -- Calcutta, September 23, 1974

What is the value of your invention?

There are so many they have invented. Just like Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra is prescribed in the śāstras, and they have invented so many. Although there is the name of the Supreme Lord, still you have to follow the śāstra. If you say Rāma Rāma Rāma, Rādhe Rādhe Rādhe, Kṛṣṇa, there are so many mentioned. That is also name, but you have to follow the śāstra. Śāstra says:
Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare
Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare
You have to take that. Not that you can say, nitāi-gaura rādhe-śyāma, hare kṛṣṇa hare rāma, no. Why? Is there any in the śāstra? No, you have invented. What is the value of your invention? You are not perfect. But they like that "It is my guru, I have got some followers, I invent some type of chanting." This is nonsense. You must follow, mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ [Cc. Madhya 17.186]. You cannot invent.
 
 Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 5.5.14 -- Vṛndāvana, November 2, 1976
 

 

So without faith, you cannot make advance.

Bahulāśva: Śrīla Prabhupāda, sometimes philosophers make a distinction between knowledge and a belief. They say you can believe in something, but that doesn't mean that you necessarily know that thing which you believe in.
 
Prabhupāda: Yes, that's fact. Therefore for the neophytes, less intelligent, they should believe. That is the only way, viśvāsa. So generally mass of people they are not so educated. They should believe.
 
Devotee (6): It says in the Bhāgavatam...
 
Prabhupāda: Therefore in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta it is said that viśvāsa śabde śudṛdha niścaya. Śudṛdha niścaya, kṛṣṇe bhakti kaile sarva-karma kṛta haya. Śraddhā, śraddhā. Śraddhā means faith. So in Christian science also, there is state, faithful. So this faith may be blind, but that is required.
Paramahaṁsa: Like a child.
 
Prabhupāda: Yes. Śraddha-śabde viśvāsa. Śraddhā, faith, means believing firmly. That is śraddhā, or faith. There is no question, "Yes." Śraddha-śabde viśvāsa. Therefore we have to believe in the Vedas. Vedas also says like that. That example I give sometimes, that cow dung is stool. In one place it is said stool is impure; in another place it is said cow dung is pure. Now, one may argue, "What is this, contradiction?" But you have to believe it. That is Veda. And that is actually being done. So without faith, you cannot make advance. The skeptics, they have no faith. Therefore they are lost. You must have faith.
 
Morning Walk —July 21, 1975, San Francisco

 

At that time my disciples will be with Kṛṣṇa

Allen Ginsberg: So Kalki comes at the end of the Kali-yuga?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Allen Ginsberg: And is Kalki connected with the Kali-yuga cycle?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Kalki, yes.

Allen Ginsberg: So He would come at the end of Kali-yuga to end the yuga.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Then Satya-yuga will begin.

Allen Ginsberg: Then what begins?

Prabhupāda: Satya-yuga.

Allen Ginsberg: Which is?

Prabhupāda: Satya-yuga, the pious. Satya-yuga. People will be pious, truthful, long-living.

Allen Ginsberg: Are those people that remain or whatever new creation comes out of the destruction?

Prabhupāda: Some of them will remain, some of them. It will not completely extinguish. Some of them will remain, pious. Paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām [Bg. 4.8]. All miscreants will be killed, and out of them, there must be some pious... They remain.

Allen Ginsberg: Do you think of this in terms of a historical event that will occur in the lifetime of your disciples?

Prabhupāda: No. This will happen at least 400,000's of years after, at least. So by that time... Allen Ginsberg: They will go down, down, down for 400,000 years?

Prabhupāda: Yes. So at that time my disciples will be with Kṛṣṇa. (laughter)

Devotees: Haribol!

Prabhupāda: And those who will not follow them, they will see the fun, how they are being killed. (laughter) \

Allen Ginsberg: 400,000 years. Will people still be chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa in 400,000...

Prabhupāda: No. Hare Kṛṣṇa will be finished within ten thousand years. There will be no more Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Room Conversation with Allen Ginsberg -- May 13, 1969, Columbus, Ohio

frailty of imperfect knowledge.

Prabhupāda: Yes. For all living entities. You can open a hospital for the human being but where is your hospital for the tiger? Can any man open a hospital for the tigers, for the snakes? And why not? You are compassionate with living entities. Are they not living entities?

This is the frailty of imperfect knowledge. They are giving protection, the state is giving protection, to the national, but the cows are not national. They should be killed. But the definition of national is that one who is born in that land is called national. The cows are not born in this land? Why for them killing, and only for the human being protection? This is imperfect, imperfect knowledge.
 

So whatever a man is doing, you will find some imperfectness. But this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is so nice that it has no imperfectness. It is all-perfect. It is for all living entities, not that I shall simply give protection for my brother, my sister, or my father, but even to the lowest animal we shall give protection. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Therefore, "Only a person who is fully in Kṛṣṇa consciousness can be said to be engaged in welfare work for all living entities." Why discrimination? Why protect this and not that? That is imperfectness. The human society cannot give protection to all living entities, but here is a scheme which can give protection to all living entities. Yes.

 
 Bhagavad-gītā 5.17-25 -- Los Angeles, February 8, 1969

That is offered by the disciples as a matter of respect to the spiritual master.

Interviewer: You also have a garland of flowers around your neck.

Prabhupāda: That is offered by the disciples as a matter of respect to the spiritual master. It is not necessary that a sannyāsī have a garland like this, but if it is offered with respect he does not refuse.

Interviewer: Now, one more thing, you have some paint or color down your forehead and your nose and on all your followers who are here in the studio.

Prabhupāda: Yes. These marks are a temple of Kṛṣṇa. We mark these different twelve parts of the body. The idea is that we are being protected by God from all sides.

Interviewer: One other thing, I went to shake hands with everybody and I found that all your right hands were wrapped. What is the significance of that?

Prabhupāda: Yes. That wrapping... It is not exactly wrapped. It is a bag for our beads. We are chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare, Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare. So the beads are supposed to be sacred and therefore we keep it in a bag so that it may not touch the dust or any other impurities. So it is not wrapping, it is covering of the sacred beads.

 

 Radio Interview -- March 12, 1968, San Francisco

Janmashtami Festival Celebrations 2017

This year in Jaipur,we celebrated Janmashtami Festival at Janki Devi Public School Auditorium on 15th of August 2017 in high devotional spirits, pomp and above all in great joy for the holy appearance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; Lord Krishna.

 
It is said Harinam Sankirtan is the most auspicious of all sacrificial performances and drives away all evil from the atmosphere and also removes all impurities inside our heart .It also makes us feel happy by bringing us out from all material implications till we are chanting Lord's holy name.

Devotees performing Harinam-Sankirtan during this auspicious occasion
 
Srila Prabhupada says that there is no difference between Lord Krishna and his pastimes. 
Such pastimes are always relish-able because such pastimes immediately makes you remember the Lord.  The devotees are enacting such a drama names as "The Touchstone."






A scene from the drama
 
A devotee explaining the importance of this festival and what is the reason of Lord Krishna's Appearance
 
 The Mahabhishekam begins.....





 


 
 Sankirtan during Mahabhishekam

 



 
 

 
Lord's Paraphernalia 
 
The final midnight arati begins after Lord Krishna and His associates get ready after the Mahabhishekam



 
Dance,Dance & Dance.Devotees enjoying the darshan and the kirtan 
 
 Final Darshans



 
Some special clicks 
 The giant laddoo.....
 
 

This time we clicked our photographer too...


A toddler attends his first Janmashtami and his eyes say a lot of things
 

 

What is the devotee's greatest enemy?

Devotee: Prabhupāda, what is the devotee's greatest enemy? A devotee's greatest enemy?

Prabhupāda: He, he himself. Because he's a rascal, he's his greatest enemy. So just get out of this rascaldom, and you become your friend. Nobody is enemy. You are yourself your enemy. Nobody is enemy.

-Śrīla Prabhupāda's Morning Walk -- June 12, 1974, Pari

 

Instead of sixteen rounds, sixty-four rounds

Prabhupāda: No... They should be trained up. Sense enjoyment means not advanced in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. As soon as one is advancing in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, his sense enjoyment spirit will be reduced. That is the test. Bhaktiḥ pareśānubhavo viraktir anyatra ca [SB 11.2.42]. The test is, how you are advancing in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the proportionate diminishing of sense enjoyment. That is the test. Just like cure of the disease means diminishing the fever, temperature. This is the test.
 
Devotee (1): What if that fever is not being diminished?
 
Prabhupāda: Then he should try to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, instead of sixteen rounds, sixty-four rounds. That is the way. Sixteen round is the minimum. Otherwise Haridāsa Ṭhākura was 300,000. So you have to increase. That is the only remedy. If one has got determination, he will make progress without any trouble. That determination is very difficult, that determination, "I must be Kṛṣṇa conscious fully." That determination. Dṛḍha-vratāḥ.
 
-Morning Walk -- May 14, 1975, Perth

If for fifty years one chants simply Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, he is sure to become perfect.

English boy (2): Is it possible for one to make it in this life? This one...? Is it possible that one falls down?
 
Prabhupāda: It is possible in one second, provided you are serious. It is not difficult. Kṛṣṇa-bhakti... Bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate: [Bg. 7.19] "After many, many births, one, when one is intelligent, wise, fully grown, wise, he surrenders unto Me," Kṛṣṇa says. So if I am intelligent, then I will see that "If that is the goal of life, that after many, many births one has to surrender to Kṛṣṇa, why not myself surrender immediately?" This is intelligence. If this is a fact, that one has to come to this point after cultivating knowledge for many, many births, then why not accept it immediately? Why shall I wait for many, many births if this is a fact?
 
So that requires little intelligence. It does not require many, many births. It requires little intelligence. Take to this Kṛṣṇa consciousness seriously; your problems are solved. Now, if you don't believe in it, then come to argument, come to philosophy, come to reason. Go on arguing. There are volumes of books. You can be convinced. You can learn it. Every answer is there in the Bhagavad-gītā. You can try to understand it with your reason, with your arguments. It is open. [break] ...like Arjuna. Arjuna was taught Bhagavad-gītā, how much time? At most, within half an hour. Because he was very intelligent.
 
This Bhagavad-gītā, the people of the world are reading. Very, very learned scholar, wise men, they are reading. They are trying to understand, giving different interpretation. And there are thousands of edition, commentaries. But Arjuna was intelligent; he understood it within half an hour.
So it requires relative intelligence. Everything... This world is relative. Law of relativity. That is scientific. Professor Einstein's theory? Law of relativity? So it is relatively. One can become immediately Kṛṣṇa conscious within a second, and one cannot become Kṛṣṇa conscious after many, many births. So it is relative. If you have got sufficient intelligence, you can accept it immediately. If there is less intelligence, then it will take time.
 
You cannot say that "It will be possible after so many years." That cannot be said. It is relative. Everything is relative. For a human being, from here to here, one step; and for a small microbe, it is ten miles from here to here, ten miles for him. So everything is relative. This world is relative world. There is no such formula that "One can be Kṛṣṇa conscious after so many years." No. There is no such formula.
 
One cannot become Kṛṣṇa conscious even millions after..., births, and one can become within second Kṛṣṇa conscious. But on the other edge, within this life we can become perfect in Kṛṣṇa consciousness if we take it seriously. Especially you are all young boys. We expect at least you'll live for fifty years more. Oh, that is sufficient time. Sufficient. More than sufficient. More than sufficient. If for fifty years one chants simply Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, he is sure to become perfect. There is no doubt about it. Simply if you chants this mantra, Hare Kṛṣṇa, oh, there is no doubt about it.

"This is the symptom of sincere service"

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Prabhupāda, when I'm serving you sometimes I feel very nice, but then when I think of how bad and imperfect this service is, I feel terrible. Which is right to feel?
 
Prabhupāda: (chuckles) You feel terrible?
 
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes.
 
Prabhupāda: Why? When you feel terrible?
 
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: When I see all the blunders I make, all the mistakes.
 
Prabhupāda: Sometimes... This is nice. To accept the blunders... Even there is no blunder. This is the symptom of sincere service. Just like a father is very beloved to his son or the son is very beloved to the father. A little ailments of the son, the father is thinking, "Oh, my son my die. I may be separated." It is the sign of intense love. Not always that the son is dying immediately, you see, but he's thinking like that. Separation. You see? So that is a good sign. We should not think that we are doing very nicely. We should always think that "I am unable." This is not bad. We should never think that "I am perfect." Because the māyā is so strong, as soon as you are a little confident, immediately there is attack. You see? In a diseased condition... Just like one who takes very precautionary method, there is little chance of relapse. So this is not bad. We should always think like that, that "Maybe I am not doing nicely." But as far as it is in our power, let us execute our business nicely, but we should never think that it is very perfect. That is nice.
 
 Bhagavad-gītā 7.1 -- Los Angeles, December 2, 1968
 
 
 

A civilization of ghosts

Prabhupāda: It is not possible that, because, at the present moment the number of educated persons, there are many. Many Ph.D.'s, D.H.C.'s but nobody understands it. You cannot expect a fair number of persons understanding it. It requires little higher brain. But even some percent of the population understands this philosophy, then there will be peace and prosperity. Not that everyone. Just like in my body, not that every part of my body is brain. But if the brain is in order, then other parts of the body will act nicely. The leg is not brain, but if the brain is in order, the leg will move nicely. The difficulty is there is no brain. So without brain, without head, when the body moves it is ghost. So it is ghostly civilization. All ghosts. There is a kind of ghost, perhaps you know, that without head. If a man is chopped of his head, and if he has got attraction, then he becomes a ghost without head. So at the present moment, all these so-called educated civilized men are ghosts without head. You now this, there is some ghosts without head?
 
Jayādvaita: I hadn't heard about them.
 
Prabhupāda: No, in India they know. And I have described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
 
Hari-śauri: They're depicted like that quite often in Europe, because they used to have the guillotine chopping the head off.
 
Prabhupāda: A ghost without head, yes, there is a ghost. So at the present moment, without head ghost. A civilization of ghosts, without brain. It is something revolutionary. Something revolutionary, but this is a fact.
 
 Interview with Kathy Kerr Reporter from The Star -- June 17, 1976, Toronto
 

"So you should be very much careful whether you are delivering Kṛṣṇa in the right way"

Madhudviṣa: Prabhupāda, when we're out on saṅkīrtana, chanting, what would be the best way for us to engage the crowd to become participants in the chant with us? What would be the best of...
 
Prabhupāda: Best way you go on chanting. Your business is not to, I mean to say, satisfy the crowd. Your business is satisfy Kṛṣṇa, and then crowd will be automatically satisfied. We are not going to please the crowd. We are going to give them something, Kṛṣṇa. So you should be very much careful whether you are delivering Kṛṣṇa in the right way. Then they'll be satisfied. Your only business should be to satisfy Kṛṣṇa. Then everything will be satisfied. Tasmin tuṣṭe jagat tuṣṭa. If Kṛṣṇa is satisfied, then whole world is satisfied. If you pour water on the root, then it is automatically distributed in every parts of the tree. So Kṛṣṇa is the big tree, root of the big tree, and you take to watering Kṛṣṇa, chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and follow the rules and regulation, everything will be all right.
 
Bhagavad-gītā 7.1 -- Los Angeles, December 2, 1968