ISKCON Bhaktivedanta Sadhana Asrama (IBSA), Govardhana, India
Srila Prabhupada told us that he played football as a youth and was secretary of the club. He was also remembering his childhood friends. "For marriage they would trace the genealogy for seven generations. It is prescribed that there can be no family ties within these seven generations. In the West there is no genealogy-no family-it is dog society. "
"If it were not for you, our position would be hopeless," I said.
"I could understand you had no family love, anything. You were very nice boy. You were selling so well, you encouraged me to print Back to Godhead with Dai Nippon. Only by your encouragement. Otherwise we were printing only two thousand, three thousand. Now they are printing my words 'Prabhupada Speaks Out. ' It is very good. They should come to their senses. Before me everyone said, 'Yes, you are good. ' Perhaps this is the first time from the Eastern side they are getting such a chastisement. They are not even civilized, what to speak of knowledge.
"Western civilization is to make something new always. There is a nice house-destroy it and again build. And in Los Angeles with the old temple-there was no need of breaking. D. L. Roy has written a song, 'Put your head down, your legs up; you must do something new, no matter how odd or ugly or rubbish it is. ' But our philosophy is nothing new. Stick to the old. Childish means 'cannot stick to one principle. '
"Therefore I say the Western civilization is childish. One car design, then finished and next year a different one. A devil's workshop. Entanglement in useless work. Chewing the chewed. Am I right about this? So remain Krsna conscious. Stick to the principles. You are making definite progress. I can see. Do you feel?" Prabhupada asked each of us. "When you eat, no one has to ask if you are satisfied. "
"My Guru Maharaja called Ramakrishna 'murkha pujari'-a foolish, illiterate priest. Any quotation attributed to him was actually made by his disciples after his death. "
"In my horoscope, it was written that after seventy years, he will go outside India and establish so many temples. Guru Maharaja foretold this before my Godbrothers in 1935: 'He will do the needful. No one requires to help him. ' Sridhara Maharaja was present. I left India hopeless. I did not want to come back. I went with the intention, 'I shall do this job!' In 1970, there was a conspiracy. I do not wish to remember it. So I came back. I called you from Paris to take me away from Los Angeles. Otherwise, I would have made Los Angeles my headquarters. My plan was like that, but Krsna's plan was different. When I was leaving Los Angeles, I was not happy. I said to Dvarakadisa, 'You have brought me here; now why are You dragging me?' Krsna wanted me to leave Vrndavana. 'You were retired, I will give you a better place. ' And He has given a temple one hundred times better than Los Angeles. " After lunch we showed Prabhupada the map drawn according to the description of Jambudvipa in the Fifth Canto. "It was not possible for me to write as a layman on such subjects. Someone [Krsna] had to help me. "
- From TKG's Diary by HH Tamal Krishna Goswami
Sri Gauranga's beautifully brilliant luster overshadows the sun's shining rays and dazzled my eyes. The beauty of His long, slightly drooping eyes, curved like the petals of a lotus, cannot be adequately described in words.
His form is eternal. His exquisite complexion is of the color of sandalwood paste. His wide chest is decorated with a gently swaying wild-flower garland and His luminous, moon-like face is pleasing, cooling and comforting to see. The Lord's long arms reach down to His knees.
Sounds of victory and praise reverberated in all directions when the Lord came into this world to inaugurate the congregational chanting of the Holy Names. The earth goddess felt especially blessed at the advent of Lord Gauranga. The gods in the heavens sang in great joy and danced in ecstasy.
The Golden moon Sri Chaitanya had arisen and sounds of great joy filled the air in all directions. His beauty humbled the beauty of a million Cupids. Meditating on His own beauty He smiled when contemplating His own dancing and singing.
His lovely face and charming eyes were stunning to see, as was said in the Veda in the descriptions of the beauty of the incarnations of God. His feet were marked with the signs of flag, lightning etc, just like Lord Krishna's feet. His entire exquisite form was decorated with features to enchant the minds of everyone.
All fear and despondency was dissipated and the world was showered with immense fortune when the Lord came into the world and showed His divine form
People usually escape from their troubles into the future; they draw an imaginary line across the path of time, a line beyond which their current troubles will cease to exist.
--Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being pg. 161
In the material world we are struggling for existence with the hope that someday in the future we will be happy. Yet we are bewildered. An animal in the desert sees a mirage, a shadow of water, and he runs after this shadow again and again. He runs further and further, and in this way, as he crosses the hot sands, he becomes more and more thirsty and he finally dies. Our struggle for existence is like this. We are thinking, "Let me go a little further. There will be water eventually. There will eventually be happiness. " Yet there is no water in the desert. Those who are unintelligent, who are like animals, seek happiness in the desert of the material world. This false attachment has to be given up by the process of bhakti-yoga. This must be taken up very seriously, not artificially. Krsna in all seriousness wants to see whether one has finished all his material desires. When Krsna sees this, He is very pleased. We are actually busy with dharma, artha, kama and moksa, but when we transcend these, bhakti begins.
--Teachings of Lord Kapila, Chapter Eighteen
[C]onsistent theories of the fundamental forces of Nature appear to require the Universe to have many more dimensions of space than the three that we habitually experience. The original string theories required the Universe to have either 9 or 25 dimensions of space! Since we see only three dimensions we must either conclude that these theories are wrong, that dimensions can be something other than what we are used to thinking them to be, or that lots of dimensions of space are hiding somewhere. While either of the first two options might turn out to be the case, it is generally assumed that the third provides the answer to the conundrum Some process must be found which allows three (and only three) of the total number of dimensions to grow very large while the rest remain trapped at the Planck scale of size, where their effects are unperceptable to us. . . The possibility that our Universe contains many more than three dimensions of space, trapped at the Planck scale of size, means that our access to the overall structure of the Universe might be limited more dramatically than we have previously suspected --John D. Barrow, Impossibility: The Limits of Science and the Science of Limits, pgs. 184-185
Well, Mr. Barrow, if we're expected to swallow such a colossally unverifiable enterprise as this 9-D or 25-D cosmology you've described--which seems to have a bit more in common with the theological musings of Medieval scholastic monks ("How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?" "How many dimensions can dance in the incomprehensibly tiny Planck scale of size?") than the demonstratable, physical proofs of hard science--we might as well invest our valuable gift of faith in the Srimad-Bhagavatam Fifth Canto description of the structure of the Universe.
Everyone thinks, in terms of individual capacity, that this universe, which is manifested before us, is all in all. And so the scientist in the human society of the twentieth century calculates the beginning and end of the universe in his own way. But what can the scientists know? Even Brahma himself was once bewildered, thinking himself the only one Brahma favored by the Lord, but later on, by the grace of the Lord, he came to know that there are innumerable more powerful Brahmas as well, in far bigger universes beyond this universe, and all of these universes combined together form ekapad-vibhuti, or one fourth of the manifestation of the Lord's creative energy. The other three fourths of His energy are displayed in the spiritual world, and so what can the tiny scientist with a tiny brain know of the Absolute Personality of Godhead, Lord Krsna? --Srimad-Bhagavatam 2. 6. 37p
Tomorrow afternoon (Thursday) I'm leaving Govardhana for Delhi. Very early Saturday morning I am scheduled to fly out of India, port of disembarkation Schipol Airport, Amsterdam.
In addition to writing these entries from Govardhana, I re-edited the 3-part Shalagram series. For reasons unecessary to explain here I had been pressed for time in the days I uploaded that material to In2-MeC. I wrote the captions in haste; some were ungrammatical and some conveyed inaccurate information. Now many of the captions are much better reading.
I was amused by some of the "vedikly acceptable jokes" my old pal HG Jayatirtha Carana Prabhu published in Newletter #130 of the New Zealand Hare Krsna Spiritual Network website (www.hknet.org.nz/index.htm). So I'm offering a few of my own here that hopefully nobody's seen before.
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936), who wrote numerous stories set in India during the days of the British Raj, was in his heyday the highest-paid author in the world. For each word he wrote he received a shilling. (At that time a shilling was worth one-twentieth of a Pound Sterling, and the value of a Pound was fixed to a pound of silver. ) Some waggish Oxford students decided to mock Kipling's success. They sent him a shilling with the message, "Please send us one of your words. " His reply to them was: "Thanks. "
Huey Long was a larger-than-life Louisiana politician during the Depression era. He was known and feared for his fiery oratory. But after he won the Senatorial race he was stunned to silence by a casual remark made by the mild-mannered Senator Carter Class, who said to Long, "The old Romans once elected a horse to their Senate. But this is the first time I've ever heard of part of a horse being elected. "
I really like these gems of tactful ambiguity. When asked to comment on some questionable performance, a famous Broadway composer had one stock comment that he would utter with disarming effusion: "Good isn't the word!" A famous novelist, when handed a book by some wannabe Hemingway eager for a pat on the back, would say, "Many thanks. I shall lose no time in reading it. " A famous orator was once approached by a young poet in search of a reputation. "Have you seen my Descent into Hell?" the young man asked the raconteur. "No," he replied, "but I should like to. "
A stage actor going through lean times in his career was invited to the home of a fan for dinner. He arrived glad to get a free meal, but discovered that the servings were very skimpy. When the table was cleared the host said benignly, "I hope you'll come and dine with us again. " "Happy to," the still-famished actor answered. "Let's start now. "
A ragged street beggar approached a smartly-uniformed army officer. "Sir, could you give an old soldier some help? I served in the army for four years. " The officer glared at him up and down. "You, an old soldier? I'll give you the chance to prove it. Attention! Eyes right! Eyes front! Now tell me what comes next!" "Present alms!" returned the man at once.