Bhakti Yoga-Devotional Service to the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna

Bhakti Yoga-Devotional Service to the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna
Gopis performing Devotional Service to the Lordships Sri Sri Radha Krishna


What really counts

What really counts
11 Nov 2016 1 Comment -
(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 20 July 2013, Cape Town, South Africa, Spirit Matters Program)

Even when we are so transcendental ourselves, we still have to take people's feelings very serious, even if they are partially motivated by false ego – it doesn't matter, just like a child. But when you are an adult, you see it different although a father leaving home is not a small thing; that is real suffering but what can be done!?
When I was a kid, I lost my favourite toy car in a sand-pit; I never got over it. It was a big thing. I dug up the whole sand-pit and sifted through the whole thing but never found my little golden Jaguar, as it was called. What a drama it was!
Now, of course, I look at it a little bit different but my little golden Jaguar stands there to remind me that for me, that was a very important thing. So, what really counts is what is really important to people. I don't think that we should go around and put labels on people and say, "False ego!"
I think that we should take serious what is serious to others otherwise how will they take us serious. If I am so transcendental that I don't take anybody serious, that doesn't make sense at all. Then I become cold and disinterested from people.
Like Prabhupada, he was very transcendental yet he could be very human with human beings. He was able to come down to what moved people although it didn't move him in the same way.


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Lessons in life

Lessons in life

(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 03 September 2016, Cape Town, South Africa, Srimad Bhagavatam 1.9.25)


In this chapter, the passing away of Bhismadev, in the purport to this verse there is a list of challenges for society at large to improve their quality of life. The first challenge is, "Not to become angry!" We remember Upadesamrta, the Nectar of Instruction Verse 1, vaco vegam manasa krodha vegam, one must control the pushings of anger. So even when anger is pushing, one must somehow or other subdue it. Bhismadev also said that in order to conquer anger, one must learn to forgive because it is very difficult to judge with two types of measurements – measurement for others and different measurements for ourselves. For ourselves, there are so many explanations for our mistakes, "It wasn't really my fault. It was just circumstances. I didn't intend it that way…"whereas for others, "How could they do that! This is outrageous." We judge them different and the same extenuating circumstances are not being considered so Bhismadev points out that we must learn to forgive. We have to see that others make mistakes because then we can overcome anger.  

Forgiving is not necessarily the same as forgetting. If someone has committed an abominable activity, we may forgive but it does not mean that we forget. We will remember but we will also keep a special eye – if someone puts his fingers in the money box then after that we keep him at a distance from the money box obviously. So forgiving and forgetting is not necessarily the same. Also, there may be a point when we forget, it depends on the seriousness of the offence.

Sometimes though, anger is required. Sometimes, it is necessary to send out a signal that from now it is too much. This has to stop. BANG, fist on the table! Everyone needs that also. It is not that anger per se is bad. Those who are envious sometimes deserve anger. Those who are envious of devotees, we need to sometimes check it with anger. That is also there. But Bhismadev is referring to uncontrolled anger. Controlled anger has a place. Srila Prabhupada would also get angry at times but his anger was always related to Krsna and to whatever was favourable to Krsna. When there was neglect, Prabhupada was not tolerating that. He would point it out!

Best Regards,


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Transcendental morality

Transcendental morality

(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 03 September 2016, Cape Town, South Africa, Srimad Bhagavatam 1.9.25)

Continued from, "Lessons in life," Bhismadev's list of challenges for society at large to improve their quality of life…


With regards to these moral principles given by Bhismadev here in the purport, the principle of, "Not to lie," may be exempt in exceptional circumstances. When devotees are hiding in the basement and a soldier comes looking for them then we can say, "Devotees, I don't know, I've never seen them!" One must not take these principles in a fundamentalist way, they must be applied with intelligence. Fundamentalism is a form of reductionism where we try to eliminate the complexities of life and try to get a few slogans which are applied at all times, all places, all circumstances and which cannot be possibly adjusted in any situation. This creates fanaticism and can create many problems.

Prabhupada also gave the example of the father who has to lie to a child to give the child medicine and tells them that it is sweet. For a higher purpose! Once there was a debate about book distribution because some book distributors were at times not so moral and not so honest in the way they were distributing books. There was another group who was into honesty and it became a big issue. This matter was taken to Prabhupada. Prabhupada said that not to lie and to be honest is very important. He wrote this in a letter to Bhurijana and said that he upheld the importance of moral behaviour and honesty and then Prabhupada asked, "What about those who are so moral, are they distributing books?" The answer was, "Not so many as the other group…" and Prabhupada asked what was the point of morality, books have to somehow or other go out! So sometimes, we have transcendental morality that for the sake of Krsna things may be different…

Also Yudhisthir Maharaj's example can be applied. At the end of his life, Yudhisthir went to hell, well not himself but he saw that all his brothers had gone to hell and Yudhisthir asked how was that possible – there was Arjuna who gave his life to Krsna's service, Bhima who had no evil in his heart, Nakul and Sahadev – how could they go to hell!? But this was the punishment that Yudhisthir had to go through for hesitating to lie when Krsna requested it. However, this does not justify that in the name of transcendence, to lie left and right. We cannot take these stories and say that for Krsna and for the sake of sankirtan it is perfectly alright to tell endless lies. 

Even though we have principles, we are not being relieved from using our brain. We have to, in a refined way, take these principles and say that this is dharma and dharma is to be followed and then, there is apad-dharma, religious principles which is followed in case of emergency and sometimes one may deviate from the principle i.e. not to lie, not to get angry…

Now what if we have to apply this to the four regulative principles. Let's say there was a plane crash and the only survivors were in a jungle and there were no vegetables that one could eat but there were these fat birds which moved very slow, so what are you going to do!? Fast for the first couple days and then what to do… apad-dharma?? I will leave that up to the individual, to their intelligence but personally, I will tell you that I would fast… and if I die that is okay, it is all still in Krsna hands wherever we go! That part does not warrant apad-dharmaAs far as the four regulative principles go, I think it is very important to keep those very fixed.

Best Regards,


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Glorification of Srila Prabhupada from a 1970 BTG

From: Bhakti Vikasa Swami 

nama om visnu-padaya krsna-presthaya
bhutale srimate bhaktivedanta-svamin iti namine.

I offer my humble obeisances unto His Divine Grace Prabhupada A.C.
Bhaktivedanta Swami, who is very dear to Lord Krsna on this earth, having
taken shelter of the lotus feet of that ever-youthful, beautiful,
transcendental Lord,

who, alone, in his seventieth year, threw family, society, friendship, love
to the wind, left mother India and set sail around the earth to foreign,
unknown shores because his spiritual master spoke to him in a dream,

who carried the glorious message of the munificent Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu
to a nation plagued with the leprosy of voidism and impersonalism, who
brought an ageless message of love of Godhead,

who landed in Manhattan with saffron robes, a suitcase and seven dollars and
wondered at maya's skyscrapers and empty, noisy dreams,

who, with white, pointed holyman shoes, walked through the snow to Times
Square and laughed at Kali's cinema ads,

who accepted residence with hashish-yogis who believed they were moving the
sun and moon,

who played cymbals and chanted Govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami, "I
worship Govinda the Primeval Lord," explaining to void-meditators that
Krsna's transcendental body is unlimited, that He can extend His hand to all
parts of His creation, that any one part of His body can perform all the
actions of all the other parts, and that simply by glancing at nature He
impregnated her with countless living entities and set the cosmic systems
spinning and struck up the song of the universe,

who journeyed downtown, out of compassion, and set up quarters in Lower East
Side narrow mice-ridden storefront and trusted Krsna to bring next month's

who opened the storefront doors even to Bowery derelicts and clashed cymbals
and chanted Sanskrit hymns to God, whose vibrations caught the ears of young
psychedelic middle class renegades searching for alternatives to their
legacy of lies and materialism,

who had and everlastingly has infinite mercy, delivering it free of charge,
a matchless gift, to whomever stops to hear,

who never, to my knowledge, turned one soul away, who effused them all with
kindness, affection, truth,

who had mercy on my soul one bright July morning amidst the roaring
Manhattan traffic of Houston and Bowery (Most holy spot! Transformed to
Vaikuntha by his feet! Bowery transformed to Vaikuntha!),

who lectured every morning on Second Avenue and as the gold of dawn lit his
face played cymbals and chanted softly, careful not to awake the neighbors
lest they pour hot water through the floorboards,

who opened Bhagavad-gita and explained Sri Krsna's message verse by verse
and set His names -- Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare, Hare
Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare -- on the lips of the young,

who, by contact only, warmed their hearts and lit the fires of love of God
in their souls and smeared their eyes with the ointment of devotion,

who defied cheap popular adoration by truthfully telling the youth of
America that to have Krsna the soul must be pure, free of everything,

who supplanted the old white-bearded Judaic-Christian God with a beautiful,
blue adolescent Boy and evoked gopi tears from the eyes of men,

who led his flock to Washington Square to chant, was invited off the grass
by the cops, sat complacently anyway on the asphalt and Hare Krsna'd as
nervous sailors flicked their cigarets,

who initiated his first dozen disciples with a fire sacrifice in his
apartment, told them their real, spiritual names, chanted their beads, threw
rice and ghee in the flames (Svaha!) and sat smiling amidst the smoke as
they coughed and ran to open the windows,

who listened, tolerant, to the threats of Jewish, Catholic and Protestant
mothers accusing him of stealing their sons, and offered them bananas,
apples, dates and tangerines and charmed them with his smile,

who every Sunday afternoon for a month sat down on the ground in Tompkins
Square Park, pounded a bongo and chanted Hare Krsna three hours straight
while dancing angels dropped exhausted and Lower East Side Ukranians and
Poles stared uncomprehendingly and grumbled,

who delivered a beautiful lecture on the spiritualization of energy to a
thousand empty seats in midtown's Judson Hall while across the street
hundreds flocked to hear the Boston Pops at Carnegie,

who patiently endured the red tape visa harassment of immigration offices
and allayed the fears of his children as they swore to follow him to India,

who, on a sudden invitation, jumped a jet to Frisco, telling his New York
disciples he'd return in a fortnight, and after four months' absence
laughed, "You have not reckoned a day of Brahma."

who lectured a thousand Hell's Angels, hippies and teenieboppers in the
strobe-flashing Avalon ballroom on the glories of Lord Caitanya's sankirtan
movement and, hands upraised, danced with poet Ginsberg, Moby Grape,
Grateful Dead and Big Brother to Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna as Tim
Leary looked on benevolently,

who chanted and danced in a ring with longhair boys, girls, beads, beards
and headbands below the shadow of Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park on bright
March and April afternoons,

who lectured at Frisco Christian Yoga societies, to hippies in the
Panhandle, to pacifists at Berkeley, to yellow, red, white and black
nationalists, to anyone, everyone and no one in the streets and parks of
Saint Francis,

who taught the students of Palo Alto a new dance -- the "swami" -- which in
fervor surpassed the frug and watusi,

who led a nighttime firelit kirtan at Frisco beach, roasted potatoes and
sang starlit hymns to Narada Muni,

who sauntered through Muir woods contemplating the redwoods and reflecting
how tired their souls must be for having to stand so long without Krsna,

who, back in Manhattan, wore his body down chanting and glorifying the
transcendental blue body of Krsna, cooking and writing for Krsna, and
suffered a stroke that would have killed a mere man, left his body and then
returned with the names of his love on his lips,

who sang to Yamaraj, Death, as he stood before him, sang songs of love to
the lotus-eyed Boy with pink bottom'd feet,

who, in Beth-Israel Hospital, sat like a helpless child as demonic needles
came at him, tolerated them and listened to the Western diagnosis: "Tell him
to take it easy. The old man prays too much,"

who, after five days, baffled obscene doctors by walking out the sickward's
pea-green walls to recuperate across country in the dazzling Pacific sands
of Stinson beach,

who sat amidst a labyrinth of kelp horns and sea shells proclaiming that
there are only devotees and demons, naught between,

who composed Sanskrit odes to the Primeval Spirit whose eternal teenage lips
play a flute,

who wept in a Frisco storefront -- "Take to this process. I may be with you
or not, but it is eternal." -- and bade farewell to his students who thought
he was going to India to die,

who bathed in the sun wearing a turban and flying on a carpet as the Pacific
crashed in his ears -- "All glories to the assembled devotees! All glories
to the Pacific Ocean!" -- and finally, following the sun, whizzed to Delhi,
Vrndavana and Calcutta to Ayur-Vedic physicians,

who bathed in the Yamuna, where Lord Krsna played His water games, and lived
in Radha-Damodar Temple, where repose the samadhis of Rupa and Jiva Gosvami,

who traveled through India, defying pneumonia, looking for a house for his
American children,

who returned to the U.S. via Japan, trying to see the mayor of Tokyo to
institute the International Society for Krishna Consciousness in a glass
American-made skyscraper,

who finally proclaimed the Japanese "not ready," and returned to a deluge of
tears and flowers in Frisco airport,

who, surpassing the Chinese, instituted a yearly festival of Jagannatha love
down Haight Street through Golden Gate to the beach, nine miles, and led
twenty thousand before the cart of Krsna, Subhadra and Balarama,

who bowed to Radha and Krsna in Seattle and sat in new glory on the New York
Vyasasana, the floating dais of praise, as his children fell at his feet,

who forgave his renegade disciples in Montreal with a garland of roses and a
shower of tears,

who told golden beachboys in Honolulu and Kaaawa, Oahu that sun, beach and
palm worship is all maya, that golden flesh, after all, is just a bag
covering blood, bone, stool, puss, bile, urine and guts, all rotting moment
by moment,

who danced to Krsna beneath the sun in L.A. and beneath the red, white and
blue flashing neon illusions of Hollywood Blvd., Kali-yuga plastic America,
and beneath the moon danced to Govinda and Radharani in a Manhattan alley,
searching for a possible temple,

who proclaimed natural vegetarian prasadamism to the nation's hamburger
stands, the cow-eaters of America, the pig-eaters, bird-eaters, fish-eaters,
lamb-eaters, threatening them with endless rebirths as tigers,

who declared that Colonel Sanders of the Fried Chickens of Kentucky would
have to undergo a chicken-birth-life-and-death for every chicken smeared
with his recipe making its saucy way into the all-devouring mouths of the
American karmavores,

who burst two thousand Ohio State students out their skins and jumped for
joy on his dais in the All-American City,

who, lauding the "big mrdangam," bought a press, said, "This is my heart,"
and printed his own books in Boston,

who, having chanted six years in temples of Vrndavana, India, where Lord
Krsna's lotus feet danced, walked two miles up a West Virginia dirt road,
stopping only once briefly for breath, and founded New Vrndavana in the
locust-flower'd hills,

who lived there in a shack, sauntered on morning walks through the locusts
and maples and blessed the dandelions, blackberries and pokeweed with his

who sat quietly beneath a persimmon tree reading Srimad-Bhagavatam and
musing over the Appalachians,

who boarded the jet age from New York to Hamburg, carrying over the Atlantic
real Aryan Vedic civilization in his head and magic mantras on his lips, the
Paramhansa on Lufthansa, descending on Europe on his silver swan, singing
songs of Krsna-love for fractured Germany,

who, not knowing one word of German, lectured on ecstasy in a little
storefront temple on Eppendorfer Weg, chanting Hare Krsna uber alles,

who defined real Aryanism -- life according to spirit, not to flesh -- to
rapt disciples following him on a vigorous morning walk amidst cold,
implacable North German beer consciousness, sausages and Volkswagens,

who sat before an Elbe sunset, holding up a picture of Radha-Krsna dancing
on the lotus shaped Vaikuntha planet, and who smiled and transformed the
Elbe into the Yamuna,

who descended on London reporters like a thundercloud and deluged them with
the Absolute Truth -- "I have come to teach what you have forgot." "Which
is?" "God."

who sang "Bhaja Govindam" to this century's British bards, the Beatles --
"What are you doing? Your philosophical speculation and grammatical word
jugglery will not save you at the moment of death, so bhaja Govinda, just
worship Krsna," and struck up a new song in George's heart,

who shouted down the new crows in London's Conway Hall and continued playing
cymbals as their wings fluttered,

who founded a six-story Radha-Krsna temple a block away from a storehouse of
ravaged Indian treasures, the British Museum, and despite a Gandhi
exhibition began the Vaisnava colonization of England,

who buried his head in flowers and danced in ecstasy before the Lord,

who saw Arjuna throw down his bow at Kuruksetra and Lord Krsna and Balarama
pass through Mathura with Their cows and boy friends as the city girls
showered Them with flowers from their balconies,

and who at this moment deluges the blazing fire of the soul trapped in
materials and drowns the conflagration of even the most obdurant (my own!)
soul entangled in the great chain fire of action and reaction,

who even now insists on wishing me well despite my pigheaded gnawing at
o'erchewed stool,

who knows the innate sweetness of the soul in love with Krsna and who
delivers that love with truth, who draws it out the timid soul with truth
and who demands its flourishing and wishes it well,

who resides at the lotus feet of Krsna eternally, who is His ambassador on
earth, transmitting His message infallibly,

who views this universe to be no more significant than water in a calf's

who floats upon the tossing ocean of material and looks with compassion upon
the countless dynasties of suffering souls struggling below,

who hears the discordant sounds of Kali's millennia and blends them in
harmony to one song that anyone can sing,

who must play in the starry sandbox of the universe like a child with his

who must laugh at the maya karmaval, the vast play of illusion, of America,
of the world,

who must talk to Krsna alone at night, sitting on his bed, conferring,
listening carefully to His advice,

who perpetually receives the waters of benediction from the ocean of mercy
and who pours them forth in torrents to extinguish the flames of

who, always engaged in chanting and celebrating the message of Lord
Caitanya, sometimes dances in ecstasy and trembles and quivers in his

who, with his disciples, untiringly worships Sri Sri Radha and Krsna in
Their temple,

who is always offering food to Krsna and who derives great satisfaction in
seeing his disciples eat bhagavat-prasadam, the delicious mercy of the Lord,

who is eternally eager to chant and preach the glories of the loving
exchanges between Lord Krsna and Radharani and who aspires to relish these
pastimes at every moment,

who expertly assists the gopis, Lord Krsna's transcendental cowherd girl
friends engaged in the perfection of Radha-Krsna conjugal love affairs, who
makes various tasteful arrangements for Them,

who, as all scriptures reveal, should be honored as highly as the Supreme
and Almighty Lord, for he is the Great God's most confidential servitor,

whose mercy enables me to receive the benediction of the mercy of Krsna and
without whose mercy I cannot advance on the spiritual path, and who is
therefore worthy of my perpetual obeisances and my worship.

by Hayagriva Prabhu, From BTG #36


Best Regards,


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