Pancatattva ISKCON Hawai

Photo credit: Sankararanya Das.

Here is a nice definition of the identity of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu  and a nice prayer as well. These two verses are originally from Stava-mala (Shri Caitanyastaka) by Srila Rupa Goswami and quoted in Caitanya Caritamrita, Adi 4.51 & 52:

“Lord Caitanya is the shelter of the demigods, the goal of the Upanishads, the be-all and end-all of the great sages, the beautiful shelter of His devotees, and the essence of the love of the lotus-eyed gopis. Will He again be the object of my vision?”

“Lord Krishna desired to taste the limitless nectarean mellows of the love of one of His multitude of loving damsels [Shri Radha], and so He has assumed the form of Lord Caitanya. He has tasted that love while hiding His own dark complexion with Her effulgent yellow color. May that Lord Caitanya confer upon us His grace.”

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19 Aug 2014, SRILA PRABHUPADA VYASAPUJA or celebration of the Birthday Festival of the Spiritual Master

1-22-2Srila Prabhupada and His Guru Maharaja in Hawai

Dear Srila Prabhupada,

Om ajnana timirandhasya jnananjana salakaya
caksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri-gurave namah.

On the occasion of your appearance day 2014, “I offer my respectful obeisances unto my spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada who with the torchlight of knowledge, has opened my eyes, which were blinded by the darkness of ignorance.”

Srila Prabhupada, your kind and magnanimous guidance is an ongoing process. Your books are scintillating spiritual stars that offer us constantly various bright and enlivening insights into the science of love of God. We have to assume that this sparkle and shining is uninterrupted, even though our receptivity may be graduated or intermittent.
Here is one such glorious ray:
“ A bona fide spiritual master chants the holy names Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, and the transcendental sound vibration enters the ear of the disciple, and if the disciple follows in the footsteps of his spiritual master and chants the holy name with similar respect, this chanting constitutes worship of the transcendental name. When the transcendental name is worshiped by the devotee, the name himself spreads his glories within the heart of the devotee.” Teachings of Lord Caitanya Ch. 18

Your every single word is meant for our eternal benefit and pulls us progressively out of the baser modes of material nature.
Here is a nice quote to that effect: “We should always think that we are in the modes of ignorance. We are just trying to make progress from ignorance to goodness and then transcend. This is the process of spiritual realization. Nobody should think that we are perfect. We cannot be. God is… Only God is perfect, and we are all imperfect. Even our so-called liberated stage, we are still imperfect. Therefore one has to take shelter of authority because, constitutionally, we are imperfect.” 661226cc.ny

This year I would like to include the following prayer to the mind:

My dear mind,

At times you feel so miserable.
Why are you attracted to the often-ghastly topics of the material world? Please remember Srila Prabhupada’s words that there is no happiness to be found in this material world. Ceasing to be an afflicted “sufferer”, why don’t you become an expert devotional surfer instead and permanently stay on the top of the crests of the incoming waves of devotional service. You will do well to remember the statement of Srimad-Bhagavatam, 1.2.6
sa vai pusam paro dharmo
yato bhaktir adhoksaje
ahaituky apratihatä
yayätmä suprasidati

“The supreme occupation [dharma] for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendent Lord. Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted to completely satisfy the self.”

Please do not take Srila Prabhupada’s institution ISKCON and contribution to the global advancement of Krishna consciousness for granted. It is nothing less than is a golden path.

Why don’t you instead permanently accept Srila Prabhupada’s and Lord Caitanya’s blissful program of chanting Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare, dancing and feasting?

1. Leaving India for the first time, there will be no need for someone to take a taxing ocean trip on the Jaladuta from Kolkata to Boston at the ripe old age of 69 and suffer several heart attacks on the way.
2.There will be no need for someone to start from scratch a global institution for Krishna consciousness, establish 108 temples all over the world and initiate some truly gargantuan temple construction projects.
3. There will be no need to accept 10 000 plus disciples.
4. There will be no absolute need for someone to travel 15 times around the world, lecturing twice a day and meeting news reporters, scientists, religious leaders, politicians and world renowned dignitaries and celebrities.
5. There will be no need for someone to become the topmost Bhakti-Vedantist, able to quote innumerable Sanskrit verses at a moment’s notice.
6. There will be no need for someone to publish 80 plus spiritual books, compose 6341 personal letters and establish a Bhaktivedanta Book Trust to publish them.
7. There will be no need for someone to create the world’s first vegetarian restaurant chain and introduce the Rathayatra festivals in major cities of the world, thus bringing the temple to the people.
8. And finally, provided we could go back in time, there will be no need for someone to start a monthly Back to Godhead magazine on the 1944 appearance day of Om Vishnupada Bhaktisidhanta Saraswati Maharaja.
It is not even compulsory to get up at one AM daily, if one is not so endowed. But you will admit that it will indeed be a nice achievement in Srila Prabhupada’s footsteps and the footsteps of the other Goswamis.

Out of his great expertise, compassion and kindness, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Lord Caitanya’s sena pati, has already accomplished all the above and much more for your personal benefit also.
He has made it easy for you. So please don’t be mudha-like. Please be reasonable and accept unreservedly His and Lord Caitanya’s joyous program of chanting the maha mantra Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare, dancing and feasting. End of prayer.

Srila Prabhupada, I am happy to report that due to your mercy conjugated with my feeble efforts, Krishna consciousness has become manifest to some extent in my heart. Even if I were to try, I would be unable to extinguish it, just like it is difficult to suppress a forest fire in favorable circumstance, as we often experience in Australian summers. Somehow or other it reappears again and again. That seems to prove your postulate that Krishna consciousness is the common innermost energy and essence of all living entities. Krishna consciousness is the true golden path of self-realization. Funny thing is that when I was an altar boy and sacristan, the liturgy was in foreign language i. e. Latin. Now it still is in foreign language i.e. Sanskrit. Why did I take birth in the wrong culture?

Under Krishna’s direct guidance, You created these transcendental law books in the early hours of the morning and our part is to research Your books in the early hours of the morning or at any other time of the day. You are chanting (kirtanam) and we are hearing (sravanam). These are the first two angas of devotional service as enunciated by Mahajana Prahlada in SB 7.5.23. Whenever someone is chanting someone will hear, if only the chanter himself.

Srila Prabhupada, You are so kind and attentive that You will not allow us even for a moment to be overcome by the bodily concept of life. Because the qualities of the modes of material nature are mentioned therein, we may meditate on BGAII 3.5 by contemplating our bodily restlessness. But in the very first sentence of the purport You immediately cut in and wake us up by stating that it is the soul who is always active and that the body is actually dead.
“It is not a question of embodied life, but it is the nature of the soul to be always active. Without the presence of the spirit soul, the material body cannot move. The body is only a dead vehicle to be worked by the spirit soul, which is always active and cannot stop even for a moment….”

We cannot expect proper respect for ourselves, if we are denying respect to You, Srila Prabhupada, the Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness and Institutor of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, either by declining to offer the articles of altar worship to You first on the Vyasasana, by retitling the sixth chapter of the BGAII against Your wishes, or generally speaking by turning our back to You literally or figuratively. It takes only two steps to turn away from the sun and face the shadow. Similarly Maya is only two steps away at all times. In the Katha Upanisad (1.3.14) there is the emphatic call:
uttisthata jägrata
präpya varän nibodhata
kshurasya dhärä nishitä duratyayä
durgam pathas tat kavayo vadanti

“Please wake up and try to understand the boon that you now have in this human form of life. The path of spiritual realization is very difficult; it is sharp like a razor’s edge. That is the opinion of learned transcendental scholars.”
Let us first of all show full, all round respect where it is most due, that is in our relationship with Krishna’s representative, You, Srila Prabhupada. Then we shall automatically be respected also.

In a totally different context, I have witnessed how one young lady-disciple of HH Indradyumna Maharaja, and author as well, expressed on his birthday celebration her attachment and affection for her spiritual master and how she called him “her father”. I feel I am respectively in the same position. You have created a wonderful and unique family wherein we can grow and cultivate spiritual relationships.
Out of all human beings I have met physically or through their writings, I find your association most enriching, your style most endearing! You are the perfect master, PhD and post graduate in the Science of Krishna consciousness, the king of education and most confidential knowledge as well. Your company is never boring. It is always a new and fresh adventure.

You explain that there are different Sanskrit terms for friend, out of all these nomenclatures, “suhrit” means the best friend because he has our own best interest in his heart at all times. Su means very good, very favorable and hrit means heart. You are truly suhrit, not only for your direct spiritual descendants but also for the whole of mankind. You are not sentimental though and if tough love is required, as Prime Minister Abbot calls it here in Australia, you will use it.

In one sense your whole program of Krishna conscious education is a program of tough love because the path of Krishna consciousness is not easy when it is practiced according to the guidelines of Shastra. This you have explained in BGAII 7.3 purport: “Although nondevotees declare that the path of bhakti, or devotional service, is very easy, they cannot practice it. If the path of bhakti is so easy, as the nondevotee class of men proclaim, then why do they take up the difficult path? Actually the path of bhakti is not easy. The so-called path of bhakti practiced by unauthorized persons without knowledge of bhakti may be easy, but when it is practiced factually according to the rules and regulations, the speculative scholars and philosophers fall away from the path”.
But what valuable things in life come easily? Krishna consciousness surely IS the most valuable thing, even more valuable than touchstone, as Srila Sanatana Goswami has exemplified!

You always speak the unadulterated transcendental message. You never speak nonsense or attempt to fool or cheat people as others in various sphere of life will do. Your mind and arguments for the Personal Absolute Truth are as fast as lightning. No asura can bypass Durga, similarly no one can bypass your intellect for the Personal Absolute Truth. You always stand tall and undefeated just like Aniruddha in his fight against his future father in law Banasura and before the use of the overwhelming naga-pasha or snake-noose weapon. (Krishna book Chapter 62)
“…. we are not concerned to hear any rascal. We want to hear Kåñëa. We are not prepared to hear any rascal, so-called scientists and so-called philosopher, so-called God. No. We are not prepared. Because everyone is rascal. Everyone is full of mistakes, everyone is trying to cheat others, everyone is illusioned, and everyone’s senses are imperfect. How he can give knowledge perfect? That is not possible.
Therefore, we have to select guru. Guru means Krishna. As Arjuna has selected guru, shisyas te ‘ham sadhi mäm tväm prapannam: [Bg. 2.7] “I am, I become Your shisya, disciple, and I surrender unto You.” So to get perfect knowledge, we have to find out Krishna or Krishna’s bona fide representative.” 730821bg.lon

Thank you very much, Srila Prabhupada, for showering the nectar of Krishna consciousness upon us. May my ability to taste it never wane. May my ability to taste it ever increase exponentially instead.
We acknowledge unhesitatingly your vast superiority and gladly offer our prostrated obeisances again and again at your holy lotus feet.
Jai Srila Prabhupada! All glories to you!
Trying to be a good disciple,
Your servant,
Yadavendra Das

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So this is the golden opportunity to preach the Krishna cult all over the world. You are lamenting because a few yards of land has been taken away from your country as Pakistan, but if you spread this Krishna consciousness movement, the whole world will become Hindustan. There is such potency; I give you my direct perception. People are hankering after it. So long I am in India, practically I am wasting my time. Outside India, this reception is taken so seriously that every part of my moment is properly utilized.”

Footnote: This may not be construed as a political statement as one may get the impression at face value. It means that Krishna consciousness and Krishna culture are potentially the true unifying factors for the whole world. And Srila Prabhupada wished that this (r)evolution be lead by the people of the United States of America.

On the other hand, one may successfully argue that there is a political dimension to this statement as Srila Prabhupada also explains in 750519sb.Mel:

“This is a conversation between Mahäräja Pariksit and Sukadeva Gosvämi. Mahäräja Pariksit, five thousand years ago he was the emperor of the whole world. Formerly, up to five thousand years ago, the whole world was being controlled and ruled over by kings whose capital was Hastinäpura, New Delhi. There was only one flag, only one ruler, one scripture, Vedic scripture, and the Aryans, Arya, they were the civilized persons. You Europeans, Americans, you are also Aryans. Indo-European stock. Mahäräja Yayäti, grandson of Mahäräja Pariksit, he gave to his two sons the portion of eastern Europe, Greek and Roman. That is the history, Mahäbhärata. Mahäbhärata means great India. So there was no different religion. One religion, Vedic religion. Vedic religion means to accept the Supreme Personality of Godhead as the Supreme Person Absolute Truth. This is Vedic religion. Those who have read Bhagavad-Gita, it is said there in the fifteenth chapter, vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyam [Bg. 15.15]. Vedic knowledge means to understand God. This is Vedic religion.”


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By Yadavendra Das (ACBSP), Brisbane, Australia, June 2014

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, more familiarly known as “Srila Prabhupada”, is the Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna consciousness (ISKCON) – originally incorporated under the religious act of the state of New York in July 1966 – is the institutor of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust (BBT), as well as the translator and commentator of Bhagavad-Gita As It Is.

“Bhagavad Gita As It Is” is a most powerful, fascinating and redemptory book, being the words of God or Krishna Himself, as well as the words of His accredited representative and current link in the chain of disciplic succession, called “parampara” in Sanskrit language.
To this effect verse 24 of chapter 13 states that:

“One who understands this philosophy concerning material nature, the living entity and the interaction of the modes of nature is sure to attain liberation. He will not take birth here again, regardless of his present position.”

The popularity and attraction of this transcendental opus is evidenced by the more than 650 versions and translations in existence throughout the world. Bhagavad-Gita was also Mahatma Gandhi’s favorite book. We are however concerned with Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, not Bhagavad-Gita as some unauthorized and upstart mundaner, seeking name and fame, has interpreted. We are not interested in its foreign, indirect, empiric and speculative interpretation. We are interested in the direct meaning of Bhagavad-Gita. Bhagavad-Gita is like the sun, which does not require help from any other light.

“I wish that the American people may try to understand Bhagavad-Gita in terms of its direct meaning. Let it not be unnecessarily misunderstood by the empiric speculative method for making a show of the vanity of so called learning without any living experience. Such academic erudition has nothing to do with the living reality.

I wish to present an analytical study of Bhagavad Gita as it is. If your people can grasp the direct meaning of Bhagavad-Gita it will be possible for us all to know the basic principle of cosmic harmony. When that is done we shall know that all adjustment of our existence is not only peaceful but an eternal bliss distinguished from the ephemeral temporary sensual satisfaction. We shall then only know that here is a world where there is no struggle for existence and every living entity, never mind what it is, is fit to exist.” Srila Prabhupada letter dated at Allahabad, 14 September 1951 to Mr. Bailey of The American Reporter. (Typed version as opposed to handwritten version.)

Because these are the words of God or Krishna Himself, liberally and affectionately inviting the living entity to resolve its hopeless and complex entanglement within this material world, it is important that this communication be presented verbatim, as well as strictly according to the letter and the spirit of the authorized commentator, without any unauthorized changes, accidental or intended, as to completely fulfill the meaning of the expression AS IT IS found in its title and intently placed there by the commentator.

It is also important of course, that such eminent text be presented in proper language, be it English or non-English.

There is an ongoing confusion and discord, as to which Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, hereunder abbreviated as BGAII, is the better and more faithful presentation. Recently, while on book distribution on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, during a conversation with a lady aspiring for ISKCON initiation, I was again reminded of this fact. Thanks to her, I have come to realize the need to extend the scope of the present article. I was going to start the third previous sentence with “unfortunately” but there is absolutely nothing “unfortunate” about Bhagavad-Gita As It Is. Everything is transcendentally fortunate about it, including confusions and discords. Such is the nature and power of Bhagavad-Gita!

The current version two (V2) edition of Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, also called “Second Edition, Revised and Enlarged”, replaced version one (V1), also called “Complete Edition”, in 1983. V 1 was originally introduced to the market in 1972 in New York.

By careful and informed comparative analysis of the two Gitas, the investigating reader will progressively come to a conclusion, which I may personally phrase as follows:

Bhagavad Gita As It Is version 1, also called “Complete Edition”, is not only riddled with a myriad of mistakes but also innumerable elements of information contained in the original Sanskrit text are lost in its English rendition. To put it frankly and succinctly: Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, version one is simply and truly an embarrassment to Srila Prabhupada. This state of affairs is due to the early rush-and-confusion foundational days of the Hare Krishna Movement.

Please allow me to back up my statements with relevant evidence:

Text 18.44 of BGAII V1 still reads “… cattle raising..”, whereas Srila Prabhupada, while still present with us, clearly requested some forty years ago that this asuric expression be replaced with the Vedic concept of cow protection.

There are innumerable other mistakes. For illustration purposes, let me mention just a few of them as follows:

Edition 1, 4.20, word for word, gives: nirashrayah- without any center.
Clearly someone has been misled by Srila Prabhupada’s Bengali accent. In ISKCON circles it is common knowledge that “ashraya” means shelter. His Holiness Jayadvaita Swami has corrected this mistake: “without any shelter.”

Translation 4.28 of version 1 is misleading and proposes an impossible task. It gives the reader the false impression that there are only two classes of endeavoring transcendentalists, when in fact there are four classes enumerated in this verse, as nicely explained in version 2.

8.2 Purport. The first sentence in V1 is meaningless. Version 2 has corrected, “Lord of sacrifice” may refer to either Indra or Vishnu.” which is unequivocally confirmed by the following sentences of the purport.

The long list goes on. But perhaps the worst mistake of all in BGAII V1 is the rendition of 6.47, which makes the commentator look inconsequent.
He clearly writes in the purport that: “The English word “worship” cannot be used in the same sense as bhaj.”
But V1 gives: “worshiping Me in transcendental loving service.” This rendition is NOT Srila Prabhupada’s, Who is eminently consequent. It makes Him look like an ordinary, careless word juggler under the influence of the three modes of material nature, instead of the transcendental personality that He really is, situated above the four defects of the conditioned souls and planning and implementing the salvation of humankind. One may argue that “worship” is qualified as “worship in transcendental loving service.” That is true. But the best policy is to remove the word “worship” altogether, as HH Jayadvatia Swami has so wisely done.
Besides that V1 omits “ antah-atmana” or “thinks of Me within himself”, as well as “matah” or “is considered”. It is therefore incomplete as well. Similar omissions are found throughout the whole of version one. If this particular example is not sufficient to convince that version two is the better version, then I do not know what will convince.
Version 1 protagonist’s claim that V1 is the original, Prabhupada-faithful version has no real foundation and can therefore not be taken seriously. The time has come to archive version 1 of Bhagavad-Gita As It Is and replace it with version 2!

As far as we understand, His Holiness Jayadvaita Maharaja is the main force behind the revision. Let us remember that Srila Prabhupada Himself gave him a strong editor’s endorsement in a letter dated September 7th 1976: “Concerning the editing of Jayadvaita Prabhu, whatever he does is approved by me. I have confidence in him. Your changes which I have seen of the Sanskrit synonyms are also approved by me.” 760907let.Radhaballabha

We clearly owe a debt of gratitude to His Holiness for the excellent improvement he has contributed to the formulation of Bhagavad-Gita As It Is version 2. All glories to his service!

There are still, however, a number of unresolved questions that one may have about the current presentation of Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-Gita As It Is.

On innumerable occasions, the author of this article has tried to engage in a dialogue with relevant ISKCON and Bhaktivedanta Book Trust authorities but on each occasion it ended with silence and / or status quo and these matters remain unresolved to this date. This is not a healthy state of affairs.
Srila Prabhupada writes in Purport to Text 1 of “Nectar of Instruction” “Silence may appear helpful for some time, but ultimately it proves a failure.” He also writes in Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.9.18, purport:
“The Vedic system of acquiring knowledge is the deductive process. The Vedic knowledge is received perfectly by disciplic succession from authorities. Such knowledge is never dogmatic, as ill conceived by less intelligent persons. The mother is the authority to verify the identity of the father. She is the authority for such confidential knowledge. Therefore, authority is not dogmatic.”

I do not wish to burden my exalted readers with too many technicalities and shall restrict myself to a few prominent points only as follows:

We may for example ask: Did Sri Krishna 5000 years ago, on the battlefield of Kurushetra, say dharmyamritam or did He say dharmamritam (12.20). Gita Press version says Dharmyamritam. BGAII V1 says the same. BGAII V2 says dharmamritam. Which is correct and how does it affect the meaning? To a Sanskrit scholar this question may seem elementary and the answer self-evident. But for a layperson such as this humble self, it is legitimate.

We may ask: Why does V2 title chapter six “Dhyana Yoga”, when there is ample evidence that Srila Prabhupada, the commentator, wanted this particular chapter to be called “Sankhya Yoga”?

As far as the spelling of Bhagavad-Gita goes both “Bhagavad-Gita” and “Bhagavad-gita” seem to be universally accepted, even though my MacBook Pro computer demands Bhagavad-Gita with capital letter for “Gita”. Srila Prabhupada Himself writes “Bhagwat-Gita” with a capital “G” a dozen times or so in letter dated June 22nd 1951 to Sri R .Prakash, as well as seven times in 510914let.Bailey, which leaves no doubt about the desired spelling. There are other issues regarding restrictive use of capital letters and it would appear that the editor has slightly misinterpreted Srila Prabhupada’s directive in this realm. Why should “who” in the expression “the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who….” be lower case? To show due respect, it should be capital letter! The current presentation of BGAII 8.22 illustrates this contradictory use of capital letters very well. “Him”, “His” and “He” are capitalised, but “who” is lower case. In such instances, Srila Prabhupada Himself would use capital letter for “Who”. Please see 670314let.Brahmananda for example. The same will apply to pronouns and possessives referring to the Spiritual Master, as “the Spiritual Master is to be honored as much as the Supreme Lord” (Gurvastaka, stanza 7.)

7.18 states “My own self”.
The possessive article “My” is capital but the possessor “self” to whom the article refers, is lower case. This will be a contradiction to any person with some common sense. We don’t find such contradiction in 9.5 though, which contains the expression “My Self” as well.

In the first sentence of purport 13.3, clearly “knower” should be plural, if only from a grammatical point of view. There are two knowers: the soul and the Supersoul. The soul and the Supersoul are never one in all respects. Advaita philosophy falsely claims that the soul and the Supersoul are one. This conclusion is firmly rejected by the Vaishnava school. The Vaishnava school espouses the spiritual dialectism of simultaneous oneness and difference of the soul and Supersoul, one in quality and vastly distinct in quantity. This is the second time that we find such confused tinge of monism in version 2.
And why not use plural “knowers” in the translation as well? “…to understand this body and its knower(s) is called knowledge…” However way the opposition may argue, there is something wrong here.

7.2 V1 reads: “I shall now declare unto you in full this knowledge, both phenomenal and noumenal…”
7.2 V2 reads:” I shall now declare unto you in full this knowledge, both phenomenal and numinous…”
Which is correct and why? We know that generally “phenomenal” and “noumenal” are associated in philosophical (con) texts but “phenomenal” along with “numinous” together is a new creation indeed.

9.34, 11.55 and probably other verses as well: why does the English text not follow the Sanskrit order of enumeration?

16.7 How are we to be believe that in the word for word, “pravrittim” and “nivrittim” have a similar meaning whereas the meaning is opposite in the translation? (These two words are properly translated as opposites in both word for word and translation in 18.30)

We may ask why in verse 18.66 the Sanskrit word ekam has no equivalent in either English version? Not only is the emphasis in the Sanskrit text existent and self-evident, but Srila Prabhupada also gives the following translation in 741228let.MyDearSons:
” Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita, chapter 18; sarva-dharman parityajya, mam ekam saranam vraja, aham tvam sarva-papebhyo, moksayisyami ma sucah [Bg. 18.66]. So why you want to worship someone else? Krsna, Himself, recommends mam ekam, he alone.“

We may therefore infer that he following English rendition will be most appropriate and most pleasing to the Supreme Personality of Godhead as suggested by His representative, Srila Prabhupada:

” Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me alone. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.”

Finally we have practical experience that the General Index of V 2 needs substantial improvement and so does Vedabase to some extend.

As far as the great Caitanya Caritamrta by Krishna Das Kaviraja Goswami is concerned, translated and commented upon by Srila Prabhupada, it would appear that the cautious and wisest approach would be to stick with version one (V1).
CCM 15.106, purport, original version says:
“…The name Krishna is the personification of sound perfectly transcendental and eternally liberated from material contamination…”
This is a passage of perfect eloquence!

Unnecessarily it has been changed to:
“That name is Krishna personified in sound and is therefore perfectly transcendental and eternally liberated from material contamination.”
According to the logic of the rice cooking where one need only examine one grain of rice to test the cooking’s advancement, we may conclude that the better version will be version one.

In conclusion and for the sake of a united next wave of assault on the forces of Maya Devi in this material world, I appeal herewith to the good sense and faithfulness of all followers of Srila Prabhupada in all countries of the world, who are still unduly and overly attached to BGAII V1, to archive BGAII V1 and progressively switch now to BGAII V2. By the Lord’s inconceivable arrangement BGAII is a work in progress and BGAII V 2 is undoubtedly the best rendition we have at this point of time.

“The yogi who is progressive is therefore on the true path of eternal good fortune. One who sticks to a particular point and does not make further progress is called by that particular name: karma-yogi, jnana-yogi or dhyana-yogi, raja-yogi, hatha-yogi, etc. If one is fortunate enough to come to the point of bhakti-yoga, it is to be understood that he has surpassed all other yogas. Therefore, to become Krishna conscious is the highest stage of yoga, just as, when we speak of Himalayan, we refer to the world’s highest mountains, of which the highest peak, Mount Everest, is considered to be the culmination.” BGAII 6.47, purport.

“Prabhupadanugas of all countries, please unite under the one banner of Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, Second Edition Revised and Enlarged!”
(My own appeal)

“In this present day, people are very much eager to have one scripture, one God, one religion, and one occupation. Therefore, ekam shastram devaki-putra-gitam: let there be one scripture only, one common scripture for the whole world-Bhagavad-Gita. Eko devo devaki-putra eva: let there be one God for the whole world – Sri Krishna. Eko mantras tasya namani: and one hymn, one mantra, one prayer—the chanting of His name:

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

Karmapy ekam tasya devasya seva: and let there be one work only—the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”
(Final words of introduction, BGAII.)

All glories to Sri Krishna Sankirtana!
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

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It was a small Australian country town. My first impression was that this was a health food shop. It was called So and So Natural Foods and the signage in green and white conveyed an impression of freshness and lightness. Once inside, I realized that it was in fact a butcher’s shop. Some clever butchers “go with the flow” and advertise with slogans such as “chemical free”, “naturally grown” etc… etc.

I made my standard presentation during which the fairly young attendant took hold of one of my “Higher Taste” copy. In butcher shops, I generally don’t mention the wonderful, karma free Hare Krishna vegetarian cookbook for obvious reasons. But this person was very much interested and revealed that his mother was in fact a vegetarian. For her, he purchased three vegetarian cookbooks by Kurma Prabhu and after thanking him I left in total amazement at the varieties of Krishna’s sometimes-contradictory arrangements. I also gave him a complimentary copy of one of Srila Prabhupada’s books as per standard procedure: in this case “Renunciation Through Wisdom”.

Let us remember Srila Prabhupada words to the effect that “There is no justice when there is animal-killing. “ in Srimad Bhagavatam 1.3.24 Purport. Here is the fuller passage:

“…There are two types of animal-killers. The soul is also sometimes called the “animal” or the living being. Therefore, both the slaughterer of animals and those who have lost their identity of soul are animal-killers.

Mahäräja Parékñit said that only the animal-killer cannot relish the transcendental message of the Supreme Lord. Therefore if people are to be educated to the path of Godhead, they must be taught first and foremost to stop the process of animal-killing as above mentioned. It is nonsensical to say that animal-killing has nothing to do with spiritual realization. …………This rejection of the Vedas by Lord Buddha was adopted in order to save people from the vice of animal-killing as well as to save the poor animals from the slaughtering process of their big brothers who clamor for universal brotherhood, peace, justice and equity. There is no justice when there is animal-killing.” Srimad Bhagavatam 1.3.24 Purport.

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By Yadavendra Das, travelling book distributor, Queensland, Australia.

Still early in the morning, I visited two quite small towns, where in the past, I had distributed books well. But due to economic contraction, I met with a very poor result this time. Many shop premises were closed and vacated. Many of the remaining shop owners were anxious about their own future and charity was definitely not their top priority. One good and steady customer considered for some moments the purchase of another Kurma vegetarian cookbook. He finally decided not to part with the money. Under such circumstances, I speed up the process and altogether avoid some shops selectively. Time is short for the book distributor preacher because the task at hand is huge. In wartime, the expert physician has only a few moments for each wounded combatant and perhaps none at all for the fatally wounded and dying. It is in that mood that I arrived in the next bigger town and first of all I noticed two separated shops only: a hairdresser and a liquor shop. From experience, I know that both these shops’ attendants can be very good customers. To go there or not to go there was the question. What if the economic contraction had spread to this particular town also? I would expend the extra energy to reach these separated shops and achieve no tangible results.

I decided: “This is a different town with essential economy. Let me go anyway.” As far as possible, we really want to give everyone at least one seed-chance to engage in Lord Krishna’s service and especially at least one seed-chance to read Srila Prabhupada’s books. “Every word is for the good of the human society, every word, each and every word. Therefore we stress so much in the book distribution. Somehow or other, if the book goes in one’s hand, he will be benefited. At least he will see, “Oh, I have taken so much price. Let me see what is there.” If he reads one shloka, his life will be successful, if one shloka, one word. This is such nice things.” 740105SB.LA

The response and success in the bottle shop was excellent. I evidently noticed how the attendant had a damaged right eye. He later explained to me that his somewhat colorful eye was collateral damage of a public bar brawl. He happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. I started to extol the glories of Bhagavad-Gita As It Is and showed him relevant pictures in my folder. He was attentive. Usually I stress the second chapter, which, as we all know, explains exhaustively the immortality of the soul, first through analytical study and in the second part “in terms of working without fruitive results.” To understand our soul-identity and its characteristics represent really the first steps of spiritual life. How many times did Srila Prabhupada explain that we are not these fragile bodies but that we are spirit souls? I may also get them to read the quotations of Gandhi, Thoreau and / or Emerson on the back cover. His final conclusion was:” Yes, let me have one of these! (Bhagavad-Gita As It Is)” He further accepted a copy of The Higher Taste and paid my full retail price for both volumes without hesitation.


A few minutes and steps later, I noticed a lady leaning against the balustrade in front of the drug store. She had a plastic container tied to her left ankle. I quipped: “ Good morning Madam, are you on a drip?” She answered: “I am dying of bowel cancer.” I then realized that the plastic bag contained body waste instead. We had a subsequent conversation during which we agreed that death is certain for everyone and that we are all dying now in the sense that with each passing day, death is coming one day closer. I quickly added that the intelligent person will consequently prepare for death, just as everyone and anyone would not fail to prepare for an important trip. Again I extolled the glories of Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, as described above and she agreed to accept a copy. “My brother in-law will also enjoy reading such a book. Thank you very much.” was her final conclusion.

That represented two copies of Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, edition 2, distributed in five or ten minutes, a not-so-common Sankirtan occurrence! From these two live examples, it would seem that those pious souls who are undergoing tribulations in life are more inclined to surrender to and take shelter of God, Krishna, the Ultimate Liberator. This analysis is confirmed by the prayers of Queen Kunti in Srimad Bhagavatam canto one, chapter eight, text twenty five:” I wish that all those calamities would happen again and again so that we could see You again and again, for seeing You means that we will no longer see repeated births and deaths.”



There is another town where, over the years, people had become excessively vain and would totally disregard and resist my entreaties to engage in Lord Caitanya glorious Sankirtan Movement. I take it that their real situation was summed up on a vehicle license plate with the word “ PAAPY”, parked on the day of my visit very near to the main shopping precincts. For those of us who are not familiar with this nomenclature, the Sanskrit word “paapii” with long “a” and “i”, as indicated by my intentional spelling, means “sinful person”.

The library manager himself would abruptly hang up the phone, as soon as I would mention the words “Hare Krishna”. So much so that, for several years in a row, I decided to stop visiting this particular town during my yearly trips. It clearly would have been a mismanagement of time and energy, considering that elsewhere customers are waiting in line, so to say. In Caitanya Caritamrta, Madhya 7.109, in the chapter titled “The Lord begins tour of south India”, it is explained that the preacher goes where the customers are enthusiastic for Krishna consciousness, not where there is no response or where there is a positive aversion for Krishna consciousness. On such considerations, the lion like Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu went to South India, instead of Bengal, which was at the time dominated by the tantrics.

Then during the wet season, the town was heavily flooded and damage inflicted was just as heavy as well. I decided to resume my visits to observe how the floods had affected the collective mind. The change was astounding. Several people made proactive, unsolicited and favorable statement such as “ Hare Krishna people are good people. Hare Krishna people are doing a great job”. I sold an unusually high amount of books on that day. There is a natural tendency for the living entity to get a little proud of one’s assets or achievements. The living entity falsely thinks himself the only doer and cause, when these are ultimately bestowed upon us by the Lord’s kind mercy according to our desire, pious credit and endeavor. We may quote Bhagavad As It Is 18.13 and following verses in this regard: “O mighty-armed Arjuna, according to the Vedänta there are five causes for the accomplishment of all action. Now learn of these from Me. The place of action, the performer, the various senses, the many different kinds of endeavor, and ultimately the Supersoul—these are the five factors of action. Whatever right or wrong action a man performs by body, mind or speech is caused by these five factors. Therefore one who thinks himself the only doer, not considering the five factors, is certainly not very intelligent and cannot see things as they are.”

Srila Prabhupada also say in a lecture that if we forget Krishna, the supplier of everything and maintainer of everyone, then His material nature may punish.


If my memory serves me well, Srila Prabhupada Himself on His deathbed, playing the role of an ordinary conditioned soul and in His inconceivable humility and made the following statement: “I must have become a little proud of my achievements and now the Lord is taking it all away from me.” During the rasa dance, some of the gopis also became a little proud in the personal association of Krishna, Who took immediate steps to rectify the matter, by depriving them of His most cherished company.

Inadvertently-I use “inadvertently” because my main business on this occasion was not book distribution -I also visited a cooking school and restaurant, where Kurma Prabhu himself taught at least on one past occasion. The owner was friendly, liberal and welcoming but he didn’t seem to be a happy man though. Sometimes we can actually see the anxieties of the slaughtered animals reflected on the face of the meat-eaters. He clearly stated that if it were for vegetarianism, his business would not survive. His wife however did not tolerate my approaching the chefs in the kitchen for the purpose of book distribution. That is generally not an auspicious sign!

Just like in the early days of Iskcon, sometimes our detractors still involve the police. Many senior devotees will easily remember how forty or so years ago, we would often end up at the police station for either distributing books or chanting

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

in the streets. Recently a shopping center management not only targeted me with its own security team but also called the police because I was distributing books on their premises. God, Krishna is the Supreme and Ultimate Proprietor. He therefore also owns all shopping centers, in every country and all over the world. As humble servants of Krishna, we should therefore be welcomed to execute our duties almost anywhere and everywhere. I suppose it is a matter of education. Under such circumstances, we should always remember and follow Srila Prabhupada’s strong and staunch letter statement that we shall never stop our preaching activities, nor change their essence. But confrontation may not be the best policy under the circumstances. More responsive policy of push when there is give and give when there is push is required. This is the most energy effective policy also.

In India, Srila Prabhupada’s glorious servants once mistakenly requisitioned a stranger’s vehicle for the pure devotee’s service. This vehicle was an exact replica of Srila Prabhupada’s own vehicle, whence the misunderstanding. Instead of an altercation, the owner felt honored and privileged by the service inadvertently rendered to the representative pure devotee of the Lord and additionally gave all honors to Srila Prabhupada. “This is the difference between India and the West”, I believe, Srila Prabhupada commented on this or such similar occasion.


108 glories to Srila Prabhupada, the greatest unacknowledged friend, well-wisher and welfare worker of humanity at large!



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