Appearance Day of Lord Balarama

Today being the Appearance Day of Lord Balarama, we post this nice pastime of Lord Balarama delevering Dvivida gorilla.

…Dvivida was as powerful as 10,000 elephants. Sometimes he would go to the seashore, and with his powerful hands he would create so much disturbance in the sea that he would overflood the neighboring cities and villages. Often he would go to the hermitages of great saintly persons and sages and cause a great disturbance by smashing their beautiful gardens and orchards. Not only did he create disturbances in that way, but sometimes he would pass urine and stool on their sacred sacrificial arena. He would thus pollute the whole atmosphere.

While creating such great disturbance all over the country, sometimes he heard very sweet musical sounds from the Raivataka Mountain, and so he entered that mountainous region. There he saw that Lord Balarāma was present in the midst of many beautiful young girls, enjoying their company while engaged in singing and dancing. He became captivated by the beautiful features of Lord Balarāma’s body, each and every part of which was very beautiful, decorated as He was with a garland of lotus flowers. Similarly, all the young girls present, dressed and garlanded with flowers, exhibited much beauty. Lord Balarāma seemed to be fully intoxicated from drinking the vāruṇī beverage, and His eyes appeared to be rolling in a drunken state. Lord Balarāma appeared just like the king of the elephants in the midst of many she-elephants…

Full chapter

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The Pen of Fire

I saw this on Facebook, and found it interesting.

Govinda dasi found some old Indian newspapers from the 1970s in her attic, in boxes, and one had an article about Srila Prabhupada written by an astrologer: 


“Nobody can read this chart; if they say they can they are simply lying. This personality comes and goes at his own sweet will; he is not bound by anybody or anything. The stars are lined up perfectly—there is no question of karma. He is working directly under the will of God. And when he writes, his pen does not have in it ink. His pen has in it fire which will burn the ignorance of the whole world.” 

BATTLEFIELD OF KURUKSETRA

“Wherever there is Kṛṣṇa, the master of all mystics, and wherever there is Arjuna, the supreme archer, there will also certainly be opulence, victory, extraordinary power, and morality. That is my opinion.” (Bhagavad-gita 18.78)

Traditional Indian Art Paintings By B.G. Sharma

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Srila Prabhupada: The Most Extraordinary Person

The Science of Self Realization
Foreword By Mukunda Das

From the very start, I knew that His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda was the most extraordinary person I had ever met. The first meeting occurred in the summer of 1966, in New York City. A friend had invited me to hear a lecture by “an old Indian svāmī” on lower Manhattan’s Bowery. Overwhelmed with curiosity about a svāmī lecturing on skid row, I went there and felt my way up a pitch-black staircase. A bell-like, rhythmic sound got louder and clearer as I climbed higher. Finally I reached the fourth floor and opened the door, and there he was.

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The Sankirtan Movement

October 1966, Tomkins Sq. Park, Srila Prabhupada begins His Sankirtan Movement, sitting among the ‘hippies’ with no microphone, no harmonium, karatals, and mridungas, only a small ‘bongo’ drum and pure devotion……….

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The Meaning of the Hare Krishna Mantra

The Meaning of the Hare Krishna Mantra

Lecture on Maha-mantra New York, September 8, 1966

By His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Prabhupada: Now, some of you members have asked me to explain the meaning of this chanting, Hare Krishna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Now, this sound is transcendental sound, transcendental sound, incarnation, sound incarnation of the Absolute Truth. Just try to understand what is incarnation. Incarnation means…

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Appearance Day of Lord Nrsimhadeva

Today we honor the Appearance day of Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva, with a fast till sunset and the following text from the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. So shortly after the Lord killed Hiraṇyakaśipu, and his armies, the Lord sat Himself on the throne of Hiraṇyakaśipu, and was offered prayers by all the assembled saintly persons and demigods.

…The Lord not only killed Hiraṇyakaśipu, the King of the demons, but also killed many of his followers. When there was no one else to fight, the Lord, roaring with anger, sat down on Hiraṇyakaśipu’s throne.

The entire universe was thus relieved of the rule of Hiraṇyakaśipu, and everyone was jubilant in transcendental bliss. Then all the demigods, headed by Lord Brahmā, approached the Lord. These included the great saintly persons, the Pitās, the Siddhas, the Vidyādharas, the Nāgas, the Manus, the prajāpatis, the Gandharvas, the Cāraṇas, the Yakṣas, the Kimpuruṣas, the Vaitālikas, the Kinnaras and also many other varieties of beings in human form. All of them stood not far from the Supreme Personality of Godhead and began offering their prayers unto the Lord, whose spiritual effulgence was brilliant as He sat on the throne. (from the chapter summary)

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Mothers Day, Seven Mothers

Here in the West Mothers Day is being celebrated; a day to honor our Mothers.

…According to scriptures also, there are seven mothers: (1) the real mother, (2) the wife of the spiritual master, (3) the wife of a brāhmaṇa, (4) the wife of the king, (5) the cow, (6) the nurse, and (7) the earth. All of them are mothers.

Srimad Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swaim Prabhupada
from Canto 1, Chapter 11, Text 28-

Seven Mothers

praviṣṭas tu gṛhaṁ pitroḥ
pariṣvaktaḥ sva-mātṛbhiḥ
vavande śirasā sapta
devakī-pramukhā mudā

praviṣṭaḥ—after entering; tu—but; gṛham—houses; pitroḥ—of the father; pariṣvaktaḥ—embraced; sva-mātṛbhiḥ—by His own mothers; vavande—offered obeisances; śirasā—His head; sapta—seven; devakī—Devakī; pramukhā—headed by; mudā—gladly.

After entering the house of His father, He was embraced by the mothers present, and the Lord offered His obeisances unto them by placing His head at their feet. The mothers were headed by Devakī [His real mother].

It appears that Vasudeva, the father of Lord Kṛṣṇa, had completely separate residential quarters where he lived with his eighteen wives, out of whom Śrīmatī Devakī is the real mother of Lord Kṛṣṇa. But in spite of this, all other stepmothers were equally affectionate to Him, as will be evident from the following verse. Lord Kṛṣṇa also did not distinguish His real mother from His stepmothers, and He equally offered His obeisances unto all the wives of Vasudeva present on the occasion. According to scriptures also, there are seven mothers: (1) the real mother, (2) the wife of the spiritual master, (3) the wife of a brāhmaṇa, (4) the wife of the king, (5) the cow, (6) the nurse, and (7) the earth. All of them are mothers. Even by this injunction of the śāstras, the stepmother, who is the wife of the father, is also as good as the mother because the father is also one of the spiritual masters. Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Lord of the universe, plays the part of an ideal son just to teach others how to treat their stepmothers.

tāḥ putram aṅkam āropya
sneha-snuta-payodharāḥ
harṣa-vihvalitātmānaḥ
siṣicur netrajair jalaiḥ

tāḥ—all of them; putram—the son; aṅkam—the lap; āropya—having placed on; sneha-snuta—moistened by affection; payodharāḥ—breasts filled up; harṣa—delight; vihvalita-ātmānaḥ—overwhelmed by; siṣicuḥ—wet; netrajaiḥ—from the eyes; jalaiḥ—water.

The mothers, after embracing their son, sat Him on their laps. Due to pure affection, milk sprang from their breasts. They were overwhelmed with delight, and the tears from their eyes wetted the Lord.

When Lord Kṛṣṇa was at Vṛndāvana even the cows would become moistened by affection towards Him, and He would draw milk from the nipples of every affectionate living being, so what to speak of the stepmothers who were already as good as His own mother.

Preaching in Russia

The following is a wonderful article written by Govinda Dasi and published in Dandavats in 2016. It was recently posted on Facebook. I thought this was an especially good time for presenting this once again.

Back in New York, in early 1967, Srila Prabhupada often sat in his room and slowly turned the world globe, studying the geographic demarcations of various countries on the Earth planet. He would sometimes say, “Brahmananda, you will go to Russia, Goursundar, you go to Japan, Rayarama, you will go to Europe…” and so on. Even though he had merely a handful of sincere American youths, most of them in their late teens or early twenties, he had big plans. Clearly, he wanted to open preaching centers in every country on Earth. His vision was huge–he planned to spread the Hare Krishna movement all over the world! But he was especially concerned about Russia.

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Krishna Consciousness LP by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

This is far and away my favorite album by Srila Prabhupada. If I could only have one album in my music collection, this would be it. Hare Krishna!

Ram Setu: Ancient Bridge between India and Sri Lanka

Yesterday was the the appearance day of Lord Ramacandra as many of you know, and in that post we did yesterday taken from the Srimad Bhagavantam (1.3.22), Srila Prabhupada had this to say in his purport about the building of the bridge from India to Sri Lanka;

…Lord Rāmacandra prepared a royal road on the Indian Ocean with stones that floated on the water. The modern scientists have done research in the area of weightlessness, but it is not possible to bring in weightlessness anywhere and everywhere. But because weightlessness is the creation of the Lord by which He can make the gigantic planets fly and float in the air, He made the stones even within this earth to be weightless and prepared a stone bridge on the sea without any supporting pillar. That is the display of the power of God. (from purport SB 1.3.22)

The following is the scientific evidence from NASA supporting the story from the Ramamayana.

Ancient Bridge between India and Sri Lanka

Space images taken by NASA reveal a mysterious ancient bridge in the Palk Strait between India and Sri Lanka. The recently discovered bridge currently named as Adam’s Bridge is made of chain of shoals, c.18 mi (30 km) long.

The bridge’s unique curvature and composition by age reveals that it is man made. The legends as well as Archeological studies reveal that the first signs of human inhabitants in Sri Lanka date back to the a primitive age, about 1,750,000 years ago and the bridge’s age is also almost equivalent.

This information is a crucial aspect for an insight into the mysterious legend called Ramayana, which was supposed to have taken place in treta yuga (more than 1,700,000 years ago).

In this epic, there is a mentioning about a bridge, which was built between Rameshwaram (India) and Srilankan coast under the supervision of a dynamic and invincible figure called Rama who is supposed to be the incarnation of the supreme.

This information may not be of much importance to the archeologists who are interested in exploring the origins of man, but it is sure to open the spiritual gates of the people of the world to have come to know an ancient history linked to the Indian mythology.

[Courtesy: NASA Digital Image Collection] [Homepage: http://www.nasa.gov/%5D

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Appearance Day of Lord Ramachandra

So today marks the appearance day of Lord Ramacandra, otherwise known as Rama-Navami. We honor it with a half or full day fast, followed by an nice vegetarian feast, with readings throughout the day of the glorious pastimes of the Lord.

Srimad Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Canto 1, Chapter 3, Text 22

Krsna Is the Source of All Incarnations

nara-devatvam āpannaḥ
sura-kārya-cikīrṣayā
samudra-nigrahādīni
cakre vīryāṇy ataḥ param

nara—human being; devatvam—divinity; āpannaḥ—having assumed the form of; sura—the demigods; kārya—activities; cikīrṣayā—for the purpose of performing; samudra—the Indian Ocean; nigraha-ādīni—controlling, etc.; cakre—did perform; vīryāṇi—superhuman prowess; ataḥ param—thereafter.

In the eighteenth incarnation, the Lord appeared as King Rāma. In order to perform some pleasing work for the demigods, He exhibited superhuman powers by controlling the Indian Ocean and then killing the atheist King Rāvaṇa, who was on the other side of the sea.

Purport
The Personality of Godhead Śrī Rāma assumed the form of a human being and appeared on the earth for the purpose of doing some pleasing work for the demigods or the administrative personalities to maintain the order of the universe. Sometimes great demons and atheists like Rāvaṇa and Hiraṇyakaśipu and many others become very famous due to advancing material civilization by the help of material science and other activities with a spirit of challenging the established order of the Lord. For example, the attempt to fly to other planets by material means is a challenge to the established order. The conditions of each and every planet are different, and different classes of human beings are accommodated there for particular purposes mentioned in the codes of the Lord. But, puffed up by tiny success in material advancement, sometimes the godless materialists challenge the existence of God. Rāvaṇa was one of them, and he wanted to deport ordinary men to the planet of Indra (heaven) by material means without consideration of the necessary qualifications. He wanted a staircase to be built up directly reaching the heavenly planet so that people might not be required to undergo the routine of pious work necessary to enter that planet. He also wanted to perform other acts against the established rule of the Lord. He even challenged the authority of Śrī Rāma, the Personality of Godhead, and kidnapped His wife, Sītā. Of course Lord Rāma came to chastise this atheist, answering the prayer and desire of the demigods. He therefore took up the challenge of Rāvaṇa, and the complete activity is the subject matter of the Rāmāyaṇa. Because Lord Rāmacandra was the Personality of Godhead, He exhibited superhuman activities which no human being, including the materially advanced Rāvaṇa, could perform. Lord Rāmacandra prepared a royal road on the Indian Ocean with stones that floated on the water. The modern scientists have done research in the area of weightlessness, but it is not possible to bring in weightlessness anywhere and everywhere. But because weightlessness is the creation of the Lord by which He can make the gigantic planets fly and float in the air, He made the stones even within this earth to be weightless and prepared a stone bridge on the sea without any supporting pillar. That is the display of the power of God.

Within the Mouth of the Lord

…Another day, when Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma were playing with Their friends, all the boys joined Balarāma and told mother Yaśodā Kṛṣṇa had eaten clay. On hearing this, mother Yaśodā caught hold of Kṛṣṇa’s hand and said, “My dear Kṛṣṇa, why have You eaten earth in a solitary place? Just see, all Your friends including Balarāma are complaining about You.”

Being afraid of His mother, Kṛṣṇa replied, “My dear mother, all these boys, including My elder brother Balarāma, are speaking lies against Me. I have never eaten clay. My elder brother Balarāma, while playing with Me today, became angry, and therefore He has joined with the other boys to complain against Me. They have all combined together to complain so you will be angry and chastise Me.

If you think they are truthful, then you can look within My mouth to see whether I have taken clay or not.” His mother replied, “All right, if You have actually not taken any clay, then just open Your mouth. I shall see.”

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Morning Walk at Stow Lake

On this day 54 years ago: Morning walk March 27 1968 at Stow Lake San Francisco

Prabhupāda: Chant. 

Devotee [1] [girl] [sings]: Śrīvāsādi-gaura-bhakta-vṛnda. 

Prabhupāda: Yes. You learn this song. 

śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya
prabhu nityānanda
śrī-advaita gadādhara
śrīvāsādi-gaura-bhakta-vṛnda

Chant this when dancing. 

śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya
prabhu nityānanda
śrī-advaita gadādhara
śrīvāsādi-gaura-bhakta-vṛnda

[I offer my obeisances to Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya, Prabhu Nityānanda, Śrī Advaita, Gadādhara, Śrīvāsa and all others in the line of devotion.] 

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The Bona Fide Guru

Actually, it was my Guru Maharaj speaking through me. But I was not very expert at writing, as he was. Oh, he was a most erudite man, most refined and expert, a gentleman, a Vaikuntha man. Because I had never written before, there were so many grammatical discrepancies, yet I had to write.

The subject matter was so important, so urgent. So I wrote those first three volumes of Srimad Bhagavatam, the First Canto. All of our philosophy, everything you need to know, is in those first three volumes. By Krishna’s grace, I managed to collect money to get them printed, and I took them with me on the boat to New York I didn’t go to America empty-handed. I went with the complete philosophy of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, written in these rooms, inspired by the Goswamis. Thats what is pushing this Krishna consciousness movement.

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Appearance Day of Lord Nityananda

Taking Shelter of Lord Nityananda

A song by Srila Narottama dasa Thakura

Explained in English
by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Five hundred years ago, Sri Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, appeared in West Bengal in the role of His own pure devotee—Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Lord Caitanya is considered the most munificent incarnation of Godhead because He made love for Krsna easily available through the chanting of the maha-mantra—Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

When Lord Krsna appeared as Lord Caitanya, His principal associate in spreading the Krsna consciousness movement was Lord Nityananda Prabhu. Lord Nityananda is Lord Caitanya’s expansion. In other words, He is nondifferent from Lord Caitanya. The same Supreme Lord appeared in different forms—as Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda—to bestow mercy upon the fallen souls of the material world. This song, therefore, describes the benefits of taking shelter of Lord Nityananda Prabhu.

Srila Narottama dasa Thakura was a great devotee and spiritual master in the disciplic chain coming down from Lord Caitanya. He has written many songs, and they are recognized as authoritative by all Krsna conscious devotees. He sang these songs in simple Bengali language, but the purport—the deep meaning of his songs—is very significant. His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada has therefore explained many of these songs in English and taught them to his disciples. (Cassette recordings of Srila Prabhupada singing and explaining these songs are available from Golden Avatar Productions in Los Angeles.)

Song and Purport

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Heaven or Hell

I often marvel at how we can find on this material planet, Earth, examples of both Heaven & Hell. Some people and animals are living in “Heavenly Luxury”, while others are suffering what can only be described as “Hellish Conditions”. Someone once told me, that within every man is the keys to the gates of Heaven, but also the keys to the gates of Hell. Or as I sometimes like to joke, its either Rama or Drama.

Lord Kapila continued: My dear mother, it is sometimes said that we experience hell or heaven on this planet, for hellish punishments are sometimes visible on this planet also.(SB 3.30.29)

A Vaisnava is addressed as maha-bhaga, which means “fortunate.” One who becomes a
Vaisnava and is God conscious is understood to be greatly fortunate. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu , the chief exponent of Krsna consciousness in this age, has explained that the living entities in various planetary systems all over the universe are rotating in different species of life. A living entity can go wherever he likes—to heaven or to hell—simply by preparing himself for either place. There are many heavenly planets, many hellish planets, and many species of life. Padma Purana estimates the species of life to be 8,400,000, and the living entity is rotating or wandering through these species and creating bodies according to his mentality in his present life. “As you sow, so shall you reap,” is the law that governs here. Catanya Mahaprabhu says that out of these numberless living entities who are transmigrating in the material world, one may be fortunate enough to take to Krsna consciousness. Krsna consciousness is being distributed freely everywhere, yet not everyone takes to it, especially in this age of Kali. Because of this, Śrīmad-Bhagavatam characterizes people in the age of Kali as unfortunate. Therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu says that only those who are fortunate take to this Krsna consciousness and thus attain a pleasant and blissful life of knowledge. (The Matchless Gift, from chapter 2)

Sri Advaita Acharya’s Appearance Day

Today marks the Appearance day of Advaita Acharya. The general practice is to observe a half-day fast, and hear the glories of this great vaisnava acharya. We share with you this short biography of his life and pastimes.

Sri Advaita Acharya’s Appearance Day

Sri Advaita Acharya was born in 1434 in Nabagram, Bengal to Sri Kubera Pandit and Srimati Nabha devi. They were originally inhabitants of Nabagram village near Sri Hatta, but later moved to Santipura on the banks of the Ganga.

When Sri Advaita Acharya made His appearance in this world, Srila Madhavendra Puri, Sri Ishvar Puri, Sachi Mata and Sri Jagannatha Mishra also made their advent.

Sri Advaita Acharya was a disciple of Srila Madhavendra Puri and is one of the chief figures amongst the Panchatattva – Sri Krishna Chaitanya, Prabhu Nityananda, Sri Advaita, Gadadhara and Srivasa.

Sri Advaita Acharya studied the Vedas and other scriptures under a scholar named Santacharya in Phulavati village near Santipura, where He was awarded the title ‘Acharya’.

Before the appearance of Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu, all the Vaishnava devotees in the Navadweep are used to gather at the house of Advaita Acharya. In these meetings, Advaita Acharya preached on the basis of the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. The devotees took pleasure in Krishna Katha, worshipping Krishna and chanting the Lord’s names. Sri Chaitanya’s elder brother, Vishvarupa used to regularly visit Advaita Acharya’s house to engage in the chanting and dancing of nama sankirtan.

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What Is ISKCON ?

WHAT IS ISKCON?

Yamuna: Srila Prabhupada, although we are very happy where we are, we are prepared to go wherever you would like to send us in order to have your blessings.

Srila Prabhupada: You westerners are always so restless. Why can’t you stay where you are?

Yamuna: But we have been told that because we don’t have the association of devotees, we cannot make any advancement.

Srila Prabhupada: Association can be two or two hundred. But you must be compatible. If you are two and are compatible, you can go back to Godhead. But if you are two hundred and not compatible [his eyes open widely], then no one will make any advancement.

Yamuna: But Srila Prabhupada, some of the leaders are saying that we have lost your mercy because we left ISKCON and without your mercy there is no meaning to our lives.

Srila Prabhupada: ISKCON is where you are chanting the Holy Names of Krsna. That is ISKCON. (Yamuna Devi, A Life of Unalloyed Devotion).

Note: This is an instruction to Yamuna devi dasi, who is 100% devoted to Srila Prabhupada. Prabhupada is ISKCON!

Ramesvara Interview

The following is an excerpt from a long interview of Ramesvara prabhu made for Srila Prabhupada lilamrta. If you read the whole interview, you will find it full of nectar pastimes of Srila Prabhupada, but the interview, unfortunately, never made it to the lilamrta?

The interview was made in 1979 and was carefully hidden in the Bhaktivedanta archives until it was leaked by a devotee in 2013. 

Please bear in mind, as you read the following, that in 1979 when the interview was made, there were no bookchange conflicts, consequently there could have been no hidden motives in Ramesvara prabhu’s statements.

(There is a lot of sweet nectar and good information here, worth a moment of your time. -Vyasasan das)

The paintings sell the books 

See, what Prabhupada did was so ingenious, it has to be appreciated from a historical point of view. No one in modern history has ever made philosophy books popular for the mass market. So what Prabhupada did was a stroke of genius and he should be described as…this should be understood to be part of Prabhupada’s genius in knowing how to popularize Krsna consciousness. That he combined the world’s deepest philosophy with paintings. And the paintings added to this philosophy made the books popular, made very deep high-level philosophy books popular to the masses. The average print run and distribution of a major philosophical work is miniscule in this world. In any language it’s miniscule compared to the popular novels and the popular nonfiction works. Philosophy books just are not big sellers. So this was Prabhupada’s genius. It cannot be in any way overstated, because it is an act of genius that he figured out how to have mass popularization of very high philosophy books. Prabhupada actually wanted 50 paintings in every volume. That was Prabhupada’s vision. Genius! No philosopher ever thought of such a thing. And therefore their books never sell. These art paintings were the basis of all the book distribution. 

Of course, it was our sincerity and our drive and our desire to please Prabhupada. But the technique was showing people the paintings, attracting their senses, getting them curious and interested and attracted by the art. The more beautiful the art the more you could tell people that this describes the most beautiful, peaceful way of life, the most beautiful spiritual thing, you have to find out these people have. You’d show the paintings and you’d say things like, “This explains how to experience the highest happiness. Just look at this painting. Wouldn’t you like to be there?” The paintings were the basis for the book selling. And Prabhupada is the genius who thought that up. 

Ramesvara interview on history of ISKCON and book changes — full text 77 

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