The Arrival of a Pure Devotee

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I have always enjoyed going back in time and re-reading the old Back to Godhead Magazines. This one was from 1974 and chronicles the arrival of Srila Prabhupada.

The Arrival of a Pure Devotee
by Visakha-devi dasi

New York: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, founder and spiritual master of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), stopped here for a few days recently as part of his continuing tour of ISKCON centers around the world. At JFK International Airport, as more than one hundred disciples royally greeted him and curious reporters thronged around him, Srila Prabhupada explained, in clear language and with fixed conviction, the Krsna conscious philosophy of a God-centered society in which “everything animate and inanimate is recognized to be controlled and owned by the Lord.”

“Will this solve the energy crisis?” one reporter asked. “Yes, why not?” Srila Prabhupada immediately responded. “The only lack in the world today is the lack of God consciousness.”

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The Krsna Consciousness Movement

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The Krsna Consciousness Movement
Excerpted from Back to Godhead Magazine Vol. 1, No. 48

The Krsna consciousness movement is now being increasingly recognized throughout the world as a spiritual force of great potency, purity and importance to human society. With the simultaneous publication of the first two cantos of Srimad-Bhagavatam and the complete 1,000-page edition of Bhagavad-gita As It Is, the public is becoming increasingly aware that the boys and girls whom they see chanting and dancing on their city streets are students of a most serious discipline of God consciousness which is established on the basis of a philosophical system of considerable completeness, consistency and depth.

Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

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Everyone Can See God

Gopal

…The first thing Kṛṣṇa is looking for is how eager you are to see Him. Kṛṣṇa will respond. If you are actually eager to see Kṛṣṇa, then it is sure your efforts will be successful.

But you must desire Kṛṣṇa only. In this connection, Rūpa Gosvāmī has written a verse:

“My dear friend, there is one boy—His name is Govinda. He is standing on the bank of the Yamunā near the Keśi-ghāṭa, and He is playing on His flute. He is so beautiful, especially during this full-moon night. If you have any intentions to enjoy in this material world with your children, husband, or other family members, then please do not go there.”

The idea is that if you once see Kṛṣṇa, then you’ll forget all this nonsensical materialistic enjoyment. That is seeing Kṛṣṇa.

The gopīs are another example of great eagerness to see Kṛṣṇa. The gopīs came to Kṛṣṇa, being captivated by His beautiful features. They were young girls, and Kṛṣṇa was so beautiful. Actually they were lusty when they came to Kṛṣṇa, but Kṛṣṇa is so pure that they became first-class devotees. There is no comparison to the gopīs’ devotion, because they loved Kṛṣṇa with heart and soul. That is the qualification. They loved Kṛṣṇa so much that they didn’t care for family or reputation when they went out in the dead of night. Kṛṣṇa’s flute was sounding, and they were all fleeing their homes. Their fathers, their brothers, their husbands all said, “Where are you going? Where are you going in this dead of night?” But the gopīs didn’t care. They neglected their children, their family, everything. Their only thought was, “We must go to Kṛṣṇa.”

This eagerness is required. We must be very, very eager to see Kṛṣṇa.

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Easter Sunday

Jesus in meditation

Today as most of the Western World celebrates Easter Sunday, we thought we word honor the life of Lord Jesus Christ with some select writings by our spiritual master A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam states that any bona fide preacher of God consciousness must have the qualities of titikṣā (tolerance) and karuṇā (compassion). In the character of Lord Jesus Christ we find both these qualities. He was so tolerant that even while he was being crucified, he didn’t condemn anyone. And he was so compassionate that he prayed to God to forgive the very persons who were trying to kill him. (Of course, they could not actually kill him. But they were thinking that he could be killed, so they were committing a great offense.) As Christ was being crucified he prayed, “Father, forgive them. They know not what they are doing.”

…Of course, the message that Christ preached was just according to his particular time, place, and country, and just suited for a particular group of people. But certainly he is the representative of God. Therefore we adore Lord Jesus Christ and offer our obeisances to him.

Once, in Melbourne, a group of Christian ministers came to visit me. They asked, “What is your idea of Jesus Christ?” I told them, “He is our guru. He is preaching God consciousness, so he is our spiritual master.” The ministers very much appreciated that.

Actually, anyone who is preaching God’s glories must be accepted as a guru. Jesus Christ is one such great personality. We should not think of him as an ordinary human being. The scriptures say that anyone who considers the spiritual master to be an ordinary man has a hellish mentality. If Jesus Christ were an ordinary man, then he could not have delivered God consciousness. (Science of Self Realization, Chapter 4, “Understanding Krsna and Christ)

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What is Krsna Consciousness?

The following interview with freelance reporter Sandy Nixon took place in July 1975, in Śrīla Prabhupāda’s quarters at the Kṛṣṇa center in Philadelphia. This discussion serves as a superb introduction to Kṛṣṇa consciousness and covers such basic topics as the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, the relationship between the spiritual master and God, the difference between genuine and fake gurus, the role of women in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the Indian caste system, and the relationship between Christ consciousness and Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

What is Krsna Consciousness?

Ms. Nixon: My first question is very basic. What is Kṛṣṇa consciousness?

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa means God. We are all intimately connected with Him because He is our original father. But we have forgotten this connection. When we become interested in knowing, “What is my connection with God? What is the aim of life?” then we are called Kṛṣṇa conscious.

Ms. Nixon: How does Kṛṣṇa consciousness develop in the practitioner?

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa consciousness is already there in the core of everyone’s heart. But because of our materially conditioned life, we have forgotten it. The process of chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra—Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare—revives the Kṛṣṇa consciousness we already have. For example, a few months ago these American and European boys andgirls did not know about Kṛṣṇa, but just yesterday we saw how they were chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa and dancing in ecstasy throughout the whole Ratha-yātrā procession [an annual festival sponsored by the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement in cities around the world]. Do you think that was artificial? No. Artificially, nobody can chant and dance for hours together. They have actually awakened their Kṛṣṇa consciousness by following a bona fide process. This is explained in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Madhya 22. 107)

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A Devotee of Kṛṣṇa is Friendly to Everyone

A devotee of Kṛṣṇa is friendly to everyone. Therefore it is said here that he has no enemy. How is this? A devotee situated in Kṛṣṇa consciousness knows that only devotional service to Kṛṣṇa (God) can relieve a person from all the problems of life. He has personal experience of this, and therefore he wants to introduce this system, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or God Consciousness, into human society. There are many examples in history of devotees of the Lord risking their lives for the spreading of God consciousness. The favorite example is Lord Jesus Christ

He was crucified by the nondevotees, but He sacrificed His life for spreading God consciousness. Of course, it would be superficial to understand that He was killed. Similarly, in India also there are many examples, such as Ṭhākur Haridāsa. Why such risk? Because they wanted to spread Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and it is difficult. A Kṛṣṇa conscious person knows that if a man is suffering, it is due to his forgetfulness of his eternal relationship with Kṛṣṇa (God). Therefore, the highest benefit one can render to human society is relieving one’s neighbor from all material problems. In such a way, a pure devotee is engaged in the service of the Lord. Now, we can imagine how merciful Kṛṣṇa is to those engaged in His service, risking everything for Him. Therefore it is certain that such persons must reach the supreme planet after leaving the body.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is – Macmillan 1972 Edition
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 11 The Universial Form Text 55

mat-karma-kṛn mat-paramo
mad-bhaktaḥ saṅga-varjitaḥ
nirvairaḥ sarva-bhūteṣu
yaḥ sa mām eti pāṇḍava

mat-karma-kṛt—engaged in doing My work; mat-paramaḥ—concerning Me, the Supreme; mat-bhaktaḥ—engaged in My devotional service; saṅga-varjitaḥ—freed from the contamination of previous activities and mental speculation; nirvairaḥ—without an enemy; sarva-bhūteṣu—to every living entity; yaḥ—one who; saḥ—he; mām—unto Me; eti—comes; pāṇḍava—O son of Pāṇḍu.

Translation
My dear Arjuna, one who is engaged in My pure devotional service, free from the contaminations of previous activities and from mental speculation, who is friendly to every living entity, certainly comes to Me.

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