The following is a Namahatta program given in Philadelphia, Pensylvania by His Holiness Jayapataka Swami on September 9th, 1982.
Jayapataka Swami: …all the logic, all the scriptural evidences, in a most belligerent, puffed up so conceited, confident and pandita-like manner, challenging everyone as Nimai pandit. Then His father’s sradha, or Pindi-dhan was supposed to be done. So Lord Caitanya prepared to go to Gaya to offer worship.
Know that Lord Caitanya’s pastimes in His youth was… when He got little older, He started to go to school and immediately He became the greatest of all the scholars, and He was enjoying they’re… the transcendental mellow with His devotees as a Brahmana. He was having His pastimes.
We were discussing that sometimes Lord would come down the street with His hundreds of disciples, thousands of disciples, students of Sanskrit and the other Brahmanas and pandits would see Him and they would run away.
If He would see someone, like sometimes He would see Gad… Gadadhar. He’ll say, “Oh, Gadadhar! Gadadhar! Where you are going? Why you are running away? Come here, come here.”, and in a very nice way He would speak. “Why you are hiding all the time? I am not seeing you anymore. Just had one question I wanted to ask you. What is the meaning of Mukti?”
This was His way. He would call a Brahmana, call a Pandita, ask them a question. Whatever question He would ask, they knew that now they were finished. He would capture them, ask the question no matter what answer they would give, He would be able to show it was wrong, establish a better answer.
So that time Gadadhar said, “Well Mukti means that you are free from the material miseries.”. Lord Caitanya said, “I was very dissatisfied with such an answer. You don’t know what the real liberation means. Then He quoted so many slokas, “Real liberation means to be always fixed at the lotus feet of Bhagavan Sri Krishna.” But even though He knows this, He was also devotee of Krishna no doubt, but the mood was the conquering everyone who He met. He saw Mukunda, “Mukunda! Where you are going? Oh Mukunda! Mukunda!”. Then Mukunda said, “Why this Caitanya Mahaprabu is just a grammarian studying Sanskrit grammar. What does He know? That time His name was Nimai pandit. What this Nimai pandit know? Why do I want to go and study with Him? I will teach Him a lesson. He walked over. Nimai said to him, "My dear Mukunda! Where you are going? I have not seen you for so long. Why you are not coming and studying with the others?” “No because now my dear Nimai pandit I am… want to learn poetry, Sanskrit poetry. You are just a grammarian. You are just studying the A,B,C’s and grammar. Why would I want to stay with you? Now I have a different teacher.” Then Lord… Nimai pandit, Lord Caitanya said, “Well, if you feel like that, of course, what can we say? But we do happen to know something about Sanskrit poetry. What would you... could you just compose us some poetry? We could study your poetry.”
“Oh…”, then Mukunda composed the poetry and Lord Caitanya took it apart, dissected it, asked him where all the mistakes where, He said, “What mistakes?”. Showed out so many mistakes. Then He again composed so many perfect poems. Mukunda was completely red.
Lord Caitanya, “We know something about poetry. Come tomorrow. Pats him on the... We’ll see you tomorrow.” Like this… so the pure Vaishnavas seeing these… they are thinking that, “When this Lord Caitanya when this Nimai pandit is going to be a... giving up all these persuits where mainly He is challenging people and defeating them, scholastically? When is He going to become a pure Vaishnava? Although Lord Caitanya Himself is Krishna, when He was… just as Krishna was stealing butter and playing with the cows, Lord Caitanya was playing with the Brahmanas when He was eleven, twelve like that.
He was already the greatest pandit. At this… for Him it was childhood play. But even as a child He had already defeated all the Panditas. What they call, prodigal so, well He is a divine, prodigal. So but finally His father left the world. He went then to Gaya to offer worship. That time, He met Ishvarapuri. The promise He had made to so many Vaishanvas, when they requested, “Why you are wasting your time with all this arguing and all this scholastic show? Why don’t you just worship Krishna?”.
He said, “Well I am looking for a guru. You bless me that I can find the pure guru. When I get the spiritual master, then I will become a pure devotee. This is my desire. Now I am having all these scholastic pursuits, academic life. But in the future, if by your blessing I may get a guru, then I can start to actually know what is pure devotion.”. In this way He would encourage them at the same time, put them off. So when we went finally to Gaya, and He met Isvara Puri, He took initiation. From that time, as soon as He worshipped the lotus feet of Vishnu, Krishna at Gaya, the uh, tears started pouring from His eyes just like the Ganges flow.
When He came back to Navadvipa, it was a changed Nimai pandit. Where was that Nimai pandit they all had known? Now He was simply crying out Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, Krishna.
Bolo Krishna, Baja Krishna. Bolo Krishna Sikha, this way He was always singing and chanting, telling everyone. His mother said, “What happened to my son?” She got a little frightened when she saw Him chanting Krishna and falling unconscious in ecstasy, that maybe He’s now going to also run off like my other son. Oh Bhagavan Krishna! I already lost my father, my husband, I lost my oldest son, took sannyasa. My husband has left the world. Now I only have one son left, Nimai. Lord Caitanya, please also don’t take Him away. Let Him be happy here in Your devotional service. He has a nice wife.” Like this she would say. Thinking in that way, “Why do you want Him to suffer?”, motherly affection she was thinking He should just stay there. Be nice and happy.
But Lord Caitanya’s real mission was now become manifest. Up to that time, up to 14 years, He was having childhood proclivities. Only very few people could realize that he was Krishna. He man… had left His real purpose hidden. So that time, he started to reveal to the devotees.
He called Suklambara bramacari and other devotees to “Please tell everyone, Sriman pandit that now He had something private to tell, something to reveal.” When he came to their house, He just embraced one of the pillars like this… but big… big pillar in Sriman pandita’s house, and He just embraced the pillare as if He was embracing Krishna and He was saying, “Oh Krishna! I have, had you now. I have lost You. When will I achieve Your lotus feet again? Oh Krishna! Oh Krishna!” and he was crying out. As He was saying, tears were flowing from his eyes. The devotees they couldn’t stop themselves. They all started to cry.
“What a change has come over Nimai pandit! What… what change has come over Caitanya mahaprabu! Then Lord Caitanya in deep separation, He fainted. All devotees one after another, * Boom, boom, boom *, they all fainted. Lord Caitanya started the sankirtan with those devotees, and that was the first. Now everyone knew that Lord Caitanya become, pure devotee. That was the vision at that time. No one knew at that time that He was Krishna. That was revealed later.
Anyone who saw Him at that time they become filled with love for Krishna. So, He went to His students, and He tried to teach them. But everything He was telling them, they would ask, “Well, how do You decline the verbs, how do You join the words in sandhi?” and so on and forth, different questions. He would say “Every joint is Krishna, everything is Krishna.” And He would… different ways.
“What is the pure verb? How the pure verb… “Ultimately the purest verb, purest noun everything, was only coming from Krishna.” Different ways He would… every word, every letter, every… every syllable He would tie it in with… directly with Krishna. Then He would ask the students “now you understood?”. Students will look at each other. “All You said was Krishna Krishna Krishna the whole time.”, couldn’t follow.
Everything…, sudden… such a sudden change they couldn’t relate to it. They went to one of the older teachers, had once been a teacher to Lord Caitanya. Lord Caitanya respected him like a guru. Gangadas pandit. They said “What happened to Nimai pandit? Now we’re going to study, all He talks about is ‘Krishna Krishna Krishna.’” We wanted to become great panditas, great learned scholars, you see, but uh, now we’re a bit confused. What to do.” He said, “Don’t worry I will go and talk to Him.”
He went over and Nimai pandit saw His teacher, touched His feet, and the teacher said, uh “Bless You with a lot of learning my dear Nimai pandit. So You know that You are a Brahmana Vaishnava. It’s Your duty to know all the scriptures and be able to establish Vaishnavism by the scriptural truth. So they should know well all the basics of grammar, Sanskrit everything and all the sastras. Just teach Your students nicely. You don’t just have to go on all this too much Krishna. That won’t, what would be the use of that? They should have the foundation in Sanskrit and so on.”
“Yes, yes master. I am Nimai pandit. Was there ever anyone who could stand up to my challenge? Was there ever anyone who could present with any idea that I cannot smash, that I could not defeat?” Then all the students, all His students and teacher said, “Oh this is the old Nimai pandit we knew.” He said, “Watch, now we will go.” He use… He went… they went on the street. Students were there. Again He challenged “Anyone is coming? Come forward.” All the other pandits, they had already known Nimai pandit. They just ran, you know. There was no hope arguing with Him. He just challenged anyone, “You want to argue? Anyone thinks you’re a pandit come forward. Nimai is here.” All the students had gained…
At that time it just happened that one of the friends of His father’s grand father Nilambara chakravarti was coming by, and he saw his… just like a grandson Nimai. He would encourage, quoting some Bhagavatam slokas about the mercy of Krishna how He’s so kind even He delivered the witch Putana, the snake Agasura. When Krishna Caitanya heard those glorifications, as soon as the vibration of Bhakti entered in his ears, He became filled with ecstasy. “Oh Krishna! Krishna! Krishna! and He just fainted on the ground. His body was shaking. Even ten men couldn’t hold Him down. Tears were pouring down. He was rolling. “Krishna Krishna His teeth were grating. He was pounding His head, “Oh I had Krishna and I have lost You.” Just immediately thrown in separation. * Gasps* All of His students, * Pshew * “Nimai pandit has changed.”
So, again, when finally He came out of it, the ecstasy, He took all His students, went to the Ganges like this. The students, He told, “All right, go home today. Tomorrow we’ll study some more”. Again the next day they came, again the same thing. Finally this time Lord Caitanya became very intense.
He started to preach to them the philosophy. They kept saying why always Krishna now only? Then He said, “Why Krishna? Is there anything more dear than oneself? In every body there’s the soul. To save one’s life, one will take any extent. It is no doubt that, from the body it’ll produce children. And the children are very dear. But what is more dear, the children or one’s own self? At the time of death, the people they are valuing their own life even more than your children. The self is the dearest, even more than any other by product, and any other relation.
But don’t you know what is the self, but a small particle of Krishna? Krishna is Himself atmendriya. He is Himself the atmatma. He is the self of the self. So who is dearer than Krishna? He is the cause of all the causes. He is the cause of all causes. Just as the brahma-samhita says ”Isvara paramah Krishna sat cid ananda vigraha anadir adir govinda sarva karana karanam”. Krishna is the cause of all the causes.
And In so many ways he established Krishna’s position. He is the supreme absolute truth. He is actually the dearmost to everyone. Dearer even than one’s very life. Then Lord Caitanya came out of His ecstatic preaching. He looked around at the listeners. “So what did I say?”
They said, “You said that Krishna is everything.” He said, “All right, so this is… this is My position now. So if you don’t want to know about Krishna, if you want to go and study grammar, other things from other people, you can go ahead. Now I can’t think of anything. I can’t say anything. I can’t do anything except for Krishna. This is My condition. So without feeling of any remorse or offense, if you want to, you are free to go and study from someone else. You can take your books and go.” Now one of the students stood up and said that, “Nimai pandit, of course at first that was a great shock to us. It was a sudden change, but frankly we don’t find that what You are doing or saying is at all as a human. When You call out Krishna and You fell down, even ten men couldn’t hold You. Tears were coming from Your eyes just like the Ganges was flooding out. How You are constantly speaking about Krishna, laughing, chanting Krishna’s name, this is something completely astonishing for all of us. We find You to be some power divine, personality. I don’t want to leave Your association. I simply want to stay with You.”
Naturally, Krishna Himself is coming. All of those students are His eternal devotees. All of them are Krishna’s devotees. One by one they all said, “Simply we want to stay with You. If You only want to teach us Krishna, why will we learn something else? You are the greatest teacher. You are our master.” Then Lord Caitanya said everyone of you should all chant sankirtana. You should always chant Krishna’s sankirtana. They never knew what was Krishna san.. “What is Krishna sankirtan? You have to teach us. We don’t know. You are our master in everything. You also should teach us.” So like that He started clapping. You chant.
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
Hari haraye nama krishna
Gopala govinda rama
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
And all these thousands of students, they all chanted
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
This way the whole Navadvipa flooded with the vibration of Lord Caitanya’s sankirtana. Where previously all these students had simply been… just see… just like universally students simply academically inclined. By Lord Caitanya’s association they became melted and they all started to chant Hare Krishna maha mantra.
The pure Vaishnavas saw the change. They were astonished. “How Nimai pandit has completely changed.” So in this way Lord Caitanya began His sankirtana movement. Suddenly when He wanted to manifest His real purpose for coming, he started the sankirtan and from there step by step, it increased. Srivasa pandita’s house, nocturnal kirtan. Sending out kirtan parties to all the parts of the town. Establishing the supremacy of pure devotional service.
From that time on it was no looking back, and because Krishna Himself had come, anyone who came in contact with that movement, they immediately got the a… appreciation of uh, pure love for Krishna, highest ecstatic love for Krishna. So Srila Prabhupada of course is… in the same way we find from Lilamrta, He had different uh, pastimes in his youth. But when the time came, then… all along of course he was always connected with devotional service. He was uh, always a pure Vaishnava from the very beginning, but when the particular time came, he manifested his real purpose which was to bring this message of Caitanya Mahaprabu all over the world. For that, we’re grateful to Srila Gurupada for manifesting that history in the Lilamrta.
So by Prabhupada’s mercy now today, this ocean of sankirtana of Krishna’s chanting congregationally has now reached all over the world and is going on expanding day by day. Actually this is the rarest thing. There’s nothing more dear, more rare than to be able to directly chant the names of God.
It is not at all a material activity. I was just discussing with one person today in some morning darsana, and they were saying that, “Before I came to the temple, I came once then for two years I didn’t come. Finally, one by one, Krishna took away so many attachments and I was thinking that “Well I have to go to that Krishna temple.” And I was thinking that, “No is there anything else I can do? (Laughing) Because if I go there I won’t be able to think. So, I will think now. Is there anywhere? Just nowhere, nowhere. Nowhere else. I have to go there.”
Everywhere… even Indians, why sometime Indians they stay away from the Krishna temple although many are coming. But sometimes these… they know that Krishna worship is the end of the line. That’s the top. Beyond that once the person gets in to the service they don’t come back. Generally speaking they just go on higher and higher in transcendental love for the Lord and then after that, they don’t get into any more frivolous or useless activities like they did before.
So maya is trying to say “No no, anything else, just see. I have so much to offer you. Take the whole world.” But when someone is actually wanting to find the truth, when they want to achieve their best in life, then finally they have to come to that conclusion, “No I have to go to the Krishna temple. I have to go to the devotees. There is nowhere else.”, and then maya is suffering her first defeat. Of course she tries, and tries again to dissuade but if the devotee simply remains fixed in chanting, by the mercy of Lord Caitanya, that Kali is driven away.
Wherever the holy name is there, the personality of Kali, this age of iron and quarrel cannot remain. So we simply have to broadcast the sankirtan non-stop, continuously without any contamination.
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
In fact when Lord Caitanya’s students heard that “Alright, you go elsewhere, they were crying.” They couldn’t think to be separated from Lord Caitanya. “No, no. We won’t go.” Like that the devotees they become so attached to Krishna, so attached to the devotees Krishna. They can’t think a moment. They are praying, “Please don’t deprive me of your association. Please don’t even allow there to be a second of separation.”
Today we were reading this morning the 11th Canto that even for a half a moment, the devotee will not separate from the service of Lord Krishna, even in exchange for all the power, control and opulence of the whole universe. They won’t even agree to separate for one half a moment.
A moment is defined as 5… as 8/45ths of a second. And half a moment was 8/90ths of a second which would be how much? 4/45ths of a second. They wouldn’t agree to be separate even for that long from the service of Krishna. That way we should try to become… to develop our taste for chanting, so that we can become so linked with Krishna, that we won’t allow even a fraction of a second to be separated from Krishna’s lotus feet. Then that’s the topmost level of devotion.
Anyway, I haven’t been here in Philadelphia since the 19… you know about three years. Very nice to come back. That time actually Srila Gurupada was here. We had some kind of… like a joint darshan, or class. I remember, we were both here. So now, it’s nice to be here. May be there is some questions, discussion. Yes.
Devotee: Srila Acaryapada, I was talking to you in the car when you came here to the program about getting people to chant one round. I told you we have a… a program like that in the temple, here, and thought maybe you could tell us a little bit about that program of yours. I think we’d be inspired, all the (inaudible) back here, how to carry that on. How to have them agree to chant Hare Krishna.
Jayaptaka Swami: When Lord Caitanya was asked, “Who is a Vaishnava?” Lord Caitanya said that anyone who chants
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
is a Vaishnava. Anyone who chants the name of Krishna is a devotee, a Vaishnava. Of course, it may be described that there are three standards. One may be beginner, intermediate or advanced. But the minimum requirement if someone chants the name of Krishna he is a devotee, she is a devotee.
So, many years… in 1977, there was a crises at Mayapur that time we realized we needed the help of all the local devotees, and I asked Prabupada that I had an experience that there were a lot of devotees in India. But that we had no program at that time we were really engaging them. But somehow the existing chanters of Hare Krishna should be coordinated and should be tied in to the ISKCON movement, for expanding our propaganda work. He told me, “You go on expanding the propaganda unlimitedly.” Later on he told me, “You just travel constantly, you have to take that curse from me. I am not going to travel anymore. I am going to stay here, in Vrindavan.”
But anyway at that time, he told that, “You just bring a person to the temple and let them stay for a few days, a week, two weeks, train the person up, how to chant, what is our program and send them back to their house. Let them make their family and their village Krishna conscious in that way.” He encouraged like that.
So we found that in India many people would chant hare Krishna but very few people would chant regularly. That the habit was on… any particular month of the year usually the first day… the month of the year, or some month that they consider to be especially appropriate for some reason or other, the people who are devoted to Krishna would come together and chant Hare Krishna, especially in Bangladesh, Bengal, Orissa this is the habit. But then other times of the year they don’t chant.
Rarely occasionally they might chant. Usually on some occasion or other they all chant or for one month they may chant or every night as a regular. But then on other months they won’t chant at all. And individually, japa a few people are chanting.
So we started a program there that any group of people they would chant minimum once a week regularly. And would follow our general program of coordination, distributing of books, uh, or receiving our books and reading Prabupada’s literature in their… in their uh, center setting up uh, like a kirtana place. They were considered to be a group or sanga, namahatta sanga.
And if they would further advance in chanting every day, they became a kendra or a center. And if then they expand enough in the future to actually having deity worship and a permanent facility then they become a Hare Krishna namahatta mandir. So in this way, just by word of mouth, from the Mayapur Candrodaya mandir, we started to expand the uh… the uh, namahatta organization. Within the first year, we had 45 member groups. The next year, that went up to about 150. The year after that was 250. And then this year, its… now it’s over 500. It’s been going now, for about three years. Has over 10,000 members.
So when we are doing that preaching, just like out of five hundred say, there’s about… daily program 40-50, 500 are once a week, twice a week, thrice a week, and then four or five actually have already established temples or had a temple there, and they’re doing the daily program with the deity worship. Some of the Gaudiya Math grhasthas who were living out. Gaudiya math, it doesn’t… it’s almost uh, defunct in many ways. They don’t… not active… in many areas, they’re not active. They join the ISKCON preaching, and they’re acting as our representatives, and uh, people from the village are coming forward.
So, then we saw that individually we had to also get the people to… group-wise we were getting some success, but then individually the people should advance spiritually. So, individually to advance, we made a program that they should at least, chant one round a day, and one round a day was about eight minutes and actually, I got that idea when I saw that… when I went out and started preaching in the field, I saw that in Mayapura we are having a very big effect on Calcutta, and on the local area around Mayapura. But then, when I went in to more extreme regions like North Bengal, Jalpaiguri, Koch Bihar, and other places, that there, there were a lot of Mayavadi uh, gurus and so-called uh, avatars who were preaching.
There was some yogi who claimed to be an avatara, some Loknatha gosai. Then there was a other person. He claimed to be the combination of Lord Caitanya, Durga and a few others, all combined, and he told everybody to chant a mantra called Rama Narayana Rama, and he would give… he would give big public uh, darsanas and he would have 500 or 1,000 peop… have everybody stand up and over the microphone he would, you know “Om Bhur…”, he would just give initiation like that, 500, 1,000 at a time, and then after that, then they’d say, “Well, I have already got such and such a guru. I can’t uh, do anything, you know. So, they can’t… I could see that uh, because they were exploiting the sentiment of the people which was to chant Hare Krishna, and then changing it and… and deceiving them, because the people there they don’t have such a philosophical basis, they generally working more on tradition and on some kind of sentiment. So, it was immediately essential to do something to uh, save the uh, situation.
So, at that time actually I told uh, the Jagadisa Dasa, was leading the sankirtan party. I told him, I gave them some money. I said, “You print a hundred cards, giving uh, the order of Caitanya. Lord Caitanya sent Nithananda and Haridas, door to door and they requested everyone, “Bolo Krishna bhaja Krishna karo Krishna sika”, that, you please chant Hare Krishna. You worship Krishna and study His teachings.
That’s all they asked. This was the order of Lord Caitanya that all his followers should go door to door to beg. Bhaktivinoda Thakura said anyone who is a member of his original namahatta had to go at least to five people per day and request them to take up this order. Every day, every grihastha has to go and knock on five doors and humbly request the person to take up the chanting of Hare Krishna, study Krishna’s teachings and worship Krishna. So from that, that , this is definitely Lord Caitanya order that we should request everyone to chant. So then, we requested that since it’s the order of Caitanya, you should take up chanting at least ten minutes a day. You try to chant, and go on increasing from there.
So ten minutes is about 108 times. So 108 times is what… one round. So, in this way either count on your fingers or you count on beads, or however you want to count, that we don’t care, but you chant at least 108 times. We are begging you, on behalf of Caitanya Mahaprabu. And then just so that… we take out a card with their name, address everything, they we have them written down. And that they know that they’re signed up, and they have their card with the mantra on it and address, everything, and so we had going, in this area, which was like the stronghold of all these Mayavadi gurus, and by this type of preaching, thousands of people came forward and they signed up and they agreed to chant Hare Krishna every day, and then in this way the uh, progress of those uh, Mayavadi gurus was * ksha * stopped just like that by Prabupada’s mercy.
So then I realized that the people so easily took up, when you requested it in a… in a humble way. They were so shocked, because no one ever asked anybody to be… do any real spiritual practice and it is so simple to chant Hare Krishna, read Prabupada’s books, that then we went to Bangladesh, and we got… did the same thing with a big, big response.
So then we went to South India, and I said… I actually… then I went to Delhi. At that time, I think actually Purnaprajna was there, and I told Loknath Go… Swami that of we did it here, if you requested the people daily to chant Hare Krishna, they’d do it. He said “No no, these people are very different. Bengali persons are sentimental, and very emotional people, but here they’re not.
So he had a program. We were speaking at some Ramanandi. They were doing hundred and eight fire sacrifices and they are like kind of mixed Rama bhakta and mayavadis. So, that time, we were… I was supposed to be the guest speaker. So I had him print out in Hindi and English, on a letterhead 100, 200 forms for chanting, taking up the order of Lord Caitanya, that this was the way of bringing peace in the world. Everyone should chant, in this way spiritual revolution. Everyone should take up the chanting, and so I gave my fifteen minute speech that they allowed, or whatever half hour speech at the end I kept ten minutes in hand.
I gave my appeal that “Everyone should take up this chanting and those of you who want to pull forward the movement of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabu, you can just stand up.” And * pshew * 2/3ds of the people stood up. But when… and want to take up this oath to chant everyday Hare Krishna, And when they… all the people stood up in the middle of this some… Mayavadi sanyasis, I felt it was just like, you know going in and taking you know, Rukmini from the Svayamvara. He brought them there you know, just to pollute them with Mayavada we got right in there. They all stood up and… for Hare Krishna. They… he flipped out, grabbed the mic away. “You can’t do this! Ahhh!” and just you know, he flipped out and then you know, just like that, they don’t… you know, wouldn’t let us go on.
In spite of that, four people jumped up on the stage and immediately signed up. And one of his own sadhus came from the back, said, “I want to chant”, (All laughing) with a beard and everything. So anyway, after that they could realize that actually if you request people, and somehow by Lord Caitanya’s mercy, people will actually take it up. They have nothing to lose. And somehow, just by Lord Caitanya Mahaprabu’s mercy, it uh, works. That uh, if you request some people a lot of them will actually take up chanting.
So, I was preaching to a life-member makers that, “We always go to the members and take 2-2-2-2 rupees. 2,222; now its 3,333. But, you know, the relationship really doesn’t develop until we get them to actually become devotees. They are devotees of one sort or another, but until they actually chant Hare Krishna, they don’t really appreciate what this movement is all about.
Because there is not much a change of the heart, so they… you should try to get them to chant. So they start a program there, where the life members were chanting one or four rounds a day, vaisyarsi program. And those members started to become very enthusiastic because of just being able to chant. They became uh, like devotees. So once life members, we start some program.
So, I went to south India. We printed up the cards there, and in uh, Madras, Bangalore, Madurai, even that time, there was a lot of problem because Muslims were converting the Harijans into Muslims. Hindu outcaste-type Harijans, sweepers and pigherds, fishermen, they would be converted to Muslims. Was mainly a political stunt, but it created a lot of pr… publicity at that time in all the newspapers, because millions of petrol dollars were going in to India to try to turn the whole Hindu country in to Muslims.
So, of course now the uh, government has banned all the Muslim and fanatical Christian groups, uh, as well as a couple of fanatical Hindu group from receiving any foreign donations. Thank Krishna that uh, they didn’t uh, include us in those categories. We were not at all, of course, under those categories, at all. So there we uh, started the same program, of course, in each place, maybe it’s a slightly different way that it’s presented, but in the ultimate issue, we’re requesting people to also take up the chanting. Now, there we called it the samskara patra, “to accept the order of Lord Caitanya, that this actually the order of Lord Caitanya. He said, “ Bolo Krishna bhaja Krishna karo Krishna sika. Chant Hare Krishna, worship Krishna. Study His teachings.” So this is the order of Lord Caitanya. So, to take up the order of Lord Caitanya and take up this chanting, is of course, the very first step in spiritual life.
In South India we found that even some of the Muslims were coming forward and accepting to chant. Because no one ever that asked them, they never knew they were even allowed to chant. Said, “No. There’s no hard and fast rule. Anyone, you can be any religion you can chant Hare Krishna. There is no restriction. This is universal.
So in this way, at each program we’re getting 4, 500 people, 1,000 people to come forward, very respectable people. I was speaking with one man. I was having a darshan in the Bangalore in a temple. And this people coming in to the room and they were just non-stop, so one very husky older man maybe 75, big, tall looked like a Marwari, came in to the room and he started to challenge that, “Why should Krishna’s name… Why worship the deity?”, so on and so forth. He was like a Mayavadi. He said “You ju… everything is one. It’s all void, so there’s no use in chanting particularly Krishna’s name.” , and I had a big argument with him. I was preaching for long time. Finally, I became so disgusted, I said, “When you take your meal, you say it’s all one, this, that… you take your meal, you have your chapatti, you have your rice, you have your sabji, you have your chutney, you have your sweet rice, you have your… your uh, sherbet, lemonade, everything, you take the whole thing, and you… you much it together, and then you eat it. This is what… you don’t have any… you don’t live like that, so why you are trying to impose that into spiritual life?
The real quality is… Krishna’s filled with variety, filled with variegatedness. He is sac-cid-ananda vigrahah and so many… so finally, he was a bit moved, or something. So, anyway I just begged him like this. “My sir, as a humble representative of Lord Caitanya, I am begging you, can you just try to chant Hare Krishna for few minutes every day? 108 times, you just try chanting and you go on increasing from there. You just try it and see wh… see what’s there, or not.
So because, he said that “A sannyasi has never begged anything from me before. And never, I have refused a sannyasi. So I will take up… since you are asking me, I will do it.” That person bowed down and he left. He signed up. So then, about an hour later, one of our life-members came back, who was chanting about eight rounds a day, at that time. Now he chants about sixteen, and he came back, and said, “You know who that gentleman was? He’s the richest man in Bangalore. He is a lifelong, Arya Samaji, he never comes to the temple he never bows down before a deity doesn’t believe also in deity worship. He’s never ever chanted you know anything. I drove him back. I’m a director in one of his companies. He said that just because you requested him to chant, that he has promised to chant, that he… he is not going to break his promise, and he said from the very night today, he is going to chant this one round of Hare Krishna. He had the mala and he is going to continue chanting it, because he gave his word.” He said he had never… “This is the biggest change that this person has ever had in the 75 years of his life. He’s worth over ₹5,00,00,00,000, which is about $550,000,000 dollars. Anyway, because we don’t make any distinction, anyone that comes, we just… there’s a flat plea.
Once they chant one round, we have a second level, which is vegetarian, chanting four rounds, and uh, doing some service, accepting the guru as a siksha guru, following the instructions of the ISKCON Acaryas, Prabhupada, as a guideline in life. Because lot of people in India, they especially, they want, “Give me diksha, but they’re not ready, and if you don’t give them something, then, of course they feel frustrated, but they are not actually ready in for initiation, by our standards. So, to give… also to encourage them to become vegetarian, to become a little pure in their life, so we made this second level. Four rounds, vegetarian, siksa guru, like that. So that, we uh, we read in uh…
Since Prabupad had uh, that League of Devotees, so we tried to preserve that. So we call that as a League of Devotee Level. But basically it’s like a siksa, taking a siksa guru. So then, those persons are you know, they’re given more attention for coming up to the actual level of uh, getting initiation.
Because when you start getting tens of thousands… we get just like, tens of thousands of these cards that people fill out, for chanting. So then, they also, what… they go back, is… then our Namahatta preachers, they take all those names, cause, there, everything is… actually in India everything is more like you know, wholesale type. They send out post cards. Of course, they told me that they were just sending out, because we have age, education they they… sometimes they would send out like post card just to the students between 18 and 30 or whatever, or 25, and they sent out postcards that everyone should meet at such and such a place. We’re having a meeting, and then, they found that 95%, all the people that had signed up, they all came to that meeting, and they all wanted to take more part in ISKCON, uh, because… and they’d been chanting, and they’d wanted that relationship with ISKCON. They wanted the continuing relationship and help.
So, in this way, now in South India there also have 56 Namahatta groups. In the Namahatta group, everyone is supposed to be at least chanting one round a day, and as I said, they meet once a week, and by meaning once a week on a particular day, then, that way the Namahatta preachers, they make their rounds, and occasionally, they’re also going there.
In Bengal, we have about 25 disciples now, who are now in about as I mentioned, some Gaudiya Math people and some other people are chanting four rounds, vegetarian and know the philosophy a little bit, so those who we see are able to present, somewhat, Krishna consciousness, then we raise them up to a position of a Chakra Senapati, which was a position that Bhaktivinoda Thakura had in his Namahatta. It means a Circle Commander. And he’s in charge of twelve namahattas. And he has to visit those twelve Namahattas as one in a week.
That means within four… three months, a one quarter, he’ll visit all of them, once. And he has three assistants called Upachakra Senapatis, who are at least steady, but they may… They’re not expected to know that much philosophy, but they are very responsible to see that they… that the groups are meeting and that they have this… certain organizational meetings, and so on, and then someone who is initiated, he’s over three circle commanders, and he is called the Mahacakra Senapati or the Greater Circle Commander. And he’s usually at least uh, initiated by the Harinama, and although we haven’t… right now we have another… over three such Mahacakra Senapatis or greater circle commander, which is in charge of 36 group. They have to visit each group at six months, once. We have a Mala Senapati who has… who is in charge of hundred and eight Namahatta groups.
But as yet… because we don’t have any second initiated devotees, or anyone that senior, we are having from the temple itself, uh, initiated Brahmacaris, Grihasthas take the position of the Mala Senapati, and uh, they have to visit once in a year, technically, of course because they’re full-time devotees, they actually visit more than that. But we want that in the future that all these positions from Mala Senapati, Mahachakra Senapati, Cakra Senapati, the circle commander, Maha, Greater circle commander, and Mala, commanders will be all the village people, and then, we’ll have rather supervisors, who will be full-time devotees and who will be going around. But that the day-by-day the maintenance of the… and the spiritual standard be maintained within the Namahatta groups themselves, and within the… the devotees that have been produced from them.
So right now we are at the stage of organizing all of this infrastructure, administration and supervision, and uh, actually they need a… I have been busy with lot of different projects recently in India for the past year. South India and other places, so when I get back I like to concentrate on writing, on seeing that this uh administration of Namahatta is organized, and with uh, research on the holy places of Caitanya Mahaprabu. I’d like to concentrate a little more up until December.
Then we are trying to arrange a procession taking a Srila Prabhupada deity on the path of Lord Caitanya. Of course, I am not sure of we will be able to do it this year because there is a lot of… of preparations that have to be done, and these things usually take a lot longer to do than expected. Anyway this basic uh, taking one round, and four round and up to 16 rounds and finally they get their first initiation, this is the basic system.
So we try to get everyone chant one round a day. So, in the… same thing in South America they told me they couldn’t do it. You see whenever I ask people to chant usually everybody gets frightened. They figure that no one’s going to agree. But somehow, by Krishna’s mercy, generally speaking always a very significant percentage, sometimes even a ma… almost 100% and sometimes you know at least 25% they agree to take up the chanting. So even at South America we had a program at the national Library in Peru. And there all people were wearing suits and ties and everything there. I happened to have with me two hundred and fifty cards from Calcutta, in English and I was determined that just even though they were in English, and everyone speaks Spanish there, I just wanted to try that uh, whether it will also be possible here to make a appeal to the people to take up the chanting and what type of response you would get.
So I then requested the people that how many of you have ten minutes a day? How many of you like this movement of Caitanya mahaprabu… like this spiritual direction, the process of singing and chanting Hare Krishna? Gradually seeing that what was their mood and finally appealing to them that how many could actually give ten minutes a day for chanting and being connected to this movement as a… as a fellow as a… as a associate. So then uh, to our amazement about 300 people out of all those… it was packed up.
The national library capacity of about 500 or so and it was completely packed. So over 300 people stood up and they all lined up. They lined up so far, it went out… out in to the hallway. And I also announced that anyone at this time could get a Bhagavat Gita autographed by Acaryapad. So then uh, a lot of people at that time they bought Bhagavat gitas and they were coming up.
I was signing Bhagavat gitas signing chanting cards. They were taking the Prasad and bowing down and buying malas and gitas and it was * pshew * they have the whole thing on video. (Laugh). It was amazing. They were completely dumpfounded themselves as to how the people took it up. That actually it’s so easy for anyone to chant Hare Krishna for ten minutes. Everyone wants to know how to meditate. There’s a lot of people in the world, they wish they knew how to meditate. They have to pay $400 if you want to do this type of meditation, that type of we are offering, but just a simple way, no obligation, no no salesman visiting your door if you don’t want, whatever you know. You just chant Hare Krishna in your home. Gere’s the thing.
Actually people they want to be visited by devotees or they want to, at least know how to do the meditation. A lot of people are eager to… to learn. Especially those who come to programs and those and come to festivals.
In Washington D.C., I met a number of people that were eager to know how to meditate. And I’m if I had some kind of a card or some kind of a mantra card, I could have convinced you know there wasn’t no convincing. They already wanted to know how to chant and everything. They would have signed up also that for some you know… in North America, I don’t know exactly the exact form, until one does it.
Here you don’t get such uh, big crowds at one time. Of course in Venice, they had quite a big crowd. They had a moderately big crowd in uh… in Washington D C, a very big crowd, they had in Washington a super big, they had in LA.
In those crowd situations I think even then, you could make a appeal, but maybe the North Americans are slightly more sophisticated, still. Even on individual basis, people like to uh, meditate. They’re interested in it. It’s a growing attraction. And the thing about chanting is that, once they chant, I discussed with many Vaishnavas and many “What happens someone promises and then they don’t keep it up?”
The thing is that they originally were in the spiritual sky and then they fell down. Like this they promise so many times to do so many things. But even if they chant for ten days, thats more then they ever did in their whole life. That they don’t… they’re not making a fire-sacrifice oath or something. They are making a they are making like… just an informal uh, promise or informal agreement that they are going to try, and thats how word it. “I am going to try to chant everyday.”
So this way, whatever they chant that’s to their benefit. Then we have their names, so then we always “Well how is the progress going?” Then, a lot of times the people they stop chanting then, we remind them. “Oh… Its going all right. (Laugh). “Actually, I slipped for a few days but now I am starting again.”, and it’s amazing that from this chanting just like in South America with this appeal, two years ago in the temple I use to do this the last time was in a national library. Even amongst the public such a big response was there.
And two years ago, there was one person coming we asked him to chant one round. He started chanting two rounds six months later, I came back to Peru. He was up to chanting about four… eight rounds and he said now he is giving up eating meat. Six months later, or one year later I came, and then that time he said he was already vegetarian. He was chanting about eight rounds, steady. Then he said that “Now I am going to uh, chant twelve rounds and I am going to give up smoking.” Then, the next time, a year and a half later, he says, “Now I’m chanting sixteen rounds.” And then I came back again this last time, after two years. Then uh… Now he is chanting sixteen rounds and he is living in the temple but is working outside and giving half of his salary to the temple, or most of his salary. He is still little attached to working outside, but that way, over just a period of time, just because we didn’t let go, he just kept on increasing, but because in the beginning we said chant the chanting just drew… drew him forward.
It took him two years, but over two years, now he is a very good devotee, and that way we have got many police chiefs. We got police chief, lawyers, doctors, various people in society to take up this chanting as a process of Bhakti-yoga. We present it maybe in the west more as yoga or something like that, and in India it’s of course Krishna consciousness it’s their own religion they know. Don’t have to call yoga or anything great. But just once the people start to chant, and you develop that relationship, they actually feel the change come over their life. And then from there, they become more and more fortunate. And with that fortune, they can engage in more and more service, they will become more interested in reading Prabupada’s books.
You see some people won’t chant unless, they first read all the books and there is some people that they may chant but they may not be able… even they read the book, they can’t understand it, but by chanting then they can understand. There’s all different kinds of people.
So of course one thing to remember is that in no way we are trying to reduce the standard of uh, our devotees. It’s not like that. Actually the standard of the devotees has to be kept at the highest level. We find that only a devotee who follows the four regulative principles, who chants sixteen rounds, who is very… actually… who follows all the principles given by Prabhupada, is… p… is actually the… uh, the best preacher.
This preaching cannot be done by someone very effectively, unless they are very pure. So, without this purity, there is no force. There is no preaching potency is there. You can get other people to chant but it’s hard for them to in turn get others to chant, may be a few friends or neighbors or something like that. But it’s hard for them to do any big scale preaching. At best they can get a few friends to chant or they can distribute a few books to their neighborhood. In that way they can be engaged. But to be actually... actually a good preacher one has to be at the standard of ISKCON uh, initiated devotee, or that standard uh, of practice. Then one is able to preach much better and purely. So the whole basis is that the Krishna consciousness temples are like the hearts. They’re like the whole wholesale center for the marketplace of the holy name, and all these others are like travelling salesmen, branch offices, retail shops and they’re all getting their merchandise, the holy name from the wholesale uh, dealerships which are the actual temples, the big market places.
So these temples were… are the first necessarily to have a pure place where they can come, see how to set up a temple in the house, then you see once we get them to chant, we don’t stop there. Then we set up altars, temple in their house, get them to worship in their house. Then we get them to become vegetarian offer their prasadam. In this way we take them up, stage by stage. And get them to… if uh… to give something, whatever they can, on some basis they contribute. Uh, in India we have them contribute the local namahatta every week… every month rather, something. And then, in this way Namahattas, they also give some affiliation fee to ISKCON, for covering the administrative cost or offsetting some of them. Doesn’t cover all.
So in this way the preaching is trying to expand in dimensions which were before, not even considered. You can imagine that 500 uh, branches. Each them every day getting… every week getting… just like we have this ISKCON World Review, we take from that and we publish twice a month a Hare Krishna Sankirtan Newspaper giving worldwide news what is happening in different parts of the world. One page is showing the news about Namahattas around. This is in Bengal, for… we have this newspaper and then we also have similar one, we’re making now, Bangladesh, and they have a separate one.
The English ISKCON World Review they’re using in South India. The people speak English there more, and this last week Radha-Krishna Swami just called up that uh, from mayapur they called up that they distributed 8,000 of these Samachar newspapers, and 575 uh, Back to Godheads you know, through all the different uh, Namahattas, and I know that they’ve now started having agents, and some of the agents take up to 500 uh, Newspapers themselves for distribution, and minimum, they take about twenty, and they go out every week and some of the… one person, he couldn’t sell them, so he just pays from his own salary, and whenever he goes out he says, “You won’t buy it from me? You take it free.”
Cause People are saying why you are selling these books. It’s business, this, that. in India, you know they think that because Christians go in and just flood everyone with as many free Bible books and things that… so much that they take the books and use it for wrapping you know, selling uh, puffies and popcorn and things you know. They buy the books, this… it’s just free. You can buy Communist literature and you can get Christian literature practically free… or free more than you can use.
When they sign you up to get a subscription for the Communist Russian magazine, their sales pitch is that you can get a three year subscription for ₹20 which is less than $3.00. They say that you get a paper every month week like Life magazine. If you just save the paper, and at the end of three years, so even every year if you sell it as used paper you will get back double your money than what you’re paying for the subscription. (Laugh).
This is their sales pitch. The people figure, you know it’s like an investment. “I get a free magazine and I get money out of it in the end you know.” ,so… plus I get the salesman off my back. So uh, in spite of that uh, so sometimes they criticize “Well, why the devotees are selling books? You should be giving them away free. You are a big international organization. You have worldwide branches. When the Christians are giving free, when the Ru… Ma… communists they are giving free, why you want money?” Of course Prabhupada said we’re not supposed to give away free literature. But, somehow, these preachers, they just, “Alright I will pay out of my own pocket.”. and they are giving “Alright, you take one.” They’re becoming so determined that somehow or other they’re going to preach Krishna consciousness and make their village Krishna conscious, their towns Krishna conscious.
So, that way every year on Nityananda’s Appearance Day, we’ve been having a annual festival. And for the group that does the most book distribution, we give a bicycle. For the group that has the most uh, preaching, we give a big PA system that they can hook up on their… on their kirtan hall and blast out the whole village at Mangala-arati. (Laugh) Of course one village we gave the whole PA system, I went out there I said how come its not fixed. You get the PA system but there’s no electricity in our village. (Laugh) I said “I didn’t expect that.” Said, “We didn’t have the money to buy a battery.
A big car battery costs about $50, or ₹500 rupees. We couldn’t afford the battery, but they wouldn’t sell it. They kept it all wrapped up, you know, the new PA system. So I said this year they got a second prize and just I gave them the battery (Laugh) to fill up the uh, so they could use their PA system. Then they take the battery uh, once every week into town and for ₹3 they get it charged up at the automobile repair shop. Overnight they bring back the car battery, and hook up their PA. So, of course you’re dealing there with low-income group in many places in some places the people are rich. In some they’re poor, but this chanting of Hare Krishna is for anyone rich and poor, young and old.
So, I see in America that we meet lot of favorable people. They buy our books they… they… in airports and different places. We meet lot of people. I just met one person a Corporal from the Army. He is living in Maryland in some base. I have his address. And he was saying you know, how he really liked… he was reading Bhagavad-gita. He liked you know, how it was spoke on a battlefield and everything and didn’t understand it fully, but he could appreciate that it was uh, something really spiritual, the way that Krishna was telling Arjuna all the things about spiritual life.
He was, you know… basic understanding, he was getting, so then uh, he also he wanted to chant Hare Krishna. He said he would chant. But uh, since he was the Corporal he had very little time off. He could apparently adjust things so he could chant a little bit, every day. So there’s a lot of people in America that uh, would be open to chanting, and if we have this organized program, then uh, it can be developed from there that once you got a number of people to chant, then you see that “Well in this particular area there’s so many people chanting.” Then you group them together once in a month, or once in two weeks or something that they can have a little get-together. A devotee goes there at that particular day and conducts a slide show, or has his wife go there. She shows them how to cook. Like have a little social they start to meet those people.
And of course you know people always raise up doubts, “Well some of them might be in maya, and contaminate the others, because they all are out in the material world.” But, until we actually uh… they’re are doing it in England, and they’re getting a very good success. The same things that we are doing, other parts are doing in England and their FOLK program is actually very successful.
Some people from their FOLK program have walked in and given ₤10,000, which is about 16, 17, no it’s uh, $18,000 donation, just appreciating the… the response. In fact, there, their FOLK program is maintained by… by their own mail order.
They publish a little uh, paper for the people that are in UK, under the FOLK program and naturally, they want to get beads. They want to get Deities, they want to get a puja equipment, they want to get pictures of the parampara, they wanna… so they have you know like a whole… in the thing they have like a whole mail order for all the paraphernalia you can use to be a devotee and those people… just from that mail order, people want to get Krishna posters and so many different things, they’re able to pay for the paper and the overhead of the whole program. On top of that, whatever they receive as donations go for expanding other programs, within that.
So that can be done in England, and if it can be done in South America and of course India its going on. I don’t why it also can’t be done in America but, a lot of times in America people just become pessimistic that, “It can’t be done here, they’re rednecks, they’re fallen, or and this and that.” I mean there’s a lot of good people in America. They did a world study and uh, I think America was either first, second, or maybe third in the world or maybe I think India was first, Thailand was second and America third for people who actually believe in God.
Over 90% of the people in America they said I believed in God. So even in America, it’s the only country in the world that still has written on their money, “In God We Trust”, even after so many atheists tried to get it cut off. So there’s a lot of good people here, and they’ll chant Hare Krishna. It’s not too much to ask. And from chanting… after they chant for a while… some chant… some chant for a while and they stop chanting, but they st… they start to appreciate devotees.
Once a person chants even for a few days, they start to see devotees as brothers from a different light, and if you can make them to feel, even as associates of our movement, then of course that relationship will help to bring them closer and closer. And someone who starts to chant regularly, then also there’s now that 5% of Americans are apparently vegetarian, one recent Gallup poll showed.
So even in America its probably easier to get people to be vegetarian then lot of the p… people in Bengal or in India because… different parts of India they are very addicted to fish eating, while in America its much in a vogue to get into health foods and vegetarian food. You can ask Bangladeshi friend, knows, Bengalis, they like to eat fish too much. (Laugh). But they’ll chant, but they won’t give up fish. That’s the tough point.
It takes a long time for them to get over that because they just have that habit. But in America they’re a little bit more renounced. I mean, if a person starts to chant, then you could expect that within a certain amount of time, he would also become a vegetarian, they might already be vegetarian. And if a vegetarian chanting… affects very quickly. And then they can go on, if they just learn to offer their food before you know it, they are practicing a lot of Krishna consciousness activities. And uh, even blooped devotees would be able to be engaged in this kind of preaching. When I was talking about Acaryadeva’s blooped grihasthas are no longer blooped. Now they are actually, actively preaching outside in the society. They have their job but, every night they go out and preach so they kind of redeemed them because while they were living outside, they felt embarrassed cause they left the devotees, at the same time there was no program outside and so they kind of got alienated. So this way we were able to engage them. That they were good grhasthas. By every evening they would go and preach in different area to these uh, service groups, and as a result, they actually became more and more fixed up. Even though they were living outside, they became enlivened and it kept their spiritual life strong, cause they could do some preaching work, and it freed uh, the book distributors of course for just continuing with their book distribution and other activities.
All it takes is one senior devotee who knows the philosophy well, who’s is patient, who wants to… who is patient enough to see that the devotees may be approaching in one or two years, maybe progressing rather than over a period of days and weeks. And of course, sometimes people do immediately increase. We find that by opening up the doors to many, those moons that we want actually more moons become available. Many stars are there, but so ma… out of those many star, like churning the ocean of nectar, a lot more moons are also coming out. A lot of people actually, who were put off because they thought that Krishna consciousness was to inaccessible, it was too distant, it was too much for them to uh… to aspire for. Because it was made so available to them, that uh… that uh, once they started to chant, they got over their inhibitions, and got uh, enthusiastic so then they’re able to quickly advance, and come up to the standard of actually f… surrendering to Krishna.
And those people who chant, they generally respect the devotees. They respect their renunciation. They respect their learning. They respect what they are doing for them, that a devotee is going out of the way… just yesterday where was it? In Denver bhakta Steve was saying that how he had been writing letter, he met some devotee in the airport somewhere, he got a book he wrote to Los Angeles, the mail order, and they kept, and then he was surprised. He never thought that they’d wr… would answer back. They wrote back a two-page letter, and they kept correspondence up. Finally, over a period of couple of years, he uh, decided to move into the Deniver temple, and just for this ratha-yatra, he went to Los Angeles, and he met all the people who had written him letters. And he really appreciated that everyone he wrote to, they were writing him back and then… so lot of this encouragement once the person agrees to chant, can be done through mail or by the phone.
It… In this way, one person can maintain hundreds of people. And from those hundreds you’ll find that uh, many people are coming forward very quickly. There are many people in the material world who are being placed there by Lord Caitanya for that level of… the next level of… Prabhupada wanted Varnashrama preaching.
Proper priestly told me in Los Angeles in 1970, before he sent me to India, it was a morning walk. There were a number of devotees in the walk. Suddenly he just turned and faced to us and he said “Don’t think everyone is going to live in a temple. They’re gonna… our temple are for the Brahmanas, for the preachers, they’re very you know, rare persons”… or something I don’t know the exact words, but, they’re like, more special. But there’ll be many people who will be chanting Hare Krishna in their houses, worshipping in temples in their home, and they’ll be coming on festive days and on Sundays to our temple, like they are coming to the churches. And these will be our congregations around all of our temples. In this way Krishna consciousness will be spread in the future.
But since 1970, until now that has only developed slightly. So it is… just I feel that in the West, it just requires just a little coordination. I was talking with Mukunda Goswami that if every book distributor that is doing a distribution in the airports is somehow… if they…. what happens is that say a person from Atlantic comes to Philly, or a person from Chicago goes to Denver, and you get their names. So, normally you know, there’s no… its usually the person from the another place that meets a devotee in the airports. Maybe not always that uh, that the person from the same place. If… somehow, if the uh… the… every time we met a favorable person in there were a way of getting his name and address, and then sending that name, either to that temple concerned, or to some central pooling office, like Mukunda’s and he just centers… gives it out to all the branches. Accordingly to… whoever you know, just like whoever was from Philadelphia, that they met in Chicago, or Saint Louis or Atlanta, or anywhere else they would send.
In this way, every month you’d hundreds, or dozens of names. And those people could be visited, or written and… who had expressed an interest, who said, “Yeah, I like your books.” and people… I have seen people just walk up and just you know, “I have to catch a plane quick. Here is ten bucks. Give me a book.” I mean I have seen people do that. I have seen lot of people you know actually eager for Krishna consciousness. “Yeah I… I always read your books. I like your people. They are doing good work.” You know, you meet people like that all the time. I… I stood by the book distributors in the airport. You see a lot of cold people, some demonic people, you see a lot of good nice people who are really interested. But then somehow they just like slip through our fingers.
We are not able to, you know… they are there, but we are not cultivating them. Who is… If we… With the active preaching that we have… it’s like an open joke that all the media and everyone always says, “The Hare Krishnas are like all-pervasive all the airports everywhere.” If we had slightest infrastructure like the Mormons and these other groups, that once they get the name, and even a person sends a death certificate, I don’t think they take them off their mailing list, and as a result you know their group has expanded because they take a personal interest.
So without of course without forcing it on people that don’t want to be, but those that just want to be, who are actually interested. If we have a program of uh, cultivating them and getting them to chant one round, and then gradually uh, letting them know that they can be part of our movement, even they don’t have to come and live in the temple. Then uh, little bit more of a free mood, automatically more people come and live in the temple, because more people will be eager to uh, just be part of the movement.
That’s what we found in India and other places was just that we, rather than the hard sell, we just had a very broad appeal and then what happens you know when someone comes in and then they have a specific… you know, we do our pubic preaching we don’t preach “Shave up, surrender, give up everthying.” In pubic we don’t preach like that anymore, so much.
We preach what is the purpose of life. This that. You should chant. You should come for instruction. When the people come forward, and chant… and they come forward. And then they’re brought inside, they have individual questions. Then you see this person is ripe to be a devotee, then you try to give that person the special preaching. But in pubic so that you can get… just a lot of people people can feel that they can be a part.
There is no public pressure. Public pressure is just chant Hare Krishna. Try to lead a pious life. You know the actual thing like… drive like “If you’re not in the temple, you’re in maya.” No, you know, “You can try to be Krishna consciousness outside, but it is more difficult. It’s better in the society of devotees.” Just a little bit lower-key sell. And then when the people, you see that there’s actually a person who is ready, should be in the temple, is at that stage of development that there’s no use to be for the person not to be in the society of devotees, directly, could become a preacher, then you preach to that person, and because of just making a little bit lower-key, a lot of the people who are put off by hard-sells, they actually come forward, and then, by having more people coming, then they actually… in the long run you get more devotees. And then you have a broader effect, in any case. At any rate, this is the way that uhm, I’m personally seeing Krishna consciousness in the West, is for people I imagine many temples are doing, some temples are finding a good result, I know England they’re finding.
I hear that here you’re having a similar program. I’d be interested to see what type of success you are getting here. And I feel that when Prabhupada said that I have done half the work, the other half work you still have to do. And he was always telling us about Varnasrama, that he meant people living outside in the society he repeatedly said that. And the way those people will become part of the Varnasrama is that only if they chant Hare Krishna. So that definitely this is the next stage for actually expanding the grassroots of Krishna consciousness to every uh, town and village and every family, and every society of the world.
Devotees: Jaya! Hare Krishna!
Devotee: Today we distributed Roy Rogers a Back to Godhead magazine.
Jayaptaka Swami: Who?
Devotee: Mr. Roy Rogers.
Jayaptaka Swami: Roy Rogers
Devotee: He’s a…
Jayaptaka Swami: Cowboy.
Devotee: He’s still…
Jayaptaka Swami: Is he still… they still have Roy Rogers’ Show?
Devotee: They probably just have reruns. Previously on. He said, “Thank you.”
Jayaptaka Swami: I mean in South America, very materialistic people news… news women, journalist, television cameramen they could come and do reports. And we tell them that you can chant Hare Krishna and you don’t have to give up your job and just chant, which is what Prabhupada always preached. I mean, I heard him preach like that, thousands of times. And everyone, “You don’t have to change yourselves. Wherever you are. Grhe tako vane tako sada hari bole dako. Chant Hare Krishna. That’s way he always preached. And uh when you tell people that, that you’re a cameraman you are newswoman alright, you just chant Hare Krishna.
You can chant. “Really? I don’t have to like, you know…” “No, you don’t have to shave your hair.” You don’t have to do, you know, put the paint on your nose. You just chant hare Krishna they said, “Well, I like to do that. And I like your mo… but I mean, I just always thought I had to, you know like shave my hair off or give up my job or something .” say, “No no, you just chant.”
And according to the time, place, circumstance, according to the each individual, then you give them the specific medicine that they need to hear, but uh, in this way, people the more they chant Hare Krishna, the more their lives are going to change. And uh, some of those newspaper uh, people they are also chanting now.
They actually uh, take some completely off guard because they usually expect uh, expect that we’re very elitist, or that we are going to be very exclusive, and when we are actually very open it takes them off guard. When they see that it’s so easy to practice, then they find it hard, if they’re even a little pious, even to refuse. Thats how we use to do a lot of preaching in America to get everyone to chant . of course its a little bit corny. They use to say this is the spiritually way to get high and so on and so forth.
Those were in the ‘60s. It was a different time. Now Krishna consciousness has become much more strong. Devotees become much more strict. They become much more steady in their devotional service. We have a different standard. Even the Indians from India, they appreciate that our temple are the most beautiful temples so clean and everything, they are really impressed.
Nonetheless the people in the material word they have not progressed along with the Krishna consciousness movement. Rather, they’ve have gone further in to maya. So there still has to be a program for the people who are in the lower rungs of situation to get… let them come up to the standard. Now our devotees are actually like first-class Brahmanas. But the Bramanas to see that the whole society even the vaisyas and sudras and other fallen conditioned souls are able to come up to the standard of Krishna Consciousness.
So this chanting of Hare Krishna is universal. There’s nothing better. There’s nothing more perfect, and we have Prabhupada’s books. We have so many facilities to preach in America that we don’t have in India. You have video. You have movies. We can afford to put a video in many places, but everybody has a television set. And if you have a video player, you can hook it in any a television set and show them so many ITV movies.
Or they can just pitch together and get their own I… thing and they can see the ITV movies. In the… in the service group uh, meetings in this way they can be closer and closer to Krishna consciousness. They can see Gurupada’s lectures. They can see Prabhupada’s lectures. They can see Mayapur festival. If we had that facility in uh, in India that would be uh, s… really something. But we don’t have that much, uh, finance to… to afford, you know, plus it’s pretty hard to get around India with video… television set in village. It maybe takes slide projectors. But here there’s a lot of facility.
In Sweden they have 24 hours a week on the radio. Of course, ideally they have 6 of their own radio stations. And now they have one in Paris. So through radio also this preaching is going on now in different countries. So by using this media by using these facilities, while we have them, it’s very easy to be able to train up people in Krishna consciousness than it… than it was before. We can use all these machines to train them up, to expose them to advanced devotees. Even Roy Rogers has now got a Back to Godhead. (devotees laughing) How is the subscription program going here?
Devotee: Going nicely. We signed up 5,000 people in our zone. Seeing how they’re paying. They run an analysis on which distributors in what situations signed up people, you know. Because you don’t pay it on the spot. There’s a whole billing system. So we’re just now getting the results from that.
Jayaptaka Swami: First before you go ahead, you want to see that… under what situations, that people sign up, who pays up. (laughs)
Jayapataka Swami: To see, you know… So they don’t just…
Devotee: That we don’t make a cheap thing. So we can train up every… all the others well… as well, and you’ll see that, exactly the one that worked, nicely, so you make those payments.
Jayaptaka Swami: How many… Though it takes maybe a month or two before they all send in.
Devotee: It’s been a month, now. They’re just coming up with the results. We got some results coming in.
(airplane flying by)
Jayaptaka Swami: It’s an exciting program.
Devotee: That… you were saying how to send all the names and that to the Back to Godhead magazine those that… Jayapataka Swami: And, thats…
Devotee: … signed up from a different part of the country. Like now they’ve put in Philadelphia, then automatically, the names are sent to the end… the center.
Jayaptaka Swami: And now, this uh, it’s automatic. They can sign up for Back to Godhead, anyone who is favorable. So, it’s automatically happening.
Of course, see the main thing, “Books are the basis.” We’re giving the books this is just that… the rea… the other reason why I got into the… the other reason why I got into the whole preaching. In India we are finding that lot of people are reading the books and finding htat they are actually very interested in the books. And uh, they would come forward, in India and they would read the books and say, “I believe in your philosophy, I want to be a devotee, and so what can I do next?” then we’d ask them, well… the preacher would say “You can move in our temple in Mayapur.”, he’d say, “Well…”. The person might be like 50 years old, have a wife and 13 kil… children. You know, have a house with 25 acres, with crops on it. Two of the children, or sons are already married each has two kids and the father has got 12 years more to work before he retires at 68 or something from the railway, which he’s been working as a conductor his whole life. So then, you know, it’s just not possible… even if he came with the whole 27 family members would not be in a position to house them or provide for them in any case, there. And even if… you know… and it’s… plus, you know it’s… to shift is just like, almost impossible in that situation. [end of recording]
Transcribed by Srikanth dasa
February 21st, 2015