as best chanting, 767
“It is said that this age of Kali is three-fourths devoid of
religious principles. Hardly one-fourth of the principles are still
observed in this age. But by the mercy of Lord Krsna, not only has
this void of Kali-yuga been completely filled, but the religious
process has been made so easy that simply by rendering
transcendental loving service unto Lord Krsna by chanting His holy
names: Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare
Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, one can achieve the
highest result of religion, namely being transferred to the highest
planet within the spiritual world, Goloka Vrndavana.”
Lord Caitanya, as the yuga-avatara, descended to spread the chanting of the holy names. He performed ecstatic sankirtana all over India and converted millions of people into Vaisnavas. His Movement is still continuing today, especially pushed on by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and his Hare Krsna Movement. Now there are centers of Hare Krsna all over the globe, and tens of thousands of people are seriously following this path, chanting sixteen rounds of japa, and taking part frequently in the kirtana singing of the Hare Krsna mantra. Prabhupada declared it was the panacea for all the ills of the age. His statements are supported by many, many references in the Vedic literature. A favorite verse which Caitanya used to recite was from the Brhan-naradiya Purana: harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha: “Chant the Holy Names, chant the Holy Names, chant the Holy Names. There is no other way, there is no other way, there is no other way to attain God-consciousness in the age of Kali.” [Cc. Adi 17.21]
This index leads us to the “Summary Descriptions of Lord Krsna’s Pastimes.” It tells of the time that Maha-Visnu wanted to see Krsna. Maha-Visnu arranged to kidnap the babies born to a brahmana in Dvaraka just after they were born. The brahmana complained to Arjuna at this outrage. Arjuna tried to protect the sons, but as each one was born he was swept away by Maha-Visnu. Arjuna said he would kill himself in the fire. Krsna told him, “Don’t do that, I will return the sons.” Krsna and Arjuna then rode in a chariot and passed through the different layers of the universe and the brahmajyoti and reached the abode of Maha-Visnu. He told them that He had taken the sons of the brahmana just because He wanted to compel Krsna to come and see Him. He so much wanted the darsana of Lord Krsna. This is an amazing pastime of the Lord.
Yesterday we had a gathering at Saci-suta’s. We participated in Hare Krsna kirtana for an hour, and I was asked to speak. I had a talk memorized, but I said it was mostly already covered by the speakers on Gaura Purnima day. So I decided to read from my writings. First I read a poem called “Tears” from Every Day, Just Write:
(Hang on I want Krsna consciousness)
We will go to Ireland in a little room with Radha-Govinda. No ghosts.
We will. Help us, Lord.
This is the moanin’ part of life. When you go guttural and pray
and cry to Krsna
Well I’m too much of a polite fellow to get into that.
I thought he was going to shout and make a fuss.
This is the truth. He wants to see Krsna –
and no one seems to inspire him so he goes alone
and cries out to Krsna about that.
O Lord! Saint Francis’s tears,
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura recommended tears
Desert Fathers speak of its purification – tears. “Not a dry eye in the
Saint Teresa of Avila mocked persons who squeezed a few tears
out of their prayer session. So it’s not to be imitated.
The Navy rack
I cried at Doris’s house after my first few days in the barracks.
And cried all night on
LSD in my Suffolk Street apartment, after the Navy,
partly because I saw my paradise was empty.
Now end this song
with good news to
all fellow Christian-Krsnian
let’s march on this
pick flowers for Radha
Don’t despair. It will
come but not before
Next I read from a booklet of poems I published many years ago, Talking Freely with My Lords. It’s about a visit to Gita-nagari in autumn:
I have been hearing from devotees in Vrndavan,
that unless I go there I can’t feel anything.
“You have to get the mercy directly.
The dirt in any room in Vrndavan
is conscious, not like the dirt in the West.
One grain can fulfill all your desires.”
But aren’t Lalita and Visakha
Their most intimate friends?
Isn’t Radha’s smile right here?
Can’t I come to Vraja with Damodara?
It’s easier for people like me
to walk through autumn leaves in boots,
if we like to eat prasadam with Brown Swiss ghee
and if we are comfortable here,
is that to be held against us?
I’ll go to India, but I’m just saying
Krsna is here.
After I spoke, they called on Dhanurdhara Swami. He read from a dramatic skit which he said was written by a student twenty years ago. It was a very talented presentation of the pastime where Lord Caitanya says that Mukunda Datta is a great offender and He will not see him for ten million births. When Mukunda Datta hears the Lord say, “I will . . .”, Mukunda Datta becomes ecstatic knowing that the Lord will permit him darsana after ten million births. Lord Caitanya is so pleased by Mukunda Datta’s nonduplicitous joy in knowing he would see Lord Caitanya again after ten million births, that He immediately calls Mukunda Datta to Him and forgives him all his offenses. It was a skillful poem, and the devotees heard it attentively.
Then Saci-suta and Keli-lalita consulted and decided that they would next serve prasadam. There was a full plate of delicious prasadam for everyone. I had eaten earlier in the day, so it was a little difficult for me to eat much. But I tried. It was a mellow gathering, and Krsna conscious.
Here’s a picture of Prabhupada taken in 1974 in France. He was traveling from the temple to the countryside to look at a castle that Bhagavan had seen and thought was possible for a temple. Prabhupada is breaking the journey to take lunch. He is sitting outside the Peugeot and honoring prasadam while some devotees stand reverentially around him. It was nice having a drive and picnic with Prabhupada. When he saw the castle, he was interested in it, but somehow he never purchased it.
During this visit to Paris, Prabhupada met with a representative of the mayor. It was a formal meeting in which the representative honored Prabhupada, bowed from the waist and offered him a document honoring him and appreciating his mission.
Here is a photo of Prabhupada taking a tour of Los Angeles’ ISKCON facilities. He is being offered a chalice of water by Tirthapada, who was one of the devotees that we recruited from our visit to Santa Cruz. He came with us to Los Angeles along with his girlfriend and another couple, and they joined the temple and became fulltime devotees.
Prabhupada giving out cookies to the small children in Los Angeles was a sweet scene. He took it seriously and made sure that every toddler that came up to him, even those so small that they had to be held in their mothers’ arms, would get a cookie from him. He was sober as he gave the cookies out, being sure to give each and every child the sweet. The children’s outreached hands and Prabhupada’s outreached hand and arm created a blessed moment, especially for the children. Even if they didn’t realize what was going on, they were getting great benefit receiving prasadam directly from Srila Prabhupada. He was playing the role of the grandfather, and he took it soberly and responsibly.
Prabhupada often took his walks in Mayapura on the roof of the building. Here he is with his sannyasis, each carrying their danda. They are the most prestigious of Prabhupada’s disciples. They are happy to be together with him, yet each one secretly yearns for personal attention and recognition. Some of the sannyasis would fall, but Prabhupada took the risk when he initiated them because he knew the preaching movement needed sannyasis. In this picture they are all faithful and renounced.
Regularly in my dreams I find myself doing free writing, but when I wake I can’t face the reality of it. But I’m going to try to go ahead anyway, knowing that I can’t use all of it. But some of it may be of a good quality or produce sparks for other expressions. John and I have really hit on the fact that I write in ars poetica, not just dogmatic expressions of the Krsna conscious philosophy. I want it to be in poetic expression, with an art. I am most satisfied when I do this. It is a dare, a challenge. The other day, while reading my series Writing After Puja to a group of devotees, I came upon a memory of when I was a “packer” in the Food Farm supermarket, where I worked for seventy-five cents an hour. I was glad to discover the memory so obscured in time, such a pitiful condition of packing bags for the customers, putting their purchases in proper order in the bags. It was very strenuous and produced a backache. But I was glad to be employed. I was very young. When I read it to the devotees, I felt there was something “outrageous” about reading this to them, but I desired it for the sake of honesty, even though it was before I found Krsna consciousness. The lost soul working for low wages under a woman director.
To make up for my low wages, I used to steal record albums from the store. Late at night, just before stopping work, I would go to the LP section, pick out a few albums like Frank Sinatra and Harry Belafonte and slide them under the door so that they would be facing outside the building. Then when I finished work, I would go out back and pick them up. I didn’t feel any guilt in doing this because I thought I deserved it for getting such low wages. Sometimes customers would complain about the way I packed their purchases in the bag. I tried to put the heavy unbreakable items in the bottom of the bag and fill it up with more fragile items. But sometimes the customers didn’t like how I did it. As I say, it was backbreaking work. You had to lift all the purchased items and then lift up the bag and give it to the customer one after another. The cashier slid the items down to me, and I quickly put them into the bag. Hour after hour went by in this way. I wore a white supermarket jacket and a green bow tie. I was a bona-fide employee. I think I may have been no more than fourteen years old, but somehow I was able to work and get paid by check. I worked at this job for several years during high school. I worked in the evenings. Sometimes my father would pick me up in his car and take me home. Me and the other packer boys were being exploited, but it gave me a good sense of a work ethic. I was part of the labor force and earning my own money, as little as it was. Once the governor of New York State, Averell Harriman, came on an honorary visit to the store. We employees all lined up as if to greet the queen or king. He went down the line and shook our hands.
My next job was summer employment with the Parks Department. I was hired to work at Great Kills Park. I wore orange pants and a green shirt and cap. We did not have to work very hard. Our supervisors were lenient; they didn’t work hard either. I used a “stabber” and picked up refuse and put it in a cloth bag. I directed traffic on the parking lot. Some days I sat in the bathhouse and collected tickets. On those days, especially when it rained, I read a good deal, and the supervisors didn’t object. I remember I read Oscar Wilde and pulp books about cowboys, adventure books. I also read Socrates in the bathhouse.
9th July, 1971
My Dear Satsvarupa,
Please accept my blessings. I beg to thank you very much for your letter dated 21st June, 1971 and have noted the contents. So far Moscow is concerned, there was only one substantial meeting, with one Professor Kotovsky and the tape of that conversation is being transcribed. Also I have written an introduction to the three lectures I had proposed to deliver in Moscow: 1) Vedic Conception of Socialism and Communism, 2) Scientific Values of a Classless Society; and 3) Knowledge by Authoritative Tradition. These are yet to be written. Photographs have been taken also. So I will collect all the material available and send it all to you in the very near future for publication in BTG.
I have seen the newsletter and it is nicely written, but the idea itself is not so good. If you post such newsletter to big businessmen and politicians, etc., their secretaries will throw it away. It is not so easy to approach big people by letter. An attempt to see them personally is better. Otherwise it is a waste of time. Thousands of advertisements are going in the mail. Who cares for them?
Yes, we are above all religious work. Krishna Consciousness is
post-graduate to all these religions and any religion can take lesson
from us. Therefore we are not on the mundane plane. Other religions
are trying to understand God vaguely and we are on the platform
where God is really understood and we are associating with Him
Hoping this will meet you in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Prabhupada tells me about introductions to three lectures he was going to write for his visit to Moscow. They all deal with communism and the Vedic way. I don’t remember if these essays ever got written or whether I received them for an article on Prabhupada’s visit to Moscow.
I had written a newsletter to important people, but Prabhupada says the idea is not good. The newsletter will just be thrown away by their secretaries. It is better to see them personally. I don’t remember if we followed his advice and secured interviews with important people.
In the last paragraph Prabhupada says we are above all religious work . . . “Any religion can take lesson from us.” Prabhupada insists on our understanding that Krsna consciousness is the only path where God is really understood. In later years ISKCON has taken part in ecumenical meetings with representatives of other religions. We have tried to have congenial exchanges with the attitude that we can learn something valuable from followers of other paths. Prabhupada here seems to dismiss the idea of the value of ecumenical exchanges. But ISKCON has developed preaching in this way.
13th July, 1971
My Dear Satsvarupa,
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated 7 July, 1971 and have noted the contents carefully. I am glad to note that you have received tapes no. 2-4 and you are appreciating the narration of Dhruva Maharaja also. I have just received the transcription and layout pages for tapes 1 & 2. It has been done very nicely.
One point is that Jayadvaita writes that the synonyms for the last 18 chapters of third canto and the first seven chapters of fourth canto are not there. Where have they gone? I do not understand. Anyway, I have begun dictating the synonyms, and tape no. 6 was sent directly to Pradyumna. To finish these synonyms will take at least a month.
Arrangements are being made for us to leave for Detroit on the 16th morning. We will stay there for two days and then come to Boston for a few days also. Then we will go to N.Y. so I don’t think there will be time for going to New Vrindaban just now. So Kirtanananda Maharaja needn’t send tickets.
Hoping this meets you in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Prabhupada is pleased with typing I did on his dictation of the narration of Dhruva Maharaja. He says, “It has been done very nicely.”
But Jayadvaita has written to him that there are missing synonyms in the Third Canto and Fourth Canto. I did not know where they went or why they were not sent to me. It appears he has to do them over again, and it will take a month. How can they have gone missing?
Prabhupada is planning to leave Los Angeles and go to Detroit and then Boston and New York.
4th August, 1971
My Dear Satsvarupa,
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated 28th July, and have noted the contents carefully. So far your question is concerned you should understand that a devotee is never under any karmic reaction. Whatever is happening is the mercy of Krishna. That should be the viewpoint of the devotee. Once surrendered to Krishna, karmic reaction is immediately gone, but if he acts again independently, then he is again in the clutches of maya. That marginal state is always there but for a pure devotee who has actually surrendered to Krishna, he has no karmic reaction. The same example of the fan switched off; it is still running some rounds, but that will be stopped very soon. That is his position. Therefore a devotee who is having some adverse reaction, he doesn’t take ill of it. He knows that the karmic reaction is already stopped but what is happening is the residual turning of the fan, even after the switch is off. A pure devotee therefore takes it as the mercy of the Lord because the Lord is finishing his karmic reaction by summary punishment. To the devotee such adverse condition is seen as the benediction of the Lord and more enthusiastically he engages himself in the Lord’s transcendental service. He is never hampered by such reaction, neither is his Krishna Consciousness hampered by the least degree. In the presence of such adverse conditions of karmic reaction, the Lord advises us to tolerate; tams titiksasva bharata. My dear Arjuna, please tolerate these things without being perplexed. They come and go like seasonal changes of summer and winter. They have nothing to do with the pure soul engaged in devotional service. So the reaction is stopped, but the momentum is still there. Simply one has to tolerate.
Please offer my blessings to the other boys and girls there. Hoping this will meet you all in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
I had written to Prabhupada with a question about karmic reaction, and he replies with a substantial philosophical description of the devotee and karma. He says that once the devotee has surrendered to Krsna he is free of karmic reaction. But if some adverse conditions remain, they are to be understood as like the leftover momentum of a fan after the plug has been pulled out. The devotee should learn to tolerate the pains and go on with his devotional service.
This letter is an eye-opener. The point has been made in Prabhupada’s books also, but in this personal letter it stood out more clearly to me. I am not suffering from karma as long as I am following the principles of Krsna consciousness. Krsna is personally handling me for my purification; my sufferings are not karmic reactions.
“In His youth Nimai Pandita used to visit a poor banana seller, Sridhara. Nimai would argue with him and ask Sridhara to give Him the banana flowers, bananas and banana stalks free ofcharge. The Lord said to Sridhara, ‘Tell Me what you think of Me. After you answer this, I’ll go home.’
“Sridhara replied, ‘You are a brahmana, a portion of Lord Visnu.’
“The Lord said, ‘You don’t know. Actually, I’m from a gopa family.’
“Sridhara smiled, but due to the illusory energy he could not recognize the Lord.
“The Lord then said, ‘Sridhara, let Me tell you the truth. The glories of your Ganges are due to Me.’
“Sridhara replied, ‘Nimai Pandita! Aren’t you afraid of insulting Ganga in this way? You not only consider Yourself superior to Ganga, You even claim to be the source of the Ganga! One is supposed to become sober as he grows up, but I see that Your restlessness has doubled.’
“After joking with Sridhara in this way, Lord Gauranga returned to His home.”
Caitanya Bhagavata reveals the glories of Haridasa Thakura. It tells how he was born in a Moslem family but was a pure Vaisnava and chanted 300,000 Names of Krsna every day. Some Moslems complained to the king about Haridasa, and he was brought before the throne. He was told to stop his chanting of Hare Krsna. Haridasa said, “Even if I experience unlimited misery and death, I will never give up chanting the Lord’s holy name.” The king then ordered Haridasa to be beaten in 22 marketplaces. Strong men beat him with canes, but Haridasa felt no pain. The beaters became worried that if they could not kill Haridasa, they would be punished. When Haridasa learned of their mentality, he said, “Then I will die.” He then entered a deep meditation and showed no signs of living. When the king heard of this, he said Haridasa should be denied the honor of burial but should be thrown in the Ganges. After Haridasa floated in the Ganges for some time, he regained his external consciousness by the will of the Lord. He then came to the shore and got out of the water in great ecstasy. In this way he started for Phuliya while loudly chanting the Names of Krsna. Seeing the extraordinary potency of Haridasa, the Moslems’ minds changed and they forgot their envy. The king folded his hands and humbly said to Haridasa, “Now I know for certain that you are a powerful saint, for you are firmly convinced that the Supreme Lord is one.” Haridasa was then given permission to freely chant Hare Krsna wherever he wanted.
Haridasa attended a meeting of brahmanas and learned scholars, and he began to speak of the holy names. He said that even by shadow chanting of the holy names, one could gain liberation. A beautiful-looking young brahmana, who had no faith in the holy names, became furious at Haridasa’s words and said, “If by chanting the shadow of the holy names one does not attain liberation, I shall cut off your nose.” The entire assembly was shocked and offended by the brahmana’s words. They discharged him from his post and drove him out of their company. A few days later, that brahmana contracted leprosy, and his beautiful nose fell off. Haridasa then left that place and went to join Advaitacarya in Santipura.
I received a letter from a Godsister who wrote on behalf of my disciple in Denver and said this disciple was feeling unwell and was taking shelter of me. She inquired whether I could write a letter to her. I wrote her a kind of “get well” email:
Dear J. dasi,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
I learned that you are feeling physically unwell. You are experiencing one of the four miseries which Krsna says all conditioned souls have to meet: birth, death, disease and old age. You are experiencing disease. You should seek out whatever medical assistance is available, but mainly you should learn to tolerate the condition. I am also not in good health but my spirits are good; I chant and read and receive darsana of my Radha-Govinda Deities. I was with Prabhupada in 1967 when he suffered a stroke and was taken to the hospital.
The doctor gave him a spinal tap with a big needle. Afterwards, I asked Prabhupada, “Did it hurt?” He replied, “We are tolerant.” So you have to be like that. Take it as Krsna’s mercy, that you are receiving just a little token punishment for your past misdeeds.
Even more important than tolerating physical disease is tolerating the association of devotees in a favorable mood. If one is offensive to the devotees, this is known as the “mad elephant” offense. When a mad elephant enters a garden, he uproots all the plants and flowers and ruins the garden. Similarly, not tolerating the anomalies of devotees ruins one’s devotional garden. You have to see the good side in all devotees. Appreciate their sincerity and the fact that they are rare souls who have come under the shelter of Srila Prabhupada and are purifying themselves in Krsna consciousness. We should not be like the fly who goes to the sores of a person, but we should be like the bumblebee and go to the honey.
I think you may have a tendency to find fault in devotees, and you should avoid this dangerous habit. If you are fault-finding, you will get a bad reaction in so many ways, such as not being able to chant on your beads nicely and not be able to associate with the wonderful devotees of the Hare Krsna Movement.
Fault-finding is a form of disease which is more pernicious than physical maladies. Please write to me and tell me that you are curbing all fault-finding.
Yours in the service of Prabhupada,
Satsvarupa dasa Goswami
It was a great fight to secure the land at Juhu Beach. From the beginning, the owner of the land, Mr. N., had been trying to cheat the devotees. They had made a down payment, and he was supposed to turn over the deed to them. But he never did. He came up with delays and objections. But Prabhupada remained determined, even when his disciples lost enthusiasm in the negotiations and became frightened by Mr. N.’s threats and the other objections. Wherever Prabhupada traveled in the world, he was occupied with the Bombay struggle, and he exchanged telegrams and letters with Giriraja about the struggle. One time when Prabhupada was in Hyderabad for a pandal program, he learned that Mr. N. was also visiting Hyderabad from Bombay. Syamasundara went to Mr. N. to convince him to speak with Prabhupada. Mr. N. agreed. For two hours Prabhupada talked with Mr. N., and by the end of the discussion they had worked out a new sales agreement. According to the new terms, ISKCON would pay Mr. N. the five lakhs of rupees for the government tax, and in return Mr. N. would execute the deed. But there was also a time limit—three weeks—and the devotees would have to work fast. While Prabhupada was away from India, his leading disciples in Bombay became disheartened by the prospects of the land and the dealings with Mr. N. By themselves, without Prabhupada’s permission, they canceled the negotiations to buy. When Prabhupada returned to Bombay, he was disappointed in his disciples, but he said, “I will be the last one to give up the attempt to get the land.” Prabhupada had a volatile meeting with Mr. N., and they exchanged angry words. Mr. N. shouted, “I will remove the Deities myself! I will break the temple and remove the Deities!” That week Mr. N. was hospitalized after a severe heart attack. Two weeks later, he died. Mrs. N., although not as legally astute as her late husband, carried on the fight, and her lawyers, eager to collect their fees, pursued more intently than she the litigation to drive out ISKCON. One day, without warning, Mrs. N. launched a violent attack. She had arranged for a demolition squad to come and dismantle the temple. Trucks arrived, and nearly one hundred demolitionists working with blowtorches and hammers swarmed over the property. The devotees tried to stop the demolition, but soon policemen arrived on the scene, and, working in pairs, would grab the dissenters by the legs and arms and carry them away. They had half-demolished the temple and were approaching the Deities. When Mr. Chandra Mahadevia informed an influential government leader, Bal Thakura, of the emergency that the temple of Lord Visnu was being demolished, Bal Thakura in turn phoned the local ward office that had sent out the demolition squad. The ward officer sent a man to stop the demolition.
The next morning a photo of the demolished temple appeared on the front page of The Free Press Journal (the newspaper owned by Mr. N.) with the headline, “UNAUTHORIZED TEMPLE DEMOLISHED BY MUNICIPAL AUTHORITIES.”
Devotees began counteracting the bad publicity. As Giriraja met with and elicited support of government officials, many of Bombay’s leading citizens, appreciating the authenticity of the Hare Krsna Movement, began to show sympathy and offer assistance. Thus the plan of Mrs. N. and her lawyers backfired.
Giriraja tried to convince the municipal council to authorize the rebuilding of the temple structure. Justice Nain told Giriraja that he did not want to grant Mrs. N.’s request and that he would hear the devotees’ case on the following Monday. This meant that the devotees had from Saturday morning to Monday morning, two days, to rebuild the temple. They decided, therefore, to use the weekend to rebuild. On Monday morning, when the judge learned of the new temple, he declared, “What is built is built. No one can destroy the temple.” When Prabhupada heard the news, he considered it a complete victory, The temple had been rebuilt, and public opinion was swinging strongly in ISKCON’s favor. Mrs. N. eventually had a change of heart and came to Prabhupada crying and asking for forgiveness. He said to her that she was like his daughter and that he would take care of her. Then procedures went swiftly. Final documents were signed, and Juhu was ISKCON’s property.
Prabhupada had a feast prepared, and when it was over he returned to his residence and said, “It was a good fight.”
After one elevates oneself through the sitting postures, breath control, mind control, the highest stage of yoga is samadhi, where one is in trance meditating on the Supreme Lord. A yogi usually does this sitting down in a solitary place. Prabhupada used the phrase, “Work now, samadhi later.” He wanted his devotees to remain active in the preaching work, engaging in distributing books, building temples in India, making life members, etc. He and his spiritual master were against prematurely going to a solitary place and chanting Hare Krsna. He wanted them to follow Rupa Gosvami’s maxim and use all material things in the service of Krsna.
In Viraha Bhavan we are always thinking of Krsna, by serving Him in elaborate Deity worship, by cooking for the Deities and the devotees, by reading scriptures out loud during mealtime, and by cleaning the house and cooking. All these things are as good as samadhi. My writing in the Journal is samadhi. We also take care of Tulasi and meditate on keeping her healthy. We hold festivals in our ashram on Radhastami, Nrsimha Caturdasi, and other days, and devotees gather with us to celebrate. We distribute prasadam to visitors and take Baladeva’s homemade chocolate chip cookies wherever we go on our appointments to medical persons and shopping and any other public appearance. Just by wearing our devotional clothing in the neighborhood, we remind people of Krsna.
My writing a weekly Journal and publishing two books a year is part of our outreach program.
He was so tolerant and compassionate that when he was crucified he prayed, “Father, forgive them. They do not know what they are doing.” I was with Prabhupada on his European tour of 1974. He met with many Christian representatives. He told them if they could just chant the name of Jesus and stop meat-eating, they would be purified in their Christianity. He did not try to convert them to Krsna consciousness but tried to make them better Christians. But he argued that they were not strictly following the instructions of Jesus.