So the young man came to Kṛṣṇa in Vṛndāvana, "Sir, You have to go to give witness because the old man is not keeping his promise." So Kṛṣṇa said to the young devotee that "How you are proposing that I shall go? Can a stone Deity, He can walk? Do you think?" He said, "Yes, if the stone Deity can speak, He can walk also." (laughter) So devotee is so strong. So Kṛṣṇa had to... "Yes, I'll go." First of all, He wanted to avoid. Then when He saw that "He's not ordinary devotee," He said, "All right, I'll go." So He came from Vṛndāvana to Kataka.
- 1 Bhagavad-gita As It Is
- 2 Srimad-Bhagavatam
- 3 Lectures
- 4 Conversations and Morning Walks
- 5 Correspondence
Bhagavad-gita As It Is
BG Chapters 1 - 6
The test of a yogī, devotee, or self-realized soul is that he is able to control the senses according to his plan. Most people, however, are servants of the senses and are thus directed by the dictation of the senses. That is the answer to the question as to how the yogī is situated. The senses are compared to venomous serpents. They want to act very loosely and without restriction. The yogī, or the devotee, must be very strong to control the serpents—like a snake charmer. He never allows them to act independently. There are many injunctions in the revealed scriptures; some of them are do-not's, and some of them are do's. Unless one is able to follow the do's and the do-not's, restricting oneself from sense enjoyment, it is not possible to be firmly fixed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
SB Canto 2
There are different kinds of materialists, such as the fruitive workers, the mental speculators, the mystic jugglers, and so many others. All of them are against the existence of Godhead. They would declare that they are themselves God, although in every step and in every action they are dependent on the mercy of the Lord. Therefore a pure devotee may not associate with such gangs of atheists. A strong devotee of the Lord will not be misled by such atheistic propaganda of the nondevotees, but a neophyte devotee should be very cautious about them. A devotee should see to the right discharge of devotional service under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master and should not stick only to the formalities. Under the direction of the bona fide spiritual master, one should see how much service is being executed, and not simply in the matter of rituals. A devotee should not hanker after anything, but he should be satisfied with things that may automatically come to him by the will of the Lord. That should be the principle of a devotional life.
SB Canto 4
Similarly, Prahlāda Mahārāja also delivered his atheistic father, Hiraṇyakaśipu. The conclusion is that a disciple or an offspring who is a very strong devotee can carry with him to Vaikuṇṭhaloka either his father, mother or śikṣā- or dīkṣā-guru. Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura used to say, "If I could perfectly deliver even one soul back home, back to Godhead, I would think my mission—propagating Kṛṣṇa consciousness—to be successful." The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is spreading now all over the world, and sometimes I think that even though I am crippled in many ways, if one of my disciples becomes as strong as Dhruva Mahārāja, then he will be able to carry me with him to Vaikuṇṭhaloka.
Every mother, like Sunīti, must take care of her son and train him to become a brahmacārī from the age of five years and to undergo austerities and penances for spiritual realization. The benefit will be that if her son becomes a strong devotee like Dhruva, certainly not only will he be transferred back home, back to Godhead, but she will also be transferred with him to the spiritual world, even though she may be unable to undergo austerities and penances in executing devotional service.
Since King Malayadhvaja was both a powerful king and great devotee, he fulfilled all the requirements. The name Malayadhvaja signifies a great devotee who stands as firm as Malaya Hill and, through his propaganda, makes other devotees similarly as firm. Such a mahā-bhāgavata can prevail over the opinions of all others. A strong devotee makes propaganda against all other spiritual conceptions—namely jñāna, karma and yoga. With his devotional flag unfurled, he always stands fast to conquer other conceptions of transcendental realization. Whenever there is an argument between a devotee and a nondevotee, the pure, strong devotee comes out victorious.
The word pāṇḍya comes from the word paṇḍā, meaning "knowledge." Unless one is highly learned, he cannot conquer nondevotional conceptions. The word para means "transcendental," and pura means "city." The para-pura is Vaikuṇṭha, the kingdom of God, and the word jaya refers to one who can conquer. This means that a pure devotee, who is strong in devotional service and who has conquered all nondevotional conceptions, can also conquer the kingdom of God. In other words, one can conquer the kingdom of God, Vaikuṇṭha, only by rendering devotional service. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is called ajita, meaning that no one can conquer Him, but a devotee, by strong devotional service and sincere attachment to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, can easily conquer Him. Lord Kṛṣṇa is fear personified for everyone, but He voluntarily agreed to fear the stick of mother Yaśodā. Kṛṣṇa, God, cannot be conquered by anyone but His devotee.
Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures
So when he went there... He had some yogic power, so immediately he could say, "Oh, your name is Kedarnatha Datta. I know you are very good man, but don't be after me. You will not be happy. And I shall elevate you to become the king of this country. Don't be after me." Now, if anyone... He was Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, a strong devotee. If any other person would have been addressed like that, he would be immediately puzzled: "How this man is talking about me, that I am Kedāranātha Datta, I am magistrate and...?" So he would not do anything. But Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura was so strong, he said, "Yes. Thank you very much, that I shall become king. So why don't you go to Jagannātha Purī and stay there? That is a nice pilgrimage, and you can stay there. Many holy men go there. Why you are in this village?" He wanted to drive him away from that village.
So nobody came forward to cut his jāta. So Bhaktivinoda: "All right, bring one scissor. I shall cut." So he personally cut, and personally cut, and that man became very thin immediately after cutting his jata. He had some power in the jāta. And he ordered six months' imprisonment. And in the prison he managed to take some poison and died. So devotees are so strong. They can know what is what. You see? He was not puzzled that "He is Viṣṇu and this..." No. So we should learn from the Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura's treatment that this jugglery or this so-called power is not, no good for advancement in spiritual life. You have to follow the regulative principles as enjoined in the śāstra. Yaḥ śāstra vidhim utsṛjya. If you do not follow the injunction of the śāstra, then there is no possibility of attaining perfection. Na siddhiṁ sāvapnoti. So our business is to accept a bona fide spiritual master, being guided by him, to follow the rules and regulations. Then advancement is sure. There is no doubt about it.
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Lectures
We should seek the shelter of the lotus feet of guru. Then everything... And vede gāya yāṅhāra carita. It is not that it is sentiment that one has to become very strong devotee of guru. Therefore Narottama dāsa Tha..., vede gāya yāṅhāra carita. Not that I am talking something nonsense. It is because... Śruti-pramāṇam. Whatever we talk, it must be supported by Vedic injunction. Then it is right. Just like we sometimes challenge these big, big scientists and others, and what is our strength? I am not a scientist, but how I can challenge? The Veda gāya. We have got evidence from the Vedas. Just like so many people are thinking that the moon planet is first. We are challenging, "No, moon planet is second." What is the strength? The strength is Vedic knowledge. We cannot accept it. So vede gāya yāṅhāra carita. Vedic knowledge is so perfect that you can challenge so many scientists.
Conversations and Morning Walks
1973 Conversations and Morning Walks
1976 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: He's collected all these bad.
Rāmeśvara: "Lying and cheating," he says.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: A few devotees who have joined him, who left and have joined him, they have given him this inside information, so he tries.... Actually, though, no strong devotee can be changed by him. He only gets the very new men. So now he's written a book.
Prabhupāda: About us?
Rāmeśvara: About his experiences of kidnapping our students and others.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: What is the book called?
Rāmeśvara: It's called Let My Children Go.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Let Our Children Go, yes.
Akṣayānanda: If one is not a very strong devotee, should one have that same attitude of going...
Prabhupāda: That is wanted. Dṛḍha-vrata. That is perfection. Bhajante māṁ dṛḍha-vratāḥ.
Hari-śauri: No, he's saying if you're not very fixed up then should you still go out and preach. If you're not very fixed up...
Prabhupāda: No, nobody is fixed. Nobody is perfect. But by rendering service he becomes perfect. The more you render service you become perfect. Not that in one day you become perfect.
I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letters (2) dated 8th July, 1970, and noted the contents. Janne is still staying here and she is enjoying the company of the devotees. I know that Tirthapada is a very nice and good boy. He is ready for all kinds of service. Now you are three strong male devotees and many girls are also helping you, and I hope you have now full strength for preaching work. In future if it is so required you may have one or two more from London, but the best thing will be to recruit devotees locally—that is the success of preaching work.
That should be our constant care—to maintain what we have already established and continue to improve the standard as far as possible in the loving service of Lord Krsna.
Your program seems very nice. Your are now six strong devotees, so work together very diligently for the spreading of Krsna Consciousness Movement. Your report of present improvements in the temple and Sankirtana Party and preaching trips to the university campuses is very nice. You are a very intelligent devotee of Lord Krsna and if you turn over your intelligence to Him, He will bestow upon you more and more intelligence how to serve the Spiritual Master and Krsna in full Krsna Consciousness. That is the perfection of your life. So please use your good intelligence for serving Krsna only and do not be misled to divert your attention elsewhere.
I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 14th December, 1970. In the meantime we have come from Surat to Bombay and from Bombay to Calcutta and tomorrow morning we are going to Allahabad to attend the Adha Kumbh Mela festival. We shall be going all 40 strong devotees and there are an expected 7,000,000 going there also for the month of Magh. I expect that by this time you are touring Europe and especially overseeing London Temple, so I am expecting another letter from you soon reporting the situation there. Anyway, I shall address this to your Buffalo Temple.
So I have no objection whatever. You may do as you think best. But that is a fact, many good men such as yourself are required here in India to complete the works that are started in various places such as Vrndavana, Mayapur, Hyderabad, Delhi, like that. But this is difficult work, and it will require very strong devotees, who are also healthy. There may not be always the facility for regulative practice of devotional principles as you have found them in your country, therefore since you are adjusted in that way, you have lost your enthusiasm due to irregular habits. Of course, in the more mature stage of Krsna consciousness one is not affected by such conditions of material nature, being always fixed in his idea and determined to push on on Krsna's behalf despite all kinds of unfavorable circumstances, but that stage of mature realization will come later.
As least he should come forward on the sastric injunction, arcya visnau siladhir gurusu naramatir vaisnave jati-buddhir. I do not think there is any difference in the method of deity worship he is teaching but you can also consult me.
You ask me how to recruit strong devotees to come there. You have to prepare strong devotees, not import them. You yourself become strong devotees and teach others by your example. Importation is not a good plan; everyone should be strong by behavior and action.
I understand that you are now taking over affairs in Hong Kong. I received the letters from Bhurijana and have referred the matters to GBC, to Madhudvisa Maharaja. I regard Hong Kong as an important center and I agree with your statement very much that if the Chinese are approached intelligently they will become strong devotees, because their moral character and steadfast nature is very strong. As you know I was there recently although I did not see you then. I also observed this in the Chinese people and appreciated it very much. But we need experienced devotees, otherwise how are we going to maintain a center there. Now I know you are a experienced manager but sometimes you have left. So you are now enthusiastic to stay and manage. So do not leave anymore and stay, then it is alright. Please give me further reports on your communications with Madhudvisa Maharaja.
We are very practical. Whatever is necessary for the maintenance of the body and mind, we will accept. I have never said that my disciples should sever all relationships with friends, relatives and others, but sometimes an inexperienced devotee may do it out of fear of being too much attracted to the materialistic way of life by associating with such persons. An experienced devotee is strong enough not to be affected, rather he can help others to become purified by his association. For more information, I suggest you visit one of our centers there in California. Thank you again for your concern.
So, in whichever status of life you may remain, if you stick to the principles, then you are alright. I am going to Vrndavana. If it is convenient you can stay for some time in Vrndavana with your family.
I always think of you as I do think of my other disciples, and surely Krsna will help you to become a very strong devotee of the Lord. Please offer my blessings to your wife and children.