Srila Prabhupada on Kirtan

Reading Assignment

a) Quotes from Hari Sauri's Diary August 30th 1976, New Delhi

As Srila Prabhupada sat on the small stage, Lokanatha Maharaja led his men in an exuberant kirtana. After singing the standard prayers and the maha-mantra, he began chanting "gaura-Nityananda bol, haribol, haribol; gaura-Sriadvaita bol, haribol, haribol; gaura-Sri gadadhara bol, haribol haribol ... with a lot of emphasis on the response of haribol, haribol. Srila Prabhupada suddenly signalled him from the stage to stop it; he apparently didn't like it, although he didn't say why.

September 6, Vrindavana, Haribol, haribol and Panca-tattva mantra

Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur

Summary: A question is often raised by householders Vaishnavas - How do I avoid the contaminations of bad association I find in the work place? Here Bhakti Vinode Thakur details some principles that are to be applied for all ashrams. His explanation centers on making a clear distinction between love and duty. While the prohibition side is there (intimacy with non-Vaishnavas should be strictly avoided), the opposite is implied, i.e. That exchanges with devotees should be done with love, with deep caring for the Vaishnava who we are serving. Without this dimension of love and genuine caring, there will be no real association, and thus no transformation within the character of the individual.

Reading Assignment


Dhruva's anger and control of anger

Summary: During this past 3 weeks in India I have been speaking on the Life of Dhruva Maharaja from Srimad-Bhagavatam. Twice the ksatriya spirit of Dhruva moved him to severe anger. Both times he felt great remorse afterwards. The topic of controlling anger, and proper use of anger, is a theme of the Dhruva Maharaja katha. Below is a sublime rendering of this topic by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupada, in his typical style -- strong, direct and to the point, uncompromising, while instructing to "look within", to make our own heart pure and clear from contamination, avoiding the fault-finding propensity, seeking a position of humility and purity. This is our acarya! You will find the same text in formatted form, within the attached file.

Hearing Srimad Bhagavatam with rapt attention
October 3, 2006

Summary: During our Gita Nagari Retreat, we were reading from Srimad-Bhagavatam Canto 2, Chapter 6. A very profound purport appears there, instructing in the principle of celibacy for those who care to restore and again enter into their loving relationship with Krishna in the spiritual world. Srila Prabhupada presents *with such compelling force* the clear message that his emphasis upon the 4 regulative principles, joined with our chanting of the Holy Name, is to assist in carrying us to our ultimate destination.

Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur
June 29, 2008

Summary: Devotees often find themselves immersed in conflict with other devotees and thus see their progress in Krishna Consciousness impeded, retarded, or worse. Offenses against devotees is an offense against the Holy Name. We must try to focus on chanting the holy name and on not committing offenses against any living entities, especially against devotees. What follows are two relevant texts which discuss this point.

Reading assignment 1) Harinama Cintamani, Chapter 4; 2) Sri Caitanya Siksamrta, sixth Rainfall, second Shower, translated by Bhanu Swami

1) Harinama Cintamani, Chapter 4

Spiritual austerities purify mind and senses and elevates our consciousness

Summary: We normally hear of tapasya in terms of physical austerity, like fasting, enduring heat and cold, observing celibacy, or undergoing some extreme physical difficulty. A more complete picture of tapasya is the corollary feature of mental discipline that accompanies the sense control part of tapasya. Life itself is filled with austerities, and spiritual life is no exception. The difference between the two is that spiritual austerities elevate our consciousness and purify both mind and senses, whereas austerities in material life do not have this benefit at all. At best, they make one more determined and more inclined to the mode of goodness; at worst they increase pain, suffering, resentment, anger, etc.