Archive for the 'Srila Prabhupada' Category

Q&As: control and its consequence
23 December 2008

December 23 2008

Here’s the second of five questions Sriman Krsna Mitra dasa sent me in October:


“Krsna says in Bhagavad-Gita 5.29, “I am the proprietor and I am the supreme enjoyer”, so how can I preach this point to normal peoples?”


Ownership means control. If someone actually owns something, they consequently have control of it. And if you have control of something, you have the right and ability to enjoy it.

However, it’s not difficult to understand that none of us minute living beings own anything. We have nothing that we can call our own possessions. Even our bodies, what to speak about anything associated with them, do not belong to us. At any moment they can be taken away.

On a visit to New Mayapur in France on August 2 1976 Srila Prabhupada spoke to the assembled students of our gurukula there.

August 2 1976 meeting with Gurukula

He explained that the root cause of all our difficulties lay in our false desire to want to become masters of all we survey:

[TD 3] “Quoting from Bhagavad-gita 18.66 he said devotional service begins with surrender. But he said the material disease is that everyone wants to become master; nobody wants to become a servant. Therefore there is a struggle for existence.

He said the history of Europe is one of war — one leader after another trying to become the master. “The “mastership competition” is going on life after life and in different species of life, but it is a false ambition.

Napoleon ‘Dubya’ the Great

whoops! Sorry, wrong dictator…

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Dead Poets
15 December 2008

December 15 2008

I am not much of a poetry aficionado. I rarely write it, and seldom read it. But poetry is a powerful medium of expression and can move one’s emotions and spark one’s imagination like few other mediums.

Srila Prabhupada read and wrote poetry and at school he was exposed to British literature and its exponents. One of the great poets he sometimes quoted was William Cowper (pronounced Cooper – 1731-1800):

William Cowper 1731-1800

Cowper was well known for his love of the Divine through nature:

Jnana das: Srila Prabhupada, in Kenya the great majority of people live in the country rather than the towns.
Prabhupada: That’s nice. “Country is made of God, and city is made by man.” That is the remark by poet Cowper.”

Of course, Srila Prabhupad’s realizations went deeper and broader:

Hyderabad farm

Paramahamsa: Life becomes so artificial. In the big city, people don’t see that they depend on God.
Prabhupada: No, no. City or country, that I don’t say that Mr. Cowper is perfect in his statement. City is also created by God. City is also created by God. God has given you the ingredients, He has given you the intelligence, and you create. Eh? Wherefrom you get the intelligence? Eh? Who will answer this? Wherefrom the man gets his intelligence?”

Nevertheless he appreciated Cowper and men like him for their insights into human life and the natural arrangements provided by Krsna for real human development:

“Actually, I have no desire to start the school in any city. City life, especially in this age of kali yuga, is very much polluted. Poet Cowper stated that the city is made by man and the village is made by God. So in the village there is a natural tendency for Krishna Consciousness, so we want to develop such atmosphere in New Vrindaban. “–Letter to: Satyabhama  —  Los Angeles 27 December, 1968 

Cowper, the son of the chaplain of King George II, expressed his god consciousness through verse, to great effect. As Cowper noted about his own ability to write verse and its effect on others:

… I, who scribble rhyme
To catch the triflers of the time,
And tell them truths divine and clear
Which, couched in prose, they would not hear.

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Q&A: Worship of Tulasi devi on Dvadasi + 17 other questions
14 December 2008

December 14 2008

Srimati Tulasi devi

A few months back I got a question from Samatma Gour das in the CIS about Srimati Tulasi devi that I couldn’t answer:

“I heard recently that Tulasi should not be worshiped on dwadashi (take off leaves, touch etc).

tulasi leaves

I do not trust any “new” information (that appeared after passing away of Shrila Prabhupada) reg. the process of devotional service. So I decided to ask you. Is there any authoritative information about this and what did Shrila Prabhupada say about this?”

At the time I answered non-committally:

“Sorry prabhu, I don’t know anything about this topic. I never heard this before, that Tulasi cannot be touched or leaves picked on dvadasi. Maybe there is some shastric injunction but if there isn’t I wouldn’t give much credence to it unless someone can show some authoritative source to back it up.”

I recently put out the question on the Prabhupada Disciples conference on  and got this excellent answer from Sriman Gaura Kesava prabhu, an old friend and fellow disciple of Srila Prabhupada from Australia and an expert on various forms of Deity worship and pujas:

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Q&A: Miracles
3 December 2008

December 3 2008


Here’s an interesting question from Acyuta Krsna das in Perm, Russia:


 “Why during the last epoch there were various miracles which were made by the Lord and His devoted, sacred persons, and now – today there are no miracles? Why today we do not see miracles? Why now it is not observed at all any phenomena connected with acts of demigods . . . Earlier there were obvious proofs, which many could observe, and now all is reduced only to religious writings. Differently now it is necessary to take on all belief .”

 First of all we should understand what ‘miracle’ means. Here is the dictionary meaning:

 “miracle — an event that is contrary to the established laws of nature and attributed to a supernatural cause.”
 “any amazing or wonderful event”

 I think most people will describe a miracle similarly.

 It is not a fact that such things are not going on nowadays. But in modern times most people are atheists or skeptics and will not accept such events even if they see it with their own eyes. Take the events at Fatima, Portugal for instance:

In 1916 three shepherd children reported seeing an apparition of the Virgin Mary.


She told them she would visit them again on specific dates, and give information about the future. The news became widespread. By the time of the third visit, on October 13, 1917, 70,000 persons had gathered to see the event. They were spread over several square miles of countryside.

Fatima crowd

An eyewitness account was written by Dr. José Maria de Almeida Garrett, a professor at the Faculty of Sciences of Coimbra, Portugal:
“It must have been 1:30 p.m when there arose, at the exact spot where the children were, a column of smoke, thin, fine and bluish, which extended up to perhaps two meters above their heads, and evaporated at that height. This phenomenon, perfectly visible to the naked eye, lasted for a few seconds. Not having noted how long it had lasted, I cannot say whether it was more or less than a minute. The smoke dissipated abruptly, and after some time, it came back to occur a second time, then a third time

“The sky, which had been overcast all day, suddenly cleared; the rain stopped and it looked as if the sun were about to fill with light the countryside that the wintery morning had made so gloomy. I was looking at the spot of the apparitions in a serene, if cold, expectation of something happening and with diminishing curiosity because a long time had passed without anything to excite my attention. The sun, a few moments before, had broken through the thick layer of clouds which hid it and now shone clearly and intensely.

 “Suddenly I heard the uproar of thousands of voices, and I saw the whole multitude spread out in that vast space at my feet…turn their backs to that spot where, until then, all their expectations had been focused, and look at the sun on the other side. I turned around, too, toward the point commanding their gaze and I could see the sun, like a very clear disc, with its sharp edge, which gleamed without hurting the sight. It could not be confused with the sun seen through a fog (there was no fog at that moment), for it was neither veiled nor dim. At Fatima, it kept its light and heat, and stood out clearly in the sky, with a sharp edge, like a large gaming table. The most astonishing thing was to be able to stare at the solar disc for a long time, brilliant with light and heat, without hurting the eyes or damaging the retina. [During this time], the sun’s disc did not remain immobile, it had a giddy motion, [but] not like the twinkling of a star in all its brilliance for it spun round upon itself in a mad whirl.

fatima sun

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Q&As: Dr. Patel
14 November 2008

November 14 2008

This one’s from Bhaktin Natalya in the CIS: 

 “In the Transcendental Diary you told about Shrila Prabhupada meetings with Dr. Patel in Bombay.

 Srila Prabhupada and Dr. Patel on Juhu beach

He received so much association with Shrila Prabhupada. Did he become a devotee? Did he write a manual book on Sanskrit as Shrila Prabhupada advised?”

 Dr. Patel did indeed become a devotee, at least in spirit. I don’t think he ever chanted any rounds, but he was certainly following the 4 regs. and he accept Srila Prabhupada as his siksa guru:

[TD 1] December 20 1975 – Bombay

As we walked back to greet Sri Sri Radha-Rasabihari, the sound of children’s voices singing traditional Hindi songs loudly rang out from the playground of the junior school across the road. This scene reinforced the point that Srila Prabhupada emphasized during the morning walk — everyone must learn from another qualified authority.
Dr. Patel said, “Guru is necessity right from the birth. The first guru is the mother.”
Prabhupada answered, “And these rascals, they preach like that: ‘There is no need of guru.'”
“They are rascals, Sir.”
“Yes,” Prabhupada agreed. “Simply rascals. Rascal means he does not know the thing and he still preaches. That’s a rascal. Guru must be there. There are many, they say like that, ‘There is no need of guru.'”
When one visitor asked if some effort was required to obtain a guru, Prabhupada gave his confirmation. “Yes. Therefore Krsna says,
tad viddhi pranipatena. Pranipat means you have to surrender. When you submit somewhere, you must test and then submit. That is sad-guru.
“They say, sir,” Dr. Patel said, “that if you are very sincere then the
sad-guru comes automatically to you … as you have come to us.”
Prabhupada answered, “Yes. Because Krsna is there. If He sees somebody is actually serious to understand Him…. Therefore Dhruva Maharaja, he did not make any guru, but with fervent desire he went, ‘Yes, I shall find out Krsna.’ Mother said, ‘Krsna can be found in the forest.’ He went to the forest and began according to his own way. Then Krsna sent Narada Muni: ‘This boy is very serious; go and give him real mantra.’ That is Caitanya Mahaprabhu,
guru krsna krpaya paya bhakti lata bija. Two things required, guru and Krsna.”

The incident about the sanskrit grammar book occured on April 14 1976 on Prabhupada’s daily walk along Juhu beach:

[TD 1] Regarding Dr. Patel’s suggestion for learning Sanskrit, Prabhupada concluded that if a student is serious he can learn simply from reading his books, because in them he has given the word meanings. After studying a few sentences one can understand the verb, the subject, object, and so forth. Prabhupada told Dr. Patel that if he would have had more time he would have made a Sanskrit grammar based on Bhagavad-gita, but now he is too busy. He suggested Dr. Patel do it, since he knows both Sanskrit and English. “You can do that. People will read it, Bhagavad-gita grammar. On the Bhagavad-gita teach them grammar. Just like Jiva Gosvami compiled Hari-namamrta-vyakarana, similarly, you write. You have the knowledge of Sanskrit, and through English, [teach it using] Bhagavad-gita grammar. People will take it.”

As far as I know Dr. Patel never did it, but I am informed that there is now a book of Sanskrit grammar based on the Bhagavad-gita written by one of our ISKCON devotees (my apologies for not knowing who that is).

Q&As: women sannyasis
12 November 2008

November 12 2008

We sometimes hear outlandish stories attributed to Srila Prabhupada. Here’s a curious question I received some months ago from Laksmana Prana dasa:

“I heard one story that may have serious conclusions, and therefore I would like to ask your either to confirm or to refute.

One mataji who preached a lot begged Shrila Prabhapada to give her sannyasa, referring to Jahnava Ma. Prabhupada gave her sannyasa and in one month that mataji left the movement forever and got married to a karmi.”


 I never heard this before. As far as I know Srila Prabhupada never gave sannyasa to a woman. It would have been completely contradictory to everything he ever said on the topic. I think this is a completely bogus story.

In 1976 requests for sannyasa were becoming frequent. Indeed, Srila Prabhupada gave sannyasa to seven men at the Gaura Purnima festival:

7 new sannyasis

But he never gave sannyasa to a woman even though he was asked:

[TD Vol 1] February 4, 1976 – Mayapur

The acceptance of sannyasa has become so popular recently that even some of the ladies are asking about it. Aditya dasi sent an enquiry from Bombay. “I am writing this letter on behalf of myself, as well as the other women in our Society. Sometimes the question has come up, but no one seems to know the real answer, about sannyasinis. I know that sannyasa is the highest order of spiritual life, therefore is it not possible that we can be eligible? Myself, I do not feel like a woman, although I am in this body.”

Prabhupada’s reply was concise and clear. Quoting from Bhagavad-gita, he told her the soul is neither man nor woman, and for those engaged in Krsna’s service, there is no distinction between man and woman. “Anyone acting for Krsna, he is a sannyas or sannyasini. Spiritually everyone is equal. But materially a woman cannot be given sannyasa. But you should not be bothered because you are serving on the spiritual platform.”

Better to die by eating…
6 November 2008

November 6 2008


After all the talk about die-ating, you can be forgiven for thinking today’s header is about my recent attempts to improve my health through diet. That’s a quote from Srila Prabhupada though.

Prabhupada ate carefully,

sp prasadam 

 and whenever he suffered some ill health he responded by adjusting his diet. He had been a medical man in his grhastha days, and he knew the beneficial effects of eating well. But if it came to enforced dieting, his mood was a lot different.

Here’s a couple of snitchs from TD Volume 6 (unpublished) that show his mood towards doctors and their prescribed diets:

December 26 1976 – Bombay

In mid-morning, Srila Prabhupada met with an ayurvedic kaviraja, Mr. Chakrobarty. After a short discussion Srila Prabhupada agreed to go with him to his clinic. Accompanied by myself, he set off by car to the man’s home and then his clinic. It was a long drive to the other side of Bombay.

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You say aloo, I say goodbye…
3 November 2008

November 3 2008

While I was in Mumbai two weeks ago I visited the Bhaktivedanta Hospital at Mira Road, for a full checkup.


 I haven’t had one for a couple of years, and with a number of Godbrothers and sisters facing various health crisises this year, it seemed prudent to have a look and see what was going on in the innards of this animated carcass.

The BH is more like a temple than a hospital, it is so clean and well ordered. You walk in the door and there is a murti of Srila Prabhupada right in the middle of the ground floor.


Devotees tour the floors with a portable altar of Lord Jagannatha so that the patients can offer flowers and prayers to the Lord. Devotional music and lectures are piped into every room in the building and all the food served is prasadam. These are popular features despite the fact that about 60% of the patients are Muslim or Christian. The hospital has a great reputation and is now having to expand its facilities to cope with the demand.

portable altar

They also run a free meal for schools program, serving over 40,000 plates of prasadam a day to Mumbai’s school kids.

Along with first class medical care the devotees also maintain an all-important Spiritual Care dept. so any devotees going in get very well cared for in all respects.

As for me, all in all things are not so bad, a little hypoglycemia, a little extra bad cholesterol, and a bit of osteoarthritis setting in.

Could be worse, and the doc’s advice was that it can all be controlled by diet and exercise.  So this a confirmation of my own diagnosis that I am now going to have to do the two things I have avoided most of my life.

Srila Prabhupada didn’t like enforced diets either, but more about that in a moment.

 The BH has a good ayur-vedic doctor in residence, Nirmal Candra prabhu, and I was fortunate he was on duty when I visited. After hearing my symptoms he analysed me as a pitta constitution. Pitta is particularly centered in the pancreas and an excess of it is what is causing my hypoglycemia (too much production of insulin, which causes the blood sugar level to drop too far down resulting in fainting among other things). Pitta of course is fire. That’s me, too much fire in the body.

 [TD5] November 3, 1976 – Vrndavana

As Prabhupada was walking back into the house from the garden after his noon massage today, he suddenly reached out and took hold of my hand. He shook his head and said with a sympathetic smile, “Too hot!” and then went in to bathe. This is the second time he has done this. It’s obvious that he doesn’t feel that it’s a good thing, but I am not sure what he means by it–I don’t know if he means it affects him adversely or me adversely–and there seems little I can do about my bodily constitution. I am unfortunately largely in the mode of passion, and I guess that my body being overheated must be a symptom of that. But since Prabhupada hasn’t given me any advice how to rectify this or even that I should, or indicated that it is too much of an inconvenience (for either of us), I guess I have to live with it as best I can.

So the days of blissful youthful ignorance are at an end. I can do something about my constitution and I intend to.

Dr. Nirmal Candra gave me a few herbs, and also a diet. This is the crunch–one of the items I have to avoid is potato!! Arghh! The king of vegies, I don’t know how I will live without it. Fried, boiled, baked, mashed, you name it, potato has been one of my life-long love affairs.

 potato eyes

I had actually been told many years ago in 1986 by Damodara Prasada Sastri, the Kaviraja from Calcutta who had treated Srila Prabhupada in his final two weeks, that I should not take potatoes, but it was an impossible-to-follow advice.

This is the first time since then that I have been advised in the same way. I didn’t follow Shastri’s advice because he simply told me, but didn’t explain why. But Nirmal Candra explained with a diagram how the stomach is the center for kapha, the pancreas is the center for pitta, and the colon is the center for vata. An imbalance in these three centers means disease of various kinds in the other organs of the body.

So that’s it. Tonight I said farewell to two of my favorite preparations.  One of our householders stands opposite the Samadi with a glass box perched on a rickshaw. It is filled with golf ball sized crispy brown puris, called pushkas.


 I first came across them while traveling with Srila Prabhupada:

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Srila Prabhupada’s Disappearance festival pics
2 November 2008

November 02 2008

Srila Prabhupada in the Puspa Samadhi

Here’s a few pics. from this evening’s festival in the puspa-samadhi. In keeping with tradition, devotees sung “Je anilo prema dhana…” at the exact time of Srila Prabhupada’s departure, which is recorded in TKG’s Diary as 7.25 PM. That was followed by offerings of garlands by senior devotees, an arati and another puspanjali, and then offering of lamps for Kartika-vrata.

Umapati Swami offers a garland

Umapati Swami offering garland

Bhakti Charu Swami offers his garland

Bhakti Charu Swami offering garland

A tray of ghee wicks for offering kartika-dipa

ghee wicks

The Mayapur ladies offer their lamps

ladies offering their lamps

Head Pujari Jananivas prabhu

Jananivasa prabh

kirtana lead by Bhakti Charu Swami

kirtan for Srila Prabhupada

Srila Prabhupada’s Tirobhava-tithi Maha-mahotsava
2 November 2008

November 2 2008 – Mayapur

April 1972 Sydney

April 1972: Srila Prabhupada and Sydney temple president, Mohanananda dasa. Photo by Amogha dasa.

Today is Srila Prabhupada’s 31st Disappearance festival, which I am celebrating in Mayapur.  I decided to return here from Vrndavana and observe His Divine Grace’s departure pastime at  his puspasamadhi in the more intimate and peaceful atmosphere of Mayapur-dhama.

There are not so many crowds and the ceremony is more simply observed, but it has its own sweetness and style. The puspa-samadhi is a beautiful building, its only drawback being the terrible accoustics. The sound echoes around the dome and the smooth concrete walls and you have to sit in the right spot to hear properly. For this reason we will be hiring one of the top accoustic engineers in India so that we don’t have the same problem in the TOVP.

After the regular morning program we gathered in the samadhi and had three hours of Srila Prabhupada katha interspersed with bhajans lead by our expert Bengali kirtaneers. We are blessed with the presence of several very senior devotees, particularly HH Umapati Swami who joined in 1966, Madhusudana and Kancanabala prabhus and their daughter who both joined in 1967, Bhakti Charu Swami, Hanumat-presaka Swami, Jananivas and Pankajanghri prabhus, Bhavananda prabhu, Sri Raga, Grahila, Suresvara, Ragatmika and others.

 The main theme seemed to be “How I joined Krsna consciousness by the mercy of Srila Prabhupada.” It was engaging hearing, each story a moving testiment to the great compassion and mercy Srila Prabhupada extended to the most fallen souls of Kali-yuga.

For my part, I had skipped the regular Deity greeting and guru-puja so that I could do my own daily puja to Prabhupada before the festival program began.

Hsd Deity of Prabhupada 

As I bathed and dressed him, I listened to the first ever recording of Srila Prabhupada, made by himself in February 1966 as he sat in his windowless, furnitureless room at 100W 72nd Street. It is his Introduction to the Geetopanisad, or Bhagavadgita.

As I absorbed myself in his resonant, careful dictation, I envisioned him sitting, alone and penniless, in the New York winter in what could only be described as a materially destitute condition. Yet with unlimited enthusiasm to execute his spiritual master’s instructions to preach Krsna consciousness to the English speaking people of the world.

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura had told him that even if noone else is there, you can still preach to the walls. And that is precisely what Srila Prabhupada did. When he spoke the Gita Introduction there was noone there to hear him. He was speaking to a machine. He had no idea whether anyone would hear what he had to say, but he had confidence that it was worth saying, and that if Krsna desired it would eventually be heard.

Then in my mind I fast-forwarded to Sydney, circa January 1972. I had met the devotees the year before on the streets of the same city, the second day I arrived there as a new immigrant from England. I bought a BTG, #37 with the rasalila dance pictured on the front. After six months working in the far north-west of the Australian outback, I had traveled back to Sydney to find the devotees.

I was materially burnt out, desperate to find some meaning to my life, seriously questioning my own sanity and looking for answers to questions that noone seemed to even understand what to speak of answer. I found the devotees and bought a Bhagavad-gita As It Is, the blue Collier MacMillan edition with a black sillouette of Lord Visnu on the front.

Collier MacMillan Gita 1968

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H.H. Jayapataka Swami -Srila Prabhupada’s Victory Flag
24 October 2008

Ocotober 24 2008

Now we have another major crisis with HH Jayapataka Swami in hospital in Mumbai with a severe stroke caused by brain aneurysm. His condition is very critical, and the doctors have admitted that there is not much they can do, and the main thing now is our prayers for Maharaja’s well being.


At this moment I can’t describe my feelings. The apprehension of the loss of this very dear friend is not something I want to contemplate right now. And despite his current crisis, as Ravindra Svarupa prabhu just put to me, Maharaja has more prana than anyone he has ever met. He is a fighter and he has tremendous strength of constitution.


We have clearly entered the era where the disappearance of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples is going to be a regular affair. That’s the material world, always hankering and lamenting. Our consolation is Srila Prabhupada’s statement that we shall have another ISKCON in the spiritual world and that our spiritual relationships are all eternal. 


I was just with Jayapataka Maharaja in Mumbai. We had our MVT meeting in Chowpatty on the 18th. He appeared to be very tired and didn’t look well, but like everyone else, I thought it was simply the symptom of the almost perpetual jeg-lag that Maharaja suffers due to his intense and continuous travels. I thought with a few days in one place he would catch up his rest and be back to his usual energetic self.

It only takes a second and everything changes.


I first saw him in 1975 but I didn’t get to know him until early 1976. Srila Prabhupada had arrived in Mayapur on January 17 and stayed for just over two months. Jayapataka Swami was his stalwart assistant in developing the Mayapur project. I remember one particular incident that nicely summed up their relationship:

[TD 1] January 18, 1976 – Sri Dhama Mayapur 

With the festival only six weeks away, Jayapataka expressed doubts how it [the Long building] could be completed in time. Prabhupada told him if they engage at least one hundred men it could be done. Then Bhavananda Maharaja raised the objection that there was no money. Prabhupada told him that if that was the only problem, he would give him the money. But he said they must start immediately. Jayapataka, however, was still apprehensive. He said there was a shortage of bricks. Nevertheless Prabhupada pushed him to begin construction. He told them that they should do whatever they can, but the work must begin immediately.

Leaving the pukkur we hesitated to go down the steep incline of the embankment. Jayapataka, however, had no problem running down, even in his wooden shoes. Srila Prabhupada laughed. “Victorious flag — Jaya-pataka,” he called out, appreciating his disciple’s dexterity.

Since those days Jayapataka Maharaja has been carrying the flag of victory all over the world on behalf of Srila Prabhupada, spreading the glories of Sri Mayapur Dhama far and wide and increasing the family of ISKCON devotees for the pleasure of his spiritual master. Now that seems to be at the end of an era.

We can simply pray that Srila Prabhupada’s victorious flag is not lowered to half mast any time soon.

Q&A: Krishna means dark
21 October 2008

October 21 2008

This one is from Anuj, who bought a set of my books from me in Atlanta this summer at the Panihati festival.

 Panihati festival Atlanta

He’s experiencing a common phenomena that attacks a lot of new devotees:

“For the past few weeks, I have tried to remain fixed in my service to Sri Sri Radha Krsna, but impersonalist thoughts seem to be polluting my mind. I have debated quite extensively with Mayavadi’s online in various religious forums and this has had a negative effect on my spiritual life. My mind seems to be more inclined in accepting Impersonalistic convictions although I am only really satisfied in serving Krsna.

“I keep reminding my self that the great Acharyas including Ramanuja,




Lord Chaitanya

 Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu

and Srila Prabhupada

Srila Prabhupada 

all preached against Mayavadism yet the fact that so many people in India and elsewhere are immersed in such impersonalism seems to persuade me that there must be some truth in their philosophy. I really dislike the way in which Mayavadi’s state that the Absolute Truth referred to in the Bhagavad Gita is not actually Krsna in his personal form but rather the Impersonal Absolute within Krsna. I really do want to want to remain fixed in my service to Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu but Impersonalism seems to be the stumbling block on my path.”

“Since you were such an intimate servant of Srila Prabhupada, I wanted to ask you how Prabhupada would interact with such impersonalists and the way in which we can best preach to the Mayavadis. Although I have been advised to stay away from impersonalists, I always feel that it is my duty to preach to them. I don’t understand why I get such inclinations but is there any way in which I can remain convinced that Krsna’s personal form is his highest feature?”


 As you say, impersonalism is a pollution of the mind. It brings no satisfaction to the soul and that’s why all the big mayavadi’s ultimately come down again to the material platform and indulge in altruistic or humanitarian acts. Although they claim the material realm is mithya, illusion, they are very fond of remaining in that illusion.

 The natural function of the soul is to love. That means three things-the lover, the beloved and the exhange between them.

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Q&A: 10,000 years of sankirtan
20 October 2008

Otober 19 2008

Here’s a recent question from Nityananda Priya dasi in the CIS about the famous prediction that within this Kali-yuga there will be a 10,000 year period of grace where people will be able to easily take to the Sankirtana movement and go back home back to Godhead:


“I would like to ask a question, if it is allowed. I am sometimes asked, what are the symptoms of the 10,000 years of the Golden Age? Can we say, it is the possibility to preach and chant the Holy Name all over the world?”


 I think that is a good summary. By the arrangement of the Lord, the conditions become favorable for preaching and for people to receive the holy names and the message of the Bhagavatam.

 In the SB 11.5.38-40 it says:

“It is stated in the Visnu-dharma,
kalau krta-yugam tasya
kalis tasya krte yuge
yasya cetasi govindo
hrdaye yasya nacyutah

“For one who has Lord Govinda in his heart, Satya-yuga becomes manifest in the midst of Kali, and conversely even Satya-yuga becomes Kali-yuga for one who does not have the infallible Lord in his heart.”

And in the 12th canto it is stated:
SB 12.3.26

“According to Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, within each age the other three ages occasionally manifest as sub-ages. Thus even within Satya-yuga a demon in the mode of ignorance may appear, and within the age of Kali the highest religious principles may flourish for some time. As described in SrimadBhagavatam, the three modes of nature are present everywhere and in everything, but the predominant mode, or combination of modes, determines the general character of any material phenomenon. In each age, therefore, the three modes are present in varying proportions. The particular age represented by goodness (Satya), passion (Treta), passion and ignorance (Dvapara) or ignorance (Kali) exists within each of the other ages as a subfactor.”

On several occasions during his last tour of the USA Srila Prabhupada specifically told us that this movement would go on for 10,000 years:

 Srila Prabhupada in NV June 1976

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13 October 2008

October 11 2008

I was off-line for a couple of days, traveling to Mumbai. I will be here ’till October 23. I have a series of meetings over the next week or so, some connected with the GBC meetings that are to be held here, and some with the TOVP

I don’t come to Mumbai much. If I travel out of Mayapur at all (summer excluded), its mainly to Vrndavana. Last time I was here was 2 years ago. They were still constructing the massive extension at that time. Now its finished. 

They call the new extensions to Sri Sri Radha Rasabehari’s temple ‘Heaven on Earth’ and it really is. Amazing place.

Heaven on earth 

If you come to India, you must visit Hare Krishna Land Juhu. The guest house is 4 star.

view from my guest house window 

The restaurant is huge and the prasadam served is delicious. Yesterday, Sunday over 50,000 people went through the temple and other facilities. There are so many people they have to keep the line moving so that everyone gets a chance to see the Deities.

 darshan of Deities

That’s regular traffic, on special events days its much, much bigger.

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In Australia you are reducing?
9 October 2008

October 9 2008

Speaking of diets, in March of 1977 I left Srila Prabhupada’s party and returned to Australia. Prabhupada made me the GBC there the following month.

Sometime in late April I came down with malaria. It was a reoccurrence of a couple of bouts I had in India in 1976. The medicine I had been given there only suppressed the malaria bug but didn’t flush it out of my system. So I spent five days in the Adelaide tropical diseases hospital with a cracking headache and no appetite. When I came out I was noticeably thinner.

In late May all the GBCs were called to Vrndavana. Srila Prabhupada’s condition had worsened and he had rushed back there from Rishikesh. He wrote his Will on May 23 and the GBCs were told to ask any questions they had and get them clarified. I was out on traveling sankirtana in Australia and didn’t get the message until a few days later.

I immediately flew to Delhi and arrived in Vrndavana on May 29. By that time the immediate crisis had passed and Srila Prabhupada seemed to improve. Some of the GBCs were already leaving by the time I arrived at Krishna Balarama Mandir. Having spent so much money to get there, and naturally keen to have His Divine Grace’s personal association again after two months absence, I decided to remain in Vrndavana for two weeks.

By that time Prabhupada’s daily routine had completely changed from when I was on the party. He needed 24 hour assistance and someone had to be with him at all times. Physically he was drastically debilitated and spent most of the time lying down.

Vrndavana 1977

Tamal Krishna Goswami, Upendra prabhu and Ksira-chora Gopinath (who took sannyasa a few days after I arrived and became Bhakti Charu Swami) made a roster, and I was assigned a two hour afternoon spot.

 The first day there then I went up onto the back section of the roof where Srila Prabhupada was lying down on a cot resting. When I came by his side Prabhupada glanced over at me.

“In Australia you are reducing?” he asked.

I missed the meaning. “Reducing Srila Prabhupada?”

“Yes, in Australia you are reducing?” he repeated.

Then I understood. He saw that I was noticeably thinner since I had left his party. Despite his own condition he was immediately concerned about my health.

“Oh, yes. I had a bout of malaria recently,” I explained, “But I am also eating less as well.” I added the last bit because I thought he would be pleased to hear that I was cutting down on my eating.

For good reason. On November 27, 1976 on this very same spot, I had made the biggest mistake of my life:

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On a die-ate
7 October 2008

October 7 2008

It happens in middle age. The signs of decline, loss of energy, failing eyesight and hearing, inefficient metabolism, and increasing waist line even though you’re not eating more than usual.

Since my mid-50s I have been putting on a bit of weight

a little over-weight

so I have decided its time to do a bit of dieting. Not for appearance but for health. I just had my horoscope done and my astrologer told me that from my 58th year for four years I can expect poor health. That begins next month. He advised diet and exercise to help offset the adverse effects.

I am one of those people who have been fortunate enough to never really experience poor health. At least not serious bad health. I have a robust constitution and apart from some specific diseases-malaria, typhoid-I rarely get colds, headaches, or suffer much physical difficulty.

So I have never paid much attention to physical maintenance. I am generally pretty lazy and I hate exercise.  But all the signs are pointing to a new era in personal health care.

It all started when I  hit my fifties. In 2001-02 I had some problems with pronounced muscle ache and tiredness. It was like having a constant ‘flu but without the cold. Finally I went to the doctor. He was young guy and new out of college. He convinced himself I was suffering from depression and wanted to give me some magic pills to feel better. No way!

 I knew it was a physical problem and I insisted on a blood test. The results came back and showed a severe depletion of B12, commonly called pernicious anaemia (although its not technically anaemia). Normal levels should be 140 but mine was down to 41, so I had to have ten booster shots to bring it back up. I was also supposed to have a booster every three months but I haven’t bothered. (Maybe I should get a check!) 

I also started eating a couple of spoonfuls of granulated bee pollen a day which is rich in B12.

 granulated bee pollen

It seems this type of anaemia is a common problem with vegetarians because the main source of B12 is animal. Anyway the shots immediately improved things and all the aches went away and I felt my normal energy levels return.  

I also had problems due to a sluggish liver. I had a spell a few years back when I would fall asleep immediately after eating something, not even a meal, and I had to literally force myself to stay awake. It was a bit disconcerting to start nodding out even while I was in the middle of a conversation. Sometimes I would just feel like curling up on the floor and having a snooze.  I couldn’t concentrate properly, my brain responded about as fast as a dead slug and I felt tired alot of the time.

It wasn’t due to a lack of sleep. Something wasn’t working properly and finally I went to an Ayurvedic doctor in Sydney.  He gave me a liver cleanser/tonic and a specific diet. After a month I had improved about 80%.

Srila Prabhupada advised us to keep up our health so that we can keep doing our service. He set the example. He took not less than 3-4 hours a day just for maintaining his body.

Wherever he was in the world, he would always go for a one hour morning walk


and every day around noon he would have a one and half hours full body massage

November 1976 Vrindavana

and another 1/2 – 1 hour massage in the evening. Apart from that, he also regularly adjusted his diet in response to his bodily needs. Had he not done this, its very doubtful that he could have travelled all over the world for 11 years while writing, lecturing, corresponding and constantly meeting with anyone who could help with his mission.

Now with the astrologer’s warning I have decided its time to officially go on a diet. Or die-ate. Tyaga-bhoga. Its not so hard. No, really. Honestly.

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Pleasure is a misconception
4 October 2008

October 4 2008

Health is always a topic. If you have a material body, jara and vyadhi are part and parcel.

 I just got this letter from my godbrother Dhruva Maharaja prabhu (who by the way runs an excellent website called where you can download heaps of wonderful audio stuff, e-books etc.)

 “A few years ago doctors prescribed some high blood pressure medicine, which I’ve been taking regularly. Although my numbers are now okay, there’s a substance in blood called triglycerides – and mine are high.

“The allopathic remedy for this is nasty – I’ve tried it and it doesn’t suit me. I’ve also tried garlic pills, but they didn’t do much. Now the doctor is saying either take the allopathic or the other remedy – fish oil….yuukkk!

“You’re the walking, talking, emailing database for Srila Prabhupada pastimes… I’m wondering if there’s some instance you can refer to that will answer the question what to do in this case?”


 I can’t recall much that Srila Prabhupada said about treating high blood pressure. He did have continual problems with it while I was his servant:

[TD 1] December 21st, 1975- Bombay

There was no morning walk today. Missing Prabhupada on the beach, Dr. Patel arrived at his apartment with his son. He took a cardiograph reading and gave Prabhupada some pills. His diagnosis is high blood pressure.
Prabhupada rested. He didn’t take breakfast, and then ate only a morsel at lunch, complaining of dizziness from the medicine. He remarked that modern drugs are medicines for the demons. Prabhupada rarely goes to a doctor, although if by some arrangement one comes to him, he doesn’t refuse their help. Disease has to be treated, of course, but as far as he is concerned, chanting Hare Krsna is the best cure.
In the evening he felt better and ate some guava, three parathas, and a sabji Harikesa cooked for him.
As part of his cure Prabhupada told us that for at least one week he wants to be free of appointments and visitors. Harikesa is doubtful that we will be able to enforce this rule. Prabhupada is too enthusiastic to stop preaching and too kind to turn away unexpected visitors.”

[TD 4] September 11th, 1976 – Sri Vrndavana-dhama

Prabhupada’s health is not very good. He has been suffering from high blood pressure for several days, and today he has toothache. Indeed, he seems to be suffering a general decline in health and strength. At this time last year he was striding strongly down the road every morning for at least one hour and seemed quite full of vigor. Now he rarely takes such walks.

September 12th, 1976

Srila Prabhupada’s Srimad-Bhagavatam class was shorter than usual. He is still suffering from high blood pressure and speaking gives him a headache.

September 13th, 1976

Hansaduta Maharaja has asked Srila Prabhupada if he can record him singing some bhajanas. He wants to make a record for sankirtana distribution. Prabhupada has agreed, despite the fact that he has great difficulty speaking very much at the moment due to his high blood pressure. So at about 6:00 a.m. this morning, Hansaduta set up some simple recording equipment in Srila Prabhupada’s bedroom. His Divine Grace played the harmonium and recorded Hari Hari Biphale. Harikesa Swami accompanied him on mrdanga and I played the karatalas.

* * *

Prabhupada’s classes are becoming noticeably shorter. His high blood pressure makes it a strain for him to speak for an extended period. Still, long or short, his speaking is imbued with the same depth and power, and his realizations illuminate the text and the hearts of the devotees.

September 17th, 1976

Srila Prabhupada told Hansaduta Swami that this morning’s recording session would be the last. Prabhupada wants to oblige Hansaduta, but he said the singing is too much strain because of his high blood pressure.

September 18th, 1976

Srila Prabhupada is not feeling well again and could hardly speak this morning due to his high blood pressure, which is affecting his head and giving him massive headaches. He gave only a short class and afterwards, in his room, he said he will stop public lecturing for a while as it is a great strain.

September 19th, 1976

Srila Prabhupada didn’t give a class this morning. He rested until 9 a.m. and then followed his usual routine for the rest of the day.
His high blood pressure has become such a problem that after giving his usual evening darsana in the temple, he sat in his room and had me massage his head and temples for twenty minutes with Brahmi oil. After this, I soaked a new gamcha in cold water, folded it into a strip about six inches wide, and Prabhupada then sat with it draped over his head for about an hour. The treatment seemed to give him some relief.

September 30th, 1976

I mentioned to Tamopaha that Prabhupada was having high blood pressure problems and he suggested that Prabhupada take the pulp from the cactus-like aloe vera plant, a common treatment for heart complaints in Hawaii. He said it helps clear the arteries and is also excellent when applied externally, for curing burns and skin ailments. I discussed it with Srila Prabhupada and he agreed to try it. Accordingly, I have located some plants growing in a nearby asrama and it is being added to his diet.

October 1st, 1976

At 7:00 p.m. as arati begins, Prabhupada returns to his quarters. Most evenings he does not talk much with anyone because his high blood pressure is persistent and he gets a big headache almost as soon as he talks. Apart from his managers, only Bhagatji comes in the late evening. He chats with Prabhupada from about 8:30 p.m. until Prabhupada takes his milk and retires.


 You can see from this that his blood pressure problem was persistent. He did try the aloe vera remedy but to not much effect:

[TD 5] October 9th 1976 – Aligarh (at the house of Mr. Saigal)

Aligarh reception

Aligarh reception, Mr. Saigal at far right — (see photo gallery for more Aligarh photos)

Surendra Saigal came in to Prabhupada’s room to find out what he wanted for breakfast. Prabhupada mentioned apples and milk. Since Mr. Saigal had made some suggestions to Srila Prabhupada for helping with his health, I asked him if he could get some ghrita-kumari, aloe vera. Arjuna and Tamopaha prabhus suggested it last week as a good remedy for high blood pressure and for cleaning the arteries. Mr. Saigal happily informed us that he had it growing in his garden. His wife takes it regularly, stuffed in chapatis or parathas, and finds it quite efficacious for relieving pains in her knees. Mr. Saigal though, suggested that garlic was the best for relieving high blood pressure.
Prabhupada wrinkled his nose and grimaced slightly. “Garlic.”
Mr. Saigal smiled at his reaction. “Garlic. You don’t want it,” and they laughed together.
“Garlic, onions, prohibited,” Prabhupada told him.
So it was settled that his wife would cook aloe vera chapatis for breakfast. Prabhupada asked Gaurasundara prabhu if he knew of it, and he confirmed they had it in Hawaii. He added that it can be used externally for skin diseases, burns, and cuts.
As Mr. Saigal left the room to prepare for breakfast, Prabhupada concluded, “Body is simply troublesome.”

 Srila Prabhupada did say a lot of things about devotees taking care of their health.

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Just in time
2 October 2008

October 2 2008

Here’s an interesting question from Vishal Gauranga prabhu. He’s been reading Kurma prabhu’s excellent book The Great Transcendental Adventure (If you haven’t read it, beg, borrow or steal it; its as good as his cooking).

 Great Transcendental Adventure

Respected Kurma prabhu,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada, all glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

I was going through this passage as mentioned below ..

“Srila Prabhupada had been booked on a flight to Honolulu via Fiji that was scheduled to leave that afternoon. After deliberation, however, considering travel on Thursday afternoons to be inauspicious, Srila Prabhupada decided to extend his stay in Melbourne for an extra day.

“Madhudvisa Swami requested Srila Prabhupada, since the devotees and congregation were so eager to be with him, that he allow them a special darsana before he left for overseas. Prabhupada agreed on an afternoon meeting in his room. Such an open darsana would be the first of its kind in Australia, and the devotees eagerly looked forward to the special event.”


I  would like to know what this inauspicious time here means?? Travelling on Thursday afternoons?
It may certainly not be “Rahu kala “ since that time falls between  1:30 to 3PM (on thursday’s). It’s bit confusing for me to understand this one as we all know that Srila Prabhupada is transcendental, how can these things affect HDG?.
Did Srila Prabhupada followed “rahukala” times through out his world travel? If not, why only in Melbourne? Sorry prabhu for taking your time, I appreciate very much in advance your time taken for answering this one ..

PS: Marking HG Harisauri prabhu just in case he has any add on to this scenario…

ys, Vishal Gauranga das

Kurma prabhu provided a good reply. (see his blog


He confirmed the inauspicious time as Thursday afternoon and commented:

“Why ‘it may certainly not be Rahu Kalam?'”

“According to my understanding, there are different calculations of Rahu Kalam. Some talk about a fixed time, others talk of a different calculation, which is calculated in connection to sunrise: Rahu Kalam on a Thursday falls 7.5 hours after sunrise. So if we calculated Rahu Kalam for Thursday in mid-summer, it would be at a very different time to mid-winter.

“As I said, this is my limited understanding of a vastly complex system. Shyamasundara dasa ACBSP the Astrologer has a lot to say on the topic of auspicious and inauspicious times, and in comparison to him, I know little more than what I have just said, so I will keep my mouth shut.

“By the way, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati also did not like to travel on Thursday afternoons.

“One could extend your question and say that if he was ‘transcendental’, why bother to look after the body at all? So why did Srila Prabhupada take medicine, take massage, and go on morning walks?

“I’ll pass this one over to Hari Sauri, because I know he’s itching to answer ;)”

So on the request of my dear Godbrother, here’s my ‘two cents’:

“I have forwarded your comments to Shyamasundar prabhu for his insights. He knows a lot of the technical details on this topic.

> By the way, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati also did not like to travel on
> Thursday afternoons.

 So much so that if he absolutely had to travel on Thursday, he would have a suitcase placed at the door on a Wednesday and that was considered an indication that the journey had started.

 Your answer is fine Kurma prabhu. Pure devotees still work within the general laws of material nature. Otherwise why do their bodies grow old, get diseases and become subject to the same physical laws as everyone elses?

The main reason is that they exhibit their pastimes within the framework of the conditioned souls. If they didn’t, noone would follow their teachings. If we had an acarya that could leap over skyscraper buildings in defiance of ‘gravity’ a la Superman mode, it might attract a big following, but who would bother to pay attention to his teachings? Then you get a great personality like Jesus who is made into an icon and a bunch of followers who say, “Only Jesus can walk on water. Only Jesus can multiply the loaves and five fishes. Only Jesus can die on the cross and be resurrected. Only Jesus can be pure. We don’t need to do anything because noone can be like Jesus.”

 In this regard I recall Hayagriva prabhu’s dream at Dr. Misra’s asrama in 1966:

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India and the money crisis: knowledge is the solution
1 October 2008

October 1 2008

 money heart

“How much money does a man need in order to be happy?”

“Just a little more!” — Nelson Rockefeller

Nowadays the Indian economic ‘miracle’ is all the rage. Just this year alone entrepreneurs are building over 100 new malls in the major cities around the country. A few days ago the newspapers reported that India is making more new millionaires per year than any other country in the world.  India is in a get-more-money fever it has never witnessed before. Lust for money is spreading like meningitis in the minds of India’s citizens and the government is proud of touting its new found wealth and opportunities and its consumer society.

 Like the legendary lemmings, its populace is being urged to pursue a suicidal course — literally.


It is now witnessing its first financial suicides:

Kolkata Telegraph: The stock market crash claimed its first victims when Abhishek Banka, a sub-broker, committed suicide and, unable to bear the loss, his wife Sona threw herself from a highrise.

The bloated body of 22-year-old Abhishek, missing since Wednesday, was today found floating along the bank of the Hooghly.

Six hours later, Sona jumped to her death from her parents’ ninth floor apartment on Russel Street.

Police said Abhishek appeared to have been driven to suicide after suffering losses of Rs 86 lakh in the stock market collapse since the budget. They said the sub-broker with Suresh Kumar Fogla & Associates blamed himself for the losses.” -[end quote] 

And on the land, scores of farmers kill themselves every week. Unable to cope with the changes in the markets they have no control over, many get into overwhelming debt and the meagre earnings from cash crops fails to cover their repayments.

Kolkata Telegraph:

Kadegaon/Tasgaon (Sangli in western Maharashtra), Jan. 30: The scourge of traditional agriculture has spread to new-age crops with at least 86 debt-hit grape farmers killing themselves in Sangli and Solapur districts of western Maharashtra since January 2005.

In Sangli district, 400km from Mumbai, there have been 61 cases of suicide by farmers growing table grapes, a capital-intensive fruit, since 2003.

The suicides were not triggered by one failed crop: they were a result of five years of crop failure; unscrupulous middlemen who have kept the purchase price static at Rs 10 per kg; a prolonged period of rising input costs; and unremunerative prices for the produce.” [end quote]

Monetary despair is not just happening in the countryside either:

Kolkata Telegraph: Aasra, a Mumbai-based suicide prevention NGO, claims to have recorded a 30 per cent increase in 10 years in the number of people who call because they are in a monetary mess and are contemplating suicide. Most of these people are young, ambitious, high spending and impatient to get rich, says Johnson Thomas, director, Aasra. “As the avenues for spending increase, most young Indians have started living beyond their means. This leads to debt, depression and suicide,” says Thomas. [end quote]

 Srila Prabhupada was never enamoured by ‘economic advancement’. He always told us it was an illusion that would end in distress.

In December 1975 Prabhupada was visiting Sananda in Gujarat. On his first morning there he took a walk through the fields in the local district:

Read the rest of this entry »

Sweet success and the sadhu and the tiger
29 September 2008

September 29 2008


Here’s a bit of nectar from the forthcoming Volume 6 of Transcendental Diary:

January 7, 1977 – Bombay

 As Prabhupada took his massage, Kuladri prabhu, the president of the Buffalo temple, arrived. He is on a shopping and business trip for New Vrindaban. Prabhupada was very happy to see him and when Kuladri gave him a large batch of milk sweets from the New Vrindaban kitchens, he was delighted. “These sweets mean that our mission is successful,” he declared with alacrity.

 sweet success 
He immediately began to glorify the pleasantries of farm life and as Kuladri sat down to relish the opportunity to be once more in his spiritual master’s presence, Srila Prabhupada spoke for some time how even all the animals become happy and peaceful if treated well.

He told us that even tigers and lions in the jungle become the pets of great saintly persons. He said he personally knew a sadhu who was living in the jungle. Everyday the saint would put some milk at a distance and call a she-tiger to come and eat. He would ask her, “Please take this milk and kindly do not eat any men.” The tigress would sometimes come and leave her cubs with him while she went off hunting into the jungle for the day.

On her return in the evening she would bring some fruit, deposit it there and take her cubs back again. To our smiles of amazement Prabhupada said the farms are our future hope for living. [end quote]

It reminded me of the story in the Caitanya Caritamrta describing the great devotee Murari Caitanya:

CC Adi 11.20

“There were many extraordinary activities performed by Murari, a great devotee of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Sometimes in his ecstasy he would slap the cheek of a tiger, and sometimes he would play with a venomous snake.”

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura writes in his Anubhasya, “Murari Caitanya dasa was born in the village of Sar-vrndavana-pura, which is situated about two miles from the Galasi station on the Burdwan line. When Murari Caitanya dasa came to Navadvipa, he settled in the village of Modadruma, or Mamagachi-grama. At that time he became known as Sarnga or Saranga Murari Caitanya dasa. The descendants of his family still reside in Sarer Pada. In the Caitanya-bhagavata, Antya-khanda, Chapter Five, there is the following statement: ‘Murari Caitanya dasa had no material bodily features, for he was completely spiritual. Thus he would sometimes chase after tigers in the jungle and treat them just like cats and dogs. He would slap the cheek of a tiger and take a venomous snake on his lap. He had no fear for his external body, of which he was completely forgetful. He could spend all twenty-four hours of the day chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra or speaking about Lord Caitanya and Nityananda. Sometimes he would remain submerged in water for two or three days, but he would feel no bodily inconvenience. Thus he behaved almost like stone or wood, but he always used his energy in chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. No one can describe his specific characteristics, but it is understood that wherever Murari Caitanya dasa passed, whoever was present would be enlightened in Krsna consciousness simply by the atmosphere he created.'”
Such is the power of a spiritually advanced person.  Of course we see animals in zoos that become domesticated due to their complete reliance on their human wardens

tiger woods with mate and cub

whoops! Sorry, wrong tiger… 

but to hear about wild tigers behaving in such a way was quite surprising. 

If you are interested to see a modern example of a lion that was brought up as a pet and later released into the wild but remained friendly to its human mentors go to this link:

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