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Volume 18, Number 08, 1983

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Spiritual Knowledge to Cure the Ills of the Age
Simple Living, High Thinking
"Not to Beg, But to Give"
Lord Krsna's Cuisine
Time Will Tell
Letters
Srila Prabhupada Speaks Out
Every Town and Village
Spiritual Places
The Vedic Observer
Notes from the Editor

© 2005 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International

Spiritual Knowledge to Cure the Ills of the Age

Fifty centuries ago, a far-seeing sage wrote a book of Vedic wisdom that speaks directly to our troubled times.

A lecture by

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

anarthopasamam saksad
bhakti-yogam adhoksaje
lokasyajanato vidvams
cakre satvata-samhitam

"The material miseries of the living entity, which are superfluous to him, can be directly mitigated by the linking process of devotional service to Lord Krsna. But the mass of people do not know this, and therefore the learned Vyasadeva compiled this Vedic literature [the Srimad-Bhagavatam], which is in relation to the Supreme Truth" (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.7.6).

There are two kinds of knowledge: material knowledge and spiritual knowledge. Material knowledge is knowledge regarding the necessities of the body, and spiritual knowledge is knowledge regarding the necessities of the spirit soul, the conscious self within the body. The modern educational system is simply imparting material knowledge. But material knowledge is superfluous, because the body itself is superfluous.

Everyone knows that his body is impermanent, but no one knows what the cause of his present body is or what kind of body he will have in his future life. We created a certain type of mentality in our past life, and by our karma we have gotten a particular type of body in this life, through which we are enjoying or suffering. Actually, there is no question of enjoyment: it is all suffering. For example, we run a fan because the body is suffering. Otherwise, there is no necessity for a fan. And we require a light because without light the eyes will suffer. So, we have discovered electricity just to counteract the sufferings of the material body. The body is therefore anartha, "that which is not required." Artha means "something we require," and anartha means "that which we do not require," or "things unnecessarily imposed upon us."

Unfortunately, people do not know that we can exist without the material body. Actually, we are existing in a spiritual body, and the material body is simply a covering. Just as your shirt and coat are covering your material body, your material body is covering your spiritual body.

When a person comes to the understanding that his material body is unnecessary, he has real knowledge, or brahma-jnana. We are trying to educate people in this understanding葉he basic principle of all Vedic knowledge葉hat we are not matter but spirit and that we must search out the ultimate goal of our spiritual body.

Now, some transcendentalists, known as jnanis, think that if the spirit soul merges into the Supreme Soul and becomes one with Brahman, there will be an end to the sufferings caused by the body. And other transcendentalists, the yogis, think that if with their spiritual vision they can continuously observe the Paramatma, the Supreme Spirit within the heart, then that is the solution to their suffering. Then there are those who have no spiritual knowledge, the fools and rascals, who think that if they can satisfy their senses they have reached the perfection of life. These are the karmis.

So there are three kinds of people who try to relieve the sufferings caused by the material body. But the actual solution is to remain in your spiritual body and meet the Supreme Personality of Godhead face to face and live with Him in an eternal, blissful life of knowledge. This is the goal of Krsna consciousness, or bhakti-yoga.

Most people are trying to enjoy bliss by gratifying their senses, and therefore they are becoming implicated in sinful activity, which produces suffering. For example, certain foods are prescribed for human beings要egetables, rice, wheat, milk, sugar, and so on. These are the foods allotted by the Lord to the human being. But if one doesn't restrict his foods to those allotted to him by the Lord, he acts sinfully and must suffer. The Supreme Lord is supplying food to everyone, but the dog's food and hog's food are not the same as the human being's. No. Tena tyaktena bhunjithah: "You should enjoy only those foods allotted to you by the Supreme Lord." And if we transgress this law, we commit sin.

We are anatomically fit to eat fruits, vegetables, rice, wheat, milk, milk products, and so on. But if we imitate the cats and dogs and eat anything and everything, without discrimination, then our next body may be a hog's body or a dog's body or a cat's body. This is nature's law. As Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita: karanam guna-sango 'sya sad-asad-yoni-janmasu: Depending on how you associate with the various modes of nature, you get your next body accordingly.

Therefore, on the whole, whether your body is a human body or a demigod's body or a cat's body or a dog's body or a tree's body or a plant's body, it is unnecessary. We are all eternal spirit souls, but we have accepted a material body as ourself. And since the body is constantly changing, we think that we are changing.

People are such fools and rascals that they never ask, "If I am eternal, why do I have to change my body?" This is intelligence葉o ask why we are subjected to the suffering caused by the body. This inquiry is called brahma-jijnasa, inquiry into the Absolute Truth. Only by making this inquiry can one mitigate the suffering caused by the material body. Unfortunately, people are not interested in the Absolute Truth. If you ask anybody in this world, "What is the cause of your suffering, and how can you mitigate it?" they cannot answer. They do not know how to mitigate their suffering.

Therefore, Srila Vyasadeva, who has full knowledge, wrote this satvata-samhita, the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Samhita means "book of Vedic knowledge," and satvata means "completely pure" or "for the perfect spiritualists."

How then can we utilize the Srimad-Bhagavatam? That is explained in the next verse:

yasyam vai sruyamanayam
krsne parama-puruse
bhaktir utpadyate pumsah
soka-moha-bhayapaha

"Just by hearing the Srimad-Bhagavatam, one immediately comes to the platform of rendering devotional service unto Lord Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Then one becomes free of lamentation, illusion, and fear."

Soka, moha, and bhaya葉hese are our constant companions. Soka means "lamentation," moha means "illusion," and bhaya means "fear." We are always embarrassed by these things. Sometimes we lament, "Oh, I have lost my business, I have lost my son, I have lost so many things." After all, life in this material world is a losing business. Ultimately, there will be no profit. Therefore, whatever we are working for in this material world, however we are searching after happiness, if we are not performing devotional service we are simply working for nothing (srama eva hi kevalam). Our gain is only the labor itself.

Yet although people are suffering in this way, they do not know that they are suffering. They are taking the suffering as enjoyment. And that is illusion, or moha. We are always lamenting, out of illusion we are accepting a life of lamentation as enjoyable, and the result is that we are always fearful: "What will happen next? What will happen next?"

So, all these conditions are anarthas, unnecessary things imposed on us. Actually, we are part and parcel of Krsna, who is sac-cid-ananda容ternal, full of knowledge, and full of bliss. This is our life溶ot the life of eating, sleeping, mating, and fearing. These things are imposed on us only when we identify ourselves with the material body. So when our thoughts are absorbed in the material body, we suffer.

If we want to get relief from suffering, we should regularly hear the Srimad-Bhagavatam (yasyam vai sruyamanayam). What will the effect be? Krsne parama-puruse bhaktir utpadyate: our devotional service unto Krsna, the Supreme Person, will be awakened. And ultimately we will understand Krsna in truth.

Krsna is described as adhoksaja, "He who is beyond material experience." You cannot understand Krsna by material knowledge. The so-called scholars study Krsna with material knowledge. But it is not possible to know Him in this way. That is said by Krsna Himself in the Bhagavad-gita: naham prakasah sarvasya yoga-maya-samavrtah: "I am not exposed to everyone, because My potency of illusion is covering their eyes." In another place Krsna says, avajananti mam mudha manusim tanum asritam: "Because I have come to this world in the form of a human being, the rascals deride Me." The fools think that Krsna is one of them.

So, Krsna is adhoksaja, beyond material vision. If you try to sec Krsna by your material investigation, you will never be able to see Him. But one may say, "I can see Krsna by my pious activities. "No, that is also not possible. "I can see Krsna by my philosophical speculation." No, that is also not possible. "I can see Krsna by practicing mystic yoga." That is also not possible. Then how is it possible to see Krsna? Krsna says, bhaktya mam abhijanati: "I can be known only by pure devotional service." If you want to see God, you have to adopt this particular processbhakti-yoga, or devotional service. The more you engage in the service of the Lord, the more you realize Krsna. Otherwise it is not possible to know Him. This is the message of the Bhagavad-gita.

Now, the Srimad-Bhagavatam is a further explanation of the knowledge given in the Bhagavad-gita. We should hear the Bhagavatam every day (nityam bhagavata-sevaya). The temples of the Krsna consciousness movement are meant for hearing the Srimad-Bhagavatam daily. You have to hear the Bhagavatam daily, regularly, and then all your anarthas will be cleansed away. Then you will come to know that Krsna is parama-purusa, the Supreme Person.

The Supreme Person is Krsna, and Krsna confirms this in the Bhagavad-gita: mattah parataram nanyat: "There is no authority superior to Me." Unfortunately, because we are envious we don't accept Krsna as the Supreme Person. We say, "Why should Krsna be the Supreme Person? Someone else may be the Supreme." That is envy. We begin by being envious of Krsna, and then we expand our envy in so many ways. In ordinary life we are envious of our friends, our father, even our son, what to speak of others傭usinessmen, teachers, and so on. We think, "Why should anyone go ahead of me?" This is material consciousness.

But when one understands Krsna, when one becomes Krsna conscious, he becomes nonenvious. He becomes the friend of everyone, and because people are suffering due to a lack of Krsna consciousness, he wants to help them. That is why we are going door to door, village to village, town to town, city to city. We are simply trying to spread Krsna consciousness. And by the grace of Krsna, we are having some success.

The nature of the devotee is that he is para-duhkha-duhkhi: he becomes very unhappy to see others in a miserable condition. Everyone is suffering for want of Krsna consciousness. So our only business is to awaken them to Krsna consciousness; then the whole world will be happy.

Thank you very much.



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Simple Living, High Thinking

Cintamani

The Jewel of a Prize Herd

On a farm in Pennsylvania, a hardworking Brown Swiss serves as the emblem of an "honest cow"預nd of a dedicated mother.

by Suresvara dasa

Earlier this year, when the Pennsylvania Dairymen's Association honored the Hare Krsna farm in Port Royal for having the best herd of Brown Swiss cows in the state, what struck us at the PDA's awards banquet was that all the applause went to the folks with two legs. To top it off, the State Dairy Princess was a high-school cheerleader.

So, to give credit where it's due, we present the all-state herd's queen佑intamani the Cow.

Cintamani ("Spiritual Gem") is what farmers call "an honest cow." In other words, she puts all her energy into making milk. Since Lord Krsna's devotees began taking care of her in 1975, each year she's given them upwards of twenty thousand pounds of milk. That's a lot of milk. And a lot of work, when you consider that for each pound of milk a cow pumps practically a ton of blood. Cintamani is so serious about her life's work that she doesn't spend a bit of her energy playing with the other cows. And with her high-bridged "Roman" nose, she shows her disdain for doting petters. She just eats, chews her cud, and makes milk.

Cintamani's bearing is graceful, her disposition always peaceful容ven at feeding time. When the devotees break out the corn silage, the other cows usually become a little excited about getting their share of the feast. But Cintamani sits quietly, waits until everyone else is done, and at last gets up slowly to eat. She consumes more than any other cow in the herd, but she never gets fat, because she turns it all into milk. An old brown coat and a bony body dress her dedication, giving her a look of austere elegance.

At fifteen years, Cintamani is the herd's oldest. But she doesn't have to worry about some day "outliving her usefulness" and being slaughtered. She remains contented預nd productive傭ecause she knows the devotees will protect her always, even after she stops giving milk.

"We are giving proper protection to the cows," writes His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, "and receiving more than enough milk. At other farms the cows do not deliver as much milk as at our farms. Because our cows know very well that we are not going to kill them," he explains, "they are happy, and they give ample milk."

Generally, as soon as a cow's milk output starts to slip, modern dairymen sell her for slaughter. Ignorant of the Supreme Lord's instruction in the Bhagavad-gita (18.44) to protect the cow, they take their "dominion over the cattle" (Genesis 1.26) as a license to kill. When they look the cow in the eye, somehow they don't see a sentient soul like themselves; they see a dollar sign. And the less said the better about people who breed cows strictly for slaughter.

At a Pennsylvania state fair last fall, one big advertisement above some cow pens showed a number of Charolais grazing on lush Texas grasslands. The ad gave quotes telling why these robust, wheat- to cream-colored cows were a good buy.

Producer: "Fast, efficient growth用rofitable for me to raise."

Processor: "Ideal in weight, finish, cutability, quality容fficient for me to process."

Consumer: "Young, lean, tender, juicy, flavorful容conomical for me to buy."

Below the ad, in the pens, were some real live Charolais. And people were leaning over the fencing and petting them. When I began taking notes, a plump man from York looked over my shoulder.

"Do you know why that cow is crying?" I said, pointing to a cow licking her calf. The man shook his head. "She knows she and her calf are going to be slaughtered."

"No. . . . Really? I never knew that." The man had a kind face and, apparently, a simple heart, so I went on.

"She knows the people who keep her don't really care about her. And those people petting her遥ou think they care about her kind? What do you think they'll eat tonight for dinner? If you don't mind my asking, sir, do you eat meat?"

The man confided that ever since he saw his wife cut off the head of a live chicken, he feels funny whenever he eats meat. "But let me ask you one thing," he said. "When the cow gets old, what do you do with her?"

"When your mother gets old, what do you do with her?"

"Take care of her."

"There you go. At our farm, we have about a hundred Brown Swiss. They give us tons of rich milk, and we appreciate it. And so when a cow gets old, we don't turn around and sell her for slaughter. We protect her."

Really, when you think about it, cow protection is mother protection. Although as babies we get some milk from our "birth mother," for most of our life we get our milk from another mother. Mother Cow. She gives us milk, and milk葉he miracle food揚ives us cream, yogurt, cheese, and butter. Butter, especially when clarified, is the perfect cooking medium. But most of us are so ungrateful that we cook Mother Cow. How can we do this? How can we kill and eat our own mother?

The realization that the cow is our mother moved W. D. Hoard (who a century ago founded America's leading dairy publication. Hoard's Dairyman) to post a notice in his barn:

Remember that this is the Home of Mothers. Treat each cow as a mother should be treated. The giving of milk is a function of motherhood; rough treatment lessens the flow.

And lessens the money. What happened to Mr. Hoard's cows when they passed their prime you can perhaps only imagine, unless, that is, you've been to a slaughterhouse. For all his fine sentiments, very likely he also bowed to the sacred cow of "profitability." But would he or the rest of us ever sell a cow for slaughter, or eat her, if we had to be the one to cut her throat? Or if we knew that by nature's law, in a future life we cow-eaters will ourselves have to walk on four trembling legs into some slaughterhouse?

Modern dairymen can't understand why Lord Krsna's devotees keep a cow when she's no longer "profitable." And yet they see that while the devotees' "old-fashioned method" is bringing prosperity, their own dairy industry is in big trouble. They're neglecting their cows預nd Providence is neglecting them. They're neglecting life's real profit様ove for God, which starts with following His laws, like "Thou shalt not kill."

The devotees of Lord Krsna also know Him as Gopala, the friend of the cows. The Lord has created a wonderful cow like Cintamani so that we can draw our nourishment溶ot by spilling her blood, but by drinking her milk. Her milk fills us with goodness, and as we give protection to her, Lord Krsna smiles and blesses us with peace, prosperity, and love for Him.



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"Not to Beg, But to Give"

An American swami exhorts India's elite
to shoulder their God-given responsibility.

A lecture by His Holiness Giriraja Swami

This address was given in Bombay, at the fourth world conference of The Friends of India Society International.

Until recently, the knowledge of devotional service to Lord Krsna contained in the Bhagavad-gita has been more or less imprisoned in India. That knowledge has not been distributed to the world. But, sarasvati jnana-khale: "One who has knowledge but does not distribute it cannot be appreciated." Therefore it is our duty to take the knowledge of the Bhagavad-gita, which has remained locked up, and distribute it for the benefit of the world. I think that this will he the greatest service we can do for humanity in general. The Caitanya-caritamrta states,

bharata-bhumite haile manusya-janma yara
janma sarthaka kari kara para-upakara

Anyone who has taken his birth in Bharata-varsa, or India, should make his life successful according lo the standard of the Bhagavad-gita and perform the greatest welfare activity by spreading the knowledge of the Bhagavad-gita for the benefit of the entire human society.

This is India's missionpara-upakara, performing welfare activities. So many Indians want to find a place where they can make money, get some big position, and enjoy. But this is not their real duty. Their real duty is to go and preach Krsna consciousness for the benefit of others.

Generally speaking, people all over the world have the idea that India is a backward, poverty-stricken country of beggars. Foreigners come to India and see so many beggars in the street, so many people lying on the footpath. And Indians who go abroad are also like beggars if they simply want to get something material for themselves and don't teach the spiritual knowledge of the Bhagavad-gita. Even India's ambassadors tend to neglect the treasure of India's knowledge and to try to benefit their country materially.

But my spiritual master. His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, went to the Western world all alone at the age of sixty-nine not to beg, but to give. He sat down under a tree in Tompkins Square Park. in New York City. and began chanting Hare Krsna and preaching the Bhagavad-gita. And from that humble beginning he established more than one hundred centers all over the world, published and distributed millions of books, and made millions of people Krsna conscious.

And Srila Prabhupada was loved and respected wherever he went. Why? Because he didn't go to the West to beg something or to take something but to give something sublime: the knowledge of the Bhagavad-gita.

So on behalf of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu [Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Lord Krsna Himself in the role of His own devotee. He appeared in Bengal, India, five hundred years ago to demonstrate how one could realize the essential teaching of the Bhagavad-gita庸ull surrender to Krsna耀imply by chanting the Hare Krsna mantra.] and Srila Prabhupada, my request to all of you is that you make your lives perfect according to the standard of the Bhagavad-gita. And what is that standard of perfection?

janma karma ca me divyam
evam yo vetti tattvatah
tyaktva deham punar janma
naiti mam eti so 'rjuna

From the Bhagavad-gita you must understand the transcendental nature of Krsna's appearance and activities in this world. Then, at the end of this lifetime you will not be forced to take birth again in this miserable world: you will go hack home, back to Godhead. So make your life successful according to this standard and then benefit others by giving them the same knowledge.

Every nation should contribute something to the world. Despite the technology that India has developed in recent years, I don't think people are really interested in coming to India to learn how to manufacture airplanes or motorcycles or transistor radios. But people from all over the world are interested in coming to India to understand spiritual life, to understand the Bhagavad-gita.

It is common sense that a businessman will export his best product. And the best product India has is the spiritual knowledge contained in the Bhagavad-gita. So we should promote dial product. Many times Srila Prabhupada requested India's leaders to create a Department of the Bhagavad-gita, which would train men in Krsna consciousness and then send them throughout the world to teach this knowledge. But unfortunately India's leaders have not taken up this work.

Now the responsibility has come to all of you gathered here. You are the leaders among the Indians dispersed throughout the world. Now please take up this mission of spreading Krsna consciousness. You will do the greatest benefit for yourselves, for your families, for your community, for the entire world. You will increase the glory of India throughout the world, and in the end Lord Krsna will be pleased with you and you will go back home, back to Godhead. Hare Krsna.



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Lord Krsna's Cuisine

The Holy Cow And Her Wholesome Milk

In honor of Lord Krsna's appearance day:
A tribute to His favorite animal and His favorite food.

by Visakha-devi dasi

August 31 marks the anniversary of Lord Krsna's appearance in the world some fifty centuries ago. In the Bhagavad-gita Krsna explains that He periodically appears on earth to protect His devotees, subdue the atheists, and establish the principles of religion. But He comes for a more intimate reason as well: to enjoy transcendental pastimes with His pure devotees and to attract the rest of us to love Him and serve Him.

Although Lord Krsna could have chosen a family of intellectuals (brahmanas) or leaders (ksatriyas) in which to enact His childhood pastimes, He chose instead a family of simple cowherds (vaisyas) residing in Vrndavana, a town in India ninety miles south of present-day Delhi. Naturally, in those pastimes cows, calves, milk, and milk products all played important roles.

Sometimes Krsna would sneak into the houses of the cowherd women, or gopis, and steal their yogurt and butter. Then He would run off to a hidden spot to enjoy His booty and share it with the monkeys from the nearby forest. When the gopis would catch Krsna in this mischief, He'd feign innocence and say, "Why do you call Me a thief? Do you think butter and yogurt are scarce in My house?" Confronted with the evidence葉he remains of the stolen butter and yogurt揖rsna would chide the gopis: "This butter and yogurt are useless anyway. Even the monkeys won't eat it." (Of course not: Krsna had fed them so much that they couldn't cat another bite!)

Krsna's mother, Yasoda, thought that little Krsna was stealing butter from the other gopis' houses because He didn't like the butter in her house. To improve her own butter, Yasoda picked out several of her best cows and had them eat special grass that made their milk very rich, fragrant, and flavorful. After collecting a pailful of this milk, she began churning butter for her transcendental child.

As Yasoda busily churned, Krsna woke up from His nap and felt hungry. He went to His mother and caught hold of the churning rod. Yasoda stopped churning and looked at her divine son with great love. Then she lifted Him tenderly onto her lap and began to nurse Him with her breast milk. But suddenly she saw that the milk on the stove was boiling over. So she quickly put her son down and rushed to tend the overflowing milk.

Krsna, angry at being left unsatisfied, picked up a stone, broke the container of freshly churned butter, and ran off to a secluded spot to eat it.

Meanwhile, Yasoda returned. Seeing the broken pot, she concluded that Krsna was the culprit. She followed His butter-smeared footprints until she found Him sitting on an overturned wooden mortar used for grinding spices. He was giving out butter to the monkeys, just as He'd done after plundering the gopis' houses.

Yasoda had such intense love for Krsna that she thought of Him as her little son; she didn't care to know that He was the Supreme Personality of Godhead, greater than the greatest. Thus, in a pique at her naughty child, she bound Him to the mortar to punish Him預nd Krsna greatly relished her motherly anger saturated with affection.

When Lord Krsna had grown up a little, He and the other cowherd boys His age began taking care of the calves, and after Krsna turned six the boys were put in charge of some of the cows. Each day the boys would play together while the cows ate the soft grasses in Vrndavana's forests and pasturing grounds. The cows Krsna tended had names, and Krsna would call them with love. They would immediately respond by mooing, and the boys would enjoy this exchange to their heart's content.

Lord Krsna's uncommon love for the cow is recorded in a prayer from the Vedic literature: "I offer my respectful obeisances again and again unto Govinda [Lord Krsna], who is the worshipable Deity for all brahminical men, the well-wisher of the cows and brahmanas, and the benefactor of the whole world."

As we can see, the cow is no ordinary animal, and her milk isn't ordinary either. In Vedic culture the cow is known as "mother," because after a child has been weaned from His mother's breast milk and his digestive system has sufficiently developed, he gets essential nutrients from cow's milk.

What's more, the cow is the basis of a prosperous and peaceful society. Cow's milk nourishes us, cow dung fertilizes the fields, and the bull tills the land to provide grains and vegetables. (See Ox Power, BACK TO GODHEAD, Vol. 18, No. 5.) By living a simple agrarian life based on the cow and brahminical principles預 way of life Lord Krsna Himself showed us how to lead during His childhood pastimes容veryone can be healthy, happy, peaceful, and prosperous.

So when we hear so-called nutritionists condemn milk as a mucus-forming menace to health, and when we hear others claim that their "science" shows us it's perfectly all right to slaughter the cow and eat her flesh, we can only feel pity that such people haven't heard enough of Lord Krsna's philosophy to know better. Unfortunately, in our "advanced" civilization, people neglect spiritual knowledge and promote cow-killing on a massive scale. "It is to be understood, then," writes Srila Prabhupada, "that human society is advancing in the wrong direction and is clearing the path to its own condemnation."

A civilized society enjoys the cow's blood not directly, in meat, but indirectly, as milk. And milk is so extraordinary that from it you can prepare hundreds of other dishes溶ot only yogurt, butter, and cheese but also milk sweets (some are featured this month). If you've never tasted a milk sweet that's been offered to Lord Krsna, get ready for a delightful, transcendental treat.

(Recipes by Yamuna-devi dasi)

Creamy Cheese Fudge

(Sandesa)

Yield: 18 to 20 small decorative molds or round patties
Preparation time: about 1 hour

8 cups whole milk
1/3 to ス cup sugar
1 tablespoon fresh powdered cardamom (optional)
シ teaspoon rose essence (optional)

1. Prepare curd according to the recipe in BACK TO GODHEAD, Vol. 18, No. 6. (If you don't have that issue, write us and we'll send you the recipe.)

Place a 5- or 6-pound weight on the curd for 15 minutes to a half hour, or until the whey has stopped dripping steadily. Unwrap the cheesecloth, break open the cheese, and remove the excess liquid by pressing the cheese with a clean, absorbent towel. On a clean counter-top or slab of marble, spread the cheese thin with your palms. Then gather the curd into a ball. Repeat this process several times until the curd becomes firm, velvety smooth, and slightly oily. Now gather it into a ball, add the sugar and (if you wish) cardamom powder or rose essence, and mix well.

2. Place a 10- to 12-inch, well polished heavy metal frying pan over a very low flame. Stirring constantly with a wide wooden spoon, cook the sweetened cheese for 15 to 20 minutes, or until its surface is faintly glossy and it begins to draw away from the sides of the pan.

3. Transfer the cheese to a clean tray and allow it to cool. Then roll it into balls or patties or press it into decorative molds, and offer to Krsna.

Variation: Vanilla Sandesa

Prepare as directed, but add a 1-inch piece of pure vanilla bean during the cooking. Remove the vanilla as the sandesa cools.

Solidified Milk

(Khoa)

When fresh whole milk is boiled until nearly all the water is evaporated, the remaining creamy paste is called khoa. This creamy milk-dough is the foundation of smooth milk fudge (burfi), daintly solidified milk cakes (pera), and many other milk sweets.

Condensing milk may sound simple, but it's a bit tricky. The milk progresses through various stages: first a full foaming boil, then a full boil, later a gentle boil, and finally a gentle simmer. At the last stage, you'll have to stir the viscous condensed milk rhythmically, continuously, and thoroughly to prevent scorching. With a little patience and practice, you'll become expert at producing batch after batch of creamy khoa.

Yield: 10 to 12 ounces
Preparation time: about ス hour

8 cups whole milk

1. Pour half the milk into a heavy 4- to 6-quart saucepan and bring to a full, foaming boil over a high flame. To prevent the milk from sticking, stir constantly with a wide wooden spatula. If necessary, lower the flame slightly to prevent the milk from boiling over, but continue to boil vigorously for 12 to 15 minutes.

2. Add the remaining milk and continue stirring as the milk comes again to a full boil. Stirring constantly, maintain a full boil for 12 to 15 minutes.

3. Lower the flame slightly to the medium-high range and boil the milk until it thickens to the consistency of heavy cream.

4. Reduce the flame to the medium to medium-high range and cook the milk down while vigorously, constantly, rhythmically, and thoroughly stirring. Continue until the milk reduces to a thick paste that draws away from the sides of the pan. The volume should be about 1/6 of what you started with.

5. Remove the pan from the flame, transfer the khoa to a platter, and allow it to cool. It will harden to a fudge-like milk pastry as it cools to room temperature.

Dainty Solidified Milk Cakes

(Pera)

Yield: about 12 pieces
Preparation time: about セ hour

5 to 6 ounces khoa (see above) 4 to 5 tablespoons sugar
ス teaspoon cardamom powder
a dab of ghee (clarified butter) or sweet butter
1 ス tablespoons blanched raw pistachio nuts, sliced paper-thin

1. Combine the khoa, sugar, and cardamom powder and mix well. Place the mixture in a 10-inch frying pan (nonstick cookware is ideal) over a medium flame. Stirring constantly, cook until the mixture is thick and dry. Remove from the flame and cool until the preparation is comfortable to handle, firm, and slightly warm.

2. Butter a shallow tray. Place the spiced khoa on a clean surface and knead it until it's creamy smooth. The texture should be firm enough to shape. If it's too loose or moist, knead in some extra-fine skim-milk powder. If it's too thick, sprinkle in a little milk.

3. Divide the mass of pera and roll it into 12 balls. Press them into decorative molds, or flatten them slightly into patties and press your thumb gently in the center of each to form a small dent. For a garnish, press a few slivers of pistachio into each pattie. Offer to Krsna.

Pistachio Milk Fudge

(Pista Burfi)

Yield: about 25 small pieces
Preparation time: about a hour

7 to 8 ounces of khoa (see above) ス to セ cup sugar
1 cup blanched pistachio nuts, chopped fine
ス teaspoon cardamom seeds, pulverized to a powder
6 drops almond oil or essence
a dab of ghee or sweet butter
2 sheets edible silver-leaf foil or gold-leaf foil (optional)

1. Combine the khoa, sugar, nuts, and cardamom and blend thoroughly until the mixture is smooth.

2. Place the mixture in a 10- to 12-inch frying pan (nonstick cookware is ideal) and begin heating it over a medium flame. While stirring vigorously, thoroughly, and constantly, cook for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture is thick and dry. It should pull away from the sides of the pan into a compact mass.

3. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool for about 1 minute. Blend in the almond oil or essence. Now transfer the thick mass to a shallow buttered tray at least 8 inches square. As the mixture cools, use a buttered rubber spatula to shape it into a smooth, flat cake about 7 inches square. Cool for about an hour.

4. Carefully cover the surface of the burfi with silver foil. When the cake is firm, cut it into 25 small squares with a sharp, buttered knife. (If necessary, wipe the knife clean after each cut.) Offer Krsna the first pieces.

Note: Burfi will harden as it sits. If you keep it well covered, you can safely store it for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.



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Time Will Tell

An homage to His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, in honor of his appearance anniversary, September 1, 1982.

by Srila Bhagavan Dasa Goswami

Time will tell the world
that never has there been
and never will there be
One who gave as much as you
To set all jivas free.

Time will carve your image
in the hearts of generations;
it was you who gave the answers
How to free ourselves from death
As the Lord's eternal dancers.

Time will bring your writings
to the hands of all mankind
by those who understand your heart,
As always you are next to them
Whose service does not part.

Time will tell the story
of who has taken up
the mace which you have left
To spread Caitanya's holy name
And repay to you our debt.

Time will tell it clearly
who has kept you in their heart;
although your orders clear to find,
Time will tell why they fell
And who was left behind.

Time will give the world
that blessing of our masters,
a city on Gauranga's land,
Our gift to you within our life
Through you we understand.

Krsna in His form of time
reveals you to the world
that none has given love so free.
Prabhupada remains in sound
For all eternity.

Time will tell the world
that never has there been
and never will there be
One who gave as much as you
To set all
jivas free.



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Letters

We welcome your letters.
Write to BACK TO GODHEAD
51 West Allens Lane
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19119

I have been reading BACK TO GODHEAD magazine for many years now. It is a truly sublime magazine.

But one question has been puzzling me for a long time. Since we are part and parcel of the Divine, we must have been in the divine, eternal, spiritual world at one time. Also, in the Bhagavad-gita Lord Krishna proclaims, "Those who come to My supreme abode will never return to the material world."

So if we were in the divine world at one time, why did we come to this material world in the first place?

Krishnan K. Nijhawan

Stoke-on-Trent, England

Our reply: It is indeed remarkable to think that each of us left our eternal, blissful life of service to Krsna and came to the material world. Not only have we come here, but we insist on staying, even though Krsna warns us that the material world is temporary and full of miseries such as birth, old age, disease, and death. Choosing to live in the material world instead of the spiritual world is like choosing to live in a cold, dark prison cell instead of a warm, sunny apartment. And yet that is exactly what we have done. How could we have been so foolish?

Being part and parcel of Krsna, we are qualitatively equal to Him. Krsna is the fully independent Supreme Personality of Godhead, and we are therefore minutely, or partially, independent. Without independence, or free will, we could not have a loving relationship with Krsna, because loving service must be rendered willingly. By refusing to serve Krsna and desiring instead to be the Supreme ourselves, we fall into this material world.

But Krsna promises that if we revive our service to Him we will return to Him in the spiritual world at the end of our present lifetime.

As you mentioned in your letter, those who attain the spiritual world never return to this world of birth and death. In the Bhagavad-gita (8.15), Krsna says, "After attaining Me, the great souls, who are yogis in devotion, never return to this temporary world, which is full of miseries, because they have attained the highest perfection." Once we attain the highest perfection, pure Krsna consciousness, we won't want to return to this material world. Of course, as minutely independent parts of Krsna, we could return if we chose to. But we should be determined not to be that foolish.

* * *

When I was admitted to the hospital, I came across an old issue of your devotional magazine [Vol. 16, No. 7] in the hospital library. I was really taken with it. All your articles and photographs are heart-warming, especially "Swamiji in San Francisco."

Every day I went through the same magazine, and when I was discharged from the hospital I had a very pleasant surprise waiting for me at home: a gift subscription to your "Back to Godhead" from my husband. Your magazine has become a part of our family.

Thank you very much for building the knowledge of Sri Krishna in us; I am expecting more of it in the near future.

Meena Ashok

Bangalore, India

* * *

I was reading in the Bhagavad Gita how if you chant "Hare Krishna" when you die you automatically achieve perfection. But what about someone who is very sinful during all of his life, and then just at the end he chants "Hare Krishna"? Does he also go back to God? It just doesn't seem right to me that just by chanting "Hare Krishna" once you can be free of all responsibility for sin. Is God so capricious?

Larry Gaines

Atlanta, Georgia

Our reply: There's no question of caprice on God's part. Rather, out of His unlimited mercy He endows His holy name with all His potencies, including the potency to purify us of sin. This is confirmed in the authoritative Vedic scripture known as the Visnu Purana: "Simply by chanting one holy name of Hari [Krsna], a sinful man can counteract the effects of more sins than he is able to commit."

Of course, what we think of at the time of death will he determined by what we've thought and done throughout our life. So to be on the safe side we should stop sinning and start chanting Hare Krsna as much as possible. Then we're sure to go back to Godhead.



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Srila Prabhupada Speaks Out

On Seeking the Right Thing in the Wrong Place

The following is the conclusion of the conversation between His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and some of his disciples that took place in May, 1975, during an early-morning walk in Perth, Australia.

Devotee: Srila Prabhupada, people often think that devotees are inhibited or repressed葉hat they never get any pleasure.

Srila Prabhupada: Everyone is looking for pleasure, because we're meant for that. But because people have forgotten Krsna, the reservoir of pleasure, they're trying to find pleasure in things other than Krsna. Therefore they are becoming frustrated. They do not know that unless they come to Krsna consciousness, they will find no real pleasure.

Suppose a child is crying. If some woman other than his mother takes him on her lap, he will continue crying. But as soon as he's on the lap of his mother, he immediately stops crying. Why? He can understand, "Now I have the real thing." He sucks his mother's breast and is satisfied.

Similarly, when we finally come to Krsna, we'll be fully satisfied. We won't want anything further.

Devotee: Srila Prabhupada, earlier you were speaking about the importance of being inquisitive.

Srila Prabhupada: Being inquisitive about the ultimate source of happiness is the standard of human life. That inquisitiveness cannot be found in the cats and dogs. And unless a person becomes inquisitive about the ultimate source of happiness, he's an animal, not a human being. Ninety-nine point nine percent of all people are not inquisitive in this way. They're searching after happiness, but they are not inquisitive about the ultimate source of happiness. So they are being baffled.

Devotee: It seems as if the very things that they think will make them happy turn out to be the causes of misery.

Srila Prabhupada: Yes. For example, in the name of happiness they have invented the motorcar. But when two motorcars crash head on, life is lost. Yet people aren't inquisitive enough to ask, "We have invented this machine for happiness; so why has this disaster happened?" They don't have the intelligence to ask this question. They simply go on searching after happiness in the material world. And when we say, "No, not in that way; come this way, to Krsna consciousness, and you'll find real happiness," they laugh.

Devotee: What about the scientists, Srila Prabhupada? They're very inquisitive; they're trying to find the cause of the material world.

Srila Prabhupada: Yes. We give them credit for that. But they are looking for the cause of this world in the wrong place. And when they're given correct information, they do not take it. We say to the scientists, "You are searching for the cause of the world? Here is Krsna, the original source of everything." But they will not accept Him. That is their foolishness.

Devotee: You were just saying that everyone is looking for happiness. But shouldn't that desire be purified? Shouldn't we give up all desire for happiness?

Srila Prabhupada: No, no. Happiness is life. How can you give it up?

Devotee: But if we desire happiness, we're being selfish

Srila Prabhupada: The problem is, you do not know that the ultimate goal of your selfishness is to realize Krsna (na te viduh svartha-gatim hi visnum). Everyone is self-interested, but no one knows how to fulfill his real self-interest.

Devotee: But isn't it better to give up ego altogether?

Srila Prabhupada: Why? That is mayavada [impersonalistic] philosophy. We want to make our ego purified. We want to understand, "I am a servant of Krsna." That egoism is wanted溶ot that I make my egoism zero.

Devotee: Why do the Mayavadi impersonalists want to eradicate the ego?

Srila Prabhupada: The Mayavadis are disappointed in life, so they think, "Let me finish my ego. Let me become zero." But egoism cannot be finished. Because you are an individual soul, you will always have a sense of "I am." Now I am thinking I am Indian, you are thinking you are American, someone else is thinking he is Russian, and so on. But I am not Indian and you are not American: we are all part and parcel of Krsna. We have to come to this egoism, the real egoism葉hat I am an eternal servant of Krsna.

Devotee: Srila Prabhupada, the materialistic scientists are so inquisitive. Why aren't they able to come to the point of understanding that Krsna is the source of everything?

Srila Prabhupada: Because they are envious of Him. They are unwilling to accept His instructions. You have to take direction from Krsna. He says, "I am the goal of all knowledge. I am the destination. Come to Me." If you don't take this instruction, you are unfortunate. You will be baffled in your attempt to acquire knowledge.

Devotee: Srila Prabhupada, I saw a report that said atheism is much greater among scientists than among people in general. And the scientists are very influential in the universities and high schools, in government, in industry

Srila Prabhupada: Therefore we say, "You blind leaders, you rascals, don't try to lead unless you are willing to take Krsna's instructions." We must make our inquiries to Krsna and take His direction. Then we'll be happy.



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Every Town and Village

A look at the worldwide activities of the
International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)

Bombay's Mayor Leads 200,000 in Chariot Parade

BombayThe mayor of this most cosmopolitan Indian city was the guest of honor at ISKCON's recent Ratha-yatra Chariot Festival.

Manmohan Singh Bedi rode the fifty-foot-high canopied chariot for more than an hour. Sitting at the feet of the carved Deity form of Lord Jagannatha ("Lord of the Universe"), the mayor and Srila Gopala Krsna Goswami Bhagavatapada, who oversees ISKCON's affairs in Bombay, delighted the crowds along Jagannatha Shenker Seth Road by tossing them thousands of packets of sanctified food.

A high point in the parade came when the mayor dismounted, took up a broom, and humbly swept the street before the majestically moving chariot. Everyone cheered, recalling how a great devotee of Lord Caitanya's named King Prataparudra had won the Lord's favor by doing the same thing five hundred years ago during a Ratha-yatra procession in Puri, Orissa.

After a four-hour procession, devotees began a nine-day spiritual festival at a beach-front park. It featured devotional discourses, music, film, and feasting (more than ten tons of sanctified food were given out). All told, upwards of a million people took part, and fifteen Bombay newspapers gave the event elaborate coverage.

U.S. Senator Gets Srimad-Bhagavatam

"I am overwhelmed," said Senator Charles Mathias (R-Md.) recently upon receiving the Srimad-Bhagavatam from ISKCON life member Dr. Vibhakara Mody. "I'll read the entire thirty volumes. Perhaps when I have read them all I'll know the answer to the budget problem," he quipped. The occasion was the seventh annual dinner of the Indian Medical Association of America, held in Washington, D.C. Senator Mathias and Ambassador R. K. Narayanan (another ISKCON life member) were the guests of honor. After addressing the assembly, the senator and the ambassador received sacred food and garlands that had been offered to Lord Krsna.



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Spiritual Places

Detroit's Grand New Showplace Of Krsna Culture

At the famous Lawrence P. Fisher Mansion, Indian spirituality and American ingenuity unite for the glorification of Lord Krsna.

by Madhyama-devi dasi

The setting for the party was perfect. In fact, the setting seemed to be what the occasion was all about. The grand opening of the Bhaktivedanta Cultural Center, located on the richly landscaped four-and-a-half acres of Detroit's famous Lawrence P. Fisher Mansion, even drew the attention of the Michigan State Senate, which passed a resolution thanking the guests of honor, Alfred Brush Ford (Ambarisa dasa) and Elisabeth Reuther Dickmeyer (Lekhasravanti-devi dasi) for contributing the funds that made the center a reality. The party was a tremendous success; there was no doubt about that.

And who would have expected the simultaneous and amicable appearance of members of the traditionally feuding Ford and Reuther families? A fascinating variety of people傭illionaires and brahmacaris, capitalists and craftsmen, Indian diplomats and American brahmanas, and the cream of Detroit's society-page personalities預ll received their fragrant garlands at the massive, ornately carved front doors and went on to enjoy the ceremony, the museum exhibitions, and the eighteen-course feast of sanctified vegetarian food.

The media, of course, turned out in force. As I read over the published reports and listened to the newscasts, I was encouraged by the amount of coverage and astounded at the wealth of detail. The beautiful formal gardens, in which peacocks wandered amid fountains, pools, and sculptures, the Moorish architecture of the mansion, with its handmade tiles, intricate rosewood and mahogany carvings, gold-and-silver-leafed ceilings, all restored in authentic detail and further enhanced by the newly finished multimedia exhibition葉he press reports missed nothing of this.

But while the coverage was lavish and (for the most part) favorable, I gradually began to feel that the reporters had missed the most amazing fact about the opening of the Bhaktivedanta Cultural Center: The dozens of people who had spent two and a half million dollars and nearly a decade of their lives to build it didn't expect to make a dime off it.

What motivated them to make such a tremendous sacrifice of their talents and wealth? Why did they do it?

It's only human nature to assume that what motivates us must also be motivating others. Thus one major newspaper pegged the International Society for Krishna Consciousness as a kind of "evangelical Am-way," an organization of former radical street beggars who've evolved into rational, middle-aged, middle-class, family-raising citizens葉he underlying assumption being, of course, that affluence and bodily comfort are really what life is all about and that the Hare Krsnas, beneath their veneer of odd dress and strict lifestyle, must really believe this as much as everyone else does.

Nothing could be further from the truth. And the best way to prove this, I feel, is to let the people responsible for the Bhaktivedanta Cultural Center speak for themselves.

The first person to inquire from, of course, should be the person whom the center is named after: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Without question, Srila Prabhupada played the most important role in the center's completion. Back in 1975, it was he who first saw the potential of the then run-down building on Detroit's rough East Side. He personally negotiated the purchase price, and he inspired Ambarisa and Lekhasravanti to purchase and develop the mansion as a showplace of Krsna consciousness. And finally, he had the vision to create the First American Transcendental Experience, FATE, the group of devoted artists who constructed a multi-media museum, first in Los Angeles and now in Detroit.

Although Srila Prabhupada passed away in 1977, we can derive the benefit of his personal presence by hearing his teachings. He continues to speak to us today, meaningfully and succinctly, through the medium of his published works.

In his translation, with commentary, of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, Srila Prabhupada explains that mankind is fast entering a spiritual void and is thus in desperate need of "a cultural presentation for the respiritualization of the entire human society."

A cultural presentation. Music, dance, painting, sculpture, film葉he world has plenty of culture already. Why then did Srila Prabhupada want to make another cultural presentation? How was this cultural presentation going to do what other cultural presentations couldn't溶amely, respiritualize the entire human society?

Srila Prabhupada explains that the ideal culture is one that reminds us of God葉hat encourages us to learn about Him, love Him, and serve Him. And that culture is being presented by the Bhaktivedanta Cultural Center.

Adi-deva dasa, the director of FATE, explained to me that the spiritual ideals he learned from Srila Prabhupada have grown stronger with time and with his mature experience as a devotee-artist.

"Nothing is impossible in spiritual life," he said. "Srila Prabhupada told us, in fact, that impossible is a word in a fool's dictionary. Srila Prabhupada sent us to India to be trained in a special method of figure sculpture known only in Bengal. It was austere, of course, living in a straw hut with the mosquitoes. And our years in Los Angeles, trying to get a studio started洋arathon, round-the-clock work sessions to meet deadlines溶o one could say it was easy.

"All of our talent and energies went into making these exhibits. But the greatest happiness an artist can feel is to have a meaningful outlet for his skills. And the greatest happiness a spirit soul can feel is to use the gifts Krsna has given him to glorify the giver Himself. This is a happiness that transcends the bodily situation, and because we've felt it, we want to give it to others.

"Srila Prabhupada gave all of his energies to translating the Srimad-Bhagavatam for us. So the exhibits in the Bhaktivedanta Cultural Center are all based on this scripture. Everyone who sees them is learning about spiritual life. Srila Prabhupada wrote me a letter explaining the potency of what he called 'these living hooks.' He said, 'In London there is a museum柚adame Tussaud's Wax Museum預nd people are lining up for blocks just to see some mundane dead bodies. You should go to India and learn how to make dolls. Then we will have our own museum, and simply by seeing our exhibits people will make spiritual advancement.'

"I've personally taken hundreds of people through the museum. Everyone who's gone through has gotten a better understanding of the philosophy of Krsna consciousness, as well as transcendental pleasure from seeing Krsna's beauty portrayed through art. Srila Prabhupada has given us the most wonderful gift. We're doing our best to pass it on."

Ambarisa dasa, great-grandson of Henry Ford, donated most of the money that developed the Bhaktivedanta Cultural Center. When I asked him why he'd done it, he said it was simply because Srila Prabhupada had asked him to.

"I was traveling in India with Srila Prabhupada," he said, "when he first told me we could 'conquer' the West by Vedic culture. Personally, I was eager to spread Krsna consciousness among the class of people I knew and grew up with. I felt there had to be a way to do it, some way to tell them about our philosophy that they could relate to. Srila Prabhupada was giving me the clue.

"When Lekhasravanti [the daughter of the late Walter Reuther] and I purchased the Fisher Mansion in 1975. Srila Prabhupada told us we should make it into 'a gorgeous showplace of Krsna conscious culture.' He felt that although the mansion had been built for material reasons, simply by being used to house the FATE exhibits, which all center on Krsna, it would become spiritualized.

"The grand opening has proven Srila Prabhupada right. My parents attended, and many friends of my family. Everyone there was satisfied. They weren't in the least bit turned off or skeptical.

"I can understand now why Srila Prabhupada told me, 'These exhibits will revolutionize our preaching in the West.'"

Lekhasravanti stood before the audience of some three hundred fifty distinguished guests at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, listening to the speeches made by the other noteworthy persons, patiently waiting her turn. Nearly everyone knows that she contributed half the purchase price of the Fisher Mansion back in 1975. Few know that it took virtually her entire savings to do so. As she spoke, I felt that her simple statement represented the attitude of so many other devotees幼ooks, gardeners, waiters, carpenters, painters, window-washers, floor-moppers容veryone who gave freely, no matter how seemingly unnoticed the gift, to complete the Bhaktivedanta Cultural Center.

"Srila Prabhupada gave us all a wonderful gift葉he gift of Krsna conscious philosophy, that loving God will make us happy. We just want to share this happiness with the people of Detroit."

Highlights from the Opening

The Michigan State Senate resolution read at the ribbon-cutting ceremony called the grand opening of the Bhaktivedanta Cultural Center at the Lawrence P. Fisher Mansion "a momentous occasion for glad rejoicing. . . . The center is awe-inspiring. . . . We are proud that it is available to the people of Detroit."

Srila Ramesvara Swami, who, with Srila Bhavananda Goswami Visnupada, oversaw the completion of the center, spoke of the wealth of architectural craftsmanship displayed by the Fisher Mansion, including Govinda's vegetarian restaurant, which is finished in elegant Italian Renaissance decor. He also described the multimedia FATE museum, with its electronically coordinated exhibits depicting themes from Vedic scripture; the grounds, with their fountains, gardens, strutting peacocks, and sculptured renditions of divine incarnations; the auditorium, which will be used for presenting the best in Indian classical music, dance, and drama; the painting exhibit, which contains the finest examples of Indian and Western Krsna conscious art; and, most important, the Bhakti-Yoga Center, where people can take free classes in the highest spiritual science India has to offer葉he science of devotional service to Krsna.

Srila Visnupada spoke of the soon-to-be-inaugurated Food for Life program. "It's such a shame that in such an affluent society as ours, anyone should have to go hungry. Srila Prabhupada told us that no one within a ten-mile radius of any ISKCON temple should ever lack for food. So, besides our regular, traditional free Sunday feasts, we're going to start giving out free meals of krsna-prasadam [food offered to Krsna] to all comers during the week as well."

Srila Visnupada also said that Srila Prabhupada wanted the Detroit cultural center to be a showcase for the blending of American technology and Indian spiritual science. "A lame man riding on a blind man's shoulders is able to get around, while the blind man can benefit from the lame man's directions. Similarly, the less materially well-off nation of India can give spiritual eyes to vigorously wealthy but spiritually blind America. This partnership is of great benefit to the people of both nations."

In a letter to Lekhasravanti, Michigan Governor James J. Blanchard wrote, "I wish you and the other members of the Krishna society every success on this great occasion. The restored Fisher Mansion and the cultural center are an ornament to the neighborhood . . . . I hope they will serve as a catalyst for renewal, not only physical but spiritual."



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The Vedic Observer

Promiscuity's Backlash

A chain of new diseases is shackling the freedom of the sexually liberated.

by Satyaraja dasa

The free-wheeling sexual revolution is upwards of a decade old, and it seems there's no going back. We've shrugged off the foolish and primitive shackles of sexual restraint and opened ourselves to progressive and liberating conceptions of male and female sexuality. But there's one catch: Those who feel free to have unrestricted sex contract sexually transmitted diseases just as freely.

And the diseases now raging through the ranks of the sexually liberated are not merely the simple syphilis and gonorrhea we knew in more innocent times, when sex was hardly mentionable in public. Today's sexual encounters engender such risks as herpes and chancroid.

As many as twenty million Americans have genital herpes, and up to half a million more catch it every year. And once you've got herpes, you've got it for life. The virus burrows into nerve cells and stays there, unaffected by any known treatment. The psychological effects of the herpes stigma are often worse than the physical effects of the disease itself.

Chancroid, a newly discovered venereal disease that features painful genital ulcers and blisters, was relatively rare a year or so ago. But now it has become quite common, with a growth rate that rivals herpes. We should not wonder at the astronomical growth rates for venereal diseases, however, for every year many more individuals join the march for sexual freedom.

Where has this march led us recently? AIDS. (AIDS is an acronym for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.) AIDS victims, due to a breakdown of their immune systems, are prone to a grab bag of ravaging diseases. Once thought to be a condition peculiar to homosexuals, AIDS is now affecting many heterosexuals as well. The number of cases has doubled every six months since 1981, and so far almost forty percent of all AIDS cases have proven fatal. Some researchers believe that no one who has it will survive it.

Even if AIDS doesn't kill you, in time you may wish it had. When you first get the disease, you feel like you've got the flu. But a year later the "flu" hasn't gone away. Gradually the AIDS victim loses his ability to fight off even the mildest disease. AIDS victims are prone to an arm-long list of so-called opportunistic infections羊are cancers and other diseases that don't affect people whose immune systems are working properly. About a third of all victims have developed Kaposi's sarcoma, a cancer of the skin and internal organs. Many others have come down with an unusual pneumonia caused by a protozoan, Pneumocystis carinii.

In addition to the mounting plague of sexually transmitted diseases, promiscuity also generates detrimental social effects. Unwanted children, despite having escaped the gauntlet of birth control and abortion, are often neglected. Many times the father abandons the mother and child, and sometimes both parents abandon the child. Such unwanted children are raised with insufficient affection and guidance and easily fall prey to bad association. City streets and jails abound with these youngsters. And it all began with sexually preoccupied parents.

Why has nature engulfed us in such a nightmare? Why can't we enjoy a full, healthy sex life, free from horrible side effects? Perhaps we should seriously reassess the purpose of sex. Perhaps we are abusing sex, and being abused by sex in turn. Perhaps our ideas of sexuality are more perverse than progressive, more lewd than liberating.

Sex is meant for having children葉he natural result of sexual enjoyment is pregnancy. Bent on avoiding nature's arrangement, however, people use contraceptives, have abortions, incur diseases預nd spoil society. So we shouldn't consider promiscuity's backlash an unjust retribution from a merciless God. It's simply one of nature's ways of telling us that unrestricted sexuality is unnatural.

The difficulty is that sex is the source of the strongest sensual and emotional stimulation, and to restrict it謡hat to speak of giving it up all together預ppears impossible. To put aside any enjoyment is certainly difficult. But if we find something more enjoyable, then it is equally as natural to give up our previous enjoyment容specially if that enjoyment, like unrestricted sex, has detrimental side effects.

In the Bhagavad-gita (2.59) Lord Krsna explains, "Although one may artificially repress the desires of the senses, the taste for sense enjoyment remains. But by getting a higher taste, one remains fixed in consciousness."

In the Krsna consciousness movement we practice bhakti-yoga, or devotional service to the Supreme Lord, Krsna, the reservoir of all pleasure. The central point of bhakti-yoga is chanting the holy names of Krsna幽are Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Because Krsna is absolute, He is nondifferent from His names, and we can associate with Him through sound vibration. Associating with the reservoir of pleasure makes sex pleasure look pale by comparison.

We therefore find no unwanted children in the Hare Krsna movement, nor do we find abortion or contraception. We indulge in sex only in marriage, and then only to have children. And we raise the children in Krsna consciousness. This is the original purpose of sex, and when one uses sex only for this purpose, nature does not retaliate溶o herpes, no AIDS.

But don't believe us just because we say so. Try the process of bhakti-yoga and see if your desire for enjoyment does not become refined. See for yourself whether or not you develop a higher taste.



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Notes from the Editor

"Religion" vs. Love of God

On a television program in Gainesville, Florida, in 1971, the interviewer asked Srila Prabhupada a controversial question:

"In what way, sir, do you think that the teaching of love of God that you are preaching is different and perhaps better than the teachings of love of God that were being conducted in this country and have been conducted in the rest of the world for centuries?"

Srila Prabhupada replied that he was not opposed to any religion and that anyone in the world could chant the name of God.

But the interviewer was looking for debate:

"There must have been an element of dissatisfaction on your part with the way Godhead was being professed in this part of the world before you came. Otherwise, there would have been no sense in your coming."

"Not just in this part of the world," Srila Prabhupada admitted, "but practically everywhere there is very little interest in God. They have more interest in dog."

But we may well ask, "Why such criticism? Aren't today's religions teaching people to love God?"

Not necessarily. People often cultivate a materialistic approach to God. They pray for material possessions and worldly happiness, regarding God more as their order supplier than as their object of love. Some television evangelists, for instance, hint at the instant material benefits God can give to those who simply phone in and pledge a donation. On one show, a young husband admitted that at first he had given to the TV church only because his wife had nagged him. But when he discovered that his financial condition was improving, he too became a believer.

Giving to God for profit is common to religions and denominations the world over; but it constitutes the poorest, lowest class of religion. It affords some spiritual benefit, of course, since the practitioner at least recognizes God's control, but it is more business than devotion.

A more advanced (though still deficient) approach to God is salvationism. When one realizes that this world is temporary and full of suffering, he doesn't try to enjoy it anymore; he seeks release. He sees God as the savior葉he mitigator of suffering and sorrow, the deliverer from the cycle of birth and death. Thus the Salvationist, like the materialist, also approaches God only for what God will do for him.

The Vedic scriptures teach us that the path of salvation is not only selfish but also unsuccessful. By meditating on the eternal and by subduing material desires, a Salvationist may enter the eternal realm, but he must return to the material world because of his failure in developing a personal, loving relationship with the Supreme Lord.

So why is love of God様ove free of ulterior motives耀o rarely understood? One reason is that most scriptures give but little information of God as a person. We hear "God is great, "but we don't hear much detail about His greatness. Therefore, people find little impetus to love God and serve Him. There's an old atheistic joke that going to hell is better than going to heaven because in hell you'll be with all your friends. Such ignorance of God as the greatest personality and the most lovable, attractive friend is lamentable.

The Vedic scriptures abound with information of how God is great. In the Bhagavad-gita, Krsna explains how He works in the spiritual world and in the material world. Conditioned souls caught in the material world are described in terms of karma and reincarnation, and the entire material world is described as God's energy. The spiritual world is also described, as are God's activities. His name, His form, and His relationships with His eternal loving associates. Anyone who hears these descriptions in a spirit of submissive inquiry will come to know the Supreme Lord within his heart.

Many worshipers, both materialistic and salvationistic, consider God to be ultimately impersonal. Although they may speak of God as "the Father," if pressed for a description of the Father they say that He is without form, without face, a nonperson, an energy, an all-pervading light. According to the Vedic scriptures, however, these impersonal aspects are subordinate to the eternal, personal form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Yes, God has His impersonal aspects, but ultimately He is the Supreme Person.

When, through the practice of genuine spiritual life, we come to know God, we become no longer interested in religions that do not propound the highest truth. God then attracts us by His own being, and we simply want to serve Him. Lord Caitanya prays, "I do not want any wealth, women, or followers. I want only Your causeless devotional service, birth afterbirth."

The special contribution of the Krsna consciousness movement is that it gives us the method for practicing pure love of God, even while we're engaged in our daily activities in the material world. The chanting of the holy name of God, for example, is not a method for gaining material benefits or for merging with the all-pervading consciousness. But by chanting God's holy name. God reveals Himself to us預s the all-attractive friend, the eternal well-wisher, the most beloved.

Formerly, such realization of our loving relationship with God was obtained only by great saints and mystics, but through the mercy of Lord Caitanya it is available to anyone. It's not difficult. All of us can chant the names of God, and if we do so under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master, we can attain the highest stage of spiritual realization: pure love of God.

Religious denominations abound, but one seriously looking for the essence of spiritual life can easily become disappointed. We invite those who are looking for their pure relationship with God to consider the path of Krsna consciousness as it is presented through the Vedic scriptures like Bhagavad-gita As It Is and the Srimad-Bhagavatam, and through the chanting of Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.祐DG



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