The Secret Ingredient
"Offering gifts in charity, accepting charitable gifts, revealing one's mind in confidence, inquiring confidentially, accepting prasada and offering prasada are the six symptoms of love shared by one devotee and another." (Sri Upadesamrta, Verse 4)
Herein lies the very basis of our Krishna consciousness movement: exchanges of love or priti among its members. Without this exchange or reciprocation, there is no real Krishna consciousness movement. Srila Prabhupada further explains in his purport:
"Even in ordinary social activities, these six types of dealings between two loving friends are absolutely necessary." He goes on to state: "The International Society for Krishna Consciousness has been established to facilitate these six kinds of loving exchanges between devotees. This Society was started single-handedly, but because people are coming forward and dealing with the give-and-take policy, the Society is now expanding all over the world." So here is the simple formula for success: Krishna consciousness is based on love.
Of course, Srila Prabhupada qualifies that genuine love for others originates or stems from love of Krishna, the origin of all. In the beginning of his book, KRSNA, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Prabhupada writes the following:
"Since Krishna is all-attractive, one should know that all his desires should be focused on Krishna. In the Bhagavad-gita it is said that the individual person is the proprietor or master of the body but Krishna, who is the Supersoul present in everyone's heart, is the supreme proprietor and supreme master of each and every individual body. As such, if we concentrate our loving propensities upon Krishna only, then immediately universal love, unity and tranquillity will be automatically realized. When one waters the root of a tree, he automatically waters the branches, twigs, leaves and flowers; when one supplies food to the stomach through the mouth, he satisfies all the various parts of the body.
"The art of focusing one's attention on the Supreme and giving one's love to Him is called Krishna consciousness. We have inaugurated the Krishna consciousness movement so that everyone can satisfy his propensity for loving others simply by directing his love towards Krishna. The whole world is very much anxious to satisfy the dormant propensity of love for others, but the inventions of various methods like socialism, communism, altruism, humanitarianism, nationalism, and whatever else may be manufactured for the peace and prosperity of the world, are all useless and frustrating because of our gross ignorance of the art of loving Krishna. Generally people think that by advancing the cause of moral principles and religious rites, they will be happy. Others may think that happiness can be achieved by economic development, and yet others think that simply by sense gratification they will be happy. But the real fact is that people can only be happy by loving Krishna."
In the first Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, we also read the following verse:
"The supreme occupation (dharma) for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendent Lord. Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted in order to completely satisfy the self." (S.B. 1.2.6)
In his description to the above verse, Srila Prabhupada further elucidates upon this important principle:
"If the members of human society actually want peace of mind, tranquillity and friendly relations between men and nations, they must follow the Krishna conscious system of religion, by which they can develop their dormant love for Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As soon as people do so, their minds will immediately be filled with peace and tranquillity."
So if anyone wants to know what Krishna consciousness is in a nutshell, the answer is very clear. It begins with genuinely loving God, which then naturally expands into loving all God's parts and parcels, i.e. all living beings.
In the Brahma-samhita, Lord Brahma, the first created being, sings the following beautiful mantra in glorification of Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead:
santah sadaiva hrdayesu vilokayanti
yam syamasundaram acintya-guna-svarupam
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami
"I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who is Syamasundara, Krsna Himself with inconceivable innumerable attributes, whom the pure devotees see in their heart of hearts with the eye of devotion tinged with the salve of love." (Bs 5.38)
So here is the qualification for seeing God. One's eyes must be anointed with the eyes of love.
In the Bhagavad-gita ("Song of God"), Arjuna, Krishna's intimate student, wanted to see the Lord's opulence in all its glory. But Krishna first cautioned him:
"Whatever you wish to see can be seen all at once in this body. This universal form can show you all that you now desire, as well as whatever you may desire in the future. Everything is here completely. But you cannot see Me with your present eyes. Therefore I give to you divine eyes by which you can behold My mystic opulence." (Bhagavad-gita, 11.7-8)
Once again we are privy to the secret ingredient in not only seeing the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but in how we should see and act in relation to His dearmost devotees. Our eyes must be smeared with the ointment of love. There is no alternative or shortcut.
"Our Society is like one big family and our relationships should be based on love and trust." (Srila Prabhupada letter, August 6, 1970)
With this in mind, we'd like to share a few of the comments we've received over the past while, exemplifying the kindness and generosity of our loyal readers. These are only a few excerpts from among many letters received over the past five years while we've been online, but they demonstrate the mood of our viewers who have so kindly taken the time to write and share their genuine love and appreciation with us. Many thanks to all of you represented here anonymously (you know who you are), and our apologies, yet sincere gratitude, to the many whose comments have been received but not published for brevity's sake. Thank you most sincerely to one and all.
As we can see and learn from the following statements (and in our guestbook), the vast majority of our viewers relate to one another according to Srila Prabhupada's desire and instructions. There is no name-calling here, no threats, no court challenges, no divisions and no hatred. There is one thing in common: genuine care, appreciation and love for one another's sincerity -- albeit sometimes flawed, but lovingly overlooked -- in a touching effort to try and see everyone's efforts to serve Srila Prabhupada as best they can under the circumstances in which they were born and now live. It's not an ideal world and hardly anyone is perfect. But to try and serve the perfect is seen as perfect in itself by those with compassion in their hearts. All glories to His Divine Grace, Srila Prabhupada, the pure ocean of causeless mercy himself, and to his many sincere followers worldwide. Gaura premananda Hari Hari bol!
Here is a brief sample of some of our most recent comments:
1) "Thank you for sharing this glorification with all of your readers."
2) "I was just thinking how wonderful it is that I had Jayananda for a friend, and you had
the great fortune of a similar friend in Tribhuvannatha prabhu, and although I didn't
have the fortune of meeting you [might of in San Fran, but don't remember] or Tribhuvannatha, still by the cyber sound vibration we are all packed up together in
Srila Prabhupada's holy light of prema, and time and space cannot separate us
and all of Prabhupada's wonderful disciples."
3) "Take good care, and please write if you need any assistance or have any concerns."
4) "You are doing a wonderful service, and it's so nice to see that people are appreciating Srila Prabhupada and your service. I will contact my friends to encourage them to submit memories."
5) "May all good things come to you and may you be happy."
6) "Thank you for reminding me that my family is blessed by Lord Krishna and Srila Prabhupada because I don't always remember this. You are doing a wonderful service with your website."
7) "Let me know if you need anything."
8) "I appreciate your good wishes."
9) "THANK YOU!!!! I can't say how much I appreciate your loving and heartfelt comments.
Please stay in touch."
10) "Thanks for taking the time to write such a thoughtful email! I'll pass it on right now. Have a wonderful day."
11) "The postings of the past few weeks have been so glorious -- it is like having another class to embrace at any time."
12) "When we became devotees we basically gave up our claim for a piece of the pie. Instead we went after a piece of the samosa. While others our age were finishing up high school and going on to college and then pursuing careers -- where were we? In fact I remember when I lived in Boston in '70 -- '71. I was 18 -- 19 years old. There are so many colleges and universities in and around Boston. Jayadvaita and I would often leave the temple in the evening and head for some dormitory of some university and just begin knocking on doors. We'd go door to door with our bookbags and a bunch of Spiritual Sky incense packages. Being naturally shy it took a lot of surrender for me to do that. Imagine how self conscious I was. Anyway -- the students would open up their doors and look at me and the look on their faces -- it was as if they were seeing an alien from some far away planet. I'd think -- how is it that I'm on this side of the door in this dress, going door to door with my guru's books and not on that side of the door going to college and studying to become a lawyer? The answer? Krishna's mercy. Regrets? None! Well -- I'm always regretting my fallen condition and my egoism and lethargy stopping me from being a proper and deserving disciple -- but not regrets as far as tuning in and turning on to Krishna Consciousness and dropping out of mainstream materialistic society."
13) "All glories to Srila Prabhupada! Please accept my respects. It is nice to hear that your mother is chanting Hare Krishna daily, how fortunate that you have a devotee mother!
Please give her my respects and best wishes for her improved health."
14) "It sounds like you are pretty busy helping your Momji. There are a few devotees I know of whose parents, mostly their mothers, are in their 80's and with health problems.
You are a special son to your mom to help her both spiritually and materially."
15) "Your efforts with 'The Prabhupada Connection' are well acknowledged and I rarely run into someone who hasn't heard of your site. So what you are doing is practical and efficacious."
16) "All glory to Srila Prabhupada the ocean of transcendental mercy and kindness without whom none of us would have a clue as to the purpose of our lives."
17) "Again, pictures are one thing but your proclivity for uniting nectar snippets from Srila Prabhupada's books and photos is unsurpassed. I don't always mention it but I am impressed again and again re: your ability to do that. It brings so much life to both the quote and to the picture."
18) "Been a while, I still savor your website, thanks, and hope your impediments are being eradicated and your service is going on unchecked."
19) "The service you are doing for your Momji is priority and I'm sure she appreciates it. An experience for you to grow in your Krishna consciousness."
20) "I am very happy to learn that Momji is getting better. The paintings are simply beautiful,,just reflections of her beautiful self. Please convey my appreciation and
dandavats to her."
21) "Frankly, I think 'The Prabhupada Connection' is in a class all of its own."
22) "You'll never get enough credit for 'The Prabhupada Connection.' It is all to the credit of your sincerity and Krishna Consciousness."
23) "I hope all is going well for you in the execution of your devotional service."
24) "I pray you both stay well and strong at the lotus feet of Lord Krishna and in the loving arms of Srila Prabhupada."
25) "Well, Prabhu, hope you and your Momji are doing well. Look forward to reading the good wishes sent by your online friends."
26) "It is really wonderful to have met you online and your website is a great source of inspiration."
27) "Thank you for the greetings. Happy New Year to you as well! I am grateful to have met you on-line. Your enthusiasm for serving Srila Prabhupada was and still is, contagious. :) "
28) "Thank you for your New Year wishes and blessings. My humble obeisances unto
you -- and those who serve through Prabhupadaconnect. I remain in brotherhood
with you through the mercy and glory of Sri Krishna Mahaprabhu & Srimati Radharani."
29) "Thank you very much for your kind words though I am truly undeserving. I feel honored to have such a nice friend as you. Of course I wish you a prosperous, materially and spiritually, New Year."
30) "Many thanks for the New Year wishes. And likewise I wish you and your family all the best in 2007. Continued success with Prabhupada Connect."
31) "All Glories to Srila Prabhupada! Thank you so much for your good wishes; and hoping the same goes to you and yours."
32) "Thank you very much prabhu. Hari Bol... and an excellent new year to you too."
33) "It is very good to hear from you! I hope that you are well and that you have the very best year ever! Take care."
34) "All Glories to Srila Prabhupada. A nice surprise to hear from you again after so long. My wife and I return the same greetings to you, and wish you a prosperous New Year, success in your endeavors, and transcendence in your life through the teachings of Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, and successful practice of Krishna Consciousness."
35) "I will be pleased to add whatever humble memories I have of the little time I was blessed to share with His Divine Grace."
36) "Thank you for kind New Years wishes and my wife and I return them many times over to both you and Momji."
37) "I offer my prostrated obeisances in the dust of your lotus feet again and again. All glories to that wonderful wandering saint, Srila Prabhupada!"
38) "Thank you for your warm wishes, my friend. It is undoubtedly Krishna's kindness upon me to have brought me in contact with you via your wonderful tribute to Srila Prabhupada, www.prabhupadaconnect.com. As far as I am concerned, your site is the standard of excellence for all Krishna conscious websites. Period."
39) "Thank you so much for your kind wishes and blessings. We wish you a very happy and auspicious new year. May this meet you in great health."
40) "Best wishes belatedly for a great year and best of health for the family."
41) "Thank you for your kind wishes and for your friendship. I treasure our correspondence very much and wish you all health and happiness in 2007 and hope it will bring many experiences that will turn into treasured memories."
42) "Hare Krishna. Thank you so much for your good wishes for the new year. I wish you and Momji the same. I pray you are both feeling well in all respects and will have a blessed 2007!"
43) "Please stay in touch and stay well. I will pray for you and Momji while in the holy dhama."
44) "Thank you for your well wishes and your friendship, it really means alot. 2006 was a year of intense challenges, with many, many changes and a lot of loss. Only by the blessings, guidance and mercy are we really able to surrender and move-on to the next waves of service."
45) "Prabhu, thank you for your blessings for my self and family. :-) May Srila Prabhupada and Lord Sri Krishna continue to pour mercy on you, Momji and all in your family ! May you ever continue Prabhupada Connection so all who drink transcendental water there will reap the eternal benefits! Prabhu, it is I who am grateful for your kind Vaishnava encouragement on this unworthy soul. May Srila Prabhupada save us all !!! Hare Krishna! and a Happy New Year !!!"
46) "I hope this year brings you all auspiciousness and Krishna's mercy, for you are surely a worthy recipient."
47) "Hope you and your Momji have a great new year, too!"
48) "Have a great new year, filled with 'sat chit ananda.'"
49) "This is just a brief message to thank you for your friendship over the past year. If I don't increase my ability to appreciate, then I depreciate!"
50) "Jaya Srila Prabhupada. Thank you for your good wish. The same thing for you and in double."
51) "All the best for you too. Take care my good friend."
52) "Hope you and Momji have a transcendental happy new year!"
53) "Good luck and please wish Momji, and your good self, our best for 2007."
54) "Please wish Momji, and of course yourself, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope things are on the repair regards to both of your health situations."
55) "Happy Jesus Christ holiday and all Vaisnava holidays to you."
56) "Have a nice Christmas, remembering Jesus Christ, a pure devotee of Lord Krishna, who made a big contribution to the world. Yes and he changed the world."
57) "We found this service and we are trying to do something for Prabhupada because we have a little love for him. Krishna accept a flower, a little water etc. if we give Him with love. Your website is full of love for His pure devotee. This is what I am really thinking."
58) "Pretty soon you'll be in the spiritual world."
59) "I hope you have visions of suger plum chutneys and gulabjomins dancing in your head. Merry Krishna ~ Ho Ho Haribol! Thank your mom again for her kind thoughts in my guestbook online, wish her a very merry Krishnamas for us! Jaya Srila Prabhupada!"
60) "I noticed the latest artwork by your dear Momji, (the lighted holiday candle) and wanted to know how she is doing. Please say Haribol to her for me and give her my prayers for her good health. She seems like a very nice and sweet mother. You are very fortunate to have the opportunity to serve her. Hope all is well. Hare Krishna!"
61) "Merry Krishna."
62) "A short note to thank Momji for the beautiful Christmas offering and her sublime message."
63) "Peace, love, and chant like there's no tomorrow.... Hare Krishna !!!"
64) "Your mom sounds like a real angel! She's looking after you as a spiritual mom would. She's a good example! Please give her my respects for her well-being and improved health! You are doing the best service a devotee could do for their parents! Have no doubt about this. And she is repaying you by reminding you to chant the Holy Names!"
65) "Sending off 'Season's Greetings' ... for many Blessings and abiding Peace. I am praying for your continued acceptance, courage and special devotion in your loving service as her very dear son and caregiver."
66) "Thank you for sharing this glorification with all of your readers."
67) "I hope all is going well for you in the execution of your devotional service."
68) "All glories to Srila Prabhupada! Please accept my respects. It is nice to hear that your mother is chanting Hare Krishna daily, how fortunate that you have a devotee mother!
Please give her my respects and best wishes for her improved health."
69) "Hare Krishna! May the next year bring more Srila Prabhupada Katha around the globe!
70) "I hope for you the best in 2007 and for the eternity. The honor is for me to know you."
71) "Thank you my good friend for all these good wishes; and I would like to share the same wishes for you too. We are all blessed to continue reaping the unlimited mercy of Sri Caitanyavdev and His glorious servants. I only hope to be allowed to continue in the association of His devotees to help me overcome my obstinate attachments to the shallow pleasures of this world. Please continue your glorious service to further spread Srila Prabhupada's glories far and wide. Jai Sri Krishna!"
72) "It is undoubtedly Krishna's kindness upon me to have brought me in contact with you via your wonderful tribute to Srila Prabhupada, www.prabhupadaconnect.com."
73) "Thank you for kind New Years wishes and my wife and I return them many times over to both you and Momji."
74) "Thank you for your kind New Years wish. Anyhow, thank you for your patience and I hope you had a great new years and especially that this upcoming new year is a better year!"
75) "May their Lordships and Srila Prabhupada bless you both on this sublime journey... again thank you for all your wonderful and insightful postings on the Prabhupada Connection websight... it is very good medicine for the heart."
76) "Best wishes belatedly for a great year and best of health for the family."
77) "Please accept my humble obeisances all glories to Srila Prabhupada. Thank you very much for your kind wishes. May you and yours have a wonderful New Year in full Krishna consciousness."
78) "Thank you so much for your kind wishes and blessings. We wish you a very happy and auspicious new year. May this meet you in great health."
79) "Thank you for the good wishes. I also hope all is well with you and that Krishna will help you overcome any setbacks you may have in life so you can continue benedicting the world through the Prabhupada Connection."
80) "Thank you so much for your good wishes; and hoping the same goes to you and yours."
81) "Thank you very much for your sweet and sincere service to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga! Your website is nice and informative."
82) "Hare Krishna, definitely. But we should observe Gaura Purnima as our new
83) "Thank you for your kind New Years wish. Hope all is well with you. Take care and Hare Krishna."
84) "Prabhu, hope you and your Momji are doing well. Hare Krishna!"
85) "You are doing a wonderful service, and it's so nice to see that people are appreciating Srila Prabhupada and your service. I will contact my friends to encourage them to submit memories."
86) "It is very good to hear from you! I hope that you are well and that you have the very best year ever! Take care."
87) "Been a while, I still savor your website, thanks, and hope your impediments are being eradicated and your service is going on unchecked."
89) "I hope for you the best in 2007 and for the eternity. The honor is for me to know you."
90) "Happy holidays."
91) "Thank you to encourage me. You are so a nice person. I hope one day I'll become like you."
92) "It is really wonderful to have met you online and your website is a great source of inspiration. Hope you are well. And I wish you a very successful new year also."
93) "Hope you and Momji have a transcendental happy new year!"
94) "Thanks for all your great effort."
95) "Hope all is well with you and your mother. Please offer her my respects."
96) "HARE KRISHNA AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS FOR YOU TOO."
97) "It is very good to hear from you! I hope that you are well and that you have the very best year ever!."
98) "Thank you for sharing your sincere devotion with the world."
99) "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." -- Dr. Martin Luther King
100) "I think the thing that I notice and am quite depressed by many times when I see devotee websites like this are that it seems like endless bickering about who is right and who is wrong, and here we are with this rare human form of life and a real opportunity to
render the nine processes of devotional service. So my usual response is to not read that kind of stuff in lieu of reading Srila Prabupada's books or some other books that inspire me to pure devotional service. Sometimes I do and maybe I will in the future just to see what is up, but my general impression lately is that it is more of an impediment to my faith than an inspiration to it.
"That being said I want to say that your site is the kind of site that gets my full recommendation as far as being conducive to pure devotional service. I think you have done the right thing in avoiding the politics of the day and just praising the transcendental qualities and pastimes of the pure devotee and Krishna. I know that sometimes it is difficult, but it is my opinion that if Srila Prabhupada looked over your website he would be very pleased by the quality of the content there. Village katha is of one nature and Krishna katha is of another, and your site is Krishna katha."
101) "Take care Prabhu. It's good to hear from you. Thank you very much, and Happy New Year !"
102) "I can see many devotees don't want to be involve in the politic. They just want to be in love with Prabhupada and Krishna. You took the time to place all these good words all together. It's means you want to share with us a very good message of love."
103) "All you need is God."
104) "Hari Bol... and an excellent new year to you too."
105) "I am sure Krishna is very pleased with both of you and that Srila Prabhupada is giving his blessings in every respect. May this new year bring you all auspiciousness, and to your mother, the final attainment of going back home back to Godhead."
106) "All Glories to Srila Prabhupada! Thank you so much for your good wishes; and hoping the same goes to you and yours... As always, hoping this shall meet you well and that your mother is faring better."
107) "We are so happy when we are in love and here is the real love. We'll be happy for ever with good devotees like your self and others who share with you all those beautiful words of love."
108) "I feel so happy to be in this family. The real Prabhupada's family. I saw this family is around your website. You united all the good followers of Prabhupada and I am very proud to be one of your friends. Thank you very much to accepted me in your beautiful family.
ALL WE NEED IS LOVE."
* * *
Once again, and please know it for sure, we deserve no accolades or glories whatsoever. All glories go to Srila Prabhupada and his sincere followers everywhere -- past, present and future. From these brief comments alone we can readily see just how kind and loving Srila Prabhupada's followers actually are -- and that means you, dear readers and friends. Thank you very much indeed.
And, of course, we forever thank our beloved Srila Prabhupada, by whose unlimited and inconceivable mercy all good things have happened in our lives.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.