Reaching Krishna His Way
No need to guess—Krishna lets us know which method of reaching Him will work
A lecture given in New York City, on November 28, 1966
by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Founder-Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
na sadhayati mam yogo na sankhyam dharma uddhava
na svadhyayas tapas tyago yatha bhaktir mamorjita
[The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, said:] "My dear Uddhava, neither through astanga-yoga [the
mystic yoga system to control the senses], nor through impersonal monism or an analytical study of the Absolute
Truth, nor through study of the Vedas, nor through practice of austerities, nor through charity, nor through acceptance
of sannyasa can one satisfy Me as much as one can by developing unalloyed devotional service unto Me." Srimad-
(quoted in Chaitanya-charitamrta, Madhya-lila 20.137)
Lord Chaitanya is speaking an allegory in which an astrologer tells a poor man where to dig to find a treasure.
The treasure represents Krishna consciousness, or love of God, and the directions in which the man is told to dig
represent different processes by which people search for the Absolute Truth.
The astrologer tells the poverty-stricken man, "You are actually a very rich man's son, but you do not know this.
Therefore you are suffering."
To be poor in this world is a curse for ordinary people, those under the concept of material life, whereas the
spiritually enriched have nothing to do with the poverty or wealth of this world. The living entities are not meant
to be poverty-stricken, because they are part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, the supreme proprietor. Every living
entity has the birthright to enjoy God's property, just as the son inherits the property of the father. That is the law.
But under the spell of illusion we have forgotten our relationship with the supreme father; therefore we are suffering.
That is the diagnosis.
Now we have to find out how to go back home, back to Godhead. That should be the mission of human life. Never
mind why we are in contact with the material world. By the instruction of the astrologerlike Vedic literature we
should come to the point of finding out how to go back to Godhead. Just as the astrologer is giving hints to the
poor man, the Vedic literature gives us hints so that we can become the richest by reviving our lost relationship
with our father.
There are different paths for reviving that relationship, but Lord Chaitanya says that no method but bhakti will work.
The Vedic literature says the same thing. In today's verse Lord Chaitanya is citing evidence from Srimad-Bhagavatam:
na sadhayati mam yogah. Lord Krishna says, "The yoga process cannot achieve success in reaching Me." Na
sankhyam. Sankhyam means "philosophical speculation." "That also cannot reach Me." Na ... dharma uddhava.
Dharma means "religious principles," and uddhava means "O My dear Uddhava."
Just as Lord Krishna instructed Arjuna in the Bhagavad-gita, He also instructed his cousin-brother named Uddhava.
Those instructions are found in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. In the course of those instructions Krishna says, "My
dear Uddhava, yoga cannot achieve Me, neither can Sankhya, neither can dharma."
The Meaning of Yoga
Real yoga means "connect, plus, addition." In mathematics we have addition and subtraction. So at the present
moment we are in subtraction God minus myself. I have no sense of God; therefore I am in a "minus" condition.
Yoga means God plus myself. That is the real meaning of yoga. For so long I was God-minus; now, through yoga,
I become God-plus.
But you must always remember that in the spiritual, absolute sense, God plus me is God and God minus me is
also God. When I am "minus," or separated from God, that does not mean God has lost some of His capacity.
No. He is full. And when I am "plus," or reunited with God, that does not mean God has increased in some capacity.
In the Bhagavad-gita a good example is given: apuryamanam acala-pratistha. During the rainy season millions
of tons of water pour into the ocean from rivers, but the ocean stays the same. If an ordinary ocean does not
increase when something is added to it, what to speak of God.
Krishna Voice, July 2009 5
I say "ordinary" because millions of oceans are floating in the universe. Therefore we should not be very astonished
to see the Atlantic Ocean. Within space are millions and trillions of oceans like the Atlantic. They are floating just
as an atomic particle of water can float in the air. That is the potency of God.
For those too engrossed in the bodily conception of life, the yoga system is very good, because it is a practice to
withdraw the senses to the inside from their engagement in the external world.
There are eight stages of yoga practice. The first two are yama and niyama. Under regulative principles one has
to try to control the senses in eating, sleeping, and working. That practice is called yama-niyama. The first principle
of yoga is to abstain from sex life. That is real yoga. Those indulging in sex life, intoxication, and so many nonsense
things have no chance for any success in yoga.
Then one has to sit nicely in a secluded, sanctified place with the neck, head, and body in a straight line. Then
you have to look at the tip of your nose with half-opened eyes. If you open your eyes, then the material manifestation
will disturb you. And if you close your eyes, then you nap. [Prabhupada imitates someone snoring.] I have seen.
So many yogis are doing that, sleeping. [Laughter.]
Then comes dhyana, concentration of the mind. What is the purpose of concentrating the mind? To find myself
within the body and then find the Lord there. That is the perfection of yoga. Not that I do nonsense day and night
but then attend a yoga class, pay five dollars, and think, "Oh, I am a great yogi." That is all nonsense.
Yoga is not so easy. Many so-called yoga teachers are simply exploiting people. I say frankly that they and their
students are a society of the cheaters and the cheated.
Although yoga is approved in the Vedic literature, it is very difficult to perform in the modern age. Even five thousand
years ago when the circumstances were more favorable, when people were not so polluted and were advanced
in so many things still, at that time such a person as Arjuna refused to practice yoga. When Krishna said to him,
"You become a yogi like this," Arjuna said, "It is not possible for me."
So yoga is not at all possible now. It was possible in the Satya-yuga, when every man was in the mode of goodness.
Every man was highly elevated. Yoga is meant for highly elevated persons, not ordinary persons.
But even if yoga is done very nicely and perfectly, it cannot take you to the Supreme Lord. That is stated here in
this verse. What to speak of pseudo yoga, even if you perform correctly, perfectly, still you cannot reach God. That
is stated here: na sadhayati mam yogah.
Analyzing Spirit and Matter
It is also said here, na sankhya: "Not by Sankhya." Sankhya means to understand spirit and matter. The Sankhya
philosopher analyzes the material world as made of twenty-four parts: the five gross elements, the three subtle
elements, the five knowledge-acquiring senses, the five working senses, the five sense objects, and pradhana,
the unmanifested modes of material nature.
The five gross material elements are earth, water, fire, air, and ether. Then come the subtle elements. Finer than
ether is the mind, finer than the mind is the intelligence, and finer than the intelligence is false ego, the false
conception that I am matter.
The five knowledge-acquiring senses are the eyes, nose, ears, tongue, and skin. The five working senses, by
which we enjoy or suffer, are the voice, legs, hands, anus, and genitals. And the five sense objects are smell, taste,
form, touch, and sound.
That analysis of the material world in twenty-four parts is called Sankhya. It is a full analysis of everything within
our experience. And above the twenty-four elements is the spirit soul. And above the soul is God.
Sankhyaites cannot find the soul. They are like material scientists in that they simply study material objects. They
have no information above that. Now I am talking with you; so the Sankhya philosophers cannot explain what is
that thing which is talking. Similarly, the medical doctor, after dissecting the body, cannot find what is working, the
spiritual force. And because the materialists cannot find even the particles of the Supreme Lord we living entities
what chance do they have to find God? So neither the yogis nor the Sankhyaites can find God.
By dharma, also, one cannot find God. Dharma here refers to rituals. The Hindus go to the temple, the Christians
go to the church, and the Muslims go to the mosque with the idea "Here is God." That is, of course, the beginning.
It is nice. That conviction must be there. But because they are trapped in the rituals, they have no further knowledge.
They do not try to advance further. They think, "Everything ends here." So they too cannot attain God.
Then svadhyaya. Svadhyaya means "study," study of the Vedic literature. And tapah. Tapah means "penance."
6 Krishna Voice, July 2009
Fasting, meditating, living in a solitary place in the jungle there are many processes of penance and austerity. And
tyaga, "renunciation." Sannyasa, the renounced order of life, is a kind of renunciation.
So the Lord says, "All these processes yoga, Sankhya, rituals, study of the Vedas, penance, and renunciation
combined together or individually, are not suitable for achieving Me."
Bhakti the Only Way
So practically every process is condemned herewith by the Supreme Lord. The processes are condemned in this
sense: those who follow them can approach the final goal to a certain extent, but they will never be able to achieve
it unless the devotional process is added.
Devotion must be there because the end is Krishna, the Supreme Lord. Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita,
bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyate: "After many, many births, those who are actually intelligent
come to Me and surrender, having realized that God is everything."
One has to come to the point of Krishna consciousness. Maybe you go by the yoga process, maybe you go by
the philosophical process, maybe you go by the ritualistic process, maybe you go by penances or by study. But
unless you reach the point of Krishna consciousness, your attempt is successful only to a certain degree.
Unfortunately, people become satisfied with different degrees of success. Hardly anyone tries to reach the final
goal. But if anyone wants to reach the final goal, then he has to take the process of Krishna consciousness, bhaktir
mamorjita. That process alone can take you to the Supreme Lord.
Those who are intelligent take to this simple process. In this age you cannot perform yoga perfectly, you cannot
perform religious rituals perfectly, you cannot study perfectly. The circumstances are so unfavorable that these
processes are not possible in this age. Therefore Lord Chaitanya, by His causeless mercy, has given us this
harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha
"In this Age of Kali, simply by chanting the holy name of Krishna one can attain the ultimate goal. There is no
alternative. There is no alternative. There is no alternative."
This verse is quoted from the Brhad-Naradiya Purana. And Lord Chaitanya is corroborating the verse. He has not
manufactured something by recommending bhakti as the only means to the ultimate goal. He is quoting from
authorized scripture so that people can accept the path of bhakti. We should accept this process
harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha
and practically see that this is the only process for swiftly realizing the Supreme Truth, the Absolute Truth. So
we should follow Krishna consciousness very seriously and sincerely.
Thank you very much.
Krishna Voice, July 2009 7
SRILA PRABHUPADA SPEAKS OUT
Blind Surrender to God Will Not Last
Here we continue an exchange that took place in Perth, Australia, on May 9, 1975, between His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and Carol Cameron, then a doctoral candidate in anthropology.
Carol: Your Divine Grace, how would you go about dadati pratigrhnati guhyam akhyati prcchati
teaching this idea of love [of God]? bhunkte bhojayate caiva sad-vidham priti-laksanam
Srila Prabhupada: Love means that just as I want to Priti means "love," and these are love's symptoms: give
eat something, so if I love somebody then I will see that and take, eat and give to eat, disclose your mind and
my beloved also eats. Also, naturally the lovers present know the other party's mind. This is love. The more you
things. For instance, when a boy loves a girl, he presents increase these six kinds of loving exchange, the more
something, and she should also give him something. you increase the love.
And if I have got some confidential thing in mind, I Carol: If a man wants to perfect his love, should he
should disclose it to the lover, and the lover is also withdraw from the world?
expected not to keep anything secret. She should
disclose it. If I love you just because you are beautiful— Srila Prabhupada: First of all, we have to understand
for my sense gratification—but I keep everything secret, that love exists not just within one person—love must
that is not love. That is sense gratification. Lust. be between two. Then you can expand the love. But
first we should know, love requires two—the lover and
So these are the six kinds of reciprocation or exchange the beloved. So the transaction begins between the
between the lover and the beloved. These are the signs two; then it expands.
Carol: Do you look at the "two" as, say, the creator and
the person? Would that be the two that you have in
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. The creator and the created.
Do you believe in the creator?
Carol: An impersonal creator, yes.
Srila Prabhupada: Impersonal?
Srila Prabhupada: Oh. What kind of philosophy is
Carol: Without any attributes.
Srila Prabhupada: Creator is an attribute. Being the
creator—that is an attribute. If I create this bell, I know
the art of how to create a bell. Knowing this creative
art is my attribute. So how can you say the creator
is without attributes? This is false philosophy. I
know how to create this bell. That is my artistic sense. Carol: In an intellectual way?
That is my attribute. So how can you say I am without Srila Prabhupada: You can know, also.
attributes? As soon as you say "creator," then that
creator has got many attributes. Carol: You might know something in your heart but not
be able to express it.
Carol: How can ignorance be removed?
Srila Prabhupada: Why not be able to express it? You
Srila Prabhupada: The ignorant people can learn from can express it. Whatever is within your heart—if you
the learned. If you have got this idea that the creator is cannot express it, then you are not perfect. You must
impersonal, that means you are not learned; you have express what is within your heart very clearly. Not that
no knowledge. And this is the simple answer. As soon I have got something within my heart but I cannot
as you say "creator," you can understand He has so express it. That means my knowledge is imperfect.
many attributes or qualities.
Carol: So often, our understanding moves sort of
Suppose I am ringing this bell. Now, if the bell's spring separately—through the heart, through feelings and
is loose, the bell will not sound. So others may not know emotion.
what to do, but the person who has created the bell
knows—"Oh, the spring is loose. Now I'll tighten it again." Srila Prabhupada: Emotion is not required for scientific
That means the creator knows the ins and outs of knowledge of God. Emotion is not required. Useless.
whatever he has created. That is the nature of one who Knowledge of God must be factual. Emotion is of no
creates something. use. Emotion is useful in highly developed stages of
ecstatic love. But it is not that for preliminary scientific
So just imagine: The one who has created everything study of God you require emotion. No.
that exists—He is cognizant of everything that exists.
How can He be impersonal? What is this philosophy? Carol: And yet in the bhakti way of doing things, this
Hmm? Answer. You are a philosopher. emotion and love actually are very closely intertwined,
Carol: Well, He would incorporate personal attributes,
not be governed by them. Srila Prabhupada: Yes, but that is a higher stage. Not
in the beginning. In the beginning, devotion means I
Srila Prabhupada: Hmm? She says "He." But "He" has should be devoted to God very rationally. To start with,
to remain impersonal. [Laughter.] why should I be devoted to God unless He is worthy?
Carol: Yes. [Laughs.] It's true that creation does imply For instance, Krishna says, "You surrender unto Me."
intellect and perhaps emotion. So unless I understand that Krishna is worthy of my
Srila Prabhupada: Such vague ideas. And yet in this surrendering to Him, why shall I surrender to Krishna?
nonsensical culture, these vague ideas are passing as If I had demanded of you, as soon as you arrived here,
philosophy. "He" contradicts your impersonal idea. You that you surrender, would you have liked to do that?
say "He." And still, you insist that "He" is impersonal. Unless you are fully aware of my abilities, qualities, why
should you surrender?
Carol: At the emotional level, it's a very personal ...
So before surrendering, one has to study the person to
Srila Prabhupada: Why should you be emotional? You whom he is going to surrender. Then he surrenders.
are a philosopher. You should talk very rationally. That is real surrender. But blind surrender will not last.
Carol: Oh. I ... don't philosophize. My sense is that God Similarly, blind surrender to God will not last. So since
is impersonal but He incorporates personal features. If our first business in this human life is to surrender to
God is in everything, then the personal attributes must God, we must know who and what God is. Then you
be part of "Him," "it," or whatever. But God is not just must surrender. And then, when it is based on solid
limited to being a person. knowledge, your emotion is good. That means you are
Srila Prabhupada: You have no idea of God. He must advanced. If you understand that God is giving us
be a person. As soon as you say, "He knows everything," everything, emotion based on that understanding is very
"He creates," and so many other things, then these all good. If, even from the very beginning, one understands
mean He is personal. Repeatedly you say "He." These and becomes emotional—"Oh, God is so kind, God is
are all personal. so great. He is giving us all our necessities, so I must
Carol: This is only our idea of God. serve Him"—then this emotion is very good.
Srila Prabhupada: That means you have no clear idea But for the ordinary man, this emotion does not come.
of God, only a vague idea. So you have to learn what He needs to study who God is, what God is. And later,
God is. when he fully understands, "Oh, God is so great," then
that emotion is very nice. That is genuine emotion.
Carol: You think you can know the nature of God? Otherwise, his surrender to God is merely sentimentality.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. You can know, also. It will not stay. It will not last. It is temporary.
Krishna Voice, July 2009 9
The Secret Behind "The Secret" By Archana Siddhi Devi dasi
Discover Krishna’s law of attraction, the real power behind the latest rage in the self-improvement marketplace.
The Secret, a recently released book and DVD by that he has finally understood the law the attraction:
Rhonda Byrne, is getting a lot of attention as sales ask-believe-receive. These seductive scenes suggest
soar. The author claims that if we apply the principles that by our desires alone we can get everything we
she lays out, we can achieve whatever we desire. want. The universe is our perpetual order supplier, and
People from all walks of life are excitedly latching on all we have to do is focus on what we want and avoid
to her ideas. thinking about what we don’t want. When asked why
this law doesn’t work for everyone, one of the film’s
In the beginning of the DVD, ancient-looking texts in
pundits answers that people give up too early. They
a medieval ambience invite us to discover secret
might be on the brink of obtaining their goal, but they
knowledge. Flickering touchlights and pulsating music stop.
prelude the disclosure of the secret to getting that new
BMW. Byrne then tells us about the universal law of Is Desire Enough?
attraction, or “like attracts like.” By understanding this
law and using it to our advantage, we can obtain
whatever we want. Although a host of predecessor
authors have been saying the same thing for the past
two centuries, Byrne’s savvy marketing strategies have
put old wine in a new bottle. She’s cashing in on people’s
yearning to find a process that will lead them to perfect
To illustrate the law of attraction, scenes from the DVD
include a young woman longingly looking at an that he has finally understood the law the
expensive necklace through a jewelry store window. In attraction: ask-believe-receive. These seductive
the next scene her efforts are rewarded as her boyfriend scenes suggest that by our desires alone we
garlands her with the same necklace that captivated can get everything we want. The universe is
her senses. In another scene, a young man sits in his our perpetual order supplier, and all we have
living-room chair vividly imagining himself driving the to do is focus on what we want and avoid
car of his dreams. Predictably, in the following scene thinking about what we don’t want. When asked
a BMW sits parked in his driveway. why this law doesn’t work for everyone, one
of the film’s pundits answers that people give
The next scene shows the flipside to the law of attraction. up too early. They might be on the brink of
A young man chains his bicycle to a pole. Noticeably obtaining their goal, but they stop.
anxious about the safety of his bike, he walks away to
his destination. When he returns, his bike is gone. Is Desire Enough?
Following these opening fictitious scenes are real-life
testimonials from successful people verifying the validity But can people choose to change the way they think?
of the law of attraction in their own lives. Jack Canfield, To some extent, yes. Our past actions influence our
the author of a number of best-selling books, relates current thoughts, but our freely chosen responses to
how he attracted into his life an abundance of money our present situation—including our present thoughts
and success when he started to focus on what he and attitudes—reformat our thoughts, and our thoughts
wanted. An entrepreneur shares his story of cutting out influence our future. Although people may be inclined
a picture of his dream house from a magazine and toward negative thoughts, hearing something like The
putting it on his “vision board.” Five years later when Secret might inspire them to change the way they think.
he is moving into his new house, his son asks what is Our thoughts define our character and influence how
inside a particular box. The entrepreneur opens it to we move in this world. Ultimately, at the time of death
reveal his vision board. Tears well up in his eyes as he our thoughts carry us to our next destination—that’s
looks at the board and sees that he is moving into the how important and powerful they are.
same house he had cut out of the magazine five years Truly Positive Thinking
Since we can change the way we think, we should start
When his young son asks why he is crying, he replies thinking and desiring spiritually, for permanent results.
10 Krishna Voice, July 2009
The Secret emphasizes using the law of attraction for Aspiring transcendentalists receive direct help from the
material acquisition, good health, and maybe some Lord, and whatever happens is for their highest good,
altruism. The more mature perspective is to see that as illustrated in the following story.
the real purpose of the law of attraction, like all of God’s Sanatana Goswami, a prominent disciple of Chaitanya
laws, is to dispel our material consciousness and revive Mahaprabhu, lived under a tree as a renunciant. Once,
our original spiritual nature. This means using our a poor brahmana heard that Sanatana possessed a
thoughts and desires to become free of material thoughts stone that could turn anything it touched into gold. The
and desires. That may sound unattractive to the brahmana eagerly went to ask Sanatana for the stone.
entrepreneur who wants a $20 million house, or the Without the least hesitation Sanatana told the brahmana
musician looking for her latest CD to hit the top of the he could have the stone; it was in a rubbish heap
charts. But becoming free of material desire doesn’t nearby. The elated brahmana found the stone but,
mean giving up desire; it means to desire things for being intelligent, began to consider the situation. Why
our and others’ eternal benefit. would Sanatana discard something so valuable unless
In the spiritual dimension, where all desires are for the he had something better? When he asked Sanatana
Lord’s service and pleasure, desires are fulfilled about it, Sanatana said that he would give him the most
instantaneously. The desire for things separate from valuable thing but first the brahmana would have to
the Lord’s service pollutes our consciousness and throw the magical stone into the river. To discard the
causes us to suffer and remain hostage to the material stone was a test for the brahmana, but after some
energy. deliberation he complied with Sanatana’s condition,
and Sanatana gave him the Hare Krishna mantra.
As aspiring devotees of the Lord, we can use the law
of attraction to serve Krishna in this world by desiring The effects of chanting this mantra are unlimited; one
to transform both our consciousness and that of others. achieves so much more than a necklace or BMW.
Srila Prabhupada exemplified how Krishna’s law of Serious chanting of Hare Krishna brings freedom from
attraction works in the material realm for spiritual all material suffering—no more birth, death, disease,
attainment. Although he landed in New York City with or old age. And it gives realization of our eternal spiritual
no money or help, one acquaintance in New York identity, full of unlimited joy and knowledge. People
recalled, “He seemed to know that he would have who understand their real spiritual nature and
temples filled up with devotees. He would look out and relationship with the Lord become completely satisfied.
say, ‘I am not a poor man. I am rich. There are temples Their only desire is service to the Lord.
and books. They are existing, they are there, but the Desires fulfilled in this material plane of existence are
time is separating us from them.’” temporary—here today and gone tomorrow. Material
When walking in the city, he would look at the big acquisitions generally fuel our desire for more things
buildings and imagine that some day they could be rather than bringing a sense of happiness and fulfillment.
used in Krishna consciousness. Prabhupada was a The brahmana made an intelligent decision and became
pure devotee completely free of karma; he was under the benefactor of the complete secret.
the direct protection of the Lord. Because his desires The Best Secret of All
were one with Krishna’s desires, within a short time of
starting his ISKCON society he had many temples filled In the Ninth Chapter of the Bhagavad-gita, Lord Krishna
with devotees and many books being distributed all reveals to Arjuna—and ultimately to anyone fortunate
over the world. enough to read His words—the most secret of all
secrets. The essence of this chapter is in the final verse,
Why Doesn’t Krishna Fulfill All Desires? where the Lord gives Arjuna four confidential instructions:
Every desire is a kind of prayer, because Krishna is in always think of Him, become His devotee, worship Him,
our heart, listening. Out of love for us He has expanded and bow down before Him. These four practices attract
Himself into the hearts of all living beings. He fulfills Krishna. He has designed all of nature’s laws to help
our desires throughout our stay in the material world. us souls find our way back to our eternal home. When
we use the law of attraction for material purposes, it
But Krishna doesn’t give us whatever we want, because keeps us in the material realm of repeated birth and
His goal is to guide us back to our eternal home. Srimad- death. When we use the law to be absorbed in thoughts
Bhagavatam tells us that whether we are full of desires of Krishna, then surely we will go to Him. The great
or have no desires, we should approach Krishna. And, devotee Queen Kunti applies the law of attraction in
for aspiring devotees at least, if our desires will help an ideal way when she offers this prayer to Krishna:
us to advance spiritually, then Krishna will gladly fulfill “O Lord of Madhu, as the Ganges forever flows to the
them. But He won’t fulfill our desires if the result will sea without hindrance, let my attraction be constantly
hinder our spiritual progress. Rather, He’ll help us give drawn unto You without being diverted to anyone else.”
up harmful desires by giving us a taste of spiritual truth. (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.18.42)
Krishna Voice, July 2009 11
Madhusudana. The name always seemed curious to me. transcendental pastime, arranged by the Lord. That is to
Where did it come from? In the Bhagavad-gita, one of
our most sacred texts, Krishna is referred to as
Madhusudana, or “the killer of the Madhu demon,” no
less than five times (1.35, 2.1, 2.4, 6.33, and 8.2). And
The Madhusudana Mystery By Satyaraja Dasa
say, he is placed in a temporary state of forgetfulness so
that Krishna might speak the Gita, to instruct Arjuna and,
through him, each of us. Otherwise, how does Arjuna
know, right from the beginning, that Krishna is indeed
yet, Krishna didn’t kill a demon named Madhu. I looked Since we don’t hear of a demon named Madhu in Krishna’s pastimes, why does Arjuna address Krishna as Vishnu, who incarnated previously to kill the Madhu
through the vast storehouse of Krishna’s pastimes over demon?
“the killer of Madhu”?
and over again. No Madhu, at least not in the form of a Of course, followers of Srila Prabhupada knew this all
demon. great acharyas, in their wisdom, place more emphasis What’s in a Name? along. In the Introduction to his commentary on the
Most commentators, including Srila Prabhupada, tell us on Arjuna’s humble request that Krishna again show His Bhagavad-gita, Prabhupada writes: “Being an associate
The Madhusudana appellation first appears in the First
that by referring to Krishna in this way, Arjuna, the hero more intimate—though superior—two-armed form. And of Lord Krishna, Arjuna was above all ignorance, but
Chapter, before Krishna reveals to Arjuna that both He
of the Gita, is poetically indicating that Krishna should they prefer, instead, to focus on the instruction at the end Arjuna was put into ignorance on the Battlefield of
and His loving devotee Arjuna had taken many births in
now slay Arjuna’s doubts, just as He had slain the three- of the Gita (18.66) to abandon all varieties of religion and Kurukshetra just to question Lord Krishna about the
the past (Chapter Four), and before He shows His divinity
dimensional foe of His past. But, again, where did that simply surrender unto God (Krishna) with a faithful heart problems of life so that the Lord could explain them for
to Arjuna in any conclusive way (Chapter 11). The
slaying take place? When did Krishna kill a demon named of love and devotion. the benefit of future generations of human beings …”
implications are significant: Arjuna’s illusion is just lila, a
Madhu? Yet it’s interesting to see how this plays out in the
My research leads me to Baladeva Vidyabhushana, an Mahabharata, of which the Gita is a small section: In text
eighteenth-century Vaishnava commentator. He writes 3.41.1–4 Shiva had told Arjuna something about Arjuna’s
that the Gita’s use of the name Madhusudana implies divine partnership with Narayana as Nara. And in
that Krishna can kill the grief (shokam) of Arjuna just as 3.42.17–23 Yamaraja, the lord of death, told Arjuna, “With
He had killed Madhu in the past (madhusudana iti tasya Vishnu you will lighten the burden of the earth.” This all
shokam api madhuvan nihanishyatiti bhavah). But I’m occurs prior to the Sixth Book, in which the Gita appears.
still wondering just where this Madhu demon is described, Krishna also revealed His divine form to those assembled
and why Arjuna would refer to him at all. By the time of in the Kaurava court while He is on His peace mission
the Kurukshetra war, Krishna had killed many demons, for the Pandavas, and when the Pandavas chose Him,
and Arjuna could have referred to any one of them—”O instead of His armed forces, for their side in the
slayer of Putana,” “O conqueror of Kamsa,” and so on. Kurukshetra war. Thus, by the time of the Bhagavad-gita
So, to me, it was obvious that Arjuna had a specific reason the main combatants clearly understood Krishna’s divinity.
for using the name Madhusudana. Arjuna certainly knew it, and yet he knew it not—like
Mother Yashoda, who saw the entire universe in baby
With a little digging I found that, sure enough, Madhu Krishna’s mouth yet still thought of Him as her own son.
was not killed by Krishna at all, at least not by Krishna
in His original form. Rather, it was Vishnu—Krishna’s The epithet Madhusudana comes up repeatedly in the
expansion—who did away with the Madhu-Kaitabha threat Mahabharata before the Gita, usually spoken by
(a story I will discuss in detail below). More specifically, Vaishampayana, the narrator. But Arjuna, Draupadi, and
Vishnu killed Madhu through His Hayagriva incarnation, the demon Sishupala use the name as well. So, early in
who has a horselike body and is celebrated in the sacred the Mahabharata and the Gita, Krishna’s identity as
texts known as the Puranas. In identifying Krishna as Vishnu is clear.
Madhusudana, then, the Gita is making a somewhat The Story of Madhu
covert connection between Krishna and Vishnu, thus
offering readers a glimpse of Krishna’s divinity. The story of the demon Madhu is revealed in the Kalika
Purana, the Devi Bhagavata, and the Mahabharata. Srila
This is not to say that Krishna’s divinity is somehow Prabhupada briefly mentions the story in his book Krishna
dependent on His identity with Vishnu. Actually, it is the (in the chapter “Prayers of Akrura”) and in the Srimad-
other way around, for Krishna is the source of all divine Bhagavatam (7.9.37, purport).
forms and incarnations. (See Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.28.)
But the common conception of God—all-powerful and At the beginning of time, the spiritual world brought forth
awe-inspiring, embodying grandeur rather than simplicity, the material universe, within which Lord Vishnu then
invoking praise instead of intimacy—is more in line with reclined in deep cosmic slumber on Sesha, His serpent
Vishnu. And so, even in Vedic times, the word Vaishnavism bed. While Lord Vishnu slept, a lotus stem grew from His
(”the worship of Vishnu”), not Krishnaism, was the preferred navel. Atop of the stem was a lotus flower, on which
name for sanatana-dharma, or the eternal religion of soul. appeared Brahma, the first created being. Lord Vishnu
Indeed, many scholars of the Gita—traditionalists as well gave him the charge of creation, and he meditated on
as Western academics—tend to see as the Gita’s climax how he would accomplish his God-given task.
the “great revelation” in the Eleventh Chapter, wherein It is said that as Brahma sat in deep meditation, “ear wax”
Krishna majestically shows Arjuna His all-encompassing (karna-shrotodbhava) flowed from Vishnu’s ears. Two
universal form. Their assumption stems from the sheer ferocious demons, Madhu and Kaitabha, were born out
magnificence and opulence of the revelation. But our of that wax. They performed great penance for thousands
12 Krishna Voice, July 2009 Krishna Voice, July 2009 13
of years. Pleased by their penance, Lakshmi, the Lord’s with distributing Vedic knowledge, such as the devotees
consort, appeared before them and granted them the engaged in spreading Krishna consciousness, may
boon that they would die only when they so desired. sometimes be attacked by demons, but they must rest
Proud of their newly acquired asset, the demons became assured that demoniac attacks will not be able to harm
outrageously arrogant. They attacked Brahma, still them, for the Lord is always prepared to give them
meditating on his lotus stem, and stole from him the protection.
four Vedas. Though furious, Brahma was helpless in
the presence of such powerful adversaries. He rushed
to his one and only shelter, Vishnu, asking for help. There is one final, and more esoteric, consideration
when discussing the name Madhusudana. Not only
Vishnu, however, was in deep sleep and did not wake
does it mean “He who defeated the demon Madhu,”
up, even though Brahma tried his best to awaken Him.
but it also means “He who defeats honey [madhu] in
Realizing that the Lord slept for reasons of His own,
sweetness.” Thus, the great commentator Sridhara
Brahma decided to pray to Yoga-nidra, who is none
Swami defines the name as follows: “False ego is as
other than Goddess Lakshmi herself in a special form
sweet as honey and resides in the heart of everyone,
to assist in the Lord’s yogic sleep. As Brahma had
making one forget his own identity. It intoxicates
hoped, she showed mercy on him and awakened the
everyone. He who destroys false ego with the torchlight
of knowledge is called Madhusadana.” By extension,
Brahma then told Lord Vishnu about the nefarious the word madhu has come to refer to both the
deeds of Madhu and Kaitabha and begged Him to bumblebee and Krishna. Just as bees tend to enjoy
destroy them. Lord Vishnu manifested as Hayagriva, the honey of the lotus, Krishna enjoys the honey of His
the beautiful horse incarnation, and fought with Madhu devotees’ love. Srila Rupa Goswami, the great
and Katabha, ultimately retrieving the Vedic scriptures. Vaishnava saint of sixteenth century, uses this dual
But they could die only when they wanted to, as their meaning of Madhusudana in Act Five of his devotional
boon had stated. And so Vishnu cleverly told them that drama Vidagdha Madhava:
just as Goddess Lakshmi had given them a boon, they
Once, when Radha and Krishna were sitting together,
should give Him one. After all, He told them, they were
a bee was disturbing Radharani by flying near Her.
so powerful they should show Him the same courtesy
Krishna requested a friend to chase away the bee, and
that His feminine half, the embodied form of His mystic
after finishing the task the friend came back proclaiming
energy, had showed them.
that madhu was gone. As the word can refer to either
In their arrogance, they fell for His ruse. the bee or Krishna, Radharani “mistakenly” took it in
the latter sense and began to cry, thinking Krishna was
“What boon do you want from us?” they asked. “We
now gone. Even though She was right there in Krishna’s
will give you anything You want.”
arms, She was totally gripped by vipralambha-bhava,
“I want your death!” the Lord replied. the mood of separation, a level of divine love aspired
And so Hayagriva put an end to their menace once for by advanced Vaishnavas. Seeing Radharani’s tears
and for all. of love, Krishna also began to cry, and their tears
mingled together to become the sacred pond known
Srila Prabhupada writes in Srimad-Bhagavatam (7.9.37, as Prema Sarovara in present-day Vraja (Vrindavana).
My reading of the Gita, which Prabhupada refers to as
The Supreme Personality of Godhead in His an introductory spiritual text, inspired my research into
transcendental form is always ready to give protection the name Madhusudana. Now the name conjures up
to His devotees. As mentioned herein, the Lord in the for me the most intimate aspects of divine knowledge,
form of Hayagriva killed two demons named Madhu specifically the Lord’s ecstatic exchanges with His
and Kaitabha when they attacked Lord Brahma. Modern feminine counterparts. Ultimately, Radha is responsible
demons think that there was no life in the beginning of for Krishna’s becoming Madhusudana, both by Her
creation, but from Srimad-Bhagavatam we understand ecstasy of imagined separation from Him, and by
that the first living creature created by the Supreme expanding Herself as Lakshmi and Yoga-nidra, chief
Personality of Godhead was Lord Brahma, who is full actors in the pastime of the Lord’s killing the demon
of Vedic understanding. Unfortunately, those entrusted Madhu.
Jul 18 Ekadashi Aug 1-5 Jhulan Utsav
Jul 19 break fast Aug 5 Balarama Jayanti
Aug 2 Ekadashi Appearance of Lord Balarama
Aug 3 break fast fasting till noon
14 Krishna Voice, July 2009
Panihati Utsava celebrated on Hare Krishna Hill
Over five hundred and twenty five years ago, when Sri
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s disciple Raghunath Dasa
surrendered his life to serve the Lord’s mission, he arranged
for a feast of chipped rice and yogurt mixed with bananas,
mango and condensed milk to be served to the villagers
of Panihati grama (Bengal). In commemoration of this,
Gaudiya Vaishnavas even today celebrate the Panihati
Chida Dadhi Mahotsava. In Bangalore’s ISKCON Sri
Radha Krishna Mandir, the festival was celebrated on
Hare Krishna Hill with a grand finale of Theppotsava, when
the utsava Deities of Sri Chaitanya and Sri Nityananda
were taken on a ride in the temple pond on a flower
decorated barge. Sri Chaitanya and Sri Nityananda are
the incarnations of Lord Krishna and Balarama who
appeared to propagate the congregational chanting of the
holy names of the Lord as the yuga dharma for Kaliyuga,
the present age.
The utsava deities first received an elaborate abhisheka
and after this, during the Theppotsava,
devotees rendered bhajans glorifying the
Lord. The atmosphere was vibrant with
devotional music and the devotees who
witnessed the festival were excited to
receive the special prasadam of chida-
dahi – chipped rice mixed with yogurt and
fruits from the boat. The chida dahi
prasadam was also distributed to all
devotees who visited the temple that
NEWS FROM HUBLI
Panihati Chida Dahi Utsava was
celebrated at ISKCON Hubli with an
abhisheka to Sri Sri Gaura Nitai. A
boat ride for Their Lordships followed,
in a tank specially created for the
Krishna Voice, July 2009 15
AKSHAYA PATRA EXPANDS MYSORE FACILITY
To feed midday meals to 30,000 underprivileged children in coming months
The Akshaya Patra Foundation, the world’s largest school meal programme currently feeding over one
million school children across seven states in the country, has decided to widen its innovative and
technology driven kitchen in Mysore. The kitchen with state of the art facility is equipped to feed 30,000
children everyday in and around Mysore.
The Akshaya Patra operation in Mysore was started in August 2004, feeding 8,700 in 32 schools.
Inspired by the programme, many corporate have come forward to support its programme to reach
out to many remote areas where children are deprived of the basic right to education because of
hunger. Looking at the response from many quarters including the encouragement from the Government
of Karnataka, Akshaya Patra has taken an initiative to intensify its programme reach and width.
Dignitaries who were present for the event included Sri B S Yeddyurappa, Chief Minister, Govt. of
Karnataka, Kum. Shobha Karandlaje, Minister for Rural Development, Panchayat Raj & District-in-
charge, Sri Thontadarya, M.L.C, Sri Siddaraju, M.L.C, Sri Ramakrishne Gowda, Minister for Medical
Education, Sri Krishnaiah Shetty, Housing and Muzrai Minister, Smt. Bharathi Shetty, M.L.C.,
Sri G. Madhusudan former M.L.C, C P Bothra, Managing Director, Medrich and others.
16 Krishna Voice, July 2009
SRI KRISHNA BALARAMA NOW IN CHENNAI
The ISKCON Bangalore centre in Chennai
welcomed Deities of Sri Sri Krishna
Balarama to Their sea front temple. The
installation of the Deities in early June was
conducted in the presence of hundreds
of devotees. Their Lordships were invoked
to reside in Their Deity forms according
to prescribed Vedic procedures that
included jaladivasa, dhanyadivasa,
pranapratishta etc. They were then offered
a grand abhisheka and arati.
HIGHER TASTE EXPRESS
ISKCON Bangalore’s exclusive
vegetarian outlet THE HIGHER TASTE
has been serving Bangaloreans
delectable pure vegetarian sweets,
savories, bakes and snacks. A mobile
van with all these goodies traverses
the city and delivers these to school
and college students as well. Now, on
the request of the Sri Wooday P
Krishna, Secretary of the
Seshadripuram Education Society, the
trust’s school and college premises in
Seshadripuram boasts of the first
HIGHER TASTE EXPRESS. This
cafeteria caters all the delicious
products of THE HIGHER TASTE to
the students of the Seshadripuram
Sri Chanchalapathi Dasa cuts the ribbon and a cake to inaugurate the School and College as well as the MBA
HIGHER TASTE EXPRESS at Seshadripuram School and College premises. course students, totaling about 6000.
Sri Chanchalapathi Dasa, Vice
President, ISKCON Bangalore,
inaugurated the HIGHER TASTE EXPRESS in the august presence of all the members of the Seshadripuram
Education Society trust. There are plans to extend the facility of HIGHER TASTE EXPRESS cafeterias to the other
institutions run by the Seshsadripuram Education Society, numbering 16.
18 Krishna Voice, July 2009
Children of unsung heroes like police
constables, auto drivers, railway porters
and pourakarmikas got assistance for
pursuing higher education issued under
the Akshaya Patra programme, through
the ISKCON Scholarship Fund (ISF).
About 500 of such students of stds. X
and XII applied for the scholarships.
Eligibility was solely based on merit
and the family's financial need. About
250 applicants were short-listed for the
With a seed fund of Rs 10 lakhs
towards the programme, a developer,
Sri Srinivasulu Reddy, donated the
amount for the fund. "We plan to
increase this amount to Rs 1 crore per
year. We will raise the amount every
year and disburse it entirely. The programme will be conducted at zero administrative cost to donors," said Sri
Madhu Pandit Dasa, President, ISKCON Bangalore.
KANNADA VERSION OF CHAITANYA CHARITAMRITA
ISKCON Sri Radha Krishna Mandir,
Bangalore, dedicates the Kannada
version of a great literary work on
Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
The Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita is
one of the primary biographies
detailing the life and teachings of
Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Written by Krishnadasa Kaviraja
Goswami (1496) primarily in the
Bengali language, it also includes
a great number of Sanskrit verses
within its devotional, poetic
construction. Intertwined with the
stories of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's
life are philosophical conversations
detailing the process of bhakti
yoga, with special attention given
to congregational chanting of Lord
Krishna's names and the Hare
The book was released by National
Poet Dr G. S. Shivarudrappa at
the ISKCON Auditorium,
Bangalore on Sunday, June 7,
20 Krishna Voice, July 2009
Sri Krishna Janmashtami
August 13 & 14, 2009
Vastrabharana Seva Attends midnight abhisheka, darshana arati & raj bhog arati. Raj bhog lunch
prasadam, jhulan seva
Maha Kalasha Seva Carries maha kalasha of the Lord from D’Puri to OAT, attends midnight abhisheka,
darshana arati & raj bhog arati. Raj bhog lunch prasadam, jhulan seva
Udayasthamana Seva Moolavar sankalpa, archana & arati prasadam from altar, Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
Janmashtami Rajbhog Seva (108 items) Attends raj bhog arati, jhulan seva raj bhog, lunch prasadam. Takes home 10
Special items offered to the Lord.
Vaikalika Bhoga Seva Jhulan seva vaikalika bhog prasadam
Sandhya Bhoga Seva Attends sandhya arati, jhulan seva. Sandhya bhog prasadam
Makhan Krishna Vastrabharana Seva First to do jhulan seva of Makhan Krishna. Breakfast prasadam
Makhan Krishna Benne Naivedya Seva Receives a special pot of butter prasadam. Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
Pancha Phala Thomala Seva Receives pancha phala thomala from main altar. Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
Annadana Seva Receives prasadam basket from main altar. Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
Pushpalankara Seva Receives flower garland from main altar. Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
Abhisheka (6:30am, 8:30am, 5:30pm, 10:00pm) Attends abhisheka. Breakfast/Dinner prasadam
Janmashtami Arati Yajaman Attends shayana arati. Dinner prasadam.
Janmashtami Arati Sevak Attends shayana arati. Dinner prasadam.
Makhan Krishna Ekantha Seva Attends shayana arati. Attends ekantha seva. Dinner prasadam
Go Seva Feeds cow at Goshala. Special darshana. Jhulan seva. Breakfast/Lunch prasadam
These sevas can be performed on both days & in both locations, at Hare Krishna Hill & Vaikuntha Hill.
For details call: 93421 90589 / 93791 56083 / 080-2337 8453
Krishna Voice Monthly Magazine, July 2009 Vol10, No.7 Price Rs 15/-
Posted on 5th or 10th of the Month at MBC, Manipal, License to post without prepayment No. WPP(CO-8), Reg No. KA/BGGPO
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(Founder-Acharya: His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada)
Hare Krishna Hill, Chord Road
Rajajinagar, Bangalore - 560 010
Attention: All Donors and Life Patrons
We wish to bring to your kind attention that some devotees and agents of ISKCON – Mumbai calling
themselves “devotees of ISKCON Temple” are collecting donations claiming to set up a Vanaprastha
Ashram or an Old Age Home at Udupi and Melkote. They carry visiting cards that mention a project office
in RT Nagar. They have also engaged tele-callers to promote their projects and raise funds.
Last month, some of our donors encountered these devotees and agents of ISKCON - Mumbai who
falsely claimed to be part of ISKCON - Bangalore temple located on Hare Krishna Hill, Chord Road,
Rajajinagar, Bangalore. Believing them, they gave a donation to them thinking that it was one of the
projects of ISKCON Sri Radha Krishna Mandir, Hare Krishna Hill, Bangalore. Later when they learnt from
us that they were not devotees from ISKCON - Bangalore temple, and that their contributions have not
come to ISKCON - Bangalore temple, they were surprised and upset with what had happened to them.
Hence we wish to clarify that these Old Age Home projects are not projects of ISKCON Sri Radha Krishna
Mandir located on Hare Krishna Hill, Chord Road, Rajajinagar, Bangalore. Nor do these devotees and
agents represent ISKCON – Bangalore. We are not responsible for the donations that they collect nor
are we responsible for the projects that they claim to represent. We also do not have any office in RT
We also wish to state that ISKCON - Bangalore presently functions at the well known ISKCON Sri Radha
Krishna Mandir, Hare Krishna Hill, Chord Road, Rajajinagar, Bangalore, and we are planning our second
major project in Bangalore city, ISKCON Krishna Lila Park, which will be set up on Vaikunta Hill, Kanakapura
Road, Bangalore. Apart from these two locations, ISKCON - Bangalore does not have any other office
or temple in Bangalore city.
After the City Civil Court recently passed the order in favour of ISKCON – Bangalore, the agents of
ISKCON - Mumbai are meeting our donors to raise donations by leveraging the good name ISKCON -
Bangalore temple has earned over several years. It is also the furtive intention of these agents of ISKCON
- Mumbai to create confusion among the donors, and in this way perpetrate some disturbance to our
peaceful conduct of our services to Lord Sri Krishna and society in Bangalore city.
Hence we request all our donors and life patrons to be aware of whom they are giving their donations
to, and what project they represent.
If the devotees and agents of ISKCON - Mumbai clearly state that they are collecting for ISKCON –
Mumbai, and not on behalf of ISKCON - Bangalore, then it is up to the donor’s will to make the donation,
and we really do not have any objection. This message is only to caution the donors that the devotees
and agents of ISKCON - Mumbai do not misrepresent that they are from ISKCON – Bangalore, and
misstate that they are collecting for ISKCON - Bangalore projects.
For any other clarification, please feel free to call the Donor Care Centre of the ISKCON Sri Radha
Krishna Mandir at landline: 080-23378052 and mobile: 93791 56083.