“Buddhafication” is not so bad

 

This is in response to Krishna Kirti Prabhu’s article “The “Buddhafication” of Srila Prabhupada” – Part 1 and Part 2.

Central to his argument is the observation made by Dr Thomas J. Hopkins that when we disagree with each other we all back ourselves with contradictory “Prabhupada saids” and have no way to move past that. This is so true, but the observation comes from the book published in 2007 – some thirteen years ago, and thirteen years is a lot of time so it’s a bit outdated. For several years now our answer to this problem has been “unity in diversity”. Personally, I don’t understand how it’s supposed so solve anything but there are plenty of devotees who are quite happy with this strategy. So, for better or worse, but we have moved on and disagreements are not seen as stumbling blocks anymore.

But let’s talk about Buddhafication itself – Buddhism happens to be one of the world’s oldest religions. Hinduism as culture is older but it’s rather a collection of religions and none of extant ones are as old as Buddhism. The point is that Buddhism displays an impressive staying power without relying on any non-Buddhist scriptures and explicitly rejecting Vedic ones. Somehow it still works.

Come to think of it, Christians also do not see any other way to salvation but through Christ. They accept Old Testament but there are many among them who believe Gospels are perfectly enough and they all interpret Old Testament through the teachings of Jesus. Islam also famously says that only Mohammad is the prophet and so he is the lens through which they perceive the Bible.

And what about Mormons? Looking at their set of beliefs one can come to a reasonable conclusion that they have one extra “m” in their name but they are also known as the fastest growing religion. Their allegiance to their founder doesn’t seem to be a hindrance. And what about BAPS? Recently in the news from the US there was an interfaith service organized by the White House and Hinduism was represented by a local BAPS priest, not by one of ours. Swami Narayan in their name doesn’t refer to Lord Narayana but to the name of their founder and in their manuals I’ve seen on the internet they do not rely on any other sources of knowledge. Technically, they can be considered as a branch of Sri Vaishnavism but they don’t care much for their larger tradition. So, once again, Buddhafication of Swami Narayan didn’t do them any harm. We don’t want ISKCON to become like BAPS or Mormons but I just want to say that even if we do it doesn’t spell immediate disaster.

Or consider “people of the book” – Judaism – they have no special allegiance to any historical personality apart from messiahs of the olden days but their allegiance is to seminal lines and one has to be born in a Jewish family first, so it’s not just accepting “the book” that qualifies one to become a Jew, and opinions of anyone who hasn’t accepted proper birth are not valued as much. Jews are not really “people of the book” in that sense, they are people of proper birth. In Vedic terminology it means one has to belong to their particular gotra and so the founder of that gotra is, effectively, their “Buddha” even if they forgot his name. One could argue that Judaism allows for conversions but it’s not an easy or widespread or universally accepted practice.

Besides, even as some of us rely more on Srila Prabhupada’s letters or anecdotes from his life, it would be a gross exaggeration to say that scriptures do not play any role whatsoever. Srila Prabhupada gave us Bhagavad Gita (“let there be one scripture only, one common scripture for the whole world” – quoted in BG Intro), Srimad Bhagavatam (“What is the need of any other scripture?” – SB 1.1.2), Caitanya Caritamrita, and The Nectar of Devotion. We used to boast how we have more than eighty volumes of translated scriptures and we all remember the warning not to read too many books. These four titles are perfectly adequate to answer all our questions but probably not in the way we are doing it now – not by arguing and throwing quotes at each other. Here is what Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura had to say about pulling quotes out of context:

“Whenever you read a literature you should read it completely otherwise you will fail to abstract the actual meaning and ultimately become a logician.” (Caitanya-śikṣāmṛta 3/3)

Is there a need to demonstrate that logicians, those who engage in tarka, do not attain Krishna prema and are not counted among devotees?  I myself recently gave a few examples of selective quoting, it’s a known problem and we also know the solution – don’t do it. Maybe not everyone in our society follows this rule but the solution exist and we don’t have to argue it into existence. I would rather argue that any sincere devotee who studies our books daily, who chants sincerely, and who engages himself in Krishna’s service 24/7 knows answers to all our problems of the day by heart. He just knows – because, as Srila Prabhupada often quoted – yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ – the import of Vedic scriptures opens automatically from within the heart, no quotes necessary.

If, however, this prescribed process fails for one reason or another then whatever arguments we build will be unavoidably wrong. These errors cannot be fixed by legislating what evidence should matter most – guru, sadhu, shastra, which shastra etc. People suffering from this condition will misinterpret any and all evidence to fit with their views and correct understanding can be established in only one way. Bhaktivinoda Thakura writes about that as well:

The eternity of the spirit soul and the existence of Brahman cannot be established through logical arguments, because arguments have no access to the subject matter that is beyond material universe. Direct self perception is the only establisher of such truths. By direct perception or spontaneous samādhi the saintly persons constantly realize the eternal abode of Vaikuntha and service to Krishna.” (Śrī Krishna Saṁhita 9/5)

Direct self perception. Not arguments.

One could note that I’m quoting from Bhaktivinoda Thakura and not Srila Prabhupada here. That’s because these are my recently saved quotes, no other reasons, really. Otherwise there’s “Krishna Consciousness is not an artificial imposition of the mind” message from the earliest days of our society. One who understands it and knows it to be true will fully agree with Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s quotes, too. Or how about “licking bottle from the outside” analogy Srila Prabhupada also used from the very beginning? It explains the same thing – we can’t argue truth into existence. No one can, it has to reveal itself to us. There’s also svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ. I have another relevant quote from Srila Bhaktivinoda:

“No one can attain the mercy of Krishna simply by studying the scriptures or hearing their conclusions. To give up endeavor for karma and jñāna and become fully surrendered to the Supreme Lord is the root of pure bhajana. As a result of this, one achieves the ultimate goal of life which is love of Krishna.” (Sajjana-toṣaṇī 11/7)

I’m not disagreeing with Krishna Kirti Prabhu here, problems he mentions clearly exist in our society and they have to be dealt with. I’m merely pointing out that we can’t convince our opponents into accepting guru-sadhu-shastra in the same way arguing over Trump on the internet has never ever convinced anybody to change their views. Sankirtana devotees know the method – one has to fully surrender to guru and Krishna and then Supersoul within people’s hearts will direct them to buy the books, and the Supersoul will also put the right words into distributor’s mouth. Likewise, our disagreements can be solved only when all impurities from our hearts vanish and Absolute Truth will shine through on its own. No one can argue against the appearance of Absolute Truth, especially the devotees. We just have to manifest it, which is not easy, of course.

We absolutely need Varnashrama, but for an entirely different reason

An interesting point I heard about varnasrhama recently but it might take me a while to get to it,  I’ll try to be brief. We have a long history with varnashrama. Srila Prabhupada wanted it, others say we are a preaching movement and can’t be wasting time on what Lord Caitanya rejected as “external”, but all these concerns deal with the mechanics of it, with brahmanas, cows, land, self-sufficiency etc. This point, however, is very different.

When Ramananda Ray proposed varnasrama to Lord Caitanya he wasn’t talking about first step in self-realization, he was talking about the ultimate goal of life and so varnashrama as he meant it was far far above our level of realization and is an absolutely necessary step on our path, we can’t go around it. This is the verse he quoted (CC Madhya 8.58):

varṇāśramācāra-vatā
puruṣeṇa paraḥ pumān
viṣṇur ārādhyate panthā
nānyat tat-toṣa-kāraṇam

varṇa-āśrama-ācāra-vatā — who behaves according to the system of four divisions of social order and four divisions of spiritual life; puruṣeṇa — by a man; paraḥ — the supreme; pumān — person; viṣṇuḥ — Lord Viṣṇu; ārādhyate — is worshiped; panthā — way; na — not; anyat — another; tat-toṣa-kāraṇam — cause of satisfying the Lord.

“ ‘The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Viṣṇu, is worshiped by the proper execution of prescribed duties in the system of varṇa and āśrama. There is no other way to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One must be situated in the institution of the four varṇas and āśramas.’ ”

Please note “there is no other way to satisfy the Lord” line in it, it’s very important – he talks about varnashrama as the way to satisfy the Lord, the way to serve the Lord, and he speaks of unalloyed devotion here. We speak of varnashrama as a way to conduct our material affairs and to satisfy our material propensities and it means we speak of pursuing our selfish desires. The system itself might be the same but the consciousness of participants can’t be any more different. But there is more.

We can accept varanshrama as a way to organize ourselves – a bunch of selfish individuals at their core – into a cohesive society, and we accept it in the same way Americans accept existence of federal government. For us it’s a pact between thieves, it’s the way we can continue misusing Lord’s material energy without stepping on each other’s toes too much in the process. Ramananda Raya’s proposition is entirely different – the way to happiness lies in happiness of the Lord and to make the Lord happy one must submit his personal ambitions to rules and regulations of society.  He is talking about varnashrama not as a way to fulfill our material desires but as an arrangement to completely subvert them.

It’s not “I want this, you want that, let’s make a mutually beneficial arrangement” but “Lord wants us to act this way so forget about what you want”. Even though Ramananda Raya says the word varnashrama he means absolute and unconditional surrender to the Lord and he talks about what one should do after surrendering himself completely. Our surrender depends on the Lord appearing before us and personally telling us what to do, otherwise we don’t trust anyone, but Ramananda Raya here tells us that surrendered devotees submit themselves to otherwise totally external rules and regulations meant to materialistic people – because the Lord is in charge of everything and because everything is under control of the Lord. In effect, he talks about vision of a paramahamsa.

This is also a very “Gaudiya” mood of surrender – gopī-bhartuḥ pada-kamalayor dāsa-dāsānudāsaḥ, as Lord Caitanya put it, and the meaning of it is that we are not Lord’s servants but we are servants of His agents and we surrender to them, not to the Lord directly. It could be gopis, it could be guru, or it could be the system of varnashrama. Okay, guru we can accept, but these days we don’t expect him to meddle in our lives, we expect him to engage us in accordance with our nature, which is another way to say in accordance with our ambitions. Gurus should discover that special spark in us and enable us to achieve our full potential, or they should recognize how special we already are and engage us accordingly (example). We can, at least the best and the most humble of us, recognize the authority of a temple president or authority of senior devotees, but authority of a faceless “varnashrama”? Nope, we’d rather negotiate our relationship with it, accept some, reject the other, but not surrender ourselves unconditionally. We should be independently thoughtful, as we love to quote.

If you recognize yourself in the above paragraph then you should also recognize that Ramananda Raya is asking the impossible and even something irrational. It appears so because we still have our own plans on how to become happy, our own visions of our perfect situation in life, and that’s what makes us totally unqualified for that very first among Ramananda Raya’s proposals. Unless we give up all our plans for our happiness and entrust ourselves entirely to the Lord’s appointed agents we are unqualified to move beyond this point in the Ramananda Raya and Lord Caitanya’s conversation.

I hope you see now why it’s not about cows and brahmanas at all. I hope you can also see why our varnashrama projects do not go anywhere except in a few exemplary communities – we still make it about ourselves, about our own benefits, and we do not recognize varnashrama as the way of full surrender, specifically set up by the Lord, as He says in Bhagavad Gita. I admit that I can’t offer a practical solution here. It used to be “go to the temple, shave up, do whatever they tell you to do” but we don’t have temples like that anymore, generally speaking. So I don’t know what could be practically done in a current situation, but the underlying understanding should still be present – we must accept an outside authority as absolute. The bosses themselves might be imperfect but their material arrangements can’t hurt our souls. Whatever they do, they can’t hurt our spiritual progress. They can affect our bodies but we should be beyond bodily consciousness already, especially when we argue that varnashrama is external and not really necessary in our society.

Just think of it, it’s a very very high level of surrender and, unless one had reached it in previous lives, it’s a very very high stage of observable advancement. There ARE devotees who come to it, who come to an understanding that compared to the spiritual opportunities presented by ISKCON all ISKCON’s faults and imperfections are immaterial. I hope we all have seen it when a devotee takes up most menial services not to practice humility but because he genuinely sees the benefit of being of service, of any kind of service, and he sees this service as absolutely higher than his personal considerations of status and honor. That is surrender. Surrender is not putting on the armor to protect ourselves from untrustworthy elements but opening up our souls knowing that the Lord is always in full control of all His energies and therefore they all can and should be trusted no matter what. At all times.

Trusted with what? Not with preservation and comfort of our material bodies, of course, but that every blade of grass moves according to Lord’s will and for our ultimate benefit. The Lord wants the world to behave this way and our acceptance of “varnashrama” is the acceptance of this fact. When the Lord is happy that the world moves along according to His desire we become happy as well. Our happiness depends entirely on His and on happiness of His agents and energies. That is the mystery and this is what Srila Prabhupada taught us from the very beginning. But sometimes we think we know better. All the time, actually – I’m speaking for myself.

So the point is that advice to follow varnashrama in that conversation is not about the system itself but about accepting Lord’s authority and unconditionally submitting ourselves to it.

I’m afraid American pathos of freedom and rights, which has been spread all over the world, is wholly incompatible with this point while communism is about half way there – because communists put happiness of the community over their own and see community’s well-being as the root of personal happiness. Not God’s happiness yet but at least happiness and well-being of something outside of ourselves. They were die hard materialists but somehow they accepted reality of “party” and “community” and ascribed personal features to these concepts even though empirically there are only molecules and atoms. They considered ideals as reality and as reality higher than reality of everyday individual perceptions and concerns. But this article is not about communism.

One could object that ISKCON started in the US so something must be wrong in this analysis. Maybe, but Tamal Krishna Goswami and Vishnujana Swami came from a commune, if you remember. Naked hippie commune but nevertheless. Also hippies – they were not big on selfishness underlying mainstream society. Also Srila Prabhupada attracted people who grew up hearing “ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country” inspirational speeches. Now that the US is hopelessly divided we don’t hear it anymore and it affects our society as well. Everybody has to look after himself first and foremost, fly his own airplane, as we also love to quote.

That might be the reality but it doesn’t exempt us from the necessity of a full unconditional surrender to “varnashrama”.

This getting too long, however, so I don’t want to go into proving this point any further and will simply reiterate – we need varnashrama not to organize ourselves but so that we could surrender unto it. This was spoken five hundred years ago and today we have to find an equivalent of that suggestion. Temple devotees need to surrender to temple rules, for example, but everyone must surrender and stop making his own “spiritual” plans from that moment on.

Since I’m not sure I represent the views of the devotee who I heard this explanation from I won’t give his name here.

Gajendra-mokṣaṇa līlā

Gajendra

We all know the story – Gajendra was playing in the water with his family, crocodile grabbed him by the leg, Gajendra tried to free himself but in the water the crocodile had the advantage. Exhausted, Gajendra prayed to the Lord who then appeared to save him. Gajendra went to Vaikuṇṭha, crocodile was restored as a gandharva, end of story. Main lesson is that we should fight crocodile of māyā in the most favorable, strengthened position. Also that when things go very very wrong it’s perfectly fine to take shelter of the Lord. What more can be said?

Well, the plight of Gajendra and his turning attention to the Lord is relishable by itself, but there’s one more interesting point in this līlā – Gajendra didn’t actually called for the Lord by name. Technically, lots of personalities could have helped him  – Indra, Brahmā, or Śiva, and Srīla Prabhupāda comments that demigods felt somewhat disrespected that Gajendra didn’t turn to them. But Gajendra didn’t call for Lord Nārāyaṇa either – he didn’t use any names of the Lord whatsoever. And yet the Lord came. Why?

Because in his prayers Gajendra described the qualities of the Supreme Lord. Identified by qualities, demigods ruled themselves out as not fitting the description but the Lord, hearing that Gajendra is talking about Him, came immediately. That’s an important lesson for us. We know Lord’s name, we call Him by His name day and night, and yet He doesn’t come. Because we are not serious and the name means nothing to us. Nothing special, that is – just a couple of syllables. Gajendra approached it differently.

Whenever we need something, we need to solve a particular problem. There’s context to our every request and desire, and all our problems are of material kind requiring material solutions. We want material elements and objects to rearrange themselves and start acting in a different way. Why would the Lord come to do that? This has nothing to do with Him or His role in the running of the universe. Gajendra saw it deeper (though he remembered a prayer from his previous human life). He went for the heart of the matter, pun intended. In his description of the Lord he stressed Lord’s fully independent position, Lord’s full control over material energy, Lord’s detachment from it, Lord’s unmanifested form etc etc. That was the entity he begged help from. He didn’t call 911, nor animal control, nor asked for a crowbar to stick in crocodile’s mouth – he didn’t ask for any material solutions. He asked for the source of everything and for the ultimate friend of everyone. In this situation the Lord couldn’t ignore his plea, which brings us to another point.

The Lord and His name are non-different, we know that, but from this līlā we can also learn that the Lord and His qualities are non-different and inseparable, too. Once we realize that, realize who the Lord really is in relation to matter and to our suffering, then we can call Him by this realization, by the qualities we see in this realization, and it will be the same as calling Him by His pure name. Or, if we put it differently – the name we usually call for Him does not appear because we don’t understand who He really is.

Chanting is mainly abhidheya, it’s the practice, but understanding I’m talking about here is sambandha, which precedes abhidheya. Therefore no matter how much we chant, we first need to get proper sambandha, proper understanding of our situation, of who the Lord is, of what He can do for us, and of what we can do for Him. Then chanting, abhidheya, will bring fruit – prayojana. If our sambandha is corrupted by presence of material desires and anarthas then abhidheya will not lead us where we want to go.

Unfortunately, this point was mentioned by Śukadeva Gosvāmī and elaborated by Śrīla Prabhupada after Gajendra’s prayers (ŚB 8.3.30) so I just read through them without realizing how important his description of the Lord really was. It was suitable exactly for his situation, too – because Kṛṣṇa in Vṛndāvana did not think Gajendra meant Him and saving elephants isn’t Kṛṣṇa’s job anyway, not His kind of rasa. Speaking for myself, I think I can say more about that Kṛṣṇa than about the form of the Lord which deals with pour distressed souls in this world. Now I can list maybe two or three qualities that Gajendra mentioned and feel like I have to reread the whole chapter again.

It’s not a bad idea, but my mind is a sieve these days, I’m not sure how much I can retain and repeat, let alone remember for the next life like Gajendra did. We don’t carry words from one life to another, we carry concepts and desires, so it’s not just the verses and translations that has to be remembered, but their very essence, their deepest meaning. And it’s also not a random collection but they need to be organized in a proper way, how one quality follows from another or how they form hierarchical structure, which ones need to be put first, which ones need to come later etc. I’m not sure I’m up to it, but I’d ask for readers blessings anyway – without Vaiṣṇavas mercy, what chances of success are there?

 

On Existence of Pure Devotees

It’s quite a popular opinion that there are no pure devotees left in ISKCON or in the rest of the world. We can’t see them, the reasoning goes, there are no self-effulgent acharyas. True enough, but it’s not an absolutely valid criteria. There had been no self-effulgent acharyas converting people to vaishnavism by thousands for several hundreds of years in Gaudiya history. Even Bhaktivinoda Thakura wasn’t self-effulgent enough for many of his contemporaries. Jagannatha Das Babaji wasn’t self-effulgent. Gaurakishora Das Babaji wasn’t self-effulgent. For thirty years after disappearance of Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati there had been no self-effulgent acharyas visible either. Srila Prabhupada was already there but no one noticed his “effulgence”.

“Self-effulgent” acharyas appear every once in a while and the actual meaning of their “self-effulgence” –  when we use that word – is that we see what they do to other people. We need to see “reflection” of their self-effulgence in others, which contradicts the very meaning of the word. If there are no thousands of followers we can see there’s no self-effulgence we can’t. Therefore I can’t take this line of reasoning seriously.

Visible conversions of thousands of people are rare events in history and they happen according to the schedule of the Lord, the schedule we don’t have access to and can’t predict. These periods come and go and they depend on so many factors – the US wasn’t ready for Srila Prabhupada until late 60s, for example. It’s unreasonable to say that unless there are mass conversions and mass preaching going on there are no pure devotees in the world.

Let’s address the problem of visibility then. There could be pure devotees out there but because it’s not the time to manifest their preaching power we can’t see them, but that’s not how the reasoning goes, unfortunately. Instead, the argument is that “I know most of our devotees and I don’t see anyone pure among them”. Jagannatha Das Babaji and Gaurakishora Das Babaji weren’t big preachers but they were well-known in devotional community so one does not need to be a big name preacher to get noticed by the community itself. So it becomes “because I don’t see any pure devotees in ISKCON it means there aren’t any.”

Notice how “objective” existence of pure devotees becomes dependent on our subjective ability to see. Materialists talk like that, not devotees. Kanishtha adhikaris talk like that, not madhyamas. I mean the definition of madhyama is that he sees three categories of people, one of which is pure devotees. Therefore if one does not see uttama adhikaris it means one is not on a madhyama level yet.

There is no “objective reality” here, all these perceptions are personal. Even what we accept as “objective” is just a consensus. There ARE very large communities in ISKCON where this or that devotee is accepted as uttama and they accept it as objective reality, with all contrary views dismissed as the vision of a fly. Step outside this community and this objective reality dissolves by itself, leaving one with his own subjective impressions instead. There ARE examples of devotees changing their minds on the basis of association. In one sanga they knew this devotee to be uttama and that devotee to be a deviant but when they join another sanga their views switch around. These are not the visions of madhyama adhikaries but of kanishthas.

Definition of kanishtha is that he sees bhakti only in himself and maybe in his guru. There’s even a stage where one considers his guru a great devotee because he is my guru. “He gets me,” they say, “he knows how I feel, how devoted I am,” which becomes the main guru qualification eclipsing all other considerations. I don’t want to name names but there are plenty of devotees, some are very vocal, who believe they know Srila Prabhupada and judge everyone else by this very subjective standard. If one agrees with me on everything, he can be considered my guru or at least a siksha guru. Of course they don’t consider their own understanding of Srila Prabhupada to be subjective – atmavan manyate jagat – they believe the entire universe complies with their visions.

This gets complicated when devotees remember times when everybody else thought the same way and everybody was taught the same understanding but I’m not here to prove that this or that devotee is truly a kanishtha, just to point out a common kanishtha fallacy – they do not see bhakti in anyone else but themselves and therefore it’s impossible for them to see pure devotees. It’s impossible even for a madhyama adhikari, to be fair. Madhyama devotees only recognize that someone is more advanced than themselves but not much more. They would rather reserve judgement on who is pure and who is not and offer equal respect just in case.

Kanishtha adhikaris do not have bhakti, they have only anarthas, and madhyama adhikaris possess some bhakti already. Consequently, what they see in the world is a reflection of their own hearts and so kanishthas do not see any devotees around while madhyamas see some. This is the heart of my argument, really – we do not see what is there in the world, we see what is reflected in our minds. We do not see the world with our eyes, we see it with our minds.

There’s even scientific data to demonstrate this. Human eye collects much more data than even today’s cameras. Calculations vary, the highest number I’ve seen is 576 megapixels, but the optic nerve can pass only less then 10 megabits per second. In another place they say that transmitting images from the eye should take about two seconds (if they were transmitted in full). This article puts it all together and there is one interesting fact there – for every ten neurons getting data from the retina the brain has four thousand neurons to begin to process it. Sorry for this little detour, but it demonstrates what we know from our scriptures – one perceives the world through his mind, through his “ceto darpana”, the mirror of his heart. External information contributes relatively little.

This is true for uttama adhikaris, too. They have nothing but bhakti in their hearts and so they do not see anything else in the outside world either. Everybody is a pure devotee for them because that’s the only thing they are able to recognize. Kind of devotional application of “for a hammer every problem is a nail” phenomenon. There’s a story to illustrate this.

There was one Swami Samarth, a big devotee in cult of Dattatreya in Maharashtra. He was translating Valmiki Ramayana into Marathi and giving extensive discourses on Rama lila. Even Hanuman attended them in a disguise of an ordinary human. At one point, however, Hanuman noticed a discrepancy. Swami Samarth said that the flowers in the Asoka Gardern where Mother Sita was kept were white but Hanuman, who was actually there, remembered them as red. After the lecture Hanuman approached the Swami and asked for this small correction but the Swami refused. They argued but then decided to ask Lord Ramachandra Himself for a judgment. Hanuman put Swami Samarth on his shoulder and took him to Lord Rama. After listening to both of them Lord Rama refused to take sides and send them on to Sita. Sita then confirmed that the flowers were white, apparently granting victory to Swami Samarth over Hunuman, who personally visited and talked to Sita in this garden. How could this be? Mother Sita then explained that the flowers were white but Hanuman was so angry at Ravana, so filled with rage, that he saw everything, including flowers, as red.

This sounds a bit apocryphal but the story was picked by Gour Govinda Swami to illustrate this same point and so it should be acceptable.

To sum it up – when people make proclamations about non-existence of pure devotees all they say is actually the content of their hearts, not much more. Of course there are plenty of clever ones who call everybody a pure devotee, calculating that the chance of getting something good out of this flattery is greater than a chance of getting something bad, but that’s another topic for another day.

Speaking of Gour Govinda Swami, he often cited another proof that there are pure devotees in the world, shastra based, but I don’t feel it’s as straightforward as it sounds so I’ll leave that discussion for another day, too.

Angelic singing

They don’t let go, do they? Here’s a recording of real life angels made in a locked down church:
 

Presented by one of our initiating spiritual masters to a large audience at one of those “bridge preaching” festivals. On the stage there’s harmonium so they probably just had a kirtan. Behind him is a whiteboard with names of Siva, Vishnu, Krishna, and their consorts Pravati, Lakshmi, and Radha – looks not like “bridge” but pretty straightforward preaching instead. He gives a short introduction about how this recording came about, which is as follows: one overnight visitor to Mt Athos wakened in the middle of the night, hearing beautiful singing coming from the temple. He thought he overslept and missed the morning program so he ran there but temple doors were locked. He peeked through the window and saw lots of angels inside. He got his dictaphone/player from his room and recorded their singing through this window.
 
Next the speaker says that authenticity of this record is being investigated by professionals, but also tells people to simply hear it and feel it for themselves. Several people saw their previous lives while listening to this recording, he says. One woman saw herself in her mother’s womb. He asks the audience to take it seriously, it’s not a joke and not a prank. He wants to share this experience as a gift to others because it would not be right to keep it to himself. Audience applauds.
 
While recording is cued up, he tells people that some specialists have already declared that human voice is physically incapable of making such sounds. He again asks people to feel it for themselves and then shares his own realization – that times are changing, that higher powers are getting involved, supernatural things are happening and our faith will become stronger and stronger in this regard. Materialistic people are doomed, we should not strive for material things, we should use them only as an instrument, like we use healthy lifestyle. Everything else is already given and angels are coming to sing with us already. They know us very well. “Our festival will not go unnoticed up there,” he says. And then the recording starts. Of real life angels.
 
This was at a festival in 2018.
 

Back in 2014 this same story was featured in some Russian language TV program where Russian Donald Trump Junior asked an Orthodox priest a few questions about it. His first question was whether these were real angels or maybe “besy” – demons who try to divert faithful form the path of religion. It’s a big thing in Orthodox Christianity – Prelest. I don’t think I can give it justice here but there are tons and tons of warnings to practicing monks not to confuse genuine spirituality with these demons’ work. The priest answers that in this case it’s unlikely because he can’t find any deviations being introduced here. However, he doesn’t consider subtle pride that comes with realization “we can see and hear angels, we are important” so this doesn’t sound conclusive to me. They made out the song and the words, btw, and discussed why the recording captures only the part of it. The beginning was missed, that’s understandable, but the last part was not sung because it’s about concerns of ordinary humans not shared by angels so they naturally didn’t sing about them, the priest explained. Another point he made was that this singing follows traditional Byzantine style, sung in unison, as opposed to the style introduced in the 17th century splitting choir voices into multiple harmonious parts. This record should settle the question of whether this innovation was appropriate or not, he says. All in all it was a deep and meaningful discussion. You can turn translation in Youtube settings if you want:

 

A lot can be discussed here, the “prelest” angle could turn very fruitful, for example. Or we could talk about fitting these Christian angels into Vedic hierarchy, or so many other things, but let’s start and stop with just one – it’s a fake. In the comments to the above video people give references to 1962 performance of this song by a Greek singer and that it needs to be sped up for the desired effect. I tried it myself and it sounds remarkably similar even without any editing.

What more needs to be said? Maybe that fakes generate a lot of life of their own and people eagerly fall for them – just look at all the current claims about coronavirus.

Finally, this leaves me with the most disturbing realization of all – these days our gurus cannot be explicitly trusted and everything they say needs to be double checked. How can devotees make any spiritual progress this way? Even if I’m not his disciple, when I hear him speak I expect him to speak the truth, not spread cheap internet fakes for dubious purposes. We are not getting closer to angels by doing this. Paraphrasing Srila Prabhupada – if you hear angels while chanting, keep chanting – it will go away. This turns us into sahajyas who take everything very cheaply. Forget about trust – such association needs to be avoided instead. And how do you know when such a devotee imposes another fake on you? How do you know when a vaishnava speaks the truth and when he embellishes it for the benefit of the audience? Simple – vaishnavas don’t do that so we don’t need to guess. We need to hear to a “guru” or to a “dhira” – heavy and steady respectively – to people who are not swayed by fakes and feelings.

PS. I spotted this story on Hanuman’s website but he is such a deluded offender that I don’t want to provide a link. It was sent to him by some unnamed devotee so he is not the original source that really needs to be credited.

Srila Prabhupada was very liberal towards women… or was he?

Prabhupada, Malati, and Gurukripa(?)

Let’s look at this small collection of Prabhupada’s quotes, some of which are instantly recognizable:

  • If one becomes Kṛṣṇa conscious, then he doesn’t require husband. He does not require. He . . . She knows that “Kṛṣṇa is my protector. Why shall I artificially seek after father or . . .?” And what protection, for a few days, either the father or the son or the husband may give? Real protection is Kṛṣṇa.
  • Such natural instincts of a woman or a man are manifested only in the bodily conception of life. When either a man or a woman is advanced in spiritual consciousness, the bodily conception of life practically vanishes. We should see all women as spiritual units (ahaṁ brahmāsmi), whose only duty is to satisfy Kṛṣṇa.
  • if the wife can bring her husband into practicing this process, then it is all right that the husband accepts wife as Spiritual Master.
  • – Could a woman be a temple president? Prabhupāda: Yes, why not?

Obviously, they display Prabhupada’s liberal thinking towards modern women.

Now, let’s look at this other selection of quotes

  • And the Western countries, they have been taught to become independent. That is artificial. That is all artificial. So woman by nature . . . Manu-saṁhitā (9.3) says, na striyaṁ svatantram arhati: “Women should not be given independence.” They must be protected by the father, by husband, and by elderly sons. They are not independent. No independence.
  • Similarly woman. Live with one husband fastidiously, with children.
  • A man should be trained to be a first-class devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa, and a woman should be trained to be a very chaste follower of her husband.
  • if you can show the women of the community how to help their husbands and children to perfect their home life, and all aspects of life, in Krishna Consciousness by chanting, aratrik ceremonies, and eating Krishna prasadam, then you will improve the conditions of the neighboring communities to an incalculable extent.
  • actual system is that the husband is Spiritual Master to his wife
  • because women are less intelligent, they should remain dependent on first-class father, first-class husband and first-class son. Then she is first class. That is the injunction. Woman should remain dependent in childhood upon first-class father, in youthhood upon first-class husband and in old age upon first-class son. Woman is never independent. If she becomes independent, her life is not very good. She must agree to remain dependent on first-class father, first-class husband and first-class son—three stages
  • – Can a woman be first class? Prabhupāda: Woman can become first class if she is chaste and very much attached to husband. And if the husband is first class, she becomes first class. Because woman’s duty is to follow husband. So if the husband is first class, the wife is first class, if she sticks to the husband.
  • – But she can never be first class unless she has a first-class husband. Prabhupāda: No, she is first class by following faithfully husband. And if the husband is first class, then woman is first class.

Obviously, these quotes create a very different impression. “So what,” you might think, “we have known the power of selective quoting before, what’s new here?” Well, the interesting feature of all these quotes is that they come from the same letters and conversations (and one purport). These things have been said to the same people on the same occasion, and almost immediately one after another. To illustrate this once again, consider these two letters written on the same day and on the same subject, but to different recipients:

  • My Dear Yamuna and Dinatarine, … You can attract the fair sex community. Most of them are frustrated being without any home or husband. If you can organize all these girls they will get a transcendental engagement and may not be allured to the frustration of life. Your engagement should be chanting and worship of the Deity Jiva Goswami advises that in the Kali-yuga sankirtana is the principle worship. Even if one chants many mantras it must be preceded by glorious sankirtana. Sankirtana is the maha-mantra.
  • My dear Jayatirtha, … Regarding Yamuna and Dinatarine, they want to live independently, that is the defect. A woman cannot live independent. According the the Vedic culture a woman is always to be protected by a man. Why they should purchase a house? We already have Los Angeles…

How to make sense of all of this and how to reconcile these contradictory quotes? Make you own conclusions, I don’t want to force any particular mode of thinking here, but I might add that conservative statements are far more extensive and even after I clipped them down in half they still take more space (and more time for Srila Prabhupada to articulate). This fact might not matter much but it’s worth noting anyway. Overall, I’d say that contradictions appear when we start hunting for quotes instead of studying Srila Prabhupada’s books systematically, verse by verse and purport by purport. Then we see big picture and all little facts fit into it perfectly.

In a similar way we, as the “owners” of our bodies, feel whole, complete, and well adjusted, but if somebody took a foot and a hand separately they might wonder how these parts can possibly fit together. This is a kind of acintya-bheda-abheda tattva available for us to ponder – how can Srila Prabhupada encourage and seemingly reject something at the same time? He himself did not see it as contradictory, however. The same principle is applied differently in different circumstances just like same trunk produces different branches, some extending north and some extending south, and all reaching for the Sun. Somehow it’s possible and I don’t want to boggle down in details of each case.

References:

https://vanisource.org/wiki/770107_-_Conversation_A_-_Bombay

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/6/18/42/

https://vanisource.org/wiki/690614_-_Letter_to_Silavati_written_from_New_Vrindaban,_USA

https://vanisource.org/wiki/750705_-_Conversation_A_-_Chicago

https://vanisource.org/wiki/760113_-_Letter_to_Yamuna_and_Dinatarine_written_from_Calcutta

https://vanisource.org/wiki/760113_-_Letter_to_Jayatirtha_written_from_Calcutta

Actual legwork of searching for different sounding quotes in the same sources was done by one reviewer of one recent book and was posted on social media. He made a similar observation but as part of a review and he provided extensive commentary on each case. I tried to keep it short and to the point instead. For those who want to read the whole thing (in Russian), here’s the source.

 

Madhvas and Gaudiyas

A few years ago I read quite a few attacks on Gaudiya Vaishnavism by some followers of Madhvacharya . If you search this blog you’ll find my reactions, it was a technical discussion about verses and translations, as I remember, but details are not important right now. There was another ex-ISKCON devotee who tried to prove to anyone who’d listen that Madhva’s dvaita is the real thing and Gaudiyas are just degenerate deviants. Questions about our parampara connection to Madhvacharya are probably a few hundred years old by now because the list given by our acharyas does not correspond to records kept by Madhvas themselves. Some explanations have been given but we can’t really know anything for sure about those times and names. I suspect Madhvas themselves were not very meticulous with keeping their records, and for ordinary devotees it was a matter of oral transmission. Our Gaudiya records begin with Kavi Karnapura, meaning after disappearance of Lord Caitanya, and so we have no accounts of the previous two centuries at all, just what Kavi Karnapura and others remembered from what they heard. It appears influential contemporaries who were godbrothers have been put into guru-disciple relationship in our parampara, for example. This doesn’t bother us at all but I mention it just to give some background.

Recently I read an interesting article on this matter in Krishna Kathamrita Bindu magazine, Issue #253. It was originally written for The Harmonist by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura and it uses a novel approach to such challenges. It doesn’t answer all of them but it goes straight to the heart of the matter and addresses the main argument itself – Madhvas are traditionalists and Gaudiyas are an offshot. Madhvas are conservative but Gaudiyas are liberal inventors. Madhvas are the original and Gaudiya are an add on. No, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati paints a completely different picture where we, the Gaudiyas, are conservative preservers of the tradition and they, the Madhvas are inventors swayed by the currents of time. How about that!

MADHVAS AND GAUDIYAS

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupada

There is a tendency, especially in this country, to approach the past history of a sect on the basis of the prima-facie authenticity of the guru- paramparā as preserved in the sect. We would be more scientifically employed if we turned our attention to obtaining greater information by comparative study of the different records instead of resorting to gratuitous assumptions against the validity of the preceptorial lists.

For this very cogent reason we must accept as historically valid the existing preceptorial list of the Madhva Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava sect till its authenticity in any particular is conclusively  mpugned by specific historical evidence. We have had no cause up till now to doubt the truth of any portion of this list.

This list discloses the fact that the Supreme Lord Sri Chaitanya accepted Sri Iswara Puri as his preceptor. Sri Iswara Puri was a disciple of Sri Madhavendra Puri. Sri Madhavendra  Puri is a most renowned vaiṣṇava. He is, in fact, the great founder of the society of transcendental lovers who adhere strictly to their all-absorbing passion for the amorous transcendental hero, Sri Krishna. This constitutes a great development of the original doctrine of Sri Madhvacharya. In spite of this peculiarity of the teaching of Sri Madhavendra Puri, the list of the former gurus shows that Sri Madhavendra is descended from the line of Ananda Tirtha in the ascetic order of the Madhva Vaiṣṇavas. There is really nothing against the genuineness of the list of the gurus of the line of the Madhva Vaiṣṇavas.

Some misguided critic may try to rashly propose to disconnect Sri Madhavendra from the line of the gurus of the Madhva Vaiṣṇavas by asserting that the Madhva sannyāsīs are known as “Tirthas” and that no sannyāsī of the title “Puri” can have admittance into their ecclesiastical order. But the solution of this apparent difficulty is offered by an incident in the authentic career of the Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna Chaitanya. He is stated to have embraced the order of the Bharati sannyāsīs. But he was also stated to be a disciple of Sri Iswara Puri. This irregularity is to be ascribed to the practice of attaching their surnames by the older associations. The different guru-paramparās show the same line. So we  cannot discredit those records by basing our arguments on assumptions and ordinary argument from current practices.

Moreover, whenever there is any congregational gathering of the different schools of vaiṣṇavas, the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas, as a class, introduce themselves as belonging to the line of Sri Madhvacharya. These are hard and indisputable facts and cannot be lightly explained away by inferences based solely on certain practices of either sect.

If, however, the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas actually preferred to brand themselves as Madhva Gauḍīyas as a matter of history, inquirers would naturally be anxious to know whether the servants of the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas subscribe in toto to the professions and practices of the Madhvas or whether they differ from the older school in some other points. In case they have a distinctive reference, an inquirer should naturally start to make a list of the differences between the two schools. This comparison should necessarily be made in regard to their practical activity, social procedure, philosophy, theology, and different performances; in other words, the examination should embrace both their exoteric and esoteric differences.

If we take up the practical activities of the Madhva and the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas for the purpose of such comparison, we find that the former are severely reserved in their propagatory methods, whereas the latter are vigorous proselytizers. The Madhvas keep up the old habits and ideas, whereas the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas have advanced towards and utilized everything for facilitating the true cause of devotion. The former are very fond of arcana according to the pañcarātrika system, whereas the latter, though not different in their adoption of arcana, additionally perform bhajana like the dāsakūṭa section of the Madhva community. The Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas give more stress to bhajana whereas the vyāsakūṭa section of the Madhvas give stress to arcana. The habits and customs of the Southern Indian vaiṣṇavas are different from those of Northern Indian Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas, though both of them have a common base and origin as their guiding principle.

Turning to their respective social procedures, we find that there is one great point of resemblance. According to the Madhva community, Brahmins are alone considered to be eligible for the service of God. Brahmins are thus in sole charge of the religious institutions of the sect. They alone conduct all public and private worship. This is also the practice of the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas. But in this matter also there is an important distinction between the two. The point has already been referred to in connection with propaganda and proselytization. The Madhvas are not prepared to go outside the pale of the caste Brahmins for imparting initiation for worship. In this they are in one sense too narrow in comparison with the method of the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas. Sri Chaitanya accepted all who possessed the real inclination for leading the exclusive spiritual life and bestowed on them even the position and function of the ācārya. Thakur Haridas, the great ācārya of the Gauḍīya sect, was a Mohammedan by parentage. Most of the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava Gosvāmīs were not caste Brahmins.

In another respect, however, the Madhva practice is more lax than the practice of the Gauḍīya society. No person is entitled in the Gauḍīya community to mantra-dīkṣā unless he or she is prepared to submit unconditionally to follow the instructions of the ācārya in every particular of actual conduct. By this test, caste Brahmins are also liable to be ineligible for the service of God in the Gauḍīya community if they are not prepared to give up their unscriptural mode of life by submitting to the autocratic rule of the ācārya.

Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas claim to follow the essence of the scriptural varṇāśrama institution in the organization of their spiritual society, whereas the Madhvas follow the hereditary principle which is seldom applicable in the present age when few persons possess either the habit or the inclination to follow the spirit of the śāstric regulation. Judged by the test of loyalty to the spirit of the scriptural regulation, the Gauḍīya community may justly claim to be far more conservative in their social practices than the Madhvas.

— From the article, “A Word to our Madhwa – Vaishnava Brethren”,
The Harmonist, Vol. XXXI, Issue No. 18, 14 May 1935.

The last two paragraphs really bring it home – caste Brahmins of Madhva sampradaya are considered ineligible by Gaudiyas because they lack unconditional surrender and other necessary qualities. Nor are they loyal to the spirit of shastric regulations.

Interesting turn, isn’t it?

Mayapur Miffs

With annual GBC meetings upon us, all the big guns are converging on Mayapur. Will GBC cave in to Indian RGB demand to withdraw FDG resolution? What are they going to do? How will the conflict be resolved? Will there be any actual female gurus approved and will they conduct initiations right there and then? There might be come other serious issues discussed as well but regional appointments reshuffles do not excite devotees nearly as much.

This week Mayapur authorities arranged for two consecutive Bhagavatam classes to be given by two most visible figures in pro- and anti-FDG camps. First was Anuttama Prabhu, ISKCON Minister of Communications, who tirelessly campaigned for FDG adoption and even rushed to IRGB meetings to make his case before Indians only to see IRGB to accept anti-FDG resolution. Next up was Basu Ghosh Prabhu, temple president in Baroda and either the IRGB chairman or some other big title like that. How did this battle turn out? Not well, in my not so humble opinion.

They were coming from the opposite corners but I was surprised how much they were actually alike. Both didn’t prepare for the class and quickly changed the topic from Bhagavatam text to their favorite subjects. Both didn’t know how to recite their verses, which is especially disappointing for Basu Ghosh Prabhu, who promotes learning Sanskrit on every occasion. Both quickly turned to promoting their stance on FDG and both used scare tactics to present themselves as the only potential saviors. Both avoided mentioning FDG directly, even it was clearly on both of their minds. Both relied on unnamed sources and hearsay in support of their stances. Both argued that we, the devotees, are not transcendental in our behavior and so have to learn a thing or two about culture first. Both appealed to Srila Prabhupada’s authority to make their cases. Both relied on some historical precedents. The only difference was in “which culture” and in “what scares you the most”.

For Anuttama Prabhu, what I liked most was that he didn’t cite Christian sources once during the class. At the same stage last year – public lectures before GBC meetings, he and then his wife talked about Mother Teresa, Saint Francis and quoted some truly humble Christian girl. It’s all nice but we have our own tradition to support any moral idea like humility or tolerance or seeing all souls as equal. I don’t expect Anuttama Prabhu to quote Bhagavatam in Bhagavatam classes – he is clearly not a scholar, but no Christian quotes was a major achievement for me.

On the other hand, for every case he cited I immediately thought of opposing examples from exactly the same sources. Lord Caitanya didn’t discriminate in who He gave His mercy to? Yes, unless you are a king of Puri and there’s no chance you get to meet Him. There was no discrimination if you passed Swarupa Damodara’s quality control, too. Otherwise you couldn’t present your poetry or shastric treatises to the Lord. Mahaprabhu didn’t tolerate any nonsense – one whiff of mayavada and you are out. Even Advaita Acharya got the business end if His mercy, though that was Advaita Acharya’s plan all along. In early ISKCON history there were devotees who cheated the public and collected donations in the name of non-existing charities, that’s true, but Srila Prabhupada also defended “by hook or by crook” book distribution on several occasions – that’s just history, and it’s not as black and white as we have been presented. I’ll given an example later.

For Basu Ghosh Prabhu, given that he knows Sanskrit, one could have expected delving into commentaries by other acharyas on these verses and pastimes. Jiva Goswami’s Gopala Champu, which is already translated, would have been a possible choice to start, but, as I said, he also didn’t know how to recite his given verse. Granted, it’s not an easy one (SB 10.8.31), but even I figured it out after looking at it for a few minutes, and I don’t know what any of these words mean. I do know where to look for examples, though. Anyway, Basu Ghosh Prabhu quickly steered the class to a Bhagavad Gita quote and, as is usual among our lecturers, never returned to Bhagavatam again. He did cite verse after verse from the Gita, which is a plus, but when will we have devotees who can find Bhagavatam support for Bhagavatam classes? Everything said in Bhagavad Gita is in Bhagavatam, too. Or look at Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu or Jiva Goswami Sandarbhas – there are tons and tons of quotes from Bhagavatam to support this or that assertion but I can’t remember a single one from Bhagavad Gita. In our classes it’s the other way around because our devotees study only the Gita and that’s what they know how to talk about. The real challenge in Bhagavatam classes then becomes how to quickly and transparently steer the discussion towards what they know from Gita. The taste for Bhagavatam itself has obviously not developed yet.

Predictably, the need to learn Sanskrit came up pretty quickly, too. I’m all for it, but at the end of the class one devotee in the audience asked a simple question – we don’t need to learn Sanskrit to understand Srila Prabhupada, who wrote in English for us, so why should we spend time on it? Traditionally, it takes twelve years to master Sanskrit – for the young people. Older ones, like me, are hopeless by comparison, and for what? India is full of Sanskrit “scholars” who totally miss the point of everything and even our ISKCON had a fair share of Sanskritologists who dropped out and went into different directions. Personally, I’d like to see more devotees in the way of Bhakti Vijnana Swami who doesn’t freely read Sanskrit, afaik, but who can give multiple explanations and shades of meaning for every word in every verse. This really helps to understand what the shastra is talking about and what different acharyas chose to highlight and why. So it’s a simple test – if knowing Sanskrit doesn’t help one better understand and appreciate Srimad Bhagavatam – what’s the point? I’ve yet to hear Basu Ghosh Prabhu make his Sanskrit useful in this way. “Skanda Ten, Adyaya Eight” is nice, but doesn’t add anything to our understanding. Neither is forcing everyone to repeat “pada-pataha”, which means “word for word translation”.

As for FDG case, I’d rather avoid discussing it here. I think Basu Ghosh Prabhu missed a chance at the end of the class when one of the female devotees objected “we [women] don’t want to be like men, we just want equal opportunities”. This is a common argument – we don’t want equality, we want equal opportunities. Do they even hear themselves when they say things like that?

On us being not transcendental – I don’t know how FDG support can be derived from here. To me it rather means we have to act according to shastric injunctions. I missed how Anuttama Prabhu constructed his argument there but I’d rather disagree with the premise itself. Yes, we are obviously not transcendental, but when we are fully engaged in spreading Lord Caitanya’s mission then our personal inadequacies as devotees fade away. We are always, always under His control and protection, even when we act less transcendentally than expected. And if the sad reality is that we are not engaged in the preaching mission and do not feel Lord Caitanya’s protection then following varnashrama won’t save us and neither will female gurus and equal opportunities. I mean it’s sad that our movement has come to this now when I still remember devotees riding waves of Lord Caitanya’s mercy and there was no question of these sankirtana pastimes not being transcendental. If our society can’t offer that – real connection to Lord Caitanya’s mercy, then what is the point of even having it?

Srila Prabhupada Lila app today gave a story of Vaikunthananta Prabhu cheating people at the airport, pretending that he was five dollars short for  his plane ticket and asking everyone for a spare buck. Actually, he collected to pay rent for the temple and Srila Prabhupada totally appreciated him saving the temple this way. There was no question of “this is material and not transcendental” – when the motive is pure a devotee is not constrained by notions of mundane morality. There are tons and tons of examples in our short history of that, just as there are examples when cheating has done some serious damage to the preaching mission, but the answer to this is not “no more cheating” but “do something for Prabhupada”. Mundane morality or even following varnashrama will not endear us to Lord Caitanya when we are not interested in selfless service and unconditional surrender. We HAD it, the opportunity was presented to everyone of us just a few decades ago, and now it’s absent even in the speeches of our leaders.

In any case, please forgive me my little rant. I’m obviously not going to comment on both lectures sentence by sentence and I’m obviously disappointed when this is what our leaders, for the either side, can present on such an important occasion. They are very senior vaishnavas and I shouldn’t speak about them in this way, but I hope, if they see this, they understand my plea here even if sounds uncomfortable at times.

Here are the videos:

 

 

63 out of 108 most quoted Bhagavad Gita As It IS verses in 68′ and 72′ editions are different

The program that displayed the differences highlighted punctuation marks, capital letters, and different spelling of Sanskrit words and names and I have no control over that, but each verse selected for this list also has difference in wording. Sometimes differences are small, sometimes quite significant. Good news is that the other 45 verses are exactly the same (ignoring punctuation etc).

Theoretically, I can compare the rest of the book, too, but verse numbering is different between the editions and sometimes verses are split differently, so it’s a lot of work to manually match verses first. I thought the fact that over half of the most popular verses, which we should ideally commit to memory, are different already is sufficient to raise a question about which edition exactly should be considered “original” – for those who insist on Macmillan 72 being the standard. I don’t want to editorialize here, just preserve the visual list of differences.

68′ is on the left, 72′ is on the right.

1.40

 

n

 

1 1.40

 

n

 

2 By the destruction of a dynasty, the eternal family tradition is vanquished, and thus the rest of the family becomes involved in irreligion.

 

n

 

2 When irreligion is prominent in the family, O Kṛṣṇa, the women of the family become corrupt, and from the degradation of womanhood, O descendant of Vṛṣṇi, comes unwanted progeny.
3  
3 4
4 2.2 5 2.2

 

n

 

5 The Supreme Personality said: My dear Arjuna, how have these impurities come upon you? They are not at all befitting a man who knows the progressive values of life. They do not lead to higher planets, but to infamy.

 

n

 

6 The Supreme Person [Bhagavān] said: My dear Arjuna, how have these impurities come upon you? They are not at all befitting a man who knows the progressive values of life. They do not lead to higher planets, but to infamy.
7  
6 8
7 2.7 9 2.7

 

n

 

8 Now I am confused about duty, and have lost all composure because of weakness. In this condition I am asking You to tell me clearly what is best for me. Now I am Your disciple, and a soul surrendered unto You. Please instruct me.

 

n

 

10 Now I am confused about my duty and have lost all composure because of weakness. In this condition I am asking You to tell me clearly what is best for me. Now I am Your disciple, and a soul surrendered unto You. Please instruct me.
11  
9 12
10 2.13 13 2.13

 

n

 

11 As the embodied soul continually passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth, and then to old age; similarly, the soul also passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change.

 

n

 

14 As the embodied soul continually passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change.
15  
12 16
13 2.14 17 2.14

 

n

 

14 O son of Kunti, the nonpermanent appearance of heat and cold, happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception, O scion of Bharata, and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed.

 

n

 

18 O son of Kuntī, the nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception, O scion of Bharata, and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed.
19  
15 20
16 2.17 21 2.17

 

n

 

17 That which pervades the entire body is indestructible. No one is able to destroy the imperishable soul.

 

n

 

22 Know that which pervades the entire body is indestructible. No one is able to destroy the imperishable soul.
23  
18 24
19 2.20 25 2.20

 

n

 

20 For the soul there is never birth or death. Nor, having once been, does he ever cease to be. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying, and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain.

 

n

 

26 For the soul there is never birth nor death. Nor, having once been, does he ever cease to be. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain.
27  
21 28
22 2.44 29 2.44

 

n

 

23 In the minds of those who are too attached to sense enjoyment and material opulence, and who are bewildered by such things, the resolute determination for devotional service to the Lord does not take place.

 

n

 

30 In the minds of those who are too attached to sense enjoyment and material opulence, and who are bewildered by such things, the resolute determination of devotional service to the Supreme Lord does not take place.
31  
24 32
25 3.9 33 3.9

 

n

 

26 Work done as a sacrifice for Vishnu has to be performed, otherwise work binds one of this material world. Therefore, O son of Kunti, perform prescribed duties for His satisfaction, and in that way you will always remain unattached and free from bondage.

 

n

 

34 Work done as a sacrifice for Viṣṇu has to be performed, otherwise work binds one to this material world. Therefore, O son of Kuntī, perform your prescribed duties for His satisfaction, and in that way you will always remain unattached and free from bondage.
35  
27 36
28 3.13 37 3.13

 

n

 

29 The devotees of the Lord are released from all sins because they eat food which is offered first for sacrifice. Others, who prepare food for personal sense enjoyment, verily eat only sin.

 

n

 

38 The devotees of the Lord are released from all kinds of sins because they eat food which is offered first for sacrifice. Others, who prepare food for personal sense enjoyment, verily eat only sin.
39  
30 40
31 3.14 41 3.14

 

n

 

32 All living bodies subsist on food grains; food grains are produced from rains, rains come from performance of sacrifice, and sacrifice is born of man’s work.

 

n

 

42 All living bodies subsist on food grains, which are produced from rain. Rains are produced by performance of yajña [sacrifice], and yajña is born of prescribed duties.
43  
33 44
34 3.21 45 3.21

 

n

 

35 Whatever action is performed by a great man, common men will follow in his footsteps. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues.

 

n

 

46 Whatever action is performed by a great man, common men follow in his footsteps. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues.
47  
36 48
37 4.7 49 4.7

 

n

 

38 Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligionat that time I descend My Self.

 

n

 

50 Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligionat that time I descend Myself.
51  
39 52
40 4.11 53 4.11

 

n

 

41 All of themas they surrender unto MeI reward accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Pritha.

 

n

 

54 All of themas they surrender unto MeI reward accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Pthā.
55  
42 56
43 4.13 57 4.13

 

n

 

44 According to the three modes of material Nature and the work ascribed to them, the corresponding four divisions of human society were created by Me. And, although I am the Creator of this system, you should know that I am yet the non-doer, being unchangeable.

 

n

 

58 According to the three modes of material nature and the work ascribed to them, the four divisions of human society were created by Me. And, although I am the creator of this system, you should know that I am yet the non-doer, being unchangeable.
59  
45 60
46 5.18 61 5.18

 

n

 

47 The humble sage sees with equal vision a learned and gentle Brahmin, a cow, an elephant, a dog, and a dog-eater (outcaste).

 

n

 

62 The humble sage, by virtue of true knowledge, sees with equal vision a learned and gentle brāhmaṇa, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater [outcaste].
63  
48 64
49 6.20-23 65 6.20-23

 

n

 

50 The state of perfection is called trance, or Samadhi, when one’s mind is completely restrained from material mental activities by practice of Yoga. This is characterized by one’s ability to see the Self by the pure mind, and to relish and rejoice in the Self. In that joyous state, one is situated in boundless transcendental happiness and enjoys himself through transcendental senses. Established thus, one never departs from the truth, and upon gaining this he thinks there is no greater gain. Being situated in such a position, one is never shaken, even in the midst of the greatest difficulty. This, indeed, is actual freedom from all miseries arising from material contact. This Yoga is to be practiced with determination and an undaunted heart.

 

n

 

66 The stage of perfection is called trance, or samādhi, when one’s mind is completely restrained from material mental activities by practice of yoga. This is characterized by one’s ability to see the self by the pure mind and to relish and rejoice in the self. In that joyous state, one is situated in boundless transcendental happiness and enjoys himself through transcendental senses. Established thus, one never departs from the truth, and upon gaining this he thinks there is no greater gain. Being situated in such a position, one is never shaken, even in the midst of greatest difficulty. This indeed is actual freedom from all miseries arising from material contact.
67  
51 68
52 6.41 69 6.41

 

n

 

53 The unsuccessful yogi, after many, many years of enjoyment on the planets of the pious living entities, is born into the family of righteous people, or into a family of rich aristocracy;

 

n

 

70 The unsuccessful yogī, after many, many years of enjoyment on the planets of the pious living entities, is born into a family of righteous people, or into a family of rich aristocracy.
71  
54 72
55 7.5 73 7.5

 

n

 

56 Besides this inferior nature, O mighty Arjuna, there is a superior energy of Mine which are all living entities who are struggling with material Nature and who sustain the universe.

 

n

 

74 Besides this inferior nature, O mighty-armed Arjuna, there is a superior energy of Mine, which are all living entities who are struggling with material nature and are sustaining the universe.
75  
57 76
58 7.13 77 7.13

 

n

 

59 Deluded by the three modes (goodness, passion, and ignorance), the whole world does not know Me Who am above them and inexhaustible.

 

n

 

78 Deluded by the three modes [goodness, passion and ignorance], the whole world does not know Me who am above the modes and inexhaustible.
79  
60 80
61 7.15 81 7.15

 

n

 

62 Those miscreants who are grossly foolish, lowest among Mankind, whose knowledge is stolen by illusion, and who are of the atheistic nature of demons, do not surrender unto Me.

 

n

 

82 Those miscreants who are grossly foolish, lowest among mankind, whose knowledge is stolen by illusion, and who partake of the atheistic nature of demons, do not surrender unto Me.
83  
63 84
64 7.23 85 7.23

 

n

 

65 Men of small intelligence worship the demigods, and their fruits are limited and temporary. Those who worship the demigods go to the planets of the demigods, but My devotees reach My Supreme Abode.

 

n

 

86 Men of small intelligence worship the demigods, and their fruits are limited and temporary. Those who worship the demigods go to the planets of the demigods, but My devotees ultimately reach My supreme planet.
87  
66 88
67 7.26 89 7.26

 

n

 

68 O Arjuna, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, I know everything which has happened in the past, all that is happening in the present, and all things that are yet to come. I also know all living entities; but Me no one knows.

 

n

 

90 O Arjuna, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, I know everything that has happened in the past, all that is happening in the present, and all things that are yet to come. I also know all living entities; but Me no one knows.
91  
69 92
70 8.6 93 8.6

 

n

 

71 In whatever condition one quits his present body, in his next life he will attain to that state of being without fail.

 

n

 

94 Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, that state he will attain without fail.
95  
72 96
73 8.7 97 8.7

 

n

 

74 Therefore, Arjuna, you should always think of Me, and at the same time you should continue your prescribed duty and fight. With your mind and activities always fixed on Me, and everything engaged in Me, you will attain to Me without any doubt.

 

n

 

98 Therefore, Arjuna, you should always think of Me in the form of Kṛṣṇa and at the same time carry out your prescribed duty of fighting. With your activities dedicated to Me and your mind and intelligence fixed on Me, you will attain Me without doubt.
99  
75 100
76 8.15 101 8.15

 

n

 

77 The great Mahatmas, yogis in devotion, after achieving Me never come back to this temporary world, so full of miseries, because they attain to the highest perfection.

 

n

 

102 After attaining Me, the great souls, who are yogīs in devotion, never return to this temporary world, which is full of miseries, because they have attained the highest perfection.
103  
78 104
79 8.16 105 8.16

 

n

 

80 From the highest planet in the material world, down to the lowest, all are places of misery, where repeated birth and death take place. But one who attains to My Abode, O son of Kunti, never takes birth again.

 

n

 

106 From the highest planet in the material world down to the lowest, all are places of misery wherein repeated birth and death take place. But one who attains to My abode, O son of Kuntī, never takes birth again.
107  
81 108
82 8.19 109 8.19

 

n

 

83 Again and again the day comes, and this host of beings is active; and again the night falls, O Partha, and this host is helplessly dissolved.

 

n

 

110 Again and again the day comes, and this host of beings is active; and again the night falls, O Pārtha, and they are helplessly dissolved.
111  
84 112
85 8.20 113 8.20

 

n

 

86 There is another, eternal Nature, which is transcendental to this manifested and non-manifested matter. It is supreme and is never annihilated. When all in this world is annihilated, that part remains as it is.

 

n

 

114 Yet there is another nature, which is eternal and is transcendental to this manifested and unmanifested matter. It is supreme and is never annihilated. When all in this world is annihilated, that part remains as it is.
115  
87 116
88 9.2 117 9.2

 

n

 

89 This knowledge is the king of education, the most secret of all secrets. It is the purest knowledge, and because it gives direct perception of the self by realization, it is the perfection of religion. It is everlasting, and joyfully performed.

 

n

 

118 This knowledge is the king of education, the most secret of all secrets. It is the purest knowledge, and because it gives direct perception of the self by realization, it is the perfection of religion. It is everlasting, and it is joyfully performed.
119  
90 120
91 9.3 121 9.3

 

n

 

92 Those who are not faithful on the path of devotional service, O Killer of the enemies, cannot achieve Me. Therefore, they come back to birth and death in this material world.

 

n

 

122 Those who are not faithful on the path of devotional service cannot attain Me, O conqueror of foes, but return to birth and death in this material world.
123  
93 124
94 9.4 125 9.4

 

n

 

95 In My transcendental Form I pervade all this creation. All things are resting in Me, but I am not in them.

 

n

 

126 By Me, in My unmanifested form, this entire universe is pervaded. All beings are in Me, but I am not in them.
127  
96 128
97 9.10 129 9.10

 

n

 

98 This material Nature is working under My direction, O son of Kunti, producing all the moving and unmoving beings; and by its rule this manifestation is created and annihilated again and again.

 

n

 

130 This material nature is working under My direction, O son of Kuntī, and it is producing all moving and unmoving beings. By its rule this manifestation is created and annihilated again and again.
131  
99 132
100 9.11 133 9.11

 

n

 

101 The foolish mock at Me, at My descending like a human being. They do not know My transcendental Nature, and My Supreme dominion over all that be.

 

n

 

134 Fools deride Me when I descend in the human form. They do not know My transcendental nature and My supreme dominion over all that be.
135  
102 136
103 9.14 137 9.14

 

n

 

104 They are always engaged in chanting My glories. Endeavoring with great determination, offering homage unto Me, they worship Me with devotion.

 

n

 

138 Always chanting My glories, endeavoring with great determination, bowing down before Me, these great souls perpetually worship Me with devotion.
139  
105 140
106 9.22 141 9.22

 

n

 

107 But those who devote themselves steadfastly to Me, meditating on My transcendental Form, receive all bounties and securities from Me.

 

n

 

142 But those who worship Me with devotion, meditating on My transcendental form-to them I carry what they lack and preserve what they have.
143  
108 144
109 9.25 145 9.25

 

n

 

110 Those who worship the demigods will take birth among the demigods; those who worship ghosts and spirits will take birth among such beings, and those who worship Me will live with Me.

 

n

 

146 Those who worship the demigods will take birth among the demigods; those who worship ghosts and spirits will take birth among such beings; those who worship ancestors go to the ancestors; and those who worship Me will live with Me.
147  
111 148
112 9.29 149 9.29

 

n

 

113 No one is envied by Me, neither am I partial to anyone. I am equal to all; yet whoever renders service unto Me in devotion is a friend, is in Me; and I am a Friend to him.

 

n

 

150 I envy no one, nor am I partial to anyone. I am equal to all. But whoever renders service unto Me in devotion is a friend, is in Me, and I am also a friend to him.
151  
114 152
115 9.30 153 9.30

 

n

 

116 One who is engaged in devotional service, despite the most abominable action, is to be considered saintly because he is rightly situated.

 

n

 

154 Even if one commits the most abominable actions, if he is engaged in devotional service, he is to be considered saintly because he is properly situated.
155  
117 156
118 9.31 157 9.31

 

n

 

119 Very shortly does he become righteous, and attain to lasting peace. O son of Kunti, it is My promise that My devotee will never perish.

 

n

 

158 He quickly becomes righteous and attains lasting peace. O son of Kuntī, declare it boldly that My devotee never perishes.
159  
120 160
121 9.32 161 9.32

 

n

 

122 O son of Pritha, anyone who will take shelter in Me, whether a woman, or a merchant, or born in a low family, can yet approach the Supreme Destination.

 

n

 

162 O son of Pthā, those who take shelter in Me, though they be of lower birth—women, vaiśyas [merchants], as well as śūdras [workers]—can approach the supreme destination.
163  
123 164
124 10.8 165 10.8

 

n

 

125 I am the source of everything; from Me the entire creation flows. Knowing this, the wise worship Me with all their hearts.

 

n

 

166 I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who know this perfectly engage in My devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts.
167  
126 168
127 10.42 169 10.42

 

n

 

128 But what need is there, Arjuna, for all this detailed knowledge? With a single fragment of Myself I pervade and support these entire universes.

 

n

 

170 But what need is there, Arjuna, for all this detailed knowledge? With a single fragment of Myself I pervade and support this entire universe.
171  
129 172
130 12.5 173 12.5

 

n

 

131 For those whose minds are attached to the non-manifested, impersonal Feature of the Supreme, advancement is very troublesome. To make progress in that unmanifested discipline is always difficult for those who are embodied.

 

n

 

174 For those whose minds are attached to the unmanifested, impersonal feature of the Supreme, advancement is very troublesome. To make progrese in that discipline is always difficult for those who are embodied.
175  
132 176
133 13.3 177 13.3

 

n

 

134 Now please hear My brief description of this field of activity, and how it is constituted; what its changes are; whence it is produced; who that knower of the field of activities is, and what his influences are.

 

n

 

178 O scion of Bharata, you should understand that I am also the knower in all bodies, and to understand this body and its owner is called knowledge. That is My opinion.
179  
135 180
136 13.22 181 13.22

 

n

 

137 The living entity in material Nature thus follows the ways of life, enjoying the three modes of Nature. This is due to his association with that material Nature. And so he meets with good and evil among the various species.

 

n

 

182 The living entity in material nature thus follows the ways of life, enjoying the three modes of nature. This is due to his association with that material nature. Thus he meets with good and evil amongst various species.
183  
138 184
139 13.8-12 185 13.8-12

 

n

 

140 Humility, pricelessness, nonviolence, tolerance, simplicity, approaching a bona fide spiritual master, cleanliness, steadfastness, self-control, renunciation of the objects of sensegratification, being without false ego, alertness for the wrong, birth, death, old age and disease, detachment toward children, wisdom and wholesomeness, equilibrium of the mind and devotion to the service of the Lord, the aspiration to live in a solitary place, detachment from the general mass of people, accepting the importance of self-realization, philosophical search for the Absolute Truthall these are an aggregate called knowledge, and besides this, whatever there may be, is ignorance.

 

n

 

186 Humility, pridelessness, nonviolence, tolerance, simplicity, approaching a bona fide spiritual master, cleanliness, steadiness and self-control; renunciation of the objects of sense gratification, absence of false ego, the perception of the evil of birth, death, old age and disease; nonattachment to children, wife, home and the rest, and evenmindedness amid pleasant and unpleasant events; constant and unalloyed devotion to Me, resorting to solitary places, detachment from the general mass of people; accepting the importance of self-realization, and philosophical search for the Absolute Truthall these I thus declare to be knowledge, and what is contrary to these is ignorance.
187  
141 188
142 14.18 189 14.18

 

n

 

143 Those situated in the mode of goodness gradually go upward to the higher planets; those in the mode of passion live on earthlike planets; and those in ignorance go down to the hellish worlds.

 

n

 

190 Those situated in the mode of goodness gradually go upward to the higher planets; those in the mode of passion live on the earthly planets; and those in the mode of ignorance go down to the hellish worlds.
191  
144 192
145 14.26 193 14.26

 

n

 

146 One who is engaged in full devotional service, unfailing in all circumstances, at once transcends the modes of material Nature, and thus comes to the level of Brahman.

 

n

 

194 One who engages in full devotional service, who does not fall down in any circumstance, at once transcends the modes of material nature and thus comes to the level of Brahman.
195  
147 196
148 15.6 197 15.6

 

n

 

149 That Abode of Mine is not illumined by the sun or moon, nor by electricity. And anyone who reaches It never comes back to this material world.

 

n

 

198 That abode of Mine is not illumined by the sun or moon, nor by electricity. One who reaches it never returns to this material world.
199  
150 200
151 15.7 201 15.7

 

n

 

152 The living entities in this conditional world are My fragmental parts, and they are eternal. But due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.

 

n

 

202 The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal, fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.
203  
153 204
154 15.15 205 15.15

 

n

 

155 I am seated in everyone’s heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge, and forgetfulness. By all the Vedas I am to be known; and I am the Compiler of Vedanta; and I know Veda as it is.

 

n

 

206 I am seated in everyone’s heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. By all the Vedas am I to be known; indeed I am the compiler of Vedānta, and I am the knower of the Vedas.
207  
156 208
157 16.7 209 16.7

 

n

 

158 Those who are of demoniac quality do not know what is to be done and what is not to be done in propriety. They are unclean, neither do they know how to behave, nor is there any truth in them.

 

n

 

210 Those who are demoniac do not know what is to be done and what is not to be done. Neither cleanliness nor proper behavior nor truth is found in them.
211  
159 212
160 16.8 213 16.8

 

n

 

161 They say that this world is unreal, that there is neither any foundation, nor any God in control. It is produced of sex desire; and has no other cause than lust.

 

n

 

214 They say that this world is unreal, that there is no foundation and that there is no God in control. It is produced of sex desire, and has no cause other than lust.
215  
162 216
163 16.19 217 16.19

 

n

 

164 Envious, mischievous, the lowest of Mankind, these do I ever put back into the ocean of material existence, into various demoniac species of life.

 

n

 

218 Those who are envious and mischievous, who are the lowest among men, are cast by Me into the ocean of material existence, into various demoniac species of life.
219  
165 220
166 16.23 221 16.23

 

n

 

167 Anyone, therefore, who acts whimsically, without caring for the regulations of the scriptures, can never have perfection in his life, nor happiness, nor the Supreme destination.

 

n

 

222 But he who discards scriptural injunctions and acts according to his own whims attains neither perfection, nor happiness, nor the supreme destination.
223  
168 224
169 18.44 225 18.44

 

n

 

170 Farming, raising cattle, and business are the qualities of work for the Vaisyas, and for the Sudras there is labor and service to others.

 

n

 

226 Farming, cow protection and business are the qualities of work for the vaiśyas, and for the śūdras there is labor and service to others.
227  
171 228
172 18.46 229 18.46

 

n

 

173 By worship of the Lord, Who is the Source of all beings, all-pervading, man can become perfect, doing his work.

 

n

 

230 By worship of the Lord, who is the source of all beings and who is all-pervading, man can, in the performance of his own duty, attain perfection.
231  
174 232
175 18.54 233 18.54

 

n

 

176 One who is thus transcendentally situated at once realizes the Supreme Brahman. He never laments, or desires to have anything; he is equally disposed to every living entity. And in that state he achieves pure devotional service unto Me.

 

n

 

234 One who is thus transcendentally situated at once realizes the Supreme Brahman. He never laments nor desires to have anything; he is equally disposed toward every living entity. In that state he attains pure devotional service unto Me.
235  
177 236
178 18.65 237 18.65

 

n

 

179 Always think of Me. Become My devotee. Worship Me, and offer your homage unto Me. The result is that you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this, because you are My very dear friend.

 

n

 

238 Always think of Me and become My devotee. Worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend.
239  
180 240
181 18.66 241 18.66

 

n

 

182 Give up all varieties of religiousness, and just surrender unto Me; and in return I shall protect you from all sinful reactions. Therefore, you have nothing to fear.

 

n

 

242 Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.
243  
183 244
184 18.68 245 18.68

 

n

 

185 For anyone who explains this supreme secret to the devotees, devotional service is guaranteed, and at the end he will come back to Me.

 

n

 

246 For one who explains the supreme secret to the devotees, devotional service is guaranteed, and at the end he will come back to Me.
247  
186 248
187 18.73 249 18.73

 

t

 

188 Arjuna said: My dear Krishna, O Infallible One, my illusion is now gone. I have regained my memory by Your mercy, and now I am fixed without any doubt, prepared to act according to Your instructions.

 

t

 

250 Arjuna said, My dear Kṛṣṇa, O infallible one, my illusion is now gone. I have regained my memory by Your mercy, and I am now firm and free from doubt and am prepared to act according to Your instructions.
251  
189 252
190 253