A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, also known as Srila Prabhupada, (1 September 1896 – 14 November 1978) was a Gaudiya Vaishnava spiritual teacher and the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, commonly known as the Hare Krishna Movement.
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- Actually, it doesn't matter – Krishna or Christ – the name is the same. The main point is to follow the injunctions of the Vedic scriptures that recommend chanting the name of God in this age.
- In Kali-yuga vice increases to such a point that at the termination of the yuga the Supreme Lord Himself appears as the Kalki avatara, vanquishes the demons, saves His devotees, and commences another Satya-yuga.
- Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, Chapter 8: Attaining the Supreme, purport (1972)
- People are eating meat. As long as people eat meat, there will be war. And if a man eats meat, he will be sure to have illicit sex also.
- Prabhupada: Your Ever Well-Wisher, Satsvarupa dasa Goswami, p. 77. (2003)
- Materialistic people are sometimes called sudras, or descendants of monkeys, due to their monkey like intelligence. They do not care to know how the evolutionary process is taking place, nor are they eager to know what will happen after they finish their small human life span. This is the attitude of sudras. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s mission, this Krishna consciousness movement, is trying to elevate sudras to the brahmana platform so that they will know the real goal of life. Unfortunately, being overly attached to sense gratification, materialists are not serious in helping this movement. Instead, some of them try to suppress it. Thus it is the business of monkeys to disturb the activities of the brahmanas.
- Srimad Bhagavatam, Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, Canto 5, Chapter 14, verse 31. (1999)
- Following in the footsteps of Maharaja Pariksit, it is the duty of all executive heads of states to see that the principles of religion, namely austerity, cleanliness, mercy and truthfulness, are established in the state, and that the principles of irreligion, namely pride, illicit female association or prostitution, intoxication and falsity, are checked by all means.
- Gambling of all description, even speculative business enterprise, is considered to be degrading, and when gambling is encouraged in the state, there is a complete disappearance of truthfulness.
- If the state is regulated by the above process, naturally there will be God consciousness everywhere.
- Srimad Bhagavatam, Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, Canto 1, Chapter 17, verse 36. (1999)
- Basically we have not got hatred for anyone, but when one is demoniac or atheistic, we should try to avoid their company. A preacher’s business is to love God, to make friendship with devotees, to enlighten the innocent, and to avoid the demons. This principle we shall follow.
- Letter to Satsvarupa, San Francisco, (9 April 1968)
- The topmost devotee sees everything in Krishna, and Krishna in everything.
- Letter to Satsvarupa, San Francisco, (9 April 1968)
- Think of Krishna always and try to work sincerely, and everything will come automatically.
- For him who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends; but for one who has failed to do so, his mind will remain the greatest enemy.
- Bhagavad Gita (6.6)
- One can attain salvation simply by chanting the holy name of the Lord.
- Srimad Bhagvatam (1.18.7)
Quotes from Books: Loving God
- Love of God is not an ordinary commodity. Caitanya Mahāprabhu was worshiped by Rūpa Gosvāmī because He distributed love of God, kṛṣṇa-premā, to everyone. Rūpa Gosvāmī praised Him as mahā-vadānya, a greatly munificent personality, because He was freely distributing to everyone love of Godhead, which is achieved by wise men only after many, many births. Kṛṣṇa-premā, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is the highest gift which can be bestowed on anyone whom we presume to love.
- Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 3 chapter 23 verse 8, Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, (1972) Vanipedia
- When one's relationship with the Supreme Lord is established, the next program is to act in that relationship. This is called abhidheya, or activity in relationship with the Lord. After executing such prescribed duties, when one attains the highest goal of life, love of Godhead, he achieves prayojana-siddhi, or the fulfillment of his human mission.
- Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta Ādi-līlā 7.146, Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, (1975) Vanipedia]
- Although there is no difference between a devotee in śānta-rasa or dāsya-rasa, vātsalya-rasa or mādhurya-rasa, one can still make a comparative study of the intensity of love in these different transcendental positions. For example, it may be said that dāsya-rasa is better than śānta-rasa, yet transcendental love of God is there in both of them.
- Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta Madhya-līlā 8.83, Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1975. Vanipedia
Quotes from Books: Regression of Science
- Among all the luminaries shining in the sky, the sun is the chief, and in the Brahma-samhita the sun is accepted as the glowing eye of the Supreme Lord. There are fifty varieties of wind blowing in space, and of these winds the controlling deity, Marici, represents Krishna. Among the stars, the Moon is the most prominent at night, and thus the Moon represents Krishna. It appears from this verse that the Moon is one of the stars; therefore the stars that twinkle in the sky also reflect the light of the sun. The theory that there are many suns within the universe is not accepted by Vedic literature. The sun is one, and as by the reflection of the sun the Moon illuminates, so also do the stars. Since Bhagavad-gita indicates herein that the Moon is one of the stars, the twinkling stars are not suns but are similar to the Moon.
- Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1972. Chapter 10, verse 21, purport. Vedabase
- The Moon is also on the level with the heavenly planets, and only persons who have performed virtues only — performing sacrifices, giving charity and undergoing severe austerities — can be allowed to enter into the heavenly planets after the duration of life of the body. Arjuna was allowed to enter into the heavenly planets in the selfsame body simply by the grace of the Lord, otherwise it is not possible to do so. The present attempts to enter into the heavenly planets by the modern scientists will certainly prove futile because such scientists are not on the level of Arjuna. They are ordinary human beings, without any assets of sacrifice, charity or austerities.
- Srimad Bhagavatam, Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1999. Canto 1, Chapter 15, verse 12, purport. Vedabase
- The gross materialists do not believe in the existence of God or the demigods. Nor do they believe that different planets are dominated by different demigods. They are creating a great commotion about reaching the closest celestial body, Candraloka, or the Moon, but even after much mechanical research they have only very scanty information of this Moon, and in spite of much false advertisement for selling land on the Moon, the puffed-up scientists or gross materialists cannot live there, and what to speak of reaching the other planets, which they are unable even to count.
- Srimad Bhagavatam, Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1999. Canto 2, Chapter 3, verse 11, purport. Vedabase
- The floating of the planets in the weightless air is due to the inner constitution of the globes, and the modernized drilling of the earth to exploit oil from within is a sort of disturbance by the modern demons and can result in a greatly harmful reaction to the floating condition of the earth.
- Srimad Bhagavatam, Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1999. Canto 2, Chapter 7, verse 1, purport. Vedabase
- Modern scientists and astronomers try to explain the cosmic situation and the vastness of space, and some of them believe that all the glittering stars are different suns. From Bhagavad-gita, however, we understand that all these stars (naksatras) are like the Moon, in that they reflect the sunshine [BG 15.12]. They are not independent luminaries.
- Srimad Bhagavatam, Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1999. Canto 5, Chapter 16, verse 4, purport. Vedabase
- How the Ganges water reaches the various planets from the top of the universe is explained herein. Celestial airplanes carry the water from the planets of the sages to other planets. So-called advanced scientists of the modern age are trying to go to the higher planets, but at the same time they are experiencing a power shortage on earth. If they were actually capable scientists, they could personally go by airplane to other planets, but this they are unable to do. Having now given up their Moon excursions, they are attempting to go to other planets, but without success.
- Srimad Bhagavatam, Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1999. Canto 5, Chapter 17, verse 4, purport. Vedabase
- According to the description of this verse, the hundreds and thousands of stars and the great planets such as the sun, the Moon, Venus, Mercury, Mars and Jupiter are not clustered together because of the law of gravity or any similar idea of the modern scientists. These planets and stars are all servants of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Govinda or Krishna, and according to His order they sit in their chariots and travel in their respective orbits.
- Srimad Bhagavatam, Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1999. Canto 5, Chapter 23, verse 3, purport. Vedabase
- Although Rahu attempts to attack both the sun and the Moon, they are protected by Lord Visnu. Being very afraid of Lord Visnu’s cakra, Rahu cannot stay in front of the sun or Moon for more than a muhurta (forty-eight minutes). The phenomenon that occurs when Rahu blocks the light of the sun or Moon is called an eclipse. The attempt of the scientists of this earth to go to the Moon is as demoniac as Rahu’s attack. Of course, their attempts will be failures because no one can enter the Moon or sun so easily. Like the attack of Rahu, such attempts will certainly be failures.
- Srimad Bhagavatam, Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1999. Canto 5, Chapter 24, verse 3, purport. Vedabase
- It is understood from this verse that the predominating deity of the Moon is the maintainer of all the trees and plants throughout the universe. It is due to the moonshine that trees and plants grow very luxuriantly. Therefore how can we accept the so-called scientists whose Moon expeditions have informed us that there are no trees or vegetation on the Moon? Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says, somo vrksadhisthata sa eva vrksanam raja: Soma, the predominating deity of the Moon, is the king of all vegetation. How can we believe that the maintainer of vegetation has no vegetation on his own planet?
- Srimad Bhagavatam, Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1999. Canto 6, Chapter 4, verse 6, purport. Vedabase
- The word garuda in this verse indicates that there are planets of great birds like Garuda. Similarly, the word uraga indicates that there are planets of enormous serpents. Such a description of the various planets of the universe may challenge modern scientists who think that all planets but this earth are vacant. These scientists claim to have launched excursions to the Moon, where they have found no living entities but only big craters full of dust and stone, although in fact the Moon is so brilliant that it acts like the sun in illuminating the entire universe. Of course, it is not possible to convince modern scientists of the Vedic information about the universe. Nonetheless, we are not very much impressed by the words of scientists who say that all other planets are vacant and that only the earth is full of living entities.
- Srimad Bhagavatam, Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1999. Canto 7, Chapter 4, verse 5-7, purport. Vedabase
- Modern scientists attempt excursions to other planets, but they have no information of how many different types of oceans and seas there are within the universe. According to their experience, the Moon is full of dust, but this does not explain how it gives us soothing rays from a distance of millions of miles. As far as we are concerned, we follow the authority of Vyasadeva and Sukadeva Gosvami, who have described the universal situation according to the Vedic literature. These authorities differ from modern scientists who conclude from their imperfect sensual experience that only this planet is inhabited by living beings whereas the other planets are all vacant or full of dust.
- Srimad Bhagavatam, Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1999. Canto 7, Chapter 4, verse 15, purport. Vedabase
- Modern scientists and so-called scholars think that there are no living entities on planets other than this one. Recently they have said that they have gone to the Moon but did not find any living entities there. But Srimad-Bhagavatam and the other Vedic literatures do not agree with this foolish conception.
- Srimad Bhagavatam, Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1999. Canto 7, Chapter 14, verse 36, purport. Vedabase
Quotes from Books: Violence and Dictatorship
- Following in the footsteps of Maharaja Pariksit, it is the duty of all executive heads of states to see that the principles of religion, namely austerity, cleanliness, mercy and truthfulness, are established in the state, and that the principles of irreligion, namely pride, illicit female association or prostitution, intoxication and falsity, are checked by all means. And to make the best use of a bad bargain, the personality of Kali may be transferred to places of gambling, drinking, prostitution and slaughterhouses, if there are any places like that. Those who are addicted to these irreligious habits may be regulated by the injunctions of the scripture. In no circumstances should they be encouraged by any state. In other words, the state should categorically stop all sorts of gambling, drinking, prostitution and falsity. The state which wants to eradicate corruption by majority may introduce the principles of religion in the following manner: Two compulsory fasting days in a month, if not more (austerity). Even from the economic point of view, such two fasting days in a month in the state will save tons of food, and the system will also act very favorably on the general health of the citizens.
- The citizens of the state must give in charity up to fifty percent of their income for the purpose of creating a spiritual atmosphere in the state or in human society, both individually and collectively. They should preach the principles of Bhagavatam by (a) karma-yoga, or doing everything for the satisfaction of the Lord, (b) regular hearing of the Srimad-Bhagavatam from authorized persons or realized souls, (c) chanting of the glories of the Lord congregationally at home or at places of worship, (d) rendering all kinds of service to bhagavatas engaged in preaching srimad-Bhagavatam and (e) residing in a place where the atmosphere is saturated with God consciousness. If the state is regulated by the above process, naturally there will be God consciousness everywhere... Gambling of all description, even speculative business enterprise, is considered to be degrading, and when gambling is encouraged in the state, there is a complete disappearance of truthfulness... licensing animal slaughterhouses of all description should be at once prohibited. The flesh-eaters may be allowed to take flesh as mentioned in the scriptures, and not otherwise. Intoxication of all description-even smoking cigarettes, chewing tobacco or the drinking of tea-must be prohibited.
- Srimad Bhagavatam, Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1999. Canto 1, Chapter 17, verse 36, purport. Vedabase
Teachings of Lord Chaitanya - Prabhupada, (1968)
- The moon was eclipsed at the time of His birth, and the people of Nadia were then engaged, as is usual on such occasions, in bathing in the Bhagirathi with loud cheers of Haribol... Mahaprabhu was a beautiful child and the ladies of the town came to see Him with presents. His mother's father, Pundit Nilambar Chakravarti, a renowned astrologer, foretold that the child would be a great personage in time... The ladies of the neighborhood styled Him Gour Hari on account of His golden complexion, and His mother called Him Nimai on account of the nimba tree near which He was born. Beautiful as the lad was, everyone heartily loved to see Him every day.
- It is said that when He was an infant in His mother's arms, He wept continually, and when the neighboring ladies and His mother cried Haribol! He used to stop. Thus there was a continuation of the utterance of Haribol in the house, foreshowing the future mission of the hero.
- It is said that a brahmin on pilgrimage became a guest in His house, and cooked his food and read his grace with meditation on Krishna. In the meantime, the lad came and ate up the cooked rice. The brahmin, astonished at the lad's act, cooked again at the request of Jagannatha Misra. The lad again ate up the cooked rice while the brahmin was offering the rice to Krishna in meditation. The brahmin was persuaded to cook for a third time. This time all the inmates of the house had fallen asleep, and the lad showed Himself as Krishna to the traveler, and blessed him. The brahmin was then lost in ecstasy at the appearance of the object of His worship.
- While the Lord was going, chanting and dancing, thousands of people were following Him and some of them were crying, some were laughing, some were dancing, and some singing. Some of them were falling on the ground, offering obeisances to the Lord. And all of them were roaring with the holy name of Krishna, Krishna.... The Lord was dancing, raising His two hands, and roaring with the words, “Haribol! Haribol!”
Quotes from other Sources
- We are not teaching some ritualistic process, that "You become Hindu. You become Christian. You become Muhammadan." We are simply teaching, "You try to love God. You have forgotten God. You have declared, 'God is dead.' These are all nonsense. God is there. You are here. You are suffering because you have forgotten God. You try to love God. Your normal life will come back. You will be happy." This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.
- Lecture on Bhagavad-gītā 4.7-10 - Los Angeles, (6 January 1969) Vanipedia
- The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is completely scientific... When I was registering this association in New York, some friend suggested that "Why you are giving this name 'Kṛṣṇa'? Why not put the name 'God,' 'God consciousness'?" Then "Yes, I can give the name 'God consciousness.' Then it will be confused." Because we want to preach Bhagavad-gītā as it is. That is Kṛṣṇa's speaking. And we are trying to place this Kṛṣṇa's teachings to the world. And not only that, Bhagavān, God, means Kṛṣṇa. And if I give the name of "God" instead of "Kṛṣṇa," they will bring forth so many competition of Kṛṣṇa. That is not our purpose. Kṛṣṇa means God. If God has any perfect name, that is "Kṛṣṇa." Because "Kṛṣṇa" means all-attractive. God cannot be attractive for certain person. God cannot be Christian God or a Hindu God or Muslim God. God is equally attractive for Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Buddha. That is real God. And if Hindu has manufactured some God, Christian has manufactured some God, that may be God partially, but not the Supreme God. The Supreme God is Kṛṣṇa. Īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ [Bs. 5.1]. Parama means supreme. God... You are also god, I am also god, and every one of us, god. Why? God means controller. So controller, every one of us is a controller to certain extent, not the complete controller. But Kṛṣṇa means the complete controller.
Quotes from other Sources: Loving God
- Serving means developing love. So unless you develop your love for God you cannot serve Him. Anywhere. Whenever you give some service, it is based on love. Just like mother giving service to the helpless child. Why? Love. So similarly, our life will be perfect when our love is perfect with the perfect Supreme Personality of Godhead. Then it is all right.
- Lecture - Seattle, (30 September 1968)
- That is taught by Caitanya Mahāprabhu, that "Whatever You do . . . "Either You trample Me under Your feet or You embrace Me . . . whatever You like. You make Me brokenhearted by not seeing You—that doesn't matter. Still You are My worshipable Lord." That is love. "From God's side, He may do whatever He likes. I don't want anything in exchange." That is love. That sort of love Kṛṣṇa wants. Therefore He was so much fond of the gopīs. In the gopīs' love there was no question of business propaganda—"Give me this, then I love You." (chuckles) No. That is pure love. That is unalloyed love. Ahaituky apratihatā. Apratihatā means without being checked. No impediment. If you want to love God, there is nothing throughout the whole world which can check you. Simply you have to develop your eagerness: "Kṛṣṇa, I want You." That's all. Then there is no question of checking. In any condition, you'll increase your love, increase your love.
- Lecture ISO 01 - Los Angeles, (3 May 1970)
- Just like Lord Jesus Christ. He never advised to, for economic development, for industrial development, or this and that. So many things. He sacrificed everything for God. That is one test, that "Here is a lover of God." He was punished that "You, you stop this preaching," but he did not. So that is love of God. He sacrificed everything. That is love of God. So the ideal is Lord Jesus Christ, and the follower must be, at least to some extent, to that point. That is test. So we say that you follow any religious path. That doesn't matter. We want to see whether you are lover of God. That is our propaganda. And if one is serious about loving God, it doesn't matter in which way he'll develop that dormant love.
- Conversation - London, (14 August 1971)
- Those who are yogis, bhakta-yogis, because they are in love with God, Kṛṣṇa, they are seeing every moment within their heart the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Anyone you love, you see always within your heart. Similarly, if you have love for God, Kṛṣṇa, then you can see Kṛṣṇa always. That is called yoga system.
- Lecture on The Nectar of Devotion - Bombay, December 27, 1972. Vanipedia
Lecture on Bhagavad-gita, Chapter 7, verse 18; New York; (12 October 1966)
- Now, this research work about the science of God has to be prosecuted for several births after births... God realization, it is very easy, but at the same time, it is very difficult. Easy for them who accept it as truth, and those who are trying to understand by dint of his knowledge, advancement of knowledge, he has to create his faith after he finishes his research work. Then that takes many, many births.
- Just like from a distant place, if you see one mountain, you'll see just like something cloudy. If you advance more, the same mountain you'll see something green. And if you enter into that mountain, you'll find so many varieties, so many trees, so many animals. So objective is the same. But under different angles of vision, from distance, different people have got different conception of the Absolute Truth.
- You can enter into the sun planet provided you have got the qualification. So in the sunshine, or in the sun disc or in the sun planet, they are in the sun, but there are degrees. One who is in the sunshine, he cannot claim that "I am in the sun planet." He cannot claim that. So one who is in the sun planet, he is better situated than one who is in the sunshine.
- We understand in the sun planet also there are varieties of living entities, but their bodies are made of fire. As our body is made of earth, similarly, their bodies are made of fire. There are five elements in the material nature: earth, water, fire, air, and ether. So in different planets, there are different atmospheres and different bodies also. Don't think that each and every planet of the same quality. No. Same quality in the sense because these five elements are present there. Without these five elements, no material thing exists. So somewhere the fire is prominent. Somewhere the air is prominent. Somewhere water is prominent. Somewhere earth is prominent. So in this planet, or in some other earthly planet, earth is predominant. Similarly, there are other planets also. So don't think that other planets are vacant. No.
- Just like modern scientists. They are calculating that the Moon is full of dust, but according to Vedic literature Moon is not full of dust. There are also higher living entities. And from…, from your practical reason also, you can just understand that a lump of dust cannot be so brilliant so that it is illuminating the whole earth. It is not possible. Anyway, let the scientists go on with their own research work. So far we have got information from Vedic literature, all the planets — sun planet, Moon planet, Venus — they are all full of living entities, and they have got different types of body.
- Over 50 years ago, Bengali spiritual leader Swami Prabhupada founded the Krishna Consciousness society. Adapting Vaishnava Hindu traditions, the late guru focused his teachings on one supreme god, Krishna, and one ultimate goal, reaching the infinite bliss of Golok, Krishna's paradise.
- For LA's Hare Krishnas, The Way To God's Heart — And Yours — Is Through The Stomach, LAist, Southern California Public Radio (SCPR), Krishna Narayanamurti, (2 October 2019)
- Visakha has compiled an arsenal of passages and quotes over the years from Prabhupada’s writings and lectures, which includes his now infamous response to an inquiry about female gurus in 1976: “She can become guru.”
- But for every quote that Visakha offers, her critics have a counteracting one, either from Vedic scripture or Prabhupada himself. Prabhupada repeatedly emphasized the importance of gender roles, and the notion that young women needed to be protected in ways that young men didn’t.
- In 1972, Prabhupada wrote to a female disciple: “You are married and your husband is striving to become a devotee of KRSNA, so you become his devotee, that is the position of husband and wife … the wife will take benefit and advance in spiritual life by serving her husband.”
- Early in Visakha’s book she quotes Prabhupada, one of the first times she encountered him. He says: “Simply by arguing and reasoning you cannot make spiritual advancement … you cannot understand the absolute truth by argument, by material dealings.”
- Krishna devotee Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada founded ISKCON in New York in 1966, leading to waves of westerners clad in saffron and with shaved heads chanting and marching down streets of cities in Europe, North America and Australia. George Harrison recorded the popular song My Sweet Lord about Krishna, and helped spread Krishna’s appeal.
- The foundation of Akshaya Patra based on spiritual leader Swami Prabhupada's principle of no child going hungry has taken upon itself the responsibility of providing food to children in schools across different regions of the country.
- The man who spearheaded the Hare Krishna empire, Prabhupada, espoused some very controversial views that would likely upset, and even outrage, those who are otherwise sympathetic to spiritual endeavors and theology...Even if some of his comments were taken out of context (as his defenders and apologists sometimes assert), the sheer volume and magnitude of his immense bigotry cannot be ignored nor sugar-coated. Part of Prabhupada's hatred of blacks stemmed from his deep-seated Hindu beliefs that dark-skinned peoples represent the very bottom of the hierarchy of the human race -- a direct reflection of India's ancient color-based caste system.
- Prabhupada also had some choice words about the Jews. During another conversation with Ramesvara, Prabhupada alleged that Hitler killed the Jews in Germany because banks in the United States and Western Europe (allegedly controlled by Jews) were helping to finance Vladimir Lenin and the Communist revolution in Russia and elsewhere.
- But Steve Goldsmith was shaking his head. Prabhupada looked at him, smiling: "There is still a problem?" "It's just that... well, it's been proved dangerous to repress the sex drive. There's a theory that we have wars because . . ." "People are eating meat," Prabhupada interrupted. "As long as people eat meat, there will be war. And if a man eats meat, he will be sure to have illicit sex also."
- Prabhupada: Your Ever Well-Wisher, Satsvarupa dasa Goswami, 2003. p. 77.