The News Agency of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness


I will recite one story in this connection, that one brāhmaṇa in South India, in Raṅganātha temple, he was reading Bhagavad-gītā. And he was illiterate. He did not know neither Sanskrit nor any letter, illiterate. So the people, neighborhood, they knew that "This man is illiterate, and he is reading Bhagavad-gītā." He is opening the Bhagavad-gītā, "Uh, uh," like that he was.

So somebody was joking, "Well, brāhmaṇa, how you are reading Bhagavad-gītā?" He could understand that "This man is joking because I am illiterate."

So in this way, Caitanya Mahāprabhu also happened to be that day in the Raṅganātha temple, and He could understand that "Here is a devotee." So He approached him and He asked, "My dear brāhmaṇa, what you are reading?" So he could also understand that "This man is not joking."

So he said, "Sir, I am reading Bhagavad-gītā. I am trying to read Bhagavad-gītā, but I am illiterate. So my Guru Mahārāja said that 'You must read eighteen chapters daily.' So I have no knowledge. I cannot read. Still, Guru Mahārāja said, so I am just trying to carry out his order and opening the pages, and that's all. I do not know how to read it."

Caitanya Mahāprabhu said that "You are crying sometimes, I see."

Then, "Yes, I am crying."

"How you are crying if you cannot read?"

"No, because when I take this Bhagavad-gītā book, I see one picture, that Kṛṣṇa is so kind that He has taken the chariot driver, sārathi, of Arjuna. He is His devotee. So Śrī Kṛṣṇa is so kind that He can accept the position of a servant because Arjuna was ordering, 'Keep my chariot here,' and Kṛṣṇa was serving him. So Kṛṣṇa is so kind. So when I see this picture within my mind, I am crying."

So Caitanya Mahāprabhu immediately embraced him, that "You are reading Bhagavad-gītā. Without any education, you are reading Bhagavad-gītā." He embraced him.

So this is... How he was seeing the picture? Because he was a lover of Kṛṣṇa, it doesn't matter, he could read these ślokas or not. But he was absorbed in love of Kṛṣṇa and he was seeing, Kṛṣṇa was sitting there, and He was driving the chariot of Arjuna. This is required.

His name was Gopāla Banh. Gopāla Banh ...And there was a king, Kṛṣṇacandra.

So the kings would relax by joking words by the jokers. That was system formerly. So Gopāla Banh was constructing a house. So the king advised another friend that: "If you go to his new house and evacuate..." Because the house is not yet opened, not yet established, "Then I'll give you one thousand rupees."

So this man said: "Yes, I'll go and do it." So he was, he came to Gopāla Banh's house and began to say: "Gopāla Banh! Oh! I am called by nature. Kindly show me where is your privy. I have to pass."

So he could understand that: "Why this man has come here to evacuate?" So he: "Yes, yes. Come in, come in, come in." So he opened the new lavatory and brought a big stick.

So he said: "Why you have brought the stick?" So he said: "Yes, you can pass, you can pass stool, but if you urine one drop, I'll kill you."

So "How it is possible?"

"If it is not possible, I cannot allow."

So these, these foolish scientific men, "You can speak, but if you use microphone, then I'll kill you." Yes. The Gopāla Banh's policy. They would not say: "Not allow." But in a different way.

Yes, there is a nice story in this connection. There was one Gopal Ban. So he was very cunning fellow. In the Muhammadan period in Bengal.

So the Mohammedan Nawab asked him, "Gopal Ban, can you prepare a Mahābhārata in my name?"

"Oh, yes!" So, "I'll engage so many paṇḍitas, and they will make a Mahābhārata, your activities, your glories, everything. So give me one hundred thousand rupees, just begin."

He was taking money, taking money, "Yes, it is going on, going on."

"Then when it will be published?"

"Yes, just last few days more. Now, sir, everything is prepared. So the one thing is, you have to give me information how many husbands you have got, your wife, huh? How many husbands your wife has got?"

That is very insulting. "What, you nonsense, you take."

"No, that is the main feature of Mahābhārata. Draupadī had five husbands, so how many husbands your wife has got? Tell me that."

Then, "No, no, I don't want that. I am the only husband."

"Then how can you write Mahābhārata?" (laughter)

"I don't want."

"All right. If you want Mahābhārata you must tell how many your wife has got husbands." That he cannot say. So Mahābhārata finished.

At a recent meeting of the Religion Communicator's Council (RCC), Anuttama Dasa -- RCC's Vice President and ISKCON News Weekly senior editorial advisor -- spent some time chatting with his colleague Shirley Paulson, a Christian Scientist. In the conversation, recorded for webzine Spirituality and Christianity, Anuttama explores how his Krishna consciousness informs the way he looks at the world and interacts with others.

There is a very nice story. I have several times perhaps recited that one morning... In the western countries also fair takes place, some in county, some village place. So in India there are weekly bazaar which is called hatta. So at that time the salesmen with their goods, commodities, they assemble and many purchase are..., just like in market place. So there was a market, weekly market, and thousands of people assembled there.

So one old lady of that village, she began to cry. Then her elderly son inquired, "Mother, why you are crying?"

"No, where shall I accommodate all these people to lie down in the, at night? There are so many people in this village, and how I shall accommodate?"

The son began to laugh. "My dear mother, you don't bother. It will be all arranged."

"No, my dear son, I am very much perplexed." So she began to cry.

So in the evening the son called the mother, "Mother, now you see in the marketplace."

She saw, "Oh, where are all those people gone? Huh?"

So there is arrangement. All those thousands of people assembled in the market, they have got their sleeping place. They have got their eating place. So by arrangement. There is arrangement. Similarly, there may be millions and millions of living entities; God has arrangement.


ceto-darpana-marjanam bhava-maha--davagni-nirvapanam

sreyah-kairava-candrika-vitaranam vidya-vadhu-jivanam

anandambudhi-vardhanam prati-padam purnamrtasvadanam

sarvatma-snapanam param vijayate sri-krsna-sankirtanam

All glories to the chanting of Sri Krishna’s Holy Names!,

Which easily extinguishes samsara’s blazing flames

By polishing the lust-encrusted mirror of the heart.

That chanting is the waxing moon that knows the secret art

Of causing the white lotus of good fortune to unfurl

Its petals far and wide throughout this bleak and blighted world.

Of transcendental knowledge, which will take us to life’s goal,

The chanting of the name of Krishna is the life and soul.

The ocean of ecstatic bliss floods far beyond its bounds

Wherever Krishna’s merciful and mystic Name resounds.

Indeed, whenever Krishna’s Names are sung in congregation,

At every step one tastes a joy that knows no limitation.

So hear with great attention as I earnestly proclaim,

Just bathe your consciousness by chanting Krishna’s Holy Name!

By transcendental potency that Name will surely bless

You with pure love for Krishna and the end of all distress.


namnam akari bahudha nija-sarva-saktis

tatrarpita niyamitah smarane na kalah

etadrsi tava krpa bhagavan mamapi

durdaivam idrsam ihajani nanuragah

“Krishna,” “Govinda,” and “Keshava,” too—

Your Names have no end, and in each of them You

Have invested Your potencies, leaving none out.

Whenever we want, we can chant them without

The slightest restriction of time or of place.

O Lord, who can fathom Your infinite grace?

Yet I am so wretched, devoid of all shame,

That I haven’t developed a taste for Your Name.


trnad api sunicena

taror api sahisnuna

amanina manadena

kirtaniyah sada harih

More humble than a blade of grass, more tol’rant than a tree,

To think “All praise belongs to others, none belongs to me—”

These qualities attract the Lord to bless one with the power

To chant His Name incessantly until the final hour.


na dhanam na janam na sundarim

kavitam va jagad-isa kamaye

mama janmani janmanisvare

bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki tvayi

Wealth and women, followers, the fruits of mundane piety,

Liberation from this world of limitless anxiety—

For Me, O Lord, such common goals have not the slightest worth:

Let Me serve You purely now and in each future birth.


ayi nanda-tanuja kinkaram

patitam mam visame bhavambudhau

krpaya tava pada-pankaja-

sthita-dhuli-sadrsam vicintaya

Your servant for eternity, I lost My true identity

And fell into this horrid sea of birth and death, O Lord.

O Nanda’s son, please hear My plea: By Your sweet grace consider Me

A speck of dust upon Your lotus feet forevermore.


nayanam galad-asru-dharaya

vadanam gadgada-ruddhaya gira

pulakair nicitam vapuh kada

tava nama-grahane bhavisyati

Tears streaming from My eyes, My voice choked with bliss,

The hairs upon My body standing up in happiness—

When will all these signs of rapture decorate My limbs

As I chant your Holy Name, the monarch of all hymns?


yugayitam nimesena

caksusa pravrsayitam

sunyayitam jagat sarvam

govinda-virahena me

Every moment drags on for a million years or more;

From the rain clouds of My eyes the tears in torrents pour;

This whole creation’s nothing but a vast and joyless void—

O Govinda! By Your absence I am being destroyed!


aslisya va pada-ratam pinastu mam

adarsanan marma-hatam karotu va

yatha tatha va vidadhatu lampato

mat-prana-nathas tu sa eva naparah

Let Madhava embrace this maid who’s fallen at His feet,

Or let Him trample Me, or My most ardent hopes defeat

By never giving Me a chance to see Him anywhere,

Thus shattering My heart and plunging Me into despair.

You see, He is a reckless libertine and not a saint;

So let Him act in any way He likes, without restraint.

Yet though His cruel and crooked ways may cause Me constant woe,

Krishna is the only Lord My heart shall ever know.

[Benediction verse by Srila Krishnadasa Kavirija (Cc Antya 20.65)]

prabhura 'siksastaka'-sloka yei pade, sune

krsne prema-bhakti tara bade dine-dine

These eight essential verses Lord Caitanya wrote to teach

The practice and the goal of chanting Krishna’s Holy Name.

Day by day, whoever chants or hears this hymn will reach

A little closer to perfection, spotless Krishna-prem.

The demons cannot understand that the God can be a person. That is demoniac. They cannot... Because they cannot understand, the difficulty is a demon tries to understand God, comparing with himself.

Dr. Frog, that the story of Dr. Frog. Dr. Frog is trying to understand Atlantic Ocean comparing with his three-feet well, that's all. When he is informed that there is Atlantic Ocean, he's simply comparing with his limited space. It may be four feet, or it may be five feet, it may be ten feet, because he is within the three feet. His friend informed, "Oh, I have seen a reservoir of water, vast water." So that vastness, he is just conjecturing, "How much the vastness may be? My well is three feet, it may be four feet, five feet," now he is going on. But he may go on millions of millions of feet it is still it is greater. That is another thing. Therefore, atheistic persons, demons, they think in their own way that God, Krishna may be like this, Krishna may be like this, Krishna may be like this. Generally they think that Krishna are I. How they say? Krishna is not great. They do not believe that God is great. He thinks that God is as good as I am, I am also God. This is demonic.

So today is the disappearance day of my Guru Mahārāja. As I told you that sādhavo jīva vā mara vā. There was a nice story the other day I told you that a sage is giving different kinds of blessings to different types of persons.

So to a king's son, a prince, he blessed, rāja-putra ciraṁ jīva: "You are a king's son, a prince. You live forever." And muni-putra, the son of a saintly person, he blessed him, mā jīva mā jīva: "You don't live." Rāja-putra ciraṁ muni-putra mā jīva. And sādhu, devotees, he blessed him, jīva vā mara vā: "Either you live or you die, as you like." And there was a butcher, he blessed him, mā jīva mā mara: "You don't die, don't live." So these words are very significant. That I have already explained, still I am explaining. A prince, he's enjoying sense, that's all. He has got enough facility for sense enjoyment. So his next life is hellish.

Because if you indulge in sex life, then Kṛṣṇa will give you facility to have sex life three times in an hour, just like the pigeons, the monkeys, the sparrows, they are very sexually strong. You have seen it. So the facility is given. So princely order, they are after sense enjoyment. So he's blessed that "Better you live forever, because after your death, you do not know what is going to happen to you. You are going to get a hellish life. Better you live for some time. Go on with your enjoyment."

And muni-putra mā jīva. Brahmacārī, working under the guidance under strict disciplinary guidance, of a spiritual master, he is blessed, mā jīva, "You better die. Because you are so trained to enter into the kingdom of God, so why should you take so much trouble? Better you die and go back to Godhead." Ma jīva. And a devotee he blessed, jīva va maro va: "My dear devotee, either you live or die, the same thing."

And the butcher, he blessed him, ma jīva ma mara: "You don't live, don't die." What he's to do? His living condition is so abominable. From the morning, he has to slaughter so many animals, see the bloodstain, the ghastly scene. That is his livelihood. So what a horrible life this is. So "Don't live. And don't die also." Because after death, oh, he is going to be in so much hellish condition, nobody can describe. So both lives, living condition and death, after death, his condition is very horrible.

Anyway, apart from others, the devotee, for him, appearance and disappearance the same thing.

So Krishna is never diminished.

There is a little story, very interesting. So one poor boy, he was student in a school, and the teacher's annual ceremony of father's death would be held. So he requested all his student, "What you will give me, contribution?" Formerly the teacher was not taking any salary. But whatever he wanted, the students will bring either from parents' house or by begging. That was the system. The teacher would not charge anything. A brahmana cannot be..., charge anything.

Generally, the brahmanas were teachers. That is one of the profession of the brahmana. Everyone must have livelihood. So brahmana livelihood is pathana pathana. He must become a learned scholar, and he will make others also learned scholar. That is brahmana's business. Pathana pathana yajana yajana dana pratigrahah. Shat-karma. Six kinds of profession for the brahmanas.

And kshatriya's profession is to give protection to the citizen and levy some tax, twenty-five percent, not more than that. Whatever is income your, give twenty-five percent to the kshatriya king. That's all. That includes sales tax, this tax, that tax, so many tax, income tax. All finished. You give twenty-five percent. And if you have no income, no tax. Not like that even you have no income, "No, last year you gave so much tax. You must give it. Otherwise your property will be sold." Not like that. So that is kshatriya's income.

Similarly, vaisya's income, krishi-go-rakshya-vanijyam [Bg. 18.44], agriculture, cow protection, and if there is excess foodstuff, then he can sell, make trade. And sudras, they will simply help.

So this teacher, the original story, the teacher asked the student for... Somebody said, "I will contribute this cloth," somebody said, "I'll rice," somebody said something, something, something. There was one poor student, he had no means. He was very poor. So when he was asked, so he replied that "I cannot say anything without asking my mother."

"All right, you ask your mother and tell me tomorrow."

So he asked, "My dear mother, all my class friend has promised the teacher to contribute this, that, this, that. So my turn is there. What shall I promise?" The mother said, "My dear son, we are so poor, we cannot give anything. But if Krishna gives, He is dina-bandhu, the friend of the poor. So if He gives something to you, you can promise."

"Oh, where is Krishna? What is His name?"

"Now, His name is Dinabandhu, friend of the poor."

"Where He is?"

"I understand that He is in the forest."

So he went to the forest and called, "Dinabandhu brother, Dinabandhu brother, where You?" He began to cry. So Krishna came. When a devotee is very much eager to see Him, Krishna comes. He very is kind.

So "Why you are asking?"

"My mother... You are Dinabandhu?"


"So this is my condition, sir. What can I promise?"

So He said that "You promise that you will supply yogurt, dahi. You will supply dahi."

So he was very much satisfied. And he came to the teacher that "My Dinabandhu brother, dada, He will supply dahi, or yogurt, for whatever you require."

"Oh, that's nice. Very good."

So on the day of ceremony, so he went to the forest again and called Dinabandhu dada, and He gave him a small pot of dahi, yogurt, a small pot. Oh, he was a child. He did not know. And the..., he brought it to the teacher, "Now, this is my contribution. My Dinabandhu brother has given. So you take."

"The hundreds and thousands of people will be given foodstuff and this much dahi?" He became very angry. He became angry, he did not care, and the pot fell down, and the yogurt also fell down.

But after some time, when he came, he saw that although the yogurt has fallen down, the pot is full. Then he again dropped it; again it is full. He dropped it; again it is full. Then he could understand it is spiritual. Purnasya purnam adaya purnam eva avasishyate. You take the whole thing; still, the whole thing is there.

That is Krishna. Not that because you have taken something, one minus one equal to zero. No. In the spiritual world, one minus one equal to one. And one plus one equal to one. That is called advaya-jnana. There is no duality. Plus and minus, they are two things. But in the spiritual world, either plus or minus, the same. That is to be understood. That is called Absolute, advaya-jnana.

This radio show was featured on National Public Radio on the 28th of May 2008.

There's not much traffic on First Avenue in lower Manhattan at 5:15 a.m. But in the building between a darkened tattoo shop and electronic store, a light shines bright from the second floor.

Inside is the New York City headquarters of the Interfaith League, a Hare Krishna group. A visitor is greeted with a blast of sights and sounds: Thirteen men and one woman are twirling and dancing, playing cymbals and drums and chanting Hindu tunes. Hare Krishna monks are in orange or white robes. Civilians are in business suits or jeans. They all face an altar adorned with flowers and statues of the supreme Hindu God, Krishna, and his female counterpart, Radha.

A little over an hour later, a 35-year-old monk named Gadadhara Pandit Dasa blows into a conch shell and pours a water offering.

Shortly after taking to the renounced order of life, ISKCON devotee Indradyumna Swami set out on an adventure to Ahobilam - the sacred land of Lord Narasimhadeva. In this podcast he tells of his experience there visiting holy shrines dedicated to the half-man half-lion incarnation of Krishna.

He also shares his realizations interacting with the special people of Ahobilam and how, as a newly dedicated renunciate, he learned to place his life in the hands of the Lord.



Paramahaṁsa Swami: What does that mean?


Prabhupāda: No, veri means sheep. Their walk... If you can push one of them in the slaughterhouse, all of them enter. This is called veriya dāsan. You haven't got to endeavor to push others. You just push one only. "Fut, fut, fut, fut, fut, fut, fut," they all enter.


In Hindi it is called veriya dāsan. Just cheat one veri, and all others will be followers.


Long ago, when we were boys, we saw one comic cinema. That old cinema player was... His name was Max Linder. Max Linder. So this Max Linder was going to a ball dance, and he was waiting in the park, and the ball dance coat, you know? It has got a tail. So he was sitting in a bench, and some naughty boys came and they nailed the tailing part. So when he got up it became torn, like... So his, this hip was visible. So when was dancing in the ball others were seeing his, "What is this?"


So he went to the mirror, he saw, "Oh?" So he began to dance and show everyone like this. So others said, "What is this?" "This is the latest fashion. This is the latest fashion in ball dancing." "Oh?" Then all cut their tail coat. You see? "The latest fashion."


- From a Morning Walk on June 7, 1975 in Honolulu, Hawaii.


Everyone can chant. What is the difficulty? Everyone can chant Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare / Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare... Where is the difficulty? But they'll not chant. They'll not chant. They'll talk so many rubbish things, but as soon as you ask him to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, he'll be silent. That we have experienced. But still our thankless task is to induce everyone: "Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa."

There is a cartoon picture in New York. One old man and his wife, sitting together. The wife is requesting the husband, old husband, "Chant, chant, chant," and the husband is replying: "Can't, can't, can't." This cartoon we have seen. So this is the... He will say three times: "Can't, can't, can't." But not "Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa." That is not possible. A similar story is there in the Bengal. One old mother was dying, and the sons requested the mother: "Mother, now you say 'Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa' ". So after requesting two, three times, mother became disgusted: atha katha vibol ta parane. So atha katha vibol ta parane she could say. Not Hare Kṛṣṇa. Not Hare Kṛṣṇa. This is the position.

- Calcutta, June 29, 1973

So for a devotee these informations of Krishna, oh, become so... "My Krishna is so God. Oh, my God is so powerful."

And, I think, sometimes I recited one story. This is for very instructive, that Narada Muni, he used to visit Narayana every day. So when he was passing on the road, so one very learned brahmana and taking thrice bath and everything very nicely, he asked Narada Muni, "Oh, you are going to Lord. Will you inquire when I shall get my salvation?"

"All right. I shall ask."

And then another cobbler, he was under the tree, sewing the shoes, old shoes. He also saw Narada Muni. He also inquired, "Will you kindly inquire from God when my salvation is...?"

Now, when he inquired Krishna, Narayana... Narada Muni goes generally to Narayana, in another planet. So "Yes, two, one brahmana and one cobbler, they inquired like this. So may I know what is their destination?"

So Narayana said, "Well, yes, the cobbler, this after giving up this body, he's coming here at Vaikuntha."

"And what about that brahmana?"

"Oh, he has to remain there still so many births, or I do not know when he's coming."

So Narada Muni was astonished, that "I saw that he's very nice brahmana, and he's a cobbler. Why is that?"

So he inquired that "I could not, cannot understand the mystery. Why You say that cobbler is coming this, after this body, and why not this brahmana?"

"Oh, that will, you'll understand. If they inquire that 'What Krishna, or Narayana, was doing in the, in His abode,' so just explain that He was taking one elephant from the holes of a," I mean to say, what is called...?

Devotee (1): The eye of a needle. Eye...

Prabhupada: Eh? No, no...

Devotee (1): The eye of a needle.

Devotee (2): Needle.

Prabhupada: Needle. Yes. "Through the hole of a needle, He's pulling an elephant this side and this side."

"All right."

So when he again approached the brahmana, the brahmana said, "Oh, you have seen Lord?"


"So what was the Lord doing?"

"He was doing this: through the point of a needle He was pushing one elephant this way and that way."

"Oh, therefore I have no faith in your... I, I, I have got all respect for your garb, but we don't believe all this nonsense."

Then Narada could understand, "Oh, this man has no faith. He simply reads book. That's all."

And when he went to the cobbler, he also asked, "Oh, you have seen? What Narayana was doing?"

He also said that "He was doing like this..."

Oh, he began to cry, "Oh, my Lord is wonderful. He can do anything."

So Narada inquired, "So do you believe that Lord can push one elephant through the holes of a needle?"

"Oh, why not? I must believe."

"Then what is your reason?"

"Oh, my reason? I am sitting under this banyan tree, and so many fruits are falling daily, and in each fruit there are thousands of seeds, and each seed there is a tree. If in a small seed there can be big tree like that, is it very impossible to accept that Krishna is putting one elephant through the, I mean, the holes of a needle? He has kept such a nice tree in the seed."

So this is called belief. So unbelievers and believer means the believers, they are not blind believers. They have reason. If by Krishna's process, by God's process, or nature's process, such a big tree can be put within the small seed, is it very impossible for Krishna to keep all these planets floating in His energy? So we have to believe. We have no other explanation. But we have to understand in this way. Our reasoning, our argument, our logic should go in this way.

So those who are devotee... Just like the cobbler. He may be a cobbler. They believe everything. And those who are not devotee, they'll say, "Oh, these are all bluffs. It is all bluff." But they are not bluff. It is simply meant for the devotees. They can understand. The nondevotees, they cannot understand.

Image: Clear spots on the petri dish mark where phages have destroyed bacteria in a sample of water taken from the Ganges River. (Photography by Martine Crandall Hollick)

Hindus have always believed that water from India's Ganges River has extraordinary powers. The Indian emperor Akbar called it the "water of immortality" and always traveled with a supply. The British East India Co. used only Ganges water on its ships during the three-month journey back to England, because it stayed "sweet and fresh."

Indians have always claimed it prevents diseases, but do these claims have scientific substance?

In this podcast sourced from National Public Radio, independent producer Julian Crandall Hollick searched for the "mysterious X factor" that gives Ganges water its mythical reputation.

He starts his investigation looking for the water's special properties at the river's source in the Himalayas. There, wild plants, radioactive rocks, and unusually cold, fast-running water combine to form the river. But since 1854, almost all of the Ganges' water has been siphoned off for irrigation as it leaves the Himalayas.

Hollick speaks with DS Bhargava, a retired professor of hydrology, who has spent a lifetime performing experiments up and down Ganges in the plains of India. In most rivers, Bhargava says, organic material usually exhausts a river's available oxygen and starts putrefying. But in the Ganges, an unknown substance, or "X factor" that Indians refer to as a "disinfectant," acts on organic materials and bacteria and kills them. Bhargava says that the Ganges' self-purifying quality leads to oxygen levels 25 times higher than any other river in the world.

Hollick's search for a scientific explanation for the X factor leads him to a spiritual leader at an ashram and a biologist in Kanpur. But his best answer for the Ganges' mysterious substance comes from Jay Ramachandran, a molecular biologist and entrepreneur in Bangalore.

In a short science lesson, Ramachandran explains why the Ganges doesn't spread disease among the millions of Indians who bathe in it. But he can't explain why the Ganga alone has this extraordinary ability to retain oxygen.

The human life means if somebody is being killed, so he should be immediately warned, taking warning, "Oh, my turn is coming. Let me go away."

There is one story in this connection. Not story; these are facts. A hunter spread his net. So some little birds, they fell down in the net and they are crying. They are crying. So the father, mother, when they came, they saw that their children are in danger: "It is caught by the net of the hunter." So mother immediately jumped over it to save the children, and she was also captured.

Then the father saw, "Now if I go to save them, I'll be captured. Let me go away. Let me take sannyāsa. That's all." (laughter) That is intelligence. (laughter)

You cannot give protection to your family, to your society. To your... No, you cannot give. That is not possible. They must die. They must be captured by the network of māyā. You cannot save them. If you want to save them, then make them Kṛṣṇa conscious. That is the only remedy. Unless you are expert in saving your children by giving them Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then you are not, you should not become father and mother.

That is real contraceptive method, that "I shall... We are married, undoubtedly, husband and wife, but unless we are competent to give protection to my children—no more death—we should not beget children." This is real contraceptive.

There is a nice verse of Bilvamangala Thakura. He lived for seven hundred years in Vrindavana, and he was, became a great devotee of Krsna. In the beginning he was an impersonalist. His life is very nice. It is better to cite his life.

He was a South Indian brahman, a very rich man and very much sensuous. He kept one prostitute, prostitute. So he was so much, I mean to say, devoted to the prostitute that he was performing his father's death ceremony and he was asking the priest, "Please, haste. Please make haste. I have to go. I have to go." Means prostitute's house.

So he was very rich man. Priestly, anyway, he finished that business. Then there was ceremony. He took very nice foodstuff in a bag, and he was going to that prostitute's house. But when he came out of his home, oh, it was raining torrently. You see? So he never cared for that raining. He went to the riverside. Oh, there was no boat, and it was, river was waving. The waves were very furious. And he thought that "How can I go to the other side?" He was daily going to the other side of the river. Then, anyway, he swimmed over, crossed over by swimming.

Then the prostitute thought, "Oh, it is today raining, and he may not come." So he (she) blocked the door and went to sleep. And when he came to the house he saw, "Oh, the door is blocked," and it was raining still. "So how can I go?" So he crossed over the wall by catching one snake. Just see how much intensely he was attached.

And he went to the prostitute, and she was astonished: "Well, Bilvamangala"—his name was Bilvamangala—"how do you dare to come here like this?"

Oh, he described, "Yes. I did this, I did this, I did this, I did this."

Oh, the prostitute was astonished. Her name was Cintamani. So the prostitute said, "My dear Bilvamangala, if you have got so intense love for me, oh, had it been for God, for Krishnaa, how would have been, your life, sublime."

Oh, that struck him: "Yes." He at once left and went away: "Yes, you are right."

Then he was (going to) Vrindavana. He saw another beautiful woman because he was practiced to that habit. So he was going behind. Although he determined, "Now I am going to Vrindavana," on the way he was again attracted by another woman. So he followed that woman. That woman belonged to a respectable family.

So he came, and the woman said to her husband, "Oh, this man is following me. Please ask, 'What is the idea?' "

So the husband asked, "My dear sir, you appear to be very nice gentleman, and you belong to very aristocratic family. From your appearances I understand. What do you want? Why you are following my wife?"

He said, "Yes, I am following wife because I want to embrace her."

"Oh, you want to embrace? Come on. Embrace. Come on. You are welcome. Come on."

So the wife also... She (he) ordered, "Oh, here is a guest. He wants to embrace you and kiss you. So please decorate yourself nicely so that he may enjoy."

So the wife also followed the instruction of the husband because wife's duty is to follow the instruction. And when Bilvamangala came inside before the woman, he said, "My dear mother, will you kindly give your hairpins?"

"Yes. Why?"

"I have got some business."

Then he took the hairpin and at once pierced his eyes: "Oh, this eye is my enemy." And he became blind. He became blind.

Then all of them... "That's all right. Now no more I shall be disturbed."

So in that blindness he was penancing, austerity in Vrindavana. So by the grace of Krishna, Krishna came like a boy. "Oh, my dear sir, why you are starving? Why don't you take some milk?"

"Oh, who are You, my dear boy?"

"Oh, I am a boy of this village. I am a cowherd boy. If you like, I can give you daily some milk."

"All right."

So Krishna supplied him milk. So there was friendship. And he has written that bhakti is such a thing that muktih svayam mukulitashjali sevate 'sman:

"Mukti, mukti is nothing for me."

So this is his verse, muktih svayam mukulitashjali sevate 'sman:

"So we have no desire for mukti. When Krishna comes to supply milk, oh, then what is the use of my mukti?"

You see? That's a great soul, Bilvamangala Thakura. It is worth to remember his name.

For seven hundred hears he lived in Vrindavana, and he has written a nice book which is Krishna-Karnamrita. That is a very authoritative book, Krishna-karnamrita. Lord Caitanya picked up this book, and He recommended all His devotees to read that Krishna-karnamrita book.

Now this Arjunacharya...that's a very nice story. When he was writing commentaries, oh, he thought, "How is that Lord will come Himself and deliver the goods? Oh, it is not possible. He might be sending through some agents." So he wanted to cut vahāmy aham, "I bear the burden and deliver." He wrote in a way that "I send some agent who delivers."


So that Arjunacharya went to take bath, and in the meantime two boys, very beautiful boys, they brought some very nice foodstuff in large quantity. And in India there is a process to taking two sides burden on the bamboo. Just like a scale it is balanced. So these two boys brought some very highly valuable foodstuff and grains and ghee, and his wife was there. And the boys said, "My dear mother, Arjunacharya has sent these goods to you. Please take delivery."


"Oh, you are so nice boy, you are so beautiful boys, and he has given. And Acharya is not so cruel. How is that? He has given so much burden to you, and he is not kind...?" "Oh, I was not taking, just see, he has beaten me. Here is cane mark. Oh, see." His wife became very much astonished, that "Acharya is not so cruel. How he has become so cruel?" So she was thinking in that way.


Then "All right, my dear boys. You come on." And gave him shelter. And, "No. I shall go because Arjunacharya again comes. He will chastise us." "No, no. You sit down, take foodstuff." He(she) prepared foodstuff, and then they went away. And when Arjunacharya came back, then he saw that his wife is eating. Because it is the system of Indian families that after the husband has taken the food, the wife will take. So they don't take together. After the family members—the boys and the husband is sumptuously fed—then the housewife takes.


So Arjunacharya, "Oh, you are taking food? What is that?" No. He did not. I am mistaken. Sorry. He said that "You are..." So the wife said, "Acharya, you have become so much cruel nowadays?" "Oh, what is that?" "Two boys, very nice boys, they have brought so many foodstuff. You loaded on their head, and they denied to take it, and you have beaten them, chastised?" He said, "No. I have never done this. Why shall I do it?" Then she described, "Oh, such a nice beautiful boy." Then Arjunacharya understood that "Because I wanted that God does not deliver, so He has delivered these goods, and because I cut these alphabets that He does not give personally, so He has shown that beating mark."


There is an incident in southern India of Yamunacharya. That story is there. Of course, you may believe or not believe. That's a different thing. But here the Lord says that "I personally deliver." So those who are in Krishna consciousness, those who are actually busy in the matter of discharging their duties as a Krishna conscious person, they may be assured that so far their living condition is concerned or their comforts of life is concerned, that is assured by the Lord. There will be no hampering.

You know the story of Alexander the Great and the thief. Alexander the Great arrested one thief, and he was going to punish him.


The thief pleaded, "Sir, you are going to punish me, but what is the difference between you and me? I am a small thief, you are a great thief. That's all. You are by force occupying other's kingdom, and you have no right. But because you are strong, or some way or other, you have got the opportunity, and you are conquering country after country, country after... So I am also doing the same thing. So what is the difference between you and me?"


So Alexander considered that "Yes, I am nothing but a big thief, that's all." So he released him, "Yes, I am no better than you."


Nature gave us the opportunity to realize God, but God-realization is meant for human being. The human being, if he does not realize God, he's simply engaged in animalistic way of life—eating, sleeping, mating—then nature will call, "All right, sir, again become animal." Punar mūṣiko bhava: "Again become a mouse."


You know this story? Punar mūṣiko bhava. There is a story. There is a very nice story. One rat, mouse, he came to a saintly person. Everyone comes to saintly person for some blessing, you see. Real blessing they don't want. Some material blessing. Real blessing, Kṛṣṇa, they don't want. If you give him some blessing that "You become very rich man and..." These... they'll be very much pleased.


So this mouse also came and begged the saintly person, "Sir, I am in difficulty. If you give me some blessing?"


"What is that?"


"The cat chases after me always. I'm very unhappy."


"So what do you want?"


"Now, if you make me a cat, then I can get relief from this."


"All right, you become cat." So he became cat.


So after few days, again he comes. "Sir, again I am in trouble."


"What is that?"


"The dog is chasing me." (laughter) Don't laugh, hear seriously. "Dog is chasing me."


"All right, then, what do you want?"


"Now, make me a tiger."


"All right, you become a tiger."


So when he became a tiger he was staring on the saintly person like this.


So he asked, "Why you are staring upon me? You want to eat me?"




So he again curses, punar mūṣiko bhava: "Again you become mouse. Again you become mouse."


So that is our position. We are advanced in civilization. Now we want to kill God. So we are again going to be uncivilized, to remain in the forest and to remain naked. Actually, they are practicing that: nature's life. So again they are going to be aborigines. And that is being practiced. They are going to the forest, they remain naked. So actually, punar mūṣiko bhava: "Again become mouse."


This story is an excerpt from a room conversation with Srila Prabhupada recorded on 16 July, 1968 in Montreal, Canada.


Expert means whatever he is doing, he must do it very nicely That's all. Suppose you are sweeping this room. You can do it very nicely, to your best knowledge. That is expert. The people will say, "Oh, you have very nicely done." Any work you do, do it very nicely. That is expert. Don't do it haphazardly. To your best talent, to your best capacity, try to finish it very nicely, whatever it may be.


You are entrusted with some work. Do it nicely. That is expert. If you think that you are unable to do that work, then whatever work you can do, you take. But do it nicely. That is expert. Don't imitate. "Oh, I have no capacity to work in that way, but I want to imitate. Oh, he is doing that. I shall do that." Don't do that. That is not expert. You take up what you can do very nicely and do it nicely.


We have so many works. Kṛṣṇa is not that He is static. He is dynamic force. Just like Arjuna, he was not a Vedantist, he was not a brāhmaṇa, he was not a sannyāsī. He was householder. He was military man. But he knew his business, how to do it nicely. So you do your business nicely. That is expert.


And when it is dovetailed in Kṛṣṇa, there is no gradation that this business is better and that business is lower because everything is for Kṛṣṇa. So that business becomes Kṛṣṇa. Do it nicely and Kṛṣṇa is satisfied. And that is your success.


Avyāpare suvyaparam yo naraḥ kartum icchati, sa-mulo hanyate 'khila pārthiva vānaraḥ. Expert.


There is a very nice story in Sanskrit. A monkey. A monkey... You might have some experience, that sawmen, who cut wood? Sawmen. So a sawman was cutting wood by the saw. So at the end of business it was half cut so he pulled down a, I mean to say, a plug so that next day he will come and he'll again begin sawing. So went away.


So one monkey came. So monkey sat down there and began to pull on the plug because monkey's business is simply mischievous. So he did not know that his plough and some portion of his thigh was within the hole and when he took out this plug it was, (claps) I mean to say, clipped, and he could not get out and died.


So the instruction is that... 'Khila pārthiva vānaraḥ, vyāpare suvyaparam. Avyāpara means a occupation, an occupation which is not fit for you. That is avyāpara. Avyāpara-suvyaparam. And one occupation which is not exactly fitting you, you do not know how to do it, so avyāpare suvyaparam yo kartu... If one wants to act in a business in which he is unable to do, then he is killed just like this fool monkey.


Avyāpare suvyaparam yo naraḥ kartum icchati, sa-mulo hanyate. That foolish person is killed just like this monkey. The monkey's business was not to imitate the sawman, but he wanted to imitate. The result was that he was killed. So that is not expertness.


Expertness is you just try to do which is easily performed by you. You don't accept anything heavy task because Kṛṣṇa does not want that you have to do this heavy task. Whatever you know, you just apply it. You dovetail it in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.


Kṛṣṇa does not say that you have to become like this, like that, like that, then you can serve Him. Does not say. Just like this cow. Just see. What does it know? He's an animal. You see? But the calf knows to brush his head and tongue like this, in love. It is doing and Kṛṣṇa accepting, "Yes." That is expert.


First of all find out what is easily done by you. Don't take anything which is not easily done by you. You find out what is your occupation, what you can very nicely and easily perform, and do it for Kṛṣṇa.