How I came to Krishna consciousness - His Holiness Badrinarayan Dasa Gos...

Book Distribution Mentality

A friend recently asked me what my attitude is towards the people to whom I distribute Srila Prabhupada's books. I explained the attitude that I have developed as a process. Anyone who wants to can follow this simple formula.
    First, I think that because conditioned souls are lost; they are looking for happiness while following a path that will guarantee their distress. Anyone who helps them by providing them with a clue about the right direction is their benefactor. I am approaching them with not just a clue, but a transcendental literature that is itself a doorway to eternal happiness. All the answers to how to avoid distress and gain eternal happiness are within the pages of the sastra in my hand. In this way I cultivate the feeling that I am the best friend of the person I am approaching.
      How do you feel toward your best friends? And if you see one of them in difficulty, how do you feel and act when you approach them? This meditation awakens compassion. The more compassion is felt in the heart, the more one is drawn into preaching.
    But one must see through the eye of sastra, because the conditioned souls may not present an outward appearance of suffering. By awakening one's own Krsna consciousness, one comes to realize the hellish experience of the conditioned souls, and how their predicament is a state of constant suffering and anxiety, which they are attempting to deny and run from at every moment. It is a most pitiable condition; not at all what Sri Krsna had in mind when He expanded Himself into these, His precious parts and parcels. His plan was for them to experience ever expanding bliss in His direct association. Instead they are worried about the economy, and their health, their children's health, and on and on. The worries and anxieties are unlimited.
    When one is firmly convinced that the only solution to these problems is Krsna consciousness, then he or she begins looking, consciously and unconsciously, for opportunities to preach and distribute books, and to facilitate both.

Harinama sankirtana in Loi Bazar, 1984

Harinama sankirtana in Loi Bazar, 1984:
Maitreya dasa, Tripurari Swami, Narottama Prabhu, Bhaktisiddhanta Swami

The Difficulty with the Math

Nobel prize-winning physicist Eugene Wigner has shown that the probability of the existence of a self-duplicating unit is zero. Since the ability to reproduce is one of the fundamental characteristics of all living organisms, Wigner concludes that our present understanding of physics and chemistry does not enable us to explain the phenomenon of life. Herbert Yockey has demonstrated by information theory that even a single informational molecule such as cytochrome c (what to speak of complex organisms) could not have arisen by chance in the estimated lifetime of the earth: "One must conclude that, contrary to the established and current wisdom, a scenario describing the genesis of life on earth by chance and natural causes which can be accepted on the basis of fact and not faith has not yet been written."

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I love this.

From the Preface:
"The reading matter is so arranged with its original Sanskrit text, its English transliteration, synonyms, translation and purports so that one is sure to become a God-realized soul at the end of finishing the first nine cantos."

Popcorn and Compassion

Who here has made popcorn? I ask because this analogy requires that you have such experience. Otherwise I'll have to use a different analogy.

So in the endeavor of popcorn making, first you apply heat to the bottom of the pan and secondly the kernels begin to pop. Heat is the critical item; if you heat too quickly, the kernels will burn. If you heat too slowly, the tiny bit of water in each kernel that is responsible for the popping action will evaporate, and it will never pop. There has to be the right amount of heat applied at the right pace, and then the magic pop, pop, pop!

Teaching and preaching are both like making popcorn. The heat is the instruction, and the kernels are the people, or souls. I could have titled this talk, "Popcorn and Patience," but in the case of people learning something patience and compassion are synonymous, and I happen to favor the term compassion.

There is a verse in the Fifth Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam wherein Lord Rsabadeva instructs his eldest son that a Guru, or teacher, must patiently give instructions, and not become angry:

SB 5.5.15: If one is serious about going back home, back to Godhead, he must consider the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead the summum bonum and chief aim of life. If he is a father instructing his sons, a spiritual master instructing his disciples, or a king instructing his citizens, he must instruct them as I have advised. Without being angry, he should continue giving instructions, even if his disciple, son or citizen is sometimes unable to follow his order. Ignorant people who engage in pious and impious activities should be engaged in devotional service by all means. They should always avoid fruitive activity. If one puts into the bondage of karmic activity his disciple, son or citizen who is bereft of transcendental vision, how will one profit? It is like leading a blind man to a dark well and causing him to fall in.