Srila Prabhupada 100k audio file Button Bar

Mail Archive

Links FAQ Feedback Text Search Index What's New?


Haribol! A page to add to your links(if you wish)!

Dear Bhakta Philip

Hello. Hare Krishna.

Yes I certainly remember you and I have visited your new page. This issue,
hardcore preaching, is a little contraversial within ISKCON and I am also talking
with some others about it at the moment. I have included another letter I have
written today for your information.

As for you the most important thing is for you to rise early in the mornings,
chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra and seriously read all of
Srila Prabhupada's books. That will make your life successful.

Your page is very nice but I am not so attracted by the whole hardcore scene. The
FAQ is a very nice idea. I have been thinking about doing one also for a while. I
would give a little different answers to Vraja  on some matters, however.

Anyhow read the following and get back to me. It is nice to hear from you again.

Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

Madhudvisa dasa

>Dear Jonas
>Hello, Hare Krishna... All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
>Hope you had a very Krishna conscious Christmas and New Year.
>The saga continues... It is a very touchy subject indeed, this straight-edge
thing. In any case you have come to Krishna consciousness now and whatever benefit
there is to be had from straight-edge music you now have. You have somehow been
attracted to Srila Prabhupada's movement and Krishna. Now the best thing for you
to do would be to find out more about Krishna and get a taste for chanting the
Hare Krishna maha-mantra. That you can do by reading Srila Prabhupada's books,
chanting Hare Krishna, serving Krishna, etc.
>"The treasure of love of God has descended from the spiritual world of Goloka
Vrndavana, appearing in this world as the sankirtana movement of the chanting of
Lord Hari's holy names. Why am I not attracted to it? Day and night I burn from
the poison of material existence, but still I refuse to take the antidote."
(Narotttama dasa Thakura)
>"You should understand this essential fact: material life is temporary and filled
with various kinds of miseries. Therefore carefully take shelter of the holy name
and remain always engaged in His service as your eternal occupation."
(Bhaktivinoda Thakura)
>Krishna consciousness is a "higher taste". There is great transcendental pleasure
in chanting Hare Krishna, reading the Bhagavatam, etc. So now you should do it. It
will not help you to listen to hard-core music 24 hours a day. That is not the
process. We have to accept the authorized process. There are four regulative
principles: No illicit sex life, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication,
and we chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra at least 16 rounds a day. As for the
rest of our life we spend it serving Krishna, not serving ourselves. It is a very
subtle thing. In Krishna consciousness the sense gratification is there, but it is
for Krishna -- but the funny thing is that even though we give up all attempts to
satisfy our own senses, we are completely happy. Krishna looks after His devotees.
When you realize He is looking after you it's a nice feeling.
>The straight-edge movement could be likened to the hippie movement of the 60's.
Srila Prabhupada came to the US in 1965 and in 1966 the hippie movement was just
starting. He could detect that here were young people who had rejected the
materialistic ways of their parents and were looking for an alternative. So he
exploited this situation for spreading Krishna consciousness. He moved to the
Lower East side in New York, the center of the then emerging hippie culture, and
he started preaching to the young people there. But he didn't compromise Krishna
consciousness or present it as a part of the hippie movement. He presented the
original, pure and timeless message of Krishna consciousness and remained aloof.
It was fabulously effective.
>When young people joined Srila Prabhupada he didn't want them to continue to be
hippies, he wanted them to become Vaisnavas.
>The thing is we are not hippies, we are not straight-edge and we are not Hindus.
We are devotees of Krishna and we have our timeless methods of serving Krishna
which are always potent and effective.

>The straight-edge faction in ISKCON is trying to say their method is more
effective than the traditional ways of chanting Hare Krishna and distributing
prasadam and books [the method Srila Prabhupada used to captivate the hippies in
the 60's, and the method Lord Caitanya used to spread Krishna consciousness all
over India five hundred yeas ago.] The chanting of Hare Krishna is the "Yuga-
dharma", the recognized spiritual process for this age of Kali. It is the chanting
of Hare Krishna and the prasadam and book distribution that is important.
>The straight-edge method may be effective in attracting people. But attracting
people is not necessarily spiritual. Football matches also attract people. But
they are not chanting Hare Krishna. I have seen some lyrics of the shelter songs
and they are just words, perhaps attractive ideas vaguely based on Srila
Prabhupada's teachings, but still just a collection of words. The Hare Krishna
maha-mantra IS Krishna.
>"The holy name of Krishna is transcendentally blissful. It bestows all spiritual
benedictions, for it is Krishna Himself, the reservoir of all pleasure. Krishna's
name is complete, and it is the form of all transcendental mellows. It is not a
material name under any condition, and it is no less powerful than Krishna
Himself. Since Krishna's name is not contaminated by the material qualities, and
there is no question of its being involved with maya, Krishna's name is always
liberated and spiritual; it is never conditioned by the laws of material nature.
This is because the name of Krishna and Krishna Himself are identical." (Padma
>So the straight-edge preaching has replaced the kirtana, the chanting of Hare
Krishna [the traditional and authorized method of spreading Krishna consciousness,
of enabling people in general to associate with Krishna by hearing His holy name]
with songs full of words set to demoniac music... There is no comparison at all.
When a pure devotee chants Hare Krishna Krishna is personally there with all His
potencies in the sound vibration. But this straight-edge is just words... There is
not even any chanting. I saw one article in where someone was
praising the most recent shelter album because there was less than 30 seconds of
chanting on it...
>There was an article in one of the big music magazines that had a picture of
Vraja on one side and Srila Prabhupada on the other and in that one member of
shelter was quoted as saying something like: "When we are on stage we are
concentrating on the lyrics, it is a completely spiritual experience -- in the
olden days they would chant Hare Krishna with drums and cymbals, now we sing our
songs to the beat of hard-core music -- it is the kirtan for the age..." [I didn't
buy the mag -- it is from my memory]
>The point that is lacking in your discussion, and that is understandable, is the
necessity of checking all these things with Srila Prabhupada's instructions. Our
own speculative ideas on what is good preaching are not very valuable. 108 and
shelter are certainly not the first Hare Krishna bands using modern instruments
and music styles. The tendency for devotees to want to preach through heavy music
has existed since the beginning of the Hare Krishna movement. In fact I have heard
one devotee say at one point in the 70's practically every devotee that joined in
the US was a musician of sorts wanting to make music "for Krishna". But Srila
Prabhupada didn't like it or encourage it. I have already sent you many quotes [in
a file I attached to one of my previous messages], but it does not seem to have
had any impact. But the most important thing in Krishna consciousness is to
follow... it is not to concoct some new unauthorized preaching process. We may not
understand why Srila Prabhupada has instructed in a certain way however his vision
is far greater than ours so we accept his instructions and follow them.
>It is not that Srila Prabhupada wouldn't take advantage of the straight-edge
scene. He took advantage of the hippie scene. But as he didn't want the devotees
to become hippies or to become intimately involved in the hippie scene, he also
wouldn't want us to become straight-edge or to closely involved in the scene.
Prabhupada would preach to them, get them to chant Hare Krishna and hear the
Bhagavatam in the traditional way and convert them into Vaisnavas. Then there
would be no more straight-edge or demoniac music for them...
>I know the devotees involved in the straight-edge preaching are very sincere
souls trying to use their energy for pushing on Srila Prabhupada's movement,
however I am convinced these young people [the "fans"] would be MORE attracted to
the traditional chanting of Hare Krishna and the traditional recitation of the

Bhagavatam and most importantly, the traditional sumptuous Krishna prasadam.
Krishna consciousness really is revolutionary and the ideas presented by Srila
Prabhupada are very interesting. It just requires us to understand them and
present them nicely.
>I read some messages Vraja posted during a 108 tour last year and the thing which
struck me most was he was always asking for temples to make prasadam for them...
It seems strange to me because, here in Australia at least, almost all the
devotees know how to cook. [we have Kurma here - a famous ISKCON cook - and he
taught lots of us to cook] Cooking for Krishna is a very important part of Krishna
consciousness. I have personally cooked for hundreds of Sunday feasts and
preaching programs. A Krishna conscious program is not a dry affair. There is
chanting, dancing, philosophy and FEASTING... So we can't have a Krishna conscious
program without any of these elements. Of course there is dancing at a straight-
edge concert... but it is not the same dancing...
>My suggestion would be that before the next tour 108 all learn how to cook
sumptuous Krishna prasadam to Srila Prabhupada's original 12 preparation plus
Sunday feast standard and try presenting the standard program of chanting,
dancing, philosophy and feasting. The fans will love it... Who can turn down sweet
rice, pakoras, gulubs, halva, curd subji, etc... {forget the vegans.. they are in
the minority anyhow and they can't avoid eating Krishna prasadam anyhow - I have
seen it hundreds of times.)
>The great thing about this style of cooking is you don't need a kitchen. You can
cook a prasadam feast anywhere -- even on the side of the road if you have to. You
just need a few gas burners [in OZ we buy them from "Barbecues Galore" -- they
have really big burners for about $80], some big pots, a big wok, lots of ghee,
grains, vegetables and fruit, a cook and some volunteers [which you can requite
from the "fans"] to peel and chop the veges.
>So it is a serious suggestion and it could revolutionize the preaching in the US.
108 will become much more famous through this program than by being "just another
hard-core band". I think the straight-edge scene is getting a little tired anyhow.
This would be revolutionary. Also you have a much bigger target audience. Everyone
is attracted by Krishna...
>Here are a few disadvantages of the straight-edge preaching:
>- It is not approved by Srila Prabhupada
>- It has created many problems and arguments in ISKCON
>- It attracts people indirectly. By a certain style of music, a certain "scene",
etc. Not by Krishna.
>- Many Straight-edge bhaktas want to continue listening to straight-edge music,
going to straight-edge bands, hanging out in the straight-edge scene. They keep
the temporary, false designation of "straight-edge" instead of giving up all
bodily designations and just becoming a servant of Krishna.
>- When the straight-edge bands come to town they stay at the local ISKCON temple
and invite the devotees to their shows. This encourages the existing devotees to
start hanging out with the straight-edge crowd, going to hardcore shows, etc.
>- Naturally the young bhaktas will aspire to follow devotees like Ragunatha and
Vraja and become straight-edge stars as well. So they will start their own bands
and practice in the brahmacary asrama...
>There are so many other things also.
>Here are some quotes from Srila Prabhupada:
>Letter 72-06-25
>        "So far your road-show is concerned, we are not meant
>        for giving performances, we are simple kirtana men.
>        There must always be kirtana going on wherever we
>        travel, and nothing else."
>Letter 72-11-05
>        So far the Road Show and this Yoga Village are
>        concerned, these things should be stopped. Simply
>        perform our kirtana. If we divert our attention in this
>        way, the whole thing will gradually deteriorate. He is
>        going far away. All these things are nonsense

>        inventions. Such inventing spirit will ruin our this
>        movement. People may come to see, some will become
>        devotees, but such devotees will not stay because they
>        are attracted by some show and not by the real thing or
>        spiritual life according to the standard of Lord
>        Caitanya. Our standard is to have kirtana, start temples.
>        What is this ``Road Show'' and ``Yoga Village?'' It will
>        be another hippie edition. Gradually the Krishna
>        Consciousness idea will evaporate: another change,
>        another change, every day another change. Stop all
>        this. Simply have kirtana, nothing else. Don't
>        manufacture ideas.
>>Jayadhvaj Maharaj writes:"We can go on quoting Srila Prabhupada forever
>>and never come to a conclusion." Why not?
>>SP has clearly indicated what his opinion is about  initiated devotees
>>forming rock bands for preaching. He doesn't like it. How can we ignore,
>>discard or sidestep Srila Prabhupada's instructions? When entering this
>>discussion I guessed that whatever I wrote would be unlikely to effect
>>any drastic changes. But I wanted to create an awareness of what Srila
>>Prabhupada said about it among our ISKCON rock stars and fans.
>>Srila Prabhupada's whole mission was to make devotees. He did whatever
>>was needed to bring people to Krishna, and in so doing did many
>>innovative things. But in this case he decided that the means did not
>>justify the end. He stopped the Road Show, despite its popularity and
>>devotee-making potential.
>>Supporters of ISKCON rock should know this, even if they don't act on
>>it. But if you don't think it is even worth considering, what more can I
>>Adi-Karta Prabhu told me he was recently at the Rainbow Rock Festival in
>>America with a group of devotees. They did khol-kartal kirtan,
>>distributed prasada and preached. Result: 14 new recruits. So it seems
>>the field is ripe in America and that devotees can be made in the same
>>way that they always were.
>>Vraja Kishor writes:"Actually, the entire world is being subverted by
>>our music." The real fact is that entire world culture is being subverted
>>by the cumulative effect of years of preaching, book distribution and
>>prasadam distribution. Please don't think that you are succeeding where
>>the rest of ISKCON failed, or doing something that the standard program
>>of Lord Caitanya and Srila Prabhupada couldn't do.
>>Bhakti Vikasa Swami.
>My presentation is correct and in accord with the teachings of Srila Prabhupada.
It may not be to your liking, but it is Prabhupada's instructions. An expert
devotee can take advantage of all these things (the hippie movement, the Hindu
movement and the straight-edge scene) without becoming a part of their movements
and without compromising the principles of Krishna consciousness.
>It is my suggestion that 108 move towards a more traditional Vaisnava type of
"concert". They can have responsive kirtana, sing some of the songs of the
Viasnava acaryas to traditional instruments and tunes. If it is done very nicely
and with real bhakti, love for Krishna and in a mood to please Krishna, it will be
revolutionary and extremely popular. Bigger than anything you can imagine. Then
they can give a short Bhagavad-gita class, answer questions, have more kirtana,
AND SERVE A SUMPTUOUS 12 COURSE+ PRASADAM FEAST. and then have more kirtana... It
will be ecstatic. Vraja and 108 will become more and more purified and ecstatic
and their preaching will become more and more potent AND THERE WILL BE NO MORE
ARGUMENTS WITH ISKCON DEVOTEES, everyone will be very pleased to be associated
with 108.

>What do you think?
>Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!
>Madhudvisa dasa

Alphabetical Index | Date Index
[Home] [Index] [Articles] [Prabhupada] [Krishna] [Archive] [Links] [Feedback]
Chant Hare Krishna and be happy! All glories to His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada!