Holy Names of Krishna all over the World
Sri Anantha Padmanabhacharya, the editor of Tamil magazine Sri Narasimha Priya, which is a monthly magazine run by the Ahobila Math, appreciated the contributions of Srila Prabhupada and ISKCON in one of their issues. Here is a brief summary of the article, which was translated into English by Narayana Srinivasa Dasa.
The Vaisnava sampradayas of Sri Caitanya, Sri Nimbarka, Sri Vallabha, Sri Ramanuja consider harinama-sankirtana the most important activity. The acaryas of these schools and also of Sri sampradaya have written several songs glorifying the chanting of the holy names of Lord Hari.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu preached the glories of the holy name vigorously, and his followers are spreading Krishna -bhakti all over the world. Srila Prabhupada is a noteworthy name among such followers. Fifty years ago, after taking sannyasa, he went to America and started preaching Krishna -bhakti even in foreign countries. He translated Srimad-Bhagavatam and several other books into English. His movement, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), is continuing to spread this message all over the world. We can say that due to his very strong preaching, there is no country in the world where Krishna -bhakti is not practiced. Several devotees from the Western countries, despite their upbringing in sinful addictions, have given up such habits. They now take up musical instruments like mrdanga and karatala, go to the streets, and chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. It was a beautiful sight to behold. These devotees have sacrificed their lives for propagating this mission.
I got to participate a couple of times in the Jagannatha Rathayatra festival organized in Chennai. All you could hear in these festivals is the continuous chanting of the Krishna’s holy names and nothing else.
I urge the members of all sampradayas to come together and spread the holy names all over the world.
I read all the articles of the latest issue, which were nicely presented. I particularly liked Caitanya Carana Prabhu’s article “Srila Prabhupada’s Legacy Lives on,” detailing ISKCON’s contribution to the society through Bhakti-yoga. It was informative as well as inspiring to newcomers like me. Thank you.
Why Are You Against the Movies?
I have read amazing articles by Hare Krishna devotees about amazing movies like Star Wars. I even read an article about the 2009 film Avatar and an editorial from an Indian BTG issue in English that was about Harry Potter. At the same time, you write articles that attack people’s love for going to the movies, thus forcing them to stop. Why are you against this fun and exciting experience of going to the movies? Are you against entertainment or something? Please write back. And please don’t give me a “What do What do you think?” Because I don’t have a clue.
– Narottam Cecil
Our reply (by Krishna.com volunteers): As the editors of BTG, we’re always somewhat uncomfortable when devotees submit articles about movies. Srila Prabhupada clearly did not want his disciples to go to movies, and when a devotee writes about a movie, that suggests he or she went to see it, whether or not that’s true. We know that at least one article you mention was written by someone who didn’t see the movie but only read about it. In any case, your letter suggests that our concerns are warranted, since you seem to have taken devotees’ writing about movies as possible justification for going to movies.
One could argue that seeing a movie to write a Krishna conscious article about it is ok. Still, the general rule is that everything in a devotee’s life should be directly connected to Krishna . The purpose of the rules devotees follow is to always remember Krishna . Even if you occasionally remember Krishna while watching a movie, the practice of Krishna consciousness is to do things directly connected to Krishna , such as hearing about Him and chanting His holy names. Mundane movies are not in that category.
With few exceptions, going to movies is sense gratification, pure and simple, and serious devotees are diligently trying to replace sense gratification with Krishna consciousness and devotional service. The practice is bhaktiyoga, and it requires Prabhupada nor any of his disciples with disciples of their own would recommend going to movies. You might think it’s enjoyable, but that enjoyment is harmful to your real selfinterest, your progress in spiritual life.
Here’s one example of the many times Srila Prabhupada spoke against movie-going: The materialistic persons, they are simply busy for satisfying the senses. Go to the hotel, satisfy the tongue, go to the cinema, hear the cinema song, see nice girls, and so on, so on. But these devotees are not interested at all. The cinema is here, a few steps away, but you will never see a student or a disciple of Krishna consciousness go to that nonsense place. . . . It is practical.
The more you engage yourself in devotional service, the more you will forget your sense gratification process. And as soon as you become completely detestful of sense gratification, then you are a liberated person, fit for going back to home, back to Godhead. This is the process. (Lecture, Bombay, 26 November If you find these points hard to accept, we suggest you read books by Srila Prabhupada and his disciples and become more convinced of their essential message. Life is short, and success in life – attaining pure love for God – is difficult to attain. We don’t have time to waste by watching movies. Besides, once you taste the spiritual pleasure of Krishna consciousness, the so-called enjoyment of anything this word has to offer will pale in comparison.