(Click to enlarge photo of Srila Prabhupada)
"Regarding the ailments with your finger, I am describing here a treatment for it. Take turmeric powder and add the same quantity of limestone. Then mix with water and boil it to a paste. Then apply that paste while it is hot. I understand that Hayagriva had some backache so for him you take one part of a crushed to a powder red-pepper and add to it five parts of rubbing alcohol. Keep this for twenty four hours, then strain and add one part camphor. When it is mixed, just apply it on the painful part of the back three times daily.
Regarding your next two questions, you may not put the initiation beads on the cow. Nor is it necessary for grhasthas to recite the Gayatri Mantra aloud. It should be silent or whispered. I think that the symbol which you have seen by the left arm of Lord Jagannatha must be either a flower or a disc.
The translation of the Om Ajnana prayer is 'I offer my respectful obeisances unto my Spiritual Master who has opened my eyes from the darkness of ignorance with the torchlight of knowledge.' "
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, February 21, 1969)
"So far as the bowing down in Deity worship, before opening the door you should bow down. Then turn on the light and bow down again. There is no restriction on bowing down. As many times as you can is all right. Of course, your clothes and under garments should always be as clean as possible. Guests and devotees need not be wearing woolen robes to be dancing around the deities. Regarding your question about guests being present at arati, you should have as many guests there as is possible for you to get to come."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, February 21, 1969)
"So far as your question about the disciplic succession, in all Vedic literatures it is mentioned about the disciplic succession. You have read in Srimad-Bhagavatam, first canto, first chapter where it is said that Brahma was inspired from within the heart by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Similarly, in the Katha Upanisad it is said that 'in order to learn the transcendental science, one has to approach the Spiritual Master.' This spiritual master means one who has heard correctly from his Spiritual Master. In this way, ultimately it goes to Krishna, the Supreme Spiritual Master. There is no possibility of understanding the Vedic knowledge without this descending process. The modern world is puffed up with personal research knowledge, but the person who is engaging in this research work does not know that he is imperfect on account of his aptitude for becoming illusioned, for committing mistakes, for his cheating propensity and for his possessing imperfect senses. Therefore there is no possibility of receiving perfect knowledge without approaching a self-realized Spiritual Master coming down in disciplic succession. The mental speculator, no matter how advanced he may be, cannot deliver us the right knowledge."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, February 28, 1969)
"There is no such requirement that Japa should be silently and chanting should be be done differently. Loudly or silently, everything is all right. There is no such restriction. Only thing is that we should chant very attentively, hearing the vibration very distinctly."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, March 8, 1969)
"Regarding your questions: The spark soul has certainly form which means hands, feet, etc. This we learn from Bhagavad-gita. The body is described there as Vasamsi, which means dress. So unless one has got originally hands and legs, how the dress, coat and pants and shirt, takes such form? Therefore the spirit soul has original form. When he is in the material energy the dress is evolved materially and when he is in the spiritual energy, the dress is evolved spiritually. This is also not very difficult to understand, as our students before coming to my contact, he was supposed to be materially dressed, attached to sense gratification, and after devoting himself in Krishna Consciousness, he is gradually developing a spiritual dress. That means attached to satisfying the senses of the Supreme.
'Why are there apparent time-gaps in the line of disciplic succession as listed in the Bhagavad-gita? Is Arjuna an instructor Spiritual Master and not an initiator Spiritual Master and therefore not listed?' The time gap mentioned by you is inevitable, because the disciplic succession sometimes becomes disconnected, as we find from the Bhagavad-gita. This is the influence of material energy, and to link it up again, it takes some time. That some time may appear to our calculation a big gap, but in relation with the eternal time, it is not even as instant. So this big gap or small gap of time is relative. Just like our 24 hours and Brahma's 24 hours, there is much difference. Our 24 hours is not even a fraction of his second.
'Is it that the Supersoul controls every movement in this world through the agency of Maya and the inferior energy according to the desires of the dreamer-jiva?' Yes.
'How is it that there is so much material "advancement" in the USA even though there is no formal demigod worship? Is a man after economic development automatically worshiping Lord Siva whether he is making Yajna or not?' Actually there is no material advancement in the USA. Material advancement means there is amply opportunity for eating, sleeping, mating, and defending. Superficially, it appears that in the USA there is sufficient provision of eating, sleeping, mating and defending, but actually nobody is safe even in his good apartment. I have got practical experience in New York. Several times my typewriter and tape recorders were stolen and the police could not take any action. There are many persons in the Bowery street, they have no shelter to live. So if a certain fraction of the people are supposed to be very materially happy at the cost of others, that is not material advancement. Had it been so, then why there are so many persons confused and frustrated? So actually there is no material advancement here. Here, I am seeing practically that Gaurasundara, such a nice intelligent and qualified boy, he has to work hard 12 hours simply for his subsistence. I think there are many instances like that, so this is not material advancement. You can call it capitalist advancement, and the reaction for such advancement is communism. Such movement is simply suppressed in your country, but actually the reaction is this. So the Western type of civilization, industrialism and capitalism, is no material advancement. It is material exploitation. When one gets the bare necessities of life, namely peaceful home, sumptuous eating, necessary sex life, and feeling of security, then it is called material advancement. In the absence of such four preliminary necessities of life, it is not at all material advancement— just try to understand. According to Vedic civilization, a man is supposed to be rich when he has got sufficient grains and cows. Here we have neither sufficient grains or cows, but you have got sufficient quantity of papers only—falsely thinking that it is money. When there is some catastrophe, this bunch of papers will neither supply milk or grain. They will be seen only and the man will starve."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, March 14, 1969)
"Regarding your question about Lord Siva and Thakura Haridasa, and their different response to sex agitation: This does not mean that Lord Siva has become degraded from the devotional platform. A devotee even if he is sometimes found that he is attracted by sex life, that does not mean he is degraded. That is by chance. Because Lord Siva is Grhastha, so by his past habits if he appeared to have been attracted by sex life, that does not mean he has been degraded from his position. You should never think of any devotee like that. There are many other stories also, but such apparent falling is without any influence to very very advanced devotees. A neophyte should always be careful. One should not discuss about such great devotees' apparent fall-down. Just like one should not discuss about the sun who evaporates urine from the earth; it is possible for the sun to do it, and still remain the sun, but for ordinary man if he lives in a filthy place he will be infected. So Lord Siva or Lord Brahma, they are highly elevated devotees, and we should not try to criticize about their behavior even though it appears against the rules. These things are very nicely explained in Srimad-Bhagavatam in course of discussion between Maharaja Pariksit and Sukadeva Goswami, in the 10th canto. Your next question: In regard to Kardama Muni, how can a pure devotee become passionate for any amount of agitation? That is not passion. One should not be impotent also. One should have full potency, to beget children, but such sex life should be under his full control. Passion is a different thing. Passion makes one blind. And a devotee is full controller; that is the difference. The example is given of the tortoise; as soon as he likes he discloses his senses, and when he likes he pulls them within. That is the position of a pure devotee. He can wind up the senses, whenever he likes and he can exhibit the senses whenever he likes. On the whole, the senses are under his control. He is not under the control of the senses as are the ordinary persons. That is the meaning of Goswami. A Goswami does not mean he is to become impotent; and can have no children; but he can use it when he likes. They are never the victim of passion.
Sense gratification means unlawful sex life. Sex life is not sense gratification . . . unlawful sex life is sense gratification. If there is no need of sex life and one uses sex life anyway, that is sense gratification. But when there is need of sex life, that is not sense gratification. Never think that the devotee is impotent and is obliged to become free from sex life. If required they can take to sex life 1000 times. Otherwise, if there is no need for it, they have no use for it."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, March 23, 1969)
"You have mentioned about the disagreement amongst our god-brothers, and it is a fact. But so far as I am concerned, I am trying to execute my humble bit, and if somebody disagrees in these activities, what can I do? But so far I get their letters, they fully appreciate the work going on here, and I do not know who is the gentleman against these activities."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, April 13, 1969)