On September 15th HH Purnacandra Goswami Maharaja was hospitalized with internal bleeding, and from October 19th he was in coma. On the 4th of November, 22:25 PM Moscow time HH Purnacandra Goswami passed away. It is a great loss for the entire ISKCON community.
Please see http://www.dandavats.com/?p=8985 for a condolence statement from the GBC.
This has caused some consternation for the devotees, not only due to the loss of his wonderful association but also due to the circumstances of his illness and coma.
Srila Prabhupada was well known for having said that when a person dies in a coma, it is indicative of sinful life. A person who is greatly sinful is made to wait in a comatose state until the Yamadutas can figure his punishment and next birth. When it is decided, he is then moved to his next destination (dies).
A famous example he used was Winston Churchill.
One of the first lectures I ever heard Srila Prabhupada give in person was in Sydney in early April 1972. I was a young, newly immigrated Brit. It was quite a shock to hear Srila Prabhupada describe Winston Churchill as a ‘big demon‘ because in England he was a national hero, the savior of the British and the world. Srila Prabhupada cited the fact that Churchill died in a coma as evidence of his demonic activities.
It was a revelation to me which at the time I accepted simply because Srila Prabhupada said it was so. Later on when I heard about the criminal bombing of Dresden
(a ‘Churchillian gesture‘ according to one news report I read on the topic;
the prior knowledge Churchill had about the bombing of Pearl Harbor
and the deliberate starvation of millions of Bengalis in the 1943 politically created ‘famine’
I understood Srila Prabhupada was perfectly right.
The recent passing of our dear Godbrother Purnacandra Goswami after spending 16 days in a coma naturally gave rise to some questions about comas and their cause and effect. One such question I received was from my Godbrother Prthu prabhu:
“As for Churchill dying in Coma as evidence of his demonic activities, I heard that statement many times as well.
But how about Purnachandra Maharaja dying in Coma ? I don’t think the least offensively and believe he was a great soul.
However how do we explain when somebody raises the question as for Churchill`s coma in regard to Purnachandra Maharaja`s situation?”
This question was also asked by several other devotees including Vinata mataji:
“However, I wanted to ask you about coma. There is something you are telling about it in one of your seminars ‘Srila Prabhupada the Living Bhagavatam’. Explaining about Prabhupada’s comments on coma, Churchill his coma,  and the understanding of his demoniac mentality (Churchillian gesture). Could you please explain how to understand Purnacandra Goswami’s passing away? He was certainly not a demon but an advanced devotee. Please help me to clear the fog.”

Q&As ISKCON sutra
25 April 2009

April 25 2009

Here’s an interesting inquiry from Shyama Gopal dasa about a well-known sutra that was chanted all over ISKCON in the 70s, when book distribution was booming and ISKCON was expanding like anything:

“Prabhu, I was just reading articles on your blog site (great site!) as one devotee referred me to your blog this morning.

“I wanted to ask you about: “Books are the basis, preaching is the essence, utility is the principle, and purity is the force.”


Books are the basis


Preaching is the essence


Utility is the principle


Purity is the force


We did a lot of research about two years back but noone could find the original source of this sutra. However, it was used on the masthead of the ‘Sankirtan Newsletter‘ that Srutadeva prabhu was putting out every week in the mid-70s. Srila Prabhupada was sent copies and used to read every issue:

October 30 1976
[TD 5]

“When Prabhupada flew from New York to London in July, Srutadeva prabhu and his family from Baltimore accompanied our party to take up a new service in England. On Jayatirtha prabhu’s request, he has taken up the post of temple president at Bury Place. Srutadeva used to compile the weekly Sankirtana Newsletter, which, along with the official BBT monthly newsletter sent out by Ramesvara Swami, keeps the temples around the world (and Srila Prabhupada) up-to-date with temple book distribution scores. Whereas the BBT newsletter bases the temple rankings in the monthly competition on the amount of laxmi they send in to the BBT each month, Srutadeva’s Sankirtana Newsletter lists individual book distributors’ scores as well as all of the books sold by category-small, medium, large, and maha-large-in each temple per week. Since he started it in 1974, his newsletter has helped fuel the competitive book distribution spirit amongst the temples and devotees and is read and appreciated by Srila Prabhupada. Now, with his move to England, he has stopped this service and handed it on to another devotee in Los Angeles.”

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April 11 2009

Here’s question #9 from Laxmana Prana das:

“In the purport to SB 4.24.40 Srila Prabhupada writes: “The real quintessence of sabda-brahma is the sound of Hare Krishna mantra. To the one who chants these transcendental sounds all material and spiritual truths are revealed.” And further: “In his prayers Lord Shiva begs the Supreme Personality of Godhead to show us His mercy so that just by chanting Hare Krisna mantra we could understand everything existing both in material and spiritual worlds…”

My question is: “How can we understand everything in this world simply by chanting Hare Krishna mantra?”



The Hare Krishna maha-mantra is directly Krsna Himself.


When we realize that the name and the Lord are the same, we come to the self-realized platform.


Because Krsna is everything, both material and spiritual, when a devotee realizes that Krsna is everywhere, then everything becomes known to him.


It is revealed to him by Krsna, due to his intimate connection. Otherwise it is not possible to know what this material world is, what to speak of the spiritual world.


We can only gain whatever knowledge Krsna chooses to reveal to us. No matter how intelligent we think we are, we are covered by the three modes of material nature. Only when Krsna is pleased with us are we relieved of the cloud of ignorance that currently shrouds our consciousness. We can know what He wants us to know, and we cannot know what we want to know if Krsna does not consent. If there is no sun, our power of seeing is useless.


Thus even very intelligent persons are constantly bewildered if they are not devotees of the lord. And someone, even if they may not appear to be very intelligent, can know everything if Krsna reveals it to him. It is therefore not a question of brain power.

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September 9 2008 

fool for love

Here’s a question from Asrama dasa, Russia, about that perennial topic, men and women:

“How is it possible to avoid being befuddled in relationships with the fair sex, even based on KC. I noticed that if a man is in relationships with a woman, the man is dependant on a woman even if he thinks that he controls the situation.”

befooled in love

Answer: In an age when there is a great deal of reluctance to admit the differences between men and women, there is a reverse trend in medicine and especially psychological studies which is increasingly showing the obvious: men and women are different. Their bodies work differently, their minds work differently. Srila Prabhupada has always stuck with this despite heavy criticism from the politically correct crowd.

Befuddled is a good word when it comes to describing the effects a women has on the mind of an admiring male. Here’s a study that was done some years back providing scientific backing for what everyone has always known:

Pretty Women Make Men Stupid!

Women have known this since the beginning of time. Now psychologists at
McMaster University in Canada have figured it out, too. A beautiful woman
can make a guy stupid.

Read the rest of this entry »

Another question from Gaura Karuna dasa in CIS:

Some statements are attributed to Srila Prabhupada (such as “books are a basis, purity is strength…”) which he never spoke or wrote. Should this be paid attention to, if this happens?


Its always good to verify if possible any important statement attributed to Srila Prabhupada. “Prabhupada said…” is an often quoted phrase when devotees want to justify a particular instruction or understanding they have. But whether Srila Prabhupada actually said it, and in what context he said it, that should be verified. Srila Prabhupada once complained that “They are saying ‘Prabhupada said’, ‘Prabhupada said’, but Prabhupada never said.” Read the rest of this entry »

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