European devotees

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Srimad-Bhagavatam

SB Canto 7

The European and American devotees in the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement are sometimes accepted as brāhmaṇas, but the so-called caste brāhmaṇas are very much envious of them.
SB 7.9.10, Purport:

The European and American devotees in the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement are sometimes accepted as brāhmaṇas, but the so-called caste brāhmaṇas are very much envious of them. In answer to such envy, Prahlāda Mahārāja says that one who has been born in a brāhmaṇa family but is falsely proud of his prestigious position cannot even purify himself, not to speak of his family, whereas if a caṇḍāla, a lowborn person, is a devotee and has fully surrendered unto the lotus feet of the Lord, he can purify his entire family. We have had actual experience of how Americans and Europeans, because of their full Kṛṣṇa consciousness, have purified their whole families, so much so that a mother of a devotee, at the time of her death, inquired about Kṛṣṇa with her last breath. Therefore it is theoretically true and has been practically proven that a devotee can give the best service to his family, his community, his society and his nation. The foolish accuse a devotee of following the principle of escapism, but actually the fact is that a devotee is the right person to elevate his family. A devotee engages everything in the service of the Lord, and therefore he is always exalted.

SB Canto 8

European and American devotees who have joined the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement are helping me considerably.
SB 8.24.61, Purport:

This commentation has been finished in our New Delhi center today, the first of September, 1976, the day of Rādhāṣṭamī, by the grace of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the ācāryas. Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says, tāṅdera caraṇa sevi bhakta-sane vāsa janame janame haya, ei abhilāṣa. I am attempting to present Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam in the English language by the order of my spiritual master, Śrīmad Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, and by his grace the work of translation is gradually progressing, and the European and American devotees who have joined the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement are helping me considerably. Thus we have expectations of finishing the great task before my passing away. All glories to Śrī Guru and Gaurāṅga.

SB Canto 9

At the moment, devotees in the Western countries are being attracted by Kṛṣṇa consciousness and becoming uninterested in materialistic activities, and therefore people are trying to oppose this movement. But they cannot possibly check this movement or stop the activities of the devotees in Europe and America by their artificial impositions.
SB 9.24.62, Purport:

When the devotees aurally receive the activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead as enacted in Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, they immediately achieve a transcendental vision in which they are no longer interested in materialistic activities. Thus they achieve freedom from the material world. For sense gratification practically everyone is engaged in materialistic activities, which prolong the process of janma-mṛtyu jarā-vyādhi (BG 13.9)—birth, death, old age and disease—but the devotee, simply by hearing the message of Bhagavad-gītā and further relishing the narrations of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, becomes so pure that he no longer takes interest in materialistic activities. At the moment, devotees in the Western countries are being attracted by Kṛṣṇa consciousness and becoming uninterested in materialistic activities, and therefore people are trying to oppose this movement. But they cannot possibly check this movement or stop the activities of the devotees in Europe and America by their artificial impositions. Here the words śrotrāñjalir upaspṛśya indicate that simply by hearing the transcendental activities of the Lord the devotees become so pure that they are immediately immune to the contamination of materialistic fruitive activities. Anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.1.11) Materialistic activities are unnecessary for the soul, and therefore the devotees are freed from such activities. The devotees are situated in liberation (brahma-bhūyāya kalpate (BG 14.26)), and therefore they cannot be called back to their material homes and materialistic activities.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta

CC Madhya-lila

A pure devotee is above a brāhmaṇa; therefore it is not incompatible to offer the sacred thread to devotees in Europe, America, Australia, Japan, Canada, and so on.
CC Madhya 25.120, Translation and Purport:

“‘Now please hear from Me about the process of devotional service, which is applicable in any country, for any person, at all times and in all circumstances.

The cult of bhāgavata-dharma can be spread in all circumstances, among all people and in all countries. Many envious people accuse the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement of spoiling the rigidity of so-called Hinduism. That is not actually the fact. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu confirms that devotional service to the Lord—the cult of bhāgavata-dharma, which is now being spread as the Hare Kṛṣṇa movement—can be spread in every country, to every person, in any condition of life, and in all circumstances. Bhāgavata-dharma does not restrict pure devotees to the Hindu community. A pure devotee is above a brāhmaṇa; therefore it is not incompatible to offer the sacred thread to devotees in Europe, America, Australia, Japan, Canada, and so on. Sometimes these pure devotees, who have been accepted by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, are not allowed to enter certain temples in India. Also, some high-caste brāhmaṇas and gosvāmīs refuse to take prasādam in the temples of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Actually this is against the instruction of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Devotees can come from any country, and they can belong to any creed or race. On the strength of this verse, those who are actually devotees and followers of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu must accept devotees from all parts of the world as pure Vaiṣṇavas. They should be accepted not artificially but factually. One should see how they are advanced in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and how they are conducting Deity worship, saṅkīrtana and Ratha-yātrā. Considering all these points, the envious persons must henceforward refrain from their malicious atrocities.

Lectures

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

So you simply inspect all the persons who are dying. You do not see who are living. (break) ...were in India, I asked the people here, we have got so many devotees in Europe, who is dying? Nobody is dying. It is simply propaganda.
Lecture on SB 5.5.1-2 -- Paris, August 12, 1973:

Jyotirmayī: We saw that in India the people are not chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, now very poor, now dying of anger, oh, hunger, but there is those who are very rich, they are not religious at all. They do not chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, but are very rich and they enjoy very much.

Prabhupāda: Yes, but those who are chanting, they are not dying (laughter). I am Indian. I am not dying.

Guest: I am Indian. I am coming from Calcutta, from the (indistinct). I am seeing every day. This is the first time...

Prabhupāda: But you do not know who are chanting.

Guest: Yes I know, I went...

Prabhupāda: No, that's not, that I cannot accept.

Guest: Yes, yes.

Prabhupāda: Those who are chanting, we have got branch in Calcutta, in Māyāpur, in Bombay, in Vṛndāvana. None of our devotees are dying.

Guest: But I regret to say that in Māyāpur, in Navadvīpa also I saw there poor people dying.

Prabhupāda: Uh huh. You...

Guest: ...myself constructing...

Prabhupāda: So you simply inspect all the persons who are dying. You do not see who are living. (break) ...were in India, I asked the people here, we have got so many devotees in Europe, who is dying? Nobody is dying. It is simply propaganda.

Guest: I know nothing about Europe. This is the first time I'm coming to Europe, I know the problem. I was always in...

Prabhupāda: But you are wrong informed. You are talking from Europe about India.

If I see that "Here is an American devotee or European devotee, he ate but did not wash his hands, so he is not yet perfect," "No," Kṛṣṇa says. "No." Api cet suḍurācāro. This is a small fault that he has not washed his hands.
Lecture on SB 6.1.14 -- Bombay, November 10, 1970:

So api cet su-durācāro. If somebody says, "These devotee, these American and European devotees, we accept as sādhu, but they have got some bad habits." Suppose one sees, according to the European-American custom after eating they do not wash hands. That is, they are not practiced to that way. So similarly, if I see that "Here is an American devotee or European devotee, he ate but did not wash his hands, so he is not yet perfect," "No," Kṛṣṇa says. "No." Api cet suḍurācāro. This is a small fault that he has not washed his hands. But we should not neglect to wash our hands. If by mistake, if by forgetfulness I do that, that is excused. But not that because it is excused we shall follow..., we shall neglect the rules and regulations. But Kṛṣṇa says that even he is suḍurācāro, his behavior is not up to the standards, still he is sādhu. Still sādhur eva sa mantavyaḥ (BG 9.30). He should be taken, accepted as sādhu. Because why? Because he has taken Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Without any deviation he is engaged in his service. That qualification makes him sādhu. It is not that by mistake, he commits some mistake in his behavior.

Nectar of Devotion Lectures

Sometimes people criticize these American and European devotees, that they think that "They are American devotee; we are Hindu devotee. There is difference." This is not bhakti-mārga.
The Nectar of Devotion -- Vrndavana, November 1, 1972:

The karmī's activity is on upādhi. "I am American," "I am Indian," "I am Hindu," "I am Muslim," "I am Christian." With this upādhi, we are acting. But bhakti means without upādhi. Sarvopādhi-virnirmuktam. Activity without upādhi. Working not as American. Working not as Indian. Working not as Hindu. Working not as Muslim. That is sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ tat-paratvena nirmalam (CC Madhya 19.170). If we think that "I am Christian," "I am Hindu," "I am American," that is with upādhi. When we purely think that "We are...," or "I am servant of Kṛṣṇa. My only business is to satisfy Kṛṣṇa," that activity is called bhakti. If I become interested in some party, that is not... Sometimes people criticize these American and European devotees, that they think that "They are American devotee; we are Hindu devotee. There is difference." This is not bhakti-mārga. This is upādhi. Why you should think yourself as Hindu? Why you should think of others who have come from America as American? That is less intelligent. Kṛṣṇa-bhakta... Vaiṣṇave jāti-buddhiḥ. If one thinks of Vaiṣṇava as belonging to this class, this nation, he has no vision.

Sri Brahma-samhita Lectures

Just like these European, Americans. They're devotees. They are pure devotee of Kṛṣṇa. How? They have no other desire.
Lecture on Brahma-samhita, Lecture -- Bombay, January 3, 1973:

Mahātmā means who is pure devotee of the Lord. Sādhu means who is a devotee—not these street beggars. Sādhu. Sādhur eva sa mantavyaḥ samyag vyavasito hi... (BG 9.30). Who are they? Sādhur eva sa mantavyaḥ.

api cet su-durācāro
bhajate mām ananya-bhāk
sādhur eva sa mantavyaḥ...
(BG 9.30)

He's sādhu. Even if we find some discrepancies in the life of a devotee... Just like these European, Americans. They're devotees. They are pure devotee of Kṛṣṇa. How? They have no other desire. They simply want to satisfy their spiritual master and Kṛṣṇa. Therefore they are pure devotees. They have no other business. They have sacrificed everything. They are coming from rich family, rich nation, educated, everything. There is no scarcity in their country. Everything's complete. But still, for Kṛṣṇa they have forsaken everything. That is pure devotion.

General Lectures

You can see the presence of so many European and American devotees here. And they are very sincere.
Excerpt of Speech at Fire Yajna with South Indian Brahmanas -- Hyderabad, August 16, 1976:

When the Supreme Personality of Godhead is worshiped, there is no discrepancy. In the Kali-yuga it is said in the śāstras that yajña is now practically impossible; therefore it is recommended yajñair saṅkīrtanair prāyair yajanti hi (SB 11.5.32). So we are very glad that here in southern portion of India, still there are so many respectable yajñic brāhmaṇas, and we see practically how they have nicely performed the yajñas. Now this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is trying to spread this brahminical culture.

namo brahmaṇya-devāya
go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca
jagad-dhitāya kṛṣṇāya
govindāya namo namaḥ

Jagad-dhitāya kṛṣṇāya. Kṛṣṇa wants welfare of the whole universe. Yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati (BG 4.7). He comes personally. So we are trying to establish this brahminical culture, go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca. You'll be very much pleased that in a country where go-hatyā is so prominent, now we have established so many farms in Europe and America. We shall show the pictures how we are giving protection to the cows and how we are trying to revive this brahminical culture all over the world. And they are accepting. It is not that they are rejecting. You can see the presence of so many European and American devotees here. And they are very sincere. They are not superficial. They are very sincere. Their countrymen, the priests, the Christian priests, the Jewish priests, priests, they become surprised that "These young boys, they never cared for any religion or they never cared to come to the church or the synagogue. How they have become so much interested in understanding God as to become a devotee?"

Conversations and Morning Walks

1976 Conversations and Morning Walks

But so far the kitchen pots, all are... In our also, when it is handled by this European, American devotees, the black. Down, it is black. That should not be black. It must be cleansed.
Room Conversation -- August 24, 1976, Hyderabad:

Mahāṁsa: But even their houses are not so clean, shabby.

Prabhupāda: Even though they're not... You cannot say not... They are clean. I have seen in Bombay even the poorest man, his house, and a Parsee gentleman, his house. Kitchen habits. A Parsee's kitchen is so nasty. And here you see this poor man's house, they are neat. Their utensils how much cleansed. I had been in Parsee kitchen. All the pots black. Nothing is cleansed. For eating they use this China. So clean or unclean cannot be understood. Simply washed. But so far the kitchen pots, all are... In our also, when it is handled by this European, American devotees, the black. Down, it is black. That should not be black. It must be cleansed.

Mahāṁsa: By the heat with these wood, it brings up a lot of soot.

Prabhupāda: But it must be cleansed daily.

1977 Conversations and Morning Walks

Suppose you have seen that a gold mountain has come in your possession. Will you be satisfied with that?
Room Conversation -- January 28, 1977, Bhuvanesvara:

Pṛthu-putra: Oh, we haven't come in contact with any of these rascals.

Prabhupāda: No, this Nitāi and others, they have...

Satsvarūpa: You're not associated with Rādhā-kuṇḍa and that...

Pṛthu-putra: Oh, no. That was long time ago. Anyway, I was just staying in one place and didn't listen to anyone.

Prabhupāda: That Kṛṣṇadāsa Bābājī, he's of the same type. Not only he, mostly. Because their theory is this, to pick up some woman who is not your wife, she must be parakīyā, other's wife. And making Rādhārāṇī, and you become Kṛṣṇa, and this is parakīyā... And pointed out by Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, he's a kali-celā. Ei ota eka kali-celā, nāke tilaka galāi mālā, and sahajiyā bhajana kache mamur saṅge lana pare bala.(?) This is... It's not new thing. It is coming since a long time. Otherwise how Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura... He's our like grandfather.

Satsvarūpa: This discussion with Pṛthu-putra Mahārāja and the devotees in Europe doesn't so much concern those bābājīs as this business of the, when something is visited, when you have a visitation from the subtle plane, whether to take it as important or not. But you've already explained the position, to go on with your duty and not consider the message very important. Sometimes they speak of...

Prabhupāda: No, suppose you have seen that a gold mountain has come in your possession. Will you be satisfied with that?

Pṛthu-putra: No.

Prabhupāda: So this is like that. This is like that.

Pṛthu-putra: But in the case of Adhikaraṇa, person came as a fact.

European, American devotees, they like rice? No.
Room Conversation -- January 29, 1977, Bhuvanesvara:

Hari-śauri: Just like India has so many villages. Because they are living simply, then there's enough for everyone.

Prabhupāda: No scarcity. Population increasing? You increase your food. So much land everywhere vacant, all over the world. But that they will not do. They will keep the cattles and eat. Cattle also, they want vegetables. Otherwise where you'll get cattle? But therefore in Bhagavad-gītā, annād bhavanti bhūtāni (BG 3.14). Produce food grains. Just like this is. How nice it is, from paddy. So you take the paddies, rice, eat, and the grass you can utilize in so many ways. Anywhere you can till the ground, you get paddy and the grass. Make your cottage. So shelter is there. And the animals also like this grass. You can make home. Where is the scarcity? Plain living, high thinking, and prepare for next life. Go back home, back to Godhead. Finish this hellish life of repeated birth and death. There is no knowledge. And when we try to give them this knowledge, they say, "You are brainwashed. You have imported some new way of life, style of life. Brainwash." So our European, American devotees, they like rice? No.

Hari-śauri: Yes.

Correspondence

1969 Correspondence

Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura and Srila Prabhupada desired that such American and European devotees may live at Mayapur for studies of Sri Caitanya philosophy, and now the time is ripe when many American, European, and Japanese students working as my disciples are ready to go there for this purpose.
Letter to Tirtha Maharaja -- Los Angeles 7 February, 1969:

Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura and Srila Prabhupada desired that such American and European devotees may live at Mayapur for studies of Sri Caitanya philosophy, and now the time is ripe when many American, European, and Japanese students working as my disciples are ready to go there for this purpose. In 1967, when I went to India, five American disciples were with me. One of them, Kirtanananda (Keith Ham, B.A.), was given sannyasa by me at Vrindaban. He was sent back to the USA to organize my New Vrindaban scheme in West Virginia, and he is working there along with another of my disciples, Professor Howard Wheeler M.A., in cooperation with Dr. George Henderson M.A., Ph.D., and others. The remaining four disciples were entrusted to live at the Institute of Swami Bon Maharaja, but on account of his canvassing them for becoming his disciples they left him, although one of them, Hrsikesa, is still living c/o Bon Maharaja as his re-initiated disciple (?) Two other of my disciples are still at Vrindaban in my place at Radha Damodara Temple, and Bon Maharaja is still after them to deviate their faith upon me.

1970 Correspondence

Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura wanted it that the American and European devotees should come to Mayapur, therefore I am trying for it. If you kindly help in this connection it will be a great assistance.
Letter to Madhava Maharaja -- Los Angeles 21 January, 1970:

Regarding Mayapur land, practically my jurisdiction of preaching work is covered mostly in these Western countries; and because Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura wanted it that the American and European devotees should come to Mayapur, therefore I am trying for it. If you kindly help in this connection it will be a great assistance. I have already written to Acyutananda in this connection and whichever plot of land you altogether select, I will accept it. I have already written one letter to Sripada Yayabar Maharaja, but until now I have received no reply from him. Sripada Paramahamsa Maharaja has promised to help me in this connection. So I am awaiting their decision.

We must now settle up the things during the Rathayatra festival because all important European devotees will collect together in London.
Letter to Ksirodakasayi -- Los Angeles 29 June, 1970:

Regarding our prospective Indian tour in February of 1971, we must now settle up the things during the Rathayatra festival because all important European devotees will collect together in London. The program is to go to India with forty heads, male and female. One local Indian chemist, Dr. Ravidra Pratap Rao, is here and most probably he is going to be our disciple. He is ready to receive our party at Gorakhpur and arrange for our visiting different important places. So the best thing will be to purchase our ticket up to Lucknow if it is possible and then from Lucknow they will receive us by train to Gorakhpur. This is the idea here. Now you should consider what is to be done. So on hearing from you definitely I shall ask Dr. Rao for our proper reception in India. The itinerary is not yet fixed up, but on hearing from you definitely I shall send you.

Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura wanted that the American and European devotees would come to Mayapur and the prophecy is now fulfilled.
Letter to Govinda Maharaja -- Calcutta 22 September, 1970:

Regarding propagating the Name of Sri Mayapur as Birthplace of Lord Caitanya, it is going on regularly in our different literatures and books. If you kindly take the trouble of coming here conveniently, I can show you how we are giving publicity to the Birthsite of Lord Caitanya. Perhaps you know that I begged from His Holiness Sripada Tirtha Maharaja a little piece of land at Mayapur for constructing a home for my Western disciples, but he refused the proposal. Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura wanted that the American and European devotees would come to Mayapur and the prophecy is now fulfilled. Unfortunately they are loitering in the streets of Calcutta without having a suitable place at Mayapur. Do you think it is alright?

1972 Correspondence

Also, I am coming to London this summer for Ratha-yatra Festival and if all of the European devotees come there I shall be very glad to see you all again.
Letter to Vasudeva -- Los Angeles May 31, 1972:

Yes, if you can get a new and larger place that will be very nice. Also, I am coming to London this summer for Ratha-yatra Festival and if all of the European devotees come there I shall be very glad to see you all again. Yes, you may name your new son Caitanya dasa. So now be happy and chant Hare Krsna and take Krsna Prasadam, and in this way you shall find your life becoming more and more perfect and you will meet Krsna face to face very soon, rest assured.

1973 Correspondence

I am getting so many requests for first initiation, therefore I have given that responsibility to Kirtanananda, and Revatinandana will chant on the beads for the European devotees.
Letter to Damodara -- Bombay, India 9 January, 1973:

Upon your recommendation I am happy to accept the six applicants as my duly initiated disciples, and their letter is enclosed herewith. You may request them to send their beads to Kirtanananda in New Vrndavana for chanting on them on my behalf. I have given that responsibility as it is too costly to send so many beads such great distance by air mail. Now I am getting so many requests for first initiation, therefore I have given that responsibility to Kirtanananda, and Revatinandana will chant on the beads for the European devotees.

Many of our American and European devotees are coming to our temple in Mayapur and on completion of the Vrindaban temple we shall be able to give facilities to our ISKCON devotees all over the world to visit these two most holy places in the world.
Letter to Gurudasa -- Calcutta 4 July, 1973:

So by your diligent work and devotion, all permission is secured and all materials are on hand. Let us pray to Krsna for speedy progress on the construction of our Krsna Balarama temple. Now many of our American and European devotees are coming to our temple in Mayapur and on completion of the Vrindaban temple we shall be able to give facilities to our ISKCON devotees all over the world to visit these two most holy places in the world.

1974 Correspondence

I am requesting you that after our Navadvipa parikrama about two hundred to three hundred European devotees will go to Vrndavana for parikrama.
Letter to Sripada Radhika Bhava -- Honolulu 17 January, 1974:

With humble obeisances at the lotus feet of the devotee, Sripada Radhika Bhava, please accept my humble obeisances. At the moment I am in Hawaii Island. I am requesting you that after our Navadvipa parikrama about two hundred to three hundred European devotees will go to Vrndavana for parikrama. That's why Sriman Guru das is going to see you with this letter. Kindly introduce Guru das to the son of our panda (the guide for the pilgrim) whom you have recently given Rs. 100 on my behalf. If that panda goes with them and shows them Govardhana and other places then I will be very much grateful. Please accept my humble obeisances and convey my humble obeisances to Sripada Shar Maharaja. I will go to India soon.

1975 Correspondence

About 400 American and European devotees have come for the celebrations this year.
Letter to Mr. R.L. Bhatt -- Mayapur 2 April, 1975:

I am very glad that you have appreciated our movement so nicely. I am sorry to say that I did not reach your letter until quite a few days after I left Bombay. Our festival has gone very nicely here in Mayapur. About 400 American and European devotees have come for the celebrations this year. We will all be going to Vrndavana for the opening of our Krishna-Balarama temple there on April 20th, 1975. You and your family are cordially invited to attend our functions there if it is convenient for you at that time.

Facts about "European devotees"
Compiled byVisnu Murti + and Kanupriya +
Completed sectionsALL +
Date of first entryJanuary 18, 0012 JL +
Date of last entryFebruary 6, 0012 JL +
Total quotes21 +
Total quotes by sectionBG: 0 +, SB: 3 +, CC: 1 +, OB: 0 +, Lec: 5 +, Conv: 3 + and Let: 9 +