Holy Pilgrimage - Hindu temples in USA
Sri Nitai Gauranga Mandir - Prabhupada Sankirtana Society, Manhattan, New York
For Real Knowledge
(Hare Krishna Community)
phone number and email is (212) 674-0698,
Sri Sri Nitai Gauranga Mandir of Manhattan Now Expanding
With our tiny storefront temple on Avenue B we haven’t been able to take care of the people properly. However, by Lord Caitanya’s grace that can now be dramatically changed. The Supreme Personality of Godhead has just made the next door strorefront available to us doubling our size.
Is the Hare Krishna movement ready to lead human society out ofignorance and confusion? I believe so. On September 6, 1986 I was so happy to resume serving Srila Prabhupada exactly as I did in ISKCON from 1969 to 1977 now in the form of Prabhupada Sankirtan Society. What a relief, Srila Prabhupada was again everyone’s spiritual master. Back to the fundamentals. Simple for the simple, chant Hare Krishna and be happy.
Fourteen years later the Prabhupada Sankirtan Society has gained the respect of the greater Lower Eastside where the Hare Krishna movement began. The devotees of the Prabhupada Sankirtan Society work under the protection of Srila Prabhupada by daily hearing and discussing his lectures. Madhavananda Prabhu leads the devotees out on Harinam and book distribution. Mother Krishna Devi enjoys cooking for over 1000 hungry souls each month at Tompkins Square Park. Three times a week devotees set up the Hare Krishna Food Relief festival at the park where they chant and distribute delicious kitcheri, halavah and lemonade along with Prabhupada’s books, tapes, and cd’s. This simple program at Tompkins Square Park since 1988 has caught the attention and appreciation of Lower Eastside residents.
Harry Greenberg, manager of Tompkins Square Park, says: “They (Hare Krishna Food Relief) have provided for the homeless in this park for the past ten years, cleaning the park, and also in cooperation with the rules and guidelines. We feel that they are an asset to the park.”
Reverand Robert Wallenburg, Executive director Trinity Lutheran Church: “We have known of your work on the Lower Eastside for many years, feeding hungry people and homeless people. You have always done this with care, respect, and nutritious and healthy foods.”
(On this 12th consecutive year Hare Krishna Food Relief has been rewarded by United Way of New York City with a food grant of $14,600. Last years grant was $6,500.)
Being accustomed by the presence of us Hare Krishna devotees for so long we have been accepted as community members. We receive friendly “Hare Krishna” greetings from Lower Eastside residents. It’s almost like Vrndavan.
When Harinam goes out the potency of the chanting is comparable to the “early days”. As the devotees march on, the living entities smile and begin to dance, cameras flash and restaurant goers stop eating being slightly stunned. Lower Eastsiders like Krishna Consciousness being instinctively set in motion by Srila Prabhupada in the early 1960′s.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE PROBLEM ?!!!With our tiny storefront temple we haven’t been able to take care of the people properly. However, by Lord Caitanya’s grace that can now be dramatically changed. The Supreme Personality of Godhead has just made the next door strorefront available to us doubling our size.
With the new space we will have a large enough temple room to accommodate 30 people for kirtans, classes and honoring prasadam. The space will include a Krishna store selling Prabhupada books, tapes & cd’s plus Krishna art and Deity paraphernelia, posters and incense. The basement will be renovated for a first class office / computer room. The outside of the temple will feature a beautiful lighted awning and continuos playing of Prabhupada singing.
The Lower Eastside is going through a prosperous boom. Many young people are thronging the area. New shops and restaurants are opening everywhere. New buildings are rising. While this prosperity is increasing the people are definitely searching. So the Hare Krishna position is prime and Prabhupada Sankirtan Society is in the prime location on Avenue B where there is traffic all day and night, and only three blocks from Tompkins Square Park.
The Lord is giving special potency and determination to the devotees here, for they fully take shelter of Srila Prabhupada, although they have never seen him… but they do hear him daily. “faithful hearing from an authoritative person will help one transcend this material existence and go back to Godhead, back to home.” (Bg. 13.26 Purport)
“I shall request you all that I shall go away, but you shall live. Don’t give up pushing on this movement, and you’ll be blessed by Lord Caitanya and His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Prabhupada.” (Srila Prabhupada lecture 12/9/69)
There is every reason to believe that this mission representing Srila Prabhupada in the Lower Eastside of New York is under the guidance and protection of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Therefore let us work together in assisting Srila Prabhupada spread his movement.
My name is Madhavananda das. I live as a brahmacari at the Sri Sri Nitai Gauranga Mandir, a small temple located in Manhattan on Avenue B. I’ve been endeavoring to follow the teachings of Srila Prabhupada and serve him for the past seven years. It was seven years ago that I had first received Bhagavad Gita As It Is. I am now 29 years of age and recall searching for the Absolute Truth since I was 15. Today I am happy to dedicate my life to the ultimate cause.
I have experienced that Srila Prabhupada is personally present and always giving guidance. Thus I have taken it as my life’s mission to introduce Srila Prabhupada by broadcasting his name and personality as one who is giving shelter to the world. This is the same purpose of Prabhupada Sankirtan Society which I have been serving with fulltime since January. The society was registered by Kapindra Swami in 1988 as an official nonprofit organization meant for taking shelter of Srila Prabhupada and increasing his family of disciples. Currently there are devotees having preaching centers in California, Washington, Oregon, Germany, England and Guyana (South America). Our main temple is here in Manhattan’s Lower Eastside two blocks from Tompkins Square Park where Srila Prabhupada planted the first seeds of the Hare Krishna movement in the West. The neighborhood people are very familiar with and receptive to Krishna Consciousness. This has developed over the years through regular Sankirtan and prasadam distribution offered by Prabhupada Sankirtan Society’s Hare Krishna Food Relief program which is supported by government grants and the United Way.
Today I am writing to inform you of our current plan for expansion and to humbly submit a request for your assistance. Knowing of your dedication to Srila Prabhupada we feel that you may like to be a supporter of our mission. At this stage in development it is now time for us to make available a facility where devotees can be nicely trained and the public can be freely welcomed in. Until now our single space has served as a temple, ashram, bookstore, prasadam room, office, etc. Now, by Lord Krishna’s grace we will be expanding into the store space next door and doubling our room. Presently there are four of us here serving fulltime and more devotees are ready to join us. We are all prepared to work hard to see that the new temple is first class for Lord Krishna and Srila Prabhupada. The facility will be arranged having a bookstore, display windows, temple room, office, kitchen and bathrooms. Storage and ashram space will be downstairs.
This facility is very much needed here in Manhattan where Srila Prabhupada especially expressed desire for a temple. Although still relatively humble in size, the temple is in a perfect preaching location and will serve nicely as a next step in our expansion. The center will be effective as a regular outlet of books, tapes and prasadam, and will be a place where people can always come and hear from Srila Prabhupada. A daily temple schedule will be maintained with regular arati’s and kirtan.
Our whole program is based on hearing daily from Srila Prabhupada. We have produced and made available a complete library with all of Srila Prabhupada’s audio recordings which we are distributing worlwide via the internet at www.krishna.org. The 1200 hours of audio is compressed onto 24 cdroms containing all of Prabhupada’s lectures, conversations, bhajans, etc. Each day we are hearing the lectures and a readout is displayed on the television. This is a revolutionary program which needs to be presented to the public on a grand scale. To begin, a facility is required to accommodate the people. With this objective we are submitting to you a request for funding assistance. The total cost for items and renovation is $30,000. We have included an itemized budget. Please consider this request and let us know if you are able to help (donations tax deductible) We will move into the new space at the beginning of September and plan to begin construction immediately. You are welcome to come visit us anytime. Our phone number and email is (212) 674-0698, firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is Initiation?
·This seems like a simple question since so many devotees have taken initiation. But I have asked a few devotees and they seem not to really understand what is real initiation. So this is my humble attempt to try to understand what is real initiation.
It seems that initiation is two fold, but that’s when we look at it from the material point of view. First we have the initiation ceremony or ritual. The ceremony seems fairly simple to understand that it is a formality of the guru accepting the disciple and the disciple accepting the guru. That is, of course, a very serious commitment and never to be taken lightly. Now we must ask what does formality mean?
I use the word formality because a devotee asked Srila Prabhupada “how important is formal initiation?” And Srila Prabhupada said “formal initiation means to accept officially to abide by the orders of Krsna and his representatives, that is formal initiation.”
Also Srila Prabhupada said “initiation or no initiation, first thing is knowledge. Initiation is a formality. Just like you go to school for knowledge and admission is formality, that is not a very important thing.”
So now we have a glimpse of what is the ritual or formality or initiation. So now we must ask what is beyond this; what is real initiation. To try to shed some light on this, let’s examine some purports by Srila Prabhupada from the Caitanya Caritamrta.
First He says the spiritual master awakens the sleeping living entity to his original consciousness so that he can worship Lord Visnu. This is the purpose of diksa or initiation. Initiation means receiving the pure knowledge of spiritual consciousness. [Madhya-Lila 9.61,purport]
Second He says diksa actually means initiating a disciple with transcendental knowledge by which he becomes freed from all material contamination. [Madhya-Lila 4.111, purport]
So it seems that real initiation deals with the giving of transcendental knowledge from the guru and the receiving of transcendental knowledge by the disciple. And also important and which binds the initiation and fulfills the commitment is our sincerity, determination and our submission to the guru.
Also to understand initiation further, Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati one said: “Submission to the Absolute is not real unless it is also itself Absolute. It is on the plane of the Absolute that the disciple is required to submit completely to the good preceptor. On the material plane, there can be no such thing as complete submission.” So now it seems that we must also understand that this real initiation is absolutely on the transcendental platform.
So from this we can see what is real initiation. When I ask myself who is giving me this transcendental initiation, the answer keeps coming up Srila Prabhupada. I recommend that you ask yourself the same question.
So in closing we must pay all obeisances to the savior of the universe, Srila Prabhupada, for His purports of transcendental knowledge.
The Mind Can Be Our Friend or Our EnemySpiritual life begins when we can control our minds. Ordinarily the mind of a conditioned soul in the material world is completely out of control. For most people, rather than their mind being controlled their minds become servants of their senses. For example if one is walking down a street and sees or smells some very nice food then the tongue is sending messages to the mind telling it that it wants that food to satisfy the sense of taste. So the person, controlled by the urges of the senses, purchases that food and eats it to try and satisfy the whims of the tongue. In the same way all the senses of the body are demanding the mind to supply their particular objects of gratification so the person is actually out of control. He simply becomes a servant of his senses, trying to satisfy their every whim, but the cruel nature of the material world is that no matter what he supplies in an attempt to satisfy his senses they will never be satisfied. They will always demand more, more, more…
Therefore the Bhagavad-gita prescribes:
A man must elevate himself by his own mind, not degrade himself. The mind is the friend of the conditioned soul, and his enemy as well. (Bhagavad-gita 6.5)
In this sixth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna is describing the system of meditational yoga to His friend Arjuna. Here, in this verse, Krishna is establishing that the mind is the central point of yoga practice. The purpose of the yoga system is to control the mind and draw it away from attachment to sense objects.
The mind has to be trained in such a way that it can deliver the conditioned soul from the darkness of the material world and bring him into the light of Krishna consciousness.
Material life means being subjected to the influence of the mind and the senses, in fact the pure soul is entangled in the material world only because of the mind’s ego which desires to lord it over material nature. Therefore the mind should be trained so it is not attracted to the glitter of material nature and in this way the conditioned soul may be saved.
One should not degrade oneself by attraction to the things that will satisfy one’s senses. The more one is attracted by sense objects, the more one becomes entangled in material existence. The best way to disentangle oneself is to always engage the mind in Krishna consciousness. In this verse it is emphasized that one must do this. In this way the mind will elevate one and not degrade him.
It is said: “For man, mind is the cause of bondage and mind is the cause of liberation. Mind absorbed in sense objects is the cause of bondage, and mind detached from sense objects is the cause of liberation.” Therefore the mind which is always engaged in Krishna consciousness is the cause of supreme liberation.
This is a very simple, short and easy to explain point, but it is very essential that we really understand this point and actually bring our mind under control by always engaging it in Krishna consciousness and in this way completely detach the mind from the desires of senses. In this way instead of being servants of our senses (godasa) we can become the masters of our senses (goswami) and this is the prerequisite for further advancement in Krishna consciousness.
A regulated life is very important
If we want to become Krishna conscious we have to live a regulated life. We can not eat too much or too little or sleep too much or too little. Too much eating means eating more than is required to keep the body and soul together.
There is no need for humans to eat animals because there is a good supply of grains, vegetables, fruits and milk available. Such simple foods are considered to be in the mode of goodness according to the Bhagavad-gita. Animal food is for those in the mode of ignorance therefore those who eat animal food and engage in other sinful activities like drinking alcohol and smoking will suffer sinful reactions because of eating only polluted things.
Anyone who eats for his own sense pleasure, or cooks for himself, not offering his food to Krishna, eats only sin. One who eats sin and eats more than is allotted to him can not practice perfect yoga. One should only eat the remnants of food offered to Krishna. A person in Krishna consciousness does not eat anything which is not first offered to Krishna. Therefore only the Krishna conscious person can attain perfect yoga practice.
It is also impossible for a person who artificially abstains from eating, manufacturing his own personal practice of fasting, practice yoga.
The Krishna conscious person observes fasting as it is recommended in the scriptures. He does not fast more or eat more than is required and he is thus competent to perform yoga practice. One who eats more than required will dream very much while sleeping, and he must therefore sleep more than required. One should not sleep more than six hours daily. One who sleeps more than six hours out of the twenty-four is certainly influenced by the mode of ignorance. A person in the mode of ignorance is lazy and prone to sleep a great deal. Such a person can not perform yoga.
“He who is temperate in his habits of eating, sleeping, working and recreation can eliminate all material pains by practicing the yoga system.” (Bhagavad-gita 6.17)
Extravagance in the matter of eating, sleeping, defending and mating–which are all demands of the body–can block advancement in the practice of yoga. As far as eating is concerned it can be regulated only when one is practiced to take and accept prasadam, sanctified food. Lord Krishna is offered, according to Bhagavad-gita (9.26), vegetables, flowers, fruits, grains, milk, etc. In this way a person in Krishna consciousness becomes automatically trained not to accept food which is not meant for human consumption, or which is not in the category of goodness.
As far as sleeping is concerned, a Krishna conscious person is always alert in his discharge of duties in Krishna consciousness, and therefore any unnecessary time spent sleeping is considered a great loss. A Krishna conscious person can not bear to pass a minute of his life without being engaged in the service of the Lord. Therefore his sleeping is kept to a minimum. His ideal in this respect is Srila Rupa Gosvami, who was always engaged in the service of Krishna and who could not sleep more than two hours a day, and sometimes not even that. Haridas Thakur would not even accept prasadam nor even sleep for a moment without finishing his daily routine of chanting with his beads three hundred thousand names of Krishna.
As far as work is concerned, a Krishna conscious person does not do anything which is not connected with Krishna’s interest, and thus his work is always regulated and is untainted by sense gratification. Since there is no question of sense gratification there is no material leisure for a person in Krishna consciousness. And because he is regulated in all his work, speech, sleep, wakefulness and all other bodily activities, there is no material misery for him.
Spiritual Advancement–The Simple Method
Sometimes it appears very difficult to make advancement in Krsna consciousness, and we become impatient. If we expect immediate results and they aren’t forthcoming, we can easily become discouraged. For those of us who are unable to live in a temple (or even near a temple), this is especially true. So what’s the solution?
In November of 1969, while speaking in London’s Conway Hall, Srila Prabhupada stated the following:In this brief statement, Srila Prabhupada underlines the simplicity and accessibility of Krsna consciousness for everyone. Nothing fancy is required. Srila Prabhupada says here that one simply has to chant Hare Krsna, and keep a picture of Lord Caitanya and His associates (Sri Panca-Tattva) in his or her home. “That is the simple method,” he declares. But who will take to it? “Those who have good brains.”
If we make the effort to understand Srila Prabhupada’s teachings in essence, it becomes obvious that what he is saying is always very practical and straightforward. Anyone in any condition of life can practice devotional service to the Supreme Lord by applying Prabhupada’s instructions to their daily lives. We can begin by hearing the transcendental sound vibration of the Hare Krsna mantra from the lips of Krsna’s pure devotee, Srila Prabhupada. Then we can chant the Hare Krsna mantra: “Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.” This is the beginning of our devotional lives.
“The process is very simple. Just keep a picture of Lord Caitanya with His associates. Lord Caitanya is in the middle, accompanied by His principal associates — Nityananda, Advaita, Gadadhara, and Srivasa. One simply has to keep this picture. One can keep it anywhere. It is not that one has to come to us to see this picture. Anyone can have this picture in his home, chant this Hare Krsna mantra, and thus worship Lord Caitanya. That is the simple method. But who will capture this simple method? Those who have good brains. Without much bother, if one simply keeps a picture of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu at home and chants Hare Krsna, then one will realize God. Anyone can adopt this simple method. There is no expenditure, there is no tax, nor is there any need to build a very big church or temple. Anyone, anywhere, can sit down on the road or beneath a tree and chant the Hare Krsna mantra and worship God. Therefore it is a great opportunity.”
“Some scholars recommend that knowledge and renunciation are important factors for elevating oneself to devotional service. But actually that is not a fact. Actually, the cultivation of knowledge or renunciation, which are favorable for achieving a footing in Krsna consciousness, may be accepted in the beginning, but ultimately they may also come to be rejected, for devotional service is dependent on nothing other than the sentiment or desire for such service. It requires nothing more than sincerity.” (Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 14)
“Whether you live in temple or outside temple, the rules and regulation and the process must be followed. Then you are successful. It doesn’t matter that you have to live in the temple. If he does not agree with other godbrothers, friends, he can live separately. But he must follow the rules and regulation. That is wanted.” (Srila Prabhupada conversation, Honolulu, Hawaii, February 3, 1975)
“There is no difference between me and my picture. Therefore we should honor and keep pictures in
Why do Bad Things Happen to Us?
·From your views Why do ‘bad’ things befall us? How does all that come into play? Is everything karma or can anything just happen? How would a KC devotee deal with let’s say he’s on the road preaching and someone stabs him badly, how would you view that? Or would you say that while in KC it would not be possible to be stabbed because Krishna is watching over us, especially
Hare Krishna! All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
You have brought in two points. (1) generally speaking “Why do bad things happen” and (2) “do bad things happen to devotees.”
We know the soul is eternal. We are on a journey. And this life is but one small step in that journey. You could think of a motion picture which is on big, big reels of film made up of millions of frames. So our journey is like the entire motion picture and this life is but one frame out of the total movie. So what happens in this frame is a continuation of what happened in the previous frame and what we do in this frame will effect what happens in the next frame. So bad things do not happen to good people. They may have been good in this life but if bad things are happening we can see it is the result of some bad action they have performed in the past; in this life or in previous lives.
There is no such thing as “chance.” In Sanskrit there is not even a word that means “chance.” The concept does not even exist. The closest thing they have is “adrsti” which means “the cause is unknown.” So if something bad and unexpected happens they will not say it happened “by chance” they will say “the cause is unknown.” Which means it happened for some reason but we do not know what that reason is…
As far as a devotee is concerned Krishna is looking after him, that is sure, but how much of a devotee are we really? It is a question of surrender. We may be “a devotee” but we many not be completely surrendered to Krishna. But a devotee is in Krishna’s hands. He does not mind what is Krishna’s plan. If it is Krishna’s plan that he should be stabbed then that is all right. But he will think I am being stabbed because of my sinful actions in the past and it is Krishna’s mercy. I really deserve a lot worse. Krishna has minimized my suffering so much… Somehow a devotee always thinks it is Krishna’s mercy…
But that does not mean that if we are devotees and we see someone coming to stab us we will just put our arms up in the air and say: “It’s Krishna’s mercy” and let him stab us. No. A devotee can fight also. If someone is coming to attack him then he can protect himself of course. After all this body belongs to Krishna and we are using it to serve Krishna so if someone is trying to damage it if they succeed that will make it more difficult for us to serve Krishna. So we have to try and stop them. Also if they are attacking the other devotees we have to stop them.
So we are not, like the Buddhists, non-violent. Sometimes violence is necessary. Actually in the Vedic system there is a whole class of men called ksatryias. That means “to protect from hurt.” So these ksatryias are meant for using violence to protect the other members of the society when it is necessary. Non-violence is not a practical philosophy.
So on to your second point of “do bad things happen to devotees.” The answer is that “bad things” certainly do happen to devotees sometimes. Look at Lord Jesus Christ. His followers nailed him onto a cross. Or at least his followers did not protest while he was being nailed onto a cross. That is quite bad. And in the history of Krishna consciousness some very great souls have had to undergo some very difficult situations. But Krishna does protect his devotees, that is for sure. There is one case of Haridas Thakura. He was a great devotee and follower of Lord Caitanya who is Krishna himself and who appeared in India five hundred years ago. Because Haridas was a great devotee many people were attracted to him and he became very famous and highly respected. He became even more famous than the King of that time. So the King became very envious of Haridas. He did many things. But one thing is he had Haridas arrested and taken to 22 different market places and had him severely whipped in every market place. Such a punishment would ordinarily be a death sentence as no ordinary man could survive such a whipping. But Haridas said after it that he felt no pain. And later on the devotees saw on the back of Lord Caitanya all the whip marks. So Lord Caitanya had protected his devotee Haridas…
There is also Prahlada Maharaja, the son of a great demon, Hiranyakasipu. Hiranyakasipu was trying to train Prahlada to be a big demon and sent him to the school with all the other demon’s children to be taught politics and diplomacy. But Prahlada was a devotee of Krishna from birth and as soon as the teachers went out of the classroom he would jump up and preach Krishna consciousness to all the other boys in the school. So gradually the whole school, all sons of demons, started to become devotees of Krishna…. So it is a long story but Hiranyakasipu became very angry at Prahlada because he had become a devotee of Krishna and he tried to kill Prahlada in so many ways. He threw Prahlada off a big high cliff but the rocks at the bottom turned into feathers and cushioned Prahlada’s fall. He threw Prahlada into a pit full of deadly snakes and scorpions. But they did not bite Prahlada. He had a huge elephant trample on Prahlada. But he was not hurt. He put Prahlada in a big pot of boiling oil. But Prahlada did not die… So he was completely frustrated. And back in his palace he asked Prahlada: “Where do you get your strength from?” And Prahlada replied “The same place you get your strength from, Krishna…” Hiranyakasapu could see Prahlada was not at all afraid of him and he knew it was because of Prahlada’s faith in Krishna. So he asked Prahlada: “Is your God everywhere?” Prahlada said: “Yes” So looking at a huge pillar in the palace Hiranyakasipu said: “Is your God in this pillar?” Prahlada said: “Yes.” So Hiranyakasapu took a big hammer and smashed the pillar and Lord Krishna, in the form of half-man, half-lion appeared out of the pillar. And Krishna as Lord Narasimhadeva killed the demon Hiranyakasapu and saved His pure devotee Prahlada Maharaja…
But Haridas and Prahlada are very special and we can not expect Krishna to do like that for us. But it is true that Krishna protects his devotees and for devotees things no longer simply work on karma. We may have done so many bad things in the past that we should be suffering for now, but because we are trying to be Krishna conscious and are trying to serve Krishna, Krishna changes our karma. So a devotee is not like an ordinary person in this regard. But still we have this material body and it will get old, it will get sick and it will die. There is no getting around that. But a devotee has a different consciousness. He knows he is not the body and even though the body may be going through some troubles, he is not troubled, because he has realized he is not the body…
Still even pure devotees like Jesus can die “horrible deaths.” But in that case there is some plan of Krishna involved. Pure devotees are sometimes killed as was Jesus. He was killed by the Jews who were envious of his popularity and because he preached against the existing religious men. He went to the Jewish churches and told the people “the only way to God is through me…” So he was telling them that these Scribes and Pharisees could not help them get to God at all. If they wanted God they had to listen to him. So it did not make him very popular with the religious leaders of the Jews. So they had him killed. And this is a pattern that repeats. If one becomes a truly spiritual person and preaches so many people will become his enemy. There is even a good chance that Srila Prabhupada was poisoned by some of his “followers” and it seems his spiritual master was also poisoned by some of his “followers.” Both Prabhupada and his spiritual master Srila Bhaktsiddhanta were very powerful preachers who upset a lot of the “caste Brahmins” who are the priestly class in India. They claim one can only become a Brahman [spiritually advanced] by being born in a Brahmin’s family. But this is not what the Vedas says. And both Srila Prabhupada and his spiritual master made this widely known. So even though a pure devotee is the friend of everyone by his preaching naturally demoniac people become envious of him.
But everything in connection with a pure devotee is an arrangement of Krishna. There is one verse that if Krishna wants someone to live no one can kill him and if Krishna wants someone to die no one can save him.”
So I hope it is of some help. Basically there is no chance. Nothing happens by chance. There is a cause for everything, “Innocent” people do not die horrible deaths. The cause is generally our bad karma, bad things happen to us because of the bad things we have done in the past in this life and in previous lives. There is nothing an ordinary person can do about this. The analogy is given of a seed. You plant a seed and after some time it will germinate and grow. So it is with our sinful activities. It is like planting a seed in our heart. In due course of time that seed will germinate and grow and we will have to then suffer the reaction to that sinful activity. Like seeds these sinful reactions take different amounts of time to germinate. Some, like a big tree, may take many many years, others, like wheat, may germinate quite quickly.
And if, at the time of death, we still have these seeds within our hearts waiting to germinate we have to take another birth in the material world so they can germinate and we will enjoy or suffer the results… And when we take another birth we will again do so may sinful and pious activities which will sow more seeds in our heart and we will have to come back to the material world again and again and again… practically forever.
The way out of course is chanting Hare Krishna. This chanting destroys the seeds of our sinful activities in our hearts so they will not germinate in the future and if we can keep ourselves engaged in Krishna conscious activities we will not sow more seeds in our hearts so at the time of death there will be no seeds in our hears waiting to germinate so we do not have to take another birth in the material world–we can go back home back to Godhead and get our original eternally youthful spiritual body full of knowledge and bliss…
And all just by chanting Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare…
So why not chant Hare Krishna and be happy?
Om Tat Sat
(My humble salutations to the great devotees , wikisources and Pilgrimage tourist guide for the collection )