Part Five 4th September 2004 4

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Evening program in the temple yard.


Prasad distribution to devotees and guests, ISKCON Kharkov.

Srimad-Bhagavatam class, ISKCON Kharkov.


I visited Kharkov University...

...where I met Professor Zechmistro, a philosopher of science, and his colleagues. We had an engaging discussion about quantum physics, consciousness, and God. Professor Zechmistro believes that modern atomic physics does not disprove ancient Indian and Greek wisdom about the nature of the world. Physics only points to a deeper reality which science cannot penetrate. I didn't tell him about the ISKCON MacNewletter article...he would have had a good laugh if I did!


Now I am in Kiev, where there are two ISKCON centers. One is a large temple in the suburbs. The other is a preaching center downtown. Today I gave a Gita class at the downtown center.

Kiev, the Ukraine
5 September 2004

Notes from Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura's rendition of Srimad-Bhagavatam 1. 2. 16, translated by Punya-palaka Prabhu of ISKCON Prague.

The verse as it appears in the BBT edition of Srimad-Bhagavatam, translated by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada:

susrusoh sraddadhanasya
syan mahat-sevaya viprah

O twice-born sages, by serving those devotees who are completely freed from all vice, great service is done. By such service, one gains affinity for hearing the messages of Vasudeva.

Srila Sarasvati Thakura's translation (rendered into English from the Thakura's Bengali):

O Saunaka and other sages, attachment to topics of Sri Hari arises in those who have faith in the words of sadhu, guru and sastra and who desire to hear about the Lord, as the result of visiting the holy places connected to Lord Visnu, serving the bona fide spiritual master and serving the saintly devotees of Krsna.

From Srila Sarasvati Thakura's explanation:

. . . The heart of a devotee of the Supreme Lord is a holy place, as is the place where he lives. These two kinds of holy places stimulate the awakening of taste for the topics of the Lord. Besides the tirtha-seva, another reason for awakening this taste is mahater-seva, a service to great personalities. Yasyasti bhaktir bhagavad akincana sarvair gunais tatra samasate surah / harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-guna mano-rathenasati dhavato bahih (SB 5. 18. 12).

. . . When one thoroughly discards bad association and associates with saintly great souls, then his bad taste transforms into taste for the topics of the Lord. . . . By serving the great souls, the proper behavior of the living entity is manifested, and he leaves aside the path of logic and reasoning. Then, accepting the path of hearing hari-katha, he takes shelter in devotional service called kirtana. The performer of kirtana ceases to consider the Lord and His illusory energy to be the same, and he exclusively dedicates himself to the service of the Lord.


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