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With a Case for the Reconstitution of Srila Prabhupada’s “Mission”.

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Segment 45.1
Desa-kala-patra. According to Time, Atmosphere, and the Performer.

Current and future Modern Technology, and the Internet, will facilitate this preaching of Srila Prabhupada’ s Krishna-consciousness movement and its dissemination all over the planet Earth.

  Srila Prabhupada did say,

“Tax your brain and develop different ways of spreading Krishna consciousness.”

In this regard, “different ways” are unlimited. Because Krishna is unlimited. 

Therefore, the principle of “desa kala patra” is essential to the reconstitution of Srila Prabhupada mission as he intendent it to be. “Desa” means situation, and “kala”, time, and “patra”, the subject/circumstance.  Hence, “time-place-and-circumstance”, is very inherent to preaching Krishna-consciousness. We have to adept, according to time, according to place, and circumstance. But we must keep our principles as it is, while making arrangement according to the circumstances. 

Let us see what Srila Prabhupada wrote or spoke in regards to this principle.

In “Eight Prayers in Separation From My Spiritual Master by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada December 1958”, Seventh Octet Distributing the Pure Devotional Process:

Lord Gauranga used many tricks just to engage the conditioned souls in devotional service, and you have also understood how to use all those tricks perfectly well.

You understood time, place and circumstance, and utilized everything as a strategy for preaching. Although observing your activities with their very eyes. those who are blind like owls and other creatures of the night could not see your true purpose.”

Srimad-bhagavatam 1.5.16 Purport:

The expert devotees also can discover novel ways and means to convert the nondevotees in terms of particular time and circumstance. Devotional service is dynamic activity, and the expert devotees can find out competent means to inject it into the dull brains of the materialistic population. Such transcendental activities of the devotees for the service of the Lord can bring a new order of life to the foolish society of materialistic men. Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His subsequent followers exhibited expert dexterity in this connection. By following the same method, one can bring the materialistic men of this age of quarrel into order for peaceful life and transcendental realization.”

Lecture on Bhagavad-gita 2.49-51 — New York, April 5, 1966:

“Vedic philosophy means Krishna philosophy. Vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyam (Bhagavad-gita 15.15).  The all-Vedic knowledge, all Vedic wisdom means to understand Krishna philosophy. That’s all. Nothing else. The Krishna philosophy in different ways all over the world, they have been described according to the time, place and people, but you must know the whole thing is Krishna philosophy.”

Lecture on Bhagavad-gita 7.1 — Fiji-May 24, 1975: 

“To surrender to God the great and to abide by His instruction, that is called religion. It may be that the Hindus may be following the same principle in a different way or the Christian may be following the same principle in different way. That is called desa-kala-patra. According to time, atmosphere, and the performer, there may be little difference. But real purpose of dharma is to surrender to God and try to love Him. That is religion.”

Lecture on Bhagavad-gita 9.3 — Toronto, June 20, 1976:

“And this human life is meant for inquiring about Brahman. Athato brahma …. This is the first verse, aphorism, of the Vedanta-sutra. So, the whole Vedic literature, in a gist form, is described in the Bhagavad-gita. And it is being explained by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna. So, it is a very important book, spoken by God Himself. And another system of religion… Sometimes the representative of God is speaking, the servant of God speaking. They are also the same, but according to time and circumstances they are modified. But here in this Bhagavad-gita, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, is speaking.”

Lecture on Bhagavad-gita 9.29-32 — New York, December 20, 1966:

“And one may say that,

 ‘Yes, because he is devotee of God, devotee of Krishna, we may call him sadhu, but not cent percent.’ 

But Krishna says,

‘No, cent percent sadhu. In spite of his bad character, he is cent percent sadhu.’

So, this is the recommendation. Why? Why is Krishna stressing on this point,

‘that whatever he may be, still he is honest, he is sadhu, he is religious, he is pious’?

Why? That is to be understood in the next… So, this su-duracarah… Su-duracarah means that according to time, according to circumstances, according to so many… There are influences.

Lecture on Bhagavad-gita 16.7 — Hawaii, February 3, 1975:

“So, Krishna says… This is called theism, believing in the sastra. Any sastra. It doesn’t mean that simply… All sastras, according to time, circumstances, people, there’re different sastras. The Bible is also sastra. Koran is also sastra as much as… They are spoken according to the time, according to the circumstances.”

Lecture on Bhagavad-gita 16.11-12 — Hawaii, February 7, 1975:

“So, Krishna spoke all these words five thousand years ago. Apart from taking account of millions of years, because nature’s law is the same, so even in those days, five thousand years ago, you’ll find the demonic people as they are now. These words about the demons… There were demons like Ravana and Hiranyakasipu, Kamsa. So many demons there were, historical demons. But their process of life was the same as the modern demons. There is no change. Therefore, sastra means it is for all the time, not that sastra was meant in the past for something else, and now something else. That is not the fact. That is, means, sastra, that it does not change. The time, place and atmosphere, according to that, everything is the same.”

Lecture on Bhagavad-gita 17.1-3 — Honolulu, July 4, 1974:

“Just like Jaya-Vijaya. Jaya and Vijaya became asuras. They fell down from Vaikunṭha. But they became asuras under the circumstances. That is mentioned we were reading Bhagavata the Kasyapa Rsi, his wife… Diti? What is the name of? Anyway, she was very lusty during the sandhya, just at the point of evening, the day’s passing. So, she wanted sex with her husband. He said,

‘No, this is not the time. This is not the time.’

But she was so lusty she obliged the husband to have sex life with her, and the result was two asuras were born. We have to take so much care. You see? According to the time, according to circumstances… Therefore, the Vedic principle has got garbhadhana-samskara. To beget a child, it requires also reformation-time, mentality, situation.”

Lecture on Srimad-bhagavatam 1.1.9 — Auckland, February 20, 1973:

“Now if in this age I advise you that you also live underneath a tree, then it will be difficult to preach. You see? Nobody is accustomed in that way, such severe type of austerity. They must be given, as far as possible, comfortable accommodation otherwise they will not come. They will not take. Now this…. This is adjustment. The acarya knows how to adjust things. The real purpose is how one will take to spiritual consciousness, or Krishna consciousness. Keeping one’s aim to that point some concession may be given. As far as possible, keeping pace with the time, circumstances.”

We have created so many faiths within this world, according to time, circumstances, country, atmosphere, everything, we have got different faiths.

Lecture on Srimad-bhagavatam 1.2.5 — Montreal, August 2, 1968:

“Religion is a faith, but dharma is the original characteristic of the living entity. And here Krishna says that, ‘You give up all types of faiths,’ because we have created so many faiths within this world, according to time, circumstances, country, atmosphere, everything, we have got different faiths. But Krishna says it is not the question of faith; it is the question of actual relationship. Because every living entity is part and parcel of Krishna, and the duty of part and parcel is to render service to the whole, therefore Krishna came to establish this type of religion, this first-class religion.”

Lecture on Srimad-bhagavatam 1.2.6 — Delhi, November 12, 1973:

“Religious means to become devotee of God. That is religion, very simple thing. Religion does not mean the ritualistic ceremonies, that,

‘My religion, the ritualistic is this. In your religion the ritualistic is this.’

That may be different according to time, according to the men, according to the country, climate. That may be little different.”

Lecture on Srimad-bhagavatam 1.2.10 — Delhi, November 16, 1973:

“So, a brahmacari is strictly prohibited not to see even one young woman. But what can be done? In the Western countries, the boys and girls, they mix very freely. And if I say, ‘My dear boys, you cannot see even a young girl,’ then finished. My business there is finished. Therefore, I have to arrange according to the country, according to the circumstances, as far as possible. So gradually, they are coming to the perfectional stage. So, we have to adopt desa-kala-patra, according to time, according to… But we are keeping our principles as it is, but making arrangement according to the circumstances. That is required.”

Lecture on Srimad-bhagavatam 1.3.24 — Los Angeles, September 29, 1972:

“The Sankara philosophy is,

‘No, simply breaking is not the solution. There is soul within this.’

Dehino ‘smi yatha dehe. Sankara gives him that,

‘Wherefrom this living cognizance come? There is soul.’

That is Sankara philosophy. But he is nirvisesa-vadi, nirakara. That consciousness has no form, he says. Then farther development is this n philosophy, that as soon as there is consciousness, that is a person. These are the gradual development. Actually, they are not contradictory. But according to the time, circumstances, different types of philosophies are there.”

Lecture on Srimad-bhagavatam 1.3.24 — Los Angeles, September 29, 1972:

So according to the time, circumstances, men, the different scriptures are there. The ultimate aim of scripture is to bring one to Krishna consciousness. But everything is not explained because the people are unable to understand. Just like in our Krishna consciousness movement, we are making movement, but not that everyone is understanding. Those who are very intelligent, or those who are, whose background is pious, they can understand.”

Our religion is to serve Krishna. That is our religion. Therefore, now we must serve in different ways according to time, circumstances, country.

Lecture on Srimad-bhagavatam 1.5.9-11 — New Vrindavana, June 6, 1969:

“Dharma means you exist by some natural symptom. That is called dharma. Everyone has got some natural symptom. That is dharma. According to Sanskrit meaning, that is dharma. Just like this light is a substance. What is his dharma, religion? To give light, to illuminate. So, without illumination, there is no meaning of light. Similarly, your dharma, what is your religion? Your religion is to serve Krishna. That is your religion. Now you serve in a different way according to time, circumstances, country. That is a different thing.”

Lecture on Srimad-bhagavatam 1.7.20-21 — Vrindavana, September 17, 1976:

“I know that you are coming from a different source, so according to time, according to circumstances… Even there, there is no limit. You can chant more than sixteen-sixteen hundred times. There is no… But practically we see that even chanting sixteen rounds becomes difficult. So don’t try to imitate, but do it properly, what is advised by your spiritual master, without any offense. That mantra will save you from the dangers of maya. That’s a fact.”

Actually, we will be very much harassed on account of the time, place, circumstances, so on.

Lecture on Srimad-bhagavatam 1.8.28 — Mayapura, October 8, 1974:

“Anyone who preaches the message of God, he is guru. ‘So, they very much appreciated, and actually it is so. one who is preaching, it may be in a different way, according to time and place and the Party, they have to change something, desa-kala-patra, but we have to see the essence. Wherever there is God consciousness, wherever is there understanding… Just like we sometime consult dictionary, a small dictionary, pocket dictionary, and a big international dictionary. Both of them are dictionaries. But according to time, desa-kala-patra, for small child, that small dictionary is sufficient. Higher mathematics: higher mathematics and lower-class ma… But the two plus two is always the same, in higher mathematics or lower mathematics. It is not that in the higher mathematics two plus two equals to five, no.”

So according to circumstances, according to different causes, we will be placed, to execute different types of business.

Lecture on Srimad-bhagavatam 3.26.8 — Bombay, December 20, 1974:

“The whole scientific world is going on under this misconception of life, that we belong to this material world. This is called illusion. Anyway, there are three things:  We are doing something according to our position, karya, karana, and karta, so according to circumstances, according to different causes, and we are placed to execute different types of business, and we are obliged to do that.”

Lecture on Srimad-bhagavatam 5.5.2 — Boston, April 28, 1969:

“… Of course, according to circumstances, there is variation. That concession is always there. But the main principle is there. Just like we are getting our boys and girls married. So according to Vedic rites, marriage is a very big program. But we are finishing, according to Srimad-bhagavatam, simply by acceptance. Svikara eva ca udvahe. In this age it is recommended that if a girl accepts somebody as husband or if a man accepts somebody as wife, that is final. That’s all. They may not change it.”

According to time, circumstances, and people, Krishna consciousness is understood in different measure.

Lecture on Srimad-bhagavatam 6.1.6 — Los Angeles, January 3, 1970:

“There are stages of Krishna consciousness. According to time, circumstances, and people, Krishna consciousness is understood in different measure. Actually, Krishna consciousness is that one should understand that God is great and we are minute particles of God.”

Here is consideration, desa kala patra. Desa means situation, and kala, time, and patra, and the subject.

Lecture on Srimad-bhagavatam 6.1.39 — San Francisco, July 20, 1975:

“A criminal is judged before the magistrate. He is taken just to make proper judgment, “Whether this man is punishable? He committed some criminal activities.” The circumstances, the condition of the mind—everything should be judged. This is called judgment. So, who is punishable? Desa-kala-patra. There is consideration, desa kala patra. Desa means situation, and kala, time, and patra, and the subject.” 

According to time, according to circumstances, according to the subject, everything scrutinizingly judged, not whimsically.

Lecture on Srimad-bhagavatam 6.1.39 — San Francisco, July 20, 1975:

“So, the judge must know who is to be punished. That is judgment. Katham svid dhriyate dansah sthanam. Desa-kala-patra: according to time, according to circumstances, according to the subject, everything scrutinizingly judged, not whimsically. Nowadays it is the time for emergency. Anyone can be punished without any judgment. But this is not good position.”

Lecture on Srimad-bhagavatam 7.6.3-4 — San Francisco-March 8, 1967:


“If meditation without chanting was at one time successful, why is it now deficient?”


Because the time has changed. You have to take, consider according to the time, circumstances, atmosphere. Here, at the present moment, our mind is so disturbed that concentration of meditation is not possible. But this chanting, as soon as we chant, by force our mind is engaged in chanting and hearing, by force: ‘Hare Krishna.’ So even my mind is disturbed, by the vibration I am attracted. So that is, this meditation is recommended.”

Lecture on Srimad-bhagavatam 7.9.12 — Mayapur, February 19, 1976:

Acarya gives some way for simple understanding. The same conclusion, but according to the time, circumstances, they give a very easy method to understand. That is acarya. Acarya is following strictly the previous acarya, but according to the circumstances, he may make little changes. That is… That change is not change from the original idea.

Lecture on Srimad-bhagavatam 11.3.21 — New York, April 13, 1969:

“So today we shall perform some initiation performances in this meeting, and we are happy that you have come to participate in this nice function. So, see the procedure, how we are doing it. This is Vedic principle, simplified to suit according to the time and place; otherwise, there are many other paraphernalia. So, this is the idea.”

Everything is required, provided you can satisfy Krishna. This is the principle. In, according to time, circumstances, the dealing.

Lecture on The Nectar of Devotion — Bombay, December 26, 1972:

“Now the question is whether this kind of black marketing, bribing, is required for spiritual life. And the answer is that everything is required, provided you can satisfy Krishna. This is the principle. In, according to time, circumstances, the dealing.

Just find out the condition of the society. So, we have to take account of the time, circumstances, society, and then preaching.

Lecture — Seattle, October 2, 1968:

Just find out the condition of the society. So, we have to take account of the time, circumstances, society, and then preaching. So, to society like that it is not possible to understand the high philosophical things as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gita. But the primary fact, the authority is God, that is accepted both in Bible and Bhagavad-gita.”

Lecture at World Health Organization — Geneva, June 6, 1974 Srila Prabhupada said:

“Well, after all, this is material world. The miserable conditions are there. But as far as possible, try to minimize. Our only aim is how to save time for spiritual cultivation. That is our main aim. So, we have to find out the opportunity according to the time, circumstances. We, we do not reject anything. Whatever is favorable, we accept.

Philosophy Discussion on Charles Darwin Srila, Prabhupada said:

That we accept. That we accept, that we have to adjust things according to circumstances. That is acceptable. But finally, if God does not approve of it, it does not happen. … We make counteractivities for adjusting things, but unless it is approved by the Supreme Lord, that adjustment also will not be very much helpful.

Srila Prabhupada Did the Following During His Presence,

1.   In 1972 he wrote his “Direction of Management”, which is a blue-print for a Constitution of ISKCON.

 2.   In 1974 he wrote a letter that at the end he wrote, “This is the Art of Management”.

3.   In his books, lecturers, letters, and conversations (that were recorded), he defined what his mission is, explained why we must establish the Krishna-consciousness movement, and how we can establish independent Incorporated Temples Communities, and how these communities should be organized, and managed according to the scheme specified in his DOM.

4.  In his books, lectures, conversations, and letter, he gave us sufficient instructions on, “Guru & Disciple” Tattva.

5.  He also gave us sufficient instruction on how to perform “Devotional Service to Lord Sri Krishna”; by employing the 9 Arms of Bhakti.

6.  Moreover, he established an organization for the publication of his books, the “Bhaktivedanta Book Trust”, (BBT) not (BBTI), that he specifically created to be “independent”, period.  Independent from any other person, or incorporated institution, like the GBC of ISKCON.

These 6 items did not comprise all of Srila Prabhupada mission.  As far as my personal understanding goes, Srila Prabhupada actually had three general components to his overall mission.  The disciples of Srila Prabhupada have failed to understand properly, and digest completely, the above 6 items, which constitute only Part-1, of his articulated Three-Part mission.  There is a Part-2 and a Part-3 as well.

Srila Prabhupada orders and instructions, go beyond the 6 items just mentioned.  What many of you may not know, is that Srila Prabhupada indicated, that success, in Part-1 and Part 3, is contingent and dependent, on Part-2 being successful.  Srila Prabhupada did not take Part-3 any further than an expressed idea, proposal, of a mission of his.  However, Part-2, he made a big effort towards its implementation, right up until his disappearance.

While Part-1 is the purpose of this Treatise, Part-2: “Establishing the Principles of Varnasrama-dharma”, and Part-3: “The Jiva Institute for Vaisnava Studies”; will be addressed in separate papers on this Web-Site.

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