The beautiful life of
Talk on Jayananda and excerpts from book
Talk on Jayananda
This was a talk given on Jayananda’s disappearance day 2001. I can’t remember the words said, not exactly, but have
reproduced the main points. And I’ve enhanced the talk with added
material and more afterthought and deliberation.
The life of Jayananda is truly a guiding light for our
trouble times of the world. If we examine his life, we shall get guidance
and solace from this dark world. The world around us seems to get
progressively worse as days go on. There is an ominous feeling of
negativity that seems to pervade everything. Depression and hopelessness
hangs like fog all around us. Young people have gotten callous and
negative in attitude and lifestyle. Cruelty to our fellow man has become
Violence is on the rise, such as the alarming trend of
kids killing other kids. And violence is also seen in the epidemic of
cruelty to animals, such as cats and dogs [what to speak of the cruelty of
the slaughterhouses and killing of cows and pigs, etc.] The humane society
says that there is an alarming increase in finding cats that have been
tortured. They found a cat that some demented person shot with a pellet
gun over a dozen times, yet the poor thing was still alive. They say there
are many cases like this, and they would like to find these persons and
put them in jail. A cat is just an innocent animal not hurting anyone, and
this is unparalleled cruelty and violence, a darkly sinister trend of
We don't have to stand high on a rooftop, and caterwaul
to the multitudes about the horrors of evil in the world, everyone knows
it. Some people say that there is an evil spreading throughout human
society, some say it is a battle between good and evil, or God and Satan.
They say there’s a whole generation of evil on the rise. Some Christians
say these are the “end of days,” and refer to Biblical references.
Some say that Mother Earth has been pushed to her limits, and the end of
the world will come someday. Morality has been steadily going down the
drain, and greed and lust are rampant.
The world is in such a tailspin, and we wonder out loud,
“How are we ever going to pull this world out of its hell-bend path?”
It seems as easy to stop a runaway train that’s careening through a
mountain pass, ready to plunge off the precipice. How will we ever make a
difference in this world? Look at us now, we’re supposed to be the
brains of society, the Brahmanas, and we’ve got so many of our own
problems to deal with, that it seems we won’t get around to fixing the
world. We’re too self absorbed in our own problems. The missionary
spirit of which this movement was founded is on an extremely depressing
How will the devotees of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu pull
the world out of it’s hellbound course? How are we going to turn this
world around and begin the golden age of Lord Caitanya’s movement for
10,000 years? It appears hopeless to we who are faint of heart, we who
perceive such overwhelming odds dashing our hopes of a spiritual
revolution of this planet.
Some man in New York was saying how the end of the world
was near, but Srila Prabhupada said that “the end is always coming.”
The person in material consciousness is always fearful of the end,
wondering “when is it coming?, is it coming now?” But the devotee
knows that the end is always coming, either with wars or natural
calamities, or individually, each spirit soul is continually coming to end
after end as they change from one body to another. So the concern of the
devotee is not when the end is coming, but what they can do with the
precious time remaining. Srila Prabhupada compared these calamities to
waves in the ocean. Some waves are wars, some are natural catastrophes,
and some are the death of family or self. There are always waves of
calamities in this material world, but we should not be concerned with the
temporary waves always coming and going, but our goal is to cross over the
ocean of material energy. As Bhagavad-gita says in 7.14;
daivi hy esa guna-mayi
mama maya duratyaya
mam eva ye
mayam etam taranti te
divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature,
is difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can
easily cross beyond it.
Srila Prabhupada says on a morning walk, that even
skyscrapers will fall down some day. Someday these tall buildings will not
exist, therefore they are ultimately asat, or nonexistent.
Morning walk, 1.9.74 in LA-
Prabhupada: Manorathena asati dhavato bahih. By
mental speculation, you will remain on this asati, in this
temporary field. Asat means "which will not exist."
Anything in this material world, you take, that will not exist. Anywhere
man can say. The skyscraper building is constructed, but everyone knows
that it will not exist. Some day it will fall down. Everyone knows.
It will never exist. That is explained by Krsna in the Bhagavad-gita, that
"If you think that by combination of matter, life has come, so life
was not there before the combination. And this combination will dismantle.
So life, there will be no more life. So why these three period you are
lamenting? There is life." Because according to this
theory--"The combination of matter makes life"--so before
combination there was no life, and the combination dismantled, there is no
life. So beginning and end no life. Why you are lamenting in the middle?
Very good reasoning. Just see. Therefore Prahlada Maharaja says, maya-sukhaya
bharam udvahato vimudhan. Maya-sukhaya, that illusory, illusory
happiness. Maya-sukhaya. And for that reason, they are making huge,
gorgeous arrangement and working day and night, which will be zero. It has
begun from zero and it will end into zero. In the middle they are busy.
Just see. Therefore vimudhan.
There is the day dream of every man and woman, and there
is the night dream, both are temporary, therefore both illusory. It is
just that the day dream is longer and feels more solid, yet still
temporary, still asat. Lord Caitanya said that even the Himalayans
will someday cease to exist, despite the fact that these mighty mountains
are proclaimed by Bhagavad-gita to be the chief of immovable objects, but
one day, they will be no more. Everything we see in this world will pass
away eventually. So the devotee does not fret about "when" and
"if" the end is coming, he knows it will be so, sooner or later,
and so he utilizes his valuable time wisely for serving Krishna.
So, Jayananda never got distracted by temporary setbacks
and problems in this material world. He simply went ahead with his
execution of Srila Prabhupada's orders despite all the all pervasive
negativity in the world. He persevered through all difficulties by being
pro-active in spreading Krishna consciousness. He was the acharya of
“doing.” He went out and did tangible feats of huge amounts of service
while others talked. He could reverse any negative situation by his
natural positive attitude. He was always turning negative energy into
positive energy; he could turn the minus into a plus.
This we can see from
and other passages in the Jayananda website-
Murlikrsna said- "Whenever he was around,
he was a big guy, a very big man, and he also was very positive, he
emanated positive energy. No matter what kind of negative thing came to
him, he'd just turn it around and send it right out positive. He'd look at
the guy and just turn his head right around, do double back flips, and the
guy would go away going, "Jai,
Hari bol!" He'd come in like, "Jayananda, there are problems
at the temple and we've got to do this and that," and he'd just go,
"Ah, Lord Jagannatha!" He'd just be so into devotional service,
so into distributing prasadam, so into giving a Gita
out to anybody."
turns negative to positive
would always turn a weird situation into doing benefit for the other
person. Like the Fisherman's Wharf episode, when the lobster-murder stand
people threw hot and stinky fish water at the devotees' feet as they went
by on hari-nama. I would have gotten into a fight with them, like
yelling and shaking fists, but Jayananda was in control of his senses and
approached them with cookies and said, “Thanks for doing such a nice
service of cleaning the sidewalk.” This genuinely affected them.
Similarly, he was always trying to give prasadam to others, like
visitors of the temple, or taking out extra prasadam to the streets
for the bums, and so forth. He was found to be cooking prasad for
drunks in a bar. He was always asking wandering hippies to help with the
carts, not just to get their labor, but to engage them in service for
their benefit, knowing that even a little service brings transcendental
sees with equal vision
great quality was that he seemed to see the Deity in everyone's' heart. He
saw with equal vision – no matter who the person was, Jayananda only saw
him as a good person, and Jayananda wanted to give him Krishna. He would
never judge or criticize anyone, nor would he tolerate hearing criticism
or anything bad about anyone. He understood the true meaning of bhakti,
which is divine love, love for Krishna and His parts and parcels.
Jayananda gave his love to everyone, he loved them for what they were, not
making material distinctions about what this person is or is not.
Jayananda only gave them love, and that is why everyone loved Jayananda.
Jayananda loved Krishna and Srila Prabhupada, and therefore naturally he
loved everyone else. He saw criticism as a hateful negative energy that
corrupts everyone it contacts. He was always very positive; even in
seemingly unsuccessful events, he would only see the good in it, and never
dwell on the bad. That is why everyone felt good around him and never
a bad hair day
you think about it, Jayananda really had a tough job. His office was out
there in the street, or going from door to door, to offices and stores,
dealing with commissioners, etc., and his work was always on the spur of
the moment. There were no appointments, he had no secretary to assist
him; rather, he was out there meeting people one-on-one, and often when
they were in a rush. Yet they always came away with a good taste in their
minds. He was meeting people constantly, winning them over with a big
heart, and he was always in a good mood, never having a bad hair day. This
was because he wasn't thinking about himself. Depression is due to
self-absorption and thinking we are these bodies. In fact, every misery
you can think of is due to thinking we are these bodies. Jayananda was
never thinking that way, he was always acting as a spirit soul and servant
of Krishna, free from the bodily conception of life, and he was only
thinking of how to serve others and Srila Prabhupada and Krishna. This
would be a tough job for anybody else, to never have a negative mood swing
– but Jayananda was always on the up-and-up, he was constantly in a high
mood ... 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
we see so much negativity in our movement. So much bad PR, so much
in-fighting. How are we to be the head of society, if we cannot get our
own act together? The world needs a head so badly, but this head is still
ailing with a heavy weight of its own negativity. We need to look for that
beacon light station. We're in a great storm, were dark clouds and violent
rains and winds are assailing our vessel, and the hungry rocks are
approaching to sink the ship.
need the guidance of one who can lead us to safety. Srila Prabhupada said
that the perfect follower is the perfect leader, and Jayananda showed us
how to be that perfect follower of Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada
asked us all to follow his example.
are some more points from Srila Prabhupada-
The devotee does not live in this material world
Prabhupada writes in his Krishna Book, chapter 14, how this material world
is such a dangerous place and then gives the Krishna conscious solution-
who takes shelter of the lotus feet of Krsna enters the boat for crossing
over the ocean of nescience. For him, this vast expansion of the material
manifestation becomes as insignificant as a hoofprint. Krsna is the center
of all great souls, and He is the shelter of the material worlds. For one
who is on the platform of Krsna consciousness, Vaikuntha, or the spiritual
world, is not far away. He does not live within the material world where
there is danger at every step.”
vatsa-padam param padam
padam yad vipadam na tesam
The deathless position
Prabhupada was talking to his disciples on a morning walk on January 5th,
1974 in LA, and one disciple was saying how Christians were going to flee
to Canada, afraid of death, but devotees were not. He said that at the end
of the month, the United States would be destroyed by the Kahutek comet,
and they would all move to Mexico and Canada. Then Srila Prabhupada said:
are so good Christian that at the time of danger, they're all going away
to Canada. Just see--afraid of death, even though they are preaching
themselves, priest, they are also the same common man, afraid of death.
And if we people keep to Krsna consciousness, we are not afraid of death.
For going from one place to another, that's all. Going home, nobody
becomes afraid going back to home. He becomes pleased. You avoid death,
there is no death. If we simply practice this, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna,
Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama... No more death. Finished
death. This is a fact. Or do something for Krsna. Don't waste time, single
moment. Then no more death. Because this is the deathless condition. And
the changing of the body, that is momentary, that is all. Yes, this is
For the devotee, everything is happiness
Srila Prabhupada says-
it is pleasant. Visvam purna-sukhayate. For a devotee, everything
is very happy. There is no unhappiness. Any condition, they are happy. Visvam
purna-sukhayate. For nondevotees everything is a problem. (devotees
laugh) And for devotee everything is happiness. That is the difference.”
seizing the moment [from
in this material world really mattered to Jayananda, except that we
prepare and distribute and honor nice prasad. If there was a TV
announcement that World War III had begun, and the bombs were on their
way, Jayananda would just cook and serve prasadam to all of us
while he chanted hari-bolo. And then we would all relish Krishna prasadam
as Krishna's Holy Names resounded, and to hell with the bombs or
whatever, because Jayananda would always seize the moment. Hari-bol!
We have the indomitable spirit of Jayananda, which
can awaken the rising of Phoenix, out of the ashes of doom. By following
the life of Jayananda, who did all the right things, who simply believed
in the words of Srila Prabhupada without complication or assumption or
interpretation, and from this simple obedience and faith in his
Guru-maharaja, Krishna empowered him to do superhuman activities. We have
the example of one who has already crossed the insurmountable ocean of
Isn’t that what we need? Simple faith in Srila
Prabhupada to move mountains? Don’t we all need the inspiration of
the life of one who’s already done this? Shouldn’t we all follow the
example of our saint, who’s been successful and gone back to Godhead?
Who amongst us is so jaded to suggest that we continue with the same old
“duck-and-cover” mentality, the “head-in-sand” “blow-on-boil”
strategy? Who will say we’re not besieged by an ocean of ordeal? Arguing
will never work, nor litigation or debate, nor jockeying for position. Do
we lie down like pathetic pythons, and take whatever fate befalls us?
Jayananda was cent percent surrendered to Srila
Prabhupada as malleable putty in his spiritual master’s hands, and thus
Krishna empowered him to do extraordinary feats. For the common man, if
death or cancer walks in the door, he tends to give up and prepare for
death. Srila Prabhupada says in “Teachings
of Queen Kunti”-
On the Battlefield of Kuruksetra, Arjuna said to Krsna, "Whatever You are saying is all right. I am not this body. I am a soul, and this is also true of everyone else. So when the body is annihilated, the soul will continue to exist. But when I see that my son is dying or my grandfather is dying and that I am killing, how can I be solaced simply by knowing that they are not dying, but that only their bodies are changing? I am accustomed to thinking of them with affection in terms of the body, and so there must be grief and suffering."
Jayananda did not give way to terms of the body, or
affection thereof, and he did not yield to negative thoughts or despair
… he just did his service to Srila Prabhupada and Lord Jagannatha
despite all impediments. He
did the monumental task of building the NY Ratha-yatra carts, and then,
despite being deathly sick and drained of energy and deprived of sleep, he
danced for Lord Jagannatha all day long in the parade. When he was in the
hospital, he didn’t give in to weakness, he continued to preach to the
other patients, giving them a Krishna Book to read, and distributed
prasadam to all. Later he did LA Ratha-yatra from his bed, and he gave a
talk at his birthday despite being so weak as to barely talk, and he
danced in mangal-arotik one morning, though he came in wheelchair and
could barely walk.
Thus we can also do wonderful service in Krishna
consciousness by following Jayananda’s example, and we can be putty in
Srila Prabhupada’s hands if we obey Srila Prabhupada’s orders, like
his desire for us to follow Jayananda’s example, and Krishna will
empower us, and if we neglect Srila Prabhupada and his orders, then
negativity will overwhelm us. Some say Iskcon is fading, but Iskcon
isn’t buildings and names, it’s Srila Prabhupada’s vision, still
carried in the hearts of his sincere disciples.
So, its no coincidence that recently so much information coming out about Jayananda, 3 books, website, another website soon, planning for a video and multimedia CD. By devotees becoming more aware of our saint Jayananda, and appreciating his life and qualities, hearing of his success in Krishna consciousness, pleasing Srila Prabhupada and going back to godhead, we can get hope that we can turn our negatives into positives and then we can help the world become positive. Srila Prabhupada said this movement could save the world in its darkest hour. So Jayananda’s example is very valuable, and its there for us to follow.
your lowly servant, Visoka dasa
Srila Prabhupada’s infinite look of mercy
The faithful disciple is blessed with knowledge. When the spiritual master becomes pleased with a disciple, he bestows all knowledge of the Vedas on that disciple. This is probably the most intimate time I ever had with Jayananda, or anybody for that matter. I can hardly talk about it. We were alone one night at the Ratha site in Frisco. We were just standing around and talking. Jayananda got to talking about how Srila Prabhupada came to the airport one day. Jayananda did his dandavats right at Srila Prabhupada’s feet, and somehow he looked upwards from the floor to Srila Prabhupada. Right then, Srila Prabhupada was looked straight down into Jayananda’s eyes. It was a rare moment for me, how Jayananda described the look that Srila Prabhupada gave him. It was a look of infinite love and mercy, Jayananda said. Srila Prabhupada’s stood, looking down to Jayananda, his face and his smile and his mercy all poured down through his eyes to Jayananda, with all the love and mercy anyone could imagine. I can hardly remember just how superlative that description was, how Jayananda gave it to me, except that I was awed by it. And as Jayananda was telling me about the mercy glance of Srila Prabhupada, it seemed that he was showing me how it looked. Jayananda seemed to have the same kind of look on his face. There are rare times when one person is able to look into the eyes of another person, for very long, without turning away. At that time, I was able to look into Jayananda’s face and eyes for a long time, as he was giving me this mercy look he was describing. Sort of like I got initiated with the glance myself. And at that time, I saw Jayananda’s aura. It was dark outside, being nighttime, and somehow I saw an aura of light about his head. Some new age people give classes on how to see auras. I saw his without effort. It was then that I realized the purport of his name. Jayananda. The victory of spiritual bliss. I saw waves of bliss emanating from his eyes and face and smile. It was waves of bliss. That was about the most intimate time I ever had with Jayananda, actually with anybody. I don’t think I could ever forget that look and those feelings, that story of the mercy vision of Srila Prabhupada, and the awe of the moments as long as I live, and hopefully after that.
Plugged into the original source of power
This we could definitely see in Jayananda, he possessed a great power, he had that power of “Brahma-tejas,” that could only be coming down through the parampara system, which was endowed to him by the grace of Srila Prabhupada. The sanjivani mystic power is another gift of Guru. Srila Prabhupada saved us all, we were all dead men before he came to America. Likewise, Jayananda was practically dead before he met Srila Prabhupada. Jayananda had lost all will to continue to live, and then one day he read a newspaper article about Srila Prabhupada, and said, “Let me give this a chance.” And in this way, Srila Prabhupada raised him from the dead. The last part of this pastime is also a lesson, in which Bali lost his power in the end, due to offenses to Vaishnavas. Jayananda knew this truth so very well. He was extremely careful not to criticize devotees or engage in any faultfinding or gossip. He knew that all power would be withdrawn if he ever transgressed this rule of spiritual life. As a result, he never waned in spiritual power, he was fully spiritually strong up to the end of life.
Thus, we all should obey Srila Prabhupada, and follow the example of Jayananda. By following in his footsteps, then we may also please Srila Prabhupada and get his mercy, and get plugged into the original power house, the current coming through parampara, directly from Krishna. Oh, my dear Jayananda, please give me a spark of your power and devotion, so to get me out of maya someday … and then I will see you again.
Dasaratha-suta Indranatha Adi-kesava Jivadhara Jayanandanugas Gurudas BTG Interview His Own Words Mukunda Astro Chart Vishoka Jim Sullivan Dhanistha Kala-kantha Murli-krsna His Gita Class Svavasa Ode to Jayananda Family Jayananda website