About Our Tradition - Inspiration

I: You have mentioned that the books and stories of the Hare Krishna movement are the source of your inspiration. Can you explain this?

J: Well, the Hare Krishna movement, which is now world-wide, was popularized by the extensive travelling and preaching of our spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada. His spiritual presentation was centered around the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, and the teachings of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu , who appeared 500 years ago. It was He who introduced the Hare Krishna maha-mantra as the most powerful and simple method for spiritual growth. Srila Prabhupada explained to us, using authentic sources of Vedic knowledge, that we are spiritual by nature, beyond the body, the mind and this world. He taught that spiritual realisation didn’t result merely in nullification of the temporary, but led further to the understanding that there is a substantial spiritual dimension, which is attainable by one whose consciousness is pure.

He often spoke about holy places (dhams) in India, connected with the divine descent of the Supreme Lord, which are sometimes said to be “embassies” of the spiritual world. I soon found myself curious to visit such places, and experience the atmosphere there. In 1974, I first visited India and journeyed to Mayapur Dham, where Lord Caitanya appeared, and Vrindavana Dhama which is the place of Lord Krishna. Prabhupada was there with us at that time, and I remember being deeply impressed by how much he was especially at home in Vrindavana, which is the place of Krishna’s divine lila.