They were having meetings and seminars all day, and one evening Jananivasa Prabhu enlightened us with the most wonderful katha on the pastimes of various Deities - mainly Lord Jagannath and Nrsimhadeva in Mayapur. It was very sweet, and Jananivasa Prabhu became so enlivened, that he spoke for more than two hours...
Receiving insights into the principles of Krsna's system certainly gave valuable food for thought to my audience. It put the materialistic ways and concepts of life in question and directly challenged them, helping us to let go of our mundane conditioning which is deeply engrained into our consciousness by the materialistic propaganda we are exposed to. And our participants discovered spiritual solutions to all social problems we are facing in these modern days.
We often don't realize what a strong impact culture has on our consciousness. It is very subtle and yet very powerful. We may think that we have our own opinions and concepts, but factually we are a product of the propaganda of our surroundings.
We all know how disturbed some devotees were, when Srila Prabhupada told that man has never gone to the moon. Some even packed their bags and left Srila Prabhupada! People are so conditioned by certain concepts, and their entire world view can indeed collapses when somebody offers a different vision.
Recently I came across an interesting quote from a Bhagavad Gita lecture
Srila Prabhupada gave in Germany in June 1974:
"So this statement will not be very palatable to the Western girls. They want independence. In Chicago, when I was there, they talked about independence of the woman. They asked me question. So I replied, "No, woman cannot be given independence." So there was a great agitation against me. In many papers I was very much criticized. But actually it is the fact, because they are innocent, not so intelligent and... These are all practical. We may avoid discussing, but Bhagavata is very open for discussing all subject matter. That is fact. We should not hide anything artificially. We must discuss the fact. Not only here, the mention it is, the Manu-samhita. Manu-samhita recommends, "A woman should not be given independence." For their interest they must be protected by father, husband, and sons, because if they are polluted, they become very dangerous."
As Prabhupada states, these topics of men's and women's constitutional positions and roles are not very palatable to Western girls - outside ISKCON and inside ISKCON. Nevertheless, Prabhupada instructs us to discuss it, because it is irrevocable fact. We should not hide it, sweep it under the carpet, or even adjust our philosophy to suit the modern trends.
Even Srila Prabhupada was criticized for preaching it, and so will others who follow his instruction to discuss these facts.
Prabhupada spoke out very boldly, even though it was entirely against the modern trends. He did not compromise the underlying principles, yet at the same time he could be flexible and liberal in the details. He simply spoke the truth with pure heart, based on sastra, delivering the knowledge and truth as it is. Prabhupada was not afraid to be criticized, to damage his personal reputation.
The gopis are willing to sacrifice absolutely everything - even their fame and reputation. This is the biggest sacrifice. To sacrifice bodily comfort is rather easy. The more subtle the sacrifice becomes, the more surrender it requires.
Prabhupada set the example that a preacher has to be willing to surrender in this mood - the mood of the gopis, not caring for their name and personal reputation.....
On the 21st of June I flew on to Odessa/Ukraine, together with Rasarani....
Your servant, Devaki dd